« FöregåendeFortsätt »
2 Sect. 2,
3 Sect. 10.
the letters por* inscribed, the vase may be considered profane.
The fifth chapter of the book on the second tithe has fifteen sections. Taking one here and there by way of illustration, we learn that pious and conscientious persons deposited money during the Sabbatical year to redeem the four-year-old vines, declaring that all fruit gathered therefrom should be considered, by this money, redeemed. Also, that the produce of vines of the fourth year was to be carried to Jerusalem from all suburbs within a day's journey.
Section 6 mentions that, on the eve of the Feast of the Passover, they proceed to the removing or bringing away of all legal dues. Also s towards the hour of the evening sacrifice, on the last day of the feast, the declaration is made :
"I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine 4 Deut. xxvi. 13. house ”H (which, says the Mishna, means the second tithe);
“and also have given them unto the Levite” (which applies to the Levitical tithe), “and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and the widow" (which comprises poor's tithe, gleanings, forgotten sheaves, and corners of the field).”
The Mishna adds that the not having carried out these precepts ought not to be an obstacle to the recitation of the formula. If, however, the second tithe has been levied before the first, the declaration ought not to be recited; nor if a
person has infringed the commandment, “I have Deut. xxvi, 14. not eaten thereof in my mourning."5 Neither, again,
* These letters indicated, in times of persecution, the Hebrew words for sacrifice, tithe, doubtful tithe, etc,
should the declaration be made by proselytes or freed slaves, who have no share in the land.
The Mishna also observes that John Hyrcanus (high-priest B.C. 135) abolished the recitation of the declaration which accompanied the offering of the tithes ; adding, too, that under him none had need to seek information on the demai (tithe) or doubtful points of tithing.
DEMAI” OR DOUBTFUL TITHE
The Demai, or doubtful tithe, 98.---Its exemptions, differences, and
minute requirements, 98.—Its bearing on the uneducated, on buying and selling, exchange of corn, payment of rent, and acceptance of hospitality, 99.-Four tithes recognized in the Talmud, and their application to all classes, 102.-Antiquity of Talmudic bye-laws, and their influence when Christianity appeared, 104.
HERE is a book in the Mishna called Demai,
which in point of order comes before the books on the first and second tithes, but which for our present purpose has been reserved till now.*
Chapter I. begins by naming certain things, which by reason of their trifling value are exempted from the demai tithe, such as inferior figs, artichokes, service-berries, shrivelled dates, late grapes, wild grapes, and buds of capers, coriander, etc.
After this it is pointed out that the demai tithe differs from the other tithes, because among other
* Demai, according to Maimonides (Surenhusius, vol. i. p. 76, col. 2), is a word signifying that about which there is a doubt whether from it should be offered gifts to God; and he adds that it was an obligation to render i per cent., or a tenth of a tenth, to the priest, after which they separated the second tithe, which the owner consumed at Jerusalem. Lightfoot, on Luke xviii. 12, says : 807 est dubia. Id est, cum ignoratur, an de ea sumpta sit decima, necne. Et hæc etiam est vox composita 'NO X7 quid hoc?
things, when redeeming it, a fifth need not be added, nor need it be brought out of the house as prescribed in Deuteronomy xxvi. 13. Again, persons in mourning might eat thereof; it might not only be brought 1 Deut. xxvi. 13. to Jerusalem, but carried away again ; a small quantity left on the road was treated as lost; it might be given to a non-tithe payer or “a man of the land” (that is an ignorant or uninstructed person]; and, once more, the money received therefor might be used for profane purposes.
Chapter II.” says, that he who undertakes [before s Sect. 2. witnesses] to deserve universal confidence with regard to tithes ought to be careful not only to pay the tithe upon what he eats, but also on what he sells, or buys to sell again to others; and he ought not to accept hospitality at the house of a person uninstructed in rabbinical tithe-paying [lest he should eat of anything not tithed].
Again, he who engages to adopt the pure and scrupulous manner of life of a companion of wise men, ought not to sell to an uninstructed person either soft fruit, or dry; he does not purchase of him green products; he does not accept hospitality of an uninstructed person, neither does he invite such an one to his own house [because of his communicating uncleanness even by his dress].
Retail shopkeepers: are not authorized to sell s Sect. 4. products subject to demai, but wholesale dealers may do so [it being taken for granted that owing to the larger quantity, the purchaser will have paid the proper dues].
Chapter III.“ directs that he who wishes to cut 4 Sects. 2-3, 6.
1 Sects. 2, 7-8.
the green leaves from bundles of vegetables, to lighten what he has to carry, ought not to throw the leaves away before levying the tithe thereon [so that no one, finding them, may eat unlawfully]. Again, he who buys green vegetables, and then, changing his mind, wishes to return them, must tithe them before so doing. Also, fruit found on the road may be eaten at once, but not put aside to be kept, before paying the tithe. Even he who delivers to his mother-in-law fruits to cook or prepare, ought to levy the (demai) tithe on what he gives to and receives from her.
In Chapter IV.' we read that if an “uninstructed person adjure his companion by vow to eat with him, the companion, though not sure about his host paying tithe, may eat with him for one week, provided the host assures his guest that the demai tithe has been paid ; but that in the second week he must not eat with him unless the guest has paid the tithe.
Again, if a man commissions a person untrustworthy in the matter of tithes to buy fruits from some one worthy of confidence, he must not, for all that, rely on his messenger; but if the employer orders him to go definitely to such and such a person,
then believe the messenger. Nevertheless, if after going to the person mentioned he says on his return, “ Not having met the individual to whom I was sent, I went to another equally worthy of confidence," the messenger's opinion is not to be regarded as sufficient.
So also, if a traveller enter a town wherein he knows no one, and inquires, “Who is trustworthy?