|Tractate Peah, Chapter 1
Tosefta 141[A farmer] who plucks [the produce and does not harvest it in the normal manner2 or for the main purpose of harvesting that produce]3 and brings it inside his house [and not inside the storage silo],4 even [if he has done so to] his whole field, is exempt from [leaving] Leket (fallen stalks), from [leaving] Shikcha (forgotten produce), and from [leaving] Peah (corners of the field),5 but he is obligated in [taking of] Maaserot (tithes).6
מסכת פאה פרק א
היה מקטף ומכניס לתוך ביתו אפילו כל שדהו פטור מן הלקט ומן השכחה ומן הפיאה וחייב במעשרות.
- The Tosefta states a new law regarding Peah which is a clarification of the laws mentioned in the previous Tosefta. It is not related to any Mishna.
- This depends on which produce is being plucked. For example, the normal manner of harvesting wheat is cutting it with a sickle. Plucking would be ripping the stalks of wheat out of the ground and not cutting them off with a harvesting tool.
- For example, the main purpose of harvesting wheat is to make bread from it. However if the farmer harvested wheat in order to eat parched grain directly or feed it to his animals or to weave some kind of mats from wheat stalks that would be considered plucking and not harvesting. Even if the person cut a few stalks with a sickle in order to make bread, but he did not harvest the whole field in order to store the grain for later usage it is considered to be plucking as explained by Talmud Yerushalmi (Peah 3:2, Daf 15a). It appears from the Yerushalmi that all of the conditions of regular harvest must be fulfilled in order to be obligated in Peah and other gifts to the poor related to the harvest.
- Normally the harvested produce is stored in special silos in the case of wheat, or on the wine press in case of grapes. However if the farmer simply brought inside his house to be used in some other manner that would not be considered a normal way of harvesting.
- For an explanation of what Leket and Shikcha are see above, Tosefta 13, notes 5 and 6. The reason for this law is not explicitly stated in the Talmudic literature however it can be inferred from a Beraita quoted in Talmud Yerushalmi (Peah 3:2, Daf 15a). The Beraita states that by Leket the Torah says (Vayikra 19:9) לקט קצירך – the individual fallen stalks of your harvest, meaning that the stalks have been harvested and not plucked. The Beraita implies that the stalks have to be harvested in the normal manner of harvesting, meaning that they have to be cut off using a harvesting tool such as a sickle and not simply plucked out of the ground. Based on this Beraita Higayon Aryeh (Peah chapter 3, note 10) explains that since by the regular harvest of grain there is a requirement that the harvest must be done in the normal manner and for the main purpose of that produce, it also applies to all types of produce as implied by the discussion in the Yerushalmi (ibid.). In the case of wheat that would be making bread, in the case of grapes that would be making wine, and in the case of lives that would be making oil. The same law that applies to Leket also applies to Shikcha and Peah. The reason is because the obligation of all of these gifts to the poor falls at the same time, namely during the harvest. However other gifts to the poor, such as Maaserot and Olelot (incompletely formed grape clusters), are still obligatory after such plucking, because their obligation does not fall during the harvest but either before or after and therefore does not depend on the particular manner of harvesting.
- For an explanation of what Maaserot are see above Tosefta Peah 1:6, note 7. Since the obligation of Maaserot came when the person completed the harvest and did some finishing act of the harvest, such as making a pile of wheat or bringing the produce into his house for food consumption, as was explained earlier (ibid., note 8), it does not depend on the act of harvesting itself. Therefore even if the harvest was done in a not normal manner, such as plucking, as long as the farmer finished the act of harvesting and brought the produce into his house, he is still obligated in separating all of the tithes.