Friday, March 16, 2018

Avoda Zara 60b: Falling into a vat

This is inyanei de-yoma, since this appears in today's daf, and since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. :)

In today's daf, we have the following:

נפל לבור ועלה: אמר רב פפא לא שנו אלא שעלה מת אבל עלה חי אסור מ"ט אמר רב פפא דדמי עליה כיום אידם: 
§ The mishna teaches that if a gentile fell into the wine collection vat and emerged, it is not prohibited to derive benefit from the wine. Rav Pappa says:The Sages taught this halakha only in a case where the gentile emerged from the vat dead. But if he emerged alive, the wine is prohibited. The Gemara asks: What is the reason that the wine is prohibited? Rav Pappa said: Sincethe gentile was rescued from death, he considers that day like their festival day, and he offers the wine as an idolatrous libation in thanksgiving.

Rashi explains Rav Pappa's reasoning as follows:

דדמי עליה כיום אידם - ואזיל ומודה על שניצל ומסתמא נסכיה בעלייתו ואסור בהנאה
That is, since he was saved, he will thank his deity, and therefore as he is pulled out of the cistern containing the wine, he will presumably libate some of the wine.

I would suggest another possibility, that since he lives, he was happy to be in the wine cistern, since he gets to enjoy the wine! And his thrashing around in there is shichshuch of someone who having a festival day.

Talking about Yom Eidem, festival days, tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. And this story is just on point:

Old man O'Malley had worked down at the brewery for years, but one day he just wasn't paying attention and he tripped on the walkway and fell over into the beer vat and drowned. The foreman thought it should be his job to inform the Widow O'Malley of her old man's death. He showed up at the front door and rang the bell. When she came to the door, he said, "I'm sorry to tell you, but your poor husband passed away at work today when he fell into the vat and drowned." She wept and covered her face with her apron and after a time, between sobs, she asked, "Tell me, did he suffer?" "Knowing Brian O'Malley as well as I did, I don't think so," said the foreman, "He got out three times to go to the men's room."


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