[Avodah] Buying minim from a child

Zev Sero via Avodah avodah at lists.aishdas.org
Wed Sep 30 13:03:26 PDT 2015

On 09/25/2015 03:32 AM, Ben Waxman via Avodah wrote:
> When I was in yeshiva, we were told to refrain from buying any of the
> four minim from a child. If the product was stolen, a child can't
> take possession via shinu reshut or ma'aseh. Therefore the theft
> falls on the buyer and his minim are pasul.
> Thinking about during my jog, I had a few questions:
> 1) Is this a real chashash or simply are we trying to cover all
> halachik corners? Meaning, if I do buy from a child do I really have
> anything to worry about? And if it isn't a real concern, then why am
> I not being oveir on "chosheid b'kesheirim"?
> 2) If it is a real chashash (the presence of stolen minim in the
> market) than why buy from an adult? Buying stolen goods is also a
> sin. At the very least, one can only buy from a place with a heksher.
> 3) Or can one? Can we assume that the kashrut agencies really check
> were their minim come from?
> 4) Who determines if there is a significant presence of stolen goods
> in the market every year?  I assume that the amount of stolen goods
> has to be above a certain minimum for there to be a real issue?

The chashash is not for actually stolen goods, but that the land on
which the minim were grown was stolen hundreds or thousands of years
ago, and since karka eina nigzeles it still belongs to the rightful
heirs of the original owner.  Thus the person who harvests the minim
is technically the gazlan, ye'ush happened a long time ago, so we
need a shinuy reshus, which happens when you buy from the "gazlan",
but not if he's a katan.   If he bought it from someone else then
this problem doesn't exist, but there's another problem: it won't
be shelachem, which it needs to be for the first day.

This is also why one should not use minim one cut oneself, but rather
sell those and buy ones that someone else cut.

All of this only applies in countries where land title is uncertain;
where it can be traced directly back to a valid kibush milchama,
there is no problem.

Zev Sero               All around myself I will wave the green willow
zev at sero.name          The myrtle and the palm and the citron for a week
                And if anyone should ask me the reason why I'm doing that
                I'll say "It's a Jewish thing; if you have a few minutes
                I'll explain it to you".

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