Avodah Zarah 31b:4-10עבודה זרה ל״א ב:ד׳-י׳
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31bל״א ב

השולח חבית של יין ביד כותי ושל ציר ושל מורייס ביד עובד כוכבים אם מכיר חותמו וסתמו מותר אם לאו אסור

from the following baraita: With regard to one who sends a barrel of wine in the hands of a Samaritan, or a barrel of fish brine or a barrel of fish stew in the hands of a gentile, if he recognizes his seal and his manner of closing the barrel, it is permitted; if he does not recognize them, it is prohibited. Apparently, a sealed barrel is permitted only when it is recognizable.

אמר רבי זירא לא קשיא כאן בעיר כאן בדרך

Rabbi Zeira said that this is not difficult. Here, the first baraita is referring to barrels located in a city; there, the second baraita is referring to barrels that the Samaritan carries on the road. Sealed barrels are permitted in a city because the Samaritan is careful to ensure that gentiles do not touch them in front of anyone, so that he does not forfeit the business of Jews. While traveling he is not concerned, as he assumes that no one will discover that the gentile came into contact with the wine.

מתקיף לה רבי ירמיה מידי הנך דעיר לא בדרך אתו אלא אמר רבי ירמיה בין הגיתות שנינו כיון דכולי עלמא אפכי מירתת אמר השתא אי חזי לי מפסדו לי

Rabbi Yirmeya objects to this: Didn’t these barrels located in the city come by the road as well? Rather, Rabbi Yirmeya says: We learned the baraita that permits sealed barrels only in reference to those that are located between the winepresses. Since everyone is found there, the Samaritan is apprehensive, as he says to himself: Now, if someone sees me allowing a gentile to handle the wine they will cause me to lose my profit, as Jews will not purchase it.

אתמר מפני מה אסרו שכר של עובדי כוכבים רמי בר חמא אמר רבי יצחק משום חתנות רב נחמן אמר משום גילוי

It was stated: For what reason did the Sages prohibit the beer of gentiles? Rami bar Ḥama says that Rabbi Yitzḥak says: It is due to the concern that Jews will befriend gentiles while drinking with them, which might lead to marriage with gentiles. Rav Naḥman said: It is due to the concern of exposure.

אגילוי דמאי אילימא גילוי דנזייתא אנן נמי מגלינן ואלא דחביתא אנן נמי מגלינן לא צריכא באתרא דמצלו מיא

The Gemara asks: With regard to what form of exposure is there a concern? If we say that the concern is with regard to exposure of the vat, we too expose the vat, and there is no reason to prohibit gentiles’ beer more than that of Jews. And if you say: Rather, the concern is for exposure of the barrel, we also expose barrels. The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary to prohibit the beer in a place where the water used to brew it is allowed to settle.

אלא מעתה ישן תשתרי דא"ר ישן מותר אין מניחו ליישן החמיץ מותר אין מניחו להחמיץ גזירה ישן אטו חדש

The Gemara asks: If that is so, aged beer should be permitted, as Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: A substance that might contain exposed water but has aged is permitted, since the poison does not allow it to age, as it goes bad before it grows old. Similarly, if it soured it is permitted, because the poison impairs the taste but does not allow it to sour. Why, then, is all beer prohibited? The Gemara answers: The Sages issued a rabbinic decree with regard to aged beer due to the concern with regard to new beer.

רב פפא מפיקין ליה לאבבא דחנותא ושתי רב אחאי מייתו ליה לביתיה ושתי ותרוייהו משום חתנות רב אחאי עביד הרחקה יתירתא

§ The Gemara cites the opinions of various Sages with regard to beer. Rav Pappa had them bring out the beer belonging to gentiles from the store to the entrance of the store, and he would drink it outside the store. Rav Aḥai had them bring the beer to his house, and he would drink it there. And both of them drank the beer away from the presence of gentiles due to concern about marriage with gentiles. The Gemara notes that Rav Aḥai established an extreme preventive measure for himself beyond what is required by halakha.

רב שמואל בר ביסנא איקלע למרגואן אייתו ליה חמרא ולא אשתי אייתו ליה שיכרא ולא אשתי בשלמא חמרא משום שימצא שיכרא משום מאי משום שימצא דשימצא

The Gemara relates that Rav Shmuel bar Bisna happened to come to Marguan, and they brought him wine but he did not drink it. Next they brought him beer but he did not drink it. The Gemara asks: Granted, he did not drink the wine due to the trace [shimtza] of libations, but due to what reason did he refrain from drinking beer? It was due to concern for the trace of a trace, i.e., he did not drink beer due to concern about drinking wine.

אמר רב האי שיכרא דארמאה שרי וחייא ברי לא נישתי מיניה מה נפשך אי שרי לכולי עלמא שרי אי אסיר לכולי עלמא אסיר

Rav says: This Aramean beer is permitted, but my son Ḥiyya does not drink from it. The Gemara asks: Whichever way you look at this matter, Rav’s statement is difficult: If the beer is permitted, then it is permitted to everyone, and there is no reason for his son to refrain from drinking it. And if it is prohibited, it is prohibited to everyone, and why would Rav say it is permitted?

אלא רב סבר משום גילויא ואזיל מרורא דכשותא וקלי ליה זיהריה ודלקי מלקי ליה טפי וחייא ברי הואיל ולקי לא נישתי מיניה

The Gemara explains: Rather, Rav holds that the prohibition is due to exposure, but the bitterness of the hops in the beer goes and impairs the snake’s venom, so that it is safe for an average person to drink. But a person of weak constitution is weakened further by the impaired venom, and Rav was saying: In the case of my son Ḥiyya, since he is weak, he does not drink from it.

אמר שמואל כל השרצים יש להן ארס של נחש ממית של שרצים אינו ממית אמר ליה שמואל לחייא בר רב בר אריא תא ואימא לך מילתא מעלייתא דהוה אמר רב אבוך הכי אמר אבוך הני ארמאי זוקאני דהוו שתו גילויא ולא מתו איידי דאכלי שקצים ורמשים חביל גופייהו

Shmuel says: All creeping animals possess venom; that of a snake kills, whereas the venom of other creeping animals does not kill. Shmuel said to Ḥiyya bar Rav: Son of a lion! Come and I will say to you a superior matter that your father, Rav, said. This is what your father said: These Arameans are swollen [zukanei] because they drink exposed liquids, but they did not die from doing so since they eat repugnant creatures and creeping animals, which heat their bodies and thereby render them less susceptible to the venom.

אמר רב יוסף

Rav Yosef says: