Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day
Ma'achalot Assurot Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 8, Ma'achalot Assurot Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 9, Ma'achalot Assurot Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 10
Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 8
[The prohibition against partaking of] the gid haneshehapplies with regard to kosher domesticated animals and wild beasts, even nevelot and trefot. It applies to a fetus and to animals that have been consecrated, both those consecrated [for sacrifices] of which we partake and for sacrifices of which we do not partake. It applies to [the gid] on the right thigh and that on the left thigh.
According to Scriptural Law, only [the gid] on the hip socket is forbidden, as [Genesis 32:33] states: "which is on the hip-socket." The remainder of the gid which is above the socket or below the socket - and similarly, the fat which is on the gid - are forbidden only according to Rabbinic decree.There are two giddim. The inner one next to the bone is forbidden according to Scriptural Law. The entire outer one is forbidden by Rabbinic decree.
When a person partakes of the inner gid hanesheh on the socket, he is liable for lashes. If he partakes of the fat [of the gid], the remainder of the inner gid, or the entire outer one, he is liable for stripes for rebellious conduct.
What is the measure of which one must partake to be liable? An olive-sized portion. If one ate the entire gid on the socket, one is liable, even though it is less than an olive in size. The rationale is that it is considered as a self-contained entity.
When a person eats an olive-sized portion of the gid on the right side and an olive-sized portion of the gid on the left side, or he ate two entire giddim even if they are not the size of an olive, he receives 80 lashes. He is given lashes for every gid independently.
The prohibition against gid hanesheh does not apply with regard to a fowl, because it does not have a [round] hip-socket. Instead, its thigh is long [and flat]. If there is a fowl whose thigh is shaped like that of the thigh of an animal, i.e., it has a hip-socket, its gid hanesheh is forbidden, but one is not liable for lashes, because of it. Similarly, when there is an animal whose thigh is long like that of a fowl, its gid hanesheh is forbidden, but one is not liable for lashes for it.
When a person eats the gid hanesheh from a non-kosher domesticated animal or wild beast, he is not liable. [The rationale is that this prohibition] does not apply with regard to a non-kosher animal, only with regard to an animal that is entirely permitted. Nor is he considered as one who partook of the remainder of its body, for the gid is not included as meat, as we explained. If, however, one partakes of the fat on the gid [of a non-kosher] animal, it is considered as if one ate from its meat.
When a person partakes of a gid hanesheh from a nevelah, a trefe, or an animal consecrated as a burnt offering, he is liable for two [sets of lashes]. Since [the prohibition] includes the remainder of its body which was permitted, it also includes the gid and causes another prohibition to be added to it.
One who removes the gid hanesheh must ferret out all traces of it until nothing remains. A butcher's word is accepted with regard to the gid hanesheh, just as it is accepted with regard to forbidden fat. [Accordingly,] we do not purchase meat from every butcher, [only from] an upright man who has established a reputation for observance. If he slaughters meat himself and sells it, his word is accepted.
Where does the above apply? In the Diaspora. In Eretz Yisrael, by contrast, when it is populated entirely by [Torah-observant] Jews, meat may be purchased from anyone.
[The following rules apply when] a butcher is considered as trustworthy to sell meat, but it is discovered that he sold meat that was nevelah or trefe. He must return the money to its owners. He is placed under a ban of ostracism and is removed from his position.
There is no way that he can correct [his act] so that people [will be allowed] to purchase meat from him until he goes to a place where his identity is unknownand returns a lost object of significant worth or slaughters an animal for his own self and has it declared trefe although it involves a significant financial loss. For these actions indicate that he certainly repented without any [intent to] deceive.
When a person purchases meat and sends it via a common person, [the latter's] word is accepted with regard to it. Although he has not established a reputation for Torah observance, we do not suspect that he will exchange [the meat for a non-kosher cut]. Even the servants and maidservants of the Jews are trusted with regard to such a matter. A gentile, by contrast, is not [trusted], for we fear that he will exchange [the meat].
[The following rule applies when there are] ten stores, nine sell kosher meat and one sells nevelot. If one purchased meat from one of these stores and did not know which one he purchased from, [the meat] is forbidden. [The rationale is that] whenever [the presence of a forbidden entity] is firmly established, the situation is considered as half and half.
If, however, meat is found cast away in the street, [it is judged] according to the majority. For [we follow the assumption:] Anything that was separated, separated from the majority. If the majority of sellers were gentile, [the meat] is forbidden. If the majority were Jewish, it is permitted.
Similarly, when meat is found in the hand of a gentile and it is not known from where he purchased it, if [the majority of] the sellers of meat were Jewish, it is permitted.
This reflects the ruling according to Scriptural Law. [Nevertheless,] our Sages have already forbidden any meat found in the marketplace or in the possession of a gentile even though all the slaughterers and all the sellers are Jewish. Moreover, even if one purchased meat, left it in his house, and it disappeared from one's sight, it is forbidden unless it had a distinguishing mark, he was familiar with it and could recognize it definitely as [the piece of meat lost], or it was bound and sealed.
[The following rule applies when] one hung a container filled with pieces of meat, the container broke, and the pieces fell to the earth. If there is no distinguishing mark [on the meat] and he was not able to recognize it, it is forbidden. [The rationale is that] it is possible to say that the meat that was in the container was dragged away by a wild beast or creeping animal and this is other meat.
It is permitted to derive benefit from a gid hanesheh. Therefore it is permissible for a person to send a thigh which contains a gid hanesheh to a gentile. He may give him the entire thigh intact in the presence of a Jew. We do not suspect that [the other] Jew will partake of this meat before the gid is removed, because its place is recognizable. Accordingly, if the thigh was cut into pieces, he should not give it to a gentile in the presence of a Jew, lest the other Jew partake of it.
Wherever the Torah states: "Do not eat," "You shall not eat," "They shall not eat," or "It shall not be eaten," the intent is that it is forbidden both to partake of or benefit from the forbidden entity unless:
a) a verse explicitly states otherwise, as it does with regard to a nevelah [Deuteronomy 14:21]: "Give it to the stranger in your gate and he shall partake of it," or with regard to forbidden fat [Leviticus 7:24]: "You may use it for any task"; or
b) the Oral Law states explicitly that it is permitted to benefit from it, as is the case with regarding to teeming animals, swarming animals, blood, a limb from a living animal, and the gid hanesheh. For according to the Oral Tradition, it is permitted to benefit from all these prohibited entities, even though it is forbidden to partake of them.
Whenever it is forbidden to benefit from a substance, if a person derives benefit without partaking of it, e.g., he sold or gave to a gentile or gave it to dogs, he is not liable for lashes. He should, however, be given stripes for rebellious conduct. The money [he received] is permitted.
Whenever it is forbidden to partake of a substance, but it is permitted to benefit from it, even though it is permitted to benefit from it, it is forbidden do business with such articles or establish oneself in a profession that involves forbidden entities.[There is] an exception, forbidden fat, for concerning it, it is written: "You may use it for any task." For this reason, we do not do business with nevelot, trefot, teeming animals, and swarming animals.
When a trapper happens upon a non-kosher wild animal, fowl, or fish, and he snares them or he traps both kosher and non-kosher animals, he may sell them. He may not, however, intend to have his profession concern non-kosher species.
It is, however, permitted to do business with milk that was milked by a gentile without being observed by a Jew, cheeses made by gentiles, and the like.
This is the general principle: Whenever a prohibition is forbidden by Scriptural Law, it is forbidden to do business with it. Whenever the prohibition is Rabbinic in origin, it is permitted do business with it, whether we are certain of the existence of the prohibition or it is a matter of question.
Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 9
It is forbidden to cook meat and milk together and to partake of them according to Scriptural Law. It is forbidden to benefit from [such a mixture]. It must be buried. Its ashes are forbidden like the ashes of all substances that must be buried.
Whenever a person cooks an olive-sized portion of the two substances together, he is worthy of lashes, as [Exodus 23:19] states: "Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk." Similarly, a person who partakes of an olive-sized portion of the meat and milk that were cooked together is worthy of lashes even though he was not the one who cooked them.
The Torah remained silent concerning the prohibition against partaking [of meat and milk] only because it forbade cooking them. This is as if to say: Even cooking it is forbidden, how much more so partaking of it. [To cite a parallel:] The Torah did not mention the prohibition against relations with one's daughter, because it forbade those with the daughter of one's daughter.
According to Scriptural Law, the prohibition involves only [a mixture of] meat from a kosher domesticated animal and milk from a kosher domesticated animal, as implied by the verse: "Do not cook a kid in its mother's milk." The term "a kid" includes the offspring of an ox, the offspring of a sheep, and the offspring of a goat unless the verse states explicitly, a goat-kid.The term "a kid in its mother's milk" [does not exclude all other situations]. Instead, the Torah is speaking regarding the commonplace circumstance.
With regard to the meat of a kosher animal which was cooked in the milk of a non-kosher animal or the meat of a non-kosher animal which was cooked in the milk of a kosher animal, by contrast, cooking is permitted, and deriving benefit is permitted. One is not liable for [transgressing the prohibition against partaking of] meat and milk if one partakes of it.
Similarly, the meat of a wild beast and the meat of a fowl together with the milk of a wild beast or the milk of a domesticated animal is not forbidden according to Scriptural Law. Therefore it is permitted to cook it and it is permitted to benefit from it. It is forbidden to partake of it according to Rabbinic Law so that people at large will not be negligent and come to violate the Scriptural prohibition against milk and meat and partake of the meat of a kosher domesticated animal [cooked] in the milk of a kosher domesticated animal. For the literal meaning of the verse implies only the meat of a kid in the milk of its actual mother. Therefore, they forbade all meat in milk.
It is permitted to partake of fish and locusts [cooked] in milk.
When a person slaughters a fowl and finds eggs that are completed within it, it is permitted to partake of them together with milk.
When [milk and meat] are smoked, cooked in the hot springs of Tiberias, or the like, one is not liable for lashes. Similarly, when meat is cooked in whey, milk from a dead animal, or milk from a male, or if blood is cooked with milk, one is absolved and is not liable for partaking [of the mixture] because of [the prohibition against partaking of] milk and meat.
When, however, a person cooks the meat of a dead animal, forbidden fat, or the like in milk, he is liable for lashes for cooking. He is not liable for lashes for partaking [of the mixture] because of the prohibition against meat and milk.For the prohibition against [mixtures of] meat and milk does not take effect with regard to [entities] prohibited as nevelah or forbidden fat, because we are not speaking about a more encompassing prohibition, a prohibition which adds a new dimension, or [two] prohibitions that take effect at the same time.
When a person cooks a fetus in milk, he is liable. Similarly, one who partakes of it is liable. When, however, one cooks a placenta, skin, sinews, bones, the roots of the horns, or the soft portion of the hoofs [cooked] in meat,he is not liable. Similarly, one who partakes [of such a mixture] is not liable.
When meat falls into milk or milk falls into meat and they are cooked together, the minimum measure [for which one is liable is] enough for one substance to impart its flavor to the other.
What is implied? When a piece of meat falls into a bubbling pot full of milk, a gentile should taste [the contents of] the pot. If it has the flavor of meat, it is forbidden. If not, it is permitted, but the piece of meat is forbidden.
When does the above apply? When he hurried and removed the piece of meat before it discharged the milk that it absorbed. If he did not remove it [that quickly], we require 60 times its volume, because the milk that it absorbed became forbidden. It was discharged and then mixed together with the remainder of the milk.
When milk falls [onto a piece of] meat [being cooked] in a pot, we taste the piece on which the milk fell. If it does not have the flavor of milk, everything is permitted. [More stringent rules apply] if the piece of meat has the flavor of milk. Even though if the piece of meat was pressed to remove [the absorbed liquid], the flavor [of milk] would not remain, since it has the flavor of milk now, it is forbidden and we must measure its entire volume. If everything in the pot - the other meat, the vegetables, the sauce, and the spices - is great enough so that the piece is one sixtieth of the entire [volume], that piece of meat is forbidden and the remainder is permitted.
When does the above apply? When he did not stir the pot at the outset when the milk fell into it. [He did so] only at the end and did not cover the pot.
If, however, he stirred the pot from the beginning until the end or covered [the pot] from the time [the milk] fell until the end, [the question of whether a prohibition exists depends] on whether [the milk] imparted its flavor.
Similarly, if the milk fell into the sauce or onto all the pieces and it was not known on which piece [the milk] fell, he should stir the entire pot so that all its contents will be mixed [thoroughly]. If the flavor of milk [can be detected] in the entire pot, it is forbidden. If not, it is permitted. If a gentile to taste [the pot] whom we can rely on cannot be found, we require a measure of sixty whether for meat in milk or milk in meat. If there is one measure in sixty, it is permitted. If there is less than sixty, it is forbidden.
When meat has been cooked in a pot, milk should not be cooked in it. If one cooked [milk] in it, [it is forbidden] if it imparted its flavor.
The udders [of an animal] are forbidden according to Rabbinic Law. [The prohibition is not of Scriptural origin, because] meat that was cooked in milk from an animal that was slaughtered is not forbidden according to Scriptural Law, as we explained.
Therefore if one cut it open and discharged the milk it contained, it is permitted to roast it and eat it. If one cut it both horizontally and vertically and then pressed it into a wall until none of the moisture of the milk remained, it may be cooked with other meat.
When an udder has not been cut open, when from a young animal that never nursed or from an older one, it is forbidden to cook it. If one transgressed and cooked it alone, it is permitted to partake of it. If one cooked it with other meat, we require 60 times its volume. The udder itself is calculated in the 60.
What is implied? If the entire mixture together with the udder was sixty times the volume of the udder, the udder is forbidden, and the remainder is permitted. If there was less than 60 times its volume, the entire mixture is forbidden. Regardless of [the ruling applying to the entire mixture], if the udder fell into another pot, it can cause it to be forbidden. We require 60 times its volume as in the original instance. [The rationale is that] the udder which is cooked becomes considered as a forbidden piece of meat.
We measure [the volume of] the udder at the time that it was cooked, not according to its state when it fell [into the mixture].
We do not roast an udder that has been cut above meat on a spit.If, however, one roasted it [in that manner], everything is permitted.
A stomach that is cooked with milk inside it is permitted. [The rationale is that] it is no longer considered as milk. Instead, it is considered as a waste product, because it undergoes a change in the digestive system.
It is forbidden to place the skin of a kosher animal's stomach [in milk] to serve as a catalyst for it to harden into cheese. If one used it as a catalyst, [a gentile] should taste the cheese. If it has a taste of meat, it is forbidden. If not, it is permitted. [The rationale is that] the catalyst is itself a permitted entity, for it comes from the stomach of a kosher animal. [The only question] is [whether] the prohibition against meat and milk [was violated] and that is dependent on whether the flavor was imparted.
[Different laws apply, however, when] one uses the skin of the stomach of a nevelah, a trefe, or a non-kosher animal. [The rationale is that] since the catalyst is forbidden in its own right, the cheese becomes forbidden, not because of the prohibition of meat and milk, but because of the prohibition against a nevelah. For this reason, [our Sages] forbade cheeses made by gentiles, as we explained.
Meat alone is permitted and milk alone is permitted. It is [only] when the two become mixed together through cooking that they both become forbidden.
When does the above apply? When they were cooked together, when a hot object fell into a hot object, or when a cold object fell into a hot object.If, however, [milk or meat] that is hot fell into the other when it is cold, [all that is necessary is to] remove the surface of the meat which touched the milk; the remainder may be eaten.
If cold [meat] fell into cold [milk or the opposite], one must wash the piece of meat thoroughly. [Afterwards,] it may be eaten. For this reason, it is permitted to [carry] meat and milk bound together in a single handkerchief, provided they do not touch each other. If they do touch each other, one must wash the meat and wash the cheese. [Afterwards,] he may partake of them.
When a substance is salted to the extent that it cannot be eaten because of its salt, is considered as if it is boiling. If it can be eaten in its present state like kutach, it is not considered as if it is boiling.
[The following rules apply when] a fowl that has been slaughtered falls into milk or kutach that contains milk: If it is raw, it need only be washed thoroughly and it is permitted. If it was roasted, one should remove its surface.If it has portions where it is open or it is spiced and it falls into milk or kutach, it is forbidden.
It is forbidden to serve fowl together with milk on the table upon which one is eating. This is a decree [enacted] because habit [might lead] to sin. We fear that one will eat one with the other. [This applies] even though fowl with milk is forbidden only because of Rabbinic decree.
When two guests who are not familiar with each other are eating at the same table, one may eat the meat of an animal and one may eat cheese. [The rationale is] that they are not well-acquainted with each other to the extent that they will eat together.
We do not knead a loaf with milk. If one kneaded it [with milk], the loaf is forbidden, because habit [might lead] to sin, lest he eat it together with meat. We do not dab an oven with animal fat. If in fact one dabbed an oven [with fat], any loaf is forbidden until one fires the oven, lest one eat milk with [that loaf]. If one altered the appearance of the bread so that it will be evident that one should not eat meat or milk with it, it is permitted.
When a loaf has been baked together with roasted meat or fish were roasted together with meat, it is forbidden to eat them together with milk. When meat was eaten in a dish and then fish were cooked in it, it is permitted to eat those fish together with kutach.
When a knife was used to cut roasted meat and then was used to cut radish or other sharp foods, it is forbidden to eat them together with kutach. If, however, one cut meat [with a knife] and afterwards cut zucchini or watermelon, one should scrape away the place where the cut was made and the remainder may be eaten with milk.
We do not place a jar of salt near a jar of kutach, because it will draw out its flavor. Thus one will cook meat with this salt that has the flavor of milk. One may, however, place a jar of vinegar near a jar of kutach, because the vinegar will not draw out its flavor.
When a person eats cheese or milk first, it is permitted for him to eat meat directly afterwards. He must, however, wash his hands and clean his mouth between the cheese and the meat.
With what should he clean his mouth? With bread or with fruit that [require him] to chew and then swallow or spit them out. One may clean his mouth with all substances with the exception of dates, flour, and vegetables, because they do not clean effectively.
When does the above apply? With regard to the meat of a domesticated animal or a wild beast. If, however, one [desires to] eat the meat of a fowl after eating cheese or milk, it is not necessary for him to clean his mouth or wash his hands.
When a person ate meat first - whether the meat of an animal or the meat of a fowl - he should not partake of milk afterwards unless he waits the time for another meal, approximately six hours. This stringency is required because meat that becomes stuck between teeth and is not removed by cleaning.
Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 10
All the prohibitions we mentioned involve living beings. There are also other Scriptural prohibitions that involve the produce of the earth. They include: chadash, kilai hakerem, tevel, and orlah.
What is meant by chadash? It is forbidden to partake of any of the five species of grain alone before the omeris offered on the sixteenth of Nisan, as [Leviticus 23:14] states: "You may not partake of bread, roasted kernels, or fresh kernels."
Anyone who partakes of an olive-sized portion of fresh grain before the offering of the omer is liable for lashes. [This applies] in every place and at all times, whether in Eretz [Yisrael] or in the Diaspora, whether at the time of the Temple or when the Temple is no longer standing.
[The only difference in observance is that] while the Temple is standing, once the omer has been offered, it is permitted [to partake of] new grain in Jerusalem. Distant places are permitted [to partake of new grain] after midday. For the court will not be indolent with regard to [the offering of omer] beyond midday. [Now] when the Temple is no longer standing, the entire day is forbidden according to Scriptural Law. In the present age, in the places where the festivals are observed for two days, chadash is forbidden on the entire day of the seventeenth of Nisan until the evening according to Rabbinic Law.
When a person partakes of an olive-sized portion of bread from each of roasted kernels, or fresh kernels [from chadash], he is liable for three sets of lashes, as [implied by the verse]: "You may not partake of bread, roasted kernels, or fresh kernels." According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that all three involve separate prohibitions.
Whenever grain took root before the offering of the omer, it is permitted to be eaten after the offering of the omer despite the fact that it did not reach maturity until after that offering. Grain that took root after the offering of the omer is forbidden until the offering of that sacrifice the following year even though it was planted before that offering was brought. This law applies in every place and in every era according to Scriptural Law.
[There is an unresolved halachic difficulty in the following situations:] Grain took root after the omer. One harvested it and sowed this wheat in the ground. Afterwards, the omer of the following year was offered, while these kernels of wheat were still in the ground. There is a doubt whether [the offering of] the omer caused [these kernels] to be permitted as if they had been stored in a jar or it did not cause them to be permitted, because they have been nullified in the ground. Therefore if a person collected them and partook of them, he is not liable for lashes, but [instead] is given stripes for rebellious conduct.
Similarly, when a stalk reached a third of its growth before the offering of the omer, one uprooted it and then replanted it after the offering of the omer, and it increased in size. There is a doubt whether it is forbidden because of the increase in size until the offering of the omer the following year or it is not forbidden because it took root before the offering of the omer.
What is meant by kilai hakerem? Sowing a species of grain or a type of vegetable together with a vine. [This applies] whether they were sown by a Jew or a non-Jew, whether they grew on their own, or whether one planted a vine among vegetables, we are prohibited against partaking and benefiting from both of them, as [Deuteronomy 22:9] states: "Lest the fullness of the seed which you sowed and the produce of the vineyard become hallowed." ["Becom[ing] hallowed"] means being set apart and forbidden.
One who eats an olive-sized portion from kilai hakerem, whether from the vegetables or from the grapes is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law. The two can be combined to reach this measure.
When does the above apply? When they were sown in Eretz Yisrael. In the Diaspora, by contrast, kilai hakerem are forbidden by Rabbinic decree.
In Hilchot Kelayim, it will be explained which species are forbidden as kilai hakerem and which are not forbidden, how they become forbidden, when they become forbidden, in which situations, produce causes vines to llowed," and when they do not cause them to become "hallowed."
What is meant by orlah? Whenever anyone plants a fruit tree, it is forbidden to partake of or benefit from all of the fruit the tree produces for three years after being planted, as [Leviticus 19:23] states: "For three years, they shall be closed off for you, they may not be eaten." Whoever eats an olive-sized portion of such fruit is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law.
When does this apply when one plants in Eretz Yisrael, as [the above] verse states: "When you enter the land...." With regard to the prohibition against orlah in the Diaspora, it is a halachah transmitted to Moses at Sinai that fruit that is definitely orlah is forbidden. If there is a doubt regarding the matter, it is permitted. In Hilchot Ma'aaser Sheni,it will be explained which [growths] are forbidden as orlah and which are permitted.
When there is a doubt whether produce is orlah or kilai hakerem in Eretz Yisrael, it is forbidden. In Syria, i.e., the lands that David conquered, it is permitted.
What is implied? If there was a vineyard [containing] orlah and grapes were being sold outside it, or there were vegetables sown inside it and vegetables were being sold outside it, [in which instance,] there is a doubt whether [the grapes or the vegetables] came from it or from another place, in Syria, they are permitted. In the Diaspora, even if one sees grapes being taken out from a vineyard that is orlah or vegetables being taken out from a vineyard, one may purchase them provided one does not actually see orlah being reaped or the vegetables being harvested [from the vineyard].
When there is a doubt whether a vineyard [contains] orlah or kilai hakerem, in Eretz Yisrael, it is forbidden. In Syria, it is permitted. Needless to say, that ruling prevails in the Diaspora.
It is forbidden to drink a jug of wine that is found hidden in an orchard [whose produce is] orlah. It is permitted to benefit from it. [The rationale is] that a thief will not steal from a place and hide [what he stole] there. Grapes that are hidden there are forbidden, lest they have been harvested from there and stored away there.
[The following laws apply when] a gentile and a Jew are partners in planting [an orchard]. If at the beginning of the partnership, they agreed that the gentile would benefit from the produce during the years of orlah and the Jew would benefit from it for three years when the produce is permitted afterwards, it is permitted. If they did not make such an agreement at the outset, it is forbidden [to make one afterwards]. [Even when the agreement was made at the outset,] they may not make a reckoning.
What is meant [by making a reckoning]? I.e., to calculate the quantity of produce from which the gentile benefited in the years of orlah so that the Jew will benefit from exactly that amount. If they made such an agreement, it is forbidden, for this is exchanging the produce which is orlah.
It appears to me that the laws of neta reva'i do not apply in the Diaspora. Instead, one may eat the produce of the fourth year without redeeming it at all. Our Sages mentioned only orlah.
An extrapolation can be made from a more stringent instance to [this one] which is less stringent. In Syria, the laws governing the tithes and the Sabbatical year apply by Rabbinic decree, nevertheless, the laws governing neta reva'i do not apply, as will be explained in Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni. Thus, in the Diaspoa, how much more so should [we conclude] that the laws governing neta reva'i do not apply.
In Eretz Yisrael, however, these laws apply whether or not the Temple is standing. Some of the Geonim ruled that kerem reva'i alone must be redeemed in the Diaspora before it is permitted to be eaten. There is no basis for this [ruling].
In Eretz Yisrael, it is forbidden to eat any of the produce of the fourth year until it is redeemed. In Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni, we will explain the laws governing the redemption [of the produce], how it should be eaten, and when we begin calculating the growth of a tree with regard to orlah and [netah] reva'i.
How is produce which is neta reva'i redeemed in the present age? After [the produce] is collected, one recites the blessing: Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the earth, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to redeem neta reva'i. Afterwards, one redeems the entire crop even with one p'rutah. This p'rutah is then cast into the Dead Sea.
Alternatively, one may transfer the holiness to other produce that is worth a p'rutah by saying: "The holiness of all of this produce is transferred to this wheat," "...to this barley," or the like. Afterwards, one burns the [latter quantity of produce] so that they will not cause difficulty to others. He may then partake of all the produce [he harvested].
Some of the Geonim ruled that even though one redeemed the produce of the fourth year or transferred its holiness, it is forbidden to partake of it until the entrance of the fifth year. This ruling has no foundation. It appears to me that it is in error. [Although Leviticus 19:25] states: "And in the fifth year, you shall partake of its produce," the intent of the verse is that in the fifth year you will partake of its produce without redeeming it like any ordinary produce in the world. One should not heed the above ruling.
What is meant by tevel? Any produce from which one is obligated to separate terumah and tithes is called tevel before one separates these portions. [In that state,] it is forbidden to partake of it, as [Leviticus 22:16] states: "And they shall not desecrate the sacraments of the children of Israel which they will dedicate to God," i.e., one should not treat them in an ordinary manner while the sacred elements that will be separated in the future have not yet been separated.
When a person partakes of an olive-sized portion of tevel before he separates terumah gedolah and terumat ma'aser, he is liable for death by the hand of heaven, as [Leviticus 22:15-16] states: "And they shall not desecrate the sacraments of the children of Israel... And they will bear the sin of guilt."
When, however, one partakes of food from which terumah gedolah and terumat ma'aser have been separated, but from which tithes - even the tithes of the poor have not been separated - he is worthy of lashes for partaking of tevel. He is not worthy of death. For only with regard to terumah gedolah and terumat ma'aser is the sin worthy of death.
The warning against partaking of tevel from which tithes were not separated is included in [Deuteronomy 12:17 which] states: "You may not eat the tithes of grain... in your gates."
In Hilchot Terumot and Hilchot Ma'aserot, it will be explained which produce is obligated to have terumah and the tithes [separated from it] and which is not, when does the obligation stem from Scriptural Law and when is it Rabbinic. When a person partakes of an olive-sized portion of produce that is tevel according to Rabbinic Law or kilai hakerem or orlah from the Diaspora,he is liable for stripes for rebellious conduct.
The juices that come from produce that is tevel, chadash, consecrated to the Temple, growths of the Sabbatical year, kilayim, and orlah are forbidden as they are. One is not, however, liable for lashes for partaking of them. Exceptions are wine and oil that are orlah and wine that is kilai hakerem. One is liable for lashes for them just as one is liable for lashes for the olives and grapes,
There are other prohibitions involving foods applicable to consecrated entities. They are all of Scriptural origin, e.g., there are prohibitions against partaking of terumot, the first fruits, challah, and the second tithe. And there are prohibitions involving sacrifices consecrated [to be offered] on the altar, e.g., piggul, sacrificial meat that remains past its time, and sacrifices that have become impure. All of these [prohibitions] will be explained in the appropriate place.
The measure for which one is liable - whether for lashes or for kerait is an olive-sized portion. We have already explained the prohibition against [partaking of] leaven on Pesach and the [relevant] laws in Hilchot Chametz UMatzah. The prohibition against eating on Yom Kippur is a different type of prohibition. The prohibition against all products of the vine that applies to a Nazirite does not apply equally to all. Therefore, all of these prohibitions, the measure for which one is liable, and the [relevant] laws are explained in the appropriate place.
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Why were the Jews commanded to each contribute half a shekel to the Sanctuary? To teach us that no individual is a complete entity unto himself. Only by joining with another can a person become a whole thing.
–The Chassidic masters