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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
MISHNAH. WHEREWITH MAY A WOMAN GO OUT, AND WHEREWITH MAY SHE NOT GO OUT?1 A WOMAN MAY NOT GO OUT WITH RIBBONS OF WOOL, LINEN RIBBONS, OR FILLETS ROUND HER HEAD;2 NOR MAY SHE PERFORM RITUAL IMMERSION WHILST WEARING THEM, UNLESS SHE LOOSENS THEM. [SHE MAY NOT GO OUT] WITH FRONTLETS,3 GARLANDS [SARBITIN], IF THEY ARE NOT SEWN,4 OR WITH A HAIR-NET [KABUL]5 INTO THE STREET,6 OR WITH A GOLDEN CITY,7 OR WITH A NECKLACE [KATLA]. OR WITH EAR-RINGS, OR WITH A FINGER — RING WHICH HAS NO SIGNET, OR WITH A NEEDLE WHICH IS UNPIERCED. YET IF SHE GOES OUT WITH THESE], SHE IS NOT LIABLE TO A SIN-OFFERING.8
GEMARA. Who mentioned anything about ritual immersion?9 — Said R. Nahman b. Isaac in Rabbah b. Abbuha's name: He [the Tanna] states what is the reason. [Thus:] what is the reason that A WOMAN MAY NOT GO OUT WITH WOOL RIBBONS OR LINEN RIBBONS? Because the Sages ruled, SHE MAY NOT PERFORM RITUAL IMMERSION WHILST WEARING THEM, UNLESS SHE LOOSENS THEM. And since she may not perform ritual immersion on weekdays while wearing them, she may not go out [with them] on the Sabbath, lest she happen to need immersion by ritual law10 and she untie them, and so come to carry them four cubits in the street.
R. Kahana asked Rab: What of openwork bands?11 — Said he to him, You speak of something woven:12 whatever is woven, no prohibition was enacted [in respect thereof].13 It was stated likewise: R. Huna son of R. Joshua said: Whatever is woven, no prohibition was enacted [in respect thereof]. Others state, R. Huna son of R. Joshua said: I saw that my sisters are not particular about them,14 What is the difference between the latter version and the former? — There is a difference where they are soiled. On the version that no prohibition was enacted for anything that is woven, these too are woven. But according to the version which bases it on [not] being particular; since they are soiled, one does indeed object to them.15
We learnt elsewhere: And the following constitute interpositions in the case of human beings: Wool ribbons, linen ribbons, and the fillet round maidens' heads.16 R. Judah said: [Ribbons] of wool or of hair do not interpose. because the water enters through them.17 R. Huna observed: And we learnt all with reference to maidens' heads.18 R. Joseph demurred: What does this exclude? Shall we say it excludes [ribbons] of the neck, — and of what [material]? Shall we say, it excludes wool: [The question can be raised] if soft [material] on hard19 forms an interposition, is there a question of soft upon soft?20 Again. if it excludes linen ribbons, [one might ask] if hard upon hard constitutes an interposition, is there a question of hard upon soft?21 Rather, said R. Joseph. this is R. Huna's reason, because a woman does not strangle herself.22
Abaye refuted him: Maidens may go out with the threads through their ears,23 but not with fillets round their necks. Now if you say that a woman will not strangle herself, why not with fillets round their necks?24 — Said Rabina:
'R. Judah said: [Ribbons] of wool or of hair do not interpose, because the water enters through them.' R. Joseph said in the name of Rab Judah in Samuel's name: The halachah is as R. Judah in respect of ribbons of hair. Said Abaye to him: 'The halachah [is thus]' implies that they differ thereon?4 And should you say, Had he not known the first Tanna to treat of ribbons of hair [too], he would not have treated thereof either: but perhaps he argued with them from analogy:5 just as you agree with me in the matter of ribbons of hair, so should you agree with me in respect of wool ribbons? It was stated: R. Nahman said in Samuel's name: The Sages agree with R. Judah in respect to ribbons of hair. It was taught likewise: Ribbons of wool interpose; ribbons of hair do not interpose. R. Judah maintained: [Ribbons] of wool or of hair do not interpose. R. Nahman b. Isaac said: Our Mishnah too proves this. For it teaches: A woman may go out with ribbons of hair, whether of her own [hair] or of her companion's.6 Who is the authority [for this]? Shall we say. R. Judah — even ribbons of wool too [are permitted]? Hence it must surely be the Rabbis, which proves that they do not disagree in respect of ribbons of hair. This proves it.
[SHE MAY] NOT [GO OUT] WITH FRONTLETS [TOTEFETH]. What is TOTEFETH? — Said R. Joseph: A charm containing balsam.7 Said Abaye to him: Let it be [regarded] as an approved amulet, and hence permitted? Rather said Rab Judah on Abaye's authority: It is an ornament of beads.8 It was taught likewise: A woman may go out with a gilded hair-net,9 a totefeth, and with sarbitin that are fastened to her. What is totefeth and what is sarbitin? — Said R. Abbahu: A totefeth encompasses her [head] from ear to ear; sarbitin reach to her cheeks. R. Huna said: poor women make them of various dyed materials; wealthy women make them of gold and silver.
NOR WITH A HAIR-NET [KABUL]. R. Jannai said: I do not know what is this [kabul]: whether we learnt of a slave's chain, but a wool hair-net10 is permitted; or perhaps we learnt of a wool hair-net and how much more so a slave's neckchain?11 Said R. Abbahu: Reason supports the view that we learnt of a wool hair-net. And it was taught likewise: A woman may go out into a courtyard with a kabul and a clasp [istema].12 R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: [She may go out] with a kabul into the street too. R. Simeon b. Eleazar stated a general rule: Whatever is [worn] beneath the net, one may go out therewith: whatever is [worn] above the net, one may not go out with it.13
What is istema? — Said R. Abbahu: Bizyune. What is bizyune? Said Abaye in Rab's name: That which imprisons the flying [locks].14 Our Rabbis taught: Three things were said of an istema: It is not subject to [the interdict of] kil'ayim.15 it is not defiled by leprosy,16 and one may not go out with it into the street. On the authority of R. Simeon it was said: It is also not subject to [the interdict against]
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