Shabbat Parashat R'ei | 5764
From the works of Hagaon Harav Shaul Yisraeli zt”l - Kilayim - IV - Are the Products of Mixed Sowing or Grafting Forbidden? - Based on Eretz Hemdah II, 1:5; 2:3
The gemara (Chulin 115a) inquires whether the product of mixed sowing (kilei zeraim) is included in the concept that “all which I categorized for you as an abomination is forbidden” (based on Devarim 14:3). The first stage in rejecting that proposition is to show that the animal born from cross-breeding (kilei beheima)is permitted, as is clear from the need for a special prohibition on such an animal in regard to sacrificing it. Based on the Torah’s connection between kilei zeraim and kilei beheima, the gemara derives that the crops grown from kilei zeraim are permitted, as well.
The Rambam (Kilayim 1:7) extends this permission to eat the product of kilei zeraim to the fruit of kilei harkava (grafting). The Beit Yosef (Yoreh Deah 295) explains that grafting is also included in the general category of kilei zeraim, which the aforementioned gemara and the pasuk that it refers to, discuss.
It is forbidden not only to plant or graft in the proscribed manner, but it is also forbidden to allow their growth to continue in that way. However, one may take a branch or seed from a grafted tree and plant it (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 295:7). This is because one is no longer combining two different species, but using an existing (albeit, new) species. Even the person who acted improperly and grafted may go and use the fruit or plant its seed in order to create a new tree.
The Chazon Ish (Yoreh Deah 178:11) raises the possibility of the following distinction. The shoot from a grafted tree is already grafted and is a new entity, and, as such, can be planted. However, the tree as a whole is itself still made up of two species. So, if one would uproot it and want to replant it, it would be like planting two species together and would be included in the prohibition of grafting.
This idea does not have a source in the gemara. It also does not seem to make sense. After all, even after the tree is uprooted from the ground, the two elements of the tree are still inter-grown and form a new interbred species, which is permitted to re-plant, no differently from its seeds.
The concept of a prohibition to eat or receive benefit from kilayim does exist. However, that is only in regard to kilei hakerem, which results when grains are planted together in the proximity of a vineyard. There the Torah says “pen tukdash,” from which Chazal derived, “lest it become an object which needs to be consumed in fire.” This categoriztion is a hint that we are dealing with a product that cannot be used for eating or other benefits (Kiddushin 9b).
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