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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Shemita - Chapter 6

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Shemita - Chapter 6

1

We may not use the produce of the Sabbatical year for commercial activity.1 If one desires to sell a small amount2 of the produce of the Sabbatical year, he may.3 The money he receives [in return] has the same status as the produce of the Sabbatical year. He should use it to purchase food4 and eat that food according to the restrictions of the holiness of the Sabbatical year.5 The produce that was sold retains the holiness it possessed previously.6

א

אֵין עוֹשִׂין סְחוֹרָה בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. וְאִם רָצָה לִמְכֹּר מְעַט מִפֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית מוֹכֵר. וְאוֹתָן הַדָּמִים הֲרֵי הֵן כְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית וְיִלָּקַח בָּהֶן מַאֲכָל וְיֵאָכֵל בִּקְדֻשַּׁת שְׁבִיעִית. וְאוֹתוֹ הַפְּרִי הַנִּמְכָּר הֲרֵי הוּא בִּקְדֻשָּׁתוֹ כְּשֶׁהָיָה:

2

[In the Sabbatical year,] one should not reap vegetables from a field7 and sell them, nor should one charge a fee for dyeing with shells [from produce] of the Sabbatical year, because this is using the produce of the Sabbatical year for commercial activity.8 If one reaped vegetables to partake of them and some were left over, he may sell the remainder.9 The proceeds are considered as the produce of the Sabbatical year. Similarly, if a person reaped vegetables for himself and his son or grandson took some of them and sold them, [the sale] is permitted10 and the proceeds are considered as the produce of the Sabbatical year.

ב

לֹא יִהְיֶה לוֹקֵחַ יַרְקוֹת שָׂדֶה וּמוֹכֵר. וְלֹא יִצְבַּע מִקְּלִפֵּי שְׁבִיעִית בְּשָׂכָר. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁזֶּה עוֹשֶׂה סְחוֹרָה בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. לָקַח יְרָקוֹת לֶאֱכל וְהוֹתִיר מֻתָּר לִמְכֹּר הַמּוֹתָר וְהַדָּמִים שְׁבִיעִית. וְכֵן אִם לִקֵּט יְרָקוֹת לְעַצְמוֹ וְלָקַח מֵהֶן בְּנוֹ אוֹ בֶּן בִּתּוֹ וּמָכַר הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר וְהַדָּמִים דְּמֵי שְׁבִיעִית:

3

When the produce of the Sabbatical year is sold, it should not be sold by measure, nor by weight, nor by number, so that it will not appear that one is selling produce in the Sabbatical year. Instead, one should sell a small amount by estimation to make it known that [the produce] is ownerless.11 And the proceeds of the sale should be used to purchase other food.

ג

כְּשֶׁמּוֹכְרִין פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית אֵין מוֹכְרִין אוֹתָן לֹא בְּמִדָּה וְלֹא בְּמִשְׁקָל וְלֹא בְּמִנְיָן. כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה כְּסוֹחֵר פֵּרוֹת בַּשְּׁבִיעִית. אֶלָּא מוֹכֵר הַמְעַט שֶׁמּוֹכֵר אַכְסָרָה לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁהוּא הֶפְקֵר וְלוֹקֵחַ הַדָּמִים לִקְנוֹת בָּהֶן אֹכֶל אַחֵר:

4

One may package those entities that are usually packaged to bring home to sell in the market by estimation in the manner that one packages produce to bring home,12 not like one packages it for the market13 so that one will not sell in constrained manner. Produce that is packaged only for the market place should not be packaged.

ד

וְאוֹגֵד דְּבָרִים שֶׁדַּרְכָּן לְהֵאָגֵד לַבַּיִת לִמְכֹּר בַּשּׁוּק אַכְסָרָה כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאוֹגְדִין לְהָבִיא לַבַּיִת לֹא כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאוֹגְדִין לַשּׁוּק. כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה כְּמוֹכֵר בְּצִמְצוּם. וּדְבָרִים שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּן לְהֵאָגֵד אֶלָּא לַשּׁוּק לֹא יֶאֱגֹד אוֹתָן:

5

Produce from the Diaspora which were brought into Eretz Yisrael should not be sold by measure, nor by weight, nor by number. Instead, they should be sold by estimation like the produce of Eretz Yisrael.14 If it was obvious that it was produce from the Diaspora, it is permitted [to sell it in the ordinary manner].

ה

פֵּרוֹת חוּצָה לָאָרֶץ שֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ לָאָרֶץ לֹא יִהְיוּ נִמְכָּרִים בְּמִדָּה אוֹ בְּמִשְׁקָל אוֹ בְּמִנְיָן. אֶלָּא כְּפֵרוֹת הָאָרֶץ אַכְסָרָה. וְאִם הָיוּ נִכָּרִין שֶׁהֵם מִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ מֻתָּר:

6

There is a stringency that applies to the produce of the Sabbatical year and not to articles consecrated [to the Temple]. When one redeems consecrated articles, the consecrated article loses its sacred status and that status is conveyed to the money.15 This is not so with regard to the produce of the Sabbatical year. When one sells the produce of the Sabbatical year, the status of the produce is conveyed to the money.16 The produce itself, however, does not lose its status and it is not considered as produce of the other years. [This is derived from] the use of the word tihiyeh17 [in the command regarding the produce of the Sabbatical year. That term implies that the produce] will be in its state at all times. And since the produce of the Sabbatical year is described18 as "holy," its status is conveyed to the money paid for it.19 Thus the final [object purchased]20receives the status of the Sabbatical year and [the status of] the produce itself remains as before.

ו

חֹמֶר בִּשְׁבִיעִית מִבְּהֶקְדֵּשׁ. שֶׁהַפּוֹדֶה אֶת הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ יָצָא הֶקְדֵּשׁ לְחֻלִּין וְיִתָּפְשׂוּ הַדָּמִים תַּחְתָּיו. וְהַשְּׁבִיעִית אֵינָהּ כֵּן. אֶלָּא הַמּוֹכֵר פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית יִתָּפְשׂוּ הַדָּמִים וְיֵעָשׂוּ כְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. וְהַפֵּרוֹת עַצְמָן לֹא נִתְחַלְּלוּ וְנַעֲשׂוּ כְּפֵרוֹת שְׁאָר שָׁנִים. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (ויקרא כה ז) "תִּהְיֶה" בַּהֲוָיָתָהּ תְּהֵא לְעוֹלָם. וּלְפִי שֶׁנִּקְרֵאת (ויקרא כה יב) "קֹדֶשׁ" תּוֹפֶשֶׂת דָּמֶיהָ. נִמְצֵאתָ אוֹמֵר הָאַחֲרוֹן נִתְפָּשׂ בַּשְּׁבִיעִית וְהַפְּרִי עַצְמוֹ הוּא כְּמוֹ שֶׁהָיָה:

7

What is implied? A person purchased meat with the produce of the Sabbatical year or the proceeds from its sale. The meat is given the status of that produce and must be eaten [as befits the holiness of] the produce of the Sabbatical year. And one must rid oneself of it when one one must rid oneself of that produce.21 If one used that meat or the proceeds from its sale to purchase fish, the meat is considered as ordinary food and [the holiness of the Sabbatical year] is conveyed upon the fish. If one used that fish or the proceeds from its sale to purchase oil, the fish is considered as ordinary food and [the holiness of the Sabbatical year] is conveyed upon the oil. If one used that oil or the proceeds from its sale to purchase honey, the oil is considered as ordinary food and [the holiness of the Sabbatical year] is conveyed to the honey. One must rid oneself of the original fruit and the honey as one must rid oneself of the produce of the Sabbatical year. Neither of them may be used to make a compress, nor may they be ruined, as is the rule with regard to the produce of the Sabbatical year.

ז

כֵּיצַד. לָקַח בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית אוֹ בִּדְמֵיהֶן בָּשָׂר נַעֲשָׂה הַבָּשָׂר כְּאוֹתָן הַפֵּרוֹת וְאוֹכְלוֹ כְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. וְצָרִיךְ לְבַעֵר אוֹתָן בִּשְׁעַת בִּעוּר הַשְּׁבִיעִית. לָקַח בְּאוֹתוֹ בָּשָׂר אוֹ בְּדָמָיו דָּגִים יָצָא הַבָּשָׂר וְנִתְפְּשׂוּ הַדָּגִים. לָקַח בַּדָּגִים אוֹ בִּדְמֵיהֶן שֶׁמֶן יָצְאוּ דָּגִים וְנִתְפַּשׂ שֶׁמֶן. לָקַח בַּשֶּׁמֶן אוֹ בְּדָמָיו דְּבַשׁ יָצָא שֶׁמֶן וְנִתְפַּשׂ דְּבַשׁ. וְצָרִיךְ לְבַעֵר הַפֵּרוֹת הָרִאשׁוֹנוֹת עִם הַדְּבַשׁ הָאַחֲרוֹן כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁמְּבַעֲרִין פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין מִשְּׁנֵיהֶם מְלוּגְמָא וְלֹא מַפְסִידִין אוֹתָן, כִּשְׁאָר פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית:

8

The holiness of the produce of the Sababtical year may be transferred only through a sale. When does this apply? With regard to the original produce. With regard to the produce received [in exchange for that produce], its holiness can be transferred through a sale or through a process of transfer.22

ח

אֵין שְׁבִיעִית מִתְחַלֶּלֶת אֶלָּא עַל דֶּרֶךְ מִקָּח. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּפְרִי רִאשׁוֹן. אֲבָל בִּפְרִי שֵׁנִי מִתְחַלֵּל בֵּין דֶּרֶךְ מִקָּח בֵּין דֶּרֶךְ חִלּוּל:

9

When one is transferring the holiness of produce that was exchanged [for produce of the Sabbatical year], one may not transfer it to a domesticated animal, fowl, or beast, that is alive,23 lest they be left alive and one raise herds [of animals imbued with the holiness of the Sabbatical year]. Needless to say, this24 applies with the produce of the Sabbatical year itself. One may, however, transfer the holiness of this produce to animals that have been slaughtered.25

ט

וּכְשֶׁמְּחַלְּלִין פְּרִי הַנִּלְקָח שֵׁנִית אֵין מְחַלְּלִין אוֹתוֹ עַל בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וְעוֹף חַיִּים. שֶׁמָּא יַנִּיחֵם וִיגַדֵּל מֵהֶם עֲדָרִים. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שְׁבִיעִית עַצְמָהּ. אֲבָל מְחַלְּלִין אוֹתָן הַפֵּרוֹת עַל הַשְּׁחוּטִים:

10

Money received for produce of the Sabbatical year may not be used to pay a debt.26 Nor may one use it to repay shushbinut27 or return a favor.28 One should not use it to pay a pledge of charity for the poor in the synagogue.29 One may, however, send it for purposes associated with the acts of kindness,30 but one must notify the recipients.31

Similarly, it may not be used to purchase servants, landed property, or a non-kosher animal.32 If it was used for those purposes, one should purchase ordinary food with a commensurate sum and partake of it [as befits the holiness of the Sabbatical year],33 as was explained with regard to the second tithes.34 One may not purchase pairs of doves for [the sacrifices of] zavim, zavot, or women after childbirth,35 or sin-offerings or guilt offerings.36 If he purchased [these offerings with these funds], he should purchase food with a commensurate sum and partake of it [as befits the holiness of the Sabbatical year]. One should not apply oil from the Sabbatical year to utensils or hides.37 If one did so, one should purchase food with a commensurate sum and partake of it38 [as befits the holiness of the Sabbatical year].

י

דְּמֵי שְׁבִיעִית אֵין פּוֹרְעִין מֵהֶם אֶת הַחוֹב. וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין בָּהֶן שׁוֹשְׁבִינוּת. וְאֵין מְשַׁלְּמִין מֵהֶן תַּגְמוּלִין. וְאֵין פּוֹסְקִין מֵהֶן צְדָקָה לַעֲנִיִּים בְּבַיִת הַכְּנֶסֶת. אֲבָל מְשַׁלְּחִין מֵהֶן דְּבָרִים שֶׁל גְּמִילוּת חֲסָדִים וְצָרִיךְ לְהוֹדִיעַ. וְכֵן אֵין לוֹקְחִין מֵהֶם עֲבָדִים וְקַרְקָעוֹת וּבְהֵמָה טְמֵאָה וְאִם לָקַח יֹאכַל כְּנֶגְדָּן כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה בְּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. וְאֵין מְבִיאִין מֵהֶן קִנֵּי זָבִים וְזָבוֹת וְיוֹלְדוֹת וְחַטָּאוֹת וַאֲשָׁמוֹת. וְאִם הֵבִיא יֹאכַל כְּנֶגְדָּן. וְאֵין סָכִים כֵּלִים וְעוֹרוֹת בְּשֶׁמֶן שֶׁל שְׁבִיעִית. וְאִם סָךְ יֹאכַל כְּנֶגְדָּן:

11

[This money] should not be given to a bathhouse attendant, a blood-letter,39 a person who sails a boat, or another craftsman.40 He may, however, give them to a person who draws water from a well to provide him with drinking water.41 It is permitted to given the produce of the Sabbatical year or money received in return for it to a craftsman as a present.42

יא

אֵין נוֹתְנִין מֵהֶן לֹא לְבַלָּן וְלֹא לְסַפָּר וְלֹא לְסַפָּן וְלֹא לִשְׁאָר הַאֻמָּנִין. אֲבָל נוֹתֵן הוּא לְמִי שֶׁדּוֹלֶה מַיִם מִן הַבּוֹר לְהַשְׁקוֹתוֹ מַיִם. וּמֻתָּר לִתֵּן מִפֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית אוֹ מִדְּמֵיהֶן לַאֻמָּנִין מַתְּנַת חִנָּם:

12

When a person tells a worker: "Here is an isar.43 Gather vegetables44 for me today," his wage is permitted. It is not considered as money received in return for produce of the Sabbatical year. Instead, he may use it for whatever he desires.45The worker was not penalized46 in that his wage would be considered as money received for the produce of the Sabbatical year. If he told him: "Gather a vegetable for me today for it," [his wage] is considered as money received in return for produce of the Sabbatical year.47He may use it only for eating and drinking like the produce of the Sabbatical year.

יב

הָאוֹמֵר לְפוֹעֵל הֵא לְךָ אִיסָר זֶה וְלַקֵּט לִי יָרָק הַיּוֹם שְׂכָרוֹ מֻתָּר וְאֵינוֹ כִּדְמֵי שְׁבִיעִית. אֶלָּא מוֹצִיאוֹ בְּכָל מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה. וְלֹא קָנְסוּ הַפּוֹעֵל לִהְיוֹת שְׂכָרוֹ כִּדְמֵי שְׁבִיעִית. וְאִם אָמַר לוֹ לַקֵּט לִי בּוֹ הַיּוֹם יָרָק הֲרֵי זֶה כִּדְמֵי שְׁבִיעִית וְאֵינוֹ מוֹצִיאוֹ אֶלָּא בַּאֲכִילָה וּשְׁתִיָּה כְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית:

13

When donkey-drivers perform work with the produce of the Sabbatical year that is forbidden - e.g., they bring more than the [minimal amount] of produce48 - their wages are considered as money received in return for produce of the Sabbatical year.49 This is a penalty imposed upon them.

Why was a penalty imposed on the wages of a donkey-driver and not on the wages of a hired worker? Because the latter receives a minimal wage. Hence, he was not penalized so that [he could earn] his livelihood.

יג

הַחַמָּרִים הָעוֹשִׂים בְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית מְלֶאכֶת שְׁבִיעִית הָאֲסוּרָה. כְּגוֹן שֶׁהֵבִיאוּ יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי. הֲרֵי שְׂכָרָן כִּדְמֵי שְׁבִיעִית. וְדָבָר זֶה קְנָס לָהֶם. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה קָנְסוּ בִּשְׂכַר הַחַמָּרִים וְלֹא קָנְסוּ בִּשְׂכַר הַפּוֹעֵל. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁשְּׂכָרוֹ מְעַט לֹא קָנְסוּ בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם כְּדֵי חַיָּיו:

14

When a person purchases a loaf of bread from a baker for a pundiyon,50 and tells him: "When I harvest vegetables [grown in the Saabatical year] from the field, I will bring them to you for it."51 this is permitted.52 The loaf of bread is considered as the produce of the Sabbatical year.53 If he purchases the loaf without making any qualifications,54 he should not pay him with money received for the produce of the Sabbatical year, because one should not use that money to pay debts.55

יד

הַלּוֹקֵחַ מִן הַנַּחְתּוֹם כִּכָּר בְּפוּנְדְיוֹן וְאָמַר לוֹ בִּשְׁעַת לְקִיחָה כְּשֶׁאֲלַקֵּט יְרָקוֹת שָׂדֶה אָבִיא לְךָ בּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. וְאוֹתוֹ הַכִּכָּר הֲרֵי הוּא כְּפֵרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית. וְאִם לָקַח מִמֶּנּוּ סְתָם לֹא יְשַׁלֵּם לוֹ מִדְּמֵי שְׁבִיעִית. שֶׁאֵין פּוֹרְעִין חוֹב מֵהֶן:

15

One may partake of the produce of the Sabbatical year [in expectation56 that the recipient will return] the favor and when there are no such expectations.57 What is implied [by the idea of eating in expectation of the return of the favor]? One may give a colleague the produce of the Sabbatical year as if he had already performed a favor for him58 or invite him into his garden to eat as one who performed a favor for him.

When a person was given the produce of the Sabbatical year as a present or he inherited it, he should partake of it in the same manner as if he gathered this produce from the field himself.59

טו

אוֹכְלִין פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית בְּטוֹבָה וְשֶׁלֹּא בְּטוֹבָה. בְּטוֹבָה כֵּיצַד. שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית כְּמוֹ שֶׁעָשָׂה עִמּוֹ טוֹבָה שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁיַּכְנִיסוֹ לְגִנָּתוֹ לֶאֱכל כְּמִי שֶׁעָשָׂה לוֹ טוֹבָה. ומִי שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ פֵּרוֹת שְׁבִיעִית בְּמַתָּנָה אוֹ שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לוֹ בִּירֻשָּׁה הֲרֵי זֶה אוֹכְלָם כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁאוֹכֵל פֵּרוֹת שֶׁאוֹסֵף אוֹתָן הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ מִן הַשָּׂדֶה:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

Avodah Zarah 62a derives this insight from the exegesis of Leviticus 25:7. The fact that the Rambam does not mention that prooftext here has raised a question among the commentaries: Does he consider the prohibition against using the produce of the Sabbatical year as merchandise as Scriptural or Rabbinic in origin?

2.

Enough for three meals (Kessef Mishneh).

3.

For selling a small amount is not considered as using the produce as merchandise.

4.

For humans (see Chapter 5, Halachah 12).

5.

Sukkah 40b derives this from the exegesis of Leviticus 25:12: "It shall be holy for you." Just as the sanctity of articles that are "holy," consecrated to the Temple, is transferred to the money received for them, so too, the holiness of the produce of the Sabbatical year is transferred to the money received for it.

6.

See Halachot 6-7.

7.

These refer to vegetables that grow under the circumstances described in Chapter 4, Halachah 4, or the like. Otherwise, the vegetables would be forbidden as sifichin. See the gloss of the Kessef Mishneh to Halachah 12.

8.

This is forbidden even if one intends to use the proceeds to purchase food which he will eat according to the requirements of the holiness of the Sabbatical year [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 7:3)].

9.

For it is obvious that he gathered the vegetables for his own personal use.

10.

Since the person who reaped the produce was not the one who sold it, there is no prohibition involved (Radbaz).

11.

The Radbaz states that one should also sell the produce at a lower price than usual.

12.

When a person packages produce to take home from his field, he is not precise with regard to the amount he takes.

13.

When a person packages produce to sell in the marketplace, he is careful to package an exact amount, so that the sale will be honest.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling, maintaining that as long as the type of produce is packaged to bring home, it can be packaged for sale. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh support the Rambam's interpretation, explaining that when produce is packaged for sale, it is possible for an onlooker to appreciate that this is the intent from the way that it is packaged.

14.

For an onlooker will not understand that the produce is from the Diaspora and will think that the produce of the Sabbatical year is being sold in an ordinary manner.

15.

See Hilchot Arachin 6:4.

16.

And it must be used to purchase food which will be eaten with the stringencies befitting the holiness of the produce of the Sabbatical year.

17.

Leviticus 25:12. See the Sifra to this verse.

18.

Leviticus 25:12. See the Sifra to this verse.

19.

As is true with regard to the money used to redeem consecrated objects.

20.

I.e., the food to be eaten; see the following halachah, for an explanation.

21.

See Chapter 7, Halachah 1, which speaks about this subject.

22.

I.e., one says: "The holiness of this produce is transferred to this other produce."

23.

Note the parallel to Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 4:6. There it is stated that if one makes such a transfer, it is not effective. The commentaries state that the same law applies in the present instance.

24.

That the holiness may not be transferred to a living animal.

25.

For the abovementioned difficulty does not apply.

26.

This is considered similar to using it to purchase merchandise.

27.

Shushbinut refers to a custom where a person sends money to a friend as a present at the time of the friend's wedding. Afterwards, when the person himself marries, his friend is expected to send a similar sum to him as a present. The money is considered as a debt and if he fails to so, he can be sued in court. See Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah, ch. 7.

28.

I.e., the person once lent him money. He may not use money received in return for the produce of the Sabbatical year to offer that person a loan (Radbaz, Hilchot Matanot Aniyim 6:17).

29.

Since the person pledged money, satisfying his obligation with the produce of the Sabbatical year is comparable to using it to pay a debt.

30.

I.e., providing that person with the meal of comfort at the time of bereavement (ibid.).

31.

So that they treat it with the appropriate holiness and rid themselves of it when required. Also, the recipient will realize that he need not be overly grateful, for he was not given produce of full value.

32.

For as mentioned above, such money may only be used for the purchase of food.

33.

Our translation is taken from the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 8:8).

34.

See Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 7:17.

35.

As explained in Hilchot Mechusrei Kapparah, ch. 1, these individuals are required to bring pairs of doves as part of their sacrifices to emerge from impurity.

36.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Ma'aser Sheni 1:7), the Rambam explains that money from the second tithes - and thus by extension, money from the Sabbatical year - may not be used for these sacrifices, for they are not eaten by their owners.

37.

For then, he is not receiving direct physical benefit from the oil. See Chapter 5, Halachah 7.

38.

But not use it for smearing. See Chapter 5, Halachah 12, and notes.

39.

Our translation is taken from the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Kilayim 9:3).

40.

For, as stated, above, they may not be used for a purpose other than food.

41.

For that is like using the money to purchase drinking water [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 8:5)]. He may not, however, give it to him to draw water for other purposes (Radbaz).

42.

Even though the craftsman will be receiving a present and will return the favor to the person in some way, that is permitted. See Halachah 15 and notes.

43.

A coin of small value used in the Talmudic period. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 8:4), the Rambam states that this was the cost of inexpensive vegetables in the Talmudic era.

44.

This refers to vegetables that grow in the manner described in Chapter 6, Halachah 4 (Kessef Mishneh).

45.

I.e., it is not restricted to being used for eating or drinking as is money received in return for produce of the Sabbatical year.

46.

See the rationale given in the following halachah.

47.

The wording used by the employer clearly establishes such a connection. As the Radbaz explains, in the first instance, it appears that he is hiring him to work that day. In the second instance, it appears that he is hiring him to reap vegetables.

48.

While it is permitted to bring a small amount of produce in the Sabbatical year from the fields as stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 24, these donkey-drivers brought oversized loads as they would do in other years.

49.

And may only be used for food and drink. This stringency applies even if their employer hired them using wording that would be permitted when hiring a worker.

50.

A coin of the Talmudic period that was twice the worth of an isar.

51.

I.e., rather than pay him now, he promises that he will pay him in the future by bringing him vegetables.

52.

The purchaser is not considered to be paying a debt with the produce from the Sabbatical year. Instead, since at the time he took the loaf of bread, he already stipulated that the exchange would be made, this is considered as an exchange for the produce of the Sabbatical year, which is permitted [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 8:4)].

The commentaries explain that this concept is alluded to by the Rambam's addition of the word bo, meaning "for it." This implies that the purchaser is clearly stipulating that he is making an exchange.

53.

For it was received in exchange for produce of the Sabbatical year.

54.

And does not pay him immediately.

55.

As stated in Halachah 10. This applies even to debts incurred from purchasing food.

56.

Or even in return for having perfomed a favor.

57.

The Rambam is adding this point, to emphasize that we do not follow the opinion of Rabbi Yehudah who maintains that the School of Hillel permitted a person to partake of the produce of the Sabbatical year that belongs to a colleague only in expectation of favors (see Ediyot 5:1). Rabbi Yehudah's rationale is that it is not desirable for any person to have free access to a colleague's field and enter it at all times.

58.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Shivi'it 4:1), the Rambam explains that the person tells a colleague: "Reap in my field and then I will reap in your field."

59.

There is a difference of opinion regarding this issue in Shivi'it 9:9 and the Rambam's ruling does not follow either of the views mentioned there. Nevertheless, it can be explained that the mishnah is speaking according to Rabbi Eliezer's perspective and Rabbi Eliezer follows the opinion of the School of Shammai. The Rambam's ruling reflects the position that would be given by the School of Hillel, whose opinion is accepted as halachah.

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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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