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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
It was stated: if hot water is heated on the eve of the Sabbath, — Rab said: On the morrow one may wash his whole body in it, limb by limb; while Samuel ruled: They [the Sages] permitted one to wash his face, hands, and feet only.
An objection is raised: If hot water is heated on the eve of the Sabbath, on the morrow one may wash his face, hands, and feet therein, but not his whole body. This refutes Rab? — Rab can answer you: Not his whole body at once, but limb by limb. But he [the Tanna] states, his face, hands, and feet? — [It means] similar to the face, hands, and feet.3 Come and hear: It was permitted to wash only one's face, hands, and feet [on the Sabbath] in water heated on the eve of the Sabbath? — Here too [it means] similar to the face, hands, and feet.
It was taught in accordance with Samuel: If hot water is heated on the eve of the Sabbath, on the morrow [the Sabbath day] one may wash his face, hands, and feet therein, but not his whole body limb by limb; and with water heated on a Festival it goes without saying.4 Rabbah recited this ruling of Rab in the following version: If hot water is heated on the eve of the Sabbath, — Rab said, On the morrow one may wash his whole body in it,5 but must omit one limb. He raised against him all the [above] objections. He is [indeed] refuted.6
R. Joseph asked Abaye, Did Rabbah act in accordance with Rabis ruling? I do not know, he replied. What question is this: it is obvious that he did not act, for he was refuted? He did not hear them.7 But if he had not heard them he certainly acted [thus]! For Abaye said: In all matters the Master [sc. Rabbah] acted in accordance with Rab, except in these three where he did as Samuel: [viz.,] one may light from lamp to lamp, one can detach [the fringes] from one garment for [insertion in] another, and the halachah is as R. Simeon in respect to dragging.8 — He followed Rab's restrictions, but not his leniencies.
Our Rabbis taught: If the holes of a bath-house are plugged9 on the eve of the Sabbath, one may bathe therein immediately after the conclusion of the Sabbath; if on the eve of a Festival, one may enter on the morrow,10 sweat, and go out and have a souse bath11 in the outer chamber.12 Rab Judah said: it once happened at the baths of Bene Berak13 that the holes were plugged on the eve of a Festival: on the morrow R. Eleazar b. 'Azariah and R. Akiba entered, sweated therein, went out, and had a souse bath in the outer chamber, but the warm water was covered over with boards.14 When the matter came before the Sages, they said: Even if the warm water is not covered with boards.15 But when transgressors grew in number, they began forbidding it.16 One may stroll through the baths of large cities and need have no fear.17
What is [this reference to] transgressors? For R. Simeon b. Pazzi said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi on the authority of Bar Kappara: At first people used to wash in pit water heated on the eve of the Sabbath; then bath attendants began to heat the water on the Sabbath, maintaining that it was done on the eve of the Sabbath. So [the use of] hot water was forbidden, but sweating was permitted. Yet still they used to bathe in hot water and maintain, We were perspiring. So sweating was forbidden, yet the thermal springs of Tiberias were permitted. Yet they bathed in water heated by fire and maintained, We bathed in the thermal springs of Tiberias. So they forbade the hot springs of Tiberias but permitted cold water. But when they saw that this [series of restriction] could not stand,18 they permitted the hot springs of Tiberias, whilst sweating remained in status quo.19
Raba said: He who violates [even) a Rabbinical enactment, may be stigmatized a transgressor.20 According to whom?
According to this Tanna.1 'One may stroll through the baths of large cities, and need have no fear.' Raba said: Only in large cities, but not in villages. What is the reason? Since they are small, their heat is great.2
Our Rabbis taught: A man may warm himself at a big fire, go out, and have a souse in cold water; providing that he does not have a souse in cold water [first] and then warm himself at the fire, because he warms the water upon him.
Our Rabbis taught: A man may heat a cloth on the Sabbath to place it on his stomach, but must not bring a hot water bottle3 and place it on his stomach on the Sabbath;4 and this is forbidden even on weekdays, because of its danger.5
Our Rabbis taught: A man may bring a jug of water and stand it in front of a fire; not for it to become warm, but for its coldness to be tempered. R. Judah said: A woman may bring a cruse of oil and place it in front of the fire; not for it to boil, but to become lukewarm. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: A woman may smear her hand with oil, warm it at a fire, and massage her infant son without fear.6
The scholars propounded: What is the first Tanna's view on oil? — Rabbah and R. Joseph both interpret it permissively; R. Nahman b. Isaac interprets it restrictively. Rabbah and R. Joseph both interpret it permissively: Oil, even if the hand shrinks from it,7 is permitted, the first Tanna holding that oil is not subject to [the prohibition of] cooking. Then R. Judah comes to say that oil is subject to cooking, but making it lukewarm is not cooking [boiling] it; whereupon R. Simeon b. Gamaliel comes to say that oil is subject to cooking, and making it lukewarm is tantamount to cooking in its case. R. Nahman b. Isaac interprets it restrictively: oil, even if the hand does not shrink from it, is forbidden, the first Tanna holding that oil is subject to [the prohibition of] cooking, and making it lukewarm is cooking it; then R. Judah comes to say that oil is subject to cooking, but making it lukewarm is not boiling it; whereupon R. Simeon b. Gamaliel comes to say: oil is subject to boiling, and making it lukewarm is tantamount to boiling it.8 Then R. Simeon b. Gamaliel is identical with the first Tanna? — They differ in respect to a back-handed manner.9
Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: Both in the case of oil and water, if the hand shrinks from it,10 it is forbidden;11 if the hand does not shrink from it, it is permitted. And how is 'the hand shrinking from it' defined? — Said Rahaba: if an infant's belly is scalded [by it].
R. Isaac b. Abdimi said: I once followed Rabbi into the baths, and wished to place a cruse of oil for him in the bath.12 Whereupon be said to me, Take [some water] in a second vessel13 and put [the cruse of oil in it]. Three things are inferred from this: [i] Oil is subject to [the prohibition of] boiling; [ii] a second vessel cannot boil; [iii] making it lukewarm is boiling it.14 But how might he [Rabbi] act thus? Did not Rabbah b. Bar Hanah say in R. Johanan's name: One may meditate [on the words of the Torah] everywhere, except at the baths or a privy?15 And should you answer, He said it to him in secular language,16 — surely Abaye said: Secular matters may be uttered in the Holy language, whereas sacred matters must not be uttered in secular language. — Restraining one from transgression is different. The proof is: Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: It once happened that a disciple of R. Meir followed him into the baths and wished to swill the ground for him, but he said to him, One may not swill;17 [then he wished] to oil the ground for him, but he said to him, One may not oil. This proves that restraining one from transgression is different; so here too, restraining one from transgression is different.
Rabina said: This proves that if one cooks in the hot waters of Tiberias on the Sabbath, he is liable. For the incident of Rabbi happened after the decree,18 yet he said to him, Take [some water] in a second vessel and put [the cruse of oil in it].19 But that is not so? For R. Hisda said: If one cooks in the hot springs of Tiberias on the Sabbath, he is exempt? — By 'liable' he too meant flagellation for disobedience.20
R. Zera said: I saw R. Abbahu swimming in a bath, but I do not know whether he lifted [his feet] or not.21 Is it not obvious that he did not 'lift' [his feet]? For it was taught: One must not swim in a pool full of water, even if it stands in a courtyard.22 There is no difficulty: in the one case
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