According to Israeli law, the government owns nearly all of the land, except for some privately owned land from Mandatory periods. Citizens get to rent it from the government. This is commonly known as "buying land", even though technically it's only being rented.

That is the view of Israeli law. But what about halacha?

According to halacha, can it be that the entire population doesn't own their land?

I think that the fact that people refer to it as "buying" land, not "leasing", might have an impact on the way halacha views the contract.

Some side effects of not owning are that (most likely) anyone leasing land would be subcontracting, which i think (though by no means am i sure) is forbidden. Also, bikkurim can only be brought from land that you own.

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    Can they own land outside of their shevet's territory? I'd think that it is likely a non-issue until Mashiach comes (bimhera b'yameinu) May 5, 2015 at 14:21
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    Another good question.
    – Scimonster
    May 5, 2015 at 14:21
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    Why would subcontracting be forbidden?
    – Double AA
    May 5, 2015 at 14:30
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    Possibly related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/43845
    – Fred
    May 5, 2015 at 19:26
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    וַיִּקֶן יוֹסֵף אֶת-כָּל-אַדְמַת מִצְרַיִם, לְפַרְעֹה, כִּי-מָכְרוּ מִצְרַיִם אִישׁ שָׂדֵהוּ, כִּי-חָזַק עֲלֵהֶם הָרָעָב; וַתְּהִי הָאָרֶץ, לְפַרְעֹה.
    – Double AA
    Feb 5, 2019 at 13:32

1 Answer 1


Exactly the opposite, the State (of Israel) Halachicly means שותפות (partnership) for all citizens, meaning that the land belongs to all partners (equally or not). That was the deal with the KKL, when they bought the lands originally in the 19th and 20th centuries. In this kind of partnership, every piece of the property belongs to every partner, and nobody can claim his part (similar to אחים שחלקו Sugyah).

Another option, that because most (if not all) of the money came from abroad, the land belongs to the whole Jewish Nation as partners, and that was the original condition of the donors (for KKL).

Theoretically, we can break that partnership and divide the land between us all in some high Halachic Court.

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