Sunday, October 28, 2007

Rav Yosef Engel: On Shemittah and How to Pasken

In reviewing Reb Shlomo Zalman's unbowderized sefer, Ma'adane Aretz, over Shabbat, I notice that three times in the introduction he refers to the statement of R. Joshua Falk (aka Sefer Me'irat Eynayim (SMA) or Perishah/Derishah) on Hoshen Mishpat 67:1 s-p. 2 that the blessings that the Torah guarantees for the sixth, seventh and eighth years only apply to the time when Shemittah is de-Oraita. Today, when it's at most de-Rabbanan (and possibly a midat Hassidut), there are no guarantees.

This led one of the greatest Poskim of the turn of the previous century, Rav Yosef Engel (Rav of Bendin and Cracow) to make the following declaration in his monograph, שביעית בזמן הזה (which was a defense of the Heter Mekhira, against the strictures of his mehutan, R.Menachem Mendel Morgenstern of Kotzk). His point is exactly what I was trying to get across all of last week, and relects the philosophy of psak that I learned from מו"ר Rav Soloveitchik זצ"ל and מו"ר Gedaliah Felder זצ"ל.

No comments: