TAX EXEMPTIONS FOR CHACHAMIM AND ORPHANS
Rav Nachman bar Rav Chisda imposed a tax on Chachamim.
Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak: You transgressed Torah, the Nevi'im and Kesuvim (the Writings)!
Torah - "Af Chovev Amim Kol Kedoshav b'Yadecha" - Moshe requested that even when You endear nations and allow them to rule over Yisrael, the Kedoshim of Yisrael should be in Your hand (to protect them);
(Rav Yosef): "V'Hem Tuku l'Raglecha" refers to Chachamim, who go from city to city and from province to province to learn Torah
"Yisa Midabrosecha" - in order to engage in Hash-m's teachings.
The Nevi'im - "Gam Ki Yisnu va'Goyim Atah Akabetzem";
(Ula): (The word Yisnu) in this verse is Arame'ic (it means 'they will learn'). Hash-m promises that if all of Yisrael will learn (while in exile), He will gather them speedily.
"Va'Yachelu Me'at mi'Masa Melech Sarim" - if only some learn, the king will not conscript them for his work.
Kesuvim - "Minda Velo va'Halach (various taxes) La Shalit Lemirma Aleihom (the king will not be able to impose on them)";
(Rav Yehudah): "Minda" is the king's tax. "Velo" is the head tax. "Halach" is a tithe of yearly animals and Peros.
Rav Papa imposed a tax on city residents, including orphans, to dig a new well.
Question (Rav Shisha brei d'Rav Idi): Perhaps they will not find water (and the money was wasted. Others can pardon this, but orphans cannot!)
Answer (Rav Papa): I will collect the money. If we don't find water, I will return their money.
(Rav Yehudah): Everyone must contribute towards doors for the walls, even orphans, but not Chachamim, for they do not need protection.
Everyone must contribute towards digging wells for water, even Chachamim;
This is only if they hire others to dig. If they themselves dig, Chachamim are exempt (it is below their dignity).
In famine years, Rebbi opened his storehouse (of food) to anyone who learned written Torah, Mishnah, Gemara, Halachah or Agadah, but not to an ignoramus.
R. Yonason ben Amram forced his way in and requested food. He said that he had not learned even written Torah.
Rebbi: If so, why should I support you?
R. Yonason: Please support me, just like Hash-m feeds dogs and ravens.
Rebbi gave to him. Later, he regretted that he gave his food to an ignoramus.
R. Shimon (Rebbi's son): Perhaps it was your Talmid R. Yonason, who never wants to benefit from his Torah!
Rebbi investigated, and found that this was so. He announced that all may take food (so no one would need to benefit from Torah).
This is like Rebbi said (elsewhere), that all punishments come to the world due to ignoramuses.
The Kaiser imposed a tax on the city of Tiverya in order to buy a crown. The ignoramuses asked Rebbi that Chachamim should also pay, and they threatened to leave otherwise. Rebbi refused, and half of them left.
The Kaiser pardoned the city from half the original demand. The remaining ignoramuses asked that Chachamim should also pay, and threatened to leave. Rebbi refused, and they all left, except for one launderer. The kings' officers imposed the entire tax on him. He left, and the Kaiser totally pardoned the city.
Rebbi: This teaches that punishments come only due to ignoramuses.
(Mishnah): One who has lived in the city 12 months is considered a resident...
Contradiction (Beraisa): If a caravan of donkey-drivers or camel-drivers lodged in a city (that became an Ir ha'Nidachas, i.e. it must be destroyed because most of the people served idolatry) and were enticed to serve idolatry, they are stoned, and their heirs inherit their money (like individuals who served idolatry);
If they were in the city for 30 days (and were enticed with it), they are killed by the sword and their property is destroyed (like residents of the city).
Answer (Rava): Regarding Ir ha'Nidachas, it says "Yoshevei (those who stay in) ha'Ir." After 30 days, one is considered to be staying there;
For other matters, one is not considered to be (a resident) of the city until 12 months.
(Beraisa): If one vows not to benefit from people of a city, he is forbidden to benefit from people that have lived there for 12 months;
If he vows not to benefit from Yoshevei ha'Ir, he is forbidden to benefit from people who have lived there for 30 days.
Question: Is it really true that for other matters, one is not considered to be (a resident) of the city until 12 months?!
(Beraisa): After (living in a city for) 30 days, one must contribute to the Tamchuy (food for the poor of the city). After three months, he must give (money) to the Kupah (for the poor). After six months, he must contribute for their clothes. After nine months, he must contribute for their burial. After 12 months, he must contribute for planks (used to support the wall).
Answer (Rav Asi): Indeed, the Mishnah teaches that after 12 months he is a resident regarding planks.
(Rav Asi): Everyone must contribute for planks, even orphans, but not Chachamim, for they do not need protection.
(Rav Papa): Everyone must contribute for the following, even orphans, but not Chachamim (they do not need protection): the wall, a guard who rides around the wall, and someone to watch the weapons.
The general rule is, orphans must contribute to anything they benefit from.
Rabah imposed Tzedakah on the orphans of Bar Meryon.
Abaye: Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah taught that we do not impose Tzedakah on orphans, even to redeem captives!
Rabah: I did so for their prestige.
The mother of Shevor Malka (the Persian king) sent money to Rav Yosef to use for a 'big Mitzvah.'
Rav Yosef: What is a big Mitzvah?
Abaye: Rav Shmuel bar Yehudah taught that we do not impose Tzedakah on orphans, even to redeem captives. This implies that redeeming captives is a big Mitzvah.
Question (Rava): What is the source that redeeming captives is a big Mitzvah?
Answer (Rabah bar Mari): "Whoever deserves to die (on his bed) will die (that way. Whoever deserves to die) by the sword (will die) by the sword, by hunger through hunger, la'Shevi (for captivity) la'Shevi";
(R. Yochanan): The latter punishments in the verse are harsher than the earlier ones.
We know that the sword is harsher than death from a verse, or from reasoning:
Reasoning - the body is not disgraced through (normal) death, but it is disgraced by the sword.
A verse - "dear to Hash-m is ha'Mavsah (normal death) of his Chasidim."
We know that the hunger is harsher than the sword from a verse, or from reasoning:
Reasoning - one who starves suffers prolonged pain.
A verse - "those killed by the sword were better than those who died from hunger."
Captivity is the worst, for it includes all of them.
COLLECTORS OF TZEDAKAH
(Beraisa): (At least) two people must be present when collecting (money) for the Kupah. Three are needed to distribute it to the poor.
Two are needed to collect, for two are needed to impose any authority over the congregation;
Three are needed to distribute, for this is like judgment of monetary cases, which requires a Beis Din (to say that a certain person is entitled to collect).
Three must be present when collecting (food) for the Tamchuy, and three are needed to distribute it;
Because it is distributed (the same day, just) like it is collected, they should be ready to distribute it immediately (without having to find another person).
The Tamchuy is (collected) each day, and the Kupah every Erev Shabbos (Rambam; Aruch ha'Shulchan - both are collected every day. This is when they are distributed.)
The Tamchuy is for all poor people. The Kupah is only for poor people of that city.
People of a city may change the (distribution of the) Tamchuy to be like the Kupah, or vice-versa, or to use the money for anything they want.
People of the city may fix the measures, prices and wages as they see fit, and to enforce this with fines.
Question: The Beraisa said that two are needed to impose any authority over the congregation. What is the source of this?
Answer (Rav Nachman): (We learn from collection for the Mishkan -) "v'Hem (plural) Yikchu Es ha'Zahav."
Inference: The verse teaches that one person may not collect, but one is believed. This supports R. Chanina.
(R. Chanina): Rebbi once appointed two brothers over the Kupah (even though they are believed only like one person).
Question: Why is collecting considered imposing authority?
Answer (Rav Nachman): The collectors may take a security for the Tzedakah one must give, even on Erev Shabbos.
Question (R. Yitzchak bar Shmuel): "U'Fokadti Al Kol Lochatzav" applies even to collectors of Tzedakah!
Answer: One may take a security only from someone estimated to be wealthy.
Rava forced Rav Noson bar Ami to give 400 Zuz to Tzedakah.
"Veha'Maskilim Yazhiru k'Zohar ha'Raki'a" refers to one who judges a case properly;
"U'Matzdikei ha'Rabim ka'Kochavim l'Olam va'Ed" refers to collectors of Tzedakah.
(Beraisa): "Veha'Maskilim Yazhiru k'Zohar ha'Raki'a" refers to one who judges a case properly, and collectors of Tzedakah;
"U'Matzdikei ha'Rabim ka'Kochavim l'Olam va'Ed" refers to teachers of young children.
Question: What kind of teachers does it refer to?
Answer (Rav): It refers to teachers like Rav Shmuel Shilas.
Rav once found Rav Shmuel Shilas in the garden, and asked why he was not supervising the children, like he always does.
Rav Shmuel Shilas: I have not abandoned them for 13 years, and even now I am thinking about (R. Chananel - overseeing) them.
Question: What will be the radiance of Chachamim?
Answer (Ravina): It says "v'Ohavav k'Tzeis ha'Shemesh bi'Gvuraso".
(Beraisa): The two who collect Tzedakah may not separate from (and lose sight of) each other;
One may go to the gate (to collect) and another to a store (if they can see each other).
If a collector of Tzedakah finds money in the market, he should not put it in his own wallet (lest people think he is stealing Tzedakah money), rather, he puts in the Tzedakah box;
When he gets home, he may take what he found.
Similarly, if someone pays his debt to a collector of Tzedakah in the market, he should not put it in his own wallet, rather, he puts in the Tzedakah box. When he gets home, he takes it.
(Beraisa): If collectors of Tzedakah have no poor people to give to, they may exchange the (copper) coins with other people (for silver coins, which do not rust). They may not exchange them with their own coins;
If collectors of the Tamchuy have no poor people to give to, they may sell the food to other people. They may not buy it themselves.
We do not count Tzedakah coins two by two, rather one by one.
(Abaye): Originally, Rabah would not sit on the mattresses of the synagogue, because they were bought with Tzedakah money;
After he heard the Beraisa that permits changing the money to any other usage, he sat on them.
(Abaye): Originally, Rabah had two Tzedakah wallets, one for the poor of his city, and one for poor people from anywhere.
After he heard Shmuel tell Rav Tachlifa bar Avdimi to have one wallet and to stipulate (with the givers that you will give to whoever comes), he also kept one wallet and stipulated.