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In Leviticus 23:10, one encounters the term "Reishit Ketzirchem" (i.e. "Reishit Ketzir" = Beginning of Harvest). "Thus, one is permitted to proceed with the general harvest only after this omer has been reaped" [Sifthei Chachamim; Men. 71a], so quoted in Rashi.

What do the rabbis say about "Reishit Ketzir" (Beginning of Harvest)?

Namely:

  • Is it a holiday/chag, half-holiday, regular day, chol-moed, etc.?
  • Is it a part of Chag Pesach or of Chag Matzot or a stand-alone chag?

I would like to know if I am reading this correctly. Is it not written in Menachot.10 (for example) that ראשית קציר (Leviticus 23:10) was reaped by just one person on shabbat ("אֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֶחָד בְּחֹל" Menachot.10), best occuring on the night of Nisan 16 ("מִצְוָתוֹ לִקְצֹר בַּלַּיְלָה" Menachot.10) and יום הנף took place on the morning of Nisan 16; and by afternoon of Nisan 16, the markets are full of harvest ("מִשֶּׁקָּרַב הָעֹמֶר, יוֹצְאִין וּמוֹצְאִין שׁוּק יְרוּשָׁלַיִם שֶׁהוּא מָלֵא קֶמַח וְקָלִי" Menachot.10)?

Additionally (if it helps):

Another phrase that has the word "Ketzir" is "Bikurey Ketzir" בכורי קציר , which is also known as "Chag Shavuoth" חג השבועות in Numbers 28:26. This is a commentary in Rashi:

וביום הבכורים: חג השבועות קרוי בכורי קציר חטים על שם שתי הלחם, שהם ראשונים למנחת חטים הבאים מן החדש: — [Menachos 84b]

My conclusion is: If "Bikurey Ketzir" בכורי קציר (which occurs during Chag Shavuoth) is "Chag Shavuoth" (Numbers 28:26), then "Reishit Ketzir" ראשית קציר (which occurs during Chag Matzot) is "Chag Matzot" (Leviticus 23:6).

  • Not clear on what you’re asking (and the tags don’t help, since this doesn’t seem to be at all related to Shavuos, Bikkurim, Maaser, or Sefer Bamidbar). Are you asking A) when the harvest took place, and B) if it was considered a holiday, and if so, why harvesting was permitted? This was flagged as unclear, but if that is what you’re asking, I’d recommend splitting this into two questions to prevent a “too broad” closure. – DonielF Apr 23 at 15:26
  • @DonielF my main question is: Is reishit ketzir a holiday, half-holiday, regular day? Is it a part of Chag Pesach or of Chag Matzot or a stand-alone chag? – ninamag Apr 23 at 15:47
  • @DonielF I have narrowed my post, as per your comment. – ninamag Apr 23 at 15:51
  • @Al_Berko, thanks for the helpful edit. By editing it so, do you concur that "Reishit Ketzir" took place on a particular day, that perhaps ראשית קציר (Leviticus 23:10) was reaped by just one person on shabbat ("אֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֶחָד בְּחֹל" Menachot.10), best occuring on the NIGHT of Nisan 16 ("מִצְוָתוֹ לִקְצֹר בַּלַּיְלָה" Menachot.10) and יום הנף took place on the MORNING of Nisan 16; and by AFTERNOON of Nisan 16, the markets are full of harvest ("מִשֶּׁקָּרַב הָעֹמֶר, יוֹצְאִין וּמוֹצְאִין שׁוּק יְרוּשָׁלַיִם שֶׁהוּא מָלֵא קֶמַח וְקָלִי" Menachot.10)? – ninamag Apr 25 at 4:40
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    I stand corrected - the Mishnah itself says that quite clearly, נקצר ביום כשר. – DonielF Apr 25 at 12:02
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When I look at the translations of Lev 23 (10) I get no impression that there is a day referred to as Reishis Ketzir.

See Chabad

Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: When you come to the Land which I am giving you, and you reap its harvest, you shall bring to the kohen an omer of the beginning of your reaping.

And Sefaria

Speak to the Israelite people and say to them: When you enter the land that I am giving to you and you reap its harvest, you shall bring the first sheaf of your harvest to the priest.

So Reishis Ketzir is not a day and the Rabbis have nothing to say about it as a day.

The procedure of cutting the omer is explained in Mishna Menochos 10 (3).

ADDITION

Sources show that it was permitted to begin eating the harvest of new grain in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh after the waving of the omer offering. Also it is clear that after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdosh, Rabban Yoḥanan ben Zakkai instituted that for the entire day of waving the omer offering, i.e., the sixteenth of Nisan, eating the grain of the new crop is prohibited.

You might infer from the above paragraph that the harvest started before the omer was brought. So I see that the Yom Honaif was not the beginning of the harvest. This inference is maintained from the mishna in Menachos 10 (5) where you see that

Once the omer was offered, they used to go out and find the market of Jerusalem already full of flour and parched grain [of the new produce], [though this was] against the will of the Sages, [these are] the words of Rabbi Meir; Rabbi Judah says: they were acting [in accordance with] the will of the Sages.

So you see clearly that the harvest started before the omer was brought against the will of the Sages.

Bartenura brings that the halacha is like Rabbi Judah.

It is stated clearly here

According to the Mishnah in Menahot, by the time the Omer sacrifice was brought, the markets of Jerusalem were filled with flour and other products made from the new grain. Clearly people were involved in harvesting and preparing these products before they could be eaten. Rabbi Meir says that this was done against the wishes of the Sages; Rabbi Yehuda said no objection was raised.

My conclusion is that in practice harvest started before the omer was brought and before the Yom Honaif. Therefore the Yom Honaif is not the beginning of the harvest.

  • In Rabbinic literature the day is called יום הנף – Double AA Apr 23 at 12:46
  • @DoubleAA please source, for my online reading, יום הנף – ninamag Apr 23 at 12:47
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    @nimang reishis ketzir is a bundle of grain not a time period. – Double AA Apr 23 at 20:21
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    @nimang I know that. The first bundle is called "the beginning of the reaping". – Double AA Apr 23 at 20:29
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    @nimang not as well as. It has only one meaning. – Double AA Apr 23 at 20:35

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