Buy a tree for ?? $7.00 ?? per month and earn the mitzvahs that it creates:
maaser rishon | terumat maaser | maaser sheini | teruma gedola | maaser ani | settling the land | learning torah
buy a tree that carries your name and you earn its mitzvahs.
works the land and earns the fruit of your tree as payment, after separating the terumot and maasrot (tithes).
money after expenses is donated to the Yeshiva Govoha of Kochav Hashachar, thereby earning you the merit of its torah study.
Free gift: Join us and receive a bottle of boutique olive oil from our orchards -- absolutely free!
A few words about the mitzvahs
Our avodat Hashem (the service of G-d) is full of mitzvahs. We are accustomed to fulfilling “standard” mitzvahs, such as Shabbat, tzedaka (charity), prayer, and so forth. They surround our lives and give them direction. We fulfil them happily, and invest in them our energy and resources. However, whole categories of relatively uncommon mitzvahs are performed by a rather small percentage of the Jewish people. These are the mitzvahs that depend on the Land of Israel (mitzvot tluyot baaretz). These mitzvahs can generally only be fulfilled by farmers or by Israelis with a fruit tree in the back yard.
These mitzvahs express the special relationship between a Jew and his land. They teach us the value of the settlement of the Land, of charity, whichis the basis of Jewish society, and of the faith in Hashem who is the One who gives us the power to act.
We shall briefly discuss the mitzvahs that one merits by purchasing a tree in Kochav Hashachar.
[Deuteronomy 18:3-4]. This is given to the Kohanim. The Torah sets no quantity for it, but the sages said is should be no less than 1/60. It must be eaten in purity, but since Kohanim these days are impure, it is generally double bagged and discarded. (Some have the custom of feeding it to
This ma’aser has no inherentkedusha (holiness) and can therefore be eaten in a state of impurity. The ma’aser rishon may not be eaten until the Levi separates from it the terumat ma’aser. In our days, there are those who are lenient and do not give it to a Levi, and suffice with declaring a portion of the fruit ma’aser. However, others say that it must be given to a Levi. By giving the ma’aser to the Levi, we fix in our hearts the idea that it is fitting for the servants of Hashem to make an honorable living, and that it is an honor and merit for a Jew to separate the tithe for the sake of increased holiness.
The Levi separates a tenth for the Kohen, and the same rules as the teruma gedola apply to this one too. As you sages taught us, “And it will be considered for you your terumas” [ibid], that this wording includes two tithes: the teruma gedola and the terumat ma’aser.By separating this tithe, the Levi in effect says to himself that he too needs to give a portion to one who is above him, to help us all remember that there is one above the one above: the Holy One, blessed be He.
This tithe is taken by the person himself in order to eat the fruit in Jerusalem in purity (his and the fruit’s). If he is too far away, he can redeem the holiness of the ma’aser with money, transferring the fruit’s holiness onto it, then taking it to Jerusalem to buy food there to eat in purity. In our time, we simply redeem the ma’aser sheini on a small amount of money. This tithe applies in years 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the seven-year Shemitta cycle. Ma’aser sheini, by forcing a person to arise to Jerusalem, causes a person to come face to face with the glory of Hashem and his servants, as it is written, “That you shall learn to fear Hashem all your days”.
From here we learn that ma’aser ani is given in the third and sixth years of the Shemita cycle, as these years lack the ma'aser sheini. An “ani” (poor person) is defined as one who possesses less than the value of 200 zuz, that is one whose monthly income is insufficient to meet his expenses. When one separates ma’aser ani in his home, it might be seen as disrespectful to give a poor person half an orange, for example. Therefore, organizations exist that collect the donations in the form of money from individual Jews, then distribute it as needed.This mitzva accustoms us to the trait of mercy and informs us that our money has a purpose to be used for good and worthwhile needs, rather than being an end in itself.
This mitzva applies in the fourth and seventh years of Shemitta, on the final day
of Passover (some say the first day).
In these years one completes the fulfilment of all one’s obligations regarding the separation of tithes, that is to remove from the home and give what had been separated but not yet given, and certainly to separate what had not yet been separated. The vidui (declaration) is performed after all tithing has been completed.
In our time, the custom is to read the relevant section from the Torah with appropriate cantillation (but without reciting the blessings) in the synagogue either before or after the Mincha afternoon service of the last day of Passover. The worshippers should read along concurrently.
The purpose of the vidui declaration is to partner the awesome power of speech with the mitzvahs of the
tithes, and to testify upon oneself that he has fulfilled his obligations.
There are three opinions regarding our obligations for this mitzva in our time: that it’s biblical, that it’s rabbinic, and that it’s not required, but praiseworthy. The accepted opinion is that it’s rabbinic.
The Torah prohibits four activities on Shemitta: planting, pruning, harvesting, and grape cutting (the last two are permitted if done in an unusual matter).
There are also positive commandments: to regard fruit as ownerless and holy, as well as to remove them from the house when they are no longer found in the field.
When the owner of a field stops working the land, he is giving the land a chance to recover its strength. Shemitta connects a man to the idea that his sustenance is fixed for him from above, and frees up time for him to engage in Torah study himself. A major additional factor is the mercy shown to the poor by allowing them free access to the fruit.
1. Conquest. This is Jewish sovereignty over its land.
2. Flowering. This is the reversal of the empiness of the land by way of planting and building.
According to halacha, even in our day, these are biblical commandments, and great are the words of the Chatam Sofer who says that working the Land of Israel has the same value as the laying of tefillin.
The unique thing about conquering the land is that it is fundamentally imposssible for an individual to fulfil, rather the nation must do it. And this mitzva has as its goal for us not to allow the land to remain in the hands of others.
In our day, the land is showing once again a joyful face to the Jewish people who have returned to it after a long and bitter exile. This is what was meant by the sages wo said, “There is no clearer sign of redemption than this: that the Land of Israel gives of its fruit bountifully”.
Learning Torah repairs the entire world in every way. If people knew the sweetness of Torah, they would chase after it madly, while the Torah would remain as a beloved deer or beautiful ibex.
And great is the reward for those who strengthen and enable the learners of Torah. They are attached to the Diving Presence and earn a prtion of the reward of the learning they support. All those who donate for the purpose of mitzva see no diminution of their earnings.
Rabbi Ya’akov Ariel
Chief Rabbi of Ramat Gan: There is a way to attach a person to his land, by way of appointing farmers as our personal agents to fulfil the mitzvahs dependent on the Land on our behalf. This initiative is blessed for connecting a Jew to his land, its holiness, its mitzvahs, and its exalted values.
Rabbi Natan Neta Landman
I hereby publicly inform our dear brothers in the Land of Israel and in the exile of a great mitzva that contains the mitzvahs: the settlement of the Land of Israel, fulfillment of the mitzvahs that depend on the Land, and the support of Torah scholars. This is done by purchasing an olive tree for a year from the orchards of Kochav Hashachar. The dear Jew who supports and assists with all of the above has his work performed by reliable agents on his behalf for the sake of his joy and merit, mitzvahs that guard and protect him as has been explained. It is worth pointing out that this lofty project is headed by the rabbi of Kochav Hashachar, Rabbi Ohad Krakover. I hope and pray that their merit and strengthening in spirit and substance will bring about the End of Days and the coming of the Redeemer.
Come take part!
Your donation may be made in the memory or for the healing of a loved one.
You are welcome to sign a contract of Issachar and Zevulun with us. לפרטים נוספים
This initiative is under the halachic oversight of Rabbi Ohad Krakover.
The tree may be purchased with ma’aser money.