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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 77a

learnt likewise: HE WHO CARRIES OUT [RAW] WINE, [THE STANDARD IS THAT THERE BE] ENOUGH FOR THE MIXING OF A CUP, whereon it was taught, Enough for the mixing of a full-measured cup; while the subsequent clause states; AND ALL OTHER LIQUIDS, [THE STANDARD IS] A REBI'ITH.1  Now Raba is consistent with his view [expressed elsewhere]. For Raba said: Wine which does not carry three parts of water to one [of itself] is not wine. Abaye observed: There are two refutations to this. Firstly, because we learnt, And as for mixed [wine], that means two parts of water and one of wine, [namely] of Sharon wine.2  Secondly, the water is in the jug and it is to combine!3  Said Raba to him, As to what you quote, 'and as for mixed [wine], that means two parts of water and one of wine, [namely] of Sharon wine' — Sharon wine stands apart, being [exceptionally] weak. Alternatively, there it is on account of appearance,4  but for taste more [water] is required. Whilst as for your objection, The water is in the jug and it is to combine! in the matter of the Sabbath we require something that is of account, and this too is of account.5

A Tanna taught: As for congealed6  [wine], the standard is the size of an olive:7  this is R. Nathan's view. R. Joseph said: R. Nathan and R. Jose son of R. Judah both said the same thing. R. Nathan, as stated. R. Jose son of R. Judah, for it was taught: R. Judah said: Six things [were stated as being] of the lenient rulings of Beth Shammai and the stricter rulings of Beth Hillel.8  The blood of a nebelah,9  Beth Shammai declare it clean;10  while Beth Hillel rule it unclean. Said R. Jose son of R. Judah: Even when Beth Hillel declared it unclean, they did so only in respect of a rebi'ith of blood in measure, since it can congeal to the size of an olive.11  Said Abaye. Perhaps that is not so. R. Nathan states that it [sc. a congealed piece the size of an olive] requires a rebi'ith [of liquid] only here in the case of wine, which is thin; but in the case of blood, which is thick, the size of an olive [when congealed] does not require a rebi'ith [in liquid form]. Alternatively. R. Jose b. R. Judah states that for the size of an olive [when congealed] a rebi'ith [in liquid form] is sufficient only there in the case of blood, which is thick; but as for wine, which is thin, the size of an olive represents more than a rebi'ith, so that if one carries out [even] less than the size of an olive, he is liable.

MILK, AS MUCH AS IS QUAFFED AT A TIME. The scholars asked: As much as GEM'IAH or GEM'IAH?12  R. Nahman b. Isaac cited, Give me to drink [hagmi'ini], I pray thee, a little water of thy pitcher.13  The scholars asked:

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. This shows that the lowest standard of potable liquids is a rebi'ith; hence the first clause must mean as much as is required for mixing to produce a cup of a rebi'ith.
  2. Sharon is the plain along the Mediterranean coast from Japho to Carmel. Thus a proportion of two to one is stated here.
  3. If the reason of our Mishnah is because with the addition of water it amounts to a rebi'ith, which is the average drink, but that by itself it is insufficient, are we to assume the addition of water that is elsewhere, as though he had carried it all out! Surely not.
  4. The reference there is to the colours of blood which are unclean. If it is of the colour of a two to one mixture, it is unclean; but a three to one mixture is paler, and blood of that colour is clean.
  5. Though it does not contain the water yet, since it can bear the addition of so much water.
  6. Lit., 'dry'.
  7. Because that represents a rebi'ith of liquid wine.
  8. In the many controversies between these two schools Beth Shammai generally adopt the stricter attitude. Hence particular attention is drawn to the cases where it is the reverse.
  9. V. Glos.
  10. It does not defile food by its contact.
  11. Which is the minimum quantity of flesh of nebelah which defiles.
  12. The question is about the spelling, whether it is with an alef or an 'ayin. The following questions are the same.
  13. Gen. XXIV, 17; the word there is spelled with an alef.

Shabbath 77b

Gar'inin or gar'inin?1  — Raba b. 'Ulla cited: and an abatement shall be made [we-nigra'] from thy estimation.2  The scholars asked: Ommemoth or 'ommemoth?3  — R. Isaac b. Adbimi cited: The cedars in the garden of God could not obscure him.4  The scholars asked: Did we learn me'amzin or me'amzin?5  R. Hiyya b. Abba cited: and shutteth ['ozem] his eyes from looking upon evil.6

Our Rabbis taught: When one carries out cow's milk, [the standard is] as much as one quaffs at a time; woman's milk or the white of an egg, as much as is required for putting in an embrocation; collyrium, as much as is dissolved in water.7  R. Ashi asked: [Does that mean] as much as is required for dissolving. or as much as is required for holding and dissolving?8  The question stands over.

HONEY, SUFFICIENT TO PLACE ON A SCAR. A Tanna taught: As much as is required for putting on the opening of a scab. R. Ashi asked: 'On a scab': [does that mean] on the whole opening of the scab,9  or perhaps [it means] on the top of the scab,10  thus excluding [sufficient for] going all round the sore, which is not required?11  The question stands over.

Rab Judah said in Rab's name: Of all that the Holy One, blessed be He, created in His world, He did not create a single thing without purpose. [Thus] He created the snail as a remedy for a scab; the fly as an antidote to the hornet['s sting];12  the mosquito [crushed] for a serpent['s bite]; a serpent as a remedy for an eruption. and a [crushed] spider as a remedy for a scorpion['s bite]. 'A serpent as a remedy for an eruption':13  what is the treatment? One black and one white [serpent] are brought, boiled [to a pulp] and rubbed in.

Our Rabbis taught: There are five instances of fear [cast] by the weak over the strong: the fear of the mafgia'14  over the lion; the fear of the mosquito upon the elephant;15  the fear of the spider upon the scorpion;16  the fear of the swallow upon the eagle;17  the fear of the kilbith18  over the Leviathan.19  Rab Judah said in Rab's name: What verse [alludes to these]? That strengtheneth the despoiled [i.e., weak] over the strong.20

R. Zera met Rab Judah standing by the door of his father-in-law's house and saw that he was in a cheerful mood, and if he would ask him all the secrets of the universe he would disclose [them] to him. He [accordingly] asked him: Why do goats march at the head [of the flock], and then sheep? — Said he to him: It is as the world's creation, darkness preceding and then light.21  Why are the latter covered, while the former are uncovered?22  — Those with whose [material] we cover ourselves are themselves covered, whilst those wherewith we do not cover ourselves are uncovered. Why is a camel's tail short? — Because it eats thorns.23  Why is an ox's tail long? — Because it grazes in meadows and must beat off the gnats [with its tail]. Why is the proboscis of a locust soft [flexible]? Because it dwells among willows, and if it were hard [non-flexible] it [the proboscis] would be dislocated and it [the locust] would go blind. For Samuel said: If one wishes to blind a locust, let him extract its proboscis. Why is a fowl's [lower] eyelid bent upwards?24  — Because it dwells among the rafters, and if dust entered [its eyes] it would go blind.25

[The word] Dashsha [entrance] [implies] Derek SHam [there is the way];26  Darga [stairs, ladder]; Derek Gag [a way to the roof]; mathkulithat [a relish]; mathay thikleh da [when will this end]?27  Betha [a house] [implies] Bo we-ethib [come and sit therein]; Biketha [a small house]: Be aketha [a confined narrow house].28  Kuftha [an inverted vessel, a low seat]: Kof we-THab [invert it and sit down]; libne [bricks]: libene bene [unto children's children];29  huza [prickly shrubbery, hedge]: haziza [barrier]. Hazba [pitcher] [is so called] because hozeb [it draws]30  water from the river; kuzah [small jug]: kazeh [like this];31  shotitha [myrtle branch]: shetutha [folly];32  meshikla [wash basin]: mashe kulah [washing everybody]; mashkiltha: [wash-basin]33  mashya kalatha [washing brides];34  asitha [mortar]: hasirtha [missing];35  bukana [a club used as a pestle]: bo we-akkenah ['come, and I will strike it']; lebushah [upper garment]: lo bushah [no shame]. Gelima [a cloak] [is so called] because one looks in it like a shapeless mass [golem].36  Golitha [a long woollen cloak] [implies] Galle wethib [roll it up and sit down]; puria [bed] is so called because it leads to procreation [parin we-rabin]; Bur Zinka [a leaping well]37  Bor Zeh naki [this well is empty;38  sudra [turban]: sod adonai lire'aw [the secret of the Lord is revealed to those that fear him];39  Apadna [palace] Apithha Din [at the door is judgment].40

Our Rabbis taught: Three wax stronger as they grow older, viz., a fish, a serpent, and a swine.

OIL, AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED TO RUB IN A SMALL LIMB. The School of R. Jannai said: Oil, as much as is required to rub in a small limb of an infant one day old. An objection is raised: Oil, as much as is required to rub in a small limb41  and [a limb of] a day-old infant. Surely this means, a small limb of an adult, and a large limb of a day-old infant? — The School of R. Jannai can reply: No. This is its meaning: Oil, as much as is required to rub in a small limb of a day-old infant.42

Shall we say that this is dependent on Tannaim? Oil, as much as is required to rub in a small limb and [a limb of] a day-old infant: this is the view of R. Simeon b. Eleazar. R. Nathan said: As much as is required to rub in a small limb. Now surely they differ in this, R. Simeon b. Eleazar holding a small limb of an infant, while R. Nathan holds a small limb of an adult or a large limb of an infant, but a small limb of a day-old infant [does] not [impose liability]? No. All agree that the small limb of a day-old infant is not [sufficient],

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Kernels: with an alef or 'ayin? (The word occurs in the Mishnah supra 76b.)
  2. Lev. XXVII, 18. We-nigra' is with an 'ayin, and Raba b. 'Ulla connects gar'inin with this, as the kernels are thrown away and so are an abatement of the edible portion.
  3. Dim, i.e., dying. coals.
  4. Ezek. XXXI, 8; 'ammamuhu, with an 'ayin — lit., 'keep him dim'.
  5. In the Mishnah infra 151b. Me'amzin, we close (the eyes).
  6. Isa. XXXI, 15; 'ozem, with an 'ayin.
  7. To paint both eyes.
  8. It is dissolved by being crushed in the water. Part remains on the fingers, and R. Ashi asked whether that must be allowed for or not.
  9. The entire surface being referred to as the opening.
  10. Lit., 'the first projecting point'.
  11. Before a penalty is incurred.
  12. A crushed fly applied to the affected part is a remedy.
  13. This phrase is added in the text by BaH.
  14. Lit., 'plague'. The Ethiopian gnat (Lewysohn. Zool. d. Talmud, p. 316). Rashi: a small animal that terrifies the lion with its loud cry.
  15. Caused by entering its trunk.
  16. In whose ear it lodges.
  17. Rashi: it creeps under its wings and hinders it from spreading them.
  18. A small fish, supposed to be the stickleback.
  19. Likewise caused by entering its ear.
  20. Amos V, 9 (E.V. 'that bringeth sudden destruction upon the strong').
  21. Goats are dark coloured, while sheep are white!
  22. Sheep have thick tails, which cover their hind parts; but goats have a thin tail.
  23. A long tail would become entangled in the thorns.
  24. Rashi: When its eyes are closed the lower eyelid turns upwards and lies upon the upper.
  25. Hence this arrangement affords it the most protection.
  26. Reading Dashsha as an abbreviation. The following words are similarly treated. These may be regarded either as examples of popular etymology or merely as jeux d'esprit, not being meant seriously.
  27. Relishes being used sparingly and lasting a long time.
  28. Rashi. Jast. s.v. [H] translates rather differently.
  29. I.e., lasting many generations.
  30. Lit., 'hews out'.
  31. 'Give us a glass of this size to drink'.
  32. People danced therewith at weddings, and looked fools in doing so!
  33. V. next note.
  34. A fancy-shaped, probably expensive basin, used by distinguished persons only.
  35. I.e., carved out.
  36. The cut of the arms being covered up.
  37. A well which springs forth periodically only to disappear again (Jast.).
  38. Lit., 'clean'.
  39. The turban being worn by Rabbinical scholars; cf. Kid. 8a; Pes. 111b.
  40. I.e., all come — for justice to the King's palace.
  41. Eber Katan. This phrase, used both there and in the Mishnah, may mean either a small limb or a limb of a child (or, infant).
  42. 'And a day-old infant' is thus taken in the explanative sense, 'even a limb of a day-old infant'.