Shop עברית


Removing suckers at the base of trees during shemitah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

There are suckers that often sprout at the base of tree trunks, especially common with olive and pomegranate trees. They ruin the trees' aesthetics. Can I remove them during shemitah? What about citrus trees? Does it make a difference if the growths are from below the graft line?

Repotting a broken pot

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Whilst cutting a neighboring tree a branch fell and broke a pot. Can I lift the pot and soil and put in a new container or I just have to beg forgiveness and replace after shemitah? Open to the air and on a man hole.

Vegetables that started growing before shemitah, but are sold and bought (without heter mechirah)

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I used to buy produce from a farmer who doesn't have a hechsher, and says that he is selling produce that began growing before the begining of shemitah and that his produce has kedushat shevi'it. He isn't part of an otzar beit din.

Isn't that a problem? I mean, the produce is supposed to be hefker and you are not supposed to transact with it. Am I allowed to eat the vegetables? I accidently bought some already before checking him out.

Pruning lemon trees now while they are still sixth-year

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have an orange tree and our neighbor's lemon tree overhangs our property. Does this mean that we can trim back the trees before they have kedushah status as well?

Pruning fruit trees during shemitah not for the tree's benefit (1)

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have two fruit trees hanging over into neighbor's gardens. One is laden with fruit and one is a pomegranate so it will drop all its leaves into their pool. Routinely I would cut them back for the clients' and neighbors' sanity. Not for the tree. Am I allowed to do this during shemitah or because it is a fruit tree you can't?

Prefilled fertilizer pumps in gardens

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Many gardens have automatic fertilizer pumps that draw when the irrigation functions. I assume this is not allowed during the shemitah year even though automatically programmed and filled before Rosh Hashanah?

Digging up soil in the Land of Israel for burial abroad

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

In the Diaspora, it is customary to be buried with some earth from the Land of Israel. Is it permissible to dig up soil for this purpose during the shemitah year?

Deadheading flowers

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Is it permissible to deadhead flowers for aesthetic purposes only? not to promote new growth, just because the dead flowers look ugly.

Setting up balcony gardens during shemitah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

We have recently received many inquiries on gardening during shemitah. Often, since shemitah laws are unfamiliar, many assume that everything is forbidden. However, as you can see below, it always pays to ask. Below are two questions I was asked by a shemitah-observant gardener:

Question: I have been asked to "plant" a balcony garden. I don't have time before shemitah. It is on the 9th floor of a tall building, not penthouse floor. There are balconies below and above the balcony. Does this constitute planting to move plants in pots from the nursery and placing them on the tiled concrete balcony during the shemitah year?

Replenishing pots during shemitah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have a newly planted garden. Weeds from the nursery have really enjoyed the fertilizer and compost. Can I remove them to protect the plant? These are not the kind of weeds you can cut at soil surface as will just come back stronger.