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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
It was taught: Two letters in ink, two letters on a pen, or two letters in an inkstand [involve culpability].1 Raba asked: What [if one carries out sufficient for] one letter [in the form of] dry ink, one letter on the pen, and one letter in an inkstand?2 The question stands over.
Raba said: If one carries out [ink sufficient for writing] two letters, and writes them whilst walking, he is culpable: the writing is tantamount to depositing.3 Raba also said: If one carries out [ink sufficient for writing] one letter [only] and writes it down. and then again carries out [sufficient for] one letter, and writes it down,4 he is not culpable. What is the reason? By the time he carries out the second, the standard of the first is defective.5
Raba also said: If one carries out half a dried fig and deposits it,6 and then carries out another half of a dried fig and deposits it,7 the first is regarded as though caught by a dog or burnt, and he is not culpable. But why so: surely it is lying there! — He means this: But if one anticipates and takes up the first before the depositing of the second, the first is regarded as though caught up by a dog or burnt,8 and he is not culpable. Raba also said: If one carries out half of a dried fig and deposits it and then carries out another half of a dried fig over the same route as the first,9 he is liable. But why: surely it does not rest [in the street]? E.g., if he carries it within three [handbreadths].10 But Raba said: [An article brought] within three [handbreadths] must, according to the Rabbis, be deposited upon something of small size [at least]?11 — There is no difficulty. The latter reference is to throwing;12 the former is to carrying.13
Our Rabbis taught: If one carries out half a dried fig, and then carries out another half of a dried fig in one state of unawareness, he is culpable; in two states of unawareness, he is not culpable. R. Jose said: In one state of unawareness [and] into the same ground he is culpable; into two [different] grounds,14 he is not culpable. Rabbah said: Providing that there lies between them a domain involving liability to a sin-offering;15 but a karmelith16 does not [effect a separation].17 Abaye said: Even a karmelith [separates them], but not a board.18 But Raba maintained: Even a board [separates them]. Now Raba is consistent with his ruling [elsewhere]; for Raba said: [The law of] domains in respect to the Sabbath is the same as domains in respect to divorces.19
STIBIUM, FOR PAINTING ONE EYE: But one eye [alone] is not painted? — Said R. Huna: Because modest women paint [only] one eye.20 An objection is raised: As for stibium, if [carried out] for medicinal use, [the standard is] as much as is required for painting one eye;21 if for adornment, [the standard is] two eyes? — Hillel son of R. Samuel b. Nahmani explained it: That was taught in reference to small-towners.22
PASTE, FOR PUTTING ON THE TOP OF A LIME BOARD. A Tanna taught: As much as is required for putting on the top of a lime board of a hunter's rod.23
WAX, FOR PUTTING OVER A SMALL HOLE. It was taught: As much as is required for putting over a small wine hole.24
CLAY, FOR MAKING A HOLE IN A GOLD-REFINER'S POT, etc.25 Shall we say that R. Judah's standard is larger? But we know the Rabbis' standard to be larger, for we learnt: R. JUDAH SAID: AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR TAKING THE MEASURE OF A CHILD'S SHOE?26 — Say, as much as is required for plastering [the splits in] the tripod leg of a small stove.27
Our Rabbis taught: If one carries out hair, [the standard is] as much as is required for the kneading of clay;1 [if one carries out] clay, [the standard is] for making a hole in a gold-refiner's pot.
LIME, TO SMEAR THE SMALLEST OF GIRLS. A Tanna taught: As much as is required to smear the little finger of girls.2 Rab Judah said in Rab's name: When maidens of Israel attain puberty before the proper age:3 poor maidens plaster it [the unwanted hair] with lime; rich maidens plaster it with fine flour; whilst royal princesses plaster it with oil of myrrh, as it is said, six months with oil of myrrh.4 What is oil of myrrh? — R. Huna b. Hiyya said: Satkath.5 R. Jeremiah b. Abba said: Oil of olives less than a third grown.
It was taught: R. Judah said: Anpakkinon is oil of olives less than a third grown, and why does one anoint herself therewith? Because it removes the hair and smoothes the skin.
R. Bibi had a daughter. He treated her limb by limb [with a depilatory] and took four hundred zuz for her.6 Now, a certain heathen lived in the vicinity. He [too] had a daughter, and he plastered her [whole body] all at once, whereupon she died. 'R. Bibi has killed my daughter!' he exclaimed. R. Nahman observed: As for R. Bibi who drank strong liquor, his daughter required pasting over; [but] as for us, who do not drink strong liquor, our daughters do not require such treatment.7
R. JUDAH SAID: ENOUGH TO PLASTER8 A KILKUL.9 What is KILKUL and what is ANDIFE? Rab said: The [upper] temple and the lower temple. Shall we say that R. Judah's standard is larger? But we know the standard of the Rabbis to be larger!10 It is smaller than the Rabbis', but larger than R. Nehemiah's.
An objection is raised: Rabbi said: I approve R. Judah's view in respect of loosely dissolved lime, and R. Nehemiah's view in respect of chalky lime.11 But if you maintain that they mean the [upper] temple and the lower temple, — [surely] both require loose lime?12 Rather, said R. Isaac, The School of R. Ammi recited andifa [in the Mishnah].13 R. Kahana demurred: Does one destroy [break up] his wealth?14 Rather, said R. Kahana: It means the teeth-like marks [of a vessel];15 even as we learnt: The hin-measure had teethlike marks, [to indicate] so far [must it be filled with wine] for a bullock, so far for a ram, so far for a sheep.16 Alternatively, what is andifa? The lock on the forehead.17 Even as a certain Galilean chanced to visit Babylon and was requested to lecture on the chariot passage;18 Said he to them, 'I will lecture to you as R. Nehemiah lectured to his companions.' Thereupon a wasp came out of the wall and stung him on the andifa [forehead] and he died. Said they. 'This [befell] him through his own [fault].'19
MISHNAH. [IF ONE CARRIES OUT] EARTH [A KIND OF CLAY], [THE STANDARD IS] AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR A SEAL ON PACKING BAGS;20 THIS IS R. AKIBA'S VIEW. BUT THE SAGES SAY; AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR THE SEAL ON LETTERS.21 [FOR] MANURE, OR THIN SAND, [THE STANDARD IS] AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR FERTILIZING A CABBAGE STALK; THIS IS R. AKIBA'S VIEW. BUT THE SAGES MAINTAIN: FOR FERTILIZING ONE LEEK PLANT. THICK SAND, AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR PUTTING ON A FULL PLASTER TROWEL. A REED, AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR MAKING A PEN. BUT IF IT IS THICK OR CRUSHED,22 [THE STANDARD IS] AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR BOILING THE LIGHTEST OF EGGS BEATEN UP AND PLACED IN A STEW POT.
GEMARA. ON A FULL PLASTER TROWEL. A Tanna taught: As much as is required for putting on the top of a plasterer's trowel. Which Tanna holds that sand improves plaster? — Said R. Hisda: R. Judah. For it was taught: One must not plaster his house with lime unless he mixed it with straw or sand.23 R. Judah said: Straw is permitted, but sand is forbidden, because it becomes cement.24 Raba said, You may say that it agrees even the Rabbis: The spoiling thereof makes it fit.25
A REED, AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR MAKING A PEN. It was taught: A pen which reaches one's finger joints. R. Ashi asked: The upper joint or the lower? The question stands over.
BUT IF IT IS THICK, etc. A Tanna taught: Beaten up with oil and placed in a stew pot. Mar, son of Rabina, said to his son: Have you heard what a light egg is? — He replied: An egg of a turtle dove. What is the reason? Because it is small! Then say [the egg of a zipparta?26 He was silent. Have you then heard anything on this? he27 asked him. Said he to him, Thus did R. Shesheth say: It is a fowl's egg, and why is it called a light egg? The Sages estimated, You have no egg quicker [lighter] to boil than a fowl's egg. And wherefore [he27 asked] are all the [food-]standards of the Sabbath the size of a dried fig, whereas here it is an egg? Said he to him, Thus did R. Nahman say: [It means] as much as [is required to boil the size of] a dried fig of a light egg.
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