Doing a Peruzbal on Erev RH

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The Torah commands that at the end of the seventh year cycle one must annul all loans that he is owed by other Jews. The Peruzbal is a process instituted by the Sages which allows a loan to remain active even after the Shemitah year, and thus allows one to collect the debt from the borrower. It is proper for every G-D fearing Jew to be stringent to write a Peruzbal in order to Halachicly secure the collection of any loans he had given.[2] [Practically every Jew is to initially perform a Peruzbal to guarantee his collections of the loans.[3]]

When?[4] Initially the Peruzbal is to be performed at the end of the sixth year, prior to Rosh Hashanah of the seventh year.[5] [It is a Mitzvah to publicize this matter as it is not well known to the public.[6] It is proper to arrange the performance of the Peruzbal on Erev Rosh Hashanah[7] immediately after Hataras Nedarim.[8]] If one did not do the Peruzbal at the end of the sixth year then he is to perform it anytime throughout the seventh year, up until Rosh Hashanah which is the beginning of the eighth year. [Practically the Chabad custom is to perform the Peruzbal both on Erev Rosh Hashanah of the sixth year and the seventh year.[9] This certainly applies if one made loans within the 7th year and they have not yet been paid.[10]]

How?[11] Before the Shemitah year begins the lender is to gather a valid court of three men and state to them “I hereby hand to you all the debts that are owed to me that [and through doing so] I should be allowed to collect them whenever I desire.” [Alternatively one is to write and sign a document including the above words and hand it to the tribunal of judges. A Rav can join another two Kosher Jews and prepare the Peruzbal document and then have people place their signature on it.[12]] A Peruzbal is only valid if the borrower possesses some piece of land or an object connected to land.[13] [The Rav or other member of the Beis Din in charge of the Peruzbal document can acquire a piece of their land to all the lenders that have signed, in order for them to then acquire it to the borrower and hence validate the Peruzbal. This is one of the advantages in using a Peruzbal document over doing so orally.[14]



On Erev Rosh Hashanah of the end of the sixth year of Shemitah [and also of the end of the seventh year of Shemitah] one is to perform a Peruzbal in front of a court of three Jews. It is performed following Hataras Nedarim. One states before the tribunal “I hereby hand to you all the debts that are owed to me that I should be allowed to collect them whenever I desire.” Alternatively a Beis Din is to write the above Nussach in a document and have the lenders sign their name on it.


May one appoint a messenger to perform the Peruzbal on his behalf in the presence of a valid court?[15]



Is it proper to write the Peruzbal rather than simply recite the statement to the court?

One is not required to write a Peruzbal and saying it orally suffices as stated above[16], and so is the custom of many even initially.[17] Nevertheless there are many Jews that are scrupulous to sign a document which is handed to the Beis Din.[18] The Rebbe encouraged the distribution of Peruzbal documents by a Beis Din. One of the advantageous of doing the Peruzbal through a document of a Beis Din is regarding that if the borrower does not have any land the Beis Din can facilitate the acquiring of land on his behalf.[19] See Halacha 5 for further details on this subject!


If one does not have any money that is owed to him by Erev Rosh Hashanah is he still to perform the Pruzbal?[20]

If one is not owed money by any person by the time of Erev Rosh Hashanah of the end of the 6th year arrives then one is to specifically lend money to another person in order to merit the Mitzvah of performing a Pruzbal.[21]

The Hebrew Nussach:[22]

הריני מוסר לכם כל חובות שיש לי שאגבה אותם כל זמן שארצה


Years that the Pruzbal is to be performed on Erev Rosh Hashanah according to Chabad custom to do so at the end of the sixth and also at the end of the seventh






















[1] Tur and Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat Chapter 67; Admur Choshen Mishpat Hilchos Halva 34-40

[2] Admur 35

[3] Likkutei Sichos 24 p. 316 based on Admur 36 that Lechatchila the Pruzbal is to be done at the end of the 6th year, hence implying that every Jew must do so and not just those that are G-d fearing.

[4] Admur 36

[5] Admur ibid; So rules also: Rosh Gittin 4/18; Rabbeinu Yerucham Nesiv 7; Haitur Pruzbal; Tur 67; Kaftor Vaferach 50; Tumim 67/54; Misgeres Hashulchan 180/9; Mahraiy Asad 2/79; Peas Hashulchan 97 that so ruled Gr”a; See Nitei Gavriel Pruzbal 15/2

The reason: As there are opinions [Rosh ibid] which hold that although the seventh year only annuls the loan at the end of the year, as the verse states “At the end of seven years perform an annulment”, nevertheless once the Shemitah year has begun one is no longer allowed to demand payment of the debts. This is based on the verse “Do not demand payment from your friend as it is a Shemitah for Hashem”. From here it is learned that as soon as the year is called Shemitah it is forbidden to demand payment”. Nevertheless, even according to this opinion, there is a difference between the start of the seventh and the end of the seventh as if the borrower gives back the money within the Shemitah year then the lender may accept it and is not required to say “I forgive the loan”. However after the Shemitah year has passed if the borrower comes to repay the loan the lender s required to tell him “I forgive the loan”. This is learned from the verse “Vizeh Dvar Hashemita….” which implies that one must verbalize with his mouth the nullification of the loan, however this itself must only be done at the end of the seventh year. [Admur ibid]

[6] Likkutei Sichos 7/355; 24/316; Gloss of the Rebbe printed in Sefer Haminhagim p. 197 [English]; Shulchan Menachem 7/44; See Nitei Gavriel Pruzbal p. 15 that he was told by Rav S”Z Aurbach that after receiving the directive of the Rebbe Rav A”C Naah publicized in 1952 to write the Pruzbal on Erev R”H of the end of the 6th year as rules Admur ibid;  The Minchas Yitzchak told him that this was the custom of Chabad of Manchester in 1959 and 1956 based on the directive of the Rebbe. The Pnei Menachem of Gur told him that the Rebbe did a great thing by publicizing this matter as when we annul the debts below in this world so too Hashem annuls the debts of the Jewish people in Heaven. See also Sichas Kodesh 1979 3/750.

[7] Although it may be performed on any day prior to the start of the 7th year, nevertheless since the Pruzbal only works for previous loans therefore it is to be done on the last day of the sixth year in order to cover all the loans of that year. If one performed the Pruzbal prior to Erev Rosh Hashanah, then all loans that take place after the Pruzbal was done are not included within the allowance of collecting the debt accomplished by the Pruzbal. [Likkutei Sichos 7/355]

[8] Likkutei Sichos 7/356; 24/316; The Rebbe’s custom was to perform the Pruzbal after Hataras Nedarim.

The reason: Although it is more logical to perform the Pruzbal as close to sunset on Erev R”H as is possible in order to cover any loans that were made that day, nevertheless since people may forget to do so and by Hataras Nedarim there is already a tribunal of three Kosher Jews convened, therefore one should do it at this time. [ibid]

[9] Luach Kolel Chabad; Custom of the Rebbe in 1970 and 1988 which were Erev R”H of the end of the seventh year; Hayom Yom [printing of 1989] “In the end of 1988 the Rebbe requested that people recite the Pruzbal at the end of the seventh year”; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad p. 41; Shevach Hamoadim footnote 11

The reason: The Rebbe stated the reason he made a Pruzbal also by Erev Rosh Hashanah of the end of the seventh year is in order to go according to all opinions. [Hayom Yom ibid] There are opinions that rule that those loans which are given in the seventh year itself also require a Pruzbal in the end of the seventh year even if one already made a Pruzbal in the end of the sixth. [Bach 67; See Nitei Gavriel Pruzbal chapter 15/4] However from the wording in Admur ibid that “if he did not do so by the end of the sixth year then he should do so in the 7th” implies that if one did do the Pruzbal in the 6th year there is no need to do so in the 7th. [See Nitei Gavriel ibid] Perhaps however no inference can be made from here as Admur is referring to even one that did not make any loans in the 7th year that nevertheless Bedieved he can still make a Pruzbal in the seventh year for the loans of the previous years. If however in truth one made a loan in the seventh year then he would be required to make another Pruzbal by the end of the 7th year even if he already made one in the end of the 6th year. So also concludes the Rebbe in Likkutei Sichos 12/256, although he leaves the stringent opinion of the Rosh and Tur with a Tzaruch Iyun as how they would rule regarding loans of the 7th year.

[10] Likkutei Sichos 12/256 in answer to the question of what one is to do if he made loans in the 7th year. See previous footnote!

[11] Admur 34 and 35; Likkutei Sichos 7/355; 24/316; See Q&A!

[12] This method contains numerous advantages over the oral method as explained next regarding acquiring land to the borrower. [Likkutei Sichos 24/316]

[13] Admur 35:”A Pruzbal is only valid if the borrower possesses some piece of land or an object connected to land. It is valid even if the borrower does not actually own the land but possesses it through renting or borrowing it even temporarily [during the time that the lender performs the Pruzbal]. If the borrower does not possess [land or an item attached to the ground] in any way then the lender is to acquire a piece of land it to him through another person [in order for the Pruzbal to be valid]. This acquiring of land to the borrower may be done even not in his presence.”

[14] Likkutei Sichos 24/316

[15] Nitei Gavriel 28/1 and Poskim mentioned in footnote 1; However see there for Poskim that argue; Rav Avraham Chaim Naeh [brought in Yagdil Torah 25 p. 78] writes that he initiated in 1924 that the Beis Din of Jerusalem [Rav Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld] appoint a Shliach to go around and sign people on a document that states that they are appointing him as their Shliach to give the Pruzbal to the court. This person would then read the Nussach of the Pruzbal on their behalf in front of the court.

[16] As rules Admur 34 and 35; Likkutei Sichos 7/355; 24/316; See Nitei Gavriel p. 299

[17] See Nitei Gavriel p. 299 that so is the custom of many Jerusalem G-d fearing Jews, and so I was told by Harav Asher Lemel Hakohen.

[18] Rav Avraham Chaim Naeh writes to say the Nussach and then have the Beis Din write a document affirming the Pruzbal. [Yagdil Torah 25 p. 78]

[19] Likkutei Sichos 24/316

[20] Likkutei Sichos 24/316-317

[21] This is done out of the preciousness one shows towards performing the Rabbinical Takana of a Pruzbal in general, and in performing the ruling of the Alter Rebbe in particular. [ibid]

[22] Admur 35

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