Shiurei Harav Moshe Wolfson Shlit"a
Check Your Fruit Trees this Monday
The Mishna states, "The first of Shevat is the New Year for the trees according to the opinion of Beis Shamai; Beis Hillel says, on the fifteenth [is the New Year for the trees]." Halachically, it is important to know when the New Year for the trees is. Because a farmer is required to tithe his produce using fruits from the same year, he has to know on which day to inspect his trees and mark down which fruits began growing already.
This Mishna is worded differently than usual. Typically, the Mishne says "Bais Shamai says," states their opinion, and then concludes with the position of Bais Hillel because the halacha is according to them. Here, the Mishna seems to be giving Bais Shamai's opinion more weight than usual.
When Mashiach will come, we will follow the opinion of Bais Shamai. Usually, this is of no practical application to us because we are in Galus. However, regarding the New Year for the trees, we do care about the opinion of Bais Shamai because if Mashiach comes before we separate maaser, we have to know which fruits began growing on the first of Shevat. When the farmer goes out and marks down which fruits began growing on the first of Shevat, he is expressing a deep Emunah in and yearning for the coming of Mashiach.
HALACHA A DAY, HILCHOS BROCHOS.
Rachel Chana: For the final p'sak, consult your Local Orthodox Rabbi.