The Ohr Zarua (328) attempted to justify the prevalent leniency regarding the consumption of chodosh (new grain) in Europe by suggesting two novel arguments:
- that Europe must have had a tradition to rule that chodosh is only a rabbinic prohibition in the Diaspora; and
- that the rabbinic prohibition was only upon lands adjacent to Israel, to avoid confusion.
How would/does the Ohr Zarua explain Menachoth 68b that explicitly says that those (Rav Papa and Rav Huna) who held the prohibition was only Rabbinic, still also held that it was binding in Bavel (albeit only till the end of the 16th of Nisan)? If Bavel was considered adjacent Israel, does that mean the Babylonian communities kept all of the mitzvoth hateluyoth baaretz (commandments of the land [of Israel]) at a rabbinic level? What Jewish communities at that time would the rabbis have been explicitly excluding from their alleged decree (especially keeping in mind the principle of miltha d'lo shekhicha lo gazri bei rabanan - the Rabbis didn't issue special rules for rare situations)?