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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 109



(a) One is permitted to eat Alin (a certain herb), coriander-seeds and hops, even if one's intention is to improve one's eye-sight, since their healing powers are no more than a myth.

(b) Rav Yosef claimed that coriander-seeds were harmful, even to *his* eyes, even though he was bind.

(c) Rav Sheshes, who was also blind, claimed that Gargira was good even *for* his eyes.

(d) Matruza hops are forbidden on Shabbos, because people only took them as a cure, and not as a food, like they did other hops.

(a) Rav Chisda and Ze'iri (his Talmid) hold that, whatever can be eaten as it is, does not become forbidden because of Tikun Ochlin, when one prepares it. Consequently, since the roasted meat can be eaten as it is, it is permitted to smear it with oil and roasted egg - provided the meat is not hot enough to cook the oil and the egg.

(b) Ze'iri also permitted the straining of clear water or wine, since they are quite drinkable without being strained.

(c) They all agree, however, that one may not scramble slightly-roasted eggs on Shabbos, because it looks as if one is due to roast them.

(a) Someone who knocks his foot, is permitted to soothe it with wine, but not with oil - because wine does not heal a bruised foot, but oil does.

(b) The residents of Mechuza were particularly sensitive. Consequently, they would bruise at the slightest knock, and for a slight knock, wine is indeed effective. Consequently, *they* are forbidden to use even wine.

(c) Both wine for the B'nei Mechuza and oil for anyone - is permitted when it comes to a wound on the back of the hand or foot, because a wound there is considered life-danger.

(a) The Chidush of the Beraisa, which permits bathing in the waters of G'rar and Teverya - is that although the former is a little salty, and the latter warm and healing, and we might have thought that one only bathes in them for healing purposes, in which case it would be forbidden to bathe there - bathing in them is nevertheless permitted. Why? Because healthy people do tend to bathe in them on occasions.

(b) It is nevertheless forbidden to bathe in the sea, in Mei Mishreh (water in which flax has been soaked) or in the Salt-Sea - because only sick people tend to bathe there.

(c) The Beraisa which permits bathing in the sea on Shabbos - speaks in the murky part of the sea (and even then it is only permitted for a very short time); the Beraisa which forbids, speaks about where the water is clean.

(d) It is permitted to bathe in Mei Mishreh on Shabbos, provided he does not remain in the water for long.

(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, only the Yam ha'Gadol (meaning either the Mediterranean Sea - to the exclusion of the other oceans, or all the oceans, to exclude the enclosed seas).

(b) The two basic differences between a Mikvah and a spring are: 1. that whereas spring-water is even Kasher for Tevilas Zavin, for the Haza'ah of the bird of the Metzora (to dip in the bird and to sprinkle onto the Metzora) and to sanctify the ashes of the Parah Adumah, water from a Mikveh is not. 2. that whereas a spring is Kasher for Tevilah even whilst it is flowing, one may only Tovel in a Mikveh when it is gathered in one place and not moving.

(c) Rebbi Yossi maintains that all seas have the Din of a spring as regards being Metaher whilst they are moving. Why is that? Because that is the way of seas, to have rivers flowing into them. But with regard to being Metaher Zavin etc., they are like a Mikveh (and are ineffective), since the Torah calls refers to them as 'Mikveh'.




(a) Mei Dekalim and Kos Ikrim are forbidden on Shabbos, because they are designated for people with jaundice, and healthy people do not drink them.

(b) Kos Ikrin is a liquid into which one grinds some vegetables and spices.

(c) It is permitted to drink Mei Dekalim to quench one's thirst, and to anoint a Kos Ikrin, if one's intention is not for a cure.

(a) 'bar Hemeg' means among the reeds, which is where the Ezov grew (according to some of Rashi's Rebbes). And 'bar Hing' means among the bushes, which is where the Ezov-Yavan grew.

(b) The Mishnah in Parah describes the Ezov as three twigs, each of which grows as three stalks. That fits the description of Shamshuk, but not Maru Chivra.

(c) Kukiani means worms in the stomach.

(d) Kukiani was the result of eating barley-flour more than forty days old.

(a) Arkesa is worms in the liver.

(b) The various meats and vegetables would cause Arkesa, when eaten on an empty stomach.


  1. One would roast the juicy meat on coals, and then suck the bones and sip vinegar.
  2. Others omit the vinegar from the prescription, because it is bad for the liver.
1. If one took shavings that were scraped in an upward direction - the worms would come out of his mouth.
2. He would boil the shavings in beer at dusk (or it would be prepared in a neighbor's house, because the smell of the boiling potion would be harmful to him).
3. While taking the potion, he would block his nostrils to avoid smelling it (or his nostrils and ears, so that the effects of the potion should remain inside his body).
4. He would subsequently relieve himself by a date-palm whose branches had been broken off.
(a) Abubra'ah was taken by someone who drank liquid that was left uncovered (from which a snake may have drunk).

(b) The five roses and five cups of beer were boiled together until nothing but a Revi'is (one and a half egg-volumes) remained. Then he drank it.

(c) Rav Achdevai bar Ami's mother, after giving the man the potion consisting of one rose and one cup of beer to drink, heated up an oven, removed the coals, and seated him on a brick in the oven. The snake poison came out like a green palm branch.

(d) One would cut a cavity in the sweet Esrog and fill it with honey, place it on coals burning in the oven - and eat it.

(a) The antidote for ...
  1. ... snake-bite - was half a Lug of the forty-day-old urine.
  2. ... witchcraft - was one Lug.
(b) Rav Shimi bar Ashi appeared before the man who swallowed a snake in the form of a horse-rider (soldier), and grabbed hold of him - in order to give him a shock (which is part of the cure). He made him drink hops with salt, and then made him run in front of him for a distance of three Mil (about three Kilometers). The snake came out in pieces.

(c) They would cut open the fetus of the white donkey, and place it on the man who had been bitten by the snake. This would only be effective however, if the donkey was not a Tereifah.


1. We learn from the Pasuk "u'Poretz Geder Yishchenu Nachash" - that the punishment for transgressing a de'Rabbanan on which a Cherem has been pronounced, is to be bitten by a snake.
2. The officer who died of snake-bite, and on whose behalf all efforts to procure the fetus of a white donkey that was not a Tereifah, failed, was bitten because he had transgressed an Isur de'Rabbanan - The Rabbanan had decreed that *that* year (the year in which Rav - the spiritual leader of Bavel - died), nobody was permitted to dance with a myrtle twig and with little bells at weddings - as was the custom then - in deference to the great and revered Tzadik, Rav. But that officer ignored the decree. That is why he was bitten by a snake, and for such a snake-bite there is no cure.
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