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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 41a

it [the pool] has no embankments; in the other case it has.1

R. Zera also said: I saw R. Abbahu put his hand near his buttocks,2  but do not know whether he touched them or not. It is obvious that he did not touch them, for it was taught, R. Eliezer said: He who holds his membrum and passes water is as though he brought a flood upon the world?3  — Said Abaye: It was accounted as [analogous to] a marauding band. For we learnt: If a marauding band enters a town4  in peace-time, open barrels [of wine] are forbidden,5  closed barrels are permitted; in war time, both are permitted, because they have no time to make nesek.6  Thus we see, since they are afraid,7  they do not make nesek; so here too, since he is in fear, he will not come to meditate [impure thoughts]. And what fear is there here? — The fear of the river.

But that is not so? For R. Abba said in the name of R. Huna in Rab's name: He who puts his hand near his buttocks is as though he denied the covenant of Abraham?8  There is no difficulty: the one means when he descends [into the river];9  the other refers to when he ascends.10  Just as Raba used to bend over; R. Zera would stand upright. The scholars of the college of R. Ashi, when they descended, they stood upright, [but] when they ascended they bent over.

R. Zera was evading Rab Judah. For he [R. Zera] desired to emigrate11  to Palestine, whereas Rab Judah said, He who emigrates from Babylon to Palestine violates a positive command, for it is said, They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be.12  Said he, I will go, hear a teaching from him, return and emigrate. He went and found him standing at the baths and saying to his attendant, Bring me natron,13  bring me a comb,14  open your mouths and expel the heat,15  and drink of the water of the baths. Said he, Had I come to hear nought but this, it would suffice me. As for 'bring me natron, bring me a comb,' it is well: he informs us that secular matters may be said in the Holy Tongue. 'Open your mouths and expel the heat' too is as Samuel. For Samuel said: Heat expels heat.16  But 'drink the water of the baths' — what is the virtue of that? — For it was taught: If one eats without drinking, his eating is blood,17  and that is the beginning of stomach trouble. If one eats without walking four cubits [after it], his food rots,18  and that is the beginning of a foul smell.19  One who has a call of nature yet eats is like an oven which is heated up on top of its ashes,20  and that is the beginning of perspiration odour. If one bathes in hot water and drinks none, he is like an oven heated without but not within. If one bathes in hot water and does not have a cold shower bath, he is like iron put into fire but not into cold water.21  If one bathes without anointing,22  he is like water [poured] over a barrel.23


GEMARA. What is meant by 'IF A MILIARUM IS CLEARED OF ITS] COALS'? — A Tanna taught: the water is within and the coals are without.27  Antiki: Rabbah said: [It means a vessel suspended] between fire places [heated bricks]; R. Nahman b. Isaac said: [It means a vessel suspended] within a cauldron-like vessel.28  He who defines it [as a vessel suspended] within a cauldron-like vessel, all the more so a vessel between fire places;29  whereas he who defines it as [a vessel] between fire places, — but not one within a cauldron-like vessel.30  It was taught in accordance with R. Nahman: From an antiki, even when cleared of coals and covered with ashes, one may not drink, because its copper heats it.31


GEMARA. What does this mean? — Said R. Adda b. Mattenah, This is its meaning: in the case of a boiler from which the hot water is removed, one must not pour into it a little [cold] water in order to heat it, but he may pour in a large quantity of [cold] water to temper it.

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Rashi: in the former case it is like a river; hence forbidden (the prohibition in Bez. 36b refers to a river); in the latter case it is like a large utensil, hence permitted.
  2. When bathing in the river; this was a gesture of decency.
  3. Because lust is inflamed.
  4. And they may have touched or moved open barrels of wine, thus rendering them forbidden.
  5. V. preceding note.
  6. Lit., 'make a libation'. That is the reason of the interdict mentioned in n. 4, because the heathen is suspected of having dedicated the wine to his deity,
  7. To put their minds to such things.
  8. As though he were ashamed of being circumcised.
  9. As his face is towards the river, a gesture of decency is not needed.
  10. His face is towards the people, and so he can cover his circumcision in modesty.
  11. Lit., 'ascend'.
  12. Jer. XXVII, 22. — Weiss, Dor, III, p. 188, maintains that R. Zera's desire to emigrate was occasioned by dissatisfaction with Rab Judah's method of study; it his is vigorously combatted by Halevi, Doroth, II pp. 421 et seq. The sequel of this story, as also of the similar one in Ber. 24b, shows that he prized Rab Judah's teaching very highly indeed; Rab Judah's prohibition of emigration was merely a reflex of his great love for Babylon, though his love for Palestine too was extraordinarily great: v. Ber. 43a.
  13. For cleansing.
  14. These were said in pure Hebrew.
  15. Rashi: let the heat of the baths enter and the heat of perspiration be driven out.
  16. V. n. 4.
  17. I.e., harmful.
  18. Is not properly digested.
  19. Issuing from the mouth.
  20. New fuel being added without the ashes of the old being cleared out.
  21. To temper it.
  22. Anointing with oil is and was practised in hot countries; T.A. I, 229 and 233.
  23. Which is poured all over the barrel, but does not enter it.
  24. Lit., 'a cauldron that is swept out' — before the Sabbath.
  25. The Gemara discusses what this is.
  26. The antiki retains its heat more effectively than the miliarum and therefore adds heat on Sabbath to the water it contains, which makes it forbidden.
  27. This explains [H] (miliarum). It is a large vessel on the outside of which a receptacle for coals is attached. Thus it would be something like the old-type Russian samowar.
  28. The vacant space beneath being filled with coals. — Jast.
  29. The ruling of the Mishnah will certainly apply to the latter too.
  30. The ruling of the Mishnah will not apply to the latter, which in his opinion is the same as a miliarium.
  31. Thus it adds heat, which is forbidden.
  32. This is discussed in the Gemara.

Shabbath 41b

But does he not harden it?1 — This agrees with R. Simeon, who ruled: That which is unintentional is permitted.2  Abaye demurred to this: Is it then stated, A BOILER from which the water IS REMOVED: Surely it is stated, IF A BOILER IS REMOVED? Rather said Abaye, this is the meaning: If a boiler is removed [from the fire] and it contains hot water, one must not pour therein a little water to heat it [the added water], but he may pour a large quantity of [cold] water therein to temper it.3  But if the water is removed from a boiler, no water at all may be poured therein, because that hardens it; this agreeing with R. Judah, who maintains: [Even] that which is un-intentional is forbidden.

Rab said: They taught [that it is permitted] only to temper [the water]; but if it is to harden [the metal], it is forbidden. Whereas Samuel ruled: Even if to harden it, it is still permitted. If the primary purpose is to harden it, can it be permitted!4  Rather if stated, it was thus stated: Rab said: They taught this only where there is [merely] a sufficient quantity to temper it; but if there is enough to harden it, it is forbidden.5  Whereas Samuel maintained: Even if there is a sufficient quantity to harden it,

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Sc. The metal of the boiler, by pouring cold water into it while it is hot. This itself is forbidden on the Sabbath.
  2. Supra 22a, 29b.
  3. I.e., reduce its heat.
  4. Surely not.
  5. Rashi; Rab explains the Mishnah as R. Adda b. Mattenah, viz., that the water was removed from the boiler. Thereon Rab observes: though a large quantity of water may be poured into it, it must nevertheless be insufficient to harden it, but merely enough to temper the water, i.e., it must not be completely filled with cold water, for that hardens the metal. Ri maintains that if the hot water is first emptied, even a small quantity of cold water poured into it immediately afterwards will harden it. Hence he interprets it thus: Rab explains the Mishnah as Abaye, as meaning that the boiler was removed with its hot water. Nevertheless, it must not be filled up with cold water, for that hardens it, as before.