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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Bikkurim - Chapter 4

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Bikkurim - Chapter 4


Whenever anyone brings the first fruits, it is necessary that a [peace] offering be brought, song [be recited], they be raised [up and down and to all four directions] and the person remain in Jerusalem overnight.1 The declaration, however, is not a universal requirement. There are some who are obligated to bring the first fruits, but who do not recite the declaration over them.


כָּל הַמֵּבִיא בִּכּוּרִים טָעוּן קָרְבָּן וְשִׁיר וּתְנוּפָה וְלִינָה. אֲבָל הַוִּדּוּי אֵינוֹ שָׁוֶה בַּכּל. לְפִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ שֶׁחַיָּבִין לְהָבִיא בִּכּוּרִים וְאֵינָן קוֹרִין עֲלֵיהֶם:


The following must bring [the first fruits], but may not recite the declaration: a woman, a tumtum2 and an androgynous3 - for there is a doubt whether they are considered as a female;4 none of these can say "[the land] which You gave me,"5 and similarly, a guardian, a servant, and an agent, because they cannot say "which You gave me."6


וְאֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְלֹא קוֹרִין. הָאִשָּׁה וְהַטֻּמְטוּם וְהָאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס לְפִי שֶׁהֵן סְפֵק אִשָּׁה וְאֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לוֹמַר אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּ לִּי ה'. וְכֵן הָאַפּוֹטְרוֹפִּין וְהָעֶבֶד וְהַשָּׁלִיחַ לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לוֹמַר (דברים כו י) "אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּ לִּי ה'":


A convert, by contrast, may bring the first fruits and make the declaration, for [Genesis 17:5] states with regard to Abraham: "I have made you a father to a multitude of nations." Implied is that he is the father of all those who enter under the shelter of the Divine presence.7 The oath that his descendants would inherit the land was given to Abraham first.8 Similarly, the priest and the Levites bring [first fruits] and make a declaration, because they have cities in which to dwell.9


הַגֵּר מֵבִיא וְקוֹרֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר לְאַבְרָהָם (בראשית יז ה) "אַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם נְתַתִּיךָ" הֲרֵי הוּא אַב כָּל הָעוֹלָם כֻּלּוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנָסִין תַּחַת כַּנְפֵי שְׁכִינָה. וּלְאַבְרָהָם הָיְתָה הַשְּׁבוּעָה תְּחִלָּה שֶׁיִּירְשׁוּ בָּנָיו אֶת הָאָרֶץ. וְכֵן כֹּהֲנִים וּלְוִיִּם מְבִיאִין וְקוֹרִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶן עָרֵי מִגְרָשׁ:


A person who purchases two trees in his colleague's field10 must bring [the first fruits], but may not recite the declaration.11 [The rationale is that] there is a doubt whether he has a right to the land [on which the trees stand] or not.

What should he do? He should first12 consecrate them to the Temple treasury13 for it is possible that they are ordinary produce14 and non-consecrated food is not brought into the Temple Courtyard.15 The priest then redeems them from the Temple treasury and partakes of them.

He must separate terumah and the tithes from them, because of the possibility that they are ordinary produce. He must give the tithes from them to the priests,16 because it is a possibility that they are first fruits and forbidden to non-priests. He should not bring them himself, but instead, send them via an agent17 so that [the fact] that the declaration [is not recited] will not prevent them from being eaten. For whenever a declaration concerning [first fruits] is not fit to be made because of a doubt concerning their status, [the fact that] a declaration [is not recited] prevents it [from being eaten].18


הַקּוֹנֶה שְׁנֵי אִילָנוֹת בְּתוֹךְ [שָׂדֶה] שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא לְפִי שֶׁהַדָּבָר סָפֵק אִם יֵשׁ לוֹ קַרְקַע אוֹ אֵין לוֹ. וְכֵיצַד עוֹשֶׂה. מַקְדִּישׁ אוֹתָם תְּחִלָּה לְבֶדֶק הַבַּיִת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן סְפֵק חֻלִּין וְאֵין מַכְנִיסִין חֻלִּין לַעֲזָרָה וְהַכֹּהֵן פּוֹדֶה אוֹתָן מִיַּד הַהֶקְדֵּשׁ וְאַחַר כָּךְ אוֹכְלָן. וּמַפְרִישׁ מֵהֶן תְּרוּמָה וּמַעֲשֵׂר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן סְפֵק חֻלִּין וְנוֹתֵן הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת שֶׁלָּהֶן לַכֹּהֲנִים שֶׁמָּא בִּכּוּרִים הֵם וַאֲסוּרִין לְזָרִים. וְאֵינוֹ מֵבִיא אוֹתָן בְּעַצְמוֹ אֶלָּא מְשַׁלְּחָן בְּיַד שָׁלִיחַ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תְּעַכֵּב אוֹתָן הַקְּרִיאָה מִלְּאָכְלָן. שֶׁכָּל שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לִקְרִיאָה מִפְּנֵי הַסָּפֵק הַקְּרִיאָה מְעַכֶּבֶת בּוֹ:


If one set aside his first fruits and then sold his field, he should bring them, but not make the declaration, because he cannot say: "[the land] which You gave me,"19 since it no longer belongs to him. The purchaser is not required to separate other first fruits, because the seller has already separated them.20 If, however, he does separate them, he should bring them, but not make the declaration.21 From another species [of produce], he should set aside the first fruits, bring them, and make the declaration.22


הִפְרִישׁ בִּכּוּרָיו וּמָכַר שָׂדֵהוּ מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא. שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר (דברים כו י) "אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּ לִּי ה'" שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לוֹ. וְהַלּוֹקֵחַ אֵינוֹ חַיָּב לְהַפְרִישׁ בִּכּוּרִים אֲחֵרִים מֵאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין שֶׁכְּבָר הִפְרִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ הַמּוֹכֵר. וְאִם הִפְרִישׁ מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא. אֲבָל מִמִּין אַחֵר מַפְרִישׁ וּמֵבִיא וְקוֹרֵא:


When a person sells [the right to harvest] the produce of his field, the purchaser should bring [the first fruits], but not make the declaration. [The rationale is that] the acquisition of the produce is not equivalent to the acquisition of [the land] itself.23 When, however, one brings first fruits from the property of his wife,24 he makes the declaration even though he does not own the actual land, as [implied by Deuteronomy 26:11]: "which God, your Lord, has given you and your household."25 Even if his wife dies after he has set aside [the first fruits] and he is in the midst of his journey [to Jerusalem], he should bring [the first fruits] and make the declaration.26


הַמּוֹכֵר שָׂדֵהוּ לְפֵרוֹת הַלּוֹקֵחַ מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא שֶׁקִּנְיַן פֵּרוֹת אֵינוֹ כְּקִנְיַן הַגּוּף. אֲבָל מֵבִיא אָדָם מִנִּכְסֵי אִשְׁתּוֹ בִּכּוּרִים וְקוֹרֵא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ גּוּף הַקַּרְקַע שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כו יא) "אֲשֶׁר נָתַן לְךָ ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ וּלְבֵיתֶךָ". אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֵּתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ אַחַר שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ וְהוּא בַּדֶּרֶךְ מֵבִיא וְקוֹרֵא:


When a person sells his field or sells trees and the land around them in the era when the Jubilee year is observed,27 [the purchaser] should bring [the first fruits] and make the declaration in the first Jubilee.28 [The rationale is that] the seller has not taken for granted that the land will be returned to him.29 If, however, he sold it again in the second Jubilee, [the purchaser] should bring [the first fruits], but should not make the declaration. For he is certain that he will receive only the produce,30 and the acquisition of the produce is not equivalent to the acquisition of [the land] itself.31


הַמּוֹכֵר שָׂדֵהוּ אוֹ שֶׁמָּכַר אִילָנוֹת וְקַרְקָעָן בִּזְמַן שֶׁהַיּוֹבֵל נוֹהֵג הֲרֵי זֶה מֵבִיא וְקוֹרֵא בְּיוֹבֵל רִאשׁוֹן בִּלְבַד שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁל מוֹכֵר שֶׁתַּחֲזֹר לוֹ הַקַּרְקַע. אֲבָל אִם חָזַר וּמְכָרָהּ בְּיוֹבֵל שֵׁנִי הֲרֵי זֶה מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא שֶׁהֲרֵי סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ שֶׁאֵין לוֹ אֶלָּא הַפֵּרוֹת וְקִנְיַן פֵּרוֹת אֵינוֹ כְּקִנְיַן הַגּוּף:


When a person set aside his first fruits and became mortally ill,32 the one who is fit to inherit his [estate] should bring the first fruits without making the declaration.33 When a person set aside his first fruits and sent them with an agent, but the agent died in the midst of the journey, even if the owner brought them, he should not make the delaration. [The rationale is that the phrase (Deuteronomy 26:2):] "And you shall take... and you shall bring" does not apply unless the taking and the bringing are as one.


הִפְרִישׁ בִּכּוּרִים וְחָלָה וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְסֻכָּן. זֶה שֶׁרָאוּי לְיָרְשׁוֹ מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא. הִפְרִישׁ בִּכּוּרָיו וְשִׁלְּחָן בְּיַד אַחֵר וּמֵת הַשָּׁלִיחַ בַּדֶּרֶךְ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָזַר הוּא וֶהֱבִיאָן אֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כו ב) "וְלָקַחְתָּ" (דברים כו ג) "וּבָאתָ" עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה לְקִיחָה וַהֲבָאָה כְּאַחַת:


When a person set aside his first fruits, but they were lost34 before they reached the Temple Mount and therefore he separated others instead of them,35 he should bring the second fruits, but should not make the declaration. [The rationale is that] he cannot say [that he is bringing] "the first fruits of the land," for those that he is bringing are not the first fruits. One is not liable for an additional fifth [for partaking of] the produce separated second, as [he would had he partaken of] the first fruits.36


הִפְרִישׁ בִּכּוּרָיו וְאָבְדוּ קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ לְהַר הַבַּיִת וְהִפְרִישׁ אֲחֵרִים תַּחְתֵּיהֶן מֵבִיא הַשְּׁנִיִּים וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא. לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר אֶת (דברים כו ב) "רֵאשִׁית כָּל פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה" לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָן רֵאשִׁית. וְאֵלּוּ הַשְּׁנִיִּים אֵין חַיָּבִים עֲלֵיהֶן חֹמֶשׁ כְּבִכּוּרִים:


When a person brings his first fruits and they become impure in the Temple Courtyard, he should spill out the basket there.37 He does not make the delaration.38


הֵבִיא בִּכּוּרָיו וְנִטְמְאוּ בַּעֲזָרָה נוֹפְצָם שָׁם וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא:


If a person brought his first fruits from one species and made the declaration and afterwards brings first fruits from another species, he should not make the declaration for them. [This is derived from the phrase (Deuteronomy 26:3):] "I am making a statement today." [Implied is that] he makes one statement and not two.


הֵבִיא בִּכּוּרָיו מֵאֶחָד מִן הַמִּינִים וְקָרָא וְחָזַר וְהֵבִיא בִּכּוּרִים מִמִּין אַחֵר אֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כו ג) "הִגַּדְתִּי הַיּוֹם" פַּעַם אַחַת בְּשָׁנָה הוּא מַגִּיד וְלֹא שְׁתַּיִם:


If a person separated his first fruits and then the spring [that served as his field's water supply]39 dried up or the tree [from which they were reaped] was cut down, he should bring them, but should not make the declaration. [The rationale is that] he is like someone who no longer possesses the land, because it has been ruined.40


הִפְרִישׁ בִּכּוּרָיו וְיָבֵשׁ הַמַּעְיָן אוֹ שֶׁנִּקְצַץ הָאִילָן מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא לְפִי שֶׁזֶּה כְּמִי שֶׁאֵין לוֹ קַרְקַע שֶׁהֲרֵי אָבְדָה:


When a person brings his first fruits between Sukkot and Chanukah41- even if he set them aside before Sukkot - he should bring them without making the declaration, [as implied by Deuteronomy 26:11]: "You shall rejoice in all the good." [Implied is that] the declaration should be made only in a time of happiness, [i.e.,] between Shavuot and the end of Sukkot.42 All individuals other than these43 must bring their first fruits and make the declaration.


הַמֵּבִיא בִּכּוּרִים מֵאַחַר חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת וְעַד חֲנֻכָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִפְרִישָׁן קֹדֶם הֶחָג מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כו יא) "וְשָׂמַחְתָּ בְכָל הַטּוֹב" וְאֵין קְרִיאָה אֶלָּא בִּשְׁעַת שִׂמְחָה מֵחַג הַשָּׁבוּעוֹת עַד סוֹף הֶחָג. וּשְׁאָר הַמְּבִיאִין חוּץ מֵאֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְקוֹרִין:


The first fruits, the terumot,44 challah, the principal and the fifth,45 and the presents given when slaughtering an animal46 are a priest's private property. He may use them to purchase servants, land, or a non-kosher animal. A debtor47 of his may collect them as payment for his debt and a woman may take them in lieu of the money due her by virtue of her ketubah. And they may be used to purchase a Torah scroll.48


הַבִּכּוּרִים וְהַתְּרוּמוֹת וְהַחַלָּה וְהַקֶּרֶן וְהַחֹמֶשׁ וּמַתְּנוֹת בְּהֵמָה הֵם נִכְסֵי כֹּהֵן. יֵשׁ לוֹ לִקְנוֹת מֵהֶן עֲבָדִים וְקַרְקָעוֹת וּבְהֵמָה טְמֵאָה וּבַעַל חוֹב נוֹטְלָן בְּחוֹבוֹ וְהָאִשָּׁה בִּכְתֻבָּתָהּ. וְקוֹנֶה בָּהֶן סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה:


The first fruits and the terumot are forbidden to be eaten by non-priests. [Generally,] when the first fruits are mixed with ordinary produce, they are permitted if there is 101 times the original amount as is the law with regard to terumah.49 Nevertheless, if they become mixed with the same species50 of ordinary produce in Jerusalem, [the mixture] is forbidden even if the slightest amount of [the first fruits are mixed in] as [is the law regarding] the second tithe.51 [The rationale is that] since [they are located in Jerusalem,] the place where one partakes of them, they are considered like52 an entity that could become permitted.53 Although the first fruits are forbidden to non-priests even in Jerusalem, nevertheless, even the slightest presence of them in a mixture causes it to be forbidden.

Even if one sowed the first fruits after they were brought to Jerusalem,54 even the slightest amount of produce that grows from them causes a mixture to become forbidden.55 If, however, one sows the first fruits before they were brought to Jerusalem, the produce that grows from them is ordinary produce.56


אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבִּכּוּרִים וְהַתְּרוּמוֹת אָסוּר לְהֵאָכֵל לְזָרִים וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבִּכּוּרִים עוֹלִין בְּאֶחָד וּמֵאָה כִּתְרוּמָה אִם נִתְעָרְבוּ בְּחֻלִּין בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם אֲסוּרִין בְּכָל שֶׁהֵן בְּמִינָם כְּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא מְקוֹם אֲכִילָתָן עֲשָׂאוּם כְּדָבָר שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ מַתִּירִין. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַבִּכּוּרִים אֲסוּרִים לְזָרִים אַף בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם הֲרֵי הֵן אוֹסְרִין בְּכָל שֶׁהֵן. אֲפִלּוּ זָרַע הַבִּכּוּרִים אַחַר שֶׁנִּכְנְסוּ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם הֲרֵי הַגִּדּוּלִין אֲסוּרִין וְאוֹסְרִין בְּכָל שֶׁהֵן אִם נִתְעָרְבוּ בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם. אֲבָל הַזּוֹרֵעַ בִּכּוּרִים קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם הַגִּדּוּלִין חֻלִּין:


How are the first fruits brought to Jerusalem? All of [the inhabitants of] the towns in a regional area57 gather in the central town of the regional area, so that they will not ascend to Jerusalem as individuals, for [Proverbs 14:28] teaches: "The glory of the King is among the multitude of people."58

They come and sleep in the city's thoroughfare, but they do not enter the homes lest they contract impurity because of being under the same shelter as a corpse.59 In the morning, the leader calls out: "Arise and let us ascend to Zion, to God our Lord."60 An ox with its horns glazed with gold leads the procession. A crown of olive [branches]61 are placed on its head, to publicize that the first fruits come from the seven species [for which Eretz Yisrael is praised]. A flute plays before them until they arrive close to Jerusalem. They walk the entire way and proclaim: "I rejoiced when it was told me: 'Let us go to the house of God.'

They would travel for only two thirds of the day.62 When they arrived close to Jerusalem they sent emissaries to notify the inhabitants of Jerusalem and they adorned their first fruits63 and beautified them. If they had [some] produce that was fresh and other produce that was dried, the fresh produce was placed on top.64 The leaders of the Israelites and of the priests65 and the Temple treasurers would go out from Jerusalem to greet them. [The size of the welcoming party] was proportionate to the number of people who come. If many people come, many go out to greet them; if few, few. When they have all entered the gates of Jerusalem, they begin declaring: "Our legs were standing in your gates, O Jerusalem" (ibid.).


כֵּיצַד מַעֲלִין אֶת הַבִּכּוּרִים. כָּל הָעֲיָרוֹת שֶׁבַּמַּעֲמָד מִתְכַּנְּסוֹת לְעִירוֹ שֶׁל מַעֲמָד כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲלוּ יְחִידִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (משלי יד כח) "בְּרָב עָם הַדְרַת מֶלֶךְ". וּבָאִים וְלָנִים בִּרְחוֹבָהּ שֶׁל עִיר. וְלֹא יִכָּנְסוּ לַבָּתִּים מִפְּנֵי אֹהֶל הַטֻּמְאָה. וּבַשַּׁחַר הַמְמֻנֶּה אוֹמֵר (ירמיה לא ה) "קוּמוּ וְנַעֲלֶה צִיּוֹן אֶל ה' אֱלֹהֵינוּ". וְהַשּׁוֹר הוֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם וְקַרְנָיו מְצֻפִּין זָהָב וַעֲטָרָה שֶׁל זַיִת בְּרֹאשׁוֹ לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁהַבִּכּוּרִים מִשִּׁבְעַת הַמִּינִין. וְהֶחָלִיל מַכֶּה לִפְנֵיהֶם עַד שֶׁהֵם מַגִּיעִין קָרוֹב לִירוּשָׁלַיִם וְהֵם הוֹלְכִין בְּכָל הַדֶּרֶךְ וְקוֹרִין (תהילים קכב א) "שָׂמַחְתִּי בְּאֹמְרִים לִי בֵּית ה' נֵלֵךְ". וְלֹא הָיוּ מְהַלְּכִין בַּיּוֹם אֶלָּא שְׁתֵּי יָדוֹת בִּלְבַד. הִגִּיעוּ קָרוֹב לִירוּשָׁלַיִם שָׁלְחוּ לִפְנֵיהֶם שְׁלוּחִין לְהוֹדִיעַ לְאַנְשֵׁי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם וְעִטְּרוּ אֶת בִּכּוּרֵיהֶם וּפִרְכְּסוּ אוֹתָן. וְאִם הָיָה לָהֶם לַח וְיָבֵשׁ מַרְאִין אֶת הַלַּח מִלְּמַעְלָה. וְהַפַּחוֹת וְהַסְּגָנִים וְהַגִּזְבָּרִים יוֹצְאִין לִקְרָאתָן מִירוּשָׁלַיִם. לְפִי הַבָּאִים הֵם יוֹצְאִין אִם בָּאוּ אֲנָשִׁים הַרְבֵּה יוֹצְאִין לִקְרָאתָן רַבִּים. וְאִם מְעַט מְעַט. וּמִשֶּׁיִּכָּנְסוּ כֻּלָּן בְּשַׁעֲרֵי יְרוּשָׁלַיִם יַתְחִילוּ לִקְרוֹת (תהילים קכב ב) "עֹמְדוֹת הָיוּ רַגְלֵינוּ בִּשְׁעָרַיִךְ יְרוּשָׁלָיִם":


All of the artisans in Jerusalem would stand in honor of them66 and would greet them: "Our brethren, the inhabitants of so-and-so, you have come in peace." They proceed through Jerusalem while the flute is sounded until they reach the Temple Mount. When they reach the Temple Mount, each one should carry the first fruits on his shoulders67 and say: "Halleluyah. Praise God in His holiness" [Psalm 150:1] until [the conclusion of that psalm]: "May all the souls praise You." They proceed through the Temple Mount until they reach the Temple Courtyard. When they reach the Temple Courtyard, the Levites open with the song [Psalm 30]: "I will exalt You, for You have drawn me up..."68


כָּל בַּעֲלֵי אֻמָּנֻיּוֹת שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם עוֹמְדִין מִפְּנֵיהֶם וְשׁוֹאֲלִין בִּשְׁלוֹמָן. אֲחֵינוּ אַנְשֵׁי מְקוֹם פְּלוֹנִי בּוֹאֲכֶם בְּשָׁלוֹם. וְהֵם מְהַלְּכִין בְּתוֹךְ יְרוּשָׁלַיִם וְהֶחָלִיל מַכֶּה לִפְנֵיהֶם עַד שֶׁהֵם מַגִּיעִים לְהַר הַבַּיִת. הִגִּיעוּ לְהַר הַבַּיִת נוֹטֵל כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד סַלּוֹ עַל כְּתֵפוֹ וְאוֹמְרִין (תהילים קנ א) "הַלְלוּיָהּ הַלְלוּ אֵל בְּקָדְשׁוֹ" וְכוּ' עַד (תהילים קנ ו) "כּל הַנְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ הַלְלוּיָהּ". וְהֵם מְהַלְּכִים בְּהַר הַבַּיִת וְקוֹרְאִין עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעִין לַעֲזָרָה. הִגִּיעוּ לַעֲזָרָה דִּבְּרוּ הַלְוִיִּם בְּשִׁיר (תהילים ל ב) "אֲרוֹמִמְךָ ה' כִּי דִלִּיתָנִי" וְגוֹ':

Test Yourself on This Chapter


As explained in the concluding halachot of the previous chapter.


A person whose genital area is covered with a mass of flesh and whose gender is impossible to detect.


A person with male and female sexual characteristics.


With regard to an androgynus, the doubt concerns the individual's halachic status. With regard to the tumtum, the doubt concerns the actual facts: Which gender is covered by the mass of flesh?


In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Bikkurim 1:5), the Rambam explains that Eretz Yisrael was given as an ancestral heritage only to males who are free men. Thus this disqualifies all of those mentioned in this clause and also the servant mentioned in the following clause.


For the first fruits they are bringing are not from their own land. They are acting on behalf of others.


For he taught all mankind faith [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.:4)].


I.e., all future converts are considered as Abraham's seed and thus have a share in the land "that God swore to [give] to your ancestors." Indeed, based on Ezekiel 47:22, Kapot Temarim states that in the Messianic era, converts will be given a share of the Holy Land.


As related in Numbers, ch. 35, in addition to the six cities of refuge, the Levites were given 42 cities that were scattered throughout the entire land of Eretz Yisrael. Although the land was given them from the tribal inheritances of the other tribes, it is still appropriate for them to speak of the land which God gave them, because the gifts were given as a result of God's command (Radbaz). See also Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 11:17.


He does not purchase the land on which the trees grow. Nevertheless, since he purchased two trees, our Sages (Bava Batra 81b; see Hilchot Mechirah 24:6) question whether or not he is given the right to the land around the trees. If, however, he purchases three trees, all agree that he has the right to the land.


Bava Batra 82a questions: Reciting the declaration is no more than reciting verses from the Torah. Even if he is not obligated to do so, what would be wrong with reciting these verses? In resolution, it explains that a) it appears that he is lying (because he is praising God for giving him land which in fact may not be his); or b) by bringing them as first fruits, he will prevent the terumah and the tithes from being separated from them.


I.e., before bringing them to the Temple Courtyard.


The consecration has a questionable status, because a person may not consecrate property that does not belong to him (Hilchot Arachin VaCharamim 6:16). And if the produce is first fruits, it does not belong to him.


For if the land does not belong to him, they are not considered as first fruits.


This is a general principle. See Hilchot Shechitah 2:3.


According to Scriptural Law, tithes must be given to the Levites. Nevertheless, when the Levites failed to return to Zion with Ezra in large numbers, he punished them and decreed that they should not be given the tithes. Afterwards, according to many views, it was possible to give the tithes either to the priests or the Levites. Nevertheless, in this instance, the tithes must be given to the priests for the reason stated by the Rambam.


For when an agent brings first fruits, a declaration should not be made, as stated in Halachah 2.


Bava Batra, loc. cit., explains that when there would be no difficulty in making the declaration, the fact that it is not made does not disqualify the first fruits from being eaten. When, however, it is required to be made, but cannot be made for a particular reason, the failure to make it disqualifies the offering.


Praising God for giving him the land.


And first fruits should be brought only once for each species. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Bikkurim 1:7, based on the Jerusalem Talmud), the Rambam states that this is derived from Deuteronomy 26:3 which states: "I am making a statement to God your Lord today," implying that the statement can be made only once (see also Halachah 11).


For the concept derived above applies primarily to making the declaration and not actually bringing the first fruits.


Since they are being brought by two individuals, the fact that one species has been brought already does not disqualify the first fruits brought by the other person. If, however, they were being brought by the same person, he would not make the declaration again, as stated in Halachah 11.


And thus he cannot rightfully praise God for giving him the land.


This refers even to property which the husband receives as nichsei milog (see Hilchot Ishut 16:1-2), i.e., the property itself belongs to the woman, but he is entitled to derive benefit from it.


"Your household" can be interpreted as referring to one's wife. Thus even though the land belongs to his wife, he should make the declaration.


The husband inherits his wife's property. Thus now he owns both the land and the produce.


And ancestral property is returned to its original owner. See Hilchot Shemitah VeYoval, ch. 11.


For he is the owner of the land and the produce. Although he is required to return the land in the Jubilee year, that is a result of the Torah's decree and does not diminish the purchaser's ownership of the land.


Since the owner does not have the experience of having his land returned to him, he does not consider it a surety that it will be returned to him. In his mind, it is sold (Radbaz). The Rambam's source is Gittin 48a. Rashi interprets the passage differently.


And he knows that the land will be returned. Accordingly, it is as if he purchased only the produce and not the land.


As stated in Halachah 6.


This reflects the Rambam's version of the Jerusalem Talmud (Bikkurim 1:5). The version in the standard published text is slightly different (Radbaz, Kessef Mishneh).


While the owner of the produce is alive, the person fit to inherit the estate is considered as an agent, and hence may not make the declaration. Even though he was not explicitly appointed, we assume that this is the owner's desire. According to the Rambam's conception, if the owner is ill, but is not in mortal danger, another person cannot serve as his agent unless he is appointed as such.


In any manner, as indicated by Chapter 2, Halachah 20.


For he is required to replace them (ibid.).


As stated in Chapter 3, Halachah 5, the first fruits are considered as terumah. And as stated in Hilchot Terumah 6:6, one who partakes of terumah inadvertently must make restitution and add a fifth.


Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Bikkurim 1:8). The Ra'avad maintains that the produce should be left in the Temple Courtyard until it rots. From Chapter 2, Halachah 19, some have inferred that according to the Rambam, the impure produce should be burnt. Kin'at Eliyahu maintains that this approach is far more appropriate than leaving it to rot in the Temple Courtyard.


For the declaration is made as a statement of thanksgiving after the first fruits are successfully offered and that is not possible in the present situation.


The bracketed additions are based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Bikkurim 1:6).


In its present state, the land is not able to produce fruit. Hence, it is as if he no longer possesses it (ibid.; according to Rav Kappach's text).


After Chanukah, he may not bring them at all.


This is the harvest season when a person feels happy with the bounty God has granted him.


I.e., those mentioned from Halachah 5 and onward.


I.e., both "the great terumah" and terumat ma'aser.


I.e, when a non-priest partakes of any of the above mentioned substances, he is obligated to pay the principal and a fifth as restitution.


See Chapter 9.


Even a non-priest.


The Radbaz questions why a Torah scroll is mentioned. If he is allowed to purchase a non-kosher animal with these objects, seemingly, it is obvious that he should be able to use them to purchase a Torah scroll. He explains that one might think that it is preferable that a person write a Torah scroll himself than purchase one. The Ma'aseh Rokeach explains that in contrast to other types of property, a Torah scroll may never be sold. Hence, if he uses the money from these objects to purchases it, he will never be able to derive physical benefit from these substances.


Hilchot Ma'achalot Asuurot 15:3; Hilchot Terumot 15:20-21.


If, however, they become mixed with a substance of another species, the presence of the first fruits can be nullified. See Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 15:12.


See Hilchot Ma'aser Sheni 6:14-15.


This refers even to first fruits belonging to an Israelite. Hence, they are considered only "like an entity that could be permitted," but are not actually in that category (Radbaz).


For the entire mixture could be eaten by priests in a state of ritual purity. With regard to the law that the entire mixture is forbidden when even the slightest amount of a forbidden substance becomes mixed with it, see Hilchot Ma'achalot Assurot 15:10.


And thus the forbidden fruit itself no longer exists.


This is a penalty imposed upon him because the mixture could have - and the produce that grows could - be given to the priests. See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Bikkurim 2:2).


Since the first fruits may not be eaten outside of Jerusalem, the mixture is not judged with the severity that applies to a mixture containing a forbidden entity that could become permitted. Instead, it is considered as an ordinary mixture and the presence of the first fruits can be nullified.


See Hilchot K'lei HaMikdash 6:1 for more particulars concerning the Hebrew term.


Thus coming as a group is a greater act of Divine glorification.


I.e., the first fruits must be brought in a state of ritual purity, and if a person bringing them enters a home, he may unknowingly contract ritual impurity, because he was under the same shelter as a corpse.


For of the seven species, olive branches are the most attractive [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Bikkurim 3:3)].


This would impress them and the inhabitants of the towns through which they passed with the importance of their pilgrimage. Also, it allowed for people of many regions to congregate and ascend to Jerusalem together.


See Chapter 3, Halachot 7 and 9.


Because fresh produce is more attractive.


The Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit.).


Kiddushin 33a notes that this is a great mark of respect for those who bring the first fruits. After all, artisans are not required to stand before Torah scholars and yet they would stand before the people who brought the first fruits.


See Chapter 3, Halachah 12.


See Chapter 3, Halachah 13.

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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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