Terumah to the priest and the first tithe to the Levite;1 so R. Meir. R. Eleazar b. Azariah permits it to the priest,2 'Permits it'!3 Does this then imply that some authority forbids it?4 Read, therefore, 'He may give it to the priest also'. What is R. Meir's reason? R. Aha son of Rabbah replied on the authority of a traditional statement:5 For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they set apart as terumah unto the Lord,6 as terumah is forbidden to common people so is the first tithe forbidden to common people. May it be assumed that7 as in the case of terumah the penalties of death and of a fifth8 are incurred, so are the penalties of death and of a fifth incurred in the case of tithe? — Scripture stated, And die therein if they profane it9 … then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it;10 'therein',11 but not in the tithe; 'Into it'12 but not unto tithe. And the Rabbis?13 — As terumah is a cause of tebel14 so is the first tithe a cause of tebel;15 and this is in agreement with what was taught: R. Jose said, It might have been presumed that guilt is incurred only for tebel from which nothing whatsoever16 had been set apart; whence is it deduced [that guilt is also incurred when] terumah gedolah17 had been set apart but not the first tithe,18 first tithe but not the second tithe19 or even if the poor man's tithe20 [only had not been set apart]? Scripture stated, Thou mayest not eat within thy gates21 and further on it was stated, That they may eat within thy gates, and be satisfied;22 as 'Thy gates' which was stated below22 refers to the poor man's tithe,23 so 'Thy gates' which was stated here21 refers to the poor man's tithe, and [concerning it] the All Merciful has said, Thou mayest not.24 And if the deduction had been made from that text25 only26 it might have been assumed [to imply the penalty] of a negative precept27 but not [the penalty of] death; hence we were taught [the earlier text28 also].29
Another reading: That the first tithe is a cause of tebel30 may surely be deduced from the text cited by R. Jose!31 — If [deduction had been made] from that text25 only32 it might have been assumed [to imply the penalty] of a negative precept27 but not the penalty of death; hence we were taught [the earlier text28 also].29
How did you explain it?33 In accordance with the view of R. Meir! Explain, then, the final clause: THE DAUGHTER OF A LEVITE WHO WAS BETROTHED TO A PRIEST and THE DAUGHTER OF A PRIEST … TO A LEVITE MAY EAT NEITHER TERUMAH NOR TITHE; what [bearing has the question of] non-priestly stock in this case?34 — R. Shesheth replied: The meaning of35 the expression,36 SHE MAY NOT EAT is that she may not give permission to one to set apart37 the tithe.38 Does this39 then imply that a married woman may give such permission? — Yes; and so it was taught: And ye may eat it in every place, ye and your household40 teaches that a married daughter of an Israelite41 may give permission for terumah42 to be set apart.43 You say: Permission for terumah43 to be set apart; perhaps it is not so, but to eat it?44 It can be replied: If she45 may eat terumah which is subject to greater restrictions, how much more may she46 eat tithe which is subject to lesser restrictions.47 The text48 must consequently49 have taught that a married daughter of an Israelite may give permission for terumah42 to be set apart.43
Mar the son of Rabana50 stated: This51 teaches that she is not given a share in the tithe in the threshing- floors.52 This is a satisfactory explanation according to him who holds that this53 is due to considerations of privacy governing the sexes;54 according to him, however, who holds that this53 is due to [possible abuse by] a divorced woman,55 may not a divorced woman who is the daughter of a Levite56 eat tithe?57 — And according to your argument, may not a divorced woman who is the daughter of a priest eat terumah!58 But [the fact is that the ordinance59 is] a preventive measure against [abuse by] a divorced woman who was the daughter of an Israelite.60 If so,61 what was the point in mentioning BETROTHED? [The same rule should be applied] even to one who was married! — As in the first clause BETROTHED was taught,62 BETROTHED was also taught in the final clause.63
Our Rabbis taught: Terumah gedolah64 belongs to the priest, and the first tithe belongs to the Levite; so R. Akiba. R. Eleazar b. Azariah said:
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- As the terumah must be given to the priest and may be eaten by priests only and not by common peopled so must the first tithe also be given to Levites and be eaten by Levites only and not by common people (v. Rashi).
- Keth. 26a.
- The eating of tithe by a priest.
- Which is absurd. A priest, surely, is not included among the 'common' people to whom tithe should be forbidden!
- Attributed to R. Meir himself.
- Num. XVIII, 24; terumah (E.V. gift) and tithe having been mentioned in juxtaposition.
- Lit., 'if'.
- Cf. Lev. XXII. 14.
- Ibid. 9.
- Ibid. 14.
- Shall the penalty of death be incurred.
- Shall a fifth be added.
- How do they explain the comparison between the terumah and tithe to which Scripture points?
- [H] v. Glos. The penalty for eating tebel is death.
- V. supra n. 18, though for the eating of the tithe itself no death penalty is incurred.
- Neither the priestly, nor the levitical dues.
- V. Glos.
- Which is not so sacred as terumah, being permitted to Levites.
- Which even common people are permitted to eat. Cf. Deut. XIV, 22-27.
- Which is not even sacred, it being regarded as mere alms.
- Deut. XII, 17, speaking of tithe.
- Ibid. XXVI, 12, speaking of the tithe of the poor man.
- The text speaking of the third year, (ibid.). The third and the sixth year of the Septennial cycle are the years in which the poor man's, instead of the second tithe is given to all who are in need of it.
- Eat, (ibid. XII, 17), before it is set apart from the produce.
- Deut. XII, 17, speaking of tithe.
- Lit., 'and if from there'.
- For the eating of the tithe, since the prohibition only was stated, but no death penalty was mentioned.
- Num. XVIII, 24.
- From which a comparison is made between the tithe and terumah. Cf. supra p. 580. n. 10.
- V. Glos.
- In the Baraitha just discussed. What need, then, was there for the comparison deduced from Num. XVIII, 24?
- Lit., 'if from that'.
- The reference to tithe in the case of THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE WHO WAS BETROTHED TO A LEVITE, and THE DAUGHTER OF A LEVITE … TO AN ISRAELITE.
- Lit., 'what strangeness is there here'; neither the daughter of a priest nor the daughters of a Levite are 'strangers' or 'common' women to whom tithe is forbidden.
- Lit., 'what'.
- Lit., 'that was taught'.
- From the produce of her betrothed, or of the levir whose decision she is awaiting.
- And the terumah of this tithe (cf. Num. XVIII, 26) so that she might be enabled to eat of the tithe. The reason for the prohibition is not because the tithe is forbidden to her, but because she is not entitled to appoint an agent for the setting apart of terumah without the owner's knowledge.
- Since BETROTHED was mentioned.
- Num. XVIII, 31. The husband (ye) was compared to his wife (household; [H] term for 'wife').
- I.e., one married to a Levite.
- From her husband's produce.
- Cf. supra note 5.
- The tithe.
- The wife of a priest, because she is entitled to the same rights as her husband.
- The wife of a Levite who also, like the wife of the priest, is entitled to her husband's rights.
- As this law is so obvious there was no need to have a Scriptural text from which to deduce it.
- V. supra n. 7.
- Lit., 'but'. Since it is available for a comparison between husband and wife.
- Or 'Rabina' (v. Rashi).
- The final clause in our Mishnah, THE DAUGHTER OF A LEVITE TO A PRIEST and THE DAUGHTER OF A PRIEST TO A LEVITE.
- If she comes unaccompanied by her husband. The first clause will, however, refer to eating and is in accordance with R. Meir's view.
- The prohibition to give a share in the terumah or tithe to a woman when she comes alone to the threshing-floor.
- [H] v. Glos. s.v. yihud and cf. infra 100a.
- Who might continue to collect tithe at the threshing- floors even after her divorce from her husband when she returns to her former status of an ordinary woman and forbidden to share in the priestly dues and, according to R. Meir, also in the levitical tithe.
- Another reading, 'May not the daughter of a priest eat terumah? — And according to your argument may not a divorced woman who is the daughter of a Levite eat tithe?' Cur. edd. enclose the reading of our text in parenthesis.
- Of course she may. Why, then, should she be refused a share in the tithe even in the absence of her husband!
- She undoubtedly may. Why then is the wife of a priest refused a share in terumah in the absence of her husband (cf. infra 100a) irrespective of whether she is the daughter of a priest or of an Israelite?
- V. p. 582, n. 20.
- Such a preventive measure is, of course, applicable to the daughter of a Levite in respect of tithe in the same way as to the daughter of a priest in respect of terumah.
- That the prohibition is merely a preventive measure.
- In the first clauses the expression BETROTHED was essential, since the object of the Mishnah was to state that betrothal alone does not confer upon the daughter of an Israelite the right of eating terumah and tithe, and upon the daughter of a Levite the right to terumah, if the former was betrothed to a priest or a Levite and the latter to a priest; and that even betrothal, and not only marriage, deprives the daughter of a priest and the daughter of a Levite of the right of eating terumah and tithe respectively if the man was in the former case an Israelite or a Levite and in the latter case an Israelite.
- Where the reference is to the woman's eligibility to call for a share in the tithe; though in this case the woman, whether betrothed or married, is subject to the same restriction.
- V. Glos.
To the priest.1 'To the priest', but not to the Levite!2 — Read: To the priest also.
What is R. Akiba's reason? — Because it is written, Moreover thou shalt speak unto the Levites, and say unto them;3 Scripture thus refers specifically to the Levites. And the other?4 — His view follows that of R. Joshua b. Levi. For R. Joshua b. Levi stated: In twenty-four passages were the priests described as Levites, and the following is one of them: But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok.5 And R. Akiba? You cannot say so6 here; for it is written, And ye may eat it in every place,7 [it is to be given to him only] who 'may eat it in every place'; a priest, however, is excluded since he may not eat it in a graveyard.8 And the other? — [The meaning9 is] wherever he wishes: Neither is it required [to eat it within the] wall10 nor is a man subject to flogging for eating it while his body is levitically unclean.
There was a certain garden from which R. Eleazar b. Azariah11 used to receive the first tithe. R. Akiba went and transferred its gate so that it faced a graveyard.12 'Akiba with his bag',13 the other remarked, 'and I have to live'!
It was stated: Why were the Levites penalized [by being deprived of the] tithe?14 — R. Jonathan and Sabia [are in dispute on the matter]. One holds: Because they did not go up15 in the days of Ezra;16 and the other holds: In order that the priests might depend upon it17 during the days of their uncleanness.18
According to him who holds [that the Levites were deprived of the tithe] because 'they did not go up', one can well understand why they were penalized. According to him, however, who gave as the reason, 'In order that the priests may depend upon it during the days of their uncleanness', were the Levites penalized for the sake of the priests! Rather, all agree19 that the penalization was due to their not going up in the days of Ezra; they differ, however, on the following point: One is of the opinion that their forfeit belonged to the poor, while the other is of the opinion that priests, during the days of their uncleanness, are also regarded as poor.
Why, then,20 did R. Akiba21 transfer the gate so that it faced a graveyard?22 — It was this that he23 said to him:24 If you come [to claim it] as a forfeit, you are entitled to it; but if you come [to demand it] as your share, you have no [claim upon it].
Whence is it deduced that they25 did not go up in the days of Ezra? — It is written, And I gathered them together to the river that runneth to Ahava; and there we encamped three days,' and I viewed the people and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi.26
R. Hisda stated: At first, officers were appointed from the Levites only, for it is said, And the officers of the Levites before you;27 but now, officers are appointed from the Israelites only, for it is said, 'And officers over you shall come from the majority'.28
MISHNAH. THE DAUGHTER OF AN ISRAELITE WHO WAS MARRIED TO A PRIEST MAY EAT TERUMAH. IF HE DIED AND SHE HAS A SON BY HIM SHE MAY CONTINUE TO EAT TERUMAH. IF SHE WAS [SUBSEQUENTLY]29 MARRIED TO A LEVITE, SHE MAY EAT OF THE TITHE.30 IF THE LATTER DIED AND SHE HAD A SON BY HIM, SHE MAY CONTINUE TO EAT OF THE TITHE. IF SHE WAS [SUBSEQUENTLY] MARRIED TO AN ISRAELITE SHE MAY EAT NEITHER TERUMAH NOR TITHE. IF THE LATTER DIED AND SHE HAS A SON BY HIM, SHE MAY EAT NEITHER TERUMAH NOR TITHE. IF HER SON BY THE ISRAELITE DIED, SHE MAY AGAIN EAT OF THE TITHE. IF HER SON BY THE LEVITE DIED SHE MAY AGAIN EAT TERUMAH. IF HER SON BY THE PRIEST DIED, SHE MAY EAT NEITHER TERUMAH NOR TITHE.
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- Belongs the first tithe. B.B. 81b, Keth. 261, Hul. 13 lb.
- Scripture, surely, assigned the tithe to the Levite!
- Num. XVIII, 26, referring to tithe.
- R. Eleazar b. Azariah. How could he include the priests?
- Ezek. XLIV, 15.
- That by Levites the priests also were meant.
- Num. XVIII, 31.
- Which he may not enter owing to the prohibition of defiling himself for the dead. Cf. Lev. XXI, 1ff.
- Of In every place (Num. XVIII, 31).
- Of Jerusalem, outside of which the eating of certain consecrated foodstuffs was forbidden.
- Who was a priest, cf. Ber. 27b.
- So that R. Eleazar b. Azariah (v. supra n. 9) was prevented from entering it (cf. supra n. 6).
- Reference to the shepherd's wallet. R. Akiba was a herdsman in his early life (cf. Keth. 62b). [Me'iri: Though R. Akiba may have to return to his shepherd's wallet, I can manage to live without his tithe].
- A provision was made at some time (v. infra) that tithe shall not be given to the Levites in accordance with the Pentateuchal law but to the priests (cf. Sot. 47b, Hul. 131b).
- To Judaea.
- Who led some forty thousand exiles from Babylon to Jerusalem. [On the Levites' deprivation of their right to tithe v. Tchernowitz. H. Jewish Studies in Memory of George Alexander Kohut (Hebrew section) p. 47].
- The tithe.
- When terumah is forbidden to them.
- Lit., 'all the world', R. Jonathan and Sabia.
- According to the opinion which maintains that the tithe was allotted to the priests in the days of Ezra.
- Who lived after Ezra.
- R. Eleazar b. Azariah as a priest was surely then entitled to it. Cur. edd. contain in parenthesis, 'According to him who said that the forfeit belonged to the poor, it can well be understood why R. Akiba transferred the entrance so that it faced a graveyard; according to him, however, who stated that it belonged to the priests, why did he transfer the entrance so that it faced a graveyard'. The reading adopted is given in the margin of cur. edd.
- R. Akiba.
- R. Eleazar b. Azariah.
- The Levites.
- Ezra VIII, 15. [This is apparently contradicted by the many verses in Ezra and Nehemiah which mention the Levites side by side with the priests, and as Tosaf. already points out (s.v. [H]) is against the Mishnah in Kid. 69a which includes the Levites among the ten family stocks that came up from Babylon, unless it is to be assumed that the penalty was inflicted on the Levites because they were not among the first to join Ezra].
- II Chron. XIX, 11.
- Such a text cannot be traced in our Bible and may represent a verse from a lost apocryphal text. Some commentators regard it as a quotation from memory, based on Deut. I, 13, 15; but the respective dates of Ezra and Deut. would create chronological difficulties. (v. Golds.).
- After having had a child from the priest.
- But not of terumah. Her priestly status is lost.