Just Bananas!

Beth from Har Nof asks:

  1. If I put slices of Oztar Beit Din bananas in my children’s cold cereal and they
    don’t finish it, can I fish out just the bananas and put them in the sh’mittah
    pail or must I put whatever is left in the bowl in the pail?
  2. Is there any problem baking cakes
    or muffins with the bananas if I have made banana cakes and muffins on a
    regular basis in the past?
  3. Can you explain how Ashkenazim hold as far as produce from the Aravah?
  1. Since the cereal
    (and milk) is cold, it can be assumed that the taste of the bananas has not
    passed into the cereal. We can also assume that since the banana flesh is firm,
    no parts have dissolved into the cereal. Therefore, you can fish out the pieces
    of banana and just put them into the sh’mittah
    pail.

  2. The fact that you have often baked banana cakes and muffins in the
    past would not automatically permit you to do so with sh’mittah
    produce. Sh’mittah produce must be
    consumed in the usual way. What is generally eaten cooked, must be cooked; what
    is generally eaten raw, must be eaten raw. Bananas are generally eaten raw. Only
    if a significant number of people bake with bananas, albeit a minority, would
    this be permitted.

  3. The Southern Aravah (from the 30th parallel
    southwards) is accepted as having the status of being outside Eretz Yisroel. The
    Northern Aravah is a subject of dispute. The Chazon Ish held that since we do
    not know exactly where the southern border of Eretz Yisroel runs, we should be
    stringent and treat it as being part of Eretz Yisroel. Accordingly, sh’mittah
    laws apply to this area. Any vegetables grown by Jews within this area during sh’mittah are forbidden as s’fichin.
    The Eda Charedis follows a more lenient opinion which considers part of this
    area as being outside Eretz Yisroel. They hold that no sh’mittah
    laws apply to produce grown in this area.