Inclusion and Exclusion in Jewish Ritual - Mishnah Bikurim

ב – כ – ר

(ג) וַֽיְהִ֖י מִקֵּ֣ץ יָמִ֑ים וַיָּבֵ֨א קַ֜יִן מִפְּרִ֧י הָֽאֲדָמָ֛ה מִנְחָ֖ה לַֽיהוָֽה׃ (ד) וְהֶ֨בֶל הֵבִ֥יא גַם־ה֛וּא מִבְּכֹר֥וֹת צֹאנ֖וֹ וּמֵֽחֶלְבֵהֶ֑ן וַיִּ֣שַׁע יְהוָ֔ה אֶל־הֶ֖בֶל וְאֶל־מִנְחָתֽוֹ׃

(3) In the course of time, Cain brought an offering to the Eternal from the fruit of the soil; (4) and Abel, for his part, brought the choicest of the firstlings of his flock. The Eternal paid heed to Abel and his offering,

(כט) וַיָּ֥זֶד יַעֲקֹ֖ב נָזִ֑יד וַיָּבֹ֥א עֵשָׂ֛ו מִן־הַשָּׂדֶ֖ה וְה֥וּא עָיֵֽף׃ (ל) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר עֵשָׂ֜ו אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֗ב הַלְעִיטֵ֤נִי נָא֙ מִן־הָאָדֹ֤ם הָאָדֹם֙ הַזֶּ֔ה כִּ֥י עָיֵ֖ף אָנֹ֑כִי עַל־כֵּ֥ן קָרָֽא־שְׁמ֖וֹ אֱדֽוֹם׃ (לא) וַיֹּ֖אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֑ב מִכְרָ֥ה כַיּ֛וֹם אֶת־בְּכֹֽרָתְךָ֖ לִֽי׃ (לב) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר עֵשָׂ֔ו הִנֵּ֛ה אָנֹכִ֥י הוֹלֵ֖ךְ לָמ֑וּת וְלָמָּה־זֶּ֥ה לִ֖י בְּכֹרָֽה׃ (לג) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֗ב הִשָּׁ֤בְעָה לִּי֙ כַּיּ֔וֹם וַיִּשָּׁבַ֖ע ל֑וֹ וַיִּמְכֹּ֥ר אֶת־בְּכֹרָת֖וֹ לְיַעֲקֹֽב׃ (לד) וְיַעֲקֹ֞ב נָתַ֣ן לְעֵשָׂ֗ו לֶ֚חֶם וּנְזִ֣יד עֲדָשִׁ֔ים וַיֹּ֣אכַל וַיֵּ֔שְׁתְּ וַיָּ֖קָם וַיֵּלַ֑ךְ וַיִּ֥בֶז עֵשָׂ֖ו אֶת־הַבְּכֹרָֽה׃ (ס)

(29) Once when Jacob was cooking a stew, Esau came in from the open, famished. (30) And Esau said to Jacob, “Give me some of that red stuff to gulp down, for I am famished”—which is why he was named Edom. (31) Jacob said, “First sell me your birthright.” (32) And Esau said, “I am at the point of death, so of what use is my birthright to me?” (33) But Jacob said, “Swear to me first.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. (34) Jacob then gave Esau bread and lentil stew; he ate and drank, and he rose and went away. Thus did Esau spurn the birthright.

(יד) שָׁלֹ֣שׁ רְגָלִ֔ים תָּחֹ֥ג לִ֖י בַּשָּׁנָֽה׃ (טו) אֶת־חַ֣ג הַמַּצּוֹת֮ תִּשְׁמֹר֒ שִׁבְעַ֣ת יָמִים֩ תֹּאכַ֨ל מַצּ֜וֹת כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֣ר צִוִּיתִ֗ךָ לְמוֹעֵד֙ חֹ֣דֶשׁ הָֽאָבִ֔יב כִּי־ב֖וֹ יָצָ֣אתָ מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וְלֹא־יֵרָא֥וּ פָנַ֖י רֵיקָֽם׃ (טז) וְחַ֤ג הַקָּצִיר֙ בִּכּוּרֵ֣י מַעֲשֶׂ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תִּזְרַ֖ע בַּשָּׂדֶ֑ה וְחַ֤ג הָֽאָסִף֙ בְּצֵ֣את הַשָּׁנָ֔ה בְּאָסְפְּךָ֥ אֶֽת־מַעֲשֶׂ֖יךָ מִן־הַשָּׂדֶֽה׃ (יז) שָׁלֹ֥שׁ פְּעָמִ֖ים בַּשָּׁנָ֑ה יֵרָאֶה֙ כָּל־זְכ֣וּרְךָ֔ אֶל־פְּנֵ֖י הָאָדֹ֥ן ׀ יְהוָֽה׃ (יח) לֹֽא־תִזְבַּ֥ח עַל־חָמֵ֖ץ דַּם־זִבְחִ֑י וְלֹֽא־יָלִ֥ין חֵֽלֶב־חַגִּ֖י עַד־בֹּֽקֶר׃ (יט) רֵאשִׁ֗ית בִּכּוּרֵי֙ אַדְמָ֣תְךָ֔ תָּבִ֕יא בֵּ֖ית יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֑יךָ לֹֽא־תְבַשֵּׁ֥ל גְּדִ֖י בַּחֲלֵ֥ב אִמּֽוֹ׃ (ס)

(14) Three times a year you shall hold a festival for Me: (15) You shall observe the Feast of Matzah — eating unleavened bread for seven days as I have commanded you — at the set time in the month of Spring, for in it you went forth from Egypt; and none shall appear before Me empty-handed; (16) and the Feast of the Harvest, of the chosen fruits (bikkurei) of your work, of what you sow in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in the results of your work from the field. (17) Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Master, the Eternal. (18) You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with anything leavened; and the fat of My festal offering shall not be left lying until morning. (19) The chosen fruits (bikkurei) of your soil you shall bring to the house of the Eternal your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.

(א) וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ נַחֲלָ֑ה וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֖הּ וְיָשַׁ֥בְתָּ בָּֽהּ׃ (ב) וְלָקַחְתָּ֞ מֵרֵאשִׁ֣ית ׀ כָּל־פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר תָּבִ֧יא מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֛ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְהוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָ֖ךְ וְשַׂמְתָּ֣ בַטֶּ֑נֶא וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֙ אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן שְׁמ֖וֹ שָֽׁם׃ (ג) וּבָאתָ֙ אֶל־הַכֹּהֵ֔ן אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִהְיֶ֖ה בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֑ם וְאָמַרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֗יו הִגַּ֤דְתִּי הַיּוֹם֙ לַיהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ כִּי־בָ֙אתִי֙ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהוָ֛ה לַאֲבֹתֵ֖ינוּ לָ֥תֶת לָֽנוּ׃ (ד) וְלָקַ֧ח הַכֹּהֵ֛ן הַטֶּ֖נֶא מִיָּדֶ֑ךָ וְהִ֨נִּיח֔וֹ לִפְנֵ֕י מִזְבַּ֖ח יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ (ה) וְעָנִ֨יתָ וְאָמַרְתָּ֜ לִפְנֵ֣י ׀ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֲרַמִּי֙ אֹבֵ֣ד אָבִ֔י וַיֵּ֣רֶד מִצְרַ֔יְמָה וַיָּ֥גָר שָׁ֖ם בִּמְתֵ֣י מְעָ֑ט וַֽיְהִי־שָׁ֕ם לְג֥וֹי גָּד֖וֹל עָצ֥וּם וָרָֽב׃ (ו) וַיָּרֵ֧עוּ אֹתָ֛נוּ הַמִּצְרִ֖ים וַיְעַנּ֑וּנוּ וַיִּתְּנ֥וּ עָלֵ֖ינוּ עֲבֹדָ֥ה קָשָֽׁה׃ (ז) וַנִּצְעַ֕ק אֶל־יְהוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹתֵ֑ינוּ וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע יְהוָה֙ אֶת־קֹלֵ֔נוּ וַיַּ֧רְא אֶת־עָנְיֵ֛נוּ וְאֶת־עֲמָלֵ֖נוּ וְאֶת־לַחֲצֵֽנוּ׃ (ח) וַיּוֹצִאֵ֤נוּ יְהוָה֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם בְּיָ֤ד חֲזָקָה֙ וּבִזְרֹ֣עַ נְטוּיָ֔ה וּבְמֹרָ֖א גָּדֹ֑ל וּבְאֹת֖וֹת וּבְמֹפְתִֽים׃ (ט) וַיְבִאֵ֖נוּ אֶל־הַמָּק֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וַיִּתֶּן־לָ֙נוּ֙ אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ׃ (י) וְעַתָּ֗ה הִנֵּ֤ה הֵבֵ֙אתִי֙ אֶת־רֵאשִׁית֙ פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥תָּה לִּ֖י יְהוָ֑ה וְהִנַּחְתּ֗וֹ לִפְנֵי֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוִ֔יתָ לִפְנֵ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ׃ (יא) וְשָׂמַחְתָּ֣ בְכָל־הַטּ֗וֹב אֲשֶׁ֧ר נָֽתַן־לְךָ֛ יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ וּלְבֵיתֶ֑ךָ אַתָּה֙ וְהַלֵּוִ֔י וְהַגֵּ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּקִרְבֶּֽךָ׃ (ס)

(1) When you enter the land that the Eternal your God is giving you as a heritage, and you possess it and settle in it, (2) you shall take some of every first fruit (reishit) of the soil, which you harvest from the land that the Eternal your God is giving you, put it in a basket and go to the place where the Eternal your God will choose to establish God’s name. (3) You shall go to the priest in charge at that time and say to him, “I acknowledge this day before the Eternal your God that I have entered the land that the Eternal swore to our fathers to assign us.” (4) The priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down in front of the altar of the Eternal your God. (5) You shall then recite as follows before the Eternal your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation. (6) The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they imposed heavy labor upon us. (7) We cried to the Eternal, the God of our fathers, and the Eternal heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression. (8) The Eternal freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents. (9) God brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. (10) Wherefore I now bring the first fruits (reishit) of the soil which You, Eternal One, have given me.” You shall leave it before the Eternal your God and bow low before the Eternal your God. (11) And you shall enjoy, together with the Levite and the stranger in your midst, all the bounty that the Eternal your God has bestowed upon you and your household.

Part I

(א) יֵשׁ מְבִיאִין בִּכּוּרִים וְקוֹרִין, מְבִיאִין וְלֹא קוֹרִין, וְיֵשׁ שֶׁאֵינָן מְבִיאִין.

(1) There are some who bring bikkurim and recite the declaration; others who only bring, but do not recite; and there are some who neither bring nor recite.

(ב) מֵאֵיזֶה טַעַם אֵינוֹ מֵבִיא, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ (שמות כג), עַד שֶׁיְּהוּ כָל הַגִּדּוּלִין מֵאַדְמָתְךָ. הָאֲרִיסִין וְהֶחָכוֹרוֹת וְהַסִּקָּרִיקוֹן וְהַגַּזְלָן, אֵין מְבִיאִין מֵאוֹתוֹ הַטַּעַם, מִשּׁוּם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ:

(2) For what reason may someone not bring them? Because it says, “The chosen fruits of your land” (Exodus 23:19) - so only when all of the growth is on your land. Sharecroppers, leasers, a sikarikon, or a robber does not bring them for the same reason, because it says, “The chosen fruits of your land.”

(ד) אֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְלֹא קוֹרִין,

הַגֵּר מֵבִיא וְאֵינוֹ קוֹרֵא, שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע ה' לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ לָתֵת לָנוּ (דברים כ״ו:ג׳). וְאִם הָיְתָה אִמּוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, מֵבִיא וְקוֹרֵא.

וּכְשֶׁהוּא מִתְפַּלֵּל בֵּינוֹ לְבֵין עַצְמוֹ, אוֹמֵר, אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל. וּכְשֶׁהוּא בְבֵית הַכְּנֶסֶת, אוֹמֵר, אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם. וְאִם הָיְתָה אִמּוֹ מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל, אוֹמֵר, אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתֵינוּ:

(4) These bring [bikkurim] but do not recite the declaration:

The geir (stranger/convert), since he cannot say: “Which the Eternal has sworn to our fathers, to give to us” (Deuteronomy 26:3). But if his mother was an Israelite, then he brings bikkurim and recites.

When he prays privately, he says: “God of the fathers of Israel,” and when he is in the synagogue, he should say: “The God of your fathers.” But if his mother was an Israelite, he says: “The God of our fathers."

שאינו יכול לומר אשר נשבע לאבותינו לתת לנו.

שאין אבותיו מישראל והגרים לא נטלו חלק בארץ. ורמב״ם כתב שאין הלכה כמשנה זו, אלא הגר מביא וקורא ומצי למימר לאבותינו לתת לנו, מפני שהארץ ניתנה לאברהם והוא אב לגרים כמו לישראל דכתיב (בראשית י״ז:ה׳) כי אב המון גוים נתתיך, ודרשינן ביה [ברכות יג.] לשעבר היית אב לארם עכשיו אתה אב לכל העולם.

וכן כשהוא מתפלל, בין בינו לבין עצמו בין בבית הכנסת, אומר אלהי אבותינו, אפילו אין אמו מישראל:

since he cannot say: Which the Eternal has sworn to our fathers, to give to us -

Since his ancestors were not from Israel and geirim did not take a portion in the land. But Maimonides wrote that the Halakha (applied law) is not like this Mishnah; rather, the convert brings [the First Fruits] and recites [Deuteronomy 26:5-10] and is able to say, “to our fathers to assign us” (Deuteronomy 26:3), because the Land was given to Abraham and he was the father of converts, as he was for Israel, as it states (Genesis 17:5): “for I make you the father of a multitude of nations.” And expand upon it in the Talmud (Berakhot 13a): “In the past, you were the father of Aram; now you are the father of the entire world.”

And similarly, when he [the convert] prays, whether on his own or in the synagogue, he says, “the God of our fathers” even if his mother was not an Israelite.

הָאַפּוֹטְרוֹפּוֹס וְהַשָּׁלִיחַ וְהָעֶבֶד וְהָאִשָּׁה וְטֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוֹס, מְבִיאִין וְלֹא קוֹרִין, שֶׁאֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לוֹמַר (דברים כ״ו:י׳) אֲשֶׁר נָתַתָּה לִּי ה':

A guardian, an agent, a slave, a woman, a tumtum, or an androgynos bring the bikkurim, but do not recite, since they cannot say: “Which you, Eternal One, have given to me” (Deuteronomy 26:10).

Part II

בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה, כָּל מִי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ לִקְרוֹת, קוֹרֵא. וְכָל מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ לִקְרוֹת, מַקְרִין אוֹתוֹ. נִמְנְעוּ מִלְּהָבִיא, הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ מַקְרִין אֶת מִי שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ וְאֶת מִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ יוֹדֵעַ:

Originally all who knew how to recite would recite while those who did not know how to recite, others would read it for them. But when they refrained from bringing, they decreed that they should read the words to both those who could and those who could not.

הָעֲשִׁירִים מְבִיאִים בִּכּוּרֵיהֶם בִּקְלָתוֹת שֶׁל כֶּסֶף וְשֶׁל זָהָב, וְהָעֲנִיִּים מְבִיאִין אוֹתָם בְּסַלֵּי נְצָרִים שֶׁל עֲרָבָה קְלוּפָה, וְהַסַּלִּים וְהַבִּכּוּרִים נִתָּנִין לַכֹּהֲנִים:

The rich would bring their bikkurim in baskets overlaid with silver or gold, while the poor used wicker-baskets of peeled willow-branches, and the baskets and the bikkurim were given to the priest.

תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מוֹלִיכִין בְּבֵית הָאֵבֶל עֲשִׁירִים בִּקְלָתוֹת שֶׁל כֶּסֶף וְשֶׁל זָהָב וַעֲנִיִּים בְּסַלֵּי נְצָרִים שֶׁל עֲרָבָה קְלוּפָה וְהָיוּ עֲנִיִּים מִתְבַּיְּישִׁים הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ הַכֹּל מְבִיאִין בְּסַלֵּי נְצָרִים שֶׁל עֲרָבָה קְלוּפָה מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדָן שֶׁל עֲנִיִּים

תָּנוּ רַבָּנַן בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מַשְׁקִין בְּבֵית הָאֵבֶל עֲשִׁירִים בִּזְכוּכִית לְבָנָה וַעֲנִיִּים בִּזְכוּכִית צְבוּעָה וְהָיוּ עֲנִיִּים מִתְבַּיְּישִׁין הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ הַכֹּל מַשְׁקִין בִּזְכוּכִית צְבוּעָה מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדָן שֶׁל עֲנִיִּים

בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מְגַלִּין פְּנֵי עֲשִׁירִים וּמְכַסִּין פְּנֵי עֲנִיִּים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיוּ מוּשְׁחָרִין פְּנֵיהֶן מִפְּנֵי בַצּוֹרֶת וְהָיוּ עֲנִיִּים מִתְבַּיְּישִׁין הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ מְכַסִּין פְּנֵי הַכֹּל מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדָן שֶׁל עֲנִיִּים

בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מוֹצִיאִין עֲשִׁירִים בְּדַרְגֵּשׁ וַעֲנִיִּים בִּכְלִיכָה וְהָיוּ עֲנִיִּים מִתְבַּיְּישִׁין הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ הַכֹּל מוֹצִיאִין בִּכְלִיכָה מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדָן שֶׁל עֲנִיִּים

בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מַנִּיחִין אֶת הַמּוּגְמָר תַּחַת חוֹלֵי מֵעַיִם מֵתִים וְהָיוּ חוֹלֵי מֵעַיִם חַיִּים מִתְבַּיְּישִׁין הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ מַנִּיחִין תַּחַת הַכֹּל מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדָן שֶׁל חוֹלֵי מֵעַיִם חַיִּים

בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה הָיוּ מַטְבִּילִין אֶת הַכֵּלִים עַל גַּבֵּי נִדּוֹת מֵתוֹת וְהָיוּ נִדּוֹת חַיּוֹת מִתְבַּיְּישׁוֹת הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ מַטְבִּילִין עַל גַּבֵּי כׇּל הַנָּשִׁים מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדָן שֶׁל נִדּוֹת חַיּוֹת

בָּרִאשׁוֹנָה מַטְבִּילִין עַל גַּבֵּי זָבִין מֵתִים וְהָיוּ זָבִין חַיִּים מִתְבַּיְּישִׁין הִתְקִינוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ מַטְבִּילִין עַל גַּב הַכֹּל מִפְּנֵי כְּבוֹדָן שֶׁל זָבִין חַיִּים

The Sages taught: Originally, when the meal after the burial would be brought to the house of the mourner, the wealthy would bring the meal in baskets of silver and gold, and the poor would bring it in baskets of peeled willow branches. And the poor were embarrassed. So the Sages instituted that everyone should bring the meal in baskets of peeled willow branches, for the the dignity of the poor.

The Sages taught: Originally, when they would serve wine in the house of the mourner, the wealthy would do so in cups made from white glass, and the poor would serve this wine in cups of colored glass. And the poor were embarrassed. So the Sages instituted that all should serve drinks in colored glass, for the dignity of the poor.

At first they would uncover the faces of the wealthy who passed away and cover the faces of the poor, because their faces were blackened by famine. And the poor were embarrassed. So the Sages instituted that everyone’s face should be covered, for the dignity of the poor.

At first the wealthy would take the deceased out for burial on a dargash, and the poor would take the deceased out on a plain bier. And the poor were embarrassed. So the Sages instituted that everyone should be taken out for burial on a plain bier, due to the honor of the poor.

At first they would place incense under the beds of those who died with an intestinal disease. But those who were alive with an intestinal disease were embarrassed. So the Sages instituted that incense should be placed under everyone, due to the honor of those with an intestinal disease who were still living.

At first they would immerse all the utensils that had been used by women who died while menstruating. But the living menstruating women were embarrassed. So the Sages instituted that the utensils that had been used by all dying women must be immersed, for the dignity of living menstruating women.

At first they would immerse all the utensils that had been used by zavin (men who died while they had gential emissions). But the living zavin felt embarrassed. So the Sages instituted that the utensils by all men must be immersed, for the dignity of the living zavin.