Shop עברית

Q&A

Status of fruit that began growing between 1 Tishrei and 15 Shevat of the 7th and 8th years

Rabbis of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute

I'm asking about the difference between the period from Rosh Hashanah of the shemitah year and Rosh Hashanah of the ma'aser year, which is 15 Shevat. The new year for shemitah is 1 Tishrei, while the new year for ma'aserot from fruit is 15 Shevat (Tu BiShevat), as ruled by Beit Hillel. While the shemitah year starts on 1 Tishrei, we are still actually in the sixth ma'aser year (with the seventh year beginning only on 15 Shevat). If so, if a fruit begins to grow before 15 Shevat, do we need to separate ma'aser ani from it, as is the rule for sixth-year produce? On the other hand, from the research I've done, according to halachah during the shemitah year every fruit that begins to develop after 1 Tishrei will have kedushat shevi'it and thus exempt from ma'aser.

Practically speaking, the same question applies every year when the ma'aser sheni year switches to ma'aser ani, and vice-versa. The "problem" stems from the fact that the shemitah year period is not the same as the ma'aser year period, so it turns out that there is always a time during the year (from 1 Tishrei to 15 Shevat) where the shemitah cycle year is ahead of the ma'aser year.

Thank you!

Shemitah lechumrah

Rabbi Yehudah HaLevy Amichay

What does shemitah lechumrah mean? If I eat heter mechirah, could I eat shemitah lechumrah?

Otzar beit din in short

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

What are the difficulties that the institution of otzar beit din address?

Kedushat shevi'it outside of Israel

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

Do fruits and vegetables that grow outside the Land of Israel during the shemitah year have kedushat shevi'it?

Handling heter mechirah produce

Rabbis of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute
  1. How should I handle heter mechirah fruits and vegetables—do they have kedushat shevi'it (What does this mean? Can I throw away a rotten vegetable to the regular garbage can?)
  2. Is it mandatory to separate terumot and ma'aserot from fruits and vegetables that grew in Israel under heter mechirah?

What is heter mechirah?

Rabbis of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute

What is heter mechirah? What are the problems that can arise from this sale and what are its advantages?

The shemitah year in the private garden

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

Dear Rabbi,
I have a private garden and I want to know how to tend to it in the upcoming shemitah year.

  1. Is it permissible to water the garden?
  2. There are fruits hanging on some of the trees. Can I eat them?
  3. Is it permissible to plant trees?
  4. When is the shemitah year over—15 Shevat or at the end of the year?

Terumot and ma'aserot on heter mechirah fruit

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

I saw that when ma'aser was taken from fruit such as avocado and citruses, it was taken without a blessing. Why is this so? Is it because according to both Ashkenazim and Sephardim the fruit began to form during the shemitah year, exempting them from ma'aser?

Pruning ficus trees to avoid a mess

Rabbi David Eigner

We have large ficus trees in our yard and we want to prune them since they make a huge mess. Can we prune them during the shemitah year?

Pruning branches that obstruct light absorption during shemitah

Rabbi Netanel Oyerbach

We need to prune the trees at our school in Jerusalem. The school has a solar energy system, and there are branches that obstruct the light from reaching the panels, which garbles the system.

Furthermore, branches might fall during the winter and destroy the system. Can we prune these branches?