Previous Folio / Shabbath Contents / Tractate List / Navigate Site
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
R. Huna said to his son Rabbah, 'Why are you not to be found before R. Hisda, whose dicta are [so] keen?' 'What should I go to him for,' answered he, 'seeing that when I go to him he treats me to secular discourses!'3 [Thus] he tells me, when one enters a privy, he must not sit down abruptly, nor force himself overmuch, because the rectum rests on three teeth-like glands, [and] these teeth-like glands of the rectum, might become dislocated and he [his health] is endangered. 'He treats of health matters,'4 he exclaimed, 'and you call them secular discourses! All the more reason for going to him!'
If a pebble and a shard lie before one, — R. Huna said: He must cleanse himself with the pebble, but not with the shard;5 but R. Hisda ruled: He must cleanse himself with the shard, and not with the pebble.6 An objection is raised: If a pebble and a shard lie before one, he must cleanse himself with the shard, not with the pebble this refutes R. Huna? — Rafram b. Papa interpreted it before R. Hisda on R. Huna's view as referring to the rims of utensils.7
If a pebble and grass lie before one, — R. Hisda and R. Hamnuna [differ therein]: one maintains: He must cleanse himself with the pebble, but not with the grass;8 whilst the other ruled: He must cleanse himself with the grass, not with the pebble.9 An objection is raised: If one cleanses himself with inflammable material,10 his lower teeth11 will be torn away? — There is no difficulty: the one refers to wet [grass];12 the other to dry [grass].
If one has a call of nature but does not obey it — R. Hisda and Rabina — one said: He has an attack of offensive odour;13 the other said: He is infected by an offensive smell.14 It was taught in accordance with the view that he is infected by an offensive smell. For it was taught: One who has a call of nature yet eats, is like an oven which is heated up on top of its ashes, and that is the beginning of perspiration odour.15
If one has a call of nature but cannot obey it, — R. Hisda said: He should repeatedly stand up and sit down; R. Hanan of Nehardea said: Let him move to [different] sides; R. Hamnuna said: Let him work about that place with a pebble; while the Rabbis advise: Let him not think: Said R. Aha son of Raba to R. Ashi: If he does not think [of it], he is all the more likely not to be moved? Let him not think of other things, replied he.16 R. Jeremiah of Difti observed: I myself saw a certain Arab repeatedly arise and sit down until he poured forth like a cruse.
Our Rabbis taught: If one enters [a house] to [partake of] a complete meal,17 he should [first] walk ten four-cubit lengths others say, four ten-cubit lengths — be moved, then enter and take his seat.
MISHNAH. [IF ONE CARRIES OUT] A SHARD, [THE STANDARD IS] AS MUCH AS IS NEEDED FOR PLACING BETWEEN ONE BOARD AND ANOTHER:18 THIS IS R. JUDAH'S VIEW. R. MEIR SAID: LARGE ENOUGH TO SCRAPE OUT THE FIRE THEREWITH; R. JOSE SAID: LARGE ENOUGH TO CONTAIN A REBI'ITH. R. MEIR OBSERVED: THOUGH THERE IS NO PROOF OF THE MATTER, YET THERE IS A HINT: SO THAT THERE SHALL NOT BE FOUND AMONG THE PIECES THEREOF A SHARD TO TAKE FIRE FROM THE HEARTH.19 SAID R. JOSE TO HIM, THENCE IS PROOF [OF MY VIEW, VIZ.]: OR TO TAKE WATER WITHAL OUT OF THE CISTERN.20
GEMARA. (The Scholars asked: Is R. Meir's standard greater or R. Jose's standard greater?)21 Logically, R. Jose's standard is greater, whereas the verse [quoted indicates that] R. Meir's standard is greater, for should you think that R. Jose's standard is greater, does he [the prophet] [first] curse in respect to a small vessel, and then curse in respect to a large one!22 — Said Abaye: Our Mishnah too [means] to scrape out a fire from a large hearth.23
SAID R. JOSE TO HIM, THENCE IS PROOF. But R. Jose says well to R. Meir! — R. Meir maintains that he proceeds to a climax: Not only will nothing that is of value to people be found therein, but even that which is of no value to people shall not be found therein.
MISHNAH. R. AKIBA SAID: WHENCE DO WE KNOW THAT AN IDOL DEFILES BY CARRIAGE LIKE A NIDDAH?24 BECAUSE IT IS SAID, THOU SHALT CAST THEM [SC. THE IDOLS] AWAY AS A MENSTRUOUS THING; THOU SHALT SAY UNTO IT, GET THEE HENCE:25 JUST AS A NIDDAH DEFILES BY CARRIAGE, SO DOES AN IDOL DEFILE BY CARRIAGE.26
If it belongs to him and to the idol, it is judged as half and half.1 The stones, timber and earth thereof defile like a [dead] creeping thing [sherez], for it is said, Thou shalt treat a creeping thing.2 R. Akiba said: [They defile] like a niddah, because it is said, 'Thou shalt cast them away [tizrem] as a menstruous thing': just as a niddah defiles by carriage, so does an idol defile by carriage. Rabbah observed, Tizrem, mentioned in the verse, means 'thou shalt alienate them from thee as a zar [stranger].' 'Thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence', but thou shalt not say unto it, Enter hither.3
Rabbah also observed: As for carriage, all agree that it defiles thereby, since it is assimilated to niddah. They differ in respect to a stone that closes a cavity:4 R. Akiba holds, It is like a niddah: just as a niddah defiles through a cavity-closing stone, so does an idol defile through a cavity-closing stone; while the Rabbis maintain, It is like a creeping thing [sherez]: just as a sherez does not defile through a cavity-closing stone, so does an idol not defile through a cavity-closing stone.
Now, according to R. Akiba, in respect of which law is it likened to a sherez?5 — In respect of its service utensils.6 And according to the Rabbis, in respect of which law is it likened to niddah? — In respect of carriage. Then let it be likened to nebelah?7 That indeed is so, but [the analogy with niddah teaches:] just as a niddah is not [a source of contamination] through her [separate] limbs,8 So is an idol not [a source of contamination] through its limbs. Then when R. Hama b. Guria asked: 'Does the law of an idol operate in respect of its limbs or not?'-solve it for him from this that according to the Rabbis it does not operate in respect of its limbs? — R. Hama b. Guria asked it on R. Akiba's view.
But R. Eleazar maintained: In respect of a cavity-closing stone all agree that it does not defile thereby, since it is likened to a sherez,9 they differ only in respect of carriage. R. Akiba holds, It is like a niddah: just as a niddah defiles through carriage, so does an idol defile through carriage. While the Rabbis argue. It is like a sherez: just as a sherez does not defile through carriage, so does an idol not defile through carriage. Now, according to R. Akiba, in respect of what law is it likened to a sherez? — In respect of its service utensils. And according to the Rabbis', in respect of what law is it likened to a niddah? — Just as a niddah is not [a source of contamination] through her [separate] limbs, so is an idol not [a source of contamination] through its limbs.
- To Next Folio -