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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 156a

It is R. Jose son of R. Judah. But that is only if one does it in an unusual manner. How does one do it in an unusual manner? Said R. Hisda: Little by little.1  Yet they agree that shatith2  may be stirred round on the Sabbath, and Egyptian beer may be drunk.3  But you said that we must not mix?4  — There is no difficulty: the one treats of a thick mass;5  the other of a loose [one].6  And that is only if he does it in an unusual manner. How does one do it in an unusual manner? — Said R. Joseph: During the week the vinegar is [first] poured in and then the shatith, whereas on the Sabbath the shatith is [first] poured in and then the vinegar.

Levi son of R. Huna b. Hiyya found [on Sabbath] the mixer of his father's household7  mashing [up bran] and feeding the oxen. Thereupon he rebuked him — Then his father came and found him [there]. Said he to him. Thus did your maternal grandfather, viz., R. Jeremiah b. Abba, say in Rab's name: One may mash [bran] but not force it [on the animal]; and if it [the animal] cannot take it [the fodder] up with its tongue one may feed it;8  provided, however, that it is done in an unusual manner. How does one do it in an unusual manner? — Said R. Yemar b. Shalmia in Rab's name: [By stirring it] crosswise.9  But he cannot mix it well [then]? — Said Rab Judah: He shakes up the vessel [itself].

It was recorded in Ze'iri's notebook: I asked my teacher, viz., R. Hiyya. What about kneading?10  It is forbidden, replied he. What about emptying?11  It is permitted, he answered.

R. Menassia said: It is well [to place] one [measure of food] for one animal, and two for two; but [to place] three [measures] for two [animals] is forbidden.12  R. Jose said: A kab and even two kabs [may be set]. 'Ulla said: A kor and even two kor.13

It was recorded in Levi's notebook: I spoke to my teacher, viz., our holy Master,14  about those who mix shatitha in Babylonia, and my teacher, viz., our holy Master, protested [vociferously] against the practice of mixing shatitha, but none heeded him, and he lacked the power to forbid it, on account of R. Jose b. Judah.15

It was recorded in R. Joshua b. Levi's notebook: He who [is born] on the first day of the week [Sunday] shall be a man without one [thing] in him — What does 'without one [thing] in him' mean? Shall we say, without one virtue?16  Surely R. Ashi said: I was born on the first day of the week! Hence it must surely mean, one vice. But Surely R. Ashi said: I and Dimi b. Kakuzta were born on the first day of the week: I am a king17  and he is the captain of thieves!18  — Rather it means either completely virtuous or completely wicked.19  [What is the reason? Because light and darkness were created on that day.]20  He who is born on the second day of the week will be bad-tempered — What is the reason? Because the waters were divided thereon.21  He who is born on the third day of the week will be wealthy and unchaste. What is the reason? Because herbs were created thereon.22  He who is born on the fourth day of the week will be wise and of a retentive memory.23  What is the reason? Because the luminaries were suspended [thereon] — He who is born on the fifth day of the week will practise benevolence. What is the reason? Because the fishes and birds were created thereon.24  He who is born on the eve of the Sabbath will be a seeker. R. Nahman b. Isaac commented: A seeker after good deeds.25  He who is born on the Sabbath will die on the Sabbath, because the great day of the Sabbath was desecrated on his account. Raba son of R. Shila observed: And he shall be called a great and holy man.26

R. Hanina said to then, [his disciples]: Go out and tell the son of Levi, Not the constellation of the day but that of the hour is the determining influence. He who is born under the constellation of the sun27  will be a distinguished28  man: he will eat and drink of his own and his secrets will lie uncovered; if a thief, he will have no success. He who is born under Venus will be wealthy and unchaste [immoral]. What is the reason? Because fire was created therein.29  He who is born under Mercury will be of a retentive memory and wise. What is the reason? Because it [Mercury] is the sun's scribe. He who is born under the Moon will be a man to suffer evil, building and demolishing, demolishing and building. eating and drinking that which is not his and his secrets will remain hidden: if a thief, he will be successful.30  He who is born under Saturn will be a man whose plans will be frustrated.31  Others say: All [nefarious] designs against him will be frustrated. He who is born under Zedek [Jupiter] will be a right-doing man [zadkan] R. Nahman b. Isaac observed: Right-doing in good deeds.32  He who is born under Mars will be a shedder of blood. R. Ashi observed: Either a surgeon, a thief, a slaughterer, or a circumciser. Rabbah said: I was born under Mars.33  Abaye retorted: You too inflict punishment and kill.34

It was stated. R. Hanina said: The planetary influence gives wisdom, the planetary influence gives wealth, and Israel stands under planetary influence. R. Johanan maintained: Israel is immune from planetary influence.35  Now, R. Johanan is consistent with his view, for R. Johanan said: How do we know that Israel is immune from planetary influence? Because it is said, Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the nations are dismayed at them:36  they are dismayed but not Israel.37  Rab too holds that Israel is immune from planetary influence. For Rab Judah said in Rab's name: How do we know that Israel is immune from planetary influence? Because it is said, and he brought him forth from abroad.38  Abraham pleaded before the Holy One, blessed be He, 'Sovereign of the Universe! one born in mine house is mine heir.'39  'Not so,' He replied, 'but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels.'40  'Sovereign of the Universe!' cried he, 'I have looked at my constellation and find that I am not fated to beget child.' 'Go forth from [i.e., cease] thy planet [gazing], for Israel is free from planetary influence. What is thy calculation?

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Lit., 'by hand, by hand'.
  2. A drink prepared of flour and honey.
  3. Though sometimes taken for medicinal purposes it is also imbibed as an ordinary beverage, and hence permitted; cf. supra 109b.
  4. Stirring shatith is the same.
  5. Such as a dough that is forbidden.
  6. Such as shatith.
  7. It was his duty to mix the fodder for his father's cattle.
  8. E.g., food may be put into the mouth of a young calf.
  9. Instead of round and round.
  10. Or, mashing — bran.
  11. A mash from one vessel into another, in order to mix it (Tosaf.). Rashi: from the vessel standing in front of one animal and pouring it out for another animal.
  12. One may set its usual quantity of food before an animal on the Sabbath, — i.e., as much as it generally consumes; similarly, a double quantity for two, if they both feed out of the same manger. But one may not set a treble quantity for two animals, since they do not eat so much during the week.
  13. There is no limit.
  14. R. Judah the prince.
  15. Who permits it supra.
  16. Lit., 'one (thing) in (his) favour'.
  17. I.e., the head of the academy.
  18. An anticipation of gangsterdom?
  19. I.e., he shall be a man complete in his mode of life, without any opposing principle within him.
  20. Hence his nature shall be the one or the other. — Rashal, for some reason which is not clear, deletes the bracketed passage.
  21. Division or disunity is caused by bad temper. — Rashi: so will he be estranged from other people (through his temper).
  22. Herbs multiply very rapidly and also continually intermingle with other herbs.
  23. 'Aruk. Rashi: bright, lustrous.
  24. Which are fed by God's lovingkindness.
  25. Just as on the eve of the Sabbath one seeks to complete the details necessary for the proper observance of the Sabbath.
  26. Maharsha: Not all born on the Sabbath die on the Sabbath, but only those who are very holy.
  27. I.e., when the sun, as one of the planets, wields its influence on man.
  28. Or: bright, handsome.
  29. During the hours ruled over by Mercury.
  30. Just like the moon, which waxes and wanes, has no light of its own but merely reflects the sun's light, and is in general dark.
  31. [H] (to frustrate) is the Chaldaic equivalent of [H].
  32. Rashi: charitable.
  33. And am none of these.
  34. Not to be taken literally. of course. V. supra 153a.
  35. Lit., there is no mazzal (planetary influence) to Israel.
  36. Jer. X, 2.
  37. Israel being uninfluenced by 'the signs of heaven'.
  38. Gen. XV, 5, q.v.
  39. Ibid. 3.
  40. Ibid. 4.
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Shabbath 156b

Because Zedek [Jupiter]1  stands in the West?2  I will turn it back and place it in the East.' And thus it is written, Who hath raised up Zedek from the east?3  He hath summoned it for his sake.4

From Samuel too [we learn that] Israel is immune from planetary influence. For Samuel and Ablat were sitting, while certain people were going to a lake.5  Said Ablat6  to Samuel: 'That man is going but will not return, [for] a snake will bite him and he will die.' 'If he is an Israelite,' replied Samuel. 'he will go and return.'7  While they were sitting he went and returned. [Thereupon] Ablat arose and threw off his [the man's] knapsack, [and] found a snake therein cut up and lying in two pieces — Said Samuel to him, 'What did you do?'8  'Every day we pooled our bread and ate it; but to-day one of us had no bread, and he was ashamed. Said I to them, "I will go and collect [the bread]".9  When I came to him, I pretended to take [bread] from him, so that he should not be ashamed.' 'You have done a good deed,' said he to him. Then Samuel went out and lectured: But charity10  delivereth from death;11  and [this does not mean] from an unnatural death, but from death itself.

From R. Akiba too [we learn that] Israel is free from planetary influence. For R. Akiba had a daughter. Now, astrologers12  told him, On the day she enters the bridal chamber a snake will bite her and she will die. He was very worried about this. On that day [of her marriage] she took a brooch [and] stuck it into the wall and by chance it penetrated [sank] into the eye of a serpent. The following morning, when she took it out, the snake came trailing after it. 'What did you do?' her father asked her. 'A poor man came to our door in the evening.' she replied, 'and everybody was busy at the banquet, and there was none to attend to him. So I took the portion which was given to me and gave it to him. 'You have done a good deed,' said he to her. Thereupon R. Akiba went out and lectured: 'But charity delivereth from death': and not [merely] from an unnatural death, but from death itself.

From R. Nahman b. Isaac too [we learn that] Israel is free from planetary influence. For R. Nahman b. Isaac's mother was told by astrologers, Your son will be a thief. [So] she did not let him [be] bareheaded, saying to him, 'Cover your head so that the fear of heaven may be upon you, and pray [for mercy]'. Now, he did not know why she spoke that to him. One day he was sitting and studying under a palm tree; temptation13  overcame him, he climbed up and bit off a cluster [of dates] with his teeth.14 


GEMARA. It was stated: (Mnemonic: 'aReL SHaHaZ).17  'Ulla said; the halachah is as R. Judah. And Rab too holds [that] the halachah is as R. Judah; [this follows] from ship mattings,18  which Rab forbids while Samuel permits. And Levi too holds [that] the halachah is as R. Judah. For when a terefah was brought before him on a Festival,19  he would not inspect it save when he sat by a dunghill, for he said, perhaps it will not be found fit, in which case it is of no use even for dogs. But Samuel maintained: The halachah is as R. Simeon.20  And Ze'iri too holds [that] the halachah is as R. Simeon, for we learnt: If an animal dies, it must not be moved from its place: and Ze'iri interpreted this as referring to a sacred animal,21  but in the case of an ordinary animal it is permitted.22  R. Johanan too said, The halachah is as R. Simeon. Yet did R. Johanan say thus: Surely R. Johanan ruled, The halachah is as an anonymous Mishnah. and we learnt:

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Which is thy constellation.
  2. Which is an unpropitious combination for begetting children.
  3. E.V. 'righteousness'.
  4. Sc. for the sake of Abraham: Isa. XLI. 2.
  5. Or, meadow.
  6. V. supra p. 644, n. 11.
  7. prayer can counteract his fate as determined by the planets (Rashi).
  8. To escape your fate.
  9. Lit., 'throw into the basket'.
  10. E.v. righteousness. From the Jewish point of view the two are identical: One merely performs his duty (i.e., righteousness) in giving charity.
  11. Prov. X, 2.
  12. Lit., 'Chaldeans'.
  13. Lit., 'the evil inclination'.
  14. The tree did not belong to him. — This story shows that head-covering was not de rigeur, though regarded as conducive to piety. — From these stories we see that belief in planetary influence was not entirely rejected, but that these Rabbis held that it might be counteracted by good deeds.
  15. Though normally they are for human consumption.
  16. V. Glos.
  17. V. p. 110, n. 1. '='Ulla; R = Rab; L = Levi; SH = SHemuel (Samuel); H = Johanan; Z = Ze'iri.
  18. V. supra 19b.
  19. I.e., when a doubt arose whether an animal was terefah (v. Glos.).
  20. Who permits mukzeh.
  21. I.e., one sanctified for a sacrifice. When it dies all benefit thereof is forbidden and it may not even be thrown to the dogs. Hence it is mukzeh on Festivals, with which this deals.
  22. It can be thrown to the dogs. and is therefore not mukzeh.
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