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Nissan: Birkat Ha'ilanot on trees that blossom twice annually

Rabbi Yoel Friedemann

I have two questions about birkat ha'ilanot:

  • Can we make the blessing on trees that blossom twice a year (lemon, mango, petango)? What about those that bloom twice but only produce fruit once a year (mango)?
  • Why don't we make this blessing over olive trees?

Pesach: Sprouting legumes (kitniyut) on Pesach

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

I'm performing my national service at the Science Garden, and we are planning an activity for Pesach about trees, burning, and renewal. We would also like to hold a workshop on sprouting seeds. Is it possible to sprout legumes (beans, hummus, lentils, peas, etc.)? Are legumes forbidden only to eat, or are all the prohibitions that pertain to chametz apply also to legumes?


Pesach: Eating watermelon and pumpkin seeds on Pesach

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel

Is it permitted to those who avoid legumes (kitniyut) to eat watermelon and pumpkin seeds on Pesach?


Nissan: Birkat ha'ilanot vs. Shekacha lo ba'olamo

Rabbi Ehud Achituv

Whoever sees especially beautiful creations recites the blessing shekacha lo ba'olamo; "Who has such things in His world."
Whoever goes out to fields or gardens in the days of Nissan and sees trees blossoming and budding recites birkat ha'ilanot, the blessing for the trees: "Blessed … who has withheld nothing from His world, and has created in it beautiful creatures and trees for human beings to enjoy.'"  What is the difference between both blessings?

Pesach: What do we do with sheaves of wheat during Pesach

Rabbis of Torah VeHa'artez Institute

We went for a nature hike and the kids gathered sheaves of wheat. Is it permissible to keep these sheaves for decoration, even during Pesach, or is it considered chametz gamur? What should we do with all the sheaves?

Pesach: Selling products with wheat flour or protien

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel

Are we supposed to sell products what include wheat protein or wheat flour (soup mix, for example) with the chametz?

Pesach: Hydroponically grown maror (1)

Rabbis of Torah VeHa'artez Institute

Does one fulfill the obligation of maror grown hydroponically?


The ins and outs of taking challah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Is the mitzvah of taking challah tied to the Land of Israel? Does it apply abroad? Could you also please tell me, in short, what laws and procedures are involved in this mitzvah?

Decorative Pumpkin Seeds – Kilei Zera'im

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I bought a seed packet that says "decorative pumpkin small fruit – Curcubita pepo small mixed." The picture on the packet shows pumpkins of various colors and sizes. Am I allowed to plant them in my garden, with a 50 cm distance one from another?

Soaking lettuce on Shabbat

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichai

I saw on your website your responsum where you permitted soaking Chasalat leaves on Shabbat in soapy water, and said that you don’t have to worry about killing insects. You didn’t relate to the prohibition of borer (like soaking vetch). Is borer an issue here?