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Menachos, 71

MENACHOS 71 - Dedicated in honor of the 80th Birthday of Jean Turkel Rafalowicz by the Turkel/Linzer Family. Mazal Tov on reaching this milestone. May you be Zocheh to continue to see Nachas from your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren until 120 years!


OPINIONS: The Mishnah says that a person may harvest Shachas (grain that has not yet reached its normal size) and feed it to his animal before the Korban ha'Omer is brought. Rebbi Yehudah explains that this is permitted only when the harvesting is started before the grain reached a third of its normal size. (See TIFERES YISRAEL who discusses the opinion of RASHI that the grain has not yet reached a third of its normal size, and the opinion of the RAMBAM that the grain has not yet grown the *last* third of its normal size). Rebbi Shimon says that one may begin harvesting the Shachas even if the crops have already reached a third of their normal size.

Why, according to all of the opinions, may grain that has not yet reached a third of its normal size be harvested for an animal's consumption before the Korban ha'Omer is brought?

(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES explains that the reason this is permitted is because the grain is being harvested for an animal. If the grain was being harvested for a person, it would not be permitted even if the grain had not yet reached this stage of growth. Harvesting for an animal is considered an unimportant, insignificant form of harvesting, and thus it is permitted before the Korban ha'Omer is brought.

(b) TOSFOS in Pesachim (23a, DH Kotzer) gives a different reason. The Gemara there discusses the opinion of Rebbi Avahu who says that whenever the Torah says "Lo Sochlu" -- "you shall not eat," it is referring to a prohibition against eating and deriving benefit from the forbidden item. The Gemara asks that the Torah says "Lo Sochlu" with regard to Chadash (Vayikra 23:14), and nevertheless our Mishnah says that one is allowed to feed the harvested Shachas to his animal, implying that one *may* derive benefit from Chadash, even though the Torah says, "Lo Sochlu." Tosfos asks that this does not seem to be a question at all. The Mishnah here permits harvesting and using Shachas since it is not included in the prohibition of Chadash at all! It is not a contradiction to the view of Rebbi Avahu!

Tosfos answers that the Mishnah is actually saying two different things. "Kotzer l'Shachas" teaches that there is no prohibition against harvesting Shachas; "Ma'achil l'Behemah" teaches that one may feed his animal any type of grain, even *finished* grain which is Chadash, as long as it was picked in a permitted manner (see RASHI in Pesachim 23a, DH u'Ma'achil). The Gemara's question on Rebbi Avahu is from the second statement of the Mishnah, that one may feed finished Chadash grain to his animal.

TOSFOS here (71b, DH Emur) addresses the same question as Tosfos in Pesachim, but he understands that the Mishnah is teaching only one thing. Tosfos here answers that the question on Rebbi Avahu was from the opinion that maintains that the grain is able to be harvested, and fed to an animal, even after it has reached a third of its size, when the Isur of Chadash does apply to it. A similar explanation is also found in the second answer of Tosfos in Pesachim.

The MINCHAS CHINUCH (303:6), KEREN ORAH, and others have difficulty with the first answer of Tosfos in Pesachim. The Gemara later (71b) says explicitly that it is forbidden to harvest Shachas for human consumption. If we read the statement of the Mishnah as a single statement, then it is clear that the Mishnah is saying that it is permitted to harvest Shachas only for an animal. According to the way Tosfos reads the Mishnah, though, where do we see that it is forbidden to harvest Shachas for a person? In addition, what is the Mishnah's source, according to the way Tosfos understands it, that Shachas is not forbidden at all by the Isur of Chadash?

The SEFAS EMES asks another question. We see that Shachas is fit for human consumption. Rashi (71b, DH v'Amar) explicitly states that one can make Kelayos (roasted grain; see Insights to Menachos 68:1) from Shachas. These Kelayos are a normal food item. Why, they, are they not included in the prohibition of Chadash?

1. The Minchas Chinuch suggests two approaches. First, it is possible that Tosfos in Pesachim is not saying that the Gemara actually holds this way. Rather, Tosfos was bothered with why the Gemara does not try to defend Rebbi Avahu by suggesting this difference. Tosfos is not saying that this is in fact what the Mishnah here means.

2. Alternatively, the Minchas Chinuch suggests that Tosfos derives this from the Halachah that the Korban ha'Omer does not permit grain which did not reach a third of its normal size before the Omer was brought. If the Omer does not permit such grain, it is possible to infer that grain which has not yet reached this stage is not subject to the Heter necessary by the bringing of the Omer, and therefore is not included in the prohibition of Chadash. (Y. Montrose)


QUESTION: The Gemara says that the people of Yericho did three things (according to Rebbi Yehudah) against which the Rabanan protested. One of these three things was that they used to use small, for their personal benefit, branches and other things that grew from trees that their ancestors had dedicated as Hekdesh. The Gemara in Pesachim (56b) explains their reasoning. They held like the opinion that says that the prohibition of Me'ilah does not apply to things that grow from a tree that was dedicated as Hekdesh (see Me'ilah 13a). They explained that their forebears had dedicated these trees in order to supply beams to Hekdesh, and not in order that the growths be Hekdesh as well. The Chachamim argued that although such things are not actually forbidden as Me'ilah, nevertheless it is forbidden to derive personal benefit from growths of Hekdesh.

TOSFOS (DH u'Matirin) asks that the people of Yericho could have easily circumvented the problem of using growths of Hekdesh. The Gemara in Erchin (29a) says that when there is no Beis ha'Mikdash, one may redeem the Kedushah of a large amount of Hekdesh on a small coin. Why, then, did the people of Yericho not simply redeem all of the growths of the trees of Hekdesh on a small coin, thereby permitting the growths to be used according to all opinions?


(a) TOSFOS answers that the trees were originally made Hekdesh with the using the expression of "Konam." Hekdesh made in this manner cannot be redeemed. (Tosfos adds that this must also be the case in the Gemara in Bava Metzia (6b), where the Gemara discusses a case of Hekdesh that apparently could not be redeemed.)

(b) Alternatively, Tosfos explains that the Gemara in Erchin does not mean that it is permitted to redeem items of Hekdesh that are very valuable on a single coin. Rather, it means that only the person who made the item Hekdesh may redeem it in such a manner. What is the reason why the original owner of the item may redeem it in such a manner, and no one else may redeem it?

1. The TUREI EVEN in Megilah (23b) explains that because the owner is the one who made the item become Hekdesh, he has the power to remove the status of Hekdesh from the item by redeeming it on any coin.

2. Alternatively, the Turei Even explains that we know that a person may ask a Beis Din to release him from his pledge to Hekdesh. Since it is in the owner's power to ask Beis Din and achieve this release, it is as if he still has some degree of ownership on the item. He therefore has the additional power to redeem the items for less than their true value.

The Turei Even presents a difference between these two reasons. If the item was already given to a treasurer of Hekdesh, then the pledge may no longer be released by Beis Din. However, the first reason would still apply, and therefore a person would still be allowed to redeem his item for a negligible sum.

3. The DEVAR AVRAHAM (#15) points out that Tosfos says that "it is not logical that everyone can go redeem his friend's Hekdesh for a negligible sum and *take it for himself*." This implies that the original owner has the right to stop people from enriching themselves by redeeming someone else's valuable donations to Hekdesh for a negligible sum of money. Why, though, may the original owner himself redeem the Hekdesh in this manner?

The father of the Devar Avraham, in his commentary MISGERES ZAHAV, explains that a person who dedicates something to Hekdesh does so while retaining his right to redeem the item on a smaller sum. Since he retains this right, no one else has the right to redeem it in this manner.

Why, though, may no one else redeem it? Others should be able to redeem it, but with the risk of being brought to Beis Din by the original owner. Why should their redemption not work at all? The Misgeres Zahav explains that part of the rights of the owner is that the redemption of any other person does not work; this is in order that he not be troubled to go to Beis Din to collect his losses. (Y. Montrose)

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