Maaser Sheni, Chapter Two, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

In this mishnah Rabbi Shimon and the sages argue whether one can anoint oneself with second tithe oil in Jerusalem.

 

Mishnah Two

1)      Rabbi Shimon says: one may not anoint oneself with oil of second tithe in Jerusalem.

a)      But the sages allow it.

2)      They said to Rabbi Shimon: if a lenient ruling has been adopted in the case of terumah which is a grave matter, should we not also adopt a lenient ruling in the case of second tithe which is a light matter?

3)      He said to them: No; a lenient ruling has been adopted in the case of terumah though it is a grave matter, because in terumah we have adopted a lenient ruling also with regard to vetches and fenugreek, but how can we adopt a lenient ruling in the case of second tithe though it is a light matter, when we have not adopted a lenient ruling in second tithe with regard to vetches and fenugreek? 

 

Explanation

Section one: Albeck explains that Rabbi Shimon prohibits anointing oneself with second tithe oil in Jerusalem lest one does so and then leaves Jerusalem. This would be problematic because one can benefit from second tithe only in Jerusalem. The sages are no concerned with this problem. We should note that Rabbi Shimon really prohibits using second tithe oil for anointing altogether. This means that he disagrees with the opinion in yesterday’s mishnah which allowed anointing with maaser sheni oil.

Section two: The sages argue with Rabbi Shimon using terumah as an analogy. A priest is allowed to anoint himself with terumah oil, even though terumah is a graver matter than maaser sheni, since it is forbidden to non-priests, whereas maaser sheni is not. Consequently, we should also rule leniently when it comes to anointing oneself with maaser sheni oil.

Section three: Rabbi Shimon responds that terumah is not always a graver matter than maaser sheni. There is one halakhah in which maaser sheni is actually graver than terumah, and that is a halakhah connected with vetches and fenugreek. This will be explained below in mishnayot three-four. Since sometimes the rules governing maaser sheni are stricter than those governing terumah, it is possible that this is one of those cases as well. Hence we cannot deduce that just because one may anoint oneself with terumah oil, one may also anoint oneself with maaser sheni oil.

 

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