These are the individual tractates of Zeraim, the first order of the Mishna. These descriptions are not meant as
Halachic decisions. Please consult an Orthodox Rabbi for specific information.
- Berachos - While this tractate is not directly relevant to the general theme of this order (agricultural laws), Berachos is, nevertheless, a good start-off tractate for the Talmud. It deals with the laws and philosophy of prayer and blessings, which is a central part of every Jews life.
- Peah - The laws requiring a Jewish farmer to leave parts of his crop for the poor.
- Demai - The status of produce about which it is questionable if proper tithes had been removed.
- Kilayim - The laws concerning forbidden mixtures (planting various crops in one field, plowing with work animals of different species, clothing containing both linen and wool).
- Shviis - The laws concerning the requirement for Jewish farmers in Israel to leave their fields unworked every seventh year.
- Trumos - The laws concerning those parts of Israeli produce that must be given to a Kohen (priest).
- Ma'asros - The laws of the tithes that must be given to a Levi.
- Ma'aser Sheni The laws of the secondary tithe that must be eaten only in Jerusalem (or redeemed with coins that are to be spent in Jerusalem).
- Challah - The the laws of the portion of dough that must be removed from baked goods and given to a Kohen.
- Arla - The prohibition of eating from the fruits of a tree in its first three years (and what the do with the fruits of the fourth year so they may be eaten).
- Bikurim - Describes the bringing of a farmer's first fruits to Jerusalem (in the time of the Temple).
Rabbi Boruch Clinton teaches at the Ottawa Torah Institute yeshiva high
school and Machon Sarah high school for girls (both in Ottawa, Canada).
You may reach him with comments and questions at
You can now read some of Rabbi Clinton's essays on Torah life at
You can also buy his collection of essays on
the Book of Shmuel (Samuel) in printed form at
Copyright © 2000 by Rabbi
Clinton and Project Genesis, Inc.
Out of the Darkness
Shlomo Katz - 5773
Internal Beliefs Have External Effects
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5758
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765
Making It Perfect
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763
To Share in the Pain of Others
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758
Saved From a Rainy Day
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5758
Rabbi Frand on Parshas Noach
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770
A Flood of Something...
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763
A Second Chance
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759
If it Hurts, Scream!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5758
Unity With Caution
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5766
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5756
One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756
Love versus Fear
Shlomo Katz - 5763
A Place To Be
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5775
A World is Built!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5762