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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
A man once said to his neighbour, 'If I sell this piece of land, I will sell it to you';4 but he went and sold it to another person. R. Joseph said: The first one acquired it.5 Abaye said to him: But he had not settled the price!6 [R. Joseph asked:] And whence do you declare that wherever he had not settled the price he has not acquired it? — [He replied:] As we learn in our Mishnah: IF [AN ISRAELITE] SELLS HIS WINE TO A HEATHEN, SHOULD HE HAVE SETTLED THE PRICE BEFORE HE MEASURED IT OUT, THE PURCHASE-MONEY IS PERMITTED; BUT SHOULD HE HAVE MEASURED IT OUT BEFORE HE SETTLED THE PRICE THE PURCHASE-MONEY IS PROHIBITED. [Now,] how is it then? — [How can you ask,] how is it then? It is as we have stated.7 — Perhaps the seriousness of yen nesek makes a difference! — Come and hear: R. Idi b. Abin said: A similar occurrence8 came before R. Hisda who referred it to R. Huna. The latter expounded it from the following: For it has been taught: If a man took possession of another's ass-drivers and workmen9 and brought them into his own house, whether he settled the price before measuring [the fruits] or measured them without having settled the price, he has not acquired them and both can retract. If, however, he unloaded them and brought them into his house, then should he have settled the price before he measured them neither can retract, and should he have measured them before settling the price both can retract.10
A man once said to his neighbour, 'If I sell this piece of land I will sell it to you for a hundred zuz.' He later sold it to another for a hundred and twenty. R. Kahana said: The first man acquired it. Rab Jacob of Nehar-pekod objected: As to this man, [it was] those zuz that compelled him.11 The legal decision agrees with R. Jacob of Nehar-pekod.
If [the seller] said to [the would-be purchaser], 'When the article has been valued by three persons [we will settle the price accordingly],' even if two of the three agree [on the price it must be accepted]; but if he said, 'As three will declare [the price to be],' then there must be three who agree on the price.12 If he said, 'When it has been valued by four persons,'13 then there must be four who agree on the price; so how much more so if he said to him, 'As four will declare [the price to be].' If he said to him, 'When the article has been valued by three persons' and three men came and valued it, and then the other said, 'Let three different men come who are better qualified,' R. Papa said: He has the right to object.14 R. Huna the son of R. Joshua demurred: How can we know that the latter three will be better qualified; perhaps the first three were better qualified!15 The legal decision agrees with R. Huna the son of R. Joshua.
MISHNAH. IF [AN ISRAELITE] TOOK THE FUNNEL AND MEASURED [WINE] INTO A HEATHEN'S FLASK AND THEN MEASURED SOME INTO AN ISRAELITE'S FLASK, SHOULD A DROP OF THE [FIRST] WINE HAVE REMAINED [IN THE FUNNEL], THEN [THE WINE MEASURED INTO THE SECOND FLASK] IS PROHIBITED. IF HE POURED FROM [HIS OWN] VESSEL INTO [A HEATHEN'S] VESSEL, [THE WINE IN THE VESSEL] FROM WHICH HE POURED IS PERMITTED AND [THE WINE IN THE VESSEL] INTO WHICH HE POURED IS PROHIBITED.
GEMARA. We have learnt elsewhere: An outflow, a downward stream of water and dripping liquid do not form a connecting link to communicate either defilement or purification,16 but a pool of water is a connecting link to communicate both defilement and purification.17 R. Huna said: An outflow, a downward stream of water and dripping liquid form a connecting link in connection with yen nesek.18 R. Nahman asked R. Huna: Whence have you this? If from [the Mishnah] which we learnt: An outflow, a downward stream of water and dripping liquid do not form a connecting link to communicate either defilement or purification, [and you argue that] it is only in connection with defilement and purification that it does not form a link but it does in connection with yen nesek; in that case I cite the continuation, viz., but a pool of water is a connecting link to communicate both defilement and purification, [and you must by analogy deduce that] it is only in connection with defilement and purification that it does form a link but it does not in connection with yen nesek! So there is no inference to be drawn from this extract.
We learnt: IF [AN ISRAELITE] TOOK THE FUNNEL AND MEASURED [WINE] INTO A HEATHEN'S FLASK AND THEN MEASURED SOME INTO AN ISRAELITE'S FLASK,
‘Abodah Zarah 72bSHOULD A DROP OF THE [FIRST] WINE HAVE REMAINED [IN THE FUNNEL], THEN [THE WINE MEASURED INTO THE SECOND FLASK] IS PROHIBITED. How is the wine left [in the funnel] rendered prohibited? Must it not be by the outflow?1 So deduce from this that the outflow is a connecting link. [But against such a conclusion] R. Hiyya taught: [Our Mishnah refers to the circumstance where] his flask forced the wine back;2 therefore if his flask did not force it back, how is it? It is not [prohibited]. May you then not solve from the foregoing that the outflow is not a connecting link? — No; it merely proves that when his flask forced the wine back it is prohibited,3 but the question whether the outflow [is or is not a connecting link] remains.
Come and hear: IF HE POURED FROM [HIS OWN] VESSEL INTO [A HEATHEN'S] VESSEL, [THE WINE IN THE VESSEL] FROM WHICH HE POURED IS PERMITTED. Hence what is between [the two vessels] is prohibited; so deduce from this that the outflow is a connecting link! But if the outflow is a connecting link, then what is inside [the first] vessel should likewise be prohibited! — This is no difficulty, because [we have here a case where] he cuts off [the outflow].4 Nevertheless [we do deduce from this that]5 the outflow is a connecting link! But according to your reasoning I will quote the continuation: AND [THE WINE IN THE VESSEL] INTO WHICH HE POURED IS PROHIBITED. Hence what is between [the two vessels] is permitted! Consequently no inference is to be drawn from this Mishnah.6
Come and hear: If he pours from a cask into a vat [which contains yen nesek], the jet of liquid which descends from the rim of the cask is prohibited!7 — R. Shesheth explained this [extract] as referring to a heathen pouring out so that [the wine flows] because of his action.8 But if it is a heathen pouring out, what is in the cask is likewise prohibited!9 — [What is disqualified] because of a heathen's action is prohibited by the Rabbis,10 and they decreed only against what issued [from the cask] and not against what was inside it.11
R. Hisda told the [Israelite] wine-dealers: When you measure wine for heathens, either cut off [the outflow] or pour it in with a splash.12 Raba told the [Israelites] whose occupation was to pour wine: When you pour wine, let no heathen come near to help you, lest you forget yourselves and rest [the vessel] upon his [hands] and [the pouring] result from his action and [the wine] be prohibited.
A man was drawing wine13 through [a siphon consisting of] a large and small tube. A heathen came and laid his hand upon the large tube,14 and Raba disqualified all the wine.15 R. Papa said to Raba — another version is, R. Adda b. Mattena said to Raba; and still another version is, Rabina said to Raba: Was it on account of the outflow? So is it to be deduced from this that the outflow is a connecting link? — [Raba answered: No;] it is different in this instance, because all the wine is drawn through the siphon.16
Mar Zutra son of R. Nahman said: It is permitted [to drink from] a vessel containing several tubes,17 provided the Israelite stops first but not when a heathen stopped first.18 Rabbah son of R. Huna visited the house of the exilarch and allowed [the company which included Gentiles] to drink from a vessel containing several tubes.
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