Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Two Lugin

The Gemora (Daf Yomi: Gittin 25b) cites a braisa: If someone buys wine from amongst the Cutheans (converts to Judaism after an outbreak of wild animals in Eretz Yisroel and their conversion was debated as to its validity; they observed some commandments, but not others), he should say the following: “The two lugin (a measurement) that I will eventually separate (from the one hundred lugin in total) are terumah (tithe for the kohen), ten are ma’aser rishon (tithe for the Levite), nine are for ma’aser sheini (to be eaten in Yerushalyim),” and after redeeming the ma’aser sheini (with coins), he can drink right away. These are the words of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehudah, Rabbi Yosi, and Rabbi Shimon forbid this leniency.

Rashi explains the braisa to be referring to a case where he does not have a vessel to separate the tithes required to allow him to drink the wine in an orderly fashion.

Some explain it that he did not have any tahor vessels.

Rashi in Sukkah (23b) explains that the fellow purchased the wine bein hashemashos (close to sunset) on Friday and he did not have time to separate the ma’aser before Shabbos. Since it is forbidden to separate ma’aser on Shabbos, he did not have what to drink.

Tosfos challenges Rashi’s explanation, for if that would be the case, he would not even be allowed to orally declare it to be ma’aser, for it is forbidden to fix his produce on Shabbos!?

The Kaftor va’Ferach answers that Rashi holds that the manner prescribed in the Gemora is permitted, for he is not actually fixing it on Shabbos. He is separating the ma’aser after Shabbos and retroactively the produce is remedied on Shabbos. It emerges that he did nothing on Shabbos.

Tosfos explains that the remedy discussed in the Gemora is only when it is still bein hashemashos. At that time, there was a Rabbinic decree not to separate ma’aser, but one, at that time, is permitted to orally declare it to be ma’aser.