There's a dispute between tanaim as to when the bikurim were waved (t'nufa): Rabi Eliezer ben Yaakov says they were were waved during viduy, while Rabi Y'huda says they were waved after viduy. (According to Tosafos, Suka 47:2, Rabi Y'huda may agree they were waved during viduy also, and the Sifre says they were waved both during and after viduy, but, anyway, Rabi Eliezer ben Yaakov holds they were waved only during viduy.)

Rambam rules in his Mishne Tora like Rabi Eliezer ben Yaahov.

Now, in M'nachos 61:1, the mishna says "אלו טעונות תנופה ואין טעונות הגשה לוג שמן של מצורע ואשמו והבכורים כדברי רבי אליעזר בן יעקב", that bikurim require waving "as Rabi Eliezer ben Yaakov says". The g'mara asks why it says "as Rabi Eliezer ben Yaakov says" if Rabi Y'huda also holds bikurim are waved, and offers two answers.

Why doesn't it answer "because it means bikurim are waved during viduy only"?

1 Answer 1


The end of the Tosfos implies that there are 3 opinions. Keeping it simple:

  1. Rabbi Elazar ben Yaakov- waving during the viduy
  2. Rabbi Yehuda- waving after the viduy
  3. 3rd tanna (aka rabbanan)- no waving

If the purpose of the mishna in Menachos 61a was to describe the bikurim process, then the reference to Rabbi Elazar would indicate a waving in line with R"E rather than that of R"Y.

But the Mishna is merely a list of the limited cases where there is waving, but no approaching (hagasha). When you do the waving is irrelevant to the purpose of the mishna. But it isn't clear that bikurim is on this list because of the 3rd tanna. so the mishna has to reference a tanna that does require waving. The gemara's question is why list bikurim based on R"E, the mishna could have accomplished the same thing using R"Y.

  • Do I understand your answer correctly to be "the g'mara didn't say the mishna meant to exclude R' Y'huda's view because the mishna wouldn't be talking about when waving was done at all, focusing instead on whether waving was done"? (Just making sure I get it.)
    – msh210
    Mar 25, 2012 at 5:47
  • That's my impression given your information.
    – YDK
    Mar 25, 2012 at 5:56
  • Also, @msh210, there is this to consider: none of the other cases in the mishnah there involve viduy or any kind of verbal declaration. So indeed the mishnah doesn't have to be taking a position on whether the waving was during the viduy or after it.
    – Alex
    Mar 25, 2012 at 13:52
  • YDK, okay. Thanks much, and +1. @Alex, right, but if we're wondering why the mishna chooses one tana, that could well be the reason. (Especially inasmuch as — as the g'mara doubtless knew — we rule like Rabi Eliezer ben Yaakov.)
    – msh210
    Mar 25, 2012 at 15:22

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