Demai, Chapter Six, Mishnah Five

 

Introduction

This mishnah deals with an Israelite who rents a field of olive trees from a priest or from a Levite in order to make oil and share the produce.

 

Mishnah Five

1)      [An Israelite] who rents olive trees [from a priest or a Levite] for [a share in the] oil: just as they divide the non-sacred produce, so they divide the terumah.

2)      Rabbi Judah says: an Israelite who rented [olive trees] from a priest or a levite for the oil for a share of half the profit, the tithes belong to the owner.

 

Explanation

Section one:  In the first section of the previous mishnah we learned that when an Israelite rents a field from a Levite or priest, the Levite or priest first takes the tithes or terumah and then they split the remaining produce according to the plan.  Here, in the case of olives the rule is different—they split all of the produce, including the terumah and tithes according to the plan. The difference is that the oil will already be processed before it is given as terumah or tithes, in contrast to the grain which is given before it is made into flour.  Since the Israelite renter is the one who makes the oil, he keeps part of the terumah and tithes and may subsequently give them to any priest or Levite he wants.

Section two:  Rabbi Judah disagrees and says that just as in the case of grain the owner who is a priest or Levites keeps all the terumah or tithes for himself, so too in the case of oil.  Rabbi Judah sees no difference between the case in this section and that in yesterday’s mishnah.     

 

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