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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hand the meat to his servants at the door, saying : " Make haste and cook this while
1 go and bring more," showing that he went himself for the meat and brought each
piece from each butcher home separately.



dens to be carried in and out of the house himself on the eve of
Sabbath, saying: " If R. Ami or R. Assi would come to visit
me, would I not do the same for them ?" Others say that R,
Ami and Assi did this on the eve of every Sabbath, saying: " If
it should happen that R. Johanan were to visit us, would we not
do the same for him ? "

Joseph, who honored the Sabbath, had a rich Gentile for a
neighbor. The astrologers told the Gentile that all his goods
and possessions would eventually be eaten up by Joseph, his
neighbor. He went and sold out all his goods, and with the
proceeds bought a precious pearl. This pearl he had set in his
turban. While crossing a lake one day, the wind blew off his
turban and it fell into the water. A fish swallowed it. Subse-
quently the fish was caught by fishermen late on the eve of
Sabbath. Said the fishermen: " Who will buy this so late in
the evening ? " They were told by some people to go to Joseph,
who honored the Sabbath, and that he usually bought such things.
They carried it to Joseph, who bought it, and upon opening the
fish he found the pearl, which he sold for thirteen * boxes of
golden Dinars. A certain old man met this Joseph, and said to
him: " He who lends to the Sabbath is repaid by the Sabbath

Rabbi (Jehudah Hanassi) asked of R. Ishmael the son of R.
Jose: " By what acts did the rich men of Palestine, so wealthy,
merit their wealth ? "

He answered: " Because they gave tithes, as it is written
[Deut. xiv. 22] : ' Thou shalt truly give tithes,' " t "By what
acts did the rich men of Babylon merit their wealth ?" asked
Rabbi again. " Because they keep the law honorably," was the
reply. " And what about the rich men of other lands ? " " Be-
cause they honor the Sabbath," as R. Hyya bar Aba related:
" It happened that I was a guest in the house of a man in the
city of Ludkai and a golden table was brought for me, which
required sixteen men to carry, and sixteen silver chains were fas-
tened to it, and bowls, pitchers, goblets, and glasses were hung
on those chains, and on the table were all kinds of food and

* Rashi explains that his teacher Levi taught, that the number thirteen was
usually used by the sages for a general sum and must not be taken literally as the
above thirteen butchers, etc.

f The literal verse reads : " Asser teasher," which is here applied in the sense,
that thou shalt give tithes in order that thou mayst become rich, the word "osher"
also meaning riches.


beverages and spices, and when the table was set down they
said: ' Unto the Lord belongeth the earth, with what fiUeth it '
[Psalms xxiv. i], and when the table was taken away, they said:
' The heavens are the heavens of the Lord ; but the earth hath
he given unto the children of men.' [Psalms xcv. 16.] I said
to my host, ' My son, how didst thou merit all this ? ' Said he,
' I used to be a butcher, and whenever I came across a good
animal, I would keep it for Sabbath.' Said I to him: * Well is
unto thee, that thou hast merited this, and praise be to God,
who hath rewarded thee.' "

Said the Exilarch to R. Hamnuna : " It is written [Isaiah Iviii.
13]: * The holy day of the Lord, honorable.' What does this
' honorable ' signify ? " R. Hamnuna answered : " It means the
Day of Atonement, on which day there is no eating and no
drinking, and hence the Thora says, thou shalt honor it with
clean clothes." Further, it says [ibid.] : " Thou shalt honor it "
(this evidently does not refer to the Day of Atonement, which
is called honorable, but must again refer to the Sabbath ; how,
then, should it be honored ?) Said Rabh : ' ' Thou shalt make the
usual time of thy meals earlier," and Samuel said, " Thou shalt
postpone the ordinary meal-hour. ' ' The children of R. Papa bar
Aba asked R. Papa: " How shall we, who have meat and wine
every day, distinguish the Sabbath day ?" He answered: " If
ye usually have your meals at a late hour, have them earlier, and
if at an early hour, have them later."

R. Shesheth (who was blind) in the summer used to seat his
pupils, who came to hear him lecture on Sabbath, in a place
where the sun shone earliest, in order that they might become
warm and leave, and in the winter used to seat them where the
sun could not reach them, that they might become cold and leave
the sooner.

R. Zera, when seeing his pupils standing in pairs and discuss-
ing the Thora on the Sabbath, used to say to them: " I pray
ye, go home, eat, drink, and be merry. Do not violate the
Sabbath ! (It is made for pleasure and not for learning.) "

Rabha, according to others R. Jehoshua ben Levi, said:
'' Even a man who prays singly on the Sabbath eve must recite
the prayer commencing with ' Thus were finished,' etc. [Gen-
esis ii. 1-3] ; for R. Hamnuna said, that he who prays on the
Sabbath eve and recites that prayer is considered by the verse as
being a collaborator in the creation of the world."

R. Eliezer said: "Whence do we know that speaking is

vol.. II. — 5


equal to acting, as it is written [Psalms xxxiii. 6] : 'By the
word of the Lord were the heavens made.' "

R. Hisda in the name of Mar Uqba said: " He who on the
Sabbath recites the prayer commencing with, ' Thus were fin-
ished,' etc., has the hands of the two angels who accompany
each man laid on his head, and they say to him [Isaiah vi. 7] :
' And thy iniquity is departed and thy sin is forgiven.' "

We have learned in a Boraitha: R. Jose bar Jehudah said:
" Two angels accompany a man on the Sabbath eve on his way
home from the house of prayer; one is a good angel and the
other an evil one ; and when the man comes home and finds the
candles lit, the table set, and his bed made up, the good angel
says : * May it be the will of God that the next Sabbath shall
be the same,' and the evil angel answers * Amen ' involuntarily.
If, however, the man does not find everything in order, the evil
angel says: ' Mayst thou find it so on the next Sabbath also,'
and the good angel answers against his own will: ' Amen.' "

R. Elazar said: " A man should set his table on the Sabbath
eve, although he may not be hungry and can eat not more than
the size of an olive." R. Hanina said: "A man should set
his table on the eve following the Sabbath, though he may
not be hungry and can eat but the size of one olive. (This
is also in honor of the Sabbath and is like the accompanying
of a king at his departure.) Warm water at the close of the
Sabbath day is wholesome. Warm bread at that time is also

R. Abuha used to have a calf which was the third calf of
its mother (and hence the best) killed for him at the close of the
Sabbath day, and he ate only one of the entrails of the calf.
When his son Abhimi grew up, he (Abhimi) said, " Why kill a
whole calf for the sake of one of its entrails ? Let us leave
one of the entrails of the calf killed for the Sabbath for father,
that he may eat it at the close of the Sabbath." This was done,
but a lion came and killed the calf that was spared.

R. Jehoshua ben Levi said: "He who answers 'Amen.
The Name of the Eternal be blessed,' with all his heart, has
any ill fate which has been predestined for him nullified in
heaven, as it is written [Judges v. 2] : ' When depravity had
broken out in Israel, then did the people offer themselves will-
ingly; (therefore) praise ye the Lord.' Why had depravity
broken out in Israel? Because they had not praised the Lord."
R. Hyya bar Abba in the name of R, Johanan said: " Even if



that man have amongst his sins aught of idolatry, he is also

Said Resh Lakish: "He who answers 'Amen,' etc., with
all his might has the gates of Paradise opened for him, as it is
written [Isaiah xxvi. 2] : ' Open ye the gates, that there may
enter in the righteous nation that guardeth the truth.' " (The
truth in Hebrew is called " Emunim," and Resh Lakish said,
" Do not read Emunim but Amenim, the plural for Amen.")
What is Amen ? Said R. Hanina: " Amen is the abbreviation
for El (God), Melech (king), Neamon (truth)." (Meaning that
by saying Amen a man certifies that his Creator is the God and
king of truth.)

R. Jehudah, the son of R. Samuel, in the name of Rabh said:
" A fire seldom occurs in a place unless there is a violation of
the Sabbath, as it is written [Jeremiah xvii. 27] : ' But if ye will
not hearken unto me to hallow the Sabbath day, and not to bear
a burden, and to enter in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sab-
bath day; then will I kindle a fire in its gates, and it shall devour
the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched. ' " What
does " it shall not be quenched" signify? Said R. Na'hman
bar Itz'hak: " The fire shall occur at a time when men are not
around, as a rule."

Abayi said: " Jerusalem was destroyed solely on account of
the violation of the Sabbath, as it is written [Ezekiel xxii. 26] :
* And from (the violations of) my Sabbaths do they turn away
their eyes, so that I am profaned among them.' " R. Abuha
said: "Jerusalem was not destroyed until they had abolished
the reading of the Shema in the morning and in the evening,
as it is written [Isaiah v. I1-13]: ' Wo unto those that rise up
early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, that
continue until late in the twilight, till wine inflame them ! And
there are harp and psaltery, tambourine and flute, and wine, at
their drinking feasts; but the deeds of the Lord they regard
not, and the works of his hands they behold not. Therefore are
my people led into exile, for want of knowledge.' " R. Ham-
nuna said: "Jerusalem was not destroyed until the children
were kept away from school, as it is written [Jeremiah vi. 11]:
' (I must) pour it out over the child in the street ' ; and it may
be explained thus: Why must I pour it out ? Because the child
is in the street and not at school."

Ula said : " Jerusalem was destroyed because the people were
devoid of shame, as it is written [ibid. 15]: 'They should


have been ashamed because they committed an abomination;
but they neither felt the least shame, nor did they know how to
blush; therefore shall they fall among those that fall,' "

R. Itz'hak said: " Jerusalem was destroyed only because no
distinction was made between great and small, as it is written
[Isaiah xxiv. 2, 3] : ' And it shall be the same with the people
as with the priest, etc. Empty, emptied out shall be the land.' "
R. Amram, the son of R. Simeon bar Aba, in the name of his
father, quoting R. Hanina, said: "Jerusalem was destroyed only
because the people did not admonish one another, as it is writ-
ten (Lamentations i. 6) : ' Her princes have become like harts
that have found no pasture.' As the harts in a herd travel
head to rump, so would the men of Jerusalem not dare face
each other with admonitions, but followed from behind in

R. Jehudah said: "Jerusalem was destroyed because they
insulted men of learning, as it is written [II Chronicles xxxvii.
16]: " But they mocked at the messengers of God, and de-
spised his words, and scorned his prophets, until the fury of the
Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy." What
does " till there was no remedy " signify ? Said R. Jehudah in
the name of Rabh : " He who insults a man of learning, can
find no panacea for his affliction."

R. Jehudah in the name of Rabh said again: " It is written
[I Chronicles xvi. 22] : * Touch not my anointed, and do my
prophets no harm.' " By " touch not my anointed " is meant
the children of the school (for children are usually anointed),
and " do my prophets no harm " refers to the scholars.*

Resh Lakish said in the name of R. Jehudah the Second:
" The world is sustained solely through the exhalation of the
children" (because they are pure and without sin). Said R.
Papa to Abayi : * ' What about thy and my exhalation ? ' ' Answered
Abayi: "The difference lies therein, that thou and I might
have sinned, but children are incapable of committing sin."
Resh Lakish said again in the name of the same authority:
" The children should not be withheld from attending school,
even while the new temple shall be in process of construction."

Said Resh Lakish to R. Jehudah the Second: " I have heard

* Rashi justifies this reference by basing it on the verse in Psalms xc. 12, which
he interprets: "A prophet has a heart endowed with wisdom"; although Isaac
Leeser .translates the verse, " That we may obtain a heart endowed with wisdom,"
the Hebrew word Navi meaning both " prophet " and also " we may obtain."


a tradition coming from thy parents which says, that the city
which has no school for children shall be destroyed ; but Rabhina
says, the tradition is to the effect that the high court shall put
the city under a ban (until a school is built for children)."

Rabha said: Jerusalem was destroyed solely because there
were no more trustworthy men there, as it is written [Jeremiah
V. i]: " Roam about through the streets of Jerusalem, and see
now, and notice, and search in its broad places, if ye can find
one man, if there be one that executeth justice, that searcheth
for truth : and I will pardon it." What is meant by trustworthy
men ? Such as can be trusted in business.

MISHNA: Further, one may save a basket full of loaves (of
bread), be it even enough for a hundred meals, a fig-cake, and a
cask of wine; and one may also call to others: " Come ye and
save for yourselves!" If those who do so understand their
advantage, they make a settlement with the owner after the
Sabbath is over. Where may such articles be taken to (for
safety) ? To a court that is joined to the other (court of the
house burning) by an Erub. Ben Bathyra says: " Even to one
that is not joined by an Erub."

There all utensils (dishes) may be brought, that are used on
the same day; one may (in the event of a conflagration on the
Sabbath) put on as many clothes as possible, and may wrap
himself in whatever is possible. R. Jose says: " One may only
put on eighteen pieces of ordinary apparel, but he can come
back as often as he chooses and put on the same quantity and
carry them off." One may also call to others: " Come ye and
save with me (whatever ye can) ! "

GEMARA: Have we not learned, in the preceding Mishna
[page 245], that only (enough victuals for) three meals may be
saved (and in the above Mishna suflficient for a hundred meals
is permitted)? Said R. Huna: "This presents no difficulty. Our
Mishna refers to one who comes to save the food with only one
basket (when he may fill it with any quantity, whereas the pre-
ceding Mishna refers to one who brings several baskets, and in
such a case it is not permitted to put in each basket more than
sufficient for three meals)." But R. Aba bar Zavda in the name
of Rabh said: "Both Mishnas refer to one who comes even
with several baskets, but still no difificulty arises. This Mishna
speaks of one who does not carry the food beyond the same
court, while the other refers to one who carries it into another


" A fig-cake,'' etc. Why does the Mishna say, that if those
who save for themselves know their advantage they will make a
settlement with the owner after having saved the things from
the conflagration ? Are they not entitled to it under any circum-
stances, by virtue of the owner having made it public property
when saying, " Come ye and save for yourselves" ? Said R.
Hisda: " This refers to pious people who would not take advan-
tage of a man who is compelled to sacrifice his property." Said
Rabha: "Can they be called pious, who accept remuneration
for their time on the Sabbath ? Nay ; the Mishna does not refer
to pious men, but to God-fearing men, who, while they would not
take anything not belonging to them, would not care to trouble
themselves gratuitously. By stating, therefore, that those who
know their advantage will settle accounts with the owner after-
wards, the Mishna means to say that their prudence consists in
their knowing that they will not receive any remuneration for
their time on Sabbath, but will only receive their own property
as their due."

" Come ye and save with me.'' Why does the first part of
the Mishna permit the saying of " Come and save for your-
selves," and in the last part the permission is given to say:
" Come and save with me" ? Because the first part of the
Mishna refers to victuals, and a man cannot save more than suflfi-
cient for three meals, while the last part of the Mishna refers to
clothing; and as a man can change his clothing as often as he
pleases, he may call to others to come and help him save what-
ever is possible.

' ' One may put on as many clothes as possible. " The rabbis
taught : One may dress himself, go out and undress, come back
and dress again, and so on as often as he chooses. So said R.
Meir. R. Jose, however, said, that one may put on only eigh-
teen pieces of ordinary apparel. These were: i and 2. Macturen
and Unqly, a mantle with a head-hold; 3. Ftmda, pocket for
money; 4. Kalbus, a dress without sleeves; 5. Chaluk, a kind of
shirt ; 6. Apiliute, cover or overcoat ; 7. MaoparetJi ; 8 and 9.
Drawers and pantaloons and cap for the head; 10 and 11. Shoes;
12 and 13. Socks; 14 and 15. Pargud, striped suit; 16. Girdle;
17. Hat; 18. Neckties.

MISHNA: R. Simeon, the son of Nanas, says: " One may
spread a goat-skin over a chest, a box, or a cupboard, which has
caught fire, so that they only become singed. One may also
form a partition with any utensil (or vessel), be it full of water


or not, in order to keep the fire from spreading. R. Jose for-
bids the making of such a partition with new earthenware vessels
filled with water, because such vessels cannot stand heat, but
burst and extinguish the fire."

GEMARA: R. Jehudah said in the name of Rabh: " When
one side of a garment has caught fire, the other side may be put
in water, and if thereby the fire is extinguished it makes no
difference." An objection was made : We have learned in a To-
sephta, that if a garment has caught fire one may wrap it around
him, and it makes no difference if the fire is thereby extin-
guished. One may also unroll the Sacred Scrolls, if the covering
has caught fire on one side, and it does not matter if thus the
fire is quenched. (This Tosephta then simply permits the un-
folding or the folding of a garment that has caught fire, but says
nothing about soaking the undamaged part in water.) Rabh
holds with R. Simeon, the son of Nanas, in the above Mishna
(who permits the prevention of the fire). R. Simeon, however,
restricts his permission so that, while preventing the fire, it is not
extinguished, but simply singes the objects (when the article,
however, is soaked in water the fire will certainly be quenched,
and did R. Simeon permit this also ?) Yea, he did ; for the last
part of the Mishna relates, that R. Jose forbids the making of a
partition with new pottery filled with water, because such vessels
are liable to burst and extinguish the fire; and if R. Jose forbids
this, surely R. Simeon (the first Tana) must have permitted it
in the first part of the Mishna.

The rabbis taught: If a candle fall on the table, the table
board may be raised and the candle dropped to the floor, and if
it become extinguished, it matters not. Another Boraitha
taught, that if a candle burn behind a door, the door may be
opened and closed as usual, regardless of whether the candle is
thus extinguished. Rabh scolded the one that thus decreed.
Said Rabhina to R. A'ha the son of Rabha, according to others
R. A'ha the son of Rabha to R. Ashi: " Why did Rabh scold
the one who made that decree ? Shall we say that it was
because he holds with R. Jehudah (who says that an indirect
act is also prohibited), and the Boraitha holds with R. Simeon,
who permits the performance of an indirect act ; is it possible
that Rabh will scold every one who holds with R. Simeon ?"
He answered: " In this matter R. Simeon would also agree that
this is prohibited, as it would be like decapitating a man without
killing him."


R. Jehudah said: " One may open a door opposite a hearth-
fire." Abayi scolded the one that decreed thus. Of what cir-
cumstances do we treat here ? If the door is opened when there
is an ordinary wind blowing, what reason had the one to pro-
hibit it ; and if there be an extraordinary wind blowing, why did
the other permit it ? The case here treated of is that of an
ordinary wind, and the one prohibits the door being opened as a
precautionary measure, lest this be done when a high wind is
blowing, while the other does not regard a precautionary meas-
ure necessary.

" One may also form a partition,'' etc. Shall we say that the
rabbis hold the indirect bringing about of an extinction to be per-
missible and R. Jose holds to the contrary? Have we not heard
the case to be the reverse? We have learned in a Boraitha:
One may make a partition with empty vessels, and with vessels
filled with water that are not liable to burst, and such are iron
vessels. R. Jose, however, says, that the vessels made of pot-
tery in the villages of Shihin and Hananiah are also proof against
bursting. Thus we see that R. Jose is even more lenient than
the rabbis ? This presents no dif^culty, for the above Boraitha
is altogether in accordance with R. Jose; but it is incomplete,
and should read thus: " One may make a partition with empty
vessels, and with such as are filled with water but are not liable
to burst ; and such vessels are iron vessels and vessels made of
pottery in the villages of Shihin and Hananiah," as R. Jose says
that the vessels made of pottery in these villages are proof
against heat.

MISHNA: If a non-Israelite comes near to extinguish (the
fire), one must neither say to him: " Extinguish (it)," nor " Do
not extinguish it," and for the reason, that one is not obliged
to make him rest (on Sabbath). If a minor, however, desires to
extinguish the fire, one must not allow him to do so, because
one is obliged to see that he (the minor) rests (on Sabbath).

GEMARA : R. Ami said: " During a conflagration one may
proclaim : ' Whoever will come and extinguish the fire, will lose
nothing by it.' "

The rabbis taught : It happened that a fire broke out in the
court of Joseph ben Simai in the town of Shihin, and the men
of the fortress of Sepphoris came to extinguish the fire, because
Joseph was an ofificial of the government ; but he would not allow
them to do so, in honor of the Sabbath. A miracle occurred,
and it commenced to rain, and the fire was extinguished. That


evening he sent to each man in the fortress two selah and to their
officer fifty selah. When the sages heard this, they said : " It was
not at all necessary to do this, because the Mishna says, that
when a Gentile comes to extinguish a fire on Sabbath, one need
not tell him to do it, or not to do it."

'' If a minor, however, desires to extinguish the fire, " etc.
Could we conclude from this, that if a minor is detected eating
forbidden food it is the duty of the court of justice to prevent
his doing so (and we know such is not the case) ? Said R.
Johanan: " Yea; if the minor does this with his father's knowl-
edge. We must say, then, that the same case applies to the
Gentile, who does the work with the knowledge of the Israelite
whose house is burning. Is this permitted ? Yea, it is; for the
Gentile does it of his own volition, and it makes no difference
whether the Israelite knows it or not (because he, the Gentile,
knows he will be rewarded)."

MISHNA •. One may cover the top of a lamp with a vessel
in order that the ceiling may not catch fire, and also cover the
ordure (of poultry*) on account of the children (in the house).
(One may also place a vessel) over a scorpion in order to prevent
him from biting. R. Jehudah said: " A case of this kind hap-
pened once in the presence of R. Johanan ben Zakai in Arab,
and he said, *I am not certain whether (the man) is not culpable
(and bound to bring a sin-offering).' "

GEMARA: R. Jehudah, R. Jeremiah b. Aba, and R. Hanon
b. Ram happened to be the guests of Abin of Nishikia. The two
former were furnished with beds, and the last one was not. At
the same time, he noticed him teaching his son that the ordure

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Online LibraryMichael Levi RodkinsonNew edition of the Babylonian Talmud. Original text edited, corrected, formulated, and translated into English (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 21)