ליתן טעם כעיקר שאם שרה ענבים במים ויש בהן טעם יין חייב
comes to establish the principle that the legal status of the taste of a forbidden food is like that of its substance. This term teaches that any food that absorbs the taste of a prohibited item assumes the status of this prohibited item itself. As, in a case where one soaked grapes in water and the water has the taste of wine, a nazirite is liable for drinking this mixture, as it assumes the status of wine.
מכאן אתה דן לכל התורה כולה ומה נזיר שאין איסורו איסור עולם ואין איסורו איסור הנאה ויש היתר לאיסורו עשה בו טעם כעיקר כלאים שאיסורו איסור עולם ואיסורו איסור הנאה ואין היתר לאיסורו אינו דין שיעשה טעם כעיקר
From here you derive the halakha with regard to the entire Torah; in all cases, the legal status of the taste of a forbidden food is like that of its substance. The Gemara elaborates. Just as with regard to a nazirite, whose prohibition against eating grapes is not an eternal prohibition, as he will be permitted to eat grapes once his period of naziriteship is over, and furthermore, his prohibition is not a prohibition against deriving benefit from wine, and there is dissolution for his prohibition against eating grape products by requesting a Sage to release him from his vow, nevertheless, in his case, the Torah rendered the legal status of the taste of food forbidden to him like that of its substance; with regard to a forbidden mixture of diverse kinds,whose prohibition is an eternal prohibition [issuro issur olam] and whose prohibition is a prohibition against deriving benefit, and there is no dissolution for its prohibition, is it not right that the Torah should render the legal status of the taste of its forbidden food like that of its substance?
והוא הדין לערלה בשתים
And the same is true of fruit that grows on a tree during the first three years after it was planted [orla], on two of three counts: Although the prohibition of orla is not an eternal prohibition, as one may eat the fruit of this tree after three years have passed, it is prohibited to derive benefit from orla, and this prohibition cannot be dissolved, as the fruits that grow during the first three years remain prohibited. Therefore, based on the same a fortiori inference, the principle: The legal status of its taste is like that of its substance, should apply in this case as well. Similarly, all other prohibitions in the Torah are more severe than the case of a nazirite in one of these aspects, and therefore this principle is universal. In any case, this entire derivation presents a difficulty for Rabbi Yoḥanan, who derives a different halakha from the term: Soaked.
הא מני רבנן היא ורבי יוחנן דאמר כרבי עקיבא
The Gemara answers: In accordance with whose opinion is the previously cited derivation? It is in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, who derive this halakha from the term: Soaked. However, Rabbi Yoḥanan, who said that a permitted substance joins together with a prohibited substance, holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva.
הי רבי עקיבא אילימא רבי עקיבא דמתניתין דתנן רבי עקיבא אומר נזיר ששרה פתו ביין ויש בו לצרף כדי כזית חייב וממאי דמפת ומיין דילמא מיין לחודיה
The Gemara asks: To which statement of Rabbi Akiva is the Gemara referring? If you say it is referring to the opinion of Rabbi Akiva in the following mishna, as we learned: Rabbi Akiva says, with regard to a nazirite who soaked his bread in wine, and the bread and the wine contain enough to join together to constitute an olive-bulk, that he is liable; from where do we know that Rabbi Akiva means an amount of an olive-bulk taken from the bread and the wine together? Perhaps he meant that the measure is calculated from the wine alone?
וכי תימא מיין לחודיה מאי למימרא הא קא משמע לן דאף על גב דתערובת
The Gemara asks: And lest you say that if this amount is from the wine alone, what purpose is there to state this halakha, this statement comes to teach us that even though the prohibited item is in a mixture, one is nonetheless liable for consuming it. Since this mishna can be explained as referring to an olive-bulk from wine alone, it cannot be cited as proof for Rabbi Akiva’s opinion with regard to the combination of a permitted substance with a prohibited substance.
אלא רבי עקיבא דברייתא דתניא רבי עקיבא אומר נזיר ששרה פתו ביין ואכל כזית מפת ומיין חייב
The Gemara states: Rather, Rabbi Yoḥanan holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva in the baraita, as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Akiva says: A nazirite who soaked his bread in wine and ate an olive-bulk of the mixture from the bread and the wine is liable. This baraita indicates that according to Rabbi Akiva, a permitted substance joins together with a prohibited substance.
ורבי עקיבא טעם כעיקר מנא ליה יליף מבשר בחלב לאו טעמא בעלמא הוא ואסור הכא נמי לא שנא
The Gemara asks: And Rabbi Akiva, from where does he derive the principle: The legal status of the taste is like that of the substance itself? The Gemara answers: He derives this principle from the prohibition of meat cooked in milk. In that case, there is merely the taste of the milk absorbed by the meat, and the mixture is nonetheless forbidden. Here, too, in the case of other prohibitions, it is no different, and the same principle applies.
ורבנן מבשר בחלב לא גמרינן דחידוש הוא
The Gemara asks: And the Rabbis, why don’t they derive this principle from meat cooked in milk? The Gemara answers: The Rabbis claim that from meat in milk we do not derive other prohibitions, as that prohibition is a novelty.
ומאי חידוש אילימא דהאי לחודיה והאי לחודיה שרי ובהדי הדדי אסור כלאים נמי האי לחודיה והאי לחודיה שרי ובהדדי אסור
The Gemara asks: And what is the novelty in that prohibition? If you say that it is unique in that this meat alone and that milk alone are each permitted, and yet together they are forbidden, that characteristic is not unique to meat cooked in milk. In the case of prohibited mixtures of diverse kinds too, this element alone and that element alone are each permitted, and yet together they are prohibited.
אלא דאי תרו ליה כולי יומא בחלבא שרי בשיל ליה בשולי אסור
The Gemara answers: Rather, the novelty is that if one soaks meat in milk all day, it is permitted by Torah law, despite the fact that the meat certainly absorbed some taste of the milk, whereas if one cooked the meat in milk even for a short time, the mixture is prohibited by Torah law.
ורבי עקיבא נמי בשר בחלב ודאי חידוש הוא
The Gemara asks: And Rabbi Akiva too certainly agrees that the halakha of meat in milk is a novelty. How can he derive a general principle from this case?
אלא יליף מגיעולי גוים גיעולי גוים לאו טעמא בעלמא הוא ואסור הכא נמי לא שנא
Rather, he derives the principle: The legal status of the taste is like that of the substance itself from the required purging of the vessels of gentiles. In the section of the Torah that deals with the spoils of Midian (Numbers 31:21–24), it states that a vessel used by a gentile to cook food must be purged through fire and purified before it may be used by a Jew. Isn’t the purging of vessels of gentiles necessary only to cleanse them from the mere taste that was absorbed through the process of cooking? Even so, these vessels are prohibited if this cleansing was not performed. Here, too, it is no different; the same reasoning applies in all cases.
ורבנן גיעולי גוים נמי חידוש הוא דהא כל נותן טעם לפגם מותר דגמרינן מנבילה והכא אסור
The Gemara comments: And the Rabbis do not derive this principle from this source, as they maintain that the halakha of purging vessels of gentiles is also a novelty. What is the novelty of this halakha? As in general, anything that contributes taste that renders the food tainted is permitted. If the taste added by the prohibited food does not enhance the permitted food, then as a rule it does not render the permitted substance prohibited. As we derive this principle from the halakha that an unslaughtered animal carcass that is unfit for consumption is not classified as a prohibited animal carcass and is not prohibited. However, here, with regard to the halakha of purging vessels of gentiles, the Torah states that even if they contribute taste that renders the food tainted they are prohibited. If twenty-four hours have passed since food was cooked in a pot, the assumption is that it will contribute a negative taste to any foods cooked in the pot subsequently. Nevertheless, vessels taken from gentiles remain prohibited until they are purged, even though the taste they contribute taints the food.
ורבי עקיבא כדרב חייא בריה דרב הונא דאמר לא אסרה תורה אלא בקדירה בת יומא הלכך לאו נותן טעם לפגם הוא
The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Akiva, who derives this principle from the required purging of the vessels of gentiles, respond to the previous claim? The Gemara explains: He holds in accordance with the opinion subsequently cited in the name of Rav Ḥiyya, son of Rav Huna, who said: The Torah prohibited unpurged vessels of gentiles only in the case of a pot that was used on that day. Therefore, it is not a case where the pot contributes taste that renders the food tainted.
ורבנן קדירה בת יומא נמי לא אפשר דלא פגמה פורתא
The Gemara asks: And what do the Rabbis say about deriving the halakha from a pot used on that day? The Gemara answers: In their opinion, even in the case of a pot used on that day, it is impossible that the vessel does not slightly taint the food absorbed in the vessel. Consequently, the halakha of purging vessels of gentiles is indeed a novel case from which principles cannot be derived.
אמר ליה רב אחא בריה דרב אויא לרב אשי מדרבנן נשמע לרבי עקיבא מי לא אמרי רבנן משרת ליתן טעם כעיקר מכאן אתה דן לכל איסורין שבתורה לרבי עקיבא נמי משרת להיתר מצטרף לאיסור מכאן אתה דן לכל איסורין שבתורה כולה
Rav Aḥa, son of Rav Avya, said to Rav Ashi: From the opinion of the Rabbis, let us learn the correct interpretation of the opinion of Rabbi Akiva. Don’t the Rabbis say that the term soaked teaches that the principle that the legal status of taste is like that of substance applies not only to a nazirite, but that from here you derive the halakha with regard to all prohibitions of the Torah? According to Rabbi Akiva as well, the term soaked teaches that the permitted substance joins together with the prohibited substance with regard to a nazirite, and from here you derive the halakha with regard to all prohibitions of the Torah. This explanation is contrary to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, who applies this principle only to a nazirite.
Rav Ashi said to him: This cannot serve as a proof,