Ask the rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • The Prohibition of Leaving Israel

Ownership of Land in Israel Today

undefined

Rabbi Jonathan Blass

25 Tammuz 5763
Question
All land in Israel was divided among the Shvotim long ago, and we don’t know who is the real owner today. How is it possible to buy and sell land in Israel today? Only real owner can sell it. What gives Israeli government or anybody else today to sell the land? And during Shmitta, how can you sell to Arabs land that it is not yours? May be the transaction is not valid from Halocha point of view?
Answer
While the national ownership of the Land of Israel remains forever inviolate in the hands of the Nation of Israel, limited private ownership of land- giving the owner rights to the use of the land and to the produce grown on the land has passed into the hands of those who possess it (Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, B'Ohala Shel Torah I 113 ch.6).