Kelim, Chapter Seventeen, Mishnah Seven

 

Mishnah Seven

1)      The dried fig of which they spoke— it is one that is neither big nor small but of moderate size.

2)      Rabbi Judah says:  the biggest in the land of Israel is like one of medium size in other lands. 

 

Explanation

Section one: Dried figs are a measure used in several halakhot (see for instance Shabbat 7:4 and Kelim 3:2, and 4:2). As with the egg and pomegranate, these laws referred to medium sized eggs.

Section two: Rabbi Judah now notes that what are considered to be large figs in the land of Israel, are only medium sized in other lands.

Note that some commentators say that the mishnah should be reversed and read “the smallest in the land of Israel is like one of medium size in other lands.” This would imply that the figs in Israel are the best. I can personally attest to the fact that the figs here in Israel are delicious, and I am tempted to go to the store right now and buy some (seriously). But I really don’t know how good they are in surrounding countries, especially since I can’t visit many of them. 

 

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