1) THE PROHIBITION OF "CHADASH" WITH "SHACHAS"
OPINIONS: The Mishnah states that a person may harvest Shachas (grain that has not yet reached its normal size) and feed it to his animal before the Korban ha'Omer is brought. Rebbi Yehudah explains that this is permitted only when the harvesting starts before the grain reaches a third of its normal size. (See the TIFERES YISRAEL, who discusses the opinion of RASHI that the grain has not yet reached a third of its normal size, and the opinion of the RAMBAM that the grain has not yet grown the last third of its normal size.) Rebbi Shimon says that one may begin to harvest the Shachas even if the crops have already reached a third of their normal size.
Why, according to all of the opinions, may grain that has not yet reached a third of its normal size be harvested for an animal's consumption before the Korban ha'Omer is brought?
(a) The SHITAH MEKUBETZES explains that the grain may be harvested because it is specifically for an animal. If the grain would be harvested for a person, it would not be permitted even if it had not yet reached this stage of growth. Harvesting for an animal is considered an unimportant, insignificant form of harvesting, and thus it is permitted before the Korban ha'Omer is brought.
(b) TOSFOS in Pesachim (23a, DH Kotzer) gives a different reason for why the grain may be harvested before the Korban ha'Omer. The Gemara there discusses the opinion of Rebbi Avahu. According to Rebbi Avahu, whenever the Torah says "Lo Sochlu" -- "you shall not eat," it prohibits both eating and deriving benefit from the forbidden item. The Gemara questions Rebbi Avahu's teaching from the prohibition of Chadash, for which the Torah says "Lo Sochlu" (Vayikra 23:14), and nevertheless the Mishnah (here) allows one to feed the harvested Shachas of Chadash to his animal, implying that one may derive benefit from Chadash. Tosfos asks that this does not seem to be a question at all. The Mishnah here permits one to harvest and use Shachas since it is not included in the prohibition of Chadash at all, and thus it is not a contradiction to the view of Rebbi Avahu.
Tosfos answers that the Mishnah is teaching two different things. When the Mishnah says "Kotzer l'Shachas," it teaches that there is no prohibition against harvesting Shachas. When it says, "Ma'achil l'Behemah," it teaches that one may feed his animal any type of grain, even finished grain which is Chadash, as long as it was harvested in a permitted manner (see RASHI to Pesachim 23a, DH u'Ma'achil). The Gemara's question on Rebbi Avahu is from the second statement of the Mishnah, that one may feed finished Chadash grain to his animal.
TOSFOS here (71b, DH Emur) addresses the same question as Tosfos in Pesachim, but he understands that the Mishnah is teaching only one thing. Tosfos here answers that the Gemara's question on Rebbi Avahu is from the opinion that the grain may be harvested, and fed to an animal, even after it has reached a third of its size, when the Isur of Chadash applies to it. A similar explanation is found in the second answer of Tosfos in Pesachim.
The MINCHAS CHINUCH (303:6), KEREN ORAH, and others have difficulty with the first answer of Tosfos in Pesachim. The Gemara later (71b) says explicitly that harvesting Shachas of Chadash for human consumption is forbidden. If the words of the Mishnah are a single statement, then it is clear that the Mishnah is saying that one is permitted to harvest Shachas only for an animal. According to Tosfos' reading of the Mishnah, however, where does the Mishnah say that harvesting Shachas for a person is forbidden? Moreover, what is the Mishnah's source, according to Tosfos' way of reading the Mishnah, that Shachas is not forbidden at all by the Isur of Chadash?
The SEFAS EMES
asks another question. Shachas is fit for human consumption, as Rashi writes later (71b, DH v'Amar), where he says that Kelayos (roasted grain; see Insights to Menachos 68:1
) is made from Shachas. These Kelayos are a normal food item. Why, then, is Shachas not included in the prohibition of Chadash?
1. In his first answer, the Minchas Chinuch suggests that it is possible that Tosfos in Pesachim is not saying that the Gemara actually rules this way. Rather, Tosfos is bothered with why the Gemara does not try to defend Rebbi Avahu by suggesting this difference. Tosfos is not saying that this is actually what the Mishnah here means.
2. In his second answer, the Minchas Chinuch suggests that Tosfos derives his understanding from the Halachah that the Korban ha'Omer does not permit grain which did not reach a third of its normal size before the Omer was brought. If the Omer does not permit such grain, it is possible to infer that grain which has not yet reached this stage is not subject to the need for the Heter of the bringing of the Omer, and therefore it is not included in the prohibition of Chadash. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) REDEEMING GROWTHS OF "HEKDESH"
QUESTION: The Gemara relates three practices of the people of Yericho to which the Chachamim objected. One of these things was that they used to use, for their personal benefit, small branches and other things that grew from trees that their ancestors had dedicated as Hekdesh. The Gemara in Pesachim (56b) explains their reasoning. The people of Yericho followed the opinion that the prohibition of Me'ilah does not apply to things that grow from a tree that was dedicated as Hekdesh (see Me'ilah 13a). They maintained that their forebears had dedicated these trees in order to supply beams to Hekdesh, and not in order that the growths be Hekdesh as well. The Chachamim argued that although growths that come from an object of Hekdesh are not subject to the prohibition of Me'ilah, one is forbidden to derive personal benefit from them.
TOSFOS (DH u'Matirin) asks that there was a simple way for the people of Yericho to circumvent the prohibition against using growths of Hekdesh. The Gemara in Erchin (29a) says that when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing, one may redeem the Kedushah of a large amount of Hekdesh onto a small coin. Why did the people of Yericho not simply redeem all of the growths of the trees of Hekdesh onto a small coin and thereby permit the growths to be used according to all opinions?
(a) TOSFOS answers that the trees originally were made Hekdesh with the expression of "Konam." Hekdesh made in this manner cannot be redeemed. (Tosfos adds that this must also be the case in Bava Metzia (6b), where the Gemara discusses a case of Hekdesh that apparently could not be redeemed.)
(b) Tosfos there suggests a second answer. He explains that the Gemara in Erchin does not mean that anyone may redeem very valuable items of Hekdesh onto a single coin. Rather, the Gemara means that only the person who made the item Hekdesh may redeem it in such a manner, but no one else (such as his descendants) may redeem the Hekdesh in such a manner. Why may the original owner of the item, and no one else, redeem Hekdesh in such a manner?
1. The TUREI EVEN in Megilah (23b) explains that since the owner is the one who made the item Hekdesh, he has the power to remove the status of Hekdesh from the item by redeeming it onto any coin.
2. The Turei Even explains further that the Torah allows for a person to ask a Beis Din to release him from his pledge to Hekdesh. Since it is within the owner's power to ask Beis Din for this release, it is as if he still has some degree of ownership on the item. Consequently, he has the authority to redeem the item for less than its true value.
The Turei Even presents a practical difference between these two reasons. When the item was given already to the treasurer of Hekdesh, the pledge may not be annulled by Beis Din, and thus the second reason does not apply. The first reason, however, still applies, and therefore the owner may redeem his item for a minimal sum even after he has given it to the treasurer of Hekdesh.
3. The DEVAR AVRAHAM (#15) points out that Tosfos writes that "it is not logical that everyone may redeem his friend's Hekdesh for a minimal sum and take it for himself." These words imply that the original owner has the right to stop others from enriching themselves by redeeming his valuable donations to Hekdesh for a negligible sum of money. Why, though, may the original owner himself redeem the Hekdesh in this manner?
The MISGERES ZAHAV (the father of the Devar Avraham) explains that when a person dedicates an object to Hekdesh, he does so with the implicit condition that he retains the right to redeem the item on a less valuable sum. This condition is a right that the owner retains exclusively for himself, and thus no one else has the right to redeem the Hekdesh in this manner.
Why, though, may others not redeem it? Others should be able to redeem it, but with the risk of being brought to Beis Din by the original owner. Why should their redemption not work at all? The Misgeres Zahav explains that part of the owner's condition when he makes the item Hekdesh is that the redemption of any other person (for less than the actual value of the item) will not work. He makes this condition in order not to be troubled to go to Beis Din to collect his losses. (See also Insights to Pesachim 56:3.) (Y. MONTROSE)