Rosh Hashanah 14b:5ראש השנה י״ד ב:ה
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14bי״ד ב

אחד כדברי ב"ש ואחד כדברי ב"ה

One tithe was in accordance with the statement of Beit Shammai that the new year for trees is on the first of Shevat, in which case it was already the third or sixth year, when one must set aside poor man’s tithe; and one tithe was in accordance with the statement of Beit Hillel that the new year for trees is on the fifteenth of Shevat, so it was still the second or fifth year, when one must set aside second tithe.

ר' יוסי בר יהודה אומר לא מנהג ב"ש וב"ה נהג בה אלא מנהג רבן גמליאל ור' אליעזר נהג בה

Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda says: He did not act as he did in order to conform with the conflicting practices of Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel. Rather, he acted as he did in order to conform with the conflicting practices of Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Eliezer.

דתנן אתרוג שוה לאילן בג' דרכים ולירק בדרך אחד שוה לאילן בג' דרכים לערלה ולרבעי ולשביעית ולירק בדרך אחד שבשעת לקיטתו עישורו דברי ר"ג

As we learned in a mishna: The etrog tree is like an ordinary tree in three ways and like a vegetable in one way. How so? It is like an ordinary tree in three ways: With regard to orla, that the fruit of the first three years after the tree is planted is forbidden; with regard to fourth-year produce, that the fruit that grows in the fourth year after the tree is planted must be brought to Jerusalem and eaten there or else it must be redeemed; and with regard to the Sabbatical Year, that the year is determined by the time of the formation of its fruit. And the etrog is like a vegetable in one way, which is that its tithe year follows the time of the picking of its fruit; this is the statement of Rabban Gamliel.

ר' אליעזר אומר אתרוג שוה לאילן לכל דבר

Rabbi Eliezer says: The etrog is like fruit of a tree with regard to all matters, and so its tithe year also follows the time of the formation of its fruit. Since Rabbi Akiva was in doubt whether the halakha is ruled in accordance with the opinion of Rabban Gamliel or Rabbi Eliezer, he set aside two tithes in order to follow both of their opinions.

ומי עבדינן כתרי חומרי והתניא לעולם הלכה כדברי ב"ה והרוצה לעשות כדברי ב"ש עושה כדברי ב"ה עושה מקולי ב"ש ומקולי ב"ה רשע מחומרי ב"ש ומחומרי ב"ה עליו הכתוב אומר (קהלת ב, יד) והכסיל בחשך הולך אלא אי כב"ש בקוליהון ובחומריהון אי כב"ה בקוליהון ובחומריהון

The Gemara questions Rabbi Akiva’s conduct: But do we adopt the respective stringencies of two authorities who disagree on a series of issues? Isn’t it taught in a baraita: The halakha is always in accordance with the statement of Beit Hillel, but one who wishes to act in accordance with the statement of Beit Shammai may do so, and one who wishes to act in accordance with the statement of Beit Hillel may do so. If he adopts both the leniencies of Beit Shammai and also the leniencies of Beit Hillel, he is a wicked person. And if he adopts both the stringencies of Beit Shammai and the stringencies of Beit Hillel, with regard to him the verse states: “The fool walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastes 2:14). Rather, one should act either in accordance with Beit Shammai, following both their leniencies and their stringencies, or in accordance with Beit Hillel, following both their leniencies and their stringencies. If so, why did Rabbi Akiva follow two contradictory stringencies?

ר"ע גמריה אסתפק ליה ולא ידע אי ב"ה באחד בשבט (אומר) אי בט"ו בשבט (אומר)

The Gemara answers: Rabbi Akiva wished to act in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, but he was in doubt about his tradition and did not know whether Beit Hillel said that the new year for trees is on the first of Shevat or whether they said that it is on the fifteenth of Shevat, and so he set aside two tithes in order to conform with both possibilities.

ר' יוסי בר יהודה אומר לא מנהג ב"ש וב"ה נהג בה אלא מנהג ר"ג ורבי אליעזר נהג בה באחד בשבט כבית שמאי נהג בה

The Gemara further clarifies the baraita, which states: Rabbi Yosei bar Yehuda says: He did not act as he did in order to conform with the conflicting practices of Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel; rather, he acted as he did in order to conform with the conflicting practices of Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Eliezer. The Gemara asks: Seeing that he did this on the first of Shevat, it would seem that he acted in accordance with the practice of Beit Shammai. According to Beit Hillel, both the formation of the fruit and its picking took place in the same year, as the new year does not begin until the fifteenth of Shevat, and so there would have been no need to set aside two tithes.

א"ר חנינא ואיתימא ר' חנניא הכא באתרוג שחנטו פירותיו קודם ט"ו דאידך שבט עסקינן ובדין הוא אפילו קודם לכן ומעשה שהיה כך היה

Rabbi Ḥanina said, and some say that it was Rabbi Ḥananya who said: Here we are dealing with an etrog tree whose fruit was formed prior to the fifteenth of the other, previous, Shevat, in the second year, and it was picked on the first of the following Shevat, in the third year. According to the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer that the tithe year of an etrog follows the time of the formation of its fruit, the fruit was obligated in second tithe, whereas according to the opinion of Rabban Gamliel that the tithe year of an etrog follows the time of its picking, it was obligated in poor man’s tithe, and so Rabbi Akiva set aside two tithes. And by right it should have taught that even if the fruit had been picked earlier, any time after the fifteenth of the previous Shevat, but the incident that took place, took place in this way, that the fruit was picked on the first of Shevat.

רבינא אמר כרוך ותני לא אחד בשבט היה אלא ט"ו בשבט היה ולא מנהג בית שמאי ובית הלל נהג בה אלא מנהג רבן גמליאל ור' אליעזר נהג בה

Ravina said: Combine the two statements and teach the baraita as follows: It was not on the first of Shevat that Rabbi Akiva picked the fruit, but on the fifteenth of Shevat, and he did not act as he did in order to conform with the conflicting practices of Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, but rather, he acted as he did in order to conform with the conflicting practices of Rabban Gamliel and Rabbi Eliezer, both in accordance with the practice of Beit Hillel.

אמר רבה בר רב הונא השתא דאמר רבן גמליאל אתרוג אחר לקיטתו עישורו כירק ראש השנה שלו תשרי

§ Rabba bar Rav Huna said: Now that Rabban Gamliel has said that the tithe year of an etrog follows the time of the picking of its fruit, like a vegetable, its new year for tithing is Tishrei, like other vegetables.

מיתיבי ר' שמעון בן אלעזר אומר ליקט אתרוג ערב ט"ו בשבט עד שלא תבוא השמש וחזר וליקט משתבוא השמש אין תורמין ומעשרין מזה על זה לפי שאין תורמין ומעשרין לא מן החדש על הישן ולא מן הישן על החדש היתה שלישית נכנסת לרביעית שלישית מעשר ראשון ומעשר עני רביעית מעשר ראשון ומעשר שני

The Gemara raises an objection from the following baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: If one picked the fruit of an etrog tree on the eve of the fifteenth of Shevat before the sun had set, and then he picked more fruit after sunset, one may not set aside teruma and tithes from the one for the other, as one may not set aside teruma and tithes from the new crop for the old or from the old crop for the new. If he did this when it was the third year of the Sabbatical cycle going into the fourth year, the halakha is as follows: From what he picked in the third year he must set aside first tithe and poor man’s tithe, and from what he picked in the fourth year he must set aside first tithe and second tithe.