Next Year, Consider a Shmitta-sitter

Once every seven years, residents of the ultra-Orthodox township of Bnei Brak throw away their house plants, not knowing how to deal with them during “shmitta,” the biblical “fallow year,” when use of produce or other products from the land of Israel is prohibited.

But when Rosh Hashanah rolls around next year, ultra-Orthodox Jews will have an alternative, according to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv.

A solution to the problem was found by Arye Levkovitz, chairman of Judaism Park, which is located on the grounds of the Orthodox Ma’ayanei Yeshuah Hospital in Bnei Brak.

Levkovitz is offering to take in the plants, which will be cared for by a computer system programed to water them daily, with amounts calculated according to temperature and humidity.

The plants will be grown hydroponically, so that the vegetation does not touch the soil and can therefore be regarded as “furniture.”

Fertilizers made into self-timing pellets will be added to the hydroponic mixture and delivered gradually throughout the year.

Boarding rates for the plant baby-sitting service have not yet been announced.

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