Previous Folio / Shabbath Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
— There1 drinking is rare; here it is usual.2 Alternatively, as for minhah, since it has a fixed time, one is afraid3 and will not come to transgress; but as for the evening service, since there is time for it all night, he is not afraid, and may come to transgress.
R. Shesheth demurred: Is it any trouble to remove the girdle!4 moreover, let him stand thus [ungirdled] and pray? &mdash Because it is said, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.5 Raba son of R. Huna put on stockings and prayed, quoting, 'prepare to meet etc.' Raba removed his cloak,6 clasped his hands and prayed, saying, '[I pray] like a slave before his master.' R. Ashi said: I saw R. Kahana, when there was trouble in the world, removing his cloak, clasp his hands, and pray, saying, '[I pray] like a slave before his master.' When there was peace, he would put it on, cover and enfold himself and pray, quoting, 'Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.'7
Raba saw R. Hamnuna prolonging his prayers.8 Said he, They forsake eternal life and occupy themselves with temporal life.9 But he [R. Hamnuna] held, The times for prayer and [study of the] Torah are distinct from each other. R. Jeremiah was sitting before R. Zera engaged in study; as it was growing late for the service, R. Jeremiah was making haste [to adjourn]. Thereupon R. Zera applied to him [the verse], He that turneth away from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.10
When is the beginning of a lawsuit? R. Jeremiah and R. Jonah one maintains: When the judges wrap themselves round;11 and the other says: When the litigants commence [their pleas]. And they do not differ: the latter means when they are already engaged in judging;12 the former, when they are not already engaged in judging.
R. Ammi and R. Assi were sitting and studying between the pillars;13 every now and then they knocked at the side of the door and announced: If anyone has a lawsuit, let him enter and come. R. Hisda and Rabbah son of R. Huna were sitting all day [engaged] in judgments, and their hearts grew faint,14 [whereat] R. Hiyya b. Rab of Difti15 recited to them, and the people stood about Moses from the morning into the evening;16 now, can you really think that Moses sat and judged all day? when was his learning done? But it is to teach you, Every judge who judges with complete fairness17 even for a single hour, the Writ gives him credit as though he had become a partner to the Holy One, blessed be He, in the creation.18 [For] here it is written, 'and the people stood about Moses from the morning into the evening'; whilst elsewhere it is written, and there was morning, and there was evening, one day.19
Until when must they [the judges)sit at judgment? — R. Shesheth said: Until the time of the [main] meal [of the day]. R. Hama observed, What verse [teaches this]? For it is written, Woe to thee, land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! Happy art thou, land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!20 [i.e.,] in the strength of the Torah and not in the drunkenness of wine.21
Our Rabbis taught: The first hour [of the day]22 is the mealtime for gladiators;23 the second, for robbers;24 the third, for heirs;25 the fourth, for labourers,26 the fifth, for all [other] people. But that is not so, for R. Papa said: The fourth [hour] is the mealtime for all people? — Rather the fourth hour is the mealtime for all [other] people, the fifth for [agricultural] labourers, and the sixth for scholars. After that it is like throwing a stone into a barrel.27 Abaye said: That was said only if nothing at all is eaten in the morning; but if something is eaten in the morning, there is no objection.28
R. Adda b. Ahabah said: One may recite his prayers [the Eighteen Benedictions] at the baths. An objection is raised: If one enters the baths in the place where people stand dressed,29 both reading [the shema'] and prayer [the Eighteen Benedictions] are permissible, and a greeting of 'Peace'30 goes without saying; and one may don the phylacteries there,31 and it goes without saying that he need not remove them [if already wearing them]; in the place where people stand undressed,32 a greeting of 'Peace' is not permissible there33 and reading and praying goes without saying; the phylacteries must be removed, and it goes without saying that they must not be donned!-When R. Adda b. Ahabah made his statement it referred to baths in which no one is present. But did not R. Jose b. Hanina say: The baths of which they [the Rabbis] spoke are even those in which none are present; the privy closet of which they spoke34 means even such as contains no excrement? — Rather, when R. Adda stated [his ruling] it was in reference to new [baths].35 But surely [this is just what] Rabina propounded: What if a place is designated for a privy closet; is designation recognized or not?36 and it was not solved. Now did not the same [query of his] apply to baths?37 No. Perhaps
a privy is different, because it is offensive.1
'A greeting of 'Peace' is not permissible there'. This supports the following dictum of R. Haninuna on 'Ulla's authority: A man may not extend a greeting of 'Peace' to his neighbour in the baths, because it is said, And he called it, The Lord is peace.2 If so, let it also be forbidden to mention, By faith!3 in a privy, for it is written, the faithful God?4 And should you answer, that indeed is so: but R. Hama b. Goria said in Rab's name, By faith! may be mentioned in a privy? — There the Name itself is not so designated, as we translate it, God is faithful; but here the Name itself is designated 'Peace,' as it is written, and he called it, The Lord is Peace.5
Raba b. Mehasia also said in the name of R. Hama b. Goria in Rab's name: If one makes a gift to his neighbour, he must inform him [beforehand], as it is written, that ye may know that I the Lord sanctify you:6 It was taught likewise: That ye may know that I the Lord sanctify you: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, I have a precious gift in My treasure house, called the Sabbath, and desire to give it to Israel; go and inform them. Hence R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: If one gives a loaf to a child, he must inform his mother. What shall he do to him?7 — Said Abaye, He must rub him with oil and paint8 him with kohl.9 But nowadays that we fear witchcraft what [shall be done]?10 — Said R. Papa: He must rub him with the self-same kind.11 But that is not so, for R. Hama son of R. Hanina said: If one makes a gift to his neighbour, he need not inform him, as it is said, and Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone by reason of his speaking with him?12 — There is no difficulty: the one refers to a matter which is likely to be revealed; the other, to one which is not likely to be revealed. But the Sabbath is a matter which stood to be revealed!-Its reward did not stand to be revealed.13
R. Hisda was holding two [priestly] gifts of oxen in his hand.14 Said he, 'Whoever will come and tell me a new dictum in Rab's name, I will give them to him.' Said Raba b. Mehasia to him, Thus did Rab say: If one makes a gift to his neighbour he must inform him, as it is said, 'that ye may know that I the Lord sanctify you'. Thereupon he gave them to him. Are Rab's dicta so dear to you? asked he. Yes, he replied. That illustrates what Rab said, he rejoined, A garment is precious to its wearer.15 Did Rab indeed say thus! he exclaimed; I rate the second higher than the first, and if I had another [priestly gift] I would give it to you.
Raba b. Mehasia also said in the name of R. Hama b. Goria in Rab's name: A man should never single out16 one son among his other sons, for on account of the two sela's weight of silk, which Jacob gave Joseph in excess of his other sons, his brothers became jealous of him and the matter resulted in our forefathers' descent into Egypt.17
Raba b. Mehasia also said in the name of R. Hama b. Goria in Rab's name: A man should always seek to dwell in a city but recently populated, for since it is but recently populated its sins are few, as it is said, behold now, this city is near [kerobah] to flee to, and it is a little one.18 What is meant by 'kerobah'? Shall we say that it is near and small? But surely they could see that for themselves! Rather [he meant,] because it has been recently populated19 its sins are few. R. Abin said: What verse [supports this]? Oh, let me [na] escape thither:20 the numerical value of na is fifty-one;21 whereas that of Sodom is fifty-two, whilst its peace
- To Next Folio -