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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
the serpent came upon Eve he injected a lust into her:1 [as for] the Israelites who stood at Mount Sinai, their lustfulness departed; the idolaters, who did not stand at Mount Sinai, their lustfulness did not depart.2 R. Aha son of Raba asked R. Ashi. What about proselytes? Though they were not present, their guiding stars3 were present, as it is written, [Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath], but with him that standeth here with us this day before the Lord our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day.4 Now he differs from R. Abba b. Kahana, for R. Abba b. Kahana said: Until three generations the lustful [strain] did not disappear from our Patriarchs: Abraham begat Ishmael, Isaac begat Esau, [but] Jacob begat the twelve tribes in whom there was no taint whatsoever.5
MISHNAH. ONE MAY BREAK OPEN A CASK IN ORDER TO EAT RAISINS THEREOF, PROVIDED THAT HE DOES NOT DESIGN MAKING A UTENSIL;6 AND ONE MAY NOT PERFORATE THE BUNG OF A CASK:7 THIS IS R. JUDAH'S RULING; BUT THE SAGES PERMIT IT. AND ONE MUST NOT PIERCE IT AT THE SIDE THEREOF,8 WHILE IF IT IS PERFORATED9 ONE MUST NOT PLACE WAX UPON IT, BECAUSE HE CRUSHES IT.10 R. JUDAH SAID: [SUCH] AN INCIDENT CAME BEFORE R. JOHANAN B. ZAKKAI IN ARAB11 AND HE SAID, I FEAR ON HIS ACCOUNT [THAT HE MAY BE LIABLE] TO A SIN-OFFERING.
GEMARA. R. Oshaia said: They learnt this only of pressed [raisins]; but not when they are loose [apart].12 'But not if they are loose [apart]'? An objection is raised: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: One may bring a cask of wine, strike off its head with a sword, and place it before guests on the Sabbath, and he need have no fear!13 — That is [according to] the Rabbis: our Mishnah is [according to] R. Nehemiah.14 Now, what compels R. Oshaia to establish our Mishnah as agreeing with R. Nehemiah, so that it refers to pressed [raisins]; let him explain it as referring to loose [raisins] and [in agreement with] the Rabbis? — Said Raba, Our Mishnah presents a difficulty to him: why particularly teach 'RAISINS: let him [the Tanna] teach 'fruit?' Hence it follows thence that the reference is to pressed [raisins].
One [Baraitha] taught: One may untie, unravel, or cut through the wicker wrappers of raisins and dates.15 Another was taught: One may untie, but not unravel or cut. There is no difficulty: one agrees with the Rabbis; the other with R. Nehemiah. For it was taught, R. Nehemiah said: Even a spoon, even a robe, and even a knife may be handled only when required for their [usual] function.
R. Shesheth was asked: What about piercing a cask with a spit16 on the Sabbath? does he intend [making] an opening, so it is forbidden, or perhaps his intention is to be generous17 and it is permitted? — He intends [making] an opening, replied he, and it is forbidden. An objection is raised: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: One may bring a cask of wine and strike off its head with a sword? — There his intention is certainly to be generous: but here, if he really means to be generous — let him open it.18
ONE MAY NOT PERFORATE THE BUNG, etc. R. Huna said: The controversy is [in respect of a hole] at the top;19 but all agree that it is forbidden at the side,20 and thus he teaches, ONE MUST NOT PIERCE IT AT THE SIDE THEREOF. But R. Hisda maintained: The controversy is in [respect of a hole] at the side, but all agree that it is permitted on the top, and as to what he teaches, ONE MUST NOT PIERCE IT AT THE SIDE THEREOF, there it refers to the cask itself.21
Our Rabbis taught: One may not pierce a new hole22 on the Sabbath, but if one comes to add,23 he may add; but some say, One may not add. But they all agree that one may pierce an old hole24 at the very outset. Now as to the first Tanna, wherein does it differ from [boring] a new hole, which may not [be done]? [Presumably] because an opening is [thereby] effected! Then in adding too an opening is improved (effected]?25 — Said Rabbah: By the words of the Torah26 every opening which is not made for putting in and taking out is not an opening, and it was the Rabbis who forbade it27 on account of [the ventilation of] a hen-coop, which is made to permit the fresh air to enter and the fumes to pass out.28 Hence 'if one comes to add, he may add': [for] in a hen-coop one will certainly not come to add,
on account of insects.1 Yet 'some say, One may not add': Sometimes one may not make it [the hole] [properly] in the first place, and so come to enlarge it. R. Nahman lectured on the authority of R. Johanan: The halachah is as 'some maintain'.
But they all agree that you may pierce an old hole at the very outset! Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: They learnt this only where it was done in order to conserve [the fragrance];2 but if in order to strengthen it [the cask], it is forbidden.3 How is it [when it is] to conserve, and how is it [when meant] to strengthen?4 — Said R. Hisda: If it is above the [level of the] wine, its purpose is to conserve; if below the [top of the] wine, its purpose is to strengthen.5 Rabbah said: [If] below the [top of the] wine, that too is to conserve. Then how is it to strengthen? — E.g. if it was pierced below the lees.6
Abaye said to Rabbah, Something which supports you was taught: A closed house has four cubits; if one had broken open its door-frame, it does not receive four cubits.7 A closed house [room] does not defile all around it; if he had broken through the door-frame, it defiles all around it.8
[The insertion of] a tube,9 Rab forbids, while Samuel permits. As for cutting it in the first place,10 all agree that it is forbidden; [again], all agree that replacing it11 is permitted. They differ only where it is cut but not made to measure:12 he who forbids [its insertion] [holds that] we preventively prohibit [it], lest he come to cut it out in the first place; while he who permits it, [holds that] we do not preventively prohibit.
This is dependent on Tannaim: One may not cut a tube on a Festival, and it is superfluous to speak of the Sabbath. If it falls out,13 it may be replaced on the Sabbath, and it goes without saying on Festival[s]. While R. Josiah is lenient. To what does R. Josiah refer, Shall we say, to the first clause? Surely he prepares a utensil?14 Again, if to the second clause, the first Tanna too certainly permits it? Hence they must differ where it is cut but not made to measure: one Master holds, we preventively prohibit, while the other Master holds, We do not preventively prohibit. R. Shisha son of R. Idi lectured in R. Johanan's name: The halachah is as R. Josiah.
WHILE IF IT IS PERFORATED, etc. Oil [to stop up the hole], Rab forbids, while Samuel permits.15 He who forbids [holds]: We preventively prohibit on account of wax;16 while he who permits [holds]: We do not preventively prohibit. R. Samuel b. Bar Hanah observed to R. Joseph: You distinctly told us in Rab's name [that with] oil [it] is permitted
Tabuth the fowler17 said in Samuel's name: [To shape] a myrtle leaf18 is forbidden. — What is the reason? R. Yemar of Difti19 said: It is a preventive measure on account of [the making of] a pipe. R. Ashi said: It is a preventive measure lest one pluck it [from the tree]. Wherein do they differ? They differ where it is [already] plucked and [others too] are lying about.20
[To wear] linen sheets,21 Rab forbids, while Samuel permits.22 Of soft ones all agree that it is permitted;23 in the case of hard ones all agree that it is forbidden.24 They differ in respect of medium ones: he who forbids [holds that] they look like a burden; while he who permits [holds that] they do not look like a burden. Now, this [view] of Rab was stated not explicitly but by inference. For Rab visited a certain place where he had no room.25 So he went out and sat in a karmelith. Linen sheets were brought him,26 [but] he did not sit [upon them]. He who saw this thought that it was because linen sheets are forbidden. Yet that is not so, for Rab had indeed announced [that] linen sheets are permitted, but he did not sit on them out of respect for our masters: and who are they? R. Kahana and R. Assi.27
MISHNAH. A DISH MAY BE PLACED IN A PIT FOR IT TO BE GUARDED, AND WHOLESOME WATER INTO NOISOME WATER FOR IT TO BE COOLED, OR COLD WATER IN THE SUN FOR IT TO BE HEATED. IF ONE'S GARMENTS FALL INTO WATER ON THE ROAD, HE MAY WALK IN THEM WITHOUT FEAR. WHEN HE REACHES THE OUTERMOST COURTYARD28 HE MAY SPREAD THEM OUT IN THE SUN, BUT NOT IN SIGHT OF THE PEOPLE.29
AND WHOLESOME WATER, [etc.] It is obvious? — The second clause is required: OR COLD WATER IN THE SUN, [etc.]. That too is obvious? — You, might say, Let us preventively forbid it, lest he come to put it away in [hot] ashes;32 therefore he teaches us [otherwise].
IF ONE'S GARMENTS DROP, [etc.] Rab Judah said in Rab's name: Wherever the Sages forbade [aught] for appearance's sake, it is forbidden even in the innermost chambers.33 We learnt: HE MAY SPREAD THEM OUT IN THE SUN, BUT NOT IN SIGHT OF THE PEOPLE? — it is [a controversy of] Tannaim. For it was taught: He may spread them out in the sun, but not in sight of the people; R. Eleazar and R. Simeon forbid it.
R. Huna said:
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