מַאי טַעְמָא דְּרַבִּי מֵאִיר בְּאִילָן אֶחָד וּמַאי טַעְמָא דְּרַבָּנַן בִּשְׁנֵי אִילָנוֹת אָמַר לוֹ דָּבָר שֶׁהָרִאשׁוֹנִים לֹא אָמְרוּ בּוֹ טַעַם תִּשְׁאָלֵנִי בְּבֵית הַמִּדְרָשׁ כְּדֵי לְבַיְּישֵׁנִי What is the rationale of Rabbi Meir that in the case of one tree, an individual is obligated to bring first fruits but does not recite the passage, and what is the rationale of the Rabbis that in the case of two trees, an individual is obligated to bring the first fruits but does not recite the passage? If one owns the ground and is obligated to bring the first fruits to the Temple, he should also recite the passage of thanks. If he does not own the ground and therefore is not obligated to recite the passage, why does he bring the first fruits to the Temple? Rabbi Elazar said to Rabbi Shimon ben Elyakim: Do you ask me publicly, in the study hall, about a matter for which the early Sages did not give a reason, in order to embarrass me? In other words, I do not know the reason, as not even the early Sages explained this matter.
אָמַר רַבָּה מַאי קוּשְׁיָא דִּלְמָא רַבִּי מֵאִיר בְּאִילָן אֶחָד סַפּוֹקֵי מְסַפְּקָא לֵיהּ וְרַבָּנַן בִּשְׁנֵי אִילָנוֹת סַפּוֹקֵי מְסַפְּקָא לְהוּ Rabba said: What is the difficulty? Perhaps Rabbi Meir is uncertain, in the case of an individual who purchases one tree, whether or not the buyer owns the ground, and the Rabbis are uncertain, in the case of an individual who purchases two trees, whether or not the buyer owns the ground. Due to this uncertainty, the owner of the tree must bring the first fruits to the Temple, as he might be obligated in this mitzva. He does not recite the passage of thanks because it is not definitely established that he is obligated to bring the fruits.
וּמִי מְסַפְּקָא לֵיהּ וְהָא קָתָנֵי לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא קָנָה קַרְקַע דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר אֵימָא שֶׁמָּא לֹא קָנָה קַרְקַע The Gemara asks: And is Rabbi Meir really uncertain whether the buyer owns the ground? But it teaches: Since he did not acquire any land; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Meir states definitively that the owner of the tree does not own the ground. The Gemara answers: Say that the baraita should be emended as follows: Perhaps he did not acquire any land.
וְלֵיחוּשׁ דְּדִלְמָא לָאו בִּיכּוּרִים נִינְהוּ וְקָא מְעַיֵּיל חוּלִּין לָעֲזָרָה דְּמַקְדֵּישׁ לְהוּ וְהָא בָּעֵי מֵיכְלִינְהוּ דְּפָרֵיק לְהוּ וְדִלְמָא לָאו בִּכּוּרִים נִינְהוּ וְקָא מַפְקַע לְהוּ מִתְּרוּמָה וּמַעֲשֵׂר דְּמַפְרֵישׁ לְהוּ The Gemara asks: But let us be concerned that perhaps these fruits are not first fruits, and he is bringing non-sacred fruit to the Temple courtyard, which is prohibited. The Gemara answers: The case is where he consecrates them. The Gemara asks: But the priest is required to eat first fruits, and he cannot do so if they are consecrated. The Gemara answers: The case is where the priest redeems them. The Gemara asks: But perhaps they are not first fruits, and thereby he removes them from the obligation of teruma and tithes, as one does not separate teruma and tithes from first fruits. The Gemara answers: The case is where he separates teruma and tithes from the fruits, due to the uncertainty over their status.
בִּשְׁלָמָא תְּרוּמָה גְּדוֹלָה יָהֵיב לַהּ לְכֹהֵן מַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי נָמֵי יָהֵיב לֵיהּ לְכֹהֵן מַעְשַׂר עָנִי נָמֵי יָהֵיב לֵיהּ לְכֹהֵן עָנִי אֶלָּא מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן דְּלֵוִי הוּא לְמַאן יָהֵיב לֵיהּ The Gemara asks: Granted, the teruma gedola that he separates from these fruits he gives to a priest, and the priest may partake of it, as it has the halakhic status of either first fruits or teruma gedola, both of which are eaten by a priest. It is understood with regard to the second tithe as well; he gives it to a priest, who eats it in Jerusalem, either as first fruits or as second tithe. If it is the third or the sixth year of the Sabbatical cycle, when instead of second tithe one is obligated to give the poor man’s tithe, here too, he gives it to a poor priest, who eats it as either first fruits or poor man’s tithe. But with regard to first tithe, which is given to a Levite, to whom can he give it? A Levite may not eat first fruits.
דְּיָהֵיב לֵיהּ לְכֹהֵן כְּרַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה דְּתַנְיָא תְּרוּמָה גְּדוֹלָה לְכֹהֵן מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן לְלֵוִי דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה אוֹמֵר מַעֲשֵׂר רִאשׁוֹן אַף לְכֹהֵן וְדִלְמָא בִּכּוּרִים נִינְהוּ וּבָעוּ קְרִיָּיהּ קְרִיָּיהּ לֹא מְעַכֶּבֶת The Gemara answers: The case is where he gives it to a priest, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya. As it is taught in a baraita: Teruma gedola is given only to a priest, and first tithe is given only to a Levite; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya says: First tithe may also be given to a priest. The Gemara asks: But perhaps they are in fact first fruits and require recitation of the passage of thanks, and yet the owner does not recite it due to the uncertainty. The Gemara answers: The recitation is not indispensable, i.e., one can perform the mitzva of bringing first fruits without the recitation.
וְלָא וְהָאָמַר רַבִּי זֵירָא כׇּל הָרָאוּי לְבִילָּה אֵין בִּילָּה מְעַכֶּבֶת בּוֹ וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לְבִילָּה בִּילָּה מְעַכֶּבֶת בּוֹ The Gemara asks: And is the recitation not indispensable? But doesn’t Rabbi Zeira say in the context of offerings: For any measure of flour that is suitable for mixing with oil in a meal-offering, the lack of mixing does not invalidate the meal-offering. Even though there is a mitzva to mix the oil and the flour ab initio, the meal-offering is fit for sacrifice even if the oil and the flour are not mixed. And for any measure of flour that is not suitable for mixing with oil in a meal-offering, the lack of mixing invalidates the meal-offering. The principle is: Ab initio requirements prevent the fulfillment of a mitzva in situations where they are not merely absent but impossible. Accordingly, first fruits that are unfit for recitation should not be brought to the Temple.
דְּעָבֵיד לְהוּ כְּרַבִּי יוֹסֵי בַּר חֲנִינָא דְּאָמַר בְּצָרָן וְשִׁגְּרָן בְּיַד שָׁלִיחַ וּמֵת שָׁלִיחַ בַּדֶּרֶךְ מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא מַאי טַעְמָא דִּכְתִיב וְלָקַחְתָּ וְהֵבֵאתָ The Gemara answers: The case is where he renders them exempt from the obligation of recitation, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina, who says: If one harvested the fruits and sent them in the possession of an agent, and the agent died on the way, the owner or any other person brings the first fruits but does not recite the passage of thanks. What is the reason? As it is written: And you shall take, and you shall bring. The Gemara is citing from the following verse with a slight variation: “And you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you shall bring in from your land that the Lord your God gives you” (Deuteronomy 26:2).