Previous Folio / Shabbath Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 35a

it must mean two thirds of a mil. What is the difference between them? — One half of a sixth.1

Now, it is the reverse in respect of a bee-hive.2  For Rabbah said: A bee-hive of two kors capacity3  may be moved; of three kors capacity, may not be moved. But R. Joseph said: Three kors capacity also is permitted; four kors is forbidden.4

Abaye said: I asked it of Mar5  at the time of action,6  and he did not permit one [to move] even a two-kors size. With whom [does that agree]? — With the following Tanna. For we learnt: A receptacle of stubble, or of staves, and the cistern of an Alexandrian boat, though they have rims and contain forty se'ahs in liquid measure which is two kors in dry measure,7  are clean.8  Abaye observed: This proves that the heap [in dry measures] is a third.

Abaye saw Raba gazing at the West.9  Said he to him, But it was taught, 'As long as the face of the east has a reddish glow?' Do you think that the face of the east is meant literally? he replied. [It means] the face which casts a red glow upon the east,10  and your token is a window.11

'R. Nehemiah said: For as long as it takes a man to walk half a mil from sunset.' R. Hanina said: One who wishes to know R. Nehemiah's period should leave the sun on the top of the Carmel,12  descend, dip in the sea, and reascend, and this is R. Nehemiah's period. R. Hiyya said: One who wishes to see Miriam's well should ascend to the top of the Carmel and gaze, when he will observe a kind of sieve in the sea, and that is Miriam's well. Rab said: A moveable well is clean,13  and that is Miriam's well.14

Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: At twilight, as defined by R. Judah, unclean priests may perform tebillah.15  According to whom? Shall we say, according to R. Judah [himself]? but it is doubtful!16  But if it means twilight, as defined by R. Judah, according to R. Jose; [why state] priests may perform tebillah then-it is obvious!17 — I might think that twilight, as defined by R. Jose, is a continuation of R. Judah's; [therefore] we are told that R. Judah's twilight ends and then R. Jose's commences.

Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in R. Johanan's name: The halachah is as R. Judah in respect to the Sabbath, and the halachah is as R. Jose in respect to terumah. Now, as for the halachah being as R. Judah in respect to the Sabbath, it is well: this is in the direction of stringency.18  But in respect of terumah, what is it? Shall we say, for tebillah?19  it is doubtful!20

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Rabbah's period is one twelfth of a mil longer than R. Joseph's; above too Rabbah gives a longer period than R. Joseph. — In the East night comes more quickly than in the West.
  2. Rashi. Jast.: a loose wicker-work used for making bee-hives, etc.
  3. One kor = thirty se'ahs = 395,533.2 cu. cent; J.E. XII, 489 (Table).
  4. A utensil may be moved on the Sabbath. Rabbah maintains that if it is more than two kors in capacity it ceases to be a utensil, while R. Joseph holds that it is a utensil up to three kors. Thus R. Joseph's standard here is larger than Rabbah's, while in respect to twilight it is smaller.
  5. The Master-i.e., Rabbah.
  6. When I actually wished to move it.
  7. Two kors — sixty se'ahs. A utensil held more in dry measure, because it could be heaped up.
  8. These are too large to rank as utensils, and only utensils are liable to uncleanness; V. 'Er., Sonc. ed., 14b notes.
  9. To see whether the reddish glow was still discernible.
  10. By reflection hence the west.
  11. Through which light enters and irradiates the opposite wall.
  12. I.e., when the sun is going down and its dying rays illumine the top of the mountain.
  13. Its waters cannot become unclean and it is fit for ritual purification (tebillah).
  14. According to the Rabbis the well miraculously followed Israel for Miriam's sake; Ta'an. 9a.
  15. V. Glos. Its purpose was to cleanse them and permit them to eat sacred food. Sunset had to follow the tebillah before they might do so, but Rab Judah holds that twilight, as defined by R. Judah, is day, and therefore sunset does follow it.
  16. Whether it is day or night. It may be night already, in which case the tebillah is not followed by sunset.
  17. R. Judah's twilight period is certainly earlier than that of R. Jose which is but the twinkling of an eye.
  18. All those things which are forbidden Friday at twilight are forbidden at the earlier time stated by R. Judah.
  19. That priests may perform tebillah during twilight as defined by R. Judah, because the halachah is as R. Jose that it is still day then.
  20. Since he rules that the halachah is as R. Judah in respect to the Sabbath, he must regard R. Judah's view as possibly correct.

Shabbath 35b

— Rather it is in respect of the eating of terumah, viz., the priests may not eat terumah until twilight, as defined by R. Jose, ends.1

Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: When [only] one star [is visible], it is day; when two [appear], it is twilight; three, it is night. It was taught likewise: When one star [is visible], it is day; when two [appear], it is twilight; three, it is night. R. Jose b. Abin2  said: Not the large stars, which are visible by day, nor the small ones, which are visible only at night, but the medium sized.

R. Jose son of R. Zebida said: If one performs work at two twilights,3  he incurs a sin-offering, whatever view you take.4

Raba said to his attendant: You, who are not clear in the Rabbinical standards, light the lamp when the sun is at the top of the palm trees.5  How is it on a cloudy day? — In town, observe the fowls; in the field, observe the ravens or arone.6

Our Rabbis taught: Six blasts were blown on the eve of the Sabbath. The first, for people to cease work in the fields; the second, for the city and shops to cease [work]; the third, for the lights to be kindled: that is R. Nathan's view. R. Judah the Nasi said: The third is for the tefillin to be removed.7  Then there was an interval for as long as it takes to bake a small fish, or to put a loaf in the oven,8  and then a teki'ah, teru'ah, and a teki'ah were blown,9  and one commenced the Sabbath. Said R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, What shall we do to the Babylonians who blow a teki'ah and a teru'ah, and commence the Sabbath in the midst of the teru'ah?10  (They blow a teki'ah and a teru'ah [only]: but then there are five? — Rather they blow a teki'ah, repeat the teki'ah, and then blow a teru'ah and commence the Sabbath in the midst of the teru'ah.) — They retain their fathers' practice.11

Rab Judah recited to R. Isaac, his son: The second is for the kindling of the lights. As which [Tanna]? Neither as R. Nathan nor as R. Judah the Nasi!-Rather [read] 'the third is for the kindling of the lights'. As which [Tanna]? — As R. Nathan.

The School of R. Ishmael taught: Six blasts were blown on the eve of the Sabbath. When the first was begun, those who stood in the fields ceased to hoe, plough, or do any work in the fields, and those who were near [to town] were not permitted to enter [it] until the more distant ones arrived, so that they should all enter simultaneously.12  But the shops were still open and the shutters were lying.13  When the second blast began, the shutters were removed and the shops closed. Yet hot [water] and pots still stood on the range. When the third blast was begun, what was to be removed14  was removed, and what was to be stored away15  was stored away, and the lamp was lit.16  Then there was an interval for as long as it takes to bake a small fish or to place a loaf in the oven; then a teki'ah, teru'ah and a teki'ah were sounded, and one commenced the Sabbath. R. Jose b. R. Hanina said: I have heard that if one comes to light after the six blasts he may do so, since the Sages gave the hazzan of the community17  time to carry his shofar18  home.19  Said they to him, If so, your rule depends on [variable] standards.20  Rather the hazzan of the community had a hidden place on the top of his roof, where he placed his shofar, because neither a shofar nor a trumpet may be handled [on the Sabbath].21  But it was taught: A shofar may be handled, but not a trumpet?22 — Said R. Joseph: There is no difficulty: The one refers to an individual['s]; the other to a community['s]. Said Abaye to him, And in the case of an individual's, what is it fit for? — It is possible to give a child a drink therewith?

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Only then is it evening for certain, but not at the end of R. Judah's period.
  2. So the text as amended by BaH.
  3. Of Friday and Saturday. It means either during the whole of both twilights or at exactly the same point in each (Tosaf. 34b s.v. [H].
  4. Whether twilight is day or night, he has worked on the Sabbath.
  5. I.e., by day.
  6. Fowls and ravens retire to roost at night: hence the lamp should be lit before. Arone is a plant whose leaves turn eastward by day and westward by night (Rashi). MS.M. reads: in marsh-land observe arone (Jast.: name of certain plants growing in marshes which close their leaves at nightfall).
  7. In Talmudic times they were worn all day; but they are not worn on the Sabbath.
  8. The word literally means to cause it to cleave, because the loaf was pressed to the side of the oven.
  9. Teki'ah is a long blast; teru'ah, a series of very short blasts, all counted as one. These three were blown in rapid succession.
  10. I.e., hard on the heels of (or, immediately they hear) the teru'ah.
  11. This was a very ancient custom; v. Neh. XIII, 19 and Halevi, Doroth, I, 3, pp. 336f.
  12. To protect the more distant ones from the suspicion of continuing their work after the first blast.
  13. The shutters were placed on trestles during the day to serve as stalls.
  14. For the evening meal.
  15. For the next day.
  16. Lit., 'and the lighter lit'.
  17. V. p. 41, n. 7.
  18. The ram's horn, on which these blasts were produced.
  19. The shofar was blown on the top of a high roof, and R. Jose b. Hanina assumed that the hazzan then took it home.
  20. The commencement of the Sabbath will depend on the distance of that roof from his house.
  21. A shofar was curved, whereas a trumpet was straight.
  22. The shofar, being curved, could be used for taking up a drink of water; this being permitted, its handling too (even without that use) is permitted.