Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Only in Israel: Hefker announcement

Helloooo, Our Shiputzim fans!

We recently posted the following announcement to our local email list:

לידיעת הציבור
בחצר שמאחורי ביתינו יש
עץ קלמנטינה
עץ פומלה
ועץ לימון

כל הפירות הפקר

Translation: “FYI - In our backyard, we have a clementine tree, a pomelo tree, and a lemon tree. All of the fruit is hefker (i.e. shmitah produce and therefore considered to be ownerless).

In other words, any of our readers who happen to be here in TRLEOOB (the real life equivalent of our blog) may pick some fruit – as long as it’s handled according to the relevant shmitah laws. (CYLOR for further details.)

Pretty cool, huh?


NOTE: Not everyone agrees that it’s necessary to actively repudiate ownership of (להפקיר) the fruit. (See, for example, the article entitled “What Can We Learn From Shmitah?” on Page 2 of this newsletter.)


  1. Do you deliver?

  2. SPYYZ - Hmmm. I think you're going to have to CYLOR about that as well...

    Shabbat Shalom.

  3. What sort of response did you get?

  4. Ilana-Davita: Welcome.

    A few people emailed/called asking if they could stop by. (Technically, they could pick the fruit without asking, but one isn't really supposed to traipse through someone else's garden without permission.)

    The lemons, in particular, seem to be the most popular. But the truth is that many people in our neighborhood have their own fruit trees.

  5. B"H

    One of the issues is whether you can just trapes into someone's private land, potentially causing damage to equipment, toys, and things.

    2. Is the owner liable for any injuries incurred by the people picking fruit, even if the owner has taken all necessary hallachic safety precautions?

    3. Many put out signs, so that people shouldn't feel embarrassed or intimidated from picking the fruit.

    4. I'm not sure when the sign was put out, but now that the land is no longer hefker, but the fruit is, the is an issue as to whether someone can cross onto your property w/o your permission.

    5. Some put out signs, like in the vineyard across from Shilo, requesting that the public sticks with one row of vines for picking, so that it makes it easier for harvesting. They just won't harvest that row.

    These are just some of the issues.

  6. Ben-Yehudah: Shavua tov and welcome to the blog.

    Thanks for raising some of the relevant issues. The laws of shmitah are fairly complex, but it is B"H such a privilege to be in a position to observe them...


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