Person in hospital eating Heter Mechira

Question: [Tuesday, 20th Tamuz 5782]

I just gave birth and am in a hospital which does not provide Shemita Lemehadrin vegetables, but rather Heter Mechira. May I be lenient to eat the Heter Mechira vegetables even though I generally only eat Shemita Lemehadrin?



If you need to eat the vegetables for your health or basic food, and are not able to get anyone to bring you Mehadrin vegetables, then yes you may eat it.

Explanation: The allowance of Heter Mechirah is under debate in the Poskim, from its inception until todays times, although practically, in a time of need one may be lenient to eat it if one has no other choice of vegetables and needs the vegetables for his health. The reason for this is because there is an argument to make that the vegetables of today’s farmers of Heter Mechira do not have a status of Sefichin even according to the stringent opinion being that the reason behind the decree does not apply towards large agricultural plots of land which are publicly grown, and hence the worry of “one will secretly grow vegetables in his field” no longer applies. Hence, in a time of need one may rely on this argument to permit the vegetables even if he is generally accustomed to be stringent. This is aside for the fact that in a time of need there is room to rely on the general lenient opinion, especially being that the entire concept of Shemita today is under debate as to its status.

Sources: So ruled Rav SZ”A, brought in Shulchan Shlomo Erchei Refua p. 146 and Nishmas Adam 5 O.C. 4

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