Bikkurim, Chapter Two, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

This mishnah compares maaser sheni with bikkurim.

 

Mishnah Two

There are [laws] which apply to [second tithe] and bikkurim but not to terumah:

1)      That [second] tithe and bikkurim must to be brought to [the appointed] place;

2)      They require confession;

3)      They are forbidden to an onen.

a)      But Rabbi Shimon permits [bikkurim to an onen];

4)      They are subject to [the law of] removal.

a)      But Rabbi Shimon exempts [bikkurim from removal].

5)      And in Jerusalem the slightest mixture of them [with hullin of the same species] renders it forbidden to be consumed [as common food outside of Jerusalem.]

6)      And what grows from them in Jerusalem is forbidden to be consumed [outside of Jerusalem],

7)      Even by non-priests or by cattle;

a)      But Rabbi Shimon permits.

8)      These are [the laws] which apply to [second] tithe and bikkurim, but not to terumah.

 

Explanation

Section one: Both second tithe and bikkurim must be brought to Jerusalem.

Section two: When one brings second tithe and bikkurim he has to make a recitation. For maaser sheni he makes what is known as the “confession of tithes”, see Deuteronomy 26:13 and for bikkurim he recites Deuteronomy 26:5-10.

Section three: An onen is a person who has had a close relative die but who has not yet buried him/her. This period extends only to the day of death. When it comes to tithe, as part of his confession he recites, “I did not eat of it in my period of morning (oni).” An onen cannot eat tithe. That same passage refers to tithe as “kodesh (holy)” and since bikkurim are also called “kodesh” the rabbis derive that an onen cannot eat bikkurim either.

Rabbi Shimon allows an onen to eat bikkurim. In general we shall see that Rabbi Shimon holds that bikkurim are closer to terumah.

Section four: On the eve of the last day of Pesah on the fourth and seventh years of the sabbatical cycle one must remove all bikkurim and maaser that has accrued in one’s home (see Deuteronomy 26:13 and Maaser Sheni 5:6). At that point one takes them out and lets them rot. Again, Rabbi Shimon disagrees and says that bikkurim are like terumah and that even after this time period has passed, one must give them to the priest.

Section five: If even the smallest amount of either bikkurim or maaser sheni becomes mixed in with hullin, the mixture cannot be eaten outside of Jerusalem. This is true only if the mixture occurs in Jerusalem. However, if the mixture happens outside of Jerusalem, then bikkurim are nullified in a ratio of 100-1 and maaser sheni is nullified as long as it is less than half of the mixture (we learned this in yesterday’s mishnah).

Section six: If plants grow in Jerusalem from bikkurim or maaser plants, the new plants must be treated as bikkurim or maaser sheni and they too must be consumed in Jerusalem. If the plants grow outside of Jerusalem then they are treated like hullin (see Terumot 9:4).

Section seven: A mixture of the tiniest amount bikkurim and hullin is prohibited to non-priests, as are plants that grow from them in Jerusalem. The same is true when it comes to second tithe and hullin: the mixture cannot be eaten by animals, as is generally true of maaser sheni, nor can the plants that grow from it in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Shimon says that the rules in the previous three sections apply only to maaser sheni but not to bikkurim.

Section seven: Terumah need not be brought to Jerusalem, nor does one make a confession when one gives it to the priest. The rules regarding terumah are no different inside Jerusalem then they are outside.

 

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