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Q&A

Neta revay and terumot and ma'aserot for blueberry bushes on a balcony

Yoel Friedemann | 7 Sivan 5784

I purchased blueberry seedlings from Kibbutz El Rom, which are now growing on my second-floor balcony in flowerpots. One of the seedlings is from 5781 and is now a fourth-year bush. How can I eat the fruits (I am a member of Otzar Ha’aretz)? How do I redeem them? Do I need to redeem them if I don't bring the fruit inside and eat them on the balcony? What should I do when the blueberries ripen gradually? Should I redeem each time I pick a few blueberries, or can I redeem all the blueberries that will grow this year during the first harvest? Also, when the blueberry bush enters its fifth year, do I need to separate terumot and ma'aserot from individual fruits each time I pick a few blueberries, or should I separate them all at once? Do I need to recite a blessing for the separation?

Checking Grape Leaves for Insects

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay | Sivan 5780

How should I clean grape leaves from insects for cooking? Is it possible to buy leaves that are already insect-free?

Shehecheyanu on pidyon petter chamor

Rabbi Nathanel Oyerbach, Emunat Itecha 143, Nissan 5784

I have had the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of pidyon petter chamor for the first time in my life. Should I recite the blessing of shehecheyanu on this mitzvah?

Terumot and Ma'aserot from Jewish Produce in Closed Military Zones

Rabbi David Eigner, Shevat 5784, Annual Conference of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute at Sederot

Do we need to separate terumot and ma'aserot from produce found in closed military zones during the War of Iron Sword?

Orlah: The status of fruit tree saplings set on synthetic grass

Rabbi Dr. Yoel Friedemann, Emunat Itecha 143, Nissan 5784

1) A private individual brought fruit tree saplings from the nursery and left them for a period of time on synthetic grass before planting them in his garden. Does he need to restart the orlah count?

2) We were asked a similar question by a nursery that sells fruit trees to private customers. The owner wanted the nursery to look nice, so he covered the nursery area with synthetic grass. Can the saplings be placed on the synthetic grass?

The question is whether or not synthetic grass is considered a detaching surface (if so, when placing saplings on it, one must recount the orlah years).

Transplanting grafted trees

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have citrus trees in my yard. According to the list on your website, they have a questionable status vis-à-vis kilei ilan. For this reason, grafting and planting should be performed by a non-Jew, but Jews may care for the tree both actively and passively.

1. If a Jew was involved in either grafting or planting the tree (or both)—must the tree be uprooted bedi'avad?

2. Some trees are in planters and we need to plant them in the ground. Is transplanting permitted by a Jew, or is a non-Jew's services needed for this action? That is, is transplanting considered halachically a new planting, requiring a non-Jew, or is it simply moving the tree to a larger area, considered actively sustaining the tree—an action permitted to Jews.

3. In continuation to the previous question: what happens if the transplant is performed in a way that does not necessitate a new orlah count (it is transplanted in a clod of soil large enough to sustain the tree for two weeks; the planted had a large enough hole and was attached to the ground; the planted was detached from the ground for less than 24 hours). In this case, would the transplant be permitted by a Jew, or would a non-Jew need to perform it?

Peasch: Are gluten-free products kosher for Pesach?

Rabbi Tzvi Ben Reuven, Emunat Itecha 119 Nissan 5778

Are gluten-free products kosher for Pesach?

Pesach: Matzah for those with celiac

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel

Someone with celiac, who cannot eat regular grains—even oat matzah—can only eat matzah made of gluten-free grain. Can he fulfill the obligation of eating matzah on Seder night with this special matzah?

Pesach: Lecithin and rapeseed on Pesach

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel

In recent years, my family has begun to avoid eating lecithin and rapeseed products on Pesach. I'm not sure what the source of this custom is. I would like to know if these are considered legumes (kitniyut) and on what basis should one not eat them on Pesach.

Volunteering on farms during chol hamo'ed

Rabbi Yehudah Amichay, Head of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute, Nissan 5784

Since this year, many farmers were hit hard during the war and especially since most of their foreign workers fled, will it be permissible this year to work in agriculture during chol hamo'ed?