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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
They learnt this of sweetening condiments,1 Since they are fit for sweetening a dish. Thus it is only because they are fit for sweetening a dish, but otherwise it is not so? — Here too [in our Mishnah] they are fit for sweetening.
NUTSHELLS, POMEGRANATE SHELLS, WOAD AND MADDER, [THE STANDARD IS] AS MUCH AS IS REQUIRED FOR DYEING THE SMALL PIECE OF CLOTH, [etc.]. But this contradicts it: If one carries out dissolved dyes,2 [the standard is] as much as is required for dyeing a sample colour for wool?3 — Said R. Nahman in the name of Rabbah b. Abbuha: That is because no man troubles to steep dyes in order to dye therewith a sample colour for wool.
URINE. A Tanna taught: Urine, until forty days.4
NATRON. it was taught: Alexandrian natron, but not natron of Antipatris.5
LYE [BORITH]. Rab Judah said: That is sand. But it was taught: Borith and sand? Rather what is Borith? Sulphur. An objection is raised: To these were added halbezin6 and le'enn7 and borith and ahol.8 But if you maintain that it is sulphur, is then sulphur subject to shebi'ith? Surely it was taught: This is the general rule: Whatever as a root is subject to shebi'ith, but that which has no root is not subject to shebi'ith? But what is borith? Ahala.9 But it was taught: And borith and ahala?10 — There are two kinds of ahala.
CIMOLIAN EARTH. Rab Judah said: That is 'pull out stick in.'11
ASHLEG. Samuel said: I asked all seafarers and they told me that it is called shunana; it is found in the cavity wherein the pearl lies and it is scraped out with an iron nail.
MISHNAH. [IF ONE CARRIES OUT] LONG PEPPER, OF WHATEVER QUANTITY, ITRAN,12 OF WHATEVER QUANTITY, VARIOUS KINDS OF PERFUME, OF WHATEVER QUANTITY, VARIOUS KINDS OF METAL, OF WHATEVER QUANTITY, [PIECES] OF THE ALTAR STONES OR THE ALTAR EARTH, MOTH-EATEN SCROLLS OR THEIR MOTH-EATEN MANTLES, OF WHATEVER QUANTITY, [HE IS CULPABLE]. BECAUSE THEY ARE STORED AWAY IN ORDER TO BE HIDDEN.13 R. JUDAH SAID: ALSO HE WHO CARRIES OUT THE SERVICE VESSELS OF IDOLS, OF WHATEVER SIZE, [IS CULPABLE], FOR IT IS SAID, AND THERE SHALL NOT CLEAVE AUGHT OF THE ACCURSED THING TO THINE HAND.14
GEMARA. Of what use is any [small] quantity of long pepper? For [dispelling] the [evil] odour of one's mouth.
ITRAN, OF WHATEVER QUANTITY. What is this good for? For megrim.
VARIOUS KINDS OF PERFUME, OF WHATEVER QUANTITY. Our Rabbis taught: If one carries out a malodorous [perfume], [the standard is] however little: good oil, however little: crimson [dye],15 however little; and a closed rose,16 [the standard is] one. VARIOUS KINDS OF METAL, OF WHATEVER QUANTITY. What is it fit for? — It was taught; R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: Because one can make a small goad out of it.
Our Rabbis taught: If one says, 'Behold, I vow17 iron,'18 — others rule:19 He must not give less than a square cubit [of sheet iron]. What is it fit for? — Said R. Joseph: To ward off the ravens.20 Some state, Others rule: He must not give less than a raven barrier. And how much is that? — Said R. Joseph: A square cubit. [If he vows] brass, he must not give less than a silver ma'ah['s worth]. it was taught, R. Eleazar said: He must not give less than a small brass hook. What is it fit for?21 — Said Abaye, The wicks were scraped out and the branches [of the candelabrum] were cleansed therewith.
MOTH-EATEN SCROLLS AND MOTH-EATEN MANTLES. Rab Judah said: The worm [mekak] that attacks scrolls, the worm [tekak] of silk, the mite [ela] of grapes, the worm [pah] of figs, and the worm [heh] of pomegranates are all dangerous.22 A certain disciple was sitting before R. Johanan eating figs. 'My Master,' he exclaimed, there are thorns in the figs. 'The pah [worm] has killed this person,' answered he.23
MISHNAH. IF ONE CARRIES OUT A PEDLAR'S BASKET, THOUGH IT CONTAINS MANY COMMODITIES, HE INCURS ONLY ONE SIN-OFFERING. [FOR] GARDEN-SEEDS, [THE STANDARD IS] LESS THAN THE SIZE OF A DRIED FIG; R. JUDAH B. BATHYRA RULED: FIVE.
[FOR] CUCUMBER SEED, [THE STANDARD IS] TWO; SEED OF GOURDS, TWO; SEED OF EGYPTIAN BEANS, TWO. IF ONE CARRIES OUT A LIVE CLEAN1 LOCUST, WHATEVER ITS SIZE; DEAD, [ITS STANDARD IS] THE SIZE OF A DRIED FIG. THE BIRD OF THE VINEYARDS,2 WHETHER LIVE OR DEAD, WHATEVER ITS SIZE, BECAUSE IT IS STORED AWAY FOR A MEDICINE.3 R. JUDAH SAID: ALSO HE WHO CARRIES OUT A LIVE UNCLEAN LOCUST, WHATEVER ITS SIZE, [IS CULPABLE], BECAUSE IT IS PUT AWAY FOR A CHILD TO PLAY WITH.
GEMARA. But this contradicts it: Manure, or thin sand, [the standard is] as much as is required for fertillizing a cabbage stalk: this is R. Akiba's view. But the Sages maintain: For fertilizing one leek-plant?4 — Said R. Papa: In the one case it is sown, and in the other it is not, because one does not trouble to carry out a single seed for sowing.
CUCUMBER SEED. Our Rabbis taught: if one carries out kernels [of dates], — If for planting, [the standard for culpability is] two; if for eating, as much as fills the mouth of a swine. And how much fills the mouth of a swine? One. If for fuel, as much as is required for boiling a light egg; if for calculating,5 two — others say, five.
Our Rabbis taught: if one carries out two hairs of a horse's tall or a cow's tall, he is culpable, because these are laid aside for [bird] snares. Of the stiff bristles of a swine, one [involves liability]; of palm bands,6 two; of palm fillets,7 one.
THE BIRD OF THE VINEYARDS, WHETHER LIVE OR DEAD, WHATEVER ITS SIZE. What is the bird of the vineyards? — Said Rab: Palya be'ari.8 Abaye observed: And it is found in a palm tree of [only] one covering, and it is prepared [as food] for [acquiring] wisdom; one eats half of its right [side] and half of its left, places it [the rest] in a brass tube and seals it with sixty [i.e., many] seals and suspends it around his left arm; and the token thereof is. A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart is at his left.9 He acquires as much wisdom as he desires, studies as much as he desires, and [then] eats the other half, for if [he does] not, his learning will vanish.10
R. JUDAH SAID: ALSO HE WHO CARRIES OUT, etc. But the first Tanna holds, Not so.11 What is the reason? Lest he [the child] eat it. If so, a clean [locust] is the same, for R. Kahana was standing before Rab and passing a shoshiba12 in front of his mouth. 'Take it away,' said he to him, 'that people should not say that you are eating it and thereby violating [the injunction], ye shall not make yourselves abominable.'13 Rather [the reason is] lest it dies and he [the child] eat it. But R. Judah [holds], if it dies the child will indeed weep for it.14
MISHNAH. IF ONE LAYS [AUGHT] ASIDE FOR SOWING, FOR A SAMPLE, OR FOR A MEDICINE, AND [THEN] CARRIES IT OUT ON THE SABBATH, HE IS CULPABLE WHATEVER ITS SIZE.15 BUT ALL OTHERS ARE NOT CULPABLE THEREFOR SAVE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS STANDARD.16 IF HE CARRIES IT BACK AGAIN,17 HE IS LIABLE ONLY IN ACCORDANCE WITH ITS STANDARD.18
GEMARA. Why must he teach, IF ONE LAYS ASIDE; let him teach, If one carries out [aught] for sowing, for a sample, or for a medicine, he is culpable, whatever its size?19 — Said Abaye: We discuss here a case e.g., where one laid it aside and [then] forgot why he laid it aside, and now he carries it out without specifying the purpose:
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