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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 27a

— He deduces it from, or raiment.1  For it was taught:2  'raiment': I only know [it] of raiment,3  how do I know [it of] three [handbreadths] square of other materials?4  Therefore it is stated, 'or raiment.' And Abaye? how does he employ this or raiment! — He utilizes it to include three [fingerbreadths] square of wool or linen, that it becomes unclean through creeping things.5  And Raba?6 — The Merciful One revealed this in reference to leprosy,7  and the same holds good of reptiles. And Abaye?8  — It [the analogy] may be refuted: as for leprosy, [the reason is] because the warp and the woof [of wool or linen] become defiled n their case.9  And the other?10 — Should you think that leprosy is stricter, let the Divine Law write [it]11  with reference to reptiles,12  and leprosy would be learnt from them. And the other? — Leprosy could not be derived from reptiles, because it may be refuted: as for reptiles, [the reason is] because they defile by the size of a lentil.13

Abaye said: This Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael rebuts another Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael. For the School of R. Ishmael taught: 'A garment': I know it only of a woollen or a linen garment: whence do I know to include camel hair,14  rabbit wool, goat hair,15  silk, kallak,16  and seritim?16  From the verse, or raiment'. Raba said: When does this Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael reject [the defilement of] other materials? [Only in respect of] three [fingerbreadths] square; but [if it is] three [handbreadths] square, be accepts it. But it was Raba who said that in respect of three [handbreadths] by three in other clothes, R. Simeon b. Eleazar accepts [their liability to defilement], while the Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael rejects it? — Raba retracted from that [view]. Alternatively, this latter [statement] was made by R. Papa.17

R. Papa said: 'So all [are of wool or flax],18  is to include kil'ayim.19  But of kil'ayim it is explicitly stated, Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together?20 — I might argue, That is only in the manner of wearing,21  but to place it over oneself22  any two materials [mingled] are forbidden. Now, does that not follow a fortiori': if of wearing, though the whole body derives benefit from kil'ayim,23  you say, wool and linen alone [are forbidden] but nothing else; how much more so wrapping oneself! Hence this [dictum] of R. Papa is a fiction.24 

R. Nahman b. Isaac said: 'So all etc.'

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Lev. XI, 32, q.v. 'Or' (Heb. [H]) is an extension.
  2. This phrase always introduces a Baraitha, which contains the teaching of a Tanna. Since it is controverted by Abaye (v. text), Rashi deletes 'for it was taught', for it is axiomatic that an amora (Abaye was such) cannot disagree with a Tanna, and assumes that it is a continuation of Raba's statement. Tosaf. defends it, and the style too is that of a Baraitha.
  3. Sc. that a garment is subject to defilement.
  4. Not wool or linen.
  5. 'Or raiment' is in a passage referring to these.
  6. How does he know that?
  7. V. supra 26b.
  8. Does he not admit this?
  9. I.e., the thread itself, whether warp or woof, is liable to defilement. But Scripture does not state this in reference to reptiles, and so the deduction of three fingerbreadths square may not apply to it either.
  10. Raba: how does he dispose of this refutation?
  11. The extension of 'and the garment' supra 26b.
  12. Instead of leprosy.
  13. A piece the size of a lentil is sufficient to defile, whereas the smallest leprous eruption to defile is the size of a bean, which is larger than a lentil.
  14. Lit., 'wool of camels'.
  15. I.e., stuffs made of these.
  16. V. supra p. 86, n. 6.
  17. Raba's successor; of many dicta it was not known whether they were his or Raba's; Tosaf. infra b. s.v. [H].
  18. In the first citation of the Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael, supra 26b.
  19. V. Glos. I.e., only a mixture of wool or flax is forbidden, but no other. Accordingly it does not relate to defilement at all, and does not contradict the other teaching of the School of R. Ishmael. — Rashi reads at the beginning of this passage, For R. Papa said, since this dictum of R. Papa explains why in his opinion the two are not contradictory.
  20. Deut. XXII, 11.
  21. Then a mixture of wool and linen alone is forbidden.
  22. E.g., as a covering or wrap.
  23. When one wears a garment it comes into closer contact with the separate limbs of the body, affording them protection and warmth, than when he merely covers or wraps himself in a robe.
  24. Incorrect.

Shabbath 27b

is to include fringes.1  [But] of fringes it is explicitly stated, 'Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff, wool and linen together'; and then it is written, Thou shalt make thee fringes?2  I might argue, it is as Raba. For Raba opposed [two verses]: it is written, [and that they put upon the fringe of] each border,3  [which indicates] of the same kind of [material as the] border; but it is also written, '[Thou shalt not wear a mingled stuff,] wool and linen together'?4  How is this [to be reconciled]? Wool and linen fulfil [the precept]5  both in their own kind and not in their own kind;6  other kinds [of materials] discharge [the obligation] in their own kind, but not in a different kind. [Thus,] you might argue, it is as Raba:7  therefore we are informed [otherwise].8

R. Aha son of Raba asked R. Ashi: According to the Tanna of the School of R. Ishmael, why is uncleanness different that we include other garments? Because 'or raiment' is written! Then here too9  let us say that other garments are included from [the verse] wherewith thou coverest thyself?10  — That comes to include a blind person's garment. For it was taught: That ye may look upon it:11  this excludes a night garment. You say, this excludes a night garment; yet perhaps it is not so, but rather it excludes a blind man's garment? When it is said, 'wherewith thou coverest thyself', lo! a blind man's garment is stated. How then do I interpret12  that ye may look upon it'? As excluding a night garment. And what [reason] do you see to include a blind man's [garment], and to exclude a night garment? I include a blind man's garment, which can be seen by others,13  while I exclude night garments, which are not seen by others. Yet say [rather] that it14  is to include other garments?15  It is logical that when one treats of wool and linen he includes [a particular garment of] wool and linen; but when one treats of wool and linen, shall he include other garments?16

Abaye said: R. Simeon b. Eleazar and Symmachos said the same thing. R. Simeon b. Eleazar, as stated.17  Symmachos, for it was taught: Symmachos said: If one covers it [the booth] with spun [flax], it is unfit, because it may be defiled by leprosy. With whom [does that agree]? With this Tanna. For we learnt: The warp and the woof are defiled by leprosy immediately:18  this is R. Meir's ruling. But R. Judah maintained: The warp, when it is removed;19  the wool, immediately; and bundles of [wet] flax,20  after bleaching.21


GEMARA. How do we know that flax is designated tree ['ez]? Said Mar Zutra, Because Scripture saith, But she had brought them up to the roof, and hid them with the stalks ['ez] of the flax.25

AND WHATEVER COMES FORTH FROM A TREE CANNOT BE DEFILED WITH THE UNCLEANNESS OF TENTS, EXCEPT LINEN. How do we know it? — Said R. Eleazar, The meaning of tent [ohel] is learnt

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Num. XV, 38; i.e., only wool and linen garments are liable thereto.
  2. And the juxtaposition shows that they are required only in garments of wool or linen. It may be observed that the Talmud regards the deduction from this juxtaposition as an explicit statement, and not merely as something derived by exegesis.
  3. Num. ibid. 'Border' is superfluous, since the first half of the verse reads, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments. Hence it is thus interpreted.
  4. Since this is immediately followed by the precept of fringes, we translate: though a mixture of wool and linen are forbidden, yet 'thou shalt make thee fringes', i.e., wool fringes are permitted in a linen garment and vice versa, which contradicts the implication of the other verse.
  5. Lit., 'acquit' (the garment of its obligation).
  6. Whatever the material, wool or linen fringes may be inserted.
  7. That the juxtaposition illumines the nature of the fringes, but does not teach that the garment itself must be of wool or linen. For in fact, according to Raba, there is an obligation whatever the material.
  8. V. Yeb., Sonc. ed., p. 15 notes.
  9. In reference to fringes.
  10. Ibid. This too is superfluous and indicates extension.
  11. Sc. the fringed garment. — Num. XV, 39.
  12. Lit., 'fulfil'.
  13. Lit., 'which is subject to looking in respect to others'.
  14. Sc. 'wherewith thou coverest thyself'.
  15. Not of wool or linen.
  16. Surely not.
  17. Supra, 26a bottom, and note a.l.
  18. After spinning, though given no further treatment.
  19. From the kettle in which it is boiled. Maim. Neg. XI, 8 appears to read: when it has been boiled.
  20. Jast. Rashi: unspun flax; Tosaf.: spun flax.
  21. Thus Symmachos, who rules that it is liable to leprous defilement immediately it is spun (this being the reason that it may not be used as a covering of the booth, v. p. 114, n. 8.), agrees with R. Meir.
  22. Using it as a wick.
  23. If a tent or awning of such material overshadows a dead body, it does not become unclean, just as the roof of a house which contains a dead body is not unclean, though all utensils under the same roof or covering are defiled.
  24. If the tent is of linen, that itself is defiled.
  25. Josh. II, 6.