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Q&A

Kilei Hakerem on the Porch

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

My daughter planted grape seeds in a pot with drainage holes and 10 of them have sprouted. The pot is standing in a shelf on a porch.  I have got a lot of other fruit tree seedlings (apple, lemon, pomegranate and more) in similar pots on that porch, though not on the same shelf. We live in Israel.

1) Do the potted grape seedlings need a minimum distance from the other fruit tree seedlings while on the porch? If so, how much distance?

2) What about vegetables like tomatoes that grow on a table on the porch?

3) If I plan to plant the 10 grape seedlings into a garden that has other fruit trees (olives, citruses etc.) but no vegetables anywhere, how much distance is needed?

4) If I plant instead only one grapevine in the garden, how much distance to other trees?

5) How does one in general measure the distance from a grapevine to other plants? From the root/trunk or from the tips of the vines (which in a grown up plant can extend for meters from the trunk and grow longer throughout the summer)?

Leket, shichecha, and pe’ah today

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

How and in what way do we perform the mitzvot of giving the poor leket, shichecha, and pe’ah today?

Important halachic issues to consider when planting trees and vegetables in a private garden

Rabbi Netanel Oyerbach

I live in the Jerusalem area and have a garden. I would like to start a vegetable patch and also plant some fruit trees. Could you please tell me about the halachic issues I have to take into account?

Matanot Aniyim Today

Rabbi Yaakov Epstein

If someone has a tree or a few trees in their yard, do they need to leave the matanot aniyim (gifts for the poor) on the trees and hang up a sign outside? Or should the home owner harvest some of the fruits and give them out, or their value, to poor people? While there might be poor people in the neighborhood, they may not know the halacha and they might not come at all. Does this exempt one of the obligation to give these gifts in the first place?

Uprooting a fruit tree that yields sour fruit

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

I have two questions that relate to uprooting fruit trees:

  1. We have a grapefruit tree that yields sour grapefruit, so we don’t fertilize or water the tree. Since we don’t like the fruit, the grapefruits are left on the tree until they fall on their own. The result is that our yard is littered with dozens of rotten, foul-smelling fruit that attract insects. In light of this, would it be permitted to cut down the tree?
  2. In our yard there is an area of 4x4 m that is much higher than the ground level in the rest of the yard, so we can’t use it as part of our yard and we would like to level it. In the middle of this area there is a fruit tree. If we leave the tree in place, we would need to install a cement wall around it to secure the soil underneath that tree. Furthermore, should we leave the tree in place it will make it more difficult to level the ground and make the leveling process much more expensive. Would it then be permissible to uproot the tree to avoid the expenses involved in keeping the tree in place?

Permaculture and kilaim

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I was wondering what the halachic implications of companion gardening and permaculture are. 
Is there a way to plant a field this way without violating kila'im?

Is passionfruit subject to the laws of orlah?

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I planted a passionfruit vine as a living fence. Do I have to wait three years to eat the fruit?

 

Calculating orlah years and neta revay for new and mature trees

Rabbi Yoel Friedemann

Thank G-d we moved into our new home and planted young saplings on 1 Kislev 5774. Can we eat from the fruit now? If not now, when? My uncle planted more mature trees. Do the same laws apply in this instance? If the fruit is still forbidden for consumption, what do we do with the fruit? Can you also explain, in detail, what I am supposed to do in the fourth year?

Is it OK to snack on fruits or vegetables growing in a hothouse without taking teruma and ma’aser?

Rabbi Dov Landau

 My question is as follows: Does the rule of “seeing the inside of the house,” apply to crops grown in a hothouse, meaning that it would it be forbidden to snack on fruit or vegetables in the hothouse without first taking teruma and ma’aser?

During the shemita year, we heard that many poskim view hothouses as a house for halachic purposes.

Giving ma’aser ani today: here’s a half-an-orange to help you out?!

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

How can I actually give my ma’aser ani? It’s not really practical to find poor people each time I pick a few oranges from my tree to give them a slice.