GEMARA: “A tailor shall not go out,” etc. Does not the Mishna mean when the needle is stuck in the garment? Nay, it treats of the case when (the tailor) holds it in his hand.

Come and hear. “A tailor shall not go out with the needle sticking in his garment.” Does this not treat of the eve of the Sabbath? Nay, it treats of the Sabbath itself.

But is there not another Boraitha: “A tailor shall not go out with the needle sticking in his garment on Friday when it is nearly dark”? This was taught according to R. Jehudah, who holds that a laborer (carrying a thing) after the manner of his profession is culpable; as we have learned in the following Tosephtha: “A tailor shall not go out with his needle sticking in his garment; nor a carpenter with his ruler behind his ear; nor a cloth cleaner with the spanning cord behind his ear; nor a weaver with the stuffing cotton behind his ear; nor a dyer with samples around his neck; nor a money changer with the dinar in his ear. If, however, they did so, they are free, though they ought not to start it; so is the decree of R. Mair. R. Jehudah, however, says: The laborer only (going out) after the manner of his profession is culpable; but not common men.”

In the school of R. Ishmael it was taught: “One may go out with the phylacteries on his head at twilight on the eve of Sabbath.” Why so? As Rabha b. R. Huna said: One must feel the phylacteries on his head at all times, and in consequence he will be reminded, through feeling the phylacteries, that he must remove them before the Sabbath.

There is a Boraitha: A man must examine his garments on Friday evening, when it is getting dark, to see whether there is

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anything in them that must not be carried about on the Sabbath. Said R. Joseph: This is an important ordinance concerning the Sabbath.

One shall not search for vermin,” etc. Does it mean one shall not search for vermin in the day-time (of a Sabbath) lest he destroy any; and he shall not read before a lamp-light lest he snuff (the wick); or are both ordinances connected with each other so as to make the ordinance prohibiting the snuffing of the wick binding? Come and hear. “One shall not search for vermin nor read before the lamp-light.” What can we understand from this Boraitha better than from our Mishna? Come and hear another Boraitha: “One shall not search before the lamp-light; also, one shall not read before it.” These two ordinances are among the other established Halakhas in the attic of Hananiah b. Hyzkiyah b. Gorion. From this is to be inferred that both cases were prohibited for the same reason, that they may entail snuffing the wick.

R. Jehudah in the name of Samuel said: One must not try to distinguish even between his own and his wife’s garments (before the lamp-light). Said Rabha: This is said only for the inhabitants of Ma’hoza, 1 but among the dwellers of rural places the garments can easily be distinguished. And even among the inhabitants of Ma’hoza, only the garments of old women cannot easily be distinguished from those of the men, but not of young women.

The rabbis taught: One shall not search for vermin in the street out of self-respect. In the same wise, R. Jehudah or R. Ne’hemiah taught that one shall not vomit in the street out of self-respect. The rabbis taught: One who searches his garments and finds a louse shall not crack it, but simply rub it with his fingers and throw it away (on the Sabbath). Says R. Huna: This should also be done even on week days, out of self-respect.

We have learned, R. Simeon b. Elazar said: “One shall not kill vermin on the Sabbath.” So said Beth Shamai; Beth Hillel, however, allowed this. R. Simeon b. Elazar used also to say in the name of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: “One is not allowed to negotiate marriage engagements for children, nor to engage teachers or artisan masters for children, nor to pay visits of condolence to mourners, nor to visit the sick on the Sabbath. Such is the decree of Beth Shamai; Beth Hillel, however, allows all this.

p. 21

The rabbis taught: If one comes to visit the sick on the Sabbath, he shall say: “It is Sabbath and we are not to cry, but relief is drawing nigh.” R. Mair said, one should say: “The Sabbath (if respected) may bring mercy.” Rabbi Jehudah said: “May the Omnipotent have mercy with thee and toward the sick of Israel.” R. Jose said: “May the Omnipotent bestow mercy on thee amongst the sick of Israel.” Shebhna the Jerusalemite when he entered (a sick-room on the Sabbath) said, “Shalom”; on leaving he said: “To cry! it is Sabbath; nevertheless, relief is nigh As His mercies are great,” and “Rest ye in peace.”

According to whom is what R. Hanina said: “He who has a sick person in the house should include him (in his prayers) amongst the sick in Israel”? It was in accordance with R. Jose. R. Hanina also said that it was with difficulty that the rabbis allowed visits of condolence to be paid to mourners and to visit the sick on a Sabbath. Rabba b. b. Hana said: When I accompanied R. Eliezer while visiting the sick, I sometimes heard him say (in Hebrew): “May the Omnipotent mind thee in peace,” and sometimes (in Aramaic): “May the Merciful remember thee in peace.” How could he do this? Did not R. Jehudah say: “One should never pray for what he needs in the Aramaic language”? And also R. Johanan: “The angels of service do not listen to one’s prayer in the Aramaic tongue, for they know not that language.” The case of a sick person is different, as Shekhina itself is with him. (This will be explained in Tract Nedarin in the proper place.)

One shall not read before the lamp-light.” Rabba said: It is the same even if the lamp is placed two (men’s) heights (from the ground); even two stories high, or even if it is on top of ten houses, one above the other. “One shall not read,” but two may? Have we not learned, “Neither one nor two”? Said R. Elazar: This presents no difficulty. Our Mishna treats of two reading one subject; and there it treats of two reading different subjects. Said R. Huna: Around the hearth-fire even ten persons shall not read together. Rabba, however, said: A prominent man may read, as he would not degrade himself by stirring the fire.

An objection was raised from the following: One should not read before a lamp-light, lest he snuff the wick. Said R. Ishmael b. Elisha: “I will read and not snuff it.” Once he actually read and was tempted to snuff the wick. And he exclaimed:

p. 22

[paragraph continues] “How great is the saying of the sages, that one should not read before a lamp-light.” R. Nathan said: He actually snuffed the wick and noted in his diary: “I, Ishmael b. Elisha, have read before the lamp on Sabbath, and have snuffed the wick. When the holy temple shall be rebuilt, I will bring a fat sin-offering.” Said R. Aba: With R. Ishmael b. Elisha it is different, for while studying the Law he always considered himself common.

There is one Boraitha: A servant may examine cups and dishes (to see, if they are clean, before the lamp); and another, that he may not. This presents no difficulty. The former treats of a servant in permanent engagement; 1 the latter of one who performs occasional service. And if you wish, it may be said that both Boraithas apply to a permanent servant: the latter in the case of a lamp which is fed with oil, the former in the case where it is fed with naphtha. (Naphtha emits a bad odor; he will therefore not be tempted to touch it.)

The schoolmen propounded a question: May a servant that is not permanently engaged (examine his utensils) before a lamp fed with oil?

Said Rabh: The rule is laid down (that he may), but we do not practise it. R. Jeremiah b. Aba, however, said: So is the rule, and so we practise.

Once R. Jeremiah b. Aba took (his Friday night meal) at the house of R. Assi. His servant (R. Jeremiah’s retainer, who was at the time doing occasional service in R. Assi’s house) proceeded to examine (the dishes) before the lamp. Said the wife of R. Assi (to her husband): “You, my master, do not approve of this.” “Let him be,” answered R. Assi; “he acts according to the opinion of his master.”

Of a verity they said, an instructor,” etc. Was it not said, “He may see”? For what purpose should he do this but to read? Nay; he should see in order to watch the sequence of paragraphs. So also said Rabba b. Samuel: “He may arrange the sequence of paragraphs.” Consequently, may he not read the paragraphs through? Would this not oppose the statement of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, who said: “Children in their rabbi’s house used to arrange their paragraphs and read before the lamp-light”? With children the case is different; out of fear for their master they will not be led to adjust.

MISHNA IV.: And these are some of the regulations

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enacted in the attic of Hananiah b. Hyzkiyah b. Gorion, when the rabbis came to visit him. They called the roll and found that the disciples of Shamai were more numerous than those of Hillel, and they enforced eighteen regulations on that day.

GEMARA: Said Abayi to R. Joseph: Does the expression “and these,” etc., refer to the things that were mentioned, or is “these” used with reference to things to be mentioned farther on? Come and hear. “One shall not search for vermin or read before a lamp-light; and these are some of the regulations,” etc. From this it is obvious that “and these” is the correct version.

The rabbis taught: The “Roll of Fasts” was written by Hananiah b. Hyzkiyah and his company, for they thought with fondness of the troubles (which their race had experienced). Said R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: We also think with fondness of the troubles; but what shall we do? If we were to record (all the troubles our race has experienced since that time) we would never finish. It may also be said: A fool never feels trouble, or (more pointedly) a dead member on a living body feels not the lancet. 1

MISHNA V.: The Beth Shamai said: Ink, dye material, or fodder (for animals) shall not be put into water (on Friday) unless there is still time for them to soak through while it is day. The Beth Hillel, however, permits this. The Beth Shamai prohibits putting bundles of linen thread (to bleach) into the oven unless there is sufficient time left for them to become heated through while it is yet day, or wool into a dye-kettle unless there is still time for it to be soaked through the same day. The Beth Hillel permits this. The Beth Shamai says: Traps shall not be set for animals and birds, or nets for fishes (on Friday), unless there is still time for them to be caught before sunset. The Beth Hillel permits this. The Beth Shamai says: One shall not sell anything to a Gentile (on Friday) or help him load his animal, or help him shoulder a burden unless he (the Gentile) can reach (with his load) the nearest place while it is yet day. The Beth Hillel permits this. The Beth Shamai

p. 24

says: Hides shall not be given to a tanner nor clothes to a Gentile washer (on a Friday) unless there is still sufficient time left for him (the Gentile) to finish it while it is day. The performance of all these acts of labor heretofore mentioned was permitted by the Beth Hillel (on Friday) while the sun was still shining. Rabbi Simeon b. Gamaliel said: At my father’s house it was the custom to give out white clothes to a Gentile washer three days before the Sabbath. Both schools, however, agree that the presses may be put on olives and grapes in the press-pits (as long as it is still daytime).

GEMARA: Who is the Tana that maintains that putting water on ink constitutes the final work on it? Said R. Joseph: (It is Rabbi of the following Boraitha: “If one put flour (in a vessel) and another one put water on it, the latter is culpable (of the act of kneading); so is the decree of Rabbi.” R. Jose, however, says that one is not culpable until he kneads it.

The rabbis taught: At twilight on the eve of Sabbath one may make an opening in a spring, so that the water run into the garden the whole day (of the Sabbath). He may also put smoking incense underneath garments, so that they hold the fragrance the whole day. It is also allowed to put burning sulphur under enamelled vessels, so that its smoke work on the paints the whole Sabbath day. It is also allowed for one to put a balm on the eye and a plaster on a wound, so that the healing process continue throughout the Sabbath; it is prohibited, however, to put grain into a water-mill, unless there is yet enough daytime left for it to be ground. Why so? Said R. Joseph: Because one is obliged to give rest even to tools on Sabbath.

Now since it was said that the resting of tools is obligatory according to the decision of the Beth Hillel, why did they permit putting sulphur and incense to smoke, or linen thread to bleach during the Sabbath? Because no act was being done, and (the tools were practically) at rest. But do not traps set for animals, birds, and nets for fishes work? Why, then, did they allow these? Here, too, they treated only of fishers’ rods and traps, which do no work (but into which animals work themselves).

Now, as R. Oshia has declared in the name of R. Assi, that only the Beth Shamai holds that there is a biblical obligation for the resting of tools, but not the Beth Hillel, all the acts enumerated above are permitted by the latter, even in the event of the tools performing work.

p. 25

Who is the Tana of what the rabbis taught anonymously as follows: “A woman shall not put dried lentils and peas into the oven on Friday when it is getting dark and leave them there (to get soft); and if she needs them for after the Sabbath she shall not use them, unless she waits the length of time required to cook them afresh. In the same wise a baker shall not put a vessel with water in the oven on Friday when it is getting dark; and if he needs (the hot water) for after the Sabbath, he shall not use it unless he waits the length of time it would require to boil it afresh.” Shall we assume that this is in accordance with the Beth Shamai, but not with Beth Hillel? It may also be in accordance with the Beth Hillel, as the prohibitions were made as precautionary measures lest one stir the coals. If such is the case, the burning of incense and sulphur (as mentioned in our Mishna) should also be prohibited for the same reason. There is to be feared that the coals might be stirred, while here is no fear of that, as when the coals are stirred smoke may arise and injure the enamel or the garments. In the case of the linen thread also, no precautionary measure was necessary, because the draught caused by the admission of air into the oven would prove injurious to the thread, and therefore one would not open the oven to stir the fire. Then let the placing of wool into a (dye) kettle be prohibited as a precautionary measure? The Mishna treats of a kettle that stands at some distance from the fire; so says Samuel. Still, the apprehension exists that he may stir the dye. Nay, we speak of a kettle whose cover is sealed with clay.

Now that the master said that the prohibitions (of the Boraitha) are only precautionary measures, to prevent one from stirring the coals, a cold pot may be put in the oven on Friday when it is getting dark. Why so? Because the victuals in it cannot be used the same evening, and he (the cook) will never think of stirring the coals.

One shall not sell a thing to a Gentile,” etc. The rabbis taught: The Beth Shamai said: One shall not sell a thing to a Gentile, nor lend it to him, nor help him carry it, nor lend him nor present him with any money on Sabbath eve unless there is time enough for the recipient to reach his house before night comes on. The Beth Hillel said (all this may be done) if there is time enough to reach his house at the wall of the city where he lives. R. Aqiba, however, says: It is sufficient if there is time enough for the Gentile to leave the house of the Jew.

p. 26

[paragraph continues] Said R. Jose b. Jehudah: “R. Aqiba contends that his teaching does not contradict that of the Beth Hillel, but merely explains the latter’s real intent.”

The rabbis taught: One may put down eatables on his own grounds for a Gentile (on the Sabbath). If the latter takes the eatables and carries them off, he need not prevent him.

The rabbis taught: One shall not hire out his tools to a Gentile on Friday, but he may do so on Wednesday or Thursday (even if he knows positively that the Gentile will use them on Sabbath). In the same manner, it is prohibited to transmit a letter by a Gentile on Friday, but it may be sent on Wednesday or Thursday. It was said of R. Jose the Priest, according to others the Pious, that his handwriting was never found in the hands of a Gentile (for fear that it might be carried on the Sabbath).

The rabbis taught: One shall not send a letter by a Gentile on Friday unless he stipulated a certain sum for the delivery. If such a stipulation was not made, the Beth Shamai says it must not be delivered, unless the messenger has time to reach the house in which it is to be delivered (before sunset); the Beth Hillel, however, maintains: He may do it if the messenger has time to reach the house nearest to the wall of the city where the letter is to be delivered. Was it not taught at first that “one shall not send” at all? This presents no difficulty. In the first part the case treats of a town which has no post-office; in the latter part the Boraitha speaks of a town which has one.

The rabbis taught: One shall not embark on a vessel less than three days before the Sabbath. This is the case if one goes (to sea) on private business, but if he goes for a meritorious act, he may do so. He may make a stipulation with the owner of the boat that it shall rest on Sabbath, although he is aware that he will not do so; so is the decree of Rabbi. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel, however, maintains that such a stipulation is not necessary. To travel from Tyre to Zidon (a journey of a few hours) one may embark even on Friday.

The rabbis taught: Siege shall not be laid to Gentile cities less than three days before the Sabbath, but when the siege is laid it need not be interrupted. So also Shamai used to say: It is written, “until it is brought down” [Deut. xx. 20], i.e., even on a Sabbath day.

R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said,” etc. There is a Boraitha:

p. 27

[paragraph continues] R. Zadok said: “It was the custom at the house of Rabban Gamaliel to give white clothes to the washer three days before the Sabbath, but colored clothes even on a Friday.” From this we have learned that it is harder to wash white clothes than colored ones. Abayi gave colored clothes to the washer and asked: How much wilt thou take for washing them? “As much as for white clothes,” answered the washer. Said Abayi: “The rabbis have preceded thee with their declaration” (that white clothes are harder to wash).

Both schools agree,” etc. Why did the school of Shamai enforce precautionary measures in all the previous cases, but in the case of wine and oil presses they did not do so? They prohibited the performance of such labor as involves the obligation of a sin-offering, if performed (unintentionally) on the Sabbath, or on a Friday when approaching darkness; but for the putting of press beams on grapes or olives, which does not involve the obligation of a sin-offering even if done on the Sabbath, the precautionary measure was not necessary.

From this it may be inferred that work which continues by itself may well be started (late on Friday). 1 Who is the Tana that holds so? Said R. Jose: R. Ishmael of the Mishna (Ediath, II. 7): “Garlic, unripe grapes, and green grain-stalks which were crushed (on Friday) while yet day, may be put under pressure at sunset; so is the decree of R. Ishmael. R. Aqiba, however, says: “It must not be done.” R. Elazar (b. Pedath), however, said that the Tana in question is R. Elazar (b. Samoa) of the following Mishna: “Honeycombs that were crushed on Friday shall not be put in the press (at sunset), so that the honey run out by itself; R. Elazar, however, permits it.” R. Jose b. Hanina has practised in accordance with the theory of R. Ishmael.

The oil and the covers of the small oil-presses Rabh prohibits to handle on the Sabbath. Samuel, however, permits it. The same is the case with reed-cloth; Rabh prohibits, and Samuel permits (to handle). Covers that are used on board of a vessel to cover the deck Rabh prohibits, and Samuel permits the handling of.

R. Na’hman said: “A goat that is kept for its milk, a sheep that is kept for its wool, a hen that is kept for its eggs, an ox

p. 28

that is kept for the plough, and dates that are put up for the market, are prohibited for use at a biblical feast,” according to Rabh; Samuel, however, said it was permitted. The point of their differing is the law of Muktza, in which R. Jehudah and R. Simeon differ. (It is explained farther on that, according to the latter, no Muktza exists.)

A disciple in ‘Harta of Argis 1 decided cases according to R. Simeon’s teaching, and R. Hamnunah put him under the ban. But have we not adopted the opinion of R. Simeon? Yea, but ‘Harta was within the jurisdiction of Rabh, and he (the disciple) should not have done as he did against Rabha’s teaching.

MISHNA VI.: Meats, onions, and eggs shall not be put to roasting on the eve of Sabbath, unless they can be done while it is yet day.

Bread shall not be put in the oven or a cake upon live coals, unless the crust can be formed while it is yet day. R. Elazar says it is enough if the bottom crust is formed. The Passover sacrifice may be turned around in the oven (on Friday) when it is getting dark. In the heating-house of (the sanctuary) the fire was fed at eventide. The fires in the rural districts may be fed until the flames envelop the greatest part (of the fuel). R. Judha says: “Where coals were already burning more fuel may be added, even when Sabbath is quite near at hand.”

GEMARA: When should such victuals be considered done? Said R. Elazar in the name of Rabh: “When they are done like the victuals of Ben Drostai.” 2 As we have learned in a Boraitha: Hananiah says all victuals that are done like the victuals of Ben Drostai may be left upon the hearth, even if the fire in the hearth is not stirred up and full of ashes.

Bread shall not be put,” etc. The schoolmen propounded a question: (“Does R. Elazar speak of) the crust that is formed near the wall of the oven, or the crust formed (on the side of the loaf, that is turned) to the fire?”

Come and hear. R. Elazar says: “It is sufficient if the surface is crusted, which lies close to the wall of the oven.”

p. 29

The Passover sacrifice may be turned,” etc. Why so? Because a company (when preparing a sacrifice in the temple) is very cautious.

But if this were not the case, would it not be allowed? Has not the master said: A (sacrificial) kid may be used, well done or not well done? Aye, but in that case it is cut in pieces; in our case it could not be cut in pieces. 1

The fire in the heating-house,” etc. Why so? Whence is this deduced? Said R. Huna: It is written [Ex. xxxv. 3]: “Ye shall not kindle any fire throughout your habitations upon the Sabbath day.” Your habitations excluded the sanctuary. R. Hisda opposed: If it is so, then they may do so on Sabbath itself; therefore he explains thus: The cited verse excludes only the parts of the members which are already upon the altar, and the reason of our Mishna is because priests are very careful.

In the rural districts,” etc. What does “the greatest part” mean? According to Rabh: “The greatest part of each piece”; and according to Samuel: “Until no more small wood is needed to make the heap burn.” R. Hyya taught the following Boraitha in support of R. Samuel: “The flame should continue rising by itself, and not by the assistance of anything else.” And to only one log of wood? -until the fire catches most of its thickness; and according to others, the most of its circumference, was the decision of Rabh. Said R. Papa: To comply with both views just mentioned it is right that the fire should catch both, the most of its thickness and the greatest part of its circumference. However, regarding this law Tanaim of the following Boraitha differ. R. Hyya says: Until it is so burned that it is unfit for any carpenter’s work. R. Judah b. Bathyra says: Until the fire catches both sides. And although this cannot be substantiated by evidence (from Scripture), there is a hint of this–viz.: “Both ends are consumed by the fire and the inside is scorched; is it fit for any work?” [Ez. xv. 4].

It was taught: R. Kahana said: Reeds, if they are tied together, must (have enough daytime on Friday) to burn over half; if not tied together, less is sufficient. Granum must have enough time for the fire to catch their greater part; if they are put in a fire-pot, they need not. R. Joseph taught four substances

p. 30

[paragraph continues] (used as fuel) need not (have time until the fire catches) the greater part–viz.: pitch, sulphur, cheese, and running fats. In a Boraitha it was taught that straw and (wood) shavings belong to the same category. R. Johanan said that the same is the case with fuel in Babylon. What does it mean? According to R. Joseph hast, and according to Rami b. Aba branches.


[Explanatory to p. 8, line 2 (Erubhin, p. 25).]

There is a Boraitha in addition to the last Mishna of Chap. IX., ibid., p. 226, as follows: “More than this said R. Jehudah: ‘He who has two houses, one on each side of public ground, may add to each a beam or a side beam (for a sign), and this allows him to carry things from one house into the other.’ To which the rabbis answered that such an erubh does not suffice for public ground.” (The reason of R. Jehudah’s statement is that biblically two partitions suffice to turn premises of public ground into private ground, with which the rabbis do not agree.) 1








23:1 The Gemara discusses here the eighteen precautionary measures which were enacted in the attic referred to, and tried also to find them out, as what they were is not mentioned in the Mishna at all. As none of them, except the two mentioned in the Mishna (which is not discussed at all), belong to Sabbath, we have omitted the whole discussion. However, we have named all of them in the appendix to this tract [Vol. II., pp. 381-390, q. v.], and we have shown that all of these enactments were political and of great necessity at that time.

27:1 Without requiring the labor of man when once started, as is the case with wine and oil presses, in which case the beams, once put on grapes or olives, force the fluids to run down of their own accord.

28:1 Argis was the man who built the city of ‘Harta and R. Hamnunah lived in that city. The cave in which he is buried is still in existence there. So I have found written in an answer of a Gaon. (Rashi.)

28:2 A notorious highwayman, who could never stay in one place long enough to cook his meals, and was wont to do only the third part of cooking they required.

29:1 See Ex. xii. 9, 46, where it is explicitly ordained that the paschal lamb should not be dismembered, and no bone should be broken.

30:1 This Boraitha was omitted in Tract Erubhin. Here, however, to render the above-mentioned passage clearer for the reader, we deem it necessary to translate it.


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