Monday, August 28, 2017

Orlah Fruits in the Market - Update for the month of Elul

This post is a follow up to the Kashrut for New Olim post. If you haven't seen it yet, please check it out -- there's important information there!

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES in Israel




Unlike in other parts of the world, in Israel, fruits and vegetables are NOT automatically "kosher" - here we need to make sure that they are not "orlah" fruits (harvested during a tree's first 3 yrs, with other rules applying to year 4) and that trumot and ma'asrot have been taken (from both fruits and vegetables). 

If you shop at a market that doesn't have an ishur kashrut (kosher certification) on their produce, you'll need to investigate these issues further, if you are interested in adhering to the halachot of the Land of Israel OR if you regularly host people who assume the food in your home is kosher! I must say that it's important to familarize yourself with these special halachot, as they are part of keeping kosher in Israel! (If you say you keep Kosher in Israel, everyone assumes that you have taken care of these issues; and if you don't, then you may be unwittingly putting someone in a situation they don't want to be in!) 

It's definitely possible to take trumot and maasrot on your own (I do it often), so vegetables are easiest to buy without a teudah, as that is all you need to do (and very often, it would be without a bracha). Some of the fruits on the market may be ok to purchase even from a non-certified establishment and just take trumot and maasrot, because of the extremely low percentage of orlah fruits being sold, but those lists change frequently, so you'll constantly need to stay up-to-date.

Other fruits can be a problem, because of a high possibility that they are orlah (from the first 3 yrs after the tree was planted). I have recently begun to post a monthly update on my website, with a list of the fruits where the percentage of orlah fruits on the open market is greater than 0.5%, so should only be bought from a reputable source that does not sell orlah fruits (i.e. a place with a teudah) that should really help everyone avoid the orlah problem:
   Update for Elul 5777

Fruits to AVOID buying without a teudah:

Yellow Nectarine
Lemon
Papaya
Prickly Pear (Sabra Fruit)
Starfruit
Passionfruit
Papaya
Seedless Grapes (Round Green)
Blueberries

Please be sure to speak with your personal Halachic Authority about purchasing fruit in Israel without a teudah. Not everyone holds by the 0.5% threshold. This information is just for informational purposes and is not a halachic psak! Even if you follow a psak that relies on the 0.5% threshold, you still must take trumot and maasrot on all produce grown in Israel (or be sure it has been taken), in order to fulfill your halachic obligations.

Also, this list does not apply to fruit grown by an individual. If your friend has a fruit tree, you'll need to find out how old it is! 

I hope you find this helpful! Please follow my Facebook page and don't miss out on updates and other posts!

4 comments:

  1. Papaya is not a fruit. It is adamah like banana and pineapple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. there are different opinions on that

      Delete
  2. A rabbi that we asked told us that the fuits on the market are from the "shuk sitonai", so all fruits have already had trumot and maaserot taken. Do you know anything about this?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I don't think you can always assume that is the case - there are towns where the shuk allows small farmers to come sell their wares. If a stall is buying from a wholesaler, they should be able to produce the papers that show that is the case. Some sellers are small farmers selling their own wares.

    ReplyDelete

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