Audio by Dr. Michael Sokolow

פרק ז - משנה א
המבריך את הגפן בארץ One who propagates a grapevine in the ground
אם אין עפר על גבה שלשה טפחים if there is not three טפחים of soil on top of it
לא יביא זרע עליה he may not bring [foreign] seeds above it
 אפילו הבריכה even if he propagated it
בדלעת או בסילון in a gourd or a pipe
  הבריכה בסלע if one propagates [a vine] in a rock
אף על פי שאין  even though there is not but
 עפר על גבה אלא שלוש אצבעות three fingers of soil atop it
 מותר להביא זרע עליה it is permissible to bring seeds above it
  הארכובה שבגפן the knee in a vine
 אין מודדין אלא מעיקר השני we only measure from the second trunk
פרק ז - משנה ב
המבריך שלוש גפנים One who propagates three vines
 ועיקריהן נראין and their trunks are visible
רבי אלעזר ברבי צדוק אומר R' Eliezer b' R' Tzadok says
 אם יש ביניהן מארבע אמות ועד שמונה if there are between them four to eight אמות
הרי אלו מצטרפות then they combine
 ואם לאו אינן מצטרפות

and if not they do not (have such a space) they do not combine

  גפן שיבשה a dried vine
 אסורה ואינה מקדשת is forbidden (as כלאים) but does not condemn
  רבי מאיר אומר R' meir says
אף צמר גפן אסור also cotton is forbidden (as כלאים)
ואינו מקדש but does not condemn
 רבי אלעזר ברבי צדוק אומר משמו R' Eliezer b' R' Tzadok says in his name
 אף על גבי הגפן also on top of a vine
אסור ואינו מקדש is forbidden but does not condemn


משנה א

Background:  New vines may be grown by burying the branch of an existing vine, causing the branch to put out its own roots.  Theמשנה appears to be dealing with propagation accomplished by burying this branch while it is still attached to the parent vine, presumably to be cut later.

המבריך את הגפן בארץ - This is outside of the six טפח work area of the parent vine, in which planting would be אסור in any event.

לא יביא זרע עליה - As the roots of the new seeds will descend and graft with the vine; even if the vine is protected by a dried gourd or earthenware pot, a plant's roots might penetrate to the vine.  However, as the fear is only of seeds descending, the prohibition is only on planting directly above the vine; next to the ground under which the vine has been run is permissible.

בדלעת - This is a gourd that has been hollowed out to a tube shape.  It is also dried out, so that there is no issue of כלאים in running a vine through it.

בסילון - This is an earthenware pipe; a pipe of metal which is stronger, does not require the three טפחים of earth above it.

בסלע - The רע"ב says that this exception does not apply to soft stones, which could be easily penetrated by roots above it; the רמב"ם says that סלע here includes hard earth.

הארכובה שבגפן - According to the רמב"ם, this is a vine that twists in the shape of a leg with a bent knee - i.e. it emerges from the and after a very short distance, bends (at a point that I would refer to as the "ankle") to run in a more horizontal direction, and then returns to a more vertical direction at a point that is referred to as the knee.  The רע"ב explains that the משנה is referring to a case where the vertical portion below the "ankle" is so short, the horizontal portion runs on the ground, and it appears as a vine emerges from the ground at the "knee."  In such a case, the six טפחים of the vine's workspace is measured from the 'second' trunk that begins at the knee. 


משנה ב

המבריך שלוש גפנים - According to the רע"ב, this is a case where three vines had offshoots run underground, and the trunks of the original vines are visible, and the trunks of their offshoots have emerged from the ground and are also visible, forming what appears to be two rows of three vines.

הרי אלו מצטרפות - To form a כרם.

גפן שיבשה - This prohibition is only due to מראית העין.

אף צמר גפן אסור - The רע"ב says this is because it resembles grapevines.


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