Bikkurim, Chapter Three, Mishnah Eight

 

Mishnah Eight

The rich would bring their bikkurim in baskets overlaid with silver or gold, while the poor used wicker-baskets of peeled willow-branches, and the baskets and the bikkurim were given to the priest.

 

Explanation

Today’s mishnah again returns to the distinctions made during the bikkurim procession between the rich and the poor. The rich would overlay their baskets with gold and silver while the poor were forced to bring their bikkurim in simple wicker baskets.

Interestingly, according to the Babylonian Talmud, the rich would take their baskets back and only the poor had to leave their baskets there. This proves a folk saying found in the Talmud, “Poverty follows the poor.” That is to say, the poor get poorer, while the rich stay rich by getting their beautiful baskets back.

 

 

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