Audio by Dr. Michael Sokolow

Mishnah Menachot 10:4: They would reap it and place it in baskets. It would be brought into the Temple courtyard and they would singe it over the fire to fulfill the commandment [that it be brought from] parched grain, [[these are] the words of Rabbi Meir; the Sages say they would beat it with reeds and stems [to remove the husks] so that [the grains] would not be crushed; they [would then] put it into a tube which was perforated so that the fire could reach all of it. They would spread it out in the courtyard and the wind would blow through it [removing the chaff], it would then be placed in a the mill and an issaron [specific measure of volume] of flour would be taken from it which was then sifted through thirteen sieves; the rest of the flour would be redeemed and [could then] be eaten by anyone, it was obligated regarding challah, but exempt from tithing. Rabbi Akiva said it was obligated regarding challah [a portion of a batch of bread dough given to a Kohen which becomes holy upon separation, and can only be consumed by Kohanim or their household] and tithing. [The priest engaged in offering the omer came to the issaron and place its oil and frankincense [in the vessel], he poured [the rest of the oil] and mixed [the flour with the oil], waved [the offering] and brought it close [to the corner of the alter], took a handful and burned it, and the remainder could be eaten by the priests.

קצרוהו ונתנוהו בקפות, הביאוהו לעזרה, היו מהבהבין אותו באור, כדי לקים בו מצות קלי, דברי רבי מאיר. וחכמים אומרים: בקנים ובקליחות חובטים אותו, כדי שלא יתמעך. נתנוהו לאבוב, ואבוב היה מנקב, כדי שיהא האור שולט בכלו. שטחוהו בעזרה והרוח מנשבת בו, נתנוהו ברחים של גרוסות, והוציאו ממנו עשרון שהוא מנפה משלש עשרה נפה, והשאר נפדה ונאכל לכל אדם. וחיב בחלה, ופטור מן המעשרות. רבי עקיבא מחיב בחלה ובמעשרות. בא לו לעשרון, ונתן שמנו ולבונתו, יצק ובלל, הניף והגיש, וקמץ והקטיר, והשאר נאכל לכהנים.

Mishnah Menachot 10:5: Once the omer was offered, they used to go out and find the market of Jerusalem already full of flour and parched grain [of the new produce], [though this was] against the will of the Sages, [these are] the words of Rabbi Meir; Rabbi Judah says: they were acting [in accordance with] the will of the Sages. Once the omer was offered, the new grain was permitted immediately, but for those that lived far off it was permitted only after midday. After the Temple was destroyed Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai decreed that it should be forbidden throughout the day of the waving. Rabbi Judah said: Is it not forbidden [in such a case] by the Torah, for it is said, “Until this very day?” (Leviticus 23:14) So why was it permitted for those that lived far away from midday [when the Temple stood]? Because they know that the court would not be lazy regarding it.

משקרב העמר, יוצאין ומוצאין שוק ירושלים שהוא מלא קמח וקלי, שלא ברצון חכמים, דברי רבי מאיר. רבי יהודה אומר: ברצון חכמים היו עושים. משקרב העמר התר החדש מיד, והרחוקים מתרים מחצות היום ולהלן. משחרב בית המקדש, התקין רבן יוחנן בן זכאי שיהא יום הנף כלו אסור. אמר רבי יהודה: והלא מן התורה הוא אסור, שנאמר (ויקרא כג) עד עצם היום הזה. מפני מה הרחוקים מתרים מחצות היום ולהלן, מפני שהן יודעין שאין בית דין מתעצלין בו.

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