Questions tagged [agriculture]

Questions pertaining to the subject of agriculture

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How do berry plants "die in the winter" compared to Ha'etz trees?

In Rema OC 203:2 one of the reasons given why we don't make Ha'etz on berries is because its shoots die during the winter and a new set of shoots and buds grow out from its roots during the summer, ...
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Houseplants during shmita

Plants that are in pots, sitting on paved ground outside, Can one pull weeds from the pots? Trim dead branches? Are there different answers if the plants are hanging? Or under an awning? Or indoors? ...
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Farming with excrement or remains of unclean animals

What if any prohibitions are there on the intentional use of excrement from unclean animals as fertilizer for crops? Must it be buried, for example? Does the same apply to the intentional use of ...
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Why does plant life come after the earth, waters and the firmament, but before the planets?

This question only addresses the blueprint of the creation as described in the first chapter of Bereshit. It does not address the sequence of the actual creation, as described in Bereshit 2, or the ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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Why aren't peas mentioned in the Tanach/Talmud?

Or if my premise is wrong, please correct me? Guns, Germs, & Steel talks about early domesticated crops of the Fertile Crescent. No surprise that he quickly mentions wheat, barley, olives, dates, ...
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Where in the Torah is the "ascending order of importance" derived?

Where in the Torah is the "ascending order of importance" derived, as used by the Temple Institute in describing the basket of firstfruits? They wrote, [> "The fruits were arranged ...
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Who used the "Special seven tiered baskets" that "were employed to display the firstfruits"?

The Temple Institute wrote, "Likewise, pilgrims brought the firstfruits from their own fields and orchards, of the seven fruits of the land of Israel mentioned in Deuteronomy: Figs, grapes, ...
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Who named trees and plants?

Following questions about naming animals, in Genesis narrative, God creates Earth, it grows plants and trees, God creates animals, then man, man names animals. Who named the plants, for example, the 7 ...
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What is the Yadua bone? Is it extinct?

I was learning Sefer Hamitzvot with my dad last night and, when we came across mitzvah #256, I was curious; do we have any idea what the yadua bone is? It is a bone of a bird which grows from a long ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Climate and growing season in Iron Age Israel and Judah [closed]

Jan A Wagenaar, Origin and Transformation of the Ancient Israelite Festival Calendar, Harrassowitz Verlag, Wiesbaden 2005, proposes that the Feast of Unleavened Bread was originally in the month of ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Transferring ma'aser sheini sanctity to sugar

Various sites (eg this one) claim that it's possible to transfer ma'aser sheini sanctity from coins to sugar. What is the source of this, and how does it work given that coins are supposed to be ...
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Black seed (Nigella Sativa) - "קצח" in talmud

Black seed ("Nigella Sativa"), known as קצח in Modern Hebrew, is known for having medicinal qualities - but is it at all mentioned in the Talmud or any Jewish sources as treatment to most ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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Is it still prohibited to raise sheep/goats in Eretz Yisrael?

The Mishnah (Bava Kama 7) explicitly prohibits Jews from raising sheep and goats in Israel. This is echoed in Rambam. However, in modern-day Israel, many frum Jews raise sheep and goats (especially in ...
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Pushing a buggy on grass on Shabbos

When and how is person chayav on shabbos for ploughing. For example is a woman with a buggy allowed to push it on the grass, or can she not. The problem for ploughing is that you need to have a intent ...
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What can be done with the terumos and maasros?

It says at Star-K that after taking off terumot and maasrot one should wrap the vegetation in plastic and discard: "Wrap the broken or cut-off piece in plastic and discard." According to ...
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Can I have flowers planted on my grave?

Why don't Jewish people put flowers on graves? Asks about a visitor leaving flowers on a grave. The reason we don’t is that it’s “chukas hagoyim” Does the same logic apply for a the dead person ...
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What's so bad about Kayin's flax?

Rashi (Bereishis 4:3) says מפרי האדמה. מִן הַגָּרוּעַ, וְיֵשׁ אַגָּדָה שֶׁאוֹמֶרֶת זֶרַע פִּשְׁתָּן הָיָה: OF THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND —of the worst fruits (Genesis Rabbah 22:5); there is an Agada ...
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Practicalities of the "graze until they become defected" strategy

Mishnayot Zevachim 8:1-3 repeatedly prescribe the strategy of "יִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיִּסְתָּאֲבוּ" - "they graze until they become defected" for dealing with animals that are stuck in situations of doubt ...
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What resources can help me understand agriculture for Zeraim?

I am studying Mishnayot from Seder Zeraim and I am often having difficulties because I have no idea how agriculture worked in the days of the Second Temple (or even today). Are there any good ...
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Why are there three different lists of ownerless produce?

The Mishna (Demay 1:1) gives a list of different types of produce exempt from demay. In Ma'asrot 5:8 and in Shevi'it 9:1, there are two more distinct lists of things that are exempt from ma'aser and ...
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6 votes
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Why do we specifically recall the greenery of Har Sinai on Shavuos?

While there are several reasons why there is a custom to spread greenery in shul, one which is brought by the Mishnah Berurah (494:10) is that Har Sinai was covered with greenery. Why is it ...
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3 votes
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Watering flowers or vegetable on Chol Hamoed

The first mishna in Moed Katan delineates limitations on agricultural work that may be performed on the less sanctified intermediate days of a festival (chol hamoed). The Shulchan Aruch (OC 537) ...
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1 vote
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Which plants are not subject to peah, leket, and shichecha?

I'm learning mesecet Peah and we're having trouble keeping track of which fruits and crops are not subject to peah, leket, and shichecha. I believe that all fields are subject to peah, but that there ...
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What happens at a third of the growth of produce?

In yesterday's Daf Yomi - Menachot 71a - and other places(*) in various Mishnayoth, there's mention of a cut-off date of 1/3 of the growth of produce - עַד שֶׁלֹּא הֵבִיאָה שְׁלִישׁ‏ From Rashi it ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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In what way are hybrid plants/trees prohibited?

The source in Torah is from vayikra ch 19 verse 19 You shall observe My statutes: You shall not crossbreed your livestock with different species. You shall not sow your field with a mixture of seeds, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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If a plant / herb (grown in Eretz Yisrael) is used for its essence / aroma, must one first separate Terumah and Maaser (tithes) from it?

If a plant / herb (grown in Eretz Yisrael) is used for its essence / aroma, must one first separate Terumah and Maaser (tithes) from it? Does it make a difference if it is atype of plant which is ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Avoiding Giving Maaserot?

The Gemara in Bava Kama 28a says: ת"ש בעל הבית שהניח פאה מצד אחד ובאו עניים ונטלו מצד אחר זה וזה פאה וא"א עביד איניש דינא לנפשיה אמאי זה וזה פאה לנקוט פזר וליתיב אמר רבא מאי זה וזה פאה לפוטרן מן ...
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Property border trees and Peah

Are fruit trees used to demarcate the border between properties considered to be in peot hasadeh (corners of the field, see Vayikra 19:9 and 23:22, Masechet Peah)? If they are considered to be peot ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Maaser Sheni Coin Value

I've been reading about redeeming maaser sheni and I've noticed people mentioning redeeming maaser on a coin of value significantly less than the value of the maaser: "For example, a cRc company ...
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What do our sources say about the principle of plenitude?

In the book Nature's Destiny, Michael Denton discusses the principle of plenitude, where he claims that all possible viable life forms on a planet like earth appear to have been actualized (as a sort ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Minimum Size for Kerem

If one purchased 5 grape vines in order to make a small vineyard in his back yard, excluding the required 4 amot around the vineyard, what is the necessary procedure? At first I though all one needs ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Shmittah in Space

Inspired by this question. There are certain halachos, such as Shmittah, which only apply in Eretz Yisrael. My question is: is it a din in the land of Eretz Yisrael or the airspace of Eretz Yisrael? A ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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will there be plants and animals in olam haba? [closed]

In the future eternal world of Olam Haba (i.e. the final destination following the resurrection of the dead as explained here) according to the opinions that the body and soul will be reunited, will ...
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11 votes
8 answers
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Why "Hamotzi Lechem" instead of "Hamotzi Chitah"?

A bread question in time for Pesach! The words to the blessing over bread are: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה ה' אֱלֹקינוּ מֶֽלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, הַמּוֹצִיא לֶחֶם מִן הָאָרֶץ which ends with "...who brings forth ...
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How do I determine kashrut status of fresh produce from Israel?

Fresh produce from Israel has all sorts of halachic concerns: Orla, Shemittah, Terumot and Maasrot. Periodically, I come across fresh fruit imported from Israel. I generally avoid buying it, but I'd ...
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13 votes
2 answers
764 views

Why a burning bush?

When G-d wanted to speak to Moshe for the first time, He grabbed Moshe's attention by showing him a burning bush that wasn't being consumed by the fire. But why this? From all the possible things to ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Hydroponics – Allowed on Seventh Year?

Would hydroponics be allowed in Israel on the seventh year, when there are additional restrictions on farming the land?
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8 votes
1 answer
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How do you inspect a field for graves?

The Gemara (Bab. Nazir 65) discusses some circumstances in which one must inspect a field for graves. How is this done? Do you dig up the earth to a certain depth? Do you dig a trench? Do you dig ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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(How) Are these aravos kosher?

According to my understanding of Shulchan Aruch OC 647:1, the edges of the leaves of the aravos should not have serrated edges, but should rather be smooth: עַרְבֵי נַחַל הָאָמוּר בַּתּוֹרָה [...] ...
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7 votes
3 answers
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Does Rooibos tea need a hechsher?

Unlike regular tea, which is from the plant Camellia sinensis, rooibos tea is derived from the plant Aspalathus linearis. I've checked CRC and Star-K and their tea-specific articles don't mention ...
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9 votes
1 answer
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"Planting" astroturf during shmita

I previously asked about Planting grass during shmita, and discovered that it is forbidden. But what about astroturf (synthetic grass)? Would there be any problem with installing that during the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why don't Jewish people put flowers on graves?

I know that Jews have specific traditions regarding burial and cemeteries, and that one of these traditions involves putting pebbles on gravestones, which I think is quite beautiful, although I don't ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Agricultural events and the Jewish calendar

There are many dates in the Jewish calendar that are connected to agricultural events. They include: Shavuot is Chag Ha'Katzir, the Holiday of the Harvest - Shemot 23:16 Sukkot is Chag Ha'Assif, the ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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Is a bottle or jug of 100% pure maple syrup kosher without certification?

There are several farmers' markets scattered around the New York City area. Many of them carry bottles or jugs of 100% NY State or Vermont maple syrup. Occasionally I find Canadian maple syrup. (For ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is the אדר plant, according to Rashi?

A friend of mine (Hi, Yoel!) pointed out a possible discrepancy in Rashi's comments on the Talmud. On Beitzah 15b, Rashi opines (sv ופירותיה משתמרין) that אדר is a grass (עשב), against the more ...
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1 vote
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Large scale hydroponics and Shmita

The gemara in Nedarim 59 (among many other places) discusses the concept of shmita produce and plants grown from them retaining their status when the original "seed" isn't destroyed when planted. In ...
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5 votes
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Arvei Nahal - Acceptable Species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Benefits and Reasoning of Orlah?

Looking for something authoritative. Wikipedia has the following Hebrew Bible Commentators generally assume that the law was good agricultural practice, and that early harvesting would conflict with ...
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Contemporary approaches to kashrut of dates

What are contemporary approaches regarding dealing with bug infestation of dates? Do Kashrut agencies (e.g. the Orthodox Union) regularly inspect crops to determine infestation levels? And if so, what ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How do we know that non-hechshered food is not kilayim or kilay hakerem?

"Kilayim" and "kilay hakerem" are two classes of prohibitions on eating from "mixed" fields (in which more than one type of crop is planted.) "Kilayim," as I understand it, specifically refers to the ...
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