According to the second view, they could have eaten the new produce even before offering the omer sacrifice, since the mitzvah does not apply until after they conquered and settled the land.
The Israelites in the desert began to eat new produce on the sixteenth of Nisan in their first year in the land of Canaan, not because it was prohibited until this point. According to this view, the prohibition did not apply until the land was conquered and settled. They ate until this point because that’s when the manna ran out. Before that date, they simply had enough manna left over.
The section here is an internal solution to a perceived contradiction between the two halves of Exodus 16:35—did they eat until they came to the borders of Canaan, or until they came to an inhabited land. The resolution is that the manna stopped descending as soon as Moses died (just as the well stopped when Miriam died). But they had enough manna stored up to last about a month and a half.
Our sugya delves deeper into the issue of how long Israel ate the manna and when Moses died and was born, issues brought up in yesterday’s sugya.
The manna did not begin to fall until the sixteenth of Iyyar in the first year of the Exodus, but they stopped eating the manna on the sixteenth of Nissan, on the fortieth year after leaving Egypt. So why does the verse say they ate it for a full forty years? Because the cakes they brought out of Egypt already tasted like manna. I don’t think that this was a good thing.
Israel mourned Moses’ death for thirty days. It took them three days to make preparations to cross the Jordan. They crossed the Jordan on the tenth of the first month (Nissan). If we subtract 33 days, we can conclude that Moses died on the seventh of the twelfth month—Adar.
The midrash derives that Moses was born on seventh of Adar from the word “this day.” The righteous live a full life—they are not cheated out of a single day. Moses’ life was set at 120 years, and he lived till exactly that amount. To this day, it is considered a good sign when a person dies on his birthday.
The Talmud continues to discuss which mitzvoth apply both inside and outside the Land of Israel. The dispute here is really over how to we determine which mitzvoth are obligatory outside the Land of Israel—can a commandment connected to the ground, such as mixed kinds of seeds or fruit during its first three years of growth, be obligatory outside of Israel?
R. Shimon b. Yohai uses the prohibition of new produce, which applies both inside and outside the land, as a precedent to prove that kilayim (mixed kinds) and orlah (fruit during the first three years of a tree’s growth) are observed even outside of Israel. The prohibition of new produce is lenient in three ways: 1) It applies only to grain that grew before the omer was offered; 2) it is prohibited only to eat it. Other forms of benefit, such as selling it, are permitted; 3) once the omer sacrifice is offered on the 16th of Nissan, it becomes permitted. Nevertheless, this mitzvah is observed even outside the Land. Kilayim has none of these leniencies, and therefore it too should be observed even outside the Land. Orlah has one of these leniencies—it applies only to fruit that grows during the first three years. But it does not have either of the other leniencies, and so it too should apply outside the Land.
R. Elazar son of R. Shimon says that if the Israelites were commanded to observe the mitzvah before they entered the Land, meaning that the obligation is not connected to the Land, then the mitzvah is observed both inside and outside the Land. But if the mitzvah is connected to the Land, then it is observed only within the Land. The two exceptions are release of monetary debts and the obligation to free slaves at the Jubilee year. While the latter is definitely connected to the Land, the Talmud below will question whether release of monetary debts is connected to the Land.