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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Nedarim
MISHNAH. ONE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM A HOUSE IS PERMITTED THE UPPER STOREY:1 THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW. BUT THE SAGES SAY: THE UPPER STOREY IS INCLUDED IN 'HOUSE'. HE WHO VOWS [NOT TO HAVE THE USE OF] THE UPPER STOREY IS PERMITTED [THE USE OF] THE HOUSE.
GEMARA. Which Tanna taught: [And I put a plague of leprosy] in a house [of the land of your possession]:2 this includes the side-chambers;3 'in a house', this includes the upper storey? — R. Hisda said, It is R. Meir's teaching. For if the Rabbis', why require 'in a house' to include the upper storey, since they say that an upper storey is an integral part of the house? Abaye said, it may agree even with the Rabbis, yet a verse is necessary. For you might think, [since] it is written, 'in a house of the land of your possession': that which is [directly] attached to the land4 is called 'house', but the upper storey, not being attached to the land, [is not called 'house']. With whom does the following dictum of R. Huna b. Hiyya in 'Ulla's name agree? Viz., [If one says,] I sell you a house5 within my house,' he can offer him an upper storey. Hence it is only because he says, 'I sell you a house within my house';6 but in the case of 'house' without definition he cannot offer him the upper storey. Shall we say, It agrees with R. Meir? — You may even say, It agrees with the Rabbis: by 'aliyyah, the best7 of his houses is meant.8
MISHNAH. ONE WHO VOWS [ABSTINANCE] FROM A BED IS PERMITTED DARGESH:9 THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW. BUT THE SAGES SAY: DARGESH IS INCLUDED IN 'BED'. IF HE VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM A DARGESH, HE IS ALLOWED [THE USE OF] A BED.
GEMARA. What is dargesh? — 'Ulla said: A bed reserved for the domestic genius.10 Said the Rabbis to 'Ulla: But we learnt, When he [sc. the High Priest] was given the mourner's meal,11 all the people sat on the ground, whilst he reclined on the dargesh. Now, in normal times12 he does not sit upon it, yet on that day he does! Rabina demurred to this: Let it be analogous to meat and wine, of which at other times12 he partakes or not, as he pleases, whereas on that day we give them to him?13 But this is the difficulty. for it was taught: The dargesh was not lowered14 but stood up [on its legs]. Now if you say that it is the bed of the domestic genius, has it not been taught: He who lowers his bed, lowers not merely his own bed [as mourner], but all the beds of the house? — This is no difficulty:
Nedarim 56bfor it may be similar to the trestle1 reserved for utensils. For it was taught, If there was a trestle reserved for utensils [in the house], he need not lower it. But if there is a difficulty, it is this: For it was taught: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: As for the dargesh, its thongs are untied and it automatically collapses;2 but if the dargesh is the bed of the domestic genius, has it then thongs? When Rabin came,3 he said, I consulted one of the scholars named R. Tahlifa b. Tahlifa of the West,4 who frequented the leather-workers' market, and he told me, What is dargesh.? A leather bed.5 It has been stated: What is a mittah, and what a dargesh? — R. Jeremiah said, [In] a mittah [a bedstead] the strapwork is drawn on top; a dargesh has the strapwork inside.6
An objection is raised: From when are wooden articles ready to receive uncleanliness?7 A mittah and a cradle from when they are smoothed [by being rubbed] with fish skin.8 Now if the mittah has its strapwork drawn up on top, why must it be smoothed with fish skin?9 But both [the mittah and the dargesh] have their strappings drawn inside: a mittah has its straps drawn in and on through slits [in the boards]; those of a dargesh go in and on through loops.
R. Jacob b. Aha said in Rabbi's name: A mittah whose poles10 protrude [downwards]11 is set up [on its side], and that is sufficient.12 R. Jacob b. Idi said in R. Joshua b. Levi's name: The halachah is as R. Simeon b. Gamaliel.13
MISHNAH. ONE WHO VOWS [NOT TO BENEFIT] FROM A TOWN, MAY ENTER THE TOWN TEHUM:14 BUT MAY NOT ENTER ITS OUTSKIRTS.15 BUT ONE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM A HOUSE, IS FORBIDDEN FROM THE DOOR-STOP16 AND WITHIN.
GEMARA. Whence do we know that the outskirts of a town are as the town itself? — R. Johanan said, Because it is written, and it came to pass, when Joshua was in Jericho etc.17 Now, what is meant by 'in Jericho'? Shall we say, actually in Jericho: but is it not written. Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel?18 Hence it must mean in its outskirts.19 Then say that it means even in the tehum?20 — But with respect to the tehum it is written, And ye shall measure without the city [in the east side two thousand cubits etc.].21
BUT ONE WHO VOWS [ABSTINENCE] FROM A HOUSE IS FORBIDDEN FROM THE DOOR-STOP AND WITHIN. But not from the door-stop and without.22 R. Mari objected: Then the priest shall go out of the house;23 I might think that he goes home and then has it probably of the width. To these a cross-piece was attached, the whole forming a frame over which a net or curtain was slung. shut up; therefore it is taught, to the door of the house.24 If [I had only to go by] 'to the door of the house,' I might think that he stands under the lintel and closes it; therefore, it is written, ['Then the priest shall go] out of the house', implying that he must go right out of it — How so? He must stand at the side of the lintel and close it. Yet how do we know that if he goes home and has it closed, or stands under the lintel and shuts it, that it is validly shut? From the verse, And shut up the house,25 implying no matter how it be done.26 — In the case of the [leprous] house it is different, because it is written 'out of the house', implying that he must go right out of the house.
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