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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
things of which people are not sure1 unless they [first] stumble over them2 are in thy hands; [therefore] be thou our judge. In that day [yissa] shall he lift up [his voice] saying, I will not be an healer:3 'yissa' denotes nought but swearing, and thus it is said, Thou shalt not take [tissa] the name of the Lord [thy God in vain].4 I will not be a binder up [hobesh]: I will not be of those who shut themselves up [hobeshe] in the Beth Hamidrash. And in my house in neither bread nor clothing: I possess no mikra,5 mishnah, or gemara6 — How does that follow: perhaps it is different there, for had he said to them, 'I have studied them' [the reasons of the Law], they would have retorted, 'Then tell [them] to us'? — Then let him say that he had learnt and forgotten: why [state], 'I will not be a binder up' at all?7 — There is no difficulty: here it is in connection with learning;8 there in connection with worldly affairs.
MISHNAH. ONE MAY SAVE A BASKET FULL OF LOAVES, EVEN IF IT CONTAINS [SUFFICIENT FOR] A HUNDRED MEALS, AND A ROUND CAKE OF PRESSED FIGS,9 AND A BARREL OF WINE, AND HE [THE OWNER] MAY SAY TO OTHERS, 'COME AND SAVE FOR YOURSELVES'; AND IF THEY ARE WISE, THEY MAKE A RECKONING WITH HIM AFTER THE SABBATH.10 WHITHER MAY THEY BE SAVED? INTO A COURTYARD PROVIDED WITH AN 'ERUB. BEN BATHYRA SAID: EVEN INTO A COURTYARD UNPROVIDED WITH AN 'ERUB. AND THITHER HE MAY CARRY OUT ALL. THE UTENSILS [HE REQUIRES] FOR HIS USE;11 AND HE PUTS ON ALL THAT HE CAN PUT ON AND WRAPS HIMSELF IN ALL WHEREWITH HE CAN WRAP HIMSELF;12 R. JOSE SAID: [ONLY] EIGHTEEN GARMENTS.13 THEN HE MAY PUT ON [GARMENTS] AFRESH14 AND CARRY THEM OUT, AND SAY TO OTHERS, 'COME AND RESCUE WITH ME.'15
GEMARA. But he [the Tanna] teaches in the first clause,16 three meals, but no more? — Said R. Huna, There is no difficulty: here it means that he comes to save [the whole basket simultaneously]; there he comes to collect [food]: if he comes to save, he may save all;17 if he comes to collect, he may collect only for three meals. R. Abba b. Zabda said in R. Idi's name: Both are where one comes to collect, yet there is no difficulty: here it is into the same courtyard;18 there it is into another courtyard.
R. Huna the son of R. Joshua asked: What if one spreads out his garments, collects and places [therein], collects and places [therein]?19 Is it like one who comes to save,20 or like one who comes to collect? — [Come and hear]:21 Since Raba said, R. Shizbi misled R. Hisda by teaching, 'Provided that he does not procure a vessel which holds more than three meals', it follows that it is like one who comes to save,22 and it is permitted. R. Nahman b. Isaac observed to Raba: Why is it an error? — He replied: Because it is stated, 'provided that he does not bring another vessel and catch [the dripping liquid] or another vessel and join it [to the roof]': [thus] only another vessel may not [be brought], but he may save as much as he desires in the same vessel.
AND A ROUND CAKE OF PRESSED FIGS, etc. What have we to do with a reckoning? Surely they acquire it from hefker?23 — Said R. Hisda: They spoke here of pious conduct.24 Will pious men take payment for the Sabbath? objected Raba.25 Rather said Raba, We refer here to a God-fearing person, who does not wish to benefit from others, yet is unwilling to trouble for nothing,26 and this is its meaning: AND IF THEY ARE WISE, that they know that in such a case it is not payment for the Sabbath,27 THEY MAKE A RECKONING WITH HIM AFTER THE SABBATH.
WHITHER MAY THEY BE SAVED, etc. Why does he state here [SAVE] FOR YOURSELVES, whilst there he states, RESCUE WITH ME? — I will tell you: in connection with food he states. FOR YOURSELVES, because food for three meals only is fit for himself; but in connection with garments he states, RESCUE WITH ME, because they are fit for him all day.28
Our Rabbis taught: He may put on, carry out, and take off, then again put on, carry out, and take off, even all day: this is R. Meir's view. R. Jose said: [Only] eighteen garments. And these are the eighteen garments: a cloak, undertunic,29 hollow belt,30 linen [sleeveless] tunic, shirt, felt cap, apron, a pair31 of trousers, a pair of shoes, a pair of socks, a pair of breeches, the girdle round his loins, the hat on his head and the scarf round his neck.32
MISHNAH. R. SIMEON B. NANNOS SAID: ONE MAY SPREAD A GOAT SKIN33 OVER A BOX, CHEST, OR TRUNK34 WHICH HAS CAUGHT FIRE, BECAUSE HE SINGES;35 AND ONE MAY MAKE A BARRIER WITH ALL VESSELS, WHETHER FULL [OF WATER] OR EMPTY, THAT THE FIRE SHOULD NOT TRAVEL ONWARD. R. JOSE FORBIDS IN THE CASE OF NEW EARTHEN VESSELS FILLED WITH WATER, BECAUSE SINCE THEY CANNOT STAND THE HEAT, THEY WILL BURST AND EXTINGUISH THE FIRE.36
GEMARA. Rab Judah said in Rab's name: If a garment catches fire on one side, water may be poured on to it on the other, and if it is [thereby] extinguished, it is extinguished. An objection is raised: If a garment catches fire on one side, one may take it off and cover himself with it, and if it is extinguished, if it extinguished; and likewise if a Scroll of the Law catches fire, one may spread it out and read it, and if it is extinguished, it is extinguished?37
— He rules as R. Simeon b. Nannos.1 Yet perhaps R. Simeon b. Nannos said [merely], BECAUSE HE SINGES: but did he rule [thus] of indirect extinguishing?2 — Yet, since the final clause teaches, R. JOSE FORBIDS IN THE CASE OF NEW EARTHEN VESSELS FILLED WITH WATER, BECAUSE SINCE THEY CANNOT STAND THE HEAT THEY WILL BURST AND EXTINGUISH THE FIRE, it follows that the first Tanna permits it.
Our Rabbis taught: If a lamp is on a board, one may shake [tip up] the board and it [the lamp] falls off, and if it is extinguished, it is extinguished. The School of R. Jannai said: They learnt this only if one forgot [it there]; but if he placed [it there], it [the board] became a stand for a forbidden article.3 A Tanna taught: If a lamp is behind a door, one may open and close [it] naturally, and if it is extinguished4 it is extinguished. Rab cursed this [ruling]. Said Rabina to R. Aha the son of Raba — others state, R. Aha the son of Raba to R. Ashi — why did Rab curse this? Shall we say because Rab holds with R. Judah,5 whereas the Tanna teaches as R. Simeon? Because Rab holds with R. Judah, if one teaches as R. Simeon, shall he curse him! — Here, he replied, even R. Simeon agrees, for Abaye and Raba both said: R. Simeon agrees in a case of 'cut off his head and let him not die.'6
Rab Judah said: One may open a door opposite a fire on the Sabbath.7 Abaye cursed this. What are the circumstances? If there is a normal wind [blowing], what is the reason of the one who forbids?8 — If there is an abnormal wind, what is the reason of the one who permits?9 — In truth, it refers to a normal wind: one Master holds, we prohibit preventively;10 whilst the other Master holds, We do not prohibit preventively.
ONE MAY MAKE A BARRIER, etc. Shall we say that the Rabbis hold, Indirect extinguishing11 is permitted, while R. Jose holds that it is forbidden? But we know them [to maintain] the reverse. For it was taught: One may make a barrier of empty vessels and of full vessels which are not liable to burst; metal vessels. R. Jose said: The vessels of Kefar Shihin and Kefar Hananiah12 too are not likely to burst!13 And should you answer, Reverse our Mishnah while R. Jose of the Baraitha argues on the view of the Rabbis;14 [it may be asked], But can you reverse them? Surely Rabbah b. Tahlifa said in Rab's name: 'Which Tanna holds that indirect extinguishing is forbidden? R. Jose'! Hence in truth you must not reverse it, the whole of the Baraitha being [the view] of R. Jose but there is a lacuna, and it was thus taught: One may make a barrier with empty vessels and with full vessels that are not likely to burst, and these are the vessels which are not likely to burst: metal vessels, and the vessels of Kefar Shihin and Kefar Hananiah too are not likely to burst. For R. Jose maintains: The vessels of Kefar Shihin and Kefar Hananiah too are not likely to burst.
Now, the Rabbis are self-contradictory and R. Jose is selfcontradictory. For it was taught: If one has the [Divine] Name written on his skin, he must not bathe nor anoint [himself] nor stand in an unclean place. If he must perform an obligatory tebillah, he must wind a reed15 about it and descend and perform tebillah. R. Jose said: He may at all times descend and perform tebillah in the ordinary way, provided that he does not rub [it]?16 — There it is different, because Scripture saith, And ye shall destroy their name out of that place. Ye shall not do so unto the Lord your God:17 only [direct] action is forbidden, but indirect action is permitted. If so, here too it is written, thou shalt not do any work:18 only [direct] action is forbidden, but indirect action is permitted? — Since a man is excited over his property if you permit him [indirect action], he may come to extinguish it. If so, the Rabbis are self-contradictory: if there, though a man is excited over his property, it is permitted, how much more so here? — Now, is that logical:19 this reed, how is it meant? If it is wound tightly, it is an interposition;20 [while] if it is not wound tightly the water enters. ([You speak of] 'an interposition' that follows from the ink?21 — The reference is to wet [ink for it was taught: Blood, ink, honey, and milk, if dry [on the skin] constitute an interposition; if moist, they do not constitute an interposition.) Yet still there is the difficulty?22 — Rather said Raba b. Shila, This is the reason of the Rabbis: because they hold one must not stand nude in the presence of the Divine Name. Hence it follows that R. Jose holds that one may stand nude in the presence of the Divine Name?23 — He places his hand upon it. Then according to the Rabbis too, let him place his hand upon it? He may chance to forget and remove it. Then according to R. Jose too, he may forget and remove it? — Rather [reply thus]. If a reed is available that is indeed so.24 The discussion is about going to seek a reed:25 the Rabbis hold,
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