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Questions tagged [agriculture]

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2
votes
1answer
53 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
53 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
47 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
40 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
40 views

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 ...
3
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0answers
49 views

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) ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
41 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
52 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
112 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

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? ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

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 ...
11
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8answers
574 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
187 views

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
693 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Hydroponics – Allowed on Seventh Year?

Would hydroponics be allowed in Israel on the seventh year, when there are additional restrictions on farming the land?
8
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1answer
80 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
203 views

(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 [...] ...
6
votes
3answers
766 views

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 ...
9
votes
1answer
88 views

“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 ...
3
votes
1answer
620 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
110 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
7k views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

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 ...
1
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0answers
70 views

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 ...
5
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0answers
133 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
123 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Davening and a freshly fertilised lawn

Per Shaliach Tzibbur and passing gas, the Shulchan Aruch advises against davening or learning Torah when there is a foul smell. For many years, my schul did not have AC and every year the schul's ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Aquatic Plants for Aquarium During Shmita

I have a fish tank and was wondering if there are any restrictions to putting aquatic plants (fully submerged) inside to help with the water chemistry during the shmita. The plant's main function will ...
3
votes
0answers
87 views

Can the concept of Heter Mekhirah truly be supported from the Rambam?

Many of those who support the concept of the heter mekhirah today rely (at least in part) on their reading of the Rambam in various parts of the Mishneh Torah, most specifically in Hilkhoth Shemittah ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Would there be any maaser derabbanan on hydroponically grown plants?

Related: What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics? This question was originally mentioned by Rabbi Eliyahu Fink in his Daf Yomi shiur (Shabbat 128). He was talking about tevel d'rabanan -...
4
votes
1answer
589 views

What bracha should be made on hydroponics/aeroponics?

Hydroponics is a method of growing food (mainly vegetables) with their roots in water, not soil. Aeroponics is when it is grown in air, with the roots being sprayed. What bracha should be made on ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
4
votes
0answers
56 views

*Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as tzomeach, animal, bird, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud ...
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Ripping out a blade of grass by a funeral?

At my great-uncle's funeral today, all of the participants (except the mourners) were told to rip out a blade of grass and say a passuk (I don't remember which). Is this a Jewish minhag? If so, what ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Is moving a potted plant with vegetables from the ground to a table change its status as far as Shmita?

If potted vegetables on the ground (considered shmita worthy) is placed on a table, does this change its status as far as the laws concerning shmita food?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How to grow your own aravos

On Sukkos, Jews are commanded to take the four species, among them the "ערבי נחל" or "willow branches," commonly referred to as ערבות aravos. How might one go about growing them himself, at home? (I ...
3
votes
2answers
427 views

Where on the date palm tree does the lulav come from?

Having looked at a number of date palms I cannot seem to locate where the closed fronds (lulav) on the date palms actually are. The majority of fronds that are visible on a date palm have open/...
1
vote
3answers
370 views

What green plants can I use for s'chach?

I use bamboo poles for s'chach (yes, real bamboo poles). They're great, but I would like a little green up there, if I can get it. Some years we used branches from the tree that was growing over our ...
3
votes
1answer
220 views

Black Aravos on Succos

I have noticed some people using arovos which turned completely black towards the end of Yom Tov. When discussing arovos, the halacha mentions the importance of the green color, since it shows that it ...
12
votes
3answers
159 views

Can you use algae, water plants (e.g. water lillies), hydroponics or fungi for schach?

My understanding is that schach must be from a plant that specifically grows from the ground. If this is not so, would there be any problems using: algae / seaweed / water lilies / swamp scum - these ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

Planting grass during shmita

Is it permissible to plant grass during the shmita year? As this question indicates, there is a machloket regarding planting non-fruit trees during shmita. If grass is like a tree, it would be ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Rashi to Devarim 11 (11). In what way is mountain land superior to the land of the plain?

Rashi on Devarim 11 (11) "But the land, to which you pass to possess, is a land of mountains and valleys and absorbs water from the rains of heaven” says The mountain land is superior to the land ...