Rabbis remind not to buy food from non-Jews during Shmita

A group of top rabbis in the Zionist religious community supported Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu’s call not to buy fruits and vegetables from Arabs.

Eliyahu, the chief municipal rabbi of Safed who sits on the chief rabbinate council, made his comments as part of a campaign to buy from Jewish producers in the upcoming Shmita year, or sabbatical year.

Due to the ban on working the Land of Israel during the Shmita year, many members of the Orthodox community buy products from non-Jewish farmers in Israel, which is permitted by Jewish law despite the year. Shmita.

But Eliyahu said the recent inter-communal violence between Jews and Arabs observed during the May conflict with Hamas in Gaza demonstrated the hostility of “several thousand” of the Arab population towards the Jews, and that other Shmita solutions. should therefore be found.

“It is our moral obligation not to provide income to those who want to harm us, it is a religious command to buy from Jews and not from Arabs,” Eliyahu said according to several Hebrew media reports.

Eliyahu’s comments led Meretz MP Mossi Raz to demand that the attorney general investigate the rabbi for incitement to racial hatred.

Raz’s request in turn prompted some of the top Zionist religious rabbis to support Eliyahu’s call to buy fruit and vegetables produced by Jews and not Arabs during the Shmita year.

Among the group of rabbis who signed the letter were Rabbi Haim Druckman; Rabbi Dov Lior; Rabbi Mordecai Sternberg; and Rabbi David Hai Hacohen.

The rabbis wrote that it was a religious command to eat produce grown in Israel during the Shmita in a manner consistent with Jewish law, and said other options were problematic in terms of respecting Jewish law and could also harm “Jewish agriculture.” “

The rabbis also said that the Jewish people were commanded by the Torah to help support and sustain other Jews, “to help our brethren and to provide for their needs, as did the early pioneers who built the land have always advocated Jewish work ”.

The rabbis continued: “We are considering purchasing the products of [those who are] enemies declared a total ban.

They also condemned what they said was an attempt to silence Eliyahu and others from expressing their views on Jewish law.

“We strongly protest against those who want to silence rabbis who openly give their opinion on Torah matters,” they wrote.

“Rabbis are obligated, not only authorized, to say what Jewish law is. “

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