Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mitzvah #201 - Shmita cancels debts

If a loan was not repaid during the Shmita (7 year cycle) year, then it's a Mitzva for the creditor to forgo his debt.

If the debtor does return the debt after Shmita, the creditor may not accept it. He must say "I forgo the debt because of Shmita".

If the debtor insists and says "nevertheless", the creditor may accept the money.

Applies to everybody, everywhere. From the Torah only when the Yovel (50 year) cycle is being counted, by Rabbinic decree always.

Verse: "All creditors shall release their debt" (Devorim 15:1)

One may write a Prozbul to prevent having to forfeit the loan because of Shmita. (See Halocho-a-Day for details.)

Source: The Chafetz-Chaim's Sefer haMitzvot haKatzar; Positive Mitzvah 64

- Danny
Sunday, 21 Av 5770

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