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Sukkut: a Grafted Etrog

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Torah VeHa’aretz Institute

I see that it says on all the etrog boxes “not grafted.” What exactly does that mean?


Rosh Hashana: Shehechiyanu on a fresh pineapple on the second night

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Elul 5779


Can I say a Shehechiyanu on a fresh pineapple on the second night of Rosh Hashana?

Redeeming ma’ser sheni in Jerusalem’s Old City

Rabbi Ehud Ahituv

I live in the Old City in Jerusalem. What do I do with my ma’aser sheni?

kashrut olives

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Am I allowed to pick and eat olives from my tree?

Can shemitah wine still belong to the otzar beit din even after purchase?

Is it possible that the wine I bought, which was in my house on erev Pesach, is still halachically considered under the auspices of the otzar beit din thereby deeming it exempt from bi'ur?

Do we need to check if supermarkets performed bi'ur on shemitah wine?

Rabbi Moshe Bloom Nissan 5783

I see that supermarkets still sell Golan Heights shemitah wine and that otzarot beit din continue selling and distributing holy wines and grape juice now, after bi'ur time (Pesach 5783). Do I have to find out if the stores/distributors properly performed bi'ur before buying the wine?

Amount exempt from bi'ur for people who won't actually use the wine on seder night

Rabbi Moshe Bloom Nissan 5783

You posted on the website the amount of wine exempt from bi'ur includes what a family would use for seder night and yom tov morning, one bottle per adult (/child 9+) and half a bottle per smaller children.

What about:

  • If your family will be going away for seder (and not bringing wine along)
  • If you decide not to drink the wine, or
  • Some participants will be drinking other wine or grape juice (some of my kids only like Kedem)?
  • You will use holy wine for some but not all of the cups?

Identity of the witnesses of the hefker declaration (bi'ur)

Rabbi Bloom Nissan 5783

You wrote that you need three people, who can be related to one another, to declare shemitah wine hefker on erev Pesach.

You also mentioned that they can't be dependent members who are part of your household.

We are having a family over for seder night: a couple and their teen daughter. Can they be my hefker witnesses? Or do they have to be men? Is it a problem that they will be our guests (dependents at our table for the night)?

Hafrashat challah from holy dough

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Friday afternoon, I was making challah and ran out of canola oil, so I supplemented with my shemitah olive oil. I finished making the batch, which was large enough to be obligated in separating challah, when I suddenly realized that there might be a problem: If the entire batch of dough is now holy, would it be a problem to burn the challah that I set aside, like I usually do?

Cosmetics, kashrut, and shemitah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

We like buying local Israeli produce wherever we can. Does one need to be careful when buying cosmetics and soaps that contain herbs, fruit extracts or olive oil, that they don't contain shemitah produce or other problematic produce?