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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 110



(a) If someone is held by a python - one submerges him in water, and holds a basket by the head of the python, which one then slowly lowers to its side, thereby encouraging the python to enter the basket. Then one throws the python into the water and runs.

(b) If a snake is chasing someone - it is his footsteps that it smells and follows. Consequently, carrying him in the air or crossing a river, causes the snake to lose his trail.

(c) At night-time - he should place his bed high on four barrels, to prevent the snake from reaching him easily, and should sleep in the open air, so that it cannot fall on top of him via the ceiling. Then, he ties four cats to the four corners of his bed, and scatters objects that make a noise around the bed, to ensure that the cats hear the snakes and pounce on them.

(d) The Gemara also advises someone who is being chased by a snake to run in the sand - because snakes have difficulty in moving in the sand.

(a) If a woman suspects a snake of having a crush on her - she should throw her clothes in front of it; if it curls inside them, then she knows that it does.

(b) What she should then do is to have relations with her husband in front of it, which will disgust the snake and cause it to leave her alone. Others however, argue that *that* will only increase the snake's desire for her. So what she must do is to cut some of her hair and nails, throw them at the snake and declare 'I am Temei'ah'.

(c) If a (very small) snake entered a woman's womb - one takes her and seats her on two barrels (so as to open her womb wide). One then creates a potent smell by burning the juicy meat on coals and by mixing the wine together with the cress - all between the two barrels.

(d) When the snake, attracted by the smell, emerges - one takes it with tongs, and throws it in the fire.

(a) Spleen may be good for the teeth, but it is bad for the stomach. Similarly, oats (or leek), may be good for the stomach, but it is bad for the teeth. Consequently, had our Mishnah not taught us otherwise, we would have thought that people will not eat spleen and oats, unless they need it as a cure.

(b) 'All drinks are permitted' comes to include a liquid made from the caper-bush - which apparently, was commonly used as a cure.

(c) No! it is forbidden to take urine as a cure on Shabbos, since this is not something which one normally drinks.

(a) Mei Dekalim is a spring of water that flowed between two date-palms - somewhere in Eretz Yisrael.

(b) One cup of this water loosened the bowels, two cups, caused diarrhea, three, caused the water to emerge just as liquid as it went in - it cleanses out the stomach.

(c) Mei Dekarim means 'water that pierces', because it pierced the gall.

(d) Ula claimed that Babylonian beer was even better than Mei Dekalim for emptying the stomach ... provided one had not drunk it for forty days.

(a) 'Sisni', with its double Samesh - reminds us that it was Rav YoSef who included barley (*S*e'orim) as one of the ingredients of Zeisum ha'Mitzri, and not Rav Papa.

(b) One would drink this beer - between Pesach and Shevu'os. It would help someone who was constipated to loosen his bowels,. and it would close the bowels of someone who had diarrhea.

(c) The Zavah, who drunk three cups of the potion with wine, did not become sterile, whereas the jaundice patient, who drank two cups with beer, *did*.

(d) In all the quoted cases, one would say to the woman 'Kum mi'Zovech'! ('Take leave of your Zivus').




(a) 'be'Shachki de'Kisna be'Kaita, u've'Shachki de'Amar Gufna be'Sisva' - means worn out cotton clothes in the summer, and worn out woolen clothes in the winter.

(b) After burning the young vines, they would place a cup of wine in the Zavah's hand, and sit her on each of seven pits that they had dug for this purpose; and by each one they would say 'Kum mi'Zovech'!

(c) They took the flour and smeared the lower half of the Zavah's body with it.

1. 'Liftach Lah Chavita de'Chamra li'Shemah' - literally means that they should open a fresh barrel of beer especially for the Zavah, meaning that they should make her drink a lot of wine.
2. 'Linkot Sa'ara de'Mishtakcha be'Fuma de'Kudna Chivra' - means that they should take a barley that is found inside the mouth of a white mule.
(b) If the Zavah holds it for one day, she will be cured of her Zivus for two, if she holds it for two days, she will be cured for three, whereas if she holds it for three days, she will be completely cured.
(a) 'Reisha de'Shivuta de'Milcha' - means the head of a salted Shivuta fish, which the jaundice patient would then boil in beer, and drink.

(b) One would take the locust- juice or that of Nekiri to the bath-house - in order to keep the patient warm, and smear it on him.

(c) If no bath was available, then one would do this between the oven and the wall.

(d) One keeps a person with jaundice warm - by cleaning him with his sheet (which is very hot from his fever).

(a) One takes the three vessels containing nine Lugin of Persian dates and three of bees-wax that overflowed from the honey-comb, and three of red Ohala - boils them together, and gives the patient the potion to drink.

(b) One would ...

1. ... shave the young donkey's head in the middle, let blood from its forehead and rub it on the shaven patch - taking care not to let any of the blood get into the donkey's eyes, as this would result in blindness.
2. ... boil the pickled ram's head in beer, and feed it to the patient.
3. ... tear open the spotted pig, and place it on the patient's heart.
4. ... take the leek from the middle row, and feed it to the patient.
(a) The Gemara initially thinks that sterilizing is only forbidden if one did so intentionally, but not he did it for different motives - like in our case, when one's intention, is not to sterilize, but to cure the jaundice.

(b) Removing a rooster's comb - does not really cause sterilization at all, asks the Gemara. What happens is that the rooster, in its vanity, refuses to reproduce (i.e. it is a mental condition, not a physical one).

(c) We cannot establish our Mishnah ...

1. ... by a man who is a Saris and cannot have children anyway - since it nevertheless remains Asur to practice the second stage of sterilizing (which we learn from the Torah's need to write 'Nasuk' after 'Karus' - even though it should be Asur anyway, from a Kal va'Chomer. The Torah therefore inserted it, to teach us the prohibition of Nosek after Kores).
2. ... by a man who is anyway too old to have children, because there is no such thing. A man of any age who takes the necessary potions can still have children.
(d) The Gemara finally establishes our Mishnah (which permits a jaundice patient to take a Kos Ikrin, despite the fact that it will make him sterile) ...
1. ... by a woman, who is not obligated to have children - according to the Chachamim - and is therefore permitted to become sterilized.
2. ... and by an old woman or one who is already sterile (and on whom everyone agrees there is no intrinsic prohibition to be sterilized) - according to Rebbi Yochanan ben Berokah, in whose opinion a woman is obligated to have children.
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