Daf Yomi

For the week ending 10 August 2013 / 3 Elul 5773

Pesachim 51 - 57

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Permissible actions which some communities have forbidden
  • How to conduct oneself when he is in a community with a custom different from that of his own community
  • When one must renounce ownership of his Shvi’it (Seventh Year) produce
  • How Rabbi Ilouii was able to take a branch from a palm tree during Shivi’it
  • Which animals may be sold to a non-Jew
  • Avoiding suspicion of offering Pesach sacrifice today
  • How to order meat for Pesach and why we avoid broiled meat at the Pesach Seder
  • Lighting candles for Yom Kippur like we do for Shabbat
  • A blessing on light in havdalah after Yom Kippur
  • When fire was created, the seven things created before the world and the ten things during twilight of the first Erev Shabbat
  • Doing work on Tisha B’Av and on the fasts because of drought
  • Ban on working day before Pesach – prohibition or custom?
  • Which efforts are permissible on that day and on Chol Hamoed?
  • The proper and improper deeds of the Jericho community and those of King Chizkiyahu
  • The first recital of the Shma
  • The use and misuse of power
  • The royal debate over a lamb and a goat

Misguided Generosity

  • Pesachim 57a

Bohein had a vegetable field that he placed under the care of his son. Acting out of ignorance and misguided generosity the son set aside a corner of the field for the poor in fulfillment of what he thought was his halachic obligation as the mitzvah of peiah.

When Bohein became aware of this he rushed to the field where he saw some poor people with loads of vegetables about to leave.

“My children,” he said to them, “put down the vegetables you have gathered and I will give you twice as much from vegetables which have been tithed. Not that I begrudge you the vegetables you have already gathered, but because our Sages have ruled that peiah is not given to the poor in regard to vegetables.”

Although the Torah required a Jew to leave a portion of his field for the poor, this does not apply to vegetables because they are not all harvested at the same time. Setting aside a corner of the field as peiah therefore becomes counterproductive. The poor recipients will assume that there is no need to tithe these vegetables, which is the case for all agricultural produce that one is obligated to leave for the poor. In fact, however, this is not peiah, and consuming without tithing is a serious offense.

Bohein therefore wished to save the beneficiaries of his son’s error by offering them twice as much of already tithed vegetables. But why was it necessary for him to preface his generous gift with an apology regarding his motive for asking them to leave behind their untithed vegetables.

The answer, says the gemara, is that otherwise those poor people would suspect him of trying to retrieve what his son had made available to them and had no intention of making good on his promise to give them even more.

What the Sages Say

“Whoever supplies a Torah scholar the wares with which he can gain a livelihood will merit to have a place in the Heavenly Yeshiva as it is written (Kohelet 7:12) For in the shelter of wisdom will be the shelter of money (in the place designated for men of wisdom will enter the one who supported him – Rashi.)”

  • Rabbi Yochanan
    Pesachim 53b

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