Maasrot, Chapter Two, Mishnah Five

 

Introduction

In our mishnah we learn that produce that has been sold and bought cannot be eaten, even in a chance fashion, until it has been tithed.

 

Mishnah Five

1)      One who says to his friend: “Here is this issar, give me five figs for it”, he may not eat of [them] until he has tithed them, the words of Rabbi Meir.

2)      Rabbi Judah says: if he ate them one by one, he is exempt, but if he gathered them [to eat them] together, he is liable [to tithe.]

3)      Rabbi Judah said: it happened in a rose-garden in Jerusalem that there were figs being sold three or four for an issar, and neither terumah nor tithe was ever given from it.

 

Explanation

Section one: According to Rabbi Meir, once the figs have been bought, they must be tithed before he can eat from them.

Section two: According to Rabbi Judah, if the seller gives the buyer one fig at a time, he can eat them without tithing them. However, if the seller gathers several together and sells them to him at one time, then he can’t eat them at all until he has tithed them. According to Rabbi Judah, this is the type of sale that makes produce liable for tithes.

Section three: Rabbi Judah relates a story about a rose-garden in Jerusalem in which figs grew and people bought them at the price of three or four for an issar (a coin worth 1/24 of a dinar) and they never had to tithe them, because they ate them one at a time. Evidently, these rose-garden figs were quite delicious. I’ll keep my eye out for them here in the Holy City!

 

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