Audio by Shimi Berger

פרק ג משנה יא
אימתי אמרו When do we say
תוספת הבכורים כבכורים that the supplement to bikurim is like bikurim?
בזמן שהיא באה מן הארץ When it comes from the Land [of Israel]
ואם אינה באה מן הארץ and if it does not come from the Land
אינה כביכורים it is not like bikurim.

פרק ג משנה יב

למה אמרו Why is it said
הבכורים כנכסי כהן that bikurim are like the assets of a kohen?
שהוא קונה מהם

As he may purchase with them

עבדים וקרקעות slaves and land
ובהמה טמאה and non-kosher animals
ובעל חוב נוטלן בחובו and a creditor can take them to satisfy his debt
והאשה בכתובתה and a woman for her kesuba
כספר תורה like a sefer torah.
ורבי יהודה אומר And Rebbi Yehuda says
אין נותנין אותם he may not give them
אלא לחבר בטובה only to a colleague for free
וחכמים אומרין and the Sages say
נותנין אותם he may give them
לאנשי משמר to the men of the watch
והם מחלקין ביניהם and they split it amongst themselves
כקדשי המקדש like kodshim of the Beis Hamikdosh

*הדרן עלך מסכת בכורים

וכולהו מסכייתי דסדר זרעים



משנה יא

תוספת הבכורים כבכורים - The משנה ראשונה explains that this is referring to the obligation to eat them while tahor, as taught previously; however he notes that the רמב"ם is פוסק that even if they are fromחוץ לארץ they still must be eaten בטהרה.  He therefore explains that the previous mishan, which differentiated between bikurim and supplements to bikurim, was dealing with supplements to bikurim fromחוץ לארץ, but when they are from ארץ ישראל they are treated like bikurim in all respects (except that they are obligated in maaser, as that is a דאורייתא).

משנה יב

שהוא קונה מהם עבדים וקרקעות ובהמה טמאה - The חידוש here is that these cannot be consumed, as opposed to cash, which, if one exchanged their bikurim for cash, could be used to pruchase food whcih would then be consumed.  The fact that a בעל חוב and a divorcee can take them is an even greater חידוש, as in those cases the kohen is not getting any הנאה from it (note that the language of the mishna is that the creditor can take them, not just that he may give them to satisfy a debt).  כספר תורה - One interpretation of this is that a ספר תורה is similarly subject to levying by  creditors and divorcees, another, which better follows an alternate גרסא that reads וספר תורה, says that a kohen may use bikurim to purchase a ספר תורה.  The חידוש here is that, in contrast to the other objects listed in this mishan, a ספר תורה cannot normally be sold or exchanged for food.  חבר - Although some learn otherwise, רע"ב says that this term connotes a kohen who is diligent about eating בטהרה, and that Rebbi Yehuda is arguing on the רישא of this mishna. 


*Strictly speaking, מסכת בכורים is composed of only three פרקים.  The fourth פרק is actually תוספתא, though it is generally included in לימוד משניות.


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