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Collecting seeds during shemitah to be planted next year

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Am I allowed to collect seeds during shemitah and plant them next year?

Hefker for a cherry tree on the porch

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I have a cherry tree growing on my porch and it can be accessed only through the house. The tree is now in its fifth year and is producing fruit now for the first time. How am I supposed to render it ownerless?

mulberry hefker and jam

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

In the yard of my apartment building there is a mulberry tree, next to the parking lot. Most of the residents aren't interested in picking the fruit and in regular years we do. Am I allowed to harvest the berries and prepare jam, just as I do during regular years and like I used to do in the United States, in my childhood?

Pruning a bush so it doesn't cover a sign

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I am advertising my running group at the entrance of a development nearby. I hung up a sign on the gate and just recently noticed that a bush is hiding most of my contact information (instead of 0543261860, only the 8 and 6 are visible!)

Am I allowed to trim the bush so everyone can see my number?

Shehechiyanu on Otzar beit din nectarines!

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

 Do you have a Shehechiyanu when you eat for the first time kedushat shevi'it produce?

Kedushat shevi'it for nectarine and peach pits

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I was so excited this week (Iyar 5782) to buy peaches and nectarines with kedushat shevi'it from Otzar Ha'aretz and now I have a question about them:

I eat the fruit and then the pit is left with lots of bits of fruit attached. Am I allowed to throw the pit away or should I put it in the shemitah bin until the fruit rots? What about a composter?

Pruning trees with shemitah fruit

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

I'm a gardener and I have a client whose apricot tree is a mess. It is terribly overgrown and the fruit is also infested. The fruit is starting to yellow, but it's not really ripe yet. Is there something I can do?

Putting flowers and herbs in a vase with water

During regular years, I like to pick flowers and fragrant herbs (star jasmine, roses, and rosemary) from my garden to decorate my  house and perfume the air in honor of  Shavuot. Can I put them in vases with water, or is that like planting them?

Picking all the kedushat shevi'it fruit on the tree

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

Iyar 5782, May 2022

I have a very tall nectarine tree (we didn't prune it this year). We picked the nectarines that we could reach, but there are dozens more that are very high up and difficult to reach. Do I have to pick them?

Playing gogoi'm with kedushat shevi'it apricot pits

Rabbi Moshe Bloom

My son wants us to save our apricot pits for him to play gogo'im at recess. We buy otzar beit din apricots. Now I know that barely any fruit gets stuck to the pit, but technically if you open up the pit, the inside is edible.

Is it permissible to play with the pits or is this considered degrading or hefsed? And, in general, are we supposed to keep these pits in the shemitah bin or can we throw them away regularly?