Wine Touched by Gentiles

Wine touched by a non-Jew would be poisoned and unfit to drink, from the contact alone. So, in the first Talmud English translation (Rodkinson) we see that the matter of using the wine after thieves had broken into a house, and who might have touched it, is taken up with the Rabbi "who allowed the wine [to be used] on the ground that the majority of thieves in that city are Jews." In a similar case that occurred in Nehardea, Samuel (a top "sage"), "too, allowed the wine." Both of these Babylonian towns of Pumbeditha and Nehardea were Talmud-Cabala centers for centuries. (See Exhibit 8)

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