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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
If a Gentile hollows out a kab1 in a log, an Israelite may heat [the oven] therewith on a Festival.2 Yet why? Is it not nolad!-He states [it] according to the views of R. Eliezer and R. Akiba, but does not hold thus himself.
Raba said, This is R. Eliezer's reason: Because one must not light [the Sabbath lamp] with an unsinged wick or unsinged rags.3 Then when R. Joseph recited, Exactly three [fingerbreadths] square, In respect of what law [was it]? — In respect of uncleanness. For we learnt, The three [fingerbreadths] square of which they [the Sages] spoke is exclusive of the hem: this is R. Simeon's view. But the Sages say: Exactly three [fingerbreadths] square.4
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: One may fire [an oven, etc.,] with [whole] utensils, but not with broken utensils: this is R. Judah's opinion; but R. Simeon permits it.5 One may fire [it] with dates;6 but if they are eaten, one may not fire [it] with their stones:7 that is R. Judah's opinion; but R. Simeon permits it. One may heat with nuts: if they are eaten, one must not heat with their shells: this is R. Judah's ruling; but R. Simeon permits it.
Now, they are [all] necessary. For if we were told the first, R. Judah rules [thus] in that case, because it was a utensil before but only a fragment of a utensil now, and so it is nolad, hence forbidden; but as for dates, since they were stones originally and are stones now, I might argue that it is well [permitted]. And if we were informed [this] of dates, I might say, [the reason is] because they [the stones] were originally concealed but are now revealed; but as for nutshells, which were uncovered originally and are uncovered still, I might argue that it is well [permitted]. Thus they are necessary.8
Now, this [ruling] of Rab was stated not explicitly but by implication. For Rab ate dates and threw the stones into a pan;9 whereupon R. Hiyya said to him, 'Son of great ancestors!10 A similar act on Festivals is forbidden.' Did he accept [this ruling] from him or not? — Come and hear: For when Rab came to Babylon,11 he ate dates12 and threw the stones to animals. Surely this means Persian [dates]?13 No: this means Syrian [dates], since they are fit [for handling] on account of their flesh.14
R. Samuel b. Bar Hanah said to R. Joseph: According to R. Judah who ruled, One may fire [an oven] with utensils, but not with broken utensils, — immediately one lights with it a little it becomes a broken utensil, and when he stirs [the fuel] he is stirring something that is forbidden? — He acts in accordance with R. Mattenah: For R. Mattenah said in Rab's name: if wood falls from a palm tree into a stove on a Festival, one adds more prepared wood and lights them.15
R. Hamnuna said: The reference here [in our Mishnah] is to [a rag] less than three [handbreadths] square,16 and they taught here some of the leniencies [relating to the law] of rags, both R. Eliezer and R. Akiba following their views. For we learnt: If [material] less than three [handbreadths] square is set aside for stopping a bath, pouring from a pot,17 or cleaning a mill therewith, whether it is of prepared (material] or not,18 it is unclean:19 that is R. Eliezer's view; R. Joshua maintained: Whether it is of prepared [material] or not, it is clean; R. Akiba ruled: If of prepared [material], it is unclean; if of unprepared, it is clean. Now 'Ulla-others state, Rabbah b. Bar Hanah in R. Johanan's name-said: All admit that if it was thrown away on the refuse heap,20 it is universally agreed that it is clean;21
if one placed it in a chest, all agree that it is unclean.1 They differ only where he hung it on a frame or placed it behind the door: R. Eliezer holds: Since he did not throw it on the refuse heap, he had his mind upon it; why then does he call it 'unprepared'?2 Because relatively to [placing it in] a chest it is not prepared.3 While R. Joshua maintains: Since he did not place it in a chest, he has indeed accounted it as nought;4 and why then does he call it 'prepared'? Because relatively to [throwing it on] a refuse heap it is prepared. But R. Akiba agrees with R. Eliezer where he hangs it on a clothes frame, and with R. Joshua, where he puts it behind the door. Yet R. Akiba retracted in favour of R. Joshua ['s view]. Whence [is this deduced]? — Said Raba, Since it is stated, A WICK [MADE] OF A CLOTH: why choose to teach A WICK [MADE] OF A CLOTH, teach A WICK OF CLOTH; why a WICK [MADE] OF A CLOTH? [To show] that it is still a cloth.5
MISHNAH. A MAN MAY NOT PIERCE AN EGG SHELL, FILL IT WITH OIL, AND PLACE IT OVER THE MOUTH OF A LAMP, IN ORDER THAT IT SHOULD DRIP, AND EVEN IF IT IS OF POT;6 BUT R. JUDAH PERMITS IT. BUT IF THE POTTER JOINS IT BEFOREHAND, IT IS PERMITTED, BECAUSE IT IS ONE UTENSIL. A MAN MUST NOT FILL A DISH OF OIL, PLACE IT AT THE SIDE OF A LAMP, AND PUT THE WICK END THEREIN IN ORDER THAT IT SHOULD DRAW; BUT R. JUDAH PERMITS IT.
GEMARA. Now, they are [all] necessary. For if we were told about an eggshell; there the Rabbis say [that it is forbidden] because since it is not loathsome7 he will come to take supplies therefrom;8 but as for an earthen [shell], which is loathsome,9 I might argue that they agree with R. Judah.10 While if we were told of an earthen [shell]: [only] there does R. Judah rule thus, but in the other case I might say that he agrees with the Rabbis.11 And if we were told of these two: R. Judah rules [thus] of these because nothing interposes;12 but as for a dish, which interposes,13 I would say that he agrees with the Rabbis. While if we were told of that: [only] there do the Rabbis rule [thus], but in the first two I would say that they agree with R. Judah. Thus they are necessary.
BUT IF THE POTTER JOINS IT BEFOREHAND, IT IS PERMITTED, etc. It was taught: if he joins it with plaster or potter's clay, it is permitted. But we learnt, THE POTTER?14 — What is meant by POTTER? After the manner of a potter.15
It was taught, R. Judah said: We were once spending the Sabbath in the upper chamber of Nithzeh's house in Lydda, when an eggshell was brought, which we filled with oil, perforated, and placed over the mouth of the lamp; and though R. Tarfon and the elders were present, they said nothing to us.16 Said they [the Sages] to him, Thence [you adduce] proof? The house of Nithzeh is different, because they were most heedful.17
Abin of Sepphoris dragged a bench in a stone-paved upper chamber in the presence of R. Isaac b. Eleazar, Said he to him, If I let this pass in silence,18 as his companions kept silent before R. Judah, harm will ensue: a stone-paved chamber is forbidden on account of an ordinary chamber.19 The synagogue overseer20 of Bazrah21 dragged a bench in front of R. Jeremiah Rabbah. Said he to him, in accordance with whom?22 [Presumably] R. Simeon!23 Assume that R. Simeon ruled [thus] in the case of larger ones, since it is impossible otherwise;24 did he say thus of small ones?25 Now, he disagrees with 'Ulla, who said: They differ [only] in respect of small ones, but as for large, all agree that it is permitted.
R. Joseph objected: R. Simeon said, A man may drag a couch, chair, or bench, providing that he does not intend making a rut. Thus both large and small [articles] are taught,26 which is a difficulty on both views.27 — 'Ulla reconciles it according to his view, and R. Jeremiah Rabbah reconciles it according to his. 'Ulla reconciles it according to his view: the couch is like the chair.28 While R. Jeremiah Rabbah reconciles it according to his: the chair is like the couch.29
Rabbah objected: Clothes merchants sell in their normal fashion, providing that one does not intend [to gain protection] from the sun in hot weather30 or from the rain when it is raining;31 but the strictly religious32 sling them on a staff behind their back.33 Now here that it is possible to do as the strictly religious, it is the same as small [articles of furniture], yet when one has no intention R. Simeon permits it at the outset? This refutation of R. Jeremiah Rabbah is indeed a refutation.
MISHNAH. IF ONE EXTINGUISHES THE LAMP BECAUSE HE IS AFRAID OF GENTILES, ROBBERS, OR AN EVIL SPIRIT,34 OR FOR THE SAKE OF AN INVALID, THAT HE SHOULD SLEEP, HE IS NOT CULPABLE.35 IF [BECAUSE] HE WOULD SPARE THE LAMP, THE OIL, OR THE WICK, HE IS CULPABLE. R. JOSE EXEMPTS HIM IN ALL CASES, EXCEPT IN RESPECT OF THE WICK, BECAUSE HE MAKES CHARCOAL.36
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