Halacha for Monday 5 Cheshvan 5782 October 11 2021

Some Detailed Laws Regarding Shevi’it Produce

In the previous Halachot we have explained that fruits and vegetables that grow in fields owned by Jews in Israel during the Shemitta year retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have also explained that one may not cause loss or destruction to the fruits of Shevi’it.

Peeling Shevi’it Produce
One may peel fruits and vegetables which retain Shevi’it sanctity the same way one would on other years and one need not make sure not to peel off small amount of the fruit along with the peel. Nevertheless, one must make sure to peel only fruits which are usually eaten peeled, such as bananas, melons, cucumbers, apples, and the like. However, fruits and vegetables usually eaten with their peel, such as tomatoes, apricots, and the like, may not be peeled.

It is likewise permissible to peel of rotten parts of the fruit with a knife although doing so will inevitably cause a small portion of the good part of the fruit to be peeled off as well.

Fruit Peels
We have already discussed that fruits which have become so inedible that even animals would not eat them do not retain the sanctity of Shevi’it.

Thus, if peels of Shevi’it fruits and vegetables taste so awful that even animals would not eat them, such as kiwi or onion peels, they do not retain the sanctity of Shevi’it and they may be discarded in the trash.

On the other hand, most fruit and vegetable peels are fit for consumption by animals, such as cucumber, apple, and pear peels; thus, they must be kept according to the Shevi’it sanctity they retain and they may not be disposed of in the trash, for doing so would constitute causing a loss to Shevi’it produce. Rather, one must keep them in a designated place (such as within a plastic bag) and allow them to rot until they are no longer fit for animal consumption in which case their Shevi’it sanctity will no longer apply and they may then be discarded in the trash. (This is because by doing so, one is not causing a direct loss to Shevi’it produce; one is merely causing them indirect loss and this is indeed permissible.)

Alternatively, if one wishes, one may discard such peels in the trash when they are closed well in a plastic bag such that one will not be inflicting a direct loss upon Shevi’it produce. All of the above applies only to the fruits, vegetables, or peels of Shevi’it which are still fit for animal consumption; however, peels and shells which are unfit for even animal consumption, such as the shells of sunflower seeds, apricot pits, and the like, even when they retain some of the fruits juice and moisture, they may be discarded into the trash as is.

Pits of Shevi’it Produce
Just as the peels of Shevi’it produce retain the sanctity of Shevi’it if they are fit for animal consumption, the same applies to fruit pits in that if they are fit for animal consumption, they should be treated with the sanctity of Shevi’it and they may not be discarded directly into the trash. Rather, they should be placed in a plastic bag, as we have mentioned above.

Water in Which Shevi’it Produce Was Cooked
Water in which Shevi’it produce was cooked, such as a vegetable soup, retains the sanctity of Shevi’it and one may not cause it loss or destruction. Nevertheless, regarding water in which potatoes were cooked, since potatoes have a bland taste, such water retains no Shevi’it sanctity.

Flowers During Shevi’it
Flowers of Shevi’it retain no sanctity of Shevi’it whatsoever. Nevertheless, one cannot tend to their growth and one may only perform the permissible forms of work as they grow. This matter should be taken into great consideration so that such prohibitions may be avoided.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

Taking Haircuts and Shaving During the Omer Period

Abstaining from Taking Haircuts During the Omer It has become customary among the Jewish nation to refrain from taking haircuts during the Omer counting period: According to the Ashkenazi custom, until the 33rd day of the Omer and according to the Sephardic custom, until the morning of the 34th day......

Read Halacha

Producing Sound and Whistling on Shabbat

The Gemara in Masechet Eruvin (104a) tells us that our Sages banned producing sound on Shabbat and Yom Tov, for instance, by playing a musical instrument, for they were concerned that while the tune is being played, the player will come to fix the instrument. This decree would certainly apply eve......

Read Halacha

Clapping and Drumming on a Table on Shabbat and Yom Tov

The Gemara in Masechet Beitzah (30a) states that one may not drum, clap, or dance on Shabbat lest one come to fix a musical instrument (ibid. 36b). This means that just as we have discussed in the previous Halachot that our Sages have decreed that one may not play musical instruments on Shabbat ......

Read Halacha

Toys Which Produce Sound and those Which Operate Using a Spring or Coil

Question: Is it permissible for one to allow one’s young children to play with toys which produce sound, such as a doll which makes noise when shaken, on Shabbat? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed the prohibition of producing sound on Shabbat, such as by banging on a board, ......

Read Halacha


Praying in Pajamas

Question: Can one pray while wearing pajamas? Answer: Approximately one week ago, we have discussed that, before praying, one must prepare a fitting place, proper attire, and cleanse one’s body and thoughts, as the verse in the book of Amos states, “Prepare yourself before your G-d, I......

Read Halacha

Praying Barefoot

Question: May one pray while wearing sandals or while one is barefoot? Answer: When one prays, one must prepare one’s environment, clothing, body, and thoughts accordingly, for one will be standing before the King of all kings. Respectable Garments While Praying The Gemara (Shabbat 9b) ......

Read Halacha

Question: How many “Kezayit”s (olive’s volume) of Matzah must one consume during the Pesach Seder?

Answer: One is obligated to eat altogether three “Kezayit”s of Matzah during the Pesach Seder. Every Kezayit amounts to approx. 30 grams of Matzah. Nevertheless, there is room for stringency to eat four or even five “Kezayit”s of Matzah, as we shall now explain. The Order......

Read Halacha

Kissing One’s Parents’ Hands on Shabbat Night- The Students of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai

Question: Should one kiss the hands of one’s parents and receive a blessing from them on Shabbat night and does the same apply equally to one’s father and mother? Answer: The Gemara in Masechet Avodah Zarah (17a) tells us that when Ulah (a sage who lived during the Talmudic era) would......

Read Halacha