14. Biur-Until when may one eat the Shemita Produce?

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14. Biur-Until when may one eat the Shemita Produce?[1]

Each Shemita produce that has Kedushas Shevi’is may only be eaten during its season, which is defined as so long as the species of fruit is still on the tree. When the season ends for a specific produce, and it is no longer found on the tree or ground, then one must perform the Mitzvah of Biur with that entire species of Kedushas Shevi’is, if he owns over three meals worth of that fruit, as will be explained. The Biur is performed by placing the species in a public area and declaring it as Hefker in front of three Jews.[2] Afterwards, one may reacquire the food and bring it back to his house. Practically, one must verify when the Zman Biur is for each food. If one did not perform the Biur on time, then the species that one owns becomes forbidden to be eaten. If one performed the Biur prior to the time, it is invalid and must be performed.

How much Shemita produce must one own in order to require Biur performance:[3] One is only required to perform Biur on Shemita produce if he has the amount of that food to suffice for three meals, per family member which can consume that food [excludes infants]. If one does not have this amount of food, then Biur is not required to be performed. Each food is judged individually and does not join with a second food to reach this amount. This food may be eaten whenever one desires, and is not required to be eaten prior to the date of the Biur.[4]

Practically when is the time of Biur for fruits and vegetables on the market?

See the following link for a list of products and their Kedushas Shevi’is status and times of Biur for the Shemita year of 5775. In general, the seasons and Kedushas Shevi’is status remain the same from year to year, but for absolute certainty, please download the latest Shemita calendar for your year available online on the Israeli Rabbanut website.

Calendar for Shemita year 5775:


Rabbanut website for list of their published guideline: https://www.gov.il/he/departments/informationtype/?OfficeId=e39ee324-ba36-4e15-afd6-b4c13a5dc6bc&topic=363d1ae9-66c4-4e72-98b8-0eaff0038005&skip=0&limit=10


[1] Rambam 7:1; Grach Naah Yagdil Torah 25:74-75

[2] Poskim that rule the Biur is performed through Hefker: Semag Aseh 147; Yireim 186; Ramban; Mabit 3:45; Chareidim; Shelah

Other Poskim: Some Poskim rule that the Mitzvah of Biur must be performed by destroying or burning the food. [Rambam 7:1]

[3] Gra”ch Naah Yagdil Torah 25:74-75; Rambam 7:3

[4] Gr”ach Naah ibid rules explicitly that ; Derech Emuna 7:58; Tziyon Halacha 7:104 that so ruled Chazon Ish and Rav Elyashiv; Ziv Hayam Shevis; Mishpitei Erech; Chut Hashani 318

Other opinions: Some question whether the three meals worth of Shemita food must be eaten by the end of the day of Biur, before sunset. [Chazon Ish 15:7; See Derech Emuna 7:15 and 7:58]

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