Michael Levi Rodkinson.

New edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 2) online

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" Whence do we know that Tephillin may be written only upon
the skin of a ritually clean animal ?" Rabh answered: " It is
written [Exod. xili. 9] : 'In order that the law of the Lord shall
be in thy mouth,' which means, that the Law shall be written
only on such a thing as thou mayest take into thy mouth."
Qarna asked him again : " How do we know that blood is red ? "
Rabh answered again: " Because it is written [II Kings iii. 22] :
' The Moabites saw the water at a distance as red as blood.' "
(In the meantime Rabh felt that Qarna was quizzing him.) He
asked him, " What is thy name ?" He answered: " Qarna."
Said Rabh: "A Qarna (thorn) be in thy eyes! " Finally Samuel
took Rabh to his own house, gave him barley-bread, small fishes,
milk and such things as tend to produce looseness of the
bowels, but did not show him the place to excrementize in. So

VOL. II. вАФ 3


Rabh cursed him and said: " May the one who wishes to make
me suffer, not be able to rear his children." So it was.

The rabbis taught : It is allowed to write Tephillin on the
skins of (ritually) clean animals and creatures, also upon the
skins of such as died a natural death and were not slaughtered,
and it is an ordinance (instituted) by Moses at Sinai, that the
Tephillin are wound in the hairy hide of such animals, whence
the skin may be taken, and are sewed with the veins of such
animals; but it is not allowed to write Tephillin on the skins of
(ritually) unclean animals and creatures, whether such animals
were slaughtered or naturally expired. This question was
asked by a Bathusee of R. Joshua of the city of Garsi.
" Whence do we know that Tephillin must not be written on
the skin of an unclean animal?" "From the passage [Lev.
xiii. 9] : 'In order that the law of the Lord shall be in thy
mouth,' which means, that the Law shall be written only on
such a thing as a man may put into his mouth." " According
to thy argument," said the Bathusee, " Tephillin should not be
written on the skin of a (ritually) clean animal, that died a nat-
ural death (because it must not be eaten also)." Answered R.
Joshua: " I will give thee an instance of two men, who incurred
the death penalty. One was duly executed, while the other
died at the moment that he reached the gallows. Which is
preferable ? Certainly the natural death. In this case also, why
should the skin of the animal that died a natural death not be
used for writing the Tephillin thereon ? " " According to that,
then," said the Bathusee, " why should it not be eaten also ?"
Answered R. Joshua: " It is written [Deut. xiv. 21] : ' Ye shall
not eat anything that dieth of itself,' and thou Avouldst that it
should be eaten." Answered the Bathusee: " Kalos" (Greek
Ka\o^ = nice, well).

MISHNA: It is prohibited to prepare brine on Sabbath, but
the making of salt water, in order to dip one's bread into it, or
to use for seasoning other dishes is permitted. Said R. Jose:
Is this not brine ? (What is the difference ?) be it more or less
salted ? Only the following kind of salt water may be made : If
oil is first put into the water or into the salt.

GEMARA : How should the Mishna be understood ? Said
R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: "It is not permitted to
make a great deal of salt water, but a little may be made."

" Said R. Jose : Is this not brine ? Be it more or less salted.''
The schoolmen asked : " Does R. Jose, by making that state-


ment, mean to say that both should be prohibited or that both
be allowed ?" Said R. Rabba and also R. Johanan : " R. Jose
meant to say, that both should be prohibited." We have also
learned this in a Boraitha: " One shall not make a great deal of
salt water in order to put it into a Gistar (a large vessel) filled
with things requiring a soaking; but he may make a little salt
water to dip his bread into it or use it for seasoning other dishes.
Said R. Jose: ' Because one is more and the other less salted the
former should be prohibited and the latter should be permitted ;
then one might say that a greater act of labor should be prohi-
bited and a smaller one permitted ? Therefore, I say, both are
not allowed, but it becomes permissible, if oil is put into the
water or into the salt, the main thing is that one should not mix
water and salt to commence with.' "

R. Judah bar Haviva taught: "One shall not make salt
water very strong." What does he mean by " ver^' strong" ?
Rabba and R. Joseph bar Aba both said: " If one put an egg
into the water and the egg f^oat it is strong salt water." Hoav
much salt must be used for such water ? Said Abayi : " Two-
thirds salt and one-third water." For what purpose can that
be used ? For fish-brine.

The same Judah b. Haviva taught: "One must not salt
pieces of radishes and eggs on the Sabbath." R. Hizkyah in
the name of Abayi said: " Salting radishes is not allowed, but
salting eggs is."

The same Judah b. Haviva taught: "If citrons, radishes
and eggs are eaten without the peel (in the case of an egg, the
yolk without the white), they remain in the stomach."

Rabhin walked behind R. Jeremiah on the banks of the sea
of Zidon. Rabhin asked R. Jeremiah: " Is it allowed to wash
one's self in this water on Sabbath ? " R. Jeremiah said : " Yes,
it is." Asked Rabhin again: " How is it if a man who is bath-
ing in this water, opens and closes his eyes, so that the water has
access to the eyes ? " Answered R. Jeremiah : " I never heard
of just such a case, but of one similar to it. I heard R. Zera
say at one time in the name of R. Mathne, another time in the
name of Mar Uqba, both of whom said, that the father of Sam-
uel differed with Levi and that one of them said, that pouring
wine on the eyes as a remedy is allowed but pouring wine into
the eyes is not allowed, while the other said that the saliva of a
man who had not broken his fast is a remedy for the eyes and
must not even be put on the eyes; but Mar Uqba in the name


of Samuel said : A man may soak a medicament for the eyes on
Friday in water and may then use the water on Sabbath with

Bar Levayi was standing before Mar Uqba, and saw the
latter opening and closing his eyes, so that the medicinal water
may have access to them. Said he to Mar Uqba: " So much
Mar Samuel did certainly not permit ! "

R. Yanai sent to Mar Uqba a request: " Let master send us
the eye-salve prescribed by Samuel for sore eyes." Mar Uqba
answered: " I send it to you, so that you do not think me par-
simonious, but Samuel said, that bathing the eye in cold water
in the morning and bathing the hands and feet in warm water
at night is better than any medicine for the eye in the world."
The same we have learned in a Boraitha: by R. Muna in the
name of R. Jehudah.

The same R. Muna used to say: " As soon as a man rises
and his hand touches his eye, nose, mouth, ear or a vein, it had
better be chopped off. The same should be done with a hand
that touches a pitcher used for beer, before it (the hand) is
washed, because such a hand causes blindness, deafness and
bad odors."

We have learned: R. Nathan said: "The eye is (like) a
princess and it hurts her to be touched by a hand that has not
been washed three times." R. Johanan says: " Puch (a pre-
cious stone or a certain kind of paint *) applied to the eye, stills
its wrath, dries its tears and causes its lashes to grow."

Mar Uqba said: " One who (accidentally) injured his hand
or foot so that blood flowed (on the Sabbath) may steep them
in wine in order to stop the flow, with impunity." The school-
men asked : " May he do this in vinegar also ? " Said R. Hillel
to R. Ashi : " When I attended the school of R. Kahana, it was
said, that it is not allowed in vinegar." Said Rabha: "And
the men of the city of Me'hutza, who are very delicate, are
generally cured by wine the same as other people are by

It happened, that Rabhina came to the house of R. Ashi and
saw the latter, having had his foot trodden upon by an ass, soak-
ing it in vinegar. Said Rabhina to him : " Does not the Master
coincide with R. Hillel, who said, that soaking in vinegar is not
allowed ?" R. Ashi answered: " With a wound on the instep

* See II Kings ix. 30, Isaiah liv. il and I Chronicles xxix. 2.


of the foot and the back of the hand it is different, because R.
Ada b. Mathne said in the name of Rabh, that a wound on the
back of the hand and on the instep of the foot is equal to an
internal wound and the Sabbath may be desecrated on its

The rabbis taught : " One may wash his body in the waters of
Gror, Chamtan, Essia and Tiberias (all of which are salt waters),
but it is not allowed to bathe one's self in the Great Sea and not
in water used for soaking flax, also not in the sea of Sodom."
Is this not contradictory to what we have learned in the Bora-
itha, viz. : " One may bathe in the Tiberias and in the Great
Sea, but not in water used for soaking flax and in the sea of
Sodom." This presents a difficulty; for in the Boraitha bathing
in the Great Sea is permitted, while the rabbis prohibit it.
Said R. Johanan : There is no difficulty. One Boraitha is in
accordance with the opinion of R. Meir, while the other is in
accord with the opinion of R. Jehudah (who differ in Tract
Mikva'ath, Chapter V., Mishna 6). R. Na'hman bar Itz'hak
opposed this, and said: " They differ only as regards defilement,
but have ye heard that they also differ concerning the Sabbath ? "
Hence R. Na'hman bar Itz'hak explained this otherwise. He
said, that the Boraitha which does not permit bathing in the
Great Sea refers to one who stays in the water some length of
time (and it is obvious that this is done on account of his
health). Now, if we say, that the one Boraitha refers to a man
who stays in the water for some time, we must assume, that the
other Boraitha refers to one who does not stay long, and if this
is so, why should not the one (who does not stay long) be per-
mitted to bathe even in the water used for soaking flax ? Have
we not learned in another Boraitha: "One may bathe in the
Tiberias, in flax-water or in the sea of Sodom, even if his head
be scrofulous, provided he does not stay long in the water" ?
Therefore we must explain, that the difficulty existing between
the two former Boraithas concerning the Great Sea is : that the
one prohibiting bathing in the Great Sea refers to bad water
which is not usually used for bathing, while the other refers to
the good water generally used by bathers and in both the case
refers to one who stays in the water for some time,

MISHNA: It is not allowed to eat Greek hyssop (a remedy
for worms) on the Sabbath, because it is not food for healthy
people. It is allowed, however, to eat yoeser (wild rosemary)
and to drink shepherd-blossom (tea, an antidote for poisonous


beverages). It is permitted to partake of all usual eatables and
beverages on the Sabbath as medicaments with the exception
of tree-water (water of a certain spring) and root-tea (a compound
of gum, herbs, and powdered roots), because the two latter serve
only as a remedy for jaundice. At the same time it is permitted
to drink tree-water to quench one's thirst, and one may anoint
himself with root-oil but not as a remedy.

GEMARA: "// is alloived, however, to eat wild rosemary''
etc. For what purpose is it eaten ? To drive out worms in
one's liver. What is it eaten with ? With seven white dates.
What does the illness (requiring this remedy) arise from ? From
the eating of meat broiled over live coals and the drinking of
water immediately after the eating on an empty stomach or
from eating fat meat, beef, nuts or Rapa-twigs when eaten on
an empty stomach and immediately washed down with water.

The mother of R. A'hadboy b. Ami made a remedy for a
man who had imbibed poison of an adder by cooking laurel
leaves in a cupful of beer, giving it to the man to drink, then
clearing out the coals from a burning hearth, placing a brick on
the hearth and making him sit on that brick until the poison
left the man in the shape of a green fern. R. Ivia said, that she
did not cook the laurel leaves in beer but in a quarter lug of milk
of a white goat.

One who swallowed a (small) snake should eat kostos (an
Indian root of which a precious salve was made, called in the
Bible onycha) in salt and should run three miles. R. Simeon
b. Ashi once saw a man who had swallowed a snake, so he dis-
guised himself as a Persian horseman, called to the man, com-
pelled him to eat kostos with salt, then chased him for three
miles. In consequence of fright the man then vomited the
snake piece by piece.

One who was bitten by a snake should get a bearing (female)
ass, tear her open, take out the foetus, and apply it to the

One who was encircled by a snake should run to the water,
take a basket, place it over the snake's head, and as soon as the
snake winds itself around the basket, throw it into the water
and escape.

One who is pursued by a snake should, if he is in company
of a friend, jump on the friend's back and have the friend carry
him at least four ells so as to hide the scent of his footsteps,
or, if alone, should jump over a stream or pond of water. At


night he should place his bed on four empty casks, then tie four
cats to the casks, and sleep in an unroofed space. He should
also place a lot of twigs and dry branches in front of his bed,
so that if the snake glide among them they will rustle, in which
event the cats will hear the noise and devour the snake. If
one is pursued by a snake, he should run to a sandy place, where
it is hard for a snake to glide.

" It is permitted to partake of all usual eatables,'' etc.
What does the Mishna mean to add by the word " all "? A milt,
which is good for the teeth (although it is bad for a weak stom-
ach), or bran, which is good for the stomach (but bad for the
teeth). What does the Mishna mean to add by the word " all,"
referring to beverages ? Water of Izlat (Kaffir-corn) boiled with

" With the exception of tree-water y We have learned in a
Boraitha: " With the exception of prickly water." One who
teaches prickly water does so because the water pricks the gall,
and one who teaches tree-water refers to water running out of
two trees ? What does he mean by this ? Said Rabba bar
Brona: " There are two date-trees in Palestine that are called
Thalai, and between them is a spring of water; the first cup of
this water produces a weak sensation in the stomach, the second
cup purges and the third leaves the stomach as clear as when
imbibed." Said Ula : " I drank the Babylonian beer with better
effects than that tree-water, but it is only then effective if
drunk for the first time in forty days. R. Joseph said: " The
water called prickly water above is Egyptian beer, which is one
third barley, one third wild saffron, and one third salt." R.
Papa said : It is one third wheat, one third wild saffron, and
one third salt, and it should be drunk between Passover and
Pentecost, when it will relieve constipation and stop diarrhoea.

'' And root-tea.'' What is root-tea? Said R. Johanan : It
is made of Alexandrian gum, alum, and garden saffron, each
the weight of one Zuz, and ground together. To one who
suffers with too frequent menstruation, three cups of this tea
should be given in wine, and she will not be barren. For jaun-
dice two cups are to be administered, in beer, but the patient
will be barren ever after. May this be done ? Have we not
learned in a Boraitha: Whence do we know that castrating a
man is prohibited ? From the passage [Lev. xxii. 24]: " And
in your land shall ye not make the like." Which means, ye
shall not do this on your own bodies. So said R. Hanina ?


This is said only in reference to one who has the intention of
making one a eunuch, but not with reference to one who admin-
isters the remedy for jaundice, and incidentally makes one impo-
tent; as R. Johanan said: " One who wishes to castrate a cock
shall cut his comb, and thus the cock will become impotent."
Did not R. Ashi say, that a cock whose comb is cut off is not
rendered impotent thereby, but, being very proud, will have no
more coition with hens on that account ? Were he actually ren-
dered impotent, it would not be allowed to remove his comb,
for it is written [ibid.] : " And in your land shall ye not make the
like." It is allowed to give a man two cups of root-tea for
jaundice, providing he was already impotent. But even this is
prohibited (in Menachoth 56) ! Say rather it may be given to a
woman who is not subject to the command of bearing children.

MISHNA: One who suffers with toothache must not gargle
vinegar for it, but he may dip something in vinegar and apply it,
and if the pain is relieved thereby, he need have no fear of the
consequences. One who has pains in his loins must not rub
them with wine or vinegar, but may anoint them with oil ; not
with rose-oil, however. Children of princes may anoint their
wounds even with rose-oil, because it is their wont even on
week-days to anoint themselves with rose-oil. R. Simeon said :
" All Israelites must be considered as children of princes."

GEMARA: R. Aha bar Papa asked R. Abuha concerning
the following contradiction : " The Mishna teaches, that one who
has a toothache must not gargle with vinegar, implying thereby,
that vinegar is a remedy for toothache, and still we find in the
passage [Proverbs x. 26] : * As vinegar is to the teeth, and as
smoke is to the eyes.' " This presents no difificulty. The
Mishna refers to an injured tooth, whereas the passage refers to
sound teeth, which are put on edge by vinegar.

'' Must not gargle vinegar.'' Have we not learned in a Bo-
raitha, that it is not allowed to gargle vinegar and then spit it
out, but if swallowed afterwards gargling is allowed ? Said
Abayi : Such is also the intent of the Mishna, meaning, if he
spit out after gargling.

''One who has pains in his loins,'' etc. Said R. Aba b. Zabhda
in the name of Rabh : The law according to the opinion of R.
Simeon prevails. Shall we assume that Rabh holds with R.
Simeon ? Did not R. Simi bar Hyya say in the name of Rabh,
that a bung-head tied around with a piece of cloth must not be
hammered into a barrel on a festival (because the barrel being


full of wine, the cloth will absorb some, and by being pressed
into the hole the wine absorbed will run out, and wringing a
thing is not allowed), although the wine runs out of its own
accord, and not through the intention of the man ; but accord-
ing to R. Simeon this would be permitted ? Where an act is
concerned which will most certainly be consummated, even with-
out the agency of man, as the head of a creature being removed,
death must surely follow, R. Simeon also admits, that it is not
allowed. We have learned elsewhere, however, explicitly, that
Hyya bar Ashi said, that Rabh holds according to R. Jehudah,
and Samuel according to R. Simeon ? (How can it be said that
Rabh holds with R. Simeon ?) Said Rabha : I and the lion of
our society {i.e., R. Hyya bar Abhin) explained this as follows:
The ordinance prevails according to R. Simeon, that (rose-oil) is
allowed, but not for the reason advanced by R. Simeon. R.
Simeon says, that all Israelites are considered as princes, and
therefore, even in such places where rose-oil is very costly, one
may also anoint himself with it ; but Rabh says it is allowed,
because, where he (Rabh) resided, rose-oil was very cheap (but
where it is costly it is not allowed).




MISHNA: Following are the knots for the tying of which
one becomes culpable. The knot of the camel-drivers (made on
the guiding-ring) and the knot of the seamen (made on the
bow of a ship); just as one becomes culpable for tying them,
so also one becomes culpable for untying them. R. Meir
said: " One does not become culpable for any knots that can be
untied with one hand."

GEMARA: What is the meaning of a knot of the camel-
drivers and a knot of seamen ? Shall we assume, that by such a
knot is meant the one that is tied in attaching the guiding-line
suspended from the nose-ring of a camel to something else, and
also the knot made in attaching the hawser of a ship to a cap-
stan on the dock ? (Such knots are not permanent, why should
the tying of them be prohibited ?) Nay; by that knot is meant
the one made in attaching the guiding-line to the nose-ring and
the hawser to the ship itself (both of which are permanent

MISHNA: There are knots on account of which one does
not become culpable, as in the case of a camel-driver's or sea-
man's knot. A woman may tie the slit of her chemise, the
bands of her hood, the bands of her girdle, the straps of her
shoes and sandals ; also the bands of leather flasks (filled) with
wine or oil, and of a pot of meat. R. Eliezer, the son of
Jacob, says: " One may tie a rope in front of cattle, in order
that they may not escape." One may tie a bucket (over the
well) with his girdle, but not with a rope. R. Jehudah permits
this to be done with a rope also. For a rule was laid down by
R. Jehudah : One is not culpable for any knot which is not per-
manently fastened.

GEMARA: Is there not a difficulty in understanding the
Mishna itself ? The first part states, that there are knots on
account of which one does not become culpable, etc., imply-



ing, therefore, that, while one who ties them does not become
liable for a sin-offering, at the same time he must not do it to
commence with. The latter part, however, says, that a woman
may tie the slit of her chemise, etc., implying, then, that she
may do it in the first place ? The Mishna means : There are
some knots for the tying of which one does not become culpable,
as in the case of the knots of the camel-drivers, etc., and they
are: The knots by means of which the guiding-line is attached
to the nose-ring, and the knots by means of which the hawsers
are attached to the ship itself. For tying such knots one does
not become liable for a sin-offering, but he must not make them
to commence with (because at times the knot is left on the nose-
ring or on the ship for some time), and there are other knots
which may be tied in the first place, such as the slit of a
woman's chemise, etc. ; what would he inform us ? Is it not
self-evident, that a woman must tie the slit in her chemise. The
case treated of is where a chemise has two slits, an upper and
a lower, and it can be put on (over the head) even if the lower
one is tied. We might assume, then, that only the upper one of
the slits would be permitted to be tied ; he therefore informs us,
that both the upper and the lower may be tied and untied.

The bands of her hood.'' Is this not self-evident ? The
case is, that the bands of the hood are always tied, and the
woman slips on the hood without untying or tying the bands,
and we might assume that for this reason the knot is considered
permanent ; he therefore informs us, that if a hair become entan-
gled in the hood, the woman may tie and untie the bands.

The straps of her shoes and sandals,'' etc. R. Jehudah,
the brother of R. Sala the Pious, had a pair of sandals, which
were sometimes worn by him and sometimes by his child. He
came to Abayi and asked him whether he might tie and untie
them (on Sabbath). Said Abayi: " He who does this uninten-
tionally becomes liable for a sin-offering." Said R. Jehudah to
him: " If thou hadst said, that one is not culpable for doing
this, but that it must not be done to commence with, it would
seem strange to me ; thou sayest now, that one is liable for a sin-
offering." Asked Abayi: "Why so?" Answered R. Jehu-
dah: " Because on week-days I sometimes also wear the sandals,
and (if my child wishes to use them) I untie them and adjust
them to the child's foot." Answered Abayi: " If such be the
case, they may be tied or untied (on the Sabbath) to commence


R. Jeremiah was walking behind R. Abuha on unclaimed
ground, and the band of his sandal having been torn off, he
asked R. Abuha what to do, R. Abuha told him to take damp
seaweeds, which an animal can eat (and which may therefore be
handled on Sabbath), and tie his sandal.

Abayi stood before R. Joseph in private ground, and the
band of one of his sandals becoming torn off, he asked R.
Joseph what to do. Said R. Joseph: " Leave thy sandal here
and walk without it." Asked Abayi: " Wherein does my case

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