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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 117a

How compare! There it [the sheath] had become as a stand to that which is permitted,1  whereas here it [the skin] had become a stand to a thing that is forbidden!2  Rather they say thus to him, If we may save the sheath of a Scroll together with the Scroll, though it also contains money,3  shall we not handle the skin on account of the flesh? How compare! There it [the sheath] became a stand for something that is forbidden (the money] and something that is permitted [the Scroll]; whereas here the whole has become a stand for that which is forbidden? — Rather they say thus to him: If a sheath containing money may be brought from elsewhere to save a Scroll of the Law with it, shall we not handle the skin in virtue of the flesh? And how do we know that itself? Shall we say, since one need not throw them [the coins] out when it contains them,4  he may bring it [the sheath] too? How compare! There, in the meanwhile the fire may alight [upon the Scroll];5  but here, let them be thrown out in the meantime?6  Rather said Mar son of R. Ashi: In truth it is as we originally explained it; and as to your objection, There it is (mere] handling, whereas here it is work, — [that is answered] e.g., that he does not require the skin.7  But Abaye and Raba both say: R. Simeon agrees in a case of 'cut off its head but let it not die?'8  — He removes it [the skin] in strips.9

AND WHITHER MAY WE RESCUE THEM, etc. What is an open [alley] and what is a closed [one]? — R. Hisda said: [[fit contains] three walls and two stakes,10  it is a closed alley; three walls and one stake, it is an open alley. And both of them11  are based on R. Eliezer['s opinion]. For we learnt: To make an alley eligible,12  Beth Shammai maintain: [It requires] a stake and a beam;13  Beth Hillel say: Either a stake or a beam; R. Eliezer said: Two stakes.14  Said Rabbah to him, If there are three walls and one stake, do you call it open!15  Moreover, according to the Rabbis, let us save thither even foodstuffs and liquids?16  Rather said Rabbah, [it is to be explained thus]: [If it contains] two walls and two stakes,17  it is a closed alley; two walls and one stake, it is an open alley, and both18  are based on [the view of] R. Judah. For it was taught: Even more than this did R. Judah say: If one owns two houses on the opposite sides of the street, lie can place a stake or a beam at each side and carry between them. Said they to him: A street cannot be made fit for carrying by an 'erub in this way.19  Said Abaye to him, But according to you too, on [the view of] the Rabbis let us save thither even foodstuffs and liquids?20

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Sc. the Scroll, which may be handled in any case, even if there is no fire.
  2. Sc. the flesh, which may not be handled until the evening before which it is not required (Rashi). Tosaf.: the flesh may be handled now, but before the sacrifice was killed the whole animal was mukzeh.
  3. Which by itself may not be handled.
  4. V. Mishnah.
  5. If one should first have to empty the sheath of its money.
  6. Whilst carrying the sheath to the Scroll it can be emptied of its money without loss of time.
  7. Hence the flaying is unintentional, as far as the skin is concerned.-On this explanation they differ only in respect of skinning the animal, as was first suggested.
  8. v. p. 357, n. 8.
  9. Not as one piece. It is not even real flaying them and only counts as a shebuth (Rashi).
  10. I.e., it is a cul-de-sac leading off a street, and stakes are planted in the ground at either side of the opening. These stakes legally count as a fourth wall, and thus the alley is regarded as entirely enclosed.
  11. The Rabbis and Ben Bathyra.
  12. To rank technically as an 'alley' wherein carrying on the Sabbath is permitted under certain conditions.
  13. A stake at the side of the entrance and a beam across it.
  14. Ben Bathyra however holds that in order to save holy writings R. Eliezer too is more lenient.
  15. Surely not, even if it be conceded that two stakes are required to make it fit.
  16. I.e., where it is closed with two stakes carrying should be entirely permitted therein, and not restricted to holy writings. [The Rabbis state infra 120a that foodstuffs may be saved by carrying them into a courtyard furnished with an 'erub, but not into an alley.]
  17. I.e., it is open at each end, and a stake is placed at both entrances.
  18. V. n. 4.
  19. V. supra 6a bottom for notes. Ben Bathyra holds that where the saving of holy writings is in question R. Judah is more lenient.
  20. Seeing that in your opinion the Rabbis hold with R. Judah that two partitions and two stakes render the space fit for carrying.
Tractate List

Shabbath 117b

Rather said R. Ashi: Three walls and one stake, that is a closed alley; three walls without a stake, that is an open alley. And even according to R. Eliezer who maintains [that] we require two stakes, that is only in respect of foodstuffs and liquids, but for a Scroll of the Law one stake is sufficient.


GEMARA. Consider: He labours5  in that which is permissible;6  then let us save more? — Said Raba: Since a man is excited over his property, if you permit him [to save more], he may come to extinguish [the fire]. Said Abaye to him, Then as to what was taught: If one's barrel [of wine] is broken on the top of his roof he may bring a vessel and place (it] underneath, provided that he does not bring another vessel and catch (the dripping liquid]7  or another vessel and join it (to the roof]8  what preventive measure is required there? — Here too it is a preventive measure lest he bring a utensil through the street.

[To turn to] the main text: If one's barrel is broken on the top of his roof, he may bring a vessel and place it underneath, provided that he does not bring another vessel and catch (the dripping liquid] or another vessel and join it [to the roof]. If guests happen to visit him, he may bring another vessel and catch [the dripping liquid], or another vessel and join it [to the roof]. He must not catch [the liquid] and then invite [the guests], but must first invite [them] and then catch [the liquid]; and one must not evade the law in this matter.9  In R. Jose son of R. Judah's name it was said: We may evade [the law]. Shall we say that they disagree in the [same] controversy [as that] of R. Eliezer and R. Joshua? For it was taught: If an animal10  and its young11  fall into a pit,12  R. Eliezer said: One may haul up the first in order to slaughter it, and for the second he makes provision where it lies, so that it should not die. R. Joshua said: One may haul up the first in order to kill it, but he does not kill it, then he practises an evasion and hauls up the second, and kills whichever he desires!13  — How so? perhaps R. Eliezer rules thus only there, because provisions can be made, but not here, seeing that that is impossible. And perhaps R. Joshua rules thus only there because suffering of dumb animals is involved; but not here that there is no suffering of dumb animals?14

Our Rabbis taught: If he saved bread [made] of fine flour, he must not save coarse bread; (if he saved] coarse bread, he may [still] save a fine [flour] bread.15  And one may save on the Day of Atonement for the Sabbath,16  but not on the Sabbath for the Day of Atonement,17  and it goes without saying (that one must not rescue food] on the Sabbath for a Festival, or on a Sabbath for the following Sabbath.

Our Rabbis taught: If one forgets a loaf in an oven, and the day becomes holy upon him,18  food for three meals may be saved,19  and he may say to others, 'Come and save for yourselves.' And when he removes [the bread], he must not remove it with a mardeh20  but with a knife.21  But that is not so, for the School of R. Ishmael taught: Thou shalt not do any work:22  the blowing of the shofar and the removal of bread (from the oven] are excluded as being an art, not work? — As much as is possible to vary (it]23  we do so.

R. Hisda said: One should always make early [preparations]24  against the termination of the Sabbath, for it is said, And it shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare that which they bring in25  — [i.e.,] immediately.

R. Abba said: On the Sabbath it is one's duty to break bread26  over two loaves, for it is written, twice as much bread.27  R. Ashi said: I saw that R. Kahana held two [loaves] but broke bread over one, observing, 'they gathered' is written,28  R. Zera broke enough bread for the whole meal.29  Said Rabina to R. Ashi: But that looks like greed? — Since he does not do this every day, he replied, but only now [the Sabbath], it does not look like greed, he replied.30  R. Ammi and R. Assi, when they came across the bread of an 'erub, would commence (their meal] therewith,31  observing, 'Since one precept has been performed with it,32  let another precept be performed with it.'

HOW SO? IF A FIRE BREAKS OUT, etc. Our Rabbis taught: How many meals must one eat on the Sabbath? Three. R. Hidka said: Four. R. Johanan observed, Both expound the same verse: And Moses said, Eat that to-day; for to-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord: to-day ye shall not find it in the field.33  R. Hidka holds: These three 'to-days' are [reckoned] apart from the evening;34  whereas the Rabbis hold, They include [that of] the evening. We learnt, IF A FIRE BREAKS OUT SABBATH NIGHT,

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. I.e., three meals per person and per animal, taking into account what is fit for man and what is fit for beast.
  2. Before the first meal has been eaten.
  3. In each case food may be saved for as many meals as will yet be required for that Sabbath,
  4. Whenever the fire breaks out.
  5. Lit., 'troubles'.
  6. Food may be handled on the Sabbath, and he carries it out into a courtyard provided with an 'erub (infra 120a), whither carrying is permitted in any case.
  7. As it falls through the air.
  8. I.e., set it near the roof, so that the liquid may flow along the roof and into the vessel. These are forbidden because it is manifest that the vessels are brought in order to save the wine or oil.
  9. I.e., he may not invite guests merely as a pretence, and when the wine is saved they will not drink it after all, but only guests who have not yet dined will drink it.
  10. Lit., 'it'.
  11. The reference is to animals that may be eaten. These may not be slaughtered together with their young on the same day. V. Lev. XXII, 28.
  12. On a Festival.
  13. V. Bez. 37a.
  14. It is noteworthy that to save animals from suffering is regarded as a stronger reason for desecrating the Festival than to save one from personal loss.
  15. There is no evasion in saying that he prefers the latter, hence it is still a Sabbath need.
  16. This is permitted, as the food is required immediately the Sabbath commences.
  17. Which falls on Sunday. This is forbidden, as he can procure food on the termination of the Fast.
  18. I.e., the Sabbath commenced.
  19. Before the bread is burnt.
  20. A bakers shovel; the oven tool generally used for removing bread.
  21. To emphasize that it is the Sabbath.
  22. Ex. XX, 10.
  23. Viz., the usual procedure, so that the Sabbath may not be treated like a weekday.
  24. On Friday.
  25. Ibid. XVI, 5.
  26. I.e., to recite the benediction.
  27. Ibid, 22.
  28. Ibid. One merely requires two loaves before him, thus 'gathering' double the usual portion, but recites the benediction over one loaf.
  29. I.e., he cut off so much bread, reciting the blessing over it.
  30. But is manifestly in honour of the Sabbath.
  31. I.e., they said the blessing over it.
  32. Sc. that of 'erub.
  33. Ibid. 25.
  34. Each 'to-day' denotes one meal, and a fourth is the meal on Friday night.
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