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The Ohr Zarua (328) attempted to justify the prevalent leniency regarding the consumption of chodosh (new grain) in Europe by suggesting two novel arguments:

  1. that Europe must have had a tradition to rule that chodosh is only a rabbinic prohibition in the Diaspora; and
  2. 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)?

  • That Gemara only implies that some who held it was rabbinic held it applies in bavel. – Double AA Mar 16 '18 at 2:29
  • There were communities in Italy for instance. Your point about Milta dLo Shkhicha is quite silly. – Double AA Mar 16 '18 at 2:30
  • @do If you have support to say that he was indeed postulating a new, as yet undocumented leniency, that would be an answer to the first question. – Loewian Mar 16 '18 at 2:41
  • @do My understanding had always been that he was merely taking sides in the machlokes of the Tannaim and Amoraim as described in the gemara. I've never heard anyone before you say otherwise. – Loewian Mar 16 '18 at 2:42
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    No need. Bavel did have Terumot and Maaserot, so your whole question falls apart. But as a matter of logical possibility the above is true. – Double AA Mar 16 '18 at 2:43
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To answer the implied question in your title: Yes, there were Terumoth and Maasroth in Babylon.

See Yadayim 4:3 which takes this as a given.

See also Rambam Hilchot Terumot 1:1.

  • +1 these are the standard sources. There is an Aggadic Yerushalmi that implies Bavel didn't have Terumot/Maaserot, but there may have been different zones of Bavel or something. Also worth noting Bereishit 11:2 since probably some will be confused by Rambams wording – Double AA Mar 16 '18 at 12:35

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