On the eve of 5771, a year of Ma’aser Oni, dozens of kashrus supervisors gathered for a two-day seminar hosted by HaRav Yosef Efrati’s Kashrus Lemehadrin, to examine kashrus issues surrounding mitzvas tied to Eretz Yisroel and to prepare for the Ma’aser Oni year.
Fulfilling the mitzvah of Ma’aser Oni in practice entails a number of challenges and difficulties. Unfortunately, the poor are often deprived of their rightful portion in agricultural yields, which led Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv shlita, to note during the previous Ma’aser Oni year, “It is definitely preferable to buy produce from stores under the supervision of kashrus committees that deal with the problem of agricultural gifts stolen from the poor.”
For the past several months Kashrus Lemehadrin has been busy preparing for the Ma’aser Oni applicable to vegetables, which began right away with the first harvesting of the year on the 4th of Tishrei. Those preparations include halachic inquiries, discussions and response, leaflets offering practical halachic guidelines and forging contacts between tzedokoh organizations and businesses that sell agricultural produce.