כ״ה בכסלו ה׳תשע״ה (December 17, 2014)

Yevamot 74a-b: Stringencies, to the Letter

On yesterday’s daf, we learned about the basic rules of teruma and ma’aser. The Gemara on our daf points out a number of qualities unique to each one of them. According to the Gemara, teruma is special because it has “mahpaz”, while ma’aser is unique in that it is “hadas tav“. These words are actually acrostics – mnemonic devices used by to help them remember certain lists of rules or attributes. Here they stand for the following:

Teruma has these unique rules –
Mita (a death penalty) for a non-kohen who eats it on purpose
Homesh (a fifth, or 20%) needs to be added to the repayment if it was eaten accidentally by someone who was not a kohen
Pidyon (redemption in exchange for money) is forbidden
Zarim (non-kohanim) cannot eat it.

Ma’aser sheni has these unique rules –
Hava’at makom (it must be brought to Jerusalem)
viDdui (a statement that it was collected and done correctly) must be uttered
aSur le-onen (a person in a state of mourning prior to burial cannot eat it)
Tuma (if eaten in a state of ritual defilement, the transgressor will receive lashes)
Biur (it must be removed from the house and taken to Jerusalem within a specific amount of time).

Finally, the Gemara points out that kodashim have their own set of unique rules, whose mnemonic abbreviation is pankakes –
Piggul (a korban, or sacrifice, brought outside of the Temple, is invalid)
Notar (a korban left over beyond the time that it had to be eaten is invalid)
Korban (it is a sacrifice dedicated to God)
me’Ila (benefiting from it is considered stealing from the Temple, with all that implies)
Karet (the punishment for eating it in a state of ritual defilement is to be “cut off” from the Jewish people
aSur (a person in a state of mourning prior to burial cannot eat it)

The Gemara brings these lists in an attempt to clarify which of these laws is the more severe one, assuming that the one with the largest collection of rules is the most severe.

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