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The Melachah Of Dash - Threshing

The Daily Halacha Moment - The Melachah Of Dash 🍃

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


What is the melachah of Dash - threshing?


Threshing is the process of loosening the edible part of grain (or other crop) from the straw to which it is attached. It is the next step in grain preparation after gathering. Threshing can be done by beating the grain using a flail[1] on a threshing floor. Another traditional method of threshing is making donkeys or oxen walk in circles on the grain on a hard surface. Today, in developed areas, it is now mostly done by machine, usually by a combine harvester, which

harvests, threshes, and winnows the grain while it is still in the field. In the Mishkan, some say that threshing was needed in order to extract seeds from their encasements for use as agents to bind the dyes to the wool, while others point out it was done to produce the Lechem HaPanim.[2]

Threshing the amount of a gerogeret is considered the melachah of Dash (that can obligate

one to bring a Chatat offering. [3]

As a rule, Dash only applies to items that are earth grown.[4] The definition of “earth grown” is not limited to only plants, but can also include items that grow on animals or humans as well, since, ultimately, animals derive their sustenance from the ground.[5]

Even items that are not “earth grown,” can be rabbinically prohibited to ensure that people do not come to extract from earth-grown items.

Similarly, dash can apply to non-foods as well, such as beating flax to separate the fibers from their husks and peeling bark from a log.[6]


[1]. A flail is an agricultural tool used for threshing [it’s also a weapon used to kill people. Yes, in Hebrew, מורג refers to both], the process of separating grains from their husks. It is usually made from two or more large sticks attached by a short chain; one stick is held and swung, causing the other (the swipple) to strike a pile of grain, loosening the husks.

[2]. See Rashi, Shabbat 73a, “HaOfeh.”

[3]. Rambam 8:7.

[4]. Rambam 8:7; Biur Halachah, 319:17, “Mefazer.”

[5]. See Shulchan Aruch 305:20 and 328:34. See also Mishnah Berurah 305:71.

[6]. Talmud Bavli, Shabbat, 73b.

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