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6
votes
0answers
15 views

“Planting” astroturf during shmita

I previously asked about Planting grass during shmita, and discovered that it is forbidden. But what about astroturf (synthetic grass)? Would there be any problem with installing that during the ...
3
votes
3answers
232 views

Is a bottle or jug of 100% pure maple syrup kosher without certification?

There are several farmers' markets scattered around the New York City area. Many of them carry bottles or jugs of 100% NY State or Vermont maple syrup. Occasionally I find Canadian maple syrup. (For ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Why don't Jewish people put flowers on graves?

I know that Jews have specific traditions regarding burial and cemeteries, and that one of these traditions involves putting pebbles on gravestones, which I think is quite beautiful, although I don't ...
3
votes
0answers
220 views

Watering Synthetic Grass on Shabbat?

Is there a problem of watering synthetic grass on Shabbat- If the synthetic grass has gaps or "holes" whereby the water can leak through to the earth underneath it? What if the earth underneath ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Agricultural events and the Jewish calendar

There are many dates in the Jewish calendar that are connected to agricultural events. They include: Shavuot is Chag Ha'Katzir, the Holiday of the Harvest - Shemot 23:16 Sukkot is Chag Ha'Assif, the ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the אדר plant, according to Rashi?

A friend of mine (Hi, Yoel!) pointed out a possible discrepancy in Rashi's comments on the Talmud. On Beitzah 15b, Rashi opines (sv ופירותיה משתמרין) that אדר is a grass (עשב), against the more ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Large scale hydroponics and Shmita

The gemara in Nedarim 59 (among many other places) discusses the concept of shmita produce and plants grown from them retaining their status when the original "seed" isn't destroyed when planted. In ...
3
votes
0answers
50 views

Arvei Nahal - species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

Benefits and Reasoning of Orlah?

Looking for something authoritative. Wikipedia has the following Hebrew Bible Commentators generally assume that the law was good agricultural practice, and that early harvesting would ...
4
votes
1answer
61 views

How do we know that non-hechshered food is not kilayim or kilay hakerem?

"Kilayim" and "kilay hakerem" are two classes of prohibitions on eating from "mixed" fields (in which more than one type of crop is planted.) "Kilayim," as I understand it, specifically refers to the ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Contemporary approaches to kashrut of dates

What are contemporary approaches regarding dealing with bug infestation of dates? Do Kashrut agencies (e.g. the Orthodox Union) regularly inspect crops to determine infestation levels? And if so, what ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Davening and a freshly fertilised lawn

Per Shaliach Tzibbur and passing gas, the Shulchan Aruch advises against davening or learning Torah when there is a foul smell. For many years, my schul did not have AC and every year the schul's ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Aquatic Plants for Aquarium During Shmita

I have a fish tank and was wondering if there are any restrictions to putting aquatic plants (fully submerged) inside to help with the water chemistry during the shmita. The plant's main function will ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Rashi to Devarim 11 (11). In what way is mountain land superior to the land of the plain?

Rashi on Devarim 11 (11) "But the land, to which you pass to possess, is a land of mountains and valleys and absorbs water from the rains of heaven” says The mountain land is superior to the land ...
3
votes
0answers
70 views

Can the concept of Heter Mekhirah truly be supported from the Rambam?

Many of those who support the concept of the heter mekhirah today rely (at least in part) on their reading of the Rambam in various parts of the Mishneh Torah, most specifically in Hilkhoth Shemittah ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

Would there be any maaser derabbanan on hydroponically grown plants?

Related: What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics? This question was originally mentioned by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink in his Daf Yomi shiur (Shabbat 128). He was talking about tevel d'rabanan ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics?

Hydroponics is a method of growing food (mainly vegetables) with their roots in water, not soil. Aeroponics is when it is grown in air, with the roots being sprayed. What bracha should be made on ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

Can one test God with Shmita?

In Vayikra 25: 20-22 (below) God says that he will guarantee a bountiful harvest if the Shmita is observed. Unlike other promises of spiritual reward, this one is easily quantifiable with observable ...
4
votes
1answer
66 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

What's meruach hak'ri and why do it?

In general, one is required to take t'rumos and maasros from grain only once the pile of grain is been smoothed (מירוח הכרי, meruach hak'ri). (I think other halachos also kick in then.) What exactly ...
12
votes
2answers
715 views

How do Etrogs grow, pitom-up, or pitom-down?

I've done a bit of research here, but I still have some questions. To start with, for anyone who isn't familiar with this, we can't say the brucha for lulav & etrog after completing the mitzvah, ...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

*Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as tzomeach, animal, bird, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Ripping out a blade of grass by a funeral?

At my great-uncle's funeral today, all of the participants (except the mourners) were told to rip out a blade of grass and say a passuk (I don't remember which). Is this a Jewish minhag? If so, what ...
9
votes
2answers
94 views

Can you use algae, water plants (e.g. water lillies), hydroponics or fungi for schach?

My understanding is that schach must be from a plant that specifically grows from the ground. If this is not so, would there be any problems using: algae / seaweed / water lilies / swamp scum - ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Is moving a potted plant with vegetables from the ground to a table change its status as far as Shmita?

If potted vegetables on the ground (considered shmita worthy) is placed on a table, does this change its status as far as the laws concerning shmita food?
14
votes
1answer
243 views

How did plants survive the Mabul?

Inspired by this answer: As far as I can tell, there is no mention of Noach bringing plants into the ark. Moreover, it appears Noach had nothing to do with the survival of the plants, given that the ...
17
votes
6answers
405 views

How do you maximize your aravot's period of freshness?

Every Sukkot any aravot that I start the holiday with tend to get dried up by the end of the holiday, if not to the point of being unfit for service, at least enough to be ugly. What do you do to ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

How to grow your own aravos

On Sukkos, Jews are commanded to take the four species, among them the "ערבי נחל" or "willow branches," commonly referred to as ערבות aravos. How might one go about growing them himself, at home? (I ...
6
votes
2answers
363 views

Why is bamboo kosher for schach?

Why is bamboo kosher for schach? I know everyone uses them, but one should not use anything like planed wood which is used for building or straw for thatching roofs. I understand that certain bamboo ...
1
vote
3answers
203 views

What green plants can I use for s'chach?

I use bamboo poles for s'chach (yes, real bamboo poles). They're great, but I would like a little green up there, if I can get it. Some years we used branches from the tree that was growing over our ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Planting grass during shmita

Is it permissible to plant grass during the shmita year? As this question indicates, there is a machloket regarding planting non-fruit trees during shmita. If grass is like a tree, it would be ...
6
votes
1answer
90 views

How to collect Bikurim practically?

So we know that Bikurim was collected by tying a reed to the first fruit of a particular field when it would be found budding. We also know that Chazal say to give one 60th of one's produce as ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Where on the date palm tree does the lulav come from?

Having looked at a number of date palms I cannot seem to locate where the closed fronds (lulav) on the date palms actually are. The majority of fronds that are visible on a date palm have ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Which plants are most suitable for sukkah roofing?

In South Africa palm branches are very popular as schach because they stay green for long and cover a lot of space per branch. Many palm branch sellers advertise around sukkot time, and every year the ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Black Aravos on Succos

I have noticed some people using arovos which turned completely black towards the end of Yom Tov. When discussing arovos, the halacha mentions the importance of the green color, since it shows that it ...
4
votes
2answers
251 views

Why don't we distribute Ma'aser Rishon or Ma'aser 'Ani nowadays?

Produce grown in the Land of Israel has to have Teruma, two of three different kinds of Ma'aser, and Terumat Ma'aser removed, as described in this OU Kosher article. Of these five separations, three - ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

borei menei b’samim, flowers and fresh mowed grass

Someone told me that if one stops to smell the flowers he should remember to make the borei menei b’samim. Where is the source for this in halacha? Does one make borei menei b’samim if he enjoys the ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Kilayim in Chutz la'eretz

What is the din with regards to kilei hayerek in chutz la'eretz? I see that many people have gardens in their backyards with vegetables right next to each other of different types.
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Is asking for a blessing in his granary asking for a miracle?

The Gemara in Taanis 8b says: "Ein Berachah Metzuyah Ela b'Davar ha'Samuy Min ha'Ayin" (blessing is found only in an item which is hidden from the eye) One who enters his granary to measure ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Time-Set Irrigation for Shmita?

On Shmita one is not allowed to work the land (in Israel). Would it be permissible to set up on a timer (or a more sophisticated version) an irrigation system that waters the land and gives it the ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Should one say the blessing “borei minei besamim” on essential oils made exclusively from plant extracts?

Essential oils are useful for smooth skin and massage as well as aromatherapy. For those unfamiliar with what it is, please refer to this Article about essential oils. It is made primarily from ...
18
votes
1answer
379 views

Mushrooms in a Vineyard

The bracha on a mushroom is "shehakol" because the Talmud (Berachot 40b) correctly (I think) states that mushrooms do not derive their nutrients from the ground. If a mushroom is growing in a ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Cutting down fruit tree not worth its upkeep

There's a general prohibition to cut down fruit trees (see this question), based on 'bal tashchis'. Would the prohibition apply even to fruit trees that are expensive to maintain (and do not produce ...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

Peah on a circular field

If a farmer's field was perfectly circular and had no corners, how would peah be designated? Would it be exempt from peah? Would he designate the outer ring as peah?
6
votes
1answer
132 views

What bracha would the fruit of a parasitic plant be? (Or the plant itself.)

Parasitic plants do not grow in the ground, instead they grow on other plants. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasitic_plant List of examples: http://www.parasiticplants.siu.edu/ParasiteFood.html ...
10
votes
3answers
435 views

Halachic status of kamut

Khorasan wheat, often known by one popular brand name thereof, KAMUT®, is an ancient grain that is related to modern-day wheat, but has a number of differences. Does it have the halachic status of ...
0
votes
1answer
143 views

What conditions would render plants non-kosher?

Under certain conditions, I know that uncontaminated (e.g. no insects / meat, etc) plant-based foods are prohibited (ie., non-kosher). Examples I can think of include: Non-kosher wine Chometz ...
0
votes
0answers
84 views

Pesach: Kitniyos Plants

Vegans have a hard time getting enough protein on Pesach. Is the plant that grows from a kitniyos seed also kitniyos on Pesach? What if the seed is still attached?
1
vote
2answers
84 views

What is “קוצר לשחת”?

The mishna, M'nachos 71 amud 1, says: קוצר לשחת ומאכיל לבהמה That is, under the circumstances described there (not important for this question), one is allowed to cut his grain לשחת and feed the ...
6
votes
1answer
190 views

Plants before the Sun in the Order of Creation

Why does plant life precede the Sun in the order of creation given that plants need the Sun to do photosynthesis?