ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) The Mishnah permits anyone to collect the remaining Leket from when the Nemushos have been and left. 'Nemushos' means - either old (poor) men who walk with sticks, or the second wave of poor people.
(b) The reason for this is - because at that stage, the poor who have not yet collected have already despaired of receiving anything, because they doubt that anything is left.
(a) The equivalent ruling regarding olives is once the second Revi'ah - the second rains, have passed.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah disputes that however - on the grounds that some people only begin harvesting their fields after that.
(c) He therefore permits anyone to collect Leket of olives only when so little Leket remains in the field that a poor person would not be able to take home olives to the value of - four Isrim, which is the equivalent of two Pundiyonim.
(d) The significance of this Shi'ur is - that food to the value of one Pundiyon (enough for two meals) is the minimum that one gives a poor man from out of town. And for less that two meals for himself and his wife a poor man will not take the trouble to make a trip to someone's field to collect Leket.
(a) When the Mishnah rules that they are believed on Leket, Shikchah and Pe'ah 'in their time', the Tana means - that a poor man is believed to say that the wheat that he is holding is Leket ... and is therefore Patur from Ma'asros.
(b) However, they are only believed 'in their time' - during the harvest period (after that, it has the Din of Demai, see Mishnah Rishonah).
(c) Ma'aser Ani is different than Leket, Shikchah and Pe'ah - in that the poor man is believed throughout the (third or the sixth) year, because the Yisrael tends to distribute it on an ongoing basis (Tiferes Yisrael).
(a) The Tana rules - that a ben Levi is always believed to say that he has separated Terumas Ma'aser ...
(b) ... just like a Yisrael is believed on Terumah Gedolah (since both carry the death sentence [bi'Yedei Shamayim']).
(c) All of the above are not believed however - if the crops that they obtained were not in their original state, as we will now proceed to explain.
(a) If a poor man claims that the flour or the bread that he is holding was given to him as ...
1. ... one of the Matnos Aniyim - he is not believed (and it is subject to Ma'aser).
2. ... wheat, but he ground or baked it - he is believed.
(b) The reason for this is - because whereas it is unusual for the owner to bake or even to grind the grain before giving it to the poor (see Tiferes Yisrael), but quite natural for the poor man to grind and bake it.
(c) Our Mishnah draws the same distinction between ...
1. ... 'Se'orah shel Orez' (where the poor man is believed) and rice that is raw or cooked (where he is not). Besides meaning 'when it is still in its stalks' (before it has even been threshed), 'Se'orah shel Orez' might also mean 'after it has been threshed but before being ground (see Tosfos Rebbi Akiva Eiger).
2. ... Pul (a species of large bean) and Gerisin shel Pul, whether raw or cooked. 'Gerisin shel Pul' is 'beans that have been ground in a mill that is designated for that purpose.
(d) And the Tana makes the same distinction again between olive oil that the poor man claims to have manufactured from Ma'aser Ani and what he claims to have manufactured from 'Zeisei Nikuf' - olives of Shikchah and Pe'ah which remained on the tree until late, and which they detached by knocking the tree. And the reason that he is not believed is because it is unusual to make oil from them (see Tiferes Yisrael).
(a) The Ani is believed to say that the vegetables that he is holding are from Ma'aser Ani -as long as they are raw.
(b) Despite the fact that the Torah writes "Ma'asar Degancha, Tiroshcha ve'Yitzharecha", there is a difference whether he is believed or not - in that they are subject to Ma'asros mi'de'Rabbanan.
(c) He is believed even on cooked vegetables - on small amounts, since the owner does sometimes tend to distribute from his cooked dishes.
(a) The Mishnah discusses the Shi'urim with regard to the various species of Ma'aser Ani that is being distributed - in the granary.
(b) Everyone agrees that the minimum Shi'ur of Ma'aser Ani that one gives a poor man who comes to the granary half a Kav (twelve k'Beitzim). We learn this (and all the other Shi'urim) from the Pasuk in Ki Savo "ve'Achlu vi'She'arecha ve'Save'u" - which implies that one must give the Ani sufficient for him to eat and be satisfied (which Chazal fixed for two meals).
(c) The Tana Kama gives the Shi'ur for barley as a complete Kav - half a Kav, according to Rebbi Meir.
(d) The Tana Kama gives the Shi'ur for spelt as one and a half Kav and of Gerogros - dried figs, as a Kav or, if he prefers, a Manah (the weight of a hundred Dinrim) of Deveilah - dried figs that have been pressed into a ring.
(e) Rebbi Akiva gives the Shi'ur for Deveilah as a Pras - half a Manah.
(a) The Tana Kama gives the Shi'ur for wine as half a Log and for oil as a Revi'is (ha'Log) - Rebbi Akiva says ...
1. ... a Revi'is of oil and ...
2. ... an eighth of a Log of oil.
(b) Aba Shaul gives the Shi'ur of all other crops as - enough to sell (should he so wish) and to purchase with the proceeds sufficient food for two meals.
(c) The Halachah is like Aba Shaul with regard to all other crops. Regarding the crops specified in the Mishnah we rule like - the Tana Kama.
(d) All of the specified Shi'urim are confined to Ma'aser Ani that the owner distributes in the granary. If he distributes them in his house - then he may give whatever he wants, since food is readily available in residential areas.
(a) When our Mishnah states 'Midah Zu Amurah be'Kohanim, Levi'im ve'Yisre'elim, it means - that irrespective of whether the owner is a Kohen, Levi or Yisrael, these Shi'urim apply to him (see also Tosfos Yom-Tov).
(b) If the owner wants to save some of the Ma'aser Ani for his poor relatives - the Tana permits him to put away half of the total Ma'aser Ani, and to distribute the other half to the poor who are waiting in the granary for Ma'aser Ani (see Tosfos Yom-Tov).
(c) In the event that there is not sufficient Ma'aser Ani for each poor man to receive the minimum Shi'ur (as prescribed above), the Tana instructs the owner to place the entire batch in front of them, and to let them distribute it among themselves.
(a) The Mishnah now discusses the minimum that one gives a visiting Ani. The Tana - has now switched to the Mitzvah of Tzedakah.
(b) He prescribes the minimum Shi'ur as a loaf that is sold for a Pundiyon, when four Sa'in of wheat is sold for a Sela. There are four Dinrim is a Sela, six Ma'ah in a Dinar, two Pundiyonin in a Ma'ah, two Isrin in a Pundiyon - and eight Perutos in a Pundiyon.
(c) Given that there are six Kabin in a Sela, working at the same rate - a Kav (a twenty-fourth of four Sa'in) of bread would cost a Ma'ah (a twenty-fourth of a Sela).
(d) Consequently, one would one now receive - half a Kav of bread for a Pundiyon.
(a) But the baker needs to earn too (for grinding and baking the loaf), so he cannot provide the bread at the market price of wheat. In fact, his earnings constitute fifty per-cent of the cost of a loaf, in which case he provides a quarter of a Kav per Pundiyon.
(b) Given that there are six k'Beitzim in a Log and four Lugin in a Kav, the visiting Ani receives six k'Beitzim (sufficient for two meals) per day.
(c) The Tana adds that if the Ani spends ...
1. ... the night in town - they also must provide with 'Parseses Linah' (a bed and bedding).
2. ... Shabbos in town - they provide him with three meals (see Tosfos Yom-Tov).
(a) A 'Tamchuy' is - a soup kitchen (it really means a pot) and a 'Kupah' - is the Tzedakah box (from which they would distribute money to the poor).
(b) The Tamchuy operates on a daily basis, the Kupah is distributed every Friday. Note, that the Kupah was for the benefit of the local Aniyim exclusively (see also Tiferes Yisrael).
(c) Someone who has with him ...
1. ... food for two meals is ineligible to receive from the Tamchuy
2. ... food for fourteen meals is ineligible to receive from the Kupah.
(a) They obtain food for the Tamchuy - by means of a daily collection from all the town's residents (in a large receptacle called a 'Tamchuy').
(b) The funds for the Kupah were ...
1. ... collected by two men (since if necessary, they would take a security until the person paid, and all matters concerning law-enforcement require at least two people).
2. ... distributed by three men (because this is an issue concerning money-matters, which always requires a Beis-Din of three).
(a) To render a person ineligible to take Leket, Shikchah, Pe'ah and Ma'aser Ani, he must own - two hundred Zuz ...
(b) ... which, according to the assessment of Chazal, is what a person needs for clothes and food for an entire year (see Tiferes Yisrael).
(c) If he owns a hundred and ninety-nine Zuz - he is permitted to accept even a thousand Zuz of Ma'aser Ani in one go.
(a) An Ani may take Matnos Aniyim even if he legally owns two hundred Zuz - if the money is mortgaged to his creditor or to his wife for her Kesubah ...
(b) ... even if he and his wife are living happily together.
(c) Someone who owns a beautiful house (see Mishnah Rishonah) and fine vessels that he uses on Shabbos and Yom-Tov - may accept Matnos Aniyim (without having to sell them).
(d) Beis-Din will however, force him to sell whatever is excessive, before permitting him to take Matnos Aniyim - in the event that he lives off the Kupah shel Tzedakah.
(a) The ramifications of the saying 'Fifty that is working is better than two hundred that is dormant are - that a poor man who fifty Zuz that he is investing is not eligible to accept Matnos Kehunah.
(b) The Mishnah rules that someone who ...
1. ... takes from Tzedakah even though he does not need to - will not die before he needs to rely on others for Parnasah.
2. ... does not take even though he needs to - will not die of old age (see Tosfos Yom-Tov) before he finds that he is sustaining others.
(c) The well-known Pasuk in Yirmiyah that applies to such a person is - "Baruch ha'Gever Asher Yivtach Hash-m ve'Hayah Hash-m Mivtacho".
(a) This latter ruling and Pasuk will not apply - to someone who cannot make ends meet even after exerting himself.
(b) The Chachamim refer to such a person as - a murderer, on whom one is forbidden to take pity.
(c) The Tana cites the Pasuk ...
1. ... in Shoftim "Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof" in connection - with a Dayan who judges the absolute truth (without any ulterior motives [see Tosfos Yom-Tov]).
2. ... in Mishlei "ve'Doresh Ra'ah Tevo'ehu" (see Tosfos Yom-Tov) - in connection with someone who acts as if he was blind or lame when really he is not.
(d) Based on the Pasuk in Mishpatim "ve'Shochad Lo Sikach ... " a Dayan who accepts bribes - will not die of old age before he has turned blind.
Hadran Alach 'Me'eimasai' u'Selika Maseches Pe'ah