Today’s sugya continues to discuss when a non-Jew is considered to have cooked the food such that it would become prohibited.
For the food to be prohibited the non-Jew must do all of the cooking from the beginning to the end. If the Jew participates at all in the process, the food is permitted. Again, another leniency.
Even if all the Jew does is stoke the coals, the bread is permitted.
R. Yohanan considers salting to be akin to cooking. Bar Kapara allows a Jew to eat an egg roasted by a non-Jew because the food part of the egg is all internal.
Here we can see that there was some controversy around this issue. R. Zevid tried to put his foot down and not allow the Jews in the House of the Exilarch (the political leader in Babylonia) to eat eggs roasted by non-Jews. But the story ends with R. Zevid’s death. It is probably significant that this story occurs in this particular location. The Exilarch was the political leader of the community and as such would have had the most contact with non-Jews. Perhaps that is why R. Zevid tried to stop such a relaxation with the law. And perhaps that is why the story ends with his death.
This section deals with a few other foods to which the prohibition of food cooked by Gentiles does not apply.
The foods in the first half of this baraita are not changed sufficiently when they are cooked for them to be prohibited if cooked by a non-Jew.
As we learned above, oil was initially forbidden but was permitted by a later court.
This section explains how one makes “shiata” a dish that comes from Egypt. The amazing thing with “shiata” seems to be that it grows very quickly.
According to the first statement, the story of the fast-growing shiata is just a tale. Nothing can really grow that fast.
According to the second, such incredible growth can be achieved. Through magic!
These date-husks were probably being cooked in order to make beer. The issue with the large cauldron is that we can assume that it had been used to cook unkosher food. The taste of the forbidden food that is in the walls of the cauldron will go into the brew. Therefore the date husks are prohibited. But the assumption with a small cauldron is that it is not used with unkosher food. Therefore, the date-husk beer is permitted.
Another baraita teaches that even if the date-husks are cooked in a large cauldron, the mixture is permitted. This is because the taste that the cauldron imparts to the brew is considered to be a worsening taste, one that does not improve the flavor of the brew. This baraita holds that in such a case the mixture is permitted. [Note that the reason that the flavor is considered to be worsening is that the cauldron has not been used for 24 hours. After 24 hours any taste imparted is legally considered to be bad taste]. The other baraita holds that even though the taste is bad, the mixture is still prohibited.
R. Sheshet wants to prohibit oil cooked by a non-Jew, but R. Safra will have none of it. He rejects three potential reasons for why it should be prohibited. If there had been gentile wine in it, the wine would have ruined the oil.
If the concern is that it was cooked by a non-Jew, oil can be eaten without being cooked and therefore should be permitted.
And if the issue is that the vessels were previously used by a non-Jew, the taste would be a worsening taste, and therefore this too is not a reason to prohibit.
Sweet dates can be eaten raw. Therefore they are permitted even when cooked by a non-Jew. Bitter dates cannot be eaten raw and therefore they are certainly prohibited. The question was asked about dates that are moderately bitter and then improve in taste when cooked. The answer is that they are prohibited.
Shetita is some sort of porridge that can be made with various liquids and grains/beans. If it is made with wheat or barley there is no concern that vinegar may have been added, which would be a problem because non-Jewish wine/vinegar is prohibited. If it was made with lentils and vinegar then obviously it is prohibited. The amoraim dispute when it has been made with lentils and water. Shmuel’s father and Levi are concerned lest by permitting this type of shetita people come to eat shetita with non-Jewish vinegar in it. Rav has no such concern.
This is stricter version of the material that appeared above.
Barzilai sent parched grain and parched beans to David. Rav identifies this as the two kinds of shetita.
The sugya about shetita concludes by noting that the people of Nehardea do not worry about shetita made by Gentiles. They completely ignore the statement of Shmuel’s father and Levi. Hard to resist that yummy shetita!
This section deals with the next line in the mishnah, which forbade eating but allowed deriving benefit from pickled foods into which non-Jewish wine might have been placed. Hezekiah limits the leniency to a case where wine might have been put in. But if wine was certainly put in, then it is prohibited to derive benefit from the food.
Murias is fish brine into which wine was placed. As we learned earlier, it is prohibited to eat murias but not to derive benefit from it, even though we know that there is wine in it. Hezekiah explains that murias is different because wine was put into it only to get rid of the bad smell. Therefore the prohibition is lesser because this wine is not really “food.” But when it comes to the pickled food, the wine was put in to sweeten the taste, therefore if we know there is wine in it, one may not even derive benefit from it.
R. Yohanan says that even if we know that wine was put in the pickled foods, it is permitted to derive benefit from them. But R. Meir prohibited one from deriving benefit from murias. So how would he distinguish between the two?
The murias mixture has the presence of the wine—therefore it is of a higher degree of prohibition. But the wine in the pickled food is there in taste but not substance. Therefore it is only prohibited to eat this food; it is not prohibited to derive benefit from it.