Bringing Bikurim Again

Bikurim (1:9) | Yisrael Bankier | 5 years ago

The Mishnah (1:9) teaches that if a person already brought bikurim from one species, they would not recite vidui bikurim when bringing bikurim to Yerushalaim from another. The Bartenura comments that this statement is only needed for the opinion R’ Yehuda to teach that he agrees with the Chachamim in this case. The Bartenura is referring to the debate in the early Mishnah (1:7).

The Mishnah discusses the case where one separated bikurim and then sold the field. The Mishnah teaches that the seller can bring the bikurim but is not able to recite the parasha. The seller no longer has land and there for cannot recite the parasha that refers to the “land that you have given me”.1 Regarding the purchaser however, there is a debate. The Chachamim maintain the he can no longer bring bikurim from the same species from which the previous owner brought. From another species however, he can both bring bikurim and recite the parasha. The Bartenura explains that this is because part of the declaration is the statement: “ve’higadeti ha’yom” - “I have told over today” – meaning it can only occur once2. Since bikurim were already brought by the seller from that field, it precludes the purchaser from bringing bikurim from that same species.

R’ Yehuda however argues that the purchaser can bring bikurim and recite the parasha even from the exact species from which the seller brought. The Bartenura explains, R’ Yehuda maintains that the limitation only applies to an individual and not a field. Returning to the earlier comment of the Bartenura, our Mishnah is adding a further point, that even though R’ Yehuda allowed the second owner to bring bikurim again from the same species, once an individual has read the parasha when bringing bikurim once, he would not do so again when bringing another type of fruit.

The Tosfot R’ Akiva however asks, that the Mishnah is also required for the opinion of the Chachamim. The earlier Mishnah had taught that while the purchaser could not bring bikurim from the same type as the seller brought, he could however bring and recite the parasha from a different species. Since in the previous case the parasha is read when bringing another species, one might think that would be true in our case too. The Tosfot Chadashim puts the question slightly differently. We may have thought that the limitation against reading the parasha again only applies to the same species. Whether or not it applies to another species is not clear. Consequently, it appears that our Mishnah is required to clarify the position of the Chachamim as well.

The Ohr Gadol attempts to defend the Bartenura. Before doing so he asks a further question. In the earlier Mishnah neither the buyer or sell recited the parasha when bringing bikurim from that first species. Consequently, one might think that the limit of “ve’higadet ha’yom” has not be reached and the purchaser should be able to recite the parasha. The Tosfot Yom Tov explains that limit of ve’higadeti ha’yom encompasses even the simple bringing of bikurim irrespective of whether the parasha was read. That being the case, it would appear that ve’higadeti ha’yom would also restrict bringing bikurim again, either the purchaser or anyone bringing bikurim from another type!

The Ohr Gadol directs our attention to the Gra that differs from the Tosfot Yom Tov. According to the Gra’s version of the Yerushalmi, the source of the limit is from “hinei he’veiti” – “behold I have brought”. Consequently, there are two different restrictions. One relating to the bringing of bikurim and the second to the recitation of the parasha. With respect to the parasha there is no reason to differentiate between the number of species. However regarding bringing bikurim it makes sense to differentiate between species where “hinei he’veiti” only limits bringing bikurim again from the same species. He feels that the basis of this distinction is clear since the bringing of bikurim is species specific, where the recital is not.

Returning to our Mishnah, the Ohr Gadol explains in the earlier Mishnah the concern was with “hinei he’veiti”. At the core of the debate was whether the limit applied to one or more individuals, with the Chachamim not drawing any distinction. Consequently regarding “ve’higadeti hayom” the Chachamim would also not differentiate between whether it was one or two people. The Ohr Gadol explains that for the Mishnah to raise a case now that focuses specifically on a single person, the Mishnah’s attention must be on the opinion of R’ Yehuda.


1 The Yerushalmi notes that the seller had intended to sell the field when designating his bikurim. Otherwise, since he was only later disqualified from reciting the parasha, he would not be able to bring the bikurim and they must be left to rot.

2 We will see later in this article how the limit of bringing bikurim again is learnt from a pasuk that discusses the declaration.

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