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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
Two2 saffron-growers, [one of whom was] a heathen who took charge of the field on the Sabbath, and [the other] an Israelite who did so on the Sunday, came before Raba; he declared the partnership as permissible. Rabina, however, cited the following in refutation of Raba's ruling: If an Israelite and a heathen leased a field in partnership, the Israelite must not say subsequently to the heathen, Take as thy share the profit in respect of the Sabbath, and I will take as mine that in respect of a week-day;3 only when such a condition was made originally is it permitted. [Likewise] if they just calculate the profit4 it is forbidden! Whereupon he [Raba] blushed. Subsequently, the fact came to light that the partners had indeed laid down that condition originally.
R. Gabiha of Be-Kathil5 said: That was a case of 'orlah6 plants, the produce of which the heathen was to eat during the forbidden years and the Israelite during [a corresponding number of] permitted years, and they came before Raba who permitted it.7 But did not Rabina cite a statement in objection to Raba's ruling? — [No,] it was in order to support it.8 Then why did Raba blush? — That never occurred at all.
The question was asked: What if no arrangements at all were made? — Come and hear [the above passage]: 'Only when such a condition was made originally is it permitted,' hence, if there was no arrangement it is forbidden. Continue, then, with the next part: 'If they calculated the profit it is forbidden,' which implies that, if there was no arrangement it is permitted! — The fact is, no answer can be deduced from this passage.
MISHNAH. ONE SHOULD NOT PLACE CATTLE IN HEATHENS' INNS,9 BECAUSE THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF IMMORAL PRACTICE WITH THEM. A WOMAN SHOULD NOT BE ALONE WITH THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF LEWDNESS, NOR SHOULD A MAN BE ALONE WITH THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF SHEDDING BLOOD.
‘Abodah Zarah 22b
GEMARA. The following was cited in contradiction: One may buy of them cattle for a sacrifice, and it need not be feared lest it committed, or had been used for, an immoral act, or had been designated as an offering to idols, or had been worshipped.1 Now we are quite right not to fear about its having been designated as an offering to idols or having been made an object of worship, since if it had been so designated or worshipped, its owner would not have sold it; but we surely ought to fear as to committing an immoral act!2 — Said R. Tahlifa in the name of R. Shila b. Abina in the name of Rab: A heathen would have regard for his cattle, lest it becomes barren.3 This would indeed hold good in the case of female cattle but what answer would you give in the case of males? — Said R. Kahana: Because it has a deteriorating effect on their flesh. Then what about that [Baraitha] which has been taught: 'One may buy cattle of any heathen shepherd'; ought we not to fear lest he used it for an immoral purpose?4 — The heathen shepherd would be afraid of forfeiting his fee. What then about this [other Baraitha] which has been taught: 'One should not entrust cattle to a heathen shepherd';5 why not assume that the heathen shepherd would be afraid of forfeiting his fee? — They fear detection by one another since they know a good deal about it, but they are not afraid of us who do not know much about it. Rabbah said: This is what the popular proverb says. 'As the stylus penetrates the stone so one cunning mind detects another.' In that case, neither should we buy male cattle6 from women, for fear of their having used them for immoral practice! — She would be afraid of being followed about by the animal. What then about this which R. Joseph learnt: 'A widow should not rear dogs, nor accommodate a student as a guest'? Now it is quite right in the case of a student, as she might reckon on his modesty,7 but in the case of a dog why not say that she would be afraid of being followed about by it? — Since it would follow about on being thrown a piece of meat, people will say that it is because of being given such pieces that it follows her. Why then should we not leave female animals alone with female heathens?8 — Said Mar 'Ukba b. Hama: Because heathens frequent their neighbours' wives, and should one by chance not find her in, and find the cattle there, he might use it immorally. You may also say that even if he should find her in he might use the animal, as a Master has said:9 Heathens prefer the cattle of Israelites to their own wives, for R. Johanan said: When the serpent came unto Eve he infused filthy lust into her.10 If that be so [the same should apply] also to Israel! — When Israel stood at Sinai that lust was eliminated, but the lust of idolaters, who did not stand at Sinai, did not cease.
The question was asked: How about fowls?11 — Come and hear: Rab Judah said in the name of Samuel on behalf of R. Hanina: I saw a heathen buy a goose in the market, use it immorally, and then strangle it, roast, and eat it. Also R. Jeremiah of Difti12 said: I saw an Arab who bought a side [of meat], pierced it for the purpose of an immoral act, after which act he roasted and ate it.
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