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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
and priests have the trouble of going round it. Said he: Does any man know that there was a presumption of cleanness here?1 A certain old man replied, Here [R. Johanan] b. Zakkai cut down lupines of terumah.2 So he did likewise. Wherever it (the ground] was hard he declared it clean, while wherever it was loose he, marked it out.3 Said a certain old man. The son of Yohai has purified a cemetery!4 Said he, Had you not been with us, even if you have been with us but did not vote,5 you might have said well. But now that you were with us and voted with us,6 It will be said, [Even] whores paint one another; how much more so scholars!7 He cast his eye upon him, and he died. Then he went out into the street and saw Judah, the son of proselytes: 'That man is still in the world!' he exclaimed. He cast his eyes upon him and he became8 a heap of bones.
MISHNAH. ON THE EVE OF THE SABBATH JUST BEFORE NIGHT9 A MAN MUST SAY THREE THINGS IN HIS HOUSE: HAVE YE RENDERED TITHES?10 HAVE YE PREPARED THE 'ERUB?11 KINDLE THE [SABBATH] LAMP. WHEN IT IS DOUBTFUL, WHETHER IT IS NIGHT12 OR NOT,13 THAT WHICH IS CERTAINLY [UNTITHED] MAY NOT BE TITHED, UTENSILS MAY NOT BE IMMERSED,14 AND THE LIGHTS MAY NOT BE KINDLED. BUT DEM'AI15 MAY BE TITHED,16 AN 'ERUB MAY BE PREPARED, AND HOT FOOD MAY BE STORED AWAY.17
GEMARA. Whence do we know it? — Said R. Joshua b. Levi, Scripture saith, And thou, shalt know that thy tent is in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not err.18
Rabbah son of R. Huna said: Although the Rabbis said, a man MUST SAY THREE THINGS, etc., yet they must be said with sweet reasonableness, so that they may be accepted from him. R. Ashi observed: I had not heard this [statement] of Rabbah son of b. R. Huna, but understood19 it by logic.
This is self contradictory. You say, ON THE EVE OF THE SABBATH JUST BEFORE NIGHT A MAN MUST SAY THREE THINGS IN HIS HOUSE: only just before night, but not when it is doubtful whether it is night or not;20 then you teach, WHEN IT IS DOUBTFUL, WHETHER IT IS NIGHT OR NOT … AN 'ERUB MAY BE PREPARED? (Mnemonic: Self, Pruning, Bird, Cord, Silk.)21 — Said R. Abba in the name of R. Hiyya b. Ashi in Rab's name: There is no difficulty: the one refers to 'erub of boundaries; the other to the 'erub of courtyards.22 Now Raba said: If two men said to one person, 'Go forth and place an 'erub for us', and he placed an 'erub for one while it is yet day, and for the other he made the 'erub at twilight, and the 'erub of him for whom he placed it by day was eaten at twilight, and the 'erub of him for whom he placed it at twilight was eaten after nightfall, both acquire [their] 'erub.23 What will you: if twilight is day, the second should acquire, but not the first; while if twilight is night, the first should acquire, but not the second? — Twilight is doubtful,24 and a doubt in respect to a Rabbinical law is judged leniently.25
Raba said: Why was it said, One must not store [food] after nightfall [even] in a substance that does not add heat?26 For fear lest he make it boil.27 Said Abaye to him: if so, let us forbid it at twilight too? — The average pot is at the boil, he replied.28
Raba also said:
Why was it said that one must not put away [food] in a substance which adds heat, even by day? For fear lest he put it away in hot ashes containing a burning coal. Said Abaye to him, Then let him put it away!1 — [That is forbidden] for fear lest he rake the coals.2
Our Rabbis taught: As to twilight [period] it is doubtful whether it is partly day and partly night, or the whole of it [belongs to the] day, or the whole of it night: [therefore] it is cast upon the stringencies of both days.3 And what is twilight? From sunset as long as the face of the east has a reddish glow: when the lower [horizon] is pale4 but not the upper, it is twilight; [but] when the upper [horizon] is pale and the same as the lower, it is night: this is the opinion of R. Judah. R. Nehemiah said: For as long as it takes a man to walk half a mil5 from sunset. R. Jose said: Twilight is as the twilight of an eye, one entering and the other departing,6 and it is impossible to determine it.
The Master said: 'One applies to it the stringencies of both days.' In respect of what [point of] law? — Said R. Huna son of R. Joshua, In respect of uncleanness. Even as we learnt: if he saw [discharges] on two days at twilight, he is doubtful in respect of uncleanness and sacrifice: if he sees [a discharge] one day at twilight, he is doubtful in respect of uncleanness.7
This is self-contradictory. You say, 'What is twilight? From sunset as long as the face of the east has a reddish glow.' Hence, if the lower horizon is pale but not the upper, it is night.8 Then it is taught, 'When the lower [horizon] is pale but not the upper, it is twilight'? — Rabbah answered in the name of Rab Judah in Samuel's name: Combine [them] and learn: What is twilight? From sunset as long as the face of the east has a reddish glow, And if the lower [horizon] is pale but not the upper, that too is twilight. But when the upper horizon is pale and the same as the lower, it is night. While R. Joseph answered in the name of Rab Judah in Samuel's name, This is what he teaches: From sunset as long as the face of the east has a reddish glow, it is day; if the lower [horizon] is pale but not the upper, it is twilight; when the upper is pale and the same as the lower, it is night.
Now, they follow their views. For it was stated: How long is the period of twilight? — Rabbah said in the name of Rab Judah in Samuel's name. Three parts of a mil.9 What is meant by, 'three parts of a mil'? Shall we say, three half mils? Then let him say, 'A mil and a half'? While if it is three thirds of a mil, let him say, 'One mil'? Hence it must mean three quarters of a mil. While R. Joseph said in the name of Rab Judah in Rab's name: Two parts of a mil. What is 'two parts of a mil'? Shall we say, two halves: let him say, 'One mil'? while if it means two quarters of a mil; let him say, 'half a mil'. Hence
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