Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 12
How do we define the term touch when we say that a gentile who touches wine causes it to be forbidden? Touching the wine itself whether with his hands or with any of his other limbs with which it is customary to pour a libation and shook the wine.
If, however, he extended his hand to a barrel and his hand was grabbed before he could remove [any wine] or shake it, [there is room for leniency]. If the barrel was opened from below and the wine was allowed to flow out to the extent that it reached below his hand, the wine is not forbidden.
Similarly, if he held an open container of wine and shake it, the wine becomes forbidden even though he did not lift up the container or touch the wine.
If he took an [open] container of wine, lifted it up, and poured it out, the wine becomes forbidden, even though he did not shake it. For the wine moved as a result of his power. If he lifted the container up, but did not shake it or touch it, it is permitted.
When a gentile was holding a container on the ground and a Jew poured wine into it, the wine is permitted. If the gentile shakes the container, the wine becomes forbidden.
It is permitted to have a gentile move a closed [container of wine] from one place to another even though the wine moves. For this is not the manner in which a libation is made.
When [a gentile] moves a wineskin containing wine from one place to another while [a Jew] was holding the opening of the wineskin with his hand, it is permitted. [This applies] whether the wineskin was entirely full or not and [applies] even though the wine moves.
[When a gentile] transfers an open earthenware vessel that is filled with wine, it is prohibited, for perhaps he touched it. If it was only partially full, [the wine] is permitted unless he shook it.
When a gentile touches wine without intending to, it is permitted only to benefit from the wine. What is implied? He fell on an [open] wineskin or stretched his hand out to a barrel under the impression that it contained oil and it actually contained wine.
If wine moves because of a gentile's power although he did not intend to do so, since he did not touch the wine, it is permitted to drink it. What is implied? If he lifted up a container of wine and poured it into another container while thinking that it was beer or oil, [the wine] is permitted.
If a gentile entered a house or a store seeking wine and extended his hand to search for it and touched wine, [the wine] is forbidden. [The rationale is that] he was intending [to touch] wine. This is not considered as touching without intent.
When a barrel is split lengthwise and a gentile comes and embraces it so that the halves will not separate it is permitted to benefit from [the wine]. If, however, it split widthwise and he grabbed the upper half so that it will not fall, it is permitted to drink [the wine]. For the wine is not affected by the gentile's power.
When a gentile fell into a cistern of wine and was hoisted up dead,measured a cistern containing wine with a reed, swatted away a fly or a hornet from it with a reed, patted a boiling bottle of wine so that the boiling would cease or took a barrel and threw it into the cistern in anger,it is merely permitted to benefit from the wine. If, [in the first instance,] the gentile was raised [from the cistern] alive, it is forbidden to benefit from the wine.
When there is a hole on the side of a barrel, the stopper slips away from the hole, and a gentile places his finger over the hole so that the wine will not flow out, all of the wine from the top of the barrel until the hole is forbidden. It is, however, permitted to drink the wine beneath the hole.
[The following rules apply when] one end of a bent outflow pipe made from metal, glass, or the like is placed in wine and the other end extends out of the barrel. If one sucked on the wine and the wine began flowing out as is always done, and a gentile came and place his finger at the end of the outflow pipe and prevent the wine from flowing outward, all of the wine in the barrel is forbidden. [The rationale is that] were it not for his hand, everything [in the barrel] would have flowed out. Thus all the wine is affected by his power.
When a person pours wine into a receptacle containing gentile wine, all of the wine in the upper container is forbidden. [The rationale is that] the column of wine being poured connects between the wine in the upper container and the wine in the lower container. Therefore when a person is measuring wine for a gentile into a container in the latter's hands, he should interrupt [the column of wine before it reaches the utensil] or throw the wine so that [the column of wine] being poured will not establish a connection and cause the wine remaining in the upper container to become forbidden.
When a funnel that was used to measure wine for a gentile has an obstruction that prevents wine [from flowing] the funnel should not be used to measure wine for a Jew until it was washed thoroughly and dried.If he did not wash it thoroughly, [the Jew's wine] is forbidden.
[The following rules apply with regard to] a container possessed by a Jew that has two "nostrils," that emerge from it, like containers that are used to wash hands, and is filled with wine. If a Jew is sucking and drinking from one nostril and a gentile is sucking and drinking from the other nostril, this is permitted, provided the Jew begins [drinking] and concludes while the gentile is still drinking. When the gentile stops drinking, all the wine that was in the nostril will return to the container and cause all the wine in it to be forbidden. [The rationale is that] the wine [in the nostril] was moved by [the gentile's] power.
When a gentile sucks wine from a container with an outflow pipe, all the wine in the container becomes forbidden. For when he ceases [sucking], all of the wine that entered the outflow pipe through his sucking will return to the barrel and cause it to become forbidden.
When a gentile is transferring barrels of wine from one place to another together with a Jew and [the Jew] is walking after them to protect them, they are permitted even if he separates from him for a mil. [The rationale is] that he is afraid of him and will say: "He will suddenly appear before us and observe us."
[More stringent rules apply if the Jew] tells [gentile porters]: "Proceed and I will follow after you." If they pass beyond his sight to the extent that [they have time] to uncover the opening of the barrel, seal it again, and [allow it] to dry out, it is forbidden to drink all of the wine. If for a lesser [time], [the wine] is permitted.
Similarly, if a Jew leaves a gentile in his store, even though he departs and enters, [going back and forth] the entire day, the wine is permitted. If he informs him that he is departing for a significant period, should he wait long enough [to enable the gentile] to open the barrel, seal it again, and [allow it] to dry out, it is forbidden to drink the wine.
Similarly, if a person left his wine in a wagon or a ship with a gentile and enters a city to tend to his needs, the wine is permitted. If he informs him that he is departing for a significant period, should he wait long enough [to enable the gentile] to open the barrel, seal it again, and [allow it] to dry out, it is forbidden to drink the wine.
All of the above rulings apply with regard to closed barrels. If they are open, even if he did not wait, since he told him that he was departing for a significant period, the wine is forbidden.
When a Jew was eating together with a gentile, left wine open on the table and on the counter, and departed, the wine on the table is forbidden, while that on the counter is permitted. If [the Jew] told him: "Mix [the wine] and drink," all the open wine in the house is forbidden.
When [a Jew] was drinking together with a gentile and he heard the sound of prayer in the synagogue and departed, even the open wine is permitted. For the gentile will say: "Soon he will remember the wine, come hurriedly and see me touching his wine." Therefore [we do not suspect that] the gentile will move from his place. Hence only the wine that is before him becomes forbidden.
[The following rules apply when] a gentile and a Jew are living together in one courtyard and they both left in agitation to see a bridegroom or a funeral. If the gentile returns and closes the entrance and the Jew comes later, the open wine in the Jew's home remains permitted. [We assume that] the gentile closed [the entrance] with the assumption that the Jew had already entered his home and no one remained outside; [i.e.,] he thought that the Jew came before him.
[The following rules apply when] wine belonging to both a Jew and a gentile [is being stored] in one building and [the Jew's] barrels were open. If the gentile entered the building and locked the door behind him, all the wine is forbidden. If there is a window in the door that enables a person standing behind the door to see in front of him, all of the barrels that are opposite the window are permitted. Those on the sides are forbidden. [The leniency is granted,] because the gentile will fear from those who can see him.
Similarly, if a lion roared or the like and the gentile fled and hid among the open barrels, the wine is permitted. For he will say, "Perhaps another Jew also hid here and will see me if I touch [the wine]."
[The following laws apply with regard to] a wine cellar whose barrels were open, a gentile also stored wine in that inn, and the gentile was discovered standing among the open barrels belonging to the Jew. If he was frightened when discovered and it would be considered as if he was a thief, it is permitted to drink the wine. For because of his fear and dread, he will not have the opportunity to pour a libation. If he would not be considered as a thief, but instead, he feels secure there, the wine is forbidden.
When a [gentile] baby is discovered among the barrels, regardless of whether he would be considered like a thief or not, all of the wine is permitted.
When a battalion [of soldiers] enter a country with an approach of peace, all of the open barrels [of wine] in the stores are forbidden. The closed ones, by contrast, are permitted. At a time of war, however, if a battalion spread through a city and moved on, both are permitted, because they do not have time to make libations.
[The following laws apply when] a gentile is discovered standing next to a cistern of wine [belonging to a Jew]. If [the Jew] owes him a debt for which this wine serves is collateral, [the wine] is forbidden. Since he feels privileged, he will extend his hand and make a libation. If it is not collateral for a debt, it is permitted to drink the wine.
When a gentile harlot is present at a Jewish feast, the wine is permitted. For she is in dread of them and will not touch [the wine]. When, however, a Jewish harlot is present at a gentile feast, her wine that is before her in her utensils is forbidden, for [the gentiles] will touch it without her consent.
[The following lays apply when] a gentile is discovered in a winepress: If there is enough moisture from wine that when one places his hand in it, [the hand] will become moist to the extent that if it touches his other hand, that hand will become moist, it is necessary to wash out the winepress thoroughly and dry it out. If this amount is not present, all that is necessary is to wash it out thoroughly. This is an extra measure of stringency.
[The following rules apply with regard to] a barrel floating in the river. If it was found near a city populated primarily by Jews, we are permitted to benefit from it. Near a city populated primarily by gentiles, it is forbidden.
In a place where most of the wine merchants are Jewish, if one discovers large containers that are generally used only by wine merchants to store wine and which are filled with wine, it is permitted to benefit from [the wine].
When a barrel has been opened by thieves, if most of the local thieves are Jewish, it is permitted to drink the wine. If not, it is forbidden.
Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy