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Land of Israel

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?

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?

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?

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?

Which mitzvot are tied to the Land of Israel?

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

Is taking challah considered a mitzva tied to the Land of Israel? Is there a list of such mitzvot? Can you give me several examples?