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Ask the rabbi Family and Society The Halachot of Shmitta and Yovel

weeds in shimitta

Question
i have high weeds in yard my neighbor said this might breed snakes can i pull them out
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. Weeding is one of the activities that are forbidden during the Shmittah year. None the less, there are certain leniencies. In cases where the weeds pose a threat of harboring snakes (or a threat of fire, if not taken care of) then they may be removed. As to how the weeding should be done, the order of preference is as follows – 1. A spray to prevent the growth of the weeds. 2. A spray to kill the weeds that have already grown. 3. Cutting the weeds above the ground. 4. Uprooting the weeds with the use of a implement. 5. Uprooting the weeds by hand. If the weeds do not pose a threat, but only an aesthetic problem of not looking nice, they may be cut off above the ground. You should try to get some advice as to what threat your weeds pose, and then apply the rules mentioned above. Blessings.
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