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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 39a

That which came into hot water before the Sabbath1  may be steeped in hot water on the Sabbath;2  but whatever did not come into hot water before the Sabbath, may be rinsed with hot water on the Sabbath,3  except old salted [pickled] fish and the colias of the Spaniards,4  because their rinsing completes their preparation.5  This proves it.

AND HE MUST NOT BREAK IT INTO A [HOT] CLOTH. Now, as to what we learnt: 'A dish may be placed in a pit, in order that it should be guarded, and wholesome water into noisome water,6  for it to be cooled, or cold water in the sun, for it to be heated'7  shall we say that that agrees with R. Jose, but not with the Rabbis? Said R. Nahman: In the sun, all agree that it is permitted;8  in a fire-heated object,9  all agree that it is forbidden.10  Where do they differ? Concerning a sun-heated object.11  One Master holds that we forbid a sun-heated object on account of a fire-heated object; whilst the other Master holds that we do not forbid it.

AND ONE MAY NOT PUT IT AWAY IN [HOT] SAND. Now, let R. Jose differ here too? — Rabbah said: It is a preventive measure, lest one come to hide it in hot ashes.12  R. Jose said: Because he may move earth [sand] from its place.13  Wherein do they differ? — In respect of crushed earth.14

An objection is raised: R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: An egg may be rolled [roasted] on a hot roof15  but not on boiling lime.16  As for the view that it is forbidden lest he hide it in hot ashes, it is well: there is nought to fear (here].17  But on the view that it is because he may move earth from its place, let us forbid it? — The average roof has no earth.

Come and hear: IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT THE PEOPLE OF TIBERIAS DID THUS: THEY CONDUCTED A PIPE OF COLD WATER THROUGH AN ARM OF THE HOT SPRINGS etc. On the view that it is forbidden lest he hide it in hot ashes, it is well: hence this is similar to hiding.18  But on the view that it is because he may move earth from its place, what can be said?19 — Do you think that the incident of Tiberias refers to the second clause?20  It refers to he first clause: ONE MUST NOT BREAK IT INTO A [HOT] CLOTH; BUT R. JOSE PERMITS IT; and the Rabbis argued thus with R. Jose: but in the incident of the people of Tiberias, it was a sun-heated object,21  yet the Rabbis forbade it? That was a product of fire, he retorted, because they22  pass over the entrance to Gehenna.23  R. Hisda said:

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. I.e., anything which was boiled before the Sabbath.
  2. To soften it. It is not regarded as preparing the food in any way, since it was already prepared before the Sabbath.
  3. But not steeped.
  4. Jast.: A species of tunny fish.
  5. The phrase implies that it is 'work' in the full sense of the term, involving the doer in a sin-offering. The same applies to an egg placed at the side of a boiler and roasted.
  6. A vessel of hot water may be placed in a pool of stagnant cold water.
  7. V. infra 146b.
  8. Because it is unusual to cook thus, and there is no fear that it will lead to cooking by fire.
  9. Sc. a cloth.
  10. Because it can be confused with the fire itself, and if that is permitted, people will roast directly on the fire.
  11. A cloth heated by the sun.
  12. Which is definitely forbidden as cooking; hence R. Jose admits the interdict here.
  13. He may have insufficient sand, and scoop out more, which itself is forbidden; therefore R. Jose agrees. — The Mishnah treats of sand scooped out before the Sabbath, and even then it is forbidden.
  14. In a large quantity. R. Joseph's reason does not operate, hence it will be permitted; but Rabbah's reason still holds good.
  15. Heated by the sun.
  16. Heated by the fire.
  17. In the case of a hot roof, since the egg is not hidden in anything.
  18. The cold water is kept in the pot.
  19. That does not apply here; why did they forbid it?
  20. The prohibition of putting an egg in hot sand, etc.
  21. He thought that the thermal springs were hot through the sun,
  22. The springs.
  23. And are heated by the fires of hell! On Gehenna v. p. 153, n. 8. [Maim. Mishnah Commentary Nega'im IX, 1: It is said that the springs (of Tiberias) are hot because they pass a sulphur source.]

Shabbath 39b

On account of the incident of what the people of Tiberias did and the Rabbis forbade them, [the practice of] putting away [aught] in anything that adds heat, even by day,1  has no sanction.2  'Ulla said: The halachah agrees with the inhabitants of Tiberias.3  Said R. Nahman to him, The Tiberians have broken their pipe long ago!4

IT ONCE HAPPENED THAT THE PEOPLE OF TIBERIAS DID THIS: [etc.] which washing [is meant]? Shall we say, of the whole body; is only hot water heated on the Sabbath forbidden, whereas hot water heated on the eve of the Sabbath is permitted? Surely it was taught: As to hot water which was heated on the eve of the Sabbath, on the morrow [Sabbath day] one may wash his face, hands, and feet in it, but not his whole body. Hence [it must refer to] his face, hands, and feet. Then consider the second clause: IF ON A FESTIVAL, IT IS LIKE WATER HEATED ON A FESTIVAL, WHICH IS FORBIDDEN FOR WASHING BUT PERMITTED FOR DRINKING. Shall we say that we learnt an anonymous [Mishnah] in accordance with Beth Shammai? For we learnt, Beth Shammai maintain: A man must not heat water for [washing his] feet, unless it is fit for drinking; but Beth Hillel permit it!5 — Said R. Ika b. Hanina: The reference is to the sousing6  of the whole body, and it agrees with the the following Tanna. For it was taught: A man must not souse the whole of his body, whether with hot or with cold water:7  this is R. Meir's view; but R. Simeon permits it. R. Judah said: It is forbidden with hot water, but permitted with cold.

R. Hisda said: They differ only in respect to a vessel;8  but if [the water is] in the earth,9  all agree that it is permitted. But the case of the people of Tiberias was in respect to the earth,10  yet the Rabbis forbade them? — Rather if stated, it was thus stated: They differ only in respect to earth [-heated water]; but as for a vessel, all agree that it is prohibited.

Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in R. Johanan's name: The halachah is as R. Judah. Said R. Joseph to him, Did you hear this explicitly, or [learn it] by deduction? What is the deduction? For R. Tanhum said in the name of R. Johanan in the name of R. Jannai in Rabbi's name: Wherever you find two disputing and a third compromising, the halachah is as the words of the compromiser, except in the case of the leniencies relating to rags,11  Where though R. Eliezer is stringent and R. Joshua is lenient and R. Akiba makes a compromise, the halachah is not as the words of the compromiser. Firstly, because R. Akiba was a disciple;12  moreover, R. Akiba indeed

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. I.e., before the Sabbath.
  2. Lit., 'has ceased'.
  3. Their action is permitted.
  4. They themselves retracted. Thus all agree now that it is forbidden.
  5. The reference is to Festivals.-Thus our Mishnah would appear to agree with Beth Shammai, whereas it is a principle throughout the Talmud that Beth Hillel's view is always halachah, and no anonymous Mishnah is taught according to the former.
  6. Not washing-sousing is more lenient.
  7. On the Sabbath. 'Hot water' means even if it was heated before the Sabbath.
  8. I.e., if the water is in a vessel. Obviously it was heated by fire, and one seeing it may think that it was heated on the Sabbath. Hence it was forbidden.
  9. E.g., a spring.
  10. The water was heated by being passed through a natural hot-water spring.
  11. V. supra 29a.
  12. His principal teacher was R. Eliezer, but he studied under R. Joshua too (Ab. R.N.; Ned. 50a).-From Raba (fourth century) and onwards the halachah is always as the later view, hence, generally speaking as the disciple; but before that it was always as the teacher. V. Asheri: 'Er. I, 4.