Sanctity of Shemitta Produce

  1. Kedushas Shevi’is

There are many rules associated with kedushas Shevi’is, the special sanctity of fruit that grows in Eretz Yisroel during a year of Shmitah. Tosfos tells us that “ein ketz”, there is no limit to the number of halachos associated with Shmitah. This coming year, 5775, is a Shmitah year, and there are many foods grown in
Eretz Yisroel that are subject to the rules of Shmitah. The rules of kedushas Shevi’is only apply to foods that are edible by human beings or animals, as well as to foods that are not edible but can be used for coloring, letzviah. However, a plant that cannot be utilized for any of those purposes is considered psoles, a waste, and does not come under the rule of kedushas Shvi’is. There is a machlokes, a debate, about flowers that give off a scent, whether it is considered a type of use which would render them subject to kedushas Shvi’is. However, according to all opinions, flowers that do not emit a scent have no special sanctity, even though they grew during the year of Shmitah.

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.