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12

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, ...


12

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 ...


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

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 ...


8

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 ...


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

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.


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

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

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

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".


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

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

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

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

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 ...


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 ...


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

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 336:11) permits putting branches into water on Shabbos, "as long as they don't have buds or flowers that will open because of the moisture from the water." Shulchan Aruch Harav (ibid. :18) and Mishnah Berurah (ibid. :54) clarify that this means putting them into a vase that already had water in it, but that one may not fill a vase ...


4

The Talmud (Sanhedrin end of 70a) alludes to Adam drinking wine - although it isn't exactly clear how that would work given the time frame - saying that Noach should have stayed away from wine, learning from Adam with the sin of the Eitz Hadaas which was caused by wine - according to the opinion that the tree was a grape vine.


3

Shehecheyanu applies to vegetables, too (not just fruits that grow in the ground). Some examples for Israel, in no particular order: spring garlic watermelon melons (the watermelon isn't a true melon) kiwi litchi apricots peaches, plums, nectarines grapes pomegranates figs cherries mangoes carobs hawthorn berries Even if you don't live in Israel, I'm ...


3

The origin of this halachah is on Succah 45b where Chezkiah says in the name of R' Yermiah in the name of R' Shimon bar Yochai that we learn from the pasuk "Atzei Shittim Omdim" ('Acacia wood standing' there is an apparently extra word 'standing') That for every mitzvah in the Torah a man does not fulfill them except in the way that they grow. Rashi explains ...


3

The compilation Pardes Eli'ezer lists the following explanations: Based on the same L'vush source cited by @msh210, Lechem Sh'lomo says the particular happiness felt upon receiving the Torah owed to their witnessing a desert mountain bloom with plants, which reminded them that even the barren wasteland of their lives of sin had the potential to turn ...


3

Obviously, we're not going to find the word "khorasan" anywhere in the classic literature, so the best I can do for a proof that's based on sources more than 25 years old will have to utilize some indirect evidence. I figure, if these two types of dagan (grain) aren't kilayim with each other: than certainly these two aren't! I bet you can't even tell ...


3

Like any fruit, wheat can have different varieties. Just because it is larger or slightly easier to digest does not make it something else other than wheat. It grows the same way, it is harvested much the same way, it is ground to flour, and it is used for bread. While it's conceivable that the 18-minute rule for Matzah might need to be adjusted because of ...


3

One may not do business with food objects as food if they are biblically forbidden to eat, except Chelev (certain forbidden fats) which are specially excluded (Leviticus 7:24) from this prohibition. If one happened to acquire such foods he may sell them, but should do so immediately. (my summary of Shulchan Aruch YD 117) Accordingly, one should not raise ...


3

The Mishna on Megilla 28a rules that a destroyed synagogue retains holiness, and if grasses grew on it they should not be picked because they add to the feeling of despair. (The subsequent Gemara on 29b discusses picking the grasses and leaving them there, though the Rambam (Perush HaMishna 3:4) and the Mishna Berura (OC 151 sk 29) both understand this to be ...


2

It looks like it might be a little of both, actually. Consent (daas) is necessary for this to work, even with adult children or other workers (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 337:16 and Sma :37), and as you said, children are unable to legally grant such consent. But the Gemara (Bava Metzia 92b) also mentions the consideration that "Hashem has not granted ...


2

According to the Rama (Yorah Deah 332), Leket, Shikcha, and Peah are Mitzvos that we do not keep currently. There are those who wanted to reinstate it in Eretz Yisroel, however the Chazon Ish was against it (will add in source when I find it).



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