Bikkurim, Chapter One, Mishnah Six

 

Introduction

This mishnah contains three more instances of a person who brings but does not recite. In each of these cases one of the other rabbis disputes the sages’ opinion and says that the person both brings the bikkurim and makes the recitation.

 

Mishnah Six

1)      One who buys two trees [that had grown] in property belonging to his fellow brings bikkurim but does not recite the declaration.

a)      Rabbi Meir says: he brings and recites.

2)      If the well dried up, or the tree was cut down, he brings but does not recite.

a)      Rabbi Judah says: he brings and recites.

3)      From Atzeret (Shavuot) until the Festival (of Sukkot) he brings and recites.

4)      From the Festival (of Sukkot) and until Hannukah he brings, but does not recite.

a)      Rabbi Judah ben Batera says: he brings and recites.

 

Explanation

Section one: When a person buys two standing trees from his friend, the land is not de facto included in the sale (see Bava Batra 5:4). Since he does not own the land and he just owns the fruit, he doesn’t recite the declaration.

Rabbi Meir says that he does acquire the land when he buys two trees and therefore, he does make the declaration.

Section two: If the well from which he watered his trees dried up, it is as if he doesn’t have land. Water seems to have been so scarce and valuable that without water, the land really doesn’t mean very much. In such a case he will bring bikkurim, but not make the declaration. Similarly, if the tree from which the fruit grew was cut down, he doesn’t recite the declaration because the tree is not attached to the land anymore. It is as if the fruit no longer has land.

Rabbi Judah disagrees and says that in both of these cases he does make the recital because after all, the land does still exist and he still owns it.

Section three: From Shavuot until Sukkot, which is the harvest time in the land of Israel, is the preferred time for bringing first fruits. One who brings at this time can make the declaration.

Section four: Between Sukkot and Hannukah, which is about two months, some fruits are still left over in the trees. Therefore, he can bring bikkurim, but he can’t make the declaration. Rabbi Judah ben Batera says that as late as Hannukah, he can still bring the first fruit.

After Hannukah, one can’t bring bikkurim until the following Shavuot.

 

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