Previous Folio / Shabbath Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 61a

Hence if he has a wound on his foot, he may go out. With which of them does he go out?1  — R. Huna said: With that [worn on the foot] which has the wound. This proves that he holds that the purpose of the sandal is [to save him] pain. Hiyya b. Rab said: With that [worn] where there is no wound. This proves that he holds that it is employed as a luxury, while this [foot] that has a wound, its wound is evidence for it.2  Now, R. Johanan too holds as R. Huna. For R. Johanan said to R. Shamen b. Abba: Give me my sandals. When he gave him the right one, he [R. Johanan] observed, You treat it as though it had a wound.3  [No]. Perhaps he agrees with Hiyya b. Rab, and he meant thus: You treat the left [foot] as through it had a wound? Now, R. Johanan [here] follows his general view. For R. Johanan said: Like tefillin, so are shoes: just as tefillin [are donned] on the left [hand], so are shoes [put on] the left [foot first]. An objection is raised: When one puts on his shoes, he must put on the right first and then the left? — Said R. Joseph: Now that it was taught thus, while R. Johanan said the reverse, he who acts in either way acts [well].4  Said Abaye to him: But perhaps R. Johanan did not hear this Baraitha, but if he had heard it, he would have retracted? Or perhaps he heard it and held that the halachah is not as that Mishnah?5  R. Nahman b. Isaac said: A God-fearing person satisfies both views. And who is that? Mar, the son of Rabina. What did he do? He put on the right foot [sandal] but did not tie it. Then he put on the left, tied it, and then tied the right [sandal]. R. Ashi said: I saw that R. Kahana was not particular.

Our Rabbis taught: When one puts on his shoes, he must put on the right first and then the left; when he removes [them], he must remove the left [first] and then the right.6  When one washes, he must [first] wash the right [hand, foot] and then the left. When one anoints [himself] with oil,7  he must anoint the right and then the left. But one who desires to anoint his whole body must anoint his head first, because it is the king of all the limbs.8

NOR WITH TEFILLIN. R. Safra said: Do not think that this is [only] according to the view that the Sabbath is not a time for tefillin; but even on the view that the Sabbath is a time for tefillin,9  one must not go out [with them], lest he come to carry them [four cubits] in the street.10  Others learn this in reference to the last clause: YET IF HE GOES OUT, HE DOES NOT INCUR A SIN OFFERING: Said R. Safra: Do not think that this is [only] according to the view that the Sabbath is a time for tefillin; but even on the view that the Sabbath is not a time for tefillin, he is [nevertheless] not liable to a sin-offering. What is the reason? He treats it as a garment.11

NOR WITH AN AMULET, IF IT IS NOT FROM AN EXPERT. R. Papa said: Do not think that both the man [issuing it] and the amulet must be approved; but as long as the man is approved, even if the amulet is not approved.12  This may be proved too for it is stated, NOR WITH AN AMULET, IF IT IS NOT FROM AN EXPERT; but it is not stated, if it is not approved.13  This proves it.

Our Rabbis taught: What is an approved amulet? One that has healed [once], a second time and a third time; whether it is an amulet in writing or an amulet of roots, whether it is for an invalid whose life is endangered or for an invalid whose life is not endangered. [It is permitted] not [only] for a person who has [already] had an epileptic fit, but even [merely] to ward it off.14  And one may tie and untie it even in the street, providing that he does not secure it

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Wearing the sandal on which foot?
  2. For the sandal is obviously being worn merely as a luxury, and no one will suspect him of carrying the other (v. p. 280, n. 4) which he is not wearing, because he cannot put it on on account of the wound.
  3. R. Johanan holds that the left sandal must be put on first (infra). Hence if he put on the right, the other foot would have to be left unshod, and people would think that his right foot was wounded. Thus he holds with R. Huna that the sandal is donned on the wounded foot as a protection.
  4. [It is left to each individual to decide for himself whether to assign pride of place to the right or left side each enjoys in some respects distinction over the other. V. Tosaf.].
  5. It is really a Baraitha, not a Mishnah.
  6. The right half of the body being stronger, more honour must be shown to it. Removing the left first is likewise a mark of honour to the right, for the right shoe remains longer on the foot.
  7. V. p. 275, n. 8.
  8. I.e., the most important.
  9. V. 'Er. 95b.
  10. In his hand, in case of need.
  11. By donning it in the usual manner.
  12. It may be worn on the Sabbath.
  13. Heb. mumheh describes both the practitioner who issues it and the charm itself. The Mishnah, however, refers only to the former.
  14. Even if the wearer has not actually suffered but fears an attack of epilepsy.

Shabbath 61b

with a ring or a bracelet and go out therewith into the street, for appearances sake.1  But it was taught: What is an approved amulet? One that has healed three men simultaneously?2  — There is no difficulty: the one is to approve the man; the other is to approve the amulet.3

R. Papa said: It is obvious to me that if three amulets4  [are successful for] three people, each [being efficacious] three times,5  both the practitioner6  and the amulets are [henceforth] approved. If three amulets [are successful for] three people, each [being efficacious] once, the practitioner is [henceforth] approved, but not the amulets. If one amulet [is efficacious] for three men, the amulet is approved but not the practitioner. [But] R. Papa propounded: What if three amulets [are efficacious] for one person?7  The amulets are certainly not rendered approved: but does the practitioner become approved or not? Do we say, Surely. he has healed him! Or perhaps, it is this man's fate8  to be susceptible to writings?9  The question stands over.

The scholars propounded: Have amulets sanctity or not? In respect of what law? Shall we say, in respect of saving them from a fire?10  Then come and hear: Benedictions11  and amulets, though they contain the [divine] letters and many passages from the Torah, may not be saved from a fire, but are burnt where they are. Again, if in respect to hiding,12  — Come and hear: If it [the Divine Name] was written on the handles of utensils or on the legs of a bed,13  it must be cut out and hidden.14  Rather [the problem is] what about entering a privy with them? Have they sanctity, and it is forbidden; or perhaps they have no sanctity, and it is permitted? — Come and hear: NOR WITH AN AMULET, IF IT IS NOT FROM AN EXPERT. This [implies that] if it is from an expert, one may go out [with it]; now if you say that amulets possess sanctity, it may happen that one needs a privy, and so come to carry it four cubits in the street?15  The reference here is to an amulet of roots.16  But it was taught. Both a written amulet and an amulet of roots? — The reference here is to an invalid whose life is endangered.17  But it was taught: 'Both an invalid whose life is endangered and one whose life is not endangered'? — Rather [this is the reply]: since it heals even when he holds it in his hand, it is well.18

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. If secured with a ring or a bracelet it looks like being worn as an ornament, which it is not, and it would be forbidden to wear it as such.
  2. 'Simultaneously' is absent from Rashi's version, but present in cur. edd. and Tosaf., which explains that it refers to three amulets (presumably of exactly the same pattern) worn by three men. Whereas by the previous definition it is sufficient if it has healed three times, even the same person.
  3. In order that the practitioner may rank as an expert, he must have healed three different men with three different amulets; these three men would be suffering from three diverse maladies, and the amulets likewise would be different, i.e., contain different charms. Whatever amulet he subsequently issues is approved. The second Baraitha must now accordingly be translated thus: What is an amulet of an approved person? (An amulet issued by) one who has healed three persons. But the first Baraitha refers to the approving of the amulet itself; once it has healed three times, whether the same person or three different persons suffering from the same complaint, it is now approved for all men. Or, the same charm can now be written by any man, and it is approved.
  4. Each with a different charm and all written or prepared by the same man.
  5. Even for the same person.
  6. Who prepared them.
  7. V. p. 286, n. 7.
  8. Lit., 'planetary destiny', v. infra 156a, h.
  9. Sc. written amulets. But the practitioner might not be successful for another.
  10. That if a fire breaks out in a house, it shall be permitted to carry these into a courtyard which is not formally joined to the house by means of an 'erub (v. Glos.). Nothing may be taken out of a house into this courtyard, except sacred writings, to save them from fire; infra 115a.
  11. In writing.
  12. When sacred writings are worn out and not fit for use, they may not be thrown away or burnt, but must be 'hidden', i.e., buried; Meg. 26b.
  13. For magical purposes; v. A. Marmorstein in MGWJ. [1928], pp. 391 seq.
  14. Thus whatever contains the Divine Name must be treated as sacred in this respect.
  15. He may have to remove it in order to deposit it somewhere and carry it thither.
  16. This certainly does not possess sanctity, since the Divine Name is not there.
  17. If the amulet is removed. He may take it into a privy even if it possesses sanctity.
  18. Permitted as a kind of cure. For even if one does carry it in the street in his hands, it is not a culpable act.