In the age of Yochanan the High Priest who served after Shimon the Just,1 the High Court sent emissaries who searched throughout the entire territory of Israel. They discovered that everyone was careful with regard to the great terumah2 and would separate it. But with regard to the first tithe, the second tithe, and the tithe for the poor, the common people among Israel would be lax and would not separate it.3 Therefore [the Sages] decreed that only the word of trustworthy people4 would be relied upon with regard to tithes.5 [The status of the produce of] the common people, by contrast is doubtful. We do not rely on them if they say that they separated the tithes. This is called demai.6


בִּימֵי יוֹחָנָן כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁהָיָה אַחַר שִׁמְעוֹן הַצַּדִּיק שָׁלְחוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל וּבָדְקוּ בְּכָל גְּבוּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמָצְאוּ שֶׁהַכּל זְהִירִים בִּתְרוּמָה גְּדוֹלָה וּמַפְרִישִׁין אוֹתָהּ. אֲבָל מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי וּמַעֲשַׂר עָנִי הָיוּ עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל מְקִלִּין עַל עַצְמָן וְלֹא הָיוּ מַפְרִישִׁין אוֹתָן. לְפִיכָךְ גָּזְרוּ שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא נֶאֱמָן עַל הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת אֶלָּא אֲנָשִׁים נֶאֱמָנִים. אֲבָל עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן סָפֵק וְאֵין נֶאֱמָנִין לוֹמַר מְעֵשָּׂרִין הֵן. וְזֶהוּ הַנִּקְרָא דְּמַאי:


They ordained that a person should separate only terumat ma'aser from the demai, for it is a transgression punishable by death and the second tithe, for there is no loss in doing so since the owner partakes of it. One need not, however, separate the first tithe or the tithe for the poor from demai because [the obligation] is doubtful and [whenever one desires] to expropriate property from a colleague, the burden of proof is on him. Therefore he tells the Levite or the poor person:7 "Bring proof that it is not tithed," and then take the tithes.


וְהִתְקִינוּ שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא אָדָם מַפְרִישׁ מִן הַדְּמַאי אֶלָּא תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא עֲוֹן מִיתָה. וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁאֵין בָּזֶה הֶפְסֵד שֶׁהֲרֵי בְּעָלָיו אוֹכְלִין אוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן וּמַעֲשַׂר עָנִי אֵין מַפְרִישׁ מִן הַדְּמַאי מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא סָפֵק וְהַמּוֹצִיא מֵחֲבֵרוֹ עָלָיו הָרְאָיָה. לְפִיכָךְ אוֹמֵר לַלֵּוִי אוֹ לֶעָנִי הָבֵא רְאָיָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְעֵשָּׂר וְטל מַעַשְׂרוֹת:


Even though one does not separate the tithe for the poor from demai, it is necessary to designate it without separating it. One says: "A tenth of what is here is the tithe for the poor. [This is done] to firmly establish [the obligation of] the second tithe.8 For the tithe for the poor is given in the third and sixth years instead of the second tithe given in the other years of the Sabbatical cycle.


אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מַפְרִישִׁין מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי מִן הַדְּמַאי צָרִיךְ לִקְרוֹת לוֹ שֵׁם וְאֵינוֹ מַפְרִישׁ וְאוֹמֵר עִשּׂוּר מַה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ כָּאן מַעֲשַׂר עָנִי כְּדֵי לִקְבֹּעַ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁמַּעֲשַׂר עָנִי בִּשְׁלִישִׁית וְשִׁשִּׁית בִּמְקוֹם מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁל שְׁאָר שְׁנֵי הַשָּׁבוּעַ:


When terumat ma'aser and the second tithe are separated from demai, a blessing is not recited, because [the obligation was instituted because] of a doubt.9 Therefore it is permitted to separate it when one is naked.10


כְּשֶׁמַּפְרִישִׁין מִן הַדְּמַאי תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי אֵין מְבָרְכִין עֲלֵיהֶן לְפִי שֶׁהוּא סָפֵק. לְפִיכָךְ מֻתָּר לְהַפְרִישׁ כְּשֶׁהוּא עֵרוֹם:


How should tithes be separated from demai? One should set aside an amount equivalent to the measure of terumat ma'aser, i.e., one hundredth of the entire amount, and place it next to the produce and say: "This is the tithe as is the remainder of the tithes that are adjacent to it." He then says: "This [portion] which I [first] set aside as the tithes, is terumat ma'aser for the remainder of the tithes that are adjacent to it."11 He then takes it and gives it to a priest.12 This order is required, because idealy, it is forbidden to separate terumat ma'aser before the tithes themselves.13 Afterwards, he should separate the second tithe.


כֵּיצַד מְעַשְּׂרִין אֶת הַדְּמַאי. מַפְרִישׁ כְּדֵי תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר שֶׁהוּא אֶחָד מִמֵּאָה מִן הַכּל וּמַנִּיחָהּ בְּצַד הַפֵּרוֹת וְאוֹמֵר זֶה מַעֲשֵׂר וּשְׁאָר מַעֲשֵׂר סָמוּךְ לוֹ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ אוֹמֵר זֶה שֶׁאָמַרְתִּי עָלָיו שֶׁהוּא מַעֲשֵׂר הֲרֵי הוּא תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר עַל שְׁאָר הַמַּעֲשֵׂר הַסָּמוּךְ לוֹ. וְנוֹטֵל אוֹתָהּ וְנוֹתְנָהּ לַכֹּהֵן שֶׁאֵינוֹ רַשַּׁאי לְהַפְרִישׁ תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר קֹדֶם הַמַּעֲשֵׂר לְכַתְּחִלָּה. וְאַחַר כָּךְ מַפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


It is permissible to set aside the second tithe before the first tithe [when tithing] demai.14 If one desires,15 he should say: "The second tithe of this produce is located in the northern portion - or the southern portion - of the produce and its [holiness] is transferred to this money."16

Similarly, a person who purchases a loaf of bread from a baker17 should separate18 from it the amount to be separated as terumat ma'aser and as challah,19 and say: "The one hundredth of [the total] that is here is [part of] the tithes as well as the remainder of the tithes that are next to it.20 May this portion that I set aside as tithes, serve as terumat ma'aser for the remainder of the tithes that are next to it. The remainder of what I set aside that exceeds one hundredth of the total is challah and the second tithe in its northern - or southern - portion, and its [holiness] is transferred to this money." He may then partake [of the bread].


וּמֻתָּר לְהַפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי קֹדֶם הָרִאשׁוֹן בִּדְמַאי. וְאִם רָצָה אוֹמֵר מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי שֶׁל פֵּרוֹת אֵלּוּ בִּצְפוֹנָם אוֹ בִּדְרוֹמָם וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְחֻלָּל עַל הַמָּעוֹת. וְכֵן הַלּוֹקֵחַ כִּכָּר מִן הַנַּחְתּוֹם מַפְרִישׁ מִמֶּנָּה כְּדֵי תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר וְחַלָּה וְאוֹמֵר אֶחָד מִמֵּאָה מִמַּה שֶּׁיֵּשׁ כָּאן הֲרֵי הוּא מַעֲשֵׂר וּשְׁאָר מַעֲשֵׂר סָמוּךְ לוֹ וְזֶה שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי מַעֲשֵׂר עָשׂוּי תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר עַל הַשְּׁאָר הַסָּמוּךְ לוֹ וְהַיֶּתֶר עַל אֶחָד מִמֵּאָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּזֶה שֶׁהִפְרַשְׁתִּי הֲרֵי הוּא חַלָּה וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי בִּצְפוֹנָהּ אוֹ בִּדְרוֹמָהּ וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְחֻלָּל עַל הַמָּעוֹת וְאוֹכֵל:


Similarly, if a person invites a colleague to dine with him [on the Sabbath]21 and [the guest] does not trust [the host] with regard to the separation of the tithes,22 [the guest should do the following]: On Friday, he should say: "[The produce] that I will separate tomorrow is [part of] the tithes, as is the remainder of the tithes which are adjacent to it. That portion which I [first] designated as the tithes is terumat ma'aser for the remainder which is adjacent to it. The second tithe in its northern - or southern - portion, and its [holiness] is transferred to [this] money."

[This is permitted,] because a person may make such stipulations with regard to demai even though it is not in his possession.23 When, however, we are certain [that the tithes have not been separated,] he may make stipulations only concerning produce that is in his possession.


וְכֵן הַמַּזְמִין אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁיֹּאכַל אֶצְלוֹ וְהוּא אֵינוֹ מַאֲמִינוֹ עַל הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת אוֹמֵר מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת מַה שֶּׁאֲנִי עָתִיד לְהַפְרִישׁ לְמָחָר הֲרֵי הוּא מַעֲשֵׂר וּשְׁאָר מַעֲשֵׂר סָמוּךְ לוֹ. וְזֶה שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי מַעֲשֵׂר עָשׂוּי תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר עַל שְׁאָר הַסָּמוּךְ לוֹ וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי בִּצְפוֹנוֹ אוֹ בִּדְרוֹמוֹ וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְחֻלָּל עַל הַמָּעוֹת. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמֻּתָּר לְאָדָם לְהַתְנוֹת תְּנָאִים אֵלּוּ עַל הַדְּמַאי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ בִּרְשׁוּתוֹ. אֲבָל בְּוַדַּאי אֵינוֹ מַתְנֶה אֶלָּא עַל דָּבָר שֶׁבִּרְשׁוּתוֹ:


What is implied?24 If, [on Friday,] he had 100 figs that were tevel in his home and he is in the house of study or in the field25 and he is afraid that night will fall and he will not be able to tithe the produce on the Sabbath, he should say: "The two figs that I will separate are terumah. The ten that I will separate after them are the first tithe. And the nine that I will separate after them are the second tithe." On the morrow, he makes these separations and may then partake [of the figs].26


כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ לוֹ מֵאָה תְּאֵנִים שֶׁל טֶבֶל בְּבֵיתוֹ וְהוּא בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ אוֹ בַּשָּׂדֶה וּמִתְיָרֵא שֶׁמָּא תֶּחְשַׁךְ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְעַשֵּׂר בְּשַׁבָּת אוֹמֵר שְׁנֵי תְּאֵנִים שֶׁאֲנִי עָתִיד לְהַפְרִישׁ הֲרֵי הֵן תְּרוּמָה. וְעֶשֶׂר שֶׁאֲנִי מַפְרִישׁ אַחֲרֵיהֶן מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן. תֵּשַׁע שֶׁאֲנִי מַפְרִישׁ אַחֲרֵיהֶן מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. וּלְמָחָר מַפְרִישׁ וְאוֹכֵל:


He must whisper inaudibly [the appropriate statements]27 when he is making these separations one after the other. He is not considered as making an article fit for use on the Sabbath,28 because he made the stipulation previously.

When such a stipulation has been made concerning tevel, it is permitted to move it on the Sabbath,29 [even] before the separations were made.30 He should focus his attention on [a portion of the produce, designating it as terumah and tithes] and partake of the remainder.31


וְצָרִיךְ לִרְחשׁ בִּשְׂפָתָיו בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמַּפְרִישׁ זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ וְאֵינוֹ כִּמְתַקֵּן בְּשַׁבָּת שֶׁהֲרֵי הִקְדִּים תְּנָאוֹ. וְטֶבֶל שֶׁיֵּשׁ עָלָיו תְּנַאי זֶה מֻתָּר לְטַלְטְלוֹ בְּשַׁבָּת קֹדֶם שֶׁיַּפְרִישׁ. וְנוֹתֵן עֵינָיו בְּצַד זֶה וְאוֹכֵל אֶת הַשְּׁאָר:


If a common person gave him a cup [of wine] to drink [on the Sabbath], he should say:32 "What I will leave in the bottom of the cup is [part of] the tithes,33 as is the remainder of the tithes which are adjacent to it. That portion which I [first] designated as the tithes is terumat ma'aser for the remainder which is adjacent to it. The second tithe is located at the brim of the cup and its [holiness] is transferred to the money."34 He may then [drink] the cup, leaving a portion equivalent to [the amount to be separated as] terumat ma'aser35 in the bottom of the cup.


נָתַן לוֹ עַם הָאָרֶץ כּוֹס לִשְׁתּוֹתוֹ אוֹמֵר מַה שֶּׁאֲנִי עָתִיד לְשַׁיֵּר בְּשׁוּלֵי הַכּוֹס הֲרֵי הוּא מַעֲשֵׂר וּשְׁאָר מַעֲשֵׂר סָמוּךְ לוֹ וְזֶה שֶׁעָשִׂיתִי מַעֲשֵׂר עָשׂוּי תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר עַל הַשְּׁאָר הַסָּמוּךְ לוֹ וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי בְּפִי הַכּוֹס וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְחֻלָּל עַל הַמָּעוֹת וְשׁוֹתֶה וּמַנִּיחַ כְּדֵי תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר בְּשׁוּלֵי הַכּוֹס:


Similarly, if a colleague invites him to drink on the Sabbath,36 he should make such a stipulation on Friday with regard to everything that he will desire to partake of at his [home].

Similarly, when a worker does not trust his employer [with regard to the tithing of the food that he is given],37 he should take one fig and say:38 "This and the nine which follow are considered as tithes for the 100 that I will eat. This one is considered as terumat ma'aser for the ten39 that follow. The ten40 that follow after that are considered as the second tithe and their [holiness] is transferred to [this] money." He then takes the fig that he set aside and gives it to the priest.

The worker should separate the money for the second tithe from his own [funds].41 For it is a condition of the court that the terumat ma'aser should come from the employer42 and the second tithe from the worker.


וְכֵן אִם זִמְּנוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ לִשְׁתּוֹת בְּשַׁבָּת מַתְנֶה כִּתְנַאי זֶה מֵעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת עַל כָּל מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה שֶׁיִּסְעֹד אֶצְלוֹ. וְכֵן פּוֹעֵל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַאֲמִין לְבַעַל הַבַּיִת נוֹטֵל גְּרוֹגֶרֶת אַחַת וְאוֹמֵר זוֹ וְתֵשַׁע הַבָּאוֹת אַחֲרֶיהָ עֲשׂוּיוֹת מַעֲשֵׂר עַל הַמֵּאָה שֶׁאֲנִי עָתִיד לֶאֱכל וְזוֹ הָאַחַת תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר עַל הָעֶשֶׂר הַבָּאוֹת אַחֲרֶיהָ וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי הוּא הָעֶשֶׂר הָאַחֲרוֹנוֹת וַהֲרֵי הוּא מְחֻלָּל עַל הַמָּעוֹת וְנוֹתֵן הַגְּרוֹגֶרֶת שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ לַכֹּהֵן. וְהַפּוֹעֵל מַפְרִישׁ לְעַצְמוֹ דְּמֵי מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. שֶׁתְּנַאי בֵּית דִּין הוּא שֶׁתִּהְיֶה תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר מִשֶּׁל בַּעַל הַבַּיִת וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי מִשֶּׁל פּוֹעֵל:


[Our Sages] did not obligate bakers to separate the second tithe [from grain] that is demai,43 only terumat ma'aser. It is separated in a state of ritual purity together with the challah. The purchaser must separate the second tithe.44

When does the above apply? To one who sells in his store or at the entrance to his store. If, however, he sells it to a wholesale baker or to a store adjacent to a wholesale baker,45 he is obligated to separate the second tithe as well.


הַנַּחְתּוֹמִים לֹא חִיְּבוּם חֲכָמִים לְהַפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי מִן הַדְּמַאי אֶלָּא תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר בִּלְבַד כְּדֵי שֶׁיַּפְרִישֶׁנָּה בְּטָהֳרָה עִם הַחַלָּה. וְהַלּוֹקֵחַ מַפְרִישׁ מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמוֹכֵר בַּחֲנוּתוֹ אוֹ עַל פֶּתַח חֲנוּתוֹ. אֲבָל הַמּוֹכֵר לְפַלְטֵר אוֹ בַּחֲנוּת הַסְּמוּכָה לְפַלְטֵר חַיָּב לְהַפְרִישׁ אַף מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי:


[The following rules apply when] two people harvested their vineyards into a common vat, and one of them is not trusted with regard to the tithes. Even though the one who is trusted [with regard to the tithes] already tithed his own produce,46 when he takes his portion of the wine, he is obligated to separate tithes as one does for demai for the portion of the common person.47

What is implied? If they were equal partners and one takes 200 log as his portion, he should separate one log as terumat ma'aserand ten48 log as the second tithe for the 100 log [of the common person]. [This is all that is required,] for he already separated the tithes for the produce that was definitely not tithed for half of the entire quantity in the vat.49 Similarly, if his share was a third or a fourth, he must separate [the tithes from the produce he takes] proportionately.50


שְׁנַיִם שֶׁבָּצְרוּ כַּרְמֵיהֶן בְּתוֹךְ גַּת אַחַת וְהָאֶחָד מֵהֶם אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן עַל הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעִשֵּׂר זֶה הַנֶּאֱמָן עַל חֶלְקוֹ כְּשֶׁהוּא נוֹטֵל חֶלְקוֹ מִן הַיַּיִן חַיָּב לְהַפְרִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ מַעֲשֵׂר דְּמַאי עַל חֵלֶק עַם הָאָרֶץ. כֵּיצַד. הָיוּ מֶחֱצָה לְמֶחֱצָה וְנוֹטֵל בְּחֶצְיוֹ מָאתַיִם לוֹג יַיִן הֲרֵי זֶה מַפְרִישׁ מִמֶּנּוּ לוֹג אֶחָד תְּרוּמַת מַעֲשֵׂר וְעֶשֶׂר מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי כְּנֶגֶד הַמֵּאָה לוֹג שֶׁהֲרֵי הִפְרִישׁ הַמַּעֲשֵׂר שֶׁל וַדַּאי תְּחִלָּה עַל חֲצִי כָּל שֶׁדְּרָכוֹ בַּגַּת. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה שְׁלִישׁ אוֹ רְבִיעַ מַפְרִישׁ לְפִי חֶשְׁבּוֹן: