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Dining in Israel: Understanding Shemitta & Restaurant List

The year 5782 (aka 2021-2022) ending Rosh Hashanah later this year, is a Shemitta year in Israel. Shemitta occurs once every 7 years during which farmers will cease from tending to their crops. Moreover, most fruits and vegetables that sprout naturally during the year are prohibited for consumption.

On the surface, this seems to mean that no fresh produce will be available in Israel during a Shemitta year and the year following it. However, there are several workarounds to Shemitta that enable individuals to consume fresh produce throughout this time period.

The following is a list of common policies and their meanings.

Please consult your LOR on the intricacies of these practices and which are suitable for you and your family.

  • Otzar Haaretz: Vegetables that have kedushat shviit (holiness of the 7th year), need to save the waste and bury in a special way (discard in a separate garbage bag, then toss it out)
  • Yevul Nochri: Imported vegetables from outside Israel or the Arava (outside of Israel’s biblical borders). No need to preserve the leftovers.
  • Yivul Shishit: Fruits and vegetables that have been picked in the sixth year and are have no holiness.
  • Heter Mechira: Lands owned by Jews that is sold to gentiles. The vegetables have no kedushat shviit.

Most Rabbanut restaurants and large supermarkets in Israel use Heter Mechira produce. Below is a partial list of popular restaurants in Jerusalem, Israel that hold Shemitta L’Chumra (Yevul Nochri, Yevul Shishit).

Meat Restaurants:

  • 1868 – Rabbanut Mehuderet Shemitta L’chumra
  • Jlm Sushi – Rabbanut Mehuderet Shemitta L’chumra
  • Zuta Bar – Rabbanut Mehuderet Shemitta L’chumra
  • Skyline Jerusalem Garden Hotel – OU Glatt, Rabbanut Mehadrin Shemitta L’chumra
  • Crave – Rabbanut Mehuderet Shemitta L’chumra
  • Tommy’s – Badatz HaRav Machpud Shemitta L’chumra
  • Rodriguez – Badatz HaRav Rubin Shemitta L’chumra
  • Yama – Badatz HaRav Rubin Shemitta L’chumra
  • Harvey’s Smokehouse – Rabbanut Mehuderet Shemitta L’chumra
  • Harvey’s Burger Shack – Rabbanut Mehuderet Shemitta L’chumra
  • Ruben (Givat Shaul and Machane Yehuda) -Badatz HaRav Machpud Shemitta L’chumra
  • Grill Bar– Badatz HaRav Machpud Shemitta L’chumra
  • Entrecote – Badatz Eidah Charedit Shemitta L’chumra

Dairy Restaurants:

  • La Piedra (both locations) – Rabbanut Mehadrin Shemitta L’chumra
  • Cafe Gan Sipur (Gan Sacher) – Badatz Beit Yosef Shemitta L’chumra
  • Ricotta – Badatz HaRav Rubin Shemitta L’chumra
  • Luciana – Rabbanut Mehuderet Shemitta L’chumra
  • Greg’s (Center 1) – Rabbanut Mehadrin Shemitta L’chumra
  • Cafe Rimon (Mamilla) – Rabbanut Mehadrin Shemitta L’chumra
  • Craft Pizza, (City Center) – Rabbanut Mehadrin Shemitta L’chumra

Thank you to Yehudah Jacobs (@theisraelifoodie) for compiling this article.