Maasrot, Chapter Two, Mishnah Eight

 

Introduction

This mishnah continues to deal with when a worker working in field must tithe his produce. Some of the concepts of this mishnah were already taught in Bava Metzia 7:4.

 

Mishnah Eight

1)      If a man is working [as a hired worker] among cooking figs, he may not eat of white figs, and if among white figs, he may not eat of cooking figs, but he may restrain himself until he reaches the place where there are the better figs, and then he may eat.

2)      If a man exchanges with his friend either [figs] for eating for [figs] for eating, or [figs] to be dried for figs [to be dried], of figs [for eating] for figs [to be dried], then he is liable to give tithes.  

3)      Rabbi Judah says: one who exchanges [figs] for [other figs for eating] is liable, but [if for figs] for drying he is exempt.

 

Explanation

Section one: While working in the field, a worker may only eat from the type of produce that he is working with. Thus, if he is working with one type of figs, he cannot eat from another type. However, he can wait until he begins to work with the better type of figs and then he may eat from them.

Section two: According to the opinion in this section, when one exchanges any type of figs, figs that are going to be eaten fresh (what the mishnah calls “for eating) or figs that are going to dried, the exchange is treated like a purchase and neither party can eat of the figs before they are tithed.

Section three: Rabbi Judah says that if he exchanges his figs for other figs that are going to be dried out, then he can eat the figs he gets without first tithing them, because their work has not yet been completed. Rabbi Judah holds that purchasing makes produce liable for tithes only if its work has been completed. If he exchanges the figs for figs that he intends to eat fresh, then their work has been completed, and he cannot eat of them until they are tithed.     

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