תרומות פרק ד משנה ד

The Halacha is that if one סאה of תרומה falls in a vat of 100 סאה (acc. to one שיטה) it becomes בטל and one may take off תרומה from anywhere within the vat, as the original תרומה is בטל.


There is a מחלקת if the vat has half black תרומה and half white תרומה and a piece of white תרומה falls in. One שיטה holds it becomes בטל.(Rabbi Yehoshua). Another holds it does not become בטל.(Rabbi Eliezer). Another שיטה holds that it depends on if we know the color of the תרומה that falls in. If we know the color of the תרומה that falls in it does not become בטל as he can just eat from the other color of תרומה. If we do not know the color of the תרומה that falls in is becomes בטל.

Falling in

My understanding of Rabbi Yehoshua who holds that it does become בטל is that it does not matter that we know where the תרומה is in the mixture. It is not dependent on our knowledge. As long as it is mixed in that is enough. My understanding of Rabbi Eliezer who says that even we don't know if what fell in was white or black it does not become בטל perhaps he understands that if the color is separate and what fell in belonged to one group that is not considered a mixture at all. Rabbi Akiva is troubling to me: Why does it matter if he knows which color fell in or not. Whether something becomes בטל should be dependent or our own knowledge? Either it became mixed up or it did not become mixed up? Any thoughts of any more understanding of this Mishnah or certainly welcome.

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1 Answer 1


I think the point according to R' Akiva is if you can separate the mixture, it's not mixed.

Let's say there were 100 black chulin and no white, and one white terumah falls in. It's not batel because you can find it and get it out, no matter how much the mixture was stirred.

Here also, you can separate it into two mixtures and you know which mixture the terumah is in. But if you don't know what color the terumah was, even after you separate it into two mixtures, the terumah could be in either, similar to 4:12.

  • Got it, thanks. What was bothering me however, is that I assume בטל means it is part of the whole. Whether something is part of a whole or not should really be objective not subjective. It should not have to do with what we know but rather with what IS. ex. if תרומה falls in of the same color to 100 se'ah of חולין with the same color it for sure becomes a part of the whole. It is objectively the same type as the whole and therefore becomes mixed in. Feb 11, 2022 at 18:14
  • @user3316598 Let's say the terumah apple has a sticker on it and none of the chulin apples do. Are you really going to say the terumah is batel?
    – Heshy
    Feb 11, 2022 at 18:16
  • No, but because it is not considered a mixture at all I think. In this case as well. Either we look at black terumah and white terumah as a mixtur or we don’t. I don’t see room to say it depends on if WE don’t know what fell in. Feb 11, 2022 at 18:24
  • @user3316598 that's R' Eliezer. Let's say all the apples are identical but you have somebody really talented watching while it was mixed and he knows exactly which one is terumah. Are you going to say it's batel?
    – Heshy
    Feb 11, 2022 at 18:31
  • According the the way I understand, yes it would be בטל. My understanding is obviously wrong like you are clearly pointing out. But my question is: then what is the right way to understand ביטול. Why is it so interdependent on our knowledge? If the talented guy knows where it is so all of a sudden it’s not בטל, and if he doesn’t know where it is the תרומה הקדושה becomes non existent? I just don’t get it, that’s all. Feb 11, 2022 at 18:38

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