Halacha for Monday 2 Tevet 5782 December 6 2021

Elimination of Shevi’it Produce

In the beginning of the Shemitta year (the current year, 5782), we have explained the primary laws of Shevi’it. We have explained that there are several laws which apply to fruits and vegetables grown during the Shemitta year.

Elimination of Shevi’it Produce, In Israel and Abroad
Let us now discuss the laws of elimination of Shevi’it produce. We should point out that this law applies to both the residents of Israel and abroad; many people transgress this law due to a lack of knowledge. Additionally, some people have wine at home from the previous Shemitta year (5775, 5768, or even from the one before that, 5761) and they must be informed about how to treat such wine.

The following laws apply to the entire Shemitta year as well as to the eighth year, the year following Shevi’it. We must therefore be fluent in them, especially during this time.

To Which Fruits the Laws of Elimination of Shevi’it Produce Apply
Firstly, the laws of elimination of Shevi’it produce apply only to fruits which retain the sanctity of Shevi’it, i.e. fruits which grew on the land of a Jew in Israel during Shevi’it. However, fruits of the sixth year (even if they were harvested during Shemitta), fruits of non-Jewish fields, fruits from outside of Israel, or fruits of “Heter Mechira” do not retain the sanctity of Shevi’it and need not be eliminated.

Elimination of Shevi’it Produce
The Torah states regarding Shevi’it produce, “And the Shabbat of the land shall be for you to eat, for you, your servant, and your maidservant; and for your hired worker and your resident who dwell among you. And for your domesticated animal and for the beast in the field shall its produce be for food.” Our Sages (Pesachim 52b) that since the verse uses the words “and for your domesticated animal and the beast,” this means that the Torah wanted their law to be similar in that as long as the beast still eats in the field, one may feed his domesticated animal at home and if it ceases for the beast in the field, one must cease feeding it to one’s animal at home as well.

This means that the Torah teaches us that one may only eat Shevi’it produce when this specific fruit is still available for the beast in the field as well. However, as soon as this species of fruit is no longer available in the field, it must be eliminated from one’s possession as well and it may not be eaten.

For example, figs that grow during the Shevi’it year are no longer available in orchards in the field beginning from Chanukah of the eighth year (approximately one year from now). Thus, if one has figs at home, one may eat them as much as he wishes. However, once Chanukah of the eighth year arrives when figs are no longer available in the field, one may no longer eat them at home either even if one has taken them several days before Chanukah, for from the time animals in the field can no longer eat this species of fruit, one may not eat this fruit at home either.

Every kind of fruit has its own special time for when it must be eliminated by. (There are likewise fruits and vegetables about which there is a doubt when they must be eliminated by.) We shall discuss this matter at length in following Halachot, G-d-willing.

The time when most fruits must be eliminated by is during the eighth year, i.e. next year, 5783. There are fruits, however, that must be eliminated by this year, 5782, such as the loquat fruit (a kind of orange plum grown in Israel known as “Shesek” in Hebrew) whose season is very short and requires elimination by approximately Sivan of 5782.

Regarding vegetables, in previous years, each vegetable’s time of elimination was based on its season at various times during the Shemitta year. However, nowadays, there are vegetables which grow all year round, such as tomatoes, and therefore do not require elimination at all.

In the next Halacha we shall broaden this topic further and discuss the proper method of eliminating Shevi’it produce.

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

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

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


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