Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Zevachim 74: Rings and Barrels

The rabbis continue to describe mixtures of different substances where one is a forbidden item.  Rav Nachman quoted Rava bar Avuh in the name of Rav teaching about a signet ring of avoda zara, idol worship, that was mixed with other rings so that all were forbidden.  If one ring were to fall into the Great Sea, we would assume that the forbidden ring fell and now the others were permitted.

Reish Lakish teaches that a barrel of teruma, tithed food only allowed to kohanim, was mixed with other barrels so that none could be eaten other than a kohen, if one falls into the sea we should assume it was the barrel of teruma so that the others are allowed.

Rashi teaches that the ring was decorated with an actual idol and the mixture must be forbidden because avoid zara cannot become nullified - it is one of our most serious transgressions.  Tosafot teach that the importance of that particular ring creates the situation that keeps it from being nullified.   The Gemara teaches us that both cases were required because one situation does not predict the answer of the other.

The rabbis discuss the Mediterranean Sea versus the Dead Sea used as examples.  We learn that the Gemara often suggests that an object should be thrown into the Dead Sea because there are no fisherman who might find and use the object.  Also the rabbis may have seen the Dead Sea as something that would destroy anything that fell into it.

No comments:

Post a Comment