COVERED AND SCATTERED SHEAVES (Yerushalmi Peah Halachah 1 Daf 24b)


(Mishnah): If a heap of grain was made from which Leket had not yet been gathered (by the poor); whatever touches the ground belongs to the poor.


If the wind scattered the sheaves, they should evaluate the amount of Leket that the field would have produced and he should give it to the poor.

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(R. Shimon ben Gamliel): He should give the poor the usual amount that falls.



(Gemara): Why in the first case, whatever touches the ground belongs to the poor, but in the latter case (of the wind), an evaluation is made?



Answer (R. Abahu citing R. Yochanan): The Sages gave a penalty (in the first case) because he covered the Leket with his pile.

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Question: This would apply if he intended to cover it up, but what if he did it inadvertently? What if they were in bundles? What if it was wheat on top of barley (where the wheat can still be given to the owner and the barley to the poor)? What if others piled it up without the owner's knowledge? What if he called the poor to come and they did not come?

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(R. Imi citing R. Shimon ben Lakish): (When the Mishnah taught that whatever touches the ground belongs to the poor) it is according to Beis Shammai who say that it is exempt from Maaseros because it is Hefker just to the poor.



But according to Beis Hillel that unless it is Hefker also to the rich, it is not Hefker, it is obligated in Maaseros before the poor can eat.

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(R. Yosi): I've heard that all agree that it is exempt from Maaseros because as a penalty, Beis Din render it Hefker just for the poor, as the pasuk states (Ezra 10:8), "Whoever does not come within three days, according to the counsel of the officers and elders, all of his property will be destroyed."


Question: What is the source that it is exempt from Maaseros?

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Answer (R. Yonasan son of R. Yitzchak bar Acha): Answer from this - They may not extend the year (to be a leap year) in the Seventh year or in the year that follows it and if they did, it is valid.



Conclusion of answer: Doesn't that extra month (that they wrongly added to the Seventh year) become exempt from Maaseros? (This shows that when necessary, Beis Din have the power to render something Hefker and exempt it from Maaseros.)


Question: It is understandable that they may not extend the Seventh year (in order not to extend the prohibition to work the land); but why not in the year that follows it?



Answer (R. Avun): In order not to extend for them the prohibition of Chadash (that applies to the new crops of any year before the Omer offering is brought on 16th Nisan.)

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(R. Zeira citing R. Abahu): This applied before Rebbi permitted the bringing of vegetables from Chutz Ha'Aretz, but after that, even the Seventh year could be extended.