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Av 5779, Issue no.10

OU Tour

On Tuesday, 10 Elul (September 10), Rabbi Bloom will give a tour in a nursery under the supervision of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute for issues of orlah and kila'im, as well as an etrog orchard. Registration via the OU.

Kilei Zera'im and Herbs

Many people are unaware that the prohibition of kilei zera'im includes herbs. That is, it is prohibited to plant various different types of herbs in close proximity to one another (also called "interplanting").

The prohibition of kilei zera'im applies to herbs that are eaten. However, some herbs are halachically considered trees since they have perennial trunks—which means that the prohibition of kilei zera'im does not apply to them. Other herbs are halachically classified as vegetables: although they are perennials, they lack a trunk. Therefore, the laws of kilei zera'im do apply to them. A third category of herbs are annuals, so kilei zera'im apply to them as well. 

For a list of 36 herbs, classified according to their halachic status, see here.

Visit by Rabbi Kenny Schiowitz

Rabbi Kenny (Chaim) Schiowitz is the rabbi of Congregation Shaare Tefillah of Teaneck, New Jersey and author of Shiurei HaRav (Soloveitchik) al Masechet Chalah uMitzvot Hateluyot Ba'aretz. Rabbi Schiowitz arrived with his wife Shira (daughter of Rabbi Menachem Genack, one of the leading OU rabbis) and some of his children for a tour of Torah VeHa'aretz Institute, where everyone learned about the land-dependent mitzvot, separated terumot and ma'aserot, tasted sugar straight from the cane, prepared fresh lemonade, said the special blessings on pleasant scents, and more.

The English Department was extremely moved to receive the work of Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik on the land-dependent mitzvot.  

Lectures on Insects and Terumot and Ma'aserot – BTYA, Ramat Beit Shemesh

Beis Tefillah Yona Avraham (BTYA) of Ramat Beit Shemesh, has enjoyed a warm relationship with the Torah VeHa'aretz Institute for many years. Recently we held two lectures there: on how to eat insect-free leafy vegetables and on practically taking terumot and ma'aserot.


Is a drip irrigation pipe considered a barrier when growing different types of vegetables on either side of the drip pipe? When it comes to seed starters, do these pose a kila’im problem?


Dr. Mordechai Shomron, Agronomist

An irrigation pipe is not considered a sufficient separation between different types of vegetables. Seed starters are also subject to kila’im.