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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
Compare it to one who carries an article in the street: there, surely, though he is not liable as long as he holds it and proceeds, yet when he lays it down he is liable; so here too, it is not different. How compare! there, wherever he puts it down it is a place of liability; but here, if he deposits it in the colonnade, it is a place of non-liability? Rather compare it to one who carries an article [in the street] exactly four [cubits].1 There, surely, though he is exempt if he deposits it within the four cubits, yet when he deposits it at the end of the four cubits he is liable; so here too, it is not different. How compare? There it is a place of exemption [only] as far as this man is concerned, but to all others2 it is a place of liability; but here it is a place of exemption for all? Rather compare it to one who carries [an object] from private to public ground through the sides of the street:3 there, surely, though he is exempt if he lays it down in the sides of the street, yet when he lays it down in the street [itself] he is liable; so here too it is not different.
R. Papa demurred thereto: that is well according to the Rabbis, who maintain that the sides of the street are not regarded as the street; but according to R. Eliezer [b. Jacob],4 who rules that the sides of the street are regarded as the street, what can be said? — Said R. Aha son of R. Ika to him: Granted that you know R. Eliezer [b. Jacob] to rule that the sides of the street are regarded as the street where there is no fencing;5 but do you know him [to rule thus] where there is fencing?6 Hence it7 is analogous to this.
R. Johanan said: Yet Ben 'Azzai agrees in the case of one who throws.8 It was taught likewise: If one carries [an object] from a shop to an open place through a colonnade, he is liable, whether he carries [it] out or carries [it] in; or whether he reaches it across or throws it. Ben 'Azzai said: If he carries it out or in, he is exempt; if he reaches it across or throws it, he is liable.
Our Rabbis taught: There are four domains in respect to the Sabbath; private ground, public ground, karmelith, and a place of non-liability. And what is private ground? A trench ten [handbreadths] deep and four wide, and likewise a wall ten [handbreadths] high and four broad, — that is absolute private ground.9 And what is public ground? A highroad,10 a great public square,11 and open alleys,12 — that is absolute public ground. One may not carry out from this private to this public ground, nor carry in from this public to this private ground; and if one does carry out or in, unwitting, he is liable to a sin-offering; if deliberately, he is punished by kareth13 or stoned.14 But the sea, a plain, a colonnade, or a karmelith, ranks neither as public nor as private ground:15 one must not carry [objects] about16 within it and if he does, he is liable; and one must not carry out [an object] thence into public ground or from the public ground into it, nor carry [an object] from it into private ground or from the private ground into it; yet if he does carry out or in, he is not liable. As to courtyards with many owners17 and blind alleys,18 if an 'erub is made, they are permitted; if an 'erub is not made, they are forbidden.19 A man standing on a threshold20 may take [an object] from the master of the house, or give [it] to him, and may take [an object] from the poor man or give [it] to him; providing however that he does not take from the master of the house and give to the poor man or from the poor man and give it to the master of the house;21 and if he does take and give, the three are exempt. Others state, A threshold serves as two domains: if the door is open, it is as within; if shut, it is as without. But if the threshold is ten [handbreadths] high and four broad, it is a separate domain.22
The Master said: 'That is [absolute] private ground.' What does this exclude?23 — It excludes the following [view] of R. Judah. For it was taught: Even more than this did R. Judah say: If one owns two houses on the opposite sides of the street,24 he can place
a board or a beam at each side1 and carry between them.2 Said they to him: A street cannot be made fit [for carrying] by an 'erub in this way.3 And why is it called 'absolute' [public ground]? — You might argue, The Rabbis differ from R. Judah, [maintaining] that it is not private ground only in respect of carrying [therein]:4 but in respect of throwing5 they agree with R. Judah:6 hence we are informed [otherwise].
The Master said: 'That is [absolute] public ground.' What does this exclude? — It excludes R. Judah's other [ruling]. For we learnt: R. Judah said: If the public thoroughfare interposes between them, it must be removed to the side; but the Sages maintain: It is unnecessary.7 And why is it called 'absolute?' — Because the first clause states 'absolute', the second does likewise. Now, let the desert too be enumerated, for it was taught: What is public ground? A high-road, a great open space, open alleys and the desert? — Said Abaye, There is no difficulty: The latter means when the Israelites dwelt in the desert; the former refers to our own days.8
The Master said: 'If one carries out or in, unwittingly, he is liable to a sin-offering; if deliberately, he is punished by kareth or stoned.' 'Unwittingly, he is liable to a sin-offering': but it is obvious? — It is necessary [to state] 'If deliberately, he is punished by kareth or stoned.' But that too is obvious? — We are informed the following, in agreement with Rab. For Rab said, I found a secret scroll of the school of R. Hiyya9 wherein it is written, Issi b. Judah said: There are thirty-nine principal labours, but one is liable only [for] one. Yet that is not so? for we learnt: The principal labours are forty less one: and we pondered thereon, Why state the number?10 And R. Johanan answered: [To teach] that if one performs all of them in one state of unawareness,11 he is liable for each separately! Rather, say thus: for one of these he is not liable; and so we are informed here that this one [sc. carrying] is of those about which there is no doubt.
The Master said: 'But the sea, a plain, a colonnade, and a karmelith rank neither as public nor as private ground.' But is a plain neither private nor public ground? Surely we learnt: A plain: in summer it is private ground in respect to the Sabbath and public ground in respect to uncleanness;12 in winter it is private ground in both respects!13 — Said 'Ulla: After all it is a karmelith; yet why is it called private ground? Because it is not public ground.14 R. Ashi said:
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