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Moed Katan 3

MOED KATAN 3 (1 Cheshvan) - dedicated by Reb Mordechai Rabin (London/Yerushalayim) l'Iluy Nishmas his father, ha'Ga'on Rav Gedalya Rabinowitz (Manchester, England)



(a) Zemirah (pruning) is included in Zeri'ah (sowing), and Betzirah (harvesting the grapes) in Ketzirah (harvesting the corn). The Torah needs to mention them - to exclude all other Toldos (as Rava just taught us).

(b) We reconcile this Derashah with the Beraisa, which includes many other Toldos among the prohibitions of Sh'mitah - by pointing out that Rava is speaking min ha'Torah, and the Beraisa, mi'de'Rabbanan.

(c) The Tana nevertheless cites the Pasuk "*Sad'cha Lo* Sizra, *ve'Charm'cha Lo* Sizmor" (to learn from there that all Toldos are prohibited). The Tana Darshens from such an innocuous Pasuk - because the Torah ought to have otherwise written "Lo Sizra Sad'cha, ve'Lo Sizmor Karmecha".

The Toldos that are forbidden in the Sh'mitah:


(a) Nichush means to weed, and Idur, to dig. Kisu'ach' means - to cut away the bad grasses, but from the top, as opposed to Nichush, where one pulls them out by the roots.

(b) Zirud means cutting off the excess branches (both wet and dry) and Pisug supporting a tree that is sagging because it is over-moist. 'Kirsum' - means pruning (like Zimur), but whereas Zimur refers to vines, Kirsum refers to other trees.

(c) 'Ein Mezavlin (manure) ve'Ein Mefarkin (remove stones from the roots of the tree)'.

  1. ... 'Ein Me'avkin - means to cover the exposed roots with earth.
  2. ... and 'Ein me'Ashnin' - smoking out the worms from the tree.
(a) The Tana permits digging (Kishkush) under the olive-trees and (Idur) under the vines, filling the pits with water and building mounds of earth around the vines (Ugi'os) - because it is not similar to sowing (which pertains specifically to the field).

(b) The Tana permits Kishkush in the Sh'mitah, despite the fact that another Beraisa specifically prohibits it - because there are two kinds of digging: to improve the tree and to repair the cracks in the tree; the former is forbidden, the latter is permitted.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan and Rebbi Elazar argue over whether one receives Malkos for plowing in the Sh'mitah or not. We initially connect their Machlokes to a statement made by Rebbi Avin Amar Rebbi Ila'a - who says that when the K'lal appears in the form of an Asei and the P'rat, in the form of a Lo Sa'asei, it does not qualify as a 'K'lal u'F'rat u'Ch'lal'.

(b) We conclude however, that both disputants disagree with Rebbi Avin (and it qualifies as a 'K'lal u'F'rat u'Ch'lal' in whatever form they appear). Nevertheless, one would one *not* receive Malkos for plowing - because, as Rava taught us earlier, all Toldos are precluded from the prohibition (from Zemirah and Betzirah).

(c) The Tana learns that digging under olive-trees and under vines, filling the pits with water and building mounds of earth around the vines is permitted - from the fact that the Torah specifically prohibits sowing (which we would anyway have known from the general prohibition), to permit any work which does not improve the actual field (like sowing).




(a) We did not at first know what Rav Dimi meant when he came from Eretz Yisrael and said that although one might have thought that one receives Malkos for performing Tosefes of Sh'mitah, we have a Pasuk to teach us that he does not. Rebbi Elazar connects Rav Dimi's statement with the Halachah that we just learned - in which case 'Tosefes' will refer to plowing (which is called Tosefes, because it is learned indirectly from a 'K'lal u'Prat u'Ch'lal'.

(b) The 'Pasuk' that teaches us that he is Patur - is (Zeri'ah), Zimur, (Ketzirah) and Betzirah, as we explained above (in 1a).

(c) Rebbi Yochanan interprets 'Tosefes' literally - in which case Rav Dimi will be referring to the prohibition of plowing and reaping before the Sh'mitah year actually begins.

(d) He learns it from the Pasuk in Ki Sisa "be'Charish u've'Katzir Tishbos".

(a) According to Beis Shamai, one is permitted to plow a field of trees in the year of Erev Sh'mitah, as long as it benefits the sixth-year fruit. Beis Hillel say - until Shavu'os, which is a very short time later (see Tosfos DH 'Ad Atzeres'. See also Hagahos ha'Gra).

(b) The Tana Kama of the Mishnah in Shevi'is permits plowing a wheat-field on Erev Shevi'is as long as some moist remains from last year's rains - because then, the plowing also benefits the sixth year's crop. From then on, it looks as if he is plowing for next year's cucumber and pumpkin harvest (which is what people tended to do).

(c) Rebbi Shimon objects to this - because then one is leaving it up to each individual, since each person tends to plow for his cucumbers and pumpkins on different dates (clashing with the principle 'Nasata Devarecha le'Shiurin').

(d) He therefore gives the time limit for plowing ...

  1. ... a wheat-field - as being Pesach.
  2. ... a field of trees - Shavu'os.
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi maintains that Raban Gamliel and his Beis-Din nullified the ruling of Beis-Shamai or Beis Hillel and permitted plowing up to Rosh Hashanah. The problem we have with this radical statement - is how can Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi possibly rescind a decree of Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel, since we have learned on numerous occasions that this can only be done by a Beis-Din that is superior both in wisdom and in numbers.

(b) And the problem that we have with Rebbi Avahu (or Rebbi Yochanan)'s reply (that Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel stipulated when they issued the decree that a later Beis-Din will be able to rescind it) is - that we are not talking about a decree de'Rabbanan at all, but about a 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai' (since 'Eser Neti'os [spread out over a Beis Sa'ah] - our Halachah (which will be explained shortly), Aravah and Nisuch ha'Mayim are all 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'). Consequently, the Kashya is even stronger than before: 'How can Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi possibly rescind a 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'?

(c) We conclude that the Halachah forbids plowing a field of old trees from thirty days before Rosh Hashanah of the Sh'mitah, and Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel added from Pesach (regarding a wheat-field) and from Shavu'os (regarding a field of trees), and it is this latter time-period which Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi rescinded.

(a) According to Rebbi Akiva, the Pasuk in Ki Sisa "be'Charish u've'Katzir Tishbos" refers to Sh'mitah. It comes to teach us - the Din of Tosefes Sh'mitah, (from thirty days before Rosh Hashanah) as we just explained.

(b) According to Rebbi Yishmael, the Pasuk pertains to Shabbos (and not to Sh'mitah at all) - to compare reaping to plowing, inasmuch as, just as plowing is always Reshus (voluntary), so too, is only reaping of Reshus forbidden on Shabbos, but not reaping of the Omer, which is a Mitzvah and which overrides Shabbos.

(c) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak suggests that the *Halachah* comes to *permit* young trees, and the *Pasuk*, to forbid old ones. He means by ...

1. ... 'permitting young trees' - ten saplings in a Beis Sa'ah, which one is permitted to plow right up to Rosh Hashanah.
2. ... 'forbidding old trees' - from thirty days before Rosh Hashanah.
(d) But this is senseless! Surely, once we have the Halachah permitting young trees, we know automatically that old trees are forbidden (even without a Pasuk). The real distinction that Rav Nachman therefore makes, to differentiate between the Halachah and the Pasuk is - that the Halachah goes according to Rebbi Yishmael, and the Pasuk (of "be'Charish u've'Katzir Tishbos"), to Rebbi Akiva.
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