- Question: [Tuesday, 29th Tishrei 5781]
Must the peels and pits of a Kedushas Shevi’is product be placed in a special Shemita bag and waited until it rots? For example, lemons are already now treated with Kedushas Shevi’is being that perhaps we follow the time that they are picked from a tree. May I throw out the peel and lemon pits as usual or not? What about the peels and pits of vegetables that grew in my garden before Shemita and I am picking them during Shemita, any hence contain Kedushas Shevi’is. May I discard their peels and pits as usual?
You may regularly discard the peels and pits of lemons, although some are stringent regarding lemon peels being that they can be used to make candy and chocolate. The rule is as follows:
Peels of Shemita produce: All peels that are edible, or peels that can be used and are practically commonly used today for dyeing, contain Kedushas Shevi’is and must be placed in the Shemita bag until they rot and may then be discarded regularly. Thus, peels of apples must be set aside in a Shemita bag. Likewise, all inedible peels that contain a considerable amount of fruit on them must likewise be discarded in the Shemita bag. However, those peels which are inedible and are not commonly used today for dyeing purposes and do not contain a considerable amount of fruit on them, may be discarded regularly. Those peels that are inedible for humans but are edible for animals must be discarded appropriately. [This, however, only applies is commonly designated to be eaten by animals in one’s area. However, if it is practically not used for animal feed in one’s area, then it may be discarded regularly. Nonetheless, there are Poskim who are stringent in such a case, and are only lenient if the peel is not used at all for animal feed even in other areas.]
Pits of Shemita produce: Those pits of fruits and vegetables that are inedible for humans, and are not used to suck on or for animal feed, do not contain Kedushas Shevi’is and may thus be discarded regularly. This applies even if they contain some leftover fruit on them, as will be explained in the Q&A. [This applies even if the pit is fit to be eaten by animals, but practically is not used for animal feed in one’s area. Likewise, this applies even if the pit is technically edible but is practically not eaten by people and is chosen to be discarded. Nonetheless, there are Poskim who are stringent regarding pits that are fit for animal feed, and are only lenient if the pit is not used at all for animal feed even in other areas. Likewise, they are only lenient by pits that are not edible at all, even though in general it is discarded and not eaten.]
Explanation: Only products that are edible to human or animals, or used for dyeing, contain Kedushas Shevi’is, and retain the discarding regulations of requiring a special Shemita bag and delaying their regular discarding until they rot. However, those products that do not have any human benefit, are not edible as food to humans or animals, and are not used for dyeing, then they do not contain Kedushas Shevi’is, and may be discarded regularly.
Sources: See Rambam Shemita 5:21; 7:15; Yagdil Torah Grach Naah p. 15, 17, 57; Minchas Yerushalayim 7:17; Chazon Ish 14:10 Maasros 1:31; Chut Shani p. 263; Halichos Hashevi’is Chapter 21; Shemita Kehilchasa Biur on 3:7; Minchas Yerushalayim 7:17; Sefer Dinei Shevi’is p. 180; Derech Emuna 5 Tziyon Halacha 26; Koveitz Mibeis Levi Nissan 5754; Regarding citrus fruit peels, see: Grach Naah 15; Chazon Ish 1:30; Derech Emuna 5:154; Halichos Shevi’is 21:4; Shemita Kehilchasa 3:7; Bris Olam 5:16; Chut Shani p. 361; Koveitz Mibeis Levi Nissan 5754; Mishnas Yosef Shevi’is 3:111; Rav SZ”A in Minchas Shlomo 1:51-23 regarding the peels of oranges and lemons being that they were originally part of the actual fruit; Orchos Rabbeinu 2:349 that so ruled Chazon Ish to be done in his own home, to have citrus fruit peels placed in the special Shemita garbage.