Thursday, 27 April 2017

Bava Batra 95: Spoiled Wine

The Gemara continues to elucidate our last Mishna.  How does a person identify and deal with imperfections or injustices in their purchases?  Most of their conversation is focused upon selling/purchasing a wine cellar.

We learned in this past Mishna that ten bottles of every one hundred bottles sold should be assumed to be souring.  If one buys a wine cellar without specifications, then everything sold should be in good shape.  If one buys a particular wine cellar, however, the wine is permitted to be of lower quality. 

Later in our daf the rabbis suggest that such wine is usually sold in stores.  Perhaps this is from those whose cellars are beginning to turn, and they sell much of their wine to a storekeepers.  Stores that sell wine sell to people walking by count on their customers being less likely to care about the exact quality of their wine.  Similarly, the buyer should be able to specify whether or not the wine will be used for cooking.  If that is the case, then the wine must be good.  If the wine is not said to be used for a specific reason, then it is acceptable for 10 bottles of every 100 bottles to be sour.

The degree of spoilage of soured wine is discussed.  What if a wine smells like wine but tastes like vinegar?  

Finally, today's daf considers which blessings might be said over imperfect foods.  If a person says "Baruch Ata.... borei pri ha gafen", then they are blessing possibly bad wine.  Perhaps a person should say, "Baruch Ata... she hakol nehiyeh bidvaroh", which is a blessing said over all of G-d's creations.   This same prayer is said over mouldy bread that has become slimy and over a cooked dish that  has spoiled.

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