Question:

  1. Concerning hydroponically grown produce.
    1. What is the correct Bracha? Shehakol? Borei Peri HaAdama?
    2. If grapes are hydroponically grown, can they be used for production of Yayin? Can the Yayin be used for Kiddush?
    3. Is this produce subject to Terumot U’Ma’aser (Eretz Yisrael)?
    4. Is it also subject to Shmitta (Eretz Yisrael)?

    Thank you.

Answer:

You are asking some very good questions. Let’s take things one by one.

  1. Regarding the bracha, it is questionable if it is shehakol because it is not grown in from earth, however in the other hand it is not like mushrooms, which never grow from the ground. Others say that it is a type that grows from the ground therefore is bracha is hoadomo. One may rely on the poskim that say that it is hoadomo.
  2. One can rely that on those who say that the bracha on this wine is hagofen.
  3. Regarding terumos u’maasros if the vegetables are grown without anything added to the water then they wouldn’t need to separate terumos etc. but if there are additives added to the water then it should be taken without a bracha.
  4. Regarding shemitta, vegetables grown hydroponically would have the same halachos and conditions (that it has to be sufficiently separated from the ground in order to exempt it from shmitta) as vegetables grown in a flowerpot.

Sources:

  1. Chayei Adam 51-17, Shevet Halevi 1 205 ( 204), Ohr L’tzion 14-13, Machazeh Eliyahu 25 through 30, Yichaveh Daas 6-12, Sharei Habracha 23 ftnt. 114. Conversation with R’ Stitzberg, author of Sharei Habracha. If one wants to do like the poskim that say that since it is questionable that the bracha should be shehakol, there is one thing that they must remember. Since it’s bracha might really be hoadama, if you already said hoadomo on something else during this meal, you would not make a shehakol on it, since it is possible that it’s bracha was already said.
  2. Conversation with R’ Stitzberg, author of Sharei Habracha, although kiddush at night is d’orayso, howver kiddush on wine is d’rabonon.
  1. Derech Emuna 2 pg 47 Biur Halacha D:H Ochel, Mshpatei Eretz Maasros pg. 43,(seif 19),Oz Nidberu 4-51, Ketziras hasadeh ( R’ Revach) pg. 19, Sharei Terumos U’masros Pg. 11 Biuri Halacha D:H Shegidulov.
  2. MIshpatei Eretz Shvi’is 7-17.

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