ממורחין מן העובד כוכבים מעשרן והן שלו that is gathered in smoothed piles, from a gentile, he tithes the piles but they are his, as he is not required to give the teruma to a priest or the tithes to a Levite.
דמרחינהו מאן אילימא דמרחינהו עובד כוכבים דגנך אמר רחמנא ולא דגן עובד כוכבים The Gemara asks: Who smoothed the piles? If we say that a gentile smoothed them, doesn’t the Merciful One state: “Your grain” (Deuteronomy 12:17, 18:4), with regard to teruma and tithes, indicating that only grain whose processing is completed by a Jew is subject to the rules of teruma and tithes, but not the grain of a gentile?
אלא דמרחינהו ישראל מרשות עובד כוכבים מעשרן דאין קנין לעובד כוכבים בארץ ישראל להפקיע מיד מעשר והן שלו דאמר ליה קאתינא מכח גברא דלא מצית אישתעיה דינא בהדיה Rather, clearly a Jew smoothed them while they were in the possession of the gentile before purchasing them. Therefore, he tithes them, as a gentile has no capability of acquisition of land in Eretz Yisrael that would cause the abrogation of the sanctity of the land, thereby removing it from the obligation to tithe its produce. But the tithes are still the Jew’s, as he says to the priest: I have come to own this produce on the basis of the rights of a man with whom you cannot engage in litigation, i.e., a gentile, from whom I bought the produce. Since he is not obligated to give teruma or tithes to the priest, I am not required to give them either.
תנן התם המפקיד פירותיו אצל הכותי ואצל עם הארץ בחזקתן למעשר ולשביעית § The Gemara cites an additional discussion involving this issue: We learned in a mishna elsewhere (Demai 3:4) that with regard to one who deposits his produce with a Samaritan or with one who is unreliable with regard to tithes [am ha’aretz], when they return it to him, the produce retains its presumptive status with regard to the halakhot of tithe and produce of the Sabbatical Year, both of which must be removed from one’s property. The Samaritan or am ha’aretz is not suspected of having exchanged the deposited produce with untithed produce or produce of the Sabbatical Year.
אצל העובד כוכבים כפירותיו ר"ש אומר דמאי But in the case of one who deposits his produce with a gentile, the produce returned to him is treated as the produce of the gentile, as he presumably exchanged it with his own. Rabbi Shimon says: It is treated as doubtfully tithed produce [demai], as it is uncertain whether the gentile exchanged the produce or not.
אר"א להפריש כולי עלמא לא פליגי כי פליגי ליתנן לכהן תנא קמא סבר ודאי חלפינהו ובעי מיתננהו לכהן ור' שמעון סבר דמאי The mishna continues: Rabbi Elazar says: Everyone agrees that one is obligated to separate teruma and tithes from the produce that the gentile returned to him. When they disagree it is with regard to giving it to the priest following the separation. The first tanna holds that the gentile certainly exchanged the produce, and therefore the owner needs to give the teruma to the priest. And Rabbi Shimon holds that the produce is treated as demai, so in order to receive teruma, the priest must bring proof that the produce requires tithing.
יתיב רב דימי וקאמר להא שמעתא א"ל אביי טעמא דמספקא לן אי חלפינהו אי לא חלפינהו הא ודאי חלפינהו דכולי עלמא בעי למיתבינהו לכהן והאמר ר' שמואל אמר ר' חנינא הלוקח טבלים מן העובד כוכבים ממורחין מעשרן והן שלו Rav Dimi sat and stated this halakha of Rabbi Elazar. Abaye said to him: The reason that Rabbi Shimon disagrees is that we are uncertain whether the gentile exchanged it or whether he did not exchange it. But if he definitely exchanged it, everyone agrees that he is required to give the teruma and tithes to a priest. Why? But doesn’t Rabbi Shmuel say that Rabbi Ḥanina says: In the case of one who purchases untithed produce from a gentile that is gathered in smoothed piles, i.e., it was completely processed, he tithes and separates teruma from the piles of produce but they are his, and he is not required to give the teruma to a priest?
דלמא כאן בתרומה גדולה כאן בתרומת מעשר Rav Dimi said to him: Perhaps here, in the mishna that indicates that he must give the teruma to a priest, it is referring to teruma gedola, i.e., the teruma that is separated from the produce before tithes, whereas there, Rabbi Ḥanina’s statement that he separates tithes from them but they are his is referring to the teruma that is separated from the tithe.
אזכרתן מילתא דא"ר יהושע בן לוי מנין ללוקח טבלים ממורחין מן העובד כוכבים שהוא פטור מתרומת מעשר שנאמר (במדבר יח, כו) ואל הלוים תדבר ואמרת אליהם כי תקחו מאת בני ישראל טבלים שאתה לוקח מבני ישראל אתה מפריש מהן תרומת מעשר ונותנה לכהן טבלים שאתה לוקח מן העובד כוכבים אי אתה מפריש מהן תרומת מעשר ונותנה לכהן: Abaye said to him: You reminded me of a statement that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: From where is it derived that one who purchases from a gentile untithed produce that is gathered in smoothed piles is exempt from separating the teruma of the tithe? It is derived from a verse, as it is stated: “And you shall speak to the Levites, and say to them: When you take the tithe from the children of Israel…then you shall set apart of it a gift for the Lord, even a tithe of the tithe” (Numbers 18:26). It can be inferred from here that concerning untithed produce that you purchase from the children of Israel, you separate teruma of the tithe from it and give the teruma of the tithe to a priest, but concerning untithed produce that you purchase from a gentile, you do not separate teruma of the tithe from it and give it to a priest.
ואם מת נהנים בו: דמית היכא אילימא דמית בי כהן ונהנה בו כהן פשיטא ממונא דידיה הוא אלא דמית בי בעלים ונהנה בו כהן הא נמי פשיטא § The mishna teaches with regard to the lamb that is used to redeem the firstborn donkey: And if it dies, one may derive benefit from it. The Gemara asks: Where did it die? If we say that it died in the house of the priest, and the mishna means that the priest may derive benefit from it, isn’t it obvious? The lamb is his property. Rather, perhaps the mishna means that it died in the house of the owner before it was given to the priest, and teaches that the priest may derive benefit from it. Isn’t this also obvious?
סד"א כל כמה דלא מטא לידיה לא זכה ביה קמ"ל דמעידנא דאפרשיה ברשותיה דכהן קאי: The Gemara responds: It might enter your mind to say that as long as the lamb has not reached the possession of the priest, the priest has not acquired it. Therefore, the mishna teaches us that from the time that the Israelite separated it, it stands in the possession of the priest.