ודלמא לא עייל כלל וקאמר רחמנא תשמט ותיזיל עד חג הסוכות
But perhaps the verse is referring to produce that did not grow at all during the seventh year, and nevertheless, the Merciful One states in the Torah that all the halakhot of the Sabbatical Year continue to apply until the festival of Sukkot of the eighth year.
לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב (שמות כג, טז) וחג האסיף בצאת השנה מאי אסיף אילימא חג הבא בזמן אסיפה הכתיב באספך
The Gemara answers: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is written: “And the festival of gathering, which is at the end of the year, when you have gathered in your labors out of the field” (Exodus 23:16). What is the meaning of “gathering”? If we say that it means: A Festival that comes at the time of gathering the crops, isn’t it already written: “When you have gathered in your labors”? There is no need to repeat this a second time.
אלא מאי אסיף קציר וקים להו לרבנן דכל תבואה שנקצרה בחג בידוע שהביאה שליש לפני ראש השנה וקא קרי לה בצאת השנה
Rather, what is meant here by “gathering”? It means harvesting. And the Sages have an accepted tradition that any grain that reaches full growth so that it is harvested on the festival of Sukkot is known to have reached one-third of its growth before Rosh HaShana, and the Torah calls that period of the year until Sukkot “at the end of the year,” thereby indicating that it is still subject to the halakhot governing the previous year.
א"ל ר' ירמיה לר' זירא וקים להו לרבנן בין שליש לפחות משליש א"ל לאו אמינא לך לא תפיק נפשך לבר מהלכתא כל מדות חכמים כן הוא
§ Rabbi Yirmeya said to Rabbi Zeira: And are the Sages able to discern precisely between produce that reached one-third of its growth and produce that reached less than one-third of its growth? Rabbi Zeira said to him: Do I not always tell you that you must not take yourself out of the bounds of the halakha? All the measures of the Sages are like this; they are precise and exact.
בארבעים סאה הוא טובל בארבעים סאה חסר קורטוב אינו יכול לטבול בהן כביצה מטמא טומאת אוכלין כביצה חסר שומשום אינו מטמא טומאת אוכלין
For example, one who immerses himself in a ritual bath containing forty se’a of water is rendered pure, but in forty se’a less the tiny amount of a kortov, he cannot immerse and become pure in them. Similarly, an egg-bulk of impure food can render other food ritually impure, but an egg-bulk less even the tiny amount of a sesame seed does not render food ritually impure.
שלשה על שלשה מטמא מדרס שלשה על שלשה חסר נימא אחת אינו מטמא מדרס
So too, a piece of cloth three by three handbreadths in size is susceptible to ritual impurity imparted by treading, but a piece of cloth three by three handbreadths less one hair [nima] is not susceptible to ritual impurity imparted by treading.
הדר א"ר ירמיה לאו מילתא היא דאמרי דבעו מיניה חברייא מרב כהנא עומר שהקריבו ישראל בכניסתן לארץ מהיכן הקריבוהו אם תאמר דעייל ביד נכרי (ויקרא כג, י) קצירכם אמר רחמנא ולא קציר נכרי
Rabbi Yirmeya then said: What I said is nothing, and my question had no basis, as it can be demonstrated that the Sages know how to determine that produce has reached one-third of its growth. As Rav Kahana was once asked by the other colleagues of the academy as follows: With regard to the omer offering that the Jewish people brought when they first entered Eretz Yisrael in the days of Joshua, from where did they bring it? If you say that this omer offering was brought from grain that grew in the possession of a gentile, there is a difficulty, as the Merciful One states in the Torah: “You shall bring an omer of the first fruits of your harvest to the priest” (Leviticus 23:13), from which it can be derived that it must be your harvest, grown in the possession of a Jew, and not the harvest of a gentile.
ממאי דאקריבו דלמא לא אקריבו לא ס"ד דכתיב (יהושע ה, יא) ויאכלו מעבור הארץ ממחרת הפסח ממחרת הפסח אכול מעיקרא לא אכול דאקריבו עומר והדר אכלי מהיכן הקריבו
The Gemara first questions the assumption of Rav Kahana’s colleagues: From where is it known that the Jewish people actually brought an omer offering that year? Perhaps they did not offer it at all. The Gemara rejects this argument: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is written: “And they did eat of the produce of the land on the next day after Passover” (Joshua 5:11), which teaches: Only on the next day after Passover did they eat from the new grain, but initially they did not eat from it. Why? It is because they first brought the omer offering on the sixteenth of Nisan as is required, and only afterward did they eat from the new grain. Therefore the question remains: From where did they bring the omer offering?
אמר להן כל שלא הביא שליש ביד נכרי
Rav Kahana said to them: Anything that came into the possession of a Jew and did not reach one-third of its growth in the possession of a gentile is fit to be harvested for the sake of the omer offering.
ודלמא עייל ולא קים להו אלא קים להו הכא נמי קים להו
Rabbi Yirmeya concludes his proof: But there, too, one might ask: Perhaps the grain had in fact already reached one-third of its growth, but they could not discern with certainty between grain that had reached one-third of its growth and grain that had not. Rather, you must say that they were able to discern with certainty. Here, too, you can say that the Sages can discern with certainty between produce that has reached one-third of its growth before Rosh HaShana and produce that has not.
ודלמא לא עייל כלל אבל היכא דעייל ריבעא בין שליש לפחות משליש לא קים להו
The Gemara asks: This is not absolute proof, as perhaps the Jewish people brought the omer offering from grain that did not grow at all before they conquered the land, and the distinction was evident to all. But where produce reached one quarter of its growth, the Sages cannot discern with certainty the difference between one-third and less than one-third.
לא סלקא דעתך דכתיב (יהושע ד, יט) והעם עלו מן הירדן בעשור לחדש ואי ס"ד דלא עייל כלל בחמשה יומי מי קא מליא
The Gemara answers: It should not enter your mind to say this, as it is written: “And the people came up from the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month” (Joshua 4:19). And if it enters your mind to say that the grain had not grown at all before the Jewish people entered the land, could it have reached full growth in just five days?
אלא מאי דעייל רבעא או דנקא אכתי בחמשה יומי מי קא מליא אלא מאי אית לך למימר (דניאל יא, מא) ארץ צבי כתיב בה ה"נ ארץ צבי כתיב בה
The Gemara rejects this argument: Rather, what can one say? That the grain had reached one quarter or one-sixth [danka] of its growth before the Jewish people conquered the land? This too is difficult, as one can still ask: Could the grain have reached full growth in just five days? Rather, what have you to say? One could say that with regard to Eretz Yisrael it is written: “The land of the deer” (Daniel 11:41), implying that the grain of Eretz Yisrael ripens with the swiftness of a deer. Here, too, one can say that “the land of the deer” is written with regard to Eretz Yisrael and applies to the ripening of the grain, so that it can ripen in just a few days.
מתקיף לה רבי חנינא ומי מצית אמרת דהאי אסיף קציר הוא והכתיב (דברים טז, יג) באספך מגרנך ומיקבך ואמר מר בפסולת גורן ויקב הכתוב מדבר
§ Rabbi Ḥanina strongly objects to the proof brought from the verse in Exodus cited above, which refers to Sukkot as the festival of gathering: How can you say that this “gathering” means harvesting? But isn’t it written: “You shall observe the festival of Sukkot seven days, after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and from your winepress” (Deuteronomy 16:13), and the Master said about this: The verse speaks here of the waste of the threshing floor and the winepress, which is used to make the roof of the sukka. If so, the gathering mentioned with regard to the festival of Sukkot is referring not to harvesting but to gathering straw from the threshing floor.
א"ר זירא הא מילתא הואי בידן ואתא רבי חנינא שדא ביה נרגא
Rabbi Zeira said about this: This matter was in our hands, i.e., I thought that we had solid proof that the years for produce follow the first third of its growth, but Rabbi Ḥanina came and cast an axe upon it, cutting it down, as Rabbi Ḥanina’s objection has totally nullified the proof.
אלא מנלן כדתניא רבי יונתן בן יוסף אומר (ויקרא כה, כא) ועשת את התבואה לשלש השנים
The Gemara asks: Rather, from where do we derive that the years for produce follow the first third of its growth? The Gemara answers: As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yonatan ben Yosef says: The verse states: “And it shall bring forth fruit for the three years” (Leviticus 25:21);