Audio by Dr. Michael Sokolow

פרק ב - משנה ה
היתה שדהו זרועה קרבס או לוף If his field was sown with caraway or arum
לא יהא זורע ובא על גביהן he should not sow on top of them
שאינן עושות אלא לשלוש שנים as they do not produce for three years
תבואה שעלו בה ספיחי אסטיס grain in which residual isatis has grown
וכן מקום הגרנות and similarly the location of the threshing floor
 שעלו בהן מינין הרבה in which many species have grown
וכן תלתן שהעלת מיני עשבים and similarly fenugreek in which other plants have grown
אין מחייבין אותו לנכש we do not obligate him to weed
ואם ניכש או כיסח but if he did weed or mow
אומרין לו  we tell him
עקור את הכול חוץ ממין אחד to uproot everything except for one species
פרק ב - משנה ו
הרוצה לעשות שדהו Someone who wants to make his field
מישר מישר מכל מין into strips of every species
בית שמאי אומרים Beis Shammai say
עושה שלושה תלמים של פתיח [the rows must me spaced apart as] three grondbreaking furrows
ובית הלל אומרים and Beis Hillel say
מלוא העול השרוני the [the rows must me spaced apart as are furrows made with the] full valley yoke
וקרובין דברי אלו להיות כדברי אלו and the words of these [ב"ש] are close to the words of these [ב"ה]


משנה ה

קרבס - This follows the גרסא of the רמב"ם; the predominant גרסא of קנבוס, or hemp, does not make sense as its characteristics are not consistent with this משנה.

שאינן עושות אלא לשלוש שנים - The רמב"ם indicates that our משנה is dealing with a case where these plants have been planted and harvested, and it is coming to tell us that since these particular plants leave behind roots that remain viable for up to three years, they must be uprooted before planting anything else.  The ראב"ד disagrees, and says that we are dealing with a case where the seeds of these plants have been sown and failed to immediately grow; because they can remain dormant for up to three years, one cannot assume that they have rotted away.  This is consistent with the opinion of the ראב"ד mentioned above, that roots are not subject to כלאים.

אסטיס - This plant is a source of indigo.  Often it would be cut but grow back, which growth is referred to as ספיחי אסטיס the רע"ב offers an alternate explanation that there grow from seeds that fall to the ground during the harvest.  Either way, it is a foreign species whose undesirability would be obvious to any observer.

מקום הגרנות - This area needed to have a smooth surface, which would be disrupted by weeds.

תלתן שהעלת מיני עשבים - When fenugreek is grown for human consumption, any foreign species growing among them would have a bad effect on the crop.  Thus,  the undesirability of these other species would be obvious to observers.

אין מחייבין אותו לנכש - There is a disagreement between רש"י and תוספות in (81a) בבא קמא as to why we are not מחייב him to remove it.  According to רש"י (with whom the רע"ב agrees), it is because these foreign species are so harmful in these places, we can trust that the farmer will remove them on his own.  This implies that our משנה is not saying that it is מותר to leave them in place, but rather that בית דין does not have to bother forcing him to remove them.  However תוספות disagrees, as the implication in the משנה is that these are not אסור at all, while according to רש"י they are.  Rather, תוספות say, they are not אסור because he did not plant them, and their is no אסור of being מקיים כלאים where it is obvious that there is no benefit from the mixture, as the רבנן were מתקן that אסור only where it might appear that the farmer desired it.  (See also the רמב"ם, who says that when it is apparent that a foreign species that grew on its own is not desired by the בעל השדה, we do not require him to remove them; this appears consistent with  תוספות, but see the notes on משנה א, ד"ה ימעט, which provides a slightly different basis for this position.)

עקור את הכול חוץ ממין אחד - Otherwise his failure to only partially remove the foreign species gives the impression that he desires the remaining species to be mixed in with his main crop.


משנה ו

Background - There is a fundamental disagreement between the מפרשים on the next few משניות over what the various methods of distinguishing between formations of different types of crops are.  Some hold that a certain amount of empty space must be left between different patches to keep them from being considered כלאים, and the space varies depending on the crops and the formation they are planted in.  Others hold that a separation is not necessary; crop formations themselves can be distinctive enough to allow separate species, planted in separate formations, to be distinct enough to avoid being considered כלאים.  Unless noted otherwise, we will follow the first of these opinions, which is put forth by the רמב"ם and the רא"ב.

תלמים של פתיח - The רמב"ם says that these are cracks that  form in the ground when it rains; the רע"ב, the מלאכת שלמה says that they are furrow initially plowed into ground that was still hard and dry before planting, and are wider apart than the תלמי רביעה of משנה ג.  In any event, both hold that this measure is two אמות wide; furthermore, the ירושלמי says that this gap must be maintained only for the first two אמות of parallel rows, after which the rows of different species may converge to a miniscule gap; the  תפארת ישראל and משנה ראשונהexplain that since our משנה is dealing with  crops planted in rows that presumably run from one end of the field to the other, this is sufficient separation.

העול השרוני - According to the רע"ב, this is the  yoke used to plow in valleys and was wider than that used on hills; according to the מלאכת שלמה it is the name of a place called שרון.

וקרובין דברי אלו להיות כדברי אלו - The two measurements are close to each other, although the commentaries differ on which is more stringent.


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