Avodah Zarah 32 - Hadrianic Earthenware

It is forbidden to derive benefit from Hadrianic earthenware. What is it? The Roman Emperor Hadrian (who crushed Bar Kochba's revolt) found virgin land that was never cultivated. He planted grapevines there and produced extremely strong wine. He placed this wine in new jars, and the jugs absorbed their wine. Hadrian's soldiers would break the jugs into shards and take them on their military campaigns. Wherever they arrived, they would soak the shards in water, thereby reconstituting wine, and then drink it. Said Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, "Our first quality wine is equivalent to their third soaking of these shards."

A question was asked, "Can one support the legs of a bed with these shards?" A Jew should have no connection with idol worship. Here he wants the shards, but not the wine in them. Nevertheless, the wine is absorbed there. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yochanan argue about this matter, one forbids it, and another allows.

A skin of an animal that is torn opposite the heart, and has a crust of blood on it, is prohibited, because this is evidence that the skin was pierced while the animal was still alive, for idol worship.

Art: Vincent Van Gogh - Still Life with Pottery and Two Bottles 1884