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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate ‘Abodah Zarah
GEMARA. I quote in contradiction to this: When a city has been captured by besieging troops, all the wives of priests therein are disqualified [to their husbands]!1 — R. Mari said: [The soldiers] have no leisure to offer libations, but they have it to satisfy their lust.
MISHNAH. IF A HEATHEN SENT TO ISRAELITE CRAFTSMEN A CASK OF YEN NESEK AS THEIR WAGE, THEY ARE ALLOWED TO SAY, GIVE US ITS VALUE IN MONEY';2 BUT AFTER [THE WINE] HAS COME INTO THEIR POSSESSION [THE EXCHANGE] IS PROHIBITED.3
GEMARA. Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: A man is allowed to say to a heathen, 'Go and settle for me the king's portion.'4 Against this is quoted: A man may not say to a heathen, 'Go in my place [and give a bribe] to the official'! — Rab retorted: You speak of a case where a man says, 'Go in my place [and give a bribe] to the official.'5 But the circumstance [where I give permission is quite different] and is the equivalent of: He may, however, say to him, 'Save me from the official.'6
MISHNAH. IF [AN ISRAELITE] SELLS HIS WINE TO A HEATHEN, SHOULD HE HAVE SETTLED THE PRICE BEFORE HE MEASURED IT OUT, THE PURCHASE-MONEY IS PERMITTED; BUT SHOULD HE HAVE MEASURED IT OUT BEFORE HE SETTLED THE PRICE,7 THE PURCHASE-MONEY IS PROHIBITED.
GEMARA. Amemar said: Acquisition by meshikah8 does apply to a Gentile.9 You may ascertain this from the practice of the Persians who send presents10 to one another and never retract.11 R. Ashi said: I certainly maintain that acquisition by meshikah does not apply to a Gentile, and the reason why [the Persians] do not retract is due to the spirit of pride which possesses them.12 R. Ashi said: What is my authority for this statement? That which Rab told the [Israelite] wine-sellers, viz., 'When you measure wine for Gentiles, first take the money and then measure for them, and if they have not the cash with them, lend it to them and get it back later so that it should be a loan [of money] with them; for should you not act in this manner, when it becomes yen nesek it will be in your possession and when you receive payment it will be for yen nesek.' Now should it enter your mind [argued Rab Ashi] that acquisition by meshikah does apply to a Gentile,
‘Abodah Zarah 71bthen as soon as the Gentile drew [the wine] to himself he acquired it1 and it did not become yen nesek until he touched it!2 — It would indeed not be so if the wine was measured and poured [by the Israelite] into the Israelite's vessel;3 but it is necessary [to suppose the circumstance] where [the Israelite] measured and poured it into the Gentile's vessel.4 At all events when [the wine] enters the interior of the vessel [the Gentile] acquired it,5 and it does not become yen nesek until it reached the bottom of the vessel.6 Are we, then, to conclude that the flow is a connecting link?7 — No; if the Gentile was holding the vessel in his hand it would indeed not be so;8 but it is necessary [to suppose the circumstance] where it was resting upon the ground.9 But let [the Gentile's] vessels acquire [the wine] for him!10 Is it to be deduced from this that when the purchaser's vessels are in the possession of the seller the former has not become the owner?11 — No; I can always maintain that the purchaser does acquire them; but with what are we dealing here?12 E.g., when there is some wine held back on the mouth of the smaller vessel13 through which the former wine becomes all the while nesek even before [it enters the Gentile's vessel].14 According to whom will this be? — It will not be in accord with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel; for if it were in accord with him, behold he has said: All of it may be sold to a heathen with the exception of the value of the yen nesek which is in it!15 — Against whom is this argument [directed]? Against Rab; but he himself declared that the halachah agrees with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel only when a cask [of yen nesek] became mixed with other casks but not when wine [which is nesek] became mixed with other wine.
Against [the statement of Amemar that acquisition by meshikah does apply to a Gentile] is quoted: If one bought scrap metal from a heathen and found an idol amongst it, should he have drawn it to himself before paying over the purchase price he can return the idol; but should he have drawn it after paying over the purchase money, he casts [the profit he derives from it] into the Salt Sea!16 Now if it enters your mind that acquisition by meshikah does apply to a Gentile, how can he return it?17 — Abaye said: Because it appears to be a purchase in error.18 Raba said: Is there a purchase in error in the first circumstance and not in the second!19 — But, said Raba: There is a purchase in error in both circumstances; but in the first, since he had not paid over the money, it does not appear like an idol in the possession of an Israelite, whereas in the second, since he had paid over the money, it does appear like an idol in the possession of an Israelite.20
Mar Kashisha, son of R. Hisda, said to R. Ashi: Come and hear: IF [AN ISRAELITE] SELLS HIS WINE TO A HEATHEN, SHOULD HE HAVE SETTLED THE PRICE BEFORE HE MEASURED IT OUT, THE PURCHASE-MONEY IS PERMITTED. Now should you maintain that acquisition by meshikah does not apply to a Gentile, why is the purchase-money permitted?21 — [R. Ashi replied:] With what are we dealing here? When he paid him the denar22 beforehand. [Mar Kashisha said]: If so, I quote the continuation: BUT SHOULD HE HAVE MEASURED IT OUT BEFORE HE SETTLED THE PRICE THE PURCHASE-MONEY IS PROHIBITED. Now if he paid him the denar beforehand, why should the purchase-money be prohibited? — [R. Ashi replied:] But according to you who maintain that acquisition by meshikah does apply to a Gentile, why in the first circumstance is the purchase-money permitted and prohibited in the second! What you have to say is that when he settled the price his mind is made up [to acquire the wine] and if he had not settled the price his mind is not made up. Similarly, according to my view, even when he has paid him the denar in advance, should he have settled the price his mind is made up and if he had not settled the price his mind is not made up.23
Rabina said to R. Ashi: Come and hear: R. Hiyya b. Abba said in the name of R. Johanan: A son of Noah24 is put to death for stealing less than a perutah's worth [of the property of an Israelite] and is not obliged to make restitution. Now if you maintain that acquisition by meshikah does not apply to a Gentile, why should he be put to death?25 — Because he caused trouble to an Israelite.26
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