- General Questions
Hello, I have a lemon tree growing in a pot in my Mirpesset (uncovered) for over 4 years, and it has lemons growing in all seasons. I want to pick lemons when I need them (one or two at a time). How do I take Maasser and Truma? Do I need to do so each time I pick a lemon? What is the law regarding herbs and Maasser? Thank you Louisa Israel
Separate more than 1% of the lemons which are being Maasered. Say the full or short version of the “Nusach Hafrashah” which appears in most Siddurim. Say it with a Brachah as it is definite Tevel (produce from which the tithes were not taken). Set aside a coin for redeeming the Maaser Sheini and Neta Revai. The coin can be used a number of times according to the amount of Prutot the coin is worth. When the coin is full redeem the coin on a coin worth a Prutah and then destroy the coin such as by throwing into the sea. The value of a Prutah is equivalent to -1/40 gram silver, the value of a Prutah varies according to the price of silver in the markets of the world. The price of silver is measured in a troy ounce, which its weight is 31.1034768 grams. In order to reach the value of the Prutah one should divide the ounce to 31.1 and the result divided to 40. It is important to note that one cannot redeem fruit worth less than a Prutah on a coin that does not contain a Prutah Chamurah. Prutah Chamurah is a coin that contains already a Prutah of Maaser Sheini from a previous redemption. Therefore one should redeem a Prutah worth of Maaser Sheini fruit the first time he uses a coin for redemption. Alternatively one can get membership at Keren Hamaasrot (02-6517793) who keep a Prutah Chamurah for their members at any given time. You can then take Terumot and Maasrot without the need of keeping your own coin. Wrap well the 1%+ and dispose. Terumot and Maasrot (Teruma is the portion of the crop dedicated to the priests and Maaser is Levitical tithes) should be taken every time a lemon is picked off the tree which grows in a pot in a roofless porch; because taking Terumot and Maasrot is done only after the fruit are picked. As far as spices go, some require Terumot and Maasrot and others are exempt. Those which are used only for flavoring, such as tea leaves, tea herbs, black pepper etc. are exempt from Terumot and Maasrot. On the other hand spices that are used for eating as a part of a salad or in a vegetable soup require Terumot and Maasrot. Spices which are eaten in a dip or spread, and other types of spices that its way of use is unclear, because there are types of spices that are commonly eaten in some countries where others will use it only for flavoring, in these cases one should separate Terumot and Maasrot without a Brachah. Herbs that are used as a medicine not as food do not require Terumot and Maasrot. (הכשרות פרק טו, משפטי ארץ הלכות תרומות ומעשרות פרק א סעיפים ו, ח, טו, יז ופרק ז).