Mishnah: These items of the gentiles are forbidden to be eaten: Milk produced by a gentile without a Jew watching, and their bread and oil. Rabbi [Yehudah Nasia] and his court permitted the oil. Gemara: “Oil,” Rav said, “Daniel decreed against it.” Shmuel said, “The residue from their problematic containers renders the oil forbidden.” Shmuel said further, “We received a report from Rabbi Simlai that Rabbi generally prohibited the oil but permitted it under certain circumstances. If so, how could Daniel have banned it?” Rav said, “You cite Simlai of Lud, but the residents of Lud are unreliable for they are neglectful.” Shmuel said, “Shall I send for him?” Rav grew alarmed and said, “If they did not interpret carefully, should we not? It is written that Daniel decided not to defile himself by consuming the king’s bread or wine of his drinkings (Dan. 1:8)?” Rav’s opinion was that Daniel decided for himself and all Israel; Shmuel’s opinion was the Daniel decided for himself and not for all Israel.
Rabbi Yehudah Nasia was walking with Rabbi Simlai, leaning on his shoulder, and said, “Simlai, you were not present yesterday when we took a vote in the Bet Midrash permitting gentile oil.” He replied, “Would that you also permit their bread!” He said, “If we did, we’d risk a reputation for being a permissive court.” Adapted from B Avodah Zarah 35:-37.
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