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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
Our Rabbis taught:1 One who has his blood let should abstain from HGBSH,2 milk, cheese, onions and pepperwort. If one has eaten any of these, said Abaye, he should take a quarter3 of vinegar and a quarter of wine, mix them together and drink; and when he has subsequently to attend to his natural needs, he should retire east of the town to obviate the vitiating smell.
Said R. Joshua b. Levi: It is permitted to lift the Unklai on the Sabbath. What does unklai mean? Said R. Abba: The cartilage [in front] of the heart.4 What is the remedy for it? — Take cumin, carraway, mint, wormwood, saturera and hyssop.5 For [curing the cartilage of] the heart, [these should be taken] in wine — as a mnemonic take Wine maketh glad the heart of man;6 for [defective] breathing, in water. Mnemonic: The breath of God hovered over the face of the water;7 for a woman in childbirth, in beer — mnemonic, her pitcher on her shoulder.8 R. Aha the son of Rabba ground all these together and took a fist-full [of the mixture] and drank it. R. Ashi ground each one separately and took a full pinch of it with his thumb and little finger. Said R. Papa: I did all these but was not cured till an Arabian traveller told me to take a new jug, fill it with water into which a spoonful of honey, which stood overnight under the stars, should be dropped, and the contents should be drunk on the morrow;9 this I did and was cured.
Our Rabbis taught: Six things help the sick to recover from sickness and have a real curative effect — they are: cabbage, beets, a decoction of dry sisin,10 tripe, womb and the lobe above the liver; some say, also small fish; moreover small fish keep the whole human body in a fit condition. Ten things are liable to send the patient back to his illness, and to make his illness severe; these are: to eat ox-meat, fat, roast meat, birds' meat, roast egg, pepperwort, shaving, bathing, cheese or liver. Some say also nuts, others add also melons. In the School of Ishmael it was taught: Why are they called Kishshuim [melons]? Because they are Kashin [injurious] to the whole human body as swords.11
NOR SHOULD WE HAVE OUR HAIR CUT BY THEM IN ANY PLACE. Our Rabbis taught: When an Israelite is having his hair cut by a heathen he should be looking in the mirror;12 and when an Israelite cuts the hair of a heathen he should, on reaching the forelock, leave it alone.13 The Master said: 'When an Israelite is having his hair cut by a heathen he should be looking in the mirror.' What are the circumstances? If it is done in a public road, what for the mirror?14 If in a private place, what is the use of looking into it? — [It refers] indeed to a private place, but his using the mirror will make him appear an important person. R. Hana b. Bizna was having his hair cut in the road leading to Nehardea by a heathen who remarked: Hana, Hana, thy throat is fine for the shears. Answered he: I deserve it for transgressing the words of R. Meir. And did he not also transgress those of the Rabbis, for the Rabbis only permit it in a public place but not in a private place? — He thought that the roads leading to Nehardea, where there are usually many [passers by], are to be regarded as a public place.
'When an Israelite cuts the hair of a heathen he should, on reaching the forelock, leave it alone.' How much [of it is he to leave]? — Said R. Malkiah in the name of R. Adda b. Ahaba: Three fingers' length on every side.
Said R. Hanina the son of R. Ika:15 [The statements about] a Spear,16 Maid-servants,17 Depressions,18 are by R. Malkio; [but those about] Forelock,19 Vegetable-ashes,20 and Cheese21 are by R. Malkiah. R. Papa however said: If referring to a Mishnah or Baraitha, it is R. Malkiah, but if independent statements, it is R. Malkio. Mnemonic — 'The Mishnah is queen.'22 Wherein do the two differ? — They differ in regard to the statement about Maid-servants.23
‘Abodah Zarah 29b
MISHNAH. THE FOLLOWING THINGS BELONGING TO HEATHENS ARE FORBIDDEN AND THE PROHIBITION EXTENDS TO ANY BENEFIT THAT MAY BE DERIVED FROM THEM: WINE, OR A HEATHEN'S VINEGAR THAT WAS FORMERLY WINE,1 HADRIANIC EARTHENWARE,2 SKINS PIERCED AT THE ANIMAL'S HEART.3 RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS: WHEN ITS RENT IS ROUND, [THE SKIN] IS FORBIDDEN, BUT IF OBLONG IT IS PERMITTED.4 MEAT WHICH IS BEING BROUGHT IN TO A PLACE OF IDOLS IS PERMITTED,5 BUT THAT WHICH IS BROUGHT OUT IS FORBIDDEN, BECAUSE IT IS [REGARDED] AS SACRIFICES OF THE DEAD,6 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. AKIBA. [WITH IDOLATERS] GOING ON A PILGRIMAGE7 IT IS FORBIDDEN TO HAVE ANY BUSINESS TRANSACTIONS, BUT WITH THOSE COMING THENCE IT IS PERMITTED. SKIN-BOTTLES OR FLAGONS OF HEATHENS IN WHICH WINE OF AN ISRAELITE IS KEPT ARE FORBIDDEN AND THE PROHIBITION EXTENDS TO ANY BENEFIT THAT MAY BE DERIVED FROM THEM, THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY THAT THE PROHIBITION DOES NOT EXTEND TO DERIVING ANY BENEFIT. GRAPE-STONES AND GRAPE-SKINS OF HEATHENS ARE FORBIDDEN, THE PROHIBITION EXTENDING TO ANY BENEFIT, THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY, WHEN FRESH THEY ARE FORBIDDEN BUT WHEN DRY THEY ARE PERMITTED. MURIES8 AND BITHYNIAN CHEESE9 OF THE HEATHENS ARE FORBIDDEN, THE PROHIBITION EXTENDING TO ANY BENEFIT, THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY THAT THE PROHIBITION DOES NOT EXTEND TO ANY BENEFIT.
R. JUDAH SAID: R. ISHMAEL PUT THIS QUESTION TO R. JOSHUA AS THEY WERE ON A JOURNEY, 'WHY,' ASKED HE, 'HAVE THEY FORBIDDEN THE CHEESE OF HEATHENS?'10 HE REPLIED, BECAUSE THEY CURDLE IT WITH THE RENNET OF A NEBELAH.'11 HE RETORTED: 'BUT IS NOT THE RENNET OF A BURNT-OFFERING MORE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN THAN THE RENNET OF A NEBELAH? [AND YET] IT WAS SAID THAT A PRIEST WHO IS NOT FASTIDIOUS MAY SUCK IT OUT RAW (THOUGH THIS OPINION WAS NOT APPROVED, AND IT WAS SAID THAT NO BENEFIT MAY BE DERIVED FROM IT, ALTHOUGH NO TRESPASS WOULD APPLY THERETO).'12 'THE REASON THEN,' [R. JOSHUA SAID,] 'IS BECAUSE THEY CURDLE IT WITH THE RENNET FROM CALVES SACRIFICED TO IDOLS.' SAID HE, 'IF THAT BE SO, WHY DO THEY NOT EXTEND THE PROHIBITION TO ANY BENEFIT DERIVED FROM IT?' HE, HOWEVER, DIVERTED TO ANOTHER MATTER, SAYING:13 'ISHMAEL, HOW DO YOU READ — FOR THY [MASC.] LOVE IS BETTER THAN WINE OR THY [FEM.] LOVE ETC.'14 HE REPLIED: 'THY [FEM.] LOVE IS BETTER …' HE RETORTED: THIS IS NOT SO, AS IT IS PROVED BY ITS FELLOW [-VERSE]: THINE OINTMENTS HAVE A GOODLY FRAGRANCE [WHEREFORE THE MAIDENS LOVE THEE].'15
GEMARA. Whence do we deduce [the prohibition of] WINE? — Rabbah b. Abbuha said: From the scriptural verse which says, Who did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink-offering,'16 as [heathens'] sacrifice is forbidden as to deriving any benefit, so also their wine is forbidden. But whence do we deduce the prohibition of a sacrifice itself? — From the scriptural words, They joined themselves also unto Baal of Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead:17 as anything appertaining to the dead is forbidden as to any benefit, so [heathen] sacrifices are likewise forbidden. And how do we know this about the dead? — We deduce it from the similar expression 'there' used in connection with the heifer whose neck was to be broken,18 as well as here [in connection with the dead]. Here it is said, And Miriam died there,19 and there it is said, And they shall break the heifer's neck there in the valley.20 As in that other case the heifer was forbidden as to any benefit, so also in our case the prohibition is the same. But how do we know that it is so in that case? — Those of the School of R. Jannai said: Because forgiveness21 is mentioned in connection therewith as with sacrifices.22
OR A HEATHEN'S VINEGAR THAT WAS FORMERLY WINE. This, surely, is obvious! Shall its prohibition cease because it turned sour? — R. Ashi said: The statement serves to imply that vinegar belonging to us when in the keeping of a heathen does not require double sealing;23 [and for this reason:] as to the fear lest he would offer it to idols — this is generally not offered, and [again] as to the possibility that he might exchange it for his own — since there is one seal, he would not take the trouble to falsify it.
R. Elai said: We have had it stated that a heathen's boiled wine, which was formerly [raw] wine [while in his possession], is forbidden. This, too, is self evident! Does its prohibition cease because it had been boiled? — Said R. Ashi: This, too, enables us to draw the implication that our boiled wine which is in the keeping of a heathen does not require double sealing.24 For as to the fear lest he would offer it to the idol, it is not offered [in that state]; and as for
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