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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 13

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Ma'achalot Assurot - Chapter 13


[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.


הַלוֹקֵחַ בַּיִת אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכָר בַּיִת בַּחֲצֵרוֹ שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם וּמִלְּאָהוּ יַיִן אִם הָיָה הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי דָּר בְּאוֹתָהּ חָצֵר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַפֶּתַח פָּתוּחַ הַיַּיִן מֻתָּר. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָעַכּוּ''ם מְפַחֵד תָּמִיד וְאוֹמֵר עַתָּה יִכָּנֵס לְבֵיתוֹ פִּתְאֹם וְיִמְצָא אוֹתִי בְּתוֹךְ בֵּיתוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה דָּר בְּחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת לֹא יֵצֵא עַד שֶׁיִּסְגֹּר הַבַּיִת וְיִהְיֶה הַמַּפְתֵּחַ וְהַחוֹתָם בְּיָדוֹ. וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ שֶׁמָּא יְזַיֵּף הָעַכּוּ''ם מַפְתֵּחַ הַבַּיִת:


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


יָצָא וְלֹא סָגַר הַפֶּתַח אוֹ שֶׁסָּגַר וְהִנִּיחַ הַמַּפְתֵּחַ בְּיַד עַכּוּ''ם הֲרֵי הַיַּיִן אָסוּר בִּשְׁתִיָּה. שֶׁמָּא נִכְנַס הָעַכּוּ''ם וְנִסֵּךְ. שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי שָׁם. וְאִם אָמַר לוֹ אֱחֹז לִי מַפְתֵּחַ זֶה עַד שֶׁאָבוֹא הַיַּיִן מֻתָּר שֶׁלֹּא מָסַר לוֹ שְׁמִירַת הַבַּיִת אֶלָּא שְׁמִירַת הַמַּפְתֵּחַ:


[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 him. 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


עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁשָּׂכַר יִשְׂרָאֵל לִדְרֹךְ לוֹ יֵינוֹ בְּטָהֳרָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מֻתָּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִקָּחוּהוּ מִמֶּנּוּ וְהָיָה הַיַּיִן בְּבֵיתוֹ שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם. אִם הָיָה יִשִׂרָאֵל זֵה שֵׁשּׁוֹמֵר הַיַּיִן דָּר בְּאוֹתָהּ חָצֵר הַיַּיִן מֻתָּר. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַפֶּתַח פָּתוּחַ וְהַשּׁוֹמֵר נִכְנָס וְיוֹצֵא. וְאִם הָיָה הַשּׁוֹמֵר דָּר בְּחָצֵר אַחֶרֶת הַיַּיִן אָסוּר. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַמַּפְתֵּחַ וְהַחוֹתָם בְּיַד יִשְׂרָאֵל. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁהַיַּיִן שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם וּבִרְשׁוּתוֹ אֵינוֹ מְפַחֵד לְזַיֵּף וּלְהִכָּנֵס לַבַּיִת וְיֹאמַר וִיהִי מָה אִם יֵדְעוּ בּוֹ לֹא יִקְחוּ מִמֶּנִּי:


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.


אֲפִלּוּ כָּתַב הָעַכּוּ''ם לְיִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁנִּתְקַבֵּל מִמֶּנּוּ הַמָּעוֹת לִמְכֹּר לוֹ בָּהֶן יַיִן הוֹאִיל וְאֵין הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי יָכוֹל לְהוֹצִיאוֹ מֵרְשׁוּת הָעַכּוּ''ם עַד שֶׁיִּתֵּן לוֹ הַמָּעוֹת הֲרֵי הוּא שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם וְאָסוּר. אֶלָּא אִם הָיָה הַשּׁוֹמֵר דָּר שָׁם בֶּחָצֵר. וְאֵין הַשּׁוֹמֵר צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת יוֹשֵׁב וּמְשַׁמֵּר תָּמִיד אֶלָּא נִכְנָס וְיוֹצֵא כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. בֵּין בִּרְשׁוּת בַּעַל הַיַּיִן בֵּין בִּרְשׁוּת עַכּוּ''ם אַחֵר:


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.


הָיָה יַיִן זֶה הַטָּהוֹר שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם מֻנָּח בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אוֹ בְּבַיִת הַפָּתוּחַ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְיִשְׂרָאֵל הוֹלְכִים וְשָׁבִים מֻתָּר. שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִכְנַס בִּרְשׁוּת הָעַכּוּ''ם:


[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.11 When 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.


וְאַשְׁפָּה וְחַלּוֹן וְדֶקֶל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ פֵּרוֹת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים. וְחָבִית יַיִן שָׁם וְעַכּוּ''ם הַנִּמְצָא שָׁם אֵינוֹ אוֹסְרָהּ. וּבַיִת הַפָּתוּחַ לְשָׁם הֲרֵי הוּא כְּפָתוּחַ לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים:


[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


חָצֵר הַחֲלוּקָה בִּמְסִיפִים וְעַכּוּ''ם בְּצַד זֶה וְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּצַד אַחֵר. וְכֵן שְׁנֵי גַּגִּין שֶׁהָיָה גַּג יִשְׂרָאֵל לְמַעְלָה וְגַג הָעַכּוּ''ם לְמַטָּה. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ זֶה בְּצַד זֶה וְיֵשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶן מְסִיפִים. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיַּד הָעַכּוּ''ם מַגַּעַת לְחֵלֶק יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ מִשּׁוּם יֵין נֶסֶךְ וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם טָהֳרוֹת:


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


מֻתָּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהַפְקִיד יֵינוֹ בִּכְלִי סָתוּם בְּיַד עַכּוּ''ם וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה לוֹ בּוֹ שְׁנֵי סִימָנִין. וְזֶה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא חוֹתָם בְּתוֹךְ חוֹתָם. כֵּיצַד. סָתַם הֶחָבִית בִּכְלִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְהֻדָּק כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁסּוֹתְמִין כָּל אָדָם וְטָח בְּטִיט הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹתָם אֶחָד. הָיָה כְּלִי מְהֻדָּק וְטָח עָלָיו מִלְּמַעְלָה הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹתָם בְּתוֹךְ חוֹתָם. וְכֵן אִם צָר פִּי הַנּוֹד הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹתָם אֶחָד. הָפַךְ פִּי הַנּוֹד לְתוֹכוֹ וְצָר עָלָיו הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹתָם בְּתוֹךְ חוֹתָם. וְכֵן כָּל שִׁנּוּי שֶׁמְּשַׁנֶּה מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין דֶּרֶךְ כָּל אָדָם הֲרֵי הֵן כְּחוֹתָם אֶחָד וְהַטִּיחָה אוֹ הַקְּשִׁירָה חוֹתָם שֵׁנִי:


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


וְאִם הִפְקִיד בְּיַד עַכּוּ''ם בְּחוֹתָם אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר בִּשְׁתִיָּה וּמֻתָּר בַּהֲנָיָה וְהוּא שֶׁיְּיַחֵד לוֹ קֶרֶן זָוִית:


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


יַיִן מְבֻשָּׁל וְהַשֵּׁכָר אוֹ יַיִן שֶׁעֵרְבוֹ עִם דְּבָרִים אֲחֵרִים כְּגוֹן דְּבַשׁ וְשֶׁמֶן וְכֵן הַחֹמֶץ וְהַגְּבִינָה וְהֶחָלָב וְכָל שֶׁאִסּוּרוֹ מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁהִפְקִידוֹ בְּיַד עַכּוּ''ם אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ שְׁנֵי חוֹתָמוֹת אֶלָּא חוֹתָם אֶחָד בִּלְבַד דַּיּוֹ. אֲבָל הַיַּיִן וְהַבָּשָׂר וַחֲתִיכַת דָּג שֶׁאֵין בָּהּ סִימָן שֶׁהִפְקִידָן בְּיַד עַכּוּ''ם צְרִיכִין שְׁנֵי חוֹתָמוֹת:


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.


יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁכָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ בְּעִנְיָן זֶה בְּיַיִן שֶׁלָּנוּ שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בִּשְׁתִיָּה וּמֻתָּר בַּהֲנָיָה מִפְּנֵי צַד נְגִיעָה שֶׁנָּגַע בּוֹ הָעַכּוּ''ם כְּשֶׁהָיָה הָעַכּוּ''ם עוֹבֵד עַכּוּ''ם. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה אִסּוּרוֹ בִּגְלַל עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁאֵינוֹ עוֹבֵד עַכּוּ''ם כְּגוֹן יִשְׁמְעֵאלִי שֶׁנָּגַע בַּיַּיִן שֶׁלָּנוּ שֶׁלֹּא בְּכַוָּנָה אוֹ שֶׁטִּפַּח עַל פִּי הֶחָבִית הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר בִּשְׁתִיָּה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


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


אֲבָל הַמַּפְקִיד יַיִן בְּיַד גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב אוֹ שֶׁשְּׁלָחוֹ עִמּוֹ וְהִפְלִיג אוֹ שֶׁהֵנִיחַ בֵּיתוֹ פָּתוּחַ בַּחֲצַר גֵּר תּוֹשָׁב הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר בִּשְׁתִיָּה. שֶׁכָּל חֲשָׁשׁ שֶׁל חִלּוּף וְזִיּוּף יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁכָּל הָעַכּוּ''ם שָׁוִים בּוֹ הוֹאִיל וְנַעֲשָׂה הַיַּיִן בִּרְשׁוּתָן נֶאֱסַר בִּשְׁתִיָּה עַל כָּל פָּנִים:


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 [will 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


יֵשׁ דְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶם אִסּוּר נִסּוּךְ כְּלָל וְאָסְרוּ אוֹתָם חֲכָמִים כְּדֵי לְהַרְחִיק מִן הַנִּסּוּךְ. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. לֹא יִמְזֹג הָעַכּוּ''ם הַמַּיִם לְתוֹךְ הַיַּיִן שֶׁבְּיַד יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא לִצֹּק הַיַּיִן לְתוֹךְ הַמַּיִם. וְלֹא יוֹלִיךְ הָעַכּוּ''ם עֲנָבִים לַגַּת שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא לִדְרֹךְ אוֹ לִגַּע. וְלֹא יְסַיֵּעַ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמֵּרִיק מִכְּלִי לִכְלִי שֶׁמָּא יַנִּיחַ הַכְּלִי בְּיַד הָעַכּוּ''ם וְנִמְצָא הַיַּיִן בָּא מִכֹּחוֹ. וְאִם סִיֵּעַ אוֹ מָזַג הַמַּיִם אוֹ הֵבִיא עֲנָבִים מֻתָּר:


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


וְכֵן מֻתָּר שֶׁיָּרִיחַ הָעַכּוּ''ם בְּחָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן שֶׁלָּנוּ. וּמֻתָּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לְהָרִיחַ בְּחָבִית שֶׁל יֵין נֶסֶךְ וְאֵין בָּזֶה שֵׁם אִסּוּר שֶׁאֵין הָרֵיחַ כְּלוּם לְפִי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ מַמָּשׁ:


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 to 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


כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל דָּבָר שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר בַּהֲנָיָה אִם עָבַר וּמָכְרוּ דָּמָיו מֻתָּרִין חוּץ מֵעַכּוּ''ם וּמְשַׁמְּשֶׁיהָ וְתִקְרֹבֶת שֶׁלָּהּ וְיַיִן שֶׁנִּתְנַסֵּךְ לָהּ. וְהֶחְמִירוּ חֲכָמִים בִּסְתַם יֵינָם לִהְיוֹת דָּמָיו אֲסוּרִין כִּדְמֵי יַיִן שֶׁנִּתְנַסֵּךְ לְעַכּוּ''ם. לְפִיכָךְ עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁשָּׂכַר אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמּוֹ בְּיַיִן שְׂכָרוֹ אָסוּר:


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.


וְכֵן הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַחֲמוֹר לְהָבִיא עָלָיו יַיִן אוֹ שֶׁשָּׂכַר סְפִינָה לְהָבִיא בָּהּ יַיִן שְׂכָרָן אָסוּר. אִם מָעוֹת נָתְנוּ לוֹ יוֹלִיכֵן לְיָם הַמֶּלַח. וְאִם נָתְנוּ לוֹ בִּשְׂכָרוֹ כְּסוּת אוֹ כֵּלִים אוֹ פֵּרוֹת הֲרֵי זֶה יִשְׂרֹף אוֹתָן וְיִקְבֹּר הָאֵפֶר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא לֵהָנוֹת בּוֹ:


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.


שָׂכַר לָעַכּוּ''ם חֲמוֹר לִרְכֹּב עָלָיו וְהִנִּיחַ עָלָיו לוֹגִין שֶׁל יַיִן שְׂכָרוֹ מֻתָּר. שְׂכָרוֹ לְשַׁבֵּר כַּדֵּי יֵין נֶסֶךְ שְׂכָרוֹ מֻתָּר וְתָבוֹא עָלָיו בְּרָכָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּמַעֵט בְּתִפְלָה:


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


הַשּׂוֹכֵר אֶת הַפּוֹעֵל וְאָמַר לוֹ הַעֲבֵר לִי מֵאָה חָבִיּוֹת שֶׁל שֵׁכָר בְּמֵאָה פְּרוּטוֹת וְנִמְצָא אַחַת מֵהֶן יַיִן שְׂכָרוֹ כֻּלּוֹ אָסוּר:


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


אָמַר לוֹ הַעֲבֵר לִי חָבִית בִּפְרוּטָה חָבִית בִּפְרוּטָה וְהֶעֱבִיר וְנִמְצָא בֵּינֵיהֶן חָבִיּוֹת שֶׁל יַיִן. שְׂכַר חָבִיּוֹת שֶׁל יַיִן אָסוּר וּשְׁאָר שְׂכָרוֹ מֻתָּר:


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


אֻמְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁשָּׁלַח לָהֶם עַכּוּ''ם חָבִית שֶׁל יַיִן בִּשְׂכָרָן מֻתָּר שֶׁיֹּאמְרוּ לוֹ תֵּן לָנוּ אֶת דָּמֶיהָ. וְאִם מִשֶּׁנִּכְנְסָה לִרְשׁוּתָן אָסוּר:


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


יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהָיָה נוֹשֶׁה בְּעַכּוּ''ם מָנֶה. הָלַךְ הָעַכּוּ''ם וּמָכַר עַבוֹדָה זָרָה וְיֵין נֶסֶךְ וְהֵבִיא לוֹ דְּמֵיהֶן הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. וְאִם אָמַר לוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּמְכֹּר הַמְתֵּן לִי עַד שֶׁאֶמְכֹּר עַבוֹדָה זָרָה אוֹ יֵין נֶסֶךְ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לִי וְאָבִיא לְךָ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא סְתַם יֵינוֹ. וּמָכַר וְהֵבִיא לוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה אָסוּר. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי רוֹצֶה בְּקִיּוּמוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּפְרַע מִמֶּנּוּ חוֹבוֹ:


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


וְכֵן גֵּר וְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהָיוּ שֻׁתָּפִין וּבָאוּ לַחֲלֹק. אֵין הַגֵּר יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לָעַכּוּ''ם טֹל אַתָּה עַבוֹדָה זָרָה וַאֲנִי מָעוֹת. אַתָּה יַיִן וַאֲנִי פֵּרוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי רוֹצֶה בְּקִיּוּמָן כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּטּל כְּנֶגְדָּן. אֲבָל גֵּר וְעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁיָּרְשׁוּ אֶת אֲבִיהֶן עַכּוּ''ם יָכוֹל לוֹמַר לוֹ טֹל אַתָּה עַבוֹדָה זָרָה וַאֲנִי מָעוֹת. אַתָּה יַיִן וַאֲנִי שֶׁמֶן. קַל הוּא שֶׁהֵקֵלּוּ בִּירֻשַּׁת הַגֵּר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַחֲזֹר לְסוּרוֹ. וְאִם מִשֶּׁבָּאוּ לִרְשׁוּת הַגֵּר אָסוּר:


[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.


יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁמָּכַר יֵינוֹ לְעַכּוּ''ם פָּסַק עַד שֶׁלֹּא מָדַד לוֹ דָּמָיו מֻתָּרִין. שֶׁמִּשֶּׁפָּסַק סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ וּמִשֶּׁמָּשַׁךְ קָנָה וְיֵין נֶסֶךְ אֵינוֹ נַעֲשֶׂה עַד שֶׁיִּגַּע בּוֹ. נִמְצָא בִּשְׁעַת מְכִירָה הָיָה מֻתָּר. מָדַד לוֹ עַד שֶׁלֹּא פָּסַק הַדָּמִים דָּמָיו אֲסוּרִין. שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמָּשַׁךְ וְנִמְצָא כְּשֶׁנָּגַע עֲדַיִן לֹא סָמְכָה דַּעְתּוֹ לִקַּח וְנֶאֱסַר הַיַּיִן בִּנְגִיעָתוֹ וַהֲרֵי זֶה כְּמוֹכֵר סְתַם יֵינָם:


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


בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁמָּדַד הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי לְכֵלָיו. אֲבָל אִם מָדַד לִכְלִי הָעַכּוּ''ם אוֹ לִכְלִי יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁבְּיַד הָעַכּוּ''ם צָרִיךְ לִקַּח אֶת הַדָּמִים וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִמְדֹּד. וְאִם מָדַד וְלֹא לָקַח דָּמִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפָּסַק דָּמָיו אֲסוּרִים שֶׁמִּשֶּׁיַגִּיעַ לַכְּלִי נֶאֱסַר כִּסְתָם יֵינָם:


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


הַנּוֹתֵן דִּינָר לְחֶנְוָנִי עַכּוּ''ם וְאָמַר לְפוֹעֲלוֹ הָעַכּוּ''ם לֵךְ וּשְׁתֵה וֶאֱכל מִן הַחֶנְוָנִי וַאֲנִי מְחַשֵּׁב לוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹשֵׁשׁ שֶׁמָּא יִשְׁתֶּה יַיִן. שֶׁזֶּה כְּמִי שֶׁקָּנָה לוֹ יֵין נֶסֶךְ וְהִשְׁקָהוּ. וּכְנֶגֶד זֶה בִּשְׁבִיעִית אָסוּר כְּגוֹן שֶׁנָּתַן דִּינָר לְחֶנְוָנִי יִשְׂרָאֵל עַם הָאָרֶץ וְאָמַר לְפוֹעֲלוֹ הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי לֵךְ וֶאֱכל וַאֲנִי מְחַשֵּׁב לוֹ. וְאִם אָכַל הַפּוֹעֵל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְעֻשָּׂר אָסוּר:


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


אֲבָל אִם אָמַר לָהֶם אִכְלוּ וּשְׁתוּ בְּדִינָר זֶה. אוֹ שֶׁאָמַר לָהֶם אִכְלוּ וּשְׁתוּ עָלַי מִן הַחֶנְוָנִי וַאֲנִי פּוֹרֵעַ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּעְבֵּד הוֹאִיל וְלֹא נִתְיַחֵד שִׁעְבּוּדוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ לֹא מִשּׁוּם יֵין נֶסֶךְ וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם שְׁבִיעִית וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם מַעֲשֵׂר:


[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


מֶלֶךְ שֶׁהָיָה מְחַלֵּק יֵינוֹ לָעָם וְלוֹקֵחַ מֵהֶן דָּמָיו כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁיִּרְצֶה. אַל יֹאמַר אָדָם לְעַכּוּ''ם הֵא לְךָ מָאתַיִם זוּז וְהִכָּנֵס תַּחְתַּי בְּאוֹצַר הַמֶּלֶךְ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּקַּח עַכּוּ''ם הַיַּיִן שֶׁכָּתְבוּ בְּשֵׁם יִשְׂרָאֵל וְיִתֵּן הָעַכּוּ''ם הַדָּמִים לַמֶּלֶךְ. אֲבָל אוֹמֵר לוֹ הֵא לְךָ מָאתַיִם זוּז וּמַלְּטֵנִי מִן הָאוֹצָר:


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


עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁנָּגַע בְּיֵינוֹ שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל לְאָנְסוֹ מֻתָּר לִמְכֹּר אוֹתוֹ יַיִן לְאוֹתוֹ הָעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁאֲסָרוֹ לְבַדּוֹ. שֶׁכֵּיוָן שֶׁנִּתְכַּוֵּן זֶה הָעַכּוּ''ם לְהַזִּיקוֹ וְלֶאֱסֹר יֵינוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁשְּׁבָרוֹ אוֹ שְׂרָפוֹ שֶׁחַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם. וְנִמְצְאוּ הַדָּמִים שֶׁלּוֹקֵחַ מִמֶּנּוּ דְּמֵי הַהֶזֵּק וְלֹא דְּמֵי הַמְּכִירָה:


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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).


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


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.


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).


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


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


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


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


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 found it with the two seals he left, it is a sign that it has not been tampered with.


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.


Based on Avodah Zarah 31a, some interpret this as 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).


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.


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).


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


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.


See Chapter 12, Halachot 5 and 9.


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.


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


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).


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.


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.


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


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


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


For he is deriving benefit from gentile wine.


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


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


Nor others.


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.


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.


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.)].


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


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.


One hundred silver zuzim.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 450:6) mentions opinions that are 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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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 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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