Maaser Sheni, Chapter Four, Mishnah Three



This mishnah teaches what happens if several different people want to redeem some maaser sheni produce.


Mishnah Three

1)      If the owner says, “With a sela [I will redeem this maaser sheni] and another person says “With a sela,” the owner has the first right, because he must add a fifth.  

2)      If the owner says “With a sela” and another person says “With a sela and an issar,” the one who offered a sela and an issar has the first right, because he added to the principal.  

3)      When one redeems his maaser sheni he must add a fifth, whether it is his own or it was given him as a gift. 



Section one: If the owner says that he wants to redeem the maaser sheni produce with a sela (a coin) and then another person says that he also wants to redeem the produce with the same amount of money, we take the owner’s sela because he has to add an extra fifth to the value (see the introduction). When the other person redeems the maaser sheni he need not add the extra fifth. What this means in our case is that more money will become maaser sheni, which is considered a good thing.

Section two: However, if the other person offers more money, the other person’s evaluation is accepted, even if the total amount of money is less than it would be if the owner redeemed it and added the extra fifth. An issar is 1/96 of a sela, so when the other person redeems the maaser sheni for a sela and and an issar less money will become maaser sheni than if the owner had redeemed it for a sela and an added fifth. Nevertheless, in this case we only take the principle amount into account because the redemption is considered to be done with the principle—the added fifth is merely extra.

Section three: The law that mandates that a person add an extra fifth when he redeems his maaser sheni applies whether the maaser sheni was his to begin with (he grew it or bought it) or he got it as a gift. Tomorrow’s mishnah will continue to deal with the topic of who has to add the additional fifth and who does not.