Terumot, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Five



This mishnah deals with the status of the parts of produce that are not generally eaten, but that sometimes might be. There are two related questions here: 1) can non-priests eat these parts?  2) Can the priest throw these parts away, without concern for the prohibitions of throwing away terumah? Basically, the issue is whether the laws of terumah apply to these parts.


Mishnah Five

1)      Seeds of terumah [fruit]:

a)      When he gathers them in, they are prohibited.

b)      But if he throws them away, they are permitted.

2)      Similarly, the bones of holy things:

a)      When he gathers them in, they are prohibited.

b)      But if he throws them away, they are permitted.

3)      Coarse bran is permitted.

4)      Fine bran of new wheat is forbidden, and old wheat permitted.

5)      One may act with regard to terumah as one does with hullin.

6)      One who sifts a kav or two [of fine flour] from a seah of wheat, must not leave the rest to ruin, but rather he should put it in a hidden place.



Section one: If a priest gathers in seeds from terumah fruit in order to eat them, then they have to be treated as terumah and they are forbidden to non-priests. However, if he throws them away, thereby revealing that he doesn’t care about them, then they are not considered terumah and they may be eaten by a non-priest.

Section two: The same rules apply to the bones of animals offered as sacrifices. If the priest eating them gathers them in, perhaps to suck out the marrow, then the laws of sacrifices apply to them and they may not be eaten by a non-priest. However, if the priest throws them away, then they may be eaten by anyone.

Section three: Coarse bran is the part of the kernel of grain that is sifted out in the first sifting when making flour (I guess they didn’t know how healthy this stuff is—now we pay quite a bit for it!). Since it was usually not eaten, the laws of terumah do not apply to it.

Section four: New wheat is harder to grind. Therefore, when one grinds it, there will be a lot of flour mixed up with the bran and it is more likely to get eaten. Hence the rules of terumah apply. In contrast, with the old wheat it is easier to separate the fine bran from the flour and usually this fine bran won’t get eaten. It is accordingly permitted to non-priests.

Section five: Although it is not permitted to throw away terumah because it is holy, one can treat terumah the same way that one treats the same produce when it is hullin. Parts of produce that one customarily throws away can still be thrown away when the produce is terumah, without concern that this is letting terumah go to waste.

Section six: If one sifts a kav (1/6 of a seah) from a seah of wheat in order to make finely sifted flour, he can’t just leave the rest to go to waste because it is still fit as food. What he should do is put it in a safe place so that it does not get ruined.