ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
(a) The Mishnah states that was one initially permitted to collect - large stones from one's field (as we learned in the previous Perek).
(b) When the Tana then writes that collecting was permitted in one's field like one collected in one's friend's field 'es ha'Gas ha'Gas', he means - that one was permitted to collect large stones ('es ha'Gas ha'Gas') from one's own field just like one was permitted to collect even small stones from that of one's friend.
(c) The Chachamim ultimately forbade it - due to the sinners who collected stones indiscriminately, and then claimed that they had only collected large ones.
(a) They then permitted Reuven and Shimon to collect stones in each other's fields (see Tos. Yom-Tov) - provided they did not express their gratitude to one another (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(b) The Mishnah adds that it is 'obviously forbidden' - for one to provide the other with food whenever he collects in his field.
(a) The Mishnah - permits seeding in the eighth year, a field whose thorns were removed in the Sh'mitah, but not one that was well plowed ...
(b) ... which means that it was plowed twice.
(c) The stringency in the latter ruling - is a K'nas (a penalty) for taking advantage of the concession and performing what the Chachamim did not permit.
(a) They permit planting in a field that was plowed once however - in a time of danger, when they permitted plowing (and planting) in order to pay the government-imposed tax on the produce (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(b) The Tana places a field in which the animals were allowed to graze and from which the dung was not cleared ('Sohar', which we discussed in the previous Perek) - in the same category as one that was plowed twice.
(a) Beis Shamai - permit eating the fruit of the field that was plowed in the Sh'mitah (on the condition that we just discussed); whereas Beis Hillel permit it.
(b) When Beis Shamai say that one may not eat the fruit of Shevi'is 'be'Tovah', they mean - that one is not permitted to thank the owner (as we learned earlier).
(c) Beis Hillel say - 'Ochlin be'Tovah ve'she'Lo be'Tovah'.
(d) They find it necessary to add 've'she'Lo be'Tovah', says the Tiferes Yisrael) - to teach us that even be'Tovah is only permitted as long as the owner is not cross with the person who is eating his fruit for not thanking him.
(a) R. Yehudah comments - that the opinions need to be switch (because this is one of the few cases where Beis Shamai are lenient and Beis Hillel, stringent).
(b) The Halachah - is like the Tana Kama.
(a) The Mishnah permits a Yisrael to be 'Choker Nirin' - (undertakes in the Sh'mitah to seed the field of a Nochri [that is plowed in the Sh'mitah] in the eighth year, for so many Kurin to be paid to the owner).
(b) We might have thought that it is forbidden - because it causes the owner to plow the field in the Sh'mitah, which explains why ...
(c) ... the Tana forbids it if the owner is a Yisrael.
(a) The Tana now draws a distinction between supporting (in the Sh'mitah) a Nochri on the one hand and a Yisrael on the other, in the Sh'mitah. By 'supporting' he means - encouraging one whom he finds plowing in the Sh'mitah to continue ...
(b) ... permitting doing so to a Nochri, but not to a Yisrael (see Tos. Chadashim).
(c) He also permits greeting a Nochri (not specifically in the Sh'mitah) - even on the day of their festival (see Meleches Shlomoh).
(a) The Mishnah now discusses 'ha'Meidel ba'Zeisim' - which mean that when the olive-trees are too close to one another, one removes one tree and leaves two, or vice-versa (giving the trees a chance to grow thicker [see Tos. Yom-Tov & Tiferes Yisrael]).
(b) Besides 'to remove', the root of the word 'Meidal' might be - 'Dal' (to impoverish), because one is diminishing the number of trees in the field.
(c) Beis Hillel permit the owner to remove the chosen trees together with the roots. Beis Shamai say 'Yagom', meaning - that one cuts the tree down to the roots (leaving the roots in the ground) ...
(d) ... so that it should not give the appearance of working the land.
(e) Even Beis ...
1. ... Hillel agree that only 'she'Yagom' is permitted - if one cuts down three trees (as this would certainly otherwise give the impression that he is improving the ground.
2. ... Shamai hold 'Yesharesh' - if one is cutting down the trees in somebody else's field.
(a) The Mishnah does not allow someone who cuts off branches for firewood (see Tiferes Yisrael) to cover the location of the cut with earth - because when it rains the earth becomes mud, which improves the tree's growth.
(b) The Tana nevertheless allows covering it with stones or straw - because these only prevent the tree from drying up, but do not enhance its growth.
(a) If one cuts beams from a Shikmah (a species of fig-tree) in the Sh'mitah - the Tana issues the same distinction between covering the location of the cut with earth on the one hand, and with stones and straw on the other, as he did in the previous case.
(b) The Tana Kama forbids cutting beams from a Shikmah outright - if it is the first time that one is doing so ('Besulas ha'Shikmah) ...
(c) ... because cutting it at that stage improves the quality of the tree.
(d) R. Yehudah permits it however - as long as one leaves intact either the bottom ten Tefachim or the roots, since it is not the way that one normally cuts it.
(e) The Halachah - is like R. Yehudah (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(a) The Mishnah discusses cutting the ends of the vines or shortening the bamboos in the Sh'mitah - to make them grow thicker and stronger (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(b) For this to be permitted, according to R. Yossi ha'Gelili, one must cut them - one Tefach from the ground (in which case it no longer appears as if one is working the ground [see Tos. Yom-Tov & Tiferes Yisrael]).
(c) R. Akiva - permits cutting them in the regular manner ...
(d) ... even if one uses an ax, a scythe or a saw (or whatever one wishes).
(a) The Mishnah - permits tying a tree that has split in the Sh'mitah ...
(b) ... provided one does so in a way that prevents the split from widening (but not sufficiently well to repair the split).
(a) One may not eat fruit that grows in the Sh'mitah before it is ready to eat - on the basis of the Pasuk in Behar "Ve'haysah Shabbas ha'Aretz Lachem le'Ochlah" (from which Chazal Darshen "le'Ochlah", 've'Lo le'Hefsed' [a prohibition against misusing Sh'mitah fruit]).
(b) The Mishnah therefore - permits eating figs that have turned red ('Pagim' that have the appearance of fruit but have not yet begun to ripen) together with one's bread there in the field (see Tiferes Yisrael); whereas figs that have grown to a large size (and have begun to ripen [Tiferes Yisrael]) - one may take home and eat on their own.
(c) The Yerushalmi learns this dual ruling from the Pesukim in Behar "Tih'yeh kol Tevu'asah Le'echol" & "min ha'Sadeh Tochlu es Tevua'asah" - implying that that some fruit one may eat in the field, and some one may eat in the house.
(d) The Tana - equates the latter with the stage that figs become subject to Ma'asros (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
(a)'Boser'is - when one squeezes the grapes and juice comes out (the equivalent to Pagim in figs).
(b) The Mishnah therefore - permits eating Boser figs together with one's bread there in the field; whereas figs that have begun to ripen (i.e. when the pits are visible from the outside [known as 'Hiv'ish - see Tos. Yom-Tov]) - one may take home and eat on their own.
(c) The Tana - equates the latter with the stage that figs become subject to Ma'asros.
(a) When olives produce ...
1. ... a Revi'is (of a Log) per Sa'ah - the Tana permits (in the Sh'mitah) - banging them (to soften and make them sweet) in the field and eating them.
2. ... half a Log per Sa'ah (after pounding them), he permits pounding them and anointing oneself with them.
(b) One may pound them (see Tos. Yom-Tov) and take them home - when they have grown a third, which means either ...
(c) ... that they have grown to a third of their size, or - that they produce a third of what they will produce when they are fully ripe.
(d) What principle does The Tana permits taking home other fruits to eat in the Sh'mitah - when they reach the stage that they are subject to Ma'asros.
(a) Beis Shamai prohibit cutting down a fruit-tree in the Sh'mitah - from the time that its leaves grow.
(b) Some attribute this to the D'rashah "le'Ochlah", 've'Lo le'Hefsed' (that we cited earlier). Others say - that it a matter theft from the public (seeing as the Torah has declared their produce Hefker).
(c) According to Beis Hillel, the prohibition of cutting down a tree in the Sh'mitah depends on the stage of the fruit that is growing on it:
1. ... 'he'Charuvin mi'she'Yeshalsheilu' - (carobs from the time the carobs become weighty and hang from the tree like chains).
2. ... 'ha'Gefanim mi'she'Yegareihu', besides the possible explanation that the pits have already grown, means - from the time the grapes have attained the size of white beans (see Tos. Yom-Tov).
3. ... 'ha'Zeisim mi'she'Yaneitzu' - (from the time that the blossom (or the fluffy substance growns).
(d) Other trees may no longer be cut - from the time that the fruit becomes subject to Ma'asros.
(a) The Heter to cut down a fruit-tree in general is - if its value as firewood exceeds that of its fruit (see also Tos-Yom-Tov).
(b) The Mishnah permits cutting it down (not in the Sh'mitah) - when its fruit becomes subject to Ma'asros ...
(c) ... because them its fruit is already edible, and cutting down the tree is not considered wasting it.
(a) We learn the prohibition of cutting down a fruit-tree from the Pasuk in Ki Seitzei (in connection with laying a siege against an enemy town) - "ki Mimenu Socheil ve'Oso Lo Sichros".
(a) According to the Tana Kama, one is no longer permitted to cut down an olive-tree that year - from the time it holds a quarter of a Kav of olives.
(b) The equivalent stage regarding a date-palm is - when it holds a full Kav ...
(c) ... because olives are considered more valuable than other trees.
(d) Raban Shimon ban Gamliel says - that the Shi'ur for cutting down an olive-tree all depends on the tree (see Tiferes Yisrael).
Hadran Alach 'ba'Rishonah'