Shemita Question

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I have a shemita question: I accidentally bought a bunch of Israeli basil which is now in my fridge . What should I do with it?
Many thanks
Rosemary

Dear Rosemary,
Thank you for your question. Basil is subject to the law of sefichin, which essentially means one should not eat it, as produce of the field (as opposed to the orchard) of the 7th Year. Although there is the well-known heter mechirah (the legal device by which the land of Israel  is sold to a non-Jew, thereby obviating the law of the Sabbatical Year) I do not suggest relying upon it in the present circumstance. The best thing to do is to sprinkle the basil in your garden, so that it decomposes naturally.
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Tzippy
***
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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