Previous Folio / Shabbath Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
that this is not its place. Rabbi said: It is not on that account,1 but because it ranks as a separate Book. With whom does the following dictum of R. Samuel b. Nahmani in R. Jonathan's name agree: She [Wisdom] hath hewn out her seven pillars:2 this refers to the seven Books of the Law? With whom? With Rabbi.3 Who is the Tanna that disagrees with Rabbi? It is R. Simeon b. Gamaliel. For it was taught, R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: This section is destined to be removed from here and written in its [right place].4 And why is it written here? In order to provide a break between the first [account of] punishment and the second [account of] punishment.5 What is the second [account of] punishment? — And the people were as murmurers, [etc.].6 The first [account of] punishment? — And they 'moved away from the mount of the Lord,7 which R. Hama b. R. Hanina expounded [as meaning] that they turned away from following the Lord. And where is its [rightful] place? — In [the chapter on] the banners.8
The scholars asked: The blank spaces of a Scroll of the Law, may we rescue them from fire or not? — Come and hear: If a Scroll of the Law is decayed, if eighty-five letters can be gathered therein, such as the section 'and it came to pass when the ark set forward,' we must save it; if not, we may not save it. But why so? conclude [that it may be saved] on account of its blank space?9 That which is decayed is different.10 Come and hear: If a Scroll of the Law is effaced, if eighty-five letters can be gathered therein, such as the section, 'and it came to pass when the ark set forward,' we must save it; if not, we may not save it. But why so: conclude [that we must save it] on account of its blank space?11 — As for the place of the writing, I have no doubt, for when it was sanctified it was on account of the writing, [and] when its writing goes its sanctity goes (too]. My problem is only in respect of [the blank spaces] above and below, between the sections, between the columns, [and] at the beginning and the end of the Scroll. Yet conclude [that it must be saved] on that account?12 — It may mean [there] that one had cut off [the blank spaces] and thrown them away.
Come and hear: The blank spaces above and below, between the sections, between the columns, at the beginning and at the end of the Scroll, defile one's hands.13 — It may be that [when they are] together with the Scroll of the Law they are different.14 Come and hear: The blank spaces15 and the Books of the Minim16 may not be saved from a fire, but they must be burnt in their place, they and the Divine Names occurring in them. Now surely it means the blank portions of a Scroll of the Law? No: the blank spaces in the Books of Minim. Seeing that we may not save the Books of Minim themselves, need their blank spaces be stated? — This is its meaning: And the Books of Minim are like blank spaces.
It was stated in the text: The blank spaces and the Books of the Minim, we may not save them from a fire. R. Jose said: On weekdays one must cut out the Divine Names which they contain, hide them,17 and burn the rest. R. Tarfon said: May I bury my son if I would not burn them together with their Divine Names if they came to my hand. For even if one pursued me18 to slay me, or a snake pursued me to bite me, I would enter a heathen Temple [for refuge], but not the houses of these [people], for the latter know (of God] yet deny [Him], whereas the former are ignorant and deny [Him], and of them the Writ saith, and behind the doors and the posts hast thou set up thy memorial.19 R. Ishmael said: [One can reason] a minori: If in order to make peace between man and wife the Torah decreed, Let my Name, written in sanctity, be blotted out in water,20 these, who stir up jealousy, enmity, and wrath between Israel and their Father in Heaven, how much more so;21 and of them David said, Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? And am I not grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate then with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.22 And just as we may not rescue them from a fire, so may we not rescue them from a collapse [of debris] or from water or from anything that may destroy them.
R. Joseph b. Hanin asked R. Abbahu: As for the Books of Be Abedan,23 may we save them from a fire or not? — Yes and No, and he was uncertain about the matter.24 Rab would not enter a Be Abedan, and certainly not a Be Nizrefe;25 Samuel would not enter a Be Nizrefe, yet he would enter a Be Abedan. Raba was asked: Why did you not attend at the Be Abedan? A certain palm-tree stands in the way, replied he, and it is difficult for me [to pass it].26 Then we will remove it? — Its spot will present difficulties to me.27 Mar b. Joseph said: I am one of them28 and do not fear them. On one occasion he went there, [and] they wanted to harm him.29
Imma Shalom, R. Eliezer's wife, was R. Gamaliel's sister. Now, a certain philosopher30 lived in his vicinity,
and he bore a reputation that he did not accept bribes.1 They wished to expose him,2 so she brought him a golden lamp, went before him, [and] said to him, 'I desire that a share be given me in my [deceased] father's estate.' 'Divide,' ordered he. Said he [R. Gamaliel] to him, 'It is decreed for us, Where there is a son, a daughter does not inherit.' [He replied], 'Since the day that you were exiled from your land the Law of Moses has been superseded3 and another book4 given, wherein it is written, 'A son and a daughter inherit equally.'5 The next day, he [R. Gamaliel] brought him a Lybian ass. Said he to them, 'Look6 at the end of the book, wherein it is written, I came not to destroy the Law of Moses nor7 to add to the Law of Moses,8 and it is written therein, A daughter does not inherit where there is a son. Said she to him, 'Let thy light shine forth like a lamp.'9 Said R. Gamaliel to him, 'An ass came and knocked the lamp over!'10
AND WHY DO WE NOT READ [THEM], etc. Rab said: They learnt this only for the time of the Beth Hamidrash, but we may read [them] when it is not the time of the Beth Hamidrash. But Samuel said: We may not read them [on the Sabbath] even when it is not the time of the Beth Hamidrash. But that is not so, for Nehardea was Samuel's town, and in Nehardea they closed the prescribed lesson [of the Pentateuch] with [a reading from] the Hagiographa at minhah on the Sabbath?11 Rather if stated it was thus stated: Rab said, They learnt this only in the place of the Beth Hamidrash; but we may read [them] elsewhere than in the Beth Hamidrash. While Samuel said: Whether in the place of the Beth Hamidrash or elsewhere, at the time of the Beth Hamidrash12 we may not read [them]; when it is not the time of the Beth Hamidrash we may read them. And Samuel is consistent with his view, for in Nehardea they closed the prescribed lesson [of the Pentateuch] with13 [a reading from] the Hagiographa. R. Ashi said, In truth, it is as we first stated, Samuel [ruling] according to R. Nehemiah.14 For it was taught: Though they [the Sages] said, Holy writings may not be read, yet they may be studied, and lectures thereon may be given. If one needs a verse, he may bring [a Scroll] and see [it] therein. R. Nehemiah said: Why did they rule, Holy Writings may not be read? So that people may say, If Holy Writings may not be read, how much more so secular documents!15
MISHNAH. ONE MAY SAVE THE SHEATH OF A SCROLL TOGETHER WITH THE SCROLL, AND THE CONTAINER OF TEFILLIN16 TOGETHER WITH THE TEFILLIN, EVEN IF IT [ALSO] CONTAINS MONEY. AND WHITHER MAY WE RESCUE THEM? INTO A CLOSED ALLEY; BEN BATHYRA RULED: EVEN INTO AN OPEN ONE.17
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: If the fourteenth [of Nisan] falls on the Sabbath, the Passover sacrifice is flayed as far as the breast:18 this is the view of R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Berokah. But the Sages maintain: We flay the whole of it. As for R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Berokah, it is well, [the reason being] that the requirements for the Sanctuary19 have been fulfilled;20 but what is the reason of the Rabbis? — Said Rabbah b. Bar Hanah in R. Johanan's name: Because Scripture saith, The Lord hath made every thing for his own purpose.21 But what is there here 'for his own purpose?' R. Joseph said: So that it should not putrefy.22 Raba said: So that Divine sacrifices should not lie like a nebelah. Wherein do they differ? — They differ where it is lying on a gold table,23 or if it is a day of the north wind.24 Now R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Berokah, how does he dispose of this [verse], 'The Lord hath made every thing for his own purpose'? — [That teaches] that one must not draw out the emurim25 before the stripping of the skin.26 What is the reason? — Said R. Huna son of R. Nathan: On account of the threads.27
R. Hisda observed in Mar 'Ukba's name: What did his companions answer to R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Berokah? They argued thus with him: If the sheath of a Scroll may be rescued together with the Scroll, shall we then not flay the Passover sacrifice of its skin?28 How compare! There it is [mere] handling, whereas here it is work.29 — Said R. Ashi, They differ in two things, viz., in respect of both handling and labour, and they argue thus with him: If the sheath of a Scroll may be saved together with the Scroll, shall we not handle the skin on account of the flesh.30
- To Next Folio -