Fresh produce from Israel

Fruit imported from Israel (avocados, mineolas and possibly others) are now available in South Africa. These fruits are produce of the previous year (5768) which was a shmitta year, and are therefore classified as having kedushat shvi’it (sanctity of the seventh year). The following rules apply to fruits and vegetables having kedushat shvi’it:

  • Fruit normally eaten by humans should not be given to animals.
  • Vegetables, such as potatoes, which are normally cooked, may not be eaten raw.
  • Fruits and vegetables normally eaten raw should not be cooked.
  • Fruits and vegetables that are eaten both raw and cooked can be eaten either way.
  • Juice may only be extracted from such fruits or vegetables where this is normally done, e.g., oranges and apples. It is not permissible to extract juice from, for example, bananas.
  • Leftovers, peels and husks which are normally eaten or have remnants of food attached, must be wrapped first, and then disposed of in the normal manner.
  • If a food with kedushat shvi’it is cooked with other food, all the food must be regarded as having kedushat shvi’it.

    Purchasing such fruits with cash poses a halachic difficulty which is beyond the scope of this notice to elaborate on. Therefore, one may either purchase them with a cheque or credit card, or if one wishes to use cash, then other non shmitta items (not necessarily fruits) should be included in the purchase.