Deuteronomy Chapter 26

12When you have finished tithing all the tithes of your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give [them] to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow, so that they can eat to satiety in your cities.   יבכִּ֣י תְכַלֶּ֞ה לַ֠עְשֵׂ֠ר אֶת־כָּל־מַעְשַׂ֧ר תְּבוּאָֽתְךָ֛ בַּשָּׁנָ֥ה הַשְּׁלִישִׁ֖ת שְׁנַ֣ת הַמַּֽעֲשֵׂ֑ר וְנָֽתַתָּ֣ה לַלֵּוִ֗י לַגֵּר֙ לַיָּת֣וֹם וְלָֽאַלְמָנָ֔ה וְאָֽכְל֥וּ בִשְׁעָרֶ֖יךָ וְשָׂבֵֽעוּ:
When you have finished tithing all the tithes of your produce in the third year: When you have finished separating the tithes of the third year [of the seven-year shemittah cycle]. It fixes a time for the removal [of the tithes from the house] and for the [accompanying] confession [regarding their proper disposal] on the Eve of Passover [for the removal, and for the confession, in the afternoon of the last day of Passover] of the fourth year, as it is said,“At the end of (מִקֵּץ) three years, you shall take out [all the tithe of your crop] (Deut. 14:28), and later on, Scripture also uses this expression:”At the end of (מִקֵּץ) seven years“ (Deut. 31: 10), referring to the mitzvah of הַקְהֵל [assembling all the people in the Temple courtyard, to hear the king read the book of Deuteronomy]. Just as there, the mitzvah was to be performed on a Festival, here too [in the case of removing the tithes and reciting the confession, the mitzvah must be performed] on a Festival. But one could suggest that just as there [in the case of הַקְהֵל, the mitzvah was performed] on the Festival of Sukkoth, here too, [the mitzvah must be performed] on the Festival of Sukkoth. Therefore, Scripture states here: ”When have you finished taking all the tithes in the third year"- [this refers to] a festival on which all tithes have been completely taken: this is Passover [not Sukkoth], because many trees have their fruits picked after Sukkoth [but not after Passover]. Consequently, the separating of tithes of the third year’s produce will conclude on Passover of [the following year, namely] the fourth year. And anyone who has delayed [in distributing] his tithes is ordered by Scripture to remove [any remaining tithes] from the house [on Passover of the fourth year of the shemittah cycle]. — [Sifrei 26:12]   כי תכלה לעשר את כל מעשר תבואתך בשנה השלישית: כשתגמור להפריש מעשרות של שנה השלישית, קבע זמן הביעור והוידוי בערב הפסח של שנה הרביעית, שנאמר (דברים יד, כח) מקצה שלש שנים תוציא וגו'. נאמר כאן מקץ, ונאמר להלן (שם לא י) מקץ שבע שנים, לענין הקהל מה להלן רגל אף כאן רגל, אי מה להלן חג הסוכות אף כאן חג הסוכות, תלמוד לומר כי תכלה לעשר, מעשרות של שנה השלישית רגל שהמעשרות כלין בו, וזהו פסח, שהרבה אילנות יש שנלקטין אחר הסוכות, נמצאו מעשרות של שלישית כלין בפסח של רביעית, וכל מי ששהה מעשרותיו הצריכו הכתוב לבערו מן הבית:
the year of the tithe: [The third year of each shemittah cycle is called“the year of the tithe” because] it differs from its preceding two years insofar as it is a year in which only one of the tithes separated in the two preceding years is separated. During the first and second years of the shemittah cycle, the tithes separated are: a) מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן, “the first tithe,” as the verse says, “[Speak to the Levites, and say to them,] When you take from the children of Israel the tithe…” (Num. 18:26) [referring to“the first tithe,”] and b) מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי, “the second tithe,” as the verse says, “And you shall eat before the Lord, your God… the tithes of your grain, of your wine and of your oil…” (Deut. 14:23) [which is a reference to “the second tithe”]. Thus, we have two tithes [being separated during the first two years of the shemittah cycle]. Now Scripture comes and teaches us that in the third year, only one of these two tithes is separated. And which one is that? It is “the first tithe.” [“The second tithe is not separated during the third year.”] Instead of “the second tithe,” one must give “the tithe for the poor,” for it says here in our verse “you shall give [them] to the Levite” what belongs to him, namely “the first tithe” ; [then our verse continues:] “the stranger, the orphan, and the widow”-this is “the tithe for the poor.” - [Sifrei 26:12; R.H. 12b]   שנת המעשר: שנה שאין נוהג בה אלא מעשר אחד משני מעשרות שנהגו בשתי שנים שלפניה, ששנה ראשונה של שמיטה נוהג בה מעשר ראשון, כמו שנאמר (במדבר יח כו) כי תקחו מאת בני ישראל את המעשר, ומעשר שני, שנאמר (דברים יד כג) ואכלת לפני ה' אלהיך מעשר דגנך תירושך ויצהרך, הרי שני מעשרות, ובא ולמדך כאן בשנה השלישית שאין נוהג מאותן שני מעשרות אלא האחד ואיזה, זה מעשר ראשון. ותחת מעשר שני תן מעשר עני שנאמר כאן ונתת ללוי. את אשר לו הרי מעשר ראשון. לגר ליתום ולאלמנה זה מעשר עני:
so that they can eat to satiety: Give them enough to satisfy them. Based on this, [our Rabbis] stated: One may not give the poor in the granary less than one-half a kav of wheat [or one kav of barley. [A kav represents the volume of twenty-four eggs]. — [Sifrei 26:12, Pe’ah 8:5]   ואכלו בשעריך ושבעו: תן להם כדי שבען מכאן אמרו אין פוחתין לעני בגורן פחות מחצי קב חטים וכו':
13Then you shall say before the Lord, your God, "I have removed the holy [portion] from the house, and I have also given it to the Levite, the stranger, the orphan, and the widow, according to all Your commandment that You commanded me; I have not transgressed Your commandments, nor have I forgotten [them].   יגוְאָֽמַרְתָּ֡ לִפְנֵי֩ יְהֹוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ בִּעַ֧רְתִּי הַקֹּ֣דֶשׁ מִן־הַבַּ֗יִת וְגַ֨ם נְתַתִּ֤יו לַלֵּוִי֙ וְלַגֵּר֙ לַיָּת֣וֹם וְלָֽאַלְמָנָ֔ה כְּכָל־מִצְוָֽתְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּיתָ֑נִי לֹֽא־עָבַ֥רְתִּי מִמִּצְו‍ֹתֶ֖יךָ וְלֹ֥א שָׁכָֽחְתִּי:
Then you shall say before the Lord, your God: Confess [i.e., declare] that you have given your tithes [as required]. — [Sifrei 26:13]   ואמרת לפני ה' אלהיך: התודה שנתת מעשרותיך:
I have removed the holy [portions] from the house: This refers to: a) “the second tithe,” and b) נֶטַע רְבָעִי, the fruit yielded by a tree in its fourth year of growth [both of which are termed קֹדֶשׁ, holy (portions)], they must be brought up to Jerusalem and eaten there in purity. [Accordingly,] the verse here teaches us that if one has delayed bringing these tithes up to Jerusalem for two years, he must take them up now [in the third year].   בערתי הקדש מן הבית: זה מעשר שני ונטע רבעי, ולמדך שאם שהה מעשרותיו של שתי שנים ולא העלם לירושלים, שצריך להעלותם עכשיו:
and I have also given it to the Levite: This refers to “the first tithe.” - [ibid.] [The seemingly superfluous word “also”] comes to include terumah, [the part given to the kohen] and the firstfruits [which are also given to the kohen. Since Kohanim stem from the tribe of Levi, they are referred to here as Levites]. — [Yerushalmi Ma’aser Sheni 5:5]   וגם נתתיו ללוי: זה מעשר ראשון. וגם לרבות תרומה ובכורים:
the stranger, the orphan and the widow: This refers to “the tithe for the poor.” - [Sifrei 26:13]   ולגר ליתום ולאלמנה: זה מעשר עני:
according to all Your commandment: I have given them [the tithes] in their proper sequence (ibid). I did not give terumah before the firstfruits; I did not give tithes before terumah; I did not give the second tithe before the first tithe. For terumah is termed רֵאשִׁית, “the first one,” because it is the first portion to be separated when the produce has become [matured] “grain,” and it is written [regarding the separation of tithes]: מְלֵאָתְךָ וְדִמְעֲךָ לֹא תְאַחֵר (Exod. 22:28), which means that one must not change the order [set out in Scripture for separating tithes]. - [Mechilta , Exod. 22:28]   ככל מצותך: נתתים כסדרן ולא הקדמתי תרומה לבכורים, ולא מעשר לתרומה ולא שני לראשון, שהתרומה קרויה ראשית, שהיא ראשונה משנעשה דגן, וכתיב (שמות כב כח) מלאתך ודמעך לא תאחר, לא תשנה את הסדר:
I have not transgressed Your commandments: I did not separate tithes from one species [of produce to fulfill the obligation of tithe-separation due] from another species [of produce], and I did not separate tithes from the new crop [of the year to fulfill the obligation of tithe-separation due] from the old crop. — [Sifrei, Ma’aser Sheni 5:11]   לא עברתי ממצותיך: לא הפרשתי ממין על שאינו מינו ומן החדש על הישן:
nor have I forgotten: to bless You [on the performance of the mitzvah] of separating tithes. — [ibid.]   ולא שכחתי: מלברך על הפרשת מעשרות:
14I did not eat any of it [second tithe] while in my mourning, nor did I consume any of it while unclean; neither did I use any of it for the dead. I obeyed the Lord, my God; I did according to all that You commanded me.   ידלֹֽא־אָכַ֨לְתִּי בְאֹנִ֜י מִמֶּ֗נּוּ וְלֹֽא־בִעַ֤רְתִּי מִמֶּ֨נּוּ֙ בְּטָמֵ֔א וְלֹֽא־נָתַ֥תִּי מִמֶּ֖נּוּ לְמֵ֑ת שָׁמַ֗עְתִּי בְּקוֹל֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֔י עָשִׂ֕יתִי כְּכֹ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּיתָֽנִי:
I did not eat any of it [second tithe] while in my mourning: From here [our Rabbis derive the ruling that the second tithe] is forbidden to [be eaten by] an אוֹנָן [close relative of a deceased on the day of death]. — [Sifrei 26:14]   לא אכלתי באני ממנו: מכאן שאסור לאונן:
nor did I consume any of it while unclean: Whether I was unclean and it was clean, or I was clean it was unclean. But where [in the Torah] is one warned against this? [The warning is alluded to in the verse: (Deut. 12:17),]“You shall not eat in your cities [the tithe…].” This refers to eating in a state of uncleanness, as it is said in reference to פְּסוּלֵי הַמֻּקְדָשִׁים, [animals dedicated as sacrifices, which subsequently became blemished and consequently unfit for that purpose (see Deut. 15: 21-22) the Torah says,] “You may eat it within your cities, the unclean and the clean person together…” (Deut. 15:22). This [the second tithe], however, you shall not eat in the manner of “eating in the cities,” mentioned elsewhere. - [Yev. 73b]   ולא בערתי ממנו בטמא: בין שאני טמא והוא טהור, בין שאני טהור והוא טמא. והיכן הוזהר על כך (לעיל יב יז) לא תוכל לאכול בשעריך, זו אכילת טומאה, כמו שנאמר בפסולי המקודשים (לעיל טו כב) בשעריך תאכלנו הטמא והטהור וגו', אבל זה לא תוכל לאכול דרך אכילת שעריך האמור במקום אחר:
neither have I used any of it for the dead: [using its value in money] to make for him a coffin or shrouds. — [Sifrei, Ma’aser Sheni 5:12]   ולא נתתי ממנו למת: לעשות לו ארון ותכריכין:
I obeyed the Lord, my God: [in that] I have brought [it] to the Temple. - [Sifrei , Ma’aser Sheni 5:12] [In fact, the second tithe was not brought to the Temple, but eaten in Jerusalem. If a person redeemed it, however, he was to bring the redemption money to Jerusalem and purchase food to be eaten in Jerusalem. Although all types of food could be purchased, it was customary to purchase animals and sacrifice them as peace offerings. In this respect, the tithe would be brought into the Temple (Malbim).]   שמעתי בקול ה' אלהי: הביאותיו לבית הבחירה:
I have done according to all that You have commanded me: I have myself rejoiced and caused others to rejoice through it. — [Sifrei, Ma’aser Sheni 5:12]   עשיתי ככל אשר צויתני: שמחתי ושימחתי בו:
15Look down from Your holy dwelling, from the heavens, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given to us, as You swore to our forefathers a land flowing with milk and honey.   טוהַשְׁקִ֩יפָה֩ מִמְּע֨וֹן קָדְשְׁךָ֜ מִן־הַשָּׁמַ֗יִם וּבָרֵ֤ךְ אֶת־עַמְּךָ֙ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאֵת֙ הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָתַ֖תָּה לָ֑נוּ כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֤ר נִשְׁבַּ֨עְתָּ֙ לַֽאֲבֹתֵ֔ינוּ אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ:
Look down from Your holy dwelling: We have fulfilled what You have decreed upon us. Now You do what is incumbent upon You to do (Sifrei , Ma’aser Sheni 5:13), for You said, “If you follow My statutes… then I shall give [you] your rains in their [proper] time….” (Lev. 26:3-4).   השקיפה ממעון קדשך: עשינו מה שגזרת עלינו, עשה אתה מה שעליך לעשות, שאמרת (ויקרא כו, ג) אם בחקתי תלכו ונתתי גשמיכם בעתם:
which You have given us, as You swore to our forefathers: to give to us, and You have [also] kept [the promise You made to our ancestors who left Egypt, that You would give us] “a land flowing with milk and honey.”   אשר נתתה לנו כאשר נשבעת לאבתינו: לתת לנו וקיימת ארץ זבת חלב ודבש: