Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 26a
to Be-Toratha1 when thieves met him and asked him whither he was going. He said, 'Toward Pumbeditha,' but when he reached Be-Toratha he stopped. Whereupon they exclaimed, 'You are a disciple of Judah the deceiver.'2 Said he to them, 'Do you indeed know him [as such]? May it be the [Divine] will that these men be under his ban.' For twenty-two years they went on stealing but did not meet with any success. When they saw this, they all came to ask for the ban to be revoked. Now there was among them one weaver who did not come to have his ban annulled, and he was devoured by a lion. Hence the popular saying: A year's scanty earnings will alter [improve] a weaver if he be not a proud fool.3
Come now and see what difference there is between mere thieves of Babylon and robbers of Palestine!4
MISHNAH. AN ISRAELITE WOMAN SHOULD NOT ACT AS MIDWIFE TO A HEATHEN WOMAN, BECAUSE SHE WOULD BE DELIVERING A CHILD FOR IDOLATRY. A HEATHEN WOMAN, HOWEVER, MAY ACT AS MIDWIFE TO AN ISRAELITE WOMAN. AN ISRAELITE WOMAN SHOULD NOT SUCKLE THE CHILD OF A HEATHEN, BUT A HEATHEN WOMAN MAY SUCKLE THE CHILD OF AN ISRAELITE WOMAN IN HER PREMISES.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: An Israelite woman should not act as midwife to heathen, because she delivers a child to idolatry; nor may a heathen woman [be allowed to] act as midwife to an Israelite woman because heathens are suspected of murder. This is the opinion of R. Meir. The Sages, however, say: A heathen may act as midwife to an Israelite woman so long as there are others standing by, but not if she is acting on her own.5 But R. Meir holds: Not even if others are standing by her, for she may find an opportunity of pressing her hand on the [infant's] temples and kill it without being observed; witness the incident of that woman who, on being called by a neighbour 'Jewish midwife, the daughter of a Jewish midwife!' retorted, 'May as many evils befall that woman, as I have dropped [Jewish children] like lumps of wood into the river.' Our Rabbis, however, say: No; she may have merely given her some kind of retort.
AN ISRAELITE WOMAN SHOULD NOT SUCKLE etc. Our Rabbis taught: An Israelite woman should not suckle a child of a heathen, because she rears a child for idolatry; nor should a heathen woman [be allowed to] suckle a child of an Israelite woman, because she is liable to murder it. This is the opinion of R. Meir. But the Sages say: A heathen may suckle a child of an Israelite woman, so long as there are others standing by her, but not if she is on her own. R. Meir, however, says: Not even while others are standing by her, for she may take the opportunity of rubbing in poison on her breast beforehand and so kill the child. And both the above instances are necessary; for if we were told about a midwife only [we might have thought that] only in that case do the Sages permit, since, being observed by others, she could do no harm, but in the case of suckling, where it is possible for her to apply poison to the breast beforehand and so kill the child, they might agree with R. Meir. If [on the other hand] we were told only about suckling, [we might have thought that] only in that case does R. Meir forbid, because she could kill the child by applying poison to her breast beforehand, but in the case of a midwife, where she could do no harm while others are standing by her, he might agree with the Rabbis; [hence both are] necessary.
The following was cited in contradiction: A Jewish woman may act as midwife to a heathen woman for payments but not gratuitously! - Answered R. Joseph: Payment is permitted to prevent ill feeling.6 R. Joseph had a mind to say that even on the Sabbath it is permitted to act as midwife to a heathen for payment, so as to avoid ill feeling;7 he was, however, told by Abaye that the Jewish woman could offer the excuse, 'Only for our own, who keep the Sabbath, may we waive it, but we must not waive the Sabbath for you who do not keep it.' R. Joseph also had a mind to say that even suckling for payment should be allowed because of ill-feeling; but Abaye said to him: She can excuse herself by saying, 'I want to get married,' if she is unmarried; or, if she be married, 'I will not degrade myself before my husband.' R. Joseph further had in mind to say, in regard to what has been taught that in the case of idolaters and shepherds of small cattle one is not obliged to bring them up [from a pit] though one must not cast them in it8 - that for payment one is obliged to bring them up on account of ill feeling. Abaye, however, said to him: He could offer such excuses as, 'I have to run to my boy who is standing on the roof', or, 'I have to keep an appointment at the court.' R. Abbahu recited to R. Johanan: 'Idolaters and [Jewish] shepherds of small cattle need not be brought up
(1) A place in Babylon unidentified.
(2) Rab Judah was indeed R. Manashi's teacher.
(3) V. Jast. s.v. טײזן.
(4) The Palestinian robbers complimented R. Akiba on having outwitted them, while the Babylonian thieves slandered Rab Judah for the same reason.
(5) V. Tosef. A.Z. III.
(6) As the Jewish midwife could not then offer any feasible excuse for her refusal.
(7) It being known to the heathen that the Sabbath is waived in the case of a Jewish woman.
(8) V. supra 13b and San. 57a.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 26b
though they must not be cast in, but minim,1 informers, and apostates may be cast in, and need not be brought up.' Whereupon R. Johanan remarked: I have been learning that the words, And so shalt thou do with every lost thing of thy brother's [thou mayest not hide thyself],2 are also applicable to an apostate, and you say he may be thrown down; leave out apostates! Could he not have answered that the one might apply to the kind of apostate who eats carrion meat to satisfy his appetite,3 and the other to an apostate who eats carrion meat to provoke? - In his opinion, an apostate eating carrion meat to provoke is the same as a min.4
It has been stated: [In regard to the term] apostate there is a divergence of opinion between R. Aha and Rabina; one says that [he who eats forbidden food] to satisfy his appetite, is an apostate, but [he who does it] to provoke is a 'min'; while the other says that even [one who does it] to provoke is merely an apostate. - And who is a 'min'? - One who actually worships idols.5
An objection was raised: If one eats a flea or a gnat he is an apostate. Now such a thing could only be done to provoke, and yet we are taught that he is merely an apostate! - Even in that case he may just be trying to see what a forbidden thing tastes like.
The Master said: 'They may be cast in and need not be brought up' - if they may be cast in need it be said that they need not be brought up? - Said R. Joseph b. Hama in the name of R. Shesheth: What is meant to convey is that if there was a step in the pit-wall, one may scrape it away, giving as a reason for doing so, the prevention of cattle being lured by the step to get unto the pit. Raba and R. Joseph both of them said: It means to convey that if there is a stone lying by the pit opening, one may cover the pit with it, saying that he does it for [the safety] of passing animals. Rabina said: It is meant to convey that if there is a ladder there, he may remove it, saying, I want it for getting my son down from a roof.
Our Rabbis taught: An Israelite may perform a circumcision on a heathen for the purpose of becoming a proselyte - thus excluding [the purpose of] removing a morana.6 But a heathen should not [be allowed to] perform circumcision on an Israelite, because he is liable to take his life. This is the opinion of R. Meir. The Sages said: A heathen may circumcise an Israelite, so long as others are standing by him, but not while he is on his own.7 R. Meir, however, said: Not even when others are standing by, for he may find occasion to let the knife slip and so sterilise him. Does then R. Meir hold the opinion that a heathen is not [to be allowed to circumcise]? But the opposite is proved by the following: In a town where there is no Jewish physician, but there is a physician who is a Cuthean as well as one who is an idolater, circumcision should be performed by the idolater but not by the Cuthean.8 This is the opinion of R. Meir. R. Judah, however, said: It should be performed by the Cuthean but not by the idolater?9 - Reverse [the names]: R. Meir holding that the Cuthean and not the idolater should circumcise, and R. Judah holding the idolater and not the Cuthean. Does then R. Judah hold that it is in order for an idolater to do so? Surely it has been taught: R. Judah said: Whence can it be deduced that circumcision performed by a heathen is invalid? From this verse, And as for thee, thou shalt keep my covenant!10 - Indeed, do not reverse, but say that we are here dealing
(1) Those who act as priests to idols whether they be Israelites or heathen (Rashi).
(2) Deut. XXII, 3.
(3) When he can get no other meat; but who would avoid eating forbidden food when other food is at hand.
(4) And does not require specification.
(5) Hor. 11a.
(6) A parasite worm(?) which may be lodged in the foreskin; which would mean healing without payment.
(7) Tosef. 'A.Z. Ch.III.
(8) An idolater does not usually practise circumcision. He would therefore perform it in accordance with the intention of the father of the infant. The Cutheans (Samaritans) however, observe circumcision in the name of some object of worship placed on Mount Gerizim where their Temple stood - for which an Israelite must not afford an opportunity.
(9) The heathen being suspected of taking the child's life. (Men. 42a.) Thus R. Meir is said to permit circumcision by a heathen!
(10) Gen. XVII, 9, spoken by God to Abraham when the rite of circumcision was first enacted, which implies that only one bound to keep the rite is qualified to perform it. R. Judah thus rules that a heathen is not qualified.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 27a
with an expert physician.1 For when R. Dimi came2 he said in the name of R. Johanan that if [a heathen physician] is recognised as an expert by multitudes, it is permissible [for an Israelite child to be circumcised by him]. Does then R. Judah hold that it is in order for a Cuthean [to circumcise an Israelite]? Surely it has been taught: An Israelite may perform circumcision on a Cuthean, but a Cuthean should not [be allowed to] circumcise an Israelite, because he performs the circumcision in the name of Mount Gerizim,3 this is the opinion of R. Judah. Said R. Jose to him: Where is it at all to be found in the Torah that circumcision must be performed specifically for its purpose? But he may go on performing it4 even though he expires in the act!5 - We must then indeed reverse names as we did before,6 and as to the opinion cited in the name of R. Judah which contradicts the opinion held here by R. Judah - the former opinion should be ascribed to R. Judah the Prince.7 For it has been taught: R. Judah the Prince says: Whence can it be deduced that circumcision performed by a heathen is invalid? From the words of Scripture, And as for thee, thou shalt keep my covenant.8 Said R. Hisda: What reason could R. Judah give?9 - The scriptural words, Unto the Lord he shall circumcise.10 And [what scriptural authority has] R. Jose? - [The words are,] must needs be circumcised.11 But as to the other [R. Jose], is not the phrase unto the Lord he shall circumcise? - The words Unto the Lord refer to the Passover sacrifice.12 And as to the other [R. Judah] is it not written, must needs be circumcised? - The Torah speaks in the language of men.13
It has been stated: Whence could it be deduced that circumcision performed by a heathen is invalid? - Daru b. Papa said in the name of Rab: [From the words,] And as for thee, thou shalt keep my covenant;14 while R. Johanan [deduces it from the words] Himmol yimmol.15 What practical difference is there between these two? - The case of a circumcised Arab or a circumcised Gibeonite:16 According to the one who relies on 'He who is circumcised shall circumcise' [the qualification] is there, but according to the one who relies on Thou shalt keep my covenant, it is not there.17 But is such a one qualified according to him who relies on He who is circumcised shall circumcise! Have we not learnt: [He who says], I vow not to enjoy anything belonging to uncircumcised persons, may enjoy anything of uncircumcised Israelites, but must not enjoy anything of circumcised heathen.18 Which proves that heathens who undergo circumcision are still designated as uncircumcised'!19 We must therefore say that they differ in the case of an Israelite whose brothers died in consequence of circumcision, so that he was not circumcised: according to the one who relies on Thou shalt keep my covenant the qualification is there:20 while according to the one who relies on He who is circumcised shall circumcise, it is not there. And is such a one not qualified according to the one who relies on He who is circumcised shall circumcise? Have we not learnt: [He who says,] I vow not to enjoy anything belonging to circumcised persons, must not enjoy of uncircumcised Israelites, but may enjoy of circumcised heathens:21 which proves that Israelites who are not circumcised are designated as 'circumcised'! - We must therefore say that the case wherein they differ is that of a woman. According to the one who relies on Thou shalt keep my covenant, the qualification is not there, since a woman is not subject to the observance, while according to the one who relies on He who is circumcised shall circumcise, the qualification is there, for a woman should be classed among the 'circumcised'. But does anyone hold that a woman is not [qualified to perform circumcision]. Does not scripture say, Then Zipporah took a flint?22 - Read into it, she caused to be taken.23 But it also says, And she cut off! - Read into it, and she caused it to be cut off, by asking another person, a man, to do it. Or you may say it means that she only began and Moses came and completed it.
MISHNAH. WE MAY ALLOW THEM TO HEAL US WHEN THE HEALING RELATES TO MONEY, BUT NOT PERSONAL HEALING;24 NOR SHOULD WE HAVE OUR HAIR CUT BY THEM IN ANY PLACE.25 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR; BUT THE SAGES SAID, IN A PUBLIC PLACE IT IS PERMITTED, BUT NOT WHEN THE TWO PERSONS ARE ALONE.
GEMARA. What is HEALING RELATING TO MONEY and what is PERSONAL HEALING? Shall we say that HEALING RELATING TO MONEY means for payment and PERSONAL HEALING free? Then the Mishnah should have said: We may allow them to heal us for payment but not free! HEALING RELATING TO MONEY must therefore mean where no danger is involved26 and PERSONAL HEALING where there is danger. But has not Rab Judah said: Even a scar over the puncture caused by bleeding should not be healed by them? - HEALING RELATING TO MONEY therefore relates to one's cattle, and PERSONAL HEALING to one's own body, about which Rab Judah said that even a scar over the puncture caused by bleeding should not be healed by them. Said R. Hisda in the name of Mar 'Ukba: But if [a heathen physician on being consulted] says to one that such and such medicine is good for him and such and such medicine is bad for him, it is permitted [to follow his advice]
(1) Who, though a heathen, would not risk his reputation by miscarrying the operation.
(2) From Palestine to Babylon.
(3) Cf. p. 132, n. 4.
(4) [Tosaf: 'in the name of Mount Gerizim'.]
(5) Tosef. 'A.Z. III.
(6) R. Judah holding that a Cuthean is not allowed.
(7) The Redactor of the Mishnah, a younger contemporary of his namesake R. Judah (b. Ila'i).
(8) V. p. 133, n. 2,
(9) R. Judah b. Ila'i, who disqualifies a Cuthean because circumcision must be performed specifically for its purpose.
(10) Ex. XII, 48: And when a stranger shall sojourn with thee, and will make the Passover sacrifice unto the Lord, he shall circumcise etc. The claimed scriptural authority is thus obtained by the juxtaposition.
(11) Gen. XVII, 13. The emphatic wording (indicated in Hebrew by the infinitive before the finite verb) is taken to imply that the stricture of purpose is not to be applied.
(12) V. n. 3.
(13) An oft quoted dictum. The words are therefore not to be taken to imply anything beyond ordinary emphasis.
(14) V. 133, n. 2.
(15) Gen. XVII, 13. המול ימול 'He must needs be circumcised' may be rendered, by a slight alteration in the first word, to read המל ימול, He who is circumcised shall circumcise, excluding a heathen.
(16) Instead of גבנוני in cur. edd. MS.M. and Yalk. Gen. 81, has גבעוני Gibeonite.
(17) As the covenant was only concluded with the Israelites, [or those who join without reservation the congregation of Israel.]
(18) V. Ned. 31b.
(19) Hence an Arab or Gibeonite should not be considered qualified to practise circumcision.
(20) As he is exempted from circumcision by law (V. Maim. Yad. Milah, II, 1. Tur. Y.D. 264, 1).
(21) Ned. ibid.
(22) Ex. IV, 25.
(23) Heb. ותקח and ותכרת.
(24) Explanation follows in the Gemara.
(25) For the heathen is liable to cut his throat with the razor.
(26) A case where a misdemeanour by the heathen physician may only result in prolonged illness or intensified pain.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 27b
for he will think that he is merely asking him, and just as he is asking him so he will also ask others, so that that man [by giving wrong advice] would have his reputation spoilt. Said Raba in the name of R. Johanan [some say R. Hisda in the name of R. Johanan]: In the case where it is doubtful whether [the patient] will live or die, we must not allow them to heal; but if he will certainly die, we may allow them to heal. 'Die [etc.]'! Surely there is still the life of the hour [to be considered]?1 The life of the hour is not to be considered. What authority have you for saying that the life of the hour is not to be considered? - The scriptural words, If we say: we will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there.2 Now there is the life of the hour [which they might forfeit]! This implies that the life of the hour is not to be considered. An objection was raised: 'No man should have any dealings3 with Minim, nor is it allowed to be healed by them even [in risking] an hour's life. It once happened to Ben Dama the son of R. Ishmael's sister that he was bitten by a serpent and Jacob, a native of Kefar Sekaniah,4 came to heal him but R. Ishmael did not let him; whereupon Ben Dama said, 'My brother R. Ishmael, let him, so that I may be healed by him: I will even cite a verse from the Torah that he is to be permitted'; but he did not manage to complete his saying, when his soul departed and he died.5 Whereupon R. Ishmael exclaimed, Happy art thou Ben Dama for thou wert pure in body and thy soul likewise left thee in purity; nor hast thou transgressed the words of thy colleagues, who said, He who breaketh through a fence, a serpent shall bite him'?6 - It is different with the teaching of Minim, for it draws, and one [having dealings with them] may be drawn after them.
The Master said: 'Nor hast thou transgressed the words of thy colleagues who have said, He who breaketh through a fence, a serpent shall bite him'? But a serpent did indeed sting him! - The bite of the serpent [which is inflicted upon those transgressing the words] of the Rabbis is such as can never be cured.7 Now, what is it that he might have said?8 - 'He shall live by them,9 but not die by them.' And R. Ishmael? - This is only meant when in private, but not in public; for it has been taught: R. Ishmael used to say: Whence can we deduce that if they say to one, 'Worship the idol and thou wilt not be killed,' that he may worship it so as not to be killed? because Scripture says, He shall live by them, but not die by them; you might take this to mean even in public, therefore Scripture says, And ye shall not profane my holy name.10
Said Rabba b. Bar Hanah in the name of R. Johanan: Any sore for which the Sabbath may be profaned should not be healed by a heathen.11 Others report that Rabba b. Bar Hanah said: Any
(1) The heathen may bring about the end prematurely, and so shorten his life even though by some hours.
(2) II Kings VII, 4; where the four leprous men decide to hand themselves over to the besieging enemy saying, If they kill us, we shall but die.
(3) Conversational intercourse [v. Tosaf. a.l.).
(4) A disciple of Jesus, v. supra p.85, n. 3.
(5) [Ms. M. omits 'he died'.]
(6) Eccl. X, 8, applied to those who break through 'legal fences' which serve to safeguard the Torah (V. Ab. I, 1). - Thus the above cited opinion of R. Johanan is contradicted by this incident which proves that in cases of extreme danger it is forbidden to be attended by a Min! [On this passage v. Herford, op cit. pp. 104 ff.]
(7) [The fate in the hereafter that meets him who transgresses the words of the wise is more grievous than the sting of a serpent on earth.]
(8) What scriptural verse might Ben Dama have cited in support of being healed by the Min?
(9) Lev, XVIII, 5, Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and mine ordinances, which if a man do he shall live by them. 'The Rabbis take these words to mean that God's commandments are to be a means of life and not of destruction to His children. With the exception of three prohibitions - public idolatry, murder, or adultery - all commandments of the Law are therefore in abeyance whenever life is endangered'. Lev. edited by the Chief Rabbi (Dr. J. H. Hertz), p. 175.
(10) Lev. XXII, 32 (Sanh. 74a).
(11) It is to be regarded as serious enough to involve the risk of a misdemeanour by the heathen.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 28a
internal sore should not be healed by them. Wherein do these versions differ? - They differ in the case of a swelling of the hand or a swelling of the foot.1 For R. Adda b. Mattena said2 in the name of Rab: A swelling of the hand or a swelling of the foot is to be regarded as [serious as] an internal sore, and the Sabbath may be profaned for it. Said R. Zutra b. Tobiah in the name of Rab: Any sore which requires [medical] opinion3 justifies the profanation of the Sabbath. R. Shaman b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: The inflammatory fever is to be regarded as an internal sore for which the Sabbath may be profaned. Which sore is to be termed internal? R. Ammi explained: [Such as are] on the lip and inward. R. Eleazar asked: How about the gums and the teeth: should they, being hard, be regarded as external; or do we say that, since they are placed within [the mouth], they are to be regarded as internal? - Said Abaye: Come and hear: One who is troubled with his teeth must not rinse them with vinegar [on the Sabbath].4 [Which means that] if he is only 'troubled' he must not [rinse them] but if they hurt him very much it is proper [for him to do it]! - Probably this Tanna would call 'being troubled' even if they hurt very much. Then come and hear this:5 R. Johanan was troubled with scurvy [on his gums] and he went to a certain [heathen] lady6 who attended to him on the Thursday and the Friday. Said he: What about to morrow?7 She replied: You will not need [the treatment]. But what if I do need it? he asked. She replied: Swear unto me that you will not reveal [the remedy]. Said he: I swear, to the God of Israel I will not reveal it. She then divulged it to him and on the morrow he referred to it in the course of lecturing. But did he not swear unto her? - He swore: 'To the God of Israel I will not reveal it,' [implying that] I may reveal it to His people Israel. But is this not a profanation of the Name?8 He mentioned [that proviso] to her originally. Now is it not evident then that [a sore on the gum] is regarded as an internal sore?9 - Said R. Nahman b. Isaac: Scurvy is different, because though starting in the mouth it extends to the intestines. What is its symptom? - If he places anything between his teeth, blood comes from the gums. What brings it on? - The chill of cold wheat-food and the heat of hot barley-food, also the remnant of fish-hash and flour. What did she apply to it? - Said R. Aha the son of Raba: Leaven-water with olive oil and salt. Mar son of R. Ashi said: Geese-fat smeared with a goose-quill. Said Abaye: I did all this but was not cured, until a certain Arab told me to get seeds of an olive not one third ripe and burn them on a new spade and spread [the ashes] on the gums; which I did and was cured. But how came R. Johanan to act as he did: had not Rabba b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: Any sore for which the Sabbath may be profaned should not be healed by a heathen? - It is different with a distinguished man.10 What about R. Abbahu, who too was a distinguished man,11 yet Jacob the Min prepared for him a medicine for his leg, and were it not for R. Ammi and R. Asi who licked his leg,12 he would have cut his leg off? - The one [who attended] R. Johanan was an expert physician. - So too was that of R. Abbahu, an expert physician! - It was different in the case of R. Abbahu, for Minim adopt the attitude of let me die with the Philistines.13
Said Samuel: An open wound is to be regarded as dangerous for which the Sabbath may be profaned. What is the remedy? - For stopping the bleeding, cress with vinegar; for bringing on [flesh], scraped root of cynodon and the paring of the bramble, or worms form a dunghill.
Said R. Safra: A berry-like excrescence14 is a forerunner of the Angel of Death. What is the remedy for it? - Rue in honey, or parsley in strong wine. In the meantime a berry resembling it [in size] should be brought and rolled over it: white [berry] for a white one, and black for a black one. Said Raba: An abscess is a forerunner of fever. What is the remedy for it? - It should be snapped sixty times with the thumb and then cut open crosswise; that is if it has not been brought to a white head, but if its head is white, it matters not.
R. Jacob was suffering from
(1) Which is serious enough to justify the waiving of the Sabbath, yet is not an internal sore.
(2) Shab. 109a.
(3) As to whether it is fatal or not.
(4) Lest he be led to grind ingredients on the Sabbath (Shab. 111a).
(5) Yoma 84a.
(6) [The daughter of (a certain) Domitian. J. Shab. XIV. v. Preuss, op. cit., p. 196, n. 3].
(7) When his Sabbath lecture would prevent him from calling on her.
(8) חלול השם, the profanation of the Divine Name by doing anything that may discredit God or Israel was always regarded as a grievous sin, particularly if the misdeed is committed in dealing with a non-Jew. The positive form קדוש השם, sanctifying the Name is applied to every act which brings credit upon God and His People (v. p. 137, n. 6).
(9) Since he was prepared to have it treated on the Sabbath.
(10) Such as R. Johanan was; as the heathen would be afraid to commit any foul play.
(11) V. Sanh. 14a and Keth. 17a, where he is spoken of as a familiar figure in the Emperor's court.
(12) [To suck the poison out.]
(13) Judg. XVI, 30, exclaimed by Samson, who readily jeopardised his own life in order to avenge himself on his enemies.
(14) [עינבתא, the disease referred to is not clear, Preuss, op. cit., pp. 304 ff.]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 28b
a slit in the rectum and R. Ammi - some say R. Assi - directed him to take seven grains of purple coloured alkali, wrap them up in the collar of a shirt, tie it round with a white thread [of cattle-hair], dip it in white naphtha and burn it, and apply [the ashes] to the sore. While preparing this he was to take the kernel of a bramble nut and apply its split side to the slit. That is if there is a slit externally; what [is one to do] if it is internal? One should take some fat of a goat that has not borne any young, melt it and apply it. Else one should take three melon leaves which have faded in the shade, burn them and apply the ashes. In the absence of these, let one apply snail-shells, or else take olive-oil mixed with wax and let him be covered with rag of linen in the summer and cotton wool in the winter.
R. Abbahu had pain in his ear and he was given some directions by R. Johanan - others say, by those in the House of Study. What were the directions? - Similar to those of Abaye1 [who said]: My Mother told me that kidneys were only made to [heal] the ear. So also said Raba: Minyomi the physician told me that any kind of fluid is bad for the ear except the juice from kidneys. One should take the kidney of a 'bald-buck', cut it cross-wise and place it on glowing coals, and pour the water which comes out of it into the ear, neither cold nor hot, but tepid. Else, one should take the fat of a large-size cockchafer, melt it and drip it [into the ear]. Or else, the ear should be filled with oil, then seven wicks should be made out of green blades of wheat-stalks at the one end of which dry garlic ends and some white thread should be set alight while the other end is placed within the ear, the ear should be exposed to the light but care should be taken that no spark falls on it, each wick [when done with] should be replaced by another. Another version is: One should prepare seven wicks of white thread2 and dip them in oil of balsam-wood3 setting light to the one end and placing the other end in the ear, each one, when done with, should be replaced by another, care being taken to avoid any sparks. Or let one take tow cotton which has been dyed but not combed and place it within the ear, which should be placed above a fire, taking precaution against sparks. Another remedy: Take a tube of an old cane [which has been detached from the soil] for about a century and fill it with rock salt, then burn it and apply the ashes [to the sore part]. [Take as] thy mnemonic [to remember how to apply the foregoing,] in liquid form to a dry sore, and in dry form to a wet sore.
Said Raba b. Zutra in the name of R. Hanina: It is permissible to restore the ear into its proper position on the Sabbath. Whereon R. Samuel b. Judah commented: Only with the hand, but not by applying medicines. Some report: By applying medicine, but not with the hand, the reason being that it causes soreness.
Said R. Zutra b. Tobiah in the name of Rab: If one's eye gets out of order, it is permissible to paint it on the Sabbath. He was understood to be of opinion that this only holds good when the medical ingredients had been ground the previous day, but if it is necessary to grind them on the Sabbath and carry them through a public road, it would not be permitted; but one of the Rabbis, R. Jacob by name, remarked to him: It was made plain to me on behalf of Rab Judah that even grinding on the Sabbath and the carrying through the public street are permissible.
Rab Judah declared it as permissible to paint the eye on the Sabbath. Whereupon R. Samuel b. Judah said: He who acts according to Judah profanes the Sabbath. After some time when he himself had a sore eye he sent to ask of Rab Judah: Is it permitted or forbidden? He sent back [the following reply:] 'To everyone else it is permitted - but to you it is forbidden.4 Was it on my own authority [that I permitted it?] It was on that of Mar Samuel'. It once happened to a maid-servant in Mar Samuel's house that her eye became inflamed on a Sabbath; she cried, but no one attended her5 and her eye dropped. On the morrow Mar Samuel went forth and propounded that if one's eye gets out of order it is permissible to paint it on the Sabbath, the reason being because the eyesight is connected with the mental faculties.6
What kind [of disorder]?7 Said R. Judah: Such as discharge, pricking, congestion, watering, inflammation or the first stages of sickness, excluding the last stage of sickness or the brightening of the eyesight in which cases it is not permitted.
Said Rab Judah: The sting of a wasp, the prick of a thorn,8 an abscess, a sore eye or an inflammation - for all these a bath-house is dangerous. Radishes are good for fever, and beets for cold shivers: the reverse is dangerous. Warm things [are good] for a scorpion [bite] and cold things for that by a wasp: the reverse is dangerous. Likewise warm things for a thorn prick and cold
(1) Kid. 31b.
(2) [So MS. M. (v. Jast.); according to current edd.: wax tapers.]
(3) So according to MSS. and old editions which have דאפרסמא instead of דאספסתא (wheat stalks) in current edd.
(4) Since, in opposition to Rab Judah, he declared it as forbidden.
(5) Thinking that it was not serious enough to warrant disregarding the Sabbath.
(6) So Tosaf. a.l. s.v. שורײני Rashi's rendering is, The nerves of the eye affect the fat around the heart.
(7) Justifies the medical painting of the eye on the Sabbath.
(8) Lit., 'he who was stung by a thorn', similarly with the other phrases that follow.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 29a
for an eruption: the reverse is dangerous. Vinegar [is good] after letting blood and small fish in brine after fasting; the reverse is dangerous. Cress [after] blood-letting is dangerous. Fever is [likewise] dangerous for blood-letting; so also are sore eyes dangerous for blood-letting. The second [day] after [eating] fish [may be used] for [the letting of] blood; the second day after bleeding, for [eating] fish; on the third day it is injurious.
Our Rabbis taught:1 One who has his blood let should abstain from HGBSH,2 milk, cheese, onions and pepperwort. If one has eaten any of these, said Abaye, he should take a quarter3 of vinegar and a quarter of wine, mix them together and drink; and when he has subsequently to attend to his natural needs, he should retire east of the town to obviate the vitiating smell.
Said R. Joshua b. Levi: It is permitted to lift the Unklai on the Sabbath. What does unklai mean? Said R. Abba: The cartilage [in front] of the heart.4 What is the remedy for it? - Take cumin, carraway, mint, wormwood, saturera and hyssop.5 For [curing the cartilage of] the heart, [these should be taken] in wine - as a mnemonic take Wine maketh glad the heart of man;6 for [defective] breathing, in water. Mnemonic: The breath of God hovered over the face of the water;7 for a woman in childbirth, in beer - mnemonic, her pitcher on her shoulder.8 R. Aha the son of Rabba ground all these together and took a fist-full [of the mixture] and drank it. R. Ashi ground each one separately and took a full pinch of it with his thumb and little finger. Said R. Papa: I did all these but was not cured till an Arabian traveller told me to take a new jug, fill it with water into which a spoonful of honey, which stood overnight under the stars, should be dropped, and the contents should be drunk on the morrow;9 this I did and was cured.
Our Rabbis taught: Six things help the sick to recover from sickness and have a real curative effect - they are: cabbage, beets, a decoction of dry sisin,10 tripe, womb and the lobe above the liver; some say, also small fish; moreover small fish keep the whole human body in a fit condition. Ten things are liable to send the patient back to his illness, and to make his illness severe; these are: to eat ox-meat, fat, roast meat, birds' meat, roast egg, pepperwort, shaving, bathing, cheese or liver. Some say also nuts, others add also melons. In the School of Ishmael it was taught: Why are they called Kishshuim [melons]? Because they are Kashin [injurious] to the whole human body as swords.11
NOR SHOULD WE HAVE OUR HAIR CUT BY THEM IN ANY PLACE. Our Rabbis taught: When an Israelite is having his hair cut by a heathen he should be looking in the mirror;12 and when an Israelite cuts the hair of a heathen he should, on reaching the forelock, leave it alone.13 The Master said: 'When an Israelite is having his hair cut by a heathen he should be looking in the mirror.' What are the circumstances? If it is done in a public road, what for the mirror?14 If in a private place, what is the use of looking into it? - [It refers] indeed to a private place, but his using the mirror will make him appear an important person. R. Hana b. Bizna was having his hair cut in the road leading to Nehardea by a heathen who remarked: Hana, Hana, thy throat is fine for the shears. Answered he: I deserve it for transgressing the words of R. Meir. And did he not also transgress those of the Rabbis, for the Rabbis only permit it in a public place but not in a private place? - He thought that the roads leading to Nehardea, where there are usually many [passers by], are to be regarded as a public place.
'When an Israelite cuts the hair of a heathen he should, on reaching the forelock, leave it alone.' How much [of it is he to leave]? - Said R. Malkiah in the name of R. Adda b. Ahaba: Three fingers' length on every side.
Said R. Hanina the son of R. Ika:15 [The statements about] a Spear,16 Maid-servants,17 Depressions,18 are by R. Malkio; [but those about] Forelock,19 Vegetable-ashes,20 and Cheese21 are by R. Malkiah. R. Papa however said: If referring to a Mishnah or Baraitha, it is R. Malkiah, but if independent statements, it is R. Malkio. Mnemonic - 'The Mishnah is queen.'22 Wherein do the two differ? - They differ in regard to the statement about Maid-servants.23
(1) V. Ned. 54b.
(2) A mnemonic consisting of the initials of the Hebrew of the words that follow.
(3) Of a log.
(4) [R. Hananel: 'the stomach'.]
(5) MSS. have אברתא instead of אבדתא of current edd.
(6) Ps. CIV, 15.
(7) Gen. I, 2. The Heb. word רוח used there denotes 'spirit', 'breath', 'wind'.
(8) Ibid. XXIV, 15. In the original כדה stands for her pitcher and שכמה for her shoulder, while כודא stands for sickness in childbirth and שכרא for beer.
(9) [MS. M.: fill it with water allowing it to stand overnight under the stars, in the morning drop into it a spoonful of honey.]
(10) Sisin, a medicinal herb.
(11) V. supra 11a.
(12) The study of his appearance will make the barber think that he is an important person whom he will fear to harm (Rashi).
(13) As it is dedicated to the idols, V. supra 8a.
(14) The heathen will all the same be afraid to harm him.
(15) V. Mak. 21a.
(16) If it may be straightened on the festival, v. Bezah 28b.
(17) Brought by a woman at marriage, Keth. 59b.
(18) Nid. 52b.
(19) Quoted above.
(20) Spread on wounds. Mak. 21a.
(21) If that made by a heathen is forbidden. Infra 29b.
(22) The one associated with the Mishnah (and Baraitha) is Malkiah, which name closely resembles Malkah - queen.
(23) According to R. Hanina it is attributed to R. Malkio, while according to R. Papa, since it has reference to a Mishnah, it is attributed to R. Malkiah.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 29b
MISHNAH. THE FOLLOWING THINGS BELONGING TO HEATHENS ARE FORBIDDEN AND THE PROHIBITION EXTENDS TO ANY BENEFIT THAT MAY BE DERIVED FROM THEM: WINE, OR A HEATHEN'S VINEGAR THAT WAS FORMERLY WINE,1 HADRIANIC EARTHENWARE,2 SKINS PIERCED AT THE ANIMAL'S HEART.3 RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS: WHEN ITS RENT IS ROUND, [THE SKIN] IS FORBIDDEN, BUT IF OBLONG IT IS PERMITTED.4 MEAT WHICH IS BEING BROUGHT IN TO A PLACE OF IDOLS IS PERMITTED,5 BUT THAT WHICH IS BROUGHT OUT IS FORBIDDEN, BECAUSE IT IS [REGARDED] AS SACRIFICES OF THE DEAD,6 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. AKIBA. [WITH IDOLATERS] GOING ON A PILGRIMAGE7 IT IS FORBIDDEN TO HAVE ANY BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS, BUT WITH THOSE COMING THENCE IT IS PERMITTED. SKIN-BOTTLES OR FLAGONS OF HEATHENS IN WHICH WINE OF AN ISRAELITE IS KEPT ARE FORBIDDEN AND THE PROHIBITION EXTENDS TO ANY BENEFIT THAT MAY BE DERIVED FROM THEM, THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY THAT THE PROHIBITION DOES NOT EXTEND TO DERIVING ANY BENEFIT.
GRAPE-STONES AND GRAPE-SKINS OF HEATHENS ARE FORBIDDEN, THE PROHIBITION EXTENDING TO ANY BENEFIT, THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY, WHEN FRESH THEY ARE FORBIDDEN BUT WHEN DRY THEY ARE PERMITTED. MURIES8 AND BITHYNIAN CHEESE9 OF THE HEATHENS ARE FORBIDDEN, THE PROHIBITION EXTENDING TO ANY BENEFIT, THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY THAT THE PROHIBITION DOES NOT EXTEND TO ANY BENEFIT. R. JUDAH SAID: R. ISHMAEL PUT THIS QUESTION TO R. JOSHUA AS THEY WERE ON A JOURNEY, 'WHY,' ASKED HE, 'HAVE THEY FORBIDDEN THE CHEESE OF HEATHENS?'10 HE REPLIED, BECAUSE THEY CURDLE IT WITH THE RENNET OF A NEBELAH.'11 HE RETORTED: 'BUT IS NOT THE RENNET OF A BURNT-OFFERING MORE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN THAN THE RENNET OF A NEBELAH? [AND YET] IT WAS SAID THAT A PRIEST WHO IS NOT FASTIDIOUS MAY SUCK IT OUT RAW (THOUGH THIS OPINION WAS NOT APPROVED, AND IT WAS SAID THAT NO BENEFIT MAY BE DERIVED FROM IT, ALTHOUGH NO TRESPASS WOULD APPLY THERETO).'12 'THE REASON THEN,' [R. JOSHUA SAID,] 'IS BECAUSE THEY CURDLE IT WITH THE RENNET FROM CALVES SACRIFICED TO IDOLS.' SAID HE, 'IF THAT BE SO, WHY DO THEY NOT EXTEND THE PROHIBITION TO ANY BENEFIT DERIVED FROM IT?' HE, HOWEVER, DIVERTED TO ANOTHER MATTER, SAYING:13 'ISHMAEL, HOW DO YOU READ - FOR THY [MASC.] LOVE IS BETTER THAN WINE OR THY [FEM.] LOVE ETC.'14 HE REPLIED: 'THY [FEM.] LOVE IS BETTER . . .' HE RETORTED: THIS IS NOT SO, AS IT IS PROVED BY ITS FELLOW [-VERSE]: THINE OINTMENTS HAVE A GOODLY FRAGRANCE [WHEREFORE THE MAIDENS LOVE THEE].'15
GEMARA. Whence do we deduce [the prohibition of] WINE? - Rabbah b. Abbuha said: From the scriptural verse which says, Who did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink-offering,'16 as [heathens'] sacrifice is forbidden as to deriving any benefit, so also their wine is forbidden. But whence do we deduce the prohibition of a sacrifice itself? - From the scriptural words, They joined themselves also unto Baal of Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead:17 as anything appertaining to the dead is forbidden as to any benefit, so [heathen] sacrifices are likewise forbidden. And how do we know this about the dead? - We deduce it from the similar expression 'there' used in connection with the heifer whose neck was to be broken,18 as well as here [in connection with the dead]. Here it is said, And Miriam died there,19 and there it is said, And they shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.20 As in that other case the heifer was forbidden as to any benefit, so also in our case the prohibition is the same. But how do we know that it is so in that case? - Those of the School of R. Jannai said: Because forgiveness21 is mentioned in connection therewith as with sacrifices.22
OR A HEATHEN'S VINEGAR THAT WAS FORMERLY WINE. This, surely, is obvious! Shall its prohibition cease because it turned sour? - R. Ashi said: The statement serves to imply that vinegar belonging to us when in the keeping of a heathen does not require double sealing;23 [and for this reason:] as to the fear lest he would offer it to idols - this is generally not offered, and [again] as to the possibility that he might exchange it for his own - since there is one seal, he would not take the trouble to falsify it.
R. Elai said: We have had it stated that a heathen's boiled wine, which was formerly [raw] wine [while in his possession], is forbidden. This, too, is self evident! Does its prohibition cease because it had been boiled? - Said R. Ashi: This, too, enables us to draw the implication that our boiled wine which is in the keeping of a heathen does not require double sealing.24 For as to the fear lest he would offer it to the idol, it is not offered [in that state]; and as for
(1) While it was in the heathen's possession
(2) V. infra 32a.
(3) It was the practice of the heathen to remove the heart of a living animal for a sacrifice to the idol; thus the whole animal is forbidden as an idolatrous offering.
(4) The rounded shape is a sign of the crinkling of the skin on being rent while the animal was still alive; the oblong, or natural, shape of the rent shows that it was made after the animal was dead. V. J. a.l.
(5) To derive some benefit therefrom.
(6) [Cf. Ps. CVI, 28, and Ab. III, 3. The meat is regarded as idolatrous even though no part of it had actually been offered as sacrifice to the idol. Tosaf. 32b, s.v. והיוצא.]
(7) [תרפות, lit., 'obscenity', a contemptuous designation of an idolatrous cult. Jast. and Elmslie (p. 33) understand the reference to be to the Dyonisian festivals.]
(8) 'Fish-brine', often mixed with wine.
(9) The reason given (infra 34b) is that in Bithynia many calves were offered to the idols; it is therefore to be suspected that their rennet is used in preparing the cheese. ['Bithynian cheese was prized as a delicacy,' Elmslie, p. 35.]
(10) Why do the Sages forbid the eating of such cheese, seeing it is only made from the milk of 'clean' animals.
(11) An animal which dies of itself (v. Glos.).
(12) Cf. Lev. V, 15. Which goes to prove that rennet in a burnt-offering was not regarded as part of the animal, but as mere refuse.
(13) The diversion was intentional, as is explained further in the Gemara.
(14) Cant. I, 2. The Heb. word may stand for either gender according to the vocalisation: דודיך masc., or דודיך fem. The Song of Songs is regarded as a dialogue between God the lover (in the masc.) and Israel His beloved (fem.).
(15) Which obviously is addressed to one of masculine gender.
(16) Deut. XXXII, 38.
(17) Ps. CVI, 28.
(18) Deut. XXI.
(19) Num. XX, 1.
(20) Deut. XXI, 4.
(21) Forgive O Lord Thy people Israel (ibid. 8).
(22) From which no secular benefit may be derived.
(23) Lit., 'a seal within a seal,' as is the case with wine, to make sure that part of it is not offered to the idol.
(24) The teaching that it is forbidden to benefit from boiled wine only when it was in the heathen's keeping in a raw state implies that, if the Israelite handed it to the heathen after boiling it, there is no fear of its being offered to the idol, as only raw wine is used for such purpose.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 30a
the possibility that he might exchange it - since there is one seal, he would not take the trouble to falsify it.
Our Rabbis taught: Boiled wine or alontith of a heathen is forbidden, but prepared alontith1 is permitted. What is alontith? - As it has been taught in connection with Sabbath:2 We may make anomalin3 but not alontith.4 What is 'anomalin' and what is 'alontith'? 'Anomalin' [is a mixture of] wine, honey and pepper; 'alontith', of old wine, clear water and balsam, which is used [as a cooling drink] in the bath-house.
Rabbah and R. Joseph both of them said that diluted wine5 does not become forbidden through being left uncovered;6 nor is boiled wine to be suspected of idolatrous use. The question was asked: Is boiled wine rendered forbidden by being left uncovered or is it not so? - Come and hear: R. Jacob b. Idi testified in regard to boiled wine that it is not rendered forbidden by being left uncovered. R. Jannai b. Ishmael was sick and R. Ishmael b. Zirud and other Rabbis called to enquire about him. As they sat, the question was asked of them: Does the objection to remaining uncovered apply to boiled wine or not? - To which R. Ishmael b. Zirud replied: Thus said R. Simeon b. Lakish on behalf of a great man - namely, R. Hiyya: Boiled wine is not rendered unfit by being left uncovered. On their asking, 'Shall we rely on it?' R. Jannai b. Ishmael motioned [as if to say], 'Upon my responsibility.'7
Samuel and Ablet8 were sitting together when boiled wine was brought up for them and [the latter] withdrew his hand,9 but Samuel said to him: Behold, it has been said that boiled wine is not to be suspected of idolatrous use! R. Hiyya's maid-servant found that some boiled wine had been left uncovered. She came [to ask about it] of R. Hiyya, who told her that it had been declared that boiled wine is not rendered unfit by being left uncovered. The servant of R. Adda b. Ahaba found that some diluted wine had been left uncovered. [His master] however told him that it had been stated that diluted wine is not rendered unfit by being left uncovered. R. Papa said: This has only been said [of wine] that is well diluted; but if it is only slightly diluted [a snake] might indeed drink it. But does it indeed drink wine that is slightly diluted? - [What about] Rabbah son of R. Huna who was travelling in a boat and had some wine with him? Observing that a snake, cutting through the water, was approaching, he said to his attendant, 'Turn it away,'10 and the attendant took some water and was pouring it into the wine; whereupon the snake turned back! - [This may only show that] for pure wine [the snake] will even endanger its life, while for diluted wine it will not face danger.11 And does it not face danger for diluted wine? - What about R. Jannai who was at 'Akbara12 (some say it was Bar-Hadaya13 that was at 'Akbara) where people were sitting and drinking diluted wine, and as there was some of it left in the cask they tied a shred over it? He then saw a snake carrying water which it poured into the cask till the cask was so filled that the wine came above the shred, and [the snake then] drank! - It may be said that what [the snake] itself dilutes it will drink, but it will not drink what others dilute. Said R. Ashi (some say, R, Mesharsheya): What an answer [to give in a matter] where danger [to life is involved]!14
Raba said: The law is that diluted wine is rendered unfit by being left uncovered and is to be suspected of idolatrous use, but boiled wine does not become unfit by being left uncovered nor is it suspected of idolatrous use.
The attendant of R. Hilkiah b. Tobi [found that] a tank of water had been left uncovered, though he had been sitting and slumbering close to it. He came to [ask about it of] R. Hilkiah b. Tobi, who said to him: It has been stated that snakes are afraid of a sleeping person; this, however, only applies in day time but not at night. But this is not the case; it is not to be assumed that they are afraid of a sleeping person either by day or by night.
Rab did not drink water of an Aramean's house, saying that they do not mind if it is kept uncovered. He, however, drank that of a widow's15 house, saying: She is sure to follow her husband's practice. Samuel [on the other hand] would not drink water of the house of a widow. In the absence of the fear of a husband, he said, she will not necessarily keep the water covered. He, however, drank that of the house of an Aramean. Even if they are not particular about [the prohibition relating to] uncovered liquids, they are particular about cleanliness.16 Some report that Rab would not drink the water of an Aramean's house, but would drink that of a widow's house, while Samuel would not drink the water of either the house of an Aramean or that of a widow.
R. Joshua b. Levi said: There are three kinds of wine to which the prohibition through being left uncovered does not apply, namely: Strong, Bitter, and Sweet. 'Strong' is the acrid tila17 which makes the wine-skin burst; 'Bitter' is wine made of unripe grapes; 'Sweet' is wine made of grapes sweetened [by the heat of the sun].18 R. Hama taught [that those three] are improved wines: 'Strong'-is wine mixed with pepper; 'Bitter' - mixed with wormwood; 'Sweet' - is sparkling wine.19 Said R. Simeon b. Lakish: Karina becomes prohibited through being left uncovered. What is Karina? - Said R. Abbahu: Karina20 is a sweet wine which comes from Assia.21 Said Raba: In its own place, however, it is rendered unfit if left uncovered, the reason being that it is the 'local wine.'22
Raba said: Wine which has formed a film is made unfit by being left uncovered and is suspected of idolatrous use during the first three days;
(1) If when it reached the heathen it was already in its prepared state and not in the form of wine.
(2) Shab. 140a.
(3) Because it is for drinking purposes, and may be prepared on the Sabbath.
(4) Which is for medicinal purposes, and must not be prepared, lest he might be led to grind the ingredients.
(5) The usual proportion is 2 water to 1 pure wine.
(6) As a snake does not drink it (cf. Ter. VIII, 4).
(7) Lit., 'On me and on my neck,' an idiom denoting the assuming of full responsibility.
(8) A learned Gentile, mentioned in several places in the Talmud. [E.g., Shab. 129a, 156b.]
(9) Wine touched by a heathen is suspected of being manipulated for idolatrous purposes.
(10) Lit., 'Blind its eyes.'
(11) [But not that it will not drink undiluted wine where it can do so without being seen.]
(12) A place in Upper Galilee. [R. Jannai had established there a school wherein the study of the Law went hand in hand with agricultural pursuits, v. Halevy, Doroth II, 273 ff.]
(13) [A famous interpreter of dreams, v. Ber, 56a.]
(14) [The fact that a snake has been seen to drink diluted wine is sufficient warrant to put us on our guard and apply the prohibition to diluted wine that has been left uncovered.]
(15) A Jewess; though women are not well versed in laws.
(16) They will therefore keep it covered for the sake of cleanliness.
(17) A wine with a very pungent taste.
(18) The taste of any of these being objectionable, a snake would not drink thereof even if left uncovered.
(19) מי בארג - Borag-water, 'a superior drink' (Rashi). [Krauss, Talm. Arch. II, 241, takes מי in its Persian sense, meaning 'wine', and renders accordingly 'Barag wine'.] These three are also distasteful to snakes.
(20) Cf. L. carenum (Jast.)
(21) עסיא or אסיא taken by some to mean Asia Minor or a certain part of it; by others, Essa, a town E. of the Lake of Tiberias. V. Sanh, (Sonc. ed.) p. 151, n. 1.
(22) And snakes of that locality drink it.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 30b
thence onwards neither the suspicion of idolatry nor the objection to being uncovered applies to it;1 those in Nehardea, however, said that even after the three days the objection to being uncovered still holds good, the reason being that occasionally even such wine is drunk [by snakes].
Our Rabbis taught: Wine in the first stage of fermentation is not subject to the rules relating to uncovered [liquids]; and how long does that stage last? Three days. Cress-dish2 is not subject to the rules relating to uncovered [liquids]. Those in the Diaspora3 made a practice of forbidding it [if left uncovered]; but only if there was no vinegar in it; for the vinegar that is in it deters4 serpents [from tasting it]. Babylonian Kutah,5 too, is not rendered unfit if left uncovered, though those in the diaspora have the practice of forbidding it. R. Manashi said: If it has traces of biting we must suspect [it of being bitten by a serpent]. Said R. Hiyya b. Ashi in the name of Samuel: Water that drips into a vessel is not subject to the rules in regard to uncovered [liquids].6 R. Ashi said: That is if the dripping is continuous. R. Hiyya b. Ashi said in the name of Samuel: The opening of a fig7 does not come under the rules relating to [liquids] left uncovered. This view accords with that of this Tanna: For it has been taught:8 R. Eliezer says, One may eat grapes and figs at night without suspecting any harm,9 for Scripture says, The Lord guardeth the simple.10
R. Safra said in the name of R. Joshua of the South: There are three kinds of venoms [of serpents]: that of a young one sinks to the bottom; that of one not quite young drops to about the middle; while that of an old one floats on top. Are we to take it that the older a serpent gets the more his strength diminishes? Has it not been taught:11 There are three whose strength increases as their age advances, these are: a fish, a serpent and a swine! - Its strength may indeed increase, but its venom becomes weaker.
'The venom of a young one sinks to the bottom'. - What practical application has this? - That of the following teaching: If a barrel was uncovered, even if nine persons drank of its contents with no fatal consequence, the tenth person is still forbidden to drink thereof. It happened indeed that nine people drank of such and did not die but the tenth one died; and R. Jeremiah said: It was a case of the venom sinking to the bottom. Likewise if a [cut] melon was left uncovered and nine persons partook thereof without fatal consequences, it is forbidden for a tenth person to partake thereof, for it once happened that nine persons ate of such a one and did not die and the tenth one who ate it died; and Rab said that it was a case of venom that sank to the bottom.
Our Rabbis taught: Water which had been left uncovered should not be poured out in a public road, or used for sprinkling the floor of a house, or for kneading mortar; nor should one give it to his animal or to his neighbour's animal to drink; nor should one wash one's face, hands or feet therewith. Others said: Only a part of the body that has an opening12 must not [be washed therewith] but where there is no opening it is permitted. Do not the 'Others' hold the same opinion as the first Tanna?13 - They differ in regard to the back part of the hand and of the foot, or the upper part of the face.14
The Master said: 'Nor should one give it to his own animal or to his neighbour's animal to drink'. But has it not been taught: One may, however, give it to his own animal to drink? - That teaching refers to a cat.15 Why then not to his neighbour's? - Because it deteriorates it. Then his own, too, would deteriorate? - But it subsequently recovers. Then his neighbour's would likewise recover? - It might so happen that he might wish to sell it and would suffer loss through it.16
R. Assi said in the name of R. Johanan who said it on behalf of R. Judah b, Bathyra: There are three kinds of wine: [i] Libation-wine,17 from which it is forbidden to derive any benefit, and of which a quantity of the size of an olive causes grave defilement;18
(1) As its taste is then completely changed.
(2) Chopped cress mixed with wine.
(3) גולה, All countries outside Palestine, with special reference to Babylonia, v. Glos. s.v. Golah.
(4) Lit., 'attacks'.
(5) A mixture consisting of sour milk, crusts of bread and salt (Jast.).
(6) As the noise caused by the dripping would frighten a serpent.
(7) Freshly plucked and left overnight.
(8) B.K. 116b.
(9) Though liquids must not be had in the dark.
(10) Ps. CXVI, 6.
(11) Shab. 77b.
(12) Where the poisonous matter would be retained and subsequently penetrate into the body.
(13) He too forbids the parts of the body, such as the face, hands and feet, which are liable to retain the poison.
(14) Parts which are smooth, which the others permit, but the first Tanna forbids.
(15) To which such drink is not injurious, v. Pes. 112b.
(16) He has a right to risk a loss to himself, but not to his neighbour.
(17) Yen Nesek, wine from which libation had been poured before an idol. V. Glos.
(18) Anyone coming in contact with it, or being in premises in which it is found, becomes ritually unclean, as in the case of a dead body. (V. supra 29b).
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 31a
[ii] Ordinary wine of heathens, from which it is likewise forbidden to derive any benefit whatsoever,1 and a quarter [of a log] of which renders drinks [or edibles] unclean;2 [iii] Wine [of an Israelite] that had been deposited with an idolater, which must not be drunk, but the benefit of it is permitted. But have we not learnt:3 'If one deposits his fruit with an idolater it is considered as if it were the idolater's own fruit as regards tithes or Sabbatical year's produce'?4 In our instance he assigned a separate corner to it.5 In that case it should be permissible for drinking also! For when R. Johanan happened to be in Parud6 he enquired if there was any Mishnah of Bar-Kappara [available], and R. Tanhum of Parud quoted to him [the following]: Wine which had been deposited with an idolater is permissible for drinking. Applying the verse, In the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be7 - [he commented:] How can it be assumed that there it shall be? But it means that there shall its fruit be!8 - R. Zera said: There is no contradiction here: the one is according to the opinion of R. Eliezer and the other according to that of the Rabbis, For it has been taught: If one buys or hires a house in a court of an idolater and stores wine therein, the key or seal of the place being in the charge of an Israelite, [such wine] is permitted by R. Eliezer but the Sages forbid it.9 R. Hiyya the son of R. Hiyya b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Hisda [who said it] in the name of Rab (some say that R. Hisda said it in the name of R. Ze'iri, while others report that R. Hisda said, I was told by Aba b. Harina that Ze'iri said it): The halachah rests with R. Eliezer.
R. Eleazar said: Everything is sufficiently guarded by one seal, except wine, which is not considered guarded by one seal. R. Johanan however said: Even wine is sufficiently guarded by one seal. And the one is not in conflict with the other, as the one follows the opinion of R. Eliezer, and the other, that of the Rabbis.10 Some have the following version: Said R. Eleazar: Everything is sufficiently guarded by a seal within another seal,11 except wine which is not guarded even by such double seal. R. Johanan however said: Even wine is guarded by a seal within a seal. Both these follow the opinion of the Rabbis, the one holding that the Rabbis only differ from R. Eliezer where there is but one seal, but if there is a seal within another seal they, too, permit it; while the other holds that even in the case of a double seal they forbid.
What, for example, is a seal within another seal? - Raba said: A basin placed over the opening of a barrel and joined to the barrel with a seal on it, is a seal within another seal, otherwise it is not so; or a basket fastened [over the stopper] is a seal within a seal, but if it is not fastened it is not a seal within a seal; a skin bottle within a bag with the closed opening of the skin bottle inside, is a seal within a seal, but if the opening is without, it is not a seal within a seal; if he bends in the closed opening of the skin bottle within and then ties the bottle up again and seals it, it is likewise considered a seal within a seal.
Our Rabbis taught: Formerly the ruling was that wine of En-Kusi12 is forbidden because of Birath-Sirika,13 that of Borkata14 is forbidden on account of Kefar-Parshai, and that of Zagdar is forbidden because of Kefar-Shalem;15 subsequently however this was altered thus: If in open barrels it is forbidden, but if in closed ones it is permitted. What was the opinion held formerly and what was the later opinion? - At first the opinion was held that a Cuthean is not particular about an idolater's coming in contact [with the wine] whether the barrels be open or closed; but subsequently they formed the opinion that only in the case of open ones they are not particular, but in the case of closed barrels they are very particular indeed.
Is it then permitted in the case of open barrels? But the following contradicts it:
(1) [This is an extension of the prohibition of 'libation-wine'.]
(2) [V. Tosaf. Pes. 14a, for various explanations as to the necessity of a minimum quantity to communicate defilement. Maim. Yad, Aboth ha-Tume'oth, VII, 8, makes no mention of this reservation.]
(3) Dem. III, 4; Bek. 11b.
(4) It is not liable to tithe etc., as the idolater may have exchanged it for his own. Why, then, is the wine deposited with an idolater not regarded as such?
(5) The Israelite has thus made sure that it was not exchanged.
(6) Where Bar-Kappara, who was already dead, had resided. [Identified with El-Faradije, S.W. of Saffed, v. Klein, S. op. cit. p. 40.]
(7) Eccl. XI, 3.
(8) The teachings of the wise are preserved in the place where they had lived. According to him wine deposited with an idolater is thus permissible even for drinking, which is contrary to the ruling given above!
(9) For drinking only. V. Shab. 122a.
(10) The Sages. [For each Amora the matter had already been settled by a Tanna whom he followed, so that there was no need for him to make it a point of controversy with the other, so Tosaf.]
(11) V. infra.
(12) A place inhabited by Cutheans.
(13) A place in Samaria, whose inhabitants were idolaters, in close proximity of the former place. The same applies to each of the cases that follow.
(14) [Probably Borkeos on the boundary between Samaria and Judaea mentioned in Josephus, Wars, III, 3, 5, v. Montgomery, The Samaritans, p. 146.]
(15) [Perhaps Salem on the Jordan, south of Beth-Shean, Montgomery, loc. cit.]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 31b
If one sends a cask of wine by the hand of a Cuthean, or of brine1 or muries2 by the hand of an idolater if he can identify his seal and the [spot and manner of] his closing up, it is permitted, but if not it is forbidden!3 - R. Zera said: There is no contradiction: The one refers to the town,4 the other to the open road.5 R. Jeremiah demurred to this: But did not that of the town come by road? - But, said R. Jeremiah: Our teaching only refers to [barrels closed in] the vicinity of the wine presses; since all the people are about there, he would be afraid [to let an idolater touch it] lest it be detected and he lose thereby.
It has been stated: Why has beer of heathens been forbidden? Rami b. Hama said in the name of R. Isaac: Because of marriages.6 R. Nahman said: Because it might have been left uncovered. 'Uncovered' when? If while in the vat - we also keep it uncovered;7 and if while in the barrel, in that state, too, we keep it uncovered!8 - It may only refer to a place where the water is allowed to settle.9 In that case it should be permitted when it matures, for Rab said:10 [Liqueur which is] matured is permitted, for [the venom] would not allow it to mature; [so also wine which is] fermented is permitted, for it would not have allowed it to ferment! - Matured is forbidden as a safeguard against the fresh. R. Papa used to drink beer when it was brought out to him to the door of the shop; R. Ahai used to drink it when it was brought to his house. Both of them held that the reason [for the prohibition] is intermarriage, but R. Ahai insisted on extraordinary precaution.
R. Samuel b. Bisna happened to be in Marguan;11 they brought him wine but he would not drink it, they then brought him beer which he did not drink either. It is quite correct as to the wine, as there is a suspicion, but what objection is there to the beer? There is the suspicion of a suspicion.12 Said Rab: 'Beer of an Aramean is permitted, still I would not allow my son Hiyya to drink it'. Which way will you have it? If it is permitted then it should be permitted to all; if [on the other hand] it is forbidden, it should be forbidden to all! - Rab suspects it of being left uncovered; but the bitter taste of the hops counteracts any venom that might be in it, so that it can only prove injurious to one who is an invalid, and his son Hiyya, being an invalid, should therefore abstain from drinking it.
Samuel said: All reptiles have poisonous venom; that of a serpent is fatal, while that of other reptiles has no fatal effect. Said Samuel to Hiyya b. Rab: O son of a scholar,13 come let me tell you a good thing which your father Rab used to say. Thus said your father: The reason why those swollen Arameans who drink what is kept uncovered suffer no fatal consequences is because, through eating abominable and creeping things, their bodies become immune from it. R. Joseph said:
(1) Which the heathen might exchange for brine of unclean fish.
(2) מורײס a kind of pickle sometimes mixed with wine.
(3) Though a Cuthean is not suspected of making idolatrous use of wine, it is feared that he might let an idolater get in contact with it even though it is in a sealed casket - which is contrary to the opinion here given.
(4) Where a Cuthean, fearing that he might be noticed by a Jew, would not allow an idolater to get in contact with the wine and thus be unable to dispose of it among Israelites.
(5) Where there is no-one to notice him.
(6) To avoid intimacy with heathens which might lead to intermarriage.
(7) As it is assumed that serpents do not drink beer. [According to R. Han. this had to be done in order to allow the fumes to escape.]
(8) [As otherwise the barrels would burst as a result of the fermentation, R. Han.]
(9) Before being used for making beer; there is thus the danger of the water having been exposed. [R. Han. explains: Where water is added to the beer to make it settle, there being thus no fermentation.]
(10) V. infra 35a, where the name given is R. Hanina.
(11) The Jewish inhabitants of which place were not particular about using wine of idolaters. [Neubauer, p. 380, identifies it with the province of Margiana between the Oxus and Aria.]
(12) The drinking of beer may lead to drinking wine.
(13) בר-אריא Ms.M. has בר-איריא some versions have בר-ארי - son of a lion. V. Ber. 12a and Kohut s.v.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 32a
The vinegar which the Arameans make of beer is forbidden because they mix yeast of idolatrous wine with it. R. Ashi said: If however it had been in store it is permitted, for if it contained such admixture it would have got spoilt.
HADRIANIC EARTHENWARE. What does HADRIANIC mean? - Said Rab Judah in the name of Samuel: Earthenware of King Hadrian.1 When R. Dimi came [from Palestine] he said: Virgin soil, which had not been tilled before, used to be tilled by [the Romans] and planted with vines; the wine [produced] they used to pour into white jugs2 which absorbed the wine. These vessels they broke into fragments which they used to carry, and wherever they came they soaked them [in water] and drank of it. R. Joshua b. Levi said: Our first [quality wine] is only equal to their third [soaking].
The question was asked: How about placing these shards as supports of the legs of a bedstead? Is this intention to preserve a [forbidden thing]3 for some other purpose allowed or forbidden? - Come and hear! For R. Eleazar and R. Johanan [argued about it], one pronouncing it as forbidden and the other as permitted. An objection was raised: Wine kept in barrels or leather bottles belonging to idolaters is forbidden for drinking but permitted for deriving benefit. Simeon b. Gudda testified in the presence of R. Gamaliel's son4 that R. Gamaliel5 drank of such in Acco, but this was not accepted. As to flagons belonging to idolaters, R. Simeon b. Gamaliel says in the name of R. Joshua b. Kapusai that it is forbidden to make of them covers for an ass. Now in this latter case there is an intention to preserve [the forbidden thing] for some other purpose and yet we are taught that it is forbidden! - According to your opinion then, the sale of [earthenware] flasks of heathens should also be forbidden, for what difference is there between [leather] flagons6 and [earthenware] flasks? But Raba said: There is this risk: if his flask be split he might take the one of the heathen and patch his own with it.7 Now according to the one who holds that the intention to preserve [a forbidden thing] for some other purpose is forbidden, why is the use of [earthenware] flasks allowed? - His answer might be: In that case the forbidden matter is not there in substance,8 whereas in the other case9 the substance of the forbidden matter is there.
[It has been stated above:] 'But this was not accepted.' A contradiction was raised: Wine contained in leather bottles of heathens is forbidden for drinking but permitted for deriving benefit. Simeon b. Gudda' testified in the presence of R. Gamaliel's son that R. Gamaliel drank of such in Acco, and it was accepted! - What is meant there is that it was not accepted by the whole company, but it was the son who did accept it. Or, if you wish, it may be said that Gudda is one and Gudda' is another.10
SKINS PIERCED AT THE ANIMAL'S HEART. Our Rabbis taught:11 What is [the sign of] such a heart-rent skin? If it is rent opposite the heart and is round like a circular aperture, and there is a drop of coagulated blood on it, it is forbidden,12
(1) [Which Hadrian took with him on his journeys with his troops (Rashi)]. Elmslie, A.Z. p. 31, quoting Lewy, Philologus, 52 p. 571, explains it as earthenware jars coming from the Adriatic coast.
(2) [I.e., of unburnt clay.]
(3) [By putting these shards to such use there is incidentally evidence of a desire to preserve them, though not for the sake of the wine they contain, but for some other purpose. Any act which involves the preservation of idolatrous wine is forbidden. V. infra 73b.]
(4) [Hanina b. Gamaliel II (Tosaf.).]
(5) [Gamaliel II, v. Buchler, gal. 'Amh. p. 313, n. 1.
(6) [Which as stated do not render prohibited for use the wine kept in them, cf. Tosaf. The passage is, however, difficult and does not occur in Ms.M. and several other texts.]
(7) In which case the idolatrous wine will actually flavour the contents of his flask.
(8) The flavour only is retained.
(9) Of Hadrianic wine which is absorbed and emitted by the vessel.
(10) The name given in the first report is Gudda גודא while that in the second is Gudda' גודע. [While they may not have accepted the report of one, when reported by the other too they accepted it.]
(11) Tosef. A.Z. Ch. V.
(12) It proves that the skin was rent while the animal was alive.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 32b
but if it has no such drop of blood it is permitted. R. Huna said: That is only if it has not been treated with salt, but if salt has been applied to it, it is forbidden in either case, as the salt may have removed it.
R. SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS WHEN ITS RENT IS ROUND [THE SKIN] IS FORBIDDEN, BUT IF OBLONG IT IS PERMITTED. Said R. Joseph in the name of Rab Judah who said it in the name of Samuel: The halachah rests with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel. Said Abaye: 'The halachah [rests with him]' implies that the matter is disputed!1 But what difference does it make to you? retorted the other. To which he replied: Is the learning of Gemara, then, to be like the singing of a song?2
MEAT WHICH IS BEING BROUGHT INTO AN IDOLATROUS PLACE IS PERMITTED. What Tanna's opinion might this represent? - Said R. Hiyya b. Abba in the name of R. Johanan: Not that of R. Eliezer; for were it R. Eliezer's, surely he holds the opinion that an idolater has generally idolatry in his mind.3
BUT THAT WHICH IS BROUGHT OUT IS FORBIDDEN, BECAUSE IT IS REGARDED AS SACRIFICES OF THE DEAD.
What is the reason? Because it is impossible for some idolatrous sacrifice not to have taken place. Whose [opinion might this represent]? - That of R. Judah b. Bathyra; for it has been taught: R. Judah b. Bathyra says: Whence can we deduce that idolatrous offerings defile by overshadowing4 ? From the verse, They joined themselves unto Ba'al-Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead5 - as a dead body defiles by overshadowing, so also an idolatrous sacrifice causes such defilement by overshadowing.6
WITH IDOLATERS GOING ON A PILGRIMAGE IT IS FORBIDDEN TO HAVE ANY BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS. Samuel said: With idolaters going on a pilgrimage it is forbidden [to transact business] on their journey there, for they will go and offer thanks to the idols; but on their return journey it is permitted, for bygones are bygones. If an Israelite however goes on such a pilgrimage [to idols], it is permitted [to deal with him] on his journey there, for he may change his mind and not go; but on his return it is forbidden, for as
(1) Whereas no other opinion is mentioned at all.
(2) Where precision is of no consequence.
(3) He must have therefore appointed it in his mind for idolatry already at the time of the slaughtering of the animal.
(4) טומאת אהל cf. Num. XIX, 14. Whatever is overshadowed by the same roof or object that is over a corpse.
(5) Ps. CVI, 28.
(6) Hul. 13b.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 33a
he has already become attached to it he will go again and again. But has it not been taught: It is forbidden [to do any business transactions] with an Israelite going on a pilgrimage of idolatry either on his journey there or back? - R. Ashi said: That refers to an apostate Israelite, who is sure to go.
Our Rabbis taught: With an idolater going to a market-fair1 it is permitted to deal both on his journey there and back; but in the case of an Israelite going to such a fair, it is permitted on his journey thither but forbidden on his return journey. Now, how is it that in the case of an Israelite it is forbidden on his return journey? Because we say that he may have been selling articles of idolatry and has thus idolatry-money with him! Should we not likewise say in the case of an idolater that he may have sold articles of idol-worship and carries idolatry-money on him? It appears therefore that in the case of an idolater we say that he may have sold such things as a garment or wine. [If so] let us then say in the case of an Israelite, too, that it may have been such things as a garment or wine that he was selling! - If he had such things only he would have sold them here.
BUT WITH THOSE COMING THENCE IT IS PERMITTED.
R. Simeon b. Lakish said: This teaching applies only if they do not form one band, but if they2 are keeping closely together it is forbidden, for we are to assume that each one has a mind to return again.
SKIN BOTTLES AND [EARTHENWARE] FLAGONS OF HEATHENS.
Our Rabbis taught: 'Skin bottles of heathens, if stripped,3 are permitted while new,4 but if old or pitch-lined5 they are forbidden. If an idolater pitched6 and lined and put the wine7 into it while an Israelite was standing by him there is no cause for suspicion.'8 But since it is the heathen who puts the wine into the bottles, of what avail is it that an Israelite does stand by him? - R. Papa said: What is meant is that if a heathen pitched and lined them and an Israelite poured wine into them while another Israelite was standing by there is no cause for suspicion. But if it is an Israelite that is pouring the wine into them, what need is there for another Israelite to stand by? - Lest while the Israelite is engaged in the pouring, the heathen pour some of it for idolatry without being detected by him.
R. Zebid said: The original wording can indeed stand, but here the reason is that when wine is poured into the fresh pitch it is as water that is poured in mortar.9 R. Papi said: From what was said by R. Zebid it may be deduced that if a heathen poured wine into the salt cellar of an Israelite [the salt] is permitted. R. Ashi demurred to this: How can these be compared? In that case the wine has disappeared, while in our case it has not disappeared!10
A certain Arab, Bar 'Adi, once seized a wine-skin from R. Isaac b. Joseph, and after keeping wine in it returned it to him. He came and asked about it in the House of Learning and R. Jeremiah said to him: Thus was the decision given by R. Ammi in a specific case:11 [The vessels] are to be filled with water for three days and then emptied; whereon Raba said: The water should be emptied every twenty-four hours. This was taken to apply to our12 [vessels if used by heathens] but not to theirs; when, however, Rabin came [from Palestine] he said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: [It applies to] either ours or theirs. R. Aha b. Raba, sitting before R. Ashi, was of opinion that this only applies to skin-bottles but not to earthenware ones;13 but R. Ashi said to him: It makes no difference whether they be skin-bottles or earthenware ones.
Our Rabbis taught: Earthenware bottles of idolaters, if new and stripped, are permitted, but if old and pitched they are forbidden. If an idolater kept wine in them, the Israelite should put water into them;14 but though an idolater kept wine in them an Israelite may [immediately] put bran, or Muries15 into them without any scruples16 . The question was asked:
(1) [The markets were associated with idolatrous festivals, v. Elmslie, p. 33.]
(2) [Those who come back and those who go there].
(3) Having no pitch coating.
(4) Not having been long in use, the skin would not have absorbed any wine: skin being more dense than earthenware.
(5) [Wine soaks into pitch.]
(6) [He poured the molten pitch into them (Rashi).]
(7) [While the pitch was still hot, wine was poured into it to remove its bitterness (Rashi).]
(8) Tosef. Ch. V.
(9) The reason why wine poured into a bottle freshly lined with pitch by a heathen is permitted is because the wine which first comes in contact with the pitch soaks thoroughly into it, like the water in the mortar, and does not exude again when the pitch hardens.
(10) [The flavour it imparted to the salt remains.]
(11) הלכה למעשה, lit., 'a decision for practice'.
(12) As in R. Isaac's case, where the vessel originally used by an Israelite had already absorbed a large quantity of permissible wine, while the absorption of the prohibited wine would be scant.
(13) Which absorb more.
(14) As above - on three days, changing the water every 24 hours.
(15) V. p. 156, n. 2. The sharpness of these annuls the taste of the wine.
(16) [Having regard to the question that follows, read with MS.M., 'and it is permissible.']
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 33b
[Does this apply to] deliberate action or to an act committed?1 - Come and hear: For R. Zebid b. Oshaia learned: If one buys earthenware bottles of an idolater, if they be new he may put wine into them; if old, he may use them for bran and Muries deliberately.
R. Judah Nesi'a2 asked of R. Ammi: What if he put them back into a furnace, so that they became heated? - He replied: If bran has a cleansing effect on them, how much more so fire! It has likewise been stated: R. Johanan said (according to others R. Assi said it in the name of R. Johanan): Flagons of heathens which had been placed back in the furnace, as soon as the pitch thereof has dropped off, are permitted. Said R. Ashi: You need not say 'until it has dropped off'; if it has only been loosened, even though it has not dropped off [it is enough]. [Where the pitch is removed by means of] lighted chips this is a matter of dispute between R. Aha and Rabina, the one forbidding [the use of the flask], while the other permitted. The law rests with the one who forbids.3 The question was asked: How about putting beer into such a vessel?4 - R. Nahman and Rab Judah forbid, but Raba permits it. Rabina declared it permissible to R. Hiyya the son of R. Isaac to pour beer into such a vessel, so he went and put wine into it; still he had no scruples about it, saying: It was only done casually. R. Isaac b. Bisna had some vessels of heathens, made of boxwood;5 he filled them with water and let them stand in the sun,6 and they split. Said R. Abba to him: You have indeed rendered them forbidden for good!7 All that our Rabbis said is that such are to be filled with water; has it been said they should be left in the sun? Said R. Yosna in the name of R. Ammi: A vessel of natron8 can never be rendered ritually clean. What is a vessel of natron? - Said R. Jose b. Abin: A vessel made of crystals coming from an alum- mine. Some of the men of the field-marshal Parzak9 seized some [earthenware] wine-casks from [Jews in] Pumbeditha, kept wine in them and then returned them. [The owners] came to ask Rab Judah about these, and he said: This is a case of vessels taken for temporary use, let them be rinsed with water and they will be permitted for use. R. 'Awira said: Those jugs of Arameans made of dark clay, since they do not absorb much, are permitted for use on being rinsed in water. R. Papa said: Those earthenware vessels coming from Be-Mikse10 may be used after being rinsed in water, as they do not absorb much.11 Cups12 are forbidden by R. Assi, but permitted by R. Ashi. If an idolater drank from it the first time it was used, no one disputes that it is forbidden,13 the dispute only arises if it was the second time. Some say that if it is the first or second time it is indisputably forbidden and that the dispute only arises if it is the third time. The law is, if it is the first or second time it is forbidden, if the third time it is permitted. R. Zebid said: Vessels which are glazed, if white or black are permitted, but if green are forbidden because it contains crystals of alum;14 and if they have any cracks [in the glazing] they are all forbidden.
Meremar stated in his exposition15 that glazed16 vessels, whether black or white or green, are permitted. But why should this case be different from that of leaven on Passover? For Meremar [himself] was asked: How about using glazed vessels17 on Passover; we do not ask [they said] about green glazing which contains alum crystals which absorbs and thus [renders the vessel] forbidden; what we are asking about is white or black glazing; nor do we ask even about these if there are any cracks, for such unquestionably absorb and are forbidden; it is about smooth ones that we are asking you what [the law is]? - He answered
(1) Is it permitted ab initio or only as an accomplished fact?
(2) [The prince, Judah II.]
(3) [As the pitch in this case melts even before the fire could exercise a cleansing effect on the flasks themselves.]
(4) Is this to be forbidden as a safeguard against wine or not?
(5) פקסונא, v. l. פיקסינא, 'Boxwood'; according to Rashi: made of clay and ordure.
(6) [As an additional precaution.]
(7) [I.e., you have destroyed them for no reason.)
(8) If used for wine by idolaters.
(9) [Funk, Die Juden in Babylonien, I, 105, renders: 'the great field marshal,' taking Parzak not as nom. prop., but as Persian wzurg, 'great,' v. infra p. 301, n. 3.]
(10) [Be-Mekse was a frontier town between Babylon and Arabia. V. Obermeyer, op. cit., 334.]
(11) The clay of this place was particularly hard.
(12) Earthenware cups which are used for drinking, but not keeping, wine.
(13) As it would absorb idolatrous wine while new and in a receptive state.
(14) Which absorb liquid freely.
(15) V. Pes. 30b.
(16) Kovia, 'powdered lime'.
(17) Which had been used for leaven.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 34a
them: I observed that such vessels exude, and being porous they certainly absorb and are therefore forbidden, the reason being that the Torah testified that an earthenware vessel can never be rid of its defect.1 Why then should this be different from wine used for idolatry concerning which [we are told] Meremar expounded that all glazed vessels [which had been used for it] are permitted? And should you say that leaven [on Passover] is forbidden by the Torah, whereas idolatrous wine is merely a Rabbinic prohibition, [surely it is an established principle] that whatever is instituted by the Rabbis is [treated] as [that which is ordained] by the Torah!2 [The difference is this:] In the one case [the use of the vessel, is for hot things,3 while in the other only for cold.
R. Akiba4 happened to come to Ginzak;5 he was asked: Is fasting by hours considered a fast, or is it not considered a fast?6 He had no answer to give them. [They then asked him:] Is the use of bottles of idolaters ever permitted? Again he had no answer. In what garments [he was then asked] did Moses minister during the seven days of consecration?7 He had no answer to this either. He then went and enquired at the House of Learning and they said to him: The law is: Fasting by hours is considered a fast, so that if he completed the day, he may say the prayer for a fast; as to bottles of heathens, the law is that they are permissible for use after twelve months;8 and as to the garment in which Moses ministered during the seven days of consecration, [he ministered] in a white frock without border.9 GRAPE-STONES AND GRAPE-SKINS OF HEATHENS etc. Our Rabbis taught: Grape-stones and grape-skins of heathens are forbidden while fresh but permitted when dry. Which are considered fresh and which dry? - Said Rab Judah in the name of Samuel: They are considered moist during the first twelve months, and dry after the twelve months. It has been stated that Raba b. Bar-Hana said in the name of R. Johanan: When they are forbidden, the prohibition extends to any benefit to be derived from them, and when they are permitted, they are permitted even as food. Said R. Zebid: Yeast made of wine of Arameans is permitted after a full year. R. Habiba the son of Raba said: Jugs are permitted after a complete year. R. Habiba said:
(1) V. Pes. 30b, where instead of דופנו the word is דופיו which Mss. have also here.
(2) And the earthen vessel shall be broken, Lev. XV, 12, thus, the same Meremar pronounced glazed vessels forbidden on Passover on account of the leaven they may have absorbed.
(3) In the case of a vessel which had been used all the year for leaven its prohibition on the Passover is based on the fact that it had been used for hot matter which is more liable to penetrate.
(4) [Ta'an, 11a: Mar 'Ukba, which appears to be the proper reading.]
(5) [Ganzaka, identified with Shiz, S.E. of the Urmia lake, N.W. of Persia. V. Obermeyer, op. cit. p. 10.]
(6) If one undertakes to fast part of a day and happens to abstain from food during the rest of the day, is he entitled to say 'Anenu, the prayer which is appointed for a fast day (Rashi). V. Ta'an. 11b.
(7) Lev. VIII, 33.
(8) Without any special cleansing.
(9) [To indicate that it was for temporary ministration only (Tosaf.).]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 34b
Travellers' wine-bags are permitted after a twelve-month. Said R. Aha the son of R. Ika: Kernels sold by Arameans are permitted after a twelvemonth. R. Aha the son of Raba said: Those red or black jugs are likewise permitted after twelve months.
MURIES1 etc. Our Rabbis taught: Muries made by an expert is permitted.2 R. Judah b. Gamaliel says in the name of R. Hanina b. Gamaliel: [Brine of] heilek3 prepared by an expert is likewise permitted. Abimi the son of R. Abbahu learned that muries of an expert is permitted; while he had learnt it thus, he however explained that only the first and second [extracts] from this fish are permitted, but the third is forbidden, the reason being that these first and second [extracts] are quite fat and require no admixture of wine; after these, however, wine is put into it.
Once a ship-load of muries reached the port of Acco4 and R. Aha of Acco placed a guard by it.5 Said Raba to him: And who watched the ship till now? - Till now, he replied, there was no cause for suspicion: as to mixing the brine with wine, a xestos6 of muries cost7 a luma8 while a xestos of wine cost four lumas. Said R. Jeremiah to R. Zera: Might they not have come by the way of Tyre where wine is cheap? - He replied: There are narrow bays and shallow waters.9
AND BITHYNIAN CHEESE etc. Said R. Simeon b. Lakish: The reason why Bithynian cheese has been forbidden10 is because the majority of calves of that place are slaughtered [as sacrifices] to idols.11 Why say 'the majority of calves'? Even if it were the minority it would have sufficed, since R. Meir always takes the minority into consideration!12 - When we say the majority [of calves] we really have only a minority [of cattle],13 but were only a minority of calves slain for idolatry - seeing that there would have been a majority of calves not slain for idolatry to which would have to be added all other cattle that are not slaughtered for idolatry - they would really have formed a minority of a minority, and even R. Meir does not take a negligible minority into consideration. Said R. Simeon b. Eliakim to R. Simeon b. Lakish: What matters it if they are slaughtered for idolatry, seeing that you yourself permit [something similar]? For it has been stated:14 If one slaughters an animal with the intention of sprinkling its blood for idolatry, or offering its fat for idolatry, R. Johanan says that the animal is forbidden, as in his opinion the one sacrificial process is to be connected with the other process,15 and the slaughtering without the sanctuary is deduced from that within it;16 . R. Simeon b. Lakish, however, says it is permitted! - He replied: You are to be congratulated17 [on your acumen; but in our case we assume that] he18 declares that he worships [the idol] with the completion of the slaughtering.19
SAID R. JUDAH: R. ISHMAEL PUT A QUESTION etc. Said R. Ahdaboi in the name of Rab: If one acquires20 a woman with the dung of an ox which is to be stoned21 she becomes 'consecrated' to him; but if with dung of calves used for idolatry, she does not become 'consecrated' to him. You can say that this can be proved by common sense, or, you may prove it from Scripture: As a matter of common sense - in the case of calves to be offered to idols it pleases [the owner] that they be stout,22 whereas in the case of the ox to be stoned there is no pleasure to him in its being stout. And as to Scripture-here the verse says, There shall cleave nought of the banned thing to thy hand,23 while there the words are, The ox shall be surely stoned and its flesh shall not be eaten24 - its flesh only is forbidden, but its dung is permitted [to profit by]. Raba said: We have learnt both these cases [in our Mishnah]. The fact that when R. Joshua replied:25 BECAUSE THEY CURDLE IT WITH THE RENNET OF A NEBELAH AND R. ISHMAEL RETORTED, BUT IS NOT THE RENNET OF A BURNT OFFERING MORE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN THAN THAT OF A NEBELAH?26
(2) As no unclean fish is used in its preparation, the only objection is offered by its being mixed with wine; an expert, however, will avoid such practice (Rashi).
(3) L. Alec, halec, alex - a small fish not easily distinguished from unclean ones; an expert will, however, take care to use the genuine kind only.
(4) Acre, a town and harbour on the Phoenician coast.
(5) To watch lest wine be mixed with the brine.
(6) קיסתא, Sixtarius, a measure of about the size of a log.
(7) In the place from where the cargo came.
(8) לומא, Luma, corrupt from a nummus(-sesterius) (Jast.), a small coin.
(9) Between the ports of Tyre and Acco; and the pilot would not risk taking that course.
(10) Even as to deriving any benefit according to R. Meir.
(11) And the rennet of these calves is used in preparing the cheese.
(12) Infra 40b.
(13) Whose rennet might be used in preparing cheese.
(14) V. Hul. 38b; Sanh. 60b.
(15) The sprinkling of the blood or the offering of the fat affects also the slaughtering.
(16) The Biblical injunction (Lev. VII, 18) which is taken to declare any sacrifice offered within the sanctuary with an improper intention as 'an abhorred thing' (פגול) is to be applied also to ordinary slaughtering without the sanctuary.
(17) תרמינך שעתך, lit., 'may the hour of thy birth prove lucky.'
(18) Whoever slaughters a sacrifice to an idol.
(19) In such a case I, too, forbid.
(20) Lit., 'Consecrates'. One of the ways of effecting a betrothal is the handing by the man to the woman of a coin or an article of some value (a perutah, a small coin), pronouncing at the time the formula: 'Behold, thou art consecrated unto me by this .... according to the law of Moses and of Israel.' V. Kid. I, 1, Ter. 30b.
(21) From which animal no benefit may be derived.
(22) He would therefore give them extra food on that account, so that even the dung is associated with idolatry.
(23) Deut. XIII, 18, referring to things connected with idol worship.
(24) Ex. XXI, 28.
(25) To the question as to why heathen's cheese is forbidden.
(26) And yet benefit may be derived from the rennet of a burnt offering, though the animal itself, like an ox which is to be stoned, is forbidden as to any benefit.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 35a
proves that the dung of an animal from which no benefit may be derived is permitted. Again, since when R. JOSHUA GAVE AS THE REASON, BECAUSE THEY CURDLE IT WITH THE RENNET OF CALVES SACRIFICED TO IDOLS, R. Ishmael replied: IF THAT BE SO, WHY DO THEY NOT EXTEND THE PROHIBITION TO ANY BENEFIT DERIVED FROM IT, - this proves that the dung of animals used for idolatry is forbidden as to the derivation of any benefit.
Could he not, in reply, have given the reason that the forbidden matter is not present in substance? For take the case of Muries; is not the reason why the Rabbis did not forbid the derivation of any benefit from it because the forbidden matter is not there in substance? - I will tell you: Since it is [the rennet] that keeps the milk curdled it must be regarded as though the prohibited matter is there in substance.
DIVERTED TO ANOTHER MATTER etc. What is the meaning of the words, For thy love is better than wine?1 When R. Dimi came [from Palestine] he explained it thus: The Congregation of Israel declared to the Holy One, blessed be He: Master of the Universe! The words of thy beloved ones2 are more pleasant to me than the wine of the Torah.3
Why did he ask him just about this verse? Said R. Simeon b. Pazi (some say R. Simeon b. Ammi): He hinted at the beginning of this verse: Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth,4 [saying]: 'Ishmael, my brother, press thy lips one to the other and do not be eager to ask for an answer.'5 For what reason? - Said 'Ulla (some say R. Samuel b. Aba): This is a new ordinance about which one should not particularise. What [then] is the reason for this ordinance? - Said R. Simeon b. Pazi in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi: [The probability of its] having been bitten [by a serpent]. Then why not tell him that the reason is the probability of its having been bitten? - Because of 'Ulla's ruling; for 'Ulla said: When an ordinance is made in Palestine, its reason is not revealed before a full year passes, lest there be some who might not agree with the reason and would treat the ordinance lightly. This6 was ridiculed by R. Jeremiah. If that be so [said he] then hard [cheese] should be permitted, and old [cheese], too, should be permitted. for R. Hanina said: [When any matter becomes] dry, it is permitted, because the [serpent's venom] would not let it get dry; [so also] when matured it is permitted,7 as it would not have allowed it to mature! - Said R. Hanina: [The reason for forbidding cheese is] because it is impossible for it not to have particles of milk.8 Samuel said: Because it is set in the skin of the rennet of a nebelah.9 This implies that the rennet itself is permitted - how could Samuel have stated so? Have we not learnt, 'The rennet of heathen's animals or of a nebelah is forbidden'?10 And when the question was asked, Is then any [slaughtered] animal of a heathen not a nebelah? it was Samuel himself who answered: These are meant to be taken together thus: The rennet of an animal slaughtered by heathens, which is nebelah, is forbidden! - There is no contradiction here.
(1) Cant. I, 2.
(2) The Heb. word here used, דודיך, stands for thy beloved ones as well as thy love.
(3) The verbal expositions of the sages are more precious than the written words of the Torah. [For it is the unwritten Law that supplements the written Law and completes it.]
(5) To the question why heathen's cheese is forbidden.
(6) The reason given in the name of R. Joshua b. Levy.
(7) V. supra 31b.
(8) It is assumed that the milk out of which cheese is made is of clean animals, as milk of unclean ones does not curdle. There may however have been an admixture of milk of an unclean animal which would remain in the holes of the cheese.
(9) And though the rennet being mere 'refuse' is permitted, the skin is forbidden.
(10) Hul. 116a.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 35b
The former [represents R. Joshua's opinion] before it was reversed;1 the latter after it was reversed, and the Mishnah was allowed to remain as it was.
R. Malkiah in the name of R. Adda b. Ahaba said: [Cheese is forbidden] because its surface is smeared with fat of swine. R. Hisda said: Because it is curdled with vinegar.2 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: Because it might be curdled with the sap of 'Orlah.3 Whose opinion does this [last answer] represent? - That of the following Tanna; for we learnt: R. Eliezer says: If milk is curdled with sap of 'Orlah it is forbidden because it is considered fruit!4 - You may even say that it also represents the opinion of R. Joshua,5 for R. Joshua only differs from R. Eliezer as regards the sap of the tree, but as regards that of the fruit he agrees with him, even as we learnt: R. Joshua said: I have heard explicitly that milk curdled with the sap of the leaves or with the sap of the root is permitted; but if with the sap of unripe figs it is forbidden, because this is a fruit.6
Whether the reason be the one given by R. Hisda, or by R. Nahman b. Isaac the prohibition ought surely to extend to the derivation of any benefit!7 - This indeed is a difficulty.
R. Nahman the son of R. Hisda gave the following exposition:8 What is the meaning of the verse, Thine ointments have a goodly fragrance [thy name is as ointment poured forth]? To what may a scholar9 be compared? To a flask of poliatum:10 When opened,11 its odour is diffused, but if covered up its odour does not diffuse; moreover things that are hidden become revealed to him, as it is said, Therefore do the maidens love thee:12 which may be read to mean 'the hidden [love thee].' What is more, even the Angel of Death loves him.for the words may be read to mean, 'The one [appointed] over Death [loves thee];' still more, he inherits both worlds - this world and the world to come - for the words may be read to mean, worlds [love thee].'
MISHNAH. THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES OF HEATHENS ARE PROHIBITED BUT THE PROHIBITION DOES NOT EXTEND TO ALL USE OF THEM:13 MILK WHICH A HEATHEN MILKED WITHOUT AN ISRAELITE WATCHING HIM, THEIR BREAD AND OIL - RABBI14 AND HIS COURT PERMITTED THE OIL - STEWED15 AND PRESERVED16 FOODSTUFFS INTO WHICH THEY ARE ACCUSTOMED TO PUT WINE OR VINEGAR, PICKLED HERRING WHICH HAD BEEN MINCED,17 BRINE IN WHICH THERE IS NO KALBITH-FISH18 FLOATING, HELEK,19 DROPS OF ASAFOETIDA20 AND SAL-CONDITUM.21 BEHOLD THESE ARE PROHIBITED BUT THE PROHIBITION DOES NOT EXTEND TO ALL USE OF THEM.
GEMARA. Why should we feel concern about milk [that it is prohibited]? If on account of the possibility that there may have been a substitution [of animals], [the milk of] a clean animal is white and of an unclean animal greenish in colour! If, on the other hand, it is on account of the possibility of a mixture [of a clean animal's milk with that of an unclean animal], let him curdle it, because a Master has declared: The milk of a clean animal curdles but that of an unclean animal does not! - [This test is all right] if he required [the milk for the purpose of making] cheese; but with what circumstance are we dealing here? When he requires it as a diet! Then let him take a small quantity and curdle it! - [This test would not be conclusive], because even with the milk of a clean animal there is the whey which does not curdle, so nothing can be proved thereby. Or if you wish I can say that even should you maintain that the milk is intended for cheese [the test is not conclusive because drops of milk] remain between the holes.22
THEIR BREAD. R. Kahana said in the name of R. Johanan: Their bread was not permitted by the Court.23 Is it to be deduced from this statement that anybody does allow it? - Yes, because when R. Dimi came [from Palestine] he said: On one occasion Rabbi went out into the field, and a heathen brought before him a loaf baked in a large oven from a se'ah of flour. Rabbi exclaimed: How beautiful is this loaf; why should the Sages have thought fit to prohibit it! 'Why should the Sages have thought fit to prohibit it?' As a safeguard against intermarriages! - No, what he meant was: Why should the Sages have thought fit to prohibit it in a field!24 [As the result of this remark] people imagined that Rabbi permitted the loaf [of a heathen] but it was not so; Rabbi did not permit it. R. Joseph - according to another version, R. Samuel b. Judah said: The incident was not so;25 but it is said that Rabbi once went to a certain place and observed that his disciples experienced difficulty in obtaining bread; so he asked, 'Is there no baker here?' people imagined that his inquiry was for a Gentile baker, but he really intended an Israelite baker. R. Helbo said: Even according to those who maintain [that he inquired for] a Gentile baker, [the permission] would only apply where there was no Israelite baker and not where such was to be found. R. Johanan, however, said: Even according to those who maintain [that he inquired for] a Gentile baker, [the permission] only holds good in a field, and not in a city as a safeguard against intermarriages. Aibu used to bite and eat [Gentiles'] bread at the boundaries [of the fields];26 but Raba-according to another version, R. Nahman b. Isaac-said to the people, 'Hold no converse with Aibu because he eats the bread of Gentiles.'27
AND THEIR OIL. As regards oil Rab said: Daniel decreed against its use; but Samuel said:
(1) The Mishnah in Hul. 116, stating that the rennet of a nebelah is forbidden, represents the opinion of R. Joshua in our Mishnah before he retracted in deference to the objection raised by R. Ishmael.
(2) Of wine that turned sour, which is forbidden; v. supra.
(3) Produce of a tree during its first three years.
(4) 'Orlah I, 7.
(5) V. ibid. * [The translation from here to the end of the Tractate is by the Rev. Dr. A. Cohen.]
(7) Since vinegar and 'Orlah are both so forbidden.
(8) Of Cant. I, 3, following the verses cited above.
(9) תלמיד חכם, lit., 'a disciple of a sage.'
(10) **, a fragrant ointment.
(11) [Applied to the scholar it means that he does not keep his knowledge to himself.
(12) Ibid. The Heb. word here used for maidens, עלמות may be read: 'Alummoth-hidden ones; 'Al-Maweth - upon death; 'Olamoth-worlds.
(13) They may not form part of the diet of a Jew, but he is allowed to dispose of them to Gentiles.
(14) The reference is to R. Judah II, the grandson of the R. Judah who compiled the Mishnah. The parenthesis must therefore be a later interpolation.
(15) The prohibition is not caused by the presence of yen nesek (v. Glos.), but is due to the fear of close social intercourse resulting in mixed marriages (Rashi).
(16) Lit., 'pressed', viz. in brine.
(17) Since it is minced, the identity of the fish is in doubt and it may have belonged to an unclean species.
(18) The kalbith was a kind of stickleback which was supposed to breed only in brine formed with the clean species of fish.
(19) Probably the Latin allec, a sauce made from small fish; and there is a doubt whether the fish of which it was made is allowed.
(20) The bark from which it was obtained was presumably cut with a knife which had been used for prohibited food.
(21) Traditionally explained as salt used by the Romans as a condiment which was mixed with fat. But Krauss (TAI p. 500) suggests that the word salkundith is a corruption of istroknith, i.e., Ostracena, a town on the border between Palestine and Egypt where salt was produced.
(22) Even when the milk is derived from a clean animal. So it is not possible to determine with certainty whether forbidden milk was mixed in the cheesemaking.
(23) Of R. Judah the Prince, although they permitted the oil.
(24) As distinct from an inhabited area like a city where the reason, viz. the danger of mixed marriages, could not apply.
(25) As related by R. Dimi.
(26) To take advantage of the rule which allows the bread to be eaten outside the city.
(27) [Ran reads: Do not report (any teaching) in the name of Aibu.]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 36a
The residue from their unclean vessels [which they pour into the oil-container] renders it prohibited. Is this to say that people generally are concerned to eat their food in a state of ritual purity!1 - Rather [must Samuel's statement be amended to:] the residue from their prohibited vessels [which they pour into the oil-container] renders it prohibited. Samuel said to Rab: According to my explanation that the residue from their prohibited vessels renders it prohibited, it is quite right that when R. Isaac b. Samuel b. Martha came [from Palestine] he related that R. Simlai expounded in Nisibis:2 As regards oil R. Judah and his Court took a vote and declared it permitted, holding the opinion that [when the forbidden element]3 imparts a worsened flavour [the mixture] is permitted. But according to your statement that [it is prohibited because] Daniel decreed against it, [can it be thought that] Daniel made a decree and R. Judah the Prince then came and annulled it? For have we not learnt: A Court is unable to annul the decisions of another Court, unless it is superior to it in wisdom and numerical strength! - Rab replied to him: You quote Simlai of Lud; but the inhabitants of Lud are different because they are neglectful [of Rabbinical ordinances]. [Samuel] said to him: Shall I send for him?4 [Rab] thereupon grew alarmed and said: If [R. Judah and his Court] have not made proper research,5 shall we not do so? Surely it is written, But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the king's meat nor with the wine which he drank6 - the verse speaks of two drinkings, viz. the drinking of wine and the drinking of oil! Rab was of the opinion that Daniel purposed in his own heart [not to drink the oil] and decided similarly for all Israel; whereas Samuel was of the opinion that he purposed in his own heart [not to drink the oil] but did not decide similarly for all Israel.
But did Daniel decree against oil? Behold Bali declared that Abimi the Nabatean7 said in the name of Rab: The bread, wine and oil of heathens and their daughters are all included in the eighteen things!8 Should you argue that Daniel came and made the decree but it was not accepted, and then the disciples of Hillel and Shammai came and made the decree which was accepted, in that case what was the purpose of Rab's testimony?9 - But [Rab's contention is that] Daniel decreed against the use of the oil in a city,10 and [the disciples] came and decreed against its use even in a field. How, then, was it possible for R. Judah the Prince to permit [what was forbidden by] the ordinance of the disciples of Shammai and Hillel, seeing that we have learnt: A Court is unable to annul the decisions of another Court, unless it is superior to it in wisdom and numerical strength! Furthermore, Rabbah b. Bar Hanah has said in the name of R. Johanan: In all matters a Court can annul the decisions of another Court except the eighteen things [prohibited by the Schools of Hillel and Shammai], for even were Elijah and his Court to come [and declare them permitted] we must not listen to him! - R. Mesharsheya said: The reason [that these eighteen things form an exception] is because their prohibition has spread among the large majority of Israelites, but the prohibition concerning oil did not so spread;11 for R. Samuel b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: Our masters12 sat and made investigation concerning [the use of heathens'] oil [and found] that its prohibition had not spread among the large majority of Israelites; they accordingly relied upon the dictum of Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel and R. Eliezer b. Zadok who declared: We make no decree upon the community unless the majority are able to abide by it.13 R. Adda b. Ahaba said:14 What Scriptural verse supports this rule?
(1) That on such a ground the oil of a heathen is prohibited. In fact the majority of people have not that concern.
(2) Formerly an important city in N.E. Mesopotamia.
(3) Derived from the prohibited vessel, v. supra 75b.
(4) So that he can hear the charge which Rab brought.
(5) In the Scriptures to ascertain that Daniel had decreed against oil. Rab implied that they had acted in ignorance when they permitted the oil.
(6) Dan. I, 8. The last words are lit., 'the wine of his drinkings'.
(7) Belonging to Nabatea, a district to the S.E. of Palestine.
(8) Which were prohibited by decree in the upper room of Hananiah b. Hezekiah b. Gorion when the School of Shammai outnumbered the School of Hillel. V. Shab. 13b, 17b. How, then, could Rab attribute the decree to Daniel?
(9) In ascribing the decree to Daniel since it was not adopted.
(10) V. p. 173, n. 2.
(11) And consequently R. Judah was able to annul it.
(12) I.e., R. Judah II and his Court.
(13) [Oil was one of the staple products of Palestine, and the trade in it was of vital importance, so that it became difficult to keep the laws; v. Elmslie, p. 38.]
(14) [So Ms.M.]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 36b
Ye are cursed with the curse; for ye rob Me, even this whole nation1 - i.e., when the whole nation has [accepted an ordinance, then the curse which is the penalty of its infraction] does apply, otherwise it does not.
The above text stated: 'Behold Bali declared that Abimi the Nabatean said in the name of Rab: The bread, wine and oil of heathens and their daughters are all included in the eighteen things?' What means 'their daughters'? - R. Nahman b. Isaac said: [The Schools of Hillel and Shammai] decreed that their daughters should be considered as in the state of niddah2 from their cradle; and Geneba said in the name of Rab: With all the things against which they decreed the purpose was to safeguard against idolatry. For when R. Aha b. Adda came [from Palestine] he declared in the name of R. Isaac: They decreed against [heathens'] bread on account of their oil. But how is oil stricter than bread! - Rather [should the statement read that they made a decree] against their bread and oil on account of their wine; against their wine on account of their daughters;3 against their daughters on account of another matter,4 and against this other matter on account of still another matter.5 [But the prohibition against marrying] their daughters is a Biblical ordinance, for it is written, Neither shall thou make marriages with them!6 - The 'Biblical ordinance is restricted to the seven nations [of Canaan] and does not include other heathen peoples; and [the Schools of Hillel and Shammai] came and decreed against these also. But according to 'R. Simeon b. Yohai who declared that the words, For he will turn away thy son from following Me,7 include all women who would turn [their husbands aside from the worship of God], what is there to say? - Perhaps [the explanation is that] the Biblical ordinance is against intercourse through marriage, and they came and decreed even against immoral connection with them. But the decree against such connection had already been made by the Court of Shem,8 for it is written, And Judah said, Bring her forth and let her be burnt!9 - Perhaps, then, [the explanation is that] the Biblical ordinance refers to an Israelite woman in intercourse with a heathen since she would be drawn after him10 but not against an Israelite having intercourse with a heathen woman,11 and they came and decreed even against the latter. But [the prohibition against] an Israelite having intercourse with a heathen woman is a law of Moses from Sinai,12 for a Master has said: If [an Israelite] has intercourse with a heathen woman, zealots may attack him! - The Biblical ordinance refers to a public act even as the incident that had happened;13 but they came and decreed even against a private act. But the Court of the Hasmoneans14 had already decreed also against a private act; for when R. Dimi came [from Palestine] he declared: The Court of the Hasmoneans decreed that an Israelite who had intercourse with a heathen woman is liable on four counts, viz., she is regarded as niddah, a slave, a non-Jewess, and a married woman; and when Rabin came [from Palestine] he declared: On the following four counts, viz., she is regarded as niddah, a slave, a non-Jewess, and a harlot! - The decree of the Court of the Hasmoneans was against Intercourse but not against private association [with a heathen woman]; so they came and decreed even against this. But the Court of David had already decreed against private association, for Rab Judah said: At that time15 they made a decree against private association! - It may be replied [that the decree of the Court of David] there referred to private association with an Israelite and not a heathen woman, and they came and decreed even against associating with a heathen woman. But [the prohibition against] associating with an Israelite woman is a Biblical ordinance; for R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Jehozedek: Whence is there an indication in the Torah against such association? As it is said, If thy brother, the son of thy mother... entice thee16 - can, then, the son of the mother, and not the son of the father, entice! But the intention is, a son may privately associate with his mother, and nobody else may privately associate with any woman whom the Torah disallows him in marriage! - [The correct explanation is that] the Biblical ordinance against such association refers to an [Israelite] married woman; David came and extended the law to association with an unmarried woman; and the disciples of the Schools of Shammai and Hillel came and extended it still further to association with a heathen woman.
What is the meaning of the phrase used above: 'and against this other matter on account of still another matter'? - R. Nahman b. Isaac said: They decreed in connection with a heathen child that it should cause defilement by seminal emission17 so that an Israelite child should not become accustomed to commit pederasty with him. For R. Zera said: I experienced great trouble with R. Assi,18 and R. Assi with R. Johanan, and R. Johanan with R. Jannai, and R. Jannai with R. Nathan b. Amram, and R. Nathan b. Amram with Rabbi over this question: From what age does a heathen child cause defilement by seminal emission? - He replied to me: From a day old; but when I came to R. Hiyya, he told me: From the age of nine years and one day. When I then came and discussed the matter with Rabbi, he said to me: Abandon my reply and adopt that of R. Hiyya who declared: From what age does a heathen child cause defilement by seminal emission? From the age of nine years and one day,
(1) Mal. III, 9. The verse is thus interpreted: The whole nation undertook to fulfil a law, the penalty for disobedience being a curse; and now that they robbed God by utilising what they had agreed to forgo, the curse has come upon them.
(2) V. Glos. They would then defile by touch.
(3) Drinking wine with heathens would arouse desire for their women.
(4) Viz., idolatry.
(5) This phrase is discussed later.
(6) Deut. VII, 3, so how can it be said to be the consequence of a Rabbinical decree?
(7) Ibid. 4.
(8) The son of Noah from whom the Hebrews descended. Tradition ascribes to him a School of Torah-study.
(9) Gen. XXXVIII, 24, referring to Tamar who was with child; and the penalty which Judah intended to inflict upon her was derived by him from the Court of Shem.
(10) Into idolatry.
(11) Because he might rather turn her from idolatry.
(12) An old traditional law; so it could not have been instituted by the Schools of Hillel and Shammai.
(13) V. Numb. XXV, 6 ff.
(14) In the 2nd cent. B.C.E., nearly two hundred years before the Schools of Hillel and Shammai. [Derenbourg, Essai, p. 84., places it under Simeon who ruled from 143-135 B.C.E. v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 544, n. 8.]
(15) Referring to the incident of Tamar, II Sam. XIII.
(16) Deut. XIII, 7.
(17) [Even though he suffered from no issue.]
(18) He put the following question to him and had difficulty in eliciting a reply.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 37a
for inasmuch as he is then capable of the sexual act he likewise defiles by emission. Rabina said: It is therefore to be concluded that a heathen girl [communicates defilement] from the age of ..., for inasmuch as she is then capable of the sexual act she likewise defiles by a flux. This is obvious! - You might argue that he is at an age when he knows to persuade [a female] but she is not at an age when she knows to persuade...
R. Judah Nesi'a1 was once walking and leaning upon the shoulder of his attendant, R. Simlai, when he said to him, 'Simlai, you were not present yesterday at the House of Study when we declared [heathens'] oil permitted.' He replied, 'Would that in our days you permitted their bread also!' He said to him, 'If we were to do that, they would call us "the permitting Court". As we have learnt: R. Jose b. Jo'ezer of Zeredah testified that the stag-locust is clean,2 that the flow [of blood and water] from the place of slaughter [in the Temple] is non-defiling, and that one who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled; and they called him "Joseph the permitter".' [R. Simlai] said to him, 'There he permitted three things,3 and the master has only permitted one; so that if he permits another there would still be only two!' He replied, 'I have already permitted a second.' What is it? - As we have learnt: [If a husband said to his wife before a journey,] 'This is your bill of divorce should I not return within twelve months', and he died within the twelve months, the divorce is invalid.4 In this connection it was taught: And our Rabbis permitted her to remarry;5 and we ask, who is intended by 'our Rabbis'? - Rab Judah replied in the name of Samuel: The Court which permitted [heathens'] oil;6 for they held the same view as R. Jose who said: The date of the document is proof of this.7 R. Abba, son of R. Hiyya b. Abba said: R. Judah the Prince gave this decision, but [the Rabbis] did not agree with him all his lifetime [sha'ato]. Another version is: All his colleagues [saya'to] [did not agree with him].
R. Eleazar asked a certain old man: When you permitted a woman [to remarry in the circumstances described above], did you allow her to do so immediately8 since he could not return, or perhaps it was after the lapse of the twelve months since his condition had then been fulfilled? - [He rejoined:] But this question arises also in connection with [the continuation of the cited] Mishnah where we learnt: [But if the husband said,] 'Behold this is your bill of divorce from now onward should I not return within twelve months', and he died within the twelve months, the divorce is valid-because the condition had been fulfilled; and the question thus arises. Does the divorce take effect immediately [on his death] since he could not return, or perhaps only after twelve months when the condition had been fulfilled? - [R. Eleazar said to him:] Yes, even in this case [I am in doubt] but [I put the question to you] because you were among the number [who voted to grant her permission to remarry]. Abaye said: All9 admit [that if a man said to his wife that the divorce should take effect] when the sun issues from its sheath,10 he intended the time of sunrise, and should he die in the night, it is then a bill of divorce which comes into force after his death [and is invalid]; [but if he said to her that the divorce should take effect] on condition that the sun issues from its sheath, he intended it to apply from that moment onward, and should he die in the night, this was certainly a condition, and the divorce thus took effect while he was alive [and is valid] in agreement with the view of R. Huna. For R. Huna said: If one uses the expression 'on condition' [in a bill of divorce] it is the same as if he had said, 'From now onward'. They only differ over the case [where he used the expression] if the sun issues [from its sheath]';11 R. Judah the Prince being of the same opinion as R. Jose who said, 'The date of the document is proof of this' and he holds it to be identical with the phrases, 'From to-day if I die' and 'From now onward if I die'. The Rabbis, on the other hand, do not agree with R. Jose and maintain that it is merely identical with, 'Here is your bill of divorce if I die.'
The above text stated: 'R. Jose b. Jo'ezer of Zeredah testified that the stag-locust is clean, that the flow [of blood and water] from the place of slaughter [in the Temple] is non-defiling, and that one who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled; and they called him, "Joseph the permitter."' What is the stag-locust? - R. Papa said: Shoshiba, and R. Hiyya b. Ammi said in the name of 'Ulla: Susbel.12 R. Papa said it was the shoshiba, - so they13 differ on [the permissibility] of the long-headed locust, one holding that it is prohibited and the other that it is permitted. R. Hiyya b. Ammi said in the name of 'Ulla that it was the susbel,
(1) The Prince, i.e., R. Judah II, as in the Mishnah.
(2) And may be eaten.
(3) It will be explained below that he took a lenient view of the law of defilement by a corpse.
(4) Because he did not say that the divorce was to apply 'from now onward'. Consequently if she was left a childless widow, she became subject to the law of levirate-marriage (v. Deut. XXV, 5 ff.).
(5) Whomever she wished and released her from the levirate-marriage.
(6) I.e., R. Judah II and his Court.
(7) According to the Mishnah on B.B. 136a, if a father assigns the whole of his estate to one of his sons for him to take possession of it after his death, he must insert in the document the words 'from to-day and after my death', otherwise it has no value. R. Jose disagrees on the ground that the date of the document is sufficient indication of the testator's intentions. R. Judah similarly held that the bill of divorce was valid in the circumstances described, so that the wife on the husband's death had legally the status of a divorcee and not a widow.
(8) On learning of her husband's death.
(9) I.e., even R. Jose.
(10) In which its rays were thought to be encased when not shining; i.e., when the sun has fully risen.
(11) And he died in the night.
(12) The former is a long-headed and the latter a short-headed species of locust.
(13) R. Jose of Zeredah and his colleagues.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 37b
and nobody differs that the long-headed locust is prohibited, and here they disagree when there is difficulty in perceiving whether its wings cover the greater part of the body, one holding that we require [the wings] to cover just more than the greater part of the body and the other that we require it appreciably to cover the greater part of the body.
'That the flow [of blood and water] from the place of slaughter [in the Temple] is non-defiling.' What means 'non-defiling'? - Rab said: It is essentially clean;1 but Samuel said: It was non-defiling in the sense that it did not render other things unclean [which it touched] but in itself there was uncleanness. When Rab said that it was essentially clean, he was of the opinion that the defiling power of liquids was a [Rabbinical ordinance and when the Rabbis decreed so their intention was to attribute defilement to liquids in general but they did not so decree in connection with the flow from the place of slaughter. When, however, Samuel said that it was non-defiling in the sense that it did not render other things unclean but in itself there was uncleanness, he was of the opinion that the defilement in liquids was a Biblical ordinance; but with respect to its power to render other things unclean it was a Rabbinical ordinance, and when the Rabbis decreed so their intention was to attribute the power of communicating defilement to liquids in general, but they did not so decree in connection with the flow from the place of slaughter.
'And that one who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled; and they called him, "Joseph the permitter".' Rather should he have been called [in this instance] 'Joseph the prohibiter'! Furthermore [that a corpse defiles] is a Biblical ordinance, as it is written, And whosoever in the open field toucheth one that is slain with a sword, or a dead body [or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days]!2 - According to Scripture he who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled, but anybody who comes in contact with this person is clean; and [the Rabbis] proceeded to decree that even such as he is defiled; then [Jose b. Jo'ezer] proceeded to re-establish the law in its Biblical form.3 But [the defilement of] the person who comes in contact with one who had touched a corpse is likewise a Biblical ordinance, for it is written, And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean!4 - The Rabbis declared in the presence of Raba on the authority of Mar Zutra son of Nahman who said it in the name of R. Nahman: According to the Scriptures, if a person touches another while the latter is in contact [with a corpse], he too is defiled for seven days; but if he touches him when there is not this contact, then he is only defiled until the evening. The Rabbis proceeded to decree that even without contact he is defiled for seven days, and [R. Jose] proceeded to re-establish the law in its Scriptural form. Whence is this to be derived from the Torah?5 - For it is written, He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days,6 and it is also written, And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean7 continuing with And the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even. How [are these texts] to be understood? The former refers to the circumstance where there is actual contact and the latter to where there is not actual contact.
Raba said to them: Have I not previously told you not to hang empty pitchers on R. Nahman!8 This is what R. Nahman said: He [Jose of Zeredah] permitted a doubtful case of defilement in a public domain.9 But this is a rule which is drawn by analogy from the case of a woman suspected of infidelity, viz., as [the case of doubt in connection with] the suspected woman can only occur [when seclusion with her paramour takes place] in a private domain, so [the case of doubt in connection with] defilement can only occur [when the contact with the corpse takes place] in a private domain!10 - R. Johanan said: Such, indeed, is the traditional rule, but [none of the Rabbis] would decide in that manner11 until [Jose b. Jo'ezer] came and definitely decided so.12 There is a teaching to the same effect: R. Judah says: [Jose b. Jo'ezer] stuck stakes [in the ground] for the people, declaring, 'Up to here is a public domain and up to there a private domain,'13 When persons14 came to consult R. Jannai, he used to tell them, 'There is plenty of water in the depth of the river; go and immerse yourselves.'15
STEWED FOODSTUFFS. Whence is this derived?16 - R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: Scripture states, Thou shalt sell me food for money that I may eat, and give me water for money that I may drink.17 A comparison is to be drawn with water - as only water which has undergone no change [is permitted to Jews] so also must the food have undergone no change [at the hand of heathens]. According to this reasoning ears of corn should also be prohibited when roasted by them; and should you maintain that that is so, behold it has been taught: Ears of corn are permitted when roasted by them! - Perhaps, then, the comparison with water must be drawn in this sense - as only water which has not been changed from its natural form [is permitted to Jews] so the food must not have been changed from its natural form. According to this reasoning wheat should be prohibited when milled by them; and should you maintain that that is so, behold it has been taught: Roasted ears of corn and the various kinds of ground flour of heathens are permitted! - perhaps, then, the comparison with water must be drawn in this sense - as only water which has not been changed from its natural form by fire [is permitted to Jews] so the food must not have been changed from its natural form by fire. But there is nothing in the verse about fire!
(1) I.e., there was no element of defilement in it at all.
(2) Num. XIX, 16.
(3) Viz., the man who touches a corpse is unclean for seven days, but he who touches him does not contract uncleanness.
(4) Ibid. 22.
(5) That without actual contact the defilement only lasts until the evening.
(6) Ibid. 11.
(7) Ibid. 22.
(8) I.e., do not ascribe absurd teachings to him.
(9) [I.e., he declared clean a person who is in doubt whether he incurred defilement in a public domain.]
(10) Consequently, if the doubt occurred about contact in a public place, he would be considered undefiled. If so, what was the innovation of Jose of Zeredah?
(11) Publicly, so that people should not be negligent about the laws of defilement.
(12) [By declaring that only he who is certain of having come in contact with a corpse in a public domain is unclean, but not he who is in doubt. For an interesting discussion of these decisions of Jose of Zeredah, v. Lauterbach, J.Z. JQR. (N.S.) VI, pp. 62 ff.]
(13) As a guide for them should they come in contact with a defiling object.
(14) Who were in doubt whether they came in contact in a public domain with a corpse.
(15) To be on the safe side he told them to regard themselves as unclean.
(16) That the cooked foods of heathens are prohibited.
(17) Deut. II, 28.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 38a
- Rather, then, is it a Rabbinical ordinance and the Scriptural verse is merely a support.
R. Samuel b. Isaac said in the name of Rab: Whatever is eaten raw does not come within [the law of what is prohibited] on account of having been cooked by heathens. Thus was it taught in Sura;1 but in Pumbeditha2 they taught this version: R. Samuel b. R. Isaac said in the name of Rab: Whatever is not brought upon the table of kings to serve as a relish with bread does not come within [the law of what is prohibited] on account of having been cooked by heathens. What is the difference between the two versions? - [The permissibility of] small fish, mushrooms and pounded grain.3
R. Assi said in the name of Rab: Small fish when salted [by heathens] do not come within [the law of what is prohibited] on account of having been cooked by heathens. R. Joseph said: If a heathen roasted them, an Israelite may rely upon them in connection with 'erube tabshilin.4 If, however, a heathen made them into a pie of fish-hash it is prohibited. This is obvious! - You might argue that [in such a pie] the fish-hash is the principal element;5 hence he informs us that the flour is the principal element.
R. Berona said in the name of Rab: If a heathen set fire to uncleared ground,6 all the [roasted] locusts found in the uncleared ground are prohibited. How is this to be understood? Is it to say that the reason is because he could not distinguish between the clean and unclean species; why, then, specify that a heathen [kindled the fire] since it would be the same if even an Israelite did so! Or is it on account of [the locusts] having been cooked by a heathen? But in such a circumstance7 would they be prohibited! Did not R.Hanan b. Ammi declare that R. Pedath said in the name of R. Johanan: If a heathen singed the head,8 it is permissible to eat of it even from the tip of the ear!9 This proves [does it not?] that it is assumed that his intention, was to remove the hair; so similarly [in the other case it should be allowed] because his intention was to clear the ground! - [No, the true reason was] certainly because he could not distinguish between the clean and unclean species, and the incident actually happened with a heathen.10
The above text stated: 'R. Hanan b. Ammi declared that R. Pedath said in the name of R. Johanan: If a heathen singed the head, it is permissible to eat of it even from the tip of the ear.' Rabina said: Consequently if a heathen threw a coulter into a stove and an Israelite had previously deposited a pumpkin there, it is all right.11 This is obvious! - You might argue that his intention had been to boil the blade;12 hence he informs us that his intention was to harden it.13
Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: If an Israelite left meat on the coals and a heathen came and turned it over, it is permitted. How is this to be understood? If I say that the meat would have been cooked without being turned over, obviously [it is permitted]; is it not then [to be inferred] that we have here a case where it would not have been cooked without being turned over? Why, then, is it permitted seeing it is food cooked by a heathen! - No; it is necessary to suppose a circumstance where it would have taken two hours to cook if he had not turned it over, but now it was cooked in one hour. You might consequently have argued that hastening the process of cooking is a matter which is taken into consideration;14 hence he informs us [that it is not considered]. But R. Assi said in the name of R. Johanan: Any food which is [already cooked to the extent] of that which was eaten by Ben Drusus15 does not come within the law prohibiting the cooked food of heathens,16 hence if it is not cooked to that extent it does come within the prohibition!17 - The circumstance referred to [by R. Johanan] is where, e.g., [an Israelite] placed the meat in a pot and a heathen took and set it in an oven.18 There is a teaching to the same effect: An Israelite may set meat upon the coals and let a heathen then come and turn it over pending his return from the Synagogue or House of Study, and he need not take notice of it; and [an Israelite] woman may set a pot on a stove and let a Gentile woman
(1) A town in S. Babylonia where Rab founded his School.
(2) Called in the Talmud 'the capital of the Exile', to the north of Sura.
(3) These are not eaten raw nor served as a relish. According to the Sura teaching they may not be eaten when cooked by a heathen, but according to the Pumbeditha version they are permitted.
(4) Lit., 'conjunctions of cookings'. A device of the Rabbis to enable cooking to be done on a Friday which is a Festival for the following day. Jastrow defines the regulation as follows: 'A person prepares a dish on Thursday and lets it lie over until the end of the Sabbath, by which fiction all the cooking for the Sabbath which he does on the Holy Day (Friday) is merely a continuation of the preparation begun on Thursday'. The subject is treated at length in Tractate 'Erubin.
(5) And for that reason the pie should be allowed, since the fish element can be eaten raw.
(6) To prepare it for cultivation.
(7) Where he did not light the fire for cooking purposes.
(8) Of an animal which had been slaughtered by a Jew, the object being to remove the hair.
(9) Which, being tender, would be roasted by the singeing.
(10) That is why a heathen was specified above.
(11) It may be eaten although roasted by a heathen. The Jew placed the pumpkin in the oven before the fire was lit.
(12) In which case the pumpkin would have been cooked by a heathen.
(13) Since his object was only to harden it, there was nothing in his mind about cooking.
(14) And if performed by a heathen disqualifies the food.
(15) The name of a bandit who ate his food slightly cooked.
(16) If a heathen completes the cooking.
(17) Under this rule the meat turned over by the heathen should be disallowed.
(18) This is prohibited, but when the food is already placed in the oven, where it would have been cooked without the heathen, it is permitted.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 38b
then come and stir it pending her return from the bathhouse or Synagogue, and she need take no notice of it.
The question was asked: How is it if a heathen placed [meat upon the coals] and an Israelite turned it over? - R. Nahman b. Isaac said: The answer can be deduced by a fortiori reasoning - if the food is permitted when its cooking is completed by a heathen, how much more so when it is completed by an Israelite! It has been similarly stated: Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan - another version is, R. Aha son of Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: Whether a heathen placed it there and an Israelite turned it over or vice versa, it is permitted; and it is not prohibited unless both the beginning and completion of the cooking are performed by a heathen. Rabina said: The law with reference to bread is, if a heathen kindled the fire and an Israelite baked it or vice versa, or if a heathen both kindled the fire and baked the bread but an Israelite came and raked the fire, it is all right. Fish salted [by a heathen] is permitted by Hezekiah but prohibited by R. Johanan.1 An egg roasted [by a heathen] is permitted by Bar Kappara2 but prohibited by R. Johanan. When R. Dimi came [from Palestine] he said: Both salted fish and roasted eggs are permitted by Hezekiah and Bar Kappara but prohibited by R. Johanan.
R. Hiyya Parva'ah visited the house of the Exilarch where he was asked, 'How is it when an egg is roasted [by a heathen]?' He replied, 'Hezekiah and Bar Kappara permit it, but R. Johanan prohibits it, and the opinion of one authority cannot stand against that of two.' R. Zebid said to them, 'Pay no attention to him, because Abaye declared that the legal decision agrees with R. Johanan.' [The Exilarch's heathen servants were infuriated by R. Zebid's remark and] gave him a draught of spiced vinegar from which he died.
Our Rabbis taught: The caper-flower, leeks and liver-wort [preserved by heathens],3 water boiled and ears of corn4 roasted by them are permitted, but a roasted egg is prohibited. As regards oil, R. Judah the Prince and his Court took a vote on it and declared it permitted. It has been taught: The rule which applies to liver-wort holds good also of the beans called pesilya and Egyptian beans [shi'atha]. What are shi'atha? - Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: It is forty years since this preparation was imported from Egypt; while Rabbah b. Bar Hanah himself said: It is sixty years since this preparation was imported from Egypt. There is no contradiction since each statement was made in the corresponding year.5 [The manner of its preparation is as follows:] Take the seeds of parsley, flax and fenugreek, soak them together in lukewarm water and leave them until they begin to sprout. Then take new earthenware pots, fill them with water and soak therein red clay into which the seeds are planted. After that go to the bathhouse and by the time of coming out they will have blossomed, and on eating of them you will feel cooled from the hair of the head down to the toe-nails. R. Ashi said: R. Hanina told me that this is an empty tale; according to another version [he told him that the effect was achieved] through magical spells.
Our Rabbis taught: Date-husks6 belonging to a heathen when boiled in a large cauldron are prohibited, but if in a small cauldron they are permitted.7 Which is a small cauldron? - R. Jannai said: One into which a swallow cannot enter. But perhaps it is cut up in pieces and placed in it [to be cooked]!8 - Rather [must a small cauldron be defined as] one into which the head of a swallow cannot enter.9 But it has been taught: Whether it be a large or small cauldron [the brew] is permitted! There is no contradiction; for where [the teacher forbids the large cauldron] he is in agreement with the view that when [the forbidden element of a mixture] imparts a worsened flavour it is prohibited, while in the other case the teacher is in agreement with the view that when [the forbidden element] imparts a worsened flavour the mixture is permitted.10
R. Shesheth said: The cooked oil of a Gentile is prohibited. R. Safra said: Why should we be concerned about it [to declare it prohibited]? If because of the possibility that he may have mixed [yen nesek] with it, the effect would be to turn it rancid! If it is on account of [the prohibition against] all things cooked by a heathen, it is something which is eatable in its raw state!11 If on account of the rule that vessels used by heathens must be scoured before they may be used by a Jew,12 it is an instance where a worsened flavour is imparted and it should therefore be permitted! R. Assi was asked: What of dates cooked by a Gentile? - As regards the sweet species the question does not arise since they are certainly permitted;13 as regards the bitter species the question also does not arise since they are certainly prohibited;14 but there is a question about the middle species?15 How is it with them? - He replied: Why do you ask me this question seeing that my teacher, viz. Levi, has declared them prohibited!
As for shattitha'a16 [brewed by a heathen], Rab permits it but Samuel's father and Levi prohibit it. If it is made from wheat or barley, they all agree that it is permitted.17 If from lentils and vinegar all agree that it is prohibited; where there is disagreement is when it is made from lentils and water.18 [Samuel's father and Levi] are of the opinion that we decree it prohibited from fear [that being permitted with water people will drink it when it has been prepared with vinegar], whereas [Rab] held that we do not declare it prohibited because of that fear. Another version is: When [the shattitha'a] is made from lentils and water all agree that it is prohibited; where there is disagreement is when it is made from wheat or barley [and prepared with water, Samuel's father and Levi] being of the opinion that we decree it prohibited from fear [that being permitted with water people will drink it when it has been prepared with vinegar], whereas [Rab] held that we do not declare it prohibited because of that fear. Rab said: Two kinds of shattitha'a did Barzilai the Gileadite send to David, as it is said, Beds and basons and earthen vessels and wheat and barley and meal and parched [corn] and beans and lentils and parched [pulse].19 Nowadays people carry out basketfuls to the markets of Nehardea and no attention is paid to the view of Samuel's father and Levi.
AND PRESSED FOODSTUFFS INTO WHICH THEY ARE ACCUSTOMED TO PUT WINE. Hezekiah said: This teaching only applies when they are merely accustomed [to put wine or vinegar into them]; but when it is certain [that they actually do so], the foodstuffs are prohibited even for all use. Why, then, the distinction in that the Rabbis permit muries brine20 for every use? - There the purpose [of the wine] is to overcome the bad smell [of the fish] and here the purpose is to sweeten the taste. R. Johanan, however, said: Even when it is certain [that wine is included in the pressed foodstuffs] they are also permitted. Why, then, the distinction in that R. Meir prohibits muries brine for every use? -
(1) The former does not, and the latter does, consider the salting to be an act of cooking.
(2) The egg, being roasted in its shell, could not be affected by what the heathen does.
(3) They are allowed because they are also eaten raw. V. supra 38a.
(4) These do not change their natural form as the effect of heat. V. supra p. 184.
(5) Bar Bar Hanah made his statement twenty years after R. Johanan.
(6) What is left after the juice has been pressed out.
(7) Its mouth is very small, so it is assumed that he had cooked nothing unclean in it.
(8) So that the date-husks brewed therein are affected by what had been previously cooked.
(9) It is not to be assumed that they cooked in it an unclean thing of a smaller size than this.
(10) V. infra p. 324.
(11) And it was stated above that the prohibition of things cooked by a heathen does not apply in such a case.
(12) V. infra p. 362.
(13) Being eaten raw, they are permitted when cooked by a heathen.
(14) Because they are not eaten raw.
(15) Which are not very sweet or very bitter.
(16) A beverage made from roasted flour. Since it is very sweet, vinegar is usually added, and that is the ground of the prohibition.
(17) Because the brew is not so sweet and vinegar is not added.
(18) [So Ms.M.]
(19) II Sam. XVII, 28. The word parched occurs twice and is explained as denoting two kinds of brew made from roasted flour.
(20) Fish-brine, when prepared by heathens, although wine is included in it. V. supra 34b.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 39a
There [when the bread is dipped in the fish-sauce] the presence of the wine is something actual,1 but [with the pressed foodstuffs] it is not something actual.2
PICKLED HERRING WHICH HAD BEEN MINCED, BRINE IN WHICH NO FISH etc. What is the meaning of HELEK? - R. Nahman b. Abba said in the name of Rab: It is the sultanith.3 Why is it prohibited? Because other species of a similar kind4 [but prohibited] are caught together with it.
Our Rabbis taught: [Those species of fish] which have no [fins and scales] at the time but grow them later, as, e.g., the sultanith and 'aphiz,5 are permitted; those which have them at the time but shed them when drawn out of the water, as, e.g., the colias, scomber, sword-fish, anthias and tunny are permitted. R. Abbahu announced in Caesarea that fish-entrails and fish-roe may be purchased from anybody since the presumption is that they only come from Pelusium and Aspamia.6 This is like what Abaye said: The zahanta7 from the river Bab-Nahara8 is permitted. On what ground? If I answer because of the rapid flow of the stream and an unclean species of fish cannot exist in fast-flowing water since the backbone is lacking in them, we do see them existing there! If it be suggested that the reason is because the water is salty and an unclean species of fish cannot exist in salty water since scales are lacking in them, we do see them existing there! - Rather must the explanation be that the river-bed is such that it does not permit the breeding of the unclean species of fish. Rabina said: Since nowadays the rivers Goza and Gamda flow into [Bab-Nahara, its zahanta] is prohibited.9 Abbaye said: The sea-ass [i.e., hake] is permitted, the sea-ox10 prohibited; and an aid to the memory is the unclean [on land, viz., the ass] is clean [in the water] and vice versa. R. Ashi said: Shefarnuna11 is permitted, kedashnuna12 prohibited; and an aid to the memory is Holy [kodesh] to the Lord13 [but not to men]. According to another version he said that the kebarnuna14 is prohibited, an aid to the memory being the phrase 'graves [kibre] of heathens.'
When R. Akiba visited Guizak,15 they set before him a fish resembling the mud-fish; he covered it over with a basket, and noticing scales16 in it declared it permitted. When R. Ashi visited Tamduria,17 they set before him a fish resembling an eel; holding it up against the sun, he noticed that it had growths [like scales], so he declared it permitted. When R. Ashi visited a certain place, they set before him fish resembling the shefarnuna, - he covered white basins over them, and perceiving scales18 in them declared them permitted. When Rabbah b. Bar Hanah visited the fort of Agama,19 they set before him some zahanta; but when he heard somebody call it 'roach', he said, 'Since this has been called "roach", I conclude that there is something unclean in it.' He did not eat any of it; and looking at it the following day he found something unclean in it; so he applied to himself the verse, There shall no mischief happen to the righteous.20
DROPS OF ASAFOETIDA. On what ground [are they prohibited when obtained by a heathen]? - Because [to secure them the root] must be cut with a knife;21 and although a Master has said that when [the forbidden element] imparts a worsened flavour [the mixture] is permitted, yet on account of the pungency of the asafoetida it sweetens the fatty substance [which had been absorbed in the knife] and it therefore becomes a case where [the forbidden element] imparts an improved flavour and as such is prohibited. R. Levi's slave used to sell asafoetida; and when R. Levi died people asked R. Johanan whether it was permissible to buy of him. He replied to them: The slave of a haber22 is like a haber.
R. Huna b. Minyomi bought blue wool23 from the wife24 of R. Amram the pious, and came before R. Joseph.25 He was unable to answer him; and when Hanan the tailor chanced to meet him [R. Huna mentioned the matter to him]. He replied: How could the poor Joseph be acquainted with this! But it once happened that I bought blue wool from the household of Rabbanaah,26 brother of R. Hiyya b. Abba, and I came before R. Mattena who could not answer [the same question]. So I went to R. Judah of Hagronia27 who said to me: You have need of my instruction. Thus said Samuel: The wife of a haber is like a haber; for our Rabbis have taught: The wife of a haber is like a haber, the slave of a haber is like a haber, and when a haber dies his wife, children and members of his household remain in that state of confidence until they give grounds for suspicion. Similarly a store in which blue wool is sold remains in a state of confidence until its wares are disqualified.
Our Rabbis have taught: The wife of an 'am ha-arez28 who marries a haber, likewise the daughter of an 'am ha-arez who marries a haber, and the slave of an 'am ha-arez who is sold to a haber are all required to take the obligation relating to the status of a haber;29 but the wife of a haber who marries an 'am ha-arez likewise the daughter of a haber who marries an 'am ha-arez and the slave of a haber who is sold to an 'am ha-arez are not ab initio30 required to take the obligation relating to the status of a haber. Such is the statement of R. Meir; R. Judah says: These too are required ab initio to take the obligation relating to the status of a haber. Similarly declared R. Simeon b. Eleazar: It happened that a woman married to a haber used to bind the phylacteries upon his arm; she afterwards married a tax-collector31 and she used to attach the tax-seals for him.32
Rab said: Milk, meat, wine and blue wool [if transmitted through
was no longer alive at the time of the purchase and the wife might have sold him some imitation instead of the genuine blue. a heathen] with only one seal [attached to identify them] are prohibited;33 but asafoetida, fish-sauce, bread and cheese34 are permitted with one seal. Milk, meat, wine and blue wool
(1) Because one swallows the sauce together with the bread.
(2) One eats the preserved food but not the liquor in which it has been kept.
(3) A fish of the anchovy species.
(4) Lewysohn, Zoologie des Talmuds, p. 260, explains the word as meaning 'the sprat'.
(5) Perhaps the sardine (Lewysohn, p. 261).
(6) The former is a town on the Nile, the latter is Spain. It was supposed that no forbidden kinds of fish existed there.
(7) A small fish preserved in brine.
(8) A tributary of the Euphrates.
(9) Because these streams carry unclean fish into it. [These three tributaries of the Euphrates flowed above Pumbeditha, Obermeyer, op. cit. p. 228.]
(10) According to Lewysohn, p. 270, a species of ray.
(11) Lewysohn, p. 267, explains it as the hammer-fish, of the shark family.
(12) A fish of the anthias genus.
(13) Ex. XXVIII, 36. Tosaf. cites another reading to the effect that the shefarnuna is prohibited and the kedashnuna permitted, and this is the more probable. The mnemonic then indicates that this latter fish is 'holy', i.e., clean.
(14) A species of mud-fish. According to Tosaf. the reading should be 'permitted' instead of 'prohibited', the mnemonic 'graves of heathens' indicating this since they do not defile.
(15) V. supra, p. 165, nn. 4-5.
(16) [Which the fish dropped while struggling in the basket (Rashi). R. Han. explains: He scraped the back of the fish against the edge of a basket.]
(17) An unidentified place in Babylonia.
(18) [I.e., the dark scales against the white background.]
(19) Near Pumbeditha.
(20) Prov. XII, 21.
(21) Which may be impregnated with the fat of forbidden food.
(22) V. Glos. Just as the master was scrupulous with the dietary laws so is the servant likely to be. It is therefore allowed to buy of him.
(23) For the zizith. V. Glos.
(24) Lit., 'household'.
(25) To inquire whether he may use it, since R. Amram
(26) [Rabbanai; v., e.g., Ber. 21b.]
(27) The town Agranum on one of the tributaries of the Euphrates near Nehardea.
(28) V. Glos.
(29) Before reliance can be placed upon them.
(30) I.e., before they can be trusted. It is assumed that they will continue their former practice.
(31) Who was generally an unscrupulous person.
(32) Which served as a receipt. The point is that a woman is influenced by her husband. Therefore the wife of a haber who marries an 'an ha-arez cannot be trusted.
(33) The heathen may have changed the article and attached the seal to it. In the text mnemonics are employed to represent the two sets of enumerated articles, and the explanation of the mnemonics follows on.
(34) These being less expensive articles, the heathen is not so likely to make a substitution.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 39b
are prohibited with one seal; but asafoetida, fish-sauce, bread and cheese are permitted with one seal. Why need we be concerned about bread? Were he to change a fresh loaf for a stale one, or a wheaten-loaf for one of barley, it could be readily detected! If [the fear is that he might substitute] one loaf for another like it [baked by a heathen], since there is one seal attached he would not take the trouble to commit a fraud. Why, however, should Rab make a distinction that with cheese [the heathen] would not take the trouble to commit a fraud [and allows one seal]; likewise with milk he would not take the trouble to commit a fraud [and yet Rab demands two seals]? - R. Kahana said: Strike out the word 'milk' and insert 'slices of fish' which have no distinguishing mark. But that is the same as meat! - [Rab differentiates] two kinds of meat.1 Samuel, on the other hand, said: Meat, wine and blue wool are prohibited with one seal; but fish-sauce, asafoetida and cheese2 are permitted with one seal. According to Samuel, a slice of fish which has no distinguishing mark is regarded as the same as meat, and we do not say that there are two kinds of meat.3
Our Rabbis taught: We do not buy in Syria4 wine, fish-sauce, milk, sal-conditum, asafoetida or cheese,2 unless it be from a reliable dealer; but if [an Israelite] is the guest of a host there [all these foodstuffs] are permitted.5 This supports the statement of R. Joshua b. Levi who said: If [a Syrian] householder sends him [as a gift any of these foodstuffs] to his house he may eat them; for what reason? - A householder would not leave what is allowed and eat what is forbidden, and if he sends anything to him [it may be assumed that] he sends him from what he himself eats.
AND SAL-CONDITUM. What is sal-conditum? - Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: Salt of which all Roman guests6 partake. Our Rabbis have taught: Black sal-conditum is prohibited and the white is permitted. Such is the statement of R. Meir; R. Judah says: The white is prohibited and the black permitted. R. Judah b. Gamaliel says in the name of R. Hanina b. Gamaliel: Both kinds are prohibited. Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: In the opinion of him who declared the white to be prohibited, the intestines of unclean white fish are mixed with it; in the opinion of him who declared the black to be prohibited, the intestines of unclean black fish are mixed with it; and in the opinion of him who declared both kinds to be prohibited, [the intestines of] both species of fish are mixed with them. R. Abbahu said in the name of R. Hanina b. Gamaliel: There was an old man in our neighbourhood who used to polish this salt with swine's fat.
BEHOLD THESE ARE PROHIBITED. What does this intend to exclude? - According to Hezekiah it excludes [those preserved foods] in which it is known [that wine is included].7 According to R. Johanan it excludes fish-brine and cheese from Bithynia.8 This anonymous statement [in the Mishnah] is that of R. Meir.
MISHNAH. THE FOLLOWING ARE PERMITTED TO BE EATEN [BY AN ISRAELITE]: MILK WHICH A HEATHEN MILKED WITH AN ISRAELITE WATCHING HIM; HONEY, GRAPE-CLUSTERS9 - EVEN WHEN THESE EXUDE MOISTURE THE LAW WHICH RENDERS FOOD SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEFILEMENT BY A LIQUID DOES NOT APPLY TO THEM - PRESERVED FOODSTUFFS INTO WHICH THEY ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO PUT WINE OR VINEGAR, PICKLED HERRING WHICH HAS NOT BEEN MINCED, BRINE CONTAINING FISH, A LEAF OF ASAFOETIDA, AND ROLLED OLIVE-CAKES. R. JOSE SAYS: THOSE OLIVES HAVING STONES READY TO DROP OUT ARE PROHIBITED. LOCUSTS WHICH COME OUT OF [A SHOPKEEPER'S] BASKET10 ARE PROHIBITED, BUT IF FROM HIS STOCK THEY ARE PERMITTED. THE SAME RULE APPLIES TO THE HEAVE-OFFERING.
GEMARA. What we learn here in the Mishnah is a support for what the Rabbis have taught elsewhere: If an Israelite is sitting near a heathen's flock11 and the latter milks and brings some to him, he need have no concern [and is allowed to drink it]. How is this to be understood? If there is no unclean animal in the flock, obviously so; but if there is an unclean animal in the flock why [should he be permitted to drink the milk]! - It certainly deals here with the circumstance when there is an unclean animal, but [the Israelite is in such a position that] when he stands up he can see the heathen and when sitting he is unable to see him. You might argue that since he cannot see him when sitting, he should fear that he might bring him [milk in which something forbidden] has been mixed; hence we are informed [that there need be no such fear], because inasmuch as he is able to see him when standing, the heathen would be afraid to mix anything with the milk.
HONEY. Why should he have any concern about honey? If because of the possibility that something [forbidden] may have been mixed with it, the effect would be to make it rancid! If it is on account of [the prohibition against] all things cooked by a heathen, it is something which is eaten in its raw state!12 If on account of the rule that vessels used by heathens must be scoured [before they may be used] by a Jew, it is an instance where a worsened flavour is imparted and it is therefore permitted!
GRAPE-CLUSTERS-EVEN WHEN THESE EXUDE MOISTURE THE LAW WHICH RENDERS FOOD SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEFILEMENT BY A LIQUID DOES NOT APPLY TO THEM. Against this I quote: If one gleans grapes for the wine-press, Shammai says that they are susceptible to defilement [by liquid] while Hillel says that they are not susceptible; but eventually Hillel agreed with Shammai! - In the passage just cited the grapes are required for the manufacture of a liquid,13 whereas [in the Mishnah] they are not required for that purpose.
PICKLED HERRING WHICH HAS NOT BEEN MINCED. Our Rabbis have taught: How do we define 'pickled herring which has not been minced'? Such as have the head and backbone recognisable.14 And how do we define 'brine containing fish'? Such as have one or two kalbith-fish15
(1) One of a more costly kind than the other.
(2) These are likewise introduced by mnemonics.
(3) He omits bread because he felt no concern about that; and as to fish, this is included in meat and need not be specified.
(4) The Israelite shopkeepers there were suspected of adulterating their wares.
(5) The food used in the Jewish house may be considered unadulterated.
(6) This is Krauss's explanation, identifying the word with the Greek sullektoi. Jastrow thinks of the Latin siliginarii, bakers of wheat flour. The traditional Jewish interpretation is 'nobles'.
(7) They are forbidden for any use.
(8) V. Mishnah, supra 29b.
(9) The word is also explained to mean 'honeycombs'.
(10) In which they are exhibited for sale on the counter.
(11) Although he does not actually see the milking done.
(12) And should be permitted, as already explained.
(13) In which case the liquid that exudes is acceptable to him, and accordingly can render the cluster susceptible to uncleanness, which is not the case when he wishes to eat the grapes. V. Mak. I, 1.
(14) They have not been broken up, and the species, whether clean or unclean, can then be identified.
(15) V. supra p. 172.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 40a
floating in it. Since you declare it permitted when there is one kalbith-fish in it, is there any need of mentioning two? - There is no difficulty; in open barrels [two are necessary],1 but in closed [one suffices].
It has been stated: R. Huna said: [Pickled herring is not considered as minced] so long as the head and backbone are recognisable. R. Nahman said: Either the head or the backbone. R. 'Ukba b. Hama objected: [We learnt] with regard to fish, only such as have fins and scales [may be eaten]!2 - Abaye said: The Mishnah deals with the skate and pelamys3 the heads of which resemble those of unclean fish.4
Rab Judah said in the name of 'Ulla: The difference of opinion [between R. Huna and R. Nahman is over the permissibility] to dip [bread] in the brine, but as regards eating the chopped herring, all agree that it is prohibited unless both the head and backbone are recognisable. R. Zera said: At first I used to dip [bread] in the brine;5 but when I heard the statement of Rab Judah in the name of 'Ulla, viz., the difference of opinion is over the permissibility to dip [bread] in the brine but as regards eating the chopped herring all agree that it is prohibited unless both the head and backbone are recognisable, I would not also dip in it.6
R. Papa said: The legal decision is that both the head and backbone of each fish must be recognisable. An objection is raised: Pieces of fish are all permitted so long as a mark [that the fish was of the clean species] is found in the whole of it or a portion of it, even a hundredth part of it. And it once happened that a heathen brought a barrel containing pieces of fish and a mark [of the clean species] was found in one of them; thereupon Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel declared the whole barrel to be permitted! - R. Papa gave this explanation: [Such a decision is correct] when the pieces are alike.7 If this be so, why mention it!8 - You might argue that we are concerned lest [that fish which had the mark of cleanness] happened [to fit in] by chance;9 so he informs us [that we need have no such fear].
A boat-load of zahanta once came to Sikara.10 R. Huna b. Hinnena went to inspect it and, noticing scales [on the sides of the boat], declared the fish to be permitted. Raba said to him: How is it possible to give permission in a place where [fish with] scales are common!11 So Raba issued an announcement prohibiting the fish, whereupon R. Huna b. Hinnena issued an announcement that they were permitted. R. Jeremiah of Difti12 said: R. Papi told me that R. Huna b. Hinnena only allowed the brine but not the eating of the fish. R. Ashi said: R. Papa told me that R. Huna b. Hinnena even allowed the fish to be eaten; but as for myself, I cannot prohibit it after what R. Papa told me, nor can I permit it in view of what Rab Judah declared in the name of 'Ulla,13 viz., the difference of opinion is over the permissibility to dip [bread] in the brine, but as regards eating the fish all agree that it is prohibited unless both the head and backbone are recognisable in each one.
R. Hinnena b. Idi was sitting in the presence of R. Adda b. Ahabah; and while sitting there he said: If a heathen brought a boat laden with barrels [of fish-brine] and a kalbith-fish is found in one of them, should they be open barrels they are all permitted,14 but if closed that barrel is permitted and the rest are prohibited. [R. Adda] asked him: Whence have you this? - [He replied:]I heard it from three eminent scholars,15 viz., Rab, Samuel and R. Johanan.
R. Berona said in the name of Rab: Fish-entrails and roe should only be bought of a reliable man. 'Ulla remarked to R. Dosthai of Berai:16 Since Rab mentioned that fish-entrails and roe should only be bought of a reliable man, it follows that unclean fish have roe; but against this I quote: Unclean fish are viviparous, whereas clean fish eject eggs! - [He replied:] Then strike out the word roe'! R. Zera said to him: Do not strike out the word because they both eject eggs; but whereas [the clean species] breed [by ejecting eggs which mature in the sand of the river-bed] the other is actually viviparous. Why, however, is it necessary [to buy the roe] from a reliable man? Surely we could examine the marks [which differentiate the clean and unclean species]; for it has been taught: The marks of [clean birds'] eggs are the same as those of [clean] fish.17 But how can such a thought enter your mind since Scripture mentions fins and scales as the marks of [clean] fish!18 The meaning is: The marks of [clean birds'] eggs are the same as those of fish-roe [which may be eaten]; and the following are the marks of [clean] birds' eggs: Such as are arched and rolling, I.e., one end is rounded and the other pointed, are clean; if both ends are pointed or round ed 'they are unclean; if the yolk is outside and the white inside the egg is unclean; if the white is outside and the yolk inside the egg is clean; if the white and yolk are mixed up it is a reptile's egg! - Raba said: [Rab's statement that it must only be bought of a reliable person refers to when the roe] has been pressed.19 But as for R. Dosthai of Berai who said that the word 'roe' should be struck out,
(1) If there was only one, it might be thought that the fish fell into it after the brine had been prepared.
(2) Hul. 59a. So how can the head or backbone be used as the criterion?
(3) A species of tunny fish.
(4) In which case the head or backbone is no criterion, but generally it is.
(5) When either the head or backbone could be recognised, on the supposition that the two Rabbis only differed with regard to eating the herring.
(6) He adopted R. Huna's view that both the head and backbone must be capable of identification.
(7) I.e., they can be joined together so that it is possible to see that they are all pieces of the same fish.
(8) There being a sign of cleanness, the fish may obviously be eaten.
(9) And the remainder were of the unclean species.
(10) A town on the Tigris near Mahoza.
(11) The boat might contain a mixture of clean and unclean fish.
(12) Identified with Dibtha on the lower Tigris.
(13) V. supra, p. 197.
(14) It is assumed that each barrel had such a fish in it, and if not there at that time it may have fallen out.
(15) The word really denotes 'a scholar of the Scriptures'. Rashi explains: They are so eminent that they may be relied upon as upon the Scriptures.
(16) A town in Babylonia. It was also the birth-place of 'Ulla (Jast.). [There was a Biri also in Galilee, with which the place mentioned here is rather to be identified.]
(17) Hul. 63b.
(18) Lev. XI, 9. This is an interjection.
(19) And the shape of the eggs cannot be ascertained.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 40b
surely it has been taught: The marks of [clean birds'] eggs are the same as those of fish-roe [which may be eaten]!1 - Must not [this Baraitha at all events] be explained?2 Read, therefore, thus:3 'Are the same as fish entrails.' But where is it found that the marks of fish-entrails are rounded and pointed?4 - This is actually found with the fish-bladder.
If there be no reliable man,5 what then? - Rab Judah said: So long as he declares, 'I salted the fish,'6 it is permitted - R. Nahman said: He must be able to declare, 'These are the fish and these their entrails.'7 Rab Judah instructed Adda, the attendant, 'So long as he declares, "I salted the fish," it is permitted.'
A LEAF OF ASAFOETIDA. Obviously [it may be eaten]!8 It would not have been necessary to mention it except for the drops which may be attached to the leaf. You might argue that we must be concerned lest [a heathen] bring [other drops of asafoetida which he had cut from the root with his knife] and mix them with it. Hence he informs us that [the drops which are found on the leaf] detached themselves [without cutting] and came off together with it.
AND ROLLED OLIVE-CAKES. Obviously they may be eaten! - No, it is necessary to mention [that they may be eaten] even when they are very soft. For you might argue that [the heathen] put wine on them.9 Hence he informs us that their softness is due to the oil.
R. JOSE SAYS: THOSE OLIVES HAVING STONES READY TO DROP OUT [SHELAHIN] ARE PROHIBITED. What is to be understood by shelahin! - R. Jose b. Hanina said: Those olives whose kernels drop out as soon as one takes them in his hand.
LOCUSTS WHICH COME etc. Our Rabbis taught: Locusts, capers and leeks10 which come from the warehouse, the stock or from a ship are permitted; but those sold on the counter in front of a shop are prohibited because [the shopkeeper] sprinkles wine upon them. Similarly the apple-cider of a heathen taken from the warehouse, the stock or a basket is permitted; but if it is sold on the counter it is prohibited because they mix wine with it.
Our Rabbis taught: Rabbi once suffered from a disorder of the bowels and said, 'Does anyone know whether apple-cider of a heathen is prohibited or permitted?' R. Ishmael son of R. Jose replied, 'My father once had the same complaint and they brought him apple-cider of a heathen which was seventy years old; he drank it and recovered.' He said to him, 'You had this information all this time and let me suffer!' They made inquiry and found a heathen who possessed three hundred jars of apple-cider seventy years old. [Rabbi] drank some of it and recovered; whereupon he exclaimed, 'Blessed be the All-present Who delivered His Universe into the keeping of guardians!'11
THE SAME RULE APPLIES TO THE HEAVE-OFFERING. How is this phrase to be understood? - R. Shesheth said: [It means that] the same rule applies to a priest who is suspected of selling his portion of the heave-offering12 as though it were common food. If it is in front of him, it is prohibited [to buy it]; but if it comes out of a warehouse or the stock or a basket,13 it is permitted because he would be afraid [to include the heave-offering among the wares] thinking that should the Rabbis hear of it they would deprive him of the lot.
MISHNAH. ALL IMAGES ARE PROHIBITED14 BECAUSE THEY ARE WORSHIPPED ONCE A YEAR. SUCH IS THE STATEMENT OF R. MEIR; BUT THE SAGES DECLARE: [AN IMAGE] IS NOT PROHIBITED EXCEPT ONE THAT HAS A STAFF OR BIRD OR ORB15 IN ITS HAND. RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS: Also ANY [IMAGE] WHICH HAS ANYTHING IN ITS HAND [IS PROHIBITED].
GEMARA. If they are worshipped once a year, what is the reason of the Rabbis?16 - R. Isaac b. Joseph said in the name of R. Johanan: In the place where R. Meir lived, [the heathens] used to worship each image once a year; and since R. Meir takes a minority into consideration,17 he decreed [against the use of images] in the other places on account of the place [where they are worshipped]. The Rabbis, on the other hand, who do not take a minority into consideration, did not decree [against the use of images] in the other places on account of the place [where they are worshipped].
Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: The teaching of the Mishnah refers to the royal statues.18 Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: The teaching of the Mishnah only applies [to these statues] when they stand at the entrance of a city.19
(1) Consequently there is roe which may not be eaten; so how can he omit the word from Rab's statement?
(2) As above.
(3) [So Ms.M.]
(4) And its edibility is decided by this criterion.
(5) When the roe has been pressed.
(6) And can vouch that they were of the clean kind.
(7) He must be able to produce the fish from which the roe had been obtained.
(8) Since it was plucked and not cut with a knife.
(9) And this is the cause of their softness.
(10) Preserved by a heathen.
(11) He thanked God that the beverage which he required to cure his illness had been preserved for the seventy years necessary to make it effective.
(12) It should only be eaten by priests.
(13) Belonging to a priest.
(14) To he used for any purpose whatever.
(15) E.g., Hermes was often represented as holding a staff (caduceus). Zeus an eagle and the son-god (Helios) an orb.
(16) In allowing them to be used for a secular purpose, provided certain symbols are not in their hand.
(17) V. supra 34b. Although he knew that the custom practised in his own town was not generally followed, he decreed against all images lest, in the exceptional places where they were worshipped annually, they would be used by the Jews because they saw them in use elsewhere.
(18) Statues of kings which were reverenced by the populace, and not to ordinary idolatrous images.
(19) Only such are prohibited by R. Meir because they are erected in a conspicuous place to be worshipped.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 41a
Rabbah said: There is a difference of opinion [with regard to statues] in villages, but as for those which are in cities all agree that they are permitted. What is the reason [for their being permitted]? They are made for ornamentation.1 But is there anyone [who says that the images set up] in villages are made merely for ornamentation? Surely those in the villages were made to be worshipped!2 - If, however, [Rabbah's statement] is quoted it must be in this form: Rabbah said: There is difference of opinion [with regard to statues] in cities;3 but as for those in villages all agree that they are prohibited.
BUT THE SAGES DECLARE, [AN IMAGE] IS NOT PROHIBITED etc. [It is prohibited when holding] a staff, because [the implication is] that it rules the whole world as with a staff.4 [It is prohibited when holding] a bird, because [the implication is] that it grasps the whole world as though it were a bird. [It is prohibited when holding] an orb, because [the implication is] that it grasps the whole world as though it were a ball.
A Tanna taught: They added [subsequently to the aforementioned] a sword [in the hand], a crown [upon the head], or a ring [upon the finger].5 A sword - at first it was thought to be just the emblem of a robber, but later it was interpreted as denoting that it has the power of slaying the whole world. A crown - at first it was thought to be just a woven wreath, but later it was interpreted as denoting a kingly crown. A ring - at first it was thought to be just an emblem of distinction, but later it was interpreted as denoting that it has the power of sealing [the fate of] the whole world for death.
RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEl. SAYS etc. A Tanna taught: Even [if it has in its hand] a pebble or chip of wood. R. Ashi asked: How is it if it held excrement in its hand? Do we say that [the intention is that] it shows contempt for all people as though they were filth,6 or perhaps [the meaning is] that it is held in contempt by all as though it were filth? The question remains unanswered.
MISHNAH. IF ONE FINDS FRAGMENTS OF IMAGES, BEHOLD THEY ARE PERMITTED. IF ONE FOUND THE FIGURE OF A HAND OR THE FIGURE OF A FOOT, BEHOLD IT IS PROHIBITED BECAUSE SUCH AN OBJECT IS WORSHIPPED.7
GEMARA. Samuel said: Even fragments of idols [are permitted]. But have we not learnt: FRAGMENTS OF IMAGES?8 - The same law applies even to fragments of idols. And the reason the Mishnah uses the phrase FRAGMENTS OF IMAGES is because of the intention to continue with the teaching: IF ONE FOUND THE FIGURE OF A HAND OR THE FIGURE OF A FOOT, BEHOLD IT IS PROHIBITED BECAUSE SUCH AN OBJECT IS WORSHIPPED.9 We learnt [in the Mishnah]: IF ONE FOUND THE FIGURE OF A HAND OR THE FIGURE OF A FOOT, BEHOLD IT IS PROHIBITED BECAUSE SUCH AN OBJECT IS WORSHIPPED. But why [should they be prohibited]?
(1) And not to be worshipped.
(2) Because villagers do not spend money on statues just as ornaments.
(3) Since there it is uncertain whether they are ornamental or for worship.
(4) Lit., 'it rules itself beneath the whole world' etc. The purpose is to avoid saying that an idolatrous image has sway over the world. Similarly with the phrases that follow.
(5) As symbols disqualifying the image.
(6) In which case the image would be prohibited for any use whatsoever.
(7) Elmslie, a.I., suggests that Asklepios, the god of healing, was often thanked by invalids for their cure by the presentation of an image of the part of the body which had been affected.
(8) Which presumably excludes 'fragments of idols'.
(9) If the Mishnah had used 'idols' in the first clause, the second might have been understood in the sense that only the figure of a hand or foot of an idol is prohibited. By using 'images' in the first clause, it is clear that the figure is prohibited even if it had belonged to an image and not an idol; but other fragments, even those of an idol, are permitted.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 41b
They are only fragments! - Samuel explained that [the prohibition only applies when the hand and foot] are set upon their base.1
It has been stated: If an idol was broken of its own accord,2 R. Johanan said that [its fragments] are prohibited, and R. Simeon b. Lakish said that they are permitted. R. Johanan said that they are prohibited because [the idol] has not been annulled.3 R. Simeon b. Lakish said that they are permitted because [the owner] certainly annuls [the idol] without expressly doing so by saying, 'It could not save itself, so how can it save me!'
R. Johanan quoted against R. Simeon b. Lakish: And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands lay cut off . . . Therefore neither the priests of Dagon, nor any that come into Dagon's house, tread etc.!4 - He replied to him: Can any proof [be brought] from there? In that passage [we learn] that they abandoned Dagon and worshipped the threshold; because, said they, the divinity left Dagon and went and settled itself upon the threshold.5 [R. Johanan then] quoted against him: IF ONE FINDS FRAGMENTS OF IMAGES, BEHOLD THEY ARE PERMITTED - consequently, fragments of idols are prohibited! - [R. Simeon replied:] Do not deduce that fragments of idols are prohibited, but deduce that the images themselves [when whole] are forbidden, and the anonymous statement in the Mishnah is the view of R. Meir.6
Now as to R. Johanan, are we not to infer from the view of R. Meir what is the opinion of the Rabbis: Did not R. Meir say that images are prohibited but the fragments of images are permitted? Hence likewise, according to the Rabbis, while an idol itself is prohibited, its fragments are permitted?7 - But is the analogy correct? There [in the case of images] they were perhaps worshipped or perhaps not; and even if you assume that they had been worshipped, perhaps they had been annulled. But in the case of an idol, it has certainly been worshipped; and who can say whether it has been annulled? Consequently there is a doubt8 and a certainty,9 and a doubt cannot set aside a certainty.10
And cannot a doubt set aside a certainty? Behold it has been taught: If a haber11 died and left a store-room full of fruits even if they are only then due to be tithed,12 they are presumed to have been properly treated.13 Now here it is certain [that the fruits were once] untithed and there is a doubt whether he had tithed them or not; yet the doubt does set aside the certainty!14 [No] here it is a case of certainty and certainty, because it is regarded as certain that he had tithed the produce, according to the teaching of R. Hanina of Hozae.15 For R. Hanina of Hozae said: It is presumed with a haber that he does not allow anything to pass out of his control unless it had been properly treated. Or if you wish I can say that it is a case of doubt and doubt, as he might have acted according to [the advice of] R. Oshaia who said: A man may act cunningly with his produce and store it together with the chaff, so that his cattle may eat of it and it become exempt from the tithe.16
And cannot a doubt set aside a certainty? Behold it has been taught: R. Judah said: It once happened that a female slave
(1) I.e., they are not part of an image but a separate object upon a base. The presumption then is that it is an idolatrous object.
(2) By falling, and was not shattered by human action.
(3) An idol could he annulled only by a wilful act of desecration on the part of an idolater.
(4) I Sam. v. 4 f. Consequently they reverenced the fragments.
(5) On the idea of sanctity attached to the threshold, v. H.C. Trumbull, The Threshold Covenant. This passage, with its parallel in the J. Talmud, is quoted by Jast. on p. 308.
(6) Although in Mishnah I he prohibits all images, yet he teaches in the first clause of Mishnah II that the fragments are permitted.
(7) Why, then, does R. Johanan forbid the use of the fragments of idols?
(8) Whether the idol was deliberately broken or fell of its own accord.
(9) That it was an idol and had been worshipped.
(10) For this reason the fragments of idols are prohibited, though those of images are permitted.
(11) V. Glos.
(12) Lit., 'sons of their day'. The time varies with the different kinds of produce. V. Ma'as. I, 2 ff.
(13) And the tithe removed.
(14) Because on the strength of the owner's reputation it is assumed that he had tithed the produce.
(15) A district East of the Tigris.
(16) Corn, in order to become liable to the tithe, must he winnowed before it is brought into the store-room within the house (v. B. M. 88a). If brought in unwinnowed, it need not be tithed, though according to Rabbinic ruling, while cattle may feed on it, it may not he used for human consumption without the tithe having been removed. Accordingly, there is a doubt (Biblically) whether the produce was liable to the tithe, and assuming that a haber would not allow anything to pass out of his control unless it had been properly treated, the Rabbis waived aside their reservation in this case.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 42a
of a certain tax-collector in Rimmon1 threw the body of a premature child into a pit, and a priest2 came and gazed [into the pit] to ascertain whether it was male or female.3 The matter came before the Sages and they pronounced him clean4 because weasels and martens are commonly found there.5 Now here is a certainty that the woman had cast a premature child [into the pit], and a doubt whether [animals] dragged it elsewhere or not; yet the doubt sets aside the certainty! - Do not say 'she cast a premature child into a pit' but 'she cast a kind of embryo into a pit.6 But it is stated [that the priest gazed] to ascertain whether it was male or female!7 - It must be understood thus: [he gazed] to ascertain whether she had aborted wind8 or cast a premature child [into the pit]; and if you assume that she threw a premature child there, [he gazed] to ascertain whether it was male or female. Or if you wish I can say that since weasels and martens are commonly found there, they certainly dragged it elsewhere.
[R. Johanan] quoted against [R. Simeon b. Lakish]: IF ONE FOUND THE FIGURE OF A HAND OR THE FIGURE OF A FOOT, BEHOLD IT IS PROHIBITED BECAUSE SUCH AN OBJECT IS WORSHIPPED. Why [should they not be permitted]? They are only fragments!9 But surely Samuel explained that [the prohibition only applies when the hand and foot] are set upon their base.10
[R. Johanan further] quoted against [R. Simeon]: An idolater can annul an idol belonging to himself or to another idolater, but an Israelite cannot annul the idol of an idolater.11 Why [should not an Israelite be able to annul it]? Let it be considered the same as an idol which was broken of its own accord! - Abaye said: [The Mishnah refers to a case] where he only defaced the idol.12 And supposing he only defaced it, what of it? Behold we have learnt: If he defaced it, although there was no reduction in the mass of the material, it is annulled!13 - This rule only applies when an idolater defaced it in this manner, but if an Israelite did so it is not annulled.14 Raba, however, said: In reality when an Israelite only defaces it, it is also annulled; but it was feared that he might lift it up15 and then annul it. In that event it would be an idol in the possession of an Israelite, and an idol which is in the possession of an Israelite can never be annulled.
[R. Johanan further] quoted against [R. Simeon]: If an idolater brought stones from [the statue of] Mercurius and used them for paving roads or theatres, they are permitted [to be walked on by an Israelite]; but if an Israelite brought stones from [the statue of] Mercurius and used them for paving roads or theatres, they are prohibited.16 But why [are they not permitted]? Let them be considered the same as an idol which was broken of its own accord! - This case has also to be explained according to the exposition of Raba.17
[R. Johanan further] quoted against [R. Simeon]: If an idolater chipped off an idol to make use of the pieces, it and the pieces are permitted, and if he did so to embellish it, it is prohibited but its pieces are permitted; but if an Israelite chipped off an idol, whether to make use of the pieces or for its embellishment, it and the pieces are prohibited.18 Now why [are they not allowed]? Let them be considered the same as an idol which is broken of its own accord! - This case has also to be explained according to the exposition of Raba.
[R. Johanan further] quoted against [R. Simeon]: R. Jose says: He may grind [an idol] to powder and scatter it to the wind or throw it into the sea. They said to him: Even so it may then become manure, and it is stated, And there shall cleave nought of the devoted thing to thine hand.19 Now why [is it not permitted]? Let it be considered the same as an idol which is broken of its own accord! - This case has also to be explained according to the exposition of Raba.
[R. Johanan further] quoted against [R. Simeon:] R. Jose b. Jasian says: If he found the figure of a dragon with its head cut off, should there be a doubt whether an idolater or an Israelite had mutilated it, it is permitted; but if it is certain that an Israelite had mutilated it, it is prohibited. But why? Let it be considered the same as an idol which is broken of its own accord! - This case has also to be explained according to the exposition of Raba.
[R. Johanan further] quoted against [R. Simeon]: R. Jose says: Nor may vegetables [be planted beneath an Asherah] in winter because the foliage falls upon them.20 But why? Let it be considered the same as an idol which is broken of its own accord! - It is different in this case because the basic part of the idol remains.21
(1) A Biblical town south of Jerusalem.
(2) He would be well versed in the laws of defilement.
(3) To determine the duration of the woman's impurity, which was twice as long in the case of a female child (Lev. XII, 2 ff.).
(4) By bending over the pit, the kohen may have contracted impurity through the presence of the dead body.
(5) In pits. The Rabbis presumed that the animals had devoured it or dragged it elsewhere. For that reason they declared the priest to be clean (Tosef. Oh. XVI).
(6) A. Judah's statement is amended. There is a doubt whether the embryo was sufficiently developed to cause defilement to the priest.
(7) Consequently it must have been sufficiently developed to defile.
(8) I.e , an undeveloped embryo; in that event she does not become impure.
(9) v. supra. This refutes the view of R. Simeon b. Lakish that idol-fragments are permitted.
(10) But ordinary idol-fragments are permitted.
(11) V. infra 52b.
(12) Knocked it with a hammer out of shape without breaking off any part of the material.
(13) V. infra 53a.
(14) And it cannot be compared to an idol which fell in pieces of itself, because the effect of the falling produced in the mind of the heathen, viz., it cannot save itself', is more devastating than 'when he knows that a Jew had defaced it. But when a Jew breaks off a piece to annul it, it is considered as if it broke of its own accord and is permitted.
(15) In order to deface it; and the act of raising caused it technically to become the property of the Jew.
(16) V. infra 50a, b. So the fragments may not be used!
(17) viz., the raising of the stones constitutes an act of possession.
(18) V. infra 49b.
(19) Deut. XIII, 18. The passage is cited from the Mishnah 43b.
(20) V. infra 48b.
(21) Although the leaves fell, the tree used for idolatrous worship still exists; for that reason the foliage is prohibited as manure.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 42b
But there is [the analogous instance] of chips where the basic part of the idol remains, and it was taught [above]: 'If he did so to embellish it, it is prohibited but its pieces are permitted'! - R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said: [There is a difference] because an idol cannot be annulled by a natural cause.1
R. Simeon b. Lakish quoted against R. Johanan: If there be a bird's nest upon the top of a tree which had been dedicated to the Sanctuary, no use may be made of it;2 but if wrongful use of it had been made the law of trespass3 does not apply to it. [If, however, the nest be] on top of an Asherah, he knocks it off with a stick!4 Now it is to be assumed [is it not? that the case dealt with here] is, for example, where [the bird] broke twigs from the Asherah and built a nest of them; and yet it is taught: He knocks it off with a stick!5 [No:] We are dealing here with the case where, for example, [the bird] brought twigs from all sorts of places6 and built a nest of them. This conclusion is proved to be correct from the fact that in connection with [a tree] dedicated to the Sanctuary it is stated: No use may be made of it, but if wrongful use had been made of it the law of 'trespass' does not apply to it. Now this is quite right, if you say that [the bird] brought twigs from all sorts of places, that it is stated in connection with a tree dedicated to the Sanctuary: No use may be made of it, but if wrongful use had been made of it the law of 'trespass' does not apply to it. 'No use may be made of it' according to Rabbinical ruling,7 'and no law of "trespass" applies to it' - according to the law of the Torah because [the twigs] were not dedicated to the Sanctuary. But if, on the other hand, you say that [the bird] broke twigs from that tree [which had been dedicated] and built a nest with them, why is there no 'trespass' since they were dedicated to the Sanctuary!
Does this prove anything?8 Here we are dealing with the circumstance where [the bird used twigs] which grew after [the tree had been dedicated to the Sanctuary], and he holds that there is no 'trespass' involved [if a wrongful use is made of] the after-growth!9 R. Abbahu said in the name of R. Johanan: What means 'he knocks off'? He knocks [the nest down] to get the young birds.10 R. Jacob said to R. Jeremiah b. Tahlifa: I will make the cited passage clear to you: As for young birds, 'they may be used in any event;11 as for eggs they are prohibited in any event.12 R. Ashi said: But young birds which need the care of their mother13 are considered to be like eggs [and are not permitted].
MISHNAH. IF ONE FINDS UTENSILS UPON WHICH IS THE FIGURE OF THE SUN OR MOON OR A DRAGON,14 HE CASTS THEM INTO THE SALT SEA.15 RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS: IF IT IS UPON PRECIOUS UTENSILS THEY ARE PROHIBITED, BUT IF UPON COMMON UTENSILS THEY ARE PERMITTED.
GEMARA. Is this to say that [the heathens] worship these objects and no others? [Against such a conclusion] I cite the following: If one slaughters an animal in the name of seas, rivers, a desert, the sun, moon, stars and planets, Michael the great Prince16 or a tiny worm, behold these come within the category of 'sacrifices to dead objects'!17 - Abaye explained: As to worshipping they might worship whatever they take hold of; but in regard to the making of images for worship, they do so only of these three objects [enumerated in the Mishnah] which are specially honoured by them; but as for the other figures, they only make them for ornamental purposes.
R. Shesheth used to collect difficult extra-Mishnaic passages and expound them:18 [Pictures of] all the planets are permissible except that of the sun and moon; of all faces are permissible except that of a human face; and of all figures are permissible except that of the dragon. The Master said: '[Pictures of] all the planets are permissible except that of the sun and moon.' With what are we dealing here? Shall I say with the making of them? If it is with the making of them, are any of the planets allowed, seeing that it is written, Ye shall not make with Me19 - i.e., ye shall not make according to the likeness of My attendants who serve before Me in the heights!20 Obviously, then, it must refer to finding them,21 and it is in accord with our Mishnah: IF ONE FINDS UTENSILS UPON WHICH IS THE FIGURE OF THE SUN OR MOON OR A DRAGON, HE CASTS THEM INTO THE SALT SEA. If, then, it refers to finding them, consider the middle clause: 'Of all faces are permissible except that of a human face.' Now if this refers to finding them, is the picture of a human face prohibited? Surely we have learnt: IF ONE FINDS UTENSILS UPON WHICH IS THE FIGURE OF THE SUN OR MOON OR A DRAGON, HE CASTS THEM INTO THE SALT SEA. Which implies that [he does this] to the figure of a dragon but not to the picture of a human face! Obviously, then, it must refer to making them, and it is in accord with the view of R. Huna the son of R. Joshua.22 If, then, it refers to making them, consider the last clause: 'Of all figures are permissible except that of the dragon.' Now if this refers to making them, is the image of a dragon prohibited seeing it is written, Ye shall not make with Me gods of silver or gods of gold
(1) In the course of nature the foliage falls; but to chip a piece off an idol has to be a conscious act on the part of a human being.
(2) For secular purposes.
(3) V. Lev. V, 15.
(4) He is permitted to use the material of the nest as fuel. He may not climb the Asherah to get it, because he would then be making use of an idolatrous object (Me'i, III, 5).
(5) And uses it as fuel; which proves that fragments of an idol may be used, as against the view of R. Johanan.
(6) But not from an Asherah or dedicated tree, and it is for this reason that its nest may be used as fuel.
(7) Which made the law stricter from fear that if the twigs were used the tree itself might be used.
(8) Now R. Simeon b. Lakish will demonstrate that no support can be derived from this extract for R. Johanan's view because the analogy is false.
(9) Since the tree and not the after-growth was dedicated.
(10) It is objected to the foregoing argument that it is based on a misunderstanding of the extract quoted. It has nothing to do with using the nest as fuel; but as against a possible view that since the nest is on a tree which may not be used, the young birds in the nest there are likewise forbidden for fear the tree itself might be used, it is maintained that he may knock the nest from the tree to secure the pigeons.
(11) Whether the nest be on a dedicated tree or an Asherah, because the birds can fly away and do not require the tree.
(12) Because use is made of the tree as a resting-place for the eggs and there is a likelihood that the man might be making use of the tree.
(13) They are unable to fly away and need the security of the nest on the tree.
(14) The figure referred to was in the form of a pendant attached to the utensil. The device of a dragon was commonly carried upon the standards of the Roman legions. See the illustration in Seyffert, Dict. of Classical Antiquities. p. 586. [On the worship of the 'Dragon', v. Elmslie, a. I.]
(15) I.e., the Dead Sea, It is an expression denoting utter destruction.
(16) The Archangel.
(17) Cf. Ps. CVI, 28. Hul. 40a.
(18) There follows an example of a difficult Baraitha with his exposition.
(19) Ex. XX, 23.
(20) And all the planets serve God in heaven.
(21) If they are found one may use them, except figures of the sun and moon.
(22) Who explained Ex. XX, 23, as referring to man as made in the image of God and not His attendants. V. infra 43b.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 43a
[implying,] these are [prohibited] but not the image of a dragon!1 Obviously, then, it refers to finding them, and it is in accord with our Mishnah: IF ONE FINDS UTENSILS UPON WHICH IS THE FIGURE OF THE SUN [or a dragon, they are prohibited]. Therefore the first and last clauses deal with the act of finding and the middle clause with the act of making! Abaye said: That is so, the first and last clauses deal with the act of finding and the middle clause with the act of making. Raba said: They all deal with the act of finding, and as for the middle clause it is the teaching of R. Judah.2 For it has been taught: 'R. Judah also includes the picture of a woman giving to suck and Serapis.'3 A woman giving to suck alludes to Eve who suckled the whole world; Serapis alludes to Joseph who became a prince [sar] and appeased [hefis] the whole world.4 [The picture of Serapis is only prohibited when he is represented as] holding a measure and is measuring,5 and that [of Isis] when she is holding a child and giving it to suck.6
Our Rabbis taught: Which is the figure of a dragon [that is prohibited]? - R. Simeon b. Eleazar explained: Such as has scales7 between its joints. Upon this R. Assi commented: Between the joints of the neck. R. Hama son of Hanina said: The halachah is in accord with the view of R. Simeon b. Eleazar.
Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi:I was once walking with the eminent R. Eleazar Hakkappar along the road, and he found a ring upon which was the figure of a dragon.8 There passed by9 a heathen child but he said nothing to him. Then there passed by an adult heathen and [R. Eleazar] said to him, 'Annul it,'10 but he refused to do so; and he struck him until he annulled it. Draw three deductions from this: first, a heathen can annul an idolatrous object which belongs to himself or to a fellow-heathen;11 secondly, if [the heathen] understands the nature of the idolatrous object and its mode of worship he can annul it, but if he is ignorant of its nature and mode of worship he cannot annul it;12 and thirdly, force may be used to make a heathen annul the object. R. Hanina ridiculed [the foregoing statement, saying]: Does not the eminent R. Eleazar Hakkappar agree with the following teaching: If a person rescued something from a lion, bear, leopard, or from a robber,13 a river, or from what the tide throws up, or the overflow of a river; or if a person finds something in a camp or main highway or in a place where many people congregated behold the object belongs to him because the owner despairs of recovering it!14 - Abaye explained: Granted that [the owner] despaired of recovering it, but did he despair of its sacred character?15 He must have said [to himself]: If an idolater finds it he will worship it, if an Israelite finds it, since it is a valuable object, he will sell it to an idolater who will worship it.16
We have learnt elsewhere: R. Gamaliel had a picture of lunar diagrams in his upper chamber in the form of a chart hanging on the wall, which he used to show to the unlearned17 and ask then', 'Did you see (the moon] thus or thus?'18 But is [such a picture] allowed, for behold it is written, Ye shall not make with Me - i.e., ye shall not make according to the likeness of My attendants who serve before Me! - Abaye explained: The Torah only forbids the making of his attendants which can be reproduced in facsimile, according to the teaching: A man may not make a house after the design of the Temple, or a porch after the design of the Temple-porch, a courtyard after the design of the Temple-court, a table after the design of the table [in the Temple], or a candelabrum after the design of its candelabrum - He may, however, make one with five, six or eight [branches], but with seven he may not make it even though it be of other metals.19 R. Jose b. Judah says: Also of wood he may not make it, because thus did the Hasmoneans make it,20 [The Rabbis] said to him: Is any proof to be deduced from that? It consisted of metal staves overlaid with tin.21 When [the Hasmoneans] grew rich they made one of silver, and when they grew still richer they made one of gold!22 And are His attendants which cannot be reproduced in facsimile allowed? For behold it has been taught: Ye shall not make with Me - i.e., ye shall not make according to the likeness of My attendants who serve before Me in the heights!23 - Abaye explained:
(1) Since the dragon is not among the heavenly bodies.
(2) Who prohibits the use of utensils found with a human figure on them.
(3) Tosef. A.S. VI. The former indicates Isis; the latter is the Greek name for Osiris - both of them important Egyptian deities.
(4) During the seven years of famine. [The identification of Serapis with Joseph occurs frequently in writings of antiquity. V. Blaufuss, Gotter etc. p. 19.]
(5) In Seyffert, op. cit., p. 578, the modius or 'measure' is depicted as resting on the head of Serapis.
(6) See the illustration in Seyffert, op. cit., p. 325.
(7) [Or 'hairs' (v. Rashi). Dragons were believed to be bearded. V. Blaufuss, op. cit., p. 41.]
(8) He left it lying on the ground, since if he picked it up he could never have it annulled.
(9) Lit., 'he found'.
(10) By doing some damage to the ring or treating it disrespectfully.
(11) Because the man annulled the ring which did not belong to him.
(12) For that reason he ignored the child (v. infra 57b), and that the man whom the Rabbi met knew the nature of the symbol on the ring was evidenced by his refusal at first to annul it.
(13) In B.M. 24a the reading is 'a panther'.
(14) It may therefore be assumed that the owner of the ring, having given up hope of finding it, must have annulled it, why then, did the Rabbi go to the trouble of having it annulled?
(15) Being preserved by the finder.
(16) On that account the Rabbi rightly had the ring annulled before he picked it up.
(17) Who came to report that they had seen the new moon.
(18) R.H. 24a.
(19) That in the Temple had seven branches and was of gold.
(20) When they recaptured and purified the Temple.
(21) Some MSS. read: 'with wood'.
(22) Consequently the wooden candelabrum was only temporary; so why should it be forbidden to make a wooden reproduction?
(23) From which it may be inferred that even such as cannot be reproduced in facsimile are forbidden.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 43b
The Torah only prohibited the making of the likeness of the four faces together.1 According to this, a human face by itself should be permitted; so how can it have been taught: 'Of all faces are permissible except that of a human face'! - R. Judah the son of Rab Joshua said: From the discourse of R. Joshua2 I learnt: Ye shall not make itti ['with me'] - [this should be rendered as though it was] 'ye shall not make Me' [othi],3 but the other attendants are permitted.
But are the other attendants permitted? Behold it has been taught: Ye shall not make with Me, i.e., ye shall not make according to the likeness of My attendants who serve before Me in the heights, as, e.g., the Ophannim, Seraphim, holy Hayyoth and Ministering Angels!4 - Abaye explained: The Torah only prohibited the reproduction of the attendants who are in the highest stratum.5 Are, then, those in the lower stratum permitted? Behold it has been taught: That is in heaven6 - this is to include the sun, moon, stars and planets; above this is to include the Ministering Angels! - That teaching alludes to serving then.7 But if it is a matter of serving them, even a tiny worm is also [prohibited]! - That is so, and [the thought] is derived from the continuation of the verse; for it has been taught: Or that is in the earth - this is to include seas, rivers, mountains and hills; beneath - this is to include a tiny worm. But is the mere making of them permitted?8 Behold it has been taught: Ye shall not make with Me, i.e., ye shall not make according to the likeness of My attendants who serve before Me in the heights, as, e.g., the sun, moon, stars and planets! - It was different with R. Gamaliel because others9 made [the chart] for him.
But there is the case of Rab Judah for whom others made [a design on a ring], and Samuel said to him, 'You clever person!10 Blind its eyes!'11 In this instance it was a ring whose signet was cut in relief and on account of suspicion [that it might be worshipped Samuel objected to it]; for it has been taught: It is forbidden to put on a signet-ring which is cut in relief but it is allowed to seal with it; and if the signet is cut in, one may put the ring on but not seal with it. Do we, however, take into account the suspicion [that an object might be worshipped]? Behold in the Synagogue of Shaph-weyathib12 in Nehardea a statue was set up; yet Samuel's father and Levi entered it and prayed there without worrying about the possibility of suspicion! It is different when there are many people together.13 But R. Gamaliel was a single individual!14 - Since he was President of the Community many persons were always found with him. Or if you wish I can answer that [his chart] was in sections.15 As a further alternative I can answer that when it is for the purpose of study the matter is different; as it has been taught: Thou shalt not learn to do16 - but thou mayest learn in order to understand and teach.
RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS etc. Which utensils are precious and which common? - Rab said: The precious are those which [have the figures] above the water,17 the common those which have them under the water. Samuel said: Both these kinds are to be regarded as common,18 but those are precious which are upon bracelets, nose-rings and signet-rings.19 There is a teaching in agreement with Samuel: The precious utensils are those which [have figures] upon bracelets, nose-rings and signet-rings; the common those which have them upon kettles, pots, vessels for boiling water, sheets and towels.
MISHNAH. R. JOSE SAYS: HE MAY GRIND [AN IDOL] TO POWDER AND SCATTER IT TO THE WIND OR THROW IT INTO THE SEA. THEY SAID TO HIM, EVEN SO IT MAY THEN BECOME MANURE,20 AS IT IS STATED, AND THERE SHALL CLEAVE NOUGHT OF THE DEVOTED THING TO THINE HAND.21
GEMARA. It has been taught: R. Jose said to [the Rabbis]: Has it not been stated, And I took your sin,
(1) Of the heavenly creatures described in Ezek. I, 10, each of which hath four faces viz., of a man ,lion, ox and eagle.
(2) [Read with MS. M. 'R. Huna b. R. Joshua . . . discourse of Abaye.']
(3) And since man was made in God's image (Gen. I, 27) the reproduction of the human face is not allowed.
(4) V. Ezek. I.
(5) The Rabbis thought of heaven as divided into seven strata one above the other. V. Hag. 12b.
(6) Ex. XX, 4.
(7) Not making pictures of them.
(8) Without the intention of worshipping them.
(10) [Lit.. 'sharp. toothed', v. B.B. (Sonc. ed.) p. 561, n. 14.]
(11) Deface the image; hence the fact that it had been made by others did not render it permissible.
(12) Either the name of a place or man. On the image in this Synagogue, v. Krauss, Synagogale Altertumer, pp. 214 ff.
(13) There is less likelihood of idolatrous worship.
(14) Yet nobody suspected him in connection with his lunar diagrams.
(15) And he only joined them together, when they formed a picture of the moon, in the presence of the witnesses who came to report to him. So he was not alone.
(16) Deut. XVIII, 9.
(17) The figures are on the upper part of the utensils.
(18) When they are used in connection with food or drink.
(19) They are only ornamental.
(20) And advantage would be derived from it contrary to the law.
(21) Deut. XIII, 18.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 44a
the calf which ye had made, and burnt it with fire, and stamped it, grinding it very small, until it was as fine as dust; and I cast the dust thereof into the brook that descended out of the mount1 They replied to him: Can any proof be adduced from this passage? Behold it states, And he strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it2 - i.e he had no other intention than to test them as is done with women suspected of infidelity!3 R. Jose answered them: But has it not been stated, And also Maacah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made at abominable image . . . he made dust of it, and burnt it at the brook of Kidron!4 They said to him: Can any proof be adduced from this passages seeing that the brook of Kidron is not a fertile place?5 It is not! But it has been taught: [The blood of] the various [sacrifices] mingled in the conduit and flowed into the brook of Kidron and was sold to gardeners for manure, and by making an illegal use of it one becomes liable to bring a 'trespass' offering!6 - There were different kinds of sites there, some fertile and others not.
What means miplezeth [abominable image]? - Rab Judah said: [An object which] intensifies licentiousness [maphli' lezanutha] as R. Joseph taught: It was a kind of phallus with which she had daily connection.
R. Jose said to [the Rabbis]: But has it not been stated, He brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made.7 They replied to him: Can any proof be adduced from this passage? Behold it states, And the Lord said unto Moses, Make leka ['thee'] a fiery serpent,8 - 'leka' means 'from what belongs to thee,' and a man cannot render prohibited what is not his property!9 - In the affair [of the brazen serpent] there was really no necessity for it to have been broken in pieces,10 but when [Hezekiah] saw that the Israelites were erring after it, he arose and destroyed it. [R. Jose] said to [the Rabbis]: But has it not been stated - And they left their images there, and David and his men took then away11 - and what means, and David . . . took them away? - It is an expression for scattering, as R. Joseph translated12 the word in the passage, Thou shalt fan them and the wind shall carry them away.13 and we translate it: 'Thou shalt winnow them and a wind will disperse them'! They replied to him: Can any proof be adduced from this passage? Behold it states, And they were burned with fire,14 and since it is not written, 'and he burnt them and took them away,' conclude that took them away must be interpreted in the literal sense [and not as 'scattered']! Nevertheless the two verses are contradictory! - It is as R. Huna pointed out; for R. Huna objected: It is written, And David gave commandment, and they were burned with fire, and it is written, he took them away. There is no contradiction; the first passage refers to the time before Ittai the Gittite came, the latter to after his coming;15 for it is written, And he took the crown of Malcam from off his head, and the weight thereof was a talent of gold.16 But was that permissible since any advantage is prohibited [from an idol]? - R. Nahman explained: Ittai the Gittite came and annulled it. If the weight [of the crown] was a talent of gold, how could [David] have put it on? - Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: [The meaning is] that it was fit to rest upon David's head.17 R. Jose son of R. Hanina said: There was a lodestone in it18 which raised it up.19 R. Eleazar said: [The meaning is] that there was a precious stone in it worth a talent of gold.
This I have had, because I kept Thy precepts20 - what does this intend? - The following: as a reward for keeping Thy precepts, 'this' is a testimony on my behalf.21 What was its testimony? - R. Joshua b. Levi said: He used to wear [the crown] in the place of the phylacteries and it fitted him. But it would be necessary for him to put on the phylacteries! R. Samuel son of R. Isaac said: There is sufficient room on the forehead to lay two sets of phylacteries.22
[It is written], Then he brought out the king's son and put upon him the Nezer and the testimony.23 'Nezer' - that is the 'crown'. [What is] 'the testimony'? - Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: It was a testimony to the house of David that whoever was eligible for the throne [the crown] fitted, but it would not fit anyone who was not eligible.
[It is written], Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself saying, I will be king.24 Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: He exalted himself [thinking that the crown] would fit him, but it did not fit him. And he prepared his chariots, and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. In what did their superiority consist? - It has been taught: All of them had had their spleen cut out and the soles of their feet hollowed.25
(1) Ibid. IX, 21. So Moses had no scruple about throwing the dust into the water.
(2) Ex. XXXII, 20. Moses disposed of the dust in this way for a special purpose; so this is an exceptional case.
(3) Whose innocence was proved by means of the ordeal of drinking water mingled with dust from the floor of the Sanctuary (Num. V, 12 ff.).
(4) II Chron. XV, 16.
(5) So there could have been no practical purpose in scattering the dust there as manure, but on fertile ground it is forbidden to scatter it.
(6) V. Lev. V,15. Since manure was used in the brook of Kidron, it must have been a fertile place.
(7) II kings, XVIII, 4.
(8) Num. XXI, 8.
(9) Consequently even if the Israelites did worship the serpent, it was not an idol which could be prohibited by Hezekiah, since it was technically the private property of Moses' heirs.
(10) Because for the reason just mentioned there was no infringement of the law.
(11) II Sam. V, 21.
(12) [The edition of the Targum to the Prophets is ascribed to him.]
(13) Isa. XLI, 16. Here carry away clearly means their being scattered.
(14) I Chron. XIV, 12.
(15) Being a heathen (II Sam. XV, 19) he was able to annul the idols; so David countermanded his first order to have them burnt.
(16) II Sam. XII, 30. Malcam (Milcom) is the name of the Ammonite god. A talent was about 57 lbs. in weight.
(17) Not that he actually wore it.
(18) [Rashi omits 'in it'.]
(19) David sat beneath it, the appearance being that he was wearing it.
(20) Ps. CXIX, 56. The word 'this' alludes to the crown.
(21) V. infra.
(22) So David had room for the crown and phylacteries.
(23) II Kings, XI, 12.
(24) I Kings, I, 5.
(25) To make them swifter runners. Based on the literal meaning of he prepared, viz., 'he made'. V. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 115, nn. 11-12.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 44b
MISHNAH. PROCLOS, SON OF A PHILOSOPHER,1 PUT A QUESTION TO R. GAMALIEL IN ACCO WHEN THE LATTER WAS BATHING IN THE BATH OF APHRODITE.2 HE SAID TO HIM, IT IS WRITTEN IN YOUR TORAH, AND THERE SHALL CLEAVE NOUGHT OF THE DEVOTED THING TO THINE HAND;3 WHY ARE YOU BATHING IN THE BATH OF APHRODITE?' HE REPLIED TO HIM, WE MAY NOT ANSWER [QUESTIONS RELATING TO TORAH] IN A BATH.4 WHEN HE CAME OUT, HE SAID TO HIM, 'I DID NOT COME INTO HER DOMAIN, SHE HAS COME INTO MINE.5 NOBODY SAYS, THE BATH WAS MADE AS AN ADORNMENT FOR APHRODITE; BUT HE SAYS, APHRODITE WAS MADE AS AN ADORNMENT FOR THE BATH. ANOTHER REASON IS, IF YOU WERE GIVEN A LARGE SUM OF MONEY, YOU WOULD NOT ENTER THE PRESENCE OF A STATUE REVERENCED BY YOU WHILE YOU WERE NUDE OR HAD EXPERIENCED SEMINAL EMISSION, NOR WOULD YOU URINATE BEFORE IT. BUT THIS [STATUE OF APHRODITE] STANDS BY A SEWER AND ALL PEOPLE URINATE BEFORE IT. [IN THE TORAH] IT IS ONLY STATED, THEIR GODS6 - I. E., WHAT IS TREATED AS A DEITY IS PROHIBITED, WHAT IS NOT TREATED AS A DEITY IS PERMITTED.
GEMARA. But how did [R. Gamaliel] act in this manner?7 For Rabbah b. Bar Hanah has said in the name of R. Johanan: It is permitted to ponder [over matters of Torah] in any place except a bath and privy! Should you reply that he spoke to him in the vernacular,8 behold Abaye has said: It is permitted to discuss secular subjects in the holy tongue, but it is forbidden to discuss holy subjects in the vernacular! A Tanna taught: When he came out, he replied to him, 'We may not answer [questions relating to Torah] in a bath.'9
R. Hama b. Joseph said in the name of R. Oshaia: R. Gamaliel made a fallacious reply to that general [Proclos], but I maintain that it was not fallacious. What was the fallacy? - Because he told him,10 THIS [STATUE] STANDS BY A SEWER AND ALL PEOPLE URINATE BEFORE IT. And if people do urinate before it, what of it?11 For Raba has said: Peor12 proves [the contrary], because people evacuate in its presence every day but it is not annulled as a consequence. 'But I maintain that [R. Gamaliel's answer] was not fallacious,'13 - because [in the case of Peor] such was the mode of its worship, but [with Aphrodite] it was not the mode of her worship.
Abaye said: [It can be shown that the reply was] fallacious from the fact that he told him, 'I DID NOT COME INTO HER DOMAIN, SHE HAS COME INTO MINE.' And if he had come into her domain, what of it?14 For we learn: If an idol has a bath-house or garden, we may use either so long as it is not to the advantage [of idolatry],15 but we may not use either if it is to its advantage!16 'But I maintain that [R. Gamaliel's answer] was not fallacious,'17 - because no token of recognition by R. Gamaliel was as valued as a token of recognition by other men.18
R. Shimi b. Hiyya said: [It can be shown that the reply was] fallacious from the fact that he told him, 'THIS [STATUE] STANDS BY A SEWER AND ALL PEOPLE URINATE BEFORE IT.' And if people do urinate before it, what of it? For we learn: If he spat before it, urinated before it, dragged it [in the dust] or hurled excrement at it, behold it is not annulled!19 'But I maintain that [his answer] was not fallacious.' There [in the Mishnah just cited] the man may have been momentarily incensed against the idol and subsequently made his peace with it; but here [in the case of the Aphrodite image] it is constantly treated in this contemptuous manner.
Rabbah b. 'Ulla said: [It can be shown that the reply was] fallacious from the fact that he told him, 'NOBODY SAYS, THE BATH WAS MADE AS AN ADORNMENT FOR APHRODITE, BUT APHRODITE WAS MADE AS AN ORNAMENT FOR THE BATH. And if one said that the bath was made as an adornment for Aphrodite, what of it? For it has been taught: If one says, 'This house is for an idol, this cup is for an idol,' he has said nothing because there can be no dedication to an idol!20 'But I maintain that [his answer] was not fallacious.' Granted that [the use of the bath] is not actually forbidden, it is nevertheless intended as an ornament [of the idol, and is consequently prohibited].
(1) The word for 'philosopher' is doubtless a corruption of a proper noun (v. Bacher, Agada d. Tan., I, p. 86 n.).
(2) Baths were frequently adorned with statues of deities. v. Krauss, Tal. Arch., I, p. 218.
(3) Deut. XIII, 18.
(4) Owing to the nudity of the persons there.
(5) The bath existed before the image of Aphrodite was set up in it and it was constructed for general use.
(6) Deut. VII, 16; XII, 2.
(7) To answer him at all while in the bath.
(8) And not Hebrew, and therefore it it permissible.
(9) And while he was in there he made no reply at all. This is a more correct version than that given in the Mishnah.
(10) According to R. Oshaia.
(11) That would not annul the idol.
(12) The name of a heathen deity; v. Num. XXV, 3.
(13) What follows is in explanation of the vague statement of R. Hama.
(14) That the use thereof should then be prohibited.
(15) There is no payment or recognition of any kind for the use.
(16) Infra 51b.
(17) V. p. 221, n. 8.
(18) Since he was so eminent, the heathens would consider it an honour for him to use the bath gratis if it had really been dedicated to Aphrodite; so that if the bath had been there first it would have been impossible for him to have entered such a bath.
(19) Infra 53a.
(20) By word of mouth; it must be formally offered to the idol (Tosef. 'Ar. IV).
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 45a
MISHNAH. IF IDOLATERS WORSHIP MOUNTAINS AND HILLS THESE ARE PERMITTED;1 BUT WHAT IS UPON THEM2 IS PROHIBITED, AS IT IS SAID, THOU SHALT NOT COVET THE SILVER OR THE GOLD THAT IS ON THEM.3 R. JOSE THE GALILEAN SAYS: [IT IS STATED] THEIR GODS UP ON THE HIGH MOUNTAINS,4 NOT THEIR MOUNTAINS WHICH ARE THEIR GODS, AND THEIR GODS UPON THE HILLS, NOT THEIR HILLS WHICH ARE THEIR GODS.5 BUT WHY IS AN ASHERAH PROHIBITED?6 BECAUSE THERE WAS MANUAL LABOUR CONNECTED WITH IT,7 AND WHATEVER HAS MANUAL LABOUR CONNECTED WITH IT IS PROHIBITED. R. AKIBA SAID: LET ME EXPOUND AND DECIDE [THE INTERPRETATION] BEFORE YOU: WHEREVER YOU FIND A HIGH MOUNTAIN OR ELEVATED HILL OR GREEN TREE, KNOW THAT AN IDOLATROUS OBJECT IS THERE.8
GEMARA. But R. Jose the Galilean holds the same opinion as the first teacher [in the Mishnah]!9 - Rami b. Hama said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: The issue between them is whether the covering on a mountain is identical with the mountain. The first Tanna holds that the covering on a mountain is not identical with the mountain and is prohibited, whereas R. Jose the Galilean holds that the covering on a mountain is identical with the mountain [and is permitted]. R. Shesheth said: All agree that the covering on a mountain is not identical with the mountain,
(1) E.g., to quarry there or use the plants which grow on the slopes.
(2) If they had been adorned with precious metals.
(3) Deut. VII, 25.
(4) Ibid. XII, 2.
(5) He therefore holds that the mountains and hills are permitted.
(6) The text continues, and under every green tree, and R. Jose would not argue under the tree and not the tree itself!
(7) It had been planted by somebody for idolatrous worship, whereas mountains are the work of nature.
(8) I.e., neither the mountains nor what is upon them are prohibited, but only the object which is actually worshipped, as the passage is intended only to tell the people where they were likely to find the idols which they were commanded to destroy.
(9) Why, then, is his view separately expressed?
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 45b
and here they differ with regard to a tree which had been planted1 and was subsequently worshipped. The first Tanna holds that a tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped is permitted, whereas R. Jose the Galilean holds that such a tree is prohibited. From where [is it deduced that R. Jose is of this opinion]? - From what he stated in the latter part of the Mishnah: BUT WHY IS AN ASHERAH PROHIBITED? BECAUSE THERE WAS MANUAL LABOUR CONNECTED WITH IT, AND WHATEVER HAS MANUAL LABOUR CONNECTED WITH IT IS PROHIBITED; and what does the phrase, WHATEVER HAS MANUAL LABOUR CONNECTED WITH IT, mean to include? It surely includes the case of a tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped.
R. Jose son of R. Judah likewise holds that a tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped is prohibited; for it has been taught: R. Jose son of R. Judah says: Since it is stated, Their gods upon the high mountains - and not the mountains which are their gods, Their gods upon the hills - and not the hills which are their gods, I might have [similarly] understood, Their gods under every green tree - and not the green tree itself which is their god, therefore there is a text to state, And burnt their Asherim with fire.2 Why, then, is there need for the phrase, under every green tree? - This is required in accordance with the teaching of R. Akiba; for R. Akiba said: LET ME EXPOUND AND DECIDE [THE INTERPRETATION] BEFORE YOU:-WHEREVER YOU FIND A HIGH MOUNTAIN OR ELEVATED HILL OR GREEN TREE, KNOW THAT AN IDOLATROUS OBJECT IS THERE.3
What do the Rabbis make of, 'and burn their Asherim with fire'?4 - It is required to cover the case of a tree which had been planted in the first instance for idolatry.5 And does not R. Jose son of R. Judah likewise require the same text for this rule? - Indeed so. Whence then does he derive his teaching that a tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped [is prohibited]? - He derives it from, and hew dawn their Asherim,6 Which tree has its later growth7 prohibited while its root is permitted? Answer that it is a tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped. But surely the teaching uses the phrase, 'and burn their Asherim with fire'!8 - He employs the argument 'if it had not been stated' as follows: If it had not been stated, 'and burn their Asherim with fire', I would have said that, 'and hew dawn their Asherim', refers to a tree which had been originally planted for idolatry; but since it is written, 'and burn their Asherim with fire', the phrase, 'and hew dawn their Asherim', is superfluous; [so it must be employed] to refer to a tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped.
What do the Rabbis make of the phrase, 'and hew down their Asherim'? - [They explain it] according to the view of R. Joshua b. Levi; for R. Joshua b. Levi said: The felling of idolatrous trees takes precedence of the conquest of the land of Israel,9 but the conquest of the land of Israel takes precedence of the burning of idolatrous trees. For R. Joseph learned: Ye shall break dawn their altars10 - and leave them,11 and dash in pieces their pillars - and leave them. Can it enter your mind that they are to be left?12 They must be burnt! - R. Huna said: [The meaning is,] Pursue [the enemy after breaking the altars and pillars] and then burn them [immediately afterwards]. Whence does R. Jose son of R. Judah derive this rule?13 He derives it from, ye shall surely destroy14 - destroy [by breaking them] and after [conquering the land] ye shall destroy [the Asherim by burning them]. How do the Rabbis [explain this phrase]? - They require it for the rule that when one destroys an idol he must eradicate every trace of it, Whence does R. Jose son of R. Judah [derive the rule] that he must eradicate every trace of it? - He derives it from, and ye shall destroy their name out of that place.15 And how do the Rabbis [explain that phrase]? - That the idol must be renamed;16 for it has been taught: R. Eliezer says: Whence is it that when one destroys an idol he must eradicate every trace of it? - There is a text to state, And ye shall destroy their name.
(1) Not as an idol but to produce fruit.
(2) Deut, XII, 3.
(3) [This proves that R. Jose b. R. Judah prohibits the use of a tree that had been planted and subsequently worshipped, for otherwise he could have explained the phrase, 'under' every green tree as teaching that 'the green tree itself which is their god', if it had not been originally planted as an idol, is permitted.]
(4) Since they permit the trees that had not been planted for idolatrous worship.
(5) This, they agree, must not be used.
(6) Ibid. VII, 5, i.e., the tree must be cut down and not used, but its root is permitted.
(7) After the trunk bad been felled,
(8) To deduce the prohibition by R. Jose b. R. Judah of such a tree.
(9) As the Israelites marched through Canaan they must cut down these trees and leave the trunks to be burnt after the campaign was over.
(10) Deut. VII, 5.
(11) The Torah does not add: and burn them.
(12) They might be put together and worshipped!
(13) Since he applies this verse to a tree which had been planted and then worshipped.
(14) Ibid. XII, 2, lit., 'destroy ye shall destroy.'
(15) Ibid. 3.
(16) When its name is attached to a shrine.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 46a
R. Akiba said to him: But has it not been already stated, Ye shall surely destroy? If so, why is there a text to state, And ye shall destroy their name out of that place? - [Its purpose is to teach that] an idol must be renamed. It is possible to think [it may be renamed] for praise.1 Can it enter your mind [that the renaming] is for praise? But it is possible to think [that the renaming may be] neither for praise nor contempt; therefore there is a text to state, Thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it.2 How is it, then? If [the heathens] called it Beth Galya [house of revelation], call it Beth Karya [house of concealment]; if they called it 'En Kol [the all-seeing eye], call it 'En Koz [the eye of a thorn].
A tanna recited as follows in the presence of R. Shesheth: If idolaters worship mountains and hills, these latter are permissible but the worshippers [should be destroyed] with the sword; [if they worshipped] plants and herbage, these latter are prohibited but the worshippers [should be destroyed] with the sword. [R. Shesheth] said to him: Who tells you that? It must be R. Jose son of R. Judah who declared: A tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped is prohibited. But let [R. Shesheth] apply [the statement reported by the tanna] to a tree which had been planted for idolatry at the outset and [make it agree with the view of] the Rabbis! - This cannot enter your mind, because it states the analogy of a mountain: as with a mountain it was not planted for idolatry at the outset, so with this also it was not planted for idolatry at the outset.
It has been stated: If boulders become detached from a mountain, the sons of R. Hiyya and R. Johanan [take different views];3 one says that they are prohibited and the other that they are permitted. What is the reason of him who says they are permitted? - [The boulders are] like the mountain; and as the mountain is something with which no manual labour has been connected and is permitted, so these likewise have had no manual labour connected with them and are permitted. [But it may be argued] that a mountain is immovable!4 - The case of an animal will prove [the contrary].5 [Here again it may be argued] that an animal [is only permitted] because it is an animate being! - The case of a mountain proves [the contrary].6 Therefore the conclusion returns,7 because the two examples8 are dissimilar; but the point common to them both is that with neither has there been any manual labour and each is permitted. Consequently everything is permitted with which there has been no manual labour.
[But it may be argued that] the point common to them both is that they have not changed from their natural form!9 - [Well then, derive that a boulder is permitted by] an analogy drawn between an animal which has become blemished and a mountain;10 or [it may be drawn] also between an unblemished animal and a withered tree.11 As for him who prohibits [the boulders], it is because Scripture declares, Thou shalt utterly detest it, and that, shalt utterly abhor it - although it is possible to reason to the conclusion that they are permitted, yet do not draw that conclusion.12
It can be proved that it is the sons of R. Hiyya13 who permit their use; because Hezekiah asked: How is it if a man set up an egg to worship it? This question must be understood in the sense that the man had the intention of worshipping it and did worship it; and the point of [Hezekiah's] query is whether the setting up of the egg is to be considered an action14 or not. Consequently [his opinion must be that] if the man had not set it up, it is not prohibited [to be used].15 Conclude, therefore, that it was the sons of R. Hiyya who permitted [the use of the boulders]! - No; I can always maintain that it was the sons of R. Hiyya who prohibited their use, because if the man worshipped [the egg], even though he had not set it up,16 it would be prohibited [according to their view]; and the circumstance with which we are dealing here is where he set up an egg to worship but did not worship it. Now according to whom [is the question of its permissibility to be decided]? If according to him who says that the idolatrous object of an Israelite is prohibited forthwith, then it is prohibited;17 if according to him who says [that such an object is not prohibited] until it has been actually worshipped, behold the man has not worshipped it!17 - No;18 but it is necessary [to suppose the following case]: If he, e.g., set up an egg to worship but did not do so, and an idolater came and worshipped it [is it permitted] regard being had to what Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel:19 If an Israelite set up a brick to worship [but did not do so] and an idolater came and worshipped it, it is prohibited. And [Hezekiah] asked thus the question: [Does he specify] a brick because its erection is conspicuous, but the law is otherwise with an egg;17 or perhaps there is no difference? - The question remains unanswered.
Rami b. Hama asked: If a man worshipped a mountain, may its stones be used to build an altar [to God]?20
(1) I.e., to give it a better-sounding name.
(2) Ibid. VII, 26.
(3) As to whether they may be used, the mountain had been worshipped.
(4) And a boulder is not fixed in the ground and therefore the two are not comparable, with the consequence that a boulder should not be permitted.
(5) Since it is not fixed in the ground; and yet, if it had been worshipped, it may be put to a secular use.
(6) Because it is inanimate and yet permitted.
(7) To what was stated at first, viz., the boulders are permitted.
(8) The mountain and the animal.
(9) And for that reason an animal or mountain is permitted; but this is not so with a boulder because it is now a movable object and should therefore be prohibited.
(10) If the animal, while unblemished, was worshipped, it may be used later if it became blemished. Therefore the criterion of not having changed its form cannot apply to the boulder.
(11) The latter, despite the change it has undergone in its condition, is permitted solely on the ground that the existence thereof, like that of the beast, is not due to human action.
(12) In order to carry out the strict law of Scripture and only allow what the Torah expressly permits. Therefore that reason must apply also to a boulder.
(13) Their names were Judah and Hezekiah.
(14) I.e., the effect of human labour.
(15) So it all depended upon whether there had been manual labour, and the same criterion applies to the boulders.
(16) And so there had been no manual labour. Consequently the illustrations of the boulder and egg are not analogous.
(17) And what was the point of Hezekiah's query?
(18) It is agreed that Hezekiah asked his question on the view of the one who holds that the idolatrous object of an Israelite must first be worshipped before it is prohibited.
(19) Infra 53b; the reading is 'Rab'. (8) Since it is a small object.
(20) Is it analogous to an animal which has been worshipped? It cannot be offered to God but may be used by man.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 46b
Does the law prohibiting the use in the divine Service of objects which have been worshipped apply to things fixed in the ground or does it not? And if you decide that this law does apply to things fixed in the ground, are objects necessary for the preparation of a sacrifice1 analogous to the sacrifice or not?2 - Raba said: It is an a fortiori conclusion: if the hire of a harlot is usable for secular purposes when it is an object which is not fixed in the ground, but is prohibited in the divine Service when it is an object fixed in the ground3 (as it is written, Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot, or the wages of a dog4 - consequently it is immaterial [with the divine Service] whether it is not fixed in the ground or is fixed), how much more must a worshipped object, whose use for secular purposes is prohibited when it is not fixed, be prohibited in the divine Service when it is fixed! R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said to Raba: The reverse conclusion may be deduced, thus: If a worshipped object may not be used for secular purposes when unfixed but is permitted in the divine Service when fixed (as it is said, Their gods upon the high mountains, not the mountains which are their gods - consequently it is immaterial whether it is for secular use or for the divine Service), how much more must the hire of a harlot which is usable for secular purposes when it is unfixed be permissible in the divine Service when it is fixed! And if [you would argue that this conclusion is inadmissible] because of the words, into the house of the Lord thy God,5 they are required in accordance with this teaching: Into the house of the Lord thy God excludes a [red] heifer which does not enter the Sanctuary6 - such is the statement of R. Eliezer; but the Sages say: Their purpose is to include plates of beaten gold.7
[Raba] replied to [R. Huna]: I reason from the lenient to the strict view and you reason from the strict to the lenient view; and the rule is that where it is possible to reason to both conclusions we argue to the strict view. R. Papa said to Raba: But is it a fact that where it is possible to reason to both conclusions we never argue to the lenient view? Behold there is the example of the sprinkling in connection with the Passover8 on which R. Eliezer and R. Akiba differ; for R. Eliezer holds the strict view and makes the man liable [to bring the Paschal lamb] and R. Akiba holds the lenient view and absolves him.9 And still R. Akiba argues for the lenient conclusion; for we have learnt: R. Akiba said: Rather conclude the reverse: if the sprinkling which is only (forbidden on the Sabbath] on account of shebuth10 does not supersede the Sabbath, how much more must the act of slaughtering [the Paschal lamb which is a form of work prohibited] by the Torah not [supersede the Sabbath]!11 - [No;] in that matter R. Eliezer had himself taught him,12 but had forgotten his own teaching; so R. Akiba came and reminded him of it. That is why [R. Akiba] said to him, 'My master! do not make me an atonement in the time of judgment!13 Thus have I received the teaching from you: Sprinkling [is prohibited] on account of shebuth and it does not supersede the Sabbath.'14
Rami b. Hama asked: How is it if a man had worshipped standing-corn [in a field]; may it be subsequently used for meal-offerings? Does a change in form15 (make permissible] what had been used for idolatrous worship or does it not have that effect? - Mar Zutra son of R. Nahman said: Come and hear: In cases where [animals] are prohibited from being offered upon the altar, their young are permissible for that purpose;16 and in this connection it was taught that R. Eliezer forbids [the young as offerings].17 But was it not stated on that subject; R. Nahman said in the name of Rabbah b. Abbahu:18 The difference of opinion is over the circumstance where the animals had been unnaturally used and had then conceived,
(1) As, e.g., the altar.
(2) If they are, then they cannot be used in the divine Service.
(3) Suppose he gave her a house, it may not be sold and the proceeds used for the purposes of the Sanctuary.
(4) Deut. XXIII, 19.
(6) V. Num. XIX, 3. The red heifer was burnt outside the camp and only its ashes were used in the Sanctuary. Therefore the woman's hire may be used to purchase the animal.
(7) To decorate the walls of the Temple. These may not be purchased from her hire (Tosef. Par, I).
(8) I.e., a man had become defiled through contact with a dead body, and his seventh day, when he should be sprinkled with the water of purification occurred on the eve of Passover. If that day is the Sabbath, is the purification to be postponed?
(9) And they both employ the a fortiori argument. V. Pes. VI, 2.
(10) V. Glos.
(11) [Whereas R. Eliezer had previously argued to the effect that sprinkling supersedes the Sabbath.]
(12) Viz., R. Akiba, that in such a circumstance the sprinkling is forbidden on the Sabbath.
(13) I.e., do not say to me that my death be an atonement for my sins (v. Pes. 69a). In other words, do not show anger against me for contradicting your argument.
(14) In this illustration R. Akiba only employed his argument to refute his master's mistaken teaching. We have not, therefore, a genuine case against the rule quoted by Raba.
(15) The corn being now ground into flour.
(16) So by analogy the flour should be permitted.
(17) Hence the query propounded by Rami is a point of issue between Tannaim.
(18) Rashi corrects the text to: Raba said in the name of R. Nahman. In the parallel passage (Tem. 30b) the reading is: R. Huna b. Hinnena said in the name of R. Nahman.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 47a
but when they had conceived and then been unnaturally used, all agree that [the young] are forbidden [as offerings]?1 Similarly here [with the standing-corn] it is analogous to the circumstance where the animals conceived and had then been unnaturally used.2 Others declare that [Mar Zutra himself quoted the following statement of R. Nahman:] 'The difference of opinion is over the circumstance where the animals had been unnaturally used and then conceived, but when they had conceived and then been unnaturally used, all agree that [the young] are forbidden [as offerings]. Similarly here [with the standing-corn] it is analogous to the circumstance where the animals conceived and had then been unnaturally used,'3 But is the analogy correct? In the one instance it was originally an animal4 and now it is an animal, only the door had been closed in its face;5 but in the other instance it was originally wheat and now it is flour!
R. Simeon b. Lakish asked: How is it if a man had worshipped a palm-tree, may its branch be used for the fulfilment of the commandment?6 If it was a tree originally planted for idolatry the question does not arise, because it is prohibited even for secular use; but the question does arise with a tree which had been planted and subsequently worshipped. Now according to the view of R. Jose son of R. Judah,7 [even then] the question does not arise because it is prohibited by him even for secular use; but the question does arise according to the view of the Rabbis.8 How, then, is [the branch] to be regarded in connection with the fulfilment of a commandment; is it to be rejected in the divine Service or not? - When R. Dimi came9 he said: [R. Simeon b. Lakish] asked the question in connection with an Asherah10 which had been annulled: Does a disability continue in respect of commandments or not?11 - You can solve this problem from what we have learnt: If one covered it,12 and it became uncovered,13 he is free from the obligation to cover it again; but if the wind covered it,14 he is obliged to cover it himself. And Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: This teaching only applies when the wind again uncovered it,15 but if the wind did not again uncover it, he is free from the obligation to cover it. And we raised the question against this point of view: If the wind again uncovered it, what of it?16 Since [the blood] has been obliterated [by the covering], it is obliterated [once for all]! Thereupon R. Papa said: This proves that a disability does not continue in respect of commandments.17 But there is a question in connection with this very statement of R. Papa, viz., Is it quite clear to R. Papa that disability does not continue in respect of commandments either to take a lenient18 or strict19 view; or perhaps he is doubtful; and we apply [accordingly] this rule to the strict view only and not to the lenient?20 - The question remains unanswered.
R. Papa asked: How is it if a man worshipped an animal; may its wool be used for blue thread? 'Blue thread' for what purpose? If it is for the blue material of the priests' [garments], that is dealt with in the question of Rami b. Hama!21 If it is for the blue thread of the zizith,22 that is dealt with in the question of R. Simeon b. Lakish!23 - Quite so, there was no need [for R. Papa] to ask about this; but the reason why he raised the question is because there are other similar matters [about which he asked, viz.]: May its wool be used for blue thread, its horns for trumpets, the bones of its legs for flutes, its intestines for harp-strings?24 According to him, who says that the basis of [Temple-] music is in the instrument, the question does not arise because these are certainly prohibited; but the question does arise according to him who says that the basis of [Temple-] music is in the mouth. Is, then, the purpose [of the instrument] only to sweeten the sound25 and we may introduce them [when made of these materials], or perhaps even then it is prohibited? - The question remains unanswered.
Rabbah asked: How is it if a man worshipped a fountain; may its water be used for the drink-offerings? What is the point of his question? Is it whether the man worshipped his reflection [in the water],26 or perhaps he worshipped the water itself?27 He could, then, have put the same question about a bowl of water and its use for secular purposes!28 - Certainly [it is assumed] that he worshipped the water; and this is the point of his question: Did he worship the water which was in front of him and that water has flowed away,29 or did he worship the whole stream of water? But can [water which has been worshipped] be prohibited at all; for behold R. Johanan said in the name of R. Simeon b. Jehozedek: Water which is public property is not prohibited [if an individual worshipped it]! - No, it was necessary [to ask the question] where it is water which wells up front the earth.30
MISHNAH. IF [AN ISRAELITE] HAS A HOUSE ADJOINING AN IDOLATROUS SHRINE AND IT COLLAPSED, HE IS FORBIDDEN TO REBUILD IT.31 HOW SHOULD HE ACT? HE WITHDRAWS A DISTANCE OF FOUR CUBITS INTO HIS OWN GROUND AND THERE BUILDS. [IF THE WALL] BELONGED BOTH TO HIM AND THE SHRINE, IT IS JUDGED
(1) Because the act was committed against the animal and its embryo.
(2) The flour being in the ears of corn when these were worshipped, it is therefore prohibited.
(3) [According to the first version, Mar Sutra expressed no opinion as to the use of the flour for offerings; in the second he forbids it.]
(4) When still an embryo.
(5) It had an existence as an animal while still in the womb.There had been no essential change as the effect of birth
(6) On the Feast of Tabernacles; v. Lev. XXIII, 40.
(7) He maintained that if a tree had been planted and afterwards worshipped its use is prohibited. V. supra 45b.
(8) Who oppose R. Jose b. R. Judah supra, loc. cit.
(9) From Palestine to Babylon.
(10) Consisting of a palm-tree.
(11) The disability in this case was removed when the Asherah was annulled so far as secular use is concerned: but does it continue when it is a question of using it to carry out a precept of the Torah?
(12) The blood of an animal or bird which had been slaughtered; v. Lev. XVII, 13.
(13) The wind blew the dust off.
(14) The wind blew dust over the blood in the first instance.
(15) After covering it in the first instance and it was not covered by the slaughterer.
(16) Why is a second covering necessary?
(17) [And when the disability is removed the precept, in this case the covering of the blood, must be fulfilled.]
(18) And permit the use of a branch for the ritual from an Asherah which has been annulled.
(19) And require the second covering of the blood.
(20) [And the branch of the Asherah which has been annulled cannot be employed for the precept.]
(21) When he asked whether the preparation of a sacrifice is analogous to the sacrifice, since the priestly garments are a preparation. V. infra 46b.
(22) V. Glos.
(23) Who asked whether the branch of an Asherah can be used in the Feast of Tabernacles.
(24) For the music in the Temple.
(25) To give an accompaniment to the vocal music.
(26) Then obviously it may be used because the water was not worshipped.
(27) It would then obviously be prohibited.
(28) If that was the point of his question; so why does he ask about a well and its use for drink-offerings?
(29) And consequently the fountain may be used even for divine Service.
(30) It is the property of an individual. The question remains unanswered.
(31) Because by rebuilding his house, he restores the wall of the shrine.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 47b
AS BEING HALF AND HALF.1 ITS STONES, TIMBER AND RUBBISH DEFILE LIKE A CREEPING THING,2 AS IT IS SAID, THOU SHALT UTTERLY DETEST IT;3 R. AKIBA SAYS: [IT DEFILES] LIKE A NIDDAH,4 AS IT IS SAID, THOU SHALT CAST THEM AWAY AS AN UNCLEAN THING, THOU SHALT SAY UNTO IT,GET THEE HENCE.5 AS A NIDDAH DEFILES [AN OBJECT] BY CARRYING IT, SO ALSO AN IDOLATROUS OBJECT DEFILES BY ITS BEING CARRIED.
GEMARA. [But by acting as directed in the Mishnah], he enlarges the space for the shrine! - R. Hanina of Sura said: He should use [the four cubits] for constructing a privy. But it is necessary to safeguard modesty!6 - He should make a privy for use at night. But behold a Master has said: Who is modest? He who relieves himself at night in the same place where he relieves himself by day!7 And although we explain that [in that statement] the phrase 'in the same place' is to be understood as 'in the same manner,'8 still it is necessary to safeguard modesty! - He should, then, make [a privy] for children; or let him fence in the space with thorns and shrubs.9
MISHNAH. THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF SHRINES:10 A SHRINE ORIGINALLY BUILT FOR IDOLATROUS WORSHIP - BEHOLD THIS IS PROHIBITED.11 IF A MAN PLASTERED AND TILED [AN ORDINARY HOUSE] FOR IDOLATRY AND RENOVATED IT, ONE MAY REMOVE THE RENOVATIONS.12 IF HE HAD ONLY BROUGHT AN IDOL INTO IT AND TAKEN IT OUT AGAIN, [THE HOUSE] IS PERMITTED.13
GEMARA. Rab said: If one worshipped a house, he has rendered It prohibited. Conclude, then, that he holds that an object which is not fixed in the ground and subsequently becomes fixed is like an unfixed object.14 But the Mishnah deals with a shrine built [originally for idolatry]!15 - [The prohibition applies to a shrine] built [originally for idolatry] although nobody has yet worshipped in it, and to one in which somebody worshipped although he had not built it.16 If that be so, the three types [mentioned in the Mishnah] should be four!17 - Since the reference is to the subject of annulment,18 the erection [of a shrine] and worshipping there are considered one and the same thing.
MISHNAH. THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF [IDOLATROUS] STONES:19 A STONE WHICH A MAN HEWED ORIGINALLY TO SERVE AS A PEDESTAL [FOR AN IDOL] - BEHOLD THIS IS PROHIBITED. IF A MAN [MERELY] PLASTERED AND STUCCOED [A STONE] FOR IDOLATRY, ONE MAY REMOVE THE PLASTER AND STUCCO, AND IT IS THEN PERMITTED. IF HE SET AN IDOL UPON IT AND TOOK IT OFF, BEHOLD [THE STONE] IS PERMITTED.
GEMARA. R. Animi said: [It is only prohibited] if he plastered and stuccoed in the stone itself.20 But surely it is, as we learn, analogous to a house; and21 in the case of a house [the plastering] was not inserted into the material and yet it is prohibited!22 - Also with the house there is [that kind of plastering] in the space between the bricks. [Since, however, the Mishnah does not mention this,] may we not be dealing with the circumstance where he plastered [a house not for idolatry] and then re-plastered it [for idolatry]?23 - Therefore, if R. Ammi's teaching is quoted it must be with reference to annulment,24 and although the man plastered and stuccoed in the stone itself, if he removes the renovation, it is all right - For25 what you might have said was that since he plastered and stuccoed in the material of the stone, it is analogous to a stone which had been originally hewn for idolatry and the whole of it is prohibited. He consequently informs us [that it is not so].
(1) So he reckons his four cubits from half the wall's thickness.
(2) V. Lev. XI, 31. Even the debris of his own part of the wall defiles, because it cannot be clearly distinguished from that of the shrine.
(3) Deut. VII, 26.
(4) V. Glos and v. Lev. XV, 19 ff. This is more contaminating.
(5) Isa. XXX, 22. The Heb. word for unclean thing also denotes a woman in her time of uncleanness.
(6) When arranging for the construction of a privy, and here he is not allowed to put up a wall.
(7) Even at night he should go to a walled-in place.
(8) V. Ber. 62a.
(9) And use the space behind as a privy.
(10) With regard to the question of annulment.
(11) And must be annulled before it can be used.
(12) And then the house is permitted.
(13) No annulment is necessary.
(14) The materials were originally unfixed, but being built into the house are now fixed. Therefore the house is prohibited.
(15) Consequently if not built with that intention, it should not be prohibited.
(16) In either case it is forbidden, the Mishnah dealing only with one of the two cases - the former.
(17) There should be added a fourth category, viz., a shrine built for idolatry but not yet used for that purpose.
(18) And not prohibiting the house.
(19) With reference to annulment.
(20) It was not merely external ornamentation; but incisions had been made in the stone and plaster inserted.
(21) [Ms. M. omits 'surely . . . and'.]
(22) V. preceding Mishnah.
(23) In that case none of the new plaster penetrated, and yet the house is prohibited unless the stucco is removed.
(24) And not to prohibiting the stone.
(25) If R. Ammi had not given this explanation.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 48a
MISHNAH. THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF ASHERAH: A TREE WHICH HAS ORIGINALLY BEEN PLANTED FOR IDOLATRY - BEHOLD THIS IS PROHIBITED. IF HE LOPPED AND TRIMMED [A TREE] FOR IDOLATRY,1 AND ITS SPROUTED AFRESH, HE REMOVES THE NEW GROWTH. IF HE ONLY SET [AN IDOL] UNDER IT AND TOOK IT AWAY, BEHOLD THE TREE IS PERMITTED.
GEMARA. Those of the School of R. Jannai said: [When the Mishnah declares that he removes the new growth and then the tree is permitted,] it applies only when he trailed a branch and grafted it on the trunk of the tree.2 But surely we learnt in the Mishnah: IF HE [MERELY] LOPPED AND TRIMMED!3 - Therefore if the statement of the School of R. Jannai is quoted it must be with reference to annulment,4 viz., that although he trained a branch and grafted it on the trunk of the tree, if he removes the new growth [on the grafting], it is all right. For what you might have said was that since he trained a branch and grafted it on the trunk of the tree, it is like a tree which had been originally planted for idolatry and the whole of it is prohibited. Consequently we are informed [that it is not so].
Samuel said: If a man worshipped a tree, the branches which subsequently grow are also prohibited. R. Eleazar quoted against him: IF HE [MERELY] LOPPED AND TRIMMED [A TREE] FOR IDOLATRY, AND ITS SPROUTED AFRESH, HE REMOVES THE NEW GROWTH - therefore if he lopped and trimmed it the new growth is [prohibited] otherwise it is not! - Samuel could reply: Whose is [the teaching of the Mishnah]? It is the Rabbis',5 whereas Samuel's view agrees with that of R. Jose b. Judah who said: If a tree was planted and subsequently worshipped it is prohibited. R. Ashi objected to this explanation: How do we know that R. Jose b. Judah and the Rabbis differ on the question of the new growth? Perhaps they all agree that it is prohibited, and it is on the question of [the permissibility of] the trunk itself that they are at variance! For R. Jose b. Judah holds that the trunk [of a tree which has been worshipped] is likewise prohibited6 since it is stated, And burn their Asherim with fire, and the Rabbis hold that the trunk of the tree is permitted since it is stated, And hew down their Asherim-which tree has its hewn part prohibited while the trunk is permitted? Answer that it is a tree which had been planted and was subsequently worshipped! Should you retort to this: But we have not explained [the verses] in this way above!7 [I could reply:]8 Reverse the interpretation of the passages cited respectively by the Rabbis and R. Jose b. Judah!9 - [This is an impossible suggestion;] because if that were so, who taught the passage in the Mishnah: IF HE LOPPED AND TRIMMED?10 It cannot be either the Rabbis or R. Jose b. Judah; because according to the Rabbis, even if he did not lop and trim the tree, the new growth would still be prohibited, and according to R. Jose b. Judah even the trunk of the tree is prohibited! [No.] If you wish I can say that [the Mishnah agrees] with either the Rabbis or R. Jose b. Judah. I can say that it agrees with R. Jose b. Judah, because he maintained that the trunk is prohibited when the tree has not been lopped and trimmed,11 but if the man lopped and trimmed it then he revealed that his intention was to worship the new growth and not the trunk.12 I can likewise say that it agrees with the Rabbis, and [as to the phrase] IF HE LOPPED AND TRIMMED, It is necessary [to mention it] since I might have otherwise imagined that for the reason that he does this to the tree itself the trunk is also prohibited, Consequently we are informed [that the prohibition extends only to the new growth].13
MISHNAH. WHAT IS AN ASHERAH? ANY [TREE] BENEATH WHICH THERE IS AN IDOL. R. SIMEON SAYS: ANY [TREE] WHICH IS WORSHIPPED. IT HAPPENED AT SIDON14 THAT THERE WAS A TREE WHICH WAS WORSHIPPED AND THEY FOUND A HEAP OF STONES BENEATH IT. R. SIMEON SAID TO THEM, 'EXAMINE THIS HEAP.' THEY EXAMINED IT AND DISCOVERED AN IMAGE IN IT, HE SAID TO THEM, 'SINCE IT IS THE IMAGE THAT THEY WORSHIP, WE PERMIT THE TREE FOR YOU.'15
GEMARA. [The Mishnah asks:] WHAT IS AN ASHERAH? But we learnt above: There are three kinds of Asherah!16 - What he means is this: There is agreement about two kinds,17 but in connection with the third there is a difference of opinion between R. Simeon and the Rabbis. [Therefore the Mishnah must he construed thus:] What is the Asherah about which R. Simeon and the Rabbis differ? Any [tree] beneath which there is an idol. R. Simeon says: Any [tree] which is worshipped.
How is an Asherah which is not specified as such [to be recognised]?18 - Rab said: Any tree beneath which heathen priests sit but do not partake of its fruits.19 Samuel said: Even if [the priests beneath it] say, 'These dates are for a Christian place of worship,'20 the tree is prohibited because21 they brew an intoxicating liquor from them which they drink on their feast days. Amemar said: The elders of Pumbeditha22 told me that the legal decision is in agreement with Samuel. [
(1) I.e., to worship what would from then grow upon it.
(2) The Mishnah only refers to what grows on the grafted branch as being prohibited; and if he had merely trimmed the tree without grafting on to it, it would not be prohibited.
(3) And nothing is said about grafting.
(4) And not in connection with declaring the tree prohibited at the outset.
(5) Who allow a tree to be used if it was not originally planted for idolatry. (5) And the prohibition includes the new growth, v. supra 45b.
(6) Even when a tree was not originally planted for idolatry.
(7) Supra 45b. R. Jose used the text and hew down their Asherim exactly as the Rabbis do here. Consequently he does not differ from them on the permissibility of the trunk of a tree which had not been originally planted for idolatry, and the point of variance must be the new growth which the Rabbis permit and R. Jose prohibits.
(8) Since the interpretation of and burn their Asherim ascribed here to R. Jose is nowhere explicitly stated but was assumed to be his, the assumption may be wrong and he does differ from the Rabbis on the question of the trunk.
(9) Viz., R. Jose prohibits the root and the Rabbis permit it, but the Rabbis likewise prohibit the new growth and so Samuel agrees with their opinion.
(10) The implication being that if he did not lop and trim it, the new growth is permitted!
(11) [The text in current edd. is difficult, Rashi preserves the simpler reading, adopted in this rendering, v. a.l.]
(12) So in such a circumstance he prohibits the new growth and not the root.
(13) And so Samuel's view will agree both with R. Jose b. Judah and the Rabbis.
(14) A Biblical city in Phoenicia.
(15) Not 'for them,' as in the edd.
(16) The logical order would be first to define an Asherah and then enumerate the three kinds.
(17) First mentioned in the preceding Mishnah.
(18) How can it be distinguished from an ordinary tree?
(19) This is evidence that they worship the tree.
(20) Lit., 'for the house of Nizrefe', a cacophemistic disguise of Nozrae, 'the Nazarenes', (Jast.) [Ginzberg. L., MGWJ., LXXVII, regards it as the name of a Persian house of worship meaning 'the Asylum of Helplessness'.]
(21) Although they do not worship the tree.
(22) [By the elders of Pumbeditha are meant Rab Judah and R. 'Ena, v. Sanh. 17b.]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 48b
MISHNAH. ONE MAY NOT SIT IN ITS SHADOW,1 BUT IF HE SAT HE IS UNDEFILED. NOR MAY HE PASS BENEATH IT,2 AND IF HE PASSED HE IS DEFILED. IF IT ENCROACHES UPON THE PUBLIC ROAD AND HE PASSED BENEATH HE IS UNDEFILED.3
GEMARA. [The Mishnah states:] ONE MAY NOT SIT IN ITS SHADOW - this is obvious!4 - Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: There is no necessity to mention it but for the case of the shadow of its shadow.5 Is it to be inferred that if he sat in the shadow corresponding to the height of the tree he is defiled? - No, because even if he sat in the shadow corresponding to the height of the tree he is also undefiled, yet we are informed that one may not sit even in the shadow of its shadow. There are some who apply this teaching to the continuation: BUT IF HE SAT HE is undefiled - this is obvious!6 - Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Johanan: There is no necessity to mention it but for the case of the shadow corresponding to the height of the tree. Is it to be inferred that even ab initio he may sit in the shadow of its shadow? No; but we are informed that even if he sat in the shadow corresponding to the height of the tree he is undefiled.7
NOR MAY HE PASS BENEATH IT, AND IF HE PASSED HE IS DEFILED. What is the reason? - Because it is impossible that there should be no [remains] of idolatrous offerings there. Whose teaching is this? - It is that of R. Judah b. Bathyra; for it has been taught: R. Judah b. Bathyra says: Whence is it that an idolatrous offering communicates defilement within a space which is covered over? Because it is said, They joined themselves also unto Baal-Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead8 - as a dead body communicates defilement in a space which is covered over, so an idolatrous offering communicates defilement in a space which is covered over.
IF IT ENCROACHES UPON THE PUBLIC ROAD AND HE PASSED BENEATH IT HE IS UNDEFILED. The question was asked: [Is the word to be read] 'passed' or 'passes'?9 - R. Isaac b. Eleazar said in the name of Hezekiah: It should be 'passes', but R. Johanan said: [The reading is] IF HE PASSED; and yet there is no difference of opinion between them - One [has in mind] if there is another road,10 and the other if there is not another road.
R. Shesheth11 said to his attendant, 'When you reach there,12 hurry me past.' How is this to be understood? If there was no other road, why need he say, 'Hurry me past, since it is permitted? If, however, there was another road, when he said, 'Hurry me past, was that permissible? Certainly there was no other road; but with an eminent man it is different.13
MISHNAH. THEY MAY SOW VEGETABLES BENEATH IT IN WINTER14 BUT NOT IN SUMMER,15 AND LETTUCE NEITHER IN SUMMER NOR WINTER.16 R. JOSE SAYS: NOR MAY VEGETABLES [BE PLANTED] IN WINTER BECAUSE THE FOLIAGE FALLS UPON THEM AND BECOMES MANURE FOR THEM.
GEMARA. Is this to say that R. Jose holds that a product of combined causes is prohibited17 and the Rabbis hold that a product of combined causes is permitted? But we heard the reverse in connection with them, for we have learnt: R. Jose says: He may grind [an idol] to powder and scatter it to the wind or throw it into the sea. They said to him: Even so it may then become manure, as it is stated, And there shall cleave nought of the devoted thing to thine hand!18 Here we have the Rabbis contradicting themselves and R. Jose contradicting himself!19 It is quite right, there is no contradiction in the teaching of R. Jose. In the case just cited since the man proceeds to destroy [the idol],20 [R. Jose] permits [the use of the dust as manure]; but in the case [dealt with in our Mishnah], where he does not proceed to destroy [the idol], [the dust] is prohibited [as manure]. But the Rabbis contradict themselves! - Reverse [the statements in our Mishnah].21 Or if you wish I can say that there is no need to reverse them.22 The opinion of R. Jose is as we explained;23 and that of the Rabbis is as R. Mari the son of R. Kahana said: What makes the hide valuable decreases the value of the meat.24 Similarly here, the benefit gained through the foliage is lost by reason of the shade.25
Does, however, R. Jose hold that a product of combined causes is prohibited? Behold We have learnt: R. Jose says: We may plant a young shoot which is 'orlah26 but not a nut which is 'orlah because it is fruit. And Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: R. Jose admits that if one planted [a nut which is 'orlah] or trained and grafted [a young shoot which is 'orlah on an old tree], [the fruit it grows] is permitted!27 It has been similarly taught R. Jose admits
(1) Not the shade of the foliage but the shadow cast by the tree.
(2) I.e., beneath its branches; it then forms a tent over him and for that reason he is defiled.
(3) [The defilement involved is only due to Rabbinical ruling, and has not been extended by them to these cases.]
(4) Because he would be deriving advantage from a prohibited object.
(5) Viz., the additional shadow, beyond that corresponding to the height of the tree, which is cast when the soil is in the east or west. The true shadow of the tree is denser than is its extension through the slanting rays of the sun, and the thinner shade is the shadow of the shadow.
(6) He has not contracted defilement by touching the tree.
(7) If it is an accomplished fact.
(8) Ps. CVI, 28. V. supra, 42b,
(9) The point at issue is whether we are dealing here with an act which is disallowed ab initio but is condoned as an accomplished fact.
(10) Then it is not permitted to pass under an Asherah.
(11) He was blind.
(12) A place in his town where an Asherah overhung the public road.
(13) He interpreted the law for himself in a stricter sense than for an ordinary person. Although he was allowed to pass beneath the tree, he did so as quickly as possible.
(14) Lit., 'the days of rain,' which really occur in the late Autumn. The reason why sowing is then permitted is because the proximity of the tree is not beneficial to them at that season.
(15) Because the shade is helpful to their growth.
(16) Because the shade of the tree is helpful at all seasons.
(17) When one of the causes is itself prohibited. The Gemara is here dealing with the vegetables planted in winter. The manure is a prohibited cause, but the soil is permitted.
(18) V. supra 43b.
(19) The Rabbis here forbid the powder to be used as manure while R. Jose permits it.
(20) And the act of destruction is virtual annulment of the idol.
(21) Assign to the Rabbis the statement which is attributed to R. Jose.
(22) And still there is no contradiction.
(23) That he draws a distinction between the case dealt with in our Mishnah and that in regard to the destruction of the idol.
(24) If an animal dedicated to the Temple became blemished, it is sold and the proceeds are devoted to its treasury. But the hide is not to be flayed whole, as this would lessen the value of the fish which would be badly cut up in the process, and the gain in the enhanced value of the hide would be counterbalanced by the loss in the value of the flesh.
(25) While the fall of the leaves may be beneficial to the vegetables growing there, the shadow cast by the tree is to their detriment. So the gain is set off by the loss
(26) V. Glos.
(27) Despite the fact that one contributory cause, being 'orlah, was prohibited. Rashi gives an alternative explanation: he planted the nut and grafted the shoot which grew from it on an old tree; but he prefers the former because, even without grafting, the shoot which grew from the nut is the effect of combined causes, viz., the nut which is prohibited and the soil which is permitted.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 49a
that if he planted [a nut which is 'orlah] or trained and grafted [a young 'orlah shoot on an old tree], [the fruit it grows] is permitted.1 And should you say that R. Jose makes a distinction [in respect of combined causes] between idolatry and other prohibitions2 , does he really make this differentiation? Has it not been taught: If a field has been manured with the manure derived from an idolatrous source or a cow has been fattened on beans derived from an idolatrous source, one Tanna decides that the field may be sown and the cow slaughtered, while another decides that the field must lie fallow3 and the cow grow lean? Is it not, then, that the former decision is that of R. Jose4 and the latter that of the Rabbis?5 - No, the former decision is that of R. Eliezer and the latter that of the Rabbis.6
Where have we [a difference between] R. Eliezer and the Rabbis on this question? Can I say it is [the difference] between them in the matter of leaven? For we have learnt: If common leaven and leaven of heave-offering fell into dough,7 and in each there was an insufficient quantity to cause fermentation, but added together they caused fermentation, R. Eliezer says: I decide according to which [leaven entered the dough] last.8 But the Sages say: Whether the disqualifying matter fell in first or last, [the dough] is not prohibited unless it is of a sufficient quantity by itself to cause fermentation.9 And Abaye explained: The teaching [of R. Eliezer] only applies when he first removed the disqualifying matter.10 but if he did not first remove the disqualifying matter, [the dough] is prohibited.11 But whence do we know that R. Eliezer's meaning is that offered by Abaye; perhaps his meaning is to be derived from the words, 'I decide according to which [leaven] entered [the dough] last,' i.e., if it ended with what is forbidden then [the dough] is forbidden and if it ended with what is permitted then [the dough] is permitted, whether he first removed the disqualifying matter or not!12
Rather is it [the difference] between R. Eliezer and the Rabbis on the question of the wood [of an Asherah]; for we learn: If one took pieces of wood from it, they are forbidden to be used. If he heated a new oven with them, it must be taken to pieces; [if he kindled] an old oven with them, it must be allowed to cool. If he baked bread [in an oven so heated], it is forbidden to be used, and if [the loaf] became mixed with other loaves, they are all prohibited. R. Eliezer says: Let him cast the advantage [he derives] into the Salt Sea. [The Sages] said to him: There is no redemption with an idol.13 Now which Rabbis14 differ from R. Eliezer? If I say it is the Rabbis [whose opinion has been quoted on the subject] of the pieces of wood, they take the stricter view!15 - Therefore it must be the Rabbis [whose opinion has been quoted on the subject] of the leaven.16 But, then, even though you understood the Rabbis to take the lenient view in connection with leaven, does it follow that they take the lenient view in connection with idolatry!17 Surely, then, one opinion is R. Jose's and the other is the Rabbis';18 and R. Jose19 is merely discussing the statement of the Rabbis, saying to them: According to my opinion, the product of combined causes is permitted; but according to you who maintain that the product of combined causes is prohibited, at least admit to me that20 also [the sowing of] vegetables in winter [is prohibited]!21 But the Rabbis [make reply] as R. Mari son of R. Kahana stated.22 Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel: The halachah agrees with R. Jose.
There was a garden manured with the manure obtained from an idolatrous source. R. Amram sent to R. Joseph [to know how to act with the fruits]. He replied to him: Thus said Rab Judah in the name of Samuel: The halachah agrees with R. Jose.
(1) This proves that R. Jose permits a product of combined causes.
(2) He prohibits the product of combined causes only when idolatry is a contributory cause, but not otherwise.
(3) Until the effect is the manure has passed.
(4) He allows the field to be sown exactly as he permitted the fruit from the 'orlah.
(5) Who prohibit the grinding of an idol to powder, lest it be used for manure.
(6) And so nothing can be quoted of R. Jose inconsistent with his view that the regulation of combined causes only applies in connection with idolatry.
(7) For ordinary use.
(8) If the common leaven fell in last, the dough may be eaten by non-priests, otherwise it may not be eaten by them.
(9) 'Orlah II, 11.
(10) Viz., the leaven of the heave-offering.
(11) Whichever fell in last. Consequently we have here an instance of combined causes; and since one of them is prohibited the effect is also prohibited, according to R. Eliezer; whereas according to the Sages it is permitted.
(12) In view of this uncertainty, it is not possible to derive from the illustration what R. Eliezer's view is on the question of combined causes.
(13) Quoted from the next Mishnah.
(14) Who permit the product of combined causes.
(15) Whereas the attempt is to show that R. Eliezer takes the stricter view on the question of combined causes.
(16) There they allow dough in which two kinds of leaven had fallen provided the leaven of the offering was insufficient to cause fermentation by itself.
(17) [And there is thus no proof that the above Baraitha which permits the product of combined causes in the case of idolatry will represent the view of these Rabbis.]
(18) The former maintaining that the product of combined causes is permitted, the latter that it is prohibited. [There is still no contradiction between the view of R. Jose given in the Baraitha and his ruling in our Mishnah.]
(19) In the Mishnah, on the subject of planting vegetables in winter.
(20) [The text is difficult and can only mean 'admit to me that you have here a case of combined products'. Ms. M., however, omits 'at least . . . that'.]
(21) Since the foliage, which is prohibited, is a contributory cause.
(22) supra 48b: the advantage derived from the foliage is counterbalanced by the shade cast.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 49b
IF ONE TOOK PIECES OF WOOD FROM IT, THEY ARE FORBIDDEN TO BE USED - IF HE HEATED A NEW OVEN WITH THEM, IT MUST BE BROKEN TO PIECES;1 [IF HE HEATED] AN OLD OVEN WITH THEM, IT MUST BE ALLOWED TO COOL.2 IF HE BAKED BREAD [IN AN OVEN SO HEATED], IT IS FORBIDDEN TO BE USED, AND IF [THE LOAF] BECAME MIXED WITH OTHER LOAVES, THEY ARE ALL PROHIBITED,3 R. ELIEZER SAYS: LET HIM CAST THE ADVANTAGE [HE DERIVES] INTO THE SALT SEA.4 [THE SAGES] SAID TO HIM: THERE IS NO REDEMPTION WITH AN IDOL. IF ONE TOOK [A PIECE OF WOOD] FROM IT [TO USE AS] A SHUTTLE, IT IS FORBIDDEN TO BE USED. IF HE WOVE A GARMENT WITH IT, IT IS FORBIDDEN TO BE USED. IF [THE GARMENT) BECAME MIXED WITH OTHERS, AND THESE WITH OTHERS, THEY ARE ALL FORBIDDEN TO BE USED. R. ELIEZER SAYS: LET HIM CAST THE ADVANTAGE [HE DERIVES] INTO THE SALT SEA. [THE SAGES] SAID TO HIM: THERE IS NO REDEMPTION WITH AN IDOL.
GEMARA. It was necessary [to mention both illustrations, baking and weaving]; because if he had informed us of only the first [it might have been supposed] that R. Eliezer makes his remark because at the time when the loaf is finished [baking, the wood which is] the prohibited material has been consumed; but in the case of the shuttle, since it remains discernible as a forbidden object [after the weaving is finished] conclude that he agrees with the Rabbis.5 If, on the other hand, he had only informed us of the illustration of the shuttle, [it might have been supposed] that the Rabbis make their remark in connection with it alone, but in the case of a loaf conclude that they agree with R. Eliezer.6 [Therefore both are] necessary.
R. Hiyya, son of Rabbah b. Nahmani, said in the name of R. Hisda: Ze'iri said that the halachah agrees with R. Eliezer. Others declare that R. Hisda said: Abba son of R. Hisda informed me that Ze'iri said: The halachah agrees with R. Eliezer.
R. Adda b. Ahabah said: They only differ in the matter of the loaf, but not in the matter of a cask of wine.7 But R. Hisda said: Even a cask of wine is permitted.8 An instance occurred of a man who mixed a cask of yen nesek9 with his own wine. He came before R. Hisda who told him, 'Take four zuz10 and throw them into the river and the wine will then be permitted to you [to dispose of].'11
MISHNAH. HOW DOES ONE ANNUL [AN ASHERAH]? IF [A HEATHEN] PRUNED OR TRIMMED IT,12 REMOVING FROM IT A STICK OR TWIG OR EVEN A LEAF, BEHOLD IT IS ANNULLED. IF HE CHIPPED IT TO EMBELLISH IT, IS IS PROHIBITED; BUT IF NOT TO EMBELLISH IT, IS IT PERMITTED.
GEMARA. What of the pieces chipped off?13 - R. Huna and Hiyya b. Rab differ in opinion. One said that they are prohibited, the other that they are permitted - There is a teaching in agreement with him who said that they are permitted, for it has been taught: If an idolater chipped off an idol to make use of the pieces, it and the pieces are permitted, and if he did so to embellish it, it is prohibited but its pieces are permitted; but if an Israelite chipped off an idol, whether to make use of the pieces or for its embellishment, it and the pieces are prohibited.14
It has been stated: If an idol was broken of its own accord, Rab said: It is necessary to annul every fragment;15 but Samuel said: An idol is only annulled when it is in its natural form!16 - On the contrary, does one annul it when it is in its natural form!17 - But thus he means to say: An idol need not be annulled except when it is in its natural form.18 Is this to say that they differ on this point: One holds that [idolaters] worship fragments [of idols] and the other holds that they do not worship fragments? - No, they all agree that idolaters worship fragments; and here they differ with respect to the fragments of the fragments. One holds that the fragments of the fragments are prohibited and the other holds that they are permitted. Or if you wish, I can say that they all agree that the fragments of the fragments are permitted, and here they differ with respect to an idol which is formed in sections19 and in connection with an ordinary man who is able to restore it.20 One holds that since an ordinary man is able to restore it, it is not annulled; while the other holds that an idol can only be annulled when it is in its natural form, that is, the form it normally assumes.21 So in this instance it is not in its natural form,22 and there is no need to annul it.
MISHNAH. R. ISHMAEL SAYS: IF THREE STONES ARE LYING SIDE BY SIDE NEXT TO A MERCURIUS,23 THEY ARE PROHIBITED; IF THERE ARE TWO THEY ARE PERMITTED. THE SAGES, HOWEVER, SAY: IF [THE STONES] ARE SEEN TO BE CONNECTED WITH IT THEY ARE PROHIBITED:24 BUT IF THEY DO NOT APPEAR TO BE CONNECTED WITH IT THEY ARE PERMITTED.25
GEMARA. The opinion of the Rabbis26 is clear. They maintain that [idolaters] worship the fragments [of their idols], so that when [the stones] are seen to be connected with it, the assumption is that they fell from it and are prohibited, but if they do not appear to be connected with it they are permitted. What, however, does R. Ishmael maintain? If he holds that [idolaters] worship the fragments, then even two stones should be prohibited; and if he holds that they do not worship the fragments, then even three stones should not [be prohibited]! - R. Isaac b. Joseph said in the name of R. Johanan: When it is certain that they dropped from the idol, all agree that they are prohibited, and even according to him who says that they do not worship fragments [and so these may be used], this only applies to an idol which has not that form;27 whereas here [with the Mercurius, the stones are] from the outset detached28 and that is its normal form. When, therefore, [R. Ishmael and the Rabbis] differ, it must be in connection with stones which cannot be determined.29
(1) Because the oven, made of clay, became hardened by the heat from fuel which is prohibited.
(2) There is no need to break it up in pieces because the oven derives no benefit from the heat of the fuel as does a new one.
(3) Since the loaf which has been baked under unlawful conditions cannot be distinguished from the rest.
(4) Rashi explains this to be the monetary value of the prohibited fuel. But Tosaf. rightly objects that the man could in this way redeem the loaf which had become mixed with the others, it therefore explains that the monetary value of the loaf is intended.
(5) That there can be no redemption. So we learn from the Mishnah that R. Eliezer does not take this view.
(6) That the fuel having been consumed, there can be redemption.
(7) Even R. Eliezer admits that if a cask of prohibited wine became mixed with others, there can be no redemption.
(8) By means of redemption.
(9) V. Glos.
(10) The value of a cask of wine. For zuz, v. Glos.
(11) But not to drink thereof.
(12) To use the twigs as fuel or for any other secular purpose.
(13) When the heathen embellishes the tree, may they be used?
(14) V. Infra 42a.
(15) He regards every piece as an idolatrous object.
(16) If it has been damaged, it ceases to be an idol and further annulment is unnecessary.
(17) It must be damaged to be annulled.
(18) But when it falls and is broken, the heathen virtually annuls it by thinking, 'It could not save itself.' V. supra 41b.
(19) Such an idol has fallen and is broken up into its component parts.
(20) It does not require a skilled workman to put it together.'
(21) [Even if it falls in pieces as in the case of the foliage, since it is natural for a tree to drop its foliage (Rashi).]
(22) Having fallen to pieces.
(23) [The Greek Hermes, the patron deity of wayfarers, v. Sanh. (Sonc. ed.) p. 410, n. 2.] It is presumed that they are the remains of a dolmen and for that reason forbidden.
(24) Whatever be their number.
(25) Even if there be three stones there.
(26) The Sages in the Mishnah.
(27) I.e., the idol does not consist of a pile of stones.
(28) Lit., 'broken', i.e., they were never cemented together but simply a pile. Therefore each stone is an idolatrous object and prohibited.
(29) Whether they belong to the statue or not.
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 50a
With regard to stones which are near,1 we may likewise assume that they fell [from the idol] and all agree that they are prohibited; the point of variance between them must therefore be with respect to stones which are at a distance.2 But the Mishnah uses the phrase: NEXT TO A MERCURIUS!3 - What means NEXT TO? Within four cubits of its side. R. Ishmael holds that they make a small Mercurius4 by the side of a large Mercurius; if, then, there are three stones which together resemble a Mercurius they are prohibited, and if there are two they are permitted. The Rabbis, on the other hand, hold that they do not make a small Mercurius by the side of a large Mercurius; consequently it is immaterial whether there are three or two stones. If they are seen to be connected with it they are prohibited, otherwise they are permitted.
The Master said [above]: 'When it is certain that they dropped from the idol, all agree that they are prohibited.' Against this statement I cite the following: When stones dropped from a Mercurius, if they are seen to be connected with it they are prohibited, and if they do not appear to be connected with it they are permitted; and R. Ishmael says: Three stones are prohibited but two are permitted! - Raba explained: Do not read in this extract 'dropped' but 'were found'.5 But is R. Ishmael's opinion that [if they are within four cubits] two stones are permitted? Behold it has been taught: R. Ishmael says: If two stones were found within the idol's reach6 they are prohibited and three are prohibited even at a greater distance! - Raba explained: There is no contradiction; here7 they were within one reach, and there within two reaches. How is this to be understood?8 - There is a mound between [the stones] and the Mercurius.
When they are lying in this manner9 [are they to be considered a Mercurius]? For behold it has been taught: The following are the stones of a Beth-Kulis10 - one here, a second next to it, and a third on the top of them!11 - Raba explained: This teaching refers to the basis of a Mercurius.12 The palace of King Jannaeus13 was destroyed. Idolaters came and set up a Mercurius there. Subsequently other idolaters came, who did not worship Mercurius, and removed the stones with which they paved the roads and streets. Some Rabbis abstained [from walking in them] while others did not. R. Johanan exclaimed, 'The son of the holy walks in them, so shall we abstain!' Who was 'the son of the holy'? - R. Menahem son of R. Simai. And why did they call him 'the son of the holy'? - Because he14 would not gaze even at the image on a zuz.15 What was the reason of him who abstained [from walking in these streets]? - He agreed with what R. Giddal said in the name of R. Hiyya b. Joseph: Whence is it that an idolatrous offering16 can never be annulled? As it is stated, They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead17 - as a dead body can never be annulled,18 similarly an idolatrous offering can never be annulled. As for him who did not abstain, he said: We require [such an offering] to resemble what was offered within the Temple.19 and we have not such here.20
R. Joseph b. Abba said: Rabbah b. Jeremiah once visited our town. When he came he brought with him this teaching: If an idolater took stones from a Mercurius and paved roads and streets with them,
(1) E.g.. within a cubit or a half cubit of the idol (Rashi).
(2) Within four cubits (Rashi).
(3) So they must be near it.
(4) Consisting of three stones or more.
(5) According to the amended reading there is still uncertainty whether the stones are part of the idolatrous heap.
(6) I.e., within a distance of four cubits.
(7) When he prohibits two stones.
(8) Viz., the phrase 'within two reaches'. The probability is then much less that they were part of the idol.
(9) V. Mishnah: SIDE BY SIDE.
(10) A wayside cairn dedicated to Mercurius.
(11) Formed like a dolmen.
(12) In this manner they start the heap and additions are made to it. But a small Mercurius by the side of a large one need not take the form of a dolmen.
(13) Alexander Jannaeus who ruled over Judea 104-78 B.C.E. The allusion is probably to the palace which he had built, not that it was destroyed during his lifetime. [Klein. op. cit. p. 2, refers this to the palace of Herod the Tetrarch in Tiberias, which was destroyed at the beginning of the revolt in 67 C.E.; v. Josephus, Vita, 12.]
(14) [R. Menahem, 'son' expressing an attributive idea = a holy man. Tosaf. ascribes the designation 'holy' to the father, whose holiness the son inherited.]
(15) V. Glos. The coin bore the emblem of some idolatrous cult.
(16) And the stones used for Mercurius came within that category.
(17) Ps. CVI, 28.
(18) So as not to defile.
(19) Before we declare that it cannot be annulled.
(20) Stones were not offered in the Temple!
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 50b
they are permitted;1 if an Israelite took stones from a Mercurius and paved roads and streets with them, they are prohibited; [and he added that] there was no scholar2 or scholar's son3 who could elucidate this teaching.4 R. Shesheth said: I am neither a scholar nor a scholar's son, yet I can elucidate it. What is the difficulty? The statement of R. Giddal.5 [To this I make the reply given above:] 'We require [such an offering] to resemble what was offered within the Temple, and we have not such here.'
R. Joseph b. Abba said: Rabbah b. Jeremiah once visited our town. When he came he brought with him this teaching: We may remove worms [from a tree] and patch the bark with dung6 during the Sabbatical year,7 but we may not perform these operations during [the non-holy days of] a festival. On both these occasions we may not prune,8 but we may smear oil on the place of pruning9 either during [the non-holy days of] a festival or during the Sabbatical year; and he added that there was no scholar or scholar's son who could elucidate this teaching. Rabina said: I am neither a scholar nor a scholar's son, yet I can elucidate it. What is the difficulty in it? Shall I say that the difficulty lies [in the operations mentioned] in connection with [the non-holy days of] a festival and the Sabbatical year, viz., why is the latter occasion different that the work is permitted from the former occasion when it is prohibited? Is, then, the Sabbatical year analogous [to the non-holy days of a festival], since the Divine Law forbade labour then but permitted occupation, whereas on [the non-holy days of] a festival even occupation is also prohibited!
Perhaps the difficulty is in connection with patching the bark and smearing the place of pruning - what is the distinction that the former is permitted and the latter prohibited? But is patching the bark, the purpose of which is the preservation of the tree and is permitted, analogous to smearing the place of pruning, the purpose of which is to strengthen the tree and is prohibited!10
Perhaps the difficulty is in the contradiction about patching the bark, because the teaching was: 'We may remove worms [from a tree] and patch the bark with dung during the Sabbatical year'; and against this I quote: We may patch the bark of plants, enwrap them, cover them with powder, make supports for them, and water them up to the New Year11 - up to the New Year this is permissible but not in the Sabbatical year itself!12 - Perhaps [the contradiction might be solved] according to the view of R. 'Ukba b.Hama who said: There are two kinds of hoeing [olive trees]; one to strengthen the tree and this is prohibited [in the Sabbatical year] and the other to close up cracks13 and this is permitted. Similarly here there are two kinds of patching; one is to preserve the tree and is permitted and the other to strengthen the tree and is prohibited!
Perhaps the difficulty is in the contradiction about smearing the place of pruning, because the teaching was: 'We may smear oil on the place of pruning either during [the non-holy days of] a festival or during the Sabbatical year'; and against this I quote: We may smear figs and perforate them to fatten them [with oil] up to the New Year14 - up to the New Year this is permissible but not in the Sabbatical year itself! - But are the two cases analogous; in the former the purpose is to preserve the tree and is permitted, whereas in the latter it is to fatten the fruit and is prohibited! R. Sama the son of R. Ashi said to Rabina: Rabbah b. Jeremiah's difficulty is in connection with smearing the place of pruning on [the non-holy days of] a festival15 and patching the bark on that occasion.16 Since the purpose of both is to preserve the tree, why the distinction that one is permitted and the other prohibited? That is why [Rabbah b. Jeremiah] remarked, 'There was no scholar or scholar's son who could elucidate it.'
Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: If an idol is worshipped [by tapping before it] with a stick and [an Israelite] broke a stick in its presence, he is liable;17 if he threw a stick in front of it he is free of penalty. Abaye said to Raba: Why is it different when he broke the stick? Because it resembles the slaughter [of an animal in the Temple].18 Then the act of throwing a stick resembles the rite of sprinkling [the blood in the Temple]!19 - He replied: We require a sprinkling which is broken up and that we have not here.20 Against [this explanation of Raba] is quoted: If he offered to the idol excrement or poured out before it a vessel of urine,
(1) Because by using them for such a purpose, the heathen annulled them.
(2) Lit., 'skilled artisan', i.e., an ordained Rabbi.
(3) A Rabbinical student.
(4) The difficulty is, how could idolatrous offerings have been annulled?
(5) That there can be no annulment with an idolatrous offering.
(6) In places where the bark had fallen off, Jastrow explains: smear a plant with rancid oil to keep worms away.
(7) When all agricultural labour has to be suspended (Lev. XXV, 4).
(8) To increase the foliage. So Rashi; but Jastrow has: Cut a branch to let the sap drip.
(9) To prevent the sap from running out, which would injure the tree.
(10) The latter, unlike the former, increases the growth and is consequently forbidden in the Sabbatical year. So the problem is not to be sought in this point.
(11) Preceding the Sabbatical year (Sheb. II, 4).
(12) Whereas Rabbah b. Jeremiah taught that this could be done during the Sabbatical year.
(13) In the soil around the root. Its purpose is then only to preserve the tree.
(14) Sheb. II, 5.
(15) Which is permitted.
(16) Which is prohibited.
(17) To the death-penalty for the sin of idolatry.
(18) The animal is, as it were, broken.
(19) So the man who did this should also be punished.
(20) There is no analogy between throwing a solid object and sprinkling drops of a liquid.