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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
R. Amram pointed out the following contradiction to R. Shesheth: We learn: A SPIT AND GRILL MUST BE MADE WHITE-HOT; but it has been learnt with reference to the holy flesh: A spit and grill must be scalded with boiling water!3 — He replied: Amram, my son, what have the sacred utensils to do with Gentiles' vessels since the former absorbed what is permitted and the latter what is prohibited! Raba said: At all events what they discharge is prohibited!4 — But, said Raba, what does the term hag'alah ['scalding'] imply?5 Merikah and shetifah ['rinsing and washing'].6 Abaye said to him: What comparison is this? Merikah and shetifah are with cold water whereas hag'alah applies to boiling water! — But, said Abaye, let his fellow tell concerning him.7 Here [in the Mishnah] he taught that it must be made white-hot and scalding also applies,8 and there [in connection with the holy flesh] he taught that they must be scalded and making them white-hot also applies. Raba answered him: If that be so, let him teach both in one passage and one of them in the other, and then it would be possible to say, 'Let his fellow tell concerning him'!9 But, said Raba, [in the case of] the holy flesh [the cleansing of the vessels by means of scalding] follows the reason given by R. Nahman in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha, viz., Every day scalding was carried out with respect to the preceding day's [offerings].10 This is quite right with the peace-offerings which could be eaten on the second day [after the sacrificial act]; in this case the process of scalding would be performed before [the traces of the offering] became 'left over'.11 With a sin-offering, however, since it must be eaten the same day [as sacrificed] and the following night, when he cooks to-day a sin-offering, there would be [traces thereof] 'left over'; so if he further cooked in it on the morrow either a peace-offering or sin-offering, then what was 'left over' of to-day's sin-offering would be discharged into the sin-offering or peace-offering of the next day!12 — I can reply: It is not necessary [to arrive at such a conclusion], for if he cooks to-day a sin-offering, then he again cooks to-day a peace-offering [so that the time-limit of the morrow's sin-offering and the peace-offering of the preceding day will expire simultaneously;] and then he may cook in it the morrow's peace-offering!13 If that be so, then scalding would likewise be unnecessary!14 This [indeed] is a difficulty. R. Papa said: [The reason is that] one is encrusted and the other is not.15 R. Ashi said: [The reason is] certainly as was originally explained, viz., in the former they absorbed what is permitted and in the latter what is prohibited, and as for your16 objection that what it gives forth when it discharges is prohibited, [the reply is] that at the time of discharging there is nothing which is prohibited apparent.17
For how long must they be made white-hot? — R. Mani said: Until the accretion falls off. And how is scalding done? — R. Huna said: A small vessel must be placed inside a large vessel.18 What, however, is to be done with a large vessel? — Come and hear: There was a pot in the house of R. Akabiah19 [which had to be scalded]; so he made for it
‘Abodah Zarah 76ba rim of dough around its mouth and filled it with water which he boiled up.1 Raba said: Who could have been clever enough to do this if not R. Akabiah who is a great man! He was of the opinion that as [a vessel] absorbs so it discharges; as [its rim] absorbs by the splashings [of the food which is cooked in the pot] so [the boiling water] would cause [the rim] to discharge by means of the splashings.
BUT A KNIFE MAY BE POLISHED AND IS THEN RITUALLY CLEAN. R. 'Ukba b. Hama said: One plunges it ten times in soil.2 R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said: That is, in untilled soil. R. Kahana said: [This holds good only] of a knife which is in sound condition and has no notches. It has been also taught to the same effect: With a knife in sound condition and without notches one plunges it ten times in soil. R. Huna the son of R. Joshua said: [This holds good only] to eat cold food with it.3 Thus Mar Judah and Bati b. Tobi were sitting with King Shapur and a citron was set before them. [The king] cut a slice and ate it, and then cut a slice and handed it to Bati b. Tobi. After that he stuck [the knife] ten times in the ground, cut a slice [of the citron] and handed it to Mar Judah. Bati b. Tobi said to [the king], 'Am I not an Israelite!' He replied, 'Of him I am certain that he is observant [of Jewish law] but not of you.' According to another version he said to him, 'Remember what you did last night!'4