Notice from Badatz R’ Efrati Ahead of Rosh Hashanah 5774

26 Elul 5773
September 1, 2013

The kashrus seal of Rav Efrati Shlita

In upcoming year, 5774, we set aside Ma’aser Ani (tithe for the poor). Therefore, the produce harvested beginning on 4 Tishrei 5773 fall under this category. Therefore, if one is sure an item is tevel (no doubt that the produce is untithed) one must take ma’aser ani and give it to the poor or gabbai collecting on behalf of the poor and failing to do so is equivalent of stealing from the poor G-d forbid.

At this time the mashgichim working in the packaging facilities must take special care to differentiate between the produce from 5773 and 5774 to take ma’aser appropriately.

Following a number of important points for those separating tithes at home
1. Apples & Carrots: the produce available at present is all from 5773 and therefore, one separates ma’aser sheni. The new crop [5774] will only be seen in the coming months.

2. Onions: According to our information, this year’s crop has already been harvested. The produce from 5773 falls under ma’aser sheni.

3. Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin (Gourd) & Butternut Squash: Produce from 5773 and 5774 will be found at the same time and one must tithe accordingly and recite the text found in Hebrew document below in item 5, inside the quotation marks.

4. Bananas: after being picked, the bananas are placed in a room to ripen for 4 to 10 days. The mashgichim must be vigilant and mark the room to make certain we know what year the produce is from.

5. Fresh Vegetables (Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Squash, Eggplant and etc.): one will find produce from both years and the mashgichim must be vigilant and make certain to separate ma’aser sheni from produce from 5773 and ma’aser ani from 5774 produce.

6. Anyone interested in joining Rav Efrati’s tithing organization may phone 02-648-8888.

7. The ‘shiur pruta’ according to today’s calculation is “9.5 new agorot.

8. Pomegranates: There is a widespread orla problem that exists even among the veteran orchards because of the way the pomegranate grows, sprouting new branches around an existing tree. [Halacha dictates counting the years of orla from each branch that sprouts from the ground]. This demands constant year-round care and one may not rely on the age of an orchard to make an orla determination.

After inspections and much deliberation, we were unable to certify many orchards, including some of the veteran ones due to doubts pertaining to orla produce. We urge mashgichim to be particularly alert in this matter and not to adopt a lenient approach.

9. Luf (Leeks) : One should only buy those in sealed bags with the hashgacha affixed. Those grown regularly, not under controlled conditions to prevent insect infestation, are not certified by the hashgacha.

10. Insects and other prohibited creatures may be found in summer fruits and therefore, they must be inspected prior to eating.

Badatz Rav Efrati: 08-859-4099, 08-863-4225 and the fax 08-859-2737


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