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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Maaser Sheini - Chapter 1

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Maaser Sheini - Chapter 1

Introduction to Hilchos Maaser Sheini

They contain nine mitzvot: three positive commandments and six negative commandments. They are:

1) To separate the second tithe;
2) Not to use the proceeds [from its redemption] for any other human needs aside from eating, drinking, or anointing oneself;
3) Not to partake [of the second tithe] in a state of ritual impurity;
4) Not to partake [of the second tithe] while in mourning;
5) Not to partake of the second tithe of grain while outside Jerusalem;
6) Not to partake of the second tithe of wine while outside Jerusalem;
7) Not to partake of the second tithe of olive oil while outside Jerusalem;
8) For the entire crop of the fourth year to be consecrated; the requirement is that it must be eaten in Jerusalem by its owners according to all the particulars that apply to the second tithe;
9) To make the declaration associated with the giving of the tithes.

These mitzvot are explained in the ensuing chapters.

הלכות מעשר שני ונטע רבעי - הקדמה הלכות מעשר שני ונטע רבעי יש בכללן תשע מצות שלש מצות עשה וששת מצות לא תעשה וזהו פרטן: (א) להפריש מעשר שני
(ב) שלא להוציא דמיו בשאר צרכי בני אדם חוץ מאכילה ושתיה וסיכה
(ג) שלא לאוכלו בטומאה
(ד) שלא לאוכלו באנינות
(ה) שלא לאכול מעשר שני של דגן חוץ לירושלים
(ו) שלא לאכול מעשר תירוש חוץ לירושלים
(ז) שלא לאכול מעשר יצהר חוץ לירושלים
(ח) להיות נטע רבעי כולו קדש ודינו להאכל בירושלים לבעליו כמעשר שני לכל דבר
(ט) להתודות וידוי המעשר וביאור מצות אלו בפרקים אלו:

1

After1 separating the first tithe every year, we separate the second tithe,2as [Deuteronomy 14:22] states: "You shall certainly tithe the produce of your crops."3 In the third and sixth years [of the seven year agricultural cycle], we separate the tithe for the poor instead of the second tithe, as we explained.4

א

אַחַר שֶׁמַּפְרִישִׁין מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן בְּכָל שָׁנָה מַפְרִישִׁין מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יד כב) "עַשֵּׂר תְּעַשֵּׂר אֵת כָּל תְּבוּאַת זַרְעֶךָ". וּבְשָׁנָה שְׁלִישִׁית וְשִׁשִּׁית מַפְרִישִׁין מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי חֵלֶף מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

2

The first of Tishrei is the beginning of the year with regard to the reckoning of the tithes5 for grain, legumes,6 and vegetables. Whenever the term Rosh HaShanah is used [with regard to crops], the intent is the first of Tishrei. The fifteenth of Shvat is the beginning of the year with regard to reckoning the tithes for fruit-trees.

What is implied? If grain or legumes7 reach "the phase of tithing"8 before Rosh HaShanah of the third year,9 the second tithe should be separated from them even though they became fully developed and were gathered in the third year. If, however, they did not reach "the phase of tithing" until after Rosh HaShanah of the third year,10 the tithe for the poor should be separated from them. Similarly, if fruit from trees reaches "the phase of tithing" before the fifteenth of Shvat in the third year, it should be tithed according to the previous year and the second tithe should be separated from it even though it became fully developed and was gathered at the end of the third year. Similarly, if it reaches "the phase of tithing" before the fifteenth of Shvat in the fourth year, the tithe for the poor should be separated from it even though it became fully developed and was gathered at the end of the fourth year. If it reaches "the phase of tithing" after the fifteenth of Shvat, it should be tithed like the produce of the coming year.

ב

בְּאֶחָד בְּתִשְׁרֵי הוּא רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה לְמַעֲשַׂר תְּבוּאוֹת וְקִטְנִיּוֹת וִירָקוֹת. וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה הוּא אֶחָד בְּתִשְׁרֵי. וּבְט''ו בִּשְׁבָט הוּא רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה לְמַעֲשַׂר הָאִילָנוֹת. כֵּיצַד. תְּבוּאָה וְקִטְנִיּוֹת שֶׁהִגִּיעוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה שֶׁל שְׁלִישִׁית אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּגְמְרוּ וְנֶאֶסְפוּ בַּשְּׁלִישִׁית מַפְרִישִׁין מֵהֶן מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. וְאִם לֹא בָּאוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת אֶלָּא לְאַחַר רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה שֶׁל שְׁלִישִׁית מַפְרִישִׁין מֵהֶן מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי. וְכֵן פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן שֶׁבָּאוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת קֹדֶם ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט שֶׁל שְׁלִישִׁית אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּגְמְרוּ וְנֶאֶסְפוּ אַחַר כֵּן בְּסוֹף שָׁנָה שְׁלִישִׁית מִתְעַשְּׂרִין לְשֶׁעָבַר וּמַפְרִישִׁין מֵהֶן מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. וְכֵן אִם בָּאוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת קֹדֶם ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט שֶׁל רְבִיעִית אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּגְמְרוּ וְנֶאֶסְפוּ בִּרְבִיעִית מַפְרִישִׁין מֵהֶן מַעֲשֵׂר עָנִי. וְאִם בָּאוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת אַחַר ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט מִתְעַשְּׂרִין לְהַבָּא:

3

Even though the fruit of carob trees begin to ripen11 before the fifteenth of Shvat, they should be tithed according to the coming year,12 since [the obligation to] tithe them is of Rabbinic origin.13

It appears to me that this applies only with regard to the carobs that grow in Tzalmona or other similar species that are not fit to be eaten by most people. [Hence,] the obligation to partake of them is Rabbinic in origin.14 It appears to me that other carobs are similar to the rest of the fruit of the trees.15

ג

וְהֶחָרוּבִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָנְטוּ פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן קֹדֶם ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט מִתְעַשְּׂרִין לְהַבָּא. הוֹאִיל וּמִתְעַשְּׂרוֹת מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁאֵין הַדְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִין אֶלָּא בְּחָרוּבֵי צַלְמוֹנָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שֶׁאֵין רְאוּיִין לְמַאֲכַל רֹב הָאָדָם. וְהֵן הֵן שֶׁמִּתְעַשְּׂרוֹת מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. אֲבָל שְׁאָר הֶחָרוּבִין יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהֵן כִּשְׁאָר פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן:

4

Vegetables should be tithed according to the year when they are harvested.16 What is implied? If they are harvested on the day of Rosh HaShanah of the third year,17 the tithe for the poor should be separated from them even though they reached "the phase of tithing"18 and [indeed,] fully matured19 in the second year. If they were harvested in the fourth year, the second tithe should be separated from them.

ד

הַיָּרָק בִּשְׁעַת לְקִיטָתוֹ עִשּׂוּרוֹ. כֵּיצַד. אִם נִלְקַט בְּיוֹם רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה שֶׁל שְׁלִישִׁית אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּא לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת וְנִגְמַר בַּשְּׁנִיָּה מַפְרִישִׁין מִמֶּנּוּ מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי. וְאִם נִלְקַט בָּרְבִיעִית מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי:

5

Similarly, among fruit from trees, only an esrog is like a vegetable,20 [i.e., the laws governing it] whether for tithes or the Sabbatical year are dependent on when it is harvested.

What is implied?21 If it was harvested in the third year after the fifteenth of Shvat, the tithe for the poor should be separated from it even though its growth was completed in the second year. Similarly, if it was gathered in the fourth year before the fifteenth of Shvat, the tithe for the poor should be separated from it.22 If it was harvested in the fourth year after the fifteenth of Shvat, the second tithe should be separated from it.

ה

וְכֵן הָאֶתְרוֹג בִּלְבַד מִשְּׁאָר פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן הֲרֵי הוּא כְּיָרָק וְהוֹלְכִין אַחַר לְקִיטָתוֹ בֵּין לְמַעֲשֵׂר בֵּין לִשְׁבִיעִית. כֵּיצַד. אִם נִלְקַט בַּשְּׁלִישִׁית אַחַר ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט מַפְרִישִׁין מִמֶּנּוּ מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּגְמְרָה בַּשְּׁנִיָּה. וְכֵן אִם נִלְקַט בָּרְבִיעִית קֹדֶם ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט מַפְרִישִׁין מִמֶּנּוּ מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי. נִלְקַט בָּרְבִיעִית אַחַר ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט מַפְרִישִׁין מִמֶּנּוּ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי:

6

Although the laws governing an esrog depend on when it was reaped, when an esrog that grew23 in the sixth year entered the seventh year, tithes must be separated from it.24 [This applies] even though it was only an olive size [at the beginning of the Sabbatical year] and became the size of a loaf of bread [during that year].

ו

וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹלְכִין אַחַר לְקִיטָתוֹ אֶתְרוֹג בַּת שִׁשִּׁית שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לַשְּׁבִיעִית אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה כְּזַיִת וְנַעֲשֵׂית כְּכִכָּר חַיֶּבֶת בְּמַעַשְׂרוֹת:

7

We apply both the stringencies that apply to trees and those that apply to vegetables to caper berries.25 Thus if they grew26 from the second year and then they entered into the third year and were harvested before the fifteenth of Shvat, the first tithe should be separated. Afterwards, another tithe27 should be separated. Afterwards, it should be redeemed28 and then given to the poor.29 The proceeds of the redemption [should be used to purchase food that] is eaten according to the laws of the second tithe. Thus it is as if he separated both the second tithe and the tithe for the poor.

ז

הָאֶבְיוֹנוֹת שֶׁל צָלָף נוֹתְנִין עֲלֵיהֶן חֻמְרֵי אִילָן וְחֻמְרֵי זְרָעִים. שֶׁאִם הָיוּ מִשָּׁנָה שְׁנִיָּה שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לַשְּׁלִישִׁית וְנִלְקְטוּ קֹדֶם ט''ו בִּשְׁבָט מַפְרִישִׁין מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר אַחֵר וּפוֹדֵהוּ. וְאַחַר שֶׁפּוֹדֵהוּ נוֹתְנוֹ לָעֲנִיִּים וְאוֹכֵל פִּדְיוֹנוֹ בְּתוֹרַת מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. וְנִמְצָא כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי וּמַעֲשַׂר עָנִי:

8

With regard to rice, millet,30 poppy seed, and sesame seeds, even if the plants took root before Rosh HaShanah, we are concerned only with the completion of [the maturity of] the fruit and thus the tithes are separated as is the produce of the coming year. Similarly, with regard to Egyptian beans, even though a portion of the crop took root before Rosh HaShanah and a portion afterwards, he should gather the entire crop together31 and separate terumah and tithes from the entire crop as one. For everything depends on the produce reaching maturity.32

ח

הָאֹרֶז וְהַדֹּחַן וְהַפְּרָגִין וְהַשֻּׁמְשְׁמִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִשְׁרִישׁוּ קֹדֶם רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה אֵין הוֹלְכִין בָּהֶן אֶלָּא אַחַר גְּמַר הַפְּרִי וּמִתְעַשְּׂרִין לְהַבָּא. וְכֵן פּוֹל הַמִּצְרִי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּקְצָתוֹ הִשְׁרִישׁ לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה וּמִקְצָתוֹ לְאַחֲרָיו צוֹבֵר גָּרְנוֹ לְתוֹכוֹ וְתוֹרֵם וּמְעַשֵּׂר מִן הַכּל כְּאֶחָד שֶׁהַכּל הוֹלֵךְ אַחַר גְּמַר הַפְּרִי:

9

When one withheld water from onions that do not produce sprouts33 for 30 days or when one withheld water from onions that are irrigated from three periods34 before Rosh HaShanah, they should be tithed as produce of the previous year.35 If water was withheld from them for less than this - and thus they began to dry up before Rosh HaShanah36 - they should be tithed like produce of the coming year.

ט

הַבְּצָלִים הַסָּרִיסִים שֶׁמָּנַע מֵהֶם מַיִם שְׁלֹשִׁים יוֹם לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה. וְשֶׁל בַּעַל שֶׁמָּנַע מֵהֶם שָׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה. מִתְעַשְּׂרִין לְשֶׁעָבַר. מָנַע מֵהֶם פָּחוֹת מִכָּאן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִתְחִילוּ לִיבַשׁ קֹדֶם רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה מִתְעַשְּׂרִין לְהַבָּא:

10

[The following rules apply when] Egyptian beans reached a third of their growth before Rosh HaShanah. If they were sown to produce seed,37 they should be tithed as produce of the previous year.38 If they were sown to produce vegetables,39 they should be tithed as produce of the coming year.40 If they were sown to produce seed and vegetables or they were sown to produce seed and then [the owner changed his mind and] thought to use them for vegetables [as well], he should tithe from the seeds for the vegetables and from the vegetables as seeds.41

[Different rules apply if the beans] did not reach one third of their growth before Rosh HaShanah. If they were sown to produce seed, they should be tithed as produce of the previous year, but the vegetables that grow should be tithed as they are harvested, provided they are harvested before Rosh HaShanah.42 If they were harvested after Rosh HaShanah, both the vegetables and the seeds should be tithed as produce of the coming year.43

If they were sown to produce seed and then [the owner changed his mind and] thought to use them for vegetables [only], the ruling follows his thought.44 If they were sown to produce vegetables and then [the owner changed his mind and] thought to use them for seed, the thought to use it as seed has no effect on the ruling unless he withholds water from it for three periods45 when [the plants] would be ordinarily be watered,46 and [then,] only when [the plants] reached a third of their growth before Rosh HaShanah.47

[They are, however, governed by different rules] if they did not reach a third of their growth before Rosh HaShanah even though he withheld water from it for three periods when [the plants] would be ordinarily be watered.48 If he sowed it for the purpose of seed and the entire crop grew into fully grown plants before Rosh HaShanah, the seed is tithed as produce of the previous year49 and the vegetables are tithed according to when they are harvested.50 If some of the plants reached their full growth and some did not, to this situation, we apply our Sages' statement:51 "He should gather the entire crop together." [Thus he should separate tithes from the entire crop as one,] separating tithes from the seed for the vegetables and from the vegetables as seed.52

י

פּוֹל הַמִּצְרִי שֶׁהֵבִיא שְׁלִישׁ לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה אִם זְרָעוֹ לְזֶרַע מִתְעַשֵּׂר לְשֶׁעָבַר. זְרָעוֹ לְיָרָק מִתְעַשֵּׂר לְהַבָּא. זַרְעוֹ לְזֶרַע וּלְיָרָק אוֹ שֶׁזְּרָעוֹ לְזֶרַע וְחִשֵּׁב עָלָיו לְיָרָק מְעַשֵּׂר מִזַּרְעוֹ עַל יְרָקוֹ וּמִירָקוֹ עַל זַרְעוֹ. לֹא הֵבִיא שְׁלִישׁ לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה אִם זְרָעוֹ לְזֶרַע זַרְעוֹ מִתְעַשֵּׂר לְשֶׁעָבַר וִירָקוֹ בִּשְׁעַת לְקִיטָתוֹ עִשּׂוּרוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁלִּקֵּט מִמֶּנּוּ לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה. אֲבָל אִם לִקֵּט מִמֶּנּוּ אַחַר רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה בֵּין יְרָקוֹ בֵּין זַרְעוֹ מִתְעַשֵּׂר לְהַבָּא. זְרָעוֹ לְזֶרַע וְחִשֵּׁב עָלָיו לְיָרָק הוֹלְכִין אַחַר מַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ. זְרָעוֹ לְיָרָק וְחִשֵּׁב עָלָיו לְזָרַע אֵין מַחֲשֶׁבֶת זֶרַע חָלָה עָלָיו אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן מָנַע מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁלֹשׁ אֲרָיוֹת. וְהוּא שֶׁהֵבִיא שְׁלִישׁ לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה אֲבָל אִם לֹא הֵבִיא שְׁלִישׁ אֶלָּא לְאַחֲרָיו אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִמְנַע מִלֶּאֱרוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁלֹשׁ אֲרָיוֹת. זַרְעוֹ לְזֶרַע וְעָשָׂה כֻּלּוֹ קַצָּצִין גְּמוּרִים לִפְנֵי רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה זַרְעוֹ מִתְעַשֵּׂר לְשֶׁעָבַר. וִירָקוֹ בִּשְׁעַת לְקִיטָתוֹ. מִקְצָתוֹ עָשָׂה קַצָּצִין גְּמוּרִין וּמִקְצָתוֹ לֹא עָשָׂה. זֶה שֶׁאָמְרוּ צוֹבֵר גָּרְנוֹ לְתוֹכוֹ וְנִמְצָא מְעַשֵּׂר מִזַּרְעוֹ עַל יְרָקוֹ וּמִירָקוֹ עַל זַרְעוֹ:

11

When produce from the second year becomes mixed with produce from the third year or produce from the third year becomes mixed with that of the fourth year, we follow the majority.53 If it is half and half, we separate the second tithe from the entire quantity, but not the tithe for the poor.54 [The rationale is that] the second tithe is a more severe obligation, because it is sacred,55 while the tithe for the poor is ordinary produce. Similarly, when there is a doubt whether produce is from the second year or from the third year, the second tithe should be separated from it.

יא

פֵּרוֹת שָׁנָה שְׁנִיָּה שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבוּ בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁלִישִׁית. אוֹ שֶׁל שְׁלִישִׁית בִּרְבִיעִית. הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹב. מֶחֱצָה לְמֶחֱצָה מַפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי מִן הַכּל. אֲבָל לֹא מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי שֶׁמַּעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי חָמוּר שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא קֹדֶשׁ וּמַעֲשַׂר עָנִי חֹל. וְכֵן פֵּרוֹת שֶׁהֵן סָפֵק אִם פֵּרוֹת שְׁנִיָּה הֵם אוֹ פֵּרוֹת שְׁלִישִׁית מַפְרִישׁ מֵהֶן מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי:

12

Whenever [produce] is exempt from the first tithe, it is also exempt from the second tithe and the tithe for the poor.56 Whenever produce is obligated in the first tithe, it is also obligated in these two. All of the individuals who may separate terumah may also separate [these] tithes and those who are not entitled to separate terumah may not separate these tithes. When any of the individuals with regard to whom it is said that [they should not separate terumah,] but if they separate terumah, the separation is effective57 separate these tithes, their separation is effective. When any of the individuals with regard to whom it is said that their separation of terumah is ineffective58 separate these tithes, their separation is ineffective.

יב

כָּל הַפְּטוּר מִמַּעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן פָּטוּר מִן הַשֵּׁנִי וּמִן הֶעָנִי. וְכָל שֶׁחַיָּב בְּרִאשׁוֹן חַיָּב בִּשְׁנֵיהֶם. וְכָל הַתּוֹרֵם מוֹצִיא מַעֲשֵׂר. וְכָל שֶׁאֵינוֹ תּוֹרֵם אֵינוֹ מוֹצִיא מַעֲשֵׂר זֶה. כָּל מִי שֶׁאִם תָּרַם תְּרוּמָתוֹ תְּרוּמָה כָּךְ אִם עִשֵּׂר מַעֲשֵׂר זֶה הֲרֵי הוּא מַעֲשֵׂר. וְכָל מִי שֶׁאֵין תְּרוּמָתוֹ תְּרוּמָה כָּךְ אִם הוֹצִיא מַעֲשֵׂר זֶה אֵינוֹ מַעֲשֵׂר:

13

When a person separated the first tithe from produce before the obligation to tithe was established,59 he may snack from it before separating the second tithe. For [separating] the first [tithe] does not create an obligation to separate the second. If, however, an obligation to tithe was established, it is forbidden to snack from it until he separates the second tithe or the tithe for the poor even though he has already separated the first tithe.60

יג

פֵּרוֹת שֶׁהוֹצִיא מֵהֶן מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּקָּבְעוּ לַמַּעֲשֵׂר הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹכֵל מֵהֶן עַרְאַי קֹדֶם שֶׁיּוֹצִיא מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. שֶׁאֵין הָרִאשׁוֹן קוֹבֵעַ לַשֵּׁנִי. אֲבָל מִשֶּׁנִּקְבְּעוּ לְמַעֲשֵׂר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוֹצִיא אֶת הָרִאשׁוֹן אָסוּר לֶאֱכל מֵהֶן עַרְאַי עַד שֶׁיּוֹצִיא אֶת הַשֵּׁנִי אוֹ אֶת מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי:

14

Since the second tithe must be brought [to Jerusalem],61 it should not be brought from the Diaspora,62 like the firstborn of animals.63 For this reason, our Sages did not obligate the separation of the second tithe in Syria.64

It appears to me that the second tithe that is separated in Babylonia and in Egypt65 should be redeemed and the proceeds taken to Jerusalem. Similarly, it appears to me that the obligation to separate the second tithe in these places was established only so that there would be an obligation to separate the tithe for the poor, so that the poor of the Jewish people could rely on it.66

יד

מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי הוֹאִיל וְטָעוּן הֲבָאַת מָקוֹם אֵין מְבִיאִין אוֹתוֹ מִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ כִּבְכוֹר בְּהֵמָה. לְפִיכָךְ לֹא חִיְּבוּ לְהַפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי בְּסוּרְיָא. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁמַּעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁמַּפְרִישִׁים בְּאֶרֶץ שִׁנְעָר וּבְמִצְרַיִם פּוֹדִין אוֹתוֹ וּמְבִיאִין דָּמָיו לִירוּשָׁלַיִם. וְכֵן יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁלֹּא חִיְּבוּ מְקוֹמוֹת אֵלּוּ בְּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לִקְבֹּעַ מַעֲשֵׂר עָנִי כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל סוֹמְכִים עֲלֵיהֶם:

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Footnotes
1.

For preferably, the tithes should be separated in order, as stated in Hilchot Terumah 3:23.

2.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 128) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 473) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. In Sefer HaMitzvot, the Rambam states that separating the second tithe and partaking of it in Jerusalem are considered two facets of one mitzvah. The Ramban (in his Hosafot to Sefer HaMitzvot) differs and considers partaking of the produce in Jerusalem as another positive mitzvah.

3.

From the context of the passage, it is obvious that it is referring to another tithe and not to the first tithe which is given to the Levites.

4.

Hilchot Matanot Aniyim 6:3; Hilchot Ma'aser 9:3-4.

5.

I.e., with regard to the reckoning of the years of the agricultural cycle. These concepts also apply to with regard to the Sabbatical year.

6.

This is the popular translation of the Hebrew term kitniyot. More particularly, the Hebrew term includes many species that are not legumes.

7.

Vegetables are not mentioned here, because different laws apply to them, as stated in Halachah 4. With regard to kitniyot, note, however, Halachah 8.

8.

I.e., one third of their full growth, as stated in Hilchot Ma'aser 2:5.

9.

I.e., they reached this level of growth during the second year of the agricultural cycle. As mentioned above, the second tithe is separated in the second year of the agricultural cycle and the tithe for the poor in the third year.

10.

Even though their initial growth was in the second year.

11.

Black spots begin to appear upon them. This is "the phase of tithing" for them, as stated in Hilchot Ma'aser 2:5.

12.

I.e., the year when they are harvested.

13.

See Hilchot Terumah 3:3; Hilchot Ma'aser 1:9.

Because the obligation is Rabbinic in origin, they are tithed like vegetables for the obligation to tithe them is also of Rabbinic origin.

14.

According to Scriptural Law, there is no obligation to tithe them, because most people do not partake of them. Nevertheless since there are some who do partake of them, our Sages imposed this obligation.

15.

And the mitzvah of tithing them is of Scriptural origin.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam, maintaining that the carobs of Tzalmona need not be tithed at all and that the obligation to tithe all trees is Rabbinic in origin. The Ra'avad and the Kessef Mishneh discuss these points at length.

16.

Our Sages (Kiddushin 3a) explain the difference between vegetables and other crops. Unlike other crops for which the water from the rains suffice, vegetables require irrigation.

17.

It is forbidden for a Jew to harvest produce on Rosh HaShanah. We are speaking about produce belonging to a Jew harvested by a gentile.

18.

In contrast to the fruit mentioned in Halachah 4.

19.

In contrast to the species mentioned in Halachah 8.

20.

For it also requires water from irrigation.

21.

Here the Rambam is outlining the laws governing the tithes. The laws governing the Sabbatical year are described in Hilchot Shemitah 4:12.

22.

Because with regard to trees, the fourth year does not start until the fifteenth of Shvat.

23.

I.e., reached "the phase of tithing."

24.

The Ra'avad has a different understanding of Rosh HaShanah 15a-b, the source for the Rambam's ruling and differs on that basis. The Radbaz justifies the Rambam's understanding of that passage and hence his ruling here.

25.

The Ra'avad notes that the Rambam's ruling appears to contradict Berachot 36a which cites the position quoted by the Rambam in the name of the School of Shammai, while the School of Hillel considers it only as the fruits of a tree. The Kessef Mishneh justifies the Rambam's ruling, explaining that capers are considered as the fruits of a tree only with regard to the prohibitions of kilayim and orlah. With regard to the second tithe, by contrast, since there is no loss in observing both stringencies, we follow the stricter ruling.

26.

Reaching one third of their growth.

27.

Which as reflected in the continuation of the halachah will serve as both the second tithe and the tithe for the poor.

28.

As is done with the second tithe.

29.

As is done with the tithe for the poor.

30.

According to some opinions, the translation of these two terms should be reversed.

31.

The Ra'avad questions that Rambam's ruling, for seemingly, if everything depends on when the produce reaches maturity, it is not necessary to gather all the produce together. Instead, it can be tithed as it is gathered. The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam is saying that even if the produce is gathered all together, there is no difficulty. We do not say that the produce is from different years, because everything depends on when the produce reaches maturity. He is not, however, required to gather the produce together.

32.

See Halachah 10 where the Rambam mentions other particulars with regard to Egyptian beans.

33.

The literal translation of the Rambam's words (taken from Shivi'it 2:9) is "eunuch onions." In his Commentary to the Mishnah, he explains that term: "[Generally,] when onions are left in a moist place after being uprooted from the ground, they sprout forth green leaves. There is one type that does not do this. They are called 'eunuch onions,' for they represent a eunuch who does not produce seed."

34.

I.e., three periods in which they would ordinarily be watered. For example, if it was customary to water them every week, the laws that follow would apply if one withheld water from tem for three weeks.

35.

Even though they are not harvested immediately, their growth has already ceased.

36.

And thus one might think that their growth has been completed.

37.

I.e., to take the beans. See Rav Kappach's version of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 8:2).

38.

I.e., even the vegetables. For the vegetables are considered as secondary to the seed (beans). Thus these plants are judged as other legumes in which case, the ruling depends on when the beans reach one third of their growth as stated in Halachah 2.

39.

I.e., the leaves of the plant.

40.

I.e., even the seed. For the seed are considered as secondary to the vegetables and vegetables should be tithed according to when they are gathered as stated in Halachah 4.

41.

I.e., he separates one tithe for both the vegetables and the seeds, even though there is reason to say that the tithes for each of the two should be separated separately. If he harvested the plants primarily for the seeds, even the vegetables should be tithed as if they were seeds. Conversely, if he harvested the plants primarily as vegetables, even the seeds should be tithed as such.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam, questioning why he bases his ruling on the Jerusalem Talmud (Shivi'it 2:8) when - the Ra'avad states - that ruling is problematic. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh support the Rambam's view.

42.

Only in such a situation should the produce be tithed as produce of the second year. The Ra'avad notes that this ruling is problematic: Since the produce has not reached a third of its growth, why is there a need to tithe it? The Radbaz explains that since the person gathers, it is significant for him, and - as far as he is concerned, it has reached its full growth.

43.

For the vegetables, this ruling is obvious and even for the seeds, it applies because the plants did not reach one third of their growth in the previous year.

44.

And they should be tithed according to when they are harvested.

45.

When produce is grown to be used as a vegetable, it is watered before it is harvested. When it is grown for seeds, it is not (Radbaz). The Ra'avad questions the Hebrew term used by the Rambam. The Radbaz states that it means "harvests," because, as explained above, vegetables are usually watered before they are harvested.

46.

For his intent to be significant, it has to be reinforced by a deed.

47.

Otherwise, it would not be appropriate for them to be tithed as produce of the second year.

48.

The Ra'avad questions the Rambam's ruling in this instance as well and again the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh justify the Rambam's approach.

49.

For they reached a level of growth obligated them to be tithed at that time.

50.

Since he intended to use the plants for vegetables, we do not say that the vegetables are entirely insignificant.

51.

Rosh HaShanah 13b.

52.

As explained in Halachah 8.

53.

I.e., the entire quantity of produce is tithed according to the laws governing the majority. For we assume that any individual fruit was separated from the majority.

54.

The Ra'avad differs and maintains that the tithe for the poor should also be separated, for if it is not separated, the produce is tevel. Rav Yosef Korcus differs, explaining that the same logic could be used with regard to the first clause of the halachah, and that ruling is based on an explicit mishnah (Makshirin 2:11). This explanation provides us with a new definition of tevel - produce from which the separations have been made to the best of man's ability.

55.

I.e., it is considered as sacred property, as stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 17.

56.

See Hilchot Ma'aser 1:7.

57.

See Hilchot Terumot 4:4.

58.

See ibid.:2.

59.

I.e., through one of the six situations mentioned in Hilchot Ma'aser 3:2-3.

60.

For the prohibition against partaking of tevel applies until all the tithes have been separated. See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 10:20.

61.

As explained in the following chapter.

62.

The Scriptural obligation to separate the second tithe applies only in Eretz Yisrael. Furthermore, not only is there no Rabbinic obligation, one should not do so.

63.

The firstborn offspring of kosher animals must be offered as a sacrifice. Nevertheless, a firstborn animal in the Diaspora should not be brought to Jerusalem. Indeed, even if it is brought to the Temple, it is not offered as a sacrifice. See Hilchot Bechorot 1:5.

64.

I.e., since the second tithe should not be brought from Syria to Jerusalem, our Sages did not require its separation there. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling, but it is justified by the Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh.

65.

See Hilchot Terumot 1:1 which states that our Prophets and Sages ordained that terumah should be separated in these lands.

66.

I.e., there was always a substantial Jewish community in these lands and our Sages wanted to provide the poor with an opportunity to receive their livelihood. This provision was not enacted with regard to Syria, because it was relatively close to Eretz Yisrael and the poor could receive their livelihood from the tithe for the poor separated there (Radbaz). The Ra'avad maintains that the second tithe should also be separated in Syria, but the commentaries follow the Rambam's view.

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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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