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Q&A

Hefker for shemitah fruit in the 8th year

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Cheshvan 6783

I have citruses on my tree that began to develop last year (5782), so I know they have kedushat shevi'it.

But are they still hefker, even though it's the 8th year now? In other words: does hefker follow the status of the fruit or the year?

Going bananas in the 8th year

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Cheshvan 5783

I see bananas in Otzar Ha'aretz stores labeled sheminit, eighth-year, at the end of Tishrei. How can that be?

Pruning on the 8th year branches with fruit on them:

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tishrei 5783

We are now in the asseret yemei teshuvah 5783. I walked down the street and saw many pruned branches with tangerines, most of them ripe and some partially ripe.
Do these tangerines have kedushat shevi'it?
Is it permissible for gardeners to prune them?   Am I allowed to take them and juice them? If so, what do I do with the peels? I don't have enough room in my shemitah bin.

Strawberry Harvest in the Eighth Year

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have strawberries in my garden that I planted during the sixth year. What is their status now that shemitah is over? If I pick them after Rosh Hashanah, do they have kedushat shevi'it? Do I have to separate terumot and ma'aserot?

Biur Apricots why it is so late

Rabbi Moshe Bloom and Dr. Motty Shomron

On the calendars you wrote that the bi'ur time for apricots is early September (mid-Elul), but the apricot season was over several months ago. It began around Pesach time (April) and was over around Sivan-Tammuz (July). Why is bi'ur only in early September?

Shemitah status of wheatgrass

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

I heard that if grains are harvested before being edible or before the grain reaches a third of its development, they do not have kedushat shevi'it and shemitah laws don't apply to it. Since wheatgrass juice is consumed, does that change things? Is there an issue of sefichin?
Any other considerations or special laws?

Sumac during shemitah - KS

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

Hi, I was given a gift of wild sumac. I don't know if it's primarily used in food or medicine in Israel.  Is it sefichin, and does it have kedushah? I have no idea what to do with it but I'll offer to anyone who wants if I know its status.

Shemitah Mangoes: Pits and Peels, KS

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

I just bought my first shemitah mangoes. What do I do with the peels and pits?

Sefichin and eggplants

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

I have an established eggplant planted in my back yard well before shetmiah. During the winter it was dormant, and now it is beginning to wake up and produce eggplants. I looked up on the sefichin calendar and it says that eggplants are sefichin starting November this year (Kislev).

I'm confused, though. I thought that plants that behave like perrenials are not sefichin and, anyway, I planted it before shemitah. What is the status of the eggplants?

Pruning a fruit tree with unripe fruit

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Av 5782

Our pomegranate tree is blocking part of the staircase. The pomegranates aren't completely ripe yet. On the same branch there are fruits of different sizes and stages of ripeness. It is a real nuisance. Am I allowed to prune the branches?