The Sages were concerned that individuals would plant vegetables in the seventh year and claim that these had grown by themselves. They therefore forbade consumption of Shemitta vegetables where the planting may have been during the Shemitta year itself. The date that this restriction starts depends on the type of vegetable and how long it takes to grow. this is known as Sefichin.

Otzar Beis Din is a representative of the public interest by hiring people to pick and transport the produce to a distribution center near the consumer. paying them wage appropriate to his significant skills and experience in knowing how to manage this operation. the money does not go to towards the produce, rather to the workers effort in collecting, thus mitigating the concern for using shmita produce in commerce. This is all legitimate use of an otzar beis din.

Is there an issur of Sefichin regarding produce bought through Otzar Beis Din? how can we know that the landowner is not working on the field, but claiming it grew wild, Does Otzar Beis Din also mitigate the issue of Sefichin? Is that fact that the field is under the auspices of the Otzar Beis Din enough of a reason to assume that the farmer isn't working on the field?

  • Need to clarify two points: 1) Which Otzar Bet Din? 2) What do you mean by 'peiros'? Fruits (from a tree) are never sefichim.
    – Ephraim
    May 13, 2015 at 17:50
  • Sfichim are never allowed only fruit. Also I think otsar bais din somehow costs more than normal. How does one explain that.
    – cham
    May 13, 2015 at 18:26
  • "Is there an issur of Sefichin regarding produce bought through Otzar Beis Din?" Did you mean to ask "Has anyone enacted a prohibition on otzar produce for similar reasons as the prohibition on s'fichin was enacted for?"? I don't see how the enactment on s'fichin itself can apply to otzar produce, as it's not s'fichin. Or am I misunderstanding you?
    – msh210
    May 14, 2015 at 3:52

1 Answer 1


A proper Otzar Beis Din does not collect vegetables which are subject to the issur of Sefichin, rather they only deal with fruits, which Chazal never instituted and were not concerned for Sefichin. Sefichin was never instituted for fruits which grow and die yearly which grow by themselves usually without any tending to, therefore there is little incentive for a farmer to work on them during shmittah.

Thus Otzar Beis Din and and Sefichin have nothing to do with each other.

  • The confusion may be in regards to stores that sell their produce under the auspices of an Otzar Bet Din such as Otzar Ha'aretz. Otzar Ha'aretz endorsed stores may also sell vegetables where sfichim do not apply- either because the vegetables are grown on raised beds, or are from areas of Israel that are, according to most/many not part of halachic Eretz Israel proper. The latter may also be under Heter Mechira, giving two reasons why the produce may be eaten. The store may also sell vegetables from out of the country- e.g. onions from Holland, carrots from Belgium.
    – Ephraim
    May 14, 2015 at 17:45

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