VAAD HaSmita Letter from the The Relief Agency for Keepers of Shemitah in Eretz Yisroel
It is superfluous to add to the words of the gaon of our generation, the gaon and master of the Torah, R’ Chaim Ozer Grodzinsky, Shlit”a. It is well known to what extent the material standing of our brethren in the holy land has been crushed in the aftermath of the recent pogroms and tragedies. Thousands of families have lost their sources of income (lit. their bread has collapsed). But the state of our brethren who work the fields, vineyards, and vegetable gardens is sevenfold worse, especially now that the Shmittah year has arrived and the threat of hunger hangs over our G-d fearing brethren in greater measure. For, with self-sacrifice they refuse to transgress the Torah’s commandment to keep the year of Shmittah [holy] as designated by Halacha. And this year more than ever since it is [currently] impossible to manage the land by Arab proxy. It is therefore incumbent upon us to offer our financial support to find work for the faithful pioneers in the building sector, which, according to the laws of our holy Torah is permitted even this year.
How fortunate are we! How good is our portion in joining with them and lending a hand to fulfill the Torah’s commandment of keeping the seventh year [holy], supporting the true believers (lit. reviving the hearts of the truly G-d fearing), along with the Mitzvah of rebuilding the land!
We join with the gaon and master of the Torah from Vilna in appealing to all of our sincere, orthodox brethren in America, to the land’s rabbis and community leaders: Girdle yourselves with valor! Stand up and assist the workers in the holy land who refrain from working on the seventh year, so that they and their wives and children do not expire from hunger. Every party looks out for its members in a time of need and provides them assistance. Let us not allow our sincere pioneer brethren, our nation’s most righteous, who sacrifice their lives for the sanctity of the land and for our holy Torah to suffer.
Give away a piece of your bread to these heroes. Let not your name be missing from the list of donors to the fund for this holy cause. We are not requesting a yearly donation, this is but a once-in-seven-years occurrence.
Please send your donation addressed to the head of the Beth din of Cincinnati, Rabbi El. Silver, 810 Hutchins Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio.
Or addressed to the head of the Beth din of Louisville, Rabbi B. Notelowitz, 933 S. 1st St., Lousville, Ky.