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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
fungus from the handle of a pitcher is liable on account of uprooting something from the place of its growth. R. Oshaia objected: If one detaches [aught] from a perforated pot, he is culpable; if it is unperforated, he is exempt? — There, that is not its [normal place for] growing; but here this is its [normal place for] growing.1
AN ANIMAL OR A BIRD, etc. R. Huna said: Tefillin may be written upon the skin of a clean bird. R. Joseph demurred: What does he inform us? That it has a skin!2 [But] we have [already] learnt it: HE WHO WOUNDS IT IS CULPABLE?3 Said Abaye to him, He informs us much. For if we [deduced] from our Mishnah, I might object, Since it is perforated all over,4 it may not [be thus used]; hence he informs us as they say in the West [Palestine]: Any hole over which the ink can pass is not a hole.
R. Zera objected: [And he shall rend it] by the wings thereof:5 this is to teach that the skin is fit.6 Now if you think that it is [a separate] skin, how can Scripture include it?7 — Said Abaye to him, it is [indeed a separate] skin, but the Divine Law includes it.8 Others state, R. Zera said: We too learnt thus: 'By the wings thereof'; — this is to include the skin. Now, if you say that it is [a separate] skin, it is well: hence a verse is required for including it. But if you say that it is not skin, why is a verse required for including it? Said Abaye to him, in truth I may tell you that it is not [a separate] skin, yet it is necessary. I might argue, Since it is covered with splits [holes], it is repulsive. [Hence] we are informed [otherwise].
Mar son of Rabina asked R. Nahman b. Isaac: May tefillin be written upon the skin of a clean fish? If Elijah will come and declare, he replied. What does 'if Elijah will come and declare' mean. Shall we say, whether it has a [separate] skin or not, — but we see that it has a skin? Moreover we learnt: The bones of a fish and its skin afford protection in the tent wherein is a corpse!9 Rather [he meant]: If Elijah comes and tells [us] whether its foul smell10 evaporates or not.
Samuel and Karna were sitting by the bank of the Nehar Malka,11 and saw the water rising and becoming discoloured. Said Samuel to Karna, A great man is arriving from the West who suffers from stomach trouble, and the water is rising to give him a welcome, Go and smell his bottle!12 So he went and met Rab. He asked him, How do we know that tefillin maybe written only on the skin of a clean [edible] animal? Because it is written, that the Law of the Lord may be in thy mouth,13 [meaning] of that which is permitted in thy mouth, he replied. How do we know that blood is red? he asked.14 — Because it is said, and the Moabites saw the water over against them as red as blood.15 How do we know that circumcision [must be performed] in that [particular] place? — 'His 'orlah'16 is stated here, and 'its 'orlah'17 is stated elsewhere: just as there something that produces fruit [is meant], so here too something [the limb] that produces fruit [is meant]. Perhaps it means the heart, for it is written, Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart?18 Perhaps it means the ear, for it is written, behold, their ear is uncircumcised?19 — We learn the complete [word] 'orlatho from the complete [word] 'orlatho, but we do not learn the complete 'orlatho from 'orlath, which is incomplete.20 'What is your name?' he asked. Karna. 'May it be [His] will that a horn [karna] shall sprout out from between his eyes!' he retorted.21 Subsequently Samuel took him into his house, gave him barley bread and a fish pie to eat, and strong liquor to drink,22 but did not show him the privy, that he might be eased.23 Rab cursed, saying, He who causes me pain, may no sons arise from him — And thus it was.
This is a controversy of Tannaim. How do we know that circumcision [must be performed] in that place? 'Orlatho is stated here, and 'orlatho is stated elsewhere: just as there something that produces fruit [is meant], so here too something that produces fruit [is meant]: that is R. Josiah's view. R. Nathan said: It is unnecessary: surely it is said, And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin: — [that indicates] the place where the male sex is differentiated from the female sex.
Our Rabbis taught: Tefillin can be written upon the skin of clean animals and upon the skin of clean beasts, and24 upon the skin of their nebeloth or terefoth,25 and they are tied round with their hair,26 and sewn with their tendons. And it is a halachah from Moses at Sinai27 that tefillin are tied round with their hair and sewn with their tendons. But we may not write [them] upon the skin of unclean animals or upon the skin of unclean beasts, and the skin of their nebeloth and terefoth need not be stated;28 nor may they be tied round with their hair or sewn with their tendons. And this question a certain Boethusian29 asked R. Joshua the grits dealer: How do we know that tefillin may not be written upon the skin of an unclean animal? Because it is written, 'that the law of thy Lord may be in thy mouth' [implying] of that which is permitted in thy mouth. If so, they should not be written on the skin of nebeloth and terefoth.? Said he to him, I will give you a comparison. What does this resemble? Two men who were condemned to death by the State, one being executed by the king and the other by the executioner. Who stands higher? Surely he who was slain by the king!30 If so, let them be eaten? The Torah saith, Ye shall not eat any nebelah,31 he retorted, yet you say, let them be eaten! Well spoken!32 admitted he.
MISHNAH. ONE MAY NOT PREPARE [PICKLING] BRINE ON THE SABBATH,33
BUT ONE MAY PREPARE SALT WATER AND DIP HIS BREAD INTO IT OR PUT IT INTO A STEW. SAID R. JOSE, BUT THAT IS BRINE, WHETHER [ONE PREPARES] MUCH OR LITTLE?1 RATHER THIS IS THE SALT WATER THAT IS PERMITTED: OIL IS FIRST PUT INTO THE WATER2 OR INTO THE SALT.3
GEMARA. What does he [the first Tanna] mean?4 Said Rab Judah in Samuel's name, He means this: One may not prepare a large quantity of salt water, but one may prepare a small quantity of salt water.
SAID R. JOSE, BUT THAT IS BRINE, WHETHER [ONE PREPARES] MUCH OR LITTLE? The scholars asked: Does R. Jose [mean] to forbid [both] or to permit [both]? — Said Rab Judah: He [means] to permit [both], since it is not stated, R. Jose forbids. Said Rabbah to him: But since the final clause states, RATHER THIS IS THE SALT WATER THAT IS PERMITTED, it follows that R. Jose [means] to forbid [in the first clause]! Rather said Rabbah: He [means] to forbid; and thus did R. Johanan say: He [means] to forbid. It was taught likewise: One may not prepare a large quantity of salt water for putting into preserved vegetables in a mutilated vessel;5 but one may prepare a little salt water and eat his bread therewith or put it into a stew. Said R. Jose: Is it just because this is in large quantity and this is in small, that the one is forbidden and the other is permitted? then it will be said, Much work is forbidden but a little work is permitted! Rather both are forbidden, and this is the salt water that is permitted: one puts oil and salt [mixed into water] or oil and water [over salt], but provided that water and salt are not mixed at the outset.
[Mnemonic: Strong radish and citron.]6 R. Judah b. Habiba recited: We may not prepare strong salt water. What is strong salt water? — Rabbah and R. Joseph b. Abba both say: Such that an egg floats in it. And how much is that? — Said Abaye: Two parts of salt and one part of water. For what is it made? Said R. Abbahu: For muries.7
R. Judah b. Habiba recited: One may not salt a radish or an egg on the Sabbath.8 R. Hezekiah said in Abaye's name: Radish is forbidden, but an egg is permitted. R. Nahman said: Originally I used to salt radish, arguing, I do indeed spoil it, for Samuel said, Sharp radish is [more] beneficial. But when I heard what 'Ulla said when he came,9 viz., In the West [Palestine] they salt them slice by slice,10 I no longer salt them,11 but I certainly do drop them [in salt].12
When R. Dimi came,15 he said: No man ever sank in the Lake of Sodom.16 R. Joseph observed: Sodom was overturned and the statement about it is topsy-turvy:17 No man sank [in it], but a plank did?18 Said Abaye to him, He states the more surprising thing.19 It is unnecessary [to mention] a plank, seeing that it does not sink in any water; but not even a man, who sinks in all [other] waters of the world, [ever] sank in the Lake of Sodom. What difference does that make? — Even as it once happened that Rabin was walking behind R. Jeremiah by the bank of the Lake of Sodom, [and] he asked him, May one wash with this water on the Sabbath?20 — It is well, he replied.21 Is it permissible to shut and open [one's eyes]?22 I have not heard this, he answered, [but] I have heard something similar; for R. Zera said, at times in R. Mattenah's name, at others in Mar 'Ukba's name, and both [R. Mattenah and Mar 'Ukba] said it in the names of Samuel's father and Levi: one said: [To put] wine into one's eye23 is forbidden; [to put it] on the eye, is permitted.24 Whilst the other said: [To put] tasteless saliva,25 even on the eye, is forbidden. It may be proved that it was Samuel's father who ruled, '[To put] wine into one's eye is forbidden; on the eye, is permitted': for Samuel said: One may soak bread in wine and place it on his eye on the Sabbath. Now, from whom, did he hear this, surely he heard it from his father? — But then on your reasoning, when Samuel said: [To apply] tasteless saliva even on the eye is forbidden; from whom did he hear it? Shall we say that he heard it from his father, — then Levi did not state any one [of these laws]! Hence he [must have] heard one from his father and one from Levi, but we do not know which from his father and which from Levi.
Mar 'Ukba said in Samuel's name: One may steep collyrium [an eye salve] on the eve of the Sabbath and place it upon his eyes on the Sabbath without fear.26 Bar Lewai was standing before Mar 'Ukba, and saw him opening and shutting [his eyes].27 To this extent Mar Samuel certainly did not give permission, he observed to him.28 R. Jannai sent [word] to Mar 'Ukba, Send us some of Mar Samuel's eye-salves.29 He sent back [word], I do indeed send [them] to you, lest you accuse me of meanness; but thus did Samuel say: A drop of cold water in the morning, and bathing the hands and feet in hot water in the evening, is better than all the eye-salves in the world. It was taught likewise: R. Muna said in R. Judah's name: A drop of cold water in the morning and bathing the hands and feet [in hot water]30 in the evening is better than all the eye-salves in the world. He [R. Muna] used to say: If the hand [be put] to the eye, let it be cut off;31 the hand to the nose, let it be cut off: the hand to the mouth, let it be cut off; the hand to the ear, let it be cut off; the hand to the vein [opened for blood letting], let it be cut off; the hand to the membrum, let it be cut off; the hand to the anus, let it be cut off; the hand
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