Maaser Sheni, Chapter Four, Mishnah Ten
In yesterdays mishnah we discussed whether one must be concerned that found coins are maaser sheni. In todays mishnah we discuss other things that are found and whether we must be concerned lest they are holy items.
1) One who finds a vessel one which was written korban:
2) Rabbi Judah says: if it was of clay, it is itself hullin and what is in it is a korban (holy).
a) But if it was of metal it is itself korban and what is in it is hullin.
3) They said to him: it is not the custom of people to put what is common into what is korban.
Section one: The mishnah deals with a vessel that is found on which is written korban. Korban is the Hebrew word for sacrifice but by extension can mean, holy. If the vessel and the stuff inside of it are holy, then they belong to the Temple and non-holy use cannot be made of them.
Section two: Rabbi Judah makes a distinction between clay and metal vessels. People do not generally dedicate cheap clay vessels to the Temple and therefore, the clay vessel on which the word korban is written is itself still hullin, non-sacred. The word korban is assumed to refer to the stuff inside, which we must treat as holy.
When it comes to metal vessels, which were valuable, one might dedicate the vessel itself to the Temple. Hence, according to Rabbi Judah, the vessel itself is considered holy. Since the vessel is assumed to be holy, Rabbi Judah says that the stuff inside is considered to be hullin.
Section three: The other sages respond that people wouldnt put hullin, non-sacred produce, into a holy vessel. Therefore, if we assume that the vessel is holy, we must also assume that the produce is holy.