When a person makes a commitment to be considered trustworthy1 with regard to the tithes [so that] his produce will not be considered as demai, he must tithe [the produce] he eats,2 that which he sells, and that which he purchases,3 and he must not accept the hospitality of a common person. He must make these commitments in public.4 When trustworthy witnesses5 [testify] that he made these commitments in public and that he continually observe these practices, he is considered trustworthy [and his word is accepted if] he says that his produce has been tithed.


הַמְקַבֵּל עָלָיו לִהְיוֹת נֶאֱמָן עַל הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת וְלֹא יִהְיוּ פֵּרוֹתָיו דְּמַאי צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת מְעַשֵּׂר אֶת שֶׁהוּא אוֹכֵל וְאֶת שֶׁהוּא מוֹכֵר וְאֶת שֶׁהוּא לוֹקֵחַ. וְאֵינוֹ מִתְאָרֵחַ אֵצֶל עַם הָאָרֶץ. וְצָרִיךְ שֶׁיְּקַבֵּל עָלָיו דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בָּרַבִּים. וּכְשֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ עֵדִים נֶאֱמָנִין שֶׁקִּבֵּל דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ בָּרַבִּים וְשֶׁהוּא רָגִיל בָּהֶם תָּמִיד הֲרֵי זֶה נֶאֱמָן עַל פֵּרוֹתָיו לוֹמַר מְעֻשָּׂרִין הֵן:


Every Torah scholar is always considered trustworthy. There is no necessity to investigate his [conduct]. His children, the members of his household, his servants, and his wife, are given the same status. When a Torah scholar dies and leaves produce, even if it was gathered on the day of his death, we assume that [the appropriate separations were made].6


כָּל תַּלְמִיד חָכָם לְעוֹלָם נֶאֱמָן וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ בְּדִיקָה אַחֲרָיו. וּבָנָיו וּבְנֵי בֵּיתוֹ וַעֲבָדָיו [וְאִשְׁתּוֹ] הֲרֵי הֵם כָּמוֹהוּ. תַּלְמִיד חָכָם שֶׁמֵּת וְהִנִּיחַ פֵּרוֹת אֲפִלּוּ כְּנָסָם בְּאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם הֲרֵי הֵן בְּחֶזְקַת מְתֻקָּנִין:


When the daughter of a common person or his wife7 marries a chavair or the servant8 [of a common person] was sold to a chavair, they must accept the [above] requirements as at the outset.9 When the daughter of a chavair or his wife marries a common person or the servant [of a chavair] was sold to a common person, we assume that they maintain their observance10 until they act in a manner that arouses suspicion. A son or a servant of a chavair who would frequently visit a common person must formally accept [the above requirements].11 When a son or a servant of a common person would frequently visit a chavair, as long as he is in his domain, he is considered like a chavair. When he departs, he is considered as a common person.12


בַּת עַם הָאָרֶץ אוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁנִּסֵּת לְחָבֵר וְעַבְדּוֹ שֶׁנִּמְכָּר לְחָבֵר צְרִיכִין לְקַבֵּל עֲלֵיהֶם בַּתְּחִלָּה. וּבַת חָבֵר אוֹ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁנִּסֵּת לְעַם הָאָרֶץ וְעַבְדּוֹ שֶׁנִּמְכָּר לְעַם הָאָרֶץ הֲרֵי הֵן בְּחֶזְקָתָן עַד שֶׁיֵּחָשְׁדוּ. בְּנוֹ אוֹ עַבְדּוֹ שֶׁל חָבֵר שֶׁהָיוּ לְמוּדִין אֵצֶל עַם הָאָרֶץ צְרִיכִין לְקַבֵּל. בְּנוֹ אוֹ עַבְדּוֹ שֶׁל עַם הָאָרֶץ שֶׁהָיוּ לְמוּדִים אֵצֶל חָבֵר כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהֵן אֶצְלוֹ הֲרֵי הֵן כְּחָבֵר. יָצְאוּ הֲרֵי הֵן כְּעַם הָאָרֶץ:


When a person himself is not considered as trustworthy, but one of his sons or servants or another member of his family is, food may be taken from him based on their statements.13 We do not harbor suspicions concerning the matter.


מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן וְהָיָה אֶחָד מִבָּנָיו אוֹ מֵעֲבָדָיו נֶאֱמָן אוֹ אֶחָד מִמִּשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ לוֹקְחִין מִמֶּנּוּ וְאוֹכְלִין עַל פִּיהֶן וְאֵינָן חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְדָבָר:


If a person was considered trustworthy, but his wife was not considered trustworthy,14 we may purchase produce from him,15 but we do not accept his hospitality. If his wife is trustworthy and he is not, we may accept his hospitality, but we do not purchase produce from him. May a curse be visited on one whose wife is trustworthy, but he is not.


הָיָה הוּא נֶאֱמָן וְאִשְׁתּוֹ אֵינָהּ נֶאֱמֶנֶת לוֹקְחִים מִמֶּנּוּ וְאֵין מִתְאָרְחִין אֶצְלוֹ. [הָיְתָה אִשְׁתּוֹ נֶאֱמֶנֶת וְהוּא אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן מִתְאָרְחִין אֶצְלוֹ וְאֵין לוֹקְחִין מִמֶּנּוּ. וְתָבוֹא מְאֵרָה לְמִי שֶׁאִשְׁתּוֹ נֶאֱמֶנֶת וְהוּא אֵינוֹ נֶאֱמָן]:

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.


A chavair should not serve as a waiter at a drinking party or a feast of a common person unless all [the food and drink] have been tithed and the appropriate separations made under his supervision.16 Therefore if one sees a chavair serving at a drinking party or a feast of a common person, he can operate under the presumption that the tithes and other separations have been made.17

If we see such a person eating together with a common person, we cannot assume that the food served at the feast has been tithed. Perhaps the chavair is relying on the stipulations made in his heart.18


לֹא יְשַׁמֵּשׁ חָבֵר לֹא בְּמִשְׁתֵּה עַם הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא בִּסְעֵדָּתוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה הַכּל מְעֻשָּׂר וּמְתֻקָּן מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ הָרוֹאֶה חָבֵר מְשַׁמֵּשׁ בְּמִשְׁתֵּה עַם הָאָרֶץ אוֹ בִּסְעֻדָּתוֹ הֲרֵי הַכּל בְּחֶזְקַת מְתֻקָּן וּמְעֻשָּׂר. רָאוּהוּ מֵסֵב עִם עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ אֵין הַסְּעֻדָּה בְּחֶזְקַת מְעֻשֶּׂרֶת. שֶׁמָּא הֶחָבֵר עַל הַתְּנָאִים שֶׁבְּלִבּוֹ הוּא סוֹמֵךְ:


Just as a person may eat with a common person and rely on the conditions in his heart, so too, he must make a stipulation with regard to what his son eats.19 [This applies] even if his son is in another place.20 He does not have to make a stipulation with regard to another person aside from his son even if that person was together with him at the feast.

Therefore if the son of a chavair is present at a feast with a common person, we cannot assume that the food was tithed, for perhaps [the chavair] made a stipulation for [the food] his son ate.21


כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָדָם סוֹעֵד אֵצֶל עַם הָאָרֶץ וְסוֹמֵךְ עַל תְּנָאוֹ כָּךְ הוּא צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת מַתְנֶה עַל בְּנוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בְּנוֹ בְּמָקוֹם אַחֵר. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת מַתְנֶה עַל אַחֵר חוּץ מִבְּנוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה עִמּוֹ בְּמִשְׁתֶּה. לְפִיכָךְ בֶּן חָבֵר שֶׁהָיָה מֵסֵב בְּמִשְׁתֶּה עַם הָאָרֶץ אֵין הַסְּעֻדָּה בְּחֶזְקַת מְעֻשֶּׂרֶת שֶׁמָּא אָבִיו הִתְנָה עָלָיו:


When a common person gives a meah22 to a chavair and tells him: "Buy me a bunch of vegetables or a cake," he may purchase it for him without any qualification and is not obligated to tithe it.23 If [the agent] exchanged the meah, he is obligated to tithe [the produce he purchased].24

If the chavair was explicit and did not buy the produce without explanation, but instead said: "This bunch of produce that I am purchasing from you is being bought for my colleague and this bunch is being bought for myself," he is obligated to tithe [only] the produce that he took for himself. He does not have to tithe [the bunch he purchased for his colleague].25 If these [two batches of produce] became intermingled, even if one measure [belonging to the chavair] becomes mixed with 100 [belonging to the common person], he must make the separations as if the entire quantity was demai.26 [Only] afterwards27 may he give the produce to the colleague who sent him to purchase them for him.


עַם הָאָרֶץ שֶׁנָּתַן מָעָה לְחָבֵר וְאָמַר לוֹ קַח לִי אֲגֻדַּת יָרָק אַחַת אוֹ גְּלֻסְקָא אַחַת לוֹקֵחַ לוֹ סְתָם וּפָטוּר מִלְּעַשֵּׂר. וְאִם הֶחֱלִיף אֶת הַמָּעָה חַיָּב לְעַשֵּׂר וְאַחַר כָּךְ יָבִיא לוֹ. וְאִם פֵּרֵשׁ הֶחָבֵר וְלֹא לְקָחָן סְתָם אֶלָּא אָמַר לַחֶנְוָנִי אֲגֻדָּה זוֹ שֶׁאֲנִי לוֹקֵחַ מִמְּךָ לַחֲבֵרִי אֲנִי קוֹנֶה אוֹתָהּ וְזוֹ לְעַצְמִי אֲנִי קוֹנֶה אוֹתָהּ. זוֹ שֶׁלָּקַח לְעַצְמוֹ חַיָּב לְעַשְּׂרָהּ. וְזוֹ שֶׁלָּקַח לַחֲבֵרוֹ אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְעַשְּׂרָהּ. וְאִם נִתְעָרְבוּ אֲפִלּוּ נִתְעָרְבָה אַחַת שֶׁלּוֹ בְּמֵאָה שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ מְתַקֵּן הַכּל דְּמַאי. וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִתֵּן לַחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁשְּׁלָחוֹ לִקַּח לוֹ:


When five people tell one person: "Bring us five bunches of vegetables," and [the agent] brings each person one bunch individually, the chavairim among [the recipients] are required to tithe only their portions.28 If [the agent] brought [the entire quantity] mixed together, the chavairim among [the recipients] are required to separate tithes for the entire amount.29


חֲמִשָּׁה שֶׁאָמְרוּ לְאֶחָד צֵא וְהָבֵא לָנוּ חָמֵשׁ אֲגֻדּוֹת שֶׁל יָרָק. וְהֵבִיא לְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ. חֲבֵרִים שֶׁבָּהֶן אֵין צְרִיכִין לְעַשֵּׂר אֶלָּא עַל חֶלְקָן בִּלְבַד. הֵבִיא לָהֶן בְּעִרְבּוּב חֲבֵרִים שֶׁבָּהֶם צְרִיכִין לְעַשֵּׂר הַכּל:


When a common person tells a chavair: "Collect figs for me from my fig tree," the chavair may snack from them30 and tithe them as one tithes demai.31

If a chavair told a common person to gather figs for him and another chavair heard him, the latter may partake [of the figs] without tithing them. [The rationale is that] a chavair will not release produce from his domain unless the appropriate separations were made. [Thus] we can assume that [the owner] separated [terumah and the tithes for this produce] from other [produce]. Although [generally] we do not suspect that a chavair will separate terumah from produce that is not in the same place as the terumah,32 he may do so to prevent the common person from confronting a spiritual stumbling block.33


עַם הָאָרֶץ שֶׁאָמַר לְחָבֵר צֵא וְלַקֵּט לִי תְּאֵנִים מִתְּאֵנָתִי אוֹכֵל מֵהֶן הֶחָבֵר עַרְאַי וּמְעַשְּׂרָן [דְּמַאי]. וְאִם אָמַר הֶחָבֵר לְעַם הָאָרֶץ לִלְקֹט לוֹ וְשָׁמַע חָבֵר אַחֵר זֶה הָאַחֵר אוֹכֵל וְאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לְעַשֵּׂר שֶׁאֵין הֶחָבֵר מוֹצִיא דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְתֻקָּן מִתַּחַת יָדוֹ וְחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁהִפְרִישׁ עָלֶיהָ מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נֶחְשְׁדוּ חֲבֵרִים לִתְרֹם שֶׁלֹּא מִן הַמֻּקָּף, כְּדֵי לְסַלֵּק הַמִּכְשׁוֹל מִלִּפְנֵי עַם הָאָרֶץ תּוֹרְמִין:


It is permitted to feed34 demai to the poor and to guests.35 They must, however, be notified of such. If the poor person or the guest desire to make the appropriate separations, they should.


מֻתָּר לְהַאֲכִיל אֶת הָעֲנִיִּים וְאֶת הָאוֹרְחִים דְּמַאי וְצָרִיךְ לְהוֹדִיעָן. וְהֶעָנִי עַצְמוֹ וְהָאוֹרֵחַ אִם רָצוּ לְתַקֵּן מְתַקְּנִין:


The collectors of charity collect from all people36 without clarifying [whether separations have been made] and they divide the donations without specifications. If one desires to make the appropriate separations, he should.


גַּבָּאֵי צְדָקָה גּוֹבִין סְתָם מִכָּל אָדָם וּמְחַלְּקִים סְתָם וְהָרוֹצֶה לְתַקֵּן יְתַקֵּן:


When a doctor who is a chavair is feeding a common person who is sick37 from the produce of a common person, he should place [the food] in his hand, but not in his mouth.38 If the demai belonged to the doctor, he should not even place it in his hand. And similarly, if he knows that it is definitely tevel,39 it is forbidden to place it in his hand.


רוֹפֵא חָבֵר שֶׁהָיָה מַאֲכִיל לְחוֹלֵה עַם הָאָרֶץ מִפֵּרוֹת עַם הָאָרֶץ נוֹתֵן לְתוֹךְ יָדוֹ אֲבָל לֹא לְתוֹךְ פִּיו. וְאִם הָיָה הַדְּמַאי שֶׁל רוֹפֵא אֲפִלּוּ לְתוֹךְ יָדוֹ לֹא יִתֵּן. וְכֵן אִם יָדַע שֶׁהוּא טֶבֶל וַדַּאי אֲפִלּוּ לְתוֹךְ יָדוֹ אָסוּר: