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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
Measure out [tribute] and bring it [to us]; others interpret: that demanded, Bring ever more and more, without measure.1
And excellent greatness was added to me:2 Rab Judah said in R. Jeremiah b. Abba's name: This teaches that he rode upon a male lion to whose head he had tied a snake [for reins]. in fulfilment of what is said, and the beasts of the field also have I given him to serve him.3
MISHNAH. A MAN MUST NOT HIRE LABOURERS ON THE SABBATH, NOR INSTRUCT HIS NEIGHBOUR TO HIRE LABOURERS ON HIS BEHALF. ONE MUST NOT GO TO THE TEHUM TO AWAIT NIGHTFALL4 IN ORDER TO HIRE LABOURERS OR BRING IN PRODUCE; BUT ONE MAY DO SO IN ORDER TO WATCH [HIS FIELD]. AND [THEN] HE CAN BRING [HOME] PRODUCE WITH HIM.5 ABBA SAUL STATED A GENERAL PRINCIPLE: WHATEVER I HAVE A RIGHT TO INSTRUCT [THAT IT BE DONE], I AM PERMITTED TO GO TO AWAIT NIGHTFALL, FOR IT [AT THE TEHUM].
GEMARA. Wherein does he differ from his neighbour?6 — Said R. Papa: A Gentile neighbour [is meant]. R. Ashi demurred: [Surely] an order to a Gentile is [forbidden as] a shebuth?7 Rather said R. Ashi: One may even say [that] an Israelite neighbour [is meant]. [Yet] he [the Tanna] informs us this: One may not say to his neighbour, 'Hire labourers for me,' but one may say to his neighbour, 'Well, we shall see8 whether you join me9 in the evening!'10 And with whom does our Mishnah agree? With R. Joshua b. Karhah. For it was taught: One must not say to his neighbour, 'Well, we shall see whether you join me in the evening'! R. Joshua b. Karhah said: One may say to his neighbour, 'Well, we shall see whether you join me in the evening'! Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in R. Johanan's name: The halachah is as R. Joshua b. Karhah. Rabbah b. Bar Hanah also said in R. Johanan s name: What is R. Judah b. Karhah's reason? Because it is written, nor finding thine own pleasure nor speaking thine own words:11 [explicit] speech is forbidden, but thought is permitted.12
R. Aha son of R. Huna pointed out a contradiction to Raba. Did R. Johanan say: Speech is forbidden, thought is permitted, which shows that thought is not the same as speech? But surely Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in R. Johanan's name: One may meditate [on learning] everywhere, except at the baths or in a privy? There it is different, because [the fulfilment of] and thy camp shall be holy13 is required, which is absent.14 But it is also written, that he see no indecent speech [dabar] in thee?15 — That is required for Rab Judah['s dictum]. For Rab Judah said: One may not recite the shema'16 in the presence of a naked heathen. Why particularly a heathen: even an Israelite too? — He proceeds to a climax:17 it is superfluous to state that it is forbidden [in the presence of a naked] Israelite; but as for a heathen, Since it is written of him, whose flesh is the flesh of asses,18 I might say that it is permitted therefore he tells us [otherwise]. Yet perhaps that indeed is so? Scripture saith, and they saw not their father's nakedness.19
Now, is speech forbidden? Surely R. Hisda and R: Hamnuna both said: Accounts in connection with religion may be calculated [discussed] on the Sabbath. And R. Eleazar said: One may determine charity [grants] to the poor on the Sabbath. Again, R. Jacob b. Idi said in R. Johanan's name: One may supervise matters of life and death and matters of communal urgency on the Sabbath, and one may go to the synagogues to attend to communal affairs on the Sabbath. Also, R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Johanan's name: One may go to theatres and circuses and basilicas to attend to communal affairs on the Sabbath. Further, the School of Manasseh taught: One may make arrangements on the Sabbath for the betrothal of young girls and the elementary education20 of a child and to teach him a trade!21 — Scripture saith, nor finding thine own affairs nor speaking thine own words: thine affairs are forbidden, the affairs of Heaven [religious matters] are permitted.
Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: Unimportant accounts22 and past expenditure accounts23 may be calculated on the Sabbath. It was taught likewise: One may not calculate past or future accounts,24 [but accounts] of unimportance
or of past expenditure may be calculated. But the following contradicts it: One may reckon up accounts that are not required, but one may not reckon up on the Sabbath accounts that are necessary. E.g., a man may say to his neighbour, 'I hired so many labourers for this field,' 'I expended so many denarii for this residence.' But he must not say to him, 'I have expended so much and am [yet] to expend so much'! — Then according to your reasoning, that [Baraitha] itself presents a difficulty.1 But in the one case he is [still] in possession of his employee's wages;2 in the other he is not in possession of his employee's wages.
ONE MUST NOT GO TO THE TEHUM TO AWAIT NIGHTFALL. Our Rabbis taught: It once happened that a breach was made in the field of a pious man and he decided to fence it about, when he recalled that it was the Sabbath, so he refrained and did not repair it; thereupon a miracle was performed for him, a caper bush grew up there, whence he and his household derived their livelihood.
Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: One may say to his neighbour [on the Sabbath]. 'I am going to that town to-morrow,' for if there are stations [on the road] he may go [on the Sabbath itself].3 We learnt: ONE MUST NOT GO TO THE TEHUM TO AWAIT NIGHTFALL IN ORDER TO HIRE LABOURERS OR BRING IN PRODUCE. As for hiring, labourers, it is well, since one may not hire them on the Sabbath; but to fetch produce. let us say [that it is permitted], for if there were walls [partitions] there he might bring [it even on the Sabbath]?4 — This [ruling of our Mishnah] can refer to produce attached [to the soil].5 But R. Oshaia taught: One must not go to the tehum to await nightfall in order to bring straw or stubble. As for stubble, it is well: this can refer to attached; but to what can straw refer?6 — Offensive smelling straw.7
Come and hear: One may go to the tehum to await nightfall to attend to the affairs of a bride and the business of a corpse.8 Thus, only for the affairs of a bride or a corpse, but not for the business of any other. As for another [with a purpose] analogous to [that of] a bride, it is well:9 this is conceivable where one desires to cut a myrtle for him.10 But what can the purpose in connection with a corpse be? [Presumably] in order to bring a coffin and shrouds; yet he [the Tanna] specifies a corpse. but not another;11 yet why so: let us argue that [it is permissible for another too], for if there were walls there he might bring [articles even on the Sabbath]? — In the case of a corpse too, it is conceivable where the purpose is to cut out shrouds for him.12
BUT ONE MAY GO TO THE TEHUM TO AWAIT NIGHTFALL, etc. Though he did not recite habdalah?13 Surely R. Eleazar b. Antigonus said on R. Eliezer b. Jacob's authority: One is forbidden to attend to his affairs before reciting habdalah. And should you answer that he recites habdalah in the Prayer,14 surely Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: He who recites habdalah in the Prayer must [also] recite it over a cup [of wine]?15 And should you answer that he does recite habdalah over a cup. — [it may be asked] is a cup procurable in the fields? — R. Nathan b. Ammi explained this before Raba: They learnt this of the season of wine pressing.16 R. Abba said to R. Ashi: In the West [Palestine] we say thus: 'He who makes a distinction between holy and profane', and then we attend to our affairs. R. Ashi related: 'When I was at R. Kahana's academy he used to recite, 'Who makest a distinction between holy and profane,' and then we chopped up logs.
ABBA SAUL STATED A GENERAL PRINCIPLE: WHATEVER I HAVE, etc. To what does Abba Saul refer? Shall we say that he refers to the first clause, [viz.,] ONE MUST NOT GO TO THE TEHUM TO AWAIT NIGHTFALL, IN ORDER TO HIRE LABOURERS OR BRING IN PRODUCE, —
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