Sunday, October 14, 2007

Surviving Shmita. 1 Month Down...Many More to Go

High Point: [Me to my wife, while noshing on squash fried in olive oil on erev shabbat.] "Wow, this tastes amazing!"

My wife: "Yes, and the best part is that it's kdushat shvi'it!**"

(Tastes awesome! Observing shmita to the best degree while eating Otzar Beit Din produce, grown by Jews and purchased via a Beit Din.)

Low Point: Me, scrounging through our kitchen garbage pail, picking out vegetable bits from the previous meal that should not have been thrown in the regular garbage can...or peels that my 9 year old forgot should have gone into the "shmita garbage can." I. tried. not. to. grumble. Honestly.
One month down. So many more to go. I'd say only "12 more months" (because we have a "leap month" this year), but the aftermath of shmita lasts much longer, as fruits from shmita get picked towards the end of next year...and then there's wine from the Shmita year, etc.

This past Friday's dilemma...two options exist for buying scallions at our local produce place:
1. One screams, "Shmita LeMehadrin! (Deluxe Kosher)" Nice green scallions, examining the package, I see it says, "grown detached from the suspicion of 'shvi'it'"

2. The other proudly says, "Otzar Haaretz...Otzar Beit Din, Kedushat Shevi'it" Not as green though...nor as fresh looking...but still definitely edible.
What did I chose?

Option 2.

I felt really great about it, till gazpacho was spilled all over the place during Shabbat lunch.


Cleaning it up...keep the scallions and cucumbers separate, it's a challenge not to go crazy.

I was reminded myself of the "Extreme Matza" posting I wrote a few years ago. I'd much rather "take the risk" and do things the way they were supposed to be done, than shrink-wrap my observance and buy it on sale at Costco. (even if I do love shopping at Costco)

Up on our list of Shmita Challenges:

Eating out.
Finding a caterer for an upcoming simcha.

** For a whole description on Shmita, see my previous posts here and here.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


tnspr569 said...

Quite a challenge., this year-and-a-few-months, it seems...

Mrs. @ the Muqata's food: yum!

Her gazpacho spilled all over the place...oy vey! Such incredible soup, gone... :-P

I was thinking about those other challenges you mentioned...oh, what fun :)

Regards to the rest of the family!

tnspr569 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shira Salamone said...

Could you kindly bring me up to speed a little on shmita observance? What does one do with "shmita garbage," that it must be kept in a separate can? And why was it necessary to keep the cukes & scallions separate? I'm just learning about this for the first time this year.

Anonymous said...

how come you are getting otzar ha' aretz produce?

we signed up for it (happily) and our makolet in the gush is also trying it's best to stock it - but apparently, nothing is coming through.

we had carrots and tomatoes the first week, and now nothing...

what gives?

the sabra said...

mazel tov on your upcoming simcha

tnspr569 said...

Oh, and I love the scallion picture! :)

Sarah Likes Green said...

it sounds very complicated. i was in israel for last shemitta but thankfully, the kitchen staff at my sem had it all organised so we didn't have to worry about anything other than putting things in the correct bin.

good luck with finding a caterer!

Anonymous said...

i have not been in israel in a year and a half and did not realize costco was there! is this so, or did i misconstrue?

rockofgalilee said...

My rabbi said I didn't have to worry about little bits of cucumbers or the juice from the tomatoes that are left on the plate. He said we had to worry about a big chunk of cucumber. In other words you don't have to go crazy about kedushas shiviis.

Anonymous said...

Rav Shaul Yisraeli allowed throwing out leftovers of kedushas shviis foods that I had on my plate but did not eat - he was of the opinion that it was no longer something that humans would eat. I presume that he did not require vegetables to be dipped in bleach before they can be disposed of - as long as most people would not eat it anymore (and most people don't eat the leftovers from someone else's plate).

Robin Ticker said...

Please visit for a novel approach to shemittah. Let's focus on keeping the spirit of shemittah in tact rather than on the nitty grittys. It's a year of sharing and partying and things shouldn't really cost. It's a year for eating! Let's go on tiyulim picking outings.

Anonymous said...

My super here in kiryat arba has otzar haaretz but just vegatbles no fruit whats with that ? also its crazy because the stuff goes bad and they just leave it there yuck! someone bag it and put it away!!

There are 2 other super's here i'll check them out and see what they have.

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

I have to say that our makolet has otzar ha'aretz and we lack for nothing! Do not blame Otzar Ha'aretz, please. We have tomatos, cukes, kishuim, peppers in many colors, eggplant, kohlrabi, bananas, as well as many things that are not (yet) kedushat shevi'it. We even have cherry tomatos! Everything is labeled clearly. We are happy with our salad.

And our rav also said forget about pieces that you normally wouldn't pick up off the counter and toss into your salad, and forget about the tomato juice on the cutting board. And you can throw away NON-shevi'it veggies with the shevi'it as long as it's all equally fresh.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Actually - we're also pretty happy with our Otzar Haaretz rep. You just have to get their early-ish on Friday (before 10).

And also be willing to be patient with green tomatoes :)

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