Maaser Sheni, Chapter Three, Mishnah Ten

 

Introduction

Today’s mishnah deals with produce purchased with maaser sheni money that then becomes unclean. This produce cannot be eaten because unclean maaser sheni can never The question is: can it be redeemed?

 

Mishnah Ten

1)      If that which was bought with maaser sheni money became unclean, it should be redeemed.

2)      R. Judah says: it must be buried.  

3)      They said to Rabbi Judah: if maaser sheni itself when it became unclean may be redeemed, should not also that which is bought with maaser sheni money be redeemed when it became unclean?

4)      He said to them: No! If you say this of maaser sheni itself, it is because it may be redeemed also when pure at a distance from the [holy] place. But how can you say this of that which is bought with maaser sheni money, seeing that it cannot be redeemed when clean at a distance from the [holy] place.

 

Explanation

Section one: According to the anonymous opinion in the mishnah, if produce was bought with maaser sheni money and then that produce became impure, it can be redeemed. This money will now be treated as maaser sheni money and used to buy produce that will be eaten as maaser sheni in Jerusalem.

Section two: Rabbi Judah disagrees and says that the produce which was bought with maaser sheni money and then became impure must be buried. It cannot be redeemed.

Section three: The sages now begin to argue their case with Rabbi Judah. In yesterday’s mishnah we learned that maaser sheni itself which became impure can be redeemed. Why, then, shouldn’t maaser sheni produce that was bought with maaser sheni money be redeemed if it becomes impure?

Section four: Rabbi Judah responds that the two are not truly analogous. Maaser sheni produce itself can be redeemed outside of Jerusalem, even when it is pure. In contrast, produce bought with maaser sheni money cannot be redeemed outside of Jerusalem when it is pure. Such produce must be brought to Jerusalem and it can be eaten there. Since the rule is stricter concerning produce bought with maaser sheni money outside of Jerusalem, it is also stricter with produce bought with maaser sheni money inside Jerusalem. It cannot be redeemed, but rather must be buried.

 

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