According to Halacha are Goji berries subject to the prohibition of Orlah? Or no, are they not considered a fruit and therefor can be eaten before the third year?

1 Answer 1


The Institute for Torah and the Land of Israel has an analysis, the following is my summary:

According to the Radbaz (שו"ת הרדב"ז, ח"ג סי' תקלא), if a plant bears fruit in less than a year it is to be deemed a yereq ("vegetable") and therefore not subject to 'orlah.

Many decisors adopt this approach ( ברכי יוסף, יו"ד סי' רצד; שו"ת רב פעלים, או"ח ח"ב סי' ל; שו"ת יין טוב, יו"ד סי' יד; שו"ת יחוה דעת ח"ב, סי' כא, ח"ד סי' נב; הגר"מ אליהו, תחומין ז, עמ' 88–93; ואמנם עי' בשו"ת איש מצליח, ח"ב סי' מה, שחולק.).

This approach however is novel as bearing fruit within the first year is not a condition mentioned in the Talmudim. Accordingly, others disagree and do not see this condition as a determining factor ( חזו"א שם; שו"ת איש מצליח שם).

Goji berries bear fruit within less than a year of planting. Whether one treats them as subject to 'orlah or not will depend on which side of this argument one falls. Generally speaking, Ashkenazim do not rely on this Radbaz whereas many Sefaradim do.

  • Just out of curiosity, how do Ashkenazim who don't accept this Radbaz justify eating eggplant? Apr 3 at 14:27
  • 1
    @יהושעק Hebrew Wikipedia cites Mahari Chagiz as offering two more reasons (which Ashkenazim might accept as well): it's a low plant, and its stems are hollow.
    – Meir
    Apr 3 at 14:51

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