The Jewish Year 5775, which is drawing to a close, is a Shemita Year or Sabbatical Year. One aspect of the Shemita Year, the prohibition against working the land, only applies in the Land of Israel. The second aspect, a directive canceling all debts between Jews, applies not only in the Land of Israel, but throughout the entire world. Whenever one Jew owes another Jew money, and the debt is due, that debt is canceled by the Shemita Year. Understandably, the application of this law can create significant hardships.
Some two thousand years ago, Hillel the Elder instituted the legal device of Pruzbol. The Pruzbol is in effect a legal mechanism which transfers a private debt to the Beis Din, the Jewish Court. Shemita only cancels debts between individuals, not monies owed to the court. The court is able to collect the debt even after the Sabbatical Year. Furthermore, Jewish courts have the power to transfer assets and, as such, are able to transfer the court’s lien to the original lender and make the lender the “agent of the court” to collect it. The court can then transfer title to these monies to the original lender. Through the use of this halachic device, which is perfectly legal, one may avoid the cancellation of debts.
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SEWARD PARK: Pruzbol 5775 SP
MERCER ISLAND: Pruzbol5775 MI
NORTH END: Pruzbol 5775 NE
BELLEVUE: Pruzbol 5775 Bellevue