EVADING SNAKES ON SHABBOS
In Pumbadisa, a [Yisrael] officer of the king was bitten by a snake; there were 13 white donkeys in the city, all were found to be Treifah. There was another at the other end of the city - by the time they brought it, he was eaten by a lion.
Abaye: Perhaps he was bitten by a 'snake' (excommunication) mid'Rabanan, for which there is no cure - "U'Foretz Gader Yishchenu Nachash".
Abaye was told that this was correct - when Rav had died, Rav Yitzchak bar Bizna decreed that [for a year] no one should bring to a wedding myrtle or date branches with bells, and this man did so - therefore, he was bitten by a snake and died from it.
If a snake wraps itself around a person, he should go near water, put a basket over his head and slowly lower it over himself; so it will separate between him and the snake. When the snake goes onto the basket, he throws the basket into the water and flees.
If a snake is angry at a person [and chasing him] - if another person is there, he should carry the pursued one for four Amos (the snake will lose track of the smell of the footsteps of its target);
If not, he should jump over a ditch of water;
If not, he should cross a river, and at night put his bed on four barrels and sleep under the stars (without a roof); he ties a cat to each leg of the bed, and surrounds the area with twigs, so the cats will hear the snake's coming and eat it.
If a snake is chasing a person, he should run through sand (snakes cannot go quickly there).
If a woman sees a snake and does not know whether or not it desires her (for relations), she should remove her garments and put them in front of it - if it wraps itself in them, this shows that it desires her; if not, not.
Question: What solution is there [if it desires her]?
Answer #1: She should have relations [with her husband] in front of it (she will become disgraced in its eyes).
Others say, just the contrary - this will make it desire her even more!
Answer #2: She should throw some of her hair and fingernails in front of it and say 'I am Nidah'.
If a snake entered [the Ervah of] a woman, she should widen her legs as much as possible, roast meat and bring cress and fragrant wine - when it smells them it will come out;
She grabs it with tongs and burns it - if not, it will return to her.
EATING AND DRINKING FOR A CURE ON SHABBOS
(Mishnah): One may eat any food [or drink any drink for a cure].
Question: What does this come to include?
Answer: This includes spleen to heal teeth and vetch for the intestines. (Even though people usually do not eat these, for spleen is bad for the intestines and vetch is bad for teeth, so it is evident that he eats for a cure, it is permitted.)
Question: What does 'any drink' come to include?
Answer: This includes caper-berry juice with vinegar.
Question (Ravina): May one drink urine on Shabbos?
Answer (Rava - Mishnah): One may drink any drink - people do not drink urine [except for a cure].
(Mishnah): Except for Mei Dekalim.
(Beraisa): Except for Mei Dekarim.
The Tana of the Beraisa calls it Mei Dekarim because it is Doker (pierces) the gallbladder; the Tana of the Mishnah calls it Mei Dekalim because it exudes between two date trees.
(Rabah bar Beruna): There are two date trees in Eretz Yisrael, a spring exudes between them;
One cup of the water loosens (the bowels), a second cup causes diarrhea, a third cup leaves the body just like it entered (the intestines are totally empty).
(Ula): I drank beer of Bavel - it worked better than Mei Dekalim.
This is only if one did not have it for 40 days.
(Rav Yosef): Zeisum ha'Mitzri [is Mei Dekarim, it pierces the sickness - it] is a third barley, a third saffron, and a third salt.
(Rav Papa): It is a third wheat, a third saffron, and a third salt.
A way to remember who said which - Sisni (a basket for dates - the letter Samech occurs twice in this word, to connect Rav YoSef with Se'orim (barley - Samech and Sin are interchangeable).
One should drink it between Pesach and Shavu'os - it loosens one who is constipated, and constipates one who has diarrhea.
(Mishnah): ...Or a cup of Ikarim.
Question: What is a cup of Ikarim?
Answer (R. Yochanan): One takes the weight of a Zuz of sap of Alexandria, and of alum, and of Oriental safflower, grates them together:
A Zavah drinks all three in wine, it will cure her without causing sterility;
For jaundice, one drinks two of them in beer, it causes sterility.
ALTERNATIVE CURES FOR A ZAVAH
An alternative cure for a Zavah is to bring three jugs (each holding three Lugim) of Persian onions and cook them in wine; she drinks it, one says to her 'Get up from your Zivah'!
Alternatively, she should sit at the crossroad and holding a cup of wine; someone goes in back of her and scares her, and says to her 'Get up from your Zivah'!
Alternatively, one takes one handful of cumin, one of saffron, one of fenugreek, cooks them in wine, gives to her to drink, and says 'Get up from your Zivah'!
Alternatively, one soaks 60 corks [of barrels of wine] in water, rubs them on her, and says 'Get up from your Zivah'!
Alternatively, one cooks fern in wine, rubs them on her, and says 'Get up from your Zivah'!
Alternatively, one burns a certain herb that grows amidst thorns, carries the ashes in a worn out linen garment in summer [or in a worn out cotton garment in winter];
If not, one digs seven pits and burns in them seven young vines of Orlah; she takes a cup of wine in her hand, and sits on one after the other, each time one says to her 'Get up from your Zivah'!
Alternatively, one anoints her from her midriff down with fine flour and says 'Get up from your Zivah'!
Alternatively, she burns an ostrich egg, and carries the ashes in a worn out linen garment in summer [or in a worn out cotton garment in winter];
Alternatively, one opens a barrel of wine for her [to drink a lot];
Alternatively, she should take barley from the dung of a white mule:
If she takes it one day, the blood will stop for two days; if she takes it two days, the blood will stop for three days; if she takes it three days, the blood will stop forever.
CURES FOR JAUNDICE
For jaundice, he drinks two [of the ingredients in a cup of Ikarim] in beer; it causes sterility.
Alternatively, he cooks a salted head of a certain fish in beer and drinks it;
Alternatively, one brings brine of grasshoppers [or of Nekiri (small birds), if grasshopper brine is unavailable] to the bathhouse, and rubs him with it;
If there is no bathhouse, he stands between the oven and the wall (he will sweat due to the heat, the sickness will leave).
(R. Yochanan): If one wants to warm the Choleh, he should wrap him in his garment (or the garment of someone else with jaundice)
Rav Acha bar Yosef had jaundice; Rav Kahana cured him using the garment.
Alternatively, he brings three jugs of Persian dates, three of wax that drips from an overflowing hive and three of red aloe, cooks them in beer, and drinks it;
Alternatively, he brings a male donkey born from a donkey, shaves the middle of its head, draws blood from its forehead and puts it on [the shaved part of] the head, being careful to avoid the eyes, lest he blind them;
Alternatively, he brings the head of a ram pickled in vinegar or brine, cooks it in beer and drinks it;
Alternatively, he brings a spotted pig, tears it, and puts it over his heart;
Alternatively, he takes leeks from the middle of the patch.
An Aravi had jaundice; he told a gardener 'Take my garment, and give me a patch of leeks'; the gardener accepted. He ate the leeks, and asked to borrow the garment to sleep in. While sleeping, the sickness left him, and the heat tore the garment into many pieces.
For jaundice, he drinks two in beer; it causes sterility.
Question: This is forbidden!
(Beraisa - R. Chanina): It is forbidden to castrate a person - we read "Uv'Artzechem Lo Sa'asu" like 'Bachem Lo Se'asu' (do not become sterile).
Answer #1: It is forbidden to intentionally castrate - here, he intends to be cured, the castration results by itself:
(R. Yochanan): To castrate a rooster, one shears its mane, it is castrated by itself:
Rejection: Rav Ashi taught, it is not really castrated - it merely mourns the loss of its glory (but one may not even cause castration)!