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Meaning of Orlah in Hebrew


What does orlah mean?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

We are familiar with the expression orlah as the term for the foreskin removed at circumcision. Yet, this word is mentioned 52 times in Tanach in different contexts.

Orlah for trees means "distanced" (Targum Onkelos), "sealed, blocked, covered" (Rashi), or "something harmful" (Ibn Ezra); that is, we refrain from eating this fruit and cannot use it in any way.

While it is forbidden to eat orlah fruit or derive benefit from it, it is permissible (according to some Poskim) to smell the fruit.