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Tractate Shabbat: Chapter 22

Regulations concerning preparation of food and beverages.

Regulations concerning preparation of food and beverages.

MISHNA: Should a cask break open, sufficient may be saved for three meals. The owner may also call to others: "Come and save for yourselves (whatever you can)." No portion of the leakage, however, may be sponged up (soaked up with a sponge). One must not press fruit in order to extract the juice; and if it ooze out by itself, it must not be used. R. Jehudah said: "If the fruit is for eating, the juice which oozes out may be used; but if it is for beverage, it must not be used. If honeycombs be broken on the eve of Sabbath and the honey ooze out, the honey must not be used." R. Eliezer, however, permits this.

GEMARA: We have learned, that wine must not be soaked up with a sponge, and oil must not be dipped with a spoon, in the same manner as it is done on week-days (there must be a slight change).

The rabbis taught: If fruit becomes scattered in a courtyard (private ground) it may be gathered up and eaten, but this must not be done as on a week-day; i.e., gathered in a basket.

"One must not press fruit," etc. Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: "R. Jehudah (of the Mishna) agrees with the sages in the case of olives and grapes." Why so? Because this class of fruit is intended only for pressing, and the juice which must of a necessity ooze out might be calculated upon by the owner for a beverage. Ula said, that R. Jehudah differed with the sages even in the case of olives and grapes. R. Johanan said, that the halakhah prevails according to R. Jehudah as far as other fruit is concerned, but not as regards olives and grapes.

Said R. Aba in the name of R. Jehudah, quoting Samuel: "R. Jehudah subsequently agreed with the sages as regards olives and grapes, and the sages also agreed with him later concerning other fruit." Said R. Jeremiah to R. Aba: "Wherein do they differ?" and R. Aba answered: "Go and seek, and thou wilt find it!" Said R. Na'hman bar Itz'hak: "It seems to me that they differ concerning berries and pomegranates, for we have learned in a Boraitha: The juice of olives or grapes, which after having been pressed and brought into the house had oozed out by itself, must not be used, whether the fruit had been brought in for eating or beverage. If a man squeezed out the juice of berries and pomegranates and brought the pressed fruit into the house to eat, if any more juice oozed out, he might drink it; but if he brought the fruit expressly for eating purposes or for beverage, or without any express design, he must not drink the juice that had oozed out, so said R. Jehudah. The sages, however, prohibit the use of the juice under any circumstances."

Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: "A man may squeeze out a bunch of grapes directly into a pot, but not into a bowl. (Why not? Because if he squeezed it into the pot it is proof positive that it will be used for food, but if squeezed into the bowl it might be used as a beverage.) Said R. Hisda: "From the decree of our master we can learn, that a man may milk a goat right into the pot, but not into a bowl." Thus we see that Samuel holds, that beverages when mixed with eatables are also regarded as eatables.

Said R. Zera in the name of R. Hyya bar Ashi, quoting Rabh: "A bunch of grapes must be squeezed directly into the pot, but not into a bowl, but the oil of fish may be pressed out even into a bowl." R. Dimi repeated this decree. Said Abayi to him: "Ye teach this in the name of Rabh, hence ye have no objection; but we learn this in the name of Samuel, hence we have the following objection: 'Can Samuel say that the oil of a fish may be squeezed out even in a bowl? Were we not taught, that if a man squeezed out herbs which were soaked in wine and vinegar, it is, according to Rabh, permitted to commence with, if the herbs were to be eaten; but if the juice only was to be used, the man would not be liable for a sin-offering, but he should not do it to start with? If the herbs, however, were cooked, whether the man wished to eat them or only use the juice, he might squeeze them out into a bowl. Samuel, however, decreed, that be the herbs cooked or raw, one may do this only if he intends to eat the herbs, but not if he only intends to use the juice; if he does, however, he is not liable for a sin-offering.'"

R. Dimi answered: "By the Lord! My eyes have seen it, and not as a stranger, that I heard this decree from R. Jeremiah, he from R. Zera, he again from R. Hyya bar Ashi, and the latter from Rabh's mouth."

In regard to the quoted Boraitha concerning the herbs that one had squeezed out (we have heard the opinion of Rabh and Samuel), R. Johanan said: "Be they cooked or raw herbs, he may do so to commence with, if he intends to eat the herbs; but if he only desires the juice he must not do so, and if he does he is liable for a sin-offering." All this however, is opposed by the following Boraitha: One may squeeze out herbs which were soaked in wine and vinegar on the Sabbath for use on the same day, but not for later use; but one must not press olives or grapes, and if he does, he is liable for a sin-offering." Now, this is in opposition to all three: Rabh, Samuel, and R. Johanan. Rabh could explain this in accordance with his teaching; viz.: The herbs may be pressed on the Sabbath, for use on that day and not later, providing he uses the herbs for eating; but if he wishes to use the juice he must not do so, but if he does he is not liable for a sin-offering; and cooked herbs he may squeeze out, whether he requires the herbs or the juice, olives and grapes he should not press: if he does, he is liable for a sin-offering. Samuel could explain it according to his own opinion: A man may squeeze out herbs on Sabbath for that same day, but not for later use; and the same law applies to cooked herbs, provided they are used for eating, but if the juice is wanted they must not be pressed, etc. R. Johanan could explain the Boraitha in accordance with his teaching, as follows: Be the herbs cooked or soaked, they may be squeezed out if intended for eating; but if the juice is required he must not, and if he did so it is equal to pressing olives or grapes, and he is liable for a sin-offering.

Said R. Hyya bar Ashi in the name of Rabh: "According to biblical law one cannot be culpable except for pressing olives and grapes. So have taught the disciples of Menasseh. Also according to biblical law, a witness that testifies from hearsay must not be accredited, with the exception of a case where he testifies to having heard that a woman's husband had died."

"If honeycombs be broken on the eve of Sabbath." When R. Hosea came from Neherdai he brought a new Boraitha; viz.: "If olives and grapes were crushed before the Sabbath, and the juice oozed out, it must not be drunk; but R. Eliezer and R. Simeon both permit it." Said R. Joseph: "He just tells us of another man in addition to R. Eliezer!" Said Abayi to him: "He taught us a great deal; for from our Mishna I would say, that honeycombs were eatables before being crushed and also afterwards; therefore R. Eliezer permits the use of the honey, but in the case of olives and grapes which were previously eatables and subsequently became beverages, it might be presumed that even R. Eliezer would not permit their use. Hence we were instructed by R. Hosea to the contrary."

MISHNA: Whatever has been dressed with hot water on the eve of Sabbath, may be soaked in hot water on the Sabbath; and whatever has not been dressed with hot water on the eve of Sabbath, must only be passed through hot water on the Sabbath: excepting only stale salt fish and Spanish kolias (a kind of fish which was generally cured to make it eatable), for passing these through hot water is all the dressing required for them.

GEMARA: What does the Mishna refer to? For instance, the hen of R. Aba! He would cook a hen, then soak it in water, and when it would fall to pieces he would eat it. Said R. Safra: "I was there at one time and R. Aba served me with some of that dish, and had he not given three-year-old wine immediately after it, I would have been forced to vomit."

R. Johanan would spit every time be was reminded of Babylonian Kutach (a dish made of small salt fish boiled in milk). Said R. Joseph: "Yea, and let us spit when we think of R. Aba's hen." And R. Gaza said: "I was in Palestine at one time, and made that same dish (kutach); so they begged me to give them some for all the sick in Palestine."

"And whatever has not been dressed with hot water," etc. What is the law concerning one who had passed kolias or stale salt fish through hot water? Said R. Joseph: "He is liable for a sin-offering." Said Mar the son of Rabhina: "We have understood it so from the Mishna, because the last clause is 'for passing these through hot water is all the dressing required for them,' and the finishing of a certain kind of labor is equivalent to hammering.

R. Hyya bar Aba and R. Assi once sat in the presence of R. Johanan, and R. Johanan dozed off. So R. Hyya bar Aba asked R. Assi why the fowls of Babylon were so fat. R. Assi answered: "Go to the desert of Aza in Palestine, and I will show thee fatter ones." "Why are the Babylonians so merry during the festivals?," asked R. Hyya again. "Because they are poor (and during the entire year they have no pleasures, so they take advantage of the festivals)," was the answer. "Why are the scholars of Babylon so well dressed?" queried R. Hyya. "Because they are ignorami" (and must wear good clothes in order to command respect), answered R. Assi. At that moment R. Johanan awoke, and said to them: "Youngsters! Did I not tell you, that it is written [Proverbs vii. 4]: 'Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister,' which means: If a thing is as certain to thee as the fact that thou canst not marry thy own sister, then say it? Otherwise, thou shalt not say it. (Then why speak such foolishness?)" Then said they: "Let Master tell some things (which would benefit us)!" Said R. Johanan: "The fowls of Babylon are fat because they were never driven away from home, as it is written [Jeremiah xlviii. 11]: 'Moab was ever at ease from his youth, and he was resting on his lees, and was not emptied from vessel to vessel, and had not gone into exile: therefore had his taste remained in him and his scent was not changed.' Whence do we know that the fowls of Palestine were driven from home? It is written [ibid. ix. 9]: 'Both the fowls of the heavens and the beasts are fled; they are gone away.'--[R. Jacob said in the name of R. Johanan, that the fowls and the beasts and all else came back to Palestine with the exception of the Spanish kolias (the reason will be explained in Tract Bechorath.]--'Why are the Babylonians merry during the festivals?' Because they were not included in the curse of [Hosea ii. 13]: 'And I will cause to cease all her mirth, her festival, her new moon, and her Sabbath, and all her appointed feasts.'"

Said R. Itz'hak: "(Indeed it was so.) There was not a single feast in Palestine, that the military did not come to Sephoris"; and R. Hanina said: "There was not a single feast in Palestine, that captains, guards, and supervisors did not come to Tiberias."--"Why are the scholars of Babylon so well dressed?" "Because they are all strangers. As the saying goes: In a city where a man is known, he may wear whatever he chooses; but where he is not sufficiently known he should dress well."

R. Joseph taught: It is written [Isaiah xxvii. 6]: "In the future shall Jacob yet take root: Israel shall bud and blossom; and shall fill the face of the world with fruit." What is meant by "bud and blossom"? The scholars of Babylon, who wind blossoms and wreaths around the Thorah.

MISHNA: A man may break open a cask, to eat dry figs therefrom; provided, he does not intend using the cask afterwards as a vessel. He must not pierce the bunghole of a cask, such is the decree of R. Jehudah (or R. Jose); the sages permit this to be done. And one must not bore a hole in the side of it; but if it was already perforated, he must not fill it up with wax, because he would smoothen the wax thereby. Said R. Jehudah: "Such a case was brought before R. Johanan ben Sachai, at Arab, and he observed: 'I doubt whether that act does not involve liability to bring a sin-offering.'"

GEMARA: Said R. Oshea: "When may a man hold a dirk to open a cask of figs? If the figs are very tightly packed, for then he would have to use a knife or a dirk to get the figs out; but if they were packed loose he must not use a knife to open the cask."

An objection was raised: We have learned, that R. Simeon ben Gamaliel said: "A man may bring in a cask of wine, cut off the bung-head with a knife, and serve it to the guests with impunity." This Boraitha is in accordance with the opinion of the sages, while our Mishna is in accordance with the decree of R. Nehemiah (who holds that no vessel may be used for any other purpose but that for which it was originally intended). What impelled R. Oshea to make the entire Mishna conform with the dictum of R. Nehemiah? Let him say, that the cask may be opened with a knife even if the figs are loose, and thus be in accord with the sages? Answered Rabha: "The reason is, that R. Oshea could not quite comprehend why the Mishna specified figs: it could have said fruit, and on that account he reasoned as stated."

In one Boraitha we have learned: Palm-leaf baskets containing dried figs and dates may be untied, taken apart, or cut; and in another Boraitha we were taught, that they may be untied, but not taken apart or tied. This presents no difficulty; for one Boraitha is in accordance with the opinion of the sages, and the other is in accord with R. Nehemiah.

A question was asked of R. Shesheth: "May a cask be bored with an auger on the Sabbath? Shall we assume, that one intended to make an opening in the cask and hence it is prohibited, or that he intended merely to make a larger space for the flow of the wine and it is therefore permitted?" The answer was: "The intention was to make an opening, and it is prohibited." An objection based upon the teaching of R. Simeon ben Gamaliel previously mentioned was raised, and the answer was: "There the intention certainly was to make the space larger, while here it is obvious that the intention was to make an opening; otherwise, he would have broken open the cask with a knife."

"One must not pierce the bunghole of a cask." Said R. Huna: "They differ only in reference to the top of a bunghole of a cask; but as for the side, all agree that it is not allowed, and this is carried out by the later clause in the Mishna; viz.: 'And he must not bore a hole in the side of it.'" R. Hisda, however, said: "They differ only as far as boring a hole in the side of the bunghole is concerned, but as for the top, all agree that it is permitted; and the later clause of the Mishna means to state that one must not bore a hole in the side of the cask itself."

The rabbis taught: One must not bore a new hole on Sabbath, but if it was already made he may enlarge it; and others say, that he must not enlarge it; but all agree, that if the hole was merely stopped it may be reopened. The first Tana prohibits the boring of a new hole, because thereby an opening is made. Does not enlarging a hole improve the opening? Said Rabba: According to biblical law, an opening through which one cannot enter or go out is not considered a door, but the rabbis made this a precaution on account of chicken-coops, the holes of which are made for the purpose of admitting fresh air and emitting the foul. (Therefore making a hole in a coop is equivalent to making a whole coop, for without holes it is of no value.) Enlarging a hole, however, is permitted, because one would enlarge a hole in a chicken-coop, lest an ichneumon should enter and kill a chicken. Why do some say, then, that holes should not even be enlarged? Because it might be that one did not make the hole in a chicken-coop large enough, and would enlarge it. R. Na'hman taught in the name of R. Johanan, that the halakhah remains according to the last dictum.

All agree, that a hole which had been stopped up may be reopened. Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: This was said only in the case of where a hole had been stopped to preserve the aroma of the wine. If, however, the hole was stopped up in order to strengthen the cask, it must not be reopened. What is meant by preserving the aroma and by strengthening the cask? Said R. Hisda: "If the hole was on top of the cask and was stopped up, it was for the purpose of preserving the aroma; but if at the bottom, it was for the purpose of strengthening the cask." Rabha said: "If it was at the bottom, it was also only for the purpose of preserving the aroma; and only if the hole was stopped up right underneath the lees of the wine, it was for the purpose of strengthening the cask."

Rabh prohibits the inserting of a faucet into a cask, and Samuel permits it. All agree, that cutting a hole in the cask for the purpose Of inserting a faucet is prohibited, and that replacing the faucet, if once removed, is permitted. They differ, however, only when a hole had already been made in the cask before the Sabbath, but it was not quite fit for the faucet. Those who say, that it is prohibited, do so as a precaution lest one cut a fresh hole, while those that permit this to be done say no precautionary measure is necessary.

This is like the following difference between Tanaim: We have learned that a screw must not be fitted on a festival, much less on a Sabbath; but if it fall out it may be replaced on Sabbath, and so much more on a festival; and R. Yashia makes the ordinance more lenient. What does R. Yashia make more lenient? Shall we assume, that he refers to the first part and permits a screw to be cut? In that event, he would be improving a vessel, and that is certainly not allowed! Shall we assume, on the other hand, that he refers to the second part; the first Tana alone permits this? We must say, therefore, that the screw was already cut, but did not quite fit, and he permits the fitting of it. (Hence the same difference exists here as between the previous Tanaim.) R. Shesheth the son of R. Idi in the name of R. Johanan said: "The halakhah prevails according to R. Yashia."

"But if it was already perforated," etc. To fill it up with oil is, according to Rabh, prohibited, as a precaution lest he fill it with wax; and according to Samuel it is permitted, as the latter does not deem a precautionary measure necessary. Said R. Samuel bar bar Hana to R. Joseph: "Thou hast said distinctly in the name of Rabh, that oil is permitted." Answered R. Joseph: "Thou hast caught me in a trap." 

Said Samuel: "The leaf of myrtle must not be put in the bunghole of a cask, so that the wine flow over it." Why so? R. Yimar of Diphti said: "As a precaution lest a groove (channel) be made." R. Ashi said: "As a precaution lest the leaf be broken off (from its stem)." What difference is there? The difference is in the case of a leaf that had already been broken off (from its stem). (The precautionary measure of R. Yimar remains, while that of R. Ashi falls to the ground of itself.)

Is it permitted to wrap one's self in a bolster in public ground and bring it into private ground? Rabh prohibits this and Samuel permits it. If the bolster were soft and could be folded, they do not differ, all agreeing that it is permitted. If it were hard and could not be folded, all agree that it is prohibited. They differ only concerning a bolster that was neither soft nor hard, but a medium between the two. One says, that it appears like a burden and should not be carried, while the other holds that it is not a burden and may be carried; and the opinion just ascribed to Rabh was not stated by him expressly, but was merely inferred from the following incident: "Rabh came to a certain place and found that he lacked room; so he went out into a lane (unclaimed ground), and when a bolster was brought to him he would not sit down on it. Those who saw this inferred therefore that he did not hold it to be permissible." As a matter of fact, this was not so. Rabh had it proclaimed that a bolster was allowed to be used, but in honor of the masters who were with him he would not sit down on that bolster. Who were those masters? R. Kahana and R. Assi.

MISHNA: One may put cooked victuals into a cave (or cellar) for the purpose of preserving them; also put clean water (contained in a vessel) into water that is not drinkable, in order to keep it (the former) cool; likewise cold water (in a vessel) into hot water, in order to warm the former. One whose clothes have dropped into the water while on the road, may unhesitatingly go on with them. As soon as he arrives at the outmost court (of the city or village), he may spread his clothes in the sun to dry, but he must not do this publicly.

GEMARA: Is this not self-evident? One might say, that there should be a precaution against grading (smoothening) any incavations that might be in the cave; hence we are told that such is not the case.

"Clean water into water that is not drinkable," etc. Is this not self-evident? Yea; but this is taught on account of the later clause in the Mishna, i.e., putting cold water into hot. Is this also not self-evident? One might say, that this should be prohibited, as a precaution lest one also put a vessel containing cold water into glowing cinders to warm; so we are told, that such a precaution is not necessary.

"One whose clothes have dropped into the water," etc. Said R. Jehudah in the name of Rabh: "All things which were forbidden on account of causing suspicion among the people (that one is committing a wrongful act) should not be done, not only publicly, but even in the innermost recesses of one's rooms." Is this not contradictory to our Mishna, which says, that one may spread his clothes in the sun, but not publicly? This is a difference between Tanaim, for in reference to this Mishna we have learned in a Boraitha, that both R. Eliezer and R. Simeon hold, that it is prohibited even when not done publicly.

Said R. Huna: "He who dusts his clothes on a Sabbath is liable for a sin-offering. This refers only, however, to a new garment, but not to an old one, and the new garment only when it is black; but garments of other colors may be dusted. Referring to a black garment, it is only then prohibited to be dusted if its possessor is particular about it (to such a degree, that he never puts it on without dusting it)."

Ula once came to Pumbaditha and he saw the rabbis dusting their clothes on a Sabbath, so he said: "The rabbis are violating, the Sabbath!" So R. Jehudah said to his disciples: "Dust your clothes right before his eyes: we are not particular."

Abayi stood before R. Joseph. R. Joseph said to him: "Give me my hat." And seeing that the hat was very dusty, Abayi hesitated to give it to him. So R. Joseph said: "Take hold of it and dust it: we are not particular."

We have learned in a Boraitha: Those who deal in clothes, and carry them folded on their shoulders on Sabbath, are liable for a sin-offering: this refers not only to clothes-dealers, but also to others; clothes-dealers, however, are mentioned, because that is their usual custom. The same is the case with a merchant who carries out a bag of money. He is liable for a sin-offering; and not only a merchant, but also others; but merchants are mentioned because it is their wont to carry money in that manner.

Said R. Jehudah: "It once happened that Hyrcanos the son of R. Eliezer ben Hyrcanos went out on Sabbath with a kerchief folded on his shoulder and tied to one of his fingers with a piece of twine (in order that it might not fall down); and when the sages heard this, they said that the twine was unnecessary, for he could have carried the kerchief without it."

It happened that Ula came to the house of Assi bar Him, and he was asked whether it was allowed to make a groove of the clothes on Sabbath. (The Babylonians wore long garments, and by turning them up at the bottom a quasi-groove was made.) Ula answered: "So said R. Ilai: It is prohibited to make a groove on Sabbath." What is a groove? Said R. Zera: "A groove made of the clothes of the Babylonians." Said R. Papa: "Bear this rule in mind: If the clothes are turned up for the purpose of preventing their becoming soiled, it is prohibited; but if they are turned up to improve their appearance, it is allowed, as R. Shesha the son of R. Idi would always arrange his cloak (toga) tastefully (on a week-day, hence it is customary and may also be done on Sabbath)."

When R. Dimi came from Palestine, he related: It once happened that Rabbi went out into the field, and both ends of his toga hung on his shoulders. Said Jehoshua the son of Ziruz, the son of R. Meir's father-in-law before Rabbi: "Did not R. Meir say, that in a case of this kind one is liable for a sin-offering?" Said Rabbi: "Was R. Meir so particular, that he determined just how far down the ends of one's toga should reach?" Still he (Rabbi) let down his toga; and when Rabhin came from Palestine he said, that it was not Jehoshua ben Ziruz who made that remark, but Jehoshua ben Bepusai the son-in-law of R. Aqiba; and not that R. Meir said what has just been cited, but that R. Aqiba had said that. Also, that Rabbi had inquired whether R. Aqiba was so particular; and lastly, that Rabbi let down his toga. When R. Samuel ben R. Jehudah came from Palestine he said, that Rabbi was only asked concerning such a case (but not that he himself was the party referred to).

MISHNA: One who bathes in the water of a cavern or in the hot springs of Tiberias, though he wipe himself with ten towels, must not carry them off in his hand; but if ten persons wiped themselves, their faces, their hands, and their feet, with one towel, they might carry it off in their hands.

One may anoint and rub the stomach with the bands, but not so as to cause fatigue. One must not brush the body with a flesh-brush or descend into a kurdima. 1 One must not take an emetic, or stretch the limbs of an infant, or put back a rupture; one who has strained his hand or foot must not pour cold water on it, but he may wash it in the usual way: if he thereby becomes cured, it is Well.

GEMARA: The Mishna teaches, "the water of a cavern," in connection with the hot springs of Tiberias; hence it must be, that the water of a cavern is also hot. And again it says, "one who bathes," and not "one may bathe," from which we see, that to commence with, bathing in those waters is not allowed; but merely to rinse one's self is permitted, even to commence with. This is according to the opinion of R. Simeon.

"Though he wipe himself with ten towels," etc. The first part of this clause in the Mishna imparts something new and unexpected in that it teaches, that, although if one man wipe himself with ten towels, there will be very little water contained in the towels, still he might through thoughtlessness wring them; and the latter part of the clause also imparts something new and unexpected, stating, as it does, that if ten men wipe themselves with one towel, although the towel will contain a great deal of water, they will mutually remind each other that it must not be wrung.

The rabbis taught: "A man may wipe himself with a towel and leave it at the window of a house that is nearest to the wall of the bathhouse; but he must not give it to the bathhouse employees, because they are suspected of wringing it on the Sabbath." R. Simeon, however, says: "A man may wipe himself with one towel and carry it in his hand to his house." Said Abayi to R. Joseph: "How is the law?" and he answered: "Did not R. Hyya bar Aba in the name of R. Johanan say, that the law prevails according to R. Simeon?" Did R. Johanan say this indeed? Did he not say elsewhere, that the halakhah prevails according to the anonymous teachers in the Mishna, and the Mishna teaches, that even if one man wiped himself with ten towels he must not carry them off in his hand? R. Johanan teaches, that the Mishna concludes with, "So said the son of Hakhinai." (hence it is the teaching of one individual).

R. Hyya bar Aba in the name of R. Johanan said: "The bathhouse employees may carry the sheets with which the women wipe themselves in the bathhouse on the street by wrapping them around their bodies; provided they wrap them over their heads and the greater part of their body."

R. Hyya bar Aba said in the name of R. Johanan: "A large veil which is worn by women should have the two ends that hang down in the back tied." And he said again, that they should be tied underneath the shoulders.

Rabha said to the inhabitants of Mehuzza: "If ye must carry clothes for the military on Sabbath, wrap them around you underneath the shoulders."

"One may anoint and rub his stomach." The rabbis taught: "The stomach may be rubbed and anointed on the Sabbath, provided it is not done the same as on week-days." How should it be done? R. Hama bar Hanina said: "He should first anoint it and then rub it"; but R. Johanan said, that he might do both at the same time.

"But so as not to cause fatigue," etc. Said R. Hyya bar Aba in the name of R. Johanan: "It is not allowed to stand on the bed of Lake Deumseth, because the loam at the bottom is saline and immersion in the lake causes fatigue." Said R. Jehudah in the name of Rabh: "The days on which a cure in that lake (for bodily ills) may be effected are only twenty-one, and Pentecost occurs during those twenty-one days." The school-men asked: "Does Pentecost fall at the beginning of the twenty-one days or at the end?" Come and hear: Samuel said, that all waters taken for a cure are effective only from Passover to Pentecost. As for waters taken internally, Samuel may be right (because during cool weather one takes more exercise and thus the waters are effective), but for bathing it would seem that Pentecost should be the commencement.

Said R. Helbo: "The wine of the land of Purgaitha and the waters of the lake Deumseth robbed Israel of ten tribes (because indulgence in these pleasures are detrimental to spiritual welfare)." R. Elazar ben Aroch happened to be there, and indulged in those luxuries to such an extent that he forgot his learning, and afterwards the sages had to pray for his return unto the Law. This is as we have learned elsewhere (Aboth): R. Nehurai said: "Go into exile only in a place of learning and think not that the Law will follow thee, or that thy comrades will preserve it in thy hands, and do not depend upon thy acquired knowledge." This R. Nehurai is, according to some, the same Elazar ben Aroch, and he was called Nehurai, because this signifies (in Hebrew) "light of the eyes"; for he enlightened the eyes of many scholars with his interpretations.

"One must not brush the body," etc. The rabbis taught: One must not brush the body with a flesh-brush on Sabbath. R. Simeon ben Gamaliel said: "If one's feet were soiled, he might brush them the same as on week-days unhesitatingly." The mother of Samuel the son of Jehudah made her son a silver brush.

"Or descend into a kurdima." Why so? Because the bottom of a kurdima is slippery (and one might fall and wet his clothes, and thus be tempted to wring them).

"One must not take an emetic." Said Rabba bar bar Hana in the name of R. Johanan: "One must not take a medicament as an emetic, but may thrust his finger down his throat and thus cause vomiting."

"Or stretch the limbs of an infant." Said Rabba bar bar Hana in the name of R. Johanan: "To swathe a child on Sabbath is allowed."

"Or put back a rupture." Said R. Hana of Bagdad in the name of Samuel: "The halakhah prevails, that it may be done." (Samuel learns in the Mishna, instead of "it is not allowed," "it is allowed.")

Rabba bar bar Hana once came to Pumbaditha, but did not go into the college of R. Jehudah. So R. Jehudah sent for Ada, the officer of the college, and said to him: "Go and take a pledge of Rabba bar bar Hana." The officer went and did so. Afterwards Rabba bar bar Hana came to the college. When he came he heard R. Jehudah teach, that a rupture must not be put back on the Sabbath. Said he to him: "So said R. Hana of Bagdad in the name of Samuel, that the halakhah prevails permitting this to be done." Answered R. Jehudah: "It is our Hana and our Samuel. Yet we never heard of this before. Now thou canst see that I was right in demanding a pledge for thy appearance. Hadst thou not come, we would never have heard this."

"One who has strained his hand or foot," etc. R. Ivia sat in the presence of R. Joseph, and he dislocated his hand. Said he to R. Joseph, making a motion to replace it: "May I replace it thus?" "Nay," said R. Joseph. "And thus may I?" asked R. Ivia, making another motion. "Nay," was the answer again. Thus questioning, he finally succeeded in replacing his hand. Said R. Joseph to him: "What didst thou ask me for? It is expressly stated in our Mishna, that if one strained his hand or his foot, he must not pour cold water on it, but he may bathe it in the usual way. If he thereby becomes cured, it is well."

"Did we not learn in the same Mishna that a rupture must not be put back, and still Samuel permitted it to be done?" asked R. Ivia. Answered R. Joseph: "Canst thou weave everything into one garment? What we have learned, we may follow; but what we have not learned, we cannot."



338:1 A bathing place with a loamy bottom, into which it is easy to descend, but from which it is quite an exertion to ascend.

Sources: Sacred Texts