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Mazal Tov we are now in the shmita year which is confusing for many!

Here are the basics you need to know:

The various issurim (prohibitions) of planting, sowing etc. ALL start from now.

Kedushat Shviit:

1 – For vegetables – The Kedushah of Shmita hits in from now – from Rosh Hashanah – as we go by when they are picked. If you buy them, however, through the Heter Mechirah they don’t have kedusha and you can treat them normally.

2- For fruit – The Kedushah of Shmita only starts from Tu Bishvat time. There are charts which will tell you when the kedusha hits in for each fruit. Until then, fruit have no kedushat shviit and can be treated normally.

The Heter Mechirah is a perfectly Halachikally sound system to use and has the approval of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, Rav Ovadia Yosef and other poskim. Heter Mechirah is certainly preferable over Yevul Nochri.

AS the Ramban write however, if one can though, one should try to eat produce which has kedushat shviit – and buy through the Otzar Bet Din. We need to embrace shmita and eat produce which has kedushat shviit. We just need to be careful with leftovers – and treat them carefully.

So, basically this is what we hold – There is no problem in using the Heter Mechirah. If you can though, go for Otzar Bet Din and eat produce which has kedusha!

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