For the week ending 17 May 2014 / 17 Iyyar 5774

Rosh Hashana 9 - 15

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Adding time to Shemitta year, to the Yom Kippur fast and to Shabbat
  • The virtual fast of Erev Yom Kippur
  • Which element of the Yovel year is indispensable to its status
  • The meaning of freedom
  • When fruits are no longer forbidden orlah
  • Taking root and growing before Shemitta begins
  • The day or month that is like a year
  • In which month was the world created and in which will be the ultimate redemption
  • Historic events that took place on Rosh Hashana
  • Dates and nature of the Great Deluge
  • What determines the tithing schedule for different species
  • The constant tithe and the changing one
  • How long a year for the maker of a vow
  • The exact determination of the Sages
  • Which substances are considered evenly distributed upon being mixed
  • The unique status of the etrog
  • The mystery of the etrog picked by Rabbi Akiva
  • The danger of playing both ends against the middle
  • Shemitta in regard to etrog and other fruits

Who Picked the Vegetable?

One cannot tithe any agricultural produce by taking what was produced in one year as a ma’aser tithe on what was produced in another year.

What determines the start of the year depends on the type of produce. In regard to vegetables it depends on when they were picked. We are therefore taught in a beraita that if one picked a vegetable before sundown on the day before Rosh Hashana and another after sundown he cannot tithe one on another because they are considered products of two different years.

The obvious difficulty in the case here presented is that after sundown it is already the eve of Rosh Hashana when it is forbidden to pick vegetables because of the holiday restrictions on such labor.

Although this problem is not raised in the Babylonian Talmud, it is discussed in the Jerusalem Talmud where a very simple solution is offered. The picking of the vegetable mentioned here was done by a non-Jew at his own initiative.

Tosefot refers us to this explanation and its source. We must assume that the compilers of the Babylonian Talmud simply assumed that any student of Talmud would arrive at this solution on his own so that there was no need to mention it.

What the Sages Say

"One who sees the fruit trees in bloom during the month of Nissan should make a blessing to the 'One Who left nothing out in His world and created good things and good trees for people to enjoy'."

  • Rabbi Yehuda (Rosh Hashana 11a)

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