חַסּוֹרֵי מִיחַסְּרָא וְהָכִי קָתָנֵי אֶתְרוֹג אַחַר לְקִיטָתוֹ לְמַעֲשֵׂר וְאַחַר חֲנָטָה לִשְׁבִיעִית וְרַבּוֹתֵינוּ נִמְנוּ בְּאוּשָׁא אַחַר לְקִיטָתוֹ בֵּין לְמַעֲשֵׂר בֵּין לִשְׁבִיעִית The Gemara answers: The baraita is incomplete and is teaching the following: Avtolemos testified in the name of five Elders: An etrog follows the time of its picking in the matter of tithes and it follows the time of the formation of its fruit in the matter of the Sabbatical Year. But our Sages voted in Usha and decided that an etrog follows the time of its picking, both in the matter of tithes and in the matter of the Sabbatical Year.
אִיתְּמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן וְרֵישׁ לָקִישׁ אָמְרִי תַּרְוַיְיהוּ אֶתְרוֹג בַּת שִׁשִּׁית שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לִשְׁבִיעִית לְעוֹלָם שִׁשִּׁית כִּי אֲתָא רָבִין אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אֶתְרוֹג בַּת שִׁשִּׁית שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לִשְׁבִיעִית אֲפִילּוּ כְּזַיִת וְנַעֲשֵׂית כִּכָּר חַיָּיבִין עָלֶיהָ מִשּׁוּם טֶבֶל It was stated that the amora’im of Eretz Yisrael discussed this issue: Rabbi Yoḥanan and Reish Lakish both say: An etrog from the sixth year of the Sabbatical cycle that entered into, and was picked in, the Sabbatical Year is always and for all purposes considered as sixth-year produce. When Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: A sixth-year etrog that entered into, and was picked in, the Sabbatical Year, although at the beginning of the Sabbatical Year it was only the size of an olive-bulk and during the Sabbatical Year it grew to the size of a loaf of bread, is considered sixth-year produce that is subject to tithing, and if one eats it without tithing, he is liable for eating untithed produce.
תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן אִילָן שֶׁחָנְטוּ פֵּירוֹתָיו קוֹדֶם חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בִּשְׁבָט מִתְעַשֵּׂר לְשָׁנָה שֶׁעָבְרָה אַחַר חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בִּשְׁבָט מִתְעַשֵּׂר לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה אָמַר רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּאִילָן שֶׁעוֹשֶׂה שְׁתֵּי בְרִיכוֹת בַּשָּׁנָה The Sages taught in a baraita: A tree whose fruits were formed before the fifteenth of Shevat is tithed in accordance with the previous year, and if the fruits were formed after the fifteenth of Shevat it is tithed in accordance with the coming year. Rabbi Neḥemya said: In what case is this statement said? It is said with regard to a tree that produces two broods, two crops, in a single year.
שְׁתֵּי בְרִיכוֹת סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ אֶלָּא אֵימָא כְּעֵין שְׁתֵּי בְרִיכוֹת The Gemara interrupts with a question about the wording of this baraita: Does it enter your mind to say two broods? Animals produce broods, but trees do not. Rather, say: Like two broods, i.e., two seasons’ worth of crops.
אֲבָל אִילָן הָעוֹשֶׂה בְּרִיכָה אַחַת כְּגוֹן דְּקָלִים וְזֵיתִים וְחָרוּבִין אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָנְטוּ פֵּירוֹתֵיהֶן קוֹדֶם חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בִּשְׁבָט מִתְעַשְּׂרִין לְשָׁנָה הַבָּאָה The baraita continues: But in the case of trees that produce only one brood of fruit, for example, palm trees, and olive trees, and carob trees, which yield fruit only once a year, although their fruit took form before the fifteenth of Shevat, they are tithed in accordance with the coming year, since they follow the time of their fruit’s picking. According to Rabbi Neḥemya, most fruit will be tithed according to the time that the fruit is picked, since only a minority of fruit trees produce two crops a year.
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן נָהֲגוּ הָעָם בֶּחָרוּבִין כְּרַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The people were accustomed to act with regard to carobs in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Neḥemya, that their tithe year follows the time of the fruit’s picking.
אֵיתִיבֵיהּ רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ לְרַבִּי יוֹחָנָן בְּנוֹת שׁוּחַ שְׁבִיעִית שֶׁלָּהֶן שְׁנִיָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁעוֹשׂוֹת לִשְׁלֹשׁ הַשָּׁנִים Reish Lakish raised an objection to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan from a mishna that teaches: In the case of white fig trees, the Sabbatical Year for them with regard to the halakhot of eating and elimination is in the second year of the Sabbatical cycle, due to the fact that their fruit grows for three years, and so the fruit that ripens in the second year of the Sabbatical cycle had already taken form in the previous Sabbatical Year. This indicates that the tithe follows the time of the formation of the fruit and not the time of picking.
אִישְׁתִּיק אֲמַר לֵיהּ רַבִּי אַבָּא הַכֹּהֵן לְרַבִּי יוֹסֵי הַכֹּהֵן אַמַּאי אִישְׁתִּיק לֵימָא לֵיהּ אָמֵינָא לָךְ אֲנָא רַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה וְאַתְּ אָמְרַתְּ לִי רַבָּנַן Rabbi Yoḥanan was silent and did not respond, as though he had no answer. Rabbi Abba the priest said to Rabbi Yosei the priest: Why was Rabbi Yoḥanan silent? He should have said to Reish Lakish as follows: I am speaking to you of the opinion of Rabbi Neḥemya, and you say to me the opinion of the Rabbis?
מִשּׁוּם דַּאֲמַר לֵיהּ שָׁבְקַתְּ רַבָּנַן וְעָבְדַתְּ כְּרַבִּי נְחֶמְיָה Rabbi Yosei the priest answered: He could not have made this argument, because Reish Lakish would then have said to him: Do you abandon the opinion of the Rabbis, who constitute the majority, and act in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Neḥemya, who express a sole dissenting opinion?
וְלֵימָא לֵיהּ קָאָמֵינָא לָךְ נָהֲגוּ וְאַתְּ אָמְרַתְּ לִי אִיסּוּרָא דַּאֲמַר לֵיהּ בִּמְקוֹם אִיסּוּרָא כִּי נָהֲגוּ שָׁבְקִינַן לְהוּ Rabbi Abba the priest asked further: Rabbi Yoḥanan should have said to him: I am speaking to you only about how the people practice and that their custom follows the opinion of Rabbi Neḥemya, and you say to me that it is a prohibition? Rabbi Yosei the priest answered: He could not have said this, because Reish Lakish would then have said to him: Where there is a prohibition, even if they were accustomed to act in a particular manner, would we leave them to continue?
וְלֵימָא לֵיהּ כִּי אָמֵינָא לָךְ אֲנָא מַעֲשֵׂר חָרוּבִין דְּרַבָּנַן וְאַתְּ אָמְרַתְּ לִי שְׁבִיעִית דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא Rabbi Abba the priest asked further: Rabbi Yoḥanan should have said to Reish Lakish as follows: I am speaking to you about the tithe of carobs, which is only by rabbinic decree, as by Torah law all fruits apart from grapes and olives are exempt from tithing, and you speak to me about the Sabbatical Year, which is by Torah law? This being an irrefutable argument, the Gemara once again clarifies this matter.
אֶלָּא אָמַר רַבִּי אַבָּא הַכֹּהֵן תְּמֵיהַנִי אִם הֱשִׁיבָהּ רֵישׁ לָקִישׁ לִתְשׁוּבָה זוֹ אִם הֱשִׁיבָהּ הָא אוֹתְבַהּ אֶלָּא אֵימָא אִם קִיבְּלָהּ רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן אִם לָא קִיבְּלָהּ: Rather, Rabbi Abba the priest said: I wonder whether Reish Lakish actually raised this original objection to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, since it has such a clear refutation. The Gemara asks: Whether he asked it? But he did ask it, as is reported in the story. Rather, say: I wonder if Rabbi Yoḥanan accepted this question and was silent because he had nothing to answer, or he did not accept it but nevertheless remained silent because he thought the question was not worthy of an answer.