AFTER THE HARVEST
(Beraisa): If most of the knives for cutting figs were stored away, it is not considered stealing to take attached figs (i.e. they are Hefker), and they are exempt from Ma'asros.
Rebbi and R. Yosi bar R. Yehudah visited an area after most of the knives were stored away. Rebbi ate the figs; R. Yosi bar R. Yehudah did not. The owner of the tree came.
The owner: Why aren't you eating the figs? Most of the knives have been stored away!
Still, R. Yosi bar R. Yehudah didn't eat. He thought that the owner was too ashamed to say that he didn't want them to eat.
R. Chama bar R. Chanina visited an area after most of the knives were stored away. He ate the figs; his attendant would not.
R. Chama: Eat! R. Yosi said that if most of the knives were stored away, it is not considered stealing, and they are exempt from Ma'asros.
R. Tarfon was eating figs after most of the knives were stored away. The owner saw this, and put R. Tarfon in a sack. He was taking him to drown him in the river.
R. Tarfon wailed 'woe to Tarfon, that this man will kill you!' When the man heard whom he had seized, he fled.
(R. Avahu): The rest of R. Tarfon's life, he was pained that he had used the crown of Torah to save himself.
(Rabah bar bar Chanah): Anyone who uses the crown of Torah is uprooted from the world.
He learns a Kal v'Chomer from Belshatzar, who used Kelim of the Mikdash that had lost their Kedushah.
"The coarse ones entered it and defiled it" - once they breached them, they became Chulin.
"On that night Belshatzar was killed" shows that he was uprooted from the world.
All the more so, one who uses the crown of Torah, which is eternal, will be uprooted!
Question: Since R. Tarfon was eating after most of the knives were stored away, why was the owner upset?
Answer: Thieves used to steal his grapes all year. He assumed that R. Tarfon was also a thief.
Question: If so, why did R. Tarfon regret what he said?
Answer: R. Tarfon was very wealthy. He should have placated the owner by offering him money.
BENEFITING FROM TORAH
(Beraisa): "To love Hash-m, to listen to His voice, to cling to Him" - a person should not learn in order to be called a Chacham or a Rebbi, or to sit in a Yeshivah;
Rather, he should learn out of love, and in the end, honor will come - "Tie (words of Torah) on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart";
"Its ways are ways of pleasantness, all its paths are peace". "It is a tree of life to those who grasp it; those who support it are happy."
(R. Eliezer bar R. Tzadok): Do things for the sake of (Hash-m) who made everything. Speak in (words of Torah) for their sake. Do not make them a crown to aggrandize yourself, nor an axe to dig (Rosh's text - cut) with.
We learn from a Kal v'Chomer from Belshatzar. He used Kodesh Kelim that had lost their Kedushah, and he was uprooted from the world. All the more so one who uses the crown of Torah will be uprooted!
(Rava): If a Chacham is not recognized in a place, he may reveal himself - "(I, Ovadyah) your servant has feared Hash-m from his youth."
Question: If so, why did R. Tarfon regret what he said?
Answer: R. Tarfon was very wealthy; he should have placated the owner by offering him money.
Contradiction (Rava): Ovadyah said "Your servant has feared Hash-m from his youth." It says "Others should praise you, not your own mouth!"
Resolution (Rava): One may state his merits where he is not known, but not where he is known.
(Rava): A Chacham may say 'I am a Chacham; judge my case first'.
We learn this from "The sons of David were Kohanim." Just like a Kohen takes the first portion, also a Chacham.
We learn that a Kohen takes first from "You will sanctify him."
(Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): "You will sanctify him" for all matters of Kedushah: to read the Torah first, to bless first, to take a nice portion first.
(Rava): A Chacham may say 'I will not pay the head-tax.' "Mindah, Balu, and Halach will not be placed on them (Kohanim)";
(Rav Yehudah): Mindah is the king's tax. Balu is head-tax. Halach is a tenth of all animals that the king takes.
(Rava): A Chacham may say 'I am a servant of the fire (which they will understand to mean, a priest who serves fire). I will not pay the head-tax'.
Question: Why is this allowed?
Answer: Clearly, he says this only to distance a lion (i.e. damage) from himself.
Rav Ashi owned a forest. He sold it to priests who served fire.
Question (Ravina): You transgress "V'Lifnei Iver Lo Siten Michshol" (causing someone to transgress)!
Answer (Rav Ashi): Most wood is destined to be burned (not only for the sake of idolatry).
UNTIL THE HARVEST
(Mishnah): If one said 'until the harvest', he is forbidden until people start harvesting;
This refers to the wheat harvest, not the barley harvest.
We follow the harvest in the place of the vow, be it in the mountain or valley.
If one said 'until the rains', or 'until there is rain', he is forbidden until the second rains come;
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, he is forbidden until the beginning of the second rain season.
R. Meir says, if one said 'until the rains stop', he is forbidden until the end of Nisan;
R. Yehudah forbids until Pesach passes.
(Gemara - Beraisa): Reuven was in Galil, and vowed until the Kayitz. He went to the valley. Even though it is Kayitz in the valley, he is forbidden until Kayitz in Galil.
(Mishnah): If one said 'until the rains'... R. Shimon ben Gamliel says...
(R. Zeira): The Tana'im argue about one who said 'until the rains.' If he said 'until the rain', all agree that he means until the (usual) time of the rains.