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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 11, Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 12, Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 13

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Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 11

1

When wine has been poured as a libation to a false divinity,1 it is forbidden to benefit from it. A person who drinks even the smallest quantity2 of [such wine] is liable for lashes according to Scriptural Law. Similarly, anyone who partakes of the smallest quantity of something offered to a false deity, e.g., meat or fruit, even water or salt, is worthy of lashes, as [implied by Deuteronomy 32:38]: "The fat of whose offerings they would eat; they would drink the wine of their libations. Let them stand."3

א

יין שנתנסך לעכו"ם אסור בהנייה והשותה ממנו כל שהוא לוקה מן התורה וכן האוכל כל שהוא מתקרובת עכו"ם מבשר או מפירות אפילו מים ומלח האוכל מהן כל שהוא לוקה שנאמר אשר חלב זבחימו יאכלו ישתו יין נסיכם יקומו וגו':

2

Wine poured as a libation to a false deity is like a sacrifice offered to it. Since this prohibition stems from [the prohibition against] the worship of false deities, there is no minimum measure involved, as stated with regard to the worship of false deities [ibid. 13:18]: "Let no trace of the condemned [entity] cling to your hand."4

ב

יין שנתנסך לה כזבח שקרב לה וכיון שאיסור זה משום עכו"ם הוא אין לו שיעור שנאמר בעבודת כו"ם ולא ידבק בידך מאומה מן החרם:

3

When we do not know whether wine belonging to a gentile was used for a libation or not, it is called "ordinary [gentile] wine." It is forbidden to benefit from it, as it is forbidden to benefit from wine used as a libation. [This matter] is a Rabbinic decree.5 When a person drinks a revi'it6 of "ordinary [gentile] wine," he is liable for "stripes for rebellious conduct."7

ג

יין העכו"ם שאין אנו יודעין אם נתנסך או לא נתנסך והוא הנקרא סתם יינם אסור בהנאה כמו יין שנתנסך ודבר זה מגזירות סופרים הוא והשותה מסתם יינם רביעית מכין אותו מכת מרדות:

4

It is forbidden [to benefit from] any wine that a gentile touches;8for perhaps he poured it as a libation. For the thought of a gentile is focused on the worship of false deities.9 From this, we learn that it is forbidden to benefit [even from] wine belonging to a Jew which was touched by a gentile; it is governed by the laws that apply to ordinary gentile wine.

ד

וכל יין שיגע בו העכו"ם הרי זה אסור שמא נסך אותו שמחשבת העכו"ם לעבודת כוכבים הא למדת שיין ישראל שנגע בו העכו"ם דינו כסתם יינם שהוא אסור בהנייה:

5

When a gentile touches wine unintentionally10 and similarly, when a gentile child11 touches wine, it is forbidden to drink it,12 but it is permitted to benefit from it.

When one purchases servants from a gentile and they were circumcised and immersed [in the mikveh] immediately,13 they no longer pour libations to false deities.14 It is permitted to drink wine which they touch even though they have yet to conduct themselves according to the Jewish faith and they still speak of idolatry.

ה

עכו"ם שנגע ביין שלא בכוונה וכן תינוק עכו"ם שנגע ביין אסור בשתייה ומותר בהנייה הלוקח עבדים מן העכו"ם ומלו וטבלו מיד אין מנסכין ויין שנגעו בו מותר בשתייה ואע"פ שעדיין לא נהגו בדתי ישראל ולא פסקה עכו"ם מפיהם:

6

[With regard to] the children of gentile maidservants that were born in a Jewish domain15 and circumcised, but were not immersed yet:16 The older ones cause wine that they touch to become forbidden. The younger ones17 do not cause it to become forbidden.18

ו

בני השפחות העכו"ם שנולדו ברשות ישראל ומלו ועדיין לא טבלו הגדולים אוסרין היין כשיגעו בה והקטנים אינן אוסרין:

7

With regard to a resident alien, i.e., one who accepted the observance of the seven universal laws [commanded to Noah and his descendants],19 as we explained:20 It is forbidden to drink his wine, but it is permitted to benefit from it.21 We may deposit wine in his possession for a short time, but may not entrust it to him for a lengthy period.22

With regard to any gentile who does not serve false deities, e.g., the Arabs:23It is forbidden to drink his wine, but it is permitted to benefit from it. The Geonim rule in this manner. With regard to those who worship false deities,24 by contrast, it is forbidden to benefit from their ordinary wine.

ז

גר תושב והוא שקיבל עליו שבע מצות כמו שביארנו יינו אסור בשתייה ומותר בהנייה ומייחדין אצלו יין ואין מפקידין אצלו יין וכן כל עכו"ם שאינו עובד עכו"ם כגון אלו הישמעאלים יינן אסור בשתייה ומותר בהנייה וכן הורו כל הגאונים אבל אותם העובדים עכו"ם סתם יינם אסור בהנייה:

8

Whenever it is stated that wine is forbidden in this context, if the gentile who causes the wine to be forbidden worships false deities, it is forbidden to benefit from it. If he does not worship false deities, it is merely forbidden to drink it. Whenever we refer to a gentile without any further description, we mean one who worships false deities.25

ח

כל מקום שנאמר בענין זה שהיין אסור אם היה עכו"ם שנאסר היין בגללו עובד עכו"ם הרי הוא אסור בהנייה ואם אינו עובד עכו"ם הרי הוא אסור בשתייה בלבד וכל מקום שנאמר עכו"ם סתם הרי זה עובד עכו"ם:

9

Only wine that is fit to be offered on the altar is used for libations for false deities. Therefore when [our Sages] decreed against ordinary gentile wine, ordaining that it is forbidden to benefit from any wine touched by a gentile, their decree involved only wine that is fit to be used as a libation. Accordingly, wine that was boiled26 that was touched by a gentile is not forbidden. It is permitted to drink it together with a gentile27 in one cup. If, however, [a gentile] touches wine blended [with water] and wine that began to turn into vinegar,28 but can still be drunken is forbidden.

ט

אין מתנסך לעכו"ם אלא יין שראוי להקריב על גבי המזבח ומפני זה כשגזרו על סתם יינם וגזרו על כל יין שיגע בו שיהיה אסור בהנייה לא גזרו אלא על היין הראוי להתנסך לפיכך יין מבושל של ישראל שנגע בו העכו"ם אינו אסור ומותר לשתות עם העכו"ם בכוס אחד אבל יין מזוג ויין שהתחיל להחמיץ ואפשר שישתה אם נגע בו נאסר:

10

The Geonim of the west ruled that if a small amount of a sweetener29 or yeast became mixed with Jewish wine, since it is no longer fit for the altar,30 it is considered as if were boiled or as if it were beer and will not be used as a libation. It is permitted to drink it together with a gentile.

י

הורו גאוני המערב שאם נתערב ביין ישראל מעט דבש או מעט שאור הואיל ואינו ראוי למזבח הרי הוא כמבושל או כשכר ואינו מתנסך ומותר לשתותו עם העכו"ם:

11

When does wine belonging to a gentile become forbidden? When the grapes have been crushed and the wine begins to flow,31 even though it has not descended into the cistern and is still in the wine press, it is forbidden. For this reason, we do not crush grapes together with a gentile in a wine press,32 lest he touch it with his hand33 and offer it as a libation. [This applies] even if he is bound. [Similarly,] we do not purchase a wine press [filled with] crushed [grapes] even if the wine is still mixed with the seeds and peels and has not descended into the cistern.

יא

מאימתי יאסר יין העכו"ם משידרוך וימשך היין אף על פי שלא ירד לבור אלא עדיין הוא בגת הרי זה אסור לפיכך אין דורכין עם העכו"ם בגת שמא יגע בידו וינסך ואפילו היה כפות ואין לוקחין ממנו גת דרוכה ואע"פ שעדיין היין מעורב עם החרצנים וזגין ולא ירד לבור:

12

When a gentile crushes [grapes for] wine without touching it34 and a Jew is standing over him,35 and a Jew is the one who collects it in jugs, it is forbidden [only] to be drunken.36

יב

עכו"ם שדרך היין ולא נגע בו והרי ישראל עומד על גביו וישראל הוא שכנסו בחבית ה"ז אסור בשתייה:

13

It is forbidden to benefit from vinegar belonging to a gentile, because it became [forbidden like] wine offered as a libation before it became vinegar.37

When a gentile is crushing grapes in a barrel, we are not concerned that the wine [becomes forbidden] as wine used for a libation. If a gentile was eating from the baskets [of grapes brought to a winepress] and left over, a se'ah or two and threw them into the winepress, he does not cause the wine [to become forbidden] as wine used for a libation, even though it spatters over the grapes.38

יג

החומץ של עכו"ם אסור בהנייה מפני שנעשה יין נסך קודם שיחמיץ עכו"ם שהיה דורס ענבים בחבית אף על פי שהיין צף על גבי ידיו אין חוששין משום יין נסך היה אוכל מן הסלים והותיר כסאה וכסאתים וזרקן בגת אע"פשהיין מגתו על הענבים אין עושה יין נסך:

14

Grape seeds and peels belonging to a gentile are forbidden39 for twelve months. After twelve months, they have already dried out, they contain no moisture and they are permitted to be eaten. Similarly, the dregs of wine that have dried out are permitted to be eaten after twelve months.40 [The rationale is that] no trace of wine remains; they are just like dust or earth.

יד

החרצנים והזגין של עכו"ם אסורים כל י"ב חדש ולאחר י"ב חדש כבר יבשו ולא נשארה בהן לחלוחית ומותרין באכילה וכן שמרים של יין שיבשו לאחר י"ב חדש מותרין שהרי לא נשאר בהן ריח יין והרי הן כעפר וכאדמה:

15

It is forbidden to put wine in wineskins or barrels in which gentiles had kept wine41 until:

a) they are allowed to dry for twelve months;42

b) they are placed in a fire until their pitch becomes soft or they become hot;43

c) water is placed in them for three days for a full 24 hour period; [one places water in them], pours it out after 24 hours, and puts other water in. [This should be done] three times in three days.

[This applies] whether the containers belong to them or they belonged to a Jew from whom they borrowed them and then placed their wine into them. If one put wine in them before purifying them, it is forbidden to drink [that wine].44

טו

נאדות העכו"ם וקנקניהן שהכניסו בהן העכו"ם יינם אסור ליתן לתוכן יין עד שיישנן י"ב חדש או עד שיחזירן לאור עד שיתרפה הזפת שעליהן או שיחמו או עד שיתן לתוכן מים שלשה ימים מעת לעת ומערה המים ומחליף מים אחרים כל מעת לעת שלש פעמים בשלשת הימים בין שהיו הכלים שלהן בין שהיו של ישראל ושאלו אותן והכניסו בהן יינם ואם נתן לתוכם יין קודם שיטהר אותן הרי זה אסור בשתייה:

16

It is permitted to place beer, fish brine, or fish oil in these containers immediately.45 None of these [purging processes] are necessary. After one placed fish brine or fish oil in them, one may place wine in them, for the salt [in the fish brine or fat] will burn out [any residue of wine].

טז

ומותר ליתן לתוכן שכר או ציר או מורייס מיד ואין צריך לכלום ומותר ליתן היין לתוכן אחר שנותן הציר או המוריס שהמלח שורפן:

17

When a person purchases new utensils that were not covered with pitch from a gentile, he may place wine in them immediately, he need not worry that gentile wine had been placed in them. If they were covered with pitch, he should wash them thoroughly even though they are new.46

Similarly, [any] utensil in which gentile wine was placed, but was not stored there for an extensive period, e.g., a bucket used to draw wine from a cistern, a funnel, or the like, should be swashed in water. That is sufficient for it.47

יז

הלוקח כלים חדשים שאינם מזופתים מן העכו"ם נותן לתוכן יין מיד ואינו חושש שמא נתנו בהן יין נסך ואם היו מזופתין מדיחן ואע"פ שהן חדשים וכן כלי שנתנו בו יין נסך ואין מכניסו לקיום כגון כלי שחושף בו או המשפך וכיוצא בה משכשכו במים ודיו:

18

Similarly, it is forbidden to drink from an earthenware cup that a gentile had drunken from. If one washed it thoroughly three times, it is permitted, for all traces of wine have been washed away.48 This applies provided it is glazed with lead as potters do or covered with pitch. If, however, it is of earthenware, washing it thoroughly [once] is [all that is] required.49

יח

וכן כוס של חרס ששתה בו העכו"ם אסור לשתות בו הדיחו פעם ראשונה ושניה ושלישית מותר שכבר הלכו צחצוחי היין שבו והוא שהיה מצופה באבר כדרך שהיוצרין עושין או שהיה מזופת אבל של חרס צריך הדחה:

19

When earthenware utensils that are glazed with lead50 are used for gentile wine, they are permitted51 if they are white, red, or black. If they are green, they are forbidden, because they absorb.52 If they have a portion where the earthenware is revealed,53 they are forbidden54 whether they are white or green, because they absorb.

It appears to me that this ruling applies only when wine was placed in them for long term storage.55 If, however, it was not placed in them for long term storage, [it is necessary merely to] wash them.56 They are then permitted, even if they are earthenware.57

יט

כלי חרס השועים באבר שנשתמשו בהן ביין נסך אם היו לבנים או אדומים או שחורים מותרין ואם היו ירוקין אסורין מפני שהן בולעים ואם יש בהם מקום מגולה של חרס בין לבנים בין ירוקים אסורים מפני שהם בולעין ויראה לי שאין הדבר אלא בשכנסו בהם לקיום אבל לא כנסו בהם לקיום מדיחן ומותרין ואפילו הם של חרס:

20

When a gentile treads on grapes in a winepress of stone or of wood58 or a gentile applied pitch to a winepress of stone59 even though he did not tread the grapes there, one must wash [the press] thoroughly with water and ashes60 four times. Afterwards, one may tread grapes there. If [the press] is still moist, one should place the ashes in before the water. If it is not moist, one should place the water in first.

כ

גת של אבן ושל עץ שדרך בהן העכו"ם או גת של אבן שזפתה העכו"ם אף על פי שלא דרך בה מדיחן במים ובאפר ארבע פעמים ודורך בהן ואם היתה בהם לחלוחית מקדים האפר למים ואם לאו מקדים המים:

21

When a gentile treaded [grapes] in a stone winepress covered with pitch or [applied] pitch to a wooden winepress61 even though he did not tread grapes there, one must peel the pitch.62 If one left it for twelve months or placed water in it for three days, it is not necessary to peel [the pitch off].63 [The laws applying to] a winepress need not be more stringent than those applying to barrels.64 [The option of] peeling was given only to allow [the winepress to be used] immediately.65

כא

גת של אבן מזופפת שדרך בה העכו"ם או גת של עץ זפותה אע"פ שלא דרך בה צריך לקלוף את הזפת ואם יישנה שנים עשר חדש או נתן בה מים שלשה ימים מעת לעת אינו צריך לקלוף לא תהיה הגת חמורה יתר מן הקנקנים לא נאמר יקלוף אלא להתירה מיד:

22

An earthenware winepress [is governed by more stringent rules].66Even if one peels the pitch, it is forbidden to tread grapes in it immediately. [Instead, one must] heat it with fire until the pitch softens. If, however, one leaves it for twelve months or places water in it for three successive days, it is permitted,67as we explained.68

כב

גת של חרס אף על פי שקלף את הזפת אסור לדרוך בה מיד עד שיחם אותה באש עד שירפה הזפת ואם ישנה שנים עשר חדש או נתן בה מים שלשה ימים מותרת כמו שביארנו:

23

[The following laws apply to] a filter that had been used for wine belonging to a gentile. If it is made of hair, it should be washed thoroughly69 and then it may be used as a filter. If it is made from wool, it should be washed thoroughly four times with water and ashes and then left it70 until it dries. If it was from flax,71 it should be left for twelve months. If it has knots, they should be untied [before the filter is washed out].72

Similar [laws apply with regard to] utensils from reeds,73 from date bast, or similar utensils like wicker baskets that are used to tread grapes. If they were sewed with ropes, they should be washed thoroughly. If they are tangled together with snarls that are difficult to undo, they should be washed four times with ashes and with water. [After] they are dried, they may be used. If they are sewed with flax, they should be left unused for twelve months. If they have knots, they should be untied.74

כג

משמרת של יין של עכו"ם אם היתה של שער מדיחה ומשמר בה ואם היתה של צמר מדיחה במים ובאפר ארבע פעמים ומדיחה עד שתנגב ומשמר בה ואם היתה של שש מישנה י"ב חדש ואם יש בהן קשרים מתירן וכן כלי חלף והוצים וכיוצא בהן מכפיפות שדורכין בהן יין אם היו תפורין בחבלים מדיחן ואם היו אחוזות זו בסבוך קשה מדיחן באפר ובמים ארבע פעמים ומנגבן ומשתמש בהן ואם היו תפורות בפשתן מישנן שנים עשר חדש ואם יש בהן קשרים מתירן:

24

How can the utensils of a winepress used by a gentile for gentile wine be purified so that a Jew may use them? The boards,75 the balls of clay,76and the palm branches77 should be washed thoroughly. The restraints78 of wood and of canvas should be dried out.79 Those from water grasses and from bullrushes should be left unused for twelve months.

If he desires to purify them immediately, he should place them in boiling water,80 seal them with water used to cook olives,81 or place them under a drain through which water flows continually or in a stream of running water for twelve hours.82 Afterwards, they are permitted.

כד

כלי הגת שדרך בהן העכו"ם יין נסך כיצד מטהרין אותן כדי שידרוך בהן הישראל הדפין והעדשים והלולבין מדיחן העקלין של נסרין ושל בצבוץ מנגבן של שיפה ושל גמי מישנן שנים עשר חדש ואם רצה לטהרן מיד מגעילן ברותחין או חולטן במי זיתים או מניחן תחת צנור שמימיו מקולחין או במעין שמימיו רודפין שתים עשרה שעות ואח"כ יותרו:

25

In the era when the land of Israel was entirely within the possession of the Jewish people, it was permitted to purchase wine from any Jewish person without holding anyone in suspicion.83 In the Diaspora, they would only purchase [wine] from a person whose reputation [for observance] has been established. In the present age, in every place, we only purchase wine from a person whose reputation for observance has been established.84These laws also apply to meat, cheese, and a cut of fish that does not have a sign as we explained.85

כה

בזמן שהיתה ארץ ישראל כולה לישראל היו לוקחין היין מכל אדם מישראל ואין חוששין לו ובחוצה לארץ לא היו לוקחין אלא מאדם שהוחזק בכשרות ובזמן הזה אין לוקחין יין בכ"מ אלא מאדם שהוחזק בכשרות וכן הבשר והגבינה וחתיכת דג שאין בה סימן כמו שביארנו:

26

When a person enjoys the hospitality of a homeowner in any place and at any time and that homeowner brings him wine, meat, cheese, or a piece of fish, it is permitted. There is no need to inquire concerning it.86 [This law applies] even if he does not know him at all; all that he knows is that he is Jewish.

If [the host] has an established reputation for non-observance and for not paying attention to these matters, it is forbidden to accept his hospitality. If one transgresses and accepts his hospitality, it is forbidden to eat meat and drink wine [despite] his assurances unless a person who has an established reputation for observance testifies [to their acceptability].

כו

המתארח אצל בעל הבית בכל מקום ובכל זמן והביא לו יין או בשר או גבינה וחתיכת דג הרי זה מותר ואינו צריך לשאול עליו אף על פי שאינו מכירו אלא יודע שהוא יהודי בלבד ואם הוחזק שאינו כשר ולא מדקדק בדברים אלו אסור להתארח אצלו ואם עבר ונתארח אצלו אינו אוכל בשר ולא שותה יין על פיו עד שיעיד לו אדם כשר עליהם:

Footnotes
1.

As explained in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 3:3, pouring a libation and sacrificing are among the four acts of service for which one is liable to any false deity, even if this is not its mode of service.

2.

See the following halachah.

3.

Sefer HaMitzvot (negative commandment 194) includes this prohibition among the 613 mitzvot of the Torah. According to the Rambam, it is actually the last of the mitzvot which the Torah mentions.

Although the verse does not specifically mention a prohibition, the Rambam derives the prohibition as follows: As stated in Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 7:2, we are forbidden to derive benefit from anything offered to a false deity. Since the prooftext quoted establishes an equation between a libation and an offering, we conclude that just as an offering is forbidden by a negative commandment; so, too, there is a negative commandment involving a libation (see Avodah Zarah 29b).

The Ramban (in his Hasagot to Sefer HaMitzvot) and the Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 111) maintain that both are included in a single prohibition. They should not be counted as separate negative commandments. They all agree, however, that the prohibition against such wine is Scriptural in origin. As the Rambam explains in Sefer HaMitzvot, loc. cit., there are statements of our Sages that appear to imply that the prohibition is Rabbinic in origin. Those statements, however, apply to wine handled by gentiles (see Halachah 3) and not to wine that was actually used for a libation.

4.

This verse is most particularly related to the prohibition against benefiting from the property of a city who were drawn after idol worship (ir hanidachat). Nevertheless, since all false deities can be considered as "condemned," the verse applies to them as well (Megillat Esther, Sefer HaMitzvot, negative commandment 25). The expression "any trace" implies even the slightest amount of benefit is prohibited.

5.

We find an allusion to this decree in Scripture itself for Daniel 1:8 speaks of how Daniel refrained from drinking the king's wine. Avodah Zarah 36b states that the decree against drinking wine handled by gentiles was instituted lest this lead to familiarity and ultimately, to intermarriage. From the Rambam's wording in the following halachah, however, it would appear that the prohibition was instituted as a safeguard against benefiting from idolatry (Ma'aseh Rokeach; see also Halachah 7 and notes).

6.

One fourth of a log, 86 cc. According to Shiurei Torah and 150 cc. According to Chazon Ish. This is the standard liquid measure involved in ritual matters.

7.

It is forbidden to drink even the slightest amount, but one is liable only for drinking a revi'it (Lechem Mishneh).

8.

See Chapter 12, Halachot 1-2, which define what is meant by a gentile touching wine. As implied by the contrast to the following halachah, for it to be forbidden to benefit from the wine, the gentile must touch it intentionally. Similarly, he must know that it is wine (Radbaz).

9.

Therefore even if there is no false deity present, it is possible that the gentile intended to use it as a libation. See Halachah 7 and notes which discuss which gentiles we are referring to.

10.

See Chapter 12, Halachah 5.

11.

Here the term child is not defined chronologically, but in terms of his relation to idolatry. Does he praise the name of a false deity or not? [Avodah Zarah 57a; Tur, Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:1)].

12.

In both instances, we cannot say that the person had the intent to use the wine as a libation. In the first instance, he did not intend to touch the wine and in the second, the child does not know about idolatrous worship. Nevertheless, the wine is still forbidden as a safeguard. See Chapter 12, Halachah 5. See also the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 124:24) who states that in the present era, most gentiles are not idolaters. Even so, if they touch wine unintentionally, although there are authorities who say there is room for leniency, the prevailing custom is to be stringent unless a significant loss is involved. See Siftei Cohen 124:71.

13.

Thus reaching the intermediate stage of Jewish servants, as Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 12:11 states, they "have departed from the category of gentiles, but have yet to enter the category of Jews."

14.

Their "conversion" to Judaism will prevent them from offering such a libation. See the Tur who also mentions the opinion of Rabbenu Chananel who maintains that a gentile servant causes wine to be forbidden for twelve months.

The Tur clarifies that the debate concerns only a servant, because his acceptance of Judaism is forced. All agree that no such strictures apply to a convert who willingly accepts Judaism.

15.

If they were not born in a Jewish domain, the circumcision alone is of no consequence and even minors cause wine to become forbidden to drink (Kessef Mishneh).

16.

If they were not immersed yet, even young children cause wine they touch to become forbidden to drink (the Kessef Mishneh's interpretation of the Rambam's opinion). The Rashba, however, differs and maintains even if these children were neither circumcised or immersed, they do not cause wine to be forbidden. The Turei Zahav124:3 and the Siftei Cohen 124:9 differ and maintain that even the Rambam would accept the Rashba's approach.

17.

Here the term child is not defined chronologically, but in terms of his relation to idolatry. Does he praise the name of a false deity or not? [Avodah Zarah 57a; Tur, Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:1)].

18.

I.e., it is permitted entirely, even to drink it.

19.

The prohibitions against the worship of false deities, blasphemy, murder, theft, incest and adultery, eating the flesh of a living animal, and the obligation to establish courts. See Hilchot Melachim 8:10.

20.

See Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 14:7.

21.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that there are two dimensions to the prohibition against drinking the wine of gentiles:

a) The desire to limit familiarity with gentiles, lest it lead to intermarriage. This applies to resident aliens as well. Therefore there is a prohibition against drinking their wine.

b) A safeguard against benefiting from wine used as libations. This does not apply with regard to resident aliens. Therefore there is no prohibition against deriving benefit from their wine.

22.

Since we do not suspect that he will use the wine for a libation - or allow other gentiles to do so - we do not forbid one to leave it there for a short while. Nevertheless, if it is left there for a long time, we fear that the gentile will exchange it with his own wine and as stated above, it is forbidden for Jews to drink his own wine (see Rashi, Avodah Zarah 64b).

23.

The Rambam's wording has attracted the attention of the commentaries, for from the beginning of the halachah, it appears that the gentile must accept all seven mitzvot, while this clause appears to imply that it is sufficient for him to accept only the prohibition against idolatry. The Kessef Mishneh explains that when the entire nation does not worship false deities, then we do not fear that wine will be used as a libation. When, however, that is not the case, a gentile must accept all seven mitzvot for his wine to be permitted.

24.

Our translation follows the standard version of the Mishneh Torah. The uncensored text reads: "Christians, by contrast, are idolaters. It is forbidden to benefit...." The Rama (Orach Chayim 155:1) rules that Christianity violates only the prohibition against shituf, worshipping another entity together with God, and gentiles are not prohibited against such worship. It must be emphasized that today, though many gentiles are nominally Christian, their observance is minimal and they have an awareness of monotheism.

See also the statements of the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 123:1, 124:24) who quotes opinions that maintain that in the present age, it is not customary for gentiles to pour wine as libations to false deities. Nevertheless, the prohibition against drinking such wine, however, remains intact.

25.

For in the Rambam's age, most gentiles were idolaters. The Rabbinic authorities question whether one can make such an assumption in the present age. For many gentiles do not worship according to any religious rites at all and others, like the Arabs, have a conception of monotheism.

26.

Hilchot Issurei Mizbeach 6:9 states that wine that was cooked to the extent that its taste changed is forbidden to be used as a libation on the altar. To put the concept in contemporary terms, wine that was pasteurized is included in this category.

27.

Avodah Zarah 30b relates that the Sage Shmuel actually drank boiled wine together with a gentile.

The Kessef Mishneh quotes Rabbenu Asher who asks: If the decree against wine touched by a gentile was instituted to prevent intermarriage, what difference does it make if it was boiled or not? Will boiling the wine prevent familiarity from arising with gentiles?

In resolution, he explains that perhaps since boiled wine is uncommon, our Sages did not apply their decree in such a situation. Even though today, it has become common to drink boiled - i.e., pasteurized wine - our Sages decree has not been expanded. It must be emphasized that this leniency applies to wine belonging to a Jew that was boiled. Wine belonging to a gentile becomes forbidden before it is boiled and thus cannot be drunken.

28.

Although they are unfit to be used for a libation.

29.

This includes any wine to which sugar was added.

30.

Hilchot Issurei Mizbeach 6:9.

31.

In their days, grape presses were built on an incline, so that after the grapes were pressed, the juice would flow naturally toward a cistern.

32.

The Turei Zahav 123:14 states that some interpret the Rambam as speaking only about a winepress that is open. If it is plugged close, there is room to say that the prohibition does not apply. Nevertheless, the Turei Zahav quotes other views that maintain that the prohibition applies even in such an instance.

33.

Implied is that a libation cannot be offered with one's feet (Kessef Mishneh based on Avodah Zarah 56b; the Siftei Cohen 123:43, however, maintains that this is not the correct understanding of the Rambam's words). The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:11), however, rules that a gentile who touches the wine with his feet causes it to be come forbidden. The Rama, however, rules leniently and maintains that the prohibition applies only to drinking such wine.

34.

The Turei Zahav 124:17 interprets this as referring to an instance where he does not touch the wine at all, not even with his feet. The Kessef Mishneh, however, explains that this is referring to a situation where the gentile touches the wine with his feet, but not with his hands.

35.

And watching that the gentile does not touch it.

36.

It is, however, permitted to benefit from it. 36. The fact that it becomes vinegar afterwards does not cause it to become permitted.

The Radbaz states that one can conclude from the Rambam's wording that if a gentile topuches vinegar belonging to a Jew, it is permitted, for it is no longer wine.

38.

Our translation is based on authoritative manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The standard published text is difficult to understand. As the Radbaz and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 125:6) state, the Rambam is referring to a situation where a certain amount of grape juice collects in the bottom of the baskets. Even though that juice spatters of the grapes, it does not cause the wine to be considered forbidden, for this prohibition does not apply until the wine begins to flow, as stated in Halachah 11 (Radbaz).

39.

Even to benefit from them [Kessef Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 123:14)]. See also the Rama who states that the prohibition applies only when the peels were in contact with gentile wine. If the gentiles had merely crushed the grapes, but the wine had not begun flowing from the winepress, the peels are not forbidden.

40.

See the Shulchan Aruch (ibid. ) which quotes more stringent views in certain circumstances.

41.

For a certain quantity of wine is absorbed in the container. Afterwards, when the kosher wine is placed in the container, it will be soaked into the container and the wine in the container will be released into it.

42.

See the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 135:16) which explains that even if one used the containers for water during this period, this does not prevent the containers from becoming permitted.

43.

I.e., if they are not covered with tar (Kessef Mishneh). By heating them, one will achieve the results of libbun and purge any absorbed wine through heat.

See also the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 135:15) which state that hagalah, filling the containers with boiling water is also acceptable.

44.

It is, however, permitted to benefit from this wine (Kessef Mishneh).

45.

For these substances nullify the taste of wine (Rashi, Avodah Zarah 33b).

46.

I.e., even though they appear new, we suspect that a gentile used them to store wine. Hence they must be washed. Nevertheless, the fact that they appear new indicates that they were not used for a long time. Hence, washing them is sufficient.

This stringency applies only with regard to containers covered with pitch. Since they are dark black, it is not evident whether they were used previously or not. With regard to other containers, it is much more clearly apparent whether or not they were used. Hence there is no need for this stringency (Kessef Mishneh).

47.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that Avodah Zarah 74b appears to require that such utensils be dried. He questions why the Rambam does not mention this point. As a possible resolution, he suggests that perhaps the Talmud is speaking about utensils belonging to a gentile, while the Rambam is speaking about those belonging to a Jew.

48.

The Rambam's ruling is dependent on his interpretation of Avodah Zarah 33b. Other authorities including Rashi and the Ra'avad have a different understanding of the passage. Their view is cited by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 135:4).

49.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that we are speaking of an instance where the glazing of the lead or the pitch was not completed in a thorough manner and the surface of the utensil is not smooth. Therefore such a utensil will absorb wine more easily than an ordinary earthenware utensil. Hence, three washings are required. The following halachah, by contrast, is speaking about a utensil that is glazed in a more thorough manner, producing a smooth surface. Hence it is less likely to absorb the wine than an ordinary earthenware utensil.

50.

As mentioned above, the Kessef Mishneh interprets this to mean that they were glazed in a manner that produced a smooth surface. Hence they do not absorb the wine easily.

51.

After being washed alone.

52.

In order to produce a green color, a substance called netar, alum crystals [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 135:5)], is mixed into the glazing. This substance is very absorbent. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah, loc. cit.) states that utensils made from this substance can never be purified.

53.

I.e., the glazing does not cover the entire utensil.

54.

Until the wine is purged as mentioned in Halachah 15.

55.

The Kessef Mishneh quotes the Rashba as stating that from the fact that these statements are made about earthenware utensils, one can conclude that metal utensils do not absorb even when gentile wine was placed in them for an extended period of time. They will absorb only when liquids are heated.

56.

For even if the wine was not placed in them for an extended period, it is possible that there will be a certain amount of residue left in the container.

57.

For over a short period of time, they will not absorb.

58.

That is not covered with pitch (Kessef Mishneh) .

59.

Rashi (Avodah Zarah 74b) and the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 138:1) explain that after pitch is applied to a vat, a small amount of wine is placed in the vat to remove the unfavorable odor of the pitch.

60.

I.e., rubbing the walls with ashes and then washing them (Kessef Mishneh).

61.

Since a larger amount of pitch is necessary, it will absorb more.

62.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 138:1) follows the position of other Rishonim who maintains that even after peeling the outer layer of the pitch, one must apply ashes and water, as stated in the previous halachah.

63.

As stated with regard to barrels in Halachah 15. The Ra'avad and most other Rishonim differ with regard to this ruling and require the barrel to be pealed.

64.

Indeed, one would suspect the laws governing barrels to be more stringent, for wine is stored there for long periods. It remains in a winepress, by contrast, for only a short time.

65.

Without having to wait any time at all.

66.

For earthenware absorbs more readily than other substances. In the previous halachah, we assume that the winepress itself did not absorb any wine. In this case, we assume that it did (Kessef Mishneh).

67.

Without peeling off the pitch as stated in the previous halachah. Here also the Ra'avad differs and rules that the pitch must be peeled off. The Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) follows the Rambam's ruling.

68.

In Halachah 15.

69.

Hair does not absorb liquid at all. Hence, it need only be washed to remove the wine that may be sticking to its surface.

70.

Our translation follows the authoritative manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The standard printed text differs slightly.

71.

Which is more absorbant.

72.

So that the residue will not collect there.

73.

Our translation is based on the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 135:8).

74.

When citing this law in his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 138:7, 9), Rav Yosef Caro does not mention the need to untie the knots in this instance. As evident from his Kessef Mishneh, he follows the approach of the Rashba who maintains that when an object is left for twelve months, there is no need to untie the knots. The Siftei Cohen 138:8 differs and states that the Rambam's ruling should be followed.

75.

Upon which the grapes are placed.

76.

Used to crush the grapes (see the conclusion of the gloss of the Lechem Mishneh to Halachah 17).

77.

Which are used as brooms to collect the grapes (Rashi, Avodah Zarah 75a).

78.

In his Commentary to the Mishneh, Taharot 10:8, the Rambam states that this refers to the restraints placed around olives (and grapes) when they are being squeezed to gather them together.

79.

This term refers to the process of applying ashes and water mentioned above.

80.

To purge the wine absorbed in this fashion.

81.

Cooking them in such water will cause whatever wine that was absorbed to be sealed in its place and never to be released.

82.

This will also purge the absorbed wine. See Hilchot Tumat Ochalin 11:17 which mentions these same processes in a different context.

83.

A Jew who worships false divinities, does not observe the Sabbath, or denies the Torah and its mitzvot is considered equivalent to a gentile and his wine is forbidden just as a gentile's is (see Hilchot Shabbat 30:15). When Eretz Yisrael was populated solely by Jews, our Sages maintained that there was no need to suspect that a person fell into the above categories.

84.

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, stating that a common person will not necessarily cause another to transgress. The Radbaz states that even if the common people will not necessarily transgress themselves, they will not be careful about protecting another person's observance and may sell him forbidden articles. This view is cited by the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 119:1).

85.

Chapter 3, Halachah 21; Chapter 8, Halachah 7.

86.

We assume that the host is observant and that he is giving his guest the same food that he eats himself (Radbaz).

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 12

1

How do we define the term touch when we say that a gentile1 who touches wine causes it to be forbidden? Touching the wine itself whether with his hands2 or with any of his other limbs with which it is customary to pour a libation3 and shook the wine.4

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.5

Similarly, if he held an open container6 of wine and shake it, the wine becomes forbidden even though he did not lift up the container or touch the wine.7

א

כיצד היא הנגיעה שאוסר בה העכו"ם היין הוא שיגע ביין עצמו בין בידו בין בשאר איבריו שדרכן לנסך בהן וישכשך אבל אם פשט ידו לחבית ותפסו את ידו קודם שיוציאה ולא ינידה ופתחו החבית מלמטה עד שיצא היין וירד למטה מידו לא נאסר היין וכן אם אחז כלי פתוח של יין ושכשכו אע"פ שלא הגביה הכלי ולא נגע ביין נאסר היין:

2

If he took an [open]8 container of wine, lifted it up, and poured it out, the wine becomes forbidden,9 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.10

ב

נטל כלי של יין והגביהו ויצק היין אע"פ שלא שיכשך נאסר שהרי בא היין מכחו הגביה ולא שיכשך ולא נגע מותר:

3

When a gentile was holding a container on the ground and a Jew poured wine into it, the wine is permitted.11 If the gentile shakes the container, the wine becomes forbidden.

ג

עכו"ם שהיה אוחז הכלי בקרקע וישראל יצק לתוכו יין היין מותר ואם נדנד העכו"ם הכלי נאסר היין:

4

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.12

When [a gentile] moves a wineskin containing wine from one place to another while [a Jew]13 was holding the opening of the wineskin with his hand, it is permitted.14 [This applies] whether the wineskin was entirely full or not and [applies] even though the wine moves.

[When a gentile] transfers15 an open earthenware16 vessel that is filled with wine, it is prohibited,17 for perhaps he touched it.18 If it was only partially full, [the wine] is permitted unless he shook it.19

ד

כלי סתום מותר לטלטלו העכו"ם ממקום למקום ואף על פי שהיין מתנדנד שאין זה דרך הניסוך העביר נוד של יין ממקום למקום והוא אוחז פי הנוד בידו בין שהיה הנוד מלא או חסר מותר ואע"פ שהיין מתנדנד העביר כלי חרס פתוח מלא יין אסור שמא נגע בו ואם היה חסר מותר אא"כ שכשכו:

5

When a gentile touches wine without intending to, it is permitted only to benefit from the wine.20 What is implied? He fell on an [open]21 wineskin or stretched his hand out to a barrel under the impression that it contained oil and it actually contained wine.

ה

עכו"ם שנגע ביין ולא נתכוון לזה הרי היין מותר בהנייה בלבד כיצד כגון שנפל על נוד של יין או שהושיט ידו לחבית על מנת שהיא שמן ונמצאת יין:

6

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.22 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.

ו

בא היין מכחו של עכו"ם בלא כוונה הואיל ולא נגע ביין הרי זה מותר בשתייה כיצד כגון שהגביה כלי של יין ויצק לכלי אחר והוא מדמה שהוא שכר או שמן הרי זה מותר:

7

If a gentile entered a house or a store seeking wine and extended his hand to search for it and touched wine,23 [the wine] is forbidden. [The rationale is that] he was intending [to touch] wine. This is not considered as touching without intent.

ז

נכנס העכו"ם לבית או לחנות לבקש יין ופשט ידו כשהוא מחפש ונגע ביין אסור שהרי ליין נתכוין ואין זה נוגע בלא כוונה:

8

When a barrel is split lengthwise and a gentile comes and embraces it so that the halves will not separate24 it is permitted to benefit from [the wine].25 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.

ח

חבית שנסדקה לארכה וקדם העכו"ם וחבקה כדי שלא יתפרדו החרסים הרי זה מותר בהנייה אבל אם נסדקה לרחבה ותפס בסדק העליון כדי שלא יפול הרי זה מותר בשתייה שהרי אין היין על כחו של עכו"ם:

9

When a gentile fell into a cistern of wine and was hoisted up dead,26measured a cistern containing wine with a reed, swatted away a fly or a hornet from it with a reed,27 patted a boiling bottle of wine so that the boiling would cease28 or took a barrel and threw it into the cistern in anger,29it 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.30

ט

עכו"ם שנפל לבור של יין והעלוהו משם מת או שמדד הבור שיש בו היין בקנה או שהתיז את הזבוב והצרעה מעליו בקנה או שהיה מטפח על פי החבית הרותחת כדי שתנוח הרתיחה או שנטל חבית וזרקה בחמתו לבור הרי זה מותר בהנייה בלבד ואם עלה העכו"ם חי היין אסור בהנייה:

10

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.31 It is, however, permitted to drink the wine beneath the hole.32

י

חבית שהיה נקב בצדה ונשמט הפקק מן הנקב והניח העכו"ם אצבעו במקום הנקב כדי שלא יצא היין כל היין שמראש החבית עד הנקב אסור ושתחת הנקב מותר בשתייה:

11

[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.33 [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.

יא

מינקת כפופה שעושין אותה ממתכת או מזכוכית וכיוצא בהם שהניח ראשה לתוך היין שבחבית והראש האחר חוץ לחבית ומצץ היין והתחיל היין לירד כדרך שעושין תמיד ובא העכו"ם והניח אצבעו על פי המינקת ומנע היין מלירד נאסר כל היין שבחבית שהכל היה יוצא ונגרר לולי ידו ונמצא הכל כבא מכחו:

12

When a person pours wine into a receptacle containing gentile wine, all of the wine in the upper container is forbidden.34 [The rationale is that] the column of wine being poured connects35 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.

יב

המערה יין לתוך כלי שיש בו יין עכו"ם נאסר כל היין שבכלי העליון שהרי העמוד הנצוק מחבר בין היין שבכלי העליון ובין היין שבכלי התחתון לפיכך המודד לעכו"ם לתוך כלי שבידו ינפץ נפיצה או יזרוק זריקה כדי שלא יהיה נצוק חבור ויאסור עליו מה שישאר בכלי העליון:

13

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 Jew36 until it was washed thoroughly and dried.37If he did not wash it thoroughly,38 [the Jew's wine] is forbidden.39

יג

משפך שמדד בו לעכו"ם אם יש בקצה המשפך עכבת יין לא ימדוד בו לישראל עד שידיחנו וינגב ואם לא הדיח הרי זה אסור:

14

[The following rules apply with regard to] a container possessed by a Jew that has two "nostrils,"40 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,41 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.42

יד

כלי שיש לו כמין שני חוטמין יוצאין ממנו כמו הכלים שנוטלין בהם לידים שהיה מלא יין ביד ישראל והיה ישראל מוצץ ושותה מחוטם זה והעכו"ם מוצץ ושותה מן החוטם השני הרי זה מותר והוא שיקדים הישראלי ויפסוק ועדיין העכו"ם שותה שמשיפסוק העכו"ם יחזור היין שישאר בחוטם לכלי ויאסור כל מה שישאר בו שהרי בא היין מכחו:

15

When a gentile sucks wine from a container with an outflow pipe, all the wine in the container becomes forbidden.43 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.

טו

עכו"ם שמצץ היין מן החבית במינקת אסר כל היין שבה שכשיפסק יחזור היין שעלה במינקת במציצתו ויפול לחבית ויאסור הכל:

16

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.44 [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."45 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,46 it is forbidden to drink all of the wine.47 If for a lesser [time], [the wine] is permitted.48

טז

עכו"ם שהיה מעביר עם ישראל כדי יין ממקום למקום והוא הולך אחריהן לשמרן אפילו הפליגו ממנו כדי מיל הרי אלו מותרות שאימתו עליהן ואומד עתה יצא לפנינו ויראה אותנו ואם אמר להם לכו ואני אבוא אחריכם אם נתעלמו מעיניו כדי שיפתחו פי הכד ויחזרו ויגיפו אותה ותיגב הרי היין כולו אסור בשתיה אם פחות מיכן מותר:

17

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.49 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.50

Similarly, if a person left his wine in a wagon or a ship51 with a gentile and enters a city to tend to his needs, the wine is permitted.52 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,53 even if he did not wait, since he told him that he was departing for a significant period, the wine is forbidden.54

יז

וכן המניח עכו"ם בחנותו אף על פי שהוא יוצא ונכנס כל היום כולו היין מותר ואם מודיעו שהוא מפליג ושהה כדי שיפתח ויגוף ותיגוב היין אסור בשתייה וכן המניח יינו בקרון או בספינה עם העכו"ם ונכנס לעיר לעשות צרכיו היין מותר ואם הודיען שהוא מפליג ושהה כדי שיפתח ויגוף ותיגב היין אסור בשתייה וכל הדברים האלו בחביות סתומות אבל בפתוחות אפילו לא שהה מאחר שהודיען שהוא מפליג היין אסור:

18

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.55 If [the Jew] told him: "Mix [the wine] and drink," all the open wine in the house is forbidden.56

יח

ישראל שהיה אוכל עם העכו"ם והניח יין פתוח על השולחן ויין פתוח על הדולפקי ויצא שעל השולחן אסור ושעל הדולפקי מותר ואם אמר לו מזוג ושתה כל היין הפתוח שבבית אסור:

19

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 him57 becomes forbidden.58

יט

היה שותה עם העכו"ם ושמע קול תפלה בבית הכנסת ויצא אף היין הפתוח מותר שהנכרי אומר עתה יזכור היין ויבוא במהרה וימצא אותי נוגע ביינו ולפי זה אינו זז ממקומו ואין נאסר אלא מה שלפניו בלבד:

20

[The following rules apply when] a gentile and a Jew are living together in one courtyard59 and they both left in agitation60 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.

כ

עכו"ם וישראל שהיו דרין בחצר אחת ויצאו שניהם בבהלה לראות חתן או הספד וחזר העכו"ם וסגר הפתח ואחר כך ישראל הרי היין הפתוח שבבית ישראל בהיתרו שלא סגר העכו"ם אלא על דעת שכבר נכנס הישראלי לביתו ולא נשאר אדם בחוץ וכמדומה לו שהוא קדמו:

21

[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,61 all the wine is forbidden.62 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.

כא

יין של ישראל ושל עכו"ם בבית אחד והיו חביות פתוחות ונכנס העכו"ם לבית ונעל הדלת בעדו נאסר כל היין ואם יש חלון בדלת שמסתכל ממנו העומד אחורי הפתח ורואה כנגדו כל החביות שכנגד החלון מותרות ושמן הצדדין אסורות שהרי מפחד מן הרואה אותו:

22

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]."

כב

וכן אם שאג ארי וכיוצא בו וברח העכו"ם ונחבא בין החביות הפתוחות היין מותר שהוא אומר שמא ישראל אחר נחבא כאן והוא רואה אותי כשאגע:

23

[The following laws apply with regard to] a wine cellar whose barrels were open, a gentile also stored wine in that inn,63 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,64 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.65

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.66

כג

אוצר של יין שהיו חביותיו פתוחות ויש לעכו"ם חביות אחרות באותו הפונדק ונמצא העכו"ם עומד בין חביות ישראל הפתוחות אם נבהל כשנמצא ונתפש עליו כגנב היין מותר בשתייה שמפחדו ויראתו אין לו פנאי לנסך ואם לא נתפש כגנב אלא הרי הוא בוטח שם היין אסור ותינוק הנמצא בין החביות בין כך ובין כך כל היין מותר:

24

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.67 The closed ones, by contrast, are permitted.68 At a time of war, however, if a battalion spread through a city and moved on, both are permitted,69 because they do not have time to make libations.

כד

גדוד שנכנס למדינה דרך שלום כל החביות הפתוחות שבחנויות אסורות וסתומות מותרות ובשעת מלחמה אם פשט הגדוד במדינה ועבר אלו ואלו מותרות שאין פנאי לנסך:

25

[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.70 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.71

כה

עכו"ם שנמצא עומד בצד הבור של יין אם יש לו מלוה על אותו היין הרי זה אסור מפני שלבו גס בו שולח ידו ומנסך ואם אין לו עליו מלוה היין מותר בשתיה:

26

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].72 When, however, a Jewish harlot is present at a gentile feast, her wine73 that is before her in her utensils is forbidden, for [the gentiles] will touch it without her consent.74

כו

זונה עכו"ם במסיבה של ישראל היין מותר שאימתן עליה ולא תגע אבל זונה ישראלית במסיבת עכו"ם יינה שלפניה בכליה אסור מפני שהן נוגעין בו שלא מדעתה:

27

[The following lays apply when] a gentile is discovered in a winepress:75 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,76 it is necessary to wash out the winepress thoroughly and dry it out.77 If this amount is not present, all that is necessary is to wash it out thoroughly. This is an extra measure of stringency.78

כז

עכו"ם הנמצא בבית הגת אם יש שם לחלוחית יין כדי לבלול הכף עד שתבלול הכף לכף שניה צריך להדיח כל בית הגת וינגב ואם לאו מדיח בלבד וזו הרחקה יתירה:

28

[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.79 Near a city populated primarily by gentiles, it is forbidden.

כח

חבית שצפה בנהר אם נמצאת כנגד עיר שרובה ישראל מותרת בהנייה כנגד עיר שרובה עכו"ם אסורה:

29

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].80

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.

כט

מקום שהיו רוב מוכרי היין בו ישראלים ונמצאו בו כלים גדולים מלאים יין והם כלים שדרך המוכרין לבדם לכנוס בהם היין הרי אלו מותרין בהנייה חבית שפתחוה גנבים אם רוב גנבי העיר ישראל היין מותר בשתייה ואם לאו אסור:

Footnotes
1.

As the Rambam stated in Chapter 11, Halachah 8, unless otherwise specified, when he uses the term "gentile," he is referring to an idolater.

2.

Or with an article held in his hand [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:11)].

3.

As evident from Chapter 11, Halachah 11, according to the Rambam, it is not customary to pour a libation with one's feet. Note, however, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:11) which forbids wine that a gentile touched with his feet. The Rama, however, quotes the Rambam's view.

4.

If, however, he did not cause the wine to move, it is forbidden to drink it, but one is allowed to benefit from it (Radbaz). In his Kessef Mishneh, however, Rav Yosef Caro notes that although there are authorities who agree with the ruling of the Radbaz, from the Rambam's wording, it appears that the wine is permitted entirely. In his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:13), he follows the majority view and rules that it is permitted only to benefit from such wine.

5.

The Rambam is citing an incident that transpired as recorded by Avodah Zarah 59b. It is not forbidden to benefit from the wine. The question of whether or not it is forbidden to drink it depends on the difference of opinion mentioned in the previous note.

6.

With regard to a closed container, see Halachah 4.

7.

The Ra'avad objects to this ruling, maintaining that as long as the gentile does not touch the wine itself, lift the container, or cause the wine to spatter, moving an open utensil does not cause it to be forbidden. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:17) quotes the Rambam's ruling as a minority opinion and the Rama states that it need not be followed if financial loss is involved.

8.

This addition is made on the basis of the gloss of the Radbaz.

9.

There is a difference of opinion among the commentaries if only the wine that is poured out is forbidden or also the wine which remains in the container (Kessef Mishneh). The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 125:1) quotes the more stringent view. The Rama mentions the more lenient opinion, but states that it may be followed only in a case of severe loss.

10.

I.e., even to drink the wine. For merely lifting up the wine is of no consequence.

11.

One may even drink it [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 125:8)].

12.

A libation is made only from an open container (see Avodah Zarah 60a).

13.

This addition was made on the basis of the gloss of the Radbaz.

14.

For this is equivalent to closing it.

15.

The Rambam's source (Avodah Zarah 60a) and also the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 125:10) emphasize that we are referring to a situation where the Jew is following the gentile. Otherwise, the wine is certainly forbidden.

16.

The Radbaz states that the same laws apply regardless of what the container was made of. Therefore he maintains that the word "earthenware" is a printer's error.

17.

Although the Rashba maintains that one may benefit from the wine, most authorities rule that it is prohibited to benefit from it as well as to drink it [Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.)].

18.

Since the container is both open and full, it is highly likely that the gentile touched the wine (Avodah Zarah 60a).

19.

For shaking the wine is equivalent to pouring it as a libation, as stated in Halachah 1.

20.

I.e., it is forbidden to drink it, as stated in Chapter 11, Halachah 5.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 124:24) states that in the present era, most gentiles are not idolaters. Therefore, if they touch wine unintentionally, the wine is not forbidden at all.

21.

This addition was made on the basis of the gloss of the Kessef Mishneh.

22.

According to Scriptural Law, as long as the gentile does not touch the wine, it is not forbidden. Although our Sages forbade wine which he shook without touching as a safeguard, that applies only when the gentile intentionally touches the container of the wine (see Avodah Zarah 58a).

23.

Shaking it (Kessef Mishneh). According to the Rambam, this applies even though he did not know for certain that the article he touched was wine. The Ra'avad differs and maintains that the gentile must know that the container contains wine when shaking it. Otherwise, it is not forbidden. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:12) quotes the Rambam's ruling.

24.

And thus the wine will not spill.

25.

See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:22).

26.

In this instance, it is permitted to benefit from the wine, because the gentile is considered to have touched it without intending to. See Halachah 5. According to the Rama's view that the gentiles of the present age are not considered as idolaters, there is no prohibition against using such wine at all. This leniency should be accepted if a significant loss is involved (Siftei Cohen 124:55). This concept also applies to the remainder of the instances mentioned in this halachah.

27.

In these instances, since the gentile did not touch the wine directly, merely by means of another entity, it is not forbidden to benefit from it.

28.

Rashi, Avodah Zarah 60a, states that it is not forbidden to benefit from this wine, because this is not the ordinary way that one makes a libation. Kin'at Eliyahu asks: Since the wine is boiling, the entire prohibition against gentile wine seemingly should not apply, as stated in Chapter 11, Halachah 9?

29.

In this instance also, the gentile did not touch the wine directly. Hence it is permitted to benefit from it.

The Ra'avad protests to this ruling, stating that if he threw the barrel into the cistern in anger, the wine in the cistern is not forbidden at all. Even if he intentionally threw the barrel into the cistern, it is still permitted to benefit from the wine for the reason mentioned. The Radbaz notes that the wording of Avodah Zarah, loc. cit., appears to support the Ra'avad's perspective, for it states that our Sages hikshiru, "considered acceptable," the wine. He, however, cites a passage from the Jerusalem Talmud (Avodah Zarah 4:11) which appears to fit the Rambam's perspective. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:19) quotes the Rambam's view. Nevertheless, the commentaries note that in Yoreh De'ah 125:5, the Shulchan Aruch, appears to support the Ra'avad's view.

30.

For we assume that in his happiness over being saved, he will offer the wine as a libation to his false deity (Avodah Zarah, loc. cit.). The Turei Zahav 124:19 states that if the gentile was alive when taken from the cistern, the wine is forbidden even if he dies immediately afterwards.

31.

One may not even benefit from it. Since the wine would have flowed out had the gentile not place his finger there, our Sages considered it as if he touched all of that wine.

32.

Because this wine was not affected by the gentile's touch at all. Although this wine is touching the wine that is forbidden, it is not forbidden. The Ra'avad objects to such a ruling, maintaining that the entire barrel should be considered as mixed together. The Radbaz and the Kessef Mishneh justify the Rambam's ruling, explaining that had the gentile inserted his finger in the hole and touched the wine, the entire barrel would have been forbidden. Here, however, we are speaking about an instance where the gentile stopped the wine from flowing by placing his finger on the outside. Therefore the wine above the hole is forbidden because it was affected by his power, as stated in the following halachah. This is merely a Rabbinic decree. Hence, the wine below the hole is not forbidden at all. The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:23) follow the Ra'avad's view. See also Hilchot Tum'at Ochalin 8:6.

33.

This ruling applies when the opening to the outflow pipe is placed at the bottom of the barrel, so that all the wine would actually have flowed out had the gentile allowed it to. If it was not placed at the bottom of the barrel, the laws mentioned in the previous halachah apply (Radbaz; Siftei Cohen 124:69).

34.

From the Rambam's wording, it appears that this ruling applies with regard to all gentile wine, even when it was not known to have been used as a libation for a false deity. The Rambam, moreover, appears to forbid benefit from the wine, not only partaking of it. The Ra'avad rules that it is permitted to benefit from the wine, but not to partake of it. The Tur (Yoreh De'ah 126) mentions the opinion of Rabbbenu Tam which is more lenient, ruling that this stringency does not apply to ordinary gentile wine. He rules that it is even permitted to partake of the wine. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 126:1-2) follows the ruling of the Maharam of Rutenburg, who states the Rambam's stringency should be followed only when a small loss is involved. If there is a significant loss involved, we may rely on the perspective of Rabbenu Tam.

See also the Tur who mentions a perspective that maintains that the above stringency applies only to wine used as a libation for a false deity, but not to ordinary gentile wine.

35.

Compare to Hilchot Tumat Ochalin 7:1,5 where this principle is not applied. It appears that it is applied in this instance because of the stringency of the prohibition against gentile wine.

36.

Because the wine held back in the funnel is forbidden because of the connection to the column of wine that extends to the gentile's utensil.

37.

Drying refers to the process of applying water and ashes mentioned in Chapter 11, Halachah 20.

38.

The Kessef Mishneh offers the following interpretation of the Rambam's wording: As long as the funnel was washed thoroughly, even if it was not dried out, it does not cause other wine to become forbidden. He also, however, makes a distinction between a funnel that has been used by a gentile frequently and one that was used just once. In the former instance, he states, it is possible that washing it thoroughly alone is not sufficient.

39.

I.e., it is forbidden to benefit from the entire quantity of wine [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 124:11)]. According to the Rama, one is permitted to benefit from the wine if the loss will be significant (Siftei Cohen 124:23).

The rationale for the prohibition is that the wine in the container will mix with the small quantity of gentile wine in the funnel and become forbidden.

40.

I.e., outflow pipes.

41.

Since the wine which the Jew is drinking and that which the gentile is drinking are flowing in opposite directions, they are not considered to be connected.

42.

For it was his sucking that drew it into the outflow pipe. When that wine returns to the container and becomes mixed with the wine in the container, all the wine becomes forbidden as indicated by the following halachah.

43.

Even if the wine never touched his mouth (Kessef Mishneh).

44.

A Talmudic measure equivalent to approximately a kilometer. The Lechem Mishneh notes that as stated in Hilchot Mitamei Moshav UMerkav 13:5, a mil is not a cut off point. As long as the gentile has reason to fear that the Jew will appear suddenly, the wine is permitted.

45.

These words will imply to the porters that he will not be coming immediately. Hence there is reason to fear that they will take from the wine.

46.

I.e., so that it would not be apparent that they touched it.

47.

Implied is that one is permitted to benefit from it. The rationale is that since the barrel is sealed, we follow the principle stated in Chapter 13, Halachah 9. See also the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 129:1) who rules that if the loss is significant, we may rely on the views that one seal is sufficient.

48.

I.e., one may even partake of it.

49.

One may drink it. For the gentile will be afraid to touch the wine, for he will never feel that the Jew has left him alone with the opportunity to do whatever he wants.

50.

As in the previous halachah, since the gentile knows that the Jew is departing for a significant period, we fear that he will use the opportunity to take the wine.

51.

See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 5:4) which explains why it is necessary to mention all three instances: the store, the wagon, and the ship.

52.

The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:1) state that this applies only when the Jew went on a side path that would enable him to surprise the gentile. If, however, he follows the ordinary path, the wine is forbidden. For the gentile will watch to see whether he is coming.

53.

And thus: a) the wine is easily accessible, and b) the barrel does not have to be sealed close to hide the fact that one took from the wine.

54.

It would appear that according to the Rambam, it is even forbidden to benefit from the wine (Kessef Mishneh).

55.

We assume that he will touch the wine on the table, because it is open before him. But we don't think that he will take the risk of appearing as a thief by touching the wine on the counter. For it is not proper for a guest to take food left on the counter until the host has it brought to the table [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 5:5)].

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:7) rules slightly more stringently, stating that any wine which is in the gentile's reach is forbidden.

56.

Since the Jew gave him license, we have no reason to think that he will restrain himself. Here, too, the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) rules more stringently, stating that if the Jew remains outside for a prolonged period (as mentioned in the previous halachah), even the closed barrels are forbidden.

57.

I.e., the wine on the table, as in the previous halachah (Kessef Mishneh).

58.

As above, when quoting this law, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:7) mentions the possibility of the Jew coming from a side path and surprising the gentile. If this is not possible, that source does not accept this leniency.

59.

Avodah Zarah 70a (the Rambam's source) and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:9) state that this leniency applies when the Jew and the gentile live in a two-storey home, with the Jew living in the upper storey. The Rambam does not appear to think that is necessary (Kessef Mishneh).

60.

The Kessef Mishneh states that the Rambam chose his words carefully. This leniency is granted because they left in agitation. Hence, it was probable that they would not notice each other outside. If, however, they left with calm reserve, it is possible that the gentile would have looked to see that the Jew was not returning and then entered his home and touched his wine.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 129:9) quotes this understanding as halachah. The Turei Zahav 129:19, however, differs, explaining that even when a person leaves his home in an agitated state, he will not necessarily return in an agitated state.

61.

If, however, we do not know that the door was locked - even though it was closed and it has a lock - the wine is permitted (Turei Zahav 128:5).

62.

If, however, the Jew's barrels were closed, the wine in the closed barrels is permitted unless the gentile remained in the closed building alone for the time it would take to open a barrel, seal it closed again, and for its lid to dry, as stated in Halachah 16 [Kessef Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 128:3)].

63.

I.e., in an inn, there were several wine cellars, one in which a Jew stored wine and one in which a gentile stored wine (Kessef Mishneh).

64.

I.e., if he was brought before the judges of a city on the complaint that he touched the wine, the judges would consider him a thief [Rashi (Avodah Zarah 61b)]. The Kessef Mishneh states that it is possible that the Rambam interprets the term differently, understanding it as meaning "if he would think he would be considered a thief." According to this interpretation, it could refer not only to the gentile's touching the wine, but also entering the wine cellar.

To explain: Since the gentile also stores wine in that inn, he has permission to be in the inn, but he does not necessarily have permission to be in the Jew's wine cellar. This is precisely the question the Rambam is focusing on. Would the gentile be considered as a thief for being found in the Jew's wine cellar or not?

65.

Since he feels unthreatened, there is a high likelihood that he touched the Jews' wine.

66.

For a baby never pours wine as a libation. In Chapter 11, Halachah 5, the Rambam states that it is forbidden to drink wine touched by a gentile baby. Here, he permits the wine entirely, because we are not certain that the baby in fact touched the wine. The Radbaz explains the rationale for the Rambam's ruling.: Since the baby does not think of using the wine as a libation, there is no reason for it to trouble itself and touch it.

67.

The Rambam's wording appears to imply that the open barrels in the homes are permitted. The soldiers would take the liberty of entering stores and making themselves free with their contents. They would not, however, feel that confident to enter homes. The Radbaz objects to this interpretation, noting that we see that soldiers often enter homes to loot. Indeed, when mentioning this law, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:12) speaks of homes and not stores.

Compare also to Hilchot Issurei Bi'ah 18:26 which discusses a similar situation with regard to the question whether the women of the town have been raped.

68.

We can be certain that had the soldiers open the wine for use as a libation, they would not have taken the trouble of closing them again [Kessef Mishneh, Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.)].

69.

The Kessef Mishneh states that if a barrel was closed and it is discovered open, it is forbidden. For we see that the soldiers did have time to touch the wine.

70.

The Kessef Mishneh explains the Rambam's ruling as follows: If the wine is security for a debt owed the gentile, the gentile will certainly not be considered a thief for touching the wine. Therefore it is forbidden. If the wine is not considered as security for a loan, when the gentile would be considered as a thief, the wine is permitted. When he would not be considered as a thief, it is forbidden.

71.

This applies even if the Jew owes him money, and the loan is due, but he has not designated the wine as security for the debt [Rashi (Avodah Zarah 60a); Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 128:2)].

72.

Although the Jews are willing to give in to their lust for forbidden relations, they are not suspect to drink gentile wine (Avodah Zarah 69b). Even the gentile harlot realizes this.

73.

I.e., wine that she herself brought.

74.

Since they are employing her as a harlot, they look down upon her and show no consideration for her religious obligations.

75.

I.e., a winepress that does not contain any wine, except for some remnants on the floor.

76.

This is the meaning of the Hebrew phrase tofach al minat litfiach.

77.

Applying water and ashes, as stated in Chapter 11, Halachah 20.

78.

We are not certain that the gentile try to touch the wine. Even if he did try to touch the wine, there is no reason for a prohibition, for we are speaking of a dry winepress. Hence washing it out is certainly sufficient (Radbaz).

79.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:17) quotes this law as applying only in situations when there are obstructions in the river that prevent wine from being carried down the river from other places. In such a situation, we follow the principle of rov, i.e., since the majority of the city's inhabitants are Jewish, we assume that the barrel came from one of them. We are, nevertheless, forbidden to drink the wine. See the notes to the following halachah.

80.

In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro questions the Rambam's ruling. The Rambam's logic appears to be that since it is obvious that the wine came from a wine merchant and most of the wine merchants are Jewish, we follow the majority and rule that the wine is permitted. Nevertheless, since the majority of the inhabitants of the town are gentile, we forbid drinking the wine. The Kessef Mishneh asks: "If we fear that the gentile touched the wine, it should be forbidden to benefit from it as well. And if not, it should be permitted to drink it." Indeed, he proposes that perhaps the Rambam's intent is that it is permitted to benefit only from the barrels. In his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:19), he follows the Rambam's ruling. Based on his Beis Yosef, it is possible to explain that we are speaking about closed barrels. We assume that had a gentile opened them and touched the wine, he would not have closed them again. Alternatively, since we do not know for certain that the gentile touched the wine, we do not forbid benefiting from it.

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 13

1

[The following rules apply when a Jew] purchases or rents a building in a courtyard belonging to a gentile and fills it with wine. If the Jew lives in that courtyard, the wine is permitted even if the entrance is open. [The rationale is that] the gentile will always worry, saying: "He may suddenly enter his building and find me there." If the Jew lives in another courtyard,1 he should not depart until he closes the building and keeps the key and the seal2 in his possession. He need not fear that the gentile will make a copy of the key to the building.

א

הלוקח בית או ששכר בית בחצירו של עכו"ם ומלאהו יין אם היה הישראלי דר באותה חצר אף על פי שהפתח פתוח היין מותר מפני שהעכו"ם מפחד תמיד ואומר עתה יכנס לביתו פתאום וימצא אותי בתוך ביתו ואם היה דר בחצר אחרת לא יצא עד שיסגור הבית ויהיה המפתח והחותם בידו ואינו חושש שמא יזייף העכו"ם מפתח הבית:

2

When [the Jew] left [the building] without closing the entrance or closed it and gave the key to the gentile, it is forbidden to drink the wine. Perhaps the gentile entered and poured a libation, for the Jew is not present there.3

If [the Jew] told [the gentile]: "Hold the key for me until I come," the wine is permitted. He did not entrust him with guarding the house, only with guarding the key.4

ב

יצא ולא סגר הפתח או שסגר והניח המפתח ביד עכו"ם הרי היין אסור בשתיה שמא נכנס העכו"ם ונסך שהרי אין הישראלי שם ואם אמר לו אחוז לי מפתח זה עד שאבוא היין מותר שלא מסר לו שמירת הבית אלא שמירת המפתח:

3

[The following laws apply when] a gentile hires a Jew to prepare wine for him in a state of ritual purity5 so that it will be permitted to the Jews and they will purchase it from wine. The wine is [stored] in a building belonging to the gentile. If the Jew who is guarding the wine lives in that courtyard, the wine is permitted. [This applies] even if the entrance is open and the [Jewish] guard goes out and returns.6

If the guard lives in another courtyard,7 the wine is forbidden even though the key and the seal are in the possession of a Jew. [The rationale is that] since the wine belongs to the gentile and is found in his domain, he does not fear falsifying [the seal and/or key] and to enter the building. He will say: "What could be? If they find out about this, they will not purchase [the wine] from me."8

ג

עכו"ם ששכר ישראל לדרוך לו יינו בטהרה כדי שיהיה מותר לישראל ויקחוהו ממנו והיה היין בביתו של עכו"ם אם היה ישראל זה ששומר היין דר באותה חצר היין מותר ואע"פ שהפתח פתוח והשומר נכנס ויוצא ואם היה השומר דר בחצר אחרת היין אסור ואף על פי שהמפתח והחותם ביד ישראל שכיון שהיין של עכו"ם וברשותו אינו מפחד לזייף ולהכנס לבית ויאמר ויהי מה אם ידעו בו לא יקחו ממני:

4

Even if a gentile wrote [a legal document] for the Jew stating that he received the money for which he agreed to sell him the wine,9 since the Jew cannot remove the wine from the gentile's domain until he pays him the money, the wine belongs to the gentile and it is forbidden unless the guard lives in the courtyard.

The guard does not have to sit and guard [the wine] at all times. Instead, he may come in and go out, as explained. [This applies whether the wine is stored] in the domain belonging to the owner of the wine or in a domain belonging to another gentile.

ד

אפילו כתב העכו"ם לישראל שנתקבל ממנו המעות למכור לו בהן יין הואיל ואין הישראלי יכול להוציאו מרשות העכו"ם עד שיתן לו המעות הרי הוא של עכו"ם ואסור אלא אם היה השומר דר שם בחצר ואין השומר צריך להיות יושב ומשמר תמיד אלא נכנס ויוצא כמו שביארנו בין ברשות בעל היין ברשות עכו"ם אחר:

5

When the pure wine belonging to a gentile was placed in the public domain or in a building that is open to the public domain and there are Jews going back and forth, it is permitted.10 For it has not entered the gentile's domain.

ה

היה יין זה הטהור של עכו"ם מונח ברשות הרבים או בבית הפתוח לרשות הרבים וישראל הולכים ושבים מותר שעדיין לא נכנס ברשות העכו"ם:

6

[When wine is located] in a garbage dump, a window, or under a palm tree even if it does not have fruit, it is as [if it is located in] the public domain.11When a gentile is located near wine located in such a place, it is not forbidden. A house which is open to such a place is considered as if it as open to the public domain.

ו

ואשפה וחלון ודקל אף על פי שאין בו פירות הרי אלו כרשות הרבים וחבית יין שם ועכו"ם הנמצא שם אינו אוסרה ובית הפתוח לשם הרי הוא כפתוח לרשות הרבים:

7

[The following rule applies when] there is a courtyard divided by low barriers,12 on one side there is a gentile and on the other, a Jew, there are two roofs, with the Jew's roof located above the gentile's roof, or [the two roofs are located] side by side, but there are dividers separating them. Even though the gentile can reach the Jew's portion, he need not worry about [the gentile pouring] his wine as a libation13 or [disqualifying] articles that are ritually pure.14

ז

חצר החלוקה במסיפים ועכו"ם בצד זה וישראל בצד אחר וכן שני גגין שהיה גג ישראל למעלה וגג העכו"ם למטה או שהיו זה בצד זה ויש ביניהן מסיפים אע"פ שיד העכו"ם מגעת לחלק ישראל אינו חושש משום יין נסך ולא משום טהרות:

8

It is permitted for a Jew to entrust his wine to a gentile for safekeeping in a closed container, provided it has two distinguishing marks. This is referred to as "a seal within a seal."15

What is implied? [A Jew] closed a barrel with a utensil that is not tightly fitting as most people do and then sealed it with clay, it is considered as one seal. If the container is tightly fitting and he applied clay to it from above, it is considered as "a seal within a seal."

Similarly, if one tied the opening to a wineskin close, it is considered as one seal. If he turned the opening to the wineskin inside and then tied it close, it is considered as "a seal within a seal." Similarly, any deviation from the ordinary pattern people follow is considered as one seal and applying clay or tying it is a second seal.16

ח

מותר לישראל להפקיד יינו בכלי סתום ביד עכו"ם והוא שיהיה לו בו שני סימנין וזה הוא הנקרא חותם בתוך חותם כיצד סתם החבית בכלי שאינו מהודק כדרך שסותמין כל אדם וטח בטיט הרי זה חותם אחד היה כלי מהודק וטח עליו מלמעלה הרי זה חותם בתוך חותם וכן אם צר פי הנוד הרי זה חותם אחד הפך פי הנוד לתוכו וצר עליו הרי זה חותם בתוך חותם וכן כל שינוי שמשנה מדברים שאין דרך כל אדם הרי הן כחותם אחד והטיחה או הקשירה חותם שני:

9

If [a Jew] entrusted [wine that was closed] with one seal to a gentile for safekeeping, it is forbidden to drink it, but it is permitted to benefit from it provided he designates a [specific] corner for it.17

ט

ואם הפקיד ביד עכו"ם בחותם אחד הרי זה אסור בשתייה ומותר בהנייה והוא שייחד לו קרן זוית:

10

Two seals are not necessary when one deposits boiled wine, beer, wine which is mixed with other substances, e.g., honey or oil,18 vinegar, cheese, and any substance that is forbidden only according to Rabbinic Law with a gentile. Instead, one seal is sufficient.19 Nevertheless, two seals are necessary for wine, meat, and pieces of fish that do not have signs and which were entrusted to a gentile.20

י

יין מבושל והשכר או יין שעירבו עם דברים אחרים כגון דבש ושמן וכן החומץ והגבינה והחלב וכל שאיסורו מדברי סופרים שהפקידו ביד עכו"ם אינו צריך שני חותמות אלא חותם אחד בלבד דיו אבל היין והבשר וחתיכת דג שאין בה סימן שהפקידן ביד עכו"ם צריכין שני חותמות:

11

It appears to me that anywhere in this context that we have stated that our wine is forbidden to be drunk, but it is permitted to benefit from it because of the possibility that a gentile touched it, we are speaking about an instance where the gentile is an idolater. If, however, the prohibition has arisen because of a gentile who is not an idolater, e.g., an Arab,21 who touched our wine unintentionally or tapped the top of a barrel,22 [the wine] is permitted to be drunken. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

יא

יראה לי שכל מקום שאמרנו בענין זה ביין שלנו שהוא אסור בשתייה ומותר בהנייה מפני צד נגיעה שנגע בו העכו"ם כשהיה העכו"ם עובד עכו"ם אבל אם היה איסורו בגלל עכו"ם שאינו עובד עכו"ם כגון ישמעאלי שנגע ביין שלנו שלא בכוונה או שטפח על פי החבית הרי זה מותר בשתייה וכן כל כיוצא בזה:

12

When, however, one deposits wine in the domain of a resident alien23 sends wine with him and departs for an extended period, or leaves one's home open in a courtyard that [one shares with] a resident alien, it is forbidden to drink the wine. For it appears to me that the suspicions that a gentile will exchange [wine] and forge [a seal] apply equally to all gentiles. Since the wine enters their domain,24 it is forbidden at least to drink it.25

יב

אבל המפקיד יין ביד גר תושב או ששלחו עמו והפליג או שהניח ביתו פתוח בחצר גר תושב הרי זה אסור בשתייה שכל חשש של חלוף וזיוף יראה לי שכל העכו"ם שוים בו הואיל ונעשה היין ברשותן נאסר בשתייה על כל פנים:

13

There are situations where the prohibition against wine poured as a libation does not apply at all, yet our Sages forbade them as a safeguard against libation. They are: a gentile should not mix water into wine in a Jew's possession lest he come to pour wine into water. A gentile should not bring grapes to the winepress lest he come to press them or touch the wine. He should not help a Jew when he pours wine from one container to another lest he leave the wine in the possession of the gentile and the wine [flow] because of [the gentile's] power. If the gentile assists [the Jew], mixes water [into wine] or brings grapes, [the wine] is permitted.26

יג

יש דברים שאין בהם איסור ניסוך כלל ואסרו אותם חכמים כדי להרחיק מן הניסוך ואלו הן לא ימזוג העכו"ם המים לתוך היין שביד ישראל שמא יבא לצוק היין לתוך המים ולא יוליך העכו"ם ענבים לגת שמא יבוא לדרוך או ליגע ולא יסייע לישראל בשעה שמריק מכלי לכלי שמא יניח הכלי ביד העכו"ם ונמצא היין בא מכחו ואם סייע או מזג המים או הביא ענבים מותר:

14

Similarly, it is permitted for a gentile to smell the fragrance of our wine27 and it is permitted for a Jew to smell the fragrance of a barrel of wine that had been used as a libation.28 There is no prohibition against this, because fragrance is of no consequence since it has no substance.29

יד

וכן מותר שיריח העכו"ם בחבית של יין שלנו ומותר לישראל להריח בחבית של יין נסך ואין בזה שם איסור שאין הריח כלום לפי שאין בו ממש:

15

We already explained,30 that whenever it is forbidden to benefit from a substance, if one transgresses and sells it, it is permitted [to make use of] the money with the exception of false deities, their accessories, offerings made to them, and wine poured as a libation to it. Our Sages were stringent with regard ordinary gentile wine [and ruled that] money given for it is forbidden like money given for wined poured as a libation to a false deity.

Accordingly, when a gentile hires a Jew to work with him with wine, his wages are forbidden.31

טו

כבר ביארנו שכל דבר שהוא אסור בהנייה אם עבר ומכרו דמיו מותרין חוץ מעכו"ם ומשמשיה ותקרובת שלה ויין שנתנסך לה והחמירו חכמים בסתם יינם להיות דמיו אסורין כדמי יין שנתנסך לעכו"ם לפיכך עכו"ם ששכר את ישראל לעשות עמו ביין שכרו אסור:

16

Similarly, when a person rents a donkey or a boat to transport wine, the payment for them is forbidden.32 If he gave him money, he should bring them to the Dead Sea.33 If he gave him clothes, utensils, or produce as payment, he should burn it and bury the dust so that he34 does not benefit from it.

טז

וכן השוכר את החמור להביא עליו יין או ששכר ספינה להביא בה יין שכרן אסור אם מעות נתנו לו יוליכן לים המלח ואם נתנו לו בשכרו כסות או כלים או פירות הרי זה ישרוף אותן ויקבור האפר כדי שלא ליהנות בו:

17

If a gentile rented a donkey to ride and placed containers of wine on it, the rental fee for the donkey is permitted.35 If [a gentile] hires a Jew to break barrels of wine used as a libation, his fee is permitted. May he be blessed because he eliminated obscenity.

יז

שכר לעכו"ם חמור לרכוב עליו והניח עליו לוגין של יין שכרו מותר שכרו לשבר כדי יין נסך שכרו מותר ותבוא עליו ברכה מפני שממעט בתיפלה:

18

When a person hires a worker and tells him: "Transport 100 barrels of beer for me for 100 p'rutot," and it is discovered that one of them is [gentile] wine, his entire wage is forbidden.36

יח

השוכר את הפועל ואמר לו העבר לי מאה חביות של שכר במאה פרוטות ונמצא אחת מהן יין שכרו כולו אסור:

19

If he told him: "Transport barrels for me at a p'rutah each," and he transported them and barrels of wine were discovered among them, the wage for the barrels of wine is forbidden. The remainder of the wage is permitted.37

יט

אמר לו העבר לי חבית בפרוטה חבית בפרוטה והעביר ונמצא ביניהן חביות של יין שכר חביות של יין אסור ושאר שכרו מותר:

20

When a gentile sends Jewish craftsmen a barrel of wine as part of their wages, it is permitted for them to tell him: "Give us its worth."38 Once it enters their domain, it is forbidden.39

כ

אומני ישראל ששלח להם עכו"ם חבית של יין בשכרן מותר שיאמרו לו תן לנו את דמיה ואם משנכנסה לרשותן אסור:

21

When a gentile owed a Jew a maneh,40 it is permitted for the gentile to sell a false deity and wine that had been poured as a libation and bring him the money. If, before he sells them, he tells [the Jew]: "Wait until I sell the false deity or libation wine that I own and [then] I will bring you [the money]," if he sells it and brings [the money] to him, [the money] is forbidden. [This applies] even with regard to ordinary gentile wine. [The rationale is that] the Jew desires that [the false deity or the wine] to continue to exist so that he will be able to pay him his debt.41

כא

ישראל שהיה נושה בעכו"ם מנה הלך העכו"ם ומכר עכו"ם ויין נסך והביא לו דמיהן הרי זה מותר ואם אמר לו קודם שימכור המתן לי עד שאמכור עכו"ם או יין נסך שיש לי ואביא לך אף על פי שהוא סתם יינו ומכר והביא לו הרי זה אסור מפני שהישראלי רוצה בקיומו כדי שיפרע ממנו חובו:

22

Similarly, when a convert and a gentile were partners and they came to divide the resources [of the partnership], the convert may not tell the gentile: "You take the false deity and I will take the money. You take the wine and I will take the produce." [The rationale is that] he desires that [the forbidden entities] continue to exist so that he will be able to receive something in exchange for them.42

When, by contrast, a convert and a gentile inherit the estate of their father who was a gentile, [the convert] may tell [the gentile]: "You take the false deity and I will take the money. You take the wine and I will take the oil." This is a leniency granted with regard to an estate inherited by a convert so that he will not return to his deviant ways.43 If [the forbidden entities] entered the domain of the convert, it is forbidden.44

כב

וכן גר ועכו"ם שהיו שותפין ובאו לחלוק אין הגר יכול לומר לעכו"ם טול אתה עכו"ם ואני מעות אתה יין ואני פירות שהרי רוצה בקיומן כדי שיטול כנגדן אבל גר ועכו"ם שירשו את אביהן עכו"ם יכול לומר לו טול אתה עכו"ם ואני מעות אתה יין ואני שמן קל הוא שהקלו בירושת הגר כדי שלא יחזור לסורו ואם משבאו לרשות הגר אסור:

23

[The following rules apply when] a Jew sells his wine to a gentile. If he established a price before he measured out [the wine], the money is permitted. [The rationale is that] from the time a price was established, [the gentile] definitely agreed [to the purchase] and when he pulled [the wine] into his domain, he acquired it.45 And it does not become [comparable to] wine offered as a libation until he touches it. Therefore at the time of sale, it was permitted.

If he measured it out for him before he established a price, the money is forbidden. [The rationale is that the gentile] did not definitely agree [to the purchase], even though he pulled [the wine] into his domain.46 Thus at the time he touched [the wine], he had not definitely agreed to the purchase. Hence the wine becomes forbidden because of his touch and it is as if [the Jew] is selling gentile wine.

כג

ישראל שמכר יינו לעכו"ם פסק עד שלא מדד לו דמיו מותרין שמשפסק סמכה דעתו ומשמשך קנה ויין נסך אינו נעשה עד שיגע בו נמצא בשעת מכירה היה מותר מדד לו עד שלא פסק הדמים דמיו אסורין שהרי לא סמכה דעתו אע"פ שמשך ונמצא כשנגע עדיין לא סמכה דעתו ליקח ונאסר היין בנגיעתו והרי זה כמוכר סתם יינם:

24

When does the above apply? When the Jew measured [the wine] into his own containers. If, however, he measured it into the gentile's containers or to a container belonging to a Jew in the gentile's possession, he must take the money,47 before measuring out [the wine]. If he measured out [the wine,] but did not take the money, the money is forbidden even though he established a price. As soon as [the wine] enters [the gentile's] container, it is forbidden as ordinary gentile wine.48

כד

במה דברים אמורים בשמדד הישראלי לכליו אבל אם מדד לכלי העכו"ם או לכלי ישראל שביד העכו"ם צריך ליקח את הדמים ואח"כ ימדוד ואם מדד ולא לקח דמים אף על פי שפסק דמיו אסורים שמשיגיע לכלי נאסר כסתם יינם:

25

When [a Jewish employer] gives a dinar to a gentile storekeeper and tells his gentile employee: "Go, drink, and eat [on my account] from the storekeeper and I will settle the accounts with him," he must show concern lest [the employee] will drink wine.49 Thus it will be as if he purchased wine used as a libation and gave it to him.

A similar arrangement with regard to the Sabbatical year50 is also forbidden; i.e., one gives a dinar to a Jewish storekeeper who is a common person and tells his Jewish employee: "Go, drink, and eat [on my account] from the storekeeper and I will settle the accounts with him." If the worker eats food that was not tithed, it is forbidden.51

כה

הנותן דינר לחנוני עכו"ם ואמר לפועלו העכו"ם לך ושתה ואכול מן החנוני ואני מחשב לו הרי זה חושש שמא ישתה יין שזה כמי שקנה לו יין נסך והשקהו וכנגד זה בשביעית אסור כגון שנתן דינר לחנוני ישראל עם הארץ ואמר לפועלו הישראלי לך ואכול ואני מחשב לו ואם אכל הפועל דבר שאינו מעושר אסור:

26

If, however, he told them: "Eat and drink the worth of this dinar," or "Eat and drink from the storekeeper on my account and I will pay him," this is permitted. Although the Jew becomes liable, his liability is not specifically related [to the foods from which the employees partake].52 [Therefore,] he need not be concerned, not about wine used as a libation, not about produce of the Sabbatical year, nor about untithed produce.53

כו

אבל אם אמר להם אכלו ושתו בדינר זה או שאמר להם אכלו ושתו עלי מן החנוני ואני פורע אע"פ שנשתעבד הואיל ולא נתייחד שעבודו הרי זה מותר ואינו חושש לא משום יין נסך ולא משום שביעית ולא משום מעשר:

27

[The following rules apply when] a [gentile] king distributes his wine among the people and takes money for it, as he desires.54 A [Jew] may not tell a gentile: "Take 200 zuz and go into the king's storehouse in place of me," so that the gentile will take the wine designated for the Jew and give the money to the king.55 He may, however, tell him: "Here is 200 zuz for you. Save me from [going to] the storehouse."56

כז

מלך שהיה מחלק יינו לעם ולוקח מהן דמיו כפי מה שירצה אל יאמר אדם לעכו"ם הא לך מאתים זוז והכנס תחתי באוצר המלך כדי שיקח עכו"ם היין שכתבו בשם ישראל ויתן העכו"ם הדמים למלך אבל אומר לו הא לך מאתים זוז ומלטני מן האוצר:

28

When a gentile touches57 a Jew's wine against [the Jew's] will,58 it is permitted to sell that wine to that gentile alone.59 [The rationale is] since that gentile wished to cause a Jew a loss [by] having his wine forbidden, it is as if he destroyed it or burnt it, in which instance, he would be obligated to pay. Thus the money [the Jew] takes from him is money for the loss and not money for a sale.60

כח

עכו"ם שנגע ביינו של ישראל לאונסו מותר למכור אותו יין לאותו העכו"ם שאסרו לבדו שכיון שנתכוון זה העכו"ם להזיקו ולאסור יינו הרי זה כמו ששברו או שרפו שחייב לשלם ונמצאו הדמים שלוקח ממנו דמי ההיזק ולא דמי המכירה:

Footnotes
1.

And thus it is less likely for him to come at frequent intervals.

2.

Implied is that the entrance is closed with two seals, as required by Halachah 8. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 130:2) writes that since in the present age, most gentiles are not idolaters, only one seal is necessary. The Siftei Cohen 130:11) states that this principle should be applied in the present instance.

3.

Nevertheless, since we do not know for certain that the gentile touched the wine, we do not forbid benefiting from it (Radbaz).

4.

Since the gentile was not given permission to enter the house, he would be considered as a thief if he did so. Hence, we assume that he did not enter the home to pour a libation.

The Ra'avad states that the Rambam's words apply only when the house belongs to the Jew. When, however, the house belongs to the gentile, the wine is forbidden, even if he did not entrust him with the key. The rationale is that since the gentile has a connection to the house, he will have an excuse to enter it. Hence we fear that he entered it and touched the Jew's wine. The Radbaz defends the Rambam's ruling explaining that since the house is rented the owner does not have the right to enter it at will. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:5) quotes the Rambam's ruling.

5.

We have translated the Rambam's words literally. The intent, however, appears to be not ritual purity per se, but "without contact with gentiles."

6.

I.e., he is not present at all times. Nevertheless, it is possible that he will return at any given moment. Hence, the gentile will not take liberties. See Halachah 4.

7.

Since he does not live on the premises, he is not considered as a permanent watchman. Hence, the fact that he enters from time to time during the day is not significant (Lechem Mishneh). The Ra'avad differs and maintains that as long as the Jew enters and leaves at will, that is sufficient to inhibit the gentile from touching the wine. [Significantly, in his Commentary to the Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 4:11), the Rambam adopts a position similar to that of the Ra'avad.]

The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 131:1 adopt an intermediate position, stating that if there is another Jew living in that city and the entrance to the building where the wine is stored is visible from the public domain, the wine is permitted. For the owner will be afraid to break the lock to the door lest he be seen and the matter become known. (This approach is also mentioned in the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (loc. cit).

8.

There is, however, nothing preventing him from selling it to other gentiles.

9.

I.e., he wrote the bill of sale in advance, before the Jew actually paid to clarify that his intent was to sell it to him.

The Siftei Cohen 131:1 writes that these stringencies apply only if the Jew did not pay the gentile anything at all. Once the Jew pays the gentile something, the wine is considered his and more lenient rules apply. It is questionable, however, if the Rambam would accept this leniency, for as stated in Chapter 12, Halachah 25, he rules that as long as wine is security for a debt, a gentile creditor will feel free to do with it as he desires.

10.

Since Jews can see whether or not the gentile touches it, he is afraid to do so, lest his investment be ruined. See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Avodah Zarah 4:11).

11.

Because these places are also in public view and/or acces.

12.

Our translation follows Rashi's commentary to Avodah Zarah 70a. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 129:16) defines the term as meaning pillars.

13.

Since the gentile would be considered as a thief for overstepping these boundaries, we do not fear that he would do so.

14.

Were a gentile to touch them, they would be disqualified.

15.

The rationale is that we assume that a gentile will not trouble himself to reseal the container with two seals as the Jew had sealed it. Hence the fact that he founds it with the two seals he left it is a sign that it has not been tampered with.

16.

To apply these concepts in contemporary terms: When a bottle of wine is closed with a cork or a bottle-cap, that is one seal. If there is a paper or plastic wrapper around the cork or the cap, that is the second seal.

17.

Based on Avodah Zarah 31a, some interpret this as is speaking about an instance where the corner the gentile grants the Jew is closed off with a seal. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 130:2) writes that there are opinions which rule that after the fact, one seal is sufficient in this situation.

The Lechem Mishneh explains that even if the place is not closed off, since it is designated for the Jew, one seal is sufficient. See Turei Zahav 130:4).

18.

For in none of these instances do we fear that the gentile will use the beverage for a libation, as stated in Chapter 11, Halachot 9-10.

19.

In these instances, we fear that the gentile will exchange another substance, for the substance deposited. One seal is sufficient to dispel these suspicions (Lechem Mishneh).

20.

Since the prohibition involved in these instances is Scriptural in origin, we are more stringent.

21.

See Chapter 11, Halachah 7. That halachah states that when a gentile who is not an idolater touches wine, it is only forbidden to drink it. In this instance, since the gentile did not intend to touch the wine, we are more lenient and do not forbid it at all (Radbaz).

As mentioned previously, the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 124:24) rules that in the present era, none of the gentiles are considered as idolaters and the leniency suggested by the Rambam applies universally. On that basis, he and the subsequent Ashkenazic authorities have suggested several leniencies.

22.

See Chapter 12, Halachot 5 and 9.

23.

A gentile who has made a formal commitment to accept the Seven Universal Laws Commanded to Noah and His Descendants. These include the prohibition against worshipping false divinities.

24.

I.e., a place where it can be exchanged without a Jew noticing.

25.

For we fear that he exchanged it with his own wine and it is forbidden to drink such wine. Although a resident alien also accepted the prohibition against theft, we fear that he - and certainly, other gentiles - will not abide by his commitment (Radbaz).

26.

For these are merely safeguards. Although Rashi (Avodah Zarah 58b) and other Rishonim rule more stringently, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 125:3,6,7) accepts the Rambam's position.

27.

Doing so does not arouse a suspicion that perhaps he used it as a libation for his false deity. Smelling is not considered as tasting or drinking.

28.

It is not included in the prohibition mentioned at the beginning of Ch. 11.

29.

See the conclusion of Ch. 5 of Hilchot Meilah, where the Rambam delivers a slightly contradictory ruling.

30.

Chapter 8, Halachah 16. See also Hilchot Avodat Kochavimn 7:9 and Hilchot Ishut 5:2.

31.

For he is deriving benefit from gentile wine.

32.

Even though the Jew himself does nothing to help transport the gentile wine.

33.

I.e., throw in a place where neither he nor anyone else will benefit from them.

34.

Nor others.

35.

For the rental fee was not primarily paid for the sake of the wine (Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 133:3). The Radbaz emphasizes that this leniency applies when the donkey was rented primarily for human transport and, by the way, the gentile placed wine upon it. If, however, he rented it primarily to transport packages - and later the owner discovered that wine was included among them - the rental fee is forbidden even if the person also rides on the donkey.

36.

He is being paid for the entire work as a collective entity. Were he not to have transported all the barrels, he would not be paid at all (Rashi, Avodah Zarah 65a). Accordingly, the payment for transporting the beer was never distinct from that of the wine. Hence his entire wage is forbidden.

The Ra'avad differs and maintains that it is sufficient to destroy the wage paid for the forbidden barrels. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 133:3) follows the Rambam's stringency.

37.

Since the wage was paid for each barrel individually, the wage paid for the barrels of beer is a separate and distinct entity. Hence it is not forbidden. Nevertheless, at the outset, it is forbidden to accept such a job [Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.)].

38.

For the craftsman have not accepted the wine and the employer owes them money.

39.

For then it is as if they are exchanging the wine for wine.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 132:3) writes that in the present age, (when gentiles are not actually idolaters,) a worker may return the barrel of wine even though it has entered his domain.

40.

One hundred silver zuzim.

41.

Hence he has benefited from existence of the gentile wine. Hence, it is forbidden.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 132:7) states that, even if the Jew desires that the false deity continue to exist, leniency can be granted in an instance where the gentile has other resources to pay the debt or alternatively, when the debt is secured by a guarantor. Moreover, if all that is concerned is ordinary gentile wine, in the present age, there is no prohibition for the reason stated above.

42.

Here leniency is not granted, because the convert has a share in the entities belonging to the partnership. Thus he is exchanging money for a false deity.

43.

I.e., our Sages feared that the convert will be so disturbed about being unable to receive his inheritance, that he will forsake Jewish practice and return to his previous mode of conduct. This is undesirable, because once a person converts, he is a full-fledged Jew. If he conducts himself undesirably, his conduct affects the entire Jewish people.

44.

For they have already entered the domain of the convert and are, therefore, forbidden. Hence it is forbidden to exchange them for others, for then one will be deriving benefit.

45.

I.e., he acquires the wine through the kinyan of meshichah [see Maggid Mishneh, Hilchot Zechiyah UMatanah 1:14; Turei Zahav 132:4) and the money is considered as a loan which he owes the Jew.

The Radbaz questions why the Rambam mentions meshichah, drawing the wine into his own domain. Seemingly, once a price was established and the wine was poured, the gentile acquires it whether or not he performs meshichah immediately. Conversely, if meshichah finalizes the transaction, seemingly as long as a price was set before meshichah, the wine should be permitted

The Kessef Mishneh explains that the Rambam is speaking according to the common practice. It was customary to establish a price either before measuring the wine or after meshichah.

46.

For he fears that the Jew will ask an exorbitant price (Radbaz). Hence he always keeps the option of negating the sale.

47.

For the payment of the money formalizes the transfer of the wine (effecting a kinyan), Thus the gentile has paid for the wine before it entered his domain and became forbidden.

48.

There are several explanations for this ruling. The gentile left some of his wine in the container and thus as the Jew was pouring the new wine in, it became forbidden. Alternatively, the gentile was holding the container and moved it (see Chapter 12, Halachah 3). This is sufficient to cause the wine to become forbidden (Radbaz).

The Ra'avad objects to the Rambam's ruling, stating that (as the Rambam himself rules in Chapter 16, Halachah 29) if kosher wine becomes mixed with non-kosher wine, it is forbidden to drink it, but one may benefit from it. Nevertheless, he does not provide a rebuttal to the second explanation given above.

The Kessef Mishneh explains that since the wine in the container the gentile is holding becomes forbidden, the wine the Jew is pouring also becomes forbidden, as stated above in Chapter 12, Halachah 12.

49.

Since he gave the storekeeper the money in advance, it is as if he paid the storekeeper for what his worker would eat. Thus it is as if the worker is drinking the employer's wine.

50.

The Rambam's source (Avodah Zarah 58b) mentions both produce from the Sabbatical year and untithed produce, because it is possible that a common person is lax in his observance of both these mitzvot. Apparently, the Rambam also had this intent because he begins by mentioning produce of the Sabbatical year and concludes by mentioning untithed produce.

51.

I.e., it is forbidden for the employer to do this, because it would be considered as if he personally gave his employee produce from the Sabbatical year or untithed produce.

52.

I.e., he undertakes a financial obligation to the storekeeper, but since he does not pay him the money beforehand, that obligation is not explicitly associated with the food or drink of which the worker partakes.

53.

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 450:6) mentions opinions that ate more stringent with regard to an employer taking financial responsibility for the food a gentile will eat on Pesach. The Turei Zahav 460:4 explains that with regard to Pesach, there is a greater reason for stringency, for it is almost certain that the gentile will eat chametz. In the situations mentioned in our halachah, by contrast, it is possible that none of the prohibitions will be violated, for the gentile will not want wine, nor the Jewish workers, the untithed or Sabbatical produce.

54.

A gentile king produced wine from the royal vineyard as a means of financing his nation's expenses. He would obligate each of the person's in his kingdom to buy a standard amount of wine. For a Jew, that represents a problem for the wine is gentile wine. Not only is it forbidden to drink it, it is forbidden to benefit from it. Thus not only may a Jew not partake of such wine, nor may he take it and sell it. He is forbidden even to purchase it from the king.

This represents the Rambam's interpretation of Avodah Zarah 71a. It is quoted by the Rashba and other Rishonim. Rashi, the Ra'avad, and others, however, have different interpretations of the passage. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 132:6) quotes the Rambam's interpretation.

55.

The Radbaz explains that in this way, the gentile is purchasing the wine from the Jew. Others explain that the gentile is acting as the Jew's agent.

56.

For in this way, the gentile is not acting as the Jew's agent.

57.

This law applies when the gentile intentionally touches the wine. If the gentile touches it unintentionally, he is not liable. The rationale is that this is damage which is not outwardly noticeable (i.e., although the ritual status of the wine has changed, outwardly it is the same). In such an instance, Hilchot Chovel UMazik 7:3 states, one is not liable for causing damage inadvertently.

The Kessef Mishneh states that even if the gentile intentionally touched the wine, but did not know that by touching it, he caused it to be forbidden, the gentile is not liable and this leniency does not apply. The Siftei Cohen 132:2, however, interprets this wording as implying that even if the gentile caused it to become forbidden inadvertently, the Jew may sell it to him.

See also Hilchot Chovel UMazik 7:4 and commentaries, where a similar concept is discussed.

58.

For if the Jew could have stopped the gentile from touching the wine and didn't, he is responsible for the loss (Radbaz).

59.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 124:2) rules that in the present age, when it is not customary for gentiles to use wine as libations, the wine may be sold to any gentile.

60.

Avodah Zarah 59b states that in such a situation, he may charge the gentile the full price of the wine.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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