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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
The General Agrippa asked R. Gamaliel, 'It is written in your Torah, For the Lord thy God is a devouring fire, a jealous God. Is a wise man jealous of any but a wise man, a warrior of any but a warrior, a rich man of any but a rich man?'3 He replied, 'I will give you a parable: To what is the matter like? To a man who marries an additional wife. If the second wife is her superior, the first will not be jealous of her, but if she is her inferior, the first wife will be jealous of her.'4
[An Israelite named] Zunin5 said to R. Akiba: 'We both know in our heart that there is no reality in an idol; nevertheless we see men enter [the shrine] crippled and come out cured.6 What is the reason?' He replied, 'I will give you a parable: To what is the matter like? To a trustworthy man in a city, and all his townsmen used to deposit [their money] in his charge without witnesses. One man, however, came and deposited [his money] in his charge with witnesses; but on one occasion he forgot and made his deposit without witnesses. The wife [of the trustworthy man] said to [her husband], "Come, let us deny it." He answered her, "Because this fool acted in an unworthy manner, shall I destroy my reputation for trustworthiness!" It is similar with afflictions. At the time they are sent upon a man the oath is imposed upon them, "You shall not come upon him except on such and such a day, nor depart from him except on such and such a day, and at such an hour, and through the medium of so and so, and through such and such a remedy." When the time arrives for them to depart, the man chanced to go to an idolatrous shrine. The afflictions plead, "It is right that we should not leave him and depart; but because this fool acts in an unworthy way shall we break our oath!"' This is similar to what R. Johanan said: What means that which is written, And sore and faithful sicknesses?7 — 'Sore' in their mission and 'faithful' to their oath.
Raba son of R. Isaac said to Rab Judah: 'There is an idolatrous shrine in our place, and whenever the world is in need of rain, [the idol] appears to [its priests] in a dream, saying, "Slay a human being to me and I will send rain." They slay a human being to it and rain does come!' He replied, 'Now were I dead, nobody could have related to you a certain dictum of Rab, viz., What means that which is written, Which the Lord thy God hath divided [halak] unto all the peoples under the whole heaven!8 This teaches that He made smooth [hehelik] their words9 to banish [idolaters] from the world. This is similar to what R. Simeon b. Lakish said: What means that which is written, Surely He scorneth the scorners, but He giveth grace unto the lowly!10 If one comes to defile himself he is granted facilities for so doing, and if he comes to purify himself support is given to him.
MISHNAH. A WINEPRESS [CONTAINING] TRODDEN [GRAPES] MAY BE PURCHASED FROM A HEATHEN EVEN THOUGH IT WAS HE THAT LIFTED [THE TRODDEN GRAPES] WITH HIS HAND AND PUT THEM AMONG THE HEAP;11 AND [THE JUICE] DOES NOT BECOME YEN NESEK12 UNTIL IT DESCENDS INTO THE VAT. WHEN IT HAS DESCENDED INTO THE VAT, WHAT IS IN THE VAT IS PROHIBITED13 BUT THE REMAINDER IS PERMITTED. [ISRAELITES] MAY TREAD THE WINEPRESS TOGETHER WITH A HEATHEN
‘Abodah Zarah 55bBUT MAY NOT GLEAN GRAPES WITH HIM.1 SHOULD AN ISRAELITE BE WORKING IN A STATE OF RITUAL IMPURITY, WE MAY NEITHER TREAD NOR GLEAN WITH HIM, BUT WE MAY CONVEY [EMPTY] CASKS WITH HIM TO THE PRESS AND CARRY THEM [FILLED] WITH HIM FROM THE PRESS. IF A BAKER WAS WORKING IN A STATE OF RITUAL IMPURITY, WE MAY NEITHER KNEAD NOR ROLL DOUGH WITH HIM BUT WE MAY CONVEY LOAVES WITH HIM TO THE BAKERY.
GEMARA. R. Huna said: As soon as the wine begins to flow2 it may become nesek. But we learn in our Mishnah: A WINEPRESS [CONTAINING] TRODDEN [GRAPES] MAY BE PURCHASED FROM A HEATHEN EVEN THOUGH IT WAS HE THAT LIFTED [THE TRODDEN GRAPES] WITH HIS HAND AND PUT THEM AMONG THE HEAP!3 — R. Huna said: This refers to a winepress which is stoppered and full.4 Come and hear: AND [THE JUICE] DOES NOT BECOME YEN NESEK UNTIL IT DESCENDS INTO THE VAT!5 — Similarly here [says R. Huna, the Mishnah deals with] a vat which is stoppered and full.6 Come and hear: WHEN IT HAS DESCENDED INTO THE VAT, WHAT IS IN THE VAT IS PROHIBITED BUT THE REMAINDER IS PERMITTED!7 — R. Huna said: There is no contradiction; one teaching is from the older Mishnah and the other from the later Mishnah;8 for it has been taught: 'At first [the Sages] used to say (B.D.D.)9 that [Israelites] may not glean grapes together with a heathen [and bring them] into a winepress,10 for the reason that it is forbidden to cause defilement to the ordinary foodstuffs11 of the Land of Israel, nor may they tread grapes together with an Israelite who works with his fruits while he is in a state of defilement for the reason that it is forbidden to assist transgressors; but they may tread grapes together with a heathen in a winepress.'12 Consequently no attention is here paid to the view of R. Huna.13 'Later [the Rabbis] said (D.B.B.):14 [Israelites] may not tread grapes together with a heathen in a winepress,' for the reason given by R. Huna,15
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