[Avodah] How does Prozbul work?

Zev Sero via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Sun Sep 13 09:11:13 PDT 2015

On 09/13/2015 08:46 AM, Akiva Miller via Avodah wrote:
> R' Zev Sero wrote:

>> Its effectiveness does not depend on shmita being d'rabanan.  The
>> only difference that made was in Hillel deciding he had the right
>> to promote it.  Since he did promote it, it will continue when
>> shmita becomes de'oraisa, unless and until some future beis din
>> declares it unethical.
> Perhaps. But I would think that the impropriety of using pruzbul in a
> d'Oraisa time was pretty implicit (perhaps even explicit) in how
> Hillel promoted it, and there is no need for a future beis din to
> point it out.

How so?  He didn't say anything about it being improper when shmita
is de'oraisa, he merely said here is a solution we can use.  The
question is why nobody did it before, and the answer is because batei
din considered it unethical.   Now when were these batei din considering
it unethical?  In the time of Bayit Rishon?!  No, it was in Hillel's
day, which is why he needed to make his takanah.  And in his day it was
already derabbanan.

The only relevance of it being derabanan is that had it been deoraisa
in Hillel's day, he would not have felt he had the right to promote a
way around it, no matter how great the need he saw.  But since it was
derabanan, and he saw a problem that needed fixing, he was bold and
publicised this trick, and declared that nobody should feel guilty about
using it.  There's no indication that he mentioned shmita's drabanan
status at all.

Zev Sero               I have a right to stand on my own defence, if you
zev at sero.name          intend to commit felony...if a robber meets me in
                        the street and commands me to surrender my purse,
                        I have a right to kill him without asking questions
                                               -- John Adams

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