The first step of Taking Terumah and Maaser
There is a lot to talk about under this topic but today I’m only going to discuss one point. The first thing we do, when taking off Terumos and Maasros in our times, is to take off slightly more than 1/100 of the produce.
Why do we need more than 1/100?
Allow me to preface that while Terumah and Terumas Maaser need to be properly disposed of, Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheini can be eaten after performing the correct procedure.
Lets first explain what the 1/100 is for. Interestingly, it is for the 2nd & 3rd tithe that we take off of the produce, Maaser Rishon and Terumas Maaser. However, it does not by itself fulfill Maaser Rishon; the Shiur for maaser Rishon is 1/10 of the produce. We add to this 1/100 another 9/100 from the south side of the produce, albeit without physically removing it, to bring the total Maaser Rishon to 1/10.
So why do we physically separate the 1/100? Because we will later make this 1/100 into Terumas Maaser, which must be disposed of. Whereas, the other 9/100 can be enjoyed after performing the correct procedure.
Since altogether we took the correct amount of Maaser Rishon, why do we need to take off more than 1/100?
The answer is that the very first thing we take off is Terumah; that little bit, the part of what you took off that is more than 1/100 is the entire Terumah. The Torah didn’t say how much Terumah one must give, so even the smallest bit is sufficient. While Chazal decreed that more than that should be given, [a generous man should give 1/40, a regular guy 1/50 and a stingy man 1/60] in our times when no one can eat Terumah anyway, that decree isn’t applicable. It would be wasteful to take so much.