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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
[As a remedy] for a tertian fever one should procure seven prickles from seven palm trees, seven chips from seven beams, seven pegs from seven bridges, seven [heaps of] ashes from seven ovens, seven [mounds of] earth from under seven door-sockets, seven specimens of pitch from seven ships, seven handfuls of cummin, and seven hairs from the beard of an old dog, and tie them, in the nape of the neck with a white twisted thread.1
R. Johanan said: For an inflammatory fever let one take an all-iron knife, go whither thorn-hedges2 are to be found, and tie a white twisted thread thereto.3 On the first day he must slightly notch it, and say, 'and the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, etc.'4 On the following day he [again] makes a small notch and says, 'And Moses said, I will turn aside now, and see, etc.' The next day he makes [another] small notch and says, 'And when the Lord saw that he turned aside [sar] to see.'5 R. Aha son of Raba said to R. Ashi, Then let him say, 'Draw not nigh hither?'6 Rather on the first day he should say. 'And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, etc. … And Moses said, I will, etc.'; the next day he says, 'And when, the Lord saw that he turned aside to see'; on the third, 'And he said, Draw not nigh.' And when he has recited his verses he pulls it down [sc. the bush] and says thus: 'O thorn, O thorn, not because thou art higher than all other trees did the Holy One, blessed be He, cause His Shechinah to rest upon thee, but because thou art lower than all other trees did He cause His Shechinah to rest upon thee. And even as thou sawest the fire [kindled] for Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah and didst flee from before them, so look upon the fire [i.e., fever.] of So-and-so7 and flee from him.'
For an abscess one should say thus: 'Let it indeed be cut down, let it indeed be healed, let it indeed be overthrown; Sharlai and Amarlai are those angels who were sent from the land of Sodom8 to heal boils and aches: bazak, bazik, bizbazik, mismasik, kamun kamik,9 thy colour [be confined] within thee, thy colour [be confined] within thee,10 thy seat be within thee,11 thy seed be like a kalut12 and like a mule that is not fruitful and does not increase; so be thou not fruitful nor increase in the body of So-and-so.'13 Against ulcers14 one should say thus: 'A drawn sword and a prepared sling, its name is not Joheb, sickness and pains.' Against a demon one should say thus: 'Thou wast closed up; closed up wast thou. Cursed, broken, and destroyed be Bar Tit, Bar Tame, Bar Tina15 as Shamgez, Mezigaz and Istamai.' For a demon of the privy one should say thus: 'On the head of a lion and on the snout of a lioness did we find the demon Bar Shirika Panda; with a bed of leeks I hurled him down, [and] with the jawbone of an ass I smote him.'
AND ROYAL CHILDREN MAY GO OUT WITH BELLS. Who is the authority [for this ruling]? — Said R. Oshaia: It is R. Simeon, who maintained: All Israel are royal children. Raba said: It means that it is woven [sewn] into his garment; thus it agrees with all.
MISHNAH. ONE MAY GO OUT WITH A HARGOL'S EGG,16 A FOX'S TOOTH, AND A NAIL FROM [THE GALLOWS OF] AN IMPALED CONVICT AS A PROPHYLACTIC: THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW; BUT THE SAGES FORBID THIS EVEN ON WEEKDAYS ON ACCOUNT OF 'THE WAYS OF THE AMORITE.'17
GEMARA. ONE MAY GO OUT WITH A HARGOL'S EGG, which is carried for ear-ache; AND WITH A FOX'S TOOTH, which is worn on account of sleep: a living [fox's] for one who sleeps [too much], a dead [fox's] for him who cannot sleep.
AND A NAIL FROM [THE GALLOWS OF] AN IMPALED CONVICT. It is applied to an inflammation,
AS A PROPHYLACTIC: THIS IS R. MEIR'S VIEW. Abaye and Raba both maintain: Whatever is used as a remedy is not [forbidden] on account of the ways of the Amorite.18 Then if it is not an [obvious] remedy, is it forbidden on account of the ways of the Amorite? But surely it was taught: If a tree casts its fruit, one paints it with sikra19 and loads it with stones. Now, as for loading it with stones, that is in order to lessen its strength.20 But when he paints it with sikra, what remedy does he effect?21 — That is in order that people may see and pray for it. Even as it was taught: And he [the leper] shall cry, 'Unclean, unclean':22 he must make his grief publicly known, so that the public may pray for him. Rabina observed: In accordance with whom do we suspend a cluster of dates on a [sterile] date tree? In accordance with this Tanna.
A tanna recited the chapter of Amorite practices23 before R. Hiyya b. Abin. Said he to him: All these are forbidden as Amorite practices, save the following: If one has a bone in his throat, he may bring of that kind, place it on his head, and say thus: 'One by one go down, swallow, go down one by one': this is not considered the ways of the Amorite. For a fish bone he should say thus: 'Thou art stuck in like a pin, thou art locked up as [within] a cuirass; go down, go down.'
He who says, 'Be lucky, my luck [gad gedi] and tire not by day or night,'1 is guilty of Amorite practices. R. Judah said: Gad is none other but an idolatrous term, for it is said, ye that prepare a table for Gad.2 If husband and wife exchange their names,3 they are guilty of Amorite practices. [To say], 'Be strong, o ye Barrels'! is [forbidden] as the ways of the Amorite. R. Judah said: Dan [Barrel] is none other but the designation of an idol, for it is said, They that swear by the sin, of Samaria, and say, As thy god Dan liveth.4 He who says to a raven, 'Scream,' and to a she-raven, 'Screech, and return me thy tuft for [my] good,' is guilty of Amorite practices. He who says, 'Kill this cock, because it crowed in the evening,'5 or, 'this fowl, because it crowed like a cock,' is guilty of Amorite practices. He who says. 'I will drink and leave over, I will drink and leave over,'6 is guilty of the ways of the Amorite. He who breaks eggs on a wall in front of fledglings, is guilty of Amorite practices. He who stirs [eggs?] before fledglings is guilty of Amorite practices. He who dances and counts seventy-one fledglings in order that they should not die, is guilty of Amorite practices. He who dances for kutah,7 or imposes silence for lentils, or cries for beans,8 is guilty of Amorite practices. She who urinates before her pot in order that it should be quickly cooked is guilty of Amorite practices. Yet one may place a chip of a mulberry tree and broken pieces of glass in a pot in order that it should boil quickly.9 But the Sages forbade broken pieces of glass [to be employed thus] on account of danger.
R. Zutra said: He who covers an oil lamp or uncovers a naphtha [lamp] infringes the prohibition of wasteful destruction.12 'Wine and health to the mouth of our teachers!'13 is not considered the ways of the Amorite. It once happened that R. Akiba made a banquet for his son and over every glass [of liquor] that he brought he exclaimed, 'Wine and health to the mouth of our teachers; health and wine to the mouths of our teachers and their disciples!'
MISHNAH. A GREAT PRINCIPLE WAS STATED IN RESPECT TO THE SABBATH: HE WHO FORGETS THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE SABBATH14 AND PERFORMS MANY LABOURS ON MANY SABBATHS, INCURS ONE SIN-OFFERING ONLY. HE WHO KNOWS THE FUNDAMENTAL LAW OF THE SABBATH AND PERFORMS MANY LABOURS ON MANY SABBATHS,15 INCURS A SIN-OFFERING ON ACCOUNT OF EACH SABBATH. HE WHO KNOWS THAT IT IS THE SABBATH AND PERFORMS MANY LABOURS ON MANY SABBATHS, IS LIABLE FOR EVERY
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