Post ad
LOGIN

Lost password? | Login trouble?

+
INFO4U - Shmita Q & A
Thursday, 20 September 2007, 11:10 AM


>A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SHMITA & MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
>RABBI (SHMUEL) STEWART WEISS, DIRECTOR, JEWISH OUTREACH CENTER OF RA'ANANA
>jocmtv@netvision.net.il
>
>1. WHAT IS THE MITZVAH OF SHMITA?
>
>The Torah commands us to refrain from various forms of agricultural
>activity each 7 years in Eretz Yisrael. These activities include sowing,
>planting, pruning, reaping, harvesting and, in general, improving the
>Land. The 7th year is referred to as "Shmita," or "Shvi'it." References in
>the Torah to Shmita are found in Shmot 23 and 24; Vayikra 25.
>
>It is also prohibited to sell and/or do business with Shmita produce that
>was generated in a prohibited manner. (As for eating such produce, Minhag
>Yerushalayim prohibits it; Chazon Ish allows it.)
>
>2. WHAT IS THE REASON FOR THIS MITZVA?
>
>The Rabbis offer numerous reasons for Mitzvat Shmita. These include:
>
>- Recognition that the Land ultimately belongs to Hashem, not Man, & He
>dictates its usage;
>- Increasing our dependence upon, & faith in Hashem to provide for our
>sustenance;
>- Providing a unique vehicle to give to the poor, who have access in
>Shmita to fields & produce;
>- Giving Am Yisrael an opportunity to "recharge" spiritual batteries, as
>work in the field is
>ideally decreased & Torah study is increased.
>
>3. WHAT IS THE REWARD FOR SHMITA OBSERVANCE?
>
>Hashem promises to reward our observance of Shmita by providing for all
>our needs.
>Conversely, the punishment for non-observance of Shmita is Galut (exile)
>from the Land.
>
>4. WHEN DOES THE PROHIBITION OF SHMITA BEGIN?
>
>Agricultural work was, at one time, prohibited 30 days prior to Rosh
>Hashana of the Shmita year. Today, however, Rabbinic law permits work
>right up until Rosh Hashana. (The planting of new non-fruit trees,
>however, is prohibited from 15 Elul 5767; fruit trees must have been
>planted by 15 Av, 5767).
>
>Most vegetables acquire Shmita status ("Kedushat Shvi'it") from 3 Tishrei,
>5768. Mushrooms are not considered vegetables, & never attain Shvi'it status.
>Fruits become Shvi'it at various dates in 5768 (most in the Spring); these
>details will be forthcoming.
>
>5. WHAT FRUITS & VEGETABLES MAY I THEN EAT DURING SHMITA?
>
>There are various ways in which one can practically continue eating all
>produce in Eretz Yisrael during Shmita:
>
>A. Produce of the 6th year (the year prior to Shmita) has no Kedushat
>Shvi'it & may be eaten as usual. Truma & Ma'aser would be taken from this
>produce. (Note: 6th-year produce may be frozen or dried & used well into
>the 7th year with no issues of Kedushat Shvi'it).
>
>B. Vegetables grown apart from the soil (e.g. hydroponically or in a
>hothouse) have no Kedushat Shvi'it; Truma & Ma'aser should be taken, but
>without a Bracha.
>
>C. Otzer Bet Din refers to produce grown on Jewish land (planted in the
>6th year & harvested in the 7th), which has been turned over to the Bet
>Din; agents of the Bet Din collect the produce & offer it to the public.
>The money paid for this produce covers only the expenses incurred by Bet
>Din, & not the produce itself. Such produce, offered at specially
>designated outlets, has Kedushat Shvi'it & must be treated in a special
>manner (see #7). Truma & Ma'aser is not taken from this produce.
>
>(This year, there is a special project called "Otzer Ha-Aretz" being
>undertaken to ensure that local stores have enough guaranteed business to
>operate Otzer Bet Din outlets. Please see www.hashmita.co.il and click on
>"English" for full details).
>
>D. Produce from one's own property - sufficient for himself & his family -
>may be eaten as usual. This produce has Kedushat Shvi'it, & Truma &
>Ma'aser are not taken. One should declare his property hefker (ownerless),
>so that anyone - including himself! - may eat from it.
>
>E. Heter Mechira refers to produce grown on Jewish land which is leased to
>a non-Jew for the duration of the 7th year & worked according to specific
>Rabbinic guidelines, a practice approved by Rav EIchanan Spector in the
>Shmita of 1889, renewed by Israel's first Chief Rabbi, Rav Kook, in 1910,
>& continued by all subsequent Chief Rabbis in Shmita years that followed.
>Produce from the Heter has no Kedushat Shvi'it & may be discarded as
>usual; Truma & Ma'aser are taken without a Bracha.
>Note: Many cafes & restaurants utilize the Heter Mechira for produce
>served on premises.
>
>F. Produce grown in Eretz Yisrael on land belonging to a non-Jew has no
>Kedushat Shvi'it (this is the widespread opinion; the Chazon Ish rules
>that such produce does have Kedushat Shvi'it). No Truma & Ma'aser are
>taken. (Note: One should be certain that this produce was actually grown
>on non-Jewish land, & is not Jewish produce being sold by a non-Jew.
>Therefore, it is not recommended to buy from a non-Jew selling produce on
>the street, unless one knows definitely that the products were grown on
>non-Jewish land).
>
>Many Poskim urge minimum usage of non-Jewish produce in general, as it
>strengthens & encourages non-Jewish involvement in Eretz Yisrael.
>
>IN ALL THE ABOVE CASES, ONE MUST BE SURE THAT A CURRENT, RELIABLE
>CERTIFYING TEUDA HAS BEEN ISSUED.
>
>Additionally, produce imported from outside Israel has no Kedushat Shvi'it
>& may be eaten (with a proper Hechsher).
>
>6. HOW LONG IS THE SHMITA PROHIBITION IN EFFECT?
>
>One must be careful to buy only approved fruit products until Spring of
>the 8th year. Fruit purchased after that time has no suspicion of Kedushat
>Shvi'it. Frozen vegetables should have a certifying hechsher for a year
>after Shmita. Canned foods have dates printed on them, but it is best to
>buy only those products with an accompanying hechsher ("non-Shmita product").
>
>7. IF I EAT PRODUCE WHICH HAS KEDUSHAT SHVI'IT, MUST I DO SO IN A SPECIAL
>MANNER?
>
>Because this produce has added Kedusha, it must be treated in a special way:
>
> - That which is normally eaten raw (e.g. radishes) should not be cooked;
> items eaten cooked (e.g. squash) should not be eaten raw. That which is
> eaten raw or cooked (e.g. tomatoes, apples) may be eaten raw or cooked.
>
>- Even the leftovers from a meal - if they are still fit for human
>consumption - should not merely be thrown away with other garbage, as this
>would cause them to rot more quickly. Therefore, Shmita leftovers should
>be wrapped in a plastic bag & placed in a separate garbage pail. After 3
>days, this pail may be put in the garbage as usual.
>
>- Substantial amounts of food left on one's plate (enough that one would
>normally save it) should be discarded per the above instructions in a
>special Shmita pail. Food stuck to the plates or silverware may be
>discarded as usual.
>
>- Non-Shmita food attains Kedushat Shvi'it when cooked with Shmita produce
>(e.g. in a Cholent or soup using vegetables that have Kedushat Shvi'it,
>sill the ingredients "absorb" the Kedusha). Thus the entire Cholent or
>soup is considered Kodesh.
>
>- Water used for boiling Shmita produce (e.g. boiling corn) may be
>discarded as normal, since one would not normally drink this water.
>
>- Juice may be pureed or extracted from Shmita fruits if that is the
>normal practice (e.g. grapes, lemons, oranges, grapefruits; oil from
>olives). However, carrot juice should not be made.
>
>- Peels not fit to eat or not normally eaten (e.g. watermelon rind, banana
>peels) may be discarded as usual. But those that are edible (including
>orange peels), or peels/pits that have fruit still stuck on them, must be
>discarded in the special Shmita pail.
>
>- Shells from nuts may be discarded as usual.
>
>- Shmita food that is fit for human consumption should not be given to
>animals, as this degrades the food's Kedusha. If Shmita food is given to
>animals, it must be discarded in the special way.
>
>- Shmita produce should not be used for medicinal purposes (homeopathists
>take note). - Shmita products should not be used for Arts & Crafts or for
>cleaning purposes (e.g. using lemon juice to remove stains).
>
>- Shmita wine or grape juice used for Kiddush/Havdala should preferably
>not be poured to the overflowing; if a significant amount does overflow,
>one should collect the overflow in a plate & drink it. Those with the
>custom of putting out the Havdala candle in the wine should not do so in
>"Shmita" wine.
>
>- Shmita olive oil should not be used for Chanuka candles.
>
>- One may serve Shmita products to a non-Jewish guest in one's home.
>
>- Shmita products should not be taken out of Eretz Yisrael. One may take
>Shmita produce with him as food for the journey if he is traveling abroad.
>Next year, this will be an issue regarding the Arba Minim. Many Poskim do
>permit sending Arba Minim to those living abroad if they are particular to
>perform the Mitzva of Lulav with Israeli Arba Minim.
>
>- When giving Shmita food to a child, parents should try, if possible, to
>give only as much as will be eaten, so as not to waste the rest (a good
>idea in any year!)
>
>8. MAY I BUY FLOWERS FOR SHABBAT DURING SHMITA?
>
>Of course you may buy your wife flowers for Shabbat - what would Shabbat
>be without flowers gracing the table?! But here are the Shmita conditions:
>Non-fragrant flowers (& plants) which are bought for beauty or esthetic
>purpose (e.g. hibiscus, orchid) have no Kedushat Shvi'it & may be bought
>even without a special hechsher. But flowers with a fragrance (e.g. roses,
>carnations) do have Kedushat Shvi'it & must have a hechsher.
>
>9. WHAT WORK IS PERMITTED OR FORBIDDEN IN MY GARDEN DURING SHMITA?
>
>It is forbidden to plant, prune, sow, fertilize or do any work which
>improves your garden during Shmita. However, work which maintains the
>garden & prevents its deterioration is permissible. Thus one may water the
>grass, flowers or trees - but only so much as is necessary to maintain
>them. One may also mow the lawn & trim the hedges, as well as clean the
>yard from rubbish. Weeding is prohibited. If one has a non-Jewish gardener
>who works on a steady, multi-year basis in one's yard, many Rabbinic
>authorities permit him to continue work as usual during Shmita without
>special instructions.
>
>10.1 HAVE A FRUIT TREE IN MY YARD; MAY I EAT FROM IT?
>
>Fruit which grows during the Shmita year in one's yard may be eaten with
>the following conditions: 1) The tree(s) should be declared hefker, either
>by the owner making this declaration before witnesses, or by placing a
>sign to this effect in the yard; 2) The public should have access to the
>tree & be allowed to pick the fruit; 3) The fruit should be fully ripened
>before picked (preferably by hand); 4) One should only pick an amount
>necessary for normal home consumption. Such fruit may not be sold.
>
>11. IF I SHARE A COMMUNAL GARDEN WITH MY CO-TENANTS, WHAT DO I DO?
>
>If all the tenants agree to keep the garden according to Shmita laws,
>then, of course, there is no problem. But if the tenants or Vaad Bayit
>intend to work the yard in violation of Shmita laws, then one should
>declare (before 3 witnesses) that he is making his share in the garden
>null & void, & also make it dear to the Vaad Bayit (preferably in writing)
>that his monthly payment is for services other than yard work.
>
>12.1 RENT OUT AN APARTMENT TO SOMEONE WHO MAY NOT FOLLOW SHMITA LAWS IN
>THE GARDEN. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
>
>You should request that he not do anything in the yard in violation of
>Shmita. Even if the tenant does not follow your instructions, you have
>fulfilled your obligation.
>
>13. WHAT ABOUT MY INDOOR PLANTS?
>
>Indoor "non-holed" houseplants may be treated as usual. "Non-holed" is
>defined as a plant in a pot which either is solid with no hole at the
>bottom; or has a hole but is separated from the floor by a plate or other
>item. Many Poskim hold that plant pots on higher floors inside apartment
>buildings all have the status of "non-holed" since they are so far from
>the actual ground; while plant pots on outside balconies all have the
>status of "holed" pots.
>
>If the pot does have a hole, then one should only treat it in a way which
>maintains its life, but does not improve, strengthen or increase it.
>
>Plants may certainly be moved from "holed" to "non-holed" pots; but not
>vice-versa.
>
>14.WHAT IS "BIYUR?"
>
>Fruits which have Kedushat Shvi'it & are seasonal may only eaten as long
>as that fruit is still found in the field. After it no longer exists in
>the field, we are not allowed to have in our possession more than the
>amount needed for 3 meals for our family. Fruit in excess of this amount
>(usually not a domestic problem) must be taken outside & made hefker. This
>may be done in 2 ways: 1) Declaring in front of 3 people: "Fellow Jews,
>whoever wishes to take this fruit & eat may do so;" or 2) By taking the
>fruit to a public place & leaving it there for a short time.
>
>After the fruit becomes hefker, one may take it back into his possession &
>keep it in his home. It still retains Kedushat Shvi'it & must be treated
>accordingly (see #7).
>Of particular concern is wine & grape juice for Pesach, which has a Biyur
>date of Pesach. If such wine has Kedushat Shvi'it, then one may very well
>have more in his home than is permitted. As such, he must be sure to
>follow the above instructions for Biyur.
>
>The dates for Biyur for various fruits will be forthcoming.
>
>Vegetables generally do not require Biyur. Exceptions are beans,
>artichokes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, garlic, peas & strawberries.
>
>15. THE DATE FOR BIYUR ON A PARTICULAR FRUIT PASSED, BUT I STILL HAVE A
>LARGE AMOUNT IN MY HOME. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
>
>This fruit, if it has Kedushat Shvi'it, would be permanently prohibited, &
>should be burned or buried. One should always check the Biyur notice
>(usually found in kosher stores) to see if the date has passed for a
>particular fruit. If so, then all such fruit in the store must have a
>proper hechsher.
>
>16. WHAT IS "S'FICHIN?"
>
>The Rabbis prohibit eating vegetables which grew during Shmita on Jewish
>fields - even if it grew by itself ("s'fichin"). This applies to grains or
>legumes which reached one-third of their growth in the Shmita year, or to
>vegetables which started to grow during Shmita.
>
>Fruit which grew in a field, in violation of Shmita laws, ("shamur" or
>"ne'evad") is the subject of a dispute: Minhag Yerushalayim forbids its
>consumption; Minhag Chazon Ish allows it.


--

info

 

       PREMIUM BUSINESSES
Moti Harush - Air Conditioning
052-630-3060
Beit Shemesh
Baruch
0587281992
Jerusalem
6 reviews


Download Janglo for Android or iPhone



Janglo

Jerusalem's Best Jobs
Tel Aviv's Best Jobs
Jerusalem's Best Events
Jerusalem's Best Apartments
Jerusalem's Best Sales
Free Stuff in Jerusalem
About Janglo
Email Subscriptions
Contact Us
Advertise
FAQ

Privacy Policy

The vessel for G-d's blessings is peace.

MEIRAV - SHIYATSU HOLISTIC HEALING
0547009105
Jerusalem
Israel
054-772-6239
Throughout Central Israel (and beyond)
32 reviews
Yaakov Elharar Certified Kablan Construction and Renovations
050-714-9200
Jerusalem
2 reviews
ZWS Designs
054-245-9898
Jerusalem
Roee Ben-ami
052-444-9944
Jerusalem
1 review
Ariel Levy Construction
050-5468613
Jerusalem
4 reviews