Previous Folio / Shabbath Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 144a

without [the owner's] desire, though the blood of its wound is clean? I am more stringent in the case of milk than in the case of blood, replied he, because if one milks1  as a remedy2  it [the milk] is unclean, whereas if one lets blood as a remedy it is clean. Said they to him: Let baskets of olives and grapes prove it, for the liquid that exudes from them with [their owner's] desire is unclean; without [their owner's] desire, is clean. Now does not 'with desire' mean that he [the owner] is pleased therewith;3  whilst 'without [his] desire' means that it [the purpose] is unspecified?4  Now if olives and grapes, which stand to be pressed, yet where [the juice exudes] without desire it is nothing: how much more so mulberries and pomegranates, which do not stand to be pressed?5  — No: 'with desire' means that it is unexpressed, whilst 'without desire means that he [the owner] revealed his mind, saying, 'It does not please me An alternative answer is: baskets of olives and grapes are different, [for] since it stands to be wasted,6  he [the owner] indeed renounces it beforehand.7

We have [thus] found that R. Judah agrees with the Rabbis in the case of olives and grapes. How do we know that the Rabbis agree with R. Judah in the case of other fruits?8  Because it was taught: One may express

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. A cow, or if one draws off a woman's milk.
  2. Not because the milk is required, but because its presence in the animal or woman may be injurious to them.
  3. I.e., from his explicit statements we understand that he is pleased therewith. — It may be observed that where fruit is kept for its juice, its exuding is regarded as in conformity with the owner's desire, whether he actually wanted it just then or not.
  4. In which case it is clean, because it is not regarded as a liquid. This must at least represent the view of R. Judah, whose range of liquids is more restricted than that of the Rabbis.
  5. And since according to R. Judah it is not a liquid in respect of defilement, when it exudes on the Sabbath it should be permitted. This is the point of the difficulty.
  6. Sc. the liquid that exudes. Thus 'baskets' is intentionally stated here, for the juice runs out through the holes.
  7. Hence it certainly does not exude with his desire. But if the fruit is in other utensils which conserve the liquid, it is regarded as exuding with his desire even where he said nothing.
  8. Excluding mulberries and pomegranates.

Shabbath 144b

plums, quinces and sorb-apples,1  but not pomegranates, and [indeed] the household of Menasia b. Menahem used to express pomegranates.2  And how do you know that this is the [ruling of] the Rabbis: perhaps it is R. Judah['s view]? — Even granted that it is R. Judah['s]: when have you heard R. Judah [to permit the juice], when it exudes of itself: have you heard him [to rule that] we may express it at the very outset?3  But what you must answer is since they are not intended for pressing, [it is permitted] even at the outset; consequently even if it is assumed to be the ruling of the Rabbis, since they are not intended for pressing [it is permitted] at the very outset. Hence it follows that this [agrees with] the Rabbis [too].4  This proves it.

'The household of Menasia b. Menahem used to express pomegranates.' R. Nahman said: The halachah is in accordance with the household of Menasia b. Menahem. Said Raba to R. Nahman: Was then Menasia b. Menahem a Tanna?5  And should you say [that you mean], The halachah is as this Tanna6  because he agrees with the [practice of] Menasia b. Menahem: just because he agrees with Menasia b. Menahem, the halachah is as he! Does Menasia b. Menahem represent the majority of people?7  Yes. For we learnt: If one maintains thorns in a vineyard, — R. Eleazar said: They are forbidden;8  but the Sages maintained: Only that the like of which is [normally] kept9  creates an interdict. Now R. Hanina said: What is R. Eleazar's reason? Because in Arabia the thorns of fields are kept for the camels.10  How compare! Arabia is a [whole] region, but here his practice11  counts as nought in relation to that of all [other] people! — Rather this is the reason,12  as R. Hisda. For R. Hisda said: If beets are expressed and [the juice] poured into a mikweh,13  it renders the mikweh unfit on account of changed appearance.14  But these are not normally expressed?15  What you must then answer is that since he assigned value thereto,16  it ranks as liquid;17  so here too, since one assigns a value thereto, it ranks as a liquid.18  R. Papa said: The reason is that it is something wherewith a mikweh may not be made in the first place, and everything wherewith a mikweh may not be made in the first place renders a mikweh unfit through changed appearance.19

We learnt elsewhere: If wine, vinegar, or secretion [of olives]20  falls therein [a mikweh] and changes its appearance, it is unfit.21  Which Tanna holds that secretion [of olives] is a liquid?22  — Said Abaye, It is R. Jacob. For it was taught, R. Jacob said: The secretion is as a liquid, and why did they [the Sages] rule, The secretion which exudes at the beginning23  is clean?24  Because one does not desire to keep it. R. Simeon said: Secretion is not as a liquid, and why did they rule, The secretion that exudes from the bale made up for the press25  is unclean? Because it cannot but contain particles of diluted oil. Wherein do they differ?26  They differ in respect to what oozes after [the olives have been subject to their own] pressure. Raba said: The reason is because it is something whereof a mikweh may not be made, and such renders a mikweh unfit through change of colour.27

Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: One may squeeze out a cluster of grapes into a pot,28  but not into a plate.29  R. Hisda observed: From our master's words we may learn [that] one may milk a goat into a pot [of food], but not into a plate. This proves that he holds: a liquid that unites with30  a [solid] foodstuff is [accounted] a foodstuff. Rami b. Hama objected: If a zab milks a goat, the milk is unclean.31  But if you say, A liquid that unites with a [solid] foodstuff is a foodstuff, whereby did it become susceptible?32  — As R. Johanan said [elsewhere], By the drop [of milk] smeared on the nipple: so here too by the drop smeared on the nipple.33  Rabina objected: If a person unclean through a corpse squeezes out olives or grapes

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Because their juice is not normally expressed, and therefore that is not akin to threshing, which is the reason of the prohibition in the case of other fruits.
  2. On weekdays, which shows that pomegranates are intended for this.
  3. Surely not.
  4. For the same logic holds good on their view too.
  5. Of course not. The practice of this household is merely quoted, but he himself could give no ruling.
  6. Who forbids with pomegranates.
  7. That the halachah should be decided by his practice.
  8. Lit., 'sanctified'. Viz., the grapes, on account of the mixture of plants; Deut. XXII, 9.
  9. I.e., a plant which is wanted and valuable, which excludes thorns.
  10. Thus Arabian practice decides the law, and the same is true here.
  11. Lit., 'mind'.
  12. For R. Nahman's ruling that one may not press pomegranate..
  13. V. Glos.
  14. The water is stained red and no longer looks like water.
  15. Hence their juice should be of no account.
  16. Sc. the juices.
  17. Which can invalidate a mikweh.
  18. Viz., the juice of pomegranates. Rashi: R. Nahman accordingly explains the Baraitha thus: — One may squeeze plums, etc., not for their juice, since this would automatically give the juice a value of its own as a liquid, which in turn prohibits squeezing, but in order to improve the taste of the fruit. But not pomegranates. even to improve the fruit, for since some, as the house of Menasia b. Menahem, squeeze it for the sake of the juice, should you permit the former the latter too may be done. This does not apply to plums etc. which no-one squeezes for the sake of their juice.
  19. Yet no value is assigned thereto and the juice is not a liquid.
  20. A fluid given off by olives before the actual oil is expressed. It is in fact a kind of diluted oil.
  21. V. Mik. VII, 4.
  22. To invalidate a mikweh.
  23. When the olives are first loaded in the press, but before they are actually pressed.
  24. It does not render food insusceptible to defilement; v. p. 45, n. 1.
  25. Jast.: a bale of loose texture containing the olive pulp to be pressed. This fluid denotes a further stage than the previous.
  26. Since both admit that the first fluid is clean, while that which oozes from the olive pulp is unclean, in respect of what do they disagree?
  27. That is why the serial fluid makes the mikweh unfit; accordingly that ruling agrees with all.
  28. Of food, for obviously the juice will not be drunk separately but is meant to season the food; as such it remains a food, i.e., a solid, itself.
  29. As it may then be drunk separately, notwithstanding that one does not generally drink from a plate.
  30. Lit., 'comes into'.
  31. A zab defiles everything through hesset (v. p. 395, n. 1); here too he exercises hesset on the milk.
  32. To defilement, for no foodstuff can be unclean unless a liquid has previously fallen upon it (v. p. 45, n. 1). — The law is stated generally- which implies that it is so even if he milks it into a pot of food.
  33. The milker smears the first drop around the nipple, to facilitate the flow. This drop of course counts as a liquid, and all the subsequent milk is touched thereby.