Friday, March 16, 2007

Daf Yomi - Moed Katan 6 - Highlights

The braisa concluded with the words of Rabbi Yehudah: We assume that a beis haperas field includes an intact grave unless an elderly man or a Torah student informs us that it has been plowed since not everyone is an expert regarding this issue.

Abaye said: It can be learned from here that if there is a young Torah scholar in the city, all the city’s issues are incumbent on him. (6a)

Rav Yehudah said: If one finds an individual stone that has been marked with lime, it is evident that the area underneath the stone is tamei (people can see the stone due to its height and it will be noticed from a distance). If he finds two lime-marked stones, we rule as follows: If there is lime found on the ground between the two stones, that area is tamei, if not, it is tahor.

The Gemora questions this ruling from a braisa which states that the area between two stones is deemed to be tahor if the area has been plowed, but otherwise it is tamei.

Rav Papa answers: The braisa is referring to a specific case where the lime has fallen from the top of the stones. If there is plowing in between the stones, the area is judged to be tahor because we assume the lime has fallen because of the plow; otherwise the area between the stones is tamei. (6a)

The Mishna had stated: During Chol Hamoed, agents of Beis Din are sent out to inspect the fields for kilayim (the prohibition against planting together different species of vegetables, fruit or seeds – agents of beis din would be sent out at this time to warn the people to uproot any shoots of other seeds that appear among the grain).

The Gemora asks from a Mishna in Shekalim (which indicates that they were sent out before Chol Hamoed Pesach). The Mishna states: On the first of Adar proclamation is made regarding the shekalim and kilayim. On the fifteenth of adar, they read the Megillah in the walled cities and they would be sent out then to remove the thorns from the roads, fix the streets, measure the mikvaos (ensuring that they contained forty se’ah of water), attend to all the needs of the public and they would inspect the fields for kilayim. Why does our Mishna state that they would be sent out for kilayim on Chol Hamoed Pesach?

The Gemora offers two answers: Either the Mishna is referring to the early crops or it is referring to grains. Our Mishna is referring to the late crops or to vegetables. (6a)

The Gemora asks: Why would the agents be sent out on Chol Hamoed and not any other time? The Gemora answers: We can find cheaper workers at this time (since people are not performing their usual work on Chol Hamoed). (6a)

The Gemora states: If the inspectors would find kilayim growing in the fields, they would remove the foreign growth. The Gemora asks: We have learned in a braisa that if kilayim is found, the inspectors would proclaim that the entire field in considered ownerless? The Gemora answers: Our Gemora is referring to the time period before the decree that the fields should be considered ownerless was enacted.

The Gemora elaborates by citing another braisa: Initially, the inspectors would remove the kilayim and feed the animals with it. The owners of the fields were happy with this arrangement. Their fields would be weeded and their animals would be fed. Subsequently, the Rabbis issued a decree that the inspectors would throw the kilayim into the streets. The owners were still happy on the account that their fields were being weeded. The Rabbis issued a final decree that if they would find kilayim, the field would be declared ownerless. (6a – 6b)

The Mishna states: Rabbi Eliezer ben Yaakov said: One is permitted to draw water from one tree to another on Chol Hamoed by creating a path from the tree that has water underneath it; however, one is forbidden to water his entire rain-watered field (since the watering is beneficial for the grain growing between the trees and not to prevent a loss.) Plants that were not watered on a consistent basis before the festival may not be watered during Chol Hamoed. The Chachamim disagree with both halachos and state that one is permitted to water a rain-watered field and the plants can be watered even if they had not been previously watered. (6b)

Rav Yehudah qualifies the first halacha mentioned in the Mishna. One would be permitted to water the entire rain-watered field if the field was originally moist and presently dried up. (This is because if it wouldn’t be watered now, there would be a tremendous loss to the produce.) (6b)

The Gemora cites a braisa: One is permitted to sprinkle water on a field of grain during Shemitah but not during Chol Hamoed. The Gemora questions this from a braisa which explicitly permits sprinkling a field even during Chol Hamoed. Rav Huna answers: The braisa which prohibits sprinkling reflects the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer ban Yaakov cited in our Mishna and the other braisa follows the opinion of the Chachamim. (6b)