19 Adar 5777 | 17 March 2017 - Advocate for Israel; fight BDS; and buy - then tithe! - Costco Jafa Clementines

Dear Friends,

We are now in the period between the partial redemption of Purim and the fuller redemption of Pesach.  Of course, even Pesach is an incomplete redemption.  We open the seder narrative of our being freed from slavery by declaring that we in fact are still slaves to this very day - hashata avdei.  We end the narrative with a bittersweet four-word prayer, le-shanah habaah biyerushalayim ha-benuyah, "next year in a united, flourishing, Temple-bearing Jerusalem."

It is therefore appropriate that at this time of year, we are presented with opportunities to do our part during a pre-messianic era for our People and Homeland by advocating on behalf of Israel.  It is not too late to join me in registering for the Annual AIPAC Conference, taking place next Sunday, March 26th, through Tuesday, March 28th, in Washington, D.C.  Even if you can only make it for half a day, it is worth the trip.   Even if you can't make that, please consider attending the World Jewish Congress' Ambassadors Against BDS day of education and diplomacy.  You can register online here.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, if you shop at Costco please consider buying the Jafa Clementines sold there.   One of the greatest ways our community can combat BDS is by purchasing the Israeli items sold in our local establishments.  However, ONE VERY IMPORTANT KASHRUT NOTE:  One must take off a small portion of the clementines for terumot and maasrot, biblical and rabbinically mandated tithes, before eating them, seeing as terumot and maasrot were likely not yet taken.   To learn more about tithing, please click here.

TO FIND A ONE PAGE SET OF PROCEDURES FOR SEPARATING TERUMOT AND MAASROT, PLEASE CLICK HERE.  Even if you don't like clementines, it is worth printing this out and keeping it in a handy place in your kitchen so that you can buy Israeli produce without concern of terumot and maasrot.   In general, there is a mistaken belief that the Israeli Rabbanut already separates such tithes, but for fresh produce this is, as of now, incorrect.  That does not mean we should shy away from purchasing Israeli products.  The next Shemitah year is not until 2021/2022, which means that until 2022 and 2023, there is no Israeli produce we should shy away from buying, so long as we follow these procedures.   
 
Tizku le-mitzvot!
Yehuda Septimus
Rabbi
Young Israel of North Woodmere

Wed, November 22 2017 4 Kislev 5778