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Otzar Ha'aretz 5782

Otzar Ha'aretz 5782

What do we do?

Otzar Ha'aretz is a unique program that makes it possible to observe the shemitah year in the most mehudar fashion, while supporting Israeli agriculture. This initiative began 21 years ago, under the guidance of leading rabbis in the past: Rabbi Avraham Shapira, Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, and Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli ztz"l; and contemporary rabbis: Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Yaakov Ariel, Dov Lior shlit"a, among others.

Our goals

  • Strengthening Israeli agriculture
  • Connecting the public at large to shemitah observance
  • Selling high-quality, mehadrin produce
  • Bringing produce with kedushat shevi'it to every Jewish household in Israel
  • Advancing proper shemitah observance in the State of Israel

What do I need to do?

  1. Purchase coupons ahead of time for the entire year at the amount of your choice
  2. Receive coupons on a monthly basis
  3. Use the coupons at Otzar Ha'aretz sales points

See a short clip on Otzar Ha'aretz here.

Link to a list of Otzar Ha'aretz stores, updated every two weeks. The stores on this list are only the ones that finalized a contract. There are many more stores (as of Av 5781) that are still in the process of doing so. We hope to reach 130 – 200 stores.

FAQs

Which types of fruits and vegetables are available?

Otzar beit din – Fruits and vegetables sown before shemitah that grow and are harvested during shemitah. This produce has kedushat shevi'it and is sold through otzar beit din.

Sixth-year produce – Produce from before the shemitah year stored in refrigerators (potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, and more).

Fruits and vegetables that grew employing halachic solutions – Growing on detached platforms, using hydroponics, and produce grown in parts on Israel that are not obligated in all of the laws of shemitah (Arava, Western Negev: olei Mitzrayim).

Who supports Otzar Ha'aretz?

Otzar Ha'aretz was founded with the support of Israel's former chief rabbis: Rabbi Avraham Shapira and Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu ztz"l. The Torah scholars guiding Otzar Ha'aretz include Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli ztz"l; and Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Chaim Druckman, Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Rabbi David Chai HaKohen shlita"h, and more.

Over the years, hundreds more rabbis joined in their support for the initiative. Today, the vast majority of Religious Zionist rabbis support Otzar Ha'aretz as the best possible option for the shemitah year. Support for Otzar Ha'aretz spans many Torah-observant groups, including late Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi Doron and Rabbi Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg ztz"l, and Rabbi Aharon Butbul (son-in-law of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ztz"l) shlit"a.

Why become a member?

Each Otzar Ha'aretz member strengthens Jewish agriculture in the Land of Israel. We ask you to join as members of Otzar Ha'aretz to give us the consumer power and halachic support to launch this project. Our strength vis-à-vis farmers, retailers, and other professionals involved is measured by buying power—and that's where you enter the picture. To change the way the market runs during the shemitah year and to promote buying from Israeli farmers, we need to join forces. We assumed the responsibility of being public agents to change the face of consumerism during shemitah, but we need your partnership so we can launch this important project!

How does membership work?

Now you commit to an approximate monthly sum that you generally earmark for fruits and vegetables for your household use. This sum is recharged automatically every month on digital coupons, updated on an App or via SMS. You use these coupons to pay for your fruits and vegetables.

The App is similar to PayBox or Bit. When it's time to pay, you transfer money from your account on the App to the store (in some stores there is also a cashier number you need to enter).

If you don't have a smartphone, you will receive a code when you sign up. Show the code to the cashier and your account will be charged. You will then receive an SMS with your current, updated balance.

Whether you use the App or SMS system, the following month, your digital coupon is recharged with the same amount.

Your membership fee is the estimated amount you will use to purchase groceries at Otzar Ha'aretz stores (you can also use your membership credit to purchase other items, aside from fresh produce). However, non-members can also buy fruits and vegetables with cash, as can members who also used up their monthly membership allotment.

If you didn't finish using the amount on your coupon, the balance will carry over to the next month.

Who does the beit din include?

The rabbinical court of Otzar Ha'aretz 5782 includes leading rabbis from various groups: Rabbi Yaakov Ariel (former rabbi of Ramat Gan and president of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute), Rabbi Dov Lior (former rabbi of Kiryat Arba), Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu (Rabbi of Tzfat and a member of the Chief Rabbinate Council), Rabbi Aharon Butbul (Head of Rabbinical Seminary Yabiya Omer, son-in-law of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef ztz"l), Rabbi Eliezer Igra (dayan in the Great Court in Jerusalem), Rabbi Yehuda Amichay (Head of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute).

The Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, also supports Otzar Ha'aretz. See his letter here in English, and the Hebrew original here.

See the pictures of the six members of the beit din, here.

Will produce be delivered throughout the country?

In preparation to set up sales points in more areas, we are working with Bikurei Hasade Darom, a major company that distributes fresh produce all over the country. In this way, Otzar Ha'aretz trucks will reach most parts of the country, with the goal of supplying produce with kedushat shevi'it to as many households as possible.

Last shemitah, we opened sales points all over Israel. We are sure that we will be successful in doing the same this year, as well. We hope to reach 130 – 200 stores all over the country.

In the end, it is also up to you. When we contact grocery store owners to serve as our distributors in their store, they inquire about demand for Otzar Ha'aretz produce in their area. When we are armed with lists of members from the area, it is much easier to reach an agreement on opening up a sales point. In this way, your registration as a member helps us open a sales point near you.

We commit that if we are not successful in opening a distribution point near your home, your money will be refunded.

Is there a home-delivery option?

This shemitah year, for the very first time, we are working with three companies that provide home-delivery services for Otzar Ha'aretz produce: Birkat Ha'adama, Tarshish Ad Habayit, and Noy Hasade. Unfortunately, all three websites are in Hebrew only.

 

Birkat Ha'adama
For home delivery, place your order from Sunday to Tuesday by 1 PM, and distribution will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday (depends on the area).
Birkat Ha'adama services Central Israel (Ra'anana, Kfar Saba, Givat Shmuel, Petach Tikva, Raman Gan, Ganei Tikva, Hod Hasharon) as well as developments in the Shomron and Binyamin regions. A comprehensive list can be found on their website. For this option, make sure you select produce marked Otzar Ha'aretz.

 

Tarshish Ad Habayit

The areas they reach are as follows:

Beit Shemesh

 

Beitar Ilit

Mevo Horon

 

Mevaseret Tziyon and environs

 

Ma'ale Adumim

 

Mishor Adumim

 

Kfar Adumim

 

Mitzpeh Yericho

 

Gush Etzion

 

Ofra

 

Kochav Ya'akov

 

Shilo

 

Ma'ale Levona

 

Eli

 

Recheilim

 

Kfar Tapuach

 

Yitzhar

 

Har Bracha

 

Itamar

 

Elon Moreh

 

Kedumim

 

Shavei Shomron

 

Einav

 

Avnei Chefetz

 

Chavat Gilad

 

Ariel

 

 

 

 

Be'er Ya'akov

 

Nes Tziyona

 

Kiryat Ekron

 

Rechovot

 

Yavneh

 

Petach Tikvah

Ramat Gan Givatayim

 

Givat Shmuel

 

Hertzliya

 

Ra'anana

 

Kfar Saba

 

Hod Hasharon

 

Ramat Hasharon

 

Benei Berak

 

Tel Aviv (certain areas)

Jerusalem

Kiryat Moshe

 

Katemon, Emek Refa'im, Rehaviya and environs

 

Har Nof

 

Armon Hanatziv

 

The Old City

 

Ramot, Pisgat Ze'ev, and Naveh Ya'akov

 

Har Homa

 

French Hill

Givat Mordechai

 

Beit Hakerem, Kiryat Yovel, Bayit Vegan and environs

 

Gilo

 

Givat Shaul

 

Noy Hasade

To check if they deliver to your place of residence, check here.

There are also many local Otzar Ha'aretz stores that provide local deliveries.

Is the produce substandard or high-quality?

We believe that an important mitzvah needs to come in a beautiful package. That is why we do everything on our power to ensure that Otzar Ha'aretz consumers enjoy an ongoing supply of fresh, high-quality produce.

This coming shemitah, we will partner with the huge company Bikurei Hasade Darom to provide the best service in all areas—in terms of both the amount of produce and punctual arrival time at the sales points. We hope that this partnership will provide our consumers with the best service possible.

What about the prices of the fruits and vegetables?

So that the fruits and vegetables will be sellable, the beit din needs to perform many agricultural treatments at various stages of growth. These treatments are very expensive, and in practice, the expenses of the otzar beit din do not fall short of that those required for regular produce in the open market. At times, they are even more expensive since the beit din requires performing certain actions twice and performing some activities with a shinuy. All of this takes more time and thus is more expensive. Nevertheless, we do everything in our power to ensure that Otzar Ha'aretz consumers will pay less for their produce than market prices.

We cannot ensure that at every point in time the Otzar Ha'aretz produce will be the least expensive on the market, but we can commit that over the course of the year, those who consume Otzar Ha'aretz groceries will not spend more than those who buy produce of a similar quality in the open market. We make every effort to bring down the prices so that Otzar Ha'aretz consumers will pay less over the entire period.

Why not just let the land lie fallow?

Letting the land lie fallow is a solution for a single farmer, but an entire country cannot survive when its land lies fallow. Not working the land at all entails significantly increasing importation or purchasing produce from non-Jews: whether Israeli Arabs, those in PA-controlled areas, or Gaza. As many are hostile to Israel and this undermines Jewish-Israeli agriculture, these are less desirable options, according to the Rabbis of Otzar Ha'aretz.

 

I want to join

Membership worth
NIS 650

Receive a coupon worth NIS 50 to be used on a monthly basis (13 months) at Otzar Ha'aretz sales points.

Join

Membership worth
NIS 1300
Receive a coupon for NIS 100 to be used on a monthly basis (13 months) at Otzar Ha'aretz sales points.

Join

 

Choose an amount that's right for you

To be used on a monthly basis at Otzar Ha'aretz sales points.

Select option (150 NIS -- 2000 NIS *13 months)

Join

Contact us

For English ask for Sarit.

Telephone: *9273
E-mail: office.otzarharez@gmail.com
Mailing address: 1 Leon Schreiber, Moshav Timorim

Hebrew website: https://otzar-haretz.co.il/

 

For more about Otzar Ha'aretz, see here