Pisqa’ 166

Pisqa’ 1661


“The finest of your grain, your must, and your oil” (Dt.18:4).

This teaches that

one offers up Threshing-floor-offering

only from the select produce.2

Just as we find that

in the case of two kinds of fruit-trees,

we do not offer up Threshing-floor-offering

from the fruit of this tree

on behalf of the fruit of that tree,

so, too, if there are two species of grain or leafy-greens,

we do not offer up Threshing-floor-offering

from this type of produce [e.g., wheat or lettuce]

on behalf of that type [barley or onions].3


“The Finest-fleece” (Dt.18:4)—

but not the finest of the loose fleece.


“The Finest-Fleece” (Dt.18:4)—

excluding wool from a mauled animal.4


“The Finest-Fleece” (Dt.18:4)—

both in the Land and beyond the Land.5

“Of your flocks” (Dt.18:4)—

but not that of [gentile] others.

On this basis they taught:

One who purchases shorn fleece

from the flock of a foreigner

is exempt from offering the Finest-Fleece.

If he purchased shorn fleece

from the flock of his Israelite companion—

if there is shorn fleece left over [in the seller’s possession],

the seller is obliged [to offer the First-Fleece].

But if not, the purchaser is obliged.6


“The finest . . . shall you give to him” (Dt.18:4)—

there should be enough for a [generous] gift.7

On this basis they taught:

How much fleece should he give to him?

A weight of five selas in Judea,

equivalent to ten in the Galilee.

And it should be white, not filthy,

and enough to make a small garment,

for it is said:

“Shall you give to him” (Dt.18:4)—

enough for a generous gift.8


How many sheep comprise a flock

under obligation for the Finest-Fleece offering?

The circle of Shammai say: Two ewes,

as it is said:

“A man will possess a calf of the herd,

and two from the flock” (Is.7:21).

But the circle of Hillel say: Five,

as it is said:

“And five prepared from the flock” (1Sam.25:18)9

R. Akiva says:

[The verse states —]

“You shall give him . . . the Finest-fleece” (Dt.18:4).

[Finest10 implies a second],

yielding fleece shorn from a minimum of two sheep.

“Of your flock” (Dt.18:4)—

[since “flock”, as a plural noun, implies two more],

this amounts to four.

“Shall you give to him” (Dt.18:4)—

this final gift yields fleece

[from a total of five sheep!

  1. H:197; JN2: 39-40
  2. // Sifre Num, 122. Cf. M. Ter.2:4.
  3. // M. Ter.2:4.
  4. //T. Hul.10:1.
  5. // M. Hul.11:1
  6. =M. Hul. 1:2.
  7. =M .Hul.11:2.
  8. =M. Hul.11:2.
  9. //M.Hul.11:2).
  10. Heb: r’eishit. Also “first.” Cf. Pisqa’ 165.4.