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Avodah Zarah, 66
1) THE NAMES OF SPICES
OPINIONS: Abaye and Rava argue regarding how we rule in a case of a
forbidden item that became mixed with a permitted item. Abaye maintains that
we follow the *taste* of the items, and in a case where the two items (such
as new wine and grapes) have the same taste, it is considered a mixture of
Min b'Mino (in which forbidden and permitted quantities of the same species
are mixed together) and the entire mixture is forbidden with even a small
amount of Yayin Nesech. Rava maintains that we follow the *names* of the
items; since new wine and grapes are defined and labeled as different items,
it is considered a mixture of Min b'she'Eino Mino (in which forbidden and
permitted quantities of different species are mixed together) and the Yayin
Nesech forbids the entire mixture only if its taste is noticeable in the
Abaye attempts to prove his opinion from the Mishnah in Orlah (2:10). The
Mishnah there states that a combination of forbidden spices which have two
or three different names but which are of the same species, or three
different species of spices, which fell into a permitted food combine to
form the minimum amount (i.e. Nosen Ta'am) which forbids the permitted food.
Abaye says that this proves that taste is the determining factor in a
mixture, even when the items have different names.
What does the Mishnah mean when it refers to spices of different "names,"
and spices of different "species?"
(a) RASHI (DH Tavlin) explains simply that three names of one species, for
example, would be a case of white pepper, black pepper, and long pepper.
They have different names, but they share the fact that they are all pepper.
An example of the second case (three different types of spices) would be
pepper, cumin, and cinnamon.
(b) TOSFOS (DH Tavlin (#2)) rejects Rashi's explanation. The Mishnah in
Orlah continues and quotes Rebbi Shimon who says that whether the spices
have three names and are of one type, or whether they are of three different
types and have one name, they do not combine to forbid the food into which
they fall. Tosfos points out that Rebbi Shimon's statement is difficult
according to Rashi. In what case do three different types of things have the
Tosfos points out that the Gemara commonly refers to a "name" as a category
of prohibition (see Shabbos 102a, "Eno Min ha'Shem," and Makos 4b).
Tosfos therefore explains that the first case -- spices with two or three
names that are of the same type -- refers to identical spices that are
forbidden for different reasons. For example, there are three peppers, and
one is a pepper of Kil'ayim, one is a pepper of Orlah, and one is a pepper
of Terumah. The second case -- three different species with the same
"name -- refers to three different spices that are all prohibited for the
same reason, such as pepper, cinnamon, and garlic that are all Kil'ayim.
The RITVA agrees with the explanation of Tosfos. He says that Rashi had a
mistaken text in the Mishnah in Orlah. Rashi had the text that appears in
our Gemara here, which states that the second case is one in which the
spices are of three different types *and* have three different names. The
Ritva explains that the proper text of the Mishnah reads explicitly, "... or
three types with one name."
(c) The RAMBAM (in Perush ha'Mishnayos to Orlah 2:10) gives an explanation
similar to that of Rashi. He explains the first part of the Mishnah exactly
like Rashi, but had the text of the Ritva which states that the second case
is three types with one name. The Rambam explains that we find, for example,
many types of Karpas that are all referred to as "Karpas," as well as
various species of grass that are all called "Si'ah," even though they are
different species of vegetation. The second case of the Mishnah is referring
to three different types of Karpas which are all called Karpas in some
In the same manner, the RAMBAN answers Tosfos' first question on Rashi's
explanation from the statement of Rebbi Shimon. Tosfos asks that we do not
find three different types of things which have the same name. The Ramban
answers that we find that there is a type of vegetable called "Karpas of the
garden," and an entirely different type of vegetable "Karpas of the ashes."
Along with another type of Karpas, it is possible to have three items with
the same name, each referring to a different item. Tosfos' second question
on Rashi's explanation, that we find that "Shem" refers to a category of
prohibition, is not difficult, because the word can have different meanings
(including its literal meaning of "name"). (See PORAS YOSEF who refutes the
proof Tosfos brings from the YERUSHALMI.) (Y. Montrose)
2) THE "REI'ACH" OF A PROHIBITED ITEM
OPINIONS: The Gemara discusses a case in which a Nochri made holes in the
top of his wine barrel in order to determine the amount of time it would
keep fresh. Is a Jew allowed to smell this wine for the Nochri, or is that
considered having benefit from Yayin Nesech? TOSFOS (DH Yisrael) points out
that the Gemara must be referring to a case in which the Jew is smelling the
wine for free, and the Nochri does not consider this as a favor from the Jew
for which he owes his gratitude, because otherwise this act would be
forbidden (for the Jew would then be receiving tangible benefit for working
with Yayin Nesech). Abaye states that smell is included in the prohibition
of deriving benefit from Yayin Nesech. Rava argues that it is permitted,
because smell is not considered to be a benefit, and thus the Jew is not
benefiting from the Yayin Nesech.
We find a similar argument in Pesachim (76b). The Gemara there discusses a
case of kosher meat that was roasted together with Neveilah in the same
oven, but was distanced from the Neveilah and roasted on a separate rack.
Rav rules that the meats pass their "Rei'ach," fragrances, to each other,
thus forbidding the kosher meat. Levi argues that even if the kosher meat
was lean and the Neveilah was fatty (with much more "Rei'ach"), the kosher
meat would be permitted since "Rei'ach Lav Milsa Hi," fragrance is
Is the argument in Pesachim the same argument as in the Gemara here, or are
the two arguments based on different issues?
(a) RASHI in Pesachim (76b, DH Amar Lecha) says that the two arguments are
the same. In deciding the Halachah in that Gemara, Rashi notes that the
Gemara there quotes a Tana to support Rav's ruling. Nevertheless, Rashi
quotes our Gemara in Avodah Zarah, in which the Halachah certainly follows
the view of Rava (since the Halachah always follows Rava when he argues with
Abaye, except in six specific cases; see Bava Metzia 22b), and Rashi says
that based on this, we must rule like Levi in Pesachim, since Rava here in
Avodah Zarah also maintains that smell is inconsequential. This is also the
opinion of the RIF in Chulin (32a of the pages of the Rif).
(b) TOSFOS here (DH Rava) argues with Rashi's understanding that these cases
are similar. First, the Gemara in Pesachim says that in an actual incident
that occurred, Rava mi'Parzakya ruled that a fish which was cooked in the
same oven as a piece of meat may not be eaten with milk. Mar bar Rav Ashi
concurred with that ruling. We see that in practice, the Halachah was
decided in favor of Rav's opinion. Second, if the arguments are the same,
then why does the Gemara there not quote our Gemara in order to cross
Tosfos therefore asserts that the cases are different, and the arguments
unrelated. We rule like both Rav and Rava in their respective arguments. He
explains that Abaye, who forbids smelling the wine of a Nochri, maintains
that the act is akin to drinking straight from the prohibited wine. In the
case in Pesachim, where the smell goes from meat to meat and the action of
eating the kosher meat has no apparent relation to the Neveilah, even Abaye
might agree that the kosher meat is permitted. Similarly, Rava here can also
agree with Rav in Pesachim. Rava admits that when a strong smell of roasting
meat emanates from Neveilah, that is significant enough to prohibit the
kosher meat. In the case of smelling a Nochri's wine, the smell is
detrimental to the person who smells it. That sort of smell, Rava rules, is
not considered benefit.
Although the Rif in Chulin (ibid.) rules like Rashi, he cites many
additional arguments in favor of the opinion of Tosfos. The Gemara later in
Avodah Zarah quotes an argument in a Beraisa regarding one who puts a
steaming loaf of bread on top of a barrel of Terumah wine. Rebbi Meir says
that the bread becomes like Terumah, while Rebbi Yehudah says that it does
not. Rebbi Yosi says that if it was wheat bread, then it is not like
Terumah, but if it was barley bread, then it is like Terumah, because barley
absorbs smell. Reish Lakish there states that everyone agrees that if the
bread was hot and the barrel was open, the bread would be Terumah. From the
statement of Reish Lakish it seems obvious that if two roasting pieces of
meat would also send odors to each other, then Neveilah piece should
prohibit the kosher piece.
However, the Rif refutes this proof and the proof of Tosfos as well. Levi
was the teacher of Reish Lakish, and thus we do not reject the teacher's
explanation because of a comment of his student. In addition, Reish Lakish's
comment is only explaining Abaye's understanding of the argument.
Furthermore, the proof of Tosfos from the incident with Rava mi'Parzakya is
not a proof, because even *Levi* would agree to the verdict of Rava
mi'Parzakya, since Levi only permits the kosher meat once it already
happened, b'Di'eved, in order to avoid the total loss of the meat. Rava
mi'Parzakya's case involved telling someone not to eat his fish
*l'Chatchilah* with a dip which contained milk. Levi would certainly agree
with that ruling, as no loss would be incurred by the owner of the fish!
The RAMBAN, RASHBA, RITVA, and others differ with the Rif's understanding of
the ruling of Rava mi'Parzakya. They understand that all those involved in
these arguments (Rav, Levi, Rava, and Abaye) are not discussing cases that
had already happened, but rather they are discussing what is the permitted
practice to do. Nevertheless, these Rishonim rule like the Rif. They explain
that Rava mi'Parzakya -- who prohibited eating the fish with a dip
containing milk -- did so in the spirit of many stringencies which were
established in order to separate eating kosher milk with kosher meat. The
Rabanan were more stringent in this area (of meat and milk), because people
are less cautious on their own to stay away from such mixtures (as milk by
itself and meat by itself are permitted). The Rabanan were less strict about
non-kosher food, since people tend to stay away from such foods on their
own. His ruling, therefore, has no impact on the argument of Rav and Levi
regarding the smell of Neveilah. (Y. Montrose)