Avodah Zarah 57aעבודה זרה נ״ז א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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57aנ״ז א

דאי משכחנא תנא דאסר כרבי נתן אוסריניה אפי' בהנאה דתניא מדדו בין ביד בין ברגל ימכר ר' נתן אומר ביד אסור ברגל מותר

I should delay my ruling, as if I find a tanna who prohibits the wine in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Natan, I will prohibit even deriving benefit from it; this is difficult. Rabbi Natan prohibits one from deriving benefit from wine that was touched by a gentile, as it is taught in a baraita: If a gentile measured a Jew’s wine, whether he measured it with his hand or with his foot, it may be sold. Rabbi Natan says: If he measured it with his hand it is prohibited, but if he measured it with his foot it is permitted.

אימר דאמר ר' נתן ביד ברגל מי אמר אלא דאי משכחנא תנא דשרי כר"ש אישרייה אפי' בשתייה

The Gemara explains why the suggestion that Shmuel delayed his ruling because of the opinion of Rabbi Natan is difficult: Say that Rabbi Natan said that the wine is forbidden when the gentile measured it with his hand. Did he say that the wine is forbidden if he measured it with his foot? Rather, Shmuel delayed ruling on the matter because he thought to himself: If I find another tanna who permits the wine in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who holds that if a gentile touches wine without intending to render it a libation, it is permitted, I will permit the wine even for drinking.

ההוא עובדא דהוה בבירם דההוא עובד כוכבים דהוה קא סליק בדיקלא ואייתי לוליב' בהדי דקא נחית נגע בראשה דלוליבא בחמרא שלא בכוונה שרייה רב לזבוניה לעובדי כוכבים

There was a certain incident in Biram that occurred as follows: There was a certain gentile who was climbing a palm tree and he brought down with him a palm branch. While he was descending from the tree he unintentionally touched some wine with the tip of the palm branch. Rav permitted the owners to sell the wine to gentiles.

אמרו ליה רב כהנא ורב אסי לרב והא מר הוא דאמר תינוק בן יומו הוא עושה יין נסך אמר להו אימור דאמרי אנא בשתייה בהנאה מי אמרי

Rav Kahana and Rav Asi said to Rav: But wasn’t it you, Master, who said: If a gentile baby who is one day old touches wine, he renders it wine used for a libation, even though he lacks any intent? Rav said to them: Say that I said that the baby renders the wine prohibited for drinking. Did I say that it is prohibited to derive benefit from it? It is therefore permitted to sell the wine.

גופא אמר רב תינוק בן יומו עושה יין נסך

§ The Gemara cites Rav’s statement in order to discuss the matter itself: Rav says: If a gentile baby who is one day old touches wine, he renders it wine used for a libation, even though he lacks any intent.

איתיביה רב שימי בר חייא לרב הלוקח עבדים מן העובדי כוכבים שמלו ולא טבלו וכן בני השפחות שמלו ולא טבלו רוקן ומדרסן בשוק טמא ואמרי לה טהור

Rav Shimi bar Ḥiyya raised an objection to the statement of Rav from a baraita: With regard to one who purchases from the gentiles slaves who have been circumcised but have not immersed in a ritual bath, and also with regard to the sons of the gentile maidservants who grew up in a Jew’s home and were circumcised but did not immerse in a ritual bath, their conversion is not yet valid. They have the legal status of gentiles, who transmit impurity like a zav, a man who experiences a gonorrhea-like discharge. Their spittle and objects upon which they tread, even if they are found in the marketplace, are ritually impure. But some say that they are ritually pure.

יינן גדולים עושים יין נסך קטנים אין עושים יין נסך ואלו הן גדולים ואלו הן קטנים גדולים יודעין בטיב עבודת כוכבים ומשמשיה קטנים אינם יודעין בטיב עבודת כוכבים ומשמשיה

The baraita continues: With regard to their wine, the adults render the wine that they touch wine used for a libation, but the minors do not render the wine that they touch wine used for a libation. And which slaves are considered adults, and which slaves are considered minors? The adults are those who know the nature of idol worship and its accessories, and the minors are those who do not know the nature of idol worship and its accessories.

קתני מיהת גדולים אין קטנים לא תרגמה אבני שפחות

In any event, the baraita teaches that with regard to adults, yes, the wine they touch is rendered prohibited, but with regard to minors, no, the wine they touch is not rendered prohibited. This contradicts the statement of Rav. The Gemara replies: Interpret the distinction between adults and minors as referring to the sons of maidservants. Since they were raised in a Jewish home, there is less reason for concern lest they render the wine an idolatrous libation, and therefore the Sages did not prohibit wine touched by minors. This distinction does not apply in the case of slaves that were purchased from gentiles.

הא וכן קאמר ארוקן ומדרסן

The Gemara asks: Doesn’t the baraita say that the halakha applies to slaves purchased from gentiles and also to the sons of gentile maidservants, indicating that there is no differentiation between them? The Gemara replies: The baraita equates the two cases only with regard to the impurity of their spittle and of the objects upon which they tread.

הניחא למאן דאמר טמא אלא למ"ד טהור מאי איכא למימר

The Gemara asks: This works out well according to the one who says that their spittle and the objects upon which they tread are impure. But according to the one who says that they are pure, what can be said? If the spittle of the slaves and the objects upon which they tread are pure, clearly the halakha is the same in the case of the sons of maidservants, and it is unnecessary to state this. One may therefore conclude that the baraita equated the two cases with regard to the status of the wine that they touch.

הא קמ"ל עבדים דומיא דבני שפחות מה בני שפחות מלו ולא טבלו הוא דעושין יין נסך מלו וטבלו לא אף עבדים כן

The Gemara replies: Even if the baraita is equating the two cases with regard to the status of the wine that they touch, it is not equating them with regard to the distinction between adults and minors. Rather, this teaches us that the halakha with regard to slaves is similar to the halakha with regard to the sons of maidservants. Just as in the case of the sons of maidservants, it is only those who were circumcised but did not immerse who render the wine that they touch wine used for a libation, but those who were circumcised and immersed do not; so too in the case of slaves, once they have immersed in a ritual bath they do not render wine prohibited.

לאפוקי מדרב נחמן אמר שמואל דאמר רב נחמן אמר שמואל הלוקח עבדים מן העובדי כוכבים אע"פ שמלו וטבלו עושין יין נסך עד שתשקע עבודת כוכבים מפיהם קמ"ל דלא

This halakha is to the exclusion of that which Rav Naḥman says that Shmuel says, as Rav Naḥman says that Shmuel says: In the case of one who purchases slaves from the gentiles, even though the slaves were circumcised and immersed in a ritual bath, they still render the wine that they touch wine used for a libation, as they are accustomed to idolatrous practices, until reference to idol worship disappears from their mouths. The baraita teaches us that their wine is not prohibited.

גופא אר"נ אמר שמואל הלוקח עבדים מן העובדי כוכבים אע"פ שמלו וטבלו עושין יין נסך עד שתשקע עבודת כוכבים מפיהם וכמה א"ר יהושע בן לוי עד שנים עשר חדש

§ The Gemara cites the aforementioned statement in order to discuss the matter itself: Rav Naḥman says that Shmuel says: In the case of one who purchases slaves from the gentiles, even though the slaves were circumcised and immersed in a ritual bath, they still render the wine that they touch wine used for a libation, as they are accustomed to idolatrous practices, until reference to idol worship disappears from their mouths. And how much time does this take? Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi says: One does not assume that the slave has forgotten his idolatrous worship until twelve months have passed.

איתיביה רבה לר"נ הלוקח עבדים מן העובדי כוכבים שמלו ולא טבלו וכן בני השפחות שמלו ולא טבלו רוקן ומדרסן

Rabba raised an objection to Rav Naḥman from the aforementioned baraita: With regard to one who purchases from the gentiles slaves that have been circumcised but have not immersed in a ritual bath, and also with regard to the sons of the gentile maidservants who grew up in a Jew’s home and were circumcised but did not immerse in a ritual bath, their conversion is not valid and they have the legal status of gentiles. Their spittle and objects upon which they tread,