Terumot, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Eight



This mishnah continues to deal with someone clearing out a container that had been used to store terumah and which he now wants to use to store hullin, a similar topic to that in the previous two mishnayot.


Mishnah Eight

1)      One who pours from jar to jar and three drops drip, he may place in it hullin.  

2)      But if he inclined the jar [on its side] in order to drain it, it is terumah.

3)      How much terumat maaser of demai must there be for him to take it to the priest?  

a)      One eighth of an eighth [of a log].



Section one: If one is pouring out a jug of wine that had been used to store terumah wine or oil into a different jug, and after he is finished pouring he turns the jug upside down and three last drops come out, then he has sufficiently emptied out the jug and he may now use it to store hullin wine or oil. The fact that three separate drops come out, one at a time, is a sign that he has taken out enough of the liquid and he need not be concerned with that which is left.

Section two: However, if after the three drops come out of the jar, he tilts the jar on the side in order to drain out the remaining dregs that had been absorbed by the sides of jug, this wine or oil counts as terumah. In other words, although he is allowed to put hullin wine or oil into this jug and not worry that the wine or oil left inside will be considered terumah, before he does so, any wine or oil that he does succeed in getting out is still considered terumah.

Section three: Terumat maaser is the terumah that the Levite gives from the tithes he receives. Demai is doubtfully tithed produce. Our mishnah is discussing someone who separates tithes from demai. The tithes do not actually have to be given to the Levite (because the produce might already have been tithed), but the terumat maaser must be given to the priest (because terumah is prohibited to non-priests, whereas tithe is not). The question our mishnah asks is how much terumat maaser of demai has to be gathered together before it must be put aside to be given to the priest. The answer the mishnah gives is is one eighth of one eighth of a log, 1/64 of a log. If he has less than this amount he can simply throw it away, although he cannot eat it.

If this had been terumah taken from regular tithes, and not from demai, he would have had to bring even the smallest amount to the priest, because such terumah is certainly forbidden to non-priests. In contrast, terumah taken from demai is only possibly forbidden to non-priests, and therefore the halakhah is more lenient.

The reason that this halakhah is here is that it again mentions a case in which one must not be concerned about a small amount that may be terumah.