More Discussions for this daf
1. Salt and oil 2. Is Gad Avodah Zarah 3. Removing a Fishbone from One's Throat on Shabbos
4. דרכי האמורי בפוסקים 5. לשידא דבית הכסא

Michael Wilks asked:

First, congratulations on your excellent publications -

Wine and health to the mouth of our teachers! (67b)

I was most delighted by the discussion of salt and how it could be

"mosif hevel" as far as hatmono is concerned; the problem had worried me for a long time.

We recently had two more examples of the properties of salt and I wonder whether you can suggest how these might work?

1) 66b - Rubbing oil and salt in the hands and feet with a tefilloh (lachash?) as a cure for the effects of wine. What is the function of the salt?

I would have thought that the heat of the hands would have clarified the wine, but please see next question.

The ReShash says that the expression "detzil" which we normally

understand as to clear should be understood in the sense of "tzollalu

ke-ofores" in this week's sedrah which we normally translate as "sunk

like lead".??

2) 67b - A lump of salt may be placed in a lamp so that it burns

brightly. Rashi says that the salt clarifies "tzollale" the oil and

enbales it to burn better.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Michael Wilks,

Manchester, UK.

The Kollel replies:

(a) At first thought, it would seem that the salt may absorb alcohol from the blood through the pores in the hand and feet. Why specifically the hands and the feet, and why it absorbs the alcohol and not other parts of the blood, remains unanswered. Alternatively, since the palms of the hands and feet are very sensitive areas of touch, perhaps the salt serves to stimulate the person (like a shower in cold water). Alternatively, perhaps the Sages knew of some sort of reflexological pressure points that salt serves to stimulate. We welcome any suggestions that you might have.

(b) Perhaps the RASHASH means that it "sinks" into the skin (i.e. it is absorbed into the skin well).

(c) It seems that the salt absorbs deposits in the oil, thereby purifying the oil to some degree so that it burns better.