Last Minute Rescue

Boruch from Rechovot asks:

My aunt, who lives in
Yerushalayim, told me that she intends to bring us a jar of home-made apricot
jam when she comes to visit this week. When I asked her whether she had
performed bi’ur on the apricots (which had to be take place in Ellul),
she answered, “These are non-Jewish apricots which I turned into Yiddishe
jam!” We follow the opinion of the Chazon Ish, that non-Jewish produce does
have kedushas shvi’is. These apricots would therefore have required bi’ur.
Is it now forbidden for us to eat the jam?

If one acquires produce grown by a non-Jew from a non-Jew
after the time for bi’ur, the produce is not forbidden. However, one
must perform bi’ur on the day of acquisition. Failure to do so would
render the produce forbidden. According to Rav Elyashiv, this law applies even
if the quantity is less than is eaten in three meals. The reason is that the
produce was actually liable for bi’ur while it was in the non-Jew’s
possession. Since a non-Jew is not obligate to fulfil this mitzvah, the bi’ur
can only take place once ownership transfers to a Jew. What happens if the
produce was in the possession of a Jew at the time for bi’ur? The owner
did not perform bi’ur, since he held there was no need to do so. He
subsequently gave some of this produce to a friend who follows the opinion that bi’ur
is required. Here, Rav Elyashiv ruled that it is permitted to eat the
produce as long as it is declared hefker (ownerless) in front of three
people on the day of receipt (or when finds out its status). Therefore, you can
eat the jam as long as you perform bi’ur on the day you receive it. (See Halichot
, No. 127, P.44.)