Kilayim, Chapter Six, Mishnah Four

 

Introduction

In yesterday’s mishnah we learned about a person who trains vines over non-fruit bearing trees.  In today’s mishnah we learn about training vines over fruit bearing trees and whether one can sow seeds underneath other parts of the trees.

 

Mishnah Three

1)      One who suspends [branches of] a vine on part of [the branches of] a fruit tree, it is permitted to bring seed beneath the remainder.  

2)      If new [tendrils] spread [over the remainder], he must turn them back.   

3)      It happened that Rabbi Joshua went to Rabbi Ishmael in Kefar Aziz, and the latter showed him a vine [with its branches] suspended on part of [the branches of] a fig tree.

a)      He [Rabbi Yishmael] asked him [Rabbi Joshua]: “May I bring seed beneath the remainder?”

b)      He answered him: “It is permitted.”  

4)      He took him to Bet Hamaganyah and he showed him a vine [whose branches were] suspended on part of a beam belonging to the trunk of a sycamore, which had many beams.  

a)      He [Rabbi Joshua] said to him [Rabbi Yishmael]: beneath this beam it is prohibited [to sow] but beneath the remainder it is permitted.

 

Explanation

Section one: Whereas when it came to non-fruit bearing trees it was forbidden to bring seed beneath the remainder, when it comes to fruit-bearing trees, it is permitted.  This is because the fruit-bearing tree is considered to be significant and is not discounted compared to the vines. In other words, it is not treated like a trellis. Since it is considered its own entity, it is only forbidden to introduce seed directly underneath the vine. 

Section two:  When it came to non-fruit bearing trees, if the tendrils grew over the seeds which were (against the rules) sown below, they caused the seeds to become forbidden.  Again, the rule is more lenient when it comes to fruit-bearing trees. When the vines’ tendrils grow over them, the seeds do not become prohibited, but he must nevertheless turn the tendrils back.

Section three: The mishnah now relates a story containing a halakhic discussion between Rabbi Joshua and Rabbi Ishmael. In the first story Rabbi Ishmael asks Rabbi Joshua if he can bring seed under the remaining parts of a fruit tree, those parts that don’t have vines over them. In accordance with what we learned above, Rabbi Joshua says that this is permitted.

Section four:  In the second story, the two rabbis find themselves near a vine whose branches were spread over the beams of a sycamore tree, which is non-fruit bearing. The answer here is a little different than the law that we learned in mishnah three above. Rabbi Joshua tells him that he is not allowed to bring seed underneath the entire beam, because the beam is so large that it is treated as an independent tree.  However, he may bring seed underneath the other beams because they are treated as if they were separate trees.     

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