Jewish official in Pumbedita that was bitten by a snake. There were thirteen white donkeys in Pumbedita and they tore them all open and they were found to be tereifot. There was one donkey on the other side of Pumbedita, and until they went to bring it, a lion ate it. Abaye said to them: Since all of these things have happened, perhaps a snake of the Rabbis bit him, for which there is no cure, as it is written: “One that digs a pit will fall into it, and one who breaches a fence will be bitten by a snake” (Ecclesiastes 10:8). Perhaps this person violated a rabbinic decree, also known as a fence, and was bitten by a snake as punishment. That bite has no cure. They said to him: Yes, my teacher, it is so, as when Rav died Rav Yitzḥak bar Bisna ruled that one may not bring myrtle and palm branches to a wedding hall to accompany bells, and he went and brought myrtle and palm branches to the wedding hall with bells. Therefore, a snake bit him. And it is reported that ultimately the official died.
The Gemara cites additional information about the dangers posed by snakes and how to deal with them. One whom a snake encircled should descend into water and place a basket on his head and remove the snake slowly from him into the basket. And once the snake goes into the basket, let him throw it into the water and climb and emerge. One at whom a snake is angry and is being pursued by a snake, if he has another with him, let him ride him four cubits. And if not, let him jump over a ditch. And if not, let him cross a river. And at night let him place his bed on four barrels and sleep outside beneath the stars. And let one bring four cats and let one tie them to the four legs of the bed. And let one bring twigs and branches and throw them there so that when the cats hear the sound of the snake crawling they will eat it. One who is being pursued by a snake, let him run in sand because a snake cannot move as quickly in sand as a person can.
A woman who is seen by a snake and does not know whether it has directed his attention toward her or whether it has not directed his attention toward her, she should remove her garment and throw it before the snake. If the snake wraps itself in the garments, it is an indication that it has directed his attention toward her; and if not, it is an indication that it has not directed his attention toward her.
What is her remedy so the snake will leave her alone? She should have relations with her husband before the snake. Some say: If she has relations in front of the snake, all the more so that its desire will become stronger. Rather, she should take from her hair and her nails and throw them at the snake, and say the following to it as an incantation: I am a menstruating woman [dishtana]. A woman whom a snake has entered, let them spread her legs and place her on two barrels, and let them bring fatty meat and throw it onto coals. And let them bring her a bowl of cress and fragrant wine and place them there and mix them together. And she should take tongs in her hand, as when the snake smells the fragrance it emerges. And then one should take the snake and burn it in the fire, as if it is not burned, it will come back onto her.
We learned in the mishna: All types of food that healthy people eat may be eaten by one eating them for medicinal purposes on Shabbat. The Gemara asks: The phrase: All foods, what does it come to include? The Gemara answers: It comes to include spleen for healing teeth and vetch for healing intestines, although they are not common foods. We also learned in the mishna: And one may drink all drinks on Shabbat. The Gemara asks: The phrase: All drinks, what does it come to include? The Gemara answers: It comes to include mixing water in which capers have soaked, with vinegar. Ravina said to Rava: What is the ruling with regard to drinking urine on Shabbat? Rava said to him: We already learned in the mishna: One may drink all drinks, and people do not drink urine and is not considered a drink. It is only consumed for medical purposes and is therefore prohibited.
We learned in the mishna: One may drink anything on Shabbat except for palm tree water [mei dekalim]. It was taught slightly differently in the Tosefta: Water that stabs [mei dekarim]. The Gemara explains: The one who taught water that stabs means that the waters pierce the gall bladder; and the one who said palm tree water means that they come from two palm trees. In order to explain what palm tree water is, Rabba bar Beruna said: There are two palm trees in Eretz Yisrael, and a spring of water emerges from between them. The first cup one drinks of this water loosens the intestines, another cup causes diarrhea, and another, a third cup, just as it entered as water, so too it emerges. Ulla said: For me, I drink Babylonian beer, and it is more effective than palm tree water in causing diarrhea. The Gemara comments: And this is true. It is effective for the stomach when the person who drinks it has not become accustomed to beer for forty days.
Rav Yosef said: Water that stabs is Egyptian zitom, which is made from one-third barley, and one-third saffron, and one-third salt. Rav Pappa said: It is one-third wheat, and one-third saffron, and one-third salt and cumin. And this is your mnemonic to remember which said zitom is made from barley: A basket which is called sisanei, a word with two samekhs. This word alludes to the fact that Rav Yosef, who has a samekh in his name, is the one who says that Egyptian zitom is made from barley [se’orim], which has the letter sin. Sin is interchangeable with samekh. And one should drink it between Passover and Shavuot. For one whose intestines are blocked, it will loosen his intestines and cure him; and for one whose bowels are loose, it will block him and cure him as well.
And we also learned about a kos ikarin in the mishna. The Gemara asks: What is a kos ikarin? Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Let one bring the weight of a zuz of Alexandrian gum, and a weight of a zuz of alum, and a weight of a zuz of garden saffron, and let one grind them together. The procedure for treating a zava is that she should drink these three ingredients with wine, and she will be cured of her emission and will not become barren. For treating jaundice one should drink two of these ingredients with beer; however, one will become sterile from it. It was said that for treating a zava, she should drink these three ingredients with wine and she will be healed from her emission and will not become barren. And if it is not effective, let one bring three