Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sold!

Yesterday, we sold our entire collection of live animals! We did this because our food costs have become exorbitant. So we sold them all to a friend of ours, Rabbi David Bar-Cohn. The total value of the collection is around forty thousand shekels; he made a down payment of ten shekels, and will pay the balance if and when he ever decides to remove them from the museum premises.

In the meanwhile, the animals are still at the museum, but with a very significant difference: they are now the property of someone who is, as his name suggests, a Kohen (priest). Now, a kohen is the recipient of Terumah and Maaser (tithes). However, today, when there is no Temple, Kohanim are assumed to be in a state of impurity, and may not eat Terumah and Maaser. But their animals can! So we will now be receiving Terumah and Maaser from various sources, at no charge, to feed to Rabbi Bar-Cohn's animals. Problem solved!

Pictured below, from left: Rabbi Dr. Natan Slifkin, Rabbi David Bar-Cohn, and Rav Menachem Copperman, along with one of Rabbi Bar-Cohn's new acquisitions.
 

23 comments:

  1. Clever! If you ever need another buyer, I (Daniel Avraham ha-Kohen) would be happy to help you out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, you were going to try to appeal to all streams with the Museum and now you've gone and publicly endorsed a Heter Mechirah :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. An absolutely brilliant example of thinking outside the box to solve a real world problem.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Now, a kohen is the recipient of Terumah and Maaser (tithes). However, today, when there is no Temple, Kohanim are assumed to be in a state of impurity, and may not eat Terumah and Maaser"

    Whole lot of editing needed here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What don't you understand?

      Delete
    2. The first sentence is slightly off. What's wrong with the second one? (And is it necessary to correct someone's grammar publicly?)

      Delete
    3. A kohen is not a recipient of Maaser; the fact that a kohen cannot nowadays eat terumah is only tangentially related to the absence of temple; a Kohen, or anyone else, may eat Maaser. Everyone knows that, obviously, but the sentences as written are literally false and hence require editing.

      Delete
  5. Where do you expect to get the Terumah and Maaser? I'm boggled.

    ReplyDelete
  6. It seems that the Rabbis are sitting a bit of a distance from R. Bar-Cohn's new acquisition...

    ReplyDelete
  7. All for it, but let's keep in mind that halachic artifices like that (and selling chametz, and selling firstborn animals, and prozbul, and hetter iska, etc etc etc) leads directly to daily minyanim in the prison system.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Just a practical question here, but don't you need more than just a down payment to make it belong to the Cohen? The Mishna is Kiddushin 26a says that one cannot acquire movables with money, you need another manner of קנין.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mestama, they took care of this by having the Cohen acquire a small part of the museum real estate, or by doing hagbaah with the reptile (or whatever it is) on the desk in the picture (Vezos HaIguana?) and having the kinyan apply to all the other animals as well.

      Delete
  9. You'll need to find other food for Shabbos and Yom Tov, won't you?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. as long as it was separated before Shabbat, should be no problem. (I know, food not as fresh; the animals aren't that spoiled???)

      2. I guess our host doesn't have any carnivores?

      Delete
    2. you should have asked about shviit.

      Delete
  10. Hmmmmm. You have remarked earlier that you don't like mechiras chometz. Why do you consider this different?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I knew one of the lefties would pipe in shouting, "Loophole!"

      Delete
    2. I would break up mechirat chametz into two categories, enterprise and personal. If you are a brewer you could easily have 10 tons of malt on hand at a given time, and getting rid of that would be financially ruinous. Similarly, if you have a liquor store, you could have tens of thousands of dollars of inventory that you can't own. These are the people that mechirat chametz was intended for. Over time personal mechirat chametz has become popular. Personal mechirat chametz is arguably against the original intent of the heter, and is definitely against the spirit of baal yeraeh baal yematzeh. The opponents of mechirat chametz are generally fine with the brewer or liquor store owner selling his stock, but are less than thrilled when you sell your personal chametz to get around issurei deoraita.

      Joseph

      Delete
  11. You can be against something in principle, yet still do it all the while it is legal. There are many people who will tell you privately they don't think the government should have so many welfare type programs, but hey, if its available, they're going to take advantage of it. There are people who will tell you they can't stand ambulance chaser lawyers who bring cases they know perfectly well to be bogus just to try for a settlement; but as long as its legal, they'll give it a shot too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You have to differentiate between Maasar Rishon and Maasar Sheni.

    Now, a kohen is the recipient of Terumah and Maaser (tithes)

    True of Maasar Rishon *since *the *time *of *Ezra

    רמב"ם הלכות מעשר פרק א
    א,א אחר שמפרישין תרומה גדולה, מפריש אחד מעשרה מן הנשאר; וזה הוא הנקרא מעשר ראשון, ובו נאמר "כי את מעשר בני ישראל, אשר ירימו לה' . . ." (במדבר יח,כד). והמעשר הזה ללויים, זכרים ונקבות--שנאמר "ולבני לוי, הנה נתתי כל מעשר בישראל לנחלה" (במדבר יח,כא)....
    א,ה [ד] ועזרא קנס את הלויים בזמנו, שלא ייתנו להן מעשר ראשון אלא יינתן לכוהנים--לפי שלא עלו עימו לירושלים.

    But Maasar Sheni is kept by the owner.


    However, today, when there is no Temple,
    More correctly, when we don’t have Parah Adumah

    Kohanim are assumed to be in a state of impurity, and may not eat Terumah
    True
    רמב"ם הלכות תרומות
    יש בכללן שמונה מצוות--שתיים מצוות עשה, ושש מצוות לא תעשה; וזה הוא פרטן: ... (ז) שלא יאכל כוהן טמא תרומה

    and Maaser.
    True for Maasar Sheni
    רמב"ם הלכות מעשר שני ונטע רבעי פרק ג
    ג,א האוכל מעשר שני בטומאה לוקה, שנאמר "ולא ביערתי ממנו בטמא" (דברים כו,יד)--בין שהמעשר טמא והאוכל טהור, בין שהמעשר טהור והאוכל טמא: והוא שיאכל אותו בירושלים, קודם שייפדה--שאינו לוקה על אכילתו בטומאה, אלא במקום אכילתו. אבל אם אכלו בטומאה חוץ לירושלים, מכין אותו מכת מרדות. [ב] ואפילו להדליק בו את הנר אחר שנטמא--אסור עד שייפדה, שנאמר "ולא ביערתי ממנו בטמא".

    but false for Maasar Rishon
    רמב"ם הלכות מעשר פרק א
    א,ב מעשר ראשון מותר באכילה לישראל, ומותר לאוכלו בטומאה--שאין בו קדושה כלל; וכל מקום שנאמר במעשר קודש או פדייה, אינו אלא מעשר שני.
    א,ג ומניין שמעשר ראשון חולין: שנאמר "ונחשב לכם, תרומתכם--כדגן, מן הגורן, וכמלאה, מן היקב" (במדבר יח,כז)--מה גורן ויקב חולין לכל דבר, אף מעשר ראשון שניטלה תרומתו חולין לכל דבר.

    ReplyDelete
  13. What changed by selling the animals to a Kohen?

    FOR TERUMAH:

    Do farmers give more than one kernel of wheat for a year’s crop? That wouldn’t add up to too much.

    FOR MAASAR RISHON:

    Is it cheaper than chullin? Humans can eat it b’tumah so why give it to the animals?

    FOR MAASAR SHENI:

    It doesn’t go to the Kohen. Whoever owns the animals should be able to get it for cheap. No need to sell the animals to a Kohen.

    Please explain. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Whilst I love the idea, it would surprise e if this is a new one. Dont other zoos in the holy land do the same??

    More to the point, does the kohen who owns these animals have the personal obligation to check that they are fed before he sits down to a meal? or may he rely on te museum's staff?

    ReplyDelete

Comments for this blog are moderated. Please see this post about the comments policy for details. ANONYMOUS COMMENTS WILL NOT BE POSTED - please use either your real name or a pseudonym.

A Mezuzah Miracle?

Here's a really freaky story. Four girls in my niece's class broke their hands or arms in the last ten days. The teacher decided...