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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
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Cutting Down Fruit Trees

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As to the question on the other Rishonim we can extend the answer of the Chasam Sofer, namely that since when one is cutting the tree he is under the impression that it is not a fruit-bearing tree, it is therefore not an act of hashchasah (destruction) and so one might have thought that in this scenario one could say safek de’oraisa likulah. Therefore the Torah had to write that one may not cut down a tree unless he is certain that it is not fruit bearing.

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