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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
from the age of three years and one day, for inasmuch as she is then capable of the sexual act she likewise defiles by a flux. This is obvious! — You might argue that he is at an age when he knows to persuade [a female] but she is not at an age when she knows to persuade [a male, and consequently although she is technically capable of the sexual act, she does not cause defilement until she is nine years and one day old]. Hence he informs us [that she communicates defilement at the earlier age].
R. Judah Nesi'a1 was once walking and leaning upon the shoulder of his attendant, R. Simlai, when he said to him, 'Simlai, you were not present yesterday at the House of Study when we declared [heathens'] oil permitted.' He replied, 'Would that in our days you permitted their bread also!' He said to him, 'If we were to do that, they would call us "the permitting Court". As we have learnt: R. Jose b. Jo'ezer of Zeredah testified that the stag-locust is clean,2 that the flow [of blood and water] from the place of slaughter [in the Temple] is non-defiling, and that one who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled; and they called him "Joseph the permitter".' [R. Simlai] said to him, 'There he permitted three things,3 and the master has only permitted one; so that if he permits another there would still be only two!' He replied, 'I have already permitted a second.' What is it? — As we have learnt: [If a husband said to his wife before a journey,] 'This is your bill of divorce should I not return within twelve months', and he died within the twelve months, the divorce is invalid.4 In this connection it was taught: And our Rabbis permitted her to remarry;5 and we ask, who is intended by 'our Rabbis'? — Rab Judah replied in the name of Samuel: The Court which permitted [heathens'] oil;6 for they held the same view as R. Jose who said: The date of the document is proof of this.7 R. Abba, son of R. Hiyya b. Abba said: R. Judah the Prince gave this decision, but [the Rabbis] did not agree with him all his lifetime [sha'ato]. Another version is: All his colleagues [saya'to] [did not agree with him].
R. Eleazar asked a certain old man: When you permitted a woman [to remarry in the circumstances described above], did you allow her to do so immediately8 since he could not return, or perhaps it was after the lapse of the twelve months since his condition had then been fulfilled? — [He rejoined:] But this question arises also in connection with [the continuation of the cited] Mishnah where we learnt: [But if the husband said,] 'Behold this is your bill of divorce from now onward should I not return within twelve months', and he died within the twelve months, the divorce is valid-because the condition had been fulfilled; and the question thus arises. Does the divorce take effect immediately [on his death] since he could not return, or perhaps only after twelve months when the condition had been fulfilled? — [R. Eleazar said to him:] Yes, even in this case [I am in doubt] but [I put the question to you] because you were among the number [who voted to grant her permission to remarry]. Abaye said: All9 admit [that if a man said to his wife that the divorce should take effect] when the sun issues from its sheath,10 he intended the time of sunrise, and should he die in the night, it is then a bill of divorce which comes into force after his death [and is invalid]; [but if he said to her that the divorce should take effect] on condition that the sun issues from its sheath, he intended it to apply from that moment onward, and should he die in the night, this was certainly a condition, and the divorce thus took effect while he was alive [and is valid] in agreement with the view of R. Huna. For R. Huna said: If one uses the expression 'on condition' [in a bill of divorce] it is the same as if he had said, 'From now onward'. They only differ over the case [where he used the expression] if the sun issues [from its sheath]';11 R. Judah the Prince being of the same opinion as R. Jose who said, 'The date of the document is proof of this' and he holds it to be identical with the phrases, 'From to-day if I die' and 'From now onward if I die'. The Rabbis, on the other hand, do not agree with R. Jose and maintain that it is merely identical with, 'Here is your bill of divorce if I die.'
The above text stated: 'R. Jose b. Jo'ezer of Zeredah testified that the stag-locust is clean, that the flow [of blood and water] from the place of slaughter [in the Temple] is non-defiling, and that one who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled; and they called him, "Joseph the permitter."' What is the stag-locust? — R. Papa said: Shoshiba, and R. Hiyya b. Ammi said in the name of 'Ulla: Susbel.12 R. Papa said it was the shoshiba, — so they13 differ on [the permissibility] of the long-headed locust, one holding that it is prohibited and the other that it is permitted. R. Hiyya b. Ammi said in the name of 'Ulla that it was the susbel,
‘Abodah Zarah 37band nobody differs that the long-headed locust is prohibited, and here they disagree when there is difficulty in perceiving whether its wings cover the greater part of the body, one holding that we require [the wings] to cover just more than the greater part of the body and the other that we require it appreciably to cover the greater part of the body.
'That the flow [of blood and water] from the place of slaughter [in the Temple] is non-defiling.' What means 'non-defiling'? — Rab said: It is essentially clean;1 but Samuel said: It was non-defiling in the sense that it did not render other things unclean [which it touched] but in itself there was uncleanness. When Rab said that it was essentially clean, he was of the opinion that the defiling power of liquids was a [Rabbinical ordinance and when the Rabbis decreed so their intention was to attribute defilement to liquids in general but they did not so decree in connection with the flow from the place of slaughter. When, however, Samuel said that it was non-defiling in the sense that it did not render other things unclean but in itself there was uncleanness, he was of the opinion that the defilement in liquids was a Biblical ordinance; but with respect to its power to render other things unclean it was a Rabbinical ordinance, and when the Rabbis decreed so their intention was to attribute the power of communicating defilement to liquids in general, but they did not so decree in connection with the flow from the place of slaughter.
'And that one who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled; and they called him, "Joseph the permitter".' Rather should he have been called [in this instance] 'Joseph the prohibiter'! Furthermore [that a corpse defiles] is a Biblical ordinance, as it is written, And whosoever in the open field toucheth one that is slain with a sword, or a dead body [or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days]!2 — According to Scripture he who comes in contact with a corpse is defiled, but anybody who comes in contact with this person is clean; and [the Rabbis] proceeded to decree that even such as he is defiled; then [Jose b. Jo'ezer] proceeded to re-establish the law in its Biblical form.3 But [the defilement of] the person who comes in contact with one who had touched a corpse is likewise a Biblical ordinance, for it is written, And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean!4 — The Rabbis declared in the presence of Raba on the authority of Mar Zutra son of Nahman who said it in the name of R. Nahman: According to the Scriptures, if a person touches another while the latter is in contact [with a corpse], he too is defiled for seven days; but if he touches him when there is not this contact, then he is only defiled until the evening. The Rabbis proceeded to decree that even without contact he is defiled for seven days, and [R. Jose] proceeded to re-establish the law in its Scriptural form. Whence is this to be derived from the Torah?5 — For it is written, He that toucheth the dead body of any man shall be unclean seven days,6 and it is also written, And whatsoever the unclean person toucheth shall be unclean7 continuing with And the soul that toucheth it shall be unclean until even. How [are these texts] to be understood? The former refers to the circumstance where there is actual contact and the latter to where there is not actual contact.
Raba said to them: Have I not previously told you not to hang empty pitchers on R. Nahman!8 This is what R. Nahman said: He [Jose of Zeredah] permitted a doubtful case of defilement in a public domain.9 But this is a rule which is drawn by analogy from the case of a woman suspected of infidelity, viz., as [the case of doubt in connection with] the suspected woman can only occur [when seclusion with her paramour takes place] in a private domain, so [the case of doubt in connection with] defilement can only occur [when the contact with the corpse takes place] in a private domain!10 — R. Johanan said: Such, indeed, is the traditional rule, but [none of the Rabbis] would decide in that manner11 until [Jose b. Jo'ezer] came and definitely decided so.12 There is a teaching to the same effect: R. Judah says: [Jose b. Jo'ezer] stuck stakes [in the ground] for the people, declaring, 'Up to here is a public domain and up to there a private domain,'13 When persons14 came to consult R. Jannai, he used to tell them, 'There is plenty of water in the depth of the river; go and immerse yourselves.'15
STEWED FOODSTUFFS. Whence is this derived?16 — R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: Scripture states, Thou shalt sell me food for money that I may eat, and give me water for money that I may drink.17 A comparison is to be drawn with water — as only water which has undergone no change [is permitted to Jews] so also must the food have undergone no change [at the hand of heathens]. According to this reasoning ears of corn should also be prohibited when roasted by them; and should you maintain that that is so, behold it has been taught: Ears of corn are permitted when roasted by them! — Perhaps, then, the comparison with water must be drawn in this sense — as only water which has not been changed from its natural form [is permitted to Jews] so the food must not have been changed from its natural form. According to this reasoning wheat should be prohibited when milled by them; and should you maintain that that is so, behold it has been taught: Roasted ears of corn and the various kinds of ground flour of heathens are permitted! — perhaps, then, the comparison with water must be drawn in this sense — as only water which has not been changed from its natural form by fire [is permitted to Jews] so the food must not have been changed from its natural form by fire. But there is nothing in the verse about fire!
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