10. May one sell Shemita produce

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10. May one sell Shemita produce?

It is forbidden to do business with Shemita produce.[1] Thus, one may not collect fruits or vegetables of Shemita produce, even within his own field, for selling purposes. However, one may collect a small amount of Shemita produce for his own use and later sell it. The money received from the sale must then be guarded with the sanctity of Shemita and must hence be treated with Kedushas Shevi’is.[2] The amount that is permitted to be taken from the field and sold is the amount of food needed for a few days’ worth. Some say one may only sell three meal’s worth of produce.[3] It is forbidden to sell more than this amount.

Havla’ah: It is permitted to sell even large amounts of Shemita produce in the form of Havla’ah.[4] This means that one includes the sale of Shemita produce within the sale of other products that are not from Shemita. Thus, for example one may sell before Sukkos a Shemita Esrog together with a bag of lemons. One may charge an over the market price for the bag of lemons, due to the included Esrog, if the Esrog is not given a specific price and is simply part of the package. The money received for this payment does not have Kedushas Shevi’is. [However, there are some Poskim who are stringent and prohibit selling even in Havla’ah, and Havla’ah in their opinion only helps in the fact that it does not give the money a status of Kedushas Shevi’is. Practically, the custom is to be lenient.[5]]

Credit:[6] It is forbidden to do business with Shemita produce even if one sells the produce on credit. Nevertheless, if a person paid for Shemita produce on credit then the moneys received do not receive a Kedushas Shevi’is status.

May one weigh Shemita produce?[7] It is forbidden to weigh Shemita produce for the sake of selling. It is however permitted to weigh Shemita produce for non-selling purposes, such as to give it away as a present.


[1] This is learned from the verse which says that the Shemita foods are given “Leachlah” to eat, from which the Sages derive that it is not given for business.

[2] Rambam 6:1; See Minchas Yerushalayim 7:37

[3] Grach Naah 11; See Minchas Yerushalayim 3:2

[4] Sukkah 39; Rambam 8:11

[5] Minchas Yerushalayim 7:36; Shemita Kehilchasa 4:4

[6] See Minchas Yerushalayim 7:38

[7] Grach Naah 11

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