Mishna, Maasros 1:7::

הַשֶּׁמֶן, מִשֶּׁיֵּרֵד לָעוּקָה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיָּרַד, נוֹטֵל מִן הֶעָקָל וּמִבֵּין הַמָּמָל וּמִבֵּין הַפַּצִּים, וְנוֹתֵן לַחֲמִטָּה וְלַתַּמְחוּי, אֲבָל לֹא יִתֵּן לַקְּדֵרָה וְלַלְּפָס כְּשֶׁהֵן רוֹתְחִין.‏

Oil (is obligated in maaser, tithes), from when it descends into the ukah. Even though it descended, one may take it from the akal and between the mamal and the patzim, and put it into the chamita and the tamchoi (and it will not become obligated in maaser), but one may not put it into a pot when they are hot (for then it will become obligated in maaser).

(my translation)

What does an oil press look like? My friend and I are having some trouble understanding this mishnah. We share a basic understanding of what an oil press looks like, but we're not certain what all the pieces mentioned by the mishna are.


All pictures from 'Pnei Shabbat', pictorial guide to Mishnayot Shabbat by Yonatan Gerstein.

This is from Perek 1, mishna 9.

This drawing depicts a man crushing olives (כתישת הזיתים) in a vat. This drawing depicts a man thoroughly crushing olives (טחינת הזיתים) with a millstone. This drawing depicts an oil press (טוענים קורות בית הבד) where disks are being compressed by a large beam (labelled as the "korah") weighted at the end with a heavy stone weight.

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  • 2
    Thanks for the pictures, but could you explain what the parts from the mishna are? – Scimonster Jan 13 '15 at 18:13
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    I had seen these pictures before in researching this question, but, as @Scimonster points out, they don't exactly explain what parts are discussed in the mishna in Maasros. – MTL Jan 13 '15 at 20:26
  • -1 I don't see how this answers the question. (see above comments) – Double AA Jan 13 '15 at 21:47

Here are some real life pictures:

millstone for grinding olives

Ancient millstone for grinding olives in Dir Hanna, Israel (Kfar Yochanan in the Mishnaic period).

heavy stones for compressing olive paste

Ancient oil press for compressing olive paste (byproduct of previous grinding step) in Beit Guvrin, Israel.

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    I've seen stuff like this in Qatzrin, if memory serves. Still, how do you know which parts are which? See the comments on the other answer. – MTL Feb 2 '15 at 18:05

This is the translation from Iyun Hadaf:

He also rules that the oil ...

... that has already dripped into the trough is forbidden, but the oil ...

... that is still dripping from the 'Memel' (the heavy stone which presses the olives in the Ekel [Tiferes Yisrael]) and from between the 'Pitzim' (the planks which also squeeze out the oil from the olives) is permitted.

The Tana includes the oil that is still dripping from the Ekel (often referred to as the 'Ekel Beis-ha'Bad') is - the rope-vessel in which the olives are placed for pressing.

In short:

Ukah- trough

Mumal- heavy stone that crushes oilves.

Ukal- rope vessel (basket) that is used to hold oilves during pressing.

Pitzim- planks

Chamita- batter-cake ,oil can be placed on the cake

Tamchaui- a dish

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