KIDUSHIN 37 - Dedicated by friends of Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld in honor of the birth of his daughter Shirah, and on the occasion of the marriage of his daughter Malkie to Shmuel Moshe Peters on the evening of 16 Cheshvan.
1) "MITZVOS HA'TELUYOS BA'ARETZ"
QUESTION: The Gemara teaches that any Mitzvah which is a "Chovas Karka," an "obligation of the land," is considered a Mitzvah ha'Teluyah ba'Aretz and is observed only in Eretz Yisrael. RASHI (DH Chovas Karka) lists examples of "Chovas Karka," Mitzvos dependant on the land which apply only in Eretz Yisrael. Rashi's comprehensive list includes all of the Mitzvos ha'Teluyos ba'Aretz with one prominent omission -- the Mitzvah of Bikurim.
Why does Rashi omit the Mitzvah of Bikurim from the list of Mitzvos ha'Teluyos ba'Aretz?
ANSWER: HA'GAON RAV YISRAEL ZEV GUSTMAN zt'l inferred from the words of Rashi that Rashi follows the opinion of TOSFOS in Bava Basra (81, DH ha'Hu). Tosfos there points out that the Gemara cites a special verse to teach that the Mitzvah of Bikurim is observed only in Eretz Yisrael and not in Chutz la'Aretz. Tosfos asks why the Mitzvah of Bikurim, which is a Mitzvah ha'Teluyah ba'Aretz, needs its own verse. Tosfos answers in the name of RABEINU SHIMSHON that the Mitzvah of Bikurim is an obligation on the person which requires that he bring the fruits of Bikurim to the Mizbe'ach. It is not an obligation on the produce of Eretz Yisrael which requires that a certain act be done with the produce before it may be eaten. He proves this from the fact that the rest of the fruit in the field is not prohibited from being eaten (in contrast to Tevel) before the fruit of Bikurim is separated, and from the fact that Bikurim may be separated even before the fruit is harvested.
This may be the intention of Rashi when he omits Bikurim from his list of Mitzvos ha'Teluyos ba'Aretz. Rashi may understand that the Mitzvah of Bikurim is observed in Eretz Yisrael not because it is a Mitzvah ha'Teluyah ba'Aretz but for a different reason.
The Mishnah in Kelim (1:6) teaches that Eretz Yisrael has more Kedushah than all other lands. The Mishnah says, "In what way is it holier? [It is holier] because we bring from there the Korban ha'Omer, Bikurim, and Shtei ha'Lechem" which may not be brought from any other land.
Why does the Mishnah there not mention that Eretz Yisrael is also holier because of the obligation to separate Terumos and Ma'aseros from its produce? (See Insights to Nedarim 22:2
According to Rashi, the reason why the Mishnah in Kelim does not mention the other Mitzvos ha'Teluyos ba'Aretz is that those Mitzvos are not an indication of the Kedushah of the land. Rather, they are obligations that apply to the produce of Eretz Yisrael. The Torah forbids the person from eating fruit grown in Eretz Yisrael before he separates Terumos and Ma'aseros; the fact that Terumos and Ma'aseros must be separated is not a manifestation of the Kedushah of the land. The Mishnah lists only the Korban ha'Omer and Shtei ha'Lechem (which may be brought to the Beis ha'Mikdash only if they grew in Eretz Yisrael) because they are an indication of the Kedushah of the land. Similarly, Rashi maintains that the Mitzvah of Bikurim is observed only in Eretz Yisrael not because it is a Mitzvah ha'Teluyah ba'Aretz but because of the Kedushah of Eretz Yisrael. For this reason, Rashi here omits Bikurim from the list of Mitzvos ha'Teluyos ba'Aretz.
(This approach also answers the question of the VILNA GA'ON in ELIYAHU RABAH to Kelim there. See also Insights to Chulin 136:1.)
2) THE THREE MITZVOS GIVEN TO THE JEWISH PEOPLE UPON THEIR ENTRY INTO ERETZ YISRAEL
QUESTION: Rebbi Yishmael and Rebbi Akiva argue about whether Nesachim (wine libations) were offered only after the Jewish people settled the land (Rebbi Yishmael) or even before they settled the land (Rebbi Akiva).
RASHI (end of 37a) suggests a reason for why the verse mentions "Bi'ah" (Bamidbar 15:2), a reference to entry into Eretz Yisrael, with regard to Nesachim according to Rebbi Akiva who maintains that the Jewish people were permitted to offer Nesachim even in Chutz la'Aretz.
The verse also mentions "Bi'ah" ("Ki Savo'u") with regard to the prohibition of Chadash (Vayikra 23:10). Rebbi Eliezer rules that the Mitzvah of Chadash applies in Chutz la'Aretz, but neither the Gemara nor Rashi explain why the Torah mentions "Bi'ah" there. Why does the Torah mention "Bi'ah" with regard to Chadash if the Mitzvah of Chadash applies in Chutz la'Aretz?
ANSWER: During their sojourn in the desert, the Jewish people ate the Man which was not subject to the prohibition of Chadash. Only when they entered Eretz Yisrael did they begin to eat grain products which were subject to the prohibition of Chadash. For this reason the Torah says that the prohibition of Chadash applies only "when you come into the land."
This is also the intention of the Gemara (38a) which says that there are three Mitzvos (Chadash, Orlah, Kil'ayim) which the Jewish people were commanded to observe upon their entry into Eretz Yisrael, but which apply in Chutz la'Aretz as well. Rashi writes that these Mitzvos were given to the Jewish people only upon their entry into Eretz Yisrael because they did not sow, plant, or harvest crops in the desert.
Why, though, did the prohibitions of Chadash and Orlah not apply in the desert? The Gemara in Yoma (75b) teaches that during their sojourn in the desert, the Jewish people bought food from the merchants of the foreign nations. The prohibitions of Chadash and Orlah apply even to produce of Nochrim, and thus they should have applied in the desert as well. Why were these Mitzvos given only at the time the Jewish people entered Eretz Yisrael?
The Gemara apparently means that there was no need to command the people to observe these prohibitions until they entered Eretz Yisrael (even though they observed them voluntarily before that time), because these prohibitions had little relevance in the desert as most of the food was Man (only occasionally did they supplement their diet with other food).