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Rambam -Arachim-Vacharamim   Rambam -  Matnot-Aniyim  Rambam - Shekalim

 (5737) The reason that Rambam prefaced the laws of Kelaim to the laws of Peah - contrary to their order in the Torah - according to the revealed and esoteric aspects.

"On the first of Adar public announcement is made concerning the payment of the shekels and concerning the Kelaim (diverse kinds) (beg. Tractate Shekalim)) The reason for the prefacing of the public announcement for "shekels" to that of "Kelaim"


1. The order of the Tractates in Mishnayot, is that beforehand comes Tractate Peah (and Demai) and afterward – Tractate Kilayim (forbidden mixtures).

Rambam explains the reason for this order:

“And he arranged Tractate Demai after Peah etc. And after Demai, Kilayim. For so is it ordered in Scripture in the Order (Sidra) of Kedoshim Tihiyu (Lev.19:9), "you shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field," and after it (Lev. 19:19), "you shall not sow your field with 'Kilayim' (a forbidden mixture).

(The reason that Tractate Demai (and not Tractate Kilayim) immediately follows Tractate Peah is as Rambam explains there:

“He arranged Peah after Tractate Demai since the poor also have a right to it ('Demai'), just like they have to 'Peah').

According to this, there is a puzzlement on Rambam in his Sefer “Yad HaChazakah”, where he prefaces the Halachot of Kilayim before the Halachot of Peah.

(The first chapters in Hilchot Matanot Aniyim/ ”Gifts to the Poor”) which is the opposite of their order in the Mishnah and (according to what Rambam himself writes) the opposite of “their order in Scripture”!

The Radvaz states two reasons on this:

  1. Rambam places Hilchot Kilayim beforehand, since they come in continuation to the conclusion of the previous Halachot – Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim (Appraisals and Devoted Property).

In the beginning of the last chapter of Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim, Rambam writes,

“On the fifteenth of Adar, Beit Din turns their attention, and examines and investigates matters involving the needs of the community and consecrated property etc.”

The source of this Halacha is in the Mishnah in the beginning of Tractate Shekalim:

“On the fifteenth (of Adar) . . they perform all the needs of the community etc.”, and the Mishnah there concludes, “and they also go forth regarding Kilayim”.

(In other words, on the fifteenth of Adar the emissaries of Beit Din would go out and uproot the Kilayim from the fields).

Therefore, Rambam places Hilchot Kilayim immediately after Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim.

(Since in the Mishnah, the law of “they also go forth regarding Kilayim” comes in continuation to the law of “On the fifteenth (of Adar) . . they perform all the needs of the community”).

  1. Kilayim include,

 “All types of mixtures:

  • Grafting of different species of trees
  • Planting mixed seeds
  • Planting grain or seed-crop in a vineyard
  • Interbreeding of animals of different species
  • Mixing wool and linen in garments (Shatnez)
  • Ploughing or doing other work with two different species of animal

and Rambam’s style is to always open with general things etc.”

In other words, as a general aspect, Hilchot Kilayim have a law of preference (דיו קדימה) versus that of Hilchot Peah – which is a particular aspect (עניו פרטי).

2. However, this requires great examination - in both answers:

  1. The first answer – that Hilchot Kilayim comes in continuation to the beginning of the last chapter in Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim (“On the fifteenth of Adar”) – is

(In addition to that which it is difficult to say that the order in Rambam is due to the order in the Mishnah beginning with Shekalim – it is)

not understood:

In the conclusion of the last chapter in Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim, Rambam speaks of how there must be an order in distributing one’s funds for holy aspects (consecrations).

That although it is a Mitzvah which is,

“Appropriate for a person to observe these practices . . Nevertheless, if a person never consecrated property . . it is of no consequence”


“A person should never consecrate all of his property or designate all of his property . . A person should not distribute more than a fifth (of his property) etc.”

According to this, it is the opposite:

If Rambam wanted to place here the Halachot which come in continuation to Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim, it would have been more logical, that after Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim, which conclude with the Halachot dealing with the distribution of funds for holy aspects, he should have specifically placed the Halachot of Matanot Aniyim/ ”Gifts to the Poor” (whose beginning is in Hilchot Peah),

(Especially since he cites there the law:

“In the present age, if a person made a dedication offering of movable property without specifying his intent, it should be given to the Kohanim etc.”

Which is similar to the aspect of Gifts to the Poor. For Kohanim do not have any portion or inheritance in Eretz Yisroel and therefore receive Matanot Kohanim/Gifts to Kohanim (of which, one of them is “Charamim” (Devoted Property))

and not Hilchot Kilayim.


  1. They come in continuation solely to the beginning of the last chapter in Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim.
  2. The connection is in a side matter – not in the essence of the topic of the aspect (like the connection between the conclusion of Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim and the aforementioned Hilchot Matanot Aniyim).

2. The second answer (that Kilayim have a law of preference, since they are a subject that include many kinds), would have been a sufficient answer, if Hilchot Peah would have been placed as a separate aspect, in and of themselves:

However, in Rambam, they come as a part of “things that are inclusive etc.” of Hilchot Matanot Aniyim which include “all types” of gifts to the poor (Peah, Leket; Shichcha, Maaser Ani, Tzedakah etc.)

Therefore, the question returns:

Why aren’t Hilchot Matanot Aniyim placed beforehand (and therefore – at the beginning of the laws of Peah) and afterward Hilchot Kilayim? Especially since then it would be in accordance with “their order in Scripture”?

3. One could say that Rambam’s order in Sefer Zeraim follows the order of the time of their obligation (חיובם).

  • Rambam begins with Hilchot Kilayim - the Halachot of how one must sow etc. (and in continuation to the Kilayim of seeds etc., he cites all the types of Kilayim).
  • Afterward are the Halachot which are related to the time of reaping etc. – Hilchot Peah and the other gifts to the poor (and in relation to this (אגב גררא) – also the other gifts to the poor – Maaser Ani and Tzedakah).
  • Afterward the gifts which must be given from the produce after they are stacked (מירוח) – Hilchot Terumot, maser, Maaser Sheini, and Neta Revai (fourth year fruits) and Bikkurim.
  • And at the end, the laws of Shemittah and Yovel which come after “six years you shall plant etc.”, after once in seven (or fifty) years etc.

4. One could say a more straightforward explanation – according to the Pnimiyut of the matter, by prefacing an explanation in that which the aforementioned Mishnah (in the beginning of Shekalim) states that,

 “On the first of Adar they make a public announcement concerning Shekalim and concerning Kilayim.”

The order of the Torah is with the epitome of precision. Therefore, it is not understood: Why does Scripture begin with the announcement concerning Shekalim before the announcement “concerning Kilayim”? Seemingly, it logically should be the opposite:

“Kilayim” is a prohibition upon everyone and is a constant prohibition. Every Yid (who does not know the law) is liable, at every moment, to transgress the Negative Command of,

“you shall not sow your field with a forbidden mixture”.


Even if one does not do any act, but sits idly (יושב בטל) – yet in the meantime (the mixed Kilayim vegetable etc.) has grown by a two-hundredth (מאתים), and he has not uprooted it, he transgresses the Negative Command of Kilayim. Moreover, even the uprooting can only help from now on. However, it cannot rectify the Negative Command/Lav.

Which is not so regarding Shekalim.


(in addition to that which it is not so stringent- for it is just a Positive Command)

women are not obligated in it. Moreover, even upon those whom it is obligatory, one can give the Shekalim even after Rosh Chodesh Nisan. For one may set aside funds, even for funds that would be collected in the future.

(To note: Even someone who does not give the half-shekel also has a share in the Terumah-fund and a portion in the communal sacrifices (קרבנות צבור)).

According to this, the announcement “concerning Kilayim” should have preceded the announcement “concerning Shekalim”. Therefore, why does the Mishnah state it in the opposite order?

5. The explanation of this (according to Pnimiyut) is:

The Ramban explains the reason for the prohibition of Kilayim:

Through Kilayim, one changes the dictates of nature which G-d imbued in them. Namely, that it should specifically be,

“grass, seed-yielding herbs, fruit trees bearing fruit of its own kind

(and similarly, regarding the other types of Kilayim).

The reason for the announcement in first of Adar “concerning Shekalim” is:

The communal Korbanot of each year must be brought specifically from the Shekalim of that year. One must not use the Shekalim of one year (before Rosh Chodesh Nisan) for the communal Korbanot of the following year (after Rosh Chodesh Nisan).

One must not mix together one year with the second. Therefore, one announces on the first of Adar that one must give the Shekalim for the new year (Rosh Chodesh Nisan).

7. Since “Gd looked into the Torah and created the world”, it is understood that each thing which is here in the world is not just dependent and established in Torah (and the Avodah of Yidden).

But even more than this:

Beforehand, it is in Torah, and afterward, and because of it, it becomes drawn down into the world.

This is the reasoning why one prefaces the announcement of “concerning Shekalim” before the announcement “concerning Kilayim”:

In order for the conduct of the world to be proper, that it specifically be “according to its kind” (למינהו) – not intermingled - this is through that which – beforehand – in the Torah (and its teaching) and Avodah of Yidden, one negates the “mixing” of things that must remain separate – according to their kind.

Therefore, Beit Din (whose aspect is Torah and teaching (תורה והוראה)) beforehand publicizes and announces “concerning Shekalim”. Through this, it forewarns that the Shekalim from which one brings the Korbanot – Avodah- should be used in the correct time. One must not mix them with the Shekalim and Korbanot of a different year.

In a deeper and broader way this means:

Beit Din announces, draws down and reveals all the spiritual powers which are required for G-d’s service for the coming year.

(The Avodah of Korbanot is indeed one of the main services in the Temple, and is called “Avodah” without distinction).

And these spiritual powers must be fully used in the Avodah, in the time to which they pertain. There must not be any confusion and mixing (בלבול ועירוב) of the times in the order of the Avodah from year to year.

From this there develops the announcement “concerning Kilayim” – that even in the world there must not be any mixing and intermingling from one type with another.

7. According to this, it is also understood why we find two time periods regarding Kilayim:

  • On the first of Adar where they publicize and announce “concerning Kilayim”, and
  • On the fifteenth of Adar “they also go out concerning Kilayim”

On the first of Adar, one publicizes and announces “concerning Shekalim”. For this is just a warning (regarding the giving of the Shekalim)”in potential” (בכח). Therefore, that is also the time, in the conduct of the world, where just the warning in “potential” – the announcement “concerning Kilayim” is drawn down.

However, on the fifteenth of Adar, when the moon is full (קיימא סיהרא באשלמותא).

(not like on Rosh Chodesh (the first of) Adar when the moon is just “in potential” in a point (נקודה)) –

then in actuality begins the preparation in deed for the Avodah of giving the Shekalim, as it states in the Mishnah:

“on the fifteenth of Adar they would set up tables in the provinces.”

Therefore, this is also drawn down in the conduct of the world. Namely, that on the fifteenth of Adar, Beit Din (is not satisfied with the announcement of the first of Adar, but rather) - “they also go out concerning Kilayim” – one actually uproots the Kilayim.

This is the reasoning why,

“On the fifteenth of Adar, Beit Din turns and examines and investigates matters involving the needs of the community and consecrated property etc.”

Just as on the fifteenth of Adar there begins the aspect of the actual preparation for giving the Shekalim for the Korbanot for the coming year.

(Which forewarns, as aforementioned, that the powers that are given (for the purpose of Avodah) for a given year should be specifically utilized in that year; and that they must not be “mixed” from year to year).

So too, it must be forewarned regarding all the “needs of the community” and the “consecrations” that all these aspects which pertain to this year should be completed before the conclusion of the year (before Rosh Chodesh Nisan).

8. Just as there must not be the intermingling in the levels of the

  • “World” (עולם) (mixtures of two kinds) and
  • “Year/time/ שנה” (Shekalim from year to year) –
  • so too there must not be intermingling (Kilayim) in the third level - soul (Person/ נפש).

For each person, there are certain aspects and things which he himself must utilize and refine. There must not be any intermingling of one person’s refining (בירורים) with another’s.

This is also an inner explanation in the Halacha, with which Rambam concludes Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim,

“A person should never consecrate all of his property or designate all of his property . . a person who distributes his money for Mitzvot should not distribute more than a fifth etc.”

A Yid must know that the possessions and money that he has, were given to him by G-d to utilize them with a specific order:

  • There is the portion of money and possessions which were given to him as a deposit (they do not belong to him, but rather to the poor, consecrations, and so forth) in order to fulfill the Mitzvah of Tzedakah etc.
  • And there are possessions and money which were apportioned to him for his livelihood and the sustenance of his family.

Therefore, one must not distribute more than a fifth. For the other four-fifths are established for himself. This is what G-d gave to him for his livelihood and the sustenance of his family. He must not “mix” them with the portion that is established for the poor.

9. According to all the aforementioned, the order of the Halachot in Rambam, is understood:

Beforehand in the last chapter of Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim, Rambam states the law that,

“On the fifteenth of Adar, Beit Din turns (their attention) toward matters involving the needs of the community and consecrated property etc.”

This is the aspect of Kilayim in spirituality (in “year”). The forewarning that there should not be any “mixing” of powers which one has been given for the “needs of the community” and “consecrations” from year to year.

Afterward Rambam concludes the chapter (where the beginning is rooted in the end (דנעוץ תחלתן בסופן)), also with the point as it is manifested in each person particular (in “soul”), in the aspect of Arachim Vacharamim - Appraisals and Devoted Property. Not to mix the money which belongs to him with that which he must give away (for it is, from the onset, a deposit – not his).

And from this aspect of Kilayim in Avodat HaAdam in spirituality, it becomes drawn down into the conduct of the world – Hilchot Kilayim (literally).

However, with this, one could come to err

(like the claim of the evil Roman governor Turnus Rufus (Tineius Rufus))

that since G-d gave him money and possessions, and He made the other a poor person – he need not give Tzedakah to the poor person. For everything is his and he must not mix it up by giving it to another (- Kilayim).

Rambam, therefore immediately continues, after Hilchot Kilayim, in Hilchot Matanot Aniyim (gifts to the poor) regarding the obligation to give the poor (that which he deserves).

10. With this one can also understandd the reason for the change between,

  • The order of Scripture (and the Mishnah) which is beforehand Peah and afterward Kilayim. and
  • Rambam’s order which is beforehand Hilchot Kilayim and afterward Hilchot Matanot Aniyim (Peah etc.)

Hilchot Matanot Aniyim emphasizes how just a part must be given to the poor, whereas the majority remains for the owner.

For example, Peah – is at the end of his field. Regarding Leket – more than two bundles (that fall from one’s hand etc. while gathering sheaves) are already not considered Leket (and so forth regarding the other Hilchot Matanot Aniyim).

This is the aspect of (the negation of) Kilayim, in spirituality (as aforementioned, at length). Namely, that one must not mix that which belongs to the owner with that which belongs to the poor. From this is drawn down the prohibition of Kilayim, in physicality, as aforementioned.

Therefore, it states beforehand in Scripture,

“You shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field"

and only afterward

“you shall not sow your field with a forbidden mixture - Kilayim”

(and similarly, in the Mishnah).

Whereas in Rambam, where this aspect of Matanot Aniyim – gifts to the poor - is that one must not give “all that belongs to him”

(from which is drawn down the prohibition of Kilayim)

it already states this in the end of Hilchot Arachim Vacharamim.

Therefore, Hilchot Kilayim comes in continuation to them, and afterward comes Hilchot Matanot Aniyim - where the emphasis is like its name.

(not on the not being permitted to distribute “all that is his”, but rather)

that which one is obligated to give to the poor.

On the contrary, it must be done carefully (בזהירות) “more than any other Positive Commandment”.

And specifically, through this does Rambam state that:

“The throne of Yisroel is established and the religion of truth stands”.

M’Sichas Purim, 5724


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