SHEKALIM 3 - This Daf has been dedicated Dr. A. Pandey L'iluy Nishmas Hagaon Rav Matis (Matisyahu ben Alexander Zishe Meyer and Rochel Leah) Blum zt'l, author of the acclaimed Torah la'Da'as series and beloved Rav and Marbitz Torah in Queens, NY, who was Niftar on 10 Nisan 5780.
1) PROOF THAT "HEFKER BEIS DIN" EXEMPTS ITEMS FROM THE OBLIGATION OF "MA'ASEROS"
QUESTION: The principle of "Hefker Beis Din Hefker" teaches that Beis Din has the prerogative to make a person's possessions Hefker, ownerless. The Gemara asks whether the objects that Beis Din makes Hefker become exempt from the obligation of Ma'aseros.
The Gemara cites the Mishnah in Pe'ah (5:1) to prove that Beis Din's Hefker is able to exempt an object from Ma'aseros. The Mishnah states that if a landowner piles up grain on an area of his field from which poor people have not yet collected Leket, the poor people are entitled to take the entire bottom layer of produce as Leket (which is far more than what they would have been permitted to take had the landowner not covered up the bottom layer of produce).
Reish Lakish says that the Mishnah there follows the view of Beis Shamai, who maintains that "Hefker l'Aniyim Hefker" -- when one makes an object Hefker, it does not need to be made accessible to both poor and rich people alike. Even if it is Hefker only for poor people to take, it still has the status of Hefker and is exempt from Ma'aseros. This differs from the view of Beis Hillel, who maintains that in such a case the produce does not have the status of Hefker, and the poor people are required to separate Ma'aseros from the produce. An object made Hefker only for poor people does not have the full status of Hefker; it is not like Leket, which is exempt from Ma'aseros even though it is accessible only to poor people (due to the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv).
Rebbi Yosi argues and says that even according to Beis Hillel the produce is exempt from Ma'aseros. As a penalty ("Kenas") to the landowner, the Rabanan declared his crops to be Hefker through their power of "Hefker Beis Din Hefker" and thereby exempted them from Ma'aseros, like Leket.
What is the logic behind Reish Lakish's assertion that the produce is not Hefker? If he maintains that the Rabanan did not penalize the landowner, then why are the poor people entitled to take the entire lower level of crops in the first place? If, on the other hand, he maintains that the Rabanan did penalize the landowner, then he should say that the Mishnah follows the view of Beis Hillel as well, because Beis Hillel agrees that when the Rabanan penalized the landowner, "Hefker Beis Din Hefker" works to exempt the produce from Ma'aseros.
(a) RABEINU SHLOMO SIRILIYO writes that according to Reish Lakish, since the Rabanan made the crops Hefker only for poor people, this form of "Hefker Beis Din" is not Hefker. The principle of "Hefker Beis Din Hefker" applies only when Beis Din makes it Hefker to everyone, poor and rich alike. Rebbi Yosi argues and says that the Rabanan did make it Hefker to everyone, but they ordered the landowner to ensure that it goes to poor people (because he attempted to prevent them from taking their rightful due).
(b) The KORBAN HA'EDAH explains that Reish Lakish maintains that all of the produce beneath the pile belongs to the poor people, because there is a doubt which part is Leket and which part is not. It is because of this doubt that the Rabanan instituted that the landowner himself must give all of the lower level of produce to the poor people as a penalty. The Rabanan did not make the produce Hefker.
Rebbi Yosi says that there is no doubt about what belongs to the poor people. Rather, the Rabanan penalized the landowner for attempting to cheat the poor people. The penalty works due to the power of Beis Din to make something Hefker. Since the produce is removed from the landowner's possession because of Hefker Beis Din, it is exempt from Ma'aseros. (According to this approach, when Beis Din makes something Hefker, it is considered Hefker even when they made it Hefker only for poor people. This is in contrast to when the owner makes it Hefker; his Hefker is considered valid only when he makes it Hefker for both poor and rich people.)
(c) The TALMID SHEL RABEINU SHMUEL BAR SHNEUR explains that Reish Lakish understands that the Mishnah means that the crops are exempt from Ma'aseros because the Rabanan made it Hefker for poor people, and Hefker of Beis Din is exempt from Ma'aseros. However, Reish Lakish says that this is true only according to the view of Beis Shamai, because Beis Shamai maintains that Hefker is exempt from Ma'aseros even when the Rabanan make it Hefker only for poor people.
Rebbi Yosi argues and says that there is no indication in the Mishnah that the produce is exempt from Ma'aseros. When the Mishnah in Pe'ah says that it must be given to poor people, it does not mean that it is exempt from Ma'aseros. Rather, it is given to poor people, and the poor people must separate Ma'aseros from it. Accordingly, the Mishnah there follows the opinion of Beis Hillel, who maintains that even when Beis Din makes something Hefker only for poor people, it is not exempt from Ma'aseros.
According to this approach, Rebbi Yosi refutes the proof from the Mishnah in Pe'ah by saying that there is no evidence from there that when Beis Din makes something Hefker, it becomes exempt from Ma'aseros, because in the case of the Mishnah there the poor people are obligated to separate Ma'aseros. (The text of the Gemara of the Talmid Shel Rabeinu Shmuel bar Shneur places the words "d'Iy k'Beis Hillel Aniyim Ochlin u'Me'aserin" at the end of Rebbi Yosi's statement.)
RABEINU MESHULAM also explains that according to Rebbi Yosi, the poor people must separate Ma'aseros from the crops.