Shop עברית


Do pomegranate peels have kedushat shevi'it?

Torah VeHa'aretz Institute, Av 5782

We have a pomegranate tree in our yard. We generally use the pomegranates for Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot. What is the status of the peels? Am I supposed to put them in the shemitah bin?

Grape leaves and kedushat shevi'it

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

What is the status of grape leaves? They are sometimes cooked or pickled.

Grapes, seeds, and stems

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

I just got our first grapes with kedushat shevi'it. Do I have to put the stems and seeds in the pach shevi'it? Note that often there are bits of fruit stuck to the stem.

Aloe vera for burns during shemitah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

 Is it permissible to use an aloe vera plant to treat burns during shemitah? Do we have to ask permission from a neighbor to take a leaf? Once we use the leaf, do we put it in the pach shevi'it?

Fruit with kedushat shevi'it at a bar mitzvah

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Av 5782

We are celebrating our son's bar mitzvah over Shabbat next week and would like to serve otzar beit din fruit.

While at home we are careful about using as much as possible from the fruit and also putting leftovers in a shemitah bin to rot for several days, I'm afraid it won't be feasible when serving and preparing for large numbers. For instance, I don't think we can be careful to eat the fruit from mango peels or eat from the pits. What are the basic guidelines so we can still serve fruit with kedushat shevi'it but not transgress the hefsed prohibition?

Detached platforms with detached partitions

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Tammuz 5782

I'm just finished building a pergola with wooden slats (see pic) covering most of my second-story porch.

  1. The slats allow rain to come through but shade the area.
  2. As you can see, the partitions (walls) on either side of the porch are not directly under the roof. Are the plants sitting under the pergola considered detached?

Buying bulbs, seeds, seedlings, and other plants from nurseries in 5783

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Av 5782

Rosh Hashanah is almost here and we gardeners want to know how we can buy plants from nurseries. After the New Year, may we buy bulbs from a bulb nursery, or must we wait a whole another year because they were promulgated during shemitah?

What about roses (bare rooted)? Vegetable seeds? Trees? Bushes? Seedlings?

Buying soil, seeds, and fertilizer to plant in the 8th year

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Av 5782

Is it permissible to buy before Rosh Hashanah potting/garden soil mix, slow release fertilizer pellets, and containers of dichondra seeds to be ready to plant and work the soil on the 3rd of Tishrei, while avoiding the crush of people going to nurseries and any possible shortages after Yom Tov?

Bi'ur - When will bi'ur be applicable for most of us?

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Sivan 5782

What happens, say, if in another week (bi'ur time for loquats), you have loquat preserves that you cooked together with lemons (whose bi'ur time is in more than a year!)? What about if there are other non-sacred foods cooked with the kedushat shevi'it loquats?

Shemitat Kesafim: Status of money given to a parent for safekeeping

Rabbi Yehuda Amichay

My father is holding onto my little brother's money (he's 14). That is, money he received as a gift: Chanukah gelt, bar mitzvah money, etc. He gave the money to my father so when he asks for money, our father gives him money from this sum and deduct it from the money he gave him. My father is not returning the same bills, but others that amount to the same sum. My father uses my brother's cash for his own purposes.

  1. Is it considered that my father is a borrower? My father doesn't really benefit from the fact that he "borrowed" this money, my brother is the one benefiting from the arrangement.
  2. If so, is it possible for him to give presents to my bother? I know it's forbidden for borrowers to give lenders presents since it's like interest. Here, though, he's giving my brother presents just because he's his son, not because of the loan, which he doesn't really benefit from anyway.
  3. My brother did not write a prozbul. Is the debt canceled and so he won't be able to ask our father for money ("do not press your fellow").
  4. If the loan is canceled and my father wants to return the debt as a gift ("one who returns a loan from the shemitah year, the Sages are pleased with him"), is there a way to do so without physically taking the bills and giving them to him (it's a large sum).

Can he perhaps give him a few bills as a present and then my brother will return them as a loan, and then do it again? Or is this considered that he returned the loan?