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Avodah Zarah, Daf Samech Heh, Part 6
Reading for Friday, September 14
Avodah Zarah 65-6
Today’s section begins with a new mishnah which discusses yayin nesekh that falls on other food items. The question is whether or not this causes the food to become prohibited.
מתני׳ יין נסך שנפל ע”ג ענבים ידיחן והן מותרות ואם היו מבוקעות אסורות נפל ע”ג תאנים או על גבי תמרים אם יש בהן בנותן טעם אסור
If yayin nesekh fell upon grapes, one may rinse them and they are permitted, but if they were split they are prohibited.
If it fell upon figs or upon dates, should there be in them [sufficient wine] to impart a flavor, they are prohibited.
If yayin nesekh falls upon grapes, the grapes may be washed and then they are permitted. Since the yayin nesekh does not have any effect on the taste of the grapes, they are permitted. If, however, the grapes were split open, then the wine could seep into them and effect their taste. In this case it is not possible to wash away the potential taste of the wine and therefore the grapes are forbidden.
ומעשה בביתוס בן זונן שהביא גרוגרות בספינה ונשתברה חבית של יין נסך ונפל על גביהן ושאל לחכמים והתירום
זה הכלל כל שבהנאתו בנותן טעם אסור כל שאין בהנאתו בנותן טעם מותר כגון חומץ שנפל ע”ג גריסין:
It happened with Boethus ben Zunin that he carried dried figs in a ship and a cask of yayin nesekh was broken and it fell upon them; and he consulted the Sages who declared them permitted.
This is the general rule: whatever derives advantage [from yayin nesekh by its] imparting a flavor is prohibited, but whatever does not derive advantage [from yayin nesekh by its] imparting a flavor is permitted, as, for example vinegar which fell upon split beans.
If yayin nesekh falls on other types of foods, such as dates or figs, the food becomes prohibited only if the wine improves the flavor of the food. The mishnah mentions a story of a person who carried figs and yayin nesekh on a ship. When one of the casks of wine broke on the figs he asked the Sages if the figs were still permissible, and they permitted them. Since the wine does not improve the flavor of the figs, the person has not derived benefit from the wine and therefore the figs are permitted. This general rule, that the wine causes the food to be forbidden only if it imparts a good flavor, is stated specifically in the next lines of the mishnah. The mishnah concludes with an example of another situation in which the taste is not improved, when vinegar (which comes from wine) falls on split beans.
גמ׳ מעשה לסתור חסורי מיחסרא והכי קתני אם נותן טעם לפגם הוא מותר ומעשה נמי בביתוס בן זונן שהיה מביא גרוגרות בספינה ונשתברה חבית של יין נסך ונפל על גביהן ובא מעשה לפני חכמים והתירום
GEMARA. A story that contradicts [the rest of the mishnah!]
[The wording of the Mishnah] is defective and should read as follows: If [the wine] imparts a bad taste, it is permitted; and thus it happened with Boethus b. Zunin that he carried dried figs in a ship and a jug of yayin nesekh was broken and it fell upon them. The case came in front of the Sages who declared them permitted.
The Talmud feels that the story of Boethus contradicts the abstract halakhah that appeared before it. To remedy this they add in that the wine gave a bad taste to the figs. I think we knew that in the first place.
ההוא כרי דחיטי דנפל עליה חביתא דיין נסך שרייה רבא לזבוניה לעובדי כוכבים
איתיביה רבה בר ליואי לרבא בגד שאבד בו כלאים ה”ז לא ימכרנה לעובד כוכבים ולא יעשנה מרדעת לחמור אבל עושה אותו תכריכין למת מצוה לעובד כוכבים מ”ט לא דלמא אתי לזבוניה לישראל ה”נ אתי לזבוניה לישראל
הדר שרא למיטחינהו ולמפינהו ולזבונינהו לעובדי כוכבים שלא בפני ישראל
There was a heap of wheat onto which a jug of wine fell and Rava permitted it to be sold to non-Jews.
Rabbah b. Livai raised a difficulty against Rava: A garment into which mixed threads have been lost, he may not sell it to a non-Jew, nor may he make of it a pack-saddle for a donkey, but he may use it as shrouds for an unidentified dead boy.
Why may he not [sell it] to a non-Jew? Lest he sell it to a Jew! So too he might come to sell it to an Israelite?
Rava changed his mind and permitted [the Jew] to mill it, bake it and sell [the loaves] to a non-Jew not in the presence of an Israelite.
Rava allowed the Jew to sell the wheat to a non-Jew even though the wine could be tasted. Evidently, the Jew cannot eat the wheat but he can derive benefit from it.
But Rabbah b. Livai raises a difficulty. It will not be that noticeable that wine fell onto this wheat and if the non-Jew sells it back to a Jew, the Jew will eat prohibited food. We learn in a baraita that Jews must be concerned about such situations. If there is a piece of cloth into which “sha’atnez” has been placed, one may not sell it to a non-Jew lest he come to sell it to a Jew.
Rava accepts this difficulty and then modifies his opinion slightly. The Jew cannot sell this wheat straight to non-Jew out of fear that the non-Jew will sell it back to a Jew. He must first bake it into bread. Jews are not allowed to eat bread baked by non-Jews so there is no concern that a Jew will buy it back.
תנן יין נסך שנפל ע”ג ענבים ידיחן והן מותרות ואם היו מבוקעות אסורות מבוקעות אין שאין מבוקעות לא אמר רב פפא שאני חיטי הואיל ואגב צירייהו כמבוקעות דמיין
We learned: If yayin nesekh fell upon grapes, one may rinse them and they are permitted, but if they were split they are prohibited.
If they are split they are [prohibited], but if not split they are not!
Papa said: Wheat is different because of its slits it is as if it is split.
Although the wheat is not actually split like the grapes, since wheat grains naturally have a slit in them, they are always considered as if they are split.