Torah Riddles Test #39

  1. Question: Why can a Jew make a deal with a non-Jew to take care of his vineyard and eat its grapes in exchange for the non-Jew working on his vineyard and eating those grapes during the 3 years of orlah but if they were partners in one field the non-Jew cannot just work on it the first 3 years and eat from its fruit and then the Jew eat for the next 3 years and eat the same amount of fruit as his non-Jewish partner ate the first 3 years?


 A. Orlah is the Halacha that for the first 3 years after a Jew plants a tree he cannot eat from its fruits.

B. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 294:13) poskins like the Rambam that by a partnership of a Jew and non-Jew, none of them can eat fruit from the tree for the first 3 years after planting unless a specific condition was made for the non-Jew to eat the fruits for the first 3 years and the Jew for the next 3 years. But the condition cannot be conditional on each one getting the same and equal amount of fruit because that would be trading orlah fruit for regular fruit.

C. In si’if 14 the Shulchan Aruch allows one to ask a non-Jew to work his vineyard and eat the fruits produce during the years of orlah while the Jew works on the non-Jews vineyard during those 3 years and eats the same amount of fruit.

 D. Everyone agrees that one can sell his orlah fruit for money when one first plants his tree (See si’if 15.)

Answer: Trading one’s land for the non-Jew’s land to work the land along with eating his fruits is more like a sale than a trade because he is selling his field in exchange for working and taking care of his field. This is totally permissible, unlike just a trade of fruit for fruit. (See Taz there note 22.)