Terumot, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Ten



When terumah oil becomes impure it must be burnt. The priest may benefit from the burning of the oil, but a non-priest generally cannot, just as he cannot benefit from eating teruamh. Our mishnah teaches that in certain circumstances, anyone can benefit from the burning of the terumah oil.


Mishnah Ten

1)      One may burn terumah oil that has to be burnt in synagogues, houses of study, dark alleys, and for sick people with permission of the priest.  

2)      If the daughter of an Israelite married to a priest regularly goes to her father’s house, her father may burn [such oil] with her permission.

3)      One may also burn [such oil] in a house of celebration but not in a house of mourning, the words of Rabbi Judah.

a)      Rabbi Yose says: in the house of mourning, but not in a house of celebration.  

b)      Rabbi Meir forbids it in both places.  

c)      But Rabbi Shimon permits it in both places.



Section one:  This section lists four situations in which one may burn terumah oil, as long as the priest who owns the terumah permits it. According to the Yerushalmi, the permission of the priest is only necessary for burning the oil for the sick. In the three cases of public need (the synagogue, the house of study and the dark alley) they may burn the oil even without permission from the priest.

Section two: The daughter of an Israelite who is married to a priest is allowed to eat and use terumah. Here the mishnah is lenient and allows her father, an Israelite, to burn terumah oil for her because she regularly comes to his house. Note that he can burn it even when she is not there, under the assumption that she might come by at any time.

Section three:  There are now four different opinions as to whether it is permitted to burn terumah oil in a house of celebration (a wedding) or in a house of mourning. Every combination is represented in this mishnah, so we will just explain what grounds there are to permit burning in either situation. The reason that Rabbi Judah and Rabbi Shimon allow burning it in a house of celebration is that they wear clean clothes and they won’t come to touch the oil, which would be a problem because that oil would not be burned. The reason to prohibit is that because of their joy they may forget that it is terumah oil and they will come to use it.

The reason that Rabbi Yose and Rabbi Shimon allow it in a house of mourning is that because one is sad, one won’t come to use the terumah oil. The reason to prohibit is that since their clothes are not necessarily clean, they will come to touch the oil.


Congratulations!  We have finished Terumot!

It is a tradition at this point to thank God for helping us finish learning the tractate and to commit ourselves to going back and relearning it, so that we may not forget it and so that its lessons will stay with us for all of our lives.

Tomorrow we begin Tractate Maasrot.