Tractate Shabbat: Chapter 6
Regulations concerning what garments (serving as ornaments) women may go out with on the Sabbath
Regulations concerning what garments (serving as ornaments) women may go out with on the Sabbath
MISHNA I.: In what (ornamental) apparel may a woman go out, and in what may she not go out? A woman is not allowed to go out (even in private ground) either with woollen or linen bands or with straps on her head to keep her hair in tresses (as a precaution lest she enter public ground and take off the bands to show to her friends, thereby becoming guilty of carrying movable property for a distance of four ells or more). Nor is she to bathe herself with the bands on unless loosened. Nor is she to go out with either Totaphoth or Sarbitin on, unless they are fastened; 1 nor with a hood in public ground, nor with gold ornaments, nor with nose-rings, nor with finger-rings that have no seal, nor with pins. But if she did go out with these things, she is not bound to bring a sin-offering (as they are ornaments and not burdens).
GEMARA: "Bathing." Where is bathing referred to (and what has it to do with the Sabbath)? Said R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak in the name of Rabba b. Abuhu: The Mishna means to say: What is the reason that a woman is not allowed to go out with either woollen or linen bands? Because the sages have decided that she is not to bathe herself with them on, even on week days, unless loosened; therefore she shall not (go out with them on) on the Sabbath at all, lest it happen that she become in duty bound to bathe herself, 2 and, while untying her hair, be forced to carry the bands in public ground for a distance of four ells or more.
R. Kahana questioned Rabh: "What about a hair-net?--Answered Rabh: "You mean to say a woven one? Everything woven has not been restricted." This was also taught in the name of R. Huna b. R. Joshua. According to others the same said: "I have seen that my sisters were not particular to take it off while bathing." And the difference between the two versions is when it was dirty; according to the first version, it does not matter, as everything woven was not restricted; and the second version, where particularity is the case, if they were dirty, they would certainly be particular to take them off.
An objection was raised from Mishna [Miqvaoth, IX. 8]: "When a person bathes, the following objects cause 'intervention' (Chatzitzah): Woollen and linen bands and headstraps (used by maidens)." R. Jehudah says woollen and hair bands do not cause "intervention," because water soaks through them. (Now we see that although woollen and linen bands are woven, yet they are an intervention.) Said R. Huna: "All this concerns only maidens." (And they are an intervention only because they are particular about it.)
R. Joseph in the name of R. Jehudah said that Samuel said that the halakhah prevails according to R. Jehudah in the case of hair bands only. Said Abayi: From the expression "the halakhah prevails" we must infer that there is a controversy between R. Jehudah and the Tana of the above Boraitha. (The Tana said nothing about hair bands.) Shall we assume that because R. Jehudah declares hair bands not to be objects of "intervention," he must have heard the previous Tana mention them? Even if such be the case, it is not probable that R. Jehudah heard that the Tana agrees with him on that point, and hence he says: "If he agrees with me on this point, why not in the other instances also?" Said R. Na'hman in the name of Samuel: Read, The sages agree with R. Jehudah with respect to hair bands.
This is supported by a Boraitha. Woollen bands cause intervention, but hair bands do not. R. Jehudah, however, said: "Neither of them causes intervention."
Said R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak: It seems to be so from the expression of our Mishna: "A woman may go out with hair bands, be they her own or her friends'." Whose opinion does this Mishna represent? Can we say R. Jehudah's? He permits even woollen bands. We must say it is in accordance with the above rabbis; hence they do not differ as regards hair bands.
"Nor with Totaphoth." What are "Totaphoth"? Said R. Joseph: "A balm bandage for sanitary use (Humrate diqetiphta)." 1
Said Abayi to him: "Then let it be permitted as an amulet made by a reliable expert." (During Abayi's time this difficulty was not solved.) R. Jehudah, however, in the name of Abayi said: 2 "It is an Absayim"(a gold ornament). This is supported in the following Boraitha: "A woman may go out with a gilded hair-net, and Totaphoth or Sarbitin when fastened to the hair-net." What are Totaphoth and what Sarbitin? Said R. Abuhu: "The former are bands that reach from ear to ear, and the latter bands that reach from temple to temple." R. Huna said: "The poor make them of all kinds of colored material, and the rich make them of gold or silver."
"Nor with a hood." Said R. Yanai: "I cannot understand what kind of a hood the Mishna means; is it a slave's hood that it prohibits and permits a woollen hood, or does it prohibit woollen hoods and so much more slaves' hoods? Said R. Abuhu: It seems that a woollen hood is meant. And so we have learned plainly in the following Boraitha: "A woman may go out with a hood and head ornament in her yard." R. Simeon b. Elazar says: With a hood even in a public ground. "It is a rule," said he, "that anything below the 'Shebha'ha' (hairnet) is permitted to be worn, but anything above it is not. Samuel, however, said the Mishna alludes to the slave's hood.
Did, indeed, Samuel say so? Did he not say the slave may go out with the mark (he wears) around his neck, but not with the mark on his clothes? This presents no difficulty. The former applies to the mark made for him by his master (in which case there is no fear of the slave removing and carrying it), while the latter applies to the mark made by himself. What meaning do you attach to Samuel's statement? If he permits the wearing of the mark on the slave's neck because the master made it and the slave will fear to remove it, could not the master also make the mark on the slave's clothes? Yea, but the slave might lose the mark, and for fear of his master he will fold up his coat and carry it on his shoulders (in public ground). And according to R. Itz'hak b. Joseph it is prohibited. This is also supported by a Boraitha, which teaches us distinctly that the slave may go out with the mark on his neck, but not on his clothes. In like manner Samuel once said to R. Hanina b. Shila: "None of the rabbis that call on the Exilarch should go out with their insignia on their clothes (on the Sabbath) save you. He would not be angry with you were you to go to him without them (hence, not being a necessary burden, you may wear them or not, as you choose)."
The master said: "Not with a bell," etc. Why not? Lest it break off and one may carry it. Then why should the same not be feared in regard to a bell attached to his clothes? Here a bell is treated of that was made by an expert and was woven right in with the cloth. This is also in accord with what R. Huna b. R. Joshua said: "Everything that is woven they did not restrict."
"Nor with a golden ornament." What was this golden ornament? Said Rabba b. b. Hana in the name of R. Johanan: "A golden (ornament with an engraving of the city of) Jerusalem on it," such as R. Aqiba made for his wife.
The rabbis taught: A woman shall not go out wearing a golden ornament; but if she did so, she becomes liable to bring a sin-offering. So is the decree of R. Meir, but the sages say: She must not go out wearing it; if she did, however, she is not culpable. But R. Eliezer said: A woman may go out wearing a golden ornament to commence with. Wherein do they differ? R. Meir holds it to be a burden, and the rabbis hold it to be an ornament; then why should she not wear it to commence with? Lest she take it off to show it to her friends and thus happen to carry it; but R. Eliezer reasons differently. Who generally go out with such valuable golden ornaments? Prominent women; and prominent women will not remove them for the purpose of exhibiting them to friends.
Rabh prohibits the wearing of a crown-shaped ornament, and Samuel permits it. Both agree that the wearing of a crown-shaped ornament is permissible, as there is no fear that the woman will remove it; where they do differ, however, is as to a golden and jewelled ornament. The former holds that there is fear of her removing it in order to exhibit it, and thus probably happen to carry it, while the latter contends that as only prominent women wear such costly ornaments no fear need be entertained on that score.
Said R. Samuel b. b. Hana to R. Joseph: You distinctly told us in the name of Rabh that an ornament in the shape of a crown may be worn. 1
Levi 2 lectured in Neherdai that a crown-shaped ornament may be worn; whereupon twenty-four women in Neherdai went out with crown-shaped ornaments on.
Rabba b. Abuhu lectured the same in Mehutza, and eighteen women went out of one alley wearing those ornaments.
R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel said: "A belt may be worn." Some one said a leather belt (even if jewelled). Said R. Saphra: "Why! Even a golden belt jewelled, for is it not equal to a golden garment?" Said Rabhina to R. Ashi: "How is it with a belt worn over a sash?" Answered R. Ashi: "By this you mean two belts" (and this is prohibited). R. Ashi, however, said: "A sash may be worn only when it is securely fastened, but not otherwise."
"Nor with a nose-ring." What is a nose-ring? It is a nose-band.
"Nor with finger-rings," etc.; but if the ring have a seal it is prohibited, as it is not an ornament. Is this not contradicted from Kelim, XI. 8? The following ornaments of women are subject to defilement: Chains, nose-rings, rings, finger-rings either with or without a seal, and nose-bands. Said R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak: "You quote a contradiction in the laws of defilement as against the laws of Sabbath. As for defilement, the Torah requires an utensil [Numbers, xxxi. 20], and such it is; but as for Sabbath, it refers to a burden; hence a ring without a seal is an ornament, with a seal it is a burden (for women)."
"Nor with a pin." For what purpose can a pin be used? R. Ada from Narsha explained it before R. Joseph: Women part their hair with it. Of what use is it on Sabbath? Said Rabha: On week days they wear a golden plate on their heads; the pin is used for parting the hair and holding down the plate; but on Sabbath the pin is put against the forehead.
MISHNA II.: One is not to go out with iron-riveted sandals, nor with one (iron-riveted shoe) unless he has a sore on his foot, nor with phylacteries, nor yet with an amulet unless made by a reliable expert, nor with a shield, helmet, or armor for the legs; but if he has gone out (with either of these) he is not liable for a sin-offering.
GEMARA: "Iron-riveted sandal." What is the reason of its being prohibited? Said Samuel: "It happened toward the close of the persecutions (of the Jews) that a party of men hid themselves in a cave with the understanding that after once entering no one was to go out. Suddenly they heard a voice on the outside of the cave, and thinking the enemies were upon them, they began crowding each other into the farthest recesses of the cave. During the panic that ensued more men were trampled to death by the iron-riveted sandals worn by the party than the enemies would have killed. At that time it was enacted that a man must not go out (on Sabbath) with iron-riveted sandals." If this be the reason, let it also be prohibited on week days? Because it occurred on a Sabbath! Then let it be allowed on a festival; why then is it stated that on a festival it must not be sent (Betzah, 26, Mishna)? And furthermore, why is it forbidden on Sabbath? Because the people usually assemble on that day; and the same is the case with a festival. But do they not assemble on a congregational fast--why then should it not be prohibited also then? When the above-mentioned happened it was a prohibited assembly, but all these assemblies are permitted. And even according to R. Hanina b. Aqiba, who said concerning defilement that this prohibition is only in the Jordan in a boat, as the case happened, it is because the Jordan is different in width and depth from other rivers; but Sabbath and a festival are alike as regards labor.
Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: This (the prohibition of the sandals in question) is only with regard to such as are riveted for the sake of durability, but not with regard to such as are riveted for the sake of decoration. How many (rivets are considered to be for the latter purpose)? R. Johanan said five in each. R. Hanina said seven in each. Said R. Johanan to R. Samon b. Aba: "I will explain to you the difference between my opinion and that of R. Hanina. I mean two rivets on each side of the sandal and one in the centre, while he means three on each side and one in the centre. The Gemara declared that R. Hanina is in accordance with R. Nathan, who permits seven; and R. Johanan is in accordance with R. Nohorai, who permits only five. And Aipha said to Rabba b. b. Hana: "Ye who are the disciples of R. Johanan may act according to him; we, however, are acting in accordance with R. Hanina." R. Huna questioned R. Ashi: "How is the law if there were five?" And he said: "Even seven is permitted." "And how is it if there were nine?" And he rejoined: "Even eight is prohibited. A certain shoemaker asked of R. Ami: "How is it if the sandal is sewed from the inside?" He answered: "I have heard that it is permitted, but I can give you no reason." Said R. Ashi: "Does master not know the reason? Being sewed from the inside, it is no longer a sandal but a shoe; and the rabbis' precaution was against the riveted sandal, but not in regard to shoes."
There is a Boraitha: One must not go out with an iron-riveted sandal and shall not walk in them from one room to another, not even from one bed to another (in the same room); but it may be handled to cover vessels with or to support one of the bed-stands with. R. Elazar b. Simeon prohibits even this, unless the majority of rivets fell out and but four or five remain. Rabbi limits the permission to seven (rivets). If the soles are made of leather and the uppers are riveted, it is permitted. If the rivets are made like hooks, or are flat-headed, or pointed, or pierce through the sandal to protect the sole, it is permitted.
R. Massna, others say R. Ahadboy b. Massna in the name of R. Massna, said: "The halakhah does not prevail in accordance with Elazar b. Simeon." Is this not self-evident? When one individual opinion conflicts with a majority, the opinion of the majority prevails. Lest one suppose that, because R. Elazar b. Simeon gave a reason for his statement, should it be accepted, he comes to teach us that it is not so.
Said R. Hyya: "Were I not called a Babylonian, who permits what is prohibited, I would permit considerably more. How many? In Pumbeditha they say twenty-four, and in Sura they say twenty-two." Said R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak: "It seems by your remark that on the road from Pumbeditha to Sura you lost two."
"Nor with one," etc. But if his foot is sore he may go out. On which foot may he wear the shoe? On the foot that is sore (for protection).
The rabbis taught: When one puts on his shoes he should commence with the right shoe; when he takes them off he should commence with the left. When one bathes he should wash the right side first; when he anoints himself he should anoint the right side first, and whoever anoints the whole body should commence with the head, for the head is the king of all the members (of the body).
"Nor with phylacteries;" but if he went out with them on, he is not liable for a sin-offering. Said R. Saphra: This is not only in accordance with him who holds Sabbath is a day for (wearing) phylacteries, but it is even in accordance with him who holds that it is not. What is the reason? Because phylacteries are put on in the same manner as a garment.
"And not with an amulet," etc. Said R. Papa: "Do not presume that both the maker and the amulet must be reliable; it is sufficient if the maker only is reliable." So it seems to be from the statement in the Mishna: "And not with an amulet that was not made by a reliable expert." It does not say with a reliable amulet.
The rabbis taught: Which are to be considered such? If they have cured three times, no matter whether they contained inscriptions (of mystic forms) or (certain) medicaments. If the amulet is for a sickness, be it serious or not, or if it is for one afflicted with epilepsy, or only serves as a preventive, one may fasten or unfasten it even in public ground, provided he does not fasten the amulet to a bracelet or a finger-ring, to go out with it in public ground, lest those who see it think that it is being worn as an ornament. Did not a Boraitha state that only such amulets as cured three different parties are reliable? This presents no difficulty. Here we are taught as to the reliability of the expert who made the amulet, while in the latter Boraitha we are taught as to the reliability of the amulet itself.
Said R. Papa: It is certain to me that where three different amulets were given to three different (human) sufferers at three different times (and a cure was effected), both the amulets and the expert who made them are reliable. Where three different amulets were given to three different sufferers only once, the expert is reliable, but not the amulets. Where one and the same amulet was given to three different sufferers, the amulet is reliable, but not the expert; but how is it with three different amulets given to one man for three different diseases? Certainly, the amulets are not reliable (for each cured only once), but how is it with the expert? Should he be considered reliable or not? If we say that the expert cured him, perhaps it was only the fate of the sufferer that he should be cured by a script? This question remains.
The schoolmen propounded a question: Is there any sanctity in an amulet or not? For what purpose are we to know this? In order to enter a privy; if there is any sanctity in the amulet this would not be allowed, otherwise it would.
Come and hear. We have learned in a Mishna: "Not with an amulet unless made by a reliable expert." From this we see that if made by a reliable expert one may go out with it. Now, if we say that there is sanctity in the amulet, how can we say that one may go out with it? Perhaps he shall be compelled to enter a privy, he will have to take it off, and thus be forced to carry it four ells or more in public ground.
MISHNA III.: A woman shall not go out with an ornamental needle (with a hole in), nor with a ring that has a seal, nor with a Kulear, nor with a Kabeleth, nor with a perfume bottle. And if she does, she is liable for a sin-offering. Such is the opinion of R. Meir. The sages, however, freed her in the case of the two latter.
GEMARA: Said Ulla: "With men it is (concerning a finger-ring) just the reverse." That is to say, Ulla is of the opinion that what is right for women is not right for men, and what is right for men is not right for women. Said R. Joseph: "Ulla is of the opinion that women form a class of their own." Rabha, however, says it often happens that a man gives his wife a ring with a seal on, to put away in a box, and she puts it on her finger until she comes to the box; again, it happens that a wife gives her husband a ring without a seal for the purpose of having him give it to a jeweller to repair, and until he comes to the jeweller he puts it on his finger. Thus it happens that a woman may wear a man's ring and a man a woman's (temporarily).
What is Kabeleth? Cachous (for purifying the breath). The rabbis taught: A, woman must not go out with Kabeleth, and if she did so she is liable for a sin-offering. This is the opinion of R. Meir, but the sages say she should not go out with it, yet if she does she is not liable. R. Eliezer, however, says she may go out with it to commence with. Wherein do they differ? R. Meir holds that it is a burden, the sages that it is an ornament; and the reason that she should not go out with it is lest she take it off to show to her friends, and thus perchance carry it in her hand. R. Eliezer, however, permits it to be carried to commence with, because, said he, who generally carry such? Women whose breath emits a bad odor, and surely they will not take them off to show them, hence there is no apprehension that they will carry them four ells or more on public ground.
There is a Boraitha: "A woman must not go out with a key in her hand, nor with a box of cachous, nor with a perfume bottle; and if she goes out with them, she is liable for a sin-offering." So is the decree of R. Meir, but R. Eliezer freed her, provided the box contains cachous, and the bottle perfume; but if they are empty, she is liable (for then there is a burden). Said R. Ada b. Ahaba: "From this we may infer that one carrying less than the prescribed quantity of food in a vessel on public ground is culpable, as it states if there was no cachou or perfume, which is equal to a vessel containing less than the prescribed amount of food, she is liable. Hence it makes her liable even if less than the prescribed quantity. Said R. Ashi: Generally one may be freed, but here it is different; the box and the bottle themselves are considered a burden.
We read in the Scripture [Amos, vi. 6]: "And anoint themselves with the costliest of ointments." Said R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel: "This signifies perfumery."
R. Joseph objected: "R. Jehudah b. Baba said that after the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem the sages prohibited even the use of perfumes, but the rabbis did not concur in the decree. If we say perfume used only for pleasure, why did not the rabbis concur?" Abayi answered: According to your mode of reasoning, even drinking wine from bowls (bocals) is prohibited, for it is written further [ibid., ibid.]: "Those that drink wine from bowls." R. Ami said, that certainly means bocals, but R. Assi claimed that it means they clinked glasses one with another. Still Rabba b. R. Huna once happened to be at the house of the Exilarch and drank wine out of a bocal, but was not rebuked. It is, therefore, thus to be understood: The rabbis restricted only such pleasures as were combined with rejoicing, but not pleasures unaccompanied with rejoicing.
Said R. Abuhu: Others say we were taught in a Boraitha: "Three things bring man to poverty: Urinating in front of one's bed when naked; carelessness in washing one's hands; and permitting one's wife to curse him in his presence." Said Rabha: "Urinating in front of one's bed should be understood to signify 'turning around so as to face the bed and then urinating,' but not turning in the opposite direction; and even when facing the bed it signifies only urinating on the floor in front of the bed and not in a urinal.' Carelessness in washing one's hand signifies "not washing one's hands at all," but not insufficient washing, for R. Hisda said: "I washed my hands well and plentifully and am plentifully rewarded." Permitting one's wife to curse him in his presence implies "for not bringing her jewelry," and then only when one is able to do so but does not.
Rahava said in the name of R. Jehudah: The trees of Jerusalem were cinnamon trees, and when used for fuel the odor extended over all the land of Israel; ever since the destruction of the second Temple the cinnamon trees disappeared; but a morsel as big as a barleycorn is still to be found in the treasury of the Kingdom of Zimzimai.
MISHNA IV.: One must not go out with a sword, nor with a bow, nor with a triangular shield, nor with a round one, nor with a spear; if he does so he is liable for a sin-offering. R. Eliezer says they are ornaments to him, but the sages say they are nothing but a stigma, for it is written [Isaiah, ii. 4]: "They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning-knives; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Knee-buckles are clean and one may go out with them on the Sabbath. Stride chains are subject to defilement, and one must not go out with them on the Sabbath.
GEMARA: "R. Eliezer says they are ornaments." There is a Boraitha: The sages said unto R. Eliezer: If the weapons are ornaments to man, why will they cease to exist in the post-messianic period? He answered: "They will exist then also." This is in accordance with the opinion of Samuel, who said there will be no difference between the present time and the post-messianic period save the obedience to temporal potentates, for it is written [Deut. xv. 11]: "For the needy will not cease out of the land."
Said Abayi, according to others R. Joseph, to R. Dimi or to R. Ivia, and according to still others, Abayi said directly to R. Joseph: What is the reason of R. Eliezer's theory regarding weapons? It is written [Psalms, xlv. 4]: "Gird thy sword upon thy thighs, O Most Mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty."
Said R. Kahana to Mar, the son of R. Huna: Is not this passage applied to the study of the Law (Torah)? And he answered: "Anything may be inferred from a passage; at the same time, the passage must not be deprived of its common sense." Said R. Kahana: "I am fourscore years old and have studied the six sections of the Mishna with their explanations through, and did not know until now that a scriptural passage has first to be interpreted in its plainest form!" What information does he mean to convey to us by this assertion? That man has to study the Law through first, and then reason upon it.
R. Jeremiah in the name of R. Elazar said: Two scholars who debate in the Law (not for controversy's sake), the Holy One, blessed be He, causes them to prosper; moreover, they become exalted, for it is written [Psalms, xlv. 5], "be prosperous." But lest one say that this would be the case even if they (debate), not for the purpose (of studying the Law), therefore it says further [ibid., ibid.], "because of truth." Again, one might say that the same would be the case even if one became arrogant and conceited. Therefore it says further [ibid., ibid.], "and meekness and righteousness." And if they act humbly they will be rewarded with (the knowledge of) the Law, which was given with the right hand (of God), as it is further written [ibid.], "and thy right hand shall teach thee fearful things."
R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak says they will be rewarded with the knowledge of what is said of the right hand of the Law, for Rabha b. R. Shila, according to others R. Joseph b. Hama in the name of R. Shesheth, said: How is to be explained the passage [Proverbs, iii. 16]: "Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left riches and honor"? Shall one say that in the right hand is only length of days, but not riches and honor? Common sense does not dictate so; therefore it must be interpreted thus: For those who study the Torah in the right way there is long life, and so much the more riches and honor; but for those who study it not in the right way, riches and honor there may be, but not long life.
Said R. Jeremiah in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: Two scholars who quietly discourse on the Torah among themselves, the Holy One, blessed be He, hearkens unto them and listens to their desires, for it is written [Malachi, iii. 16]: "Then conversed they that fear the Lord one with the other," etc. Conversed means conversed quietly, as it is written [in Psalms, xlvii. 4]: "He will subdue (quiet) people under us." (Subdue and converse are expressed by the same terms in the two passages, hence the similitude. 1) What is meant by the words "that thought upon His name"? Said R. Ami: "Even when one intended to observe a commandment, but was accidentally prevented and could not accomplish it, it is credited to him as if he had actually observed it." Thus the passage "thought upon His name" is interpreted.
Said R. Hanina b. Ide: Whosoever observes a commandment as prescribed, will not be the recipient of bad tidings, for it is written [Eccl. viii. 5]: "Whoso keepeth the commandment will experience no evil thing." R. Assi, others say R. Hanina, said: "Even if the Holy One, blessed be He, has so decreed it (that he shall experience evil things) the decree is annulled through the prayers of this man, as it is written [ibid. 4]: "Because the word of a king is powerful, and who may say unto him, what doest thou?' and this immediately followed by the passage: 'Whoso keepeth the commandment will experience no evil thing.'"
R. Aba in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish said: Two scholars who mutually instruct themselves in the Law, the Holy One, blessed be He, hearkens to their voices, for it is written [Song of Solomon, viii. 13]: "Thou that dwellest in the gardens, the companions listen for thy voice; oh, let me hear it"; but if they do not do so, they cause the Shekhina to move away from Israel, for further it is written [ibid. 14]: "Flee away, my beloved," etc.
The same in the name of the same authority said: The Holy One, blessed be He, loves two scholars who combine to study the Law, for it is written [Solomon's Song, ii. 4]: "And his banner over me was love." Said Rabha: "Provided they know something of Law, but have no instructor to teach them at the place where they reside."
The same said again: "The man who lends his money is more deserving than the charitable man, and the most deserving of all is he who gives charity surreptitiously or invests money in partnership (with the poor)." Furthermore he said: "If thy teacher is jealous (for thy welfare) and as spiteful as a serpent (if thou neglect thy studies), carry him on thy shoulders (because from him thou wilt learn), and if an ignoramus plays the pious, do not live in his neighborhood."
R. Kahana, according to others R. Assi, and according to still others R. Abba in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish, said: "Whoso raises a vicious dog in his house prevents charity to proceed therefrom (for the poor are afraid to go in as it is written [Job, vi. 14]: "As though I were one who refuseth kindness to a friend." ("As though I were one who refuseth" is expressed in Hebrew by one word, viz., lamos; in Greek λαμος means dog, 1 and hence R. Simeon's inference.) Said R. Na'hman: "He even forsaketh the fear of the Lord," for it is written at the end of the verse [ibid., ibid.]: "And forsaketh the fear of the Lord."
Once a woman went into a certain house to bake, and a dog, through barking at her, caused her to have a miscarriage. Said the landlord of the house "Fear him not, I have deprived him of his teeth and claws"; but the woman answered: "Throw thy favors to the dogs, the child is already gone!"
Said R. Huna: It is written [Eccl. xi. 9]: "Rejoice, oh young man, in thy childhood, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youthful vigor, and walk firmly in the ways of thy heart and in the direction in which thy eyes see; but know thou that concerning all these things God will bring thee into judgment." (Does not this passage contradict itself? Nay.) Up to the words "and know" are words of the misleader, and from there on are words of the good leader. Resh Lakish said up to "(and) know" the theoretical part of the law is meant, and from there on it speaks of good acts.
"Knee-buckles are clean," etc. Said R. Jehudah: This (birith) means arm-bandages. To this R. Joseph objected: "We have learned that a birith is (virtually) clean, and one may go out with it on the Sabbath. If it is an arm-band, how can that be? The latter is subject to defilement." It means that the birith is worn on the same part of the leg as the arm-bandage on the arm.
Rabbin and R. Huna sat before R. Jeremiah, who slumbered, and Rabbin said: "A birith is worn on one of the thighs and kebalim on both shins." But R. Huna said both are worn on both shins, but the chain attached to the birith on both shins is called kebalim, and the chain makes them a perfect vessel. At this point of the argument R. Jeremiah awoke and said: "I thank you. Even so I heard R. Johanan say. "When R. Dimi came to Neherdai, he sent to tell the sages: My former information in the name of R. Johanan that the Tzitz was a woven thing was an error, as so was said in his name. Whence the adduction that any ornament is subject to becoming defiled? From the Tzitz, the golden plate on the forehead of the High Priest. And whence the adduction that textile fabrics are also subject to becoming defiled? From the passage [Lev. xi. 32], "or" raiment, which includes any textile fabrics whatsoever.
The rabbis taught: "Any piece of textile fabric or any trifle of an ornament is subject to defilement." But how is it with an article which is half texture and half ornament? It is also subject to defilement. As for an ornament which is carried in a bag, the bag being of woven material becomes defiled and with it the ornament, but if the ornament was carried in a piece of cloth, the cloth remains undefiled. Is a piece of cloth not a textile fabric? Yea, but by that is meant that the bag, even if not made of textile fabric, becomes defiled, because it is attached to the garment. What is a bag used for? Said R. Johanan: Poor people use them for the purpose of putting some trifles in them and then hang them on the necks of their daughters.
It is written "And Moses was wroth with the officers of the host" [Numb. xxxi. 14]. Said R. Na'hman in the name of Rabba b. Abuhu: "Thus said Moses unto Israel: 'Have ye then returned to your first sin (that ye have let the females live)?'" They answered him [ibid. 49]: "Thy servants have taken the sum of the men of war who have been under our command, and there lacketh not one man of us" (implying that none had sinned). Said Moses again: "If such be the case, why need ye atonement?" They answered: "Though we have strengthened ourselves to keep aloof from sin, we could not put it out of our minds. We have therefore [ibid. 50] brought an oblation unto the Lord." On this the school of R. Ishmael taught: Why did the Israelites of that generation require forgiveness? Because they had feasted their eyes on strange women.
MISHNA V.: A woman may go out with plaits of hair, be they made of her own hair or of another woman or of an animal; with Totaphoth or Sarbitin if fastened. 1 With a hood or with a wig in her yard (private ground); with cotton wadding in her ear or in her shoe; or with cotton wadding prepared for her menstruation; with a grain of pepper or of salt, or with whatever else she may be accustomed to keep in her mouth, provided she does not put it in her mouth on the Sabbath to commence with; if it fell out of her mouth she must not replace it. As for a metal or golden tooth, Rabbi permits a woman to go out with it, but the sages prohibit it.
GEMARA: It has been taught: "Provided a young woman does not go out with (plaits of hair belonging to) an old woman; nor an old woman with plaits of hair belonging to a young woman." So far as an old woman is concerned, it would be nothing but right, for the plaits of a young woman would be a source of pride to her (and there is fear of her taking them off to show to others); but why should a young woman be prohibited to go out with plaits belonging to an old woman? They are a disgrace to her (and surely she would not take them off for exhibition)! The teacher while treating on plaits with respect to an old woman also makes mention of the case of a young woman (for the sake of antithesis).
"With a hood or a wig in her yard." Said Rabh: "Everything prohibited by the sages to be worn on public ground must not be worn in the yard, save a hood and a wig." R. Anani b. Sasson in the name of R. Ishmael said: "Everything may be worn in the yard like a hood. But why does Rabh discriminate in favor of these objects?" Said Ulla: "In order that she may not become repulsive to her husband."
"And with cotton in her ears or in her shoes." Romi b. Ezekiel taught only when tied to her ears or her shoes.
"And cotton wadding prepared for her menstruation." "In this case," said Rabha, even if it is not tied it may be worn, because, being disgusting, it will not be handled." R. Jeremiah b. R. Abba questioned Rabha: "How is it if the same was prepared with a handle?" And he answered: "Then it is also allowed." And so also it was taught by R. Na'hman b. Oshia in the name of R. Johanan.
R. Johanan went to the college with cotton wadding in his ears on Sabbath, and his colleagues objected to it. R. Joni went into unclaimed ground with it against the opinion of all his contemporaries.
"With a grain of pepper or a grain of salt." The former to take away any bad odor of the breath and the latter as a remedy for toothache.
"Or with whatever else she is accustomed to keep in her mouth," meaning ginger or cinnamon.
"A metal or a gilt tooth," etc. Said R. Zera: They differ concerning a gold tooth only, for a silver tooth is unanimously permitted. And so we have learned plainly in a Boraitha. Said Abayi: Rabbi, R. Eliezer, and R. Simeon b. Elazar, all three agree to the opinion that anything provoking disgust (or ridicule) a woman will not wear for show: Rabbi, as just cited; R. Eliezer, as he freed a woman bearing a box of cachous or a perfume bottle; R. Simeon b. Elazar, as we have learned in the following Boraitha: "Anything below the hair-net is permitted to be worn outside."
MISHNA VI.: Women may go out with a coin fastened to a swelling on their feet; little girls may go out with laces on and even with screws in their ears. Arabians may go out in their long veils and Medians in their mantillas; so may even all women go out, but the sages spoke of existing customs. She may fold her mantilla around a stone, nut, or a coin (used as buttons), provided she does it not especially on the Sabbath.
GEMARA: "Little girls may go out with laces." The father of Samuel did not permit his daughters to go out with laces nor to sleep together; he made bathing-places for them during the month of Nissan, and curtains during the month of Tishri. "He did not permit them to go out with laces?" Were we not taught that girls may go out with laces? The daughters of Samuel's father wore colored (fancy) laces and (lest they, take them off to show to others) he did not permit them to go out with them.
"Fold her mantilla around a stone," etc. But did not the first part (of the Mishna) say that she may fold it, etc.? Said Abayi, the last part of the Mishna has reference to a coin (which is not permitted). Abayi questioned: May a woman fold her mantilla on Sabbath shrewdly around a nut for the purpose of bringing it to her little son? And this question is according to both; to him who permits subtilty in case of fire, and also according to him who forbids it. According to him who permits it, it may be that only in case of fire he permits, as if it were not allowed, he would extinguish it; but this is not the case here. And according to him who prohibits it, it may be that he does so because the clothing seller usually so bears the clothes; but here, as it is not the custom to bear it so, it may be that it is permitted? The question remains.
MISHNA VII.: The cripple may go out with his wooden leg; such is the decree of R. Meir, but R. Jossi prohibits it. If the wooden leg has a receptacle for pads, it is subject to defilement. Crutches are subject to defilement by being sat or trodden upon; 1 but one may go out with them on Sabbath and enter the outer court (of the Temple). The chair and crutches of a paralytic are subject to defilement, and one must not go out with them on the Sabbath nor enter the outer court (of the Temple). Stilts are not subject to defilement, but nevertheless one must not go out with them on Sabbath.
GEMARA: Rabha said to R. Na'hman: How are we to accept the teaching of the Mishna? Did R. Meir permit the cripple to go out with a wooden leg on the Sabbath and R. Jossi prohibit his doing so, or vice versa? Answered R. Na'hman: "I know not." "And how shall the halakhah prevail?" Answered R. Na'hman again: "I know not." It was taught: Samuel and also R. Huna begin the Mishna: "A cripple shall not," etc. And R. Joseph said: "As both sages read the Mishna so, we shall do the same." Rabha b. Shira, however, opposed: "Was he not aware that when R. Hanon b. Rabha taught so to Hyya, the son of Rabh, the father showed him with the movement of his hands to change the names? In reality Samuel himself has also receded from the former teaching, and has corrected: "A cripple may go out," so is the decree of R. Meir. [Hamoth, 101a.]
"And must not enter the outer court," etc. A Tana taught before R. Johanan that one may go in with them in the outer court. Said R. Johanan to him: I teach that a woman may perform the "Chalitza" 2 with them (hence they are considered shoes), and you say he may go in with them to the outer court. Go and teach the contrary.
MISHNA VIII.: Boys may go out with bands and princes with golden belts; so may every one else, but the sages adduce their instances from existing customs.
GEMARA: What kinds of bands? Said Ada Mari in the name of R. Na'hman b. Baruch, who said in the name of R. Ashi b. Abhin, quoting R. Jehudah: "Wreaths of Puah roots." Said Abayi: "My mother told me that three of such wreaths give relief (in sickness), five of them produce a complete cure, and seven of them are even proof against witchcraft."
Said R. Aha b. Jacob: "And this only if they (the wreaths) have never seen sun, moon, or rain; never heard a hammer fall or a cock crow or the fall of footsteps."
Said R. Na'hman b. Itz'hak: "Thy bread is cast upon the deep" (meaning the remedy is an impossibility). 1
The rabbis taught: (Women) may go out with a Kutana stone (to prevent miscarriage) on the Sabbath. It was said in the name of R. Meir that they may even go out with the counterpoise of a Kutana stone, and not only such (women) as have already once miscarried, but even as a preventive to miscarriage, and not only when a woman is pregnant, but lest she become pregnant and miscarry. Said R. Jemar b. Shalmia in the name of Abayi: But the counterpoise must be an exact one and made in one piece.
MISHNA IX.: It is permitted to go out with eggs of grasshoppers or with the tooth of a fox or a nail from the gallows where a man was hanged, as medical remedies. Such is the decision of R. Meir, but the sages prohibit the using of these things even on week days, for fear of imitating the Amorites. 2
GEMARA: The eggs of grasshoppers as a remedy for toothache; the tooth of a fox as a remedy for sleep, viz., the tooth of a live fox to prevent sleep and of a dead one to cause sleep; the nail from the gallows where a man was hanged as a remedy for swelling.
"As medical remedies," such is the decision of R. Meir. Abayi and Rabha both said: "Anything (intended) for a medical remedy, there is no apprehension of imitating the Amorites; hence, if not intended as a remedy there is apprehension of imitating the Amorites? But were we not taught that a tree which throws off its fruit, it is permitted to paint it and lay stones around it? It is right only to lay stones around it in order to weaken its strength, but what remedy is painting it? Is it not imitating the Amorites? (Nay) it is only that people may see it and pray for mercy. We have learned in a Boraitha: It is written [Leviticus, xiii. 45]: "Unclean, unclean, shall he call out." (To what purpose?) That one must make his troubles known to his fellow-men, that they may pray for his relief.
Rabhina. said: The hanging up of a cluster of dates on a date tree (as a sign that the tree throws off its fruit) is in accordance with the above-mentioned teacher.
If one says: "Kill this cock, for he crowed at night; or kill this hen, for she crowed like a cock; or I will drink and leave a little over," because of superstition, there is apprehension that he imitate the Amorites; but one may put a splinter of "Tuth" 1 or a piece of glass in a pot, that it may boil the quicker. The sages, however, prohibited pieces of glass as being dangerous. The rabbis taught: One may throw a handful of salt in a lamp that it may burn the brighter, or loam and fragments of earthenware that it may burn more slowly. The saying "to your health" at wine-drinking is no imitation of the customs of the Amorites. It happened that R. Aqiba gave a banquet in honor of his son, and at every cup that he drank he said: "To the wine in the mouth and to the health of the sages and their disciples."
107:1 In the Mishna the Hebrew word for "fastened" is "Tephurim," literally meaning "sewed" or "embroidered"; i.e., the Totaphoth and Sarbitin as worn by the wealthy were ornaments made of gold or silver with inscriptions engraved on them, but the poor made them of various colored materials (as explained in the Gemara farther on) and embroidered the inscriptions on them. The prohibition of the Mishna therefore refers only to the wearing of such ornaments before the inscriptions were either engraved or embroidered on them. Such is our explanation in our History of Amulets," pp. 11-15.
107:2 After menstruation. See Leviticus, xv.
109:1 For the explanation of Humrate diqetiphta see our "History of Amulets," p. 14.
109:2 This R. Jehudah is probably R. Jehudah of Diphta, for the R. Jehudah generally cited died on the day of Abayi's birth. See our "History of Amulets," etc.
111:1 R. Joseph passed through a severe illness and at times forgot his own teachings hence it sometimes occurred that he was reminded of them by his disciples.
111:2 Here is omitted the legend about Levi, as the proper place for it is in Kethuboth, 103b, and it will be translated there.
118:1 The words conversed and subdue in the two passages are expressed in Hebrew by "Nidberu" and "Yadber." Both are derived from the root Dibur = to speak quietly.
120:1 R. Simeon b. Lakish was a Palestinian and knew the Greek language.
121:1 See note to preceding Mishna.
124:1 Wherever the expression "subject to defilement by being sat or trodden upon" occurs in the Talmud it refers to being sat or trodden upon by a person afflicted with venereal diseases.
124:2 See the law of Halitzah [Deut. xxv. 9].
125:1 The text continues with different quack remedies for sickness, melancholy, and other things which are neither important nor translatable, and therefore omitted.
125:2 See Leviticus, xviii. 3 and 30, where the imitating of the customs of the Canaanites and Amorites is forbidden.
126:1 Zilla, according to the commentary of Malkhi Zedek, which means "a smooth shrubby herb, of the mustard family."
Sources: Sacred Texts