Chapter 3, Mishna 3, 4
May we send a monkey or an elephant to establish an eruv for us? Rav Nachman says the principle of presuming an agent has fulfilled his agency only applies to rabbinically ordained obligations, not to Torah obligations. Rav Sheshet says it applies to both. He cites the example of relying on the priests to bring the omer offering in Jerusalem so that all make partake of new grain throughout the land, and we need not confirm that the priests have done it. Rav Nachman says we can rely on priests, not average people. Rav Sheshet brings the case of one invited to pick figs by the owner of a fig tree. Can he rely on the owner to exempt the figs by taking a tithe from the rest of his harvest? Question turns in part on whether the owner is a “chaver” – meticulous in his observance – or an “am ha’aretz” – an ignoramus who may not bother to tithe. Additional wrinkle: a chaver ordinarily wouldn’t separate a tithe from his produce unless the food he wishes to exempt is standing nearby. New mishna: may we establish an eruv by stowing the basket of food in a tree?