1. The Biblical and Rabbinical obligation

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1. The Biblical and Rabbinical obligation:[1]

It is a positive command in the Torah for a lender to abolish his loans by the Shemita year. It is likewise a Biblical negative command for a lender not to demand payment from his borrower from after the Shemita year. A lender who ignores the above and proceeds to demand the collection of the loan, transgresses the above positive command, and likewise transgresses the above negative command.

Today’s times:[2] [Biblically, the command to annul loans during Shemita only applies during times that the Yovel cycle is in practice[3], which is when all the tribes are living in Eretz Yisrael.[4]] In today’s times [however] the laws of Shemitas Kesafim [abolishing debts] during the year of Shemita is [only] a Rabbinical enactment.[5] This applies in both Eretz Yisrael, and in the Diaspora.[6]


Must one verbally pronounce that the debt is nullified?[7]

The lender must verbally state that the loan is null and void. He should thus state “Mishamet Ani/I have annulled the loan.”


[1] Rambam Shemita Veyovel 9:1

[2] Admur Hilchos Halva 34

[3] Michaber C.M. 67:1; Rambam Shemita 2:9

Other Opinions: See Ramban brought in Urim Vetumim 67:1 that holds Shemitas Kesafim is a Biblical obligation even today, and even in the Diaspora.

[4] Rambam Shemita 10:8

[5] Admur 34; Gittin ibid; Rambam 9:3; Michaber ibid

[6] Admur ibid; Michaber ibid

[7] Gittin 37b; Letter of Rav Shtern printed in Halichos Hashevi’is

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