סקר
לקראת סיום מס' שבת





 

Steinsaltz

GEMARA: The Sages taught that the verse states: “Fruit of a beautiful tree,” meaning, a tree that the taste of its tree trunk and the taste of its fruit are alike. What tree is that? You must say it is the etrog tree.

The Gemara asks: And say that it is referring to the pepper tree, since the taste of its trunk and the taste of its fruit are alike, as it was taught in a baraita with regard to the verse: “When you enter the land and plant any tree for food you shall regard its fruit as orla” (Leviticus 19:23). Rabbi Meir would say that by inference from that which is stated “and plant any tree,” don’t I know that it is referring to a tree that produces food? Rather, for what purpose does the verse state: “Any tree for food”? It is to include a tree that the taste of its tree trunk and the taste of its fruit are alike. And which tree is this? You must say this is the pepper tree. This comes to teach you that the peppers, and even its trunk, are edible, and therefore the tree is obligated in the prohibition of orla. And Eretz Yisrael lacks nothing, as it is stated: “A land where you shall eat bread without scarceness, you shall lack nothing” (Deuteronomy 8:9). From where, then, is it derived that the Torah commands the taking of an etrog as one of the four species? Perhaps the verse is referring to peppers.

The Gemara answers: There, with regard to the four species, it is clear that the Torah is not referring to peppers, due to the fact that it is not possible to utilize peppers for this purpose. How shall we proceed? If we take one pepper, its taking is not noticeable due to its small size. If we take two or three peppers, the Torah said one fruit and not two or three fruits. Therefore, it is impossible. The verse “the fruit of a beautiful tree” cannot be referring to peppers.

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Do not read the verse as it is written, hadar, meaning beautiful, but rather read it hadir, meaning the sheep pen. And it means, just as in this pen there are large and small sheep, unblemished and blemished sheep, so too, this tree has large and small fruits, flawless and blemished fruits. The Gemara wonders: Is that to say that among other fruits there are not large and small fruits, flawless and blemished fruits? How does this description identify the etrog specifically? Rather, this is what Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is saying: Just as in a pen, there are both large and small sheep together, so too, on an etrog tree, when the small ones come into being, the large ones still exist on the tree, which is not the case with other fruit trees.

Rabbi Abbahu said: Do not read it hadar, but rather read it haddar, meaning one that dwells, referring to an item that dwells on its tree from year to year. Ben Azzai says: Do not read it hadar, but rather read it idur, as in the Greek language one calls water idur. And which is the fruit that grows on the basis of all water sources, and not exclusively through irrigation or rainwater? You must say it is an etrog.

The mishna continues: An etrog from a tree worshipped as idolatry or from a city whose residents were incited to idolatry is unfit. The Gemara asks: What is the reason? The Gemara answers: Since the etrog is fated for burning, its requisite measure was crushed. Although it has not yet been burned, its legal status is that of ashes.

The mishna continues: An etrog of orla is unfit. The Gemara asks: What is the reason? Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Avin and Rabbi Asi disagree about this matter. One said: It is unfit because there is no permission to eat orla. Anything that may not be eaten is not one’s property, and it is therefore unfit for use in this mitzva. And one said: It is unfit because it has no monetary value. Since it is prohibited to benefit from orla, it has no value, and one cannot own an item that has no value. Therefore, it does not fulfill the requirement of taking an etrog from one’s own property.

The Gemara asserts that it may enter one’s mind to say: The one who requires permission to eat the etrog to render it fit does not require that it have monetary value, and the one who requires that it have monetary value does not require permission to eat it. On that basis, the Gemara raises a difficulty from what we learned in the mishna: An etrog of impure teruma is unfit. Granted, according to the one who says that an etrog of orla is unfit because there is no permission to eat it, it works out well that an etrog of impure teruma is unfit, as it too may not be eaten. However, according to the one who says that it is unfit because it has no monetary value, why is the etrog of impure teruma unfit? Although eating it is prohibited, a priest burns it as fuel under his cooked food. Since one may benefit from it, impure teruma has monetary value.

Rather, contrary to the previous assumption, with regard to permission to eat it, everyone agrees that we require that it be permitted to eat the etrog. When they disagree is with regard to monetary value. One Sage holds: We require permission to eat it, but we do not require that it have monetary value. And one Sage holds: We also require that it have monetary value. The Gemara asks: If so, according to this understanding, what is the practical halakhic difference between them?

There is a practical difference between them with regard to the halakha of an etrog of second tithe in Jerusalem, and according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who holds that the legal status of second-tithe produce in Jerusalem is that of consecrated property. Although its owner has the right to eat it, just as he may eat from offerings that he sacrifices, it is the property of God, and he has no monetary rights to the produce. According to the one who said: An etrog of orla is unfit because there is no permission to eat it, there is permission to eat second tithe; therefore, according to Rabbi Meir, a second-tithe etrog in Jerusalem is fit for use in fulfilling the mitzva. And according to the one who said: An etrog of orla is unfit because it has no monetary value, second tithe in Jerusalem is consecrated property of God and has no monetary value to its owner. Therefore, according to Rabbi Meir, it is not fit for use in fulfilling the mitzva.

In an attempt to attribute the opinions to the amora’im, the Gemara suggests: Conclude that Rabbi Asi is the one who said that the reason is because there is no monetary value, as Rabbi Asi said: With an etrog of second tithe, according to the statement of Rabbi Meir, a person does not fulfill his obligation with it on the Festival. According to the Rabbis, a person fulfills his obligation with it on the Festival. That is precisely the manner in which the dispute with regard to the need for the etrog to have monetary value is presented above. The Gemara determines: Indeed, conclude that Rabbi Asi is the one who holds that the etrog must have monetary value as well.

§ With regard to the matter itself, Rabbi Asi said: With an etrog of second tithe, according to the statement of Rabbi Meir, a person does not fulfill his obligation with it on the Festival. According to the Rabbis, a person fulfills his obligation with it on the Festival. With matza of second tithe, according to Rabbi Meir, a person does not fulfill his obligation with it on Passover because it is not his. According to the Rabbis, a person fulfills his obligation with it on Passover. Similarly, according to Rabbi Meir, dough of second tithe is exempt from the obligation of separating ḥalla. According to the Rabbis, it is subject to the obligation of separating ḥalla. In all of these cases, the dispute is whether second tithe is the property of the owner or the property of God.

Rav Pappa strongly objects to this: Granted, with regard to dough, it is written: “The first of your dough, ḥalla you shall offer as a gift” (Numbers 15:20). “Your dough” indicates that one is obligated to separate ḥalla only from dough that belongs to him and not consecrated dough. With regard to the etrog too it is written: “And you shall take for yourselves,” indicating that it must be from your own property. However, with regard to matza, why does he not fulfill his obligation with second tithe? Is it written: Your matza? Rabba bar Shmuel said, and some say it was Rav Yeimar bar Shelamya who said: This is derived by means of a verbal analogy between bread written with regard to matza and bread written with regard to ḥalla. It is written here, with regard to matza: “Bread of affliction” (Deuteronomy 16:3), and it is written there, with regard to ḥalla:

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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