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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 140a

Because it is only done for colouring.1

It was stated: If mustard grain is kneaded on Sabbath eve, — on the morrow, Rab said: One must crush [dissolve] it2  'with a utensil, but not by hand.3  Said Samuel to him: 'By hand'! Does one then crush it every day by hand — is it asses' food? Rather said Samuel: He must crush it by hand, but not with a utensil. It was stated, R. Eleazar said: Both the one and the other are forbidden; while R. Johanan ruled: Both the one and the other are permitted. Abaye and Raba both say: The halachah is not as R. Johanan. R. Johanan [subsequently] adopted R. Eleazar's thesis, while R. Eleazar adopted Samuel's thesis. Abaye and Raba both said [then]: The halachah is as R. Johanan.

Abaye's mother4  prepared [it] for him, but he would not eat [it]. Ze'iri's wife prepared [some] for R. Hiyya b. Ashi, but he would not eat [it]. Said she to him, 'I prepared it for your teacher [Ze'iri] and he ate, whilst you do not eat!'

Raba b. Shaba said: I was standing before Rabina and I stirred [the mustard] for him with the smooth [inner] part of the garlic, and he ate it.

Mar Zutra said: The law is not as all these opinions. but as the following which was stated; If mustard is kneaded on the eve of the Sabbath, on the morrow one may crush [dissolve] it both by hand or with a utensil; he may pour honey in it, yet he must not beat it up but may mix them. If cress was chopped up on the eve of the Sabbath, on the morrow one may put oil and vinegar into it and add ammitha5  thereto; and he must not beat then, up but may mix them. If garlic was crushed on the eve of the Sabbath, on the morrow one may put beans and grits therein, yet he must not pound them, but may mix them, and one may add ammitha to it. What is ammitha? — Ninya,6  Abaye observed: This proves that ninya is good for [seasoning] cress.

AND ENOMLIN MAY BE PREPARED ON THE SABBATH. Our Rabbis taught: Enomlin may be prepared on the Sabbath but aluntith may not be prepared on the Sabbath. What is enomlin and what is aluntith? — Enomlin is [a mixture of] wine, honey, and pepper. Aluntith is [a mixture of] old wine, clear water and balsam, which is prepared as a cooling [draught] in the baths.7  R. Joseph said: I Once entered the baths after Mar 'Ukba; on leaving I was offered a cup of [such] wine, and I experienced [a cooling sensation] from the hair of my head [right] down to my toe nails; and had I drunk another glass I would have been afraid lest it be deducted from my merits in the future world.8  But Mar 'Ukba drank it every day? Mar 'Ukba was different, because he was accustomed to it.


GEMARA. The scholars asked: What if one does dissolve [it]? R. Adda of Naresh16  maintained before R. Joseph: If one dissolves [it] he is liable to a sin-offering. Said Abaye to him: If so, if one soaks17  raw meat in water, is he too liable?18  Rather said Abaye: It is a Rabbinical [prohibition], that one should not act as he does during the week. R. Johanan asked R. Jannai: May hiltith be dissolved in cold water? It is forbidden. replied he. But we learnt: HILTITH MUST NOT BE DISSOLVED IN WARM WATER, implying that it is permitted in cold water? If so,19  what is the difference between you and me? Our Mishnah is [the opinion of] an individual. For it was taught: Hiltith may be dissolved neither in warm nor in cold water; R. Jose said: In warm water it is forbidden; in cold it is permitted.

What is it made for? [As a remedy] for asthma.20  R. Aha b.Joseph suffered with asthma. He went to Mar 'Ukba, [who] advised him, 'Go and drink three [gold denar] weights of hiltith on three days.' He went and drank it on Thursday and Friday. The following morning he went and asked [about it] in the Beth Hamidrash.21  Said they to him, The school of R. Adda-others state, the school of Mar son of R. Adda recited: One may drink a kab or two kabs without fear.22  About drinking, said he, I do not ask.23  My question is, What about dissolving it?24  R. Hiyya b. Abin observed to them: This case happened to me, and I went and consulted R. Adda b. Ahabah. but he could not inform me. [So] I went and asked R. Huna, and he answered me, Thus did Rab say: He may dissolve [it] in cold water and place it in the sun. Is this [only] according to him who permits [dissolving]? [No.] It is even according to him who forbids [it]: that is only if one had not drunk at all; but here, since he had drunk [it] on Thursday and Friday, if he would not drink it on the Sabbath he would be endangered.

R. Aha b. Joseph was walking along, leaning25  on the shoulder of R. Nahman b. Isaac, his sister's son. When we reach R. Safra's house, lead me in, he requested.26  When they arrived [there] he led him in. How about rubbing [the stiffness out of] linen [washing]?27  asked he; is his intention to soften the linen, and it is permitted, or perhaps his intention is to make it whiter,28  which is forbidden? — His intention is to soften it, replied he, and it is permitted. When he went out he [R. Nahman] enquired, What did you ask him? I asked him, What about rubbing linen on the Sabbath, replied he, and he answered me, It is permitted. But let the Master inquire about a scarf?29  I do not ask about a scarf, because I asked it of R. Huna and he decided it' for me. Then let the Master solve this from a scarf? — There it looks like making it whiter,30  but here it does not look like making it whiter.

R. Hisda said: As for linen,

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Sc. when the yolk is poured into a stew; but actually both the yolk and the white are fit for food, and therefore this is not an act of 'selecting' (v. Mishnah 73a).
  2. In water.
  3. He regards the latter as the usual way. and therefore it is forbidden on the Sabbath.
  4. v. p. 316, n. 3.
  5. A kind of cress or pepperwort (Lepidum sativum) Jast.
  6. Jast.: ammi, Bishop's weed. Rashi: mint.
  7. Hence it partakes somewhat of the nature of a medicine, and therefore it is forbidden.
  8. A second glass would inevitably have killed me but for a miracle, which would be ultimately debited to my account.
  9. Jast. assa foetida, an umbelliferous plant used as a resin in leaves, for a spice and for medicinal purposes.
  10. To be drunk medicinally.
  11. I.e.. pour water over them to make the refuse float up so that it can be removed.
  12. By hand, likewise to remove the refuse.
  13. And the refuse may fall through.
  14. Probably an open-work basket is meant which may act somewhat as a sieve. Though sifting is forbidden, these are permitted, because even if the refuse does fall through it is only incidental.
  15. Though some chaff may fall through. this is unintentional, the Mishnah agreeing with R. Simeon that whatever is unintentional is permitted.
  16. V. p. 279. n. 11.
  17. The Hebrew is the same for dissolves and soaks.
  18. Surely not.
  19. That you do not accept me as a greater authority on the Mishnah than yourself.
  20. Lit., 'heaviness of heart'.
  21. To ask whether he might take it on Sabbath.
  22. Of transgression.
  23. Lit., 'it was not in his hand'.
  24. If the hiltith is dissolved before the Sabbath.
  25. Lit., 'Supporting himself.
  26. He was an old man.
  27. When it is starched. The rubbing softens it and makes it whiter.
  28. Lit., 'to beget whiteness'.
  29. Or, turban.
  30. One is more particular about a scarf.

Shabbath 140b

to draw it away from the cane is permitted; to draw out the cane from it is forbidden.1  Raba said: But if it is a weaver's implement, it is permitted.2

R. Hisda said: A bunch of vegetables, if fit as food for animals, may be handled; if not, it is forbidden.

R. Hiyya b. Ashi said in Rab's name: A meat hook3  is permitted [to be handled]; a fish [hook] is forbidden.4

R. Kattina said: He who stands in the middle of a [marital] bed is as though he stood on a woman's stomach.5  But this is incorrect.

R. Hisda also said: When a scholar buys vegetables, let him buy long ones, for one bunch is like another [in thickness], and so the length [comes] of itself.6

R. Hisda also said: When a scholar buys canes,7  let him buy long ones; one load is like another, so the length [comes] of itself.

R. Hisda also said: When a scholar has but little bread, let him not eat vegetables, because it whets [the appetite]. R. Hisda also said: I ate vegetables neither when poor nor when rich.8  When poor, because it whets [the appetite]; when rich, because I say, Where the vegetables are to enter, let fish and meat enter!9

R. Hisda also said: If a scholar has but little bread he should not divide [his meal].10  R. Hisda also said: If a scholar has but little bread he should break [bread].11  What is the reason? Because he does not do it generously.12  R. Hisda also said: Formerly I would not break [bread] until I had passed my hand through the whole of my wallet and found there as much as I needed.

R. Hisda also said: When one can eat barley bread but eats wheaten bread he violates, thou shalt not destroy.13  R. Papa said: When one can drink beer but drinks wine, he violates, thou shalt not destroy.14  But this is incorrect: Thou shalt not destroy, as applied to one's own person, stands higher.15

R. Hisda also said: When a scholar has no oil, let him wash with pit water.16

R. Hisda also said: If a scholar buys raw meat he should buy the neck, because it contains three kinds of meat.

R. Hisda also said: When a scholar buys linen [underwear], he should buy it from the Nehar Abba17  and wash18  it every thirty days, and I guarantee that it will relieve him [from buying another] for a full year. What does kitonitha [underwear] mean? Kitta na'ah [fine flax].19

R. Hisda also said: A scholar should not sit upon a new mat, because it destroys the garments.20

R. Hisda also said: A scholar should not send his garments to his host21  for washing, for this is not in good taste, lest he see something22  and he come to despise him.

R. Hisda advised his daughters: Act modestly before your husbands: do not eat bread before your husbands,23  do not eat greens at night,24  do not eat dates at night nor drink beer at night,25  and do not ease yourselves where your husbands do,26  and when someone calls at the door, do not say 'who is he' but 'who is she?'27  He [R. Hisda] held a jewel in one hand and a [valueless] seed grain in the other; the pearl he showed them but the seed grain he did not show them until they were suffering,28  and then he showed it to them.29

ONE MUST NOT CAUSE LEEKS TO FLOAT. Our Mishnah30  does not agree with the following Tanna. For it was taught, R. Eliezer b. Jacob said: One must not look at the sieve at all.31


GEMARA. The scholars asked: Do the Rabbis disagree with the first clause, or with the second, or with both? — Come and hear: For it was taught, But the Sages maintain: Both the one and the other35  must not be moved on a side.36

R. Hisda said: They differ in respect of a ground manger,37  but all agree that a manger which is a vessel38  is permitted. But is there any opinion that a ground manger is permitted: surely one levels the holes? — Rather if stated, it was thus stated: R. Hisda said: They differ in respect of a vessel manger, but all hold that a ground manger is forbidden.

ONE MAY TAKE [FODDER] FROM ONE ANIMAL [etc.]. One [Baraitha] taught: One may take [fodder] from before an animal that is fastidious and place [it] before an animal that is not fastidious; while another taught: One may take [fodder] from before an animal that is not fastidious and place [it] before an animal that is fastidious. Abaye observed: Both [Baraithas hold] that one may take from an ass [to put] before an ox, but not from an ox [and place it] before an ass. Now, when it is taught, 'One may take from before an animal that is fastidious', it refers to an ass, which does not drop saliva [into its food]; 'and place [it] before an animal that is not fastidious', to a cow,

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Linen was hung up on a cane passing through the sleeves to dry. A cane must not be handled on the Sabbath, being regarded as mukzeh, as it stands to be used as fuel.
  2. For it is then a utensil, which may be handled.
  3. Lit., 'a suspender of meat' — i.e., a hook. Tosaf. and Jast.
  4. The first was more like a utensil than the second.
  5. Because he is incited to impure thoughts.
  6. I.e., the additional length is extra value — presumably the price was not increased.
  7. For fuel.
  8. Or, I would eat vegetables neither when rich nor when poor.
  9. Which are more nutritious.
  10. Eat a little now and a little later, as at no time will he have enough.
  11. To distribute it among the guests at a meal.
  12. MS.M. deletes the two intervening passages.
  13. Deut. XX, 19. I.e., it is wasteful extravagance.
  14. Was his attitude influenced by the fact that he was a beer brewer?
  15. To consume better food and drink is beneficial, not wasteful.
  16. The scum thickens it into a semblance of oil.
  17. A canal in the Bagdad region; Obermeyer, p. 239.
  18. Lit., 'whiten'.
  19. Jast. Rashi: the upper class — its wearer is fit to be a member of the upper classes — a play on words, of course.
  20. Being hard, it injures the texture.
  21. The keeper of the boarding house where he stays.
  22. A euphemism for semen.
  23. You may eat too much.
  24. Because of their odour.
  25. Because of their laxative properties.
  26. Even in their absence.
  27. I.e., 'who is it' but in the feminine, not the masculine form.
  28. With curiosity, to know what he was holding.
  29. To prove the folly of curiosity (Jast. s.v.[H], which 'Aruch reads instead of [H]).
  30. Which continues, BUT THEY MAY BE PUT INTO A SIEVE.
  31. I.e., one must not handle it for any purpose on the Sabbath.
  32. If it contains chips, etc., they may render the straw repulsive and cause the animal to go off its feed.
  33. Which is ordinarily fed on pasture. — R. Han. and Jast. Rashi translates: one may move aside the straw, if there is much, lest the animal tread it into the dung.
  34. Because the second will eat it, and therefore it is not unnecessary handling.
  35. Sc. fodder in a manger and straw lying in front of an animal.
  36. Thus they disagree with both clauses.
  37. I.e., a small low fenced enclosure on the ground. The Rabbis forbid it lest one comes to level up holes in the ground.
  38. I.e., a real manger.