Can a sikrikon be Jewish, or are they by definition non-Jewish bandits?

If by definition non-Jewish, then why are they specifically listed as not bringing bikkurim in the Mishna? (Bikkurim 1:2) Non-Jews don't bring bikkurim anyway, right?

1 Answer 1


A non-Jew is of course not shayach to the mitzva of bikkurim, so the sikrikon mentioned in the mishna must surely be a Jewish one, or a non-Jew who subsequently sold the land to a Jew (the point being that the holder of the land, be it a Jewish sikrikon or a Jewish person having 'bought' the land from a sikrikon, doesn't halachically own the land and therefore can't bring bikkurim).

[edited to include the case of a non-Jewish sikrikon who sold the land to a Jew].

Explains the Bartenura (on the Mishna you cited):

הורג נפשות ונותן לו קרקע כדי שלא יהרגנו. ולשון סקריקון שא קרקע והניחני

A sikrikon is someone who murders people and to whom people give land to avoid being murdered, and the source of the word is "sa karka vehanicheni" (roughly "take the land and leave me alone").

And the mishna mentioned a sikrikon separate from a gazlan because the cases are different. While by a gazlan who robs someone's field, there's no hava amina that the land would in some way be his (since surely the rightful owner will not have given over his rights to the gazlan), by the sikrikon we could have thought that since the field's original owner did in some way give over the land - nevertheless, like the Bartenura goes on and explains (ibid):

ואע״ג דיהיב ליה לפי שעה לא מחיל ליה דסבר האידנא לשקול ולמחר תבענא ליה בדינא

And even though he (the landowner) gives it to him (the sikrikon) for now, he doesn't relinquish his ownership since he thinks that while today he (the sikrikon) takes the field, tomorrow I'll sue him in beis din.

  • 2
    The term can also be shorthand for the status of the land (i.e. purchased from the gentile סקריקון who took it/purchased at lower than market cost from the original Jewish owner), and not to people. Accordingly, the Mishnah can be read as prohibiting bikkurim to be brought from a Jew in possession of land under this status (i.e. the original Jewish owner has not been made whole by means of compensation from the new Jewish owner). Commented Jul 20, 2022 at 14:42
  • The Tiferes Yisroel on the Mishnah in Bikkurim explains that it refers to land that a Jew bought from a non Jewish sikrikon. Rashi in Gittin clearly states that sikrikon is not Jewish
    – Chatzkel
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 2:36
  • @Chatzkel See the Pnei Moshe in the Yerushalmi (ד"ה והסקריקון), it seems he learns the Mishna to refer to a Jewish sikrikon. However, I've edited my answer above to include the case of a non-Jewish sikrikon who sells the land to a Jew.
    – malkizedek
    Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 15:56

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