April 25, 2019 1:21 pm at 1:21 pm #1719420
Over the past two weeks, I have been seeing something that I feel is extremely important to bring to the public’s attention. I have quite a number of bottles of wine from Eretz Yisroel marked that they are 2015 wines. 2015 was a Shemittah year, and ALL Israeli wines from 2015. I investigated a bit further, and found as follows:
Royal Wine imports a huge amount of wine from Eretz Yisroel, being the exclusive importer for many, many Israeli companies. Royal Wines does not import any shmita wine whatsoever, so for many companies this does not affect North America.
However, Golan Heights Winery, aka Yarden Winery, and their other smaller division, Galil Mountain Winery, produce shemittah wine under Otsar Beis Din, which for the unfamiliar, have FULL KEDUSHA and must be treated with all shemita rules. These are the wines I’ve seen in a whole bunch of stores in Riverdale (Skyview), Manhattan (Vines on Pine), and some stores in Lakewood (Spirits Unlimited). These bottles are marked with a small sign next to the hechsher saying it is a shemita bottle.
There is a whole additional category, these are wines from Adir Winery, including their Kerem Ben Zimra wines, which are being marketed with absolutely no notice at all that they are of shmita kedusha. In fact, they most definitely are, and are generally Heter Mechira wines.
In short, any one purchasing ANY 2015 Israeli wine should exercise a lot of caution, and consult a competent Rav.
A final note: It is extremely telling that all the normal American hashgachos that certify Israeli wines, such as OU and OK, are not on the 2015 bottles.April 29, 2019 10:57 am at 10:57 am #1720313
🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. How does wine made from grapes grown during shmitta need to be handled?April 29, 2019 11:00 am at 11:00 am #1720206
You’re allowed to drink Shemita wine.April 29, 2019 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1720344
lakewhut: True but their are certain halachos regarding using it for cooking, not to use it for havdalah if your makpid to overflow the kos, making sure to drink the entire bottle.April 29, 2019 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1720345
true but you cant spill any out
what do you do with a bit left in your glass?
a small amount left in the bottle at end of the meal?
your kid took some and doesnt like itApril 29, 2019 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1720409
So, you be careful. Do you even have to keep Shemita in חו”ל?April 29, 2019 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1720408
Please drop off all your unwanted wine at my front door.April 29, 2019 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1720402
Klugeryid – you need to let it spoil on its own before you can spill it out or dispose of it double wrapped so the rest of the garbage doesn’t come in contact with it.April 29, 2019 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1720400
There are several problems with Kedushas Shviis produce in Chutz LaAretz, including that there’s a Chiyuv to do Bi’ur on it at a certain time – and if this was not done, the item is Assur forever, but can not be destroyed. Also, there is an Issur to bring Peiros Shviis out of Halachic Eretz Yisrael, or to purchase Peiros Shviis (Otzar Beis Din is a way around this, but has very specific rules). The issue of how to deal with leftovers (which Klugeryid brings up) is complex, as those of us who are lucky enough to live in Eretz Yisrael know.
Based on these issues, I’d be very, very hesitant to purchase any of the wines in question.
an Israeli YidApril 29, 2019 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #1720395
Shemita products can’t be exported from Eretz Yisrael according to halacha (except for a mitzvah like Esrogim) which is probably why the American kashrus agencies don’t certify it.April 29, 2019 9:02 pm at 9:02 pm #1720527
While shmitta is only in EY, the fruit of EY is considered shmitta even when exported.May 5, 2019 8:17 am at 8:17 am #1722955
Looked around – there’s a good article covering it from the MK in Montreal, really explains the whole story and the basic halachos how to deal with the wine for buying, using, throwing out etc…
It’s on the MK website, (mk [then] .ca [then] /IsraelWines) maybe the mods can post it here litoeles ho’rabbim
http://www.mk.ca/IsraelWinesMay 7, 2019 8:34 am at 8:34 am #1723833
Please note that while shmittah wine should not leave EY, this provides you with an amazing opportunity! Learn hilchos shmittah! Discuss it with your kids! Bring the wine to your table and be sure not to drink it – as shemittah wine should not be wasted or used for a secondary purpose such as cooking.
Do not be afraid of a mitzvah, it’s an opportunity!May 7, 2019 10:12 am at 10:12 am #1723828
You also have to decide if you would rely on the heter mechirah under which some of those grapes were harvested by Jews during shmittah. That is a huge shaila to ask your LOR. The question of how much you can pay for these wines, Otzar Beis Din as well, can come into play.
Thank you for bringing up this important issue. Kedushas shviis is part of the fruit/vegetable regardless of where you are.May 7, 2019 10:13 am at 10:13 am #1723829
IsometimesAgree – thanks for the link to the article – it’s a very good summary of the issue. One minor point re: one of the examples they bring, though – they mention that if one used Shmita onions to make soup, the entire soup is Kedushas Shviis. The problem is that it’s pretty much impossible now to have a situation where Shmita vegetables are Mutar at all (the Shita of the Chazon Ish on Yevul Nochri notwithstanding), since Shmita vegetables, even if they grow on their own, are Assur miderabanan under the Gzeira of Sfichin! A better example would have been something made with Shmita fruit…
an Israeli YidMay 7, 2019 11:41 am at 11:41 am #1723946
It’s appalling that people here would intentionally avoid drinking Shmittah wine and eating produce from Israel just because you aren’t familiar with the Halachot. Consider it a learning opportunity.May 7, 2019 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm #1723999
Nechomah – if the wines in question are Otzar Beis Din, then they’re not Heter Mechira.
an Israeli YidMay 7, 2019 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #1724093
shmitah wine that is passed time of BIUR and was not hefker at that time [pesach after shmitah-2016] is forbidden and should be spilled even if it is not spoiled. besides the iusur of wine after biur any wine that is sold in stores are not allowed to be bought because of isur SCHORAH it is not allowed to be sold for profit, also according to many rishonim it is asur because of SHOMUR and NEVAD. also any wine sold in stores even if it states an OTZAR BEIS DIN it is phony; to sell an otzar beis din is not allowed to sell in regular maner only to distribute for the benefit of the people and collect minimum expenses.
BOTTOM LINE -any shmitah wine should definitely be avoided and if bought by mistake should be spilled immediately.May 7, 2019 6:22 pm at 6:22 pm #1724118
zsk: I am not sure what you find appalling. My LOR as well as my friend’s LOR advise not to buy shmitta wines so as to avoid shailos.May 8, 2019 10:32 am at 10:32 am #1724372
Zvika – I suggest you read the article on the MK’s website (linked above) re: the Bi’ur issue – they note that as the wine was not ready then, it was still in the hands of the Otzar Beis Din at the zman bi’ur, which is considered to be in the hands of the public – so as it was not in the possession of any one individual then, there was no need for bi’ur. The MK article also address the other issues you mention.
Also, you are dead wrong on the treatment of something that was chayav in bi’ur and it wasn’t done. it CAN NOT be spilled out or otherwise destroyed, as it’s still Kedushas Shvi’is, but it also can not be used. It has to be put aside until it spoils on its own, and can only then be disposed of. As it relates to wine in sealed bottles, this is a problem, as the wine will generally not spoil for decades or longer if left alone – so the individual has to leave it on its own essentially forever…
an Israeli YidMay 8, 2019 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm #1724523
r’ Israel yid I happen to be quite familiar with hilchos shviis. if the wine was in the hands of otzar beis din it is indeed not chayev in biur. the issue here is 1. if it was in the stores then it was chayev in biur. 2. most important if this wine is being sold regularly in the store the otza beis din Is a joke and has no halachic value; if I or you are going to put a stamp on the bottle stating it is otzar beis din it means nothing; an otzar beis din is only a beis din to distribute peiros shviis for the benefit of the tzibur. therefore any wines being sold in stores by companies that are selling the wine as usual have no otzar beis din no matter what it says on label and are asur since it is past zman biur and was not in hands of REAL OTZAR BEIS DIN.
even though it has kdushas shviis it COULD be destroyed even if it is edible; since the mitzvah is to be MVAAR peiros shviis; at the time of biur or after that if it was not done at the time it has to be destroyed and does not have to be spoiled. [I personally got a psak from rav elyashiv when I had a case of wine and was safek if biur was done properly; and he told me to just spill out the wine]May 8, 2019 7:48 pm at 7:48 pm #1724650
Zvika, these are major batei din you are being mevazeh. Please hold your opinion on major rabbanim to yourself.May 8, 2019 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #1724754
MK Canada KosherParticipant
On behalf of the MK, thank you to YWN for posting our article on this pertinent issue, and ensuring public awareness.
For an update: These wines have been spotted across North America, including NYC, Albany, LA, Chicago and more.
Most Israeli wines are imported through Royal Wines, who do not import any 2015 vintage. This covers Barkan, Carmel, Yatir and many other labels.
The primary issue is with Golan Heights and Galil Mountain, which are under Otzar Beis Din of Rav Auerbach of Tiverua, and Recanati and Adir wines, which are Better Mechira.
These include the following wines.
– Golan Heights ~ Yarden Syrah 2015
– Golan Heights ~ Yarden Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
– Adir Winery ~ Kerem Ben Zimra 2015
– Galil Mountain ~ Alon 2015
– Galil Mountain ~ Yiron 2015
– Gilgal ~ Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
It is important to emphasize that ANY wine from Israel produced in 2015 is necessarily of Shemittah concern, whether the bottle is clearly marked Shemittah or not. Consumers are strongly urged to understand the halacha issues involved before purchasing these bottles, by contacting a competent Halachic authority or checking out the MK article.
All questions concerning the Otzar Beis Din of Rav Auerbach, including on what basis they allow sales to non-Jews, stores, export, biur etc… should be directed to that hechsher.May 9, 2019 7:48 am at 7:48 am #1724839
I got a similar psak as anIsraeliyid regarding keeping wine. I received a bottle of heter mechirah wine many years back and our Rav told us that we cannot spill it and must keep it, basically as a yerusha for our children. It is on a shelf in my closet.May 9, 2019 10:36 am at 10:36 am #1724937
Zvika – if a product was originally Otzar Beis Din, and then someone took it and sold it shelo k’din, that does not change its status at the time that it was Otzar Beis Din. As such, if you consider the hechsher that stated that it was Otzar Beis Din reliable, and the wine was still in production at the zman bi’ur, it should still be fine, even if someone else sold it afterwards.
Re: destroying unspoiled Kedushas Shvi’is products – I find the psak you quote from Rav Elyashiv ZT”L very strange, as it contradicts what I’ve heard from all of my Rabe’im and Poskim over the years. Are you absolutely sure he said that?
an Israeli YidMay 9, 2019 10:37 am at 10:37 am #1724920
Nechomah – Heter Mechira wine, when received as a gift prior to the Zman Bi’ur, is actually Muttar to drink since it’s only mekach u’memkar that’s Assur for Peiros Shvi’is – and if you’ve received it for free, you did nothing wrong. The issue is if it’s after the zman bi’ur, since if the Heter Mechira is not good (a separate conversation), then it’s peiros shvi’is that did not go throguh bi’ur when required – and are therefore assur to you forever – but also can’t be destroyed as they have kedushas shvi’is.
BTW, the psak I got on something like this is that since there are rabbanim whom one can be somech on for the heter mechira – including Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L, one is allowed to give such a product to someone who does use heter mechira for that person to use. As always, though, ask your local orthodox rabbi.
an Israeli YidMay 9, 2019 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #1724982
Otzar BD officially keeps the wine at the zman Biur, especially wine that is intended for export, hence I don’t see where you concern is coming from.
Moreover, on wine/grapes that is grown for export there many other heterim, regarding Hotzah and Biur see, at length discussed in Ridvaz on Shmitah in the following link, wherein they did export wine :
Personally, many hold its nowadays a rabanon (see above), and many hold the Heter Mechirah is in effect if done, although they would oppose doing a Malacha (planting etc) though a Mechirah and oppose the very Mechirah as well ואכמ”ל
But the fact is there was a Mechirah on all of Israel, so it would be fair to say you can rely on that regarding the concern of Biur only, where its facts are unknown and was sold via Otzar BD.May 9, 2019 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #1725060
gaon- you are making a very big mistake nobody sells the whole Israel as only the owner could sell his property. those that do heter michirah sell their property by the rabbanut. as we sell the chometz by a rav. [this is considered heter mechirah klalli as opposed to the earlier matirim witch did a mechirah prati-privete with a goy.]
regardless if the heter mechirah has any effect [the chazon ish rav elyashiv and most poskim held that it does not for many reasons] if it has otzar beis din then obviously the owners did not make mechirahMay 9, 2019 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #1725058
jdb you will not find in the stores otzar beis din wine from any major beis din. bdatz eidah charadis does not give otzar beis din on wine only on esrogim witch are not sold in stores and only closed boxes. there are otzar beis din on wines with hechser of r nisim karelitz; and from beis din kommius and shaeris yisroal’ none of them are sold in stores and of curse not exported.May 9, 2019 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #1725054
yisrael yid – true selling or doing an issur with shviis wine does not change the status; if it was in the hands of an reliable hechsher at time of biur then we are meikel that it is considered hefker since the otzar beis din are not owners only as shluchim of the zibur; and we rely on the ramban and rash that peiros that werw hefker at time of biur doas not become asur. it should be noted that according to most sfardim it is asur even if it was hefker as is the opinion of the rambam and many rishonim.
the main problem is that an otzar beis din is not hokus pokus; the whole heter of otzar beis din is not clear cut; there is no clear mkor for the otzar beis din that we have now days; although it is based on a tosefta according to the explanation of some rishonim; others explain the tosefta differently also the rambam does not mention otzar beis din- evan those that were matir theotzar beis din as the chazon ish [and rabbanim; of eideh chareidis for esrogim only] was on condition that it is not sold regularly in stores prices have to be cheaper.
for the above reasons there are hardly wines sold by otzar beis din; and some [even those that have good hechsharim the otheryears do heter mechirah in shmitah] since these wines are being sold by the componey regular in the stores according to all major poskim in eretz yisroal can not be considered that it was in hands of otzar beis din.
regarding destroying wine after biur- I don’t know what you heard from your rabaaim but the halacha is very clear – before zman biur there is an isur of ‘hefsed peiros shviis’ but anything that is chayev biur could be mvuer the way it is; just like chametz erev pesach is not baal tashcis and just like trumah that has to be burnt as trumah has the exact same kdusha as shviis as is clear in the Mishnah. you could open up mishnaus and all rishonim as well as rambam and nosei keilim in hilchos biur; and it is clear that at time of biur everything has to be destroyed without mention of spoiling.
I am absolutely sure of the psak from elyashiv and I remember all the detailes it was a few shmitos ago  and the chidush was that he said to spill the wine just because the biur wasn’t done properly [it was done by shliach]
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