What is kedushas shvi’is?

What is kedushas shvi’is?

Fruit and
vegetables (and certain other produce) which grew within the halachic boundaries
of Eretz Yisro’el and which belong to the seventh year have the sanctity of
the seventh year – kedushas shevi’is. The connection with the seventh
year is determined in the case of vegetables by the time of picking and
in the case of fruits by the time the fruit starts to form. This produce
may not be traded in, spoiled or destroyed. One may only use this produce in the
normal way. Any leftovers may not be thrown into the garbage until they become
unfit for animal consumption.

What kedushas shvi’is products are now available on the market?

As mentioned
above, kedushas shvi’is of vegetables is determined by the time of picking. It
therefore follows that any vegetables picked after Rosh Hashonoh have this
sanctity. However, at the present time there is still some sixth year produce
available (e.g. all potatoes). Fruit with this sanctity will only be available
from after Pesach. This year’s citrus crop is considered sixth year produce;
next year’s crop will have kedushas shvi’is.

What is the status of non-Jewish produce?

The Poskim (Halachic
Authorities) are divided as to the status of produce grown on non-Jewish fields
in Eretz Yisroel. According to the Beis Yosef (compiler of the Shulchan Oruch)
this produce does not have kedushas shvi’is. This is the accepted custom in
Yerushalayim (Minhag Yerushalayim). According to the Mabit, this produce does
have kedushas shvi’is. The Chazon Ish was of the opinion that one should
follow this latter view. This is the prevalent custom in Bne Brak and certain
other towns.

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