Previous Folio / Baba Bathra Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Bathra
MISHNAH. HE WHO SELLS A SHIP SELLS [IMPLICITLY] ITS MAST, SAIL, ANCHOR AND ALL THE IMPLEMENTS NEEDED FOR DIRECTING IT, BUT HE DOES NOT SELL THE CREW,3 NOR THE PACKING-BAGS,4 NOR THE STORES. IF, HOWEVER, HE SAID TO HIM:5 'IT6 AND ALL THAT IT CONTAINS', THEN ALL THESE ARE INCLUDED IN THE SALE.
GEMARA. TOREN7 is the mast; for so it is written: They have taken cedars8 from Lebanon to make masts9 for thee.10 NES7 is the sail; for so it is written: Of fine linen with richly woven work from Egypt was thy sail, that it might be to thee for an ensign.11 [As to] OGEN,7 R. Hiyya taught: These are its anchors; for so it is written: Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? Would ye shut yourselves off12 for them and have no husbands?13
AND ALL THE IMPLEMENTS NEEDED FOR DIRECTING IT — R. Abba said: This refers to the oars;14 for so it is written: Of the oaks of Bashan have they made thine oars.15 And if you desire, you may infer it5 from the following text: And all that handle the oar shall come down from their ships.16
Our Rabbis taught: He who sells a ship sells [implicitly] its wooden implements17 and its [sweet water] tank. R. Nathan says: He who sells a ship sells implicitly its buzith.18 Symmachus says: He who sells a ship sells [implicitly] its dugith.19 Raba said: Buzith and dugith are the same: R. Nathan, the Babylonian, called it Buzith, as they say [in Babylon]' the Buziatha20 of Maisan';21 while Symmachus. who was a Palestinian, called it Dugith, for so it is written: And your residue [shall be taken away] in fishing boats.22
Rabbah said: Seafarers told me:23 The wave that sinks a ship appears with a white fringe of fire at its crest, and when stricken with clubs on which is engraven. 'I am that I am,24 Yah, the Lord of Hosts, Amen, Amen, Selah', it subsides,
Rabbah said: Seafarers told me: There is a distance of three hundred parasangs25 between one wave and the other, and the height of the wave is [also] three hundred parasangs. 'Once,' [they related], 'we were on a voyage, and the wave lifted us up so high that we saw the resting place of the smallest star, and there was a flash as if one shot forty arrows of iron;26 and if it had lifted us up still higher. We would have been burned by its heat. And one wave called to the other: "My friend, have you left anything in the world that you did not wash away? I will go and destroy it." The other replied: "Go and see the power of the master [by whose command] I must not pass the sand'[of the shore even as much as] the breadth of a thread"; as it is written: Fear ye not me? saith the Lord; will ye not tremble at my presence? who have placed the sand for the bound of the sea, an everlasting ordinance, which it cannot pass.27
Rabbah28 said: I saw how Hormin29 the son of Lilith30 was running on the parapet31 of the wall of Mahuza, and a rider, galloping below on horseback32 could not overtake him. Once they saddled for him two mules which stood
Baba Bathra 73b
on two bridges of the Rognag;1 and he jumped from one to the other, backward and forward,2 holding in his hands two cups of wine, pouring alternately2 from one to the other, and not a drop fell to the ground. [Furthermore]. it was [a stormy] day [such as that on which] they [that go down to the sea in ships] mounted up to the heaven; they went down to the deeps.3 When the government heard [of this] they put him to death.
Rabbah4 said: I saw an antelope. one day old, that was as big as Mount Tabor. (How big is Mount Tabor? — Four parasangs.)5 The length of its neck6 was three parasangs.and the resting place of its head7 was one parasang and a half. It cast a ball of excrement and blocked up the Jordan.
Rabbah b. Bar Hana further stated: I saw a frog the size8 of the Fort of Hagronia. (What is the size of the Fort of Hagronia? — Sixty houses.) There came a snake and swallowed the frog. Then came a raven and swallowed the snake, and perched9 on a tree. Imagine10 how strong was the tree. R. Papa b. Samuel said: Had I not been there I would not have believed it.
Rabbah b. Bar Hana further stated: Once we were travelling on board a ship and saw a fish in whose nostrils a parasite11 had entered.12 Thereupon, the water cast up the fish and threw it upon the shore. Sixty towns were destroyed thereby, sixty towns ate therefrom, and sixty towns salted [the remnants] thereof, and from one of its eyeballs three hundred kegs of oil were filled. On returning after twelve calendar months13 we saw that they were cutting rafters from its skeleton and proceeding to rebuild those towns.
Rabbah b. Bar Hana further stated: Once we were travelling on board a ship and saw a fish whose back was covered with sand out of which grew grass. Thinking it was dry land14 we went up and baked, and cooked, upon its back. When, however, its back was heated it turned, and had not the ship been nearby we should have been drowned.
Rabbah b. Bar Hana further stated: We travelled once on board a ship. and the ship sailed between one fin of the fish and the other for three days and three nights; it [swimming] upwards15 and we [floating] downwards.16 And if you think the ship did not sail fast enough, R. Dimi, when he came, stated that it covered sixty parasangs in the time it takes to warm a kettle of water. When a horseman shot an arrow [the ship] outstripped it. And R. Ashi said: That was one of the small sea monsters17 which have [only] two fins.
Rabbah b. Bar Hana further related: Once we travelled on board a ship and we saw a bird standing up to its ankles in the water while its head reached the sky. We thought the water was not deep18 and wished to go down to cool ourselves, but a Bath Kol19 called out: 'Do not go down here for a carpenter's axe was dropped [into this water] seven years ago and it has not [yet] reached the bottom. And this, not [only] because the water is deep but [also] because it is rapid. R. Ashi said: That [bird] was Ziz-Sadai20 for it is written: And Ziz-Sadai is with me.21
Rabbah b. Bar Hana further related: We were once travelling in the desert and saw geese whose feathers fell out on account of their fatness, and streams of fat flowed under them. I said to them: 'Shall we have a share of your flesh22 in the world to come?'23 One lifted up [its] wing,24 the other lifted up [its] leg.25 When I came before R. Eleazar he said unto me: Israel will be called to account for [the sufferings26 of] these [geese].
(Mnemonic: Like the sand of the purple blue scorpion stirred his basket.)27
Rabbah b. Bar Hana related: We were once travelling in a desert and there joined us an Arab merchant who, [by] taking up sand and smelling it [could] tell which was the way to one place and which was the way to another. We said unto him: 'How far are we from water?' He replied: 'Give me [some] sand.' We gave him, and he said unto us: 'Eight parasangs.' When we gave him again [later], he told us that we were three parasangs off. I changed it;28 but was unable [to nonplus] him.
He said unto me: 'Come and I will show you the Dead of the Wilderness.'29 I went [with him] and saw them; and they looked as if in a state of exhilaration.
- To Next Folio -