VAAD HaSmita Letter from the The Relief Agency for Keepers of Shemitah in Eretz Yisroel

The letter of the gaon (scholarly genius) and master of the Torah, Rabbi Chaim Ozer Grodzinski, shlit”a (may he live and be well)
By the grace of G-d, Year of Shmittah (seventh year when the land of Israel must lie fallow), Vilna.
To the rabbis and geonim as well as to the orthodox laypeople in the United States and Canada, may your light shine. Shalom.
It is an uplifting vision (lit. a vision that makes the heart sing) to behold these days: the news of the self-sacrifice for the sake of Torah that the orthodox, Torah-observant farmers who have settled the land of Israel in various settlements working the fields and vineyards and the communes of G-d-fearing workers have taken upon themselves in guarding the seventh year according to Halacha (Torah law) without seeking any Halachic leniencies. They are prepared to dedicate themselves throughout the year to the pursuit of Torah [knowledge] and their heritage, and to give of their spirit to strengthen Judaism in the holy land. How great is the spirit of these faithful pioneers! May our lot be with them, a people who are called “mighty heroes who fulfill His commands and adhere to His words”.
But shall we stand at a distance? Surely we must take part in their [endeavor] and support them! [We must] concern ourselves with their survival and establish a Shevi’is (Shmittah) fund to find work for them in the building sector or in other ventures that do not fall under the prohibition of Shevi’is. [We must] procure the financial means necessary for the subsistence of these heroes. Brothers, Children of Israel throughout the diaspora, girdle yourselves! Lend a hand! Participate in this great Mitzvah of saving the lives of the [G-d] fearing, so that those who sacrifice their lives not suffer the shame of hunger, and that the laws of Shmittah not be forgotten – as the gaon, the Netzi”v (R’ Naphtali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin), of blessed memory has already proclaimed. In addition to the Mitzvah of supporting the settlement of the holy land by religious [men], the Torah’s commandment (of Shmittah) will also be strengthened. Lucky are those who support [this undertaking], great is their merit and their portion in rebuilding the land, supporting the G-d fearing, and strengthening the Mitzvah of Shevi’is. May they merit to witness Zion and Jerusalem at the [final] consolation (i.e. the redemption).
Yearning for salvation among [a people] bound by hope,
Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, Vilna.


  • VAAD HaSmita Letter from the The Relief Agency for Keepers of Shemitah in Eretz Yisroel
  • VAAD HaSmita Letter from the The Relief Agency for Keepers of Shemitah in Eretz Yisroel
  • VAAD HaSmita Letter from the The Relief Agency for Keepers of Shemitah in Eretz Yisroel

Identifer: CJF.2012.002.1865A-B


Eretz Yisroel (The Land of Israel); Letters to and from Rabbi Silver; Questions in Halacha (Jewish Law)

Kneseth Israel Congregation Collection

(Hebrew) The Relief Agency for keepers of Shemitah in Eretz Yisroel
Shovsai Shmito Releif Committee
820 Hutchins Ave., Cincinnati Ohio
673 Broadway, New York
Members of the agency, Harav Hagoen:
R’ Elchonon Wasserman (Rosh Yeshiva of Navordik in Baranovich and Godol Hador)
R’ Eliezer Silver (President of the Agudas Harabonim
R’ Dov Aryeh Hakohen Leventhal (Vice president of the Agudas Harabonim)
R’ Dover Hakohen Bruchuv
R’ Dov Revel (Rosh Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchonon RIETS))
R’ D. Berak
R. D.M. Rabinowitz
R’ Chaim Bentzion Natlowitz
R’ Chaim Yitzchak Hakohen Bloch (In 1932 was elected president of the Agudas Harabonim)
R’ Chaim Fishel Epstein (Rabbi in St. Louis, Bayonne; Cleveland; Cincinnati; and Brooklyn)
R’ Tuvia Gefen (Rabbi in Canton, Ohio and thereafter Atlanta, Georgia, Rav Hamchshir of Coca Cola)
R’ Yehuda Leib Zeltzer (one of the leaders of Agudas Harabonim)
R’ Yehuda Leib Ferrer
R’ Yehoshua Boymel (author of the Emek Halakha)
R’ Yosef Dov Solevetzik (Rosh Yeshiva of Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchonon)
R’ Yosef Kanowitz (Vice president of the Agudas Harabonim)
R’ Yehiel Michel Charlop (president of the Rabbinical Council of America)
R’ Yaakov Kantrowitz (Rav in Trenton NJ)
R’ Yitzchak Segal (one of the heads of Agudas Harabonim and Rabbi in Bayonne, NJ)
R’ Yitzchak Zalmanowitz (Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchonon)
R’ Yisroel Halevi Rosenberg (President of the Agudas HaRabonim)
R’ Yeshaya Karlinsky (Member of the Agudas Harabonim)
R’ L. D. Young
R’ Moshe Binyamin Tomashoff (Rav of Brownsville, Brooklyn)
R’ Moshe Solevetzik (Rosh Yeshiva at Rabbeinu Yitzchok Elchonon)
R’ Moshe Don Shonkoff (Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, Brooklyn)
R’ Moshe Feinstein (Rosh Yeshiva of Mesifta Tiferes Yerushalayim (MTJ) and Godol Hador
R’ Moshe Razin (Av Beit Din of Kedainiai (Latvia) and President of the Agudas HaRabonim)
R’ M. Teitz (elected president of the Agudas Harabonim in 1956)
R’ Naftali Tzvi Riff (Rav in Camden, NJ)
R’ Z. H. Poupko (honorary president and a member of the executive board of the Agudas Harrabonim)
R’ Shlomo Heiman (Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaath)
R’ Shmuel Katz (Chief Rabbi of Indianapolis, Indiana)
R’ S.A. Pardas
R’ Shraga D. Rosenberg (Rav in Cleveland)
R’ S. Mordekovitz
Mr. Zvi Hirsch Manischewitz (Cincinnati, Treasurer of Vaad Hatzalah)
Mr. Yitzchak Shtrahal
Mr. Chashaz Kramer

Related person
Rabbi Eliezer Silver

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