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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Shemita - Chapter 5

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Shemita - Chapter 5


The produce of the Sabbatical year is designated for the sake of eating, drinking,1 smearing oneself [with oil],2 kindling lamps, and dyeing. According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that the word tihiyeh3 implies that it may be used even for kindling lamps, and dyeing.4


פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית נִתְּנוּ לַאֲכִילָה וְלִשְׁתִיָּה וּלְסִיכָה וּלְהַדְלָקַת הַנֵּר וְלִצְבִיעָה. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ (ויקרא כה ז) "תִּהְיֶה" אַף לְהַדְלָקַת נֵר וְלִצְבֹּעַ בָּהּ צֶבַע:


What is meant by [the license to use the produce of the Sabbatical year] for eating and drinking? One should eat those foods that are normally eaten and drink the beverages that are normally drunken, as is the law with regard to terumah and the second tithe.5


לַאֲכִילָה וְלִשְׁתִיָּה כֵּיצַד. לֶאֱכל דָּבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לֶאֱכל. וְלִשְׁתּוֹת דָּבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לִשְׁתּוֹת. כְּדִין תְּרוּמָה וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי:


He should not change the natural function of produce as he does not with regard to terumah and the second tithe, i.e., something that is normally eaten raw should not be eaten cooked. Something that is normally eaten cooked should not be eaten raw. For this reason, animal fodder6 should not be cooked, nor should one press himself to eat a cooked dish that has spoiled or bread that has become moldy, as he does not eat such foods that are terumah or the second tithe.7


וְלֹא יְשַׁנֶּה פֵּרוֹת מִבְּרִיָּתָן כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְשַׁנֶּה בִּתְרוּמָה וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. דָּבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לֵאָכֵל חַי לֹא יֹאכְלֶנּוּ מְבֻשָּׁל. וְדָבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לְהֵאָכֵל מְבֻשָּׁל אֵין אוֹכְלִין אוֹתוֹ חַי. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין שׁוֹלְקִין אָכֳלֵי בְּהֵמָה וְאֵינוֹ מְטַפֵּל לֶאֱכל תַּבְשִׁיל שֶׁנִּפְסַד וְהַפַּת שֶׁעִפְּשָׁה כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאֵינוֹ אוֹכֵל בִּתְרוּמָה וּמַעֲשֵׂר:


We do not cook vegetables from the Sabbatical year in oil that is terumah lest it disqualify it.8 If one cooked a little and ate it immediately, it is permitted,9 because he did not leave it aside so that it become disqualified.


וְאֵין מְבַשְּׁלִין יָרָק שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית בְּשֶׁמֶן תְּרוּמָה שֶׁלֹּא יְבִיאֶנּוּ לִידֵי פְּסוּל. וְאִם בִּשֵּׁל מְעַט וַאֲכָלוֹ מִיָּד מֻתָּר שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא הִנִּיחָן כְּדֵי לָבוֹא לִידֵי פְּסוּל:


Produce that is set aside for human consumption should not be fed to domesticated animals, beasts, and fowl. If an animal went under a fig tree under its own initiative and began eating the fruit, we do not require [the owner] to bring it back, for [Leviticus 25:7] states: "And for the animal and the beast in your land shall be all the produce to eat."10


פֵּרוֹת הַמְיֻחָדִין לְמַאֲכַל אָדָם אֵין מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתָן לִבְהֵמָה לְחַיָּה וּלְעוֹפוֹת. הָלְכָה הַבְּהֵמָה מֵאֵלֶיהָ לְתַחַת הַתְּאֵנָה וְאָכְלָה אֵין מְחַיְּבִין אוֹתוֹ לְהַחְזִירָהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה ז) "וְלִבְהֶמְתְּךָ וְלַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר בְּאַרְצֶךָ תִּהְיֶה כָל תְּבוּאָתָהּ לֶאֶכל":


What is meant by [the license to] smear oneself [with produce from the Sabbatical year]? One may smear oneself with produce with which it is common to smear oneself. He should not smear wine or vinegar, but he may smear oil.11 We do not place fragrant herbs in oil,12 nor should one apply oil in a bathhouse.13 He may, however, apply oil outside and then enter.14


לְסִיכָה כֵּיצַד. לָסוּךְ דָּבָר שֶׁדַּרְכּוֹ לָסוּךְ. לֹא יָסוּךְ יַיִן וְחֹמֶץ אֲבָל סָךְ הוּא אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶן. וְלֹא יְפַטֵּם אֶת הַשֶּׁמֶן. וְלֹא יָסוּךְ בַּמֶּרְחָץ אֲבָל סָךְ הוּא מִבַּחוּץ וְנִכְנָס:


Oil from the Sabbatical year should not be used to seal an oven or a range,15 nor should it be applied to a shoe or a sandal.16 One should not apply [such oil] with impure hands.17 If the oil fell on his flesh, he may rub it in with impure hands.18 One should not apply [such] oil to his foot while it is in a shoe,19 He may, however, smear [such oil] on his foot and put on a shoe or smear his entire body and then roll on a new [leather] mat.20


שֶׁמֶן שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית אֵין חוֹסְמִין בּוֹ תַנּוּר וְכִירַיִם. וְאֵין סָכִין בּוֹ מִנְעָל וְסַנְדָּל. וְאֵין סָכִין אוֹתוֹ בְּיָדַיִם טְמֵאוֹת. נָפַל עַל בְּשָׂרוֹ מְשַׁפְשְׁפוֹ בְּיָדַיִם טְמֵאוֹת. וְלֹא יָסוּךְ רַגְלוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַמִּנְעָל. אֲבָל סָךְ הוּא רַגְלוֹ וְלוֹבֵשׁ הַמִּנְעָל. וְסָךְ גּוּפוֹ וּמִתְעַגֵּל עַל גַּבֵּי קַטַבְלִיָא:


What is meant by [the license to] kindle a lamp [with produce from the Sabbatical year]? One may kindle a lamp with oil from the Sabbatical year itself. If one sold [oil from the Sabbatical year] and used the proceeds21 to purchase other oil or exchanged [oil from the Sabbatical year] for other oil,22 they are both forbidden to be used for kindling, for we may not use money received in return for the produce of the Sabbatical year for kindling.23

One should not place oil directly into a fire.24 Instead, one should light it in a lamp.25


לְהַדְלָקַת הַנֵּר כֵּיצַד. שֶׁמַּדְלִיק אֶת הַנֵּר בְּשֶׁמֶן שְׁבִיעִית עַצְמוֹ. מְכָרוֹ וְלָקַח בּוֹ שֶׁמֶן אַחֵר אוֹ שֶׁהֶחְלִיף שֶׁמֶן בְּשֶׁמֶן שְׁנֵיהֶם אֲסוּרִים בְּהַדְלָקָה. שֶׁאֵין מַדְלִיקִין בִּדְמֵי שְׁבִיעִית. וְלֹא יִתֵּן הַשֶּׁמֶן לְתוֹךְ הַמְּדוּרָה אֶלָּא מַדְלִיקוֹ בְּנֵר:


What is meant by [the license to use produce from the Sabbatical year] for dyeing? Produce which is ordinarily used as dye even though it is also used as food for people may be used as dye for man's sake.26 We may not, however, use the produce of the Sabbatical year - even animal fodder - as dye for the sake of an animal. For the holiness of the Sabbatical year does not rest on dye for animals.


לִצְבִיעָה כֵּיצַד. דְּבָרִים שֶׁדַּרְכָּן לִצְבֹּעַ בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מַאַכְלֵי אָדָם צוֹבְעִין בָּהֶן לְאָדָם. אֲבָל אֵין צוֹבְעִין לִבְהֵמָה מִפֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית אֲפִלּוּ מַאַכְלֵי בְּהֵמָה. שֶׁאֵין קְדֻשַּׁת שְׁבִיעִית חָלָה עַל צִבְעֵי בְּהֵמָה:


The holiness of the Sabbatical year falls on [natural] detergents - e.g., borit and ehel,27 - and we may launder with them,28 as [Leviticus 25:6] states: "And [the produce that grows] while the land is resting shall be yours," i.e., for all your needs. Nevertheless, the fruit of the Sabbatical year should not be used as a detergent,29 nor should it be used to produce a compress,30 for [the above verse] states: "...shall be yours to eat,"31 i.e., and not for a compress, nor to sprinkle,32 induce regurgitation, soak flax, or use as a detergent.


מִינֵי כִּבּוּסִים כְּגוֹן בֹּרִית וְאֹהֶל קְדֻשַּׁת שְׁבִיעִית חָלָה עֲלֵיהֶן וּמְכַבְּסִין בָּהֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה ו) "וְהָיְתָה שַׁבַּת הָאָרֶץ לָכֶם" לְכָל צָרְכֵיכֶם. אֲבָל אֵין מְכַבְּסִין בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין מֵהֶם מְלוּגְמָא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְהָיְתָה שַׁבַּת הָאָרֶץ לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה וְלֹא לִמְלוּגְמָא וְלֹא לְזִלּוּף וְלֹא לְהָקִיא וְלֹא לְמִשְׁרָה וְלֹא לִכְבִיסָה:


A great principle was stated with regard to the produce of the Sabbatical year: Whatever is distinguished as being for human consumption, e.g., wheat, figs, grapes, and the like, should not be used as a compress or a bandage, even for a person, as implied by the phrase: "yours to eat," i.e., whatever is distinguished as being for you, should be used as food33 and not for medicinal purposes. Anything that is not distinguished as being for human consumption, e.g., soft thorns and brambles, may be used as a compress for a person, but not for an animal.34

If it is not distinguished as being for either of the above purposes - e.g., za'ater, oregano,35 and thyme,36 [the ruling depends] on the person's intent. If he thought to use it as kindling wood, it is considered as kindling wood.37 If he intended that it be used as food [for humans], it is considered as produce.38

If it is distinguished as being for both of the above purposes, we treat it with both the stringencies incumbent on food for humans - and compresses are not made with it - and those incumbent on animal fodder - that they may not be cooked.39


כְּלָל גָּדוֹל אָמְרוּ בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. כָּל שֶׁהוּא מְיֻחָד לְמַאֲכַל אָדָם כְּגוֹן חִטִּים תְּאֵנִים וַעֲנָבִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֵין עוֹשִׂין מִמֶּנּוּ מְלוּגְמָא אוֹ רְטִיָּה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אֲפִלּוּ לְאָדָם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה ו) "לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה" כָּל שֶׁהוּא מְיֻחָד לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה וְלֹא לִרְפוּאָה. וְכָל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְיֻחָד לְמַאֲכַל אָדָם כְּגוֹן קוֹצִין וְדַרְדָּרִין הָרַכִּים עוֹשִׂין מֵהֶן מְלוּגְמָא לְאָדָם אֲבָל לֹא לִבְהֵמָה. וְכָל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְיֻחָד לֹא לָזֶה וְלֹא לָזֶה כְּגוֹן הַסְּאָה וְהָאֵזוֹב וְהַקּוֹרָנִית הֲרֵי הוּא תָּלוּי בְּמַחֲשַׁבְתּוֹ. חָשַׁב עָלָיו לְעֵצִים הֲרֵי הוּא כְּעֵצִים. לַאֲכִילָה הֲרֵי הוּא כְּפֵרוֹת. לְמַאֲכַל אָדָם וּלְמַאֲכַל בְּהֵמָה נוֹתְנִין עָלָיו חֻמְרֵי מַאֲכַל אָדָם, שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין מֵהֶן מְלוּגְמָא. וְחֻמְרֵי מַאֲכַל בְּהֵמָה שֶׁאֵין שׁוֹלְקִין אוֹתוֹ:


It is permitted to sell food for humans and animal fodder and use the proceeds to purchase food for humans. We may not, however, sell animal fodder to purchase other animal fodder.40 Needless to say, we may not sell food for humans to purchase animal fodder. If [animal fodder] was purchased with [such produce] or food for humans was exchanged for animal fodder, [the animal fodder] is considered like food for humans and it may not be used to make a compress for a person.


מֻתָּר לִמְכֹּר אָכֳלֵי אָדָם וְאָכֳלֵי בְּהֵמָה וְלִקַּח בָּהֶם אָכֳלֵי אָדָם. אֲבָל אֵין מוֹכְרִין אָכֳלֵי בְּהֵמָה לִקַּח בָּהֶם אָכֳלֵי בְּהֵמָה אַחֶרֶת. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁאֵין מוֹכְרִין אָכֳלֵי אָדָם לִקַּח בָּהֶם אָכֳלֵי בְּהֵמָה. וְאִם לָקַח בָּהֶן אוֹ הֶחְלִיף בָּהֶן אָכֳלֵי אָדָם בְּאָכֳלֵי בְּהֵמָה הֲרֵי הֵן כְּאָכֳלֵי אָדָם שֶׁאֵין עוֹשִׂין מֵהֶן מְלוּגְמָא לָאָדָם:


The produce of the Sabbatical year may not be transported from Eretz Yisrael to the Diaspora, not even to Syria.41 It cannot be fed to a gentile,42 nor to a hired worker.43 If he was hired for an entire week, an entire year, or an entire month or an agreement regarding his food was established, he is considered as a member of one's household and he may be fed [the produce of the Sabbatical year]. We may feed a guest44 the produce of the Sabbatical year.45


פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית אֵין מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָן מֵהָאָרֶץ לְחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ וַאֲפִלּוּ לְסוּרְיָא. וְאֵין מַאֲכִילִין אוֹתָן לֹא לְעַכּוּ''ם וְלֹא לְשָׂכִיר. וְאִם הָיָה שְׂכִיר שַׁבָּת אוֹ שְׂכִיר שָׁנָה אוֹ שְׂכִיר חֹדֶשׁ אוֹ שֶׁקָּצַץ מְזוֹנוֹתָיו עָלָיו הֲרֵי הוּא כְּאַנְשֵׁי בֵּיתוֹ וּמַאֲכִילִין אוֹתוֹ. וּמַאֲכִילִין אֶת הָאַכְסַנְיָא פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית:


The court does not allot produce of the Sabbatical year to a woman,46 because this is considered as paying a debt with the produce of the Sabbatical year.47 She may, however, take her livelihood from [produce of the Sabbatical year] in her husband's possession.48


אֵין בֵּית דִּין פּוֹסְקִין לְאִשָּׁה פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁזֶּה כִּמְשַׁלֵּם חוֹב מִפֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. אֲבָל נִזּוֹנֶת הִיא מִשֶּׁל בַּעְלָהּ:


We do not harvest the produce of the Sabbatical year when it is not yet ripe.49 [This is derived from Leviticus 25:12 which states:] "And you shall partake of its produce," [implying that the fruits] may not be eaten until they are considered as produce.50 One may, however, partake of a small amount of them in the field while they are underdeveloped, as one partakes [of such produce] in other years.51 One should not bring the produce into one's home until it reaches the stage when the obligation to separate tithes takes effect.52


אֵין אוֹסְפִין פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית כְּשֶׁהֵן בֹּסֶר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כה יב) "תֹּאכְלוּ אֶת תְּבוּאָתָהּ" אֵינָהּ נֶאֱכֶלֶת עַד שֶׁתֵּעָשֶׂה תְּבוּאָה. אֲבָל אוֹכֵל מֵהֶן מְעַט בַּשָּׂדֶה כְּשֶׁהֵם פַּגִּין כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאוֹכֵל בִּשְׁאָר שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעַ. וְלֹא יַכְנִיס לֶאֱכל בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת:


From when is it permitted to partake of the fruit of trees in the field in the Sabbatical year? With regard to underdeveloped figs, when their surface will become shiny,53 he may eat his bread with them in the field. The same applies in all analogous situations With regard to underdeveloped grapes,54 when sap flows in them, they may be eaten in the fields. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

With regard to olives, when a se'ah of olives would produce a revi'it of a log55 of oil, one may break them open56 and eat them in the fields.57 [If such an amount of olives] would produce half a log [of oil], one may crush them and smear oneself in the field. [If they reach the stage where they] produce one third [of the amount they ordinarily produce], it is permitted to bring them to his home, because they have reached a third of their growth.


וּמֵאֵימָתַי יִהְיֶה מֻתָּר לֶאֱכל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן בַּשָּׂדֶה בַּשְּׁבִיעִית. הַפַּגִּין שֶׁל תְּאֵנִים מִשֶּׁיַּזְרִיחוּ אוֹכֵל בָּהֶן פִּתּוֹ בַּשָּׂדֶה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. הַבֹּסֶר מִשֶּׁיּוֹצִיא מַיִם וְאוֹכְלוֹ בַּשָּׂדֶה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ. הַזֵּיתִים מִשֶּׁיִּכְנְסוּ סְאָה שֶׁל זֵיתִים רְבִיעִית שֶׁמֶן פּוֹצֵעַ וְאוֹכֵל בַּשָּׂדֶה. הִכְנִיסוּ חֲצִי לוֹג כּוֹתֵשׁ וְסָךְ בַּשָּׂדֶה. הִכְנִיס שְׁלִישׁ מֻתָּר לְהַכְנִיס לְבֵיתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הִגִּיעוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת:


It is permitted to cut down trees for their wood in the Sabbatical year, before they produce fruit. Once they have begun to produce fruit, however, they should not be cut down, for doing so spoils [the fruit], and [the fruit of the Sabbatical year is granted] "to eat,"58 and not to spoil.59 If it produced fruit and they reached the stage at which an obligation to separate tithes exists, it is permitted to cut them down, for it has already produced its fruit and the laws of the Sabbatical year no longer apply to it.60


מֻתָּר לָקֹץ אִילָנוֹת לְעֵצִים בַּשְּׁבִיעִית קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּהֶן פְּרִי. אֲבָל מִשֶּׁיַּתְחִיל לַעֲשׂוֹת פְּרִי לֹא יָקֹץ אוֹתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי מַפְסִיד הָאֹכֶל וְנֶאֱמַר (ויקרא כה ו) "לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה" וְלֹא לְהֶפְסֵד. וְאִם הוֹצִיא פֵּרוֹת וְהִגִּיעוּ לְעוֹנַת הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת מֻתָּר לָקֹץ אוֹתוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוֹצִיא פֵּרוֹתָיו וּבָטֵל דִּין שְׁבִיעִית מִמֶּנּוּ:


From when is it forbidden to cut down a tree in the Sabbatical year?61 For carobs, when a chain of carobs will be formed.62 For grapes, when the fruit produces seeds. For olives, when they bud. For all other fruit trees, when they produce underdeveloped fruit.

It is forbidden to cut off underdeveloped clusters of dates63 in the Sabbatical year, because one is spoiling the fruit. If these clusters will not produce dates, merely buds, it is permitted to cut off those clusters.64


וּמֵאֵימָתַי אֵין קוֹצְצִין הָאִילָן בַּשְּׁבִיעִית. הֶחָרוּבִין מִשֶּׁיְּשַׁלְשֵׁלוּ. וְהַגְּפָנִים מִשֶּׁיִּגָּרְעוּ. וְהַזֵּיתִים מִשֶּׁיָּנֵצּוּ. וּשְׁאָר כָּל הָאִילָנוֹת מִשֶּׁיּוֹצִיאוּ בֹּסֶר. וְאֵין קוֹצְצִין אֶת הַכָּפְנִיּוֹת בַּשְּׁבִיעִית מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא הֶפְסֵד פְּרִי. וְאִם אֵין דַּרְכָּן לְהֵעָשׂוֹת תְּמָרִים אֶלָּא שֶׁיָּצִיץ מֻתָּר לָקֹץ אוֹתָן כָּפְנִיּוֹת:


We may not use hay and straw of the Sabbatical year for kindling,65 because it is fit for animal fodder.66 We may, however, use the wastes of olives and grapes of the Sabbatical year for fuel.67


אֵין שׂוֹרְפִין תֶּבֶן וְקַשׁ שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא רָאוּי לְמַאֲכַל בְּהֵמָה. אֲבָל מַסִּיקִין בְּגֶפֶת וּבְזַגִּין שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית:


When a bathhouse has been heated with hay and straw of the Sabbatical year, it is permitted to bathe there68 [even] when payment is required.69 An important person, however, is forbidden to do so, lest they also mix other [herbs]70 into the kindling for him, so that it will produce a fragrant scent.71 Thus they will destroy the produce of the Sabbatical year.72


מֶרְחָץ שֶׁהֻסְּקָה בְּתֶבֶן וּבְקַשׁ שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית מֻתָּר לִרְחֹץ בָּהּ בְּשָׂכָר. וְאִם אָדָם חָשׁוּב הוּא אָסוּר שֶׁמָּא יַסִּיקוּ בָּהּ דְּבָרִים אֲחֵרִים בִּשְׁבִילוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רֵיחָהּ נוֹדֵף. וְנִמְצְאוּ מַפְסִידִין פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית:


The holiness of the produce of the Sabbatical year does not fall on the types of shells and seeds that are permitted to non-priests with regard to terumah.73 Instead, they are considered like wood, unless they are fit for dyeing.74 The holiness of the Sabbatical year falls on the hearts of palms.75


הַקְּלִפִּין וְהַגַּרְעִינִין שֶׁמֻּתָּרִין בִּתְרוּמָה לְזָרִים אֵין קְדֻשַּׁת שְׁבִיעִית חָלָה עֲלֵיהֶם וַהֲרֵי הֵן כְּעֵצִים אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן רְאוּיִין לִצְבִיעָה. וְהַקּוֹר קְדֻשַּׁת שְׁבִיעִית חָלָה עָלָיו:


[The following rules apply when a person] places spices from the Sabbatical year in a wrapping and inserts them into cooked food. If their flavor is nullified,76 they are permitted.77 If they retain their flavor, the holiness of the Sabbatical year is still invested in them.


הַצּוֹרֵר תַּבְלִין שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית וְנוֹתֵן לְתוֹךְ הַתַּבְשִׁיל. אִם בָּטֵל טַעְמָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מֻתָּרִין לְכָל דָּבָר. וְאִם נִשְׁאַר בָּהֶן טַעַם עֲדַיִן הֵם בִּקְדֻשַּׁת שְׁבִיעִית:


Straw and hay from the Sabbatical year should not be placed in a pillow or in mud.78 If one did place them there, they are considered as if they have been destroyed.79 When an oven has been heated with straw and hay from the Sabbatical year, it should be allowed to cool.80

Once the second wave of rains81 descend in the eighth year, we are allowed to benefit from straw and hay of the Sabbatical year and use it for kindling.82


אֵין נוֹתְנִין תֶּבֶן וְקַשׁ שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית לֹא לְתוֹךְ הַכַּר וְלֹא לְתוֹךְ הַטִּיט. וְאִם נָתַן הֲרֵי זֶה כִּמְבֹעָר. תַּנּוּר שֶׁהִסִּיקוּהוּ בְּתֶבֶן וּבְקַשׁ שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית יוּצַן. וּמִשֶּׁתֵּרֵד רְבִיעָה שְׁנִיָּה בְּמוֹצָאֵי שְׁבִיעִית נֶהֱנִין וְשׂוֹרְפִין בְּתֶבֶן וּבְקַשׁ שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית:

Test Yourself on This Chapter


Drinking is considered as eating (Yoma 76b).


See Hilchot Sh'vitat Esor 1:4-5; Hilchot Terumot 11:1, Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 3:10 which equate smearing oneself with oil and drinking.


Leviticus 25:7 states: "And for the animal and the beast in your land shall (tihiyeh) be all the produce to eat." The Sifra derives the above concept from this verse.


For these activities also bring direct benefit to man.


See Hilchot Terumah, ch. 11, and Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni, ch. 3, for more particulars concerning these laws.


Which is usually eaten raw.


See Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 3:11 which states: "We do not require a person to eat bread that has become moldy or oil that has become rancid. Instead, as soon as it has become spoiled to the point that it is not fit for human consumption, its holiness has departed from it."


In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Sh'vi'it 8:7), the Rambam describes this concept as follows: When terumah becomes ritually impure, it is disqualified and forbidden to be eaten. Now if the oil becomes ritually impure, it will disqualify the vegetable that was cooked in it and require that it be destroyed. Thus one will have caused the produce of the Sabbatical year to be destroyed unnecessarily.


The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam's wording should not be interpreted as implying that only after the fact, once one has cooked the vegetable in the oil, one may partake of it. Instead, this is permitted at the outset.


Implying that the produce of the Sabbatical year may be eaten by animals.


Even though oil is primarily used as food, it is also common to smear it on one's flesh (Radbaz). Wine or vinegar, by contrast, are generally not applied as ointments. See Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni, loc. cit.


Because doing so removes it from the category of food and makes it oil for smearing (Hilchot Terumah 11:3).


For applying oil that is holy in a place where people are unclothed is an act of disrespect.


Since the oil is already absorbed in one's skin.


For this will be using it for a purpose other than a person's direct physical benefit.


This strengthens the sandal, but does not provide a person with direct physical benefit.


The intent is not necessarily impure hands, but any hands that one has not watched carefully to make sure that they are pure. For if one touches oil with such hands, it becomes impure by Rabbinic decree (Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTuma'ah 8:8-10). Making the oil impure would reduce the number of people who could partake of it. Hence, it is improper to do so.


For once the oil has been applied to one's flesh, there is no difficulty in it becoming impure, because its sacred quality is divested. See parallels in Hilchot Terumah 11:7.


Because the oil will be applied to the shoe directly.


Even though the oil will be applied indirectly to the shoe or the mat, that does not present a difficulty, because as above, once it has been applied to his flesh, its sacred quality is divested.


As stated in Halachah 12, it is permitted to sell produce of the Sabbatical year that is fit for human consumption and use the proceeds to purchase other food. One may not, however, use such proceeds for other purposes even though they benefit man.


In which instance, the oil for which the oil from the Sabbatical year was exchanged receives the status of produce of the Sabbatical year (see Chapter 6, Halachot 6-7).


One may use oil from the Sabbatical year for kindling, because this is a function for which that produce is ordinarily used. Nevertheless, oil is considered primarily as food fit for human consumption. Hence, the proceeds from its sale or exchange may be used for that purpose alone.


It is not common practice to pour oil into a fire. Hence, although license is given to kindle with oil, one may do so only in the ordinary manner.


For this is the ordinary practice.


As the continuation of the Rambam's words imply, the dye is then considered as imbued with the holiness of the Sabbatical year.


Two plants with natural alcalic properties that make them fit for use as detergents.


For this is their primary use.


Since fruit is primarily used as food, it is improper to use it for any other purpose.


In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Sh'vi'it 8:1), the Rambam explains the derivation of the word milugma. It is a composite of the words molei lugma, meaning "cheekful." It was common to chew kernels of wheat, figs, or other produce, and then place them on wounds. Since the primary use of such produce is food, it cannot be used for these purposes.


The explanation is dependent on the principle stated in the following halachah.


Liquids were occasionally sprinkled over wounds to induce clotting.


And for no other purpose, even if it is beneficial to man.


I.e., it may be used for a purpose that brings man benefit.


Our translation is based on Rav Kappach's notes to the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.). Others render it as "hyssop."


In his Commentary to the Mishnah, the Rambam explains that these are herbs that are used both as spices and for medicinal purposes.


And the holiness of the Sabbatical year does not rest upon it.


And is infused with that holiness.


This represents a change in the Rambam's thinking from his initial version of his Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.) in which he states that the stringency involved with animal fodder is that it can only be eaten during the time the produce is available in the field. In the final version of the Commentary to the Mishnah, he adopts the position stated here that is based on the Jerusalem Talmud.


As stated in the notes to Halachah 8, when the produce from the Sabbatical year is sold, the proceeds from the sale may be used only for the purchase of food for humans.


This is a decree imposed so that there will not be a dearth of produce in Eretz Yisrael. See Chapter 7, Halachah 12, which states what should be done if such produce is brought to the Diaspora.


This is derived from Leviticus 25:6 which states that the produce of the Sabbatical year "shall be yours to eat." Implied is that it is for "you" and not for gentiles.


This is referring to a worker hired only for a day(s). Since he is hired for only a short time, it appears as if the person is paying his debt with the produce of the Sabbatical year which is forbidden, see Chapter 6, Halachah 11.


Rav Yosef Corcus states that this and the above clause even refer to a gentile guest or worker.


This is not considered as paying a debt.


This halachah is referring to a woman whose husband traveled to a distant place without leaving his wife adequate support. If she approaches the court, the court expropriates property belonging to her husband and sells it to provide for her support. See Hilchot Ishut 12:16.


For the husband is liable for her support.


Since she has access to the household provisions, it is not considered as if someone is paying the debt to her (Rav Yosef Corcus).


I.e., before it reaches one third of its growth. Until that point, they are unfit to be eaten [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 4:7)].


I.e., until they have ripened.


For it is also common practice to taste a small amount of fruit in the field even in its very early stages of ripening (ibid.).


I.e., until the produce reaches one third of its development (Hilchot Ma'aserot 2:3). That would reflect a further stage of development.


At that time, their surface becomes smooth and there is a certain amount of sap inside them [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 4:7)]. At this stage of development, it is ordinary practice for a person in the field to taste a small amount of the fruit.


Our translation of the terms in this clause is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 4:8).


A revi'it of a log is 86 cc according to Shiurei Torah and 150 cc according to Chazon Ish.


This is the ordinary way in which olives are eaten [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 4:9)], for there is a bitter liquid beneath this covering.


At this stage of development, the amount of oil produced is not significant enough for one to smear himself with it.


Leviticus 25:6. As stated in Halachah 10, this phrase is also an exclusion, preventing the use of the produce for other purposes.


In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 4:10), the Rambam writes that cutting the trees down at this stage of the fruits' development is forbidden, because it is tantamount to theft. For the fruit was granted to people at large and by cutting down the tree, other people are prevented from harvesting it.


It was permitted to harvest the fruit from this stage of development. Since people already had the opportunity of harvesting it and failed to do so, it is not forbidden to destroy the tree.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.), the Rambam clarifies that we are speaking about a situation where the tree does not produce a large amount of produce and hence, it is permitted to cut it down and use it for wood. Otherwise, it is forbidden to cut down a fruit tree. See Hilchot Melachim 6:8-9.


I.e., when does the initial stage of development mentioned in the previous halachah begin for various types of fruit.


The interpretation of this clause offered by standard published text of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.) is somewhat confusing. See Rav Kappach's translation. It is the source for our translation of the following clauses.


Our translation is dependent on the gloss of the Radbaz and Rav Kappach's notes to the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Orlah 1:9).


The Radbaz explains that this is referring to a species of dates that never produces edible fruit, but the clusters themselves are eaten like hearts of palms.


The Kessef Mishneh explains that this license is derived through a process of deduction. Shivi'it 9:7 states that the hay and straw of the Sabbatical year may not be used for kindling until the second rain of the eighth year descends. Thus one can obviously conclude that it was forbidden to use them previously.


Hence it should be used for that purpose; see Halachah 3.


For they are not useful for any other purposes.


Seemingly, this halachah contradicts the preceding one. Since it is forbidden to use hay and straw from the Sabbatical year for kindling, one would think that it is forbidden to bathe in water heated through such a fire. Why then is bathing in such a bathhouse permitted?

The Kessef Mishneh first states that license to use the bathhouse is only granted after the fact. At the outset, one should not use such hay and straw for this purpose. Alternatively, he explains - as does the Radbaz - that there is no difficulty in using such hay and straw for this purpose, for just as animal fodder of the Sabbatical year can be used to make a compress for a person (Halachah 11), it can be used to heat a bath for him.


The Kessef Mishneh offers this interpretation, resolving the question posed by the Ra'avad who had objected to granting license to use such hay and straw when payment is taken, for that resembles selling the produce of the Sabbatical year as merchandise which is forbidden (Chapter 6, Halachah 1). The Kessef Mishneh explains that the prohibition against selling the produce of the Sabbatical year involves only selling food.


That are fit to be eaten [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 8:11)].


The Rambam is explaining the rationale for the restriction stated in the above mishnah. Others maintain that the rationale is that an important person should not rely on the leniency and, instead, should be stringent not to derive even such benefit from the produce of the Sabbatical year.


Instead of using them as food.


See Hilchot Terumah 11:10-11. The Radbaz explains that this can be derived from a logical inference. If leniency was granted with regard to terumah which is punishable by death, surely, it should be granted with regard to the Sabbatical year, for its prohibitions are not punishable as severely.


In which instance the holiness of the Sabbatical year falls upon them, as stated in Halachah 9.


For there are many who eat this type of produce as food, while it is soft. See Hilchot Berachot 8:6. Needless to say, if it hardens to the point it is no longer edible, it is considered as mere wood (Radbaz).


Since the spices were placed in a wrapping, they could be removed from the food after it was cooked. Their status depends on whether their flavor is retained or not.


The holiness of the Sabbatical year does not rest upon them, for they no longer are considered as food.


I.e., to use the mud for building. Since the straw and hay are fit for use as animal fodder, it is improper to use them for purposes that do not bring direct benefit to man or animals.


Because they are no longer suitable for use as animal fodder. The Ra'avad [based on the Jerusalem Talmud (Shivi'it 9:7)] states that one must actually sleep on the pillow, for the status of the straw to change. The commentaries note, however, that the Tosefta (Shivi'it 5:11) does not make such a qualification.


I.e., one should not cook in it while it is hot, so as not to benefit from the kindling of the produce of the Sabbatical year. The license granted in Halachah 20 is not appropriate here, because in this instance, the person is not receiving direct benefit from the burning of the straw (Radbaz).


In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Pe'ah 8:1), the Rambam explains that, in Eretz Yisrael, there is one wave of rain at the end of the summer. Afterwards at the beginning of the winter - i.e., depending on the year, between the seventeenth of Cheshvan and the first of Kislev, there is a second wave of rains which are very important for the success of the crops of that land.


The Jerusalem Talmud (Shivi'it 9:7) explains that from the time the rain descends, the straw in the field is no longer fit for an animal to eat. Therefore, there is no longer any restriction on using the straw in one's home.

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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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