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16
votes
6answers
461 views

G'dolim or Rabbis Owning Pets

Are there any g'dolim (or rabbis of major influence) - past or present - who are known to have owned pets/kept animals for non-agricultural purposes?
11
votes
1answer
250 views

Are plants that exhibit rapid plant movement considered non-Kosher animals?

There is a question here asking if sea sponges are Kosher. The answers seem to center around the idea that regardless of if they have animal cells, a halachic classification might depend on how it ...
9
votes
1answer
141 views

Animals vs. plants: kashrus

Why did God make all plants, but only some animals, kosher? Sources, please.
4
votes
1answer
747 views

What would be an example of permitted vs prohibited cross-grafting with fruit trees?

I haven't studied Tractate Kilayim. I know you can't plant grapes with wheat. What about, say: Jazz apple = Royal Gala apple X Braeburn apple ? Nectarine = Peach X Plum ? Nectaplum = Nectarine X ...
17
votes
6answers
401 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
124 views

Why do we put out greenery on Shavuos?

Those that have the Minhag to put out greenery in the Shul on Shavuos, why do we do it?
4
votes
2answers
99 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
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 - ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
186 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?
4
votes
2answers
220 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 - ...
4
votes
3answers
128 views

Green pretty shavuot?

Why is there a custom to hang up flowers and growing green things on shavuot?
10
votes
3answers
417 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
186 views

Does kashrut depend on peah, leket, etc?

I understand that if a crop in the Land of Israel does not have the trumot and maaserot properly separated, then the produce is tevel and cannot be eaten (until it is done). But that made me think of ...
6
votes
2answers
100 views

How long does soil need to last?

If you move a tree with its soil, it's considered replanted (so the rules of orla kick in) unless it can live off of the soil you're moving it with. (Source.) Clearly "if it can live" doesn't mean "if ...
6
votes
3answers
250 views

Orla: are the leaves of the plant included in the prohibition?

I have recently planted a grape vine. The nursery insists that it is at least 1 year old (and the size of the plant suggests no less than 2 years old). It was planted with it's roots entirely ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
210 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
0answers
30 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
134 views

Why did Noach plant a vineyard?

The first mention the torah makes of wine and vineyards is in Gen 9:20-21, when Noach plants a vineyard and then gets drunk on wine after the flood. What prompted him to plant a vineyard as, ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

What is the earliest source mentioning that Jews put out greenery on Shavuos?

What is the earliest source mentioning the Minhag that Jews put out greenery on Shavuos?
3
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
200 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
140 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 ...