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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 97a

But surely he learns a gezerah shawah?1 — He did not learn the gezerah shawah.2  Then of which [sinners] was he?3 — Of those who 'presumed [to go up to the top of the mountain].'4

Similarly you read, and the anger of the Lord was kindled against them; and he departed:5  this teaches that Aaron too became leprous: this is R. Akiba's view. Said R. Judah b. Bathyra to him, 'Akiba! in either case you will have to give an account: if you are right, the Torah shielded him, while you disclose him; and if not, you cast a stigma upon a righteous man.' But it is written, 'against them'?6  That was merely with a rebuke. It was taught in accordance with the view that Aaron too became leprous. For it is written, And Aaron turned [wa-yifen] to Miriam, and behold, she was leprous:7  [and] it was taught: [That means] that he became free [panah] from his leprosy.8

Resh Lakish said: He who entertains a suspicion against innocent9  men is bodily afflicted, for it is written, [And Moses … said,] But, behold, they will not believe me;10  but it was known11  to the Holy One, blessed be he, that Israel would believe. Said He to him: They are believers, [and] the descendants of believers, whereas thou wilt ultimately disbelieve. They are believers, as it is written, and the people believed;12  the descendants of believers: and he [Abraham] believed in the Lord.13  Thou wilt ultimately disbelieve, as it is said, [And the Lord said unto Moses and Aaron,] Because ye believed not in me.14  Whence [is it learnt] that he was smitten? — Because it is written, And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom, etc.15

Raba-others state, R. Jose b. R. Hanina-said: The dispensation of good comes more quickly than that of punishment [evil]. For in reference to the dispensation of punishment it is written, until he took it out, and behold, his hand was leprous, as white as snow;16  whereas in reference to the dispensation of good it is written, and he took it out of his bosom, and behold, it was turned again as his other flesh:17  from his very bosom,18  it had turned again as his other flesh.

But Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods:19  R. Eleazar observed, It was a double miracle.20

FROM ONE PRIVATE DOMAIN TO ANOTHER, etc. Rabbah asked: Do they disagree when it is below ten, and they differ in this: R. Akiba holds, An object caught up is at rest; while the Rabbis hold that it is not as at rest; but above ten all agree that he is not liable, for we do not learn throwing from reaching across. Or perhaps they disagree when it is above ten, and they differ in this: R. Akiba holds, We learn throwing from reaching across; while the Rabbis hold, We do not learn throwing from reaching across; but below ten, all agree that he is culpable. What is the reason? An object caught up is as at rest?21  Said R. Joseph: This question was asked by R. Hisda, and R. Hamnuna solved it for him from this: [If one removes an object] from one private domain, to another and it passes through the street itself, R. Akiba declares [him] liable, while the Sages exempt [him]. Now, since it states, through the street itself, it is obvious that they differ where it is below ten. Now, in which [case]? Shall we say. in the case of one who carries [it] across: is he culpable only when it is below ten, but not when it is above ten? Surely R. Eleazar said: If one carries out a burden above ten [handbreadths from the street level]. he is culpable, for thus was the carrying of the children of Kohath, Hence it must surely refer to throwing. and one is culpable only when it is below ten, but not when it is above ten; this proves that they differ in whether an object caught up is as at rest. This proves it.

Now, he [R. Hamnuna] differs from A. Eleazar. For R. Eleazar said: R. Akiba declared [him] culpable even when it is above ten; but as to what is stated, through the street itself,22  that is to teach you the extent23  of the Rabbis'[' ruling].24  Now he [R. Eliezer] differs from R. Hilkiah b. Tobi, for R. Hilkiah b. Tobi said: Within three [handbreadths from the ground], all agree that he is culpable;25  above ten, all agree that he is not culpable; between three and ten, we come to the controversy of R. Akiba and the Rabbis. It was taught likewise: Within three, all agree that he is liable; above ten, It is [prohibited] only as a shebuth,26  and if they are [both] his own grounds, it is permitted [at the very outset]; between three and ten, R. Akiba ruled [him] culpable, while the sages exempt him.

The Master said: 'And if they are [both] his own grounds, it is permitted.' Shall we say that this is a refutation of Rab? For it was stated: If there are two houses on the two [opposite] sides of a street, Rabbah son of R. Huna said in Rab's name: One may not throw [an object] from one to another; while Samuel ruled: It is permitted to throw from one to another!27  — But did we not establish that law [as referring] e.g., to [the case] where one [house] is higher and one is lower, so that it [the object] may fall [into the street]28  and he come to fetch it?

R. Hisda asked R. Hamnuna-others state, R. Hamnuna asked R. Hisda-How do we know this principle which the Rabbis stated, viz.: Whatever is [separated by] less than three [handbreadths] is as joined?29  Said he to him, Because it is impossible for the street to be trimmed with a plane and shears.30  If so, the same should apply to three also? Moreover, when we learnt: If one lets down walls from above to below,31  if they are three handbreadths high above the ground, it [the sukkah] is unfit,32  Hence if [they are] less than three it is fit:33  what can be said?34 — There the reason is that it is a partition through which goats can enter.35  That is well [for] below; what can be said [for] above?36  — Rather [the fact is] that whatever is [separated by] less than three [handbreadths] is regarded as joined is a law received on tradition.

Our Rabbis taught: [If one throws37  an article] from public to public ground, and private ground lies between: Rabbi holds him liable, but the sages exempt him — Rab and Samuel both assert: Rabbi imposed liability only in the case of covered-in private ground, when we say that the house is as though it were full, but not if it is uncovered,38  R. Hana39  said in Rab Judah's name in Samuel's name: Rabbi held him liable to two [sacrifices], one on account of carrying out and another on account of carrying in,40  Now R. Hana sat [studying] and this presented a difficulty to him:41

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. v. Glos. That which is so derived is regarded as explicitly stated.
  2. Rashi: R. Judah b. Bathyra did not receive this gezerah shawah on tradition from his teachers, and no analogy by gezerah shawah can be employed unless sanctioned by tradition. 'Aruch: R. Akiba did not learn it from his teachers, but inferred it himself.
  3. On the view of R. Judah b. Bathyra. For it is stated, but he died in his own sin, ibid.
  4. Ibid. XIV, 44.
  5. Ibid. Xli, 9 q.v.
  6. The plural definitely includes Aaron.
  7. Num. XXVII. 10.
  8. 'he turned' is understood to mean, he turned away from, i.e., he was freed.
  9. Lit., worthy'.
  10. Ex. IV, 1.
  11. Lit., 'revealed'.
  12. Ibid. 31.
  13. Gen. XV, 6.
  14. Num. XX, 12.
  15. Ex. IV, 6; he was smitten with leprosy, Ibid.
  16. It became leprous only when he took it out.
  17. Ibid. 7.
  18. I.e., before It was fully withdrawn.
  19. Ibid. VII, 12.
  20. Lit., 'a miracle within a miracle'. It first became a rod again, and as a rod it swallowed up their serpents.
  21. v, supra 4b for notes.
  22. Which implies below ten.
  23. Lit., 'power'.
  24. Even then they hold that he is not culpable.
  25. because that is regarded as on the ground itself, and therefore at rest.
  26. v. Glos. — The shebuth here is that he carries from his domain to his neighbour's, both being private ground.
  27. Both houses must belong to the same person. for otherwise Samuel would certainly not permit it, V. 'Er., Sonc. ed.. p, 593 notes.
  28. For the houses not being on the same level, more skill is required to throw from one to the other.
  29. Labud, v, Glos,
  30. The ground cannot be perfectly levelled, and it must contain bumps of that height. Therefore everything within three handbreadths is regarded as joined to the ground.
  31. The reference is to the walls of a sukkah (booth, v. Lev, XXIII. 42). He takes a wall, e.g.. of boards, lowers it, but not right down to the ground, and fastens it to something on top.
  32. As the walls are incomplete.
  33. For they are then regarded as touching the ground.
  34. The sukkah not being in a public ground, the reason stated is inapplicable here.
  35. Lit., 'cleave'. But they cannot squeeze through a gap less than three.
  36. This principle of labud operates also where the gap is above; v. e.g.. 'Er, 16b, Suk. 7a; obviously these reasons do not hold good in that case.
  37. so supra 4b.
  38. V. notes on this passage supra 4b and 5,
  39. Var. lec.: R. Hisda.
  40. For during its journey it passes out of private into public ground, and enters from public into private ground.
  41. In connection with what he had heard from Rab Judah,

Shabbath 97b

shall we say that Rabbi holds one liable for a derivative [when performed] conjointly with its principal?1  But surely it was taught. Rabbi said: Words [debarim], the words [ha-debarim], these [eleh] are the words: this indicates the thirty-nine labours stated to Moses at Sinai.2  Said R. Joseph to him: You learn it3  in reference to this, and so find Rabbi self-contradictory; We learn it in reference to R. Judah['s ruling]. and find no difficulty.4  For it was taught: [If one throws an article] from private to public ground, and it traverses four cubits over the public ground: R. Judah holds [him] liable, whereas the sages exempt [him]. [Whereon] Rab Judah said in Samuel's name: R. Judah holds [him] liable to two [sacrifices], one on account of transporting [from private ground] and a second on account of carrying over [public ground). For if you think that he holds him liable to one [only]. it follows that the Rabbis exempt [him] completely: but surely he has carried it out from private to public ground? [But] how so? Perhaps I may tell you after all that R. Judah holds him liable to one [only]. and the Rabbis exempt [him] completely: yet [as to the question] how is that possible? it is where e.g.. he declared, 'Immediately on issuing into the street, let it come to rest; and they differ in this: R. Judah holds: 'We say. An object caught up [in the air] is as at rest, and his intention is fulfilled; while the Rabbis hold, We do not say. An object caught up is as at rest, and his intention is not fulfilled;5  but for a derivative [performed] simultaneously with its principal R. Judah does not impose liability? You cannot think so, for it was taught: R. Judah adds the closing up of the web and the evening of the woof. Said they to him: Closing the web is included in stretching the threads, and evening [the woof] is included in weaving.6  Does that not mean that one performs both of them together. which proves that R. Judah imposed liability for a derivative [performed] simultaneously with its principal — Why so? perhaps it really means that each was performed separately. R. Judah not imposing liability for a derivative [performed] simultaneously with its principal, and they differ in this: R. Judah holds.These are principal labours; while the Rabbis hold, These are derivatives. The proof [of this assumption] is that it is stated, 'R. Judah adds etc.': now. it is well if you agree that they are principal labours [on his view, for then] what does he add? he adds principals; but if you say that they are derivatives, what does he add?7  It was stated likewise, Rabbah and R. Joseph both maintain: R. Judah imposed liability only for one [sacrifice].

Rabina observed to R. Ashi: But on our original assumption that R. Judah held [him] liable to two, — if he desires it [to alight] here. he does not desire it [to alight] there, and vice versa?8 — Said he to him, It means that he declared, 'Wherever it pleases, let it come to rest.'9

It is obvious that if one intends throwing [an object] eight [cubits] but throws [it] four, it is as though he wrote SHem [as part of] SHimeon.10  [But] what if one intends throwing [an object] four [cubits] but throws [it] eight: do we say, Surely he has carried it out11  or perhaps it has surely not alighted where he desired? But is this not what Rabina observed to R. Ashi, and he answered him, It means that he said, 'Wherever it pleases. let it come to rest'!12  And as to what you say. It is the same as writing SHem [as part] of SHimeon: how compare? There, without writing SHem, SHimeon cannot be written;13  but here, without [intentionally] throwing [it] four, cannot one throw it eight?14

Our Rabbis taught: If one throws [an object] from public to public ground, and private ground lies between them: [if it traverses] four cubits [over public ground]. he is culpable.15

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. V. supra 96b.
  2. V. supra 70a. Now the only purpose of deducing the number is to show that his is the maximum number of sacrifices to which one can be liable; but if one is liable for derivatives in addition to the principal labours there can be far more.
  3. What you heard from Rab Judah.
  4. For we find nowhere that R. Judah exempts for a derivative performed conjointly with the principal.
  5. Hence he is not liable on its account.
  6. V. supra 75a.
  7. For only principals are enumerated there.
  8. In order to be liable to two it would be necessary that he should carry it out and deposit it in the street, then lift it up and carry it four cubits. and deposit it again. Now it may be argued that an object caught up in the air is as at rest, and therefore immediately it enters the street atmosphere it is as though it alights on the ground, and when it travels further it is as though it is taken up and carried again. But the thrower's intention is that it should come to rest at one place only, either as soon as it emerges into the street or after four cubits; in either case it cannot be regarded as though he deposited it, picked it up and deposited it again. Hence he can be liable for carrying it out only, but not for its passage in the street (v. Rashi and R. Han.).
  9. Then it is regarded as though it rested at both places in accordance with this intention,
  10. V. infra 103a and p. 336. n. 5. Hence here too he is liable.
  11. of its original spot and it has traversed the four cubits he desired, though it has gone further too,
  12. But otherwise he is not liable; so here too he should not be liable in either case unless he made such a declaration.
  13. Hence when one writes SHem he does so intentionally, though he also intends to add to it,
  14. Surely not! I.e., one need have no intention to throw it exactly four cubits in order to be able to throw it eight. (The difference is that when one writes SHem he has performed a labour, whereas when one throws an article, his action is incomplete until it comes to rest.)
  15. I.e., over the two public grounds combined.