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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?

Guidelines for preparing shemitah wine and grape juice at home

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

How can I prepare Shemitah wine at home?

Do pomegranate peels have kedushat shevi'it?

Torah VeHa'aretz Institute, Av 5782

We have a pomegranate tree in our yard. We generally use the pomegranates for Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot. What is the status of the peels? Am I supposed to put them in the shemitah bin?

Grape leaves and kedushat shevi'it

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

What is the status of grape leaves? They are sometimes cooked or pickled.

Grapes, seeds, and stems

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

I just got our first grapes with kedushat shevi'it. Do I have to put the stems and seeds in the pach shevi'it? Note that often there are bits of fruit stuck to the stem.

Aloe vera for burns during shemitah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

 Is it permissible to use an aloe vera plant to treat burns during shemitah? Do we have to ask permission from a neighbor to take a leaf? Once we use the leaf, do we put it in the pach shevi'it?

Fruit with kedushat shevi'it at a bar mitzvah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Av 5782

We are celebrating our son's bar mitzvah over Shabbat next week and would like to serve otzar beit din fruit.

While at home we are careful about using as much as possible from the fruit and also putting leftovers in a shemitah bin to rot for several days, I'm afraid it won't be feasible when serving and preparing for large numbers. For instance, I don't think we can be careful to eat the fruit from mango peels or eat from the pits. What are the basic guidelines so we can still serve fruit with kedushat shevi'it but not transgress the hefsed prohibition?

Detached platforms with detached partitions

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

I'm just finished building a pergola with wooden slats (see pic) covering most of my second-story porch.

  1. The slats allow rain to come through but shade the area.
  2. As you can see, the partitions (walls) on either side of the porch are not directly under the roof. Are the plants sitting under the pergola considered detached?

Buying bulbs, seeds, seedlings, and other plants from nurseries in 5783

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Av 5782

Rosh Hashanah is almost here and we gardeners want to know how we can buy plants from nurseries. After the New Year, may we buy bulbs from a bulb nursery, or must we wait a whole another year because they were promulgated during shemitah?

What about roses (bare rooted)? Vegetable seeds? Trees? Bushes? Seedlings?

Buying soil, seeds, and fertilizer to plant in the 8th year

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Av 5782

Is it permissible to buy before Rosh Hashanah potting/garden soil mix, slow release fertilizer pellets, and containers of dichondra seeds to be ready to plant and work the soil on the 3rd of Tishrei, while avoiding the crush of people going to nurseries and any possible shortages after Yom Tov?