Hilchos Tu B’shvat

Given by: Rabbi Weiner

The following is an explanation of the intrinsic Halochos pertaining to the Yom Tov of Tu B'shvat. It can be read below or by downloading the PDF here Additionally, a chart compiled by the Rav explaining which fruit are required to be cleaned and how to clean them is availble below or by clicking here
  1. The day of TuB’shvat

  • 1.1) TuB’shvat is the Rosh Hashanah for the trees; therefore the minhag is to eat fruits on TuB’shvat[1].
  • 1.2) Tachanun is not said at Mincha on the afternoon before TuB’shvat, nor on TuB’shvat itself[2].
  • 1.3) There is a minhag to daven for a beautiful Esrog on TuB’shvat[3].
  • 1.4) Some have the minhag to make Esrog jam out of the Esrog that was used the past Succos. Shehechiyanu is not recited on this jam[4].
  • 1.5) It is commendable to learn the halachos of Terumos and Ma’asros on TuB’shvat[5]
  1. Halachos of Terumos & Ma’sros
  • 2.1) One who lives in Eretz Yisroel, or even someone who lives outside of Eretz Yisroel but is eating produce grown in Eretz Yisroel, must fulfill the mitzvah of separating Terumos and Ma’asros.
  • 2.2) When purchasing these products or when served these products in a restaurant, one is allowed to assume that Terumos and Ma’asros were taken off and can eat the food if there is a reliable hechsher in the establishment.
  • 2.3) One who buys produce directly from a farm, or from a store that does not have a reliable hechsher (i.e. in the shuk), is obligated to separate Terumos and Ma’asros. Speak to a Rav for clear directions on how to separate. (It's not so difficult.)
  • 2.4) It is prohibited to separate Terumos and Ma’asros on Shabbos and Yom Tov. If one forgot to separate before Shabbos or Yom Tov, a Sheila should be asked.
  1. Shabbos Shirah
  • 1.1) Many have the minhag to feed bread to birds on Shabbos Shirah (Parshas Beshalach).There are two reasons given for this minhag:
  • 1- To remember the birds that sang ‘Shira’ for us when we crossed the Yam Suf.
  • 2- The Mann did not fall on Shabbos; rather, a double portion fell on Friday. The first week in the midbar that this happened, Dasan and Aveirum went on Friday night and put out Mann to discredit the words of Moshe. The birds ate all this Mann up, thus avoiding any potential Chilul Hashem.
  • 1.2) It is not considered a disgrace to bread to feed it to birds[6].
  • 1.3) It is forbidden on Shabbos to place food before animals that do not rely on a Jewish person for food. This applies to any hefker animal, even if the animal will not normally find its own food. Therefore, it would be prohibited from putting out bread for birds on Shabbos (even on Shabbos Shira[7]). However, there are three reasons to be lenient on Shabbos Shirah:
    • 1- The whole issur of feeding animals applies only if the food is placed directly in front of the animal. If the food is placed outside in the open, and afterwards the birds come and take it, this may be permitted[8].
    • 2- The purpose of feeding the birds is to remember the joy of Kriyas Yam Suf (and specifically to recall that the birds sang ‘Shira’ for us) and not for the sake of feeding the animals[9].
    • 3- Since the intent of feeding the birds is for a Mitzvah, it is permitted[10].
  • 1.4) One who has the minhag to feed bread to the birds can follow it (due to the reasons above). If one does not have this minhag, he or she should put out the bread on Erev Shabbos– and not on Shabbos itself if they would like to fulfill this ענין.
[1]מג"א ס' קלא אות טז. [2]מחבר ס' קלא סע' ו, ומשנ"ב שם ס"ק לב. וע' בלבוש קלא סע' ו שמוסיף דימים אלו ימי שמחה הם ולכן לא אמרינן תחנון. [3]בני יששכר מאמרי חודש שבט מאמר ב - ראש השנה לאילנות. [4]לקט יושר או"ח עמוד קמט. ועוד יש שסוברים דאפ' על אתרוג עצמו אין לברך שהחיינו הואיל והוא דר באילן משנה לשנה, ע' בשו"ת הלק"ט ח"ב סימן רנז. [5]ע' בדברי האדרת בספרו 'נפש דוד' ושם כתב "ומאז נראה לי שמה שהראשונים קבעו יום זה ליום טוב שלא לומר בו תחנון הוא להזכירנו מצות הפרשת מעשר אילנות." [6]ע' משנ"ב ס' קעא ס"ק יא בסוף דבריו, שצידד להקל במקום שאין לו דבר אחר להאכיל כי אם מאכל אדם. וע"ע בלשון הרמ"א ס' שכא סע' יב "אבל מתר לפרר לחם לפני התרנגולם בשבת דהואיל וכבר נטחן אין לחש וכו." משמע שהעצם דבר להאכיל לחם לעופות בודאי היא מותרת. [7]משנ"ב ס' שכד ס"ק לא. וכ"כ השועה"ר (סעיף ח'), וקיצור שו"ע (פ"ז:י"ח). [8]מקור חיים לבעל חוות יאיר (ס' שכד). [9]ערה"ש ס' שכד סע' ג. [10]ערה"ש שם בשם התוספת שבת
Tu B'shvat fruit checking list1