Previous Folio / ‘Abodah Zarah Directory / Tractate List / Home / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
R. Hiyya b. Abba once visited Gabla,5 and there saw Israelite women who were pregnant by heathens who had been circumcised but not immersed. He also saw wine being drunk by Israelites which had been mixed by heathens, and lupins eaten when cooked by heathens; but he said nothing to them. When he came before R. Johanan [and reported the matter to him], the latter exclaimed, 'Go and announce that their children are illegitimate, their wine is nesek, and their lupins [are prohibited] as something cooked by heathens, because [the inhabitants of Gabla] are not students of Torah!'6 [In announcing that] their children were illegitimate R. Johanan followed his own opinion; for R. Johanan said: [A Gentile] is never to be regarded as a proselyte until he is both circumcised and immersed, and since he has not undergone immersion he is a Gentile. And Rabbah b. Bar Hanah has said in the name of R. Johanan: If a Gentile or a slave has intercourse with an Israelite woman, the child is a mamzer.7 He decreed that their wine was nesek on the principle, 'Keep off, we say to a Nazirite; go round the vineyard and come not near it.' [And he decreed] against their lupins as something cooked by heathens, because [the inhabitants of Gabla] were not students of Torah. His reason was that they were not students of Torah. Consequently if they had been students of Torah, [the lupins] would have been permitted! But surely R. Samuel son of R. 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!8 — R. Johanan follows a different version [of the teaching, viz.]: R. Samuel son of 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.9 Therefore his reason was that they were not students of Torah, and if they had been students of Torah [the lupins] would have been permitted.
R. Kahana was asked: May a heathen be allowed to convey grapes to a winepress? He replied: It is prohibited on the principle, 'Keep off, we say to a Nazirite; go round the vineyard and come not near it!' R. Jemar quoted against R. Kahana: If a heathen carried grapes to a winepress in baskets
‘Abodah Zarah 59bor barrels, even though the wine drips upon them, it is permitted! — [R. Kahana] replied to him: You used the word 'carried',1 whereas I was speaking of a case ab initio.2
R. Ashi said: When a heathen has deliberately rendered the wine of an Israelite nesek, although it is prohibited to sell it to another heathen, [the owner] is allowed to receive the cost from the person [who disqualified it]. On what ground? — Because he involved him in a loss.6 R. Ashi said: Whence do I derive this? — From this teaching: If an idolater offered wine of an Israelite [as a libation], not in the presence of an idol, it is prohibited; but R. Judah b. Baba and R. Judah b. Bathyra permit it7 for two reasons: first, because wine can be rendered nesek only in the presence of an idol, and secondly because [the owner can] say to him, 'You have no right to make my wine prohibited through no fault of my own.'8
It once happened that the bung fell out of a cask of wine, and a heathen sprang forward and placed his hand over it, R. Papa said: All the wine that is on the level with the bung-hole is prohibited9
- To Next Folio -