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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim
MISHNAH. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO EAT] WHAT IS COOKED [MEBUSHAL] IS PERMITTED WHAT IS ROASTED OR SEETHED.1 IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM THAT I TASTE ANY COOKED DISH [TABSHIL]' HE IS FORBIDDEN [TO EAT] FOOD LOOSELY COOKED IN A POT, BUT IS PERMITTED [TO PARTAKE] OF WHAT IS SOLIDLY PREPARED.2 HE MAY ALSO EAT A HARD BOILED EGG3 AND REMUZIAN CUCUMBERS.4 HE WHO VOWS ABSTINENCE FROM FOOD PREPARED IN A POT, IS FORBIDDEN ONLY BOILED DISHES; BUT IF HE SAYS, 'KONAM THAT I TASTE NOT WHATEVER DESCENDS INTO A POT, HE IS FORBIDDEN EVERYTHING PREPARED IN A POT.5
GEMARA. It was taught: R. Josiah forbids [them].6 And though there is no proof of this,7 there is some indication, for it is said, And they boiled8 the Passover in fire, according to the law.9 Shall we say that they differ in this: That R. Josiah holds: Follow Biblical usage; whilst our Tanna maintains: In vows follow the popular usage? No. All agree that in vows we must follow popular usage: but each [rules] according to [the usage] in his district. In the district of our Tanna roast is called roast, and cooked, cooked. But in R. Josiah's, even roast is called cooked. But he adduces a verse? — That is a mere support.10
[IF HE SAYS,] 'KONAM THAT I TASTE NOT ANY COOKED DISH [TABSHIL]. But he vowed [abstinence] from a tabshil?11 — Said Abaye: This Tanna designates everything with which bread is eaten a tabshil.12 And it was taught [likewise], He who vows [abstinence] from a tabshil is forbidden all cooked food [tabshil], and whatsoever is roasted, seethed, or boiled; he is also forbidden soft preserves of gourds with which the sick eat their bread. But this is not so. For R. Jeremiah fell sick. When the doctor called to heal him, he saw a pumpkin lying in the house. Thereupon he left the house, saying. 'The angel of death is in that house,13 yet I am to cure him'!14 — That is no difficulty: the former refers to soft preserves; the latter to hard.15 Raba b. 'Ulla said: The latter refers to the pumpkin itself;16 the former to its inner contents.17 For Rab Judah said: The soft part of a pumpkin [should be eaten] with beet; the soft part of linseed is good with kutah.18 But this may not be told to the ignorant.19
Raba said: By 'the sick', scholars are meant.20 This agrees with another dictum of his. For Raba said:
Nedarim 49bIn accordance with whom is it that we pray for the invalid and the sick?1 In accordance with R. Jose.2 Since he said, 'the invalid and the sick,' It follows that 'invalid' is literal, and 'the sick' [metaphorically] means the Rabbis.3
BUT IS PERMITTED [TO PARTAKE] OF A DISH SOLIDLY PREPARED. Our Mishnah does not agree with the Babylonians, for R. Zera said: The Babylonians are fools, eating bread with bread.4 R. Hisda said: There is none5 to make enquiries of the epicureans6 of Huzal7 how porridge is best eaten, whether a wheat porridge with wheaten bread, and a barley porridge with barley bread, or perhaps [they are best reversed,] wheat with barley, and barley with wheat. Raba ate it with stunted [parched] grains. Rabbah son of R. Huna found R. Huna eating porridge with his fingers. So he said to him, 'Why do you eat with your hands?' He replied, Thus did Rah say, [To eat] porridge with [one] finger is well: how much more so with two or three! Rab said to his son Hiyya, and R. Huna said the same to his son Rabbah, 'If you are invited to eat porridge, [you may even go] a parasang8 for it; to eat beef, even three parasangs. Rab said to his son Hiyya, and R. Huna said likewise to his son Rabbah: You must never expectorate before your teacher, save [after eating] a pumpkin or porridge, because they are like lead pellets:9 expectorate this even in the presence of King Shapur.10
R. Jose and R. Judah, — one ate porridge with his fingers, and one with a prick.11 He who was eating with the prick said to him who was eating with the fingers, 'How long will you make me eat your filth?'12 The other replied, 'How long will you feed me with your saliva?'13
Lesbian figs14 were placed before R. Judah and R. Simeon. R. Judah ate; R. Simeon did not. [Whereupon] R. Judah asked him, 'Why are [you], Sir not eating?' He replied. 'These never pass out at all from the stomach.' But R. Judah retorted, 'All the more [reason or eating them], as they will sustain us tomorrow.'15 R. Judah was sitting before R. Tarfon, who remarked to him, 'Your face shines to-day.' He replied. 'Your servants went out to the fields yesterday and brought us beets, which we ate unsalted, had we salted them, my face would have shone even more.
A certain matron16 said to R. Judah, 'A teacher and drunkard!'17 He replied, You may well believe me that18 I taste [no wine] but that of Kiddush and Habdalah19 and the four cups of Passover,20 on account of which I have to bind my temples from Passover until Pentecost;21 but a man's wisdom maketh his face shine.22 A min23 said to R. Judah. 'Your face is like that of a moneylender or pig breeder.'24 He replied, 'Both of these are forbidden to Jews; but there are twenty-four conveniences between my house and the School, and every hour I visit one of them.'
When R. Judah went to the Beth ha-Midrash,25 he used to take a pitcher on his shoulders [to sit on], saying. 'Great is labour, for it honours the worker.'26 R. Simeon used to carry a basket upon his shoulders, saying likewise, 'Great is labour, for it honours the worker.'
R. Judah's wife went out, brought wool, and made an embroidered cloak. On going to market she used to put it on, whilst when R. Judah went [to synagogue] to pray he used to wear it. When he donned it, he uttered the benediction, Blessed be He who hath robed me with a robe.50 Now, it happened once that R. Simeon b. Gamaliel proclaimed a fast,28 but R. Judah did not attend the fast-service.29 Being informed that he had nothing to wear, he [R. Simeon b. Gamaliel] sent him a robe, which he did not accept.
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