לִפְתּוֹחַ רִאשׁוֹן וּלְבָרֵךְ רִאשׁוֹן וְלִיטּוֹל מָנָה יָפָה רִאשׁוֹן To open the Torah reading first, to recite a blessing first, and to take a fine portion first. When portions are distributed equally, a priest can choose his share first. The verse with regard to the sons of David proves that the same halakha applies to Torah scholars.
אָמַר רָבָא שְׁרֵי לֵיהּ לְצוּרְבָּא מֵרַבָּנַן לְמֵימַר לָא יָהֵיבְנָא אַכְּרָגָא דִּכְתִיב מִנְדָּה בְלוֹ וַהֲלָךְ לָא שַׁלִּיט לְמִירְמֵא עֲלֵיהוֹן וְאָמַר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה מִנְדָּה זוֹ מְנָת הַמֶּלֶךְ בְּלוֹ זוֹ כֶּסֶף גֻּולְגָּלְתָּא וַהֲלָךְ זוֹ אַרְנוֹנָא Furthermore, Rava said: It is permitted for a Torah scholar to say: I will not pay the head tax [karga], as it is written that the king of Persia wrote to Ezra, with regard to the priests, the Levites, and others who worked in the Temple: “It shall not be lawful to impose minda, belo, and halakh upon them” (Ezra 7:24). And Rabbi Yehuda said: Minda; this is the king’s portion. Belo; this is the money of the head tax. And halakh; this is arnona, a levy on people and their animals to perform physical labor in the service of the ruling authority. Since a Torah scholar is considered equivalent to a priest, as he is also dedicated to a sacred task, this exemption applies to him as well.
וְאָמַר רָבָא שְׁרֵי לֵיהּ לְצוּרְבָּא מֵרַבָּנַן לְמֵימַר עַבְדָּא דְנוּרָא אֲנָא לָא יָהֵיבְנָא אַכְּרָגָא מַאי טַעְמָא לְאַבְרוֹחֵי אַרְיָא מִינֵּיהּ קָאָמַר And Rava said further: It is permitted for a Torah scholar to say: I am a servant of the priests of fire worship and therefore I will not pay the head tax. Rava maintains that a scholar may issue a statement of this kind in a place where the priests of fire-worshippers are exempt from the head tax, because he actually is declaring himself a servant of God, who is referred to as “a devouring fire” (Deuteronomy 4:24). What is the reason that he is allowed to make this statement? He is saying it merely in order to chase a lion away from him, i.e., to avoid suffering a loss.
רַב אָשֵׁי הֲוָה לֵיהּ הָהוּא אִבָּא זַבְּנֵיהּ לְבֵי נוּרָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבִינָא לְרַב אָשֵׁי הָאִיכָּא לִפְנֵי עִוֵּר לֹא תִתֵּן מִכְשׁוֹל אֲמַר לֵיהּ רוֹב עֵצִים לְהַסָּקָה נִיתְּנוּ: The Gemara relates that Rav Ashi had a particular forest, and he sold it for its wood to the temple of fire worship. Ravina said to Rav Ashi: Isn’t there the prohibition: “You shall not put a stumbling block before the blind” (Leviticus 19:14), which prohibits assisting others in committing transgressions? And yet you are providing assistance to an idolatrous cult. He said to him: Most of the wood they use is for kindling, not for their ritual service. Consequently, I need not be concerned that the particular wood that I have sold them will be used for idolatry.
מַתְנִי׳ עַד הַקָּצִיר עַד שֶׁיַּתְחִיל הֶעָם לִקְצוֹר קְצִיר חִטִּין אֲבָל לֹא קְצִיר שְׂעוֹרִין הַכֹּל לְפִי מְקוֹם נִדְרוֹ אִם הָיָה בָּהָר בָּהָר וְאִם הָיָה בַּבִּקְעָה בַּבִּקְעָה MISHNA: If one takes a vow until the harvest, the vow remains in effect until people begin to harvest. This is referring to the wheat harvest but not the barley harvest. As for the exact date of this event, all is determined according to the place where he took his vow. If he was on a mountain, it is assumed that he referred to the time of the harvest on the mountain, and if he was in a valley, it is assumed that he meant the time of the harvest in the valley.
עַד הַגְּשָׁמִים עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ הַגְּשָׁמִים עֵד שֶׁתֵּרֵד רְבִיעָה שְׁנִיָּה רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ זְמַנָּהּ שֶׁל רְבִיעָה עַד שֶׁיִּפְסְקוּ גְּשָׁמִים עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא נִיסָן כּוּלּוֹ דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר עַד שֶׁיַּעֲבוֹר הַפֶּסַח: If one takes a vow until the rains, or until there are rains, the vow remains in effect until the second rain of the rainy season falls. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Until the time of the second rainfall arrives, even if rain does not fall. If one takes a vow until the rains end, the vow remains in effect until the entire month of Nisan has ended; this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda says: Until Passover has passed.
גְּמָ׳ תַּנְיָא הַנּוֹדֵר עַד הַקַּיִץ בַּגָּלִיל וְיָרַד לָעֲמָקִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִגִּיעַ הַקַּיִץ בָּעֲמָקִים אָסוּר עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַקַּיִץ בַּגָּלִיל: GEMARA: It is taught in a baraita: With regard to one who vows until the summer in the Galilee and subsequently descends to the valleys, even if the summer season has already arrived in the valleys, the subject of his vow remains forbidden to him until summer arrives in the Galilee, in accordance with the mishna’s ruling that the duration of a vow is in accordance with the place where it was made.
עַד הַגְּשָׁמִים עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ גְּשָׁמִים עַד שֶׁתֵּרֵד רְבִיעָה שְׁנִיָּה רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר וְכוּ׳ אָמַר רַבִּי זֵירָא מַחֲלוֹקֶת דְּאָמַר עַד הַגְּשָׁמִים אֲבָל אָמַר עַד הַגֶּשֶׁם עַד זְמַן גְּשָׁמִים קָאָמַר The mishna states that if one takes a vow until the rains, or until there are rains, he means until the second rain of the rainy season. Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: Until the time of the second rainfall arrives. The Gemara comments: Rabbi Zeira said: The dispute is in a case where one said: Until the rains. However, if he says: Until the rain, everyone agrees that he is saying that the vow should remain in effect until the time of the rains, but not necessarily until the rain actually falls.