1) AN OBJECT WITH "KEDUSHAS SHEVI'IS" FOR ONLY ONE PERSON
QUESTION: The Gemara discusses the statement of the Mishnah that a Jew who is hired specifically to work with Yayin Nesech may not benefit from any wages he receives for the job. The Gemara says that the reason cannot be that there is a prohibition against benefiting from the products of a transgression, because the Mishnah in Kidushin (56b) teaches that if one sold fruits of Orlah or Kil'ei ha'Kerem and then used the money to be Mekadesh a woman, the Kidushin is valid. This proves that even though one is forbidden to derive benefit from such fruits, if he did derive benefit from them (he sold them), he may benefit from the proceeds.
TOSFOS (DH veha'Tenan) quotes RASHI (54b, DH li'Me'utei) who says that although the Kidushin is valid and others may benefit from the money received from something which is prohibited from benefit, the person who conducted the transaction is forbidden mid'Rabanan from benefiting from the money. Tosfos continues and says that this Isur d'Rabanan also applies with regard to Shevi'is. The money received from a prohibited transaction with fruits of Shevi'is is permitted for others to benefit from, but not for the person who conducted the transaction, as the Gemara earlier teaches. Why, then, does the Gemara here not explain that this is the reason of the Mishnah when it says that the wages are forbidden to be used by the worker himself, like all other monies received for transgressing such prohibitions? Tosfos answers that this would not have been an appropriate explanation for the Mishnah, since the statement in the Mishnah that the wages are forbidden implies that they are forbidden to everyone.
The MAHARSHA, MAHARAM, and many others are perplexed by the words of Tosfos. How can Tosfos say that money received from a transaction with fruits of Shevi'is is forbidden only to the person who made the transaction? The money, when exchanged for the fruits of Shevi'is, acquires the Kedushah of the fruits of Shevi'is. How can something which the Torah says acquires the Kedushah of Shevi'is be Kadosh with regard to only one person and not to others?
(a) The HAGAHOS HA'BACH answers that Tosfos refers to the Halachah of "Zeman ha'Bi'ur," the deadline for using fruits of Shevi'is. The Zeman ha'Bi'ur is determined by the time at which this type of fruit is no longer available to the animals in the fields. The Halachah is that one must dispose of his fruits (of Shevi'is) at this time. The Bach explains that Tosfos understands that while the requirement of "Bi'ur" applies to actual fruits of Shevi'is, it does not apply the same way to money that was received for selling fruits of Shevi'is. He explains that the money acquires the obligation of the "Z'man ha'Bi'ur" of the fruits only with regard to the person who made the transaction. For others, however, this money does not need to be destroyed like other things that have the Kedushah of Shevi'is. When Tosfos says that the money received in a transaction of fruits of Shevi'is is not forbidden to be used by other people, he is referring to after the "Z'man ha'Bi'ur."
(b) The RASHASH gives a different explanation for the words of Tosfos. He explains that Tosfos is referring to the Gemara later which explains the severity of Shevi'is and Yayin Nesech. Profit obtained through either one is forbidden from benefit. The Gemara quotes the Mishnah in Shevi'is (8:4) which states that if, during Shevi'is, an person says to a worker, "Take this coin [as your wage] and pick a vegetable for me today," the worker is permitted to benefit from the wage (the coin) after the Zeman ha'Bi'ur. Tosfos understands that when the Mishnah there says that one is permitted to benefit from the coin, it means only that other people may benefit from it after the Zeman ha'Bi'ur, but not the person who earned the wage.
Accordingly, Tosfos has the same question in the Gemara later regarding Shevi'is as he has in the Gemara regarding Orlah. The Gemara there quotes a Beraisa which it understands to be teaching that the wages of donkey drivers who are working with fruits of Shevi'is become prohibited like the fruits of Shevi'is themselves. The Gemara asks that this cannot be what the Beraisa means, because the Mishnah in Shevi'is says that one is permitted to benefit from the wage of a worker (who works with fruits of Shevi'is) without restriction! Tosfos here asks that the Gemara's initial interpretation of the Beraisa should remain valid, because the Mishnah in Shevi'is means only that others may benefit from the wage normally, but not that the worker himself may benefit from it after the Zeman ha'Bi'ur.
How can the Rashash say that Tosfos is referring to the Gemara later? Tosfos here continues and says, "... as is stated earlier in Perek Rebbi Yishmael (54b)." The Rashash explains that the Gemara there (54b) discusses objects that were traded for other objects that had been traded for Avodah Zarah (thus, the objects are two times removed from the actual Avodah Zarah). Is one allowed to benefit from such objects? One opinion there says that one is permitted to benefit from such objects. The Rashash explains that the opinion which permits using such objects undoubtedly permits them only to other people, but not to the person who made the first transaction. That person is prohibited, by a Torah prohibition, from benefiting from the first item, and thus he certainly is not permitted to benefit from the second item as well. Although Tosfos' primary focus is the Gemara later, he mentions the Gemara earlier in order to show that there is a similar Halachic ruling wherein something that is permitted is permitted only to others and not to the person who made the original transaction. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) BORROWING FRUIT OF SHEVI'IS AND PAYING BACK WITH FRUIT THAT IS NOT OF SHEVI'IS
QUESTION: The Gemara describes how Rebbi Yanai's household would borrow the fruit of Shevi'is from the poor and then return to them fruit of the following year. The fruit that they returned to did not have Kedushas Shevi'is, even though it was given in exchange for fruit of Shevi'is (and, normally, fruit given in exchange for fruit of Shevi'is acquires the Kedushah of Shevi'is). RASHI (DH Ya'us) explains that the fruit of the eighth year does not obtain Kedushas Shevi'is, since the fruit came into existence only after the Shevi'is fruit was consumed. TOSFOS (DH Ya'us) applies the words of the RI to explain that as long as the item in question was given after the person acquired the Shevi'is fruit, it does not obtain Kedushas Shevi'is.
This explanation seems difficult according to the Gemara's statement earlier (62a). The Gemara states that one is not allowed to pay a debt with Shevi'is fruit, as the verse (Vayikra 25:6) states that the fruit should be used for "l'Achlah" (purposes of eating) and not "l'Sechorah" (purposes of commerce). According to the Gemara there, how could Rebbi Yanai borrow fruit of Shevi'is and then return fruit of the following year? Since the fruit that he was eventually going to pay back would never have Kedushas Shevi'is, this should have been considered like Sechorah, commerce!
(a) The CHAZON ISH (Shevi'is 13:12) answers that the basis of the prohibition of Sechorah with fruit Shevi'is is not that there must be a substitute object on which the Kedushas Shevi'is will take effect, but rather that an object which does not replace the Shevi'is fruit does not meet the verse's requirement of "l'Achlah." In Rebbi Yanai's case, even though the replacement (the fruit of the eighth year) would not have Kedushas Shevi'is, the purpose of the loan was in order to pay back fruit that the poor would be able to eat, and that does fit the criterion of "l'Achlah." He adds that this is the meaning of the Mishnah in Shevi'is (8:5) which states that one may not give an object with Kedushas Shevi'is to a well-digger as payment, unless he receives drinking water in exchange. This is because only something which is considered "l'Achlah" may be exchanged for an object that has Kedushas Shevi'is.
(b) The KEHILOS YAKOV (#23) agrees with this answer, but he says that it satisfies only the opinion of Tosfos (62a, DH Nimtza), who maintains that the problem with paying a debt with fruit of Shevi'is is that nothing takes its place to be eaten and to fulfill the verse of "l'Achlah." In contrast to Tosfos, however, the RAMBAN and RITVA explain that the problem with paying a debt with Shevi'is money is that nothing takes the place of its Kedushah. According to this opinion, the conduct of Rebbi Yanai still seems problematic and the question remains.
The Kehilos Yakov answers by quoting the Ramban who says that only in the case of Rebbi Yanai, where the fruit of Shevi'is was already consumed when other fruit was given in its place, does the fruit of the eighth year not have Kedushas Shevi'is. If the Shevi'is fruit was still in existence when the loan was paid back, then the fruit of the eighth year that Rebbi Yanai gave to the poor would have Kedushas Shevi'is (unlike the view of Tosfos, as mentioned above). Accordingly, the Kehilos Yakov explains, it makes sense that the poor people would be allowed to lend Rebbi Yanai the Shevi'is fruit. The prohibition of Sechorah applies only when it is certain that the transaction does not include something which will also have Kedushas Shevi'is. In this case, Rebbi Yanai could have pickled the Shevi'is fruits and made sure that they would last until the eighth year, or he could simply have paid back the fruit to the poor people while the Shevi'is fruit was still extant. Therefore, the poor people are not guilty of doing business with the fruit of Shevi'is. Rebbi Yanai's household also did nothing wrong, since they did not make any money on the transaction and merely caused a profit for the poor people. (Y. MONTROSE)