Below the section of the mishnah we are learning this week you will find additional sources. These include any Jewish texts cited in the mishnah (organized in the order in which they are cited), as well as other texts thematically related to the content of the mishnah.
Optional discussion questions are at the very bottom of the sourcesheet.
Feel free to also use other mishnah commentaries not included on this sourcesheet to enhance your learning!
1. What issues does the mishnah raise about entry and inclusion in the Jewish community?
2. Do you think the mishnah sees being Jewish / non-Jewish as a binary? If not, what in-between categories also exist?
3. The mishnah puts a lot of emphasis on who can say “our” and “us” when reciting Jewish liturgy. How can liturgy be used as a tool for exclusion / inclusion? If this topic interests you, check out the additional sources at the end.
4. The mishnah brings up a lot of cases of dubious ownership of the trees that produce bikkurim - why do you think the rabbis were so focused on total individual ownership being necessary for this mitzvah (commandement)?
5. Why do you think the mishnah specifies that someone bringing bikkurim is liable for their safekeeping until they are brought to the Temple?
6. Based on the mishnayot you have learned so far, who does this mitzvah seem to be for? Where is the focus - the priests, God, the bringer, the land, something else?