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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
It was taught. R. Jose b. Elisha said: If you see a generation overwhelmed by many troubles, go forth and examine the judges of Israel, for all retribution that comes to the world comes only on account of the Judges of Israel, as it is said, Hear this, I pray you ye heads of the house of Jacob, and rulers of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money; yet will they lean upon the Lord, etc.3 They are wicked, but they place their confidence in Him Who decreed, and the world came into existence.4 Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, will bring three punishments upon them answering to the three sins which they cultivate,5 as it is said, Therefore shall Zion for your sake be ploughed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.6 And the Holy One, blessed be He, will not cause His Divine presence to rest upon Israel until the wicked judges and officers cease out of Israel, for it is said, And I will turn my hand upon thee, and thoroughly purge away thy dross, and will take away all thy tin. And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning, etc.7
R. Papa said: When the haughty cease to exist [in Israel], the magi10 shall cease [among the Persians]. When the judges cease to exist [in Israel], the chiliarchi11 shall cease. 'When the haughty cease to exist [in Israel], the magi shall cease [among the Persians]'; as it is written, And I will surely purge away thy haughty ones.12 When the judges cease to exist [in Israel], the chiliarchi shall cease, as it is written, The Lord hath taken away thy judgements, he hath cast out thine enemy.13
R. Melai14 said in the name of R. Eleazar son of R. Simeon: What is meant by the verse, The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked, the sceptre of the rulers?15 'The Lord hath broken the staff of the wicked' refers to the judges who become a staff for their sheriffs;16 'the sceptre of the rulers' refers to the scholars in the families of the judges.17 Mar Zutra said: This refers to the scholars who teach the laws of the public18 to ignorant judges.19
R. Eleazar b. Melai said in the name of Resh Lakish: What is meant by the verse, For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue muttereth wickedness?20 'For your hands are defiled with blood': this refers to the judges: 'and your fingers with iniquity', to the judges' scribes;21 'your lips have spoken lies' to the advocates of the judges;22 'your tongue muttereth wickedness' — to the litigants.
R. Melai also said in the name of R. Isaac of Magdala: From the day that Joseph departed from his brothers he did not taste wine, for it is written, [The blessings of thy father...shall be on the head of Joseph]. And on the crown of the head of him who was a nazirite [since his departure] from his brethren.23 R. Jose b. R. Hanina said: They too did not taste wine, for it is written, And they drank, and drank largely with him:24 which implies [that they did] not [drink] until then. And the other?25 — There was no extensive drinking,26 yet there was [moderate] drinking.27
R. Melai also said: As a reward for, and when he seeth thee, he shall be glad in his heart,28 he was privileged to wear the breastplate of judgment upon his heart.
The citizens of Bashkar29 sent [a question] to Levi: What about [setting up] a canopy [on the Sabbath]; what about cuscuta in a vineyard?30 what about a dead man on a Festival?31 By the time he [the messenger] arrived [at Levi's home] Levi had died. Said Samuel to R. Menashia, If you are wise, send them [an answer]. [So] he sent [word] to them: 'As for a canopy, we have examined it from all aspects and do not find any aspect by which it can be permitted'. But let him send them [a permissive ruling] in accordance with Rami b. Ezekiel?32 [He did not do this] because they were not learned in the law.33 'Cuscuta in a vineyard is a [forbidden] mixture'. But let him send them [a reply] in accordance with R. Tarfon. For it was taught: As for cuscuta, R. Tarfon maintains: It is not kil'ayim34 in a vineyard; while the Sages rule: It is kil'ayim in a vineyard. And it is an established principle: The view of him, who is lenient in respect to Palestine,35 is halachah without Palestine? — [Likewise] because they were not learnt in the law. Rab announced: He who wishes to sow cuscuta in a vineyard, let him sow.36 R. Amram the pious would ban [a person] for this. R. Mesharsheya would give a perutah37 to a Gentile child to sow it for him.38 Then let him give it to an Israelite child? — He would come to adhere [to this practice when he grew up]. Then let him give it to an adult Gentile? … He might come to substitute an Israelite for him.
As for a corpse. he sent [word to them]: Neither Jews nor Syrians [non-Jews] may occupy themselves with a corpse, neither on the first day of a Festival nor on the second.39 But that is not so? For R. Judah b. Shilath said in R. Assi's name: Such a case happened in the synagogue of Ma'on40 on a Festival near the Sabbath,
though I do not know whether it preceded or followed it,1 and when they went before R. Johanan, he said to them: Let Gentiles occupy themselves with him [the dead]. Raba too said: As for a corpse,2 on the first day of Festivals Gentiles should occupy themselves with him; on the second day of Festivals Israelites may occupy themselves with him, and even on the second day of New Year, which is not so in the case of an egg?3 [Here too] because they were not learned in the law.
R. Abin b. R. Huna said in R. Hama b. Guria's name: A man may wrap himself in a canopy sheet and [tie it] with its cords to go out into the street on the Sabbath without fear.4 How does this differ from R. Huna's [dictum]. for R. Huna said in Rab's name: If one goes out on the Sabbath wearing a garment not provided with [proper] fringes as required by law, he is liable to a sin-offering?5 — Fringes are important in relation to the cloak, hence they are not merged [therein]; these are not of [separate] importance, and [so] are accounted as nought.
Rabbah6 son of R. Huna said: A man may employ an artifice in connection with a strainer on a festival, suspending it for pomegranates yet straining lees therein.7 Said R. Ashi: Provided he does place pomegranates in it.8 How does it differ from what was taught: One may brew beer on the [intermediate days of a] Festival9 when it is required for the Festival, but if not required for the Festival it is forbidden: [this applies to] both barley beer and date beer. Though one has old [beer]. he may practise an evasion10 and drink of the new? — There the matter is not evident;11 here the matter is evident.12
The scholars said to R. Ashi: See, sir, a Rabbinical disciple. whose name is R. Huna b. Hiwan — others State, R. Huna b. Hilwon — who took peel of garlic,13 placed it in the bung hole of a barrel, and asserted, 'My intention is to put it away [here].'14 He also went and dozed in a ferry and thus crossed to the other side and looked after his fruit, asserting, 'My intention was to sleep.' Said he to them, You speak of an artifice: it is an artifice [in connection with] a Rabbinical [interdict].15 and a disciple of the Rabbis will not come to do this at the very outset.16
MISHNAH. WATER MAY BE POURED OVER LEES IN ORDER TO CLARIFY THEM, AND WINE MAY BE STRAINED THROUGH CLOTHS AND THROUGH A BASKET MADE OF PALM TWIGS; AND AN EGG MAY BE PASSED THROUGH A MUSTARD STRAINER;17 AND ENOMLIN18 MAY BE PREPARED ON THE SABBATH. R. JUDAH SAID: ON THE SABBATH [IT MAY ONLY BE MADE] IN A GOBLET; ON FESTIVALS, IN A LAGIN;19 AND ON THE INTERMEDIATE DAYS OF FESTIVALS IN A BARREL. R. ZADOK SAID: IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE [NUMBER OF] GUESTS.
GEMARA. Ze'iri said: One may pour clear wine and clear water into a strainer on the Sabbath without fear,20 but not turbid [liquids]. An objection is raised: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: One may stir up a barrel of wine, [i.e..] the wine and the lees, and pour it into a strainer on the Sabbath without fear!21 — Ze'iri explained it: They learnt this of the season of the wine pressing.22
WINE MAY BE STRAINED THROUGH CLOTHS. R. Shimi b. Hiyya said: Provided that one does not make a hollow.23
AND THROUGH A BASKET MADE OF PALM TWIGS. R. Hiyya b. Ashi said in Rab's name: Provided he does not lift it [the basket] a handbreadth from the bottom of the vessel.24
Rab said: [Spreading] a rag over half a cask [to cover it] is permitted; over the whole cask, is forbidden.25
R. Papa said: A man must not stuff chips into the mouth of a cask jug.26 because it looks like a strainer. R. Papa's household poured wine slowly from one vessel to another.27 R. Aha of Difti28 objected: But there is the residue?29 — The residue had no value in R. Papa's household.30
AN EGG MAY BE PASSED THROUGH A MUSTARD STRAINER. R. Jacob Karhah recited:
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