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Maran HaRav Chaim Kanievsky’s P’sak is Clear: Supporting Shmitah Takes Precedence

Shmitah is a unique mitzvah, which bears an astounding reward. Once every seven years, we are commanded not to work the land. In return, Hashem gives us His guarantee: “Vetzivisi es birchosi.” I will send My blessing!

Is this incredible bracha exclusive to farmers? Is there any way that we can merit receiving this blessing as well?

In a recent conversation, Rav Chaim Kanievsky addressed the questions unequivocally. Yes, the Gaon Hador proclaimed, there is a way for any Yid to reap the benefits of this bracha. How? By becoming one of the Tomchei Shviis and partnering with the brave farmers. When one signs a partnership with Keren Hashviis, he is purchasing a share in the mitzvah of Shmitah while supporting the farmers, which grants him a portion in the blessing.

Keren Hashviis offers donors the incredible opportunity to sign a “Shtar Shutfus” with farmers. Through this contract, which is both legally and halachically binding, the donor becomes an actual partner in a farmer’s land for the year of Shmitah, which deems him a genuine Shmitah-observant landowner and grants him all the inherent brachos.

Rav Chaim unequivocally stated that when one donates to Keren Hashviis and creates such a partnership, he will merit the bracha of “Vetzivisi es birchasi”. Furthermore, Rav Chaim clearly stated that the more land one partners in, the greater his merit and the larger share of the bracha he will receive.

Keren Hashviis offers a number of levels of partnerships, with larger donations granting donors ownership in larger parcels of land. Rav Chaim’s ruling was that the larger the portion one purchases, the more bracha he will receive.

Keren Hashviis is the only organization that directly supports the farmers, thereby making it possible for Shmitah to be properly observed on the highest level. Because their work is so vital to each Shmitah-observant farmer, Rav Chaim ruled that one may use ma’aser money to support the cause. Additionally, he stated that because Shmitah is considered a “mitzvah b’shaitoh,” a pressing, timebound mitzvah that demands our attention at the present time, supporting Keren Hashviis takes precedence over other important tzedakos.

“It is a mitzvah gedolah,” Rav Kanievsky declared.

He concluded with the most coveted of all guarantees by saying, “[Those who partner with farmers] will merit Gan Eden.” The eternal reward awaits all those who take advantage of this once-every-seven-year opportunity


The Rav of Kommimius - How shmitah is making a comeback in modern Israel

Beginning in 1950, Rav Binyomin Mendelsohn, z”l, worked hand-in-hand with the Chazon Ish to plant the very roots that guide Shmitah observance today. Because of their work, Keren Hashviis has merited to raise the level of proper Shmitah observance. Today, thousands of farmers participate in this septennial mitzvah — and the impact steadily grows.

As the humble and pious rav of Moshav Komemiyut, Rav Mendelsohn worked tirelessly so that his farming community properly observe Shmitah. He personally met with local farmers to explain the mitzvah and Torah’s unique bracha. He eventually expanded this effort to neighboring areas, showing the world that keeping Shmitah k’halacha is possible.

Ten Shmitah cycles since that legendary first year, Klal Yisroel continues to reap the benefits of Rav Mendelsohn’s determination. Farmers now have a pillar to lean on for information, guidance, emotional support, and financial assistance. They know that Klal Yisroel is at their side, supporting their families every step of the way. Every year, thanks to partners like you, the ranks of Shomrei Shviis grow and grow, bringing Bnei Yisroel closer and closer to Moshiach.


Shmitah is one of the most ancient agreements between Hashem and Klal Yisroel — and it’s coming soon. But if the mitzvah requires farming land in Eretz Yisroel, why is everyone obligated to fulfill it? And how?

Watch to find out what’s unique about this septennial mitzvah and the unparalleled promise that Hashem gives to us all.

Let’s join together on this important Jewish journey and make the impossible possible. Partner with the farmer and share the bracha today at kerenhashviis.org.