In the house of Rabbi Yannai they borrowed shmita produce from poor people and returned them produce the following year from non shmita produce. Rabbi Yochanan allowed this. The gemara questions this ruling from a braita and brings several resolutions.
If the Jew makes wine that belongs to the non-Jew but plans to sell to a Jew – if it is stored in a house of a different non-Jew, is there less of a concern that the non Jewish owner will come in contact with the wine? It is forbidden to benefit from salary that one makes from dealing with wine that was used as a libation to idols or rent from a donkey that was renting in order to transport that wine. The gemara questions how can this be tranferred to salary as we see in other similar situations,the benefit that is forbidden is for the item itself or if it the item is transferred to money but not to a salary?
Many different cases are brought regarding different less direct contacts the non-Jew has with the wine and whether or not it is forbidden? Also in cases where a non_Jew is in the proximity of wine unwatched – in what cases can we assume that the non-Jew will not come in contact with the wine and therefore permit it and in which cases is there room for concern?
More issues regarding wine and non-Jews are discussed.
In which cases is wine touched by a non Jew forbidden and for what reasons?
Rav and Shmuel have a debate regarding how to read a braita and therefore come to different halachic conclusions. According to Rav’s reading, a non-Jew does not need intent to forbid wine for drinking for a Jew (even a baby can forbid it). According to Shmuel’s reading, a Cannanite slave that was purchased from the market, needs a 12 month waiting period in the Jew’s home before being allowed to come in contact with the wine as there is concern he is still worshipping his idols and may offer the wine to his Gods.
Are the definitions for when there is “gmar melacha” (when it is a somewhat finished product) to be able to be considered wine that could have been offered by an idol worshipper to his/her idols, the same as for when wine is obligated to be tithed? If the strainer is put back in the top of the winepress, it forbids the wine in the winepress. The gemara tries to understand on what basis the wine in the strainer is forbidden as it hasn’t even reached the collection vat. Wine that is owned by a Jew – if the non-Jew touches it, is it forbidden to drink? Forbidden to benefit from it? What if the non-Jew touched it with one’s leg?
Basic philosophical questions are asked and answered regarding free choice – if God doesn’t want people worshipping idols, then why doesn’t God destroy them? The last section of Masechet Avoda Zara deals with wine of non-Jews and the first question addressed is at what stage does the wine become potential to the wine of libations and therefore forbidden to get benefit? Can a Jew work in the winepress treading on the grapes? An additional issue is raised regarding a rabbinic decree not to allow fruits of Israel to become impure.
How does one cancel an idol – what acts show the non-Jew’s intent to cancel and which acts are not indicative of that?
When does an idol become forbidden? From the time it was created or from the time it was worshipped? What about a utensil for idol worship? Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yishmael disagree and the amoraim bring proof texts for each of them. Several questions are asked regarding the impurity that the rabbis instituted for items of idol worship. Can the impurity on a food that was offered up to an idol and then canceled by a non-Jew be considered pure or is the law the same as the benefit which is forbidden forever even if the item is cancelled? Can items used in the temple built by Onias (Chonyo) be used in the Beit Hamikdash?