C. [6a] And if you conclude that he [Zira] did not accept [the argument of Jacob], you could teach the matter as follows. Here [in the case where he ate the meat, the Samaritan slaughtered] with an Israelite standing over him [to supervise]. And there [where he did not eat the Samaritan's meat] no Israelite was standing over him. Do we not then derive that he accepted from him [the argument]? We derive it.
D. And what is the reason that the rabbis did decree [that it was forbidden]? Based on this [story concerning] R. Simeon b. Eleazar. R. Meir sent him to bring back wine from the house of some Samaritans. An old man met him and said to him, “And put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite” (Prov. 23:2). R. Simeon b. Eleazar went and told of these matters to R. Meir. And he issued a decree regarding them.
E. What is the basis [for this decree]? Said R. Nahman bar Yitzhak, “They found an image of a dove at the summit of Mt. Gerizim that they used to worship.”
F. And R. Meir is consistent in his views. For he shows concern for the minority. And he holds that we may issue a decree concerning the majority on account of the minority.
G. And Rabban Gamaliel and his court also held the view of R. Meir.
H. What is the simple interpretation of the verse [at D]? It pertains to a student sitting before his teacher. For it was taught by R. Hiyya on Tannaite authority, “When you sit down to eat with a ruler, observe carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite” (Prov. 23:1-2). If a student knows that his teacher knows how to present to him an explanation, then observe carefully [and learn from him]. But if not, “Observe carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat if you have a big appetite” and separate yourself from him.
I. R. Yitzhak b. Joseph was sent by R. Abbahu to bring back wine from the house of some Samaritans. An old man met him and said to him, “There are none here who observe the Torah.” R. Yitzhak went and told these matters to R. Abbahu. And R. Abbahu went and told these matters to R. Ammi and R. Assi. And they did not move from there until they pronounced them [in the eyes of the law to be] complete idolaters.
J. In regard to what [did they then pronounce them idolaters]? If with regard to their slaughtering [that it is unfit] and their wine [that it is considered idolatrous] libation, then from there [our cases above, according to Meir and Gamaliel] they already had issued a decree. [We must conclude that] they had issued a decree and it was not accepted. R. Ammi and R. Assi came and issued a decree and it was accepted.
K. What does complete idolaters [at I] mean? Said R. Nahman bar Yitzhak, “To nullify [a common Sabbath] domain, or to establish a domain.” As it was taught on Tannaite authority, An Israelite apostate who keeps the Sabbath in the marketplace, [his presence in a common courtyard] can nullify [a common] domain or establish a domain. And one who does not keep the Sabbath in the marketplace [his presence in a common courtyard] cannot nullify [a common] domain or establish a domain. Because they said that an Israelite's [presence in a common courtyard] can nullify [a common] domain or establish a domain, but as regards a gentile, you must rent [his property or it will not be counted as common property in the courtyard] [T. Erub. 5:18 A-D].
L. How so [is the practice for Israelites to establish a common courtyard]? One says to the other, “Let my domain be acquired by you [or] let my domain be nullified to yours,” he acquired it [through that assertion alone] and he does not have to [more formally] transfer it.
A. R. Zira and R. Assi came to Yai's inn. He served them eggs soaked in wine. R. Zira did not eat and R. Assi ate [them]. Said R. Zira to R. Assi, “Are you not concerned about [the possibility that the food may contain] mixtures of doubtfully tithed produce?” Said to him [R. Assi], “It did not enter my mind.” Said R. Zira, “Is it possible that they had issued a decree forbidding mixtures containing doubtfully tithed produce? Would it make any sense that R. Assi ate forbidden food? Now [we have a rule that] the Holy One, blessed be He, does not cause the beasts of the righteous to stumble [into a situation that is sinful]. How much more [is it logical to assume that God protects from sin] the righteous themselves.”
B. R. Zira went and checked and found that it was taught in the Mishnah on Tannaite authority, One who purchases (1) wine to put into the mwrys [a brine made from fish entrails], or (2) wine [with which] to make 'ylntyt [a mixture of wine, oil, pure water, honey and balsam], and (3) bitter vetches to make from them tynyn [meal or grist mixed with honey and spices], (4) lentils to make from them groats, is liable to tithe them as demai-produce, and obviously as certainly untithed produce. They themselves [i.e., the various mixtures] are exempt from [tithing as] demai-produce [T. Demai 1:24 A-D], because they are in a mixture.
C. And did they not issue a decree concerning mixtures with doubtfully tithed produce? But lo it was taught on Tannaite authority, If a man gives [the wife of] his neighbor dough to bake or a stew to cook, he need not be concerned about yeast or spices that [she may put] in it, neither on account of [produce of the] Seventh Year, nor of tithes. But if he said to her, “Make it for me with your own [yeast or spices],” then he needs to be concerned on account of [produce of] the Seventh year and of tithes.
D. That case is different. Since he said to her, “Make it for me with your own [yeast or spices],” it is as if he had mixed [her ingredients in] with his own hands.
E. Rafram said, “Yeast and spices [in a mixture] are different.” For they are added for taste and [whatever is added] for taste is not nullified [in a mixture].
F. And [if he did not say to her to use her own] do we not suspect that she may have replaced ingredients [and used her own]? But lo it was taught in the Mishnah on Tannaite authority, He who gives [his tithed produce] to his mother-in-law must separate tithes from what he gives to her and from what he receives from her, since she is suspected of exchanging that which is spoiled [M. Demai 3:6 A-C].
G. Here the reason [we suspect she exchanged] is taught: Said R. Judah, “She desires the well-being of her daughter and she feels shame before her son-in-law [if she returns spoiled food, so she will replace it].”
H. [6b] And in general do we not suspect [that people exchange items]? But lo it was taught in the Mishnah on Tannaite authority: He who gives [his tithed produce, flour to make dough] to the mistress of an inn [so that she may prepare it for him to eat] — [he must separate] tithes from what he gives her and from what he receives back from her, because she is suspected of exchanging [the dough with her own doubtfully tithed produce] [M. Demai 3:5 A-C].
I. That also [may be a special circumstance]. She rationalizes and says, “Better that the young student eat the warm [fresh food] and I eat the cold [stale food].”
J. And in general do we not suspect [that people exchange items]? But lo it was taught on Tannaite authority: The wife of a fellow may grind [grain into flour] with the wife of an am ha'aretz when she is unclean but not when she is clean. R. Simeon b. Eleazar says, “Even when she is unclean she should not grind [with her] because even though she does not eat, she gives to other women, and they will eat [in a state of uncleanness]” [T. Toh. 8:4]. Here we see that she will even steal [dough to give her companion]. Do we doubt that she will readily exchange [dough]?
K. Said R. Joseph, “There too she rationalizes and says that an ox must be allowed to eat while it is threshing.”
L. Testified R. Joshua b. Zeroz, the son of the father-in-law of R. Meir, before Rabbi concerning R. Meir that he ate a vegetable leaf in Bet Shean [without separating tithes]. And Rabbi permitted [people to eat without tithing produce] from the entire region of Bet Shean. His brothers and his father's family united [in protest] against his decision. The said to him, “This place that your fathers and grandfathers customarily treated as [part of Israel and to eat its produce without first tithing was thus] forbidden, will you now act as if it was permitted [to eat without tithing]?”
M. He expounded for them this verse: “And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had burned incense to it; it was called Nehushtan” (II Kings 18:4). [Rabbi explained:] Is it possible that Asa came [and ruled] and did not remove it, that Jehoshaphat came and did not remove it? Did not Asa and Jehoshaphat remove every form of idolatry in the world? [7a] But it must be that they left some room for him [Hezekiah] to distinguish himself. In my case also, they left me some room to distinguish myself [with this ruling].