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Ma’aser Ani Calendars

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Ma’aser Ani Calendars

When exactly is each type of produce subject to ma’aser ani? An halachic-agricultural survey for 5778 to 5779

Rabbi David Eigner

The year 5778 is the third year of the shemita cycle, so ma’aser ani is given instead of ma’aser sheni.[1]

The fruits subject to ma’aser ani, for the most part, are those that bloom between 15 Shevat (Tu BiShevat) 5778 and 15 Shevat 5779. For the etrog, the determining date is the time of harvest, so the etrogim that are subject to ma’aser ani are the ones harvested between these two dates. As for other citrus fruits, there is a halachic doubt about the category they belong to. For this reason, a condition is made when separating terumot and ma’aserot as detailed below.

Vegetables are subject to ma’aser ani if harvested between 1 Tishrei (Rosh Hashana) 5778 and 1 Tishrei 5779. Grains and legumes are subject to ma’aser ani when the grain/pulse reaches a third of its growth between these dates.

To avoid making a mistake when separating terumot and ma’aserot, recite the formula established by Rav Kook as it appears on the magnet provided by Beit HaOtzar. In the section dealing with setting aside ma’aser sheni, we state that the produce is either ma’aser sheni or ma’aser ani, depending on the appropriate laws governing each fruit or vegetable. Since often we are not aware of the exact season and year in the shemita cycle each fruit and vegetable belongs to, we recommend regularly reciting this formula when taking terumot and ma’aserot, especially during the years 5778 and 5779.

1. Ma’aser Ani Calendar for Fruit

Most fruits bloom in the spring and summer, after Tu BiShevat. It follows that the fruits subject to ma’aser ani are those from the Spring/Summer 5778 harvest and the Fall/Winter 5779 harvest, according to the standard harvest dates of each fruit (see the table below).

Fruit

Blooming Season

Standard Harvest Date

Apple

Spring

Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Apricot

Spring

Summer 5778

Avocado

Spring

Summer 5778–Winter 5779

Cherry

Spring–summer

Summer 5778

Date

Spring–summer

Fall 5779

Feijoa

Spring

Winter 5779

Fig

Spring (when it becomes a small fruit)

Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Grape*

Spring

Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Guava

Spring

End of Spring 5778–Fall 5779

Kiwi

Spring

End of Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Macadamia nut

Spring

Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Mango

Spring–summer

Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Nectarine

Spring

Spring–Summer 5778

Olive

Summer (when they reach 1/3 of their growth)

Fall 5779

Olives for olive oil

Summer (when they reach 1/3 of their growth)

Winter 5779

Peach*

Spring

Spring–Summer 5778

Pear

Spring

Summer 5778

Pecan

Spring

Summer 5778–Winter 5779

Persimmon

Spring

Fall 5779

Plum

Spring–summer

End of Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Pomegranate

Spring

End of Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Prickly pear (sabra)

Spring–summer

Summer 5778

Quince

Spring

Summer 5778–Fall 5779

Walnut

Spring

Fall 5779

*There may be certain varieties or regions where they also bloom in the winter (see Section 2).

2. Ma’aser Ani Calendar for Fruit that Blooms in the Winter (around Tu BiShevat)

There are fruit that bloom around Tu BiShevat time. This means that while some of these fruits are harvested in Spring–Summer of 5778, they bloom before Tu BiShevat (and are subject to ma’aser sheni); while there are other fruits that will be harvested in Spring–Summer 5779, but bloom before Tu BiShevat of that year (so they are subject to ma’aser ani). For this reason, it is important to use the conditional text when setting aside ma’aserot in 5778 and 5779 as described above. (While the table below includes the most common fruits available in the market, there may be special strains of other fruits that bloom in the winter).

Fruit

Blooming Season

Standard Harvest Date

Almond

Winter

Part of the 5778 harvest, part of the 5779 harvest

Loquat

Winter

Part of the 5778 harvest, part of the 5779 harvest

Passionfruit*

Winter–spring

Part of the 5778 harvest, part of the 5779 harvest

*According to rabbis who hold that the passionfruit vine is considered a tree.

3. Ma’aser Ani Calendar for Citrus Fruit

For citrus fruit, it is unclear whether their blooming date or harvest date is the determining factor for the new ma’aser year (with the exception of the etrog, where the harvest date determines its status). For this reason, there may be fruit subject to ma’aser ani even in Tu BiShevat 5778. Therefore, the conditional text should be used when taking ma’aserot from citrus fruit harvested from Tu BiShevat 5778 through the summer of 5779. Note that fruit in the marketplace may be sold after extended periods of refrigeration, so this conditional text should be used for fruit purchased in supermarkets and open markets through the end of 5779.

Fruit

Blooming Season

Standard Harvest Date

Etrog

Summer (generally)

Harvested between Tu BiShevat 5778 and Tu BiShevat 5779

Grapefruit

Summer–winter

Separate ma’aser ani due to doubt for fruit harvested from Tu BiShevat 5778 through the 5779 harvest.

Lemon

All year round (primarily in summer and winter)

Separate ma’aser ani due to doubt for fruit harvested from Tu BiShevat 5778 through the 5779 harvest (it is possible that produce of Summer 5779 is subject to ma’aser ani).

Orange

Spring–summer

Separate ma’aser ani due to doubt for fruit harvested from Tu BiShevat 5778 through the 5779 harvest.

Oroblanco (sweetie)

Spring–summer

Separate ma’aser ani due to doubt for fruit harvested from Tu BiShevat 5778 through the 5779 harvest.

Tangerine

Spring–summer

Separate ma’aser ani due to doubt for fruit harvested from Tu BiShevat 5778 through the 5779 harvest.

 

4. Ma’aser Ani Calendar for Vegetables

Vegetables harvested between 1 Tishrei 5778 and 1 Tishrei 5779 are subject to ma’aser ani. Vegetables can be harvested at different times, depending on planting season, and all home-grown produce harvested between 1 Tishrei 5778 and 1 Tishrei 5779 is subject to ma’aser ani. As for commercially sold produce, modern vegetable growing techniques make it possible to cultivate many types of vegetables almost year round, while others can be refrigerated long-term, so it is hard to know which year these vegetables belong to. In the table below, vegetables with long-term storage time appear in bold. Some of these vegetables can appear on the market even a year after their harvest.

In any case, it is recommended to use the conditional text mentioned above each time one takes terumot and ma’aserot from both fruits and vegetables, whether store-bought or home-grown, especially during the years 5778 and 5779.

Vegetables

Standard Harvest Date

Standard Storage Time*

Artichoke

Winter–spring

Moderate

Beet

Spring–summer

Moderate

Broccoli

Winter

Short-term

Cabbage

Spring

Moderate

Carrot

Spring

Long-term

Celery

Most of the year

Short-term

Cucumber

Winter–spring

Short-term

Eggplant

Winter–spring

Short-term

Fennel

Spring

Short-to-moderate-term

Lettuce

Winter–spring

Short-term

Onion

Most of the year

Long-term (dehydrated onions)

Pepper

Spring–summer

Short-term

Potato

Most of the year

Long-term

Pumpkin

Spring–summer

Long-term

Radish

Most of the year

Moderate

Strawberry

Winter–spring

Short-term

Summer squash

Spring–summer

Short-term

Sweet potato

Summer–fall

Long-term

Tomato

Spring–summer

Short-term

Watermelon

Spring–summer

Short-term

*Short-term storage: several weeks; moderate storage: several months; long-term storage: more than six months.

For all legumes (peas, hummus, etc.) and grains, the determining factor is that pulse/grain reaches a third of its growth. It follows that if the pulse reaches a third of its development between 1 Tishrei 5778 to 1 Tishrei 5779, it will be subject to ma’aser ani.

[1] Membership in Beit HaOtzar makes it possible to deliver ma’aser ani to its proper destination in the most mehudar fashion. Non-members need to ensure that ma’aser ani is given to a poor person during ma’aser ani years.