Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pruzbul - Chabad service

Chabad of the West Side:

The outgoing year of 5768 is a Sabbatical or “Seventh” year. It is also known as the Shemitah year – the year of “release”. Concerning the Shemitah year, the Torah states (Deut. 15:1-2): “At the end of seven years, you shall make Shemitah. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor; because the L-rd’s release has been proclaimed”. According to many opinions, this passage teaches that it is forbidden to claim one’s private debts after the seventh year passes, when “the release has been proclaimed”.

Years ago, because of the release of loans of the seventh year, many Jews ceased to lend money as the seventh year approached. To encourage the continuation of loans, the great scholar and leader Hillel instituted a custom which allows one to demand repayment even after the seventh year. This custom, known as “Pruzbul”, consists of the creditor transferring his debt to a Rabbinic court before the end of the Sabbatical year, whereupon it ceases to be a private debt and therefore can be collected.

It is customary for all Jews to make a Pruzbul - even those who do not have outstanding loans. This practice demonstrates how dear we hold a command of our Sages.

The Pruzbul can be accomplished by means of a legal document, or even by verbal agreement. For your convenience, you may submit the form below. If, after submitting the form, you give another loan, you must complete an additional Pruzbul form. Encourage your friends and relatives to participate as well. The transfer goes into effect the day before Rosh Hashanah.

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