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Shemitah

Shemitah Guides for the private garden

Rabbi David Eigner

I searched the website and I couldn't find a comprehensive guide on the laws of shemitah for the private garden. Does such a guide exist? I'd appreciate the link.

Eating wild grasses during the shemitah year

Rabbi Ehud Ahituv

Is it permissible to eat wild grasses during the shemitah year (bull mallow, nettle, etc.)? Are they considered sefichin? Do they have kedushat shevi'it?

Irrigation, fertilization, and pruning during shemitah

Rabbi Dr. Yoel Friedemann

I have three questions about shemitah:
1) Can we use a fertilizer dispenser connected to a computerized irrigation system to release fertilizer to perforated planters with fruit trees and ornamental plants, such as roses and other perennials, growing under the open sky?

2) Is it possible to water plants as much as we desire, employing an irrigation computer, beyond the minimum needed to keep the plant alive?

3) Pruning: Is it permissible to prune roses, grape vines, citrus trees, and other flowering plants such as petunias, geraniums, etc. during the shemitah year? Failure to prune or trim certain plants can cause damage. It is not always sufficient to perform deep trimming before shemitah. Pruning and trimming are required all year round, such as with roses and grapevines. Petunias might not produce flowers and can even wilt. What should I do?

Grating a lemon with kedushat shevi'it

Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

Is it a problem to grate the rind of a lemon with kedushat shevi'it in order to add it to a cake (instead of discarding it in the pach shevi'it)?

Kedushat shevi'it wine that sours

Rabbi Avraham Socholovsky

I have semi-sweet wine from otzar beit din from 2001, which soured. Am I allowed to pour it down the drain?

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?