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Viduy and Bi’ur Ma’aserot

Question

How do we fulfill in our days the Mitzva of Viduy and Bi'ur Ma'aserot?

 

Answer

Rabbi Moshe Bloom, Torah VeHa’aretz Institute

For a longer article and a PDF visual guide, see here.

In parashat Ki Tavo we are commanded to confirm that we have delivered all terumot and ma’aserot (bi’ur ma’aserot) to their proper destinations. Then we recite a formula declaring we have given these gifts in their entirety (viduy ma’aserot). This process takes place on Pesach in years four and seven of the shemita cycle (on the seventh day; others hold on the first).

Biur and viduy ma’aserot today

Sefer HaChinuch writes (mitzva 607) that viduy ma’aserot applies only in Temple times (some still recite the formula on the shevi’i shel Pesach, though). The Rambam holds that bi’ur ma’aserot definitely applies even today.

Performing bi’ur ma’aserot

  1. Ensure that terumot and ma’aserot are removed from all produce at home, and that challah has been taken. Those careful to actually give fruit or money as ma’aser rishon and ma’aser ani should do so.
  2. Destroy the ma’aser sheni coin, since the sanctity of the ma’aser sheni fruit still resides in the coin. It is preferable to transfer the sanctity of the coin (plus 25% of its worth) onto a smaller, 10 Agurot coin.

There are two ways to handle the 10 agorot coin:

  • Destroy the coin: Bang on the coin with a hammer until it is deformed and cannot be used, and then throw it away; burn it; or throw it into the sea. (While there are legal issues with destroying coins, it seems that for such a small amount it is not a problem).
  • Transfer the sanctity of the coin onto sugar equivalent in value to the coin (approximately 10 agorot, 3 TB of sugar). Then dissolve the sugar in water and pour it down the drain.

Our Beit HaOtzar Fund handles the coin for members. To become a member, click here