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Israeli produce sold overseas that may be heter mechirah

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You mentioned that at this point in the year (Tevet 5783), the vast majority of Israeli vegetables no longer have possible sefichin status (again, for those who do not rely on heter mechirah), and you referred to the shemitah calendars on your website.

How long is the shipping time? Is it possible that produce in Israel is already eighth-year but produce abroad was shipped before such produce was available? Are your shemitah calendars relevant to those who live abroad


The sefichin prohibition (i.e. the rabbinic prohibition to eat annuals planted/that sprouted during shemitah) and the obligation to look into the source ends once eighth-year produce is available of any given kind of vegetable (in the words of the Mishnah: kayotzeh bo), not necessarily when it reaches the marketplace.

While I'm not sure how long it actually each type of vegetable to reach the US, halachically it doesn't matter. In any event, I doubt that fresh peppers can last in storage for more than three weeks. Carrots can.

But again, there are eighth-year carrots available now (I just recently ordered a bag of eighth-year carrots from Otzar Ha'aretz! They are also marked and available in Osher Ad).

Once eighth-year produce is available in Israel, it is no longer necessary to look into the source even abroad. So our shemitah calendars are relevant also to folks living abroad.

See our shemitah calendar here for the dates when produce no longer belongs to the shemitah year:

Note that the Chazon Ish is lenient after Chanukah of the eighth year, even when you know that it was planted during shemitah (say, it's written on the label). He holds that there is an expiration date on the sefichin prohibition.

We do not rely on this leniency. However, if it isn't marked, you don't have to check.