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Hefker for shemitah fruit in the 8th year

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I have citruses on my tree that began to develop last year (5782), so I know they have kedushat shevi'it.

But are they still hefker, even though it's the 8th year now? In other words: does hefker follow the status of the fruit or the year?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Cheshvan 6783

As long as the fruit began to develop during the shemitah year, all the laws of shemitah apply: It has kedushah, It is exempt from terumot and ma'aserot (excepting etrogim), It is hefker, It can be picked in small quantities (enough for one week), It is subject to the laws of bi'ur.

HOWEVER, You only need to allow people to come into your garden and pick the fruit until the second rainfall season, which is 23 Cheshvan-Rosh Chodesh Kislev (unless you signed up as an agent of otzar beit din). After this point you may lock your fence, harvest the fruit yourself (according to all opinions), and put it outside of your gate with a hefker sign. This is the ruling of the Rambam Hilchot Shemitah 7:18.