Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Maaser - Chapter 4

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Maaser - Chapter 4


The obligation to tithe is not established for tevel1 according to Scriptural Law until one2 brings it3 into his home,4 as [implied by Deuteronomy 26:13]: "I removed the sacred produce from the home." [This applies] provided he brings the produce in through the gate, as [ibid.:12] states: "And you shall eat in your gates." If, however, he brought produce in from the roof or from the yard,5 he is exempt [from the obligation] to separate terumah and tithes.6


אֵין הַטֶּבֶל נִקְבָּע לְמַעַשְׂרוֹת מִן הַתּוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיַּכְנִיסֶנּוּ לְבֵיתוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כו יג) "בִּעַרְתִּי הַקֹּדֶשׁ מִן הַבַּיִת". וְהוּא שֶׁיַּכְנִיסֶנּוּ דֶּרֶךְ הַשַּׁעַר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כו יב) "וְאָכְלוּ בִשְׁעָרֶיךָ". אֲבָל אִם הִכְנִיס תְּבוּאָתוֹ דֶּרֶךְ גַּגּוֹת וְקַרְפִּיפוֹת פָּטוּר מִן הַתְּרוּמָה וּמִן הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת:


It appears to me7 that lashes are not administered as required by Scriptural Law for eating tevel unless [the obligation to tithe] was established by bringing it into one's home as we explained according to the Oral Tradition.8 If, however, the obligation was established through one of the six ways that we mentioned,9 he is given only stripes for rebellious conduct as mandated by Rabbinic Law.

Similarly, a person who partakes of produce which he desires to bring to the market place after the tasks necessary to prepare it have been completed receives only stripes for rebellious conduct, as we explained.10 For a person who completes [the tasks necessary to prepare his produce] for sale is obligated to tithe only according to Rabbinic Law.


יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹקִין מִן הַתּוֹרָה עַל אֲכִילַת הַטֶּבֶל עַד שֶׁיִּקָבַע בִּכְנִיסָתוֹ לְבֵיתוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה. אֲבָל אִם נִקְבַּע בִּשְׁאָר הַשִּׁשָּׁה דְּבָרִים שֶׁמָּנִינוּ אֵין לוֹקִין עָלָיו אֶלָּא מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן. וְכֵן הָאוֹכֵל מִפֵּרוֹת שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ לְהוֹלִיכָן לַשּׁוּק אַחַר שֶׁנִּגְמְרָה מְלַאכְתָּן אֵינוֹ לוֹקֶה אֶלָּא מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. שֶׁאֵין הַגּוֹמֵר לִמְכֹּר חַיָּב בְּמַעֲשֵׂר אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם:


When a house is less than four cubits by four cubits in area, [bringing produce into it] does not establish an obligation.11 Similarly, [bringing produce onto] a roof does not establish an obligation12 even though [bringing it into] the house below would. If, however, the roof was not four cubits by four cubits in area, e.g., the house ascended on a slant, bringing [the produce] there does not absolve it from the obligation to tithe it.13 Instead, [the roof] is considered as part of the domain of the home.


בַּיִת שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת אֵינוֹ קוֹבֵעַ וְכֵן הַגַּגִּים אֵינָן קוֹבְעִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבַּיִת שֶׁלְּמַטָּה קוֹבֵעַ. וְאִם לֹא הָיָה בַּגַּג אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת עַל אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה הַבַּיִת מְשֻׁפָּע וְעוֹלֶה אֵינוֹ פּוֹטֵר מִן הַמַּעֲשֵׂר אֶלָּא הֲרֵי גַּג זֶה כְּמִקְצָת אֲוִיר הַבַּיִת:


Leantos,14 guardhouses,15 summer shelters - i.e., four pillars with a roof on top of them without walls,16 and sukkot17 built by workers who dwell in the vineyard and the gardens in the summer,18 even though they dwell in them throughout the summer and [the sukkot] contain mills and chickens do not establish an obligation to tithe. Similarly, the outer sukkot built by potters19 and the sukkot for the holiday [of Sukkot] during that festival do not establish an obligation.20 For none of these are permanent dwellings.


הַצְּרִיפִין וְהַבֻּרְגָּנִין וּבָתֵּי הַקַּיִץ וְהוּא אַרְבָּעָה עַמּוּדִים וְתִקְרָה עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן שֶׁנִּמְצָא בְּלֹא כְּתָלִים וְכֵן סֻכּוֹת שֶׁעוֹשִׂין בְּנֵי הַכְּרָמִים וּבְנֵי הַגִּנּוֹת בִּימֵי הַקַּיִץ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדָּרִין בָּהֶן כָּל יְמֵי הַקַּיִץ וְיֵשׁ בָּהֶם רֵחַיִם וְתַרְנְגוֹלִין אֵינָן קוֹבְעִין לְמַעֲשֵׂר. וְכֵן סֻכַּת הַיּוֹצְרִים הַחִיצוֹנָה וְסֻכַּת הֶחָג בֶּחָג אֵינָן קוֹבְעִין שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ אֵין דִּירָתָן קֶבַע:


Leantos and guardhouses establish an obligation to tithe for their owners,21 even though they do not create such an obligation for all people.22 Similarly, [bringing produce into] a school or a house of study23 creates an obligation to tithe for a person who abides there and teaches, because they are comparable to his home.24 They do not create an obligation for others.


הַצְּרִיפִין וְהַבֻּרְגָּנִין טוֹבְלִין לְבַעְלֵיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן טוֹבְלִין לְכָל אָדָם וְכֵן בֵּית הַסֵּפֶר וּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ טוֹבֵל לְזֶה שֶׁיּוֹשֵׁב וּמְלַמֵּד מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵם כְּבֵיתוֹ וְאֵין טוֹבְלִין לַאֲחֵרִים:


When a synagogue or a house of study25 have a dwelling,26 [bringing produce there] establishes [an obligation to tithe].27 If not, no [such obligation] is established.

[Bringing produce to] stables28 and storehouses in the fields that are built to store produce does not establish an obligation to tithe.29 If [these structures] were also intended as dwellings, an obligation is established.30


בֵּית הַכְּנֶסֶת וּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ אִם יֵשׁ בָּהֶן בֵּית דִּירָה קוֹבְעִין וְאִם לָאו אֵין קוֹבְעִין. הָאוֹרִיאֲרוֹת הָאוֹצָרוֹת שֶׁבַּשָּׂדוֹת הָעֲשׂוּיוֹת לִמְכֻנָּס אֵינָן קוֹבְעִין וְאִם הָיוּ לְדִירָה קוֹבְעִין:


Just as [bringing produce into] a home establishes an obligation to tithe, so too, [bringing produce into] a courtyard establishes such an obligation.31 When produce is brought into a courtyard through the gate,32 an obligation is established even though it was not brought into the home.


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַבַּיִת קוֹבֵעַ לְמַעֲשֵׂר כָּךְ הֶחָצֵר קוֹבַעַת לְמַעֲשֵׂר. וּמִשֶּׁיִּכָּנְסוּ לֶחָצֵר דֶּרֶךְ הַשַּׁעַר נִקְבְּעוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִכְנִיסָן לְתוֹךְ הַבַּיִת:


[Into] which type of courtyard must [produce be brought] for an obligation [to tithe] to be established? Any one in which utensils are protected within, one in which a person will not be embarrassed to eat there, or one in which were a person to enter, he would be asked: "What are you looking for?"33 The above also applies to a courtyard which has two inhabitants or is owned by two partners when one opens it and enters and then the other comes and enters or leaves and locks it. Since they open it and lock it, [bringing produce into] it establishes an obligation to tithe.34


אֵי זוֹ הִיא חָצֵר הַקּוֹבַעַת. כָּל שֶׁהַכֵּלִים נִשְׁמָרִין בְּתוֹכָהּ. אוֹ שֶׁאֵין אָדָם בּוֹשׁ מִלֶּאֱכל בְּתוֹכָהּ. אוֹ חָצֵר שֶׁאִם יִכָּנֵס אָדָם לָהּ אוֹמְרִין לוֹ מָה אַתָּה מְבַקֵּשׁ. וְכֵן חָצֵר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שְׁנֵי דִּיּוּרִין אוֹ שֶׁהִיא לִשְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִין שֶׁאֶחָד פּוֹתְחָהּ וְנִכְנָס וְאֶחָד בָּא וְנִכְנָס אוֹ יוֹצֵא וְנוֹעֵל הוֹאִיל וְהֵן פּוֹתְחִין וְנוֹעֲלִין הֲרֵי זוֹ קוֹבַעַת:


A gatehouse to a courtyard, an excedra,35 and a porch are governed by the same laws as a courtyard.36 If [bringing produce into] a courtyard would establish an obligation to tithe, [bringing produce into these] establishes an obligation. If not, an obligation is not established in these instances as well.37


בֵּית שַׁעַר שֶׁל חָצֵר וְהָאַכְסַדְרָה וְהַמִּרְפֶּסֶת הֲרֵי הֵן כְּחָצֵר אִם הָיְתָה קוֹבַעַת קוֹבְעִין וְאִם לָאו אֵינָן קוֹבְעִין:


When there are two courtyards, one inside the other, [bringing produce into] either of them establishes an obligation to tithe.38 When a potter has [two] sukkot one leading to the other, [bringing produce into] the inner sukkah establishes an obligation to tithe. [Bringing it into] the outer one does not.39 [Bringing produce into] a store establishes an obligation like a home does.40


שְׁתֵּי חֲצֵרוֹת זוֹ לְפָנִים מִזּוֹ שְׁתֵּיהֶן קוֹבְעוֹת. סֻכַּת הַיּוֹצְרִים זוֹ לְפָנִים מִזּוֹ הַפְּנִימִית קוֹבַעַת וְהַחִיצוֹנָה אֵינָהּ קוֹבַעַת וְהַחֲנוּת קוֹבַעַת כְּבַיִת:


When a person transports his produce from one place to another, an obligation to tithe is not established even though he brings it into homes and courtyards while on his journey.41 He may snack from it until he reaches his ultimate destination. [These laws] also [apply] when he returns.42


הַמּוֹלִיךְ פֵּרוֹתָיו מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא נִכְנָס בָּהֶן לְבָתִּים וְלַחֲצֵרוֹת בַּדֶּרֶךְ לֹא נִקְבְּעוּ אֶלָּא אוֹכֵל עַרְאַי עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְמָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא סוֹף מְגַמָּתוֹ וְכֵן בַּחֲזָרָה:


Traveling salesmen43 who journey through villages and pass from one courtyard to another may snack from their produce44 until they reach the home where they will spend the night.45


הָרוֹכְלִין הַמַּחְזִירִין בַּעֲיָרוֹת שֶׁהֵן נִכְנָסִין מֵחָצֵר לְחָצֵר אוֹכְלִין עַרְאַי עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעִין לְבַיִת שֶׁלָּנִין בּוֹ:


When a person brings figs from a field to partake of them in a courtyard which is exempt from the obligation to tithe,46 but then he forgot and brought them into his home, he is permitted to take them out from the home and snack from them.47 Similarly, if he forget [and after taking them into his home], took them up to the roof,48 he may snack from them on the roof.

If he brought them to partake of them49 on his roof and brought them into a friend's courtyard, an obligation to tithe is established and he should not partake of them until he tithes them.50


הַמֵּבִיא תְּאֵנִים מִן הַשָּׂדֶה לְאָכְלָן בֶּחָצֵר הַפְּטוּרָה מִן הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת. שָׁכַח וְהִכְנִיסָן לְתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לְהוֹצִיאָן וְלֶאֱכל מֵהֶן עַרְאַי וְכֵן אִם שָׁכַח וְהֶעֱלָן לַגַּג אוֹכֵל מֵהֶן בַּגַּג עַרְאַי. הֱבִיאָן לְאָכְלָן בְּרֹאשׁ גַּגּוֹ וְשָׁכַח וְהִכְנִיסָן לְתוֹךְ חֲצַר חֲבֵרוֹ נִקְבְּעוּ וְלֹא יֹאכַל עַד שֶׁיְּעַשֵּׂר:


When a courtyard has been plowed, it is considered like a garden51 and one may snack in it. [This applies] provided he plowed the majority [of the courtyard].52 If he sowed the majority of it,53 he may not snack in it.54 The same law applies if he planted trees in it.55 If he planted trees in the courtyard to make it attractive,56 since the field has been plowed, he may snack from those trees [without tithing].


חָצֵר שֶׁהִיא נֶעְדֶּרֶת הֲרֵי הִיא כְּגִנָּה וְאוֹכְלִין בְּתוֹכָהּ עַרְאַי. וְהוּא שֶׁיֵּעָדֵר רֻבָּהּ. וְאִם זָרַע רֻבָּהּ אֵין אוֹכְלִין עַרְאַי וְכֵן אִם נָטַע רֻבָּהּ. וְאִם נָטַע לְנוֹי חָצֵר הוֹאִיל וְהִיא נֶעְדֶּרֶת הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹכֵל עַרְאַי מֵאוֹתָן אִילָנוֹת:


When a fig tree is growing in a courtyard, one may eat57 figs from it one by one while exempt [from tithing]. If he gathers them together, he is obligated to tithe.58

When does the above apply? When he is standing on the ground. If, however, he climbs to the top59 of the fig tree, he may fill his bosom with them and eat them there. For the open space of a courtyard does not create an obligation to tithe.


תְּאֵנָה הָעוֹמֶדֶת בֶּחָצֵר אוֹכֵל מִמֶּנָּה אַחַת אַחַת וּפָטוּר. וְאִם צֵרֵף חַיָּב בְּמַעֲשֵׂר. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהָיָה עוֹמֵד בַּקַּרְקַע. אֲבָל אִם עָלָה לְרֹאשׁ הַתְּאֵנָה מְמַלֵּא חֵיקוֹ וְאוֹכֵל שָׁם שֶׁאֵין אֲוִיר חָצֵר קוֹבֵעַ לְמַעֲשֵׂר:


[If a fruit tree] was standing in a courtyard and leaning into a garden, one may partake of the tree while standing in the garden in his ordinary manner,60 as if the tree was planted in the garden.61 If [the tree] was planted in a garden and leaning into a courtyard, it is considered as if it was planted in the courtyard and one may only partake of them one at a time.


הָיְתָה עוֹמֶדֶת בְּחָצֵר וְנוֹטָה לְגִנָּה הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹכֵל מִמֶּנָּה בַּגִּנָּה כְּדַרְכּוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הָיְתָה נְטוּעָה בַּגִּנָּה. הָיְתָה נְטוּעָה בַּגִּנָּה וְנוֹטָה לְחָצֵר הֲרֵי זוֹ כִּנְטוּעָה בֶּחָצֵר שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל שָׁם אֶלָּא אַחַת [אַחַת]:


When a vine is planted in a courtyard, one should not pick an entire cluster and partake of it. Instead, one should pick the grapes one by one.62 Similarly, with regard to pomegranates, one should not take the entire pomegranate, but instead should divide the pomegranate while it is on the tree and partake of the seeds from it. Similarly, with regard to a watermelon, one should bend it over to the ground and partake of it there.

If one was eating a cluster [of grapes] in a garden and brought it into a courtyard,63 one should not continue eating until he tithes even if he departs from the courtyard.64


גֶּפֶן שֶׁנְּטוּעָה בֶּחָצֵר לֹא יִטּל אֶת כָּל הָאֶשְׁכּוֹל וְיֹאכַל אֶלָּא מְגַרְגֵּר אֶחָד אֶחָד. וְכֵן בְּרִמּוֹן לֹא יִטּל אֶת כָּל הָרִמּוֹן אֶלָּא פּוֹרֵט אֶת הָרִמּוֹן בָּאִילָן וְאוֹכֵל הַפָּרֵד מִשָּׁם. וְכֵן בָּאֲבַטִּיחַ כּוֹפְתוֹ בַּקַּרְקַע וְאוֹכְלוֹ שָׁם. הָיָה אוֹכֵל בְּאֶשְׁכּוֹל בַּגִּנָּה וְנִכְנַס מִן הַגִּנָּה לֶחָצֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיָּצָא מִן הֶחָצֵר לֹא יִגְמֹר עַד שֶׁיְּעַשֵּׂר:


When coriander65 is planted in a courtyard,66 one may pick it leaf by leaf and partake of it. If one gathers them together, he is obligated to tithe. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


כֻּסְבַּר הַזְּרוּעָה בֶּחָצֵר מְקַרְסֵם עָלֶה עָלֶה וְאוֹכְלוֹ. וְאִם צֵרֵף חַיָּב לְעַשֵּׂר. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

Test Yourself on This Chapter


Produce from which the tithes (and/or terumah) have not been separated. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Berachot 7:1), the Rambam interprets this as a composite of the words tav lo, meaning "it is not good."


From Chapter 3, Halachah 7, and Halachah 5, of this chapter, one might surmise that this applies whether the owner of the produce or another person brought it into the owner's home.


From Chapter 3, Halachah 4, it appears that this refers to produce for which all the tasks necessary to prepare it were completed.


Although according to Rabbinic Law, it is sufficient to bring the produce into one's courtyard as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 3, according to Scriptural Law, it must be brought into one's home.


More particularly, the term karfef used by the Rambam, refers to an unprotected yard.


He is, however, liable according to Rabbinic Law, in these instances. In his notes to Berachot 35b, the Meiri writes that even according to Scriptural Law, it is forbidden to do this as an initial preference; the leniency is granted only after the fact.


This expression introduces a deduction for which the Rambam has no definite prior source in the Rabbinic literature. The Kessef Mishneh questions why the Rambam uses this expression when the Jerusalem Talmud (Ma'aserot 3:1) explicitly states that the obligation established by three of the six situations is Rabbinic in origin. He explains that there is no explicit source for the other three. Hence, this expression is appropriate.


In the previous halachah.


In Chapter 3, Halachah 3.


See Chapter 2, Halachah 1.


Since it is so small, it is not fit to serve as a dwelling. Based on Hilchot Mezuzah 6:2, one might assume that tithes are required if the home comprises this area even though it is not square in shape.


For roofs are not considered as dwellings.


I.e., since the roof is small, it is not considered as an independent entity, but instead, is considered as part of the home (Kessef Mishneh).


Shelters made of branches and wood [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Ma'aserot 3:7].


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (ibid.).


Structures constructed to provide shade from the summer sun.


Booths that do not have permanent roofs.


This is the meaning of the term sukkot Ginosar in the mishnah (loc. cit.). Ginosar (the area around Lake Kinneret) was known for the quality and abundance of its produce. Workers would be hired to pick this produce during the harvest and they would construct semi-permanent structures in which they would dwell over the summer.


Potters would construct sukkot with two rooms. The inner room would be their dwelling, while the outer room would serve as a workshop and storefront. If produce was brought into the inner sukkah, the obligation to tithe is established. See the notes to Halachah 9 with regard to this ruling.


Note the clarification in the following halachah.


I.e., if the owners of these structures bring produce into them, they are obligated to tithe it before partaking of it.


I.e., if a person brings produce into a house belonging to a colleague, he is not obligated to tithe it. On the surface, the question may be raised: Even if a person brings produce into a colleague's home, he is not obligated to tithe it, as stated in Halachah 1. Why then are a leanto and a guardhouse singled out here?

It is possible to explain, however, that if a person makes it a practice of bringing produce into a colleague's home, he becomes obligated to tithe it when he does so. In contrast, even if he makes a practice of bringing produce into his colleague's leanto, an obligation to tithe is not established, because a leanto is not a permanent dwelling.


From the Jerusalem Talmud (Ma'aserot 3:7), it appears that the term "school" refers to a school where young children are taught Scripture, while the term "house of study" refers to a study center where older students are taught the Oral Law.


Even if he does not have an apartment there, since he is continually there, it is considered as his established abode (Radbaz, gloss to Halachah 6).


In contrast to the house of study mentioned in the previous halachah, this is a house of study for adults where they meet and share ideas (Radbaz).


For the sexton, as was common in certain situations.


Since it contains a dwelling for the sexton, even the portion of the structure that serves as a synagogue or a house of study is considered as part of a dwelling (Radbaz). See also parallel rulings in Hilchot Mezuzah 6:6 and Hilchot Shabbat 28:4.


Our translation is based on the gloss of Rabbi Yosef Korcus who cites II Chronicles 9:25.


For until the produce has been brought to a dwelling or the marketplace, it is still considered as being in an intermediate phase of preparation.


In this instance as well, if the structure contains an apartment, e.g., for a guard or the like, bringing produce into any part of the structure establishes an obligation to tithe.


A distinction must, however, be made. The obligation to tithe produce brought into a home is Scriptural in origin and the obligation to tithe produce brought into a courtyard is of Rabbinic origin.


In Halachah 1, the Rambam makes such statements with regard to bringing produce into a home. He deduces that similar concepts apply with regard to bringing it into a courtyard.


All of these signs are indications that the courtyard is regarded as private property and not the public domain.


I.e., although two people share it, and one may carelessly leave it open, since the other locks it, it is regarded as private property. Hence bringing produce into it establishes the obligation to tithe.


A structure common in Greek and Roman times with two or three walls and a roof. (Occasionally, there would be an opening in the roof.)


In and of themselves, these structures are not considered dwellings and bringing produce into them would not create an obligation. Nevertheless, since they lead to and/or are auxiliaries to an area that is considered part of a permanent dwelling, they are considered as part of that dwelling.

The Radbaz notes that in Halachah 4 and in the following halachah, the Rambam states that bringing produce into a potter's outer sukkah does not create an obligation, while bringing it into the inner sukkah does. Why don't we, he asks, apply the same principle? Let us say that the outer sukkah is an entrance and/or auxiliary to the inner one. He explains that for the inner sukkah to create an obligation is itself a new development and the obligation is not strong enough to be extended to the outer sukkah.


For as above, in and of themselves, these structures are not considered significant dwellings.


For they are both considered as permanent structures, leading to and auxiliary to the home.


See the notes to Halachah 4 and those to the previous halachah. The commentaries question why the Rambam repeats the same law in such close proximity.


Since a person spends much time in his store, it is considered as equivalent to a home for him.


The Radbaz emphasizes that if the person spends a Sabbath on his journey, the commencement of the Sabbath establishes an obligation to tithe as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 3.


I.e., if he does not transport the produce to his intended destination, but instead, changes his mind in the middle, and returns with it (Kessef Mishneh).


Who sell perfumes to women [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Ma'aserot 2:3)].


This is speaking about their own produce or produce which was given to them to partake of (ibid.). If they were intending to sell the produce, there is an immediate obligation to tithe it. It is like bringing it to the marketplace (see Chapter 3, Halachah 2).


Rav Yosef Korcus explains that in this instance - in contrast to the previous halachah - the obligation falls before they reach their ultimate destination. The rationale for the distinction is that since these traveling salesmen do not have an ultimate goal, wherever they spend the night is significant for them.


I.e., one which is not guarded (Halachah 8).


For bringing produce into his home does not establish an obligation to tithe unless the person brings them there intentionally (see Chapter 3, Halachah 5). The person must, however, remove them from the home. He may not partake of them in the home without tithing them.


For bringing produce to a roof does not establish an obligation to tithe (Halachah 3).


This is the version in the standard printed texts of the Mishneh Torah and is also found in authoritative manuscripts and early printings. The version of the Mishneh Torah which the Radbaz and Rav Yosef Korcus followed states: "brought them to dry them on the roof."


The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling, explaining that bringing produce into a friend's courtyard does not establish an obligation to tithe unless one does so intentionally, but not when one does so out of forgetfulness. He also cites a version of the Tosefta (Ma'aserot 2:10) which supports his understanding.

Rav Yosef Korcus offers two justifications for the Rambam's ruling. First of all, he states that the phrase "he should not partake of them" could be interpreted as referring to the owner of the courtyard and not to the owner of the produce. Alternatively, he explains that even if it refers to the owner of the produce, since the courtyard he brings it into is part of a permanent dwelling, he should not partake of it until he tithes it. Leniency was given to traveling salesmen (Halachah 13), because they brought the produce into the courtyard with the intent of removing it immediately. In this instance, however, the owner does not necessarily intend to remove it immediately. Why then should he not be obligated to tithe?

In his gloss to Chapter 5, Halachah 8, the Ra'avad notes a seeming contradiction to the Rambam's ruling here. In his gloss to that halachah, the Radbaz explains that the stringency here is to correct a misimpression that might result in the eyes of an observer. The Kessef Mishneh, however, finds the Rambam's rulings difficult to reconcile and suggests that there is a printing error here.

Nevertheless, Rav Yosef Korcus continues, the Rambam's statements appear to be self-contradictory, because in the previous clause it appears that if one brings produce into a home after forgetting, he is not obligated to tithe it, but this clause states that if he brings it into his colleague's courtyard, he is. Seemingly, bringing it into one's own home would be a stronger factor than bringing it into a colleague's courtyard. Among the resolutions he offers is that when a person forgets and brings the produce into his own home, he is certainly acting inadvertently, without intent. If, however, he brings it into his colleague's courtyard, that could be considered as a conscious change of mind.


I.e., it is no longer considered as an extension of the home, but as a separate entity like a field.


For once he has plowed the majority, he will certainly plow the remainder.


But not the entirety of the courtyard.


The rationale is that since he did not sow the entire courtyard, we assume that his sowing is only temporary and soon, he will revert to considering the courtyard as that and not as a field.


The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam on this point, maintaining that planting trees does not remove land from the category of a courtyard. He explains that the Rambam used an incorrect version of the Jerusalem Talmud (Ma'aserot 3:10). For the Rambam's version of that passage conflicts with the rulings of Eruvin 23a regarding eruvin. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the obligations of eruvin and tithes are governed by different principles and deductions cannot necessarily be made from one situation to the other.


This indicates that he is not intending to uproot them and return the area to the function of an ordinary courtyard. Hence, it is considered as an orchard and he may snack from the produce before tithing.


In this and in the following halachot, the intent is to snack, not to eat a significant meal.


For he is then considered to have completed the work associated with harvesting figs and they are in a courtyard. Compare to Chapter 5, Halachah 3.


I.e., any place above three handbreadts off the ground (Radbaz).


I.e., he can collect them instead of eating from them one by one.


In other instances (see Ma'aserot 3:10), the foliage of the tree is considered as being in the same domain as its trunk. In this instance, however, the ruling depends on the domain in which the produce is collected.


Following the same logic stated in Halachah 15.


This applies to an instance where one intentionally brought the produce into the courtyard. If one did so unintentionally, there is no obligation to tithe as stated in Halachah 13.


I.e., once the produce has entered the courtyard, the obligation to tithe is irrevocably established.


Our translation is taken from Rav Kappach's translation of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Ma'aserot 3:10).


One in which the majority was sown as stated in Halachah 14.

The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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