Tag Archives: Shemita

Charting the Course of Shemita

Summer 2022

Eretz Yisroel is known worldwide for its high-quality produce.
During non-Shemita years, a wide selection of  Israeli produce items – among them: carrots, citrus fruits,
herbs, peppers, and radishes – are exported to North American markets. The
typical concern is to ensure that
proper terumos and maasros are taken. During Shemita, terumos
and maasros are not typically applicable[1],
but there is significant concern that the produce may be from Shemita.
If someone purchased Israeli produce from Shemita and paid cash (as
opposed to by check
or credit card), returning it to the store may also potentially violate the
prohibition of doing business with Shemita produce. If this happens by mistake, a rav
should be consulted.[2]

While it can be assumed that all vegetables currently on the
market are from the Shemita year,not all Israeli fruits yet on the market are from
the Shemita year. The Halacha is that the Shemita status of
fruits is determined by when they blossomed – […]

A Consumer’s Guide to Shevi’is Produce

Summer 2022

The
Torah commands us to refrain from working the land of Eretz Yisroel during Shemita.
The possuk states that a person may work the land of Eretz Yisroel for
six consecutive years but must allow it to lie fallow during the Shevi’is
(seventh) year.[1]
This seventh year is known as Shemita.[2] The mitzvah applies to both
men and women.[3]
Even though time-bound positive commandments generally do not apply to women,
this mitzvah is an
exception and is equally incumbent upon them.[4] 

The
Torah also commands us to sanctify every fiftieth year as Yovel.[5] However,
the Yovel year does not occur nowadays. This is due to the fact that Yovel
is sanctified only when the majority of Jews live in Eretz Yisroel.[6] By
the time of the destruction of the first Beis Hamikdash, the majority of Jews
had been exiled from Eretz Yisroel and Yovel no longer occurred. Although
Jews returned to Eretz Yisroel at the time […]

A Profile of Courage and Inspiration: A Trip To a Yerushalmi Otzar Beis Din

Summer 2022

Anyone
who has had the opportunity to visit Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh, as
I recently did, will tell you that a must-see experience is a trip to the Geula
neighborhood on Erev Shabbos.

Rechov
Malchai Yisroel could very well be dubbed the commercial heart of the Chareidi community.
The stores pulsate with energy and electricity, while the streets teem with
traffic tie-ups, both on and off the sidewalks. It could be termed a
businessman’s dream or nightmare, depending on one’s ability to handle the
sheer crush of consumers. The side streets, on the other hand, are a labyrinth
of quiet residential apartments. One such quiet street is Rechov Yonah.

For six
out of seven years, the Stern family’s mirpeset (balcony) on Rechov
Yonah looks like any other mirpeset, but this year is not like the
others. During this year, shnas haShemita, the Stern’s mirpeset undergoes
an amazing transformation. Welcome to the Otzar of Bnei Brak – Jerusalem
Branch!

In brief,
the Otzar Beis Din […]

The Otzar Beis Din: Shemita’s Treasure Trove

Rabbi Yirmiyohu Kaganoff, Rav & Rosh Kollel in Neve Yaakov, Jerusalem | Guest Contributor

Summer 2022

An Otzar Beis Din is literally ‘a storehouse operated
by Beis Din.’ Why would Beis Din operate a warehouse? Before
explaining more fully the true purpose of an Otzar Beis Din, which is a halachically
approved method of distributing Shemita produce, we must first review
the halachos of Shemita. These rules fall under two general
categories:

(1) Laws of the Land

The Torah teaches that every seventh year is Shemita,
and we are prohibited from working the land of Eretz Yisroel. One may not plow,
plant, prune, or harvest one’s grapevines as an owner, or perform most other
agricultural work. Furthermore, one may not allow one’s land to be worked
during Shemita, even by an aino Yehudi.[1] One
may perform activities whose purpose is to prevent loss, such as watering
plants and trees so that they do not die.[2]

The landowner may not treat what grows […]

A Shemita Primer for Chutz La’aretz

By: STAR-K Rabbinic Staff

Beginning on Rosh Hashana this year (5782) and ending Rosh Hashana next year (5783), it is the Shemita/Sabbatical year in Eretz Yisroel. This is certainly one of the most special mitzvos that we have. The amazing demonstration of our absolute faith and emunah in Hashem which is displayed from its proper observance is unique from all other mitzvos. Furthermore, the guarantee that Hashem will provide us with sustenance in advance that comes along with observing Shemita is something that proves that the Torah can be directly only from Hashem himself.

Although Shemita does not apply to land outside of Eretz Yisroel, there are still a number of circumstances that we in chutz la’aretz will likely encounter, and thereby give us the ability to observe the mitzvah of Shemita properly. The laws of Shemita are quite extensive and complex. The goal of this article is to […]

Laws of Biur Ma’aser

Published Spring 2015 | Updated Spring 2022

The Land of Israel follows a unique seven-year cycle. For the first six years, fruits and vegetables grown there are tithed.1 The seventh year is Shemita, the sabbatical year, which has its own set of special laws. These laws mainly affect those living in Israel, but also those living in the Diaspora if they are in possession of Israeli-grown produce.2

For the tithing of the first six years, the  Torah 3 sets an end date for the process called Biur Ma’aser. Biur Ma’aser  includes a number of components, which are still applicable today:

Biur Ma’aser

Any untithed produce (tevel)  in one’s possession must be tithed by  Erev  Pesach 4  of the fourth and seventh years of the  Shemita  cycle.5

Ma’aser Sheini  is the second tithe separated on produce harvested in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th […]

Pruzbul

 Updated September 2021

Jewish law obligates every Jewish person to cancel, after the culmination of the Shemita year, various types of debt due to him or her. This does not apply to a debt owed to beis din.