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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
If he threw it away whilst yet day1 it is forbidden.
Bar Hamduri said in Samuel's name: Shreds of reeds detached from a mat may be handled on the Sabbath. What is the reason? — Said Raba, Bar Hamduri explained it to me: What is the [reed-] mat itself fit for? For covering the earth. These too are fit for covering dirt.
R. Zera said in Rab's name: Pieces of silk of aprons may not be handled on the Sabbath. Said Abaye: This refers to rags less than three [fingerbreadths] square, which are of no use to rich or poor.2
Our Rabbis taught: The fragments of an old oven3 are like all utensils which may be handled in a courtyard: this is R. Meir's view. R. Judah said: They may not be handled. R. Jose testified in the name of R. Eleazar b. Jacob concerning the fragments of an old oven that they may be handled on the Sabbath, and concerning its lid [of the oven] that it does not require a handle.4 Wherein do they differ? — Said Abaye: where they perform something in the nature of work;' but not in the nature of their own [former] work,5 R. Judah being consistent with his view, and R. Meir with his.6 Raba demurred: If so, instead of disputing about the fragments of an oven, let them dispute about the fragments of utensils in general? Rather said Raba: They dispute about the fragments of the following oven. For we learnt: If he sets it [the oven] over the mouth of a pit or a cellar and places a stone there, — R. Judah said: If one can heat it from underneath and it is [thereby] heated above, it is unclean; if not, it is clean. But the Sages maintain: Since it can in any wise be heated, it is unclean.7 And wherein do they differ? In this verse; Whether oven, or range of pots, it shall be torn down: they are unclean, shall be unclean unto you.8 R. Judah holds: Where tearing down is wanting it is unclean, whilst where tearing down is not wanting it is not unclean.9 Whereas the Rabbis hold: 'They shall be unclean unto you' [implies] in all cases.10 But the Rabbis too, surely it is written, 'it shall be torn down'? — That is [intended] in the opposite direction:11 for one might argue, Since it is attached to the ground, it is like the very ground itself;12 therefore it informs us [otherwise].13 And the other [R. Judah] too, surely 'they shall be unclean unto you' is written? — That [is explained] as Rab Judah's dictum in Samuel's name. For Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: They differ only in respect of the first firing,14 but at the second firing,15 even if it is suspended to a camel's neck.16 'Ulla observed: And as for the first firing, according to the Rabbis, even if it is suspended from a camel's neck!17 R. Ashi demurred: If so, instead of disputing about the fragments of the oven, let them dispute about the oven itself;18 [for] seeing that the oven itself, according to R. Judah, is not a utensil, need the fragments [be mentioned]? Rather said R. Ashi: In truth it is as we originally stated, and (the controversy is] where it [the fragment] can serve as a [baking] tile,19 whilst R. Meir argues on R. Judah's opinion. [Thus:] according to my view, even if they [the fragments] can perform something in the nature of [any] work;20 but even on your view, you must at least agree with me [here] that in such a case, it is its own work. But R. Judah [argues]: It is dissimilar. There it is heated from within, here it is heated from without; there it stands, here it does not stand.
'R. Jose testified in the name of R. Eleazar b. Jacob concerning the fragments of an old oven, that they may be handled on the Sabbath, and concerning its lid, that it does not require a handle.' Rabina said: In accordance with whom do we handle nowadays the oven lids of the town Mehasia21 which have no handle? In accordance with whom? R. Eleazar b. Jacob.
IF A [VINE-]BRANCH1
it is already an 'oven' from the first firing. This extended possibility of defilement is taught by the emphatic repetition, 'and it shall be unclean unto you.' IS TIED TO A PITCHER,2 ONE MAY DRAW [WATER] WITH IT ON THE SABBATH. AS FOR THE STOPPER OF A SKYLIGHT, R. ELIEZER SAID: WHEN IT IS FASTENED3 AND SUSPENDED,4 ONE MAY CLOSE [THE SKYLIGHT] WITH IT; IF NOT, ONE MAY NOT CLOSE (THE SKYLIGHT] WITH IT.5 BUT THE SAGES MAINTAIN: IN BOTH CASES WE MAY CLOSE [THE SKYLIGHT] WITH IT.
GEMARA. We learnt elsewhere: If a stone is on the mouth of a cask (e.g., of wine], one tilts it on a side and it falls off.6 Rabbah said in R. Ammi's name in R. Johanan's name: They learnt this only if one forgets (it there]; but if he places [it there],7 it [the barrel] becomes a stand for a forbidden article.8 Whereas it. Joseph said in R. Assi's name in R. Johanan's name: They learnt this only if one forgets [it there]; but if he places [it there], it (the stone] becomes a covering of the barrel.9 Rabbah said: An objection is raised against my teaching: IF A STONE [IS PLACED] IN A PUMPKIN SHELL, AND ONE CAN DRAW WATER IN IT AND IT DOES NOT FAIL OUT, ONE MAY DRAW WATER IN IT?10 But it is not [analogous]: there, since it is firmly fastened, it is made as a wall [of the vessel]. R. Joseph said: An objection is also raised against my teaching: IF NOT, ONE MAY NOT DRAW WATER IN IT?11 But it is not [analogous]: there, since he did not fasten it firmly, he really made it as nought.12
Wherein do they differ? One Master (R. Ammi] holds: An act of labour is required;13 while the other Master [R. Assi] holds: An act of labour is not required. Now, they are consistent with their views. For when R. Dimi came,14 he said in R. Hanina's name-others state, R. Zera said in R. Hanina's name: Rabbi once went to a certain place and found a course of stones,15 whereupon he said to his disciples, Go out and intend [them,]16 so that we can sit upon them to-morrow; but Rabbi did not require them [to perform] an act of labour. But R. Johanan said, Rabbi did require them [to perform] an act of labour. What did he say to them?17 — R. Ammi said: He said to them, Go out and arrange them in order.18 R. Assi said: He said to them, 'Go out and scrape them' [free of mortar, etc.].19 It was stated: R. Jose b. Saul said: It was a pile of beams;20 R. Johanan b. Saul said: It was a ship's sounding pole.21 Now he who says [that it was] a sounding pole, all the more so a pile [of beams];22 but he who says that [it was] a pile, but one is particular about a sounding pole.23
IF A VINE-BRANCH IS TIED, etc. Only if it is tied, but not otherwise? Must we say that our Mishnah does not agree with R. Simeon b. Gamaliel? For it was taught: As for the dried branches of a palm tree which one cut down for fuel, and then he changed his mind, [intending them] for sitting [thereon], he must tie them together.24 R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: He need not tie them together. — Said R. Shesheth, You may even say [that it agrees with] R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: we treat here of one [a branch] that is attached to its parent stock.25 If so, he makes use of what is attached to the soil?26 — It is below three.27 R. Ashi said: You may even say that it refers to a detached [branch]: it is a preventive measure, lest he cut (i.e., shorten] it.28
AS FOR THE STOPPER OF A SKYLIGHT, etc. Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in R. Johanan's name: All agree that we may not make for the first time a temporary building on a Festival, whilst on the Sabbath it goes without saying. They differ only in respect of adding [to a building]: R. Eleazar maintaining. We may not add on a Festival, whilst on the Sabbath it goes without saying; whereas the Sages rule: We may add on the Sabbath, whilst it is superfluous to speak of a Festival.
BUT THE SAGES MAINTAIN: IN BOTH CASES WE MAY CLOSE (THE SKYLIGHT] WITH IT. What does 'IN BOTH CASES' mean? — R. Abba said in R. Kahana's name:
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