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  • Rav Zev Jacobson
DAF 4b
A. Lav mishum de-chezkato baduk [line 1] The gemara reaches the conclusion that one can assume that the owner has checked his house for chametz on the night of the 14th. Therefore, if one rents a house on erev Pesach, there is no need for him to do bedika. However, if it is possible to ask the owner directly, the tenant should not rely on the assumption [chazaka] that the house is chametz-free.
B. Tosafot [s.v. Lav] Tosafot ask: If there is a chazaka that the house has been checked for chametz, why is it necessary to accept the testimony of a woman, child or slave to this effect? Since we do rely on their testimony, it seems that the conclusion of the gemara is incorrect and that there is no chazaka that the owner has done bedika. The Ri [Rabbeinu Yitzchak, great-grandson of Rashi] suggests two answers:
1. If a woman, child or slave testify that the owner checked for chametz, there is no need to ascertain this fact by directly asking him; even if it is possible to do so. Were we not to rely on their testimony, we would have to ask the owner [as mentioned in A].
2. If a woman, child or slave testify that the owner did not check for chametz but that THEY did bedika they are believed.  The reason is: Had they not said anything, we would have relied on our chazaka that the owner had done bedika and there would have been no further need to check the house for chametz. According to their testimony, there is still no need to do bedika and, therefore, we have no reason not to rely upon them. [This type of logic is called a "migu".] C. Chaver she-met [lines 2-4]. It is forbidden to eat produce before separating terumot and ma'asrot [See Bamidbar 18:25-32]. There is a chazaka that everyone separates teruma, but only chaverim have a chazaka that they separate ma'aser at the earliest opportunity possible. Therefore, one can safely assume that all of his produce has been properly tithed. A chaver [pl. chaverim] is someone who is scrupulous in his religious observance.
The order of tithing is as follows:
1. Teruma gedola - Any percentage of the produce [less than 100%] must be removed and given to a Kohen.
2. Ma'aser Rishon - Exactly 10% of the produce must be removed and given to a Levi. 3. Terumot Ma'aser - The Levi must remove exactly 10% of his ma'aser and give it to a Kohen.
4. Ma'aser Sheini - 10% of the remaining produce must be removed and eaten in Yerushalayim. OR
5. Ma'aser Ani - 10% of the remaining produce must be removed
and given to poor people.Ma'aser Sheini is removed on the first, second, fourth and fifth years of the shemitta cycle. Ma'aser Ani is removed on the third and sixth year of the shemitta cycle. On the shemitta year itself, terumot and ma'asrot are not removed at all.
D. Hemnuhu rabanan be-derabbanan [lines 15-16] The Rabbis chose to believe women, children and slaves in matters that are necessitated mi-derabbanan.
E. Tosafot s.v. Hemnuhu. According to Tosafot, a woman is only believed if it is in her control to change the status of the issur [be-yada] and if no great exertion is required to change the state of the issur. See Shiur #4 regarding the status of women with regards to giving testimony.
G. Tosafot s.v. Ha-maskir. According to the Rashba, the gemara is dealing with a scenario where the house was rented out before the 14th. If, however, it was rented out on the 14th, it is clear [as we saw on 4a] that it is the responsibility of the owner to check for chametz and the tenant can insist that he do so.
H. Amar Abaye [lines 27-30] By contrasting two pesukim we learn that one must remove chametz on the 14th:
1. Shemot 12:19 - SEVEN days shall there be no leaven found in your house. [This implies that for a full seven days your house should be chametz-free.]
2. Shemot 12:15 - On the FIRST day you should remove leaven from your house. [This implies that only on the first day one removes one's chametz. Thus, his house is not chametz-free for a full seven days.]
            Therefore, we explain the term "first" as referring to the day immediately preceding Pesach [i.e., the 14th].