Vol 38.10 - Korach 1 Spanish French Audio Video
(5750) A black fig of terumah that fell into a pile of one hundred figs, half being white, half being black - Rabbi Yehoshua says: Black figs neutralize with white figs, and white figs neutralize with black figs i.e., if a fig of terumah fell into a pile of one hundred figs, half being white, half being black, since had he wanted to, he would press all of them together, the two combine and are now considered one unit of a hundred and therefore neutralize the fig of terumah;
Rabbi Eliezer prohibits they do not combine to neutralize.
Rabbi Akiva says, If it is known what i.e., which color fell, one does not neutralize with the other since the figs of different color have no uncertainty, they are not part of the equation; and if it is not known what fell, one does neutralize the
other. (Mishnah Terumot 4:8)
Explanation of their argument and the view in Talmud Yeushalmi that the argument lies in "known and forgotten"
The connection between thought and knowing to Terumah according to Remez (Hint) and in Avodat HaAdam
A person’s thoughts have physical effects. One must be careful to think good about others since thought causes an affect
Note: If Terumah falls into non-sacred produce (“Chullin”) it renders the entire mixture “medumma” - "doubtful Terumah" and it can only be eaten by a priest. However, if the amount of non-sacred produce was large enough, the Terumah can be removed, given to a priest and the rest of the mixture returns to being non-sacred produce.
According to R’ Yehoshua if a black Terumah fig fell into a pile of 100 Chullin figs, fifty of which were white and fifty black, the owner can remove one fig, give it to the priest and eat the rest. Even though it is clear that the fifty white figs were not the Terumah fig that fell in, so that in reality there are only fifty-one figs that could have been the Terumah fig (the fifty one black figs), the white figs can join with the black figs to make up the required 100 to 1 ratio.
1. Regarding the laws of nullifying Terumah in 101 times,
(For “Terumah becomes nullified a mixture 101 times the size of the original quantity”)
We learn in tractate Terumot (Mishnah Terumot 4:7,8):
“R’ Yehoshua says: Black figs neutralize white (figs), and white (figs) neutralize (black) figs”.
(R’ Obadiah Bartenura explains.
If a white or black Terumah fig fell into a pile of one hundred “ordinary figs” (that do not have any special sanctity – called “Chullin”), half being white, half being black, they all combine (and are now considered one unit of a hundred) and neutralize (the one fig of Terumah).
If a black Terumah fig fell remove one of the black figs; if a white Terumah fig fell remove one of the white figs (as Terumah) and the rest of the mixture returns to being non-sacred produce).
“R’ Eliezer prohibits this”
(If a black fig, fell, all the black figs are prohibited. If a white fig fell, all the white figs are prohibited – R’ Bartenura)
“R’ Akiva says, if it is known which color fig fell (i.e. white or black), one does not neutralize with the other. If it is not known what fell, one does neutralize the other”.
(Note: If we know that a white fig fell in, then only white figs can count to the ratio of 100-1. But if we don’t know which color fig fell in, then all of the figs could have been Terumah and we will have the required ratio)
Rambam rules that the Halacha is like R’ Akiva that,
“If it is not known whether it was black or white, it can be nullified when the mixture is 101 times ratio”
R’ Eliezer’s reason for prohibiting, in this law, is seemingly plainly understood. For in reality, the Terumah fig only mixed with fifty figs.
(if it was white – it only mixed between fifty white figs; and if it was black, between fifty black figs). So in either case, there is lacking the 100-1 ratio from the kind that fell.
The commentators write that R’ Yehoshua maintains that, “since, if he wanted to, he could press and combine all of them together” (to make a “cake” of figs), therefore, they all combine to nullify the one Terumah fig.
(Although one may not deliberately nullify a prohibited item (אין מבטלין איסור לכתחילה), the Tosafot Yom Tov explains that, “this means increasing the permitted amount to nullify the prohibited amount. However, in our case when one is not increasing the permitted amount, but rather changing the prohibited item from its previous status, and separating it, as it was before, in order to mix them together – in this case, it appears that it is permitted to nullify it, from the onset”).
Regarding R’ Akiva’s reason, where he differentiates between knowing what type of fig fell into the mixture versus not knowing what fell, commentators write that when he knew what color fig fell, if it was black or white, “it does not nullify because he is able to eat the others, and since they are permitted, there is no remedy (מסייעות) to nullify it. However, if one does not know if a black fig fell or a white fig fell, since they are all in doubt of being prohibited (כולן בספק איסור), they nullify each other”.
One must understand R’ Yehoshua reason:
What does it matter that, “if he wants, he could press them and combine them all together”? For in actuality, he did not grind them and press them. Therefore, how can they nullify each other?
So too, one must examine the view of R’ Akiva:
What does it matter that the person does not know if it was black or white and “they are all in doubt of being prohibited”?
This doubt is just in the person’s knowledge. However, in reality (במציאות) – the Terumah was not mixed among the hundred (for the white fig does not mix with the black fig (and so too, the opposite).
In the words of Tosafot,
(Regarding the Mishnah that if a white Terumah fig fell into white and black figs, the white are forbidden and the black are permitted, and the black do not help to be nullify the white)
“The black are not proper to be in a doubt of “Dimu'a” (a mixture of Terumah and Chulin), for they are always recognized from the white.”
Therefore, there is no mixture of 101?
2. One could say that R’ Eliezer, R’ Yehoshua and R’ Akiva differ in the general scope of nullifying a mixture of “dry with dry items” (תערובת יבש ביבש), which is not similar to a mixture of “wet with wet items” (תערובת לח בלח).
For a mixture of wet items is a true mixture, which becomes one entity that is impossible to separate. Which is not so with a mixture of “dry with dry items”, where each item is a separate entity, and it is just that the person does not know where the prohibited item is.
One can explain the scope of this mixture in two manners:
This is the reason for the debate between R’ Eliezer (who prohibits it) and R’ Yehoshua and R’ Akiva:
This is also R’ Akiva’s reason who maintains that “If it is not known what fell, they neutralize each other”. This is due to it being a mixture in the person’s knowledge. In this case, in his awareness, they are mixed in all the hundred.
According to this, one can also explain R’ Yehoshua’s reason who maintains that they all combine to nullify it since,
“if he wants, he could press them and combine them all together”. (Even though he did not actually press and combine them).
The pressing of the figs is (not just plainly in the scope of “if he wants”, but this is) the manner of all people, to press the figs. Therefore, since the mixture of “dry with dry items” is not an actual mixture, in reality - in the object - but rather) a mixture in the knowledge and thought of the person, R’ Yehoshua maintains that since it is customary and therefore, in one’s will to press the figs, therefore in the will (and thought) of the person, there is no distinction and differentiation between the black and the white figs and it is a mixture of all the hundred, in the will and thought of the person.
3. In the Talmud Yerushalmi, there is a debate in the view of R’ Yehoshua:
According to this, the debate between R’ Yehoshua and R’ Akiva is,
“When he knew but forgot.
(R’ Yehoshua maintains that since he forgot, it is as if he did not know at the time it fell. Whereas, R’ Akiva maintains that since he knew at the time it fell, they do not nullify each other, even though he forgot afterward).
Rambam, who rules (as aforementioned) like R’ Akiva also rules like the words of the Talmud Yerushalmi, that,
“If he knew what type of fig it was but forgot, they are all considered “doubtful Terumah/Medumma”.
Seemingly, one must examine the view of R’ Akiva. Why, when the person initially knew yet forgot, are they all doubtful Terumah” and do not nullify each other. Indeed, are they now all in the category of being doubtfully prohibited (ספק איסור)? One cannot say that since all the fifty became “doubtful Terumah/Medumma” (when he knew) they may not further be nullified afterward when he forgets.
For it expressly states in the Mishnah,
“A Se’ah of Terumah that fell into less than a hundred of ordinary produce, and afterwards more ordinary produce fell in (into the mixture so that there was more than 100 times the Terumah), If (the second batch of produce was added) unknowingly, (the Terumah is nullified) and it is permitted”.
Namely, that although in the beginning there was not one hundred to nullify it and it was “doubtful Terumah/Medumma”. Nevertheless, when, more fell into it, unknowingly (בשוגג), it combines to nullify the Terumah. Therefore, why do we not also say here, that when he forgot (and it is unknowing/שוגג) that they are all in doubt of being prohibited (כולן בספק איסור), and they combine to nullify?
One could say, that according to the view of the Talmud Yerushalmi (and Rambam’s ruling) – that the reasoning of R’ Akiva is in a third manner in the scope of a mixture of “dry with dry items”.
For according to the view of R’ Yehoshua, the entire scope of the mixture is solely in the knowledge and thought of the person. However, R’ Akiva maintains that even though the foundation of a mixture of “dry with dry items” is due to the knowledge and thought of the person, the condition of the knowledge of the person affects the object (פועל על החפצא). This is an innovation of the Torah in the law of a mixture of “dry with dry items”. For although due to the reality itself, the prohibited item is not truly mixed with the permitted items – and it is just that it is not recognized, in and of itself. Therefore, the foundation of the scope of the mixture is due to the condition of the knowledge of the person. Nevertheless, this condition, in the person’s knowledge, effects a change in the reality of the thing. It is as if they are truly mixed.
Therefore, the application of the law of a mixture, due to the person’s knowledge, applies only when he did not know, at the time when it fell. For then, we say that the mixture, that is due to the person’s knowledge, effects the application of the law of a mixture, and it is as if it fell into the hundred.
However, when at the time it fell, he knew, and it is found that, in the knowledge of the person, there were not black and white figs intermingled, then the forgetting afterward is not able to innovate (לחדש) in the figs. Since from the perspective of figs, the white and black figs are not mixed, and forgetting is not able to uproot this reality (nor even to uproot the person’s knowledge at the time of the falling, where he knew whether a black fig fell or a white fig fell).
In another manner:
In order for the person’s knowledge to effect the law of the object - the black and white figs - which on their own are not mixed, there must be a change in the figs themselves, that a black or white fig fell. With this there becomes a mixture in reality. For the black fig is among the black ones. Therefore, when it is not known which one fell, the mixture in the person’s knowledge effects a mixture in the figs, that a fig of Terumah fell into. However, when he knew and forgot, the person’s forgetting does not cause a mixing of figs that are, in reality, unmixed.
4. One can explain the reason that this aspect, namely, that the knowledge and thought of the person has the power to effect something that is outside of him, is specifically explained regarding Terumah. For the foundation of the law that “thought” has an effect is expressly stated regarding Terumah.
This is derived from the verse:
“Your Terumah-gift will be considered the same as grain from the granary”, “Through thought alone, it becomes Terumah.”
Although in our case, the subject is not in the law of the separation and sanctity of Terumah, but rather in the law of the nullification of Terumah – that the figs are permitted to eat. Nevertheless, this flows from that which, in the laws of Terumah, the thought of the person has a unique power.
On a deeper level, one could say (according to Remez/allusion) that even through permitting all the figs to be eaten, Yisroel is also accomplishing in them the aspect of separating Terumah. This is like the precise wording of the Mishnah:
“One kind elevates the other” (מעלות זו את זו)
For although the intent is that they are permitted to be eaten, this itself that the figs are permitted for a Yisroel to eat them, effects within them an elevation, even before the person eats them.
This is similar to the aspect of the Terumah that exists in thought. For even according to the opinions that thought does not effect that it becomes Terumah, nevertheless, it helps to permit the “Untithed Produce/Tevel” to be eaten. Like the case (of R’ Meir – Chullin 6b) where he set his sight on this side of an untithed vegetable with the intent of separating Terumah, and ate a leaf on the other side. This is also derived from the words, “Your Terumah-gift will be considered”.
A semblance of this is in our case. The knowledge and thought of the person has an effect on the item that is outside of him – that it becomes permitted to eat. Due to it becoming prepared (הכשרתו) to be eaten by a Yisroel, this itself causes an elevation in the thing, as aforementioned.
From this there is a lesson in the matter of the great value of the knowledge and thought of a person. For from this one can learn:
Through each person of Yisroel, contemplating just one goodness for another, the Holy One, Blessed be He, links a good thought to an action. For G-d causes that it is effected and that it comes into actuality. And He reveals within each person, whatever his standing, the (hidden) good within him – that it comes, in actuality, into one’s thought, speech and deed, in his daily life, in the fulfillment of Torah and Mitzvot.
Through this, we hasten the true and complete Geulah, the coming of all Yisroel into their Land, and the fulfillment of the Mitzvah of Terumah, and all the Mitzvot that are dependent upon the Land, literally in all their details, and according to all the views from the Torah, speedily and in our days, mamosh.
M’Sichas Shabbat Parshat Eikev 5745
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