Maasrot, Chapter Three, Mishnah Eight



This mishnah deals with the interesting situation of a tree that is growing in one’s courtyard—can one eat from the fruit without tithing? In other words, does this count as “produce brought into the courtyard” which usually means that it can’t be eaten without tithing?


Mishnah Eight

1)      A fig tree which stands in a courtyard: one may eat the figs from it one at a time and be exempt [from tithes], but if he gathered some together he is liable.

2)      Rabbi Shimon says: if he has [one in his right hand and one in his left hand and one in his mouth, he is exempt.  

3)      If he ascended to the top [of it], he may fill his bosom and eat.



Section one:  Since this tree is in the courtyard, the figs must be tithed before they are eaten. However, he can still eat one at a time without tithing as was the rule regarding produce that was purchased (see 3:3).

Section two: Rabbi Shimon adds that it doesn’t count as “gathering together” if all he has is one in each hand and one in his mouth. The status of “gathered” figs means that he has more than one in at least one of his hands.

Section three: If he climbs up to the top of the tree to gather the figs, he can put a bunch in his shirt and eat them while he is up in the tree. However, if he brings them down he can no longer eat them until they have been tithed.