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Contemporary Loan Remission Omission: Shemitas Kesafim Nowadays

A Parsha Shuir by Rabbi Yitzhak Grossman

The concept of Shmitas kesafim nowadays [remission of loans] is the subject of debate in Gemara.

The general consensus of early poskim is that outside of eretz yisrael it is still in force in contemporary times, albeit only midrabanan.

Question: We find that many communities did not practice shemitas kesafim.

Potential rationales:

  1. Ro”sh: regarding the community in Spain – the language of their loan documents had a clause that they can collect even in a secular forum which essentially is saying that the borrower stipulated that shemita will not apply.
  2. Terumas Hadeshen- it doesn’t apply in artzos rechokos akin to terumah.
  3. Question- it’s chovas haguf, there should be no difference?
  4. Bach – the concept was never litigated since a lender is always believed to say he had a pruzbul.
  5. Aruch Hashulchan – shemita was only enacted when there’s a companion solution [pruzbul] which is dependent on a bais din  with enforceable power.  Given that bais din nowadays is only enforceable on a community level, the pruzbul option is not in effect, and by extension, shemita, too. Additionally, we don’t have land.
  6. Igros Moshe –  pruzbul nowadays is only a midas hachasidus.
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