Maaser Sheni, Chapter Three, Mishnah Eleven



Our mishnah deals with a deer that was bought with maaser sheni money and then something happened to it that caused it to become inedible.


Mishnah Eleven

1)      If a deer which had been bought with maaser sheni money died, it must be buried together with its hide.

a)      Rabbi Shimon says: it may be redeemed.  

2)      If it was bought alive and slaughtered and it then became unclean, it may be redeemed.

a)      Rabbi Yose says: it must be buried.

3)      If it was bought slaughtered and it became unclean, behold it is like produce.



Section one: When the deer dies it cannot be eaten—it is called “nevelah.” All that can be done with it is to give it to the dogs. However, since it is maaser sheni, it cannot be used to feed dogs. The first opinion in the mishnah holds that it cannot be redeemed in order to be given to the dogs, because one does not redeem holy things, like maaser sheni, in order to feed them to animals. In addition, its hide must also be buried, because he shouldn’t have bought a deer with maaser sheni money, because a deer cannot be used as a sacrifice (see above 1:4).

Rabbi Shimon says that one can redeem maaser sheni in order to feed it to animals.

Section two: If he slaughtered it and then it became unclean, the first opinion holds that it may be redeemed, as is the rule with other produce that was bought with maaser sheni money and then became impure (see yesterday’s mishnah.) Commentators note that even Rabbi Judah, who in yesterday’s mishnah said that the produce must be buried, here agrees that it can be redeemed. Since he bought it alive and it would not be difficult to carry it to Jerusalem, it is not governed by the law—“when you are far from the place.” It can be redeemed like maaser sheni itself, which everyone agrees can be redeemed if it becomes impure.

Rabbi Yose says that it must be buried. He treats this deer as if it had died, and therefore it must be buried.

Section three: If it was bought when it was already slaughtered and then became impure, then it is treated like maaser sheni produce. This means that the same debate that we saw in yesterday’s mishnah applies here. The sages say that it may be redeemed, whereas Rabbi Judah says that it may not.