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13

Sanhedrin 68a These were some of the final words of R' Eliezer, as he lay on his deathbed. 'Moreover, I have studied three hundred, (or, as others state, three thousand laws) about the planting of cucumbers [by magic] and no man, excepting Akiba b. Joseph, ever questioned me thereon. For it once happened that he and I were walking together on a road, ...


13

First, it may not be valid to assume that creation was bound by the laws of science as we now understand them. Why should we assume that the very first plants grew by photosynthesis in the same way that plants do now? Or if we do, why not assume that the primordial light created on the first day was enough to produce this effect? But setting all that ...


11

keep them in the fridge. this also helps to prevent mold growing on the lulav holder, and doesn't take hardly any effort, like many complicated wet paper towel/Al foil things


10

The Classic Questions to Bereshit 8:11 in the Gutnik Chumash brings several different opinions on this matter (while specifically addressing where the olive branch came from). Rabbi Levi says (Bereshit Rabbah 33:6) that the floodwaters did not fall in the Land of Israel. If so, even if all the plants in the rest of the world were destroyed, that would not ...


9

The reason not to water an animal is that it was banned by rabbis because it takes too much time and effort (tircha) (e.g., Aruch Hashulchan 324:1). They built exceptions into the ban in cases of need (such as, usually, when the animal depends on you for food) (e.g., 324 passim). The reason not to water a plant is because God said you can't make a plant grow ...


8

Mishna B'rura 494:10 says it's to remind us of the joy of Sinay (Mount Sinai), around which stuff was growing. Taame Haminhagim 617 cites this from the L'vush. Magen Avraham 494:5 gives a reason for trees specifically: to remind us to pray for fruit, on which judgment is passed on Shavuos.


8

The basic rule is that if the two types to be cross-grafted are similar either in the shape of their leaves or the appearance of their fruit, then it is permitted to crossbreed them. There are some exceptions to this, such as if the taste of the two fruits is very different. (Rambam, Hil. Kilayim 3:4ff) Applying this rule, then, to your cases: Rema (Yoreh ...


7

Buy an extra set or two. the cost is trivial compared to the hiddur of a $50 etrog.


7

The Mishnah about Magic cucumbers appears in Sanhedrin. It discusses the case of whether a person used an actual maseh or just "achizas enayim" to raise cucumbers: ז,יא המכשף--העושה מעשה, ולא האוחז את העיניים. רבי עקיבה אומר משום רבי יהושוע, שניים לוקטין קישואים--אחד לוקט ופטור, ואחד לוקט וחייב; העושה מעשה חייב, והאוחז את העיניים פטור.


7

Per CRC-Chicago Kamut is a variety of wheat which can become Chametz if mixed with water and left unattended for 18 minutes.


6

Like all things dealing with Sephardi minhagim, it is Kabbalistic and complicated. First the reason to have them is founded in the Zohar Helek 2, 68b, and Helek 3, 219, where it states that Hadas is a deterrent to the sitra ahra, ayyin hara and other negative spiritual forces. Going on from there, highly mystical reasons of tikkun olam are involved as the ...


6

Reb Avrohom Gurwitz had a cat when I was in Gateshead


6

Aaron, your guess is correct: the produce remains kosher whether it was shared with the poor or not. The only portions of the produce that have restrictions on its edibility are: terumah, which must be eaten by a Kohen while ritually pure terumat maaser, which is the terumah given by the Levi. Ma'aser sheni, should be kept ritually pure (tahor) and eaten ...


6

The famous saying "you are what you eat" may explain this. Plants do not tend to have any unruly behavior. However there are many animals that kill other animals and behave - in lack for a better term - animalistic. Hashem does not want us to eat from these animals, in order that it should not make us behave in the way they behave.


6

Thanks to Alex's comment elsewhere (which I only saw now), I discovered the Pische S'shuva, YD 294:13, who cites Parach Mate Aharon as saying the soil must last three years, and Shivas Tziyon as qualifying that that's only in eretz Yisrael: in chutz laaretz, he says, [where safek orla is permitted,] the soil must last "a few days".


6

According to a shiur I heard recently, there's a Machlokes Rishonim (early Poskim argue) about whether the Mitzva of Shmitta is: Don't work your land - but your land may work. Your land may not work - no matter who and how the work involved. This - apparently - directly affects the answer to your question, as well as to whether you may lease/sell your ...


5

Decorative flowers do not have any Shemitta issues according to most Poskim. If the prime importance is the fragrance they have Kedushas Sheviyis. It is best to avoid Israeli flowers during and right after Shemitta. http://www.ohryosef.org/shmitta/bod008.htm


5

This is the subject of a dispute between R' Akiva and R' Elazar ben Azaryah in Yevamos 86a-b: R' Akiva says that it must be given to a Levi, R' Elazar says it can be given to a Kohen as well. (The Levi'im failed to come with Ezra to Eretz Yisrael, as described in Ezra 8:15, and the Gemara says that he penalized them for this; the underlying argument is ...


5

There is a Tshuva of the Ya'avetz where he says it is forbidden to keep a dog as a pet. One can use a dog as a guard dog if he keeps it on a leash. and keeps them to a minimum.


5

There is always this picture of Rav Lopian http://theantitzemach.blogspot.com/2010/09/blog-post.html


5

I've tried the paper towel/aluminum foil (my father's method) idea, keeping them in the fridge, and keeping them in water. One year I got a whole lot of them and experimented with around seven different methods for each pair, to see at the end of the week which method would be the best. The winner (and what I've been doing every year since then): wet them ...


5

Plant them near your residence (after "rooting" them in a vase) so next year you can pick new ones as needed.


5

I was raised to use an Esrog from Eretz Yisroel for two reasons. One was to support farmers there, and the other reason was for the love of Eretz Yisroel.


5

The Pitchei Teshuva in Yoreh Deah 294 sk 13 quotes a number of opionions but rules that in Israel where we rule stringently about doubts relating to orla, there must be enough dirt to survive three whole years; in the Diaspora, however, where we rule leniently about such doubts, it only needs to be enough dirt to last a couple of days. h/t Alex


5

When one picks fruits owned by a Jew in Israel, he is allowed to snack on them (אכילת עראי) until they become designated for maaser (נקבע למעשר), or, if he is planning on selling them, until he finishes his work on the harvest (גמר מלאכה). After that, he cannot eat from them at all until properly tithing them. The most common ways of designating for maaser ...


5

Shulchan Aruch HaRav 336:9 (My translation) - ‏ולפיכך מי שאוכל בגינה צריך ליזהר שלא ליטול ידיו על העשבים מפני שמשקה אותם...אבל מותר להטיל עליהם מי רגלים או יין ושאר משקים מפני שהם שורפים אותם ואין מצמיחים אותם אלא מים בלבד וראוי ליזהר אף במשקין Therefore one who eats in a garden must be careful not to wash his hands on the grass since he is ...


5

After Sukkos is over (and you don't need them for mitzvah purposes anymore), collect your leftover aravah branches that you used for ד' מינים and הושענות. (You may also want to collect other's branches, because many people just leave their הושענות in shul when they're done with them -- that's another 5 branches per bundle!) Place the branches in ...


4

If you live in a more arid and hot climate, like southern California, put a few drops of water in the lulav bag. When you walk out in the street, the heat of the day causes the water to evaporate, but because the bag is closed, it has nowhere to go. this disperses the water around the whole bag, and keeps the everything moist. Kind of like a mini greenhouse. ...


4

You guys are mixing up two separate minhogim. One minhog is for grasses/flowers, as a commemoration of the teaching that on Har Sinai at matan Torah there were grass and flowers (recall that it was in the desert). A second minhog is to have tree branches. That is related to the teaching in the mishna that Shavuos is day of judgement for fruit of trees ...


4

You can buy plain pearled barley in the grocery store, usually near the dry beans. Many people use it for cholent. You can certainly cook that up plain as a starchy side dish, and you might be able to roast it. Are you hoping to eat it raw? For wheat, it looks like the product you're looking for is called "wheat berries." I've never shopped for them, but I ...



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