משנה אָמַר רִבִּי יְהוּדָה בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ עוֹקְרִין וּמַשְׁלִיכִין לִפְנֵיהֶן. מִשֶּׁרַבּוּ עוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵירָה הָיוּ עוֹקְרִין וּמַשְׁלִיכִין לַדְּרָכִים. הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ מַבְקִירִין אֶת כָּל־הַשָּׂדֶה. Halakha 2 · MISHNA At the end of the last mishna it was stated that the court sends out agents on the fifteenth of Adar to inspect whether the owners of fields had indeed uprooted any diverse kinds of crops as instructed. Rabbi Yehuda said: At first those agents would uproot the diverse kinds of crops and cast them in front of the owners of the fields. When the number of transgressors who would not uproot diverse kinds in their fields increased, and the Sages saw that this tactic was ineffective, they would cast the uprooted crops onto the roads. Ultimately, they instituted that the entire field should be declared ownerless.
הלכה רִבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר. תַּנֵּי אָמַר רִבִּי יְהוּדְה. בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ עוֹקְרִין וּמַשְׁלִיכִין לִפְנֵיהֶן וְהָיוּ שְׂמֵחִין שְׁתֵּי שְׂמָחוֹת. אַחַת שֶׁהָיוּ מְנַכְשִׁין שָׂדוֹתֵיהֶן וְאַחַת שֶׁהָיוּ נֶהֱנִין מִן (הַגֶּזֶל) [הַכִּלְאַיִם.]. GEMARA: With regard to what Rabbi Yehuda said in the mishna, i.e., that there were three stages of the Sages’ decree, the Gemara elaborates as it was taught in a baraita. Rabbi Yehuda said: At first the agents of the court would uproot the diverse kinds of crops and cast them in front of the owners, and those owners would doubly rejoice. One reason for their happiness was that others were weeding their fields for them, and the other reason was that they would derive benefit from these diverse kinds, which they would feed to their animals.
מִשֶּׁרַבּוּ עוֹבְרֵי עֲבֵירָה הָיוּ עוֹקְרִין וּמַשְׁלִיכִין עַל הַדְּרָכִים. אַף עַל פִּי כֵן הָיוּ שְׂמִחִים שֶׁהָיוּ מְנַכְשִׁין שָׂדוֹתֵיהֶן. הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ מַבְקִירִין אֶת כָּל־הַשָּׂדֶה. The baraita continues: When the number of transgressors who maintained diverse kinds in their fields increased, they would cast the uprooted crops onto the roads, so that passersby should trample on them and render them unfit for any use. Even so, the owners still rejoiced that those agents were weeding their fields. Therefore, the Sages instituted that the entire field should be declared ownerless, which would deter people from maintaining diverse kinds in their fields.
מִנַיִיִן שֶׁהֶבְקֵר בֵּית דִּין הֶבְקֵר. כָּתוּב וְכֹל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר לֹֽא־יָבֹא לִשְׁל֣שֶׁת הַיָּמִ֗ים כַּֽעֲצַ֤ת הַשָּׂרִים֙ וְהַזְּקֵנִ֔ים יָֽחֳרַ֖ם כָּל־רְכוּשׁ֑וֹ וְה֥וּא יִבָּדֵ֖ל מִקְּהַ֥ל הַגּוֹלָֽה׃ The Gemara asks: From where is it derived that property declared ownerless by the court is in fact ownerless? As the mishna states that the court rendered the fields ownerless, clearly they had the power to do so. What is the source for their having this power? The Gemara answers: As it is written, with regard to the proclamation of Ezra and his court to all the people to gather in Jerusalem, where he instructed those who had married foreign women to divorce them: “And that whosoever came not within three days, according to the counsel of the princes and the elders, all his substance should be forfeited, and himself separated from the congregation of the captivity” (Ezra 10:8). This shows that the court has the power to render ownerless the property of anyone who violates its commands.
מְנַיִין שֶׁהִיא פְטוּרָה מִן הַמַּעְשְׂרוֹת. רִבִּי יוֹנָתָן בְּרֵיהּ דְּרִבִּי יִצְחָק בַר אָחָה שָׁמַע לָהּ מִן הָדָא. אֵין מְעַבְּרִין אֶת הַשָּׁנָה לֹא בַשְּׁבִיעִית וְלֹא בְמוֹצָאֵי שְׁבִיעִית. וְאִם עִיבְּרוּהָ הֲרֵי זוֹ מְעוּבֶּרֶת. The Gemara further asks: From where is it derived that this ownerless field is exempt from tithes, like a field rendered ownerless by its owner? Rabbi Yonatan, son of Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Aḥa, learned the halakha of this case from this baraita: One may not intercalate the year, by adding the month of Second Adar, neither in the Sabbatical Year nor in the year after the Sabbatical Year. And if they transgressed and intercalated it, the year is intercalated.
וְחוֹדֶשׁ אֶחָד שֶׁהוּא מוֹסִיף לֹא פָטוּר מִמַּעְשְׂרוֹת הוּא. Rabbi Yonatan explains how exemption from tithes of a field that was declared ownerless by the court can be derived from this baraita: And yet with regard to that one month that he adds, i.e., the month to intercalate the year, which is added to the Sabbatical Year, aren’t the crops harvested in that additional month exempt from tithes? These crops are Sabbatical produce and as such exempt from tithes, but that status is only a result of the decree of the court to extend the year. This proves that the court has the power to render a field exempt from tithes.
עַד כְדוֹן שְׁבִיעִית. מוֹצָאֵי שְׁבִיעִית [מַאי]. אָמַר רִבִּי אָבוּן. שֶׁלֹּא לְרַבּוֹת בְּאִיסּוּר חָדָשׁ. The Gemara continues to analyze the baraita. Until here it is clear why the Sabbatical Year should not be intercalated, as it extends the prohibitions of the Sabbatical year. However, what is the reason that the year after the Sabbatical Year should not be intercalated? Rabbi Bun said: The reason is so as not to increase the period of the prohibition of new grain. In the year after the seventh year people are still relying on the produce of the sixth year until the new crop sprouts in the spring of the eighth year. Since the food supply is liable to run out, the sooner the new grain can be eaten, the better. It is only permitted after the bringing of the omer offering on the sixteenth of Nisan, and therefore it is preferable not to extend the year, which would delay the beginning of Nisan.
רִבִּי זְעוּרָה בְשֵׁם רִבִּי אַבָּהוּ. הָדָא דְאַתְּ אָמַר. עַד שֶׁלֹּא הִתִּיר רִבִּי לְהָבִיא יָרָק מֵחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לָאֲרֶץ. אֲבָל מִשֶּׁהִתִּיר רִבִּי לְהָבִיא יָרָק מֵחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לָאֲרֶץ הִיא שְׁבִיעִית הִיא שֶׁל שְׁאָר שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעַ. Rabbi Ze’eira says in the name of Rabbi Elazar: That which you say, that one may not intercalate the Sabbatical Year or the following year, applied until the time that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi permitted one to import vegetables from outside Eretz Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael. Beforehand there was a danger of insufficient food, and the court needed to refrain from lengthening either year. However, from the time when Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi permitted one to import vegetables from outside Eretz Yisrael to Eretz Yisrael, and there was enough food for all, the Sabbatical Year is like other years of the Sabbatical cycle, i.e., it is permitted to intercalate any year.
תַּנֵּי. אֵין מְעַבְּרִין אֶת הַשָּׁנָה בַשְּׁבִיעִית [וְלֹא בְמוֹצָאֵי שְׁבִיעִית] אֶלָּא בִשְׁאָר שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעַ. [וְ]אִם עִיבְּרוּהָ הֲרֵי זוֹ מְעוּבֶּרֶת. אָמַר רִבִּי מָנָא. הָדָא דְאַתְּ אָמַר. בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה כְּשֶׁהָיוּ הָשָּׁנִים כְּתִיקֻנָן. אֲבָל עַכְשָׁיו שֶׁאֵין הָשָּׁנִים כְּתִיקֻנָן הִיא שְׁבִיעִית הִיא שְׁאָר שְׁנֵי שָׁבוּעַ. It was taught in the baraita that one may not intercalate the year following the Sabbatical Year. Rabbi Mana said: This matter which you say: It applied at first, when the seasons of the years proceeded in their proper manner, i.e., the new grain was ripe in time and could be eaten immediately after the sixteenth of Nisan. However, now, when the seasons of the years do not proceed in their proper manner, and the grain is not ready until later anyway, there is no problem delaying Nisan, so the Sabbatical Year is like other years of the Sabbatical cycle.
תַּנֵּי. שֶׁלְבֵּית רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל עִיבְּרוּהָ בְמוֹצָאֵי שְׁבִיעִית מִיָּד. The Gemara adds: It was taught in a baraita that the court of the house of Rabban Gamliel intercalated the year immediately after the Sabbatical Year, in the first month of that year.
אָמַר רִבִּי אָבוּן. אִין מִן הָדָא לֵית שְׁמַע מִינָּהּ כְלוּם. Rabbi Yonatan previously proved from the court’s ability to extend the Sabbatical year that the court has the power to declare property ownerless, to the extent that its produce is exempt from tithes. With regard to this, Rabbi Avun said: If your proof is from this, you cannot learn anything from it.
שָׁמוֹר֙ אֶת־חוֹדֶשׁ הָֽאָבִ֔יב. שָׁמְרֵיהוּ שֶׁיָּבוֹא בְחִידּוּשׁוֹ. Rabbi Avun explains: The Torah says: “Observe [guard] the month of the spring, and keep the Passover unto the Lord your God; for in the month of the spring the Lord your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night” (Deuteronomy 16:1). This means that one should guard it so that the month of Nisan arrives in the spring of the new year, i.e., in Nisan of the lunar year, which is roughly eleven days shorter than the solar year. If the festival of Passover is scheduled to arrive too early, due to the difference between the solar and lunar years, that year must be intercalated. Since the intercalation of the year is a Torah requirement, the extra month added to a Sabbatical Year is exempt from tithes by Torah law. Therefore, the extension of the year by intercalation is not merely a power of the court, and therefore cannot function as a source for the court’s power to declare property ownerless and exempt it from tithes.
וַהַיי דָא אָֽמְרָה דָא. גָּדִישׁ שֶׁלֹּא לוּקַּט תַּחְתָּיו כָּל־הַנּוֹגְעוֹת בָּאָרֶץ הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁלְעֲנִיִּים. וְאָמַר רִבִּי אִמִּי [דף ג:] בְשֵׁם רִבִּי שׁמְעוֹן בֵּן לָקִישׁ. דְּבֵית שַׂמַּי הִיא. But this other mishna (Pe’a 5:1) does state this halakha, that a field declared ownerless by the court is exempt from tithes. With regard to a pile of grain under which gleanings have not been gathered by the poor, who are entitled to the lone stalks that fall during a harvest, all the kernels that are touching the ground belong to the poor. And about this mishna Rabbi Ami said [3b] in the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish: It is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, who maintain that it is possible to declare an article ownerless exclusively with respect to the poor (see Pe’a 6:1).
וְאָמַר לֵיהּ רִבִּי יוֹסֵי. שָׁמַעְנוּ שֶׁהוּא פָטוּר מִמַּעְשְׂרוֹת דִּבְרֵי הַכֹּל מִשּׁוּם קְנָס. וּכְבֵית הִלֵּל עֲנִייִם מְעַשְּׂרִין וְאוֹכְלִין. In defense of the attribution of the mishna to Beit Shammai the Gemara continues: For if the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, who maintain that the court cannot declare something ownerless only for the poor, then the poor would be allowed to eat the kernels touching the ground only after tithing. And Rabbi Yosei said to him, Rabbi Ami: We learned a different explanation whereby it is not necessary to attribute the mishna to Beit Shammai, i.e., that everyone agrees that this produce is exempt from tithes because the Sages imposed a fine [kenasa] on one who was careless enough to pile his grain on top of gleanings. He forfeits any stalks touching the ground, as they are rendered ownerless, and ownerless food is exempt from tithes. Since some of the kernels touching the ground are from the pile, not the gleanings, the ruling that they are all exempt from tithes depends upon the Sages’ power to declare them ownerless. If the mishna in Pe’a is understood in accordance with Rabbi Yosei’s opinion, it serves as evidence that the Sages can in fact declare property ownerless to the extent that its produce is exempt from tithes.