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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
May I bury my children,1 if this is not an erroneous halachah, for the hearer heard [a ruling] and erred [therein]. [Viz.,] a peasant was passing with an ox-goad on his shoulder and one end thereof overshadowed a grave, and he was declared unclean in virtue of [the law of] utensils which overshadowed the dead.2 R. Akiba said, I will rectify [it] so that the words of the Sages3 may be fulfilled. [Viz.,] all movable objects induce uncleanness in their bearers by the thickness of an ox-goad; [and induce uncleanness] in themselves, by any thickness; and in other people or utensils, by the width4 of a handbreadth. And R. Jannai observed: and the ox-goad of which they spoke is not a handbreadth in thickness but in circumference, and they enacted [this law] concerning its circumference on account of its thickness.5 But according to R. Tarfon who said, 'May I bury my children but this halachah is incorrect!' they are less [than eighteen]? — Said R. Nahman b. Isaac, That the daughters of Cutheans are niddoth from their cradles was also enacted on that same day; and on the other [question]6 he agrees with R. Meir.7
And another? — When one vintages [grapes] for the vat [I.C., to manufacture wine], Shammai maintains: It is made fit (to become unclean]; while Hillel ruled, It is not made fit.8 Said Hillel to Shammai: Why must one vintage [grapes] in purity, yet not gather [olives] in purity?9 If you provoke me, he replied, I will decree uncleanness in the case of olive gathering too. A sword was planted in the Beth Hamidrash and it was proclaimed, 'He who would enter, let him enter, but he who would depart, let him not depart!'10 And on that day Hillel sat submissive before Shammai, like one of the disciples,11 and it was as grievous to Israel12 as the day when the [golden] calf was made. Now, Shammai and Hillel enacted [this measure], but they would not accept it from them; but their disciples came13 and enacted it, and it was accepted from them.14
[Now,] what is the reason?15 — Said Ze'iri in R. Hanina's name: For fear lest he vintage it into unclean baskets.16 Now, that is well on the view that an unclean vessel renders fluid effective;17 but on the view that an unclean vessel does not render fluid effective, what can be said? — Rather, said Ze'iri in R. Hanina's name: For fear lest he vintage it in pitch lined baskets.18 Raba said: It is a preventive measure on account of tightly cleaving, [clusters].19 R. Nahman said in Rabbah b. Abbuha's name: [It is a preventive measure, for] a man sometimes goes to his vineyard to see if the grapes are ready for vintaging, takes a bunch of grapes to squeeze it, and sprinkles [the juice] on the grapes, and at the time of gathering the moisture is still dripping on them.
And another? — Said
Tabi the hunter in Samuel's name: That the produce of terumah is terumah was also enacted on that day.1 What is the reason? — R. Hanina said: It was a preventive measure, on account of undefiled terumah [being retained] in the hand of an Israelite.2 Raba observed: If they are suspected of this, they would not separate [terumah] at all: [and furthermore]3 since he can render one grain of wheat [as terumah for the whole], in accordance with Samuel,4 and does not, he is indeed trusted.5 Rather, said Raba, it is a preventive measure on account of unclean terumah in the priest's hands, lest he keep it with him and be led to sin.6
And another? — R. Hiyya b. Ammi said in 'Ulla's name: That one must give his purse to a Gentile if [the Sabbath] evening falls upon him on the road was also enacted on that day.7
Now, this is well according to R. Meir; but according to R. Jose, there are only seventeen?11 — There is also that of R. Aha b. Adda. For R. Aha b. Adda said in R. Isaac's name: Their bread was forbidden on account of their oil, and their oil on account of their wine.12 'Their bread on account of their oil'!-wherein is [the interdict of] oil stronger than that of bread?13 Rather [say] they decreed against their bread and oil on account of their wine, and against their wine on account of their daughters, and against their daughters on account of 'the unmentionable,'14 and [they decreed] something else on account of some other thing. What is this 'something else?'- Said R. Nahman b. Isaac: They decreed that a heathen child shall defile by gonorrhoea,15 so that an Israelite child should not associate with him for sodomy.16 But if so, according to R. Meir too [it is difficult, for] there are nineteen!-Food and drink which were defiled through liquid he accounts as one.
MISHNAH. BETH SHAMMAI RULE: INK, DYES AND ALKALINE PLANTS17 MAY NOT BE STEEPED UNLESS THEY CAN BE DISSOLVED WHILE IT IS YET DAY;18 BUT BETH HILLEL, PERMIT IT. BETH SHAMMAI RULE: BUNDLES OF WET FLAX MAY NOT BE PLACED IN AN OVEN UNLESS THEY CAN BEGIN TO STEAM WHILE IT IS YET DAY, NOR WOOL. IN THE DYER'S KETTLE UNLESS IT CAN ASSUME THE COLOUR [OF THE DYE]; BUT BETH HILLEL PERMIT IT. BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: SNARES FOR WILD BEASTS, FOWLS, AND FISH, MAY NOT BE SPREAD UNLESS THEY CAN BE CAUGHT WHILE IT IS YET DAY; BUT BETH HILLEL PERMIT IT. BETH SHAMMAI RULE: ONE MUST NOT SELL, TO A GENTILE, OR HELP HIM TO LOAD [AN ASS], OR LIFT UP [AN ARTICLE] UPON HIM UNLESS HE CAN REACH A NEAR PLACE;19 BUT BETH HILLEL PERMIT IT. BETH SHAMMAI MAINTAIN: HIDES MUST NOT BE GIVEN TO A TANNER, NOR GARMENTS TO A GENTILE FULLER, UNLESS THEY CAN BE DONE WHILE IT IS YET DAY; BUT IN ALL THESE [CASES] BETH HILLEL, PERMIT [THEM]
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