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Bikkurim - Chapter 10

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Bikkurim - Chapter 10

1

It is a positive commandment to give a priest the first shearings [of an animal],1 as [Deuteronomy 18:4] states: 'Give him the first shearings of your flock.' Levites are considered like Israelites with regard to this mitzvah.2 There is no minimum measure for these shearings according to Scriptural law. According to Rabbinical Law, one should not give less than a sixtieth. It applies only in Eretz [Yisrael],3 whether the Temple is standing or not like the first of the grain.4 It applies to ordinary animals, but not to consecrated ones.

א

מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה לִתֵּן לַכֹּהֵן רֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יח ד) "וְרֵאשִׁית גֵּז צֹאנְךָ תִּתֶּן לּוֹ". וּלְוִיִּם בִּכְלַל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמִצְוָה זוֹ. וְאֵין לְרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז זוֹ שִׁעוּר מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וּמִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁלֹּא יִפְחֹת מֵאֶחָד מִשִּׁשִּׁים. וְאֵינָהּ נוֹהֶגֶת אֶלָּא בָּאָרֶץ בֵּין בִּפְנֵי הַבַּיִת בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בִּפְנֵי הַבַּיִת כְּרֵאשִׁית הַדָּגָן. וְנוֹהֵג בְּחֻלִּין אֲבָל לֹא בְּמֻקְדָּשִׁין:

2

What is implied? A person consecrated animals for the Temple treasury5and then sheared them. Is he obligated to redeem them and give [the first shearings] to the priests? Or if one consecrated an animal with the exception of its shearings, is he obligated in the first shearings? It is written [ibid.]: "your sheep,' [i.e., the obligation applies only to "your sheep.'

ב

כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁהִקְדִּישׁ בְּהֵמוֹת לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת וּגְזָזָן יָכוֹל יִהְיֶה חַיָּב לִפְדּוֹת וְלִתֵּן לַכֹּהֵן. אוֹ הִקְדִּישׁ בְּהֵמָה חוּץ מִגִּזָּתָהּ יָכוֹל יִהְיֶה חַיָּב בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. תַּלְמוּד לוֹמַר (דברים יח ד) "צֹאנְךָ". אֵין אֵלּוּ צֹאנוֹ:

3

There is an obligation [to give a priest] the first shearing of any consecrated animals6 that possessed a permanent blemish before they were consecrated and were [then] redeemed.7 If, however, they were consecrated before they were blemished or it had a temporary blemish before it was consecrated,8 and afterwards, it received a permanent blemish and it was redeemed, it is exempt from the first shearing.9

ג

כָּל הַקֳדָשִׁים שֶׁקָּדַם מוּם קָבוּעַ לְהֶקְדֵּשָׁן וְנִפְדּוּ חַיָּבִין בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. אֲבָל אִם קָדַם הֶקְדֵּשָׁן אֶת מוּמָן אוֹ שֶׁקָּדַם מוּם עוֹבֵר לְהֶקְדֵּשָׁן וְאַחַר כָּךְ נוֹלַד לָהֶן מוּם קָבוּעַ וְנִפְדּוּ פְּטוּרִים מֵרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז:

4

The only animals whose first shearings we are obligated [to give a priest] are sheep, both male and female, for their wool is fit [to make] garments. If their wool was stiff and not fit for [making] garments, they are exempt from the first shearings, for this present is given to the priest for the sole purpose of providing him with garments.10

ד

אֵין חַיָּבִין בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז אֶלָּא הַכְּבָשִׂים בִּלְבַד. זְכָרִים כִּנְקֵבוֹת שֶׁהַצֶּמֶר שֶׁלָּהֶן הוּא הָרָאוּי לִבְגָדִים. הָיָה צִמְרָן קָשֶׁה וְאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִלְבִישָׁה פְּטוּרִין מֵרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. שֶׁאֵין מַתָּנָה זוֹ לַכֹּהֵן אֶלָּא כְּדֵי לִלְבּשׁ מִמֶּנָּה:

5

Since the Holy One, blessed be He, granted [a priest] the terumot which provide him with bread and wine11 and He granted him the presents of meat12and the sacrificial meat of the Temple for meat,13 He provided them with the first shearings for their garments and [restitution for property] stolen from a [childless] convert,14 devotion offerings,15 ancestral fields [that were consecrated and not redeemed],16 and the redemption of the firstborn,17for their expenses and for their other needs. [These are granted to the priests,] because they are not granted an ancestral portion of the land, nor a share in the spoils of war.18

ה

כֵּיוָן שֶׁזִּכָּה לוֹ הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא בִּתְרוּמוֹת שֶׁהֵן לַחְמוֹ וְיֵינוֹ. וְזִכָּה לוֹ בְּמַתְּנוֹת בְּהֵמָה וְקָדְשֵׁי מִקְדָּשׁ שֶׁהַבָּשָׂר שֶׁלּוֹ. זִכָּה לוֹ בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז לִלְבוּשׁוֹ. וּבְגֵזֶל הַגֵּר וְהַחֲרָמִים וּשְׂדֵה אֲחֻזָּה וּפִדְיוֹן בְּכוֹרוֹת לְהוֹצָאוֹתָיו וּשְׁאָר צְרָכָיו. שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לוֹ חֵלֶק בְּנַחֲלָה וּבַבִּזָּה:

6

If [a sheep's] wool was [naturally] red, black, or brown, there is an obligation [to give the priest] the first shearings. If, however, the wool was shorn and dyed, before it was given [to a priest], he is exempt from the first shearings.19 If one bleached it before he gave it [to the priests], he is obligated to set [the wool] aside after he bleaches it.20 When a person pulls out the wool of ewes by hand instead of shearing it, he is obligated in the first shearings.

ו

הָיָה הַצֶּמֶר שֶׁלָּהֶן אָדֹם אוֹ שָׁחֹר אוֹ שָׁחוּם חַיָּבוֹת בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. אֲבָל אִם גָּזַז הַצֶּמֶר וּצְבָעוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּתֵּן נִפְטָר מֵרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. הִלְבִּינוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּתֵּן חַיָּב לְהַפְרִישׁ אַחַר שֶׁלִּבְּנוֹ. הַתּוֹלֵשׁ צֶמֶר רְחֵלִים בְּיָדוֹ וְלֹא גָּזַז חַיָּב בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז:

7

There is an obligation [to separate] the first shearings from hybrids [of sheep],21 a ko'i,22 and a sheep that is mortally il1.23 If, however, one shears a dead sheep, he is exempt.24

ז

רֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז נוֹהֵג בְּכִלְאַיִם וּבִכְוִי וּבִטְרֵפָה. אֲבָל הַגּוֹזֵז אֶת הַמֵּתָה פָּטוּר:

8

When a person sets aside the first shearings and they are lost, he is responsible to make restitution until he gives them to the priest.25

When a person says: 'Let all of my shearings be considered as the first shearings,' his words are of consequence.26

ח

הַמַּפְרִישׁ רֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז וְאָבַד חַיָּב בְּאַחֲרָיוּתָן עַד שֶׁיִּתֵּן לַכֹּהֵן. הָאוֹמֵר כָּל גִּזּוֹתַי רֵאשִׁית דְּבָרָיו קַיָּמִין:

9

A person who purchases the shearings of a gentile's sheep after the gentile has shorn them is exempt from the first shearings.27 When he purchases [the gentile's] sheep for their shearing,28 he is obligated even though the wool grew in the gentile's domain and the sheep are returned to the gentile after the shearing. Since the shearer is Jewish and the shearings belong to him, he is obligated. For the obligation takes effect only at the time of shearing.

ט

הַלּוֹקֵחַ גֵּז צֹאנוֹ שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם אַחַר שֶׁגְּזָזָן הָעַכּוּ''ם פָּטוּר מֵרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. לָקַח הַצֹּאן לְגִזָּתָן חַיָּב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁגָּדְלָה הַגִּזָּה בִּרְשׁוּת הָעַכּוּ''ם. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחוֹזְרִין הַצֹּאן לְעַכּוּ''ם אַחַר גְּזִיזָה. הוֹאִיל וְהַגּוֹזֵז יִשְׂרָאֵל וְהַגְּזִיזוֹת שֶׁלּוֹ חַיָּב שֶׁאֵין הַחִיּוּב אֶלָּא בִּשְׁעַת הַגִּזָּה:

10

[The following laws apply when] a person purchases the shearings of a fellow Jew. If the seller left a portion of his sheep to shear,29 the seller is obligated to separate from [the shearing of] the remainder [the appropriate amount] for the entire [flock. This applies] even if the seller has not begun to shear [his sheep.30 The rationale is that we operate under] the assumption that a person will not sell the presents to be given the priests.31 If [the seller] did not leave any [sheep to shear], the purchaser is obligated to separate [the first shearings].32

י

הַלּוֹקֵחַ גֵּז צֹאנוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ אִם שִׁיֵּר הַמּוֹכֵר מְעַט מִצֹּאנוֹ לְהִגָּזֵז הַמּוֹכֵר חַיָּב לְהַפְרִישׁ מִן הַמְּשֹׁאָר עַל הַכּל. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִתְחִיל הַמּוֹכֵר לִגְזֹז. חֲזָקָה אֵין אָדָם מוֹכֵר מַתְּנוֹת כְּהֻנָּה. וְאִם לֹא שִׁיֵּר כְּלוּם הַלּוֹקֵחַ חַיָּב לְהַפְרִישׁ:

11

[A different rule applies it] there are two types of shearings, e.g., white wool and brown wool, or wool from males and wool from females, and one sold one and retained possession of the other. Both [the purchaser and the seller] should give the first shearings, [the purchaser] on what he purchased and the seller on what he retained.33

יא

הָיוּ שְׁנֵי מִינֵי גִּזָּה כְּגוֹן גִּזָּה לְבָנָה וְגִזָּה שְׁחוּמָה אוֹ גִּזַּת זְכָרִים וְגִזַּת נְקֵבוֹת. וּמָכַר מִין זֶה וְהִנִּיחַ הַמִּין הָאַחֵר. זֶה נוֹתֵן לְעַצְמוֹ וְזֶה נוֹתֵן לְעַצְמוֹ. [זֶה נוֹתֵן לְעַצְמוֹ] עַל מַה שֶּׁלָּקַח וְזֶה נוֹתֵן לְעַצְמוֹ עַל מַה שֶּׁשִּׁיֵּר:

12

When a convert converts and he possesses sheep that are being shorn and it is not known whether they were shorn before he converted or after he converted, he is exempt. [The rationale is when] one desires to expropriate property from a colleague,34 the burden of proof is upon him.

יב

גֵּר שֶׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר וְהָיוּ לוֹ גִּזּוֹת וְאֵין יָדוּעַ אִם עַד שֶׁלֹּא נִתְגַּיֵּר נִגְזְזוּ אוֹ מִשֶּׁנִּתְגַּיֵּר הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. וְהַמּוֹצִיא מֵחֲבֵרוֹ עָלָיו הָרְאָיָה:

13

How many sheep must there be for [a flock] to be obligated for the first shearings? No less than five,35 provided their shearings is not less than the weight of 60 sela36 and the shearings of each one will not be less than the weight of 12 sela. If the shearings of one of them is less than the weight of twelve sela, [the flock] is exempt from the first shearing, even if [the wool of] the five of them weighs 60 selaim or more.

יג

כַּמָּה צֹאן יִהְיֶה לוֹ וְיִהְיוּ חַיָּבוֹת בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. אֵין פָּחוֹת מֵחָמֵשׁ. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בַּגִּזָּה שֶׁלָּהֶן אֵין פָּחוֹת מִמִּשְׁקַל שִׁשִּׁים סֶלַע. וְתִהְיֶה גִּזַּת כָּל אַחַת מֵחֲמִשְּׁתָּן אֵין פָּחוֹת מִמִּשְׁקַל י''ב סֶלַע. הָיְתָה אַחַת מֵהֶם גּוֹזֶזֶת פָּחוֹת מִי''ב סֶלַע אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחֲמִשְּׁתָּן גּוֹזְזוֹת שִׁשִּׁים סֶלַע אוֹ יֶתֶר הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּטוּרִין מֵרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז:

14

Partners are obligated in [the mitzvah of] the first shearings, provided each one's share is equal to the minimum measure [mentioned above]. It: however, there are only five sheep belonging to two partners, they are exempt.37

יד

הַשֻּׁתָּפִין חַיָּבִין בְּרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּחֵלֶק כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן כַּשִּׁעוּר. אֲבָל חָמֵשׁ צֹאן בִּלְבַד שֶׁל שְׁנֵי שֻׁתָּפִין פְּטוּרִין:

15

The mitzvah is to set aside the first shearing at the outset.38 If, however, one set it aside in the middle or at the end, he fulfilled his obligation.

When a person owns five sheep, but [did not shear them together, i.e.,] he had one shorn alone and sold its wool, and then had another shorn alone and sold its wool, and then a third, etc., all of these are combined [to obligate him in the mitzvah of] the first shearing,39 even if this takes place over the course of several years. He may separate from the new shearings for the old shearings and from [the shearings of] one type of sheep for another.40 If, however, he had one sheep, he sheared it and set aside its shearings, purchased a second sheep and set aside its shearings, [and continued doing so until he sheared five sheep], their shearings are not combined.41

טו

רֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז מִצְוָתָהּ בַּתְּחִלָּה וְאִם הִפְרִישׁ בֵּין בָּאֶמְצַע בֵּין בַּסּוֹף יָצָא. הָיוּ לוֹ חָמֵשׁ צֹאן וְגָזַז אַחַת מֵהֶן בִּלְבַד וּמָכַר גִּזָּתָהּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ גּוֹזֵז שְׁנִיָּה וּמָכַר גִּזָּתָהּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ גּוֹזֵז שְׁלִישִׁית וּמָכַר גִּזָּתָהּ. הַכּל מִצְטָרְפוֹת לְרֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז. וְחַיָּב אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר כַּמָּה שָׁנִים. וְיֵשׁ לוֹ לְהַפְרִישׁ מִן הֶחָדָשׁ עַל הַיָּשָׁן וּמִזֶּה עַל זֶה. אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה רָחֵל אַחַת וּגְזָזָהּ וְהִנִּיחַ גִּזָּתָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ קָנָה שְׁנִיָּה וּגְזָזָהּ וְהִנִּיחַ גִּזָּתָהּ אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפוֹת:

16

When a person has several shearings from the first shearings that he desired to divide among the priests, he should not give any priest less than the weight of five selaim of white wool, enough to make a small garment.

The intent is not that he should whiten it and give it to them. Instead, he should give each of them [at least enough] unrefined wool to produce five selaim42 or more of wool after it has been whitened. [This is derived from Deuteronomy 18:14:] 'Give it to him,' i.e., give him a significant present.

טז

מִי שֶׁהָיוּ לוֹ גִּזּוֹת רַבּוֹת שֶׁל רֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז וְרוֹצֶה לְחַלֵּק לַכֹּהֲנִים. לֹא יִתֵּן לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד פָּחוֹת מִמִּשְׁקַל חָמֵשׁ סְלָעִים מְלֻבָּן כְּדֵי בֶּגֶד קָטָן. לֹא שֶׁיְּלַבְּנוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִתֵּן לוֹ אֶלָּא יִתֵּן לוֹ מִצֶּמֶר הַגִּזָּה כְּשֶׁהוּא צוֹאִי. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בּוֹ אַחַר הַלִּבּוּן חָמֵשׁ סְלָעִים אוֹ יֶתֶר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יח ד) "תִּתֵּן לוֹ" שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בּוֹ כְּדֵי מַתָּנָה הַמּוֹעֶלֶת:

17

The first shearings are ordinary property in every regard. Therefore, I maintain that they may be given to a woman of the priestly family even if she is married to an Israelite like the presents of meat.43 It appears to me that they are governed by the same laws.

יז

רֵאשִׁית הַגֵּז חֻלִּין לְכָל דָּבָר. לְפִיכָךְ אֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁנּוֹתְנִים אוֹתוֹ לְכֹהֶנֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא נְשׂוּאָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל כְּמַתְּנוֹת בְּהֵמָה. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁדִּין שְׁנֵיהֶן אֶחָד הוּא:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Footnotes
1.

Sefer HaMitzvot (positive commandment 144) and Sefer HaChinuch (mitzvah 508) include this commandment among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah.

2.

I.e., as opposed to the presents described in the previous chapter, the Levites are required to separate these shearings.

3.

But not in the Diaspora. Thus it resembles terumah - for both are called "first" and hence share similarilities in many laws - and not the presents of meat. Although the Mishnah (Chulin 11:1) states that this mitzvah also applies in the Diaspora, according to the Rambam, the halachah does not follow that view.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 333:1) follows the Rambam's view. The Tur and the Rama state that theoretically, this mitzvah should also be observed in the Diaspora, but in practice, that view is not followed.

4.

I.e., terumah. See Hilchot Terumah 1:1.

5.

I.e., needless to say this law would apply if the animal was consecrated for the sake of sacrifice on the Altar, for in that instance, the animal is forbidden to be shorn and it is forbidden to work with it. Moreover, even if the animal is consecrated only for the sake of the Temple treasury, in which instance, it will ultimately be redeemed for personal use, since while it is consecrated, it is not "your sheep,' as the Rambam continues to explain, there is no obligation to give its first shearings.

6.

I.e., even if the animal was consecrated only for the sake of the Temple treasury, as above, these laws apply. The rationale is that a blemished kosher animal that is consecrated to the Temple treasury is redeemed with the intent to be used as a sacrifice.

7.

Since it was blemished at the time it was consecrated, the animal was never fit to be offered on the altar. Hence, the consecration never affected the actual physical substance of the animal. Accordingly, once it is redeemed, it is considered as an ordinary animal and its first shearings must be given to a priest

8.

Since the temporary blemish will be healed, it is considered as if did not exist.

9.

Since when consecrated, the animal was fit for sacrifice, the consecration affected its physical substance. Hence, even after it was redeemed, it is not considered as an ordinary animal and it is exempt from the first shearings. See the parallel in Chapter 9, Halachah2.

10.

Rav Yosef Corcus explains that the Rambam (based on one of the opinions in Chulin 137a) is referring to the priestly garments which are made from wool and linen. For, otherwise, goats' wool is also fit to make ordinary garments. This explanation is also quoted by Siftei Cohen 333:2. The intent is not, however, that the first shearings should be used only for priestly garments, for as the Rambam states in the following halachah, the first shearings were given to the priests for their personal garments.

11.

According to the Rambam, the terumot also include oil and other fruits.

12.

Described in Chapter 9.

13.

I.e., the portions of the sin offerings, guilt offerings, and peace offerings which are granted to the priests.

14.

See Hilchot Gezeilah, Chapter 8.

15.

See Hilchot Arachin VaCharamim, Chapter 6.

16.

Which becomes the property of the priests; see Hilchot Arachin VaCharamim4:19.

17.

See Chapters 11 and 12.

18.

See Hilchot Shemitah VeYovel, Chapter 13, with regard to both these points.

19.

He is considered to have acquired the wool because he made a significant change in its nature. This ruling applies after the fact. As an initial preference, it is forbidden to make such a change [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Chulin 11:3; Rav Kappach's edition)].

20.

For this is not considered as a significant change.

21.

The Radbaz explains that this law depends on the concept stated in Halachah 4: If the wool of a hybrid (the offspring of a sheep or a goat) is soft, the first shearings must be separated. If not, it is exempt.

22.

As mentioned in the notes to Chapter 9, Halachah 5, the Rambam understands the term ko'i as referring to an animal which our Sages were unable to classify as a domesticated animal or a wild beast.

23.

For the animal is alive at present and the removal of its wool is considered as shearing.

24.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that this is derived from the very definition of the mitzvah, 'the shearing of the sheep.' A dead sheep is not considered a sheep and cutting its wool is not considered as shearing.

25.

The Radbaz questions why the first shearings are different than all the other presents given to the priests where such a law is not found. He explains that the other presents involve grain and meat and a granary or a slaughter house are not located at a great distance from the residential area of a city. Hence, it is not very difficult for a priest to go and collect them. Sheep, by contrast, may not be allowed to pasture near residential areas. Hence, since it is far more difficult for a priest to collect them, the Torah made the owners responsible for the shearings.

26.

Chulin 136b notes that in this respect, although they are also called "the first," the first shearings are different from terumah and challah. With regard to these separations, if one designates his entire crop as terumah 0r his entire dough as challah, his statements are of no consequence. The Radbaz explains that the term terumah - and challah is also called terumah - implies elevating one portion of a group from another portion. Hence, there must always be something left behind. The term 'the first shearings' does not have such a connotation.

Rav Yosef Corcus notes that Chulin 136b associates this ruling with the Rabbi Ila'ai's opinion that the first shearing applies in the Diaspora as well as in Eretz Yisrael. Thus there is an apparent contradiction between the Rambam's ruling here and his ruling in Halachah 1 that the mitzvah of the first shearing applies only in Eretz Yisrael. Rav Yosef explains that the Rambam's ruling in Halachah 1 is based on custom and not on the acceptance of the opinions that differ with Rabbi Ila'ai.

27.

This point is obvious. The Rambam (and his source, Chulin 138a) mention it only because of the contrast to the following laws. Rashi, however, interprets that passage differently. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 333:7) follows the Rambam's understanding, while the Tur and the Rama follow Rashi's view.

28.

I.e., he never becomes the real owner of the sheep; he acquires them only for the right to shear their wool.

29.

And that portion contains the minimum measure mentioned in Halachah 13.

30.

Since the seller has not begun shearing the sheep at all, it would seem reasonable to say that each person should give the first shearings from his portion. Nevertheless, the ruling is not so.

31.

And thus they remain in his portion. Selling these presents is prohibited and we assume that the person would not desire to transgress.

32.

Chulin 138a explains that the seller tells the purchaser: 'I did not sell you the first shearings. The money I took from you is for the remainder of the wool that is not the priest's portion. I merely gave you the opportunity to give the presents to the priest of your choice."

33.

Even though one may separate the first shearings from one type of wool for another type as evident from Halachah 15, in this instance, since the two types are owned by two separate people, each should separate the first shearings from his own wool.

34.

I.e., the priest desires to expropriate the first shearings from the owner. See the parallel in Chapter 9, Halachah 13. The Radbaz explains that this ruling follows the principle: When there is a doubt concerning a prohibition, we rule stringently. When there is a doubt concerning financial matters, we rule leniently.

35.

Chulin 11:1 derives this from a non-literal interpretation of II Samuel 25:18.

36.

A sela is approximately 20 grams in contemporary measure.

Chulin 11:2 states that this measure is required, for only then will the gift to the priest be significant, for it will be possible to make a small garment from it.

37.

I.e., the Rambam follows the opinion (Chulin 135a) that the partnership is not recognized as a single entity. Hence, it is necessary for the share of each of the partners to comprise at least the minimum amount. The Kessef Mishneh notes the parallel to Chapter 6, Halachah 20.

38.

The Radbaz states that this is implied by the very term 'the first of.'

39.

Because at the time he sheared the first sheep, he possessed a flock of the minimum size. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 333: 12) states that this applies even if he sold some of his sheep after shearing them.

40.

One should not, however, separate the shearings of inferior sheep for those of superior sheep [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 333:12)].

41.

Because at the time he sheared the first sheep, he did not have a flock of the minimum size.

42.

Five selaim is 100 grams in contemporary measure. This measure of wool was sufficient to fashion a sash (avneit) for a priest (Chulin 138a).

43.

See Chapter 9, Halachah 20.

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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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