Regarding the law of tithing produce, that after giving Terumah the produce is still Tevel until a tenth of the remainder is given to the Levi.

If someone had 100 stalks remaining after giving Terumah, each valued at $1, he would give 10 stalks to the Levi, which had the value of $10.

What about if someone had 75 stalks left after taking Terumah, 25 stalks worth $2 each and 50 stalks worth $1 each.

a) Can he give for Maaser Rishon 7.5 stalks, regarding of their value, and potentially only give the Levi the value of $7.5.

b) Must he give 2.5 stalks of the $2 batch, and 5 stalks of the $1 batch, valued together at $10

c) If b is correct, can he give 10 $1 stalks, which has the value of $10?


1 Answer 1


The Mishna (Terumot 4:6) writes:

המונה משובח והמודד משובח ממנו והשוקל משובח משלשתן.‏
One who counts is [more] praiseworthy [than one who estimates]; one who measures is more praiseworthy than one who counts; one who weighs is more praiseworthy than all three of them.

It seems the quantity of the portion is dependent of volume/mass/size.

The Mishna (Terumot 2:4) writes:

כל מקום שיש כהן, תורם מן היפה. וכל מקום שאין כהן, תורם מן המתקיים. רבי יהודה אומר, לעולם הוא תורם מן היפה.‏
In a place where there is a priest, one separates from the better [crops], and in a place without a priest one separates from the stable [crops]. Rabbi Yehuda says one always separates from the better [crops].

It seems the quality of the portion is, under ideal circumstances, supposed to be the highest. (Under less than ideal circumstances, such as a need for a shelf stable product or perhaps a situation where the food will be thrown out anyway due to impurity, there may be room to compromise on quality.)

  • See too Ramban's forgotten mitzva #9 (#13 on this list judaism.stackexchange.com/a/96596/759)
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 30, 2021 at 15:02
  • Thanks for your answer. Does that mean that my a) b) c) are all incorrect? Assuming we are not talking about LeChatchila, but what actually suffices? Or are you saying a) is correct
    – Yehuda
    Commented Apr 4, 2021 at 22:16
  • @Yehuda In ideal circumstances he should give 7.5 stalks of the $2 kind (assuming all stalks are the same size). That is, take 10% of the material by size and choose the best materials. If you took from the worse materials instead you may have violated a prohibition but the designation takes effect. That's the simple understanding, but there is plenty to study if you want to look at this topic in depth.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 3:01
  • Thanks, I will delve into it when I have some more time.
    – Yehuda
    Commented Apr 5, 2021 at 9:57

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