Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Makkot 17: Punishments for Transgressing the Halachot of Bikurim

Some quick notes on today's daf:
  • when tithing demai, produce with unclear ritual status, one separates ma'aser oni, the tithe for Leviim which may be substituted for money and given to the poor on the third and sixth year of the shemita cycle
  • maaser oni's source cannot be proven and thus it may not be tevel, food that can be eaten
  • the rabbis discuss how much tevel should be eaten before it becomes disallowed and would be punishable with lashes
A new Mishna teaches us that some certain acts are punished with forty lashes:
  • food sanctified as bikurim, first fruits brought to feed the priests, called kodshei kodoshim cannot be given to a zar and cannot be taken outside of the Temple courtyard
  • kodshei kalim are permitted in all of Jerusalem even to common people
  • one must recited a specific set of kriah, verses, before eating bikurim
  • bikurim must be eaten within its permitted boundaries
  • the pesach, main animal sacrifice, cannot have a bone broken 
  • those who break these laws and those who leave the sacrifice overnight are not punished with lashes
  • one who takes a mother bird from her chicks or eggs is lashed 
The Gemara questions why we would be stringent with some halachot and not with others.  Those who eat certain categories of food outside of the wall of the city will be punished with lashes.  Why wouldn't others be punished similarly for an equivalent transgression?  The Gemara lists the stringencies associated with different transgressions. The rabbis also consider whether someone may have transgressed in a number of ways and how his/her number of lashings might be determined.