Parshas Ki Savo
“I did not dispose of it when impure!” (Devarim 26:14)
It is a negative commandment that one may not Ma’aser Sheni when impure until it is redeemed. About this the verse says “I did not dispose of it when impure!”. Even though this verse speaks as a person would speak it is as if it said “You may not dispose of it when impure!”, which means to say that one may not eat from it when impure, as since Hashem commanded the person to say that he did not do it, it is as if He had commanded us not to do it.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that since impurity is known amongst wise people to weaken the force of the intellectual soul, and mixes it up, and divides between intuition and the exalted perfect logic, that it should be separated from it until it becomes pure.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that which Chazal said that the prohibition is applicable whether the person is impure and the Ma’aser is pure and whether the person is pure and the Ma’aser is impure. However, one only directly transgresses this commandment if one eats it in impurity in Yerushalayim, which is the correct place for its eating. If, on the other hand, one eats it outside Yerushalayim in impurity one does not receive biblically prescribed lashes, but one does still receive rabinically prescribed lashes.
This prohibition applies both to men and to women when the temple was standing and we had the biblical obligation to tithe our produce.