ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) Demai (acronym 'Da Mai?' [What is this?]) is the crops or fruit that one purchases from an Am ha'Aretz, which he may not have Ma'asered (see Tos. Yom-Tov), and from which one is therefore obligated to take Terumas Ma'aser (see Tos. Yom-Tov & Ma'aser Sheini).
(b) The purchaser is not Chayav to separate from it ...
1. ...Terumah Gedolah - because we can rest assured that the Am ha'Aretz already Ma'asered them, firstly because someone who eats crops from which Terumah Gedolah has not been taken is Chayav Misah, and secondly, because, min ha'Torah, one is only required to separate one grain from the entire crop.
2. ... Ma'aser Rishon and, in the third and sixth years, Ma'aser Ani - because one can ask the Levi and the poor man who come to collect them, to prove that Ma'aser has not already been taken from them (following the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chavero, Alav ha'Re'ayah' [see also Tos. Yom-Tov]).
(c) We cannot say the same about Terumas Ma'aser, when the Kohen comes to collect it - because like we learned with regard to Terumah Gedolah, someone who eats crops from which Terumas Ma'aser has not been taken is Chayav Misah.
(d) One is obligated to separate Ma'aser Sheini in the first, second, fourth and fifth years - in case one comes to eat it when one is Tamei or outside Yerushalayim (neither of which is permitted with regard to Ma'aser Sheini).
(a) The Mishnah rules that ha'Kalin she'bi'Demai' (the lenient cases of Demai) - are not subject to Ma'asros.
(b) The list includes wild figs, Rimin, crab or sorb apples, and B'nos Shikmah - (wild figs [see Tos. Yom-Tov]).
(c) Chazal are lenient with regard to these and the other species listed in the Mishnah - because, in addition to the Safek that the poor man may have Ma'asered them pertaining to all species (most Aniyim, say Chazal, actually used to Ma'aser), there is the added Safek that they are Hefker, and therefore, Patur.
(d) Next on the list is Novlos ha'Temarah, which either means simply dates that the wind have blown off the tree before they are ripe - or dates that do not ripen properly on the tree, and which people therefore pick (see Tos. Yom-Tov) and piles up one on top of the other, so that the heat ripens them.
(a) The Tana continues with Gufnin (end of season grapes that do not ripen too well) and Nitzpeh, better known as Tzlaf and the Og in Yehudah (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
1. ... 'Tzlaf' is - the fruit of the caper-bush), and ...
2. ... 'Og' is - a kind of red cherry, which was not considered Chashuv in Yehudah (or, as the Rambam explains, 'clusters of a certain kind of red fruit').
(b) The significance of the vinegar in Yehudah is - that initially, the wine in Yehudah never turned sour (i.e. into vinegar [see Tos. Yom-Tov]), since they brought the Nesachim (the wine-offerings) from it. And any vinegar that they had came from the dregs (which are not Chashuv).
(c) The vinegar of Yehudah adopted the Din of Demai just like that of other places - when the Nesachim were cancelled.
(a) The last item on the list is Kusbar (which the Pasuk refers to in Beshalach (in connection with the Manna) as 'Z'ra Gad' - (coriander seeds [see Tos. Yom-Tov]).
(b) R. Yehudah qualifies each of the first three items listed by the Tana Kama. He renders wild figs Chayav - if they are of the type that produces fruit twice a year.
(c) He says that the Rimin of Shikmon - are Chayav, because they consider them Chashuv there.
(d) And he renders Chayav B'nos-Shikmah which are 'Mustafos' - (i.e. they ripen on the tree, to the extent that they split open by themselves).
(e) The Halachah - is like the Tana Kama.
(a) Demai is subject, neither to Chomesh ...
1. ... the extra fifth (actually a quarter according to our way of reckoning) that one pays when redeeming Ma'aser Sheini (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
2. ... nor to Bi'ur - the obligation to clear out all remaining Ma'asros on Erev Pesach of the every fourth year.
(b) The reason for these rulings and the remaining leniencies listed in the Mishnah is - because the majority of Amei-ha'Aretz used to Ma'aser their produce, so the initial Takanah was instituted with many leniences.
(c) And the reason that the Chachamim included paying the Keren (the principal) when redeeming Ma'aser Sheini of Demai, but not the Chomesh was - because the Keren is crucial to the Din of redemption, whereas the Chomesh is not.
(a) The remaining leniencies in the Mishnah are confined to Ma'aser Sheini exclusively. To begin with, it may be eaten by an Onein (whose relative died and whom he has not yet buried [see Tos. Yom-Tov]). The ruling pertaining to Ma'aser Sheini that has entered Yerushalayim that does not apply to Demai - is the prohibition of redeeming it and taking it out (because the walls of Yerushalayim have gathered them in [see Tiferes Yisrael]).
(b) And the ruling pertaining to Ma'aser Sheini that one finds outside Yerushalayim in a place where there are robbers and wild animals, does not apply here - is that of not leaving it there, but rather picking it up and taking it to Yerushalayim, or redeeming it and taking the money to Yerushalayim).
(c) One may give Ma'aser Sheini in Yerushalayim - to an Am-ha'Aretz (though this would be forbidden in the case of regular Ma'aser Sheini).
(d) One is however, obligated to - set aside a corresponding amount of fruit to eat in Yerushalayim be'Taharah.
(a) One is permitted to redeem money of Ma'aser Sheini of Demai without restrictions. Regarding regular Ma'aser Sheini, redeeming silver coins...
1. ... with silver coins or copper coins with copper coins - is only permitted if the two sets of coins are of two different kings and the coins on which the Ma'aser Sheini is being redeemed are superior to the original ones.
2. ... silver coins with copper ones - is only permitted in case of an emergency (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(b) The reason for the former ruling is - because this is not the way one generally redeems.
(a) R. Meir permits one to redeem copper coins of Ma'aser Sheini with fruit outside Yerushalayim - and then to redeem the fruit and take the money to Yerushalayim (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(b) According to the Chachamim however - having redeemed the coins with fruit, one is obligated to take the fruit to Yerushalayim and to eat it there.
(c) The Halachah - is like the Chachamim.
(a) The Tana exempts food that one purchased from an Am-ha'Aretz for seeding or as animal fodder with Ma'aser Sheini money - provided one bought it initially for that purpose (but not if one bought it to eat.
(b) And he incorporates in the previous ruling - someone who purchased flour for tanning skins and oil to use as fuel or to anoint vessels.
(a) The Mishnah also exempts food that one purchased from an Am-ha'Aretz beyond K'ziv - which is the last northern town captured by the Olei Bavel as well as by the Olei Mitzrayim (and it is only the areas captured by the Olei Mitzrayim as well that are subject to Demai).
(b) We might we have thought that it is nevertheless Chayav - because of the possibility that the Am-ha'Aretz himself brought it there from Eretz Yisrael.
(c) The principle that governs this ruling is - that any food that one finds in Chutz la'Aretz is Patur until one knows for sure that it came from Eretz Yisrael; whereas any food that one finds in Eretz Yisrael is Chayav until one knows for sure that it came from Chutz la'Aretz.
(a) The Mishnah exempts from Ma'asros a dough that one purchased from an Am-ha'Aretz and that one intends to give a Kohen Chaver (Talmid-Chacham) - provided it was prepared by a baker who is a Chaver (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(b) The Tana also exempts 'Meduma' of Demai - (a mixture of Terumah that fell into of less than a hundred of Chulin, and that is therefore not Bateil [see Tos. Yom-Tov]) ...
(c) ... and Demai that one purchased with Ma'aser Sheini money (see Tos. Yom-Tov) ...
(d) ... even if the money had been used to redeem Vaday Ma'aser Sheini.
(a) Sheyarei Menachos (the Minchah after the Kometz has been burned) too is included in the current ruling. We might otherwise have thought - that we suspect the Am'ha'Aretz (the owner of the Minchah) of having brought flour that was not Ma'asered (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(b) Beis Shamai render Shemen Areiv Chayav. 'Shemen Areiv' might be Afarsemon oil (oil extracted from balsam wood). Alternatively, it might be - olive-oil that is mixed with myrrh and other spices.
(c) Beis Hillel however - exempt it ...
(d) ... because it is not meant to be eaten, but to anoint with, and, although we consider anointing like drinking with regard to Terumah, it is less stringent in this regard (Tos. Yom-Tov).
(a) The Mishnah declare Demai eligible - for both Eruv Techumin (to enable one to walk beyond the T'chum Shabbos) & Eruv Chatzeiros (to carry in a Chatzer [see Tos. Yom-Tov]).
(b) When the Tana says ...
1. ... 'u'Mishtatfin bo' - he means that one may use it for Shituf Mava'os (to enable one to carry in a Mavoy [see Tos. Yom-Tov]).
2. ... 'u'Mevorchin Alav' - he is referring to Birchas ha'Mazon (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(c) In spite of the fact that one is not permitted to eat Demai, all these rulings apply - since one can theoretically become permitted to eat it by declaring all his property Hefker and becoming poor (and Chazal permit to feed the poor Demai).
(a) The Tana is teaching us here, when he adds that one may ...
1. ... participate in Zimun after having eaten it - that a. He may do so even though Zimun requires a fixture, and b. that a person who ate Demai can even be Motzi others (see Tiferes Yisrael)
2. ... separate 'Ma'asros' (Terumas Ma'aser and Ma'aser Sheini) from it even if one is naked - that separating Ma'asros from Demai does not require a B'rachah (which one may recite in a state of nakedness)
(b) And when he says ('Mafrishin Oso) Bein-ha'Shemashos' - he means 'Bein-ha'Shemashos' of Erev Shabbos (when it is forbidden to Ma'aser from Vaday).
(a) The Mishnah rules that if one precedes Ma'aser Sheini of Demai to Ma'aser Rishon - one is Yotzei (see Tiferes Yisrael).
(b) The ramifications of this ruling (besides the fact that one does not transgress a La'av [see Tos. Yom-Tov]) are - that one may nevertheless recite the Viduy in the fourth year.
(c) The Tana declares olive-oil of Demai that ...
1. ... a weaver rubs into his hands - subject to Demai, but not that of ...
2. ... a wool-comber puts into the wool ...
(d) ... because the former is only Chayav because of the principle 'Sichah ki'Shesiyah' (anointing has the same Din as drinking), whereas the latter is no different than purchasing oil to anoint vessels, which we learned earlier, is Patur.
Hadran Alach 'ha'Kalin she'bi'Demai'