Torah Sparks

United Synagogue (USCJ) is proud and delighted to bring you Torah Sparks, with insights and learning materials on the Parasha (Torah portion) of the week. Torah Sparks is produced by the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

Each week there will be a Dvar Torah - a discussion on some aspect of the reading, by CY faculty, alumni and friends; a Vort - a short thought from Chasidic rebbes or other thinkers about some point in the text; and Table Talk - questions to stimulate discussion on the Parsha around the Shabbat table. Torah Sparks is available here on the Conservative Yeshiva's Shiurim Online Beit Midrash website, as well as by subscription to weekly graphical emails. Please select the Parasha you would like to see - it will display articles from each year. A printable PDF is linked at the end of each week's presentation.

Terumot

Terumot, Chapter 4, Mishnah 9

Terumot, Chapter Four, Mishnah Nine   Introduction Our mishnah is a continuation of Rabbi Akiva’s statement from yesterday’s mishnah.   Mishnah Nine 1)      How so?  If there were fifty black figs and fifty white fig, and a black fig fell in, the black figs are forbidden, but the white figs are permitted; and if a […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 1

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah One   Introduction This mishnah continues to deal with various scenarios where terumah falls into hullin. Here we deal with cases where the hullin or the terumah is impure. Impure terumah cannot be eaten and rather must be burned.   Mishnah One 1)      If a seah of unclean terumah fell into […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 2

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Two   Introduction Today’s mishnah deals with a case where a seah of unclean terumah fell into a seah of clean hullin. The terumah is unclean but it doesn’t cause the hullin to become unclean because it is not wet (as we learned in yesterday’s mishnah).   Mishnah Two A seah […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 3

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Three   Introduction Our mishnah deals with a case of clean terumah that falls into unclean hullin.   Mishnah Three A seah of clean terumah fell into a hundred of unclean hullin, it may be eaten in small quantities, or roasted, or kneaded with fruit juice, or divided into pieces of […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 4

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Four   Introduction Today’s mishnah contains a discussion of unclean terumah that falls into clean terumah. The question is: does the 100-1 ratio work to allow one to take out one seah and consider the rest, and perhaps even that seah itself, to be clean?   Mishnah Four 1)      A seah […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 5

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Five   Introduction This mishnah deals with the status of the one seah that is taken out of the 100-1 hullin/terumah mixture. Is this one seah considered to be terumah?   Mishnah Five A seah of terumah that fell into a hundred [of hullin], and he lifted it out and fell […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 6

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Six   Introduction In this mishnah there is another ramification of the debate between Rabbi Eliezer and the sages. As a reminder, Rabbi Eliezer holds that when a seah of terumah falls into a pile of more than 100 seahs of hullin, and a seah is removed, the seah that is […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 7

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Seven   Mishnah Seven If a seah of terumah fell into a hundred [of hullin] and he lifted [a seah] out, and then another fell in, and he lifted another out and another fell in, the pile is permissible as long as the amount of terumah does not exceed that of […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 8

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Eight   Mishnah Eight If a seah of terumah fell into a hundred [of hullin], and before he could take it out, another fell in, the whole becomes forbidden.   Rabbi Shimon permits it.    Explanation Once the second seah falls into the mixture, it is now 2/102 terumah, and that is […]

Terumot, Chapter 5, Mishnah 9

Terumot, Chapter Five, Mishnah Nine   Introduction Sometimes when one grinds up wheat the volume seems to increase or decrease, depending on the quality of the wheat. Our mishnah deals with the ramifications that this has on the ratio of a pile into which terumah fell in.   Mishnah Nine 1)      If a seah of […]

Terumot, Chapter 6, Mishnah 1

Terumot, Chapter Six, Mishnah One   Introduction Terumah can be eaten only by priests (Leviticus 22:10, according to how the rabbis understood the verse). According to the rabbis, one who eats terumah intentionally is liable for death at the hands of heaven. Our mishnah deals with the consequences of eating terumah unwittingly.   Mishnah One […]

Terumot, Chapter 6, Mishnah 2

Terumot, Chapter Six, Mishnah Two   Introduction When an Israelite woman is married to a priest, she can eat terumah. Our mishnah deals with a woman who ate terumah before she was married to a priest and then was married to a priest.   Mishnah Two A daughter of an Israelite ate terumah and afterwards […]

Terumot, Chapter 6, Mishnah 3

Terumot, Chapter Six, Mishnah Three   Introduction This mishnah deals with a person who accidentally feeds his workers or his guests terumah.   Mishnah Three 1)      If one gives his workmen or his guests terumah to eat he must repay the principal and they must pay the fifth, the words of Rabbi Meir. 2)      But […]

Terumot, Chapter 6, Mishnah 4

Terumot, Chapter Six, Mishnah Four   Introduction A thief is obligated to pay back double the amount that he stole. Our mishnah deals with a person who steals terumah.   Mishnah Four 1)      If one stole terumah but did not eat it, he must return double-payment at the price of terumah.   2)      If he ate […]

Terumot, Chapter 6, Mishnah 5

Terumot, Chapter Six, Mishnah Five   Introduction This mishnah teaches that when one makes repayment for having accidentally eaten terumah, there are certain things that he cannot use for repayment.   Mishnah Five 1)      They may not make repayment from gleanings, from forgotten sheaf, from peah or ownerless property. 2)      Nor from first tithe from […]

TErumot, Chapter 6, Mishnah 6

Terumot, Chapter Six, Mishnah Six   Introduction In this mishnah Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Eliezer debate whether one can pay back terumah with a different kind of produce from that which he ate.   Mishnah Six 1)      Rabbi Eliezer says: they may make repayment from one kind for another, provided that it is from a […]

Terumot, Chapter 7, Mishnah 1

Terumot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah One   Introduction In the previous chapters we saw that one who eats terumah unwittingly must repay the amount that he ate plus an added fifth. Our mishnah and the mishnayot that follow discuss a non-priest who intentionally eats terumah.   Mishnah One 1)      One who eats terumah intentionally must repay […]

Terumot, Chapter 7, Mishnah 2

Terumot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah Two   Introduction This mishnah deals with the special status of the daughter of a priest who marries an Israelite, the question being—to what extent has her status changed? Does she retain her genealogical status as the daughter of a priest?   Mishnah Two 1)      If the daughter of a priest […]

Terumot, Chapter 7, Mishnah 3

Terumot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah Three   Introduction This mishnah deals with other cases where a person has to pay back the value of the terumah that he ate or gave to someone else, yet he does not have to pay back the added fifth.   Mishnah Three One who feeds [terumah] to his small children, […]

Terumot, Chapter 7, Mishnah 4

Terumot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah Four   Introduction This rule summarizes a principle that we have already seen in mishnayot one and three, concerning the status of the repayment as terumah or hullin and concerning the ability of the priest to forgive the repayment. Since we have already learned this twice, there is no commentary below. […]

Terumot, Chapter 7, Mishnah 5

Terumot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah Five   Introduction The next three mishnayot deal with a case where there are two baskets of produce, one of terumah and one of hullin and it is unclear which basket he ate from. We should note that this mishnah is very lenient in these situations, and it always assumes that […]

Terumot, Chapter 7, Mishnah 6

Terumot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah Six   Introduction This mishnah is a continuation of yesterday’s mishnah, which discussed a case where there are two baskets, one of terumah and one of hullin and it is unclear which is of which.   Mishnah Six 1)      If one of these [baskets] fell into hullin, it does not render […]

Terumot, Chapter 7, Mishnah 7

Terumot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah Seven   Introduction This mishnah is a continuation of the previous two mishnayot.   Mishnah Seven 1)      If he used one of these [baskets] as seed, he is exempt, and the second is treated as if it were terumah and subject to the law of hallah, the words of Rabbi Meir. […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 1

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah One   Introduction This mishnah deals with cases where a person was allowed to eat terumah and while they were eating it became known that their status had changed and that they were not allowed to eat terumah. The question is—do they have to make full repayment, including the added fifth. […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 10

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Ten   Introduction This mishnah contains a very similar scenario to the mishnah we learned yesterday.   Mishnah Ten 1)      Similarly a jar of [terumah] oil which spilled: a)      Both Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua agree that if he can save at least a reviit in purity he should save it; […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 11

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Eleven   Introduction Finally, we get Rabbi Joshua’s response. The mishnah also contains another scenario in which Rabbi Joshua and Rabbi Eliezer debate. I should note that I have explained the mishnah according to the version of the mishnah which Albeck claims is correct and is found in most good manuscripts […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 12

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Twelve   Introduction Yesterday we learned about a Gentile who threatens to defile a Jew’s bread. In today’s mishnah, the Gentile becomes far more dangerous, threatening to defile Jewish women.   Mishnah Twelve Similarly, if gentiles say to women, “Give us one of you that we may defile her, and if […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 2

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Two   Introduction In today’s mishnah, which is a continuation of yesterday’s mishnah, Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua debate whether a person who finds out that s/he has begun to eat something forbidden but has not yet swallowed the food, must spit it out.   Mishnah Two 1)      In all the […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 3

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Three   Introduction In our mishnah a person begins to eat untithed grapes while he is still in the field, which is permitted. After beginning to eat the grapes they become liable for tithes. Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua again disagree as to whether he may finish eating.   Mishnah Three […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 4

Terumot, Chapter Eight,  Mishnah Four   Introduction Our mishnah teaches that it was forbidden to drink water, wine and milk that had been left uncovered for fear that a snake had put poison into the mixture. Whether this was a realistic fear, or a superstition shared by many people, I don’t know. We should note […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 5

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Five   Introduction Our mishnah continues to deal with the issue of uncovered water that might have poison in it.   Mishnah Five 1)      The amount of water that is uncovered:  enough to negate the poison. 2)      Rabbi Joshua says: in vessels [it is forbidden] whatever the quantity, but for water […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 6

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Six   Introduction Our mishnah deals with fruit and animals that may have been bitten by a snake.   Mishnah Six 1)      Figs, grapes, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons or watermelons that have bite marks, even if they are in a jar, both large or small, both plucked or still attached to the […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 7

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Seven   Introduction In our mishnah there is a dispute concerning a wine jug covered by a filter. According to the first opinion, poison can pass through the filter and therefore the wine is halakhically considered to be uncovered and it is prohibited. Rabbi Nehemiah says that the poison will not […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 8

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Eight   Introduction Our mishnah discusses a jar of terumah that may have become impure but is not definitely impure. The problem is that it is forbidden to get rid of terumah (or intentionally make it impure) and it is forbidden to eat impure terumah. So he can’t use this terumah […]

Terumot, Chapter 8, Mishnah 9

Terumot, Chapter Eight, Mishnah Nine   Mishnah Nine 1)      A jar [of terumah] was broken in the upper part of the wine-press, and the lower part was unclean: a)      Both Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Joshua agree that if one can save at least a reviit of it in cleanness he should save it. 2)      But […]

Terumot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 1

Terumot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah One   Introduction This mishnah and the rest of the chapter deals with the issue of a person who planted terumah, which is prohibited. The problem with having planted terumah seeds is that the rabbis decreed that the plants that grow from the seeds will be terumah as well. This seems […]

Terumot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 2

Terumot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Two   Introduction This mishnah begins to deal with the rules that apply to a field that has been sewn with terumah seeds. As we stated before, the plants are now considered terumah, at least by decree of the rabbis.   Mishnah Two 1)      And it is subject to gleanings, the […]

Terumot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 3

Terumot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Three   Introduction This mishnah continues to discuss how to deal with a field that has been planted with terumah seeds.   Mishnah Three 1)      And it is also subject to tithes and poor man’s tithe. 2)      Both Israelites and priests that are poor may accept them, but the poor Israelites […]

Terumot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 4

Terumot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Four   Introduction Our mishnah distinguishes between plants that grow from terumah and plants that grow from various other agricultural offerings.   Mishnah Four 1)      What grows from terumah is terumah, but that which grows from growths [of terumah] is hullin. 2)      As for untithed produce, first tithe, after-growths from the […]

Terumot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 5

Terumot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Five   Introduction Our mishnah and the following mishnah distinguish between two types of plants: those whose seeds disintegrate in the soil and those whose seeds do not.   Mishnah Five 1)      If a hundred rows were planted with terumah seeds and one with hullin, they all are permitted, if they […]

Terumot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 6

Terumot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Six   Introduction This mishnah continues to deal with the difference between plants whose seeds disintegrate in the soil and plants whose seeds do not.   Mishnah Six 1)      As for untithed produce, what grows from it is permissible if of a kind whose seed disintegrates [in the soil]. 2)      But […]

Terumot, Chapter 9, Mishnah 7

Terumot, Chapter Nine, Mishnah Seven   Mishnah Seven 1)      He who weeds allium plants (whose seeds do not disintegrate) for a Gentile, even though the produce is untithed he eat from them in a casual fashion.    2)      Saplings of terumah which had become unclean and were re-planted, become clean from their uncleanness. 3)      But […]

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