רַבִּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל אוֹמֵר, הָעֹמֶר הָיָה בָא בְשַׁבָּת מִשָּׁלשׁ סְאִין, וּבְחֹל מֵחָמֵשׁ. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֶחָד בְּחֹל, מִשָּׁלשׁ הָיָה בָא. רַבִּי חֲנִינָא סְגָן הַכֹּהֲנִים אוֹמֵר, בְּשַׁבָּת הָיָה נִקְצָר בְּיָחִיד וּבְמַגָּל אֶחָד וּבְקֻפָּה אַחַת. וּבְחֹל, בִּשְׁלשָׁה וּבְשָׁלשׁ קֻפּוֹת וּבְשָׁלשׁ מַגָּלוֹת. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, אֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֶחָד בְּחֹל, בִּשְׁלשָׁה וּבְשָׁלשׁ קֻפּוֹת וּבְשָׁלשׁ מַגָּלוֹת:
Rabbi Yishmael says: When the day of the sacrifice of the omer meal offering would occur on Shabbat, the labors performed that would otherwise be prohibited were kept to a minimum, and the one-tenth of an ephah of flour that was brought as an offering was processed from three se’a of reaped barley. And if it occurred during the week, the flour was processed from five se’a of reaped barley. And the Rabbis say: Both on Shabbat and during the week, the omer offering would come from three se’a of reaped barley. Rabbi Ḥanina, the deputy High Priest, says: On Shabbat the barley was reaped by an individual and with one sickle and with one basket into which the barley was placed; and during the week, it was reaped by three people with three baskets and three sickles. And the Rabbis say: Both on Shabbat and during the week, it was reaped by three people with three baskets and with three sickles.
מִצְוַת הָעֹמֶר לָבֹא מִן הַקָּרוֹב. לֹא בִכֵּר הַקָּרוֹב לִירוּשָׁלַיִם, מְבִיאִים אוֹתוֹ מִכָּל מָקוֹם. מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁבָּא מִגַּגּוֹת צְרִיפִין, וּשְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם מִבִּקְעַת עֵין סוֹכֵר:
The mitzva of the omer is to bring the barley reaped for the meal offering from fields proximate to Jerusalem. If the barley did not ripen in the fields proximate to Jerusalem, one brings it from any place in Eretz Yisrael. There was an incident where the omer came from Gaggot Tzerifin and the wheat for the two loaves on Shavuot came from the valley of Ein Sokher.
כֵּיצַד הָיוּ עוֹשִׂים. שְׁלוּחֵי בֵית דִּין יוֹצְאִים מֵעֶרֶב יוֹם טוֹב, וְעוֹשִׂים אוֹתוֹ כְרִיכוֹת בִּמְחֻבָּר לַקַּרְקַע, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא נוֹחַ לִקְצֹר. וְכָל הָעֲיָרוֹת הַסְּמוּכוֹת לְשָׁם, מִתְכַּנְּסוֹת לְשָׁם, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא נִקְצָר בְּעֵסֶק גָּדוֹל. כֵּיוָן שֶׁחֲשֵׁכָה, אוֹמֵר לָהֶם, בָּא הַשָּׁמֶשׁ, אוֹמְרִים, הֵן. בָּא הַשָּׁמֶשׁ, אוֹמְרִים הֵן. מַגָּל זוֹ, אוֹמְרִים הֵן. מַגָּל זוֹ, אוֹמְרִים הֵן. קֻפָּה זוֹ, אוֹמְרִים הֵן. קֻפָּה זוֹ, אוֹמְרִים הֵן. בְּשַׁבָּת אוֹמֵר לָהֶם, שַׁבָּת זוֹ, אוֹמְרִים הֵן. שַׁבָּת זוֹ, אוֹמְרִים הֵן. אֶקְצֹר, וְהֵם אוֹמְרִים לוֹ קְצֹר. אֶקְצֹר, וְהֵם אוֹמְרִים לוֹ קְצֹר. שָׁלשׁ פְּעָמִים עַל כָּל דָּבָר וְדָבָר, וְהֵם אוֹמְרִים לוֹ הֵן, הֵן, הֵן. וְכָל כָּךְ לָמָּה. מִפְּנֵי הַבַּיְתוֹסִים, שֶׁהָיוּ אוֹמְרִים, אֵין קְצִירַת הָעֹמֶר בְּמוֹצָאֵי יוֹם טוֹב:
How would they perform the rite of the harvest of the omer? Emissaries of the court would emerge on the eve of the festival of Passover and fashion the stalks of barley into sheaves while the stalks were still attached to the ground, so that it would be convenient to reap them. The residents of all the towns adjacent to the site of the harvest would assemble there, so that it would be harvested with great fanfare. Once it grew dark, the court emissary says to those assembled: Did the sun set? The assembly says in response: Yes. The emissary repeats: Did the sun set? They again say: Yes. The court emissary next says to those assembled: Shall I reap the sheaves with this sickle? The assembly says in response: Yes. The emissary repeats: With this sickle? The assembly says: Yes. The court emissary then says to those assembled: Shall I place the gathered sheaves in this basket? The assembly says in response: Yes. The emissary repeats: In this basket? The assembly says: Yes. If the sixteenth of Nisan occurs on Shabbat, the court emissary says to the assembled: Shall I cut the sheaves on this Shabbat? The assembly says in response: Yes. The emissary repeats: On this Shabbat? The assembly says: Yes. The court emissary says to those assembled: Shall I cut the sheaves? And they say to him in response: Cut. The emissary repeats: Shall I cut the sheaves? And they say to him: Cut. The emissary asks three times with regard to each and every matter, and the assembly says to him: Yes, yes, yes. The mishna asks: Why do I need those involved to publicize each stage of the rite to that extent? The mishna answers: It is due to the Boethusians, as they deny the validity of the Oral Law and would say: There is no harvest of the omer at the conclusion of the first Festival day of Passover unless it occurs at the conclusion of Shabbat. The publicity was to underscore that the sixteenth of Nisan was the proper time for the omer harvest.
קְצָרוּהוּ וּנְתָנוּהוּ בְקֻפּוֹת, הֱבִיאוּהוּ לָעֲזָרָה, הָיוּ מְהַבְהְבִין אוֹתוֹ בָאוּר, כְּדֵי לְקַיֵּם בּוֹ מִצְוַת קָלִי, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, בְּקָנִים וּבִקְלִיחוֹת חוֹבְטִים אוֹתוֹ, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִתְמָעֵךְ. נְתָנוּהוּ לָאַבּוּב, וְאַבּוּב הָיָה מְנֻקָּב, כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא הָאוּר שׁוֹלֵט בְּכֻלּוֹ. שְׁטָחוּהוּ בָעֲזָרָה, וְהָרוּחַ מְנַשֶּׁבֶת בּוֹ. נְתָנוּהוּ בְרֵחַיִם שֶׁל גָּרוֹסוֹת, וְהוֹצִיאוּ מִמֶּנּוּ עִשָּׂרוֹן שֶׁהוּא מְנֻפֶּה מִשְּׁלשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה נָפָה, וְהַשְּׁאָר נִפְדֶּה וְנֶאֱכָל לְכָל אָדָם. וְחַיָּב בַּחַלָּה, וּפָטוּר מִן הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת. רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא מְחַיֵּב בַּחַלָּה וּבַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת. בָא לוֹ לָעִשָּׂרוֹן, וְנָתַן שַׁמְנוֹ וּלְבוֹנָתוֹ, יָצַק, וּבָלַל, הֵנִיף, וְהִגִּישׁ, וְקָמַץ, וְהִקְטִיר, וְהַשְּׁאָר נֶאֱכָל לַכֹּהֲנִים:
After they harvested the omer and placed it in the baskets, they brought it to the Temple courtyard. And they would singe in the fire the kernels of barley while they were still on the stalks, in order to fulfill the mitzva of parched grain, as it is written: “And if you bring a meal offering of first fruits to the Lord, you shall bring for the meal offering of your first fruits grain in the ear parched with fire” (Leviticus 2:14). This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: Prior to parching the kernels, they would remove them from the stalks by beating them with soft, moist reeds and with cabbage stalks, not with sticks, so that the kernels would not be crushed. They then placed the grain into a hollow vessel [le’abuv], and this vessel was perforated so that the fire would take hold of the grain in its entirety. After parching the kernels, they would spread the kernels in the Temple courtyard and the wind would blow upon the kernels, cooling and drying them. They then placed the kernels in a mill used to grind grits, so that the barley would not be ground so fine that the shell would be mixed with the grain. And they produced from the ground barley a tenth of an ephah of barley flour that was sifted through thirteen sifters, and the rest is redeemed and may be eaten by any person. And dough from this barley flour is obligated in the separation of ḥalla, and the grain is exempt from the separation of tithe. Rabbi Akiva deems this flour obligated in having ḥalla and tithes separated from it. After daybreak, the priest sacrificing the omer came to the sifted tenth of an ephah, placed in the vessel in his hand some of its log of oil, and placed its frankincense on the side of the vessel. He then poured some more oil from the log onto the high-quality flour and mixed them together, waved and brought the meal offering to the corner of the altar, and removed the handful and burned it on the altar. And the rest of the meal offering is eaten by the priests. Once the omer was sacrificed people would emerge and find the marketplace of Jerusalem full of the flour from the parched grain of the new crop that was permitted by the waving and the sacrifice of the omer offering. That filling of the marketplace with the new crop was performed not with the approval of the Sages; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says: They would do so with the approval of the Sages.
מִשֶּׁקָּרַב הָעֹמֶר, יוֹצְאִין וּמוֹצְאִין שׁוּק יְרוּשָׁלַיִם שֶׁהוּא מָלֵא קֶמַח וְקָלִי, שֶׁלֹּא בִרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר. רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר, בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים הָיוּ עוֹשִׂים. מִשֶּׁקָּרַב הָעֹמֶר, הֻתַּר הֶחָדָשׁ מִיָּד, וְהָרְחוֹקִים מֻתָּרִים מֵחֲצוֹת הַיּוֹם וּלְהַלָּן. מִשֶּׁחָרַב בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ, הִתְקִין רַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי, שֶׁיְּהֵא יוֹם הָנֵף כֻּלּוֹ אָסוּר. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, וַהֲלֹא מִן הַתּוֹרָה הוּא אָסוּר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג), עַד עֶצֶם הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה. מִפְּנֵי מָה הָרְחוֹקִים מֻתָּרִים מֵחֲצוֹת הַיּוֹם וּלְהַלָּן, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן יוֹדְעִין שֶׁאֵין בֵּית דִּין מִתְעַצְּלִין בּוֹ:
From the moment that the omer offering was sacrificed, the produce of the new crop was permitted immediately. For those distant from Jerusalem, the new crop is permitted from midday and beyond. From the time that the Temple was destroyed, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted that the day of waving the omer, the sixteenth of Nisan, is entirely prohibited, i.e., one may partake of the new crop only the next day. Rabbi Yehuda said: But isn’t it forbidden by Torah law, as it is stated: “And you shall eat neither bread, nor parched grain, nor fresh grain, until this selfsame day, until you have brought the offering of your God” (Leviticus 23:14)? This means that the new crop is prohibited on the day of the waving unless permitted by sacrifice of the offering. And if so, for what reason is it permitted for those distant to eat the new crop from midday and beyond, when the Temple is standing? It is due to the fact that they know that the members of the court are not indolent in its sacrifice, and certainly by midday the sacrifice of the omer offering has been completed.
הָעֹמֶר הָיָה מַתִּיר בַּמְּדִינָה, וּשְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ. אֵין מְבִיאִין מְנָחוֹת וּבִכּוּרִים וּמִנְחַת בְּהֵמָה קֹדֶם לָעֹמֶר. וְאִם הֵבִיא, פָּסוּל. קֹדֶם לִשְׁתֵּי הַלֶּחֶם, לֹא יָבִיא. וְאִם הֵבִיא, כָּשֵׁר:
Sacrifice of the omer offering would permit consumption of the new crop in the rest of the country outside the Temple, and the two loaves offering would permit the sacrifice of the new crop in the Temple. One may not bring meal offerings, or first fruits, or the meal offering brought with libations accompanying animal offerings, from the new crop prior to the sacrifice of the omer, and if he brought them from the new crop they are unfit. After the omer but prior to the two loaves one may not bring these offerings from the new crop, but if he brought them from the new crop, they are fit.
הַחִטִּים וְהַשְּׂעֹרִים וְהַכֻּסְּמִין וְשִׁבֹּלֶת שׁוּעָל וְהַשִּׁיפוֹן חַיָּבִין בַּחַלָּה, וּמִצְטָרְפִין זֶה עִם זֶה, וַאֲסוּרִים בֶּחָדָשׁ מִלִּפְנֵי הַפֶּסַח, וּמִלִּקְצֹר מִלִּפְנֵי הָעֹמֶר. וְאִם הִשְׁרִישׁוּ קֹדֶם לָעֹמֶר, הָעֹמֶר מַתִּירָן. וְאִם לָאו, אֲסוּרִים עַד שֶׁיָּבֹא עֹמֶר הַבָּא:
Wheat, barley, spelt, oats, and rye; these are obligated in the separation of ḥalla, and each one of them joins together with the othersto constitute the measure that obligates one to separate ḥalla. And they are prohibited due to the prohibition of partaking of the new crop prior to the Passover Festival, and likewise it is prohibited to reap them prior to the omer offering. If these grains took root prior the omer offering, the omer permits their consumption; and if not, they are prohibited until the next omer is brought and sacrificed the following year.
קוֹצְרִים בֵּית הַשְּׁלָחִים שֶׁבָּעֲמָקִים, אֲבָל לֹא גוֹדְשִׁין. אַנְשֵׁי יְרִיחוֹ קוֹצְרִין בִּרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים, וְגוֹדְשִׁין שֶׁלֹּא בִרְצוֹן חֲכָמִים, וְלֹא מִחוּ בְיָדָם חֲכָמִים. קוֹצֵר לַשַּׁחַת, וּמַאֲכִיל לַבְּהֵמָה. אָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה, אֵימָתַי, בִּזְמַן שֶׁהִתְחִיל עַד שֶׁלֹּא הֵבִיאָה שְׁלִישׁ. רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, אַף יִקְצֹר וְיַאֲכִיל אַף מִשֶּׁהֵבִיאָה שְׁלִישׁ:
Even before the omer offering is brought, one may reap a crop that grows in an irrigated field in the valleys, but one may not arrange the reaped stalks in a pile. The residents of Jericho, whose fields were categorized as irrigated fields in a valley, reaped the crops with the approval of the Sages and arranged the crops in a pile without the approval of the Sages, but the Sages did not reprimand them. One may reap crops in any field for fodder and feed it to an animal. Rabbi Yehuda said: When may one do so? At a time when he begins reaping before the crop reaches one-third of its potential growth. Rabbi Shimon says: One may reap and feed the crops to animals even after they reached one-third of their potential growth.
קוֹצְרִין מִפְּנֵי הַנְּטִיעוֹת, מִפְּנֵי בֵית הָאֵבֶל, מִפְּנֵי בִטּוּל בֵּית הַמִּדְרָשׁ. לֹא יַעֲשֶׂה אוֹתָן כְּרִיכוֹת, אֲבָל מַנִּיחָן צְבָתִים. מִצְוַת הָעֹמֶר לָבֹא מִן הַקָּמָה. לֹא מָצָא, יָבִיא מִן הָעֳמָרִים. מִצְוָתוֹ לָבֹא מִן הַלַּח. לֹא מָצָא, יָבִיא מִן הַיָּבֵשׁ. מִצְוָתוֹ לִקְצֹר בַּלַּיְלָה. נִקְצַר בַּיּוֹם, כָּשֵׁר. וְדוֹחֶה אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת:
And one may reap crops prior to the omer due to potential damage to saplings growing alongside the crops; and due to the place of mourning, i.e., to create room for those consoling mourners, who would bless them upon their return from the cemetery; and due to the need to create room for students to study, as failure to do so would lead to dereliction of Torah study in the study hall. After reaping the crops for any of these reasons, one may not fashion them into sheaves, but he leaves them unbound. The mitzva of the omer is for the barley to come from standing grain. If one did not find standing grain, he brings from sheaves. Its mitzva is for it to come from fresh, moist grain. If one did not find moist grain, he brings from dry grain. Its mitzva is for one to reap the grain at night, but if it was reaped during the day, it is fit. And reaping the grain for the omer overrides Shabbat.