Nov 25, 2007
Buying flowers during shmitta year is a big issue.
I am not going to write about the details, because I do not really understand it. It is a bit complicated on what exactly it is relevant.
I use this year as a good excuse to not buy flowers, which I almost never buy anyways. I do not believe in buying dead flowers that sit on your table and rot and begin to smell after 2 or 3 days. It seems to me like a big waste of money. So I usually end up buying flowers about once every two or three years or so for some occasion.. This year I have a good excuse to get out of it, by blaming it on Shmitta.
The general issue is that flowers are affected by shmitta like vegetables. They cannot be planted or taken care of. They cannot be picked or sold.Exactly what is and is not allowed depends if they are flowers for smell or beauty with no smell or other types (which confuses me so I cannot get into those details).
I will just say that my brother came for shabbos this week and brought us a bouquet of flowers. This was our first bouquet since shmitta began. When my wife opened them up to put them in a vase, she noticed that they had a hechsher on them saying they were free of any shmitta issurim.
So if you are going to buy flowers, make sure you buy them with a hechsher!