RATIONALE FOR THE DATES OF MA'ASER BEHEIMAH
(R. Yochanan): The dates account for the times animals give birth.
(R. Yehoshua b. Levi): That animals would be available for the Olei Regalim.
(R. Yuden): To prevent violation of Bal Te'acher.
R. Yusah taught that anyone who allows Tevel to linger violates Bal Te'acher.
(Once Chazal instituted the Din Tevel on animals at these seasons, he must bring his animals to avoid Bal Te'acher.)
We were taught in Bechoros:
(R. Meir): 1 Elul is the cutoff for Ma'aser Beheimah.
(R. Elazer and R. Shimon): The cutoff is 1 Tishrei.
(Ben Azai): The Elul animals are tithed by themselves.
Question: What is the rationale for R. Meir?
Answer: (Based on the Pasuk in Tehilim 65:14) Until 1 Elul the animals were conceived before Nisan, and after that point the animals were conceived from Nisan onward.
Question: What is the rationale for R. Elazar & R. Shimon?
Answer: They understand the Pasuk as indicating two times for conception, early and late, while both groups are tithed as one.
Ben Azai maintains that since we cannot determine in favor of one or the other, let the Elul animals be tithed separately.
Question: Does Ben Azai have difficulty deciding between his own students?
Answer: Actually their dispute predates even Ben Azai.
From Ben Azai's language (in two instances) we may infer that he was a Talmid-Chaver (and not a Talmid) of R. Akiva.
RECKONING MA'ASER BEHEIMAH
We see from the Mishnah in Bechoros that regarding Ma'aser Beheimah, we consider the birth, and the cutoff is Rosh HaShanah.
We do not use the criteria of vegetative growth.
These are Chanatah (budding) or a third-grown (Shelish).
If we used Chanatah, we would speak of dates of conception.
If we used Shelish then we would speak of those animals born until 22 Elul (and could be offered before Rosh ha'Shanah).
(R. Shamai): We use Shelish, and the Mishnah (in Bechoros) follows R. Shimon (who includes in Ma'aser even those animals which are not yet able to be offered).
Question: Ben Azai must hold like Rabanan, not like R. Shimon!?
Rather, Ben Azai, like the Rabanan hold that the animal not ready for an offering is counted with the following year.
The above discussion leads us to count the year for offering a Bechor from its birth (not from 8 days later).
THE PROCESS OF TAKING FUNDS FROM THE LISHKAH
Three boxes were filled with three Se'ah of coins.
The boxes were designated Alef, Beis and Gimel.
(R. Yishmael): The designations were Greek; Alpha, Beta, Gama.
Steps taken to avoid suspicion of the treasurers:
No cuffs on their clothing, no shoes nor sandals, no Tefilin, no Kamea, and we are concerned lest the treasurer become impoverished or wealthy.
A person must avoid suspicion in the eyes of people just as he must uphold the Will of Heaven (2 proof texts).
REMOVING THE KUPOS
We remove Kupos to clear their place.
Question: What is the measure of the Kupos?
Answer: By inference from a Beraisa that the measure is 3 Se'ah.
MARKING THE KUPOS
Question: Why write the letters upon the Kupos?
Answer: In order to use the funds in their proper order.
THE MEASURE OF A CUP OF WINE
Question: What is the measure of the cup for which one is Chayav?
Answer: By inference from a Beraisa (dealing with the four cups on Pesach) we know that it is a Revi'is of Italian wine.
Question: How large is that?
Answer: 1.25 Titarton.
LAWS OF THE FOUR CUPS
Question: Is it permitted to drink the four cups at once?
Answer: He is Yotzei (given R. Yochanan's ruling that one need not repeat Hallel if it was said in the Beis ha'Knesses).
Question: May one drink the cups with interruptions?
Answer: He is Yotzei (since it is not intended that he get drunk).
Question: May he be Yotzei with (prohibited) wine from Shemitah?
Question: What about being Yotzei with Konditon?
Answer: Yes (as we have been taught that Konditon is wine).
Question: What about (overly) diluted wine?
Answer: Yes, so long as it still has wine's taste and appearance.
(R. Yirmiyah): Ideally, one should use red wine (Pasuk).
Question: How much diluted wine?
Answer: It is also a Revi'is (as implied above).
Question: What about cooked wine?
Answer (R. Yona): One is Yotzei (as if it were spiced-Konditon).
R. Yona is consistent with his position (inasmuch as he could not tolerate wine) in the incident with the matron who commented on his shiny appearance (where he made it clear that he cannot drink wine).
R. Abahu's face shone, as did R. Yona's, because of his delight over a discovery of Torah (in this case a Tosefta).
The Lug of the Torah is the old measure, now used for fish brine.
R. Yona recalled that this measure was used for honey.
Question: Why was it called an old measure?
Answer: One had to be specific because the original measure was enlarged and was subsequently reduced back.