claims that Christians DO "prefer sex with cows"!.
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2001 7:15 AM
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 22a
- R. Simeon b. Eleazar has not in mind the metayage principle at all;
but the reason why he permits in the case of an idolater is because, if
he is told [to abstain from work on forbidden days] he obeys. But a
Cuthean, too, if told would surely obey! - A Cuthean would not obey; he
would say: 'I am more learned than thou!' If that is so, why then
mention the objection of the field being called by the owner's name; he
could have given the reason of not placing a stumbling block before the
blind?1 - He mentions that reason as an additional one, as if to say:
There is the one reason of [not placing a stumbling block] before the
blind, and there is also the objection of its being called by his name.
Two2 saffron-growers, [one of whom was] a heathen who took charge of
the field on the Sabbath, and [the other] an Israelite who did so on the
Sunday, came before Raba; he declared the partnership as permissible.
Rabina, however, cited the following in refutation of Raba's ruling: If
an Israelite and a heathen leased a field in partnership, the Israelite
must not say subsequently to the heathen, Take as thy share the profit
in respect of the Sabbath, and I will take as mine that in respect of a
week-day;3 only when such a condition was made originally is it
permitted. [Likewise] if they just calculate the profit4 it is
forbidden! Whereupon he [Raba] blushed. Subsequently, the fact came to
light that the partners had indeed laid down that condition originally.
R. Gabiha of Be-Kathil5 said: That was a case of 'orlah6 plants, the
produce of which the heathen was to eat during the forbidden years and
the Israelite during [a corresponding number of] permitted years, and
they came before Raba who permitted it.7 But did not Rabina cite a
statement in objection to Raba's ruling? - [No,] it was in order to
support it.8 Then why did Raba blush? - That never occurred at all.
The question was asked: What if no arrangements at all were made? -
Come and hear [the above passage]: 'Only when such a condition was made
originally is it permitted,' hence, if there was no arrangement it is
forbidden. Continue, then, with the next part: 'If they calculated the
profit it is forbidden,' which implies that, if there was no arrangement
it is permitted! - The fact is, no answer can be deduced from this
MISHNAH. ONE SHOULD NOT PLACE CATTLE IN HEATHENS' INNS,9 BECAUSE
THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF IMMORAL PRACTICE WITH THEM. A WOMAN SHOULD NOT BE
ALONE WITH THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF LEWDNESS, NOR SHOULD A
MAN BE ALONE WITH THEM, BECAUSE THEY ARE SUSPECTED OF SHEDDING BLOOD.
(1) Lev. XIX, 14. V. supra. 6a.
(2) Lit., 'these'.
(3) As the partnership was entered into unconditionally, the duty of
working the field devolved equally on both partners. The work carried
out by the heathen on the Sabbath is therefore done by him, in respect
of one half thereof, as the agent of the Israelite.
(4) If the Israelite apportions the profits in respect of the Sabbath to
the heathen even without telling him explicitly to work on the Sabbath
it is likewise forbidden, as in the absence of specific conditions, the
assumption is that the heathen is to work on behalf of the Jew on the
Sabbath - which is in direct opposition to Raba's ruling.
(5) [On the Tigris, north of Bagdad (Obermeyer, op. cit. p. 147).]
(6) Lit., uncircumcised', newly-planted trees, the produce of which is
forbidden during the first three years. V. Lev. XIX, 23.
(7) This is quite in order since even during the forbidden years, the
Israelite is only forbidden to eat of the produce, but is permitted to
do the work. There is therefore no objection to the heathen's working
even though he does so as the Israelite's agent.
(8) The statement in Rabina's citation, that where the prohibition does
not extend to the work - as in the case of laying down the conditions
originally - the arrangement is permitted, distinctly supports Raba's
ruling in regard to produce of 'orlah trees.
(9) (On the ill-repute of the Greek and Roman inns, v. Elmslie a.l.]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 22b
GEMARA. The following was cited in contradiction: One may buy of them
cattle for a sacrifice, and it need not be feared lest it committed, or
had been used for, an immoral act, or had been designated as an offering
to idols, or had been worshipped.1 Now we are quite right not to fear
about its having been designated as an offering to idols or having been
made an object of worship, since if it had been so designated or
worshipped, its owner would not have sold it; but we surely ought to
fear as to committing an immoral act!2 - Said R. Tahlifa in the name of
R. Shila b. Abina in the name of Rab: A heathen would have regard for
his cattle, lest it becomes barren.3 This would indeed hold good in the
case of female cattle but what answer would you give in the case of
males? - Said R. Kahana: Because it has a deteriorating effect on their
flesh. Then what about that [Baraitha] which has been taught: 'One may
buy cattle of any heathen shepherd'; ought we not to fear lest he used
it for an immoral purpose?4 - The heathen shepherd would be afraid of
forfeiting his fee. What then about this [other Baraitha] which has been
taught: 'One should not entrust cattle to a heathen shepherd';5 why not
assume that the heathen shepherd would be afraid of forfeiting his fee?
- They fear detection by one another since they know a good deal about
it, but they are not afraid of us who do not know much about it. Rabbah
said: This is what the popular proverb says. 'As the stylus penetrates
the stone so one cunning mind detects another.' In that case, neither
should we buy male cattle6 from women, for fear of their having used
them for immoral practice! - She would be afraid of being followed about
by the animal. What then about this which R. Joseph learnt: 'A widow
should not rear dogs, nor accommodate a student as a guest'? Now it is
quite right in the case of a student, as she might reckon on his
modesty,7 but in the case of a dog why not say that she would be afraid
of being followed about by it? - Since it would follow about on being
thrown a piece of meat, people will say that it is because of being
given such pieces that it follows her. Why then should we not leave
female animals alone with female heathens?8 - Said Mar 'Ukba b. Hama:
Because heathens frequent their neighbours' wives, and should one by
chance not find her in, and find the cattle there, he might use it
immorally. You may also say that even if he should find her in he might
use the animal, as a Master has said:9 Heathens prefer the cattle of
Israelites to their own wives, for R. Johanan said: When the serpent
came unto Eve he infused filthy lust into her.10 If that be so [the same
should apply] also to Israel! - When Israel stood at Sinai that lust was
eliminated, but the lust of idolaters, who did not stand at Sinai, did
The question was asked: How about fowls?11 - Come and hear: Rab
Judah said in the name of Samuel on behalf of R. Hanina: I saw a heathen
buy a goose in the market, use it immorally, and then strangle it,
roast, and eat it. Also R. Jeremiah of Difti12 said: I saw an Arab who
bought a side [of meat], pierced it for the purpose of an immoral act,
after which act he roasted and ate it.
(1) Any of which uses would disqualify it for the purpose of sacrifice
(Tosef. 'A.Z. II). V. B.K. 40b.
(2) The Baraitha which rules out such possibility is therefore in
conflict with our Mishnah.
(3) Hence the Baraitha does not suspect immoral practice in the case of
the heathen's own cattle, while our Mishnah, which deals with other
people's cattle left in a heathen's inn, does suspect it.
(4) As the cattle does not belong to him.
(5) Supra 15b, Tosef. A.Z. III.
(6) For sacrifices.
(7) Which would deter him from making it known.
(8) V. supra, 15b.
(9) Git. 38a.
(10) Shab. 146a; Yeb. 103b.
(11) Does the suspicion connected with animals apply to them?
(12) [Identified with Dibtha below the Tigris, S.E. Babylon, Obermeyer,
op. cit. p. 197.]
Talmud - Mas. Avodah Zarah 15b
And whence can it be deduced that one may so assume in a case of this
kind? - From [the Mishnah which we learnt:]1 'Beth Shammai say: One
should not sell a ploughing-cow during the Sabbatical Year;2 but Beth
Hillel permit it, because he may possibly slay it.'3 Said Raba:4 How can
the two be compared: In that other case, one is not commanded to let
one's cattle rest on the Sabbatical year,5 whereas in our case, one is
commanded to let one's cattle rest on the Sabbath!6 Said Abaye to him:
Are we to take it then that when one is commanded [concerning a thing]
he is forbidden [to sell it to one who may disregard the command]? Take
then the case of a field - for one is commanded to let his field lie
fallow on the Sabbatical Year. Yet it has been taught: Beth Shammai say:
One may not sell a ploughed field on the Sabbatical year, but Beth
Hillel permit it, because it is possible that he will let it lie fallow
[during that year]!7
R. Ashi objected: Are we, on the other hand, to take it that a thing
concerning which there is no direct command may be sold to one who is
likely to use it contrary to that command? Take then the case of
implements - for no one is commanded to let one's implements be idle in
the Sabbatical year. Yet we have learnt: Following are the implements
which one is not allowed to sell in the Sabbatical year: the plough and
all its accessory vessels, the yoke, the winnowing-fan and the mattock!8
But, continued R. Ashi, where there is reason for the assumption [that
proper use will be made] we assume it,9 even though a command is
involved, and where there is no reason for such assumption,10 we do not
assume it, even where there is no command involved.
Rabbah once sold an ass11 to an Israelite who was suspected of
selling it to an idolater. Said Abaye to him: 'Wherefore have you acted
thus?' said he, 'It is to an Israelite that I have sold it.' 'But,' he
retorted, 'he will go and sell it to an idolater!' 'Why' - [argued the
other] 'should he sell it to an idolater and not sell it to an
Israelite?'12 He [Abaye] objected to him [from the following Baraitha]:
In a place where it is the custom to sell small cattle to Cutheans,13
such sale is permitted, but where they usually do not sell, such sale is
not permitted. Now, what is the reason [for the prohibition]? Shall we
say because they are suspected of immoral practices? But are they to be
suspected? Has it not been taught: One may not place cattle in inns kept
by idolaters even male-cattle with male persons and female-cattle with
female persons, and it is needless to say that female-cattle with male
persons and male-cattle with female persons [are forbidden]; nor may one
hand over cattle to one of their shepherds; nor may one be alone with
them;14 nor may one entrust a child to them to be educated, or to be
taught a trade.15 One may however place cattle in inns kept by Cutheans
even male-cattle with female persons and female-cattle with male
persons, and it goes without saying that males with males and females
with females are permitted; so also may one hand over cattle to one of
their shepherds and be alone with them, or hand over a child to them to
be educated or to be taught a trade.16 This shows indeed that they are
not to be suspected.17 And it has further been taught: One should not
sell them either weapons or accessories of weapons, nor should one grind
any weapon for them, not may one sell them either stocks or neck-chains
or ropes, or iron chains - neither to idolaters nor Cutheans.18 Now,
what is the reason?19 Shall we say because they are suspected of murder?
But are they suspect, seeing we have just said that one may be alone
with them! Hence it is only because he might sell it to an idolater.20
Should you, moreover, say that whereas a Cuthean will not repent an
Israelite will repent?21 Surely R. Nahman said in the name of Raba b.
Abbuha: Just as it was said that it is forbidden to sell to an idolater,
so is it forbidden to sell to an Israelite who is suspected of selling
it to an idolater! He [Rabbah] thereupon ran three parasangs22 after the
buyer (some say one parasang along a sand-mount) but failed to overtake
R. Dimi b. Abba said: Just as it is forbidden to sell23 to an
idolater, so it is forbidden to sell to a robber who is an Israelite.
What are the circumstances? If he is suspected of murder, then it is
quite plain; he is the same as an idolater! If [on the other hand] he
has never committed murder, why not [sell them to him]? - It refers
indeed to one who has not committed murder; but we may be dealing here
with a cowardly thief who is apt at times [when caught] to save himself
[by committing murder].
Our Rabbis taught: It is forbidden to sell them shields; some say,
however, that shields may be sold to them. What is the reason [for this
prohibition]? Shall we say, Because they protect them? In that case even
wheat or barley should likewise not [be sold to them].24 - Said Rab:
(1) Sheb. V, 8.
(2) To a fellow-Jew who is suspected of tilling his fields on that year
contrary to the Biblical prohibition, as he thereby 'places a
stumbling-block before the blind'.
(3) R. Hunah's action has therefore the ruling of the Hillelites as its
(4) [So Ms. M. Cur. edd. 'Rabbah', v. p. 77 n. 7.]
(5) The question of hiring, lending or trying, mentioned in connection
with selling cattle to a heathen does not therefore arise; and the
comparatively minor objection of 'placing a stumbling-block before the
blind' is waived by the assumption that the animal may have been
intended for slaughter.
(6) The objections mentioned before therefore do apply.
(7) Tosef. Sheb. III.
(8) Sheb. V, 6.
(9) In the case of a field, for example, the fact that it is not often
procurable may serve as ground for the assumption that the buyer availed
himself of the opportunity of purchasing it, even though he does not
intend tilling it till the following year.
(10) As, for instance, in the case of the 'implements'.
(11) To which case the assumption of buying for slaughter cannot be
(12) We have a right to assume that he will sell it to an Israelite, so
that there is no objection to its being sold to him. [This is contrary
to the view expressed above by Rabbah (v. p. 76, n. 9), and supports the
reading 'Raba', v. Tosaf. s.v.vcr.]
(13) Members of the Samaritan sect.
(14) As his life would be endangered.
(15) Lest he be taught idolatry.
(16) Tosef. A.S. III.
(17) Since, however, the sale of small cattle only is governed by
custom, it is obvious that big cattle may not be sold in any case to a
Cuthean; and as the suspicion of immorality does not exist, the reason
for the prohibition can only be the probability of his selling it to an
idolater, which is contrary to the view of Raba.
(18) Tosef. ibid.
(19) For forbidding the sale of these articles to a Cuthean.
(20) Who might use them for assailing an Israelite, which refutes
(21) So that even though he had been addicted to this wrongdoing, he
might be taken to have recanted, and this justifies Rabbah's action.
(22) Persian miles.
(23) The aforementioned articles.
(24) Since they protect them against hunger.