(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Previous daf

Menachos, 55


OPINION: Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yosi said that his father's practice was to separate 10 dried figs as Ma'aser for 90 regular figs. The Gemara says that this practice is not a proof to the view of Shmuel, who says that we follow the original volume (and thus 10 of the presently dried figs were originally an exact tenth of the original 100 figs), and it does not refute the view of Rav, who says that we follow the present volume (and, apparently, 10 dried figs are less than a tenth of the total amount of figs). The Gemara explains that dried figs are different than meat in that they can be returned to their original size through cooking.

Does this Halachah -- that dried figs can be returned to their original size -- apply to other laws besides Ma'aser?

(a) The CHAZON ISH (as cited by the YOSEF DA'AS) says that this Halachah applies only to Isurim. For example, a person is Chayav Malkus for eating a fig of Orlah that decreased in size to less than a k'Zayis and then returned to its original size. The Yosef Da'as notes that this Halachah might also require a person to recite a Berachah Achronah for eating a fig that returned to its original size of a k'Zayis.

(b) The CHIDUSHIM U'VI'URIM, however, maintains that this Halachah applies only to the laws of Terumos and Ma'aseros, where the object in question must be a certain percentage of the rest of the produce. In such a case, we can say that since the essence of the fruit still exists in the shrunken fig (that is, the fig did not lose any of its flesh as a result of becoming dried), it is still possible to determine a comparative relationship between the dried figs and the ordinary figs. That is, we do not need to separate exactly one out of every ten fruits, but rather we can separate one tenth of the weight of the fruits. In this way, the ratio of the dried figs to the ordinary figs is still one to one. In contrast, with regard to the laws of other Isurim, we need exactly a Shi'ur of a k'Zayis, and the fact that the essence of the fruit still exists (in a decreased size) does not matter. With regard to Ma'aser, we are not concerned with the Shi'ur, but with the ability to compare the dried fig to the original fruit to arrive at a percentage of the original fruit.

Similarly, the YAD DAVID (on the previous Sugya) cites the SHA'AR EFRAIM who questions the Gemara earlier. The Gemara earlier says that according to the opinion that says we measure based on the present volume, if we separate ordinary figs as Ma'aser for dried figs by *count* (as opposed to volume), then we will be separating too much Ma'aser, since ordinary figs are much larger than dried figs. The Sha'ar Efraim questions this Gemara from the Mishnah in Terumos (4:6) that discusses three ways of designating the correct percentage for separating Ma'aser: it can be done by count, by size, or by weight. The Mishnah says that all three ways are legitimate, but it is better to measure by size over count, and the best way is to measure by weight. It seems clear that the true percentage of foodstuff will be determined by measuring by weight, as size is difficult to measure accurately, and measuring by count does not take into account the subtle differences between the different fruits. Nevertheless, the Mishnah says that one *may* measure by count. Why may one measure by count if doing so will be not be entirely accurate? It must be, as we have explained, that with regard to Ma'aser, we are not concerned with the exact size of each fruit as much as we are concerned with having some good basis for comparison (such as weight or size). Even if the comparison is not exactly accurate, it is valid as long as some basis for comparing exists.

Nevertheless, the Sha'ar Efraim asks why we cannot separate ordinary figs as Ma'aser for dried figs by count even though their sizes are not the same. As long as we have some basis (such as their count) for establishing the percentage that needs to be separated, it should suffice, as the Mishnah in Terumos says!

The Yad David answers that only when the fruit was not altered or tampered with can we say that count is a legitimate basis for comparison. However, in the case of the Gemara here, something was done to the dried figs in order to make them smaller. Here, we cannot use count to determine a percentage between the dried figs and ordinary figs.

The reason why Rebbi Yosi (Rebbi Elazar's father) would separate dried figs as Ma'aser for ordinary figs by count, even though the dried figs clearly were made smaller, is because of his logic that dried figs are different since they can be cooked and returned to their original size. That is, since the entire fruit is still present in the dried fig, count can be used as a common denominator between the dried figs and the ordinary figs, and we can use the count to determine the desired percentage. As we explained above, this is permitted because the primary factor when separating Ma'aser is that there be some way to compare the fruits, and it does not have to be the exact size of each fruit. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)


OPINIONS: The Gemara teaches that one is punished with a separate set of Malkus for each act that has does with a Minchah offering that has become Chametz. The Gemara learns this through the principle of "Kol Davar she'Yatza Min ha'Kelal...": just as the verse teaches that one is Chayav Malkus for baking a Minchah that became Chametz, and baking is a significant act, so, too, one is Chayav Malkus for doing any other significant act with the Minchah that became Chametz, such as kneading it (Lishah), arranging it (Arichah), and smoothing its surface (Kituf).

The BRISKER RAV points out that the Rishonim and Acharonim teach a number of ways to learn this Sugya.

(a) The most straightforward way of understanding the Sugya is that the verse is teaching us that one is Chayav Malkus for performing even one of the Avodos of the Minchah, and it is not necessary to perform all of the Avodos in order to be Chayav Malkus.

The SEFAS EMES asserts that this is the way the Rambam learns the Gemara. The Rambam (Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 12:1) says, "Malkus are given for each and every act performed with it. If one kneads the Minchah when it has become Chametz, or arranges it when it is Chametz, or smoothes its surface when it is Chametz, or bakes it when it is Chametz, he receives Malkus, as the verse teaches...." It is clear from the Rambam that the verse is teaching us that one is Chayav Malkus even if he does only one of the Avodos.

(b) The Brisker Rav understands that RASHI is explaining the Gemara differently. The Gemara later (56a) says that one who bakes a Minchah that is Chametz is Chayav for *two* sets of Malkus. Rashi explains that this is because every act of baking, Afiyah, includes an act of arranging, Arichah, as well, since "baking is the final part of Arichah." When one bakes the dough, he performs the acts of Arichah and Afiyah in a single action.

Based on Rashi's explanation there, we can learn the Derashah of the Gemara here exactly like a Derashah in Makos (20b). The Gemara in Makos there says that one who is warned with Hasra'ah not to transgress the Isur of Korchah, making part of the head bald, and then he touches his head with his five fingers smeared with a depilatory agent, thereby simultaneously removing hair from five parts of his head, he is punished with five sets of Malkus. This is derived from the verse, "Lo Yikrechu Korchah b'Rosham" (Vayikra 21:5), from which we learn that one is Chayav for each and every Korchah. The Rishonim (RAMBAN, RITVA) there explain that the Derashah is teaching that each Korchah is considered a separate act, and we do not view the act of placing his fingers on his head as one long act of Korchah. This is in contrast to one who swallows five k'Zeisim of Chelev after a single Hasra'ah, who is punished with only one set of Malkus, because his act is considered one long transgression and not five separate transgressions (even if he swallows each k'Zayis one after the other and not all at one time).

Similarly, the verse here is teaching that each Avodah performed with a Minchah that is Chametz is considered a separate transgression. Therefore, when one is warned with Hasra'ah not to make the Minchah become Chametz, and then he makes it Chametz and performs all of the Avodos of the Minchah, he receives Malkus for each Avodah that he does.

Rashi understands that even if in one act there are two transgressions, we view it as though two acts of Aveirah were done, and the person is given two sets of Malkus.

(c) TOSFOS (DH Af Ani) learns differently. Tosfos does not understand why we need a special Derashah to teach that one is Chayav Malkus for each Avodah. Tosfos seems to understand that it is logical that one should be Chayav Malkus for each Avodah, and the verse is not necessary to teach this (in contrast to the Rambam's understanding of the Gemara). It is clear from Tosfos later (56a) that does not learn like Rashi there, and thus he has no source that one is Chayav two sets of Malkus for performing one act that constitutes two Aveiros. Tosfos says that if there was no Hasra'ah for each individual Aveirah, one should be Chayav only one set of Malkus, just like a Nazir who drinks many cups of wine after one Hasra'ah. On the other hand, if the Hasra'ah explicitly warned not to do the separate Avodos, then we would know that one is Chayav for multiple sets of Malkus even without the verse!

Therefore, Tosfos learns that the verse s teaching that one is Chayav for each Avodah, even though the Minchah had already become Chametz beforehand, and the person who does the Avodos did not personally make the Minchah become Chametz.

(d) The Brisker Rav mentions in the name of the TAHARAS HA'KODESH a fourth possible way to understand the Gemara. The Gemara in Shabbos (70a) derives from a verse that one is obligated to bring a Korban Chatas for each Melachah that one does on Shabbos in one moment of forgetfulness, and not merely one Chatas for all of the Melachos that he does. This is because each Av Melachah is considered to be a separate Isur, like Chelev and Dam, so that the Melachos that he does are separate Isurim. Similarly, we can learn that the Gemara here is teaching each Avodah performed with the Minchah is a separate Aveirah for which one is Chayav a separate set of Malkus. (Mordechai Zvi Dicker)

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,