Sunday, September 16, 2007

Shmita has arrived!


The seventh year.

Sabatical.

Shmita -- It's here!

Our Pach Hashmita (see picture above) -- "shmita disposal can" (I don't like using the word "garbage" in conjuntion with shmita) is ready for use in the kitchen, for the removal of food remnants with "kedushat shvi'it" (Linked FIXED: excellent article here). We haven't yet actually gotten any shmita produce that would require usage of the "Pach Hashmita"...but we're ready.

The first crisis occured last night, as I returned home from some errands and to my horror -- the sprinklers were watering our front yard!

"Oh no!!"

I quickly turned them off...and ran inside. What had happened? Why were they on?

My wife says, "Muqata son #1 must have turned it on...and besides...are we not going to water the grass for a whole year?"

Hmmm. Of course we'll water it, just not with the same frequency...that's what the shmita courses all said.

I call up Muqata son #1 -- "Did you turn on the sprinklers?" He replies, "Yes, I did. Are we not going to water the grass for a whole year?"

I answer, "Of course we'll water it, just not with the same frequency"

So he says; "Right, so that means we can water it twice a week instead of three times a week...or use less water every time we water the grass."

Double Hmmm.

It's going to take some time getting used to this.

And we haven't even started using the Pach Hashmita!

Triple Hmm - and Shana Tova,

Jameel.

PS: The following is a Public Service Announcement that I just received.

Forwarded from Beit Shemesh list:

"If you buy badatz vegetables during shmita, wash them very, very thoroughly as irrigation water of the Arabs in Judea and Samaria is often contaminated with sewage.

Last shmitta (and the shmitta before) there were outbreaks of hepatitis in Bet Shemesh, mostly in the Kirya Charedit and in RBS B.

I personally know people who ate Badatz vegetables and contracted hepatitis during shmitta."


a) Some Bada"tz produce is definitely coming from from Arabs in Azza.
b) Is it enough to wash vegetables that were irrigated by sewage? Wouldn't the sewage/germs/filth have infested the entire vegetable?



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. I'm certainly not a posek, but with respect to your son's last comment, my personal understanding is that the grass should be watered less frequently (as infrequently as possible, in fact), but that once watering the grass it's acceptable to water for as long as you like.

2. I think that the link to the excellent article is not working. Can you check that (I'm curious).

Thanks!

Shana Tova,
Aryeh

Mike Miller said...

Re: Sprinkers. If you have an electric system, you get the added mitigating factor of grama... especially important if you put down time release fertilizer (but as always, CYLOR)

Re: Pach shemita: is that your only one? What do you do when it's full of food that's no longer ra'ui l'achila for people, but still edible for animals, and you have to "throw away" some food that's still edible for humans (that you don't want to save, obviously)?

And finally, did you mean the link at http://vbm-torah.org/archive/sheviit/13kedushat%20shevi'it.rtf ? (everything after the ' got cut off)

Isramom said...

Hi, I'd also like the link if possible.
Thanks.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

OK - the link has been fixed.

Aryeh: Grass doesn't have to be watered infrequently as possible to the point that it impacts the grass.

Same with trees. There are tables and lists...I'll try to put some up tomorrow.

Mike: The Pach Shmitta is for Kedushat Shviit food only. How full should it get...one should definitely be enough.

Double Bagging Kedushat Shviit in the Pach Shmita is acceptable.

Ah...I think I understand your question; why aren't there 3 individual pachei shmitta, and every day, you rotate them...well, if you double bag everything, there's no problem.

Mike Miller said...

If you're double bagging, are you sure you need to wait for it to spoil, instead of just putting it in with the regular garbage?

My question was based on the fact that you can't mix fresh but unwanted food with slightly spoiled food.

Akiva said...

The arab produce issue is a serious one. Just drive down the street and you can see fields by the arab village next to Elon Moreh that are the biggest greenest of them all in the area, that are right in the sewage runoff of Shechem.

First, if you haven't gotten a vaccination for hepatitus, GET ONE. (a series of 4 shots over a few months, if I remember correctly) Second, follow up on the vegetable sources carefully, you really don't want to be eating from there.

Jameel, what's your position on produce via heter mechirah?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm a real ignoramus [stop nodding in agreement, Jack!]; can I ask a couple of really stupid questions?

1) Heter mechirah: to whom, precisely, is [was?] the land sold?

2) And suppose he doesn't want to sell it back after the shmittah year is past?

See, the nice thing about being an ignoramus is that you can get away with asking stupid questions!

-- MAOZ

tnspr569 said...

Gee, the whole sewage issue makes otzar ha'aretz even more appealing.

You're so fortunate to be dealing with Shimtta- it's such a z'chut! Some of us are still waiting to deal with this great mitzvah.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

1) I have heard from a reliable source that we don't yet know if we will be getting veggies from Azza. Remember, it's, uh, ANARCHY there?

2) The hepatitis last time was country-wide, and at one point they ran short of gamma globulin (did I spell that right?)

3) There is a serious question of whether there will be enough produce available for the people who do not choose to eat produce grown by Arabs.

4) Let's everyone stay cool about it. Shemita should unify us, not separate us.

Gmar chatima tova everyone!

Rafi G said...

I was wondering the same thing about washing the veggies...

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Hi MAOZ:

It's far from a stupid question!

Heter Mechira means the top soil is sold to a non-Jew. Actually, it may even be a lease (I'll have to check) which would solve the problem of getting it back at the end of shmitta.

Akiva: The Hepatitis-B vaccine is mandatory for anyone who works/volunteers in MDA (and I think it's now mandatory for school kids as well). Agreed -- everyone should get one.

We're holding from Otzar Ha'Aretz (Otzar Beit Din) this year, but will rely on heter mechira if need be (eating at relatives or neighbors/friends). If posed with a choice between heter mechira or produce from Arab farmers, we would choose heter mechira.

YSRM: There will definitly be enough heter mechira produce, which I would rather eat than Arab-grown produce. IMHO, supporting Arab-grown produce is accessory to murder.

Yes, Shmita should unite...but then again, so should Eretz Yisrael in general. And as anyone can see, we're not as united as we could be, or should be.

mother in israel said...

Otzar haaretz will also have heter mechira products, as far as I understand, if necessary.

Rafi G said...

moi - that is correct. Otzar Ha'aretz is using heter mechira as a fallback, but they promise to let everyone know if and when any heter mechira is used on any given vegetable. You can then decide for yourself whether to buy that item or not. They (say that they) will not just slip it in among everything else.

Mike Miller said...

Otzar Haaretz on Heter Mechira:

http://212.199.215.132/otzar/answer60.asp

That said, I find it quite disturbing that they were always marketed as "Non Heter Mechira". For that matter, their English site still states:

http://www.hashmita.co.il/index.asp?mainpage=prod_enlarge&prodtbl=070000&menuIDcounterID=0-070000-1011

Well, some people rely on the “Heter Mechira.” This is when the field is sold to a non-Jew (usually an Arab) and hence loses its holiness. And others buy direct from non-Jews,
mostly from the Palestinian Authority.

Otzar Ha'aretz offers you a solution that solves three main problems:

1. It allows you to keep the laws of Shmita LeMehadrin.
2. It preserves the holiness of the Land of Israel.
3. It means you're buying direct from (and hence supporting) Jewish farmers.

Otzar Ha'aretz will supply Jewish produce to hundreds of outlets all over Israel and directly to homes. And there are enough halachically permissible ways to do this: Otzar Beit Din, growing on detached beds, storing sixth year produce, and plants grown in the Arava region, which is outside Israel's Biblical boundaries.


Given that my closest vendor of Otzar Haaretz is not run by those of the highest ethical standards (yes, I'm aware of the time of year, and yes, I have personal knowledge, and yes, if you know who I'm talking about, then there is a toeles here), I'm a little concerned about just how things will be marked...

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

What I find interesting is that people who hold like the Eida Chareidis and people who hold by heter mechira are actually in accord that the kedusha of eretz yirael can be nullified (damped down?) if a non-Jew owns the land.

Also, the sale is supposed to be as real as possible, but it is NOT written in "TABU".

Thirdly, I wonder why people who are so afraid to hold by heter mechira hold by heter iska - which EVERYONE holds by, across the spectrum!

Mike Miller said...

What I find interesting is that people who hold like the Eida Chareidis and people who hold by heter mechira are actually in accord that the kedusha of eretz yirael can be nullified (damped down?) if a non-Jew owns the land.

Yes, but there are two other points.

1. Can you, l'chatchila, sell land in EY to a non-Jew?
2. Is it a real sale?

Thirdly, I wonder why people who are so afraid to hold by heter mechira hold by heter iska - which EVERYONE holds by, across the spectrum!
The issues involved in HM are well known. What's the problem with Heter Iska? (some are makpid not to use the generic one that the banks have hanging on the wall, but in principle, everyone believes in the concept)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

What I find interesting is that people who hold like the Eida Chareidis and people who hold by heter mechira are actually in accord that the kedusha of eretz yirael can be nullified (damped down?) if a non-Jew owns the land.

According to the Chazon Ish, yevul nachri (produce grown by a non-Jew) still has the law of kedushat shviit...which is what nullifies heter mechira in his opinion.

Therefore, if you don't pay (with cash) for Heter mechira produce, and treat it as kedushat shevi'it...it's not a bad solution.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I read the linked article, but I don't understand what the purpose of the receptacle is. Is it for when one receives shmitta products by mistake?

It is interesting about watering the lawn. Won't mowing it be a problem?

I don't like the idea of selling the land as a workaround. The land is supposed to have a Shabbat. It's not just about not owning as it is on Pesach.

Is harvesting fruit from mature trees and vines allowed?

What solutions did the Israelites employ? I would think there were fewer options then.

Are there people who rely solely on produce harvested and stored before Rosh Hashanah and produce grown during the year through other means not involving the actual land?

Are animals used for their dairy, meat, and eggs allowed to graze?

Doesn't it get more difficult to trace the source for processed goods?

Thank you for your insight.

Mike Miller said...

Anonymous:

what the purpose of the receptacle is.

Produce that has holiness (e.g., otzar beis din) cannot be thrown away in the regular garbage. Instead, it is set aside in a special receptacle until it's no longer edible.

It is interesting about watering the lawn. Won't mowing it be a problem?

Yes. Classic sources discuss this in the context of improving the grass; the idea of a "pretty" lawn in something not found 2000 years ago ;). If the long grass presents a health hazard (such as harboring snakes or rodents), or causes the grass to start to die (as often happens due to lack of sunlight on the base), then one may mow. Up to that point... CYLOR (consult your local orthodox rabbi)

I don't like the idea of selling the land as a workaround. The land is supposed to have a Shabbat. It's not just about not owning as it is on Pesach.
True, but the original law permits a non-Jew to work the land.

Is harvesting fruit from mature trees and vines allowed?

In general, a person cannot harvest his own produce and market it.

Are there people who rely solely on produce harvested and stored before Rosh Hashanah and produce grown during the year through other means not involving the actual land?
Yes. Note that after a certain date, one cannot keep foods even from before RH without fulfilling certain condition.

Hydroponics are also an alternative

Are animals used for their dairy, meat, and eggs allowed to graze?
Yes

Doesn't it get more difficult to trace the source for processed goods?
Yes, hence the reliance on a kashrus agency who has the resources to do it.

Robin said...

Please visit http://shemittahrediscovered.blogspot.com for a unique approach. Go to the earliest posts describing how in 1987 as a single girl I attempted to see what would happen if I tried to keep Shemittah w/o Pruzbul. It turned into an eye opener experience and knowledge that all of Hashem's Mitzvoth are truly beautiful especially the Mitzvah of Shemittah. It's quite scary to live a life of all sharing and no debts yet isn't that similar to what happened after the expulsion of Gush Katif and the War of Lebanon. Let it not be forced upon us and let us voluntarily try to attempt a socialized society in the spirit of Shabbat. With Emunah and Bitachon revelations will come our way beezrat Hashem.

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