Last year’s shemita was a huge deal here in Eretz Yisrael – with farmers, for sure – but for us housewives as well. For us city-dwellers, who don’t own one square meter of dirt in the Holy Land, shemita changed the way we shopped, cooked, baked, ate, and took care of our houseplants and gardens.
Today, months after Rosh Hashanah and the end of the shemita year, one might think that shemita is a thing of the past, to be remembered again in another six years. But for those of us living in Eretz Yisrael, it’s far from over. We are still dealing with shemita on a daily basis. Vegetables have kedushas shevi’is based on when they are picked, so all our vegetables are now post-shemita. Fruits, on the other hand, have kedushas shevi’is based on when they reach a specific stage of growth. The fruit being picked now reached that stage of growth many months ago, so we’re still eating shemita fruits, after the seventh year has ended. And it doesn’t stop there! We must be careful when purchasing canned goods, pre-made salads and spreads, juices, and even oil! We have to check every single package and container to make sure it doesn’t contain anything with kedushas shevi’is.