Avodah Zarah, Chapter Two, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

This mishnah is a continuation of the discussion which began in the previous mishnah.  It continues to discuss prohibitions that are a result of the Jewish suspicion that non-Jews are murderers.

 

Mishnah Two

1)                     We may allow them to heal us when the healing relates to money, but not personal healing;

2)                     Nor should we have our hair cut by them in any place, this is the opinion of Rabbi Meir.

a)                                 But the Sages said:  in a public place it is permitted, but not when the two persons are alone.

 

Explanation

Section one:  A Jew is permitted to be healed by a non-Jew when the healing relates to money. In the Talmud this clause is explained to mean that a Jew may take his animals to a non-Jewish doctor.  This “healing” is considered to be related to money because the animal is the Jew’s property.  However, a Jew may not himself be healed by a non-Jewish doctor, lest the non-Jewish doctor purposefully cause him damage.  The Talmud adds that if the non-Jewish doctor tells him that a certain drug would be beneficial he may listen to him, since the Jew could check this information with others.

Section two: According to Rabbi Meir a Jew may never get his hair cut by a non-Jew, lest the non-Jew kill him with the scissors or razor.  The Sages say that this is only prohibited in private.  In public the non-Jew would not dare to kill the Jew.

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