During shemita, every 7th year of the agricultural cycle, the land of Israel is to be left completely fallow. One is forbidden from working the land which includes: plowing, planting, pruning and harvesting. There is another mitzvah known as Bikkurim.

Bikkurim, in the land of Israel, were the first fruits of season from the seven species. The owner of the land would first look out for them when they would begin to blossom, would mark them off and upon ripening, would bring up to the Jerusalem and would then give them as a gift to the temple for the Kohanim to consume.

Bikkurim required the owner to harvest the first fruits that grew and bring them up to the temple. Was the Bikkurim fruits ceremony performed during a shemitah year?


1 Answer 1


If your question was, are you obligated to bring Bikurim from the fruits that grow on Shmita. Then there seems to be a serious question about that.

Rashi in Shemos 23/19 says that even the seventh year falls under the obligation of Bikurim. The Minchas Chinuch [91] says that Rashi must have had a source for this that we don't know of. Also some point out that the Rambam [Hilchos Matnas Aniyim 6/5] seems to have that opinion as well. However the Sifsei Chachomim Mizrachi and Gur Aryeh question if this Rashi is authentic, since the land on Shmitah is considered hefker - owner less, you can't say "the land that you gave me".

If your question was, can you perform the ceremony on Shemita, for fruits that grew and were separated before Shemita.

Then, regarding bringing the fruit to the temple, it seems, he would have to do that. He is no different than someone that sells his field after he separated the Bikurim [see Rambam Bikurim 4/5]. However, regarding the reading of the versus, that would seem to be same as the first question [the correct version of Rashi].

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