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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Mezi'a

Baba Mezi'a 54a

the owners must give twenty-six; 'for twenty-two,' the owners must give twenty-seven; 'for twenty-three,' the owners must pay twenty-eight; 'for twenty-four,' the owners must pay twenty-nine; 'for twenty-five,' the owners must pay thirty; because a fifth is not added on this man's higher valuation.1  This proves that the fifth is calculated on the outer sum.2  This proves it.

This is disputed by Tannaim: Then he shall add a fifth part of it thereto3  — i.e., it [sc. the principal] plus its fifth shall amount to five:4  this is the view of R. Josia. R. Jonathan said: 'A fifth part of it' means a fifth of the principal.

The scholars propounded: Does the fifth restrain or not?5  [Thus:] do four [zuz] redeem four [zuz's worth of second tithes], whilst a fifth is independently added,6  so that the fifth is no bar [to the validity of the redemption]: or perhaps, four [zuz's worth] must be redeemed by five,7  the fifth being [thus] a bar? — Said Rabina: Come and hear: demai8  is not subject to the law of a 'fifth' or to the law of removal.9  [This implies,] but the law of the principal does apply to it.10  Why so?11  [Surely because] the principal, which is indispensable for [tithe by] Biblical law, is required in the case of [tithe by] Rabbinic law; whereas the fifth, which is not a bar in [tithe by] Biblical law, is not required in the case of Rabbinic [tithe]!12

Shall we say that this is disputed by Tannaim? [It has been taught:] If one gave the principal but not the fifth: R. Eliezer ruled: It [the redeemed tithe] may be eaten [outside Jerusalem]; R. Joshua said: It may not be eaten. Said Rabbi: I approve of R. Eliezer's view for the Sabbath, and R. Joshua's view for week-days.13  Now, since he said 'I approve of R. Eliezer's view for the Sabbath,' it follows that their dispute applies even to week-days; and since he said, 'I approve of R. Joshua's view for week-days,' it follows that their dispute applies even to the Sabbath. Surely then, they differ in this reasoning, viz., R. Eliezer holds that the fifth is no bar, whilst R. Joshua holds that it is! — Said R. papa: That is not so. All agree that the fifth is no bar, but here they differ as to whether we fear culpable omission. One Master holds that we fear culpable omission;14  whilst the other Master maintains that we do not fear this.

R. Johanan said: All agree in the case of hekdesh15  that it is redeemed,16  since the treasurers demand it in the market place.17  Now, do they really not differ in respect to hekdesh? Surely it has been taught: If one gave the principal but did not give him [sc. the treasurer] the fifth: R. Eliezer said: He has redeemed it; whilst the Sages say: He has not redeemed it. Said Rabbi: I approve of R. Eliezer's view in respect to hekdesh,18  and that of the Sages in respect to tithes. Now, since he said 'I approve of R. Eliezer's view In respect to hekdesh,' it follows that he himself [R. Eliezer] differs even in reference to the tithe; and since he said, 'I approve of the view of the Sages in respect to tithes,' it follows that they differ even on hekdesh! — But if it [R. Johanan's dictum] was stated, it was stated thus: R. Johanan said: All agree in respect to the Sabbath and hekdesh, that it is redeemed. Firstly, because it is written, And thou shalt call the Sabbath a delight;19  and furthermore, since the treasurers demand it in the market place.

Rami b. Hama said: Now, it has been said that hekdesh cannot be redeemed by land, for the Divine Law ordered, Then he shall give the money, and it shall be assured to him;20  but can its fifth be 'redeemed by' [i.e., rendered in] land? [Again,] terumah can be repaid only by hullin,21  for the Divine Law saith, Then he shall give unto the priest the holy thing,22  implying, that which is eligible to be holy:23  can its fifth24  be rendered out of what is not hullin? [Further, the second] tithe cannot be redeemed by asimon,25  because the Divine Law said, And thou shalt bind up the money in thy hand,26  thus including everything which has a figure:27  can its [additional] fifth be exchanged for uncoined metal? Now, it eventually transpired28  that it [these questions] reached Raba. Thereupon he said to them: Scripture saith, [Then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thine estimation] unto it,29  [which is] to include its fifth as equal to itself [sc. the principal].30

Rabina said: We have learnt likewise: If one stole terumah but did not eat it, he must repay double the value of the terumah.31  If he ate it,32  he must repay two principals and a fifth, one principal and a fifth out of hullin,33  and the other principal as the value of terumah.34

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. If a man consecrated an inherited field when the Jubilee laws were in force, the redemption was according to a fixed scale, as stated in Lev. XXVII, 16-19. If, however, he consecrated it when the Jubilee laws had fallen into desuetude, he had to value it for the purpose of redemption, whilst at the same time others too might redeem it and keep the field for themselves. Now, the owner had to add a fifth to his valuation, but not strangers. Consequently, if both he and strangers valued it equally, it was for him to redeem it, since he would add thereto. But if strangers made a higher offer, the owner had to redeem it at their assessment, adding a fifth on the basis of his own, as stated in the Mishnah quoted. In order that the price might not be unduly forced up, the Mishnah concludes that if the owner valued it at 20, whilst another valued it at 26, i.e., more than the owner's offer plus a fifth, the latter offer was accepted. Thus both the Temple treasury and the owner were safeguarded.
  2. Five on twenty.
  3. Lev. XXVII, 27.
  4. If the principal is four the total shall be five, the addition thus being a fifth of the total — an 'outer' fifth.
  5. If one redeems the second tithe without adding a fifth, does this omission restrain him from eating that produce outside Jerusalem, it being regarded as unredeemed, or not?
  6. But not as part of the actual redemption.
  7. It being a scriptural decree that the addition forms an integral part of the redemption.
  8. V. Glos.
  9. If one redeems second tithe of demai, he need not add a fifth. Again, ordinary (Biblical) tithes had (in accordance with Deut. XIV, 28ff.) to be removed from the house in the third year after the year of Release, but not demai (Dem. I, 2).
  10. I.e., unless redeemed at par it may not be eaten outside Jerusalem.
  11. Why this distinction?
  12. This proves therefore that the omission of the fifth does not invalidate redemption.
  13. On the Sabbath the redeemed tithe may be eaten, for otherwise the cheerfulness of the Sabbath might be destroyed, as one might not have anything else to eat. But on week-days it may not be eaten unless the necessary fifth has been added.
  14. If we permit eating the tithe even before the fifth has been added, one may intentionally omit his addition.
  15. V. Glos.
  16. Even before the necessary fifth is added, and it may then be eaten.
  17. There is no fear that the additional fifth will be intentionally omitted, since the treasurers enforce payment. [The treasurers are apparently not allowed to enter the premises of the donor to take a pledge; cf. Deut. XXIV, 11 (v. Strashun a. l.).]
  18. For the reason stated, cf. n. 5.
  19. Isa. LVIII, 13; v. n. 1.
  20. Actually there is no such verse. Rashi and Tosaf. here and in Pes. 35b s.v. [H], without pointing to the non-existence of this verse, quotes, Then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it, and it shall be assured to him (Lev. XXVII, 19) as the source of this law, implying money, but not land. But in that case the obvious difficulty arises, to which Tosaf. draws attention in Pes. loc. cit., since the verse primarily refers to the fifth, how can one question whether the implication of 'money' as excluding land refers to the fifth too, besides the principal? In Bek. 51a s.v. [H], however, Tosaf. states on the authority of the Sifra that the deduction is really based upon, and all thy estimations shall be according to the shekel of the sanctuary (v. 25), 'shekel' excluding land.
  21. If a zar (v. Glos.) eats it unwittingly, he must make restoration to the priest, and the repayment must be with money of hullin.
  22. Lev. XXII, 14.
  23. I.e., it becomes holy only when he gives it to the priest; hence he cannot repay him with what is already holy.
  24. Which had to be added to the principal: then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, ibid.
  25. Uncoined metal; v. supra 47b.
  26. Deut. XIV, 25.
  27. V. p. 282, n. 6. I.e., only a stamped coin can redeem, but not bullion or uncoined metal.
  28. Lit., 'The thing was rolled on.'
  29. Lev. XXVII, 19, also in every place where the addition of a fifth is mentioned; v. XXII, 14; XXVII. 31 (E.V. 'thereto').
  30. I.e., the fifth must be redeemed in the same way as the principal; hence the answer to all the questions is in the negative.
  31. The usual punishment of a thief. V. Ex. XXII, 3. As terumah, its value is less than hullin, since it can be sold only to priests, and may not be eaten if defiled.
  32. Not knowing that it was terumah.
  33. I.e., in actual produce, notwithstanding that the value of terumah is less, for since he ate it, he derived the same benefit from it as though it were hullin.
  34. I.e., money to that value. For the second principal is a fine for theft; therefore it is rendered in money, and based on the actual market value of the article stolen (Ter. VI, 4).
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Baba Mezi'a 54b

This proves that the fifth is as the principal.1

Raba said: With respect to robbery it is written, [he shall even restore it in the principal,] and shall add the fifth part more thereto;2  and we learnt: If he restored the principal and then swore [falsely] concerning the fifth,3  he must then add4  a fifth upon the fifth,5  [and so on,] until the principal is less than a perutah's worth.6  With respect to terumah, it is written, And if a man eat of the holy thing unwittingly, then he shall add the fifth part thereof unto it.7  And we learnt: If one eats terumah unwittingly, he must restore the principal and a fifth; whether he eats, drinks or anoints [therewith]; whether it was undefiled or defiled terumah, he must pay a fifth and a fifth of the fifth.8  With respect to [the second] tithe it is neither written9  nor taught,10  nor do we regard it at all as a problem.11  With respect to hekdesh it is written, And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation unto it.12  And we learnt: He who redeems his hekdesh adds a fifth.13  Now, only a fifth was thus taught, but not a fifth of the fifth.14  What then [is the law]? [The problem arises for this reason:] With respect to terumah it is written, and he shall add [we-yasaf];15  then with respect to hekdesh too it is likewise written, and he shall add [weyasaf]:16  or perhaps, with respect to terumah it is written he shall add [we-yasaf], and if you remove the waw from we-yasaf and add it to hamishito [the fifth part thereof] it becomes hamishithaw [the fifth parts thereof];17  whereas in respect to hekdesh is written, and he shall add the fifth part [we-yasaf hamishith], and even if you remove the waw from we-yasaf and add it to hamishith, after all it only becomes hamishitho.18  But cannot this [sc. the answer to the problem] be deduced from the fact that it [the fifth] is a second hekdesh, and R. Joshua b. Levi said: A fifth is added to first [i.e., original] hekdesh [in redemption], but not to second hekdesh.19  — Said R. papa to Rabina: Thus did Raba say: The fifth ranks as original hekdesh.20

What is our decision in the matter? — R. Tabyomi said in Abaye's name: Scripture saith, Then he shall add the fifth part of the money of thy estimation [unto it]: thus its fifth is assimilated to its assessed value:21  just as a fifth is added to the assessed value, so is a fifth added to the fifth of its value.22

The [above] text states: 'R. Joshua b. Levi said: A fifth is added to first [i.e., original] hekdesh [in redemption], but not to second hekdesh' Said Raba: What is R. Joshua b. Levi's reason? — Scripture says, And if he that sanctified it will redeem his house, [then he shall add the fifth part]: implying, only he who sanctified, but not he who transferred [its sanctity].23

A tanna recited before R. Eleazar: And if it be of the unclean beast,24  then he shall redeem it according to thine estimation [, and shall add a fifth part of it thereto]:25  just as an unclean beast is distinguished in that it is the original dedication,26  belongs entirely to Heaven,27  and it involves trespass;28  so everything which is original hekdesh and belongs entirely to Heaven involves one in trespass. Thereupon R. Eleazar observed to the tanna: As for [the stipulation] that it must belong entirely to Heaven, it is well: that excludes sacrifices of secondary sanctity;29  since its owners enjoy part thereof,30  they involve no trespass offering. But what is 'original dedication' intended to exclude? [Do you mean that] only original hekdesh involves a trespass offering, but not final hekdesh!31  perhaps you said it in reference to the fifth, and in agreement with R. Joshua b. Levi?32  — Even so, he replied, that is what I meant.

R. Ashi said to Rabina: Is an unclean animal capable only of original hekdesh,

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Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Lit., 'as itself.' — It follows from the fact that the fifth has to be paid in produce, just as the principal.
  2. Lev. V, 24. This fifth is payable if the culprit first denied the robbery and swore falsely, and then repented. The Heb. for 'the fifth part' is [H], which is plural in form, lit., 'and its fifth parts'. This justifies the ruling that the fifth itself becomes the principal and a fifth is payable upon that — i.e., there may be many fifth parts.
  3. Regretting his repentance before giving the fifth, he falsely swore that he had already paid it.
  4. If he repents again.
  5. I.e., the fifth is regarded as a new principal, and he is liable to a fifth of that on account of his false oath.
  6. 'The principal' refers to the fifth in respect of which he took a false oath (v. B.K. 103a).
  7. Ibid. XXII, 14. Here the Heb. reads [H], sing.; nevertheless it is shewn further on that there is a Biblical allusion that there may be many fifths, as in the case of robbery.
  8. This fifth becomes the same as the original terumah, and if he ate it, he must restore that fifth and a fifth thereof, just as in the case of robbery (Ter. VI, 4).
  9. There is no allusion to the payment of many fifths.
  10. To that effect, e.g., if one redeems the second tithe, duly adding a fifth, and then wishes to redeem that fifth with other coins, it was not taught that he must add a fifth thereof.
  11. I.e., another fifth need certainly not be added, since there is not the slightest indication in the Bible to that effect.
  12. Lev. XXVII, 15.
  13. Infra 55b.
  14. I.e., it is not stated that if he wishes to redeem that fifth, which is now consecrated, that he must add a fifth thereof unto it.
  15. The and (we-) is interpreted as an extending particle, and therefore teaches that this fifth may be added more than once, i.e., on repeated redemption a fifth of the added fifth is required.
  16. Hence hekdesh too may require many fifths.
  17. On the plural form v. 322, nn. 5' 10. It is one of the principles of exegesis that a letter may be taken from one word and added to another, and interpreted in the transposed form. Such removal and addition is permissible only at the beginning or end of a word, hut not in the middle; so here [H] > [H]
  18. I.e., sing., [H] > [H] thus giving no hint that a second fifth may be required. Though the insertion of the waw in the middle of the word would turn it into plural viz., [H] 'fifths', such insertion is not permissible, as stated on previous note.
  19. This fifth is not the object originally dedicated, but a substitute for it through redemption, the second hekdesh. According to R. Joshua b. Levi's dictum, which is deduced from Scripture further on, hence authentic, no addition is necessary when redeeming the substitute; so that even if he redeemed the principal with which the original hekdesh had been redeemed, no fifth thereof would be necessary: surely then no fifth of the fifth is required!
  20. And not as a substitute at all. Thus: the original is redeemed at par, and that principal ranks as a substitute. The added fifth, however, is not a substitute, but in the nature of money now consecrated for the first time in obedience to the Scriptural law that when one redeems hekdesh he must consecrate something (viz., a fifth) in addition. Hence, though no fifth is added when the principal is redeemed, it may be necessary for the fifth.
  21. Lit., 'the money of his estimation'.
  22. In point of fact the analogy appears defective, since a fifth is not added when the assessed value is itself redeemed, as has just been stated. But the argument is somewhat like this: the fifth is regarded in exactly the same light as the principal assessment: just as when the principal assessment is made, a fifth is to be added, so is a fifth of the fifth to be added likewise, and that is possible only in another redemption (Strashun, a. l.)
  23. Lit., 'who caused to seize,' i.e., who by means of redemption transferred sanctity from one object to another. The deduction is that a fifth is to be added only in the case of that which was sanctified itself, but not for that which received its sanctity through redemption.
  24. I.e., if an unclean animal was consecrated. The E.V. is 'and if it be of an unclean beast,' the def. art. being understood generically. But as the Talmud bases a particular conclusion upon it (55a), the literal translation has been given here.
  25. Ibid. 27.
  26. Its sanctity was not received through transference from another animal. The Talmud objects further on that it is possible for an unclean beast to possess transferred sanctity.
  27. I.e., its value goes entirely to the Temple, and nothing to the owner. But a clean animal is sacrificed, and the owner enjoys a portion thereof.
  28. It is now assumed that this means that if one makes use of it he must bring a trespass offering, just as for benefiting from any other form of hekdesh.
  29. [H] Sacrifices are divided into two grades of sanctity, the higher, which includes the burnt offering and sin offering, and the secondary or lower, e.g., the peace offering and thanks offering.
  30. The fat of these lower grade sacrifices was burnt on the altar, the breast and shoulder were the priests portions, and the rest was consumed by the owner.
  31. For the term 'final hekdesh' v. n. 5. Surely 'final hekdesh' too involves trespass!
  32. By 'trespass', not the trespass offering for making use of hekdesh is meant, but the fifth which must be added on redemption, the fifth being called 'trespass' because there too (sc. when hekdesh is secularly used) a fifth must be added, as stated above, Lev. XXII, 14; thus he asked the Tanna whether he meant that no fifth was to be added in redeeming substitute hekdesh.
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