THE TIMES OF THE GERANOS
(Gemara) Question: Why are there three Geranos?
Answer #1 (Rabah bar Shila): They are for animals that are born early, late, and in summer (some texts - early, in summer, and late).
Answer #2 (R. Tanchum): It is so that animals will be available for Korbanos (or, after the Churban, for Chulin consumption) on the festivals. (People will not begin to sell or Shechitah animals until the Goren, shortly before each festival.)
Even though one may sell and slaughter before the Goren, people (wait until tithing, for they) gladly do Mitzvos that do not entail loss. (One eats his own Ma'aser Behemah - Rashi Kesav Yad; Rashi - they gladly do Mitzvos for which they will be rewarded with wealth.)
Question: Why are they called Geranos?
Answer: They Tovel (forbid using the animals before tithing) like a Goren (granary) (forbids eating produce before tithing it).
Question: How much is Pras?
Answer (R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah): It is 15 days.
Question: How does the word "Pras" allude to this?
Answer (R. Avahu): It means half.
Question: What is it half of?
Answer: It is half of the time (30 days) before Pesach during which Halachos of Pesach are learned;
(Beraisa): We learn Halachos of Pesach 30 days before Pesach;
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, we learn them two weeks before Pesach.
(Mishnah - Ben Azai): They are Adar 29, Sivan 1...
Question: What do R. Akiva and Ben Azai argue about?
Answer: R. Akiva holds that the Adar before Nisan can be short or full (29 or 30 days - therefore, he cannot fix the date of the Goren, it can be Adar 29 or 30);
Ben Azai holds that the Adar before Nisan is always short. Adar 29 is always 15 days before Pesach.
(He holds that) the Goren before Shavu'os is less than a week before Shavu'os. Since there are only two months since the previous Goren, there are few animals. If the Goren would be 15 days earlier, perhaps not enough animals would remain for the festival.
(Mishnah - Ben Azai): And Av 29.
This is like he holds, that Elulim are tithed by themselves.
Question: The Goren should be on Av 30! (Av is usually full.)
Answer: Sometimes Av is short. If we would wait for the 30th, when Av is short, the '30th' is really Elul 1;
We want the Goren to be before Elul, to remind people not to tithe together animals born before Elul and in (or after) Elul.
THE TIMES OF THE GERANOS (cont).
(Mishnah - R. Elazar and R. Shimon): They are Nisan 1, Sivan 1...
They say Nisan 1, for they hold like R. Shimon ben Gamliel, who says that we learn Halachos of Pesach two weeks before Pesach.
We explained (above) the reason for Sivan 1;
They say Elul 29, because they hold that Tishrei 1 is Rosh Hashanah for Ma'aser Behemah.
(Mishnah): Why do they say Elul 29, and not Tishrei 1? It is because one may not tithe on Yom Tov.
Question: Even without this reason, the Goren must be in Elul, to remind people not to tithe together old and new animals!
Answer: Indeed, the Mishnah gives a second reason why it is not Tishrei 1:
The Goren is in Elul, to remind people not to tithe together old and new animals. Also, one may not tithe on Yom Tov, for one puts red dye on the Asiri.
(Mishnah - R. Meir): Elul 1 is Rosh Hashanah for Ma'aser Behemah. Ben Azai says...
(Beraisa - Ben Azai): Because Tana'im argue about whether Rosh Hashanah is the first of Elul or Tishrei, animals born in Elul are tithed by themselves. (Perush ha'Mishnayos says that there is a three-way argument. R. Eliezer and R. Shimon say that Rosh Hashanah is the 15th of Elul. It seems that he had a different text than ours.)
Question: Ben Azai should rule according to whichever is more reasonable!
Suggestion: Perhaps he did not understand their reasons.
Version #1 - Rejection: He said that all Chachamim are like a garlic peel (very little) compared to himself, except for the "Kare'ach"! (R. Tam - except for R. Akiva, whose family name was Korchah; R. Nisim - except for R. Elazar ben Azaryah; Tzon Kodashim - it is praiseworthy to be such a Chacham while still bald, i.e. beardless, before he became Nasi at the age of 18.)
Version #2 - Ben Yehoyada - Rejection: He said, "All Chachamim except for the Kare'ach view me like a garlic peel!" (I.e. they scorn me for not marrying, like a garlic peel, which does not increase fertility. They do not fathom that my Torah creates Neshamos!)
Answer (R. Yochanan): The other Tana'im had traditions from Chagai, Zecharyah and Malachi. He did not want to rely on his reasoning against such a tradition.
(Beraisa) Question: How does Ben Azai's law operate, that animals born in Elul are tithed by themselves?
Answer: If five animals were born in Av and five in Elul, they do not join;
If five were born in Elul and five in Tishrei, they do not join;
If five were born in Tishrei and five in (the next) Av, they join.
Objection: This is obvious!
Answer: One might have thought that just like years separate (forbid tithing old and new together), also Geranos (forbid tithing together animals born before a Goren and after it);
Rather, the Beraisa teaches like our Mishnah.
If five animals were born before Rosh Hashanah and five after, they do not join.
If five were born before the Goren and five after, they join.
(Rava): According to Ben Azai, if five were born in Av, five in Elul and five in Tishrei, he brings them into the pen for Ma'aser. He takes an Eluli for Ma'aser, and the others are exempt in any case. (Rashi - one may not cause a particular animal to exit tenth, but one may count them when they are standing or lying. He can arrange so that an Eluli will be tenth. Tosfos - the Isur to make a Ba'al Mum or Tam exit tenth does not apply here, for he cares only that it is an Eluli.)
If Rosh Hashanah is Elul 1, the Elulim and Tishrei'im joined, and there were only five from the year before;
If Rosh Hashanah is Tishrei 1, the Elulim and Avi'im joined, and there are only five from the coming year.
Suggestion: In the latter case, the Tishrei'im should join animals that will be born before the next Goren!
Rejection: Ma'aser must be a definite Asiri, not a Safek! (Since we are unsure about the Tishrei'im, i.e. perhaps were already properly tithed with the Elulim, they are exempt from Ma'aser. Note: It is possible that the Tishrei'im will enter the pen again for Ma'aser, e.g. if five are born next Elul and five next Tishrei, for in any case there are 10 that are liable and have not been tithed yet.)
Objection: This is obvious!
Answer: One might have thought that we decree not to tithe them, lest he take an animal born in Av or Tishrei to be Ma'aser (and offer it. Perhaps it is Chulin b'Azarah!) Rava teaches that we do not decree.
HOW TO SEPARATE MA'ASAR BEHEMAH
(Mishnah): To take Ma'aser, one brings the animals into a pen and makes a small opening from which only one animal can leave at a time;
He counts the animals (with a staff) as they leave, 1, 2, 3... , 9. He puts red dye on the tenth and says "this is Ma'aser";
If he did not put red dye on the tenth, or counted without a staff, or counted them while they are crouching or standing, the tenth is Ma'aser;
If without counting them he took 10 to be Ma'aser on 100, or one to be Ma'aser on 10, they are not Ma'aser;
R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah says, they are Ma'aser.
If one of the counted animals re-entered the pen (and became mixed with the remaining animals), they are all exempt.
If one of the tithed animals re-entered the pen, each is Ro'eh (grazes) until it gets a Mum, and then the owner eats it. (Note: most Rishonim hold that the owner of the flock keeps the Ma'aser Behemah. The Ritva (Bava Metzia 6a, citing R. Chananel) holds that it is given to a Kohen. If so, the number that re-entered the flock should be give to a Kohen to eat them when they get a Mum.)
(Gemara - Beraisa): To take Ma'aser, one brings them into a pen with a small opening from which only one can leave at a time;
He leaves the mothers outside. They will bleat, and the children will go to them.
Question: Why doesn't he take the animals out himself?
Answer: "Ya'avor" teaches that they must go by themselves.
Question: Why must he leave the mothers outside? He could leave food, and the children would go to eat it!
Answer (Rav Huna): This is an enactment, lest one tithe bought animals or Yesomim. (Usually, an animal is bought without its mother. Since we require the mothers, if an animal was bought or is a Yasom, the owner will recall that it is exempt.)
(Beraisa): "Kol Asher Ya'avor" excludes a Terefah, for it cannot pass;
"Tachas ha'Shevet" - it is a Mitzvah to count with a staff;
Question: What is the source to include if he counted without a staff, or counted them while they are crouching or standing?
Answer: "Ha'Asiri Kodesh" is in any case.
Question: Perhaps this is only if he called it "Asiri". What is the source to include if he did not do so?
Answer: "Yihyeh Kodesh" in any case.
Suggestion: Perhaps if he took 10 to be Ma'aser on 100, or one to be Ma'aser on 10, they are Ma'aser!
Rejection: It says "Asiri". These are not tenths.
R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah says, it is Ma'aser.
Question: What is his reason?
Answer: He holds like Aba Elazar ben Gomel;