Pisqa’ 303

Pisqa’ 3031


“And you shall give it to the Levite, the migrant, the fatherless, and to the widow” (Dt.26:12).

Give to each his proper share.

“And they shall eat to their satisfaction within your gates” (Dt.26:12).

Give them till they are full.2


On this basis they taught:

At the threshing floor,

they may not give to the poor

less than a half qav of wheat or a qav of barley:

words of R. Judah.

Rabbi says: a half qav [of either].3


“Within your gates” (Dt.26:12)—

this teaches that they do not expel him

from the Land to beyond the Land.

They reported:

a clan from the family of Nevalta

once lived in Jerusalem.

Sages offered them 600 talents of gold

[to remain there],

for they didn’t want to expel them from Jerusalem.4

“Then you shall declare” (Dt.26:13)—

in any language.

“Before HASHEM your God” (Dt.26:13):

Here’s the Tithing Confession!


“I have expunged the consecrated food from my house” (Dt.26:13)—

this refers to Second-tithe and the Fourth-year Orchard5

[both of which are divine property until deconsecrated].


“Moreover, I have given it to the Levite” (Dt.26:13)—

this refers to the Levitical-tithe.6


“Likewise, have I given it” (Dt.26:13)—

this refers to the Threshing-floor-offering7

and the Offering from the Tithe.8


“To the migrant, the fatherless, and the widow” (Dt.26:13)—

this refers to the Pauper’s-tithe, Gleanings,

the Forgotten-sheaf, and the Corner-offering,

even though [their absence from the rite]

does not impede the confession.


“From my house” (Dt.26:13)—

this implies the Dough-offering

[for dough is made in the home].9

Another word:

From my house” (Dt.26:13)—

having removed it from the house,

you have no further need for it

[and it may be destroyed].10

In full compliance with Your commandment” (Dt.26:13)—

thus, if he separated Second-tithe before First-tithe,

he might as well have done nothing.


“Which You commanded me” (Dt.26:13)—

I’ve given none of it

to any one who isn’t entitled to it.


“I have not transgressed Your commandment” (Dt.26:13)—

I’ve not separated [the Tithe]

from one type of produce on behalf of another;

or from the uprooted on behalf of the still-rooted;

or from the still-rooted on behalf of the uprooted;

or from the new harvest on behalf of the old;

or from the old harvest on behalf of the new.

“I have not forgotten” (Dt.26:13—

that is, I haven’t forgotten to recite a blessing

[before separating the Tithe],

or to call to mind Your Name upon it.11

“I haven’t eaten from it during my mourning” (Dt.26:14)—

thus, if he ate from it while in mourning,

he is unable to make the confession.


“Nor have I expunged any of it while unclean” (Dt.26:14)—

not while I was unclean and it was clean,

and not while I was clean and it was unclean.


“Nor have I offered any of it to the dead” (Dt.26:14)—

I didn’t purchase with [its proceeds] a coffin or shrouds for a corpse:12

Words of R. Eliezer.

Said to him R. Akiva:

If [this is taught] of a corpse,

won’t it apply as well to a living person?

Why, then, does the Teaching state:

“To the dead” (Dt.26:14)?

So that I don’t exchange a clean item

[for one already rendered unclean by the corpse].

“I have obeyed the voice of HASHEM my God” (Dt.26:14)—

by bringing it to the Chosen Abode.


“I have accomplished all that You have commanded me” (Dt.26:14)—

by rejoicing and enabling others to rejoice.13


“Gaze out from your holy Dwelling” (Dt.26:15)—

we have done what You decreed upon us;

now, do for us what You promised us!


“From the Heavens, and bless Your people, Israel.” (Dt.26:15)—

{with sons and daughters}.14

  1. H:292-293;JN2:282-285.
  2. From this point, through 303.2, a nearly verbatim parallel appears at Pisqa’ 110.1
  3. //M. Pe’ah 8:5; cf. T.Pe.4:2.
  4. //T.Pe’ah 4:11. Cf. Pisqa’ 110.1 The toseftan parallel explains the clan’s reluctance to leave Jerusalem, pointing out the antiquity of the clan’s residence in Jerusalem, despite its poverty.
  5. Heb: net`a rev`ai; literally, “a four-year-old tree-planting.” According to Lv. 19:23-25, both tree-fruit and grapes (kerem rev`ai) during their first three years of planting are proscribed as “blocked” or “uncircumcised” ((`orlah). In the fourth year they are considered “sanctified,” and may be eaten only under particular circumstances (see M. MS.5:1-4). By the fifth year the fruit is wholly available for use as people deem necessary. In tannaitic legal texts, as in the case before us, Second tithe and keter/net`a rev`ai are often discussed together because of the similarity of the rules that apply to each.
  6. Heb: ma`aser lewi, also known as ma`aser r’ishon (First tithe).
  7. Heb: terumah; literally, “that which is offered up. Often translated as “Heave-offering,” it is distributed to priests after the harvested crop is piled on the threshing-room floor.See Pisqa’ 72.3.
  8. Heb: terumat ma`aser, taken by Levites from their First-tithe and offered to priests. ma`aser lewi is given by commoners to Levites, who then give a tenth to the priests as terumat ma`aser.
  9. M.MS.5:10; //T.MS.5:23)
  10. //T.MS.5:24.
  11. //M. MS.5:11.
  12. //M.MS.5:12.
  13. //M.MS.5:12.
  14. //M.MS.5:13. The bracketed text continues Sifre’s citation of M. MS. 5:13, which has been abbreviated.