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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Mezi'a
Not that one is permitted to make an exchange, but that if he did the exchange is valid, and he receives forty [lashes]!1 He replied: That accords with R. Judah, who maintained that one is flagellated for [violating] a negative precept which involves no action.2 But can you make this agree with R. Judah? Does not the first clause state: All have power to exchange, both men and women. Now, we pondered thereon, what is 'all' intended to add?3 [And we answered,] An heir.4 And this does not agree with R. Judah: for if it did, surely he maintained that an heir can neither exchange nor lay hands?5 — This Tanna agrees with R. Judah in one ruling,6 and disagrees in another.7
Our Rabbis taught: If one muzzles a beast and threshes therewith, he is flagellated, and pays [to the owner of the cow] four kabs in the case of a cow, and three kabs for an ass.8 But [is it not a principle], one is not flagellated and executed; nor is one flagellated and made to pay? — Abaye replied: This is in accordance with R. Meir, who maintained, One is flagellated and also made to pay.9 Raba said:10 The Torah forbade the hire [of a harlot], even if one had relations with his mother.11 R. Papa said: He becomes liable for its food from the moment of meshikah,12 whereas flagellation is not incurred until muzzling.13
R. Papa said: The following problems were propounded to me by the disciples of R. Papa b. Abba, and I gave stringent rulings,14 one in accordance with the law, the other not in accordance with the law.15 They asked of me: May dough be kneaded with milk? And I ruled that it was forbidden, this being in accordance with the law. For it has been taught: Dough may not be kneaded with milk, and if it is, the whole loaf is forbidden, because it may lead to transgression.16 Likewise, an oven may not be greased with tail fat,17 and if it is, the whole loaf [baked therein] is forbidden, until the oven is heated through.18 The other problem they propounded of me was: May two heterogeneous animals [of opposite sexes] be led into a stable?19 And I answered them that it is forbidden, this not being in accordance with the law. For Samuel said: In the case of adulterers, they [sc. the witnesses] must have seen them in the posture of adulterers;20 but in respect to diverse species, they must have seen him assisting [the copulation] even as [one places the] painting stick in the tube.21
R. Ahadboi b. Ammi raised an objection: Had Scripture stated, Thou shalt not cause thy cattle to gender,22 I might have thought [it to mean], One must not hold a beast when the male [even of its own kind] copulates with it; therefore it is said, with a diverse kind. Surely then this proves that in the case of different species one may not even hold [the female]! — By 'holding', 'assisting' is meant, and why is it designated 'holding'? As a more delicate term.
Rab Judah said: In animals of the same species, one may 'assist' [at copulation] even as [one places the painting] stick in the tube, and it is not even forbidden on account of obscenity. Why? Because he is engaged in his work.23 R. Ahadboi b. Ammi raised an objection:
Baba Mezi'a 91b
Had Scripture stated, Thou shalt not cause thy cattle to gender, I should have thought [it to mean], One must not hold a beast for the male to copulate with it; therefore it is said, with a diverse kind. Hence, only in regard to different species is it forbidden; but in the same species,it is permitted. Yet even there, only holding is permitted — but not 'assisting'. — What is meant by 'holding'? 'Assisting'. And why is it called 'holding'? As a delicate term.
R. Ashi said: This question was put to me by the scholars of Rabbana1 Nehemiah, the Resh Galutha:2 May an animal be led into a stable together with one of its own species and another heterogeneous to it? [Do we argue,] Having its own kind, it will be attracted thereto; or perhaps, even so, it is not [permitted]? And I answered them that it is forbidden; not because the law is so, but on account of the licentiousness of slaves.3
MISHNAH. IF HE [THE LABOURER] WORKS WITH HIS HANDS BUT NOT WITH HIS FEET, OR WITH HIS FEET BUT NOT WITH HIS HANDS; [AND] EVEN IF HE WORKS WITH HIS SHOULDERS [ONLY], HE MAY EAT. R. JOSE SON OF R. JUDAH SAID: [HE MAY NOT EAT] UNLESS HE WORKS WITH HIS HANDS AND FEET.
GEMARA. What is the reason [of the first Tanna]? — When thou comest into they neighbour's vineyard4 implies, for whatever work he may do.
R. JOSE SON OF R. JUDAH SAID: [HE MAY NOT EAT] UNLESS HE WORKS WITH HIS HANDS AND FEET. What is the reason of R. Jose son of R. Judah? — He [the labourer] is likened to the ox:5 just as the ox [does not eat unless] it works with its hands and feet,6 so the labourer too must work with his hands and feet.
Rabbah son of R. Huna propounded: According to R. Jose son of R. Judah, what if one threshes with geese and fowls?7 Is it necessary that [the work shall be done] with all its [sc. the creature that threshes] strength, which provision is complied with? Or perhaps, it must work with its fore-feet and hind-feet, which is here absent? — The problem remains unsolved.
R. Nahman said in Rabbah b. Abbuha's name: Labourers, before they walk both lengthwise and crosswise in the winepress, may eat grapes but drink no wine. Having walked lengthwise and crosswise in the winepress, they may eat grapes and drink wine.8
MISHNAH. WHEN HE [THE LABOURER] IS WORKING AMONG FIGS, HE MUST NOT EAT OF GRAPES; AMONG GRAPES, HE MUST NOT EAT OF FIGS. YET HE MAY RESTRAIN HIMSELF UNTIL HE COMES TO THE CHOICE QUALITY [FRUIT] AND THEN EAT.9 NOW, WITH RESPECT TO ALL OF THEM [SC. THE LABOURERS], PERMISSION WAS GIVEN ONLY WHEN THEY ARE ACTUALLY AT WORK;10 BUT IN ORDER TO SAVE THE EMPLOYER'S TIME,11 THEY12 RULED, LABOURERS MAY EAT AS THEY WALK FROM ROW TO ROW,13 AND WHEN RETURNING FROM THE WINEPRESS. AND AS FOR AN ASS, [IT MAY EAT] WHILST BEING UNLADEN.14
GEMARA. The scholars propounded: Whilst working on one vine, may he [the labourer] eat of another?15 Is it merely necessary [that thou shalt eat only] of the kind which thou puttest into the employer's baskets,16 which [requirement] is fulfilled; or is it stipulated that [thou shalt eat only] that [i.e., the tree from] which thou puttest into the employer's baskets, which is here lacking? [But] should you say, when working on one vine he may not eat of another, how can an ox eat of what is attached to the soil?17 — R. Shisha the son of R. Idi replied: It is possible in the case of a straggling branch.18 Come and hear: IF HE [THE LABOURER] IS WORKING AMONG FIGS, HE MUST NOT EAT OF GRAPES. This implies that he may eat of figs [when working] on figs, on the same conditions that [he may not eat of] figs [when working] on grapes:19 but should you say, If he works on one vine he may not eat of another, how is this possible? — R. Shisha, the son of R. Idi said: It is possible in the case of an overhanging branch.20
Come and hear: BUT HE MAY RESTRAIN HIMSELF UNTIL HE COMES TO THE CHOICE QUALITY [FRUIT], AND THEN EAT. But should you say: Whilst employed on one vine he may eat of another, let him go, bring [the choice fruit] and eat it [and why restrain himself]? — There it is [forbidden] because of loss of time; [in that case,] there is no question.21 Our problem arises only if he has his wife and children with him:22 what then? — Come and hear: NOW, WITH RESPECT TO ALL OF THEM [SC. THE LABOURERS], PERMISSION WAS GIVEN ONLY WHEN THEY ARE ACTUALLY AT WORK, BUT IN ORDER TO SAVE THE EMPLOYER'S TIME, THEY RULED, LABOURERS MAY EAT AS THEY WALK FROM ROW TO ROW, AND WHEN RETURNING FROM THE WINE-PRESS. Now, it was assumed that walking [from vine to vine] is regarded as actual work [it being necessary thereto], yet he may eat only in order to save the employer's time, but not by Scriptural law; thus proving that whilst engaged on one vine he may not eat of another! — No. In truth I may assert that whilst engaged on one vine he may eat of another; but walking is not regarded as actual work. Others say, it was assumed that walking is not regarded as actual work, and only on that account may he not eat by Scriptural law, because he is not doing work; but if he were doing actual work, he might eat even by Biblical law, thus proving that whilst engaged on one vine he may eat of another! — No; in truth I may assert that whilst engaged on one vine he may not eat of another;
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