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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
We learnt: IF YEN NESEK FELL UPON GRAPES etc. Now it is assumed that [the reference is to] new wine upon grapes; and yet [are they not disqualified only] if it imparts a flavour?2 — No, [they are prohibited] however small the quantity be. Since, however, it states in the sequel: THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: WHATEVER DERIVES ADVANTAGE [FROM YEN NESEK BY ITS] IMPARTING A FLAVOUR IS PROHIBITED; WHATEVER DOES NOT DERIVE ADVANTAGE [FROM YEN NESEK BY ITS] IMPARTING A FLAVOUR IS PERMITTED, it follows that we are dealing here with a case where it does impart a flavour. What, then, of Abaye?3 — [He explains] our Mishnah as referring to old wine [which fell] upon grapes.4
If wine-vinegar [becomes mixed] with malt-vinegar or wheat-yeast with barley yeast,5 Abaye said: [The mixture is prohibited when the unlawful element] imparts a flavour and we use the criterion of flavour; and since each has a separate flavour, it is a case of one species [being mixed] with a different species, and in such circumstances [the disqualification depends upon the prohibited element] imparting its flavour [to the mixture]. Raba, on the other hand, said: [It is prohibited] however small the quantity be and we use the criterion of name; and since each is called vinegar or yeast, they belong to the same species and a minimum quantity [suffices to disqualify] with what belongs to the same species. Abaye said: Whence do I declare that we use the criterion of flavour? As we have learnt: Spices of two or three different categories6 which belong to the same species,7 or three species [of one category], are prohibited8 and may be combined together;9 and Hezekiah said: We are dealing here with kinds of [condiments which impart a flavour of] sweetness10 because they are appropriately used for sweetening what is cooked. Now this is quite right if you maintain that we use the criterion of flavour, since they all taste alike; but should you maintain that we use the criterion of name, each of them has a separate name!11 — Raba, however, can reply:12 Whose teaching is this? It is R. Meir's, as it has been taught: R. Judah says in the name of R. Meir: Whence is it that all the prohibited things of the Torah may be combined together?13 — As it Is stated, Thou shalt not eat any abominable thing14 — everything which I declared to be abominable comes within the law of Thou shalt not eat.15
If [prohibited] vinegar fell into [permitted] wine, all agree that it depends on whether it imparts a flavour;16 but if [prohibited] wine fell into [permitted] vinegar,17 Abaye said [that it is prohibited] however small the quantity be, and Raba said [that it depends upon whether the forbidden element] imparts a flavour. Abaye said [that it is prohibited] however small the quantity be,
‘Abodah Zarah 66bbecause where the smell [of the wine] is that of vinegar and the taste is of wine it is regarded as vinegar;1 it is then a case of one species [being mixed] with the same species and in such circumstances a minimum quantity [suffices to disqualify]. Raba, on the other hand, said [that it depends upon whether the forbidden element] imparts a flavour, because when the smell [of the wine] is vinegar and the taste is of wine it is regarded as wine, and it is a case of one species [being mixed] with a different species, and in such circumstances [the disqualification depends upon the prohibited element] imparting its flavour [to the mixture].
If a heathen [smelt the wine] of an Israelite through the bung-hole2 it is all right; but if an Israelite does this with the wine of a heathen Abaye declared it prohibited whereas Raba declared it permitted. Abaye declared it prohibited because the smell is something actual, whereas Raba declared it permitted because the smell is not something actual. Raba said: Whence do I maintain that the smell is not considered anything at all? As we have learnt: If they used cumin of a heave-offering as fuel for an oven and baked a loaf in it, the loaf is permitted because it [absorbs] not the taste but the smell of the cumin.3 [How does] Abaye [meet this argument]? — It is different in this instance because the prohibited element was burnt. R. Mari said: This is like [the difference between the following] Tannaim: If a man removes a warm loaf [from the oven] and places it upon a cask of wine4 which is heave-offering, R. Meir prohibits and R. Judah permits it;5 R. Jose permits it with a wheaten-loaf but prohibits it with a barley-loaf because the latter absorbs [the fumes of the wine]. Is not the issue here that one Master regards smell as something actual and the other regards it as nothing at all? From Raba's viewpoint the Tannaim do certainly differ on this matter;6 but from Abaye's viewpoint are we to say that the Tannaim differ on this matter!7 — Abaye can reply: Has it not been stated in this connection: Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: With a hot loaf and open cask
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