Coins with Kedushah

Leah in Ra’anana asks:

The local supermarket has a special offer on my favourite washing powder – three
for the price of two. I know that this store is, unfortunately, not sh’mittah
observant. However, since the washing powder has no kedushas shvi’is, there
should not be any problem in buying it from this store. Is my assumption
correct?

Not necessarily. The rule is that any money given in exchange for sh’mittah
produce receives its own kedushas shvi’is,
in addition to the produce retaining its original sanctity (shvi’is
tofesses domehoh
). It becomes shvi’is
money – d’mei shvi’is. What can one do with this holy money? Shvi’is
produce is meant to be eaten – but money is definitely inedible! The correct
procedure is to take some food item which has no kedushas
shvi’is
, such as meat,
fish or cheese, and redeem the kedushas shvi’is in the coins on to the food. This food
should then be treated as having kedushas
shvi’is
, whereas the
money reverts to its previous profane state.

When
one receives change in a store which, in contravention of the laws of shvi’is,
sells sh’mittah produce, any
cash received in exchange for this produce attains kedushas
shvi’is
. Therefore, even if I am buying an item which clearly has
no kedushas shvi’is, if I
present a hundred-shekel bill for an item which costs sixty, I must be concerned
that the forty shekel change I receive could previously have been given in
exchange for sh’mittah produce.
This change must be treated with kedushas
shvi’is
, as mentioned above. The way to avoid the problem is either
to have the correct change or to pay with a check or credit card. The need for
concern only applies to change received in a store trading in sh’mittah
produce. We are not concerned that money in general circulation may have been
given in exchange for sh’mittah
produce (Source: Rav Elyashiv).