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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 18a


GEMARA. Which Tanna [holds that] pouring water into ink constitutes its steeping?4 — Said R. Joseph, It is Rabbi. For it was taught: If one pours in flour and another water, the second s liable:5  this is Rabbi's view.6  R. Jose son of R. Judah said: He is not liable unless he kneads [them]. Abaye said to him, Yet perhaps R. Jose [son of R. Judah] ruled thus only in respect to flour, which is subject to kneading: but as for ink, which is not subject to kneading, I may say that he is liable?7 — You cannot think so, for it was taught: if one pours in the ashes and another the water, the second is liable: this is Rabbi's view. R. Jose son of R. Judah said: [He is not liable] unless he kneads them.8  Yet perhaps what is [meant by] ashes? Earth [dust],9  which does require kneading.10  But both ashes and earth [dust] were taught? — Were they then taught together?11

Our Rabbis taught: Water may be conducted into a garden on the eve of the Sabbath just before dark, and it may go on being filled the whole day; and a perfume brazier may be placed under garments which continue to absorb the perfume the whole day; and sulphur may be placed under [silver) vessels and they undergo the process of sulphuring the whole day; and an eye salve12  may be placed on the eye and a plaster on a wound and the process of healing continues all day.13  But wheat may not be placed in a water-mill unless it can be ground when it is still day. What is the reason? Rabbah answered, Because it makes a noise.14  Said R. Joseph to him, Let the Master say it is on account of the resting of utensils? For it was taught: And in all things that I have said unto you take ye heed:15  this includes the resting of utensils!16  Rather, said R. Joseph, it is on account of the resting of utensils.

Now that you say that according to Beth Hillel the resting of utensils is a Biblical precept,17  why are sulphur and a perfume brazier permitted? — Because it [the vessel in which they lie] performs no action. Why are wet bundles of flax permitted? — Because it [the oven in which they lie] performs no action and is motionless. But what of the trap for wild beasts, fowl and fish, which performs an action,18  Why are they permitted? — There too [it means] with a fish hook and a trap made with little joists,19  so that no action is performed.

Now, however, that R. Oshaia said in R. Assi's name, Which Tanna [maintains that] the resting of utensils is a Biblical precept? It is Beth Shammai: then according to Beth Shammai, whether it [the utensil] performs an action or not, it is forbidden, while in the opinion of Beth Hillel even if it performs an action it is permitted. And now that you say that according to Beth Shammai it is forbidden even if it performs no action, if so,

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. Lit., 'with the sun', i.e., while the sun is shining.
  2. Because these require more time.
  3. By day, though the fluid goes on oozing during the Sabbath.
  4. The Mishnah merely discusses this, and does not speak about kneading the ingredients too. Hence the mere pouring must be regarded as a labour forbidden on the Sabbath, for otherwise there would be no controversy in respect to Friday.
  5. For desecrating the Sabbath.
  6. Thus he holds that the mere pouring in of water constitutes kneading, which is forbidden on the Sabbath. The making of ink is prohibited as a derivative (v. p. 3, n. 2.) of kneading.
  7. For mere pouring, even on R. Jose son of Judah's view.
  8. Though ashes do not require kneading.
  9. In Heb. these words are very similar and sometimes interchanged.
  10. For making clay.
  11. In the same Baraitha? They were stated in separate Baraithas, not necessarily by the same teacher, and both may mean the same thing.
  12. Heb. kilur, [G] collyrium.
  13. Healing on the Sabbath itself is forbidden, unless there is danger to life.
  14. Which detracts from the sanctity of the Sabbath.
  15. Ex. XXIII, 13. The preceding verse deals with the Sabbath.
  16. A man is commanded to let the vessels rest as well as he himself.
  17. For this Baraitha must reflect Beth Hillel's ruling, since its other clauses oppose the views of Beth Shammai as expressed in our Mishnah.
  18. The spring of the trap closes and the mesh of the nets tightens as they catch their prey,
  19. So arranged as to permit the animal to get in but not out. Thus they are passive instruments.
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Shabbath 18b

why are a perfume brazier and sulphur permitted?1 — There it lies upon the earth.2  What of a tank [for brewing beer], a lamp, a pot and a spit-why do Beth Shammai permit [them]?3 — Because their ownership is renounced.4

Who is the author of the following, which our Rabbis taught: A woman must not fill a pot with pounded wheat5  and lupines and place it in the oven on the eve of the Sabbath shortly before nightfall; and if she does put them [there], they are forbidden at the conclusion of the Sabbath for as long as they take to prepare.6  Similarly, a baker must not fill a barrel of water and place it in the oven on the eve of the Sabbath shortly before nightfall; and if he does, it [the water] is forbidden at the conclusion of the Sabbath for as long as it takes to prepare [boil]. Shall we say that this agrees with Beth Shammai, not Beth Hillel?7  — You may even say that it is Beth Hillel: it is a preventive measure, lest he stir the coals. If so, let us decree [likewise] in respect of a perfume brazier and sulphur? — There he will not stir them] for if he does, the smoke will enter and harm them.8  Let us decree in respect of wet bundles of flax too? — There, since a draught is injurious to them, he will not uncover it.9  Let us decree also in respect of wool in the dye kettle? — Samuel answered: This refers to a kettle removed [from the fire]. But let us fear that he may stir within it?10 — This refers to [a kettle] removed from [the fire] and sealed down.11

And now that the Master said: 'It is a preventive measure, lest one rake the coals', a raw dish12  may be placed in an oven on the eve of Sabbath shortly before nightfall. What is the reason? Since it will not be fit for the evening,13  he withdraws his mind from it and will not come to rake the coals.14  Again, if it is [quite] boiled, it is well.15  If partly boiled,16  it is forbidden. Yet if a raw bone is thrown into it, it is permitted.17

And now that the Master said, 'Whatever may be harmed by the draught, one will not uncover it': with flesh of a kid, where it [the oven] is daubed round,18  it is well;19  with [flesh] of a buck, where it [the oven] is not daubed round, is forbidden. But as to [flesh] of a kid, where it is not daubed round, or of a buck, where it is daubed round: R. Ashi permits it, while R. Jeremiah of Difti20  forbids it. Now, according to R. Ashi, who permits it, did we not learn, Meat, onion[s] or egg[s] may not be roasted unless they can be roasted before sunset? — There the reference is to [flesh] of a buck, and where it [the oven] is not daubed round.

Others state: With [the flesh] of a kid, whether it [the oven] is daubed round or not, it is well; of a buck too, if it is daubed round, it is well. They differ in respect to [flesh] of a buck, it [the oven] not being daubed: R. Ashi permits it, while R. Jeremiah of Difti forbids it. Now, according to R. Ashi who permits it, did we not learn, Meat, onion[s] or egg[s] may not be roasted unless they can be roasted before sunset? — There the reference is to meat on the coals [direct].21  Rabina said: As for a raw gourd, it is well:22  since a draught is injurious to it, it is like flesh of a kid.

BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: ONE MUST NOT SELL [etc.]. Our Rabbis taught: Beth Shammai maintain: A man must not sell an article to a Gentile, nor lend [it] to him nor loan him [money] nor make him a gift [on the eve of Sabbath], unless he can reach his house [before sunset]; while Beth Hillel rule: [unless] he can reach the house nearest the [city] wall.23  R. Akiba said: [Unless] he can depart from the door of his [the Jew's] house [before the Sabbath]. Said R. Jose son of R. Judah: The words of R. Akiba are the very words of Beth Hillel:24  R. Akiba comes only to explain the words of Beth Hillel.25

Our Rabbis taught: Beth Shammai maintain: A man must not sell his leaven to a Gentile, unless he knows that it will be consumed before Passover: this is Beth Shammai's view. But Beth Hillel say: As long as he [the Jew] may eat it, he may sell it. R. Judah said:

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. For on this hypothesis the Baraitha must agree with Beth Shammai, since the placing of wheat in a mill is forbidden.
  2. Not in a vessel.
  3. Beer brews in its tank more than eight days, thus including the Sabbath. Similarly, the lamp burns during the Sabbath, the pot stands on the heated range, causing some shrinkage of its contents, and the spit was allowed to lie in the oven with the Passover sacrifice roasting on Friday night. Thus all these utensils are employed on the Sabbath.
  4. This is a legal fiction. Their owner formally renounces his ownership, and then he is under no obligation to ensure that they rest.
  5. Or, peas.
  6. So that she should not profit by having virtually prepared it on the Sabbath.
  7. Since Beth Hillel do not require utensils to rest.
  8. The garments or vessels.
  9. The oven, to rake up the coals.-The coals burnt inside the ancient ovens.
  10. Sc. the wool within the kettle, to make it absorb the dye more thoroughly. This too is forbidden.
  11. Hence he is not likely to forget.-In this and the following cases the fear is not that he may do these things intentionally but unintentionally in a moment of forgetfulness.
  12. I.e., a pot containing a raw dish.
  13. The evening meal was eaten soon after nightfall, and it would not be ready by then.
  14. There is ample time for it to be ready on the morrow without his stirring. But pounded wheat and lupines require very much boiling, and therefore they are forbidden.
  15. Permitted, because the coals will not require raking.
  16. Lit., 'boiled and not boiled'.
  17. This serves to show that he has no mention of eating it before the morrow.
  18. To seal it down.
  19. Goat flesh is tender and injured by a draught.
  20. V. p. 35, n. 5.
  21. Not in the oven. It is then easy to turn it and rake the coals: hence it is forbidden.
  22. It may be placed in the oven even if it cannot be cooked by the Sabbath.
  23. If the Gentile lives in another town, it is sufficient if he can take it to the nearest house there, even if he cannot reach his own before the Sabbath.
  24. Their views are identical.
  25. I.e., he states Beth Hillel's ruling, not an independent one, and thus differs from the first Tanna's interpretation of Beth Hillel's attitude.
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