Shmita news roundup- JNF, marijuana and more
Good news for people who use medical marijuana- the Rabbanut has permitted the use of medical marijuana during shmita. It does not permit the use of marijuana for recreational purposes under any circumstances, however. Source: Ynet
JNF (KKL in Israel) has published their policy statement regarding shmita. Some of their policy changes include:
- There will be no ceremonial tree planting during the shmita year, except for specific circumstances that are approved by the Rabbanut.
- There will be no planting by students or anyone else for Tu Beshevat.
- JNF will not distribute seedlings for planting by outside groups, including bee farms.
- Preparation for planting in the year after shmita will be done on an individual basis with approval by the Rabbanut.
- Work to preserve trees is permitted, including destroying harmful insects and diseases as well as activities to prevent fires.
- The olive harvest during the shmita year (תשע”ה) will take place without any halachic restrictions. Regarding the olive harvest the year after shmita, the JNF and the Rabbanut will release their policy statement in the coming months.
- Harvesting carob during the shmita year (תשע”ה) can take place without any halachic restrictions.
For a full list (Hebrew), go to their web site.
The Israeli government has just advertised that they will allocate 100 million shekels for shmita purposes next year. It will be broken down into the following categories:
- 45 million shekels to support farmers who stop all activities on their farms;
- 20 million shekels to support farmers who won’t harvest their fruit but will maintain their orchards;
- 11 million shekels to support organizations who run an otzar beit din;
- 5 million shekels to support farmers who grow produce off the ground, which is not subject to shmita regulations.
The article does not say where the rest of the money will go. Source: Haaretz