THE PROHIBITION OF THEFT AND THE OBLIGATION TO TITHE (Yerushalmi Ma'asros Perek 3 Halachah 2 Daf 15b)

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(Mishnah): If a person found figs on the road that were cut for drying, even if they were next to a field of figs cut for drying; and similarly, a fig tree that is leaning over the road and he found figs underneath it, they have no prohibition of theft and they are exempt from Ma'asros (since they are considered Hefker - ownerless). Olives and carobs are obligated (in a Ma'asros and have a prohibition of theft).

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If he found dried figs - (if they appeared pressed and) if most people press their dried figs, they are obligated (in Ma'asros, as they are complete). If most people do not press them, they are exempt (as the owner declared them Hefker before they were completed).



If he found slices of dried fig rings, they are obligated in Ma'asros, as they came from a completed item.



Carobs are complete when he puts them in a pile on his roof. If he takes some down to feed his animal, it is exempt since he will return whatever remains.



(Gemara) (R. Yona): The Mishnah only discussed a fig tree leaning over the road, but if it was leaning over into a neighbor's field, the tree owner doesn't despair of recovering them and they are obligated in Maaser and are prohibited in theft.



(R. Yona): (When the Mishnah taught that olives and carobs have a prohibition of theft; that's) when he found olives under an olive tree or carobs under a carob tree, but if he found olives under a carob tree or carobs under an olive tree, they are ownerless.


Question: (The Mishnah taught that if he found dried figs, if most people press their dried figs, they are obligated.) (He certainly found them in the field) but don't figs get pressed in houses?



Answer (R. Bun bar Chiya): The Mishnah is referring to when most people press them in the field.



Question (R. Zeira): (Why is the Mishnah dependent on if most people press them?) Surely it's apparent whether or not they've been pressed?

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Answer (R. Shaul): Sometimes it slips out from under the wheel (used to make fig rings) and it's not apparent whether it's been pressed. And sometimes it appears pressed merely because people stepped on it.

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(R. Elazar): (Disagreeing) It's only obligated when everyone presses them in the field, but if most do, those that press in the house and those that will press in the future in the field combine (for it to be considered that most do not press and it is therefore exempt).

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(The Mishnah ended by teaching that if he takes some down to feed his animal, it is exempt since he will return whatever remains.)Some Tannaim teach that (the Mishnah's ruling would also apply to a person eating it (in the courtyard), but the Mishnah spoke about an animal because) 'it's not praiseworthy for a Torah scholar to eat in a public place'. This is like the story of R. Elazar bar R. Shimon who was eating in the marketplace. R. Meir saw him and rebuked him and R. Elazar stopped eating.