Maasrot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Eight

 

Mishnah Eight

1)      Garlic from Balbeck, onions from Rikpa, Cicilician beans and Egyptians lentils, and Rabbi Meir says qirqas, and Rabbi Yose says qotnym are exempt from tithes and may be brought from any man in the seventh year.   

2)      The seeds of upper arum pods, the seeds of leeks, the seeds of onions, the seeds of turnips and radishes, and other seeds of garden produce which are not eaten, are exempt from tithes, and may be bought from any man in the seventh year; and even though the plants from they grew were terumah, they may still be eaten [by non-priests].

 

Explanation

Section one: The produce mentioned in this section can be assumed to come from outside of the land of Israel. Such produce is exempt from tithes. It also may be bought from anyone during the seventh year, even from a person who is generally suspected of selling seventh year produce (see Sheviit 9:1).  

The identity of the plants mentioned by Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yose is unknown.

Section two: The seeds mentioned here are not eaten and therefore one need not separate tithes from them. Also, one can buy them from a person who is suspected of selling seventh year produce because the sanctity with which one must treat seventh year produce does not apply to these seeds, since they are not generally eaten.

The mishnah notes that this is true even if these seeds grew from terumah plants. Although the “father” of the seeds is terumah, the seeds themselves are not even subject to tithes. This would be all the more true if the parent plants were not grown from terumah seeds.

 

Congratulations!  We have finished Maasrot!

It is a tradition at this point to thank God for helping us finish learning the tractate and to commit ourselves to going back and relearning it, so that we may not forget it and so that its lessons will stay with us for all of our lives.

Tomorrow we begin Tractate Maaser Sheni.

 

 

 

 

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