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Fruit picking tourism during the shemitah year

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Is there a problem participating in a fruit-picking tourist activity (where you pay for the harvesting experience and receive the basket of fruit that you pick) during the shemitah year?


Rabbi Yehuda HaLevy Amichay

Yes, there is a problem. You need to first find out how the fruit was cultivated during the year: which activities were performed in the orchard. If forbidden activities were performed, the fruit is considered ne'evad (fruit for which prohibited activities were performed). Even if you follow the opinions of those who are lenient with ne'evad, it would not seem to be possible to be lenient with fruit-picking tourism. Furthermore, it constitutes forbidden transaction with shemitah fruit and the prohibition of weighing the fruit. The orchard should be sold through heter mechirah or become an agent of otzar beit din.

If the orchard did heter mechirah so the activity is allowed, but terumot and ma'aserot should be separated, without a blessing.

As for flower picking, the same law applies. One shouldn't go it it is not a detached platform or was sold through heter mechirah.