Nissan 5778, Issue no. 1
Birkat Ha’ilanot – blessing for the trees
Is it possible to fulfill the mitzva of eating maror on lettuce grown hydroponically?
The prevalent opinion is that it is possible to fulfill the mitzva of eating maror lechatchila on lettuce grown in any which way. This, too, is the case with the mitzva of eating matza made from wheat grown in an unperforated pot. So, even if the lettuce was grown hydroponically, this does not present a problem in fulfilling the mitzva of eating maror. Even according to the poskim who hold that shehakol should be recited on produce grown by hydroponics, the lettuce can be eaten, covered by the hamotzi recited previously on the matza (HaTorah VeHa’aretz 6; Mikra’ei kodesh harari - Pesach, Rabbi Shaul Yisraeli and Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu).
Rabbi Ehud Ahituv
Can I sell products containing wheat protein (like soluble soup mix) together with the chametz?
While such products can technically be sold with the chametz, it is preferable to eat them before Pesach. The sale is meant primarily for those who would suffer a considerable financial loss and whose genuine intentions are to completely sell their chametzdik merchandise. For those who would not experience a major financial loss, it is optimal not to sell full-fledged chametz (chametz gamur); rather, it is best to eat it prior to Pesach and burn whatever is left over.
Rabbi Yaakov Ariel
The English department
Torah VeHa'aretz Institute, the Institute for Torah and the Land of Israel, was founded more than 30 years ago in Gush Katif. Torah VeHa’aretz Institute probes the practical application of the mitzvot associated with the Land of Israel, its team comprising leading rabbis and agronomists who work in collaboration on issues that involve the interface among halacha, agriculture, and technology.
Torah VeHa’aretz Institute recently opened an English department to meet the needs of English speakers living in Israel and abroad. The department translates halachic material into English and posts it on the English website, features lectures in English about the mitzvot associated with the Land of Israel, provides halachic responsa services, organizes halachic-agricultural tours, and puts out various publications in English, among other things.
For additional details, please contact us.
RCA-Israel rabbis visit Torah VeHa’aretz Institute
A delegation of rabbis and their wives from RCA-Israel, in conjunction with the WZO, visited Torah VeHaAretz Institute on Tuesday, 12 Adar (February 27th). Rabbi Moshe Bloom, head of the institute's English department and tour organizer, lectured about the vast activities and halachic issues Torah VeHa’aretz is involved in. Agronomist Mordechai Shomron showed the group the latest botany-and-halacha experiments, including the Goji berry plant growing onsite. The delegation toured Shavei Darom and the newly inaugurated Chasalat-Alei Katif plant, where they became acquainted with the plant's highest standards of producing insect-free, low-pesticide vegetables in the industry. The visit ended with a tour of the hothouses, and everyone received their own insect-free Chasalat-Alei Katif gift pack.