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Olive harvest and oil preparation this year and next year

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It's olive harvest time (Cheshvan 5782), and I generally harvest them. I pickle some and press some for oil. Do I have to do something different this year? Will the olives have kedushat shevi'it?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

This year's olives (5782) do not have kedushat shevi'it, since they reached a third of their development (shelish) before Rosh Hashanah. They can be harvested and processes as usual and they are subject to terumot and ma'aserot.

Next year's harvest (5783) will have kedushat shevi'it. It will be possible to harvest the amount of olives to provide your family with olive oil for an entire year (take into account the ratio between the number of olives and the quantity of oil they produce).

You can harvest manually, by shaking the trees, or hitting the trees with sticks. Using olive harvest machinery is permitted only to agents of the otzar beit din.

These olives may be pressed for oil. The olive waste and water remaining after the olives are pressed do not have kedushat shevi'it, since they are not edible and oil cannot be derived from them. They can be used for various purposes, such as fertilizer.

Pickling olives - It is permissible to pickle olives as usual, to pierce them to reduce their bitterness, and change the water they are soaking in. This water does not have kedushat shevi'it.