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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
on dark [i.e., mustard-coloured] wine; on a broad couch or on a narrow couch; with a good companion or with a poor companion? R. Hisda observed: And all these are in reference to immorality.
Rahabah said in R. Judah's name: The [fuel] logs of Jerusalem were of the cinnamon tree, and when lit their fragrance pervaded the whole of Eretz Israel. But when Jerusalem was destroyed they were hidden, only as much as a barley grain being left, which is to be found in the queen's collections of rarities.1
MISHNAH. A MAN MUST NOT GO OUT WITH A SWORD, BOW, SHIELD, LANCE [ALLAH], OR SPEAR; AND IF HE DOES GO OUT, HE INCURS A SIN-OFFERING. R. ELIEZER SAID: THEY ARE ORNAMENTS FOR HIM. BUT THE SAGES MAINTAIN, THEY ARE MERELY SHAMEFUL, FOR IT IS SAID, AND THEY SHALL BEAT THEIR SWORDS INTO PLOWSHARES, AND THEIR SPEARS INTO PRUNING HOOKS: NATION SHALL NOT LIFT UP SWORD AGAINST NATION, NEITHER SHALL THEY LEARN WAR ANY MORE.2 A KNEE-BAND [BERITH] IS CLEAN, AND ONE MAY GO OUT WITH IT ON THE SABBATH; ANKLE-CHAINS [KEBALIM] ARE UNCLEAN,3 AND ONE MAY NOT GO OUT WITH THEM ON THE SABBATH.
GEMARA. What is, WITH AN ALLAH? — A lance.
R. ELIEZER SAID: THEY ARE ORNAMENTS FOR HIM. It was taught: Said they [the Sages] to R. Eliezer: Since they are ornaments for him, why should they cease in the days of the Messiah? Because they will not be required, he answered, as it is said, nation shall not lift up sword against nation. Yet let them exist merely as ornaments? — Said Abaye. It may be compared to a candle at noon.4
Now this disagrees with Samuel.5 For Samuel said, This world differs from the Messianic era only in respect to servitude of the exiled, for it is said, For the poor shall never cease out of the land.6 This supports R. Hiyya b. Abba,7 who said, All the prophets prophesied only for the Messianic age, but as for the world to come, the eye hath not seen, O Lord, beside thee [what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him].8
Some there are who state: Said they [the Sages] to R. Eliezer: Since they are Ornaments for him, why should they cease in the days of the Messiah? In the days of the Messiah too they shall not cease, he answered. This is Samuel's view, and it disagrees with R. Hiyya b. Abba's.
Abaye asked R. Dimi — others state, R. Awia, — others again state, R. Joseph [asked] R. Dimi — and others state, R. Awia whilst others state, Abaye [asked] R. Joseph: What is R. Eliezer's reason for maintaining that they are ornaments for him? — Because it is written, Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty one, Thy glory and thy majesty.9 R. Kahana objected to Mar son of R. Huna: But this refers to the words of the Torah?10 — A verse cannot depart from its plain meaning, he replied.11 R. Kahana said: By the time I was eighteen years old I had studied the whole Shas,12 yet I did not know that a verse cannot depart from its plain meaning.13 until to-day. What does he inform us? — That a man should study and subsequently understand.14
(Mnemonic: ZaRuTH.)15 R. Jeremiah said in R. Eleazer's name: When two scholars sharpen each other in halachah,16 the Holy One, blessed be He, gives them success, for it is said, and in thy majesty [wa-hadareka] be successful:17 read not wa-hadareka but wa-hadadeka [thy sharpening]. Moreover, they ascend to greatness, as it is said, 'ride on prosperously' [successfully]. One might think [that this is so] even if it is not for its own sake, therefore it is taught, 'In behalf of truth'. I might think [that this is so] even if he becomes conceited; therefore it is taught, 'and meekness of righteousness'. But if they do thus, they are privileged to acquire18 the Torah, which was given by the right Hand,19 as it is said, and thy right hand shall teach thee awe-inspiring things.20 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: They will obtain the things which were promised at the right hand of the Torah. For Raba b. R. Shila said — others state, R. Joseph b. Hama — said in R. Shesheth's name: What is meant by the verse, Length of days is in her right hand, In her left hand are riches and honour:21 is there in her right hand length of days only, but not riches and honour? But to those who go to the right hand thereof there is length of days, and riches and honour a fortiori; but for those that go to the left hand thereof there is riches and honour, but not length of days.22
R. Jeremiah said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish:23 When two scholars are amiable to each other in [their discussions in] halachah, the Holy One, blessed be He, gives heed to them, for it is said, Then they that feared the Lord spake [nidberu] one with another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard;24 now speech [dibbur] can 'only mean [with] gentleness, for it is said, He shall subdue [yadber] the peoples under us.25 What is meant by, and that thought upon his name?26 — Said R. Ammi: Even if one thinks of doing a good deed but is forcibly prevented and does not do it, the Writ ascribes it to him as though he did it.
R. Hinena b. Idi said: Whoever fulfils a precept as it is commanded,27 no evil tidings are told to him, for it is said, Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing.28 R. Assi — others state, R. Hanina — said: Even if the Holy One, blessed be He, makes a decree, He annuls it,29 for it is said, Because the king's word hath power; and who may say unto him, what doest thou;30 in proximity to which [is written,] Whoso keepeth the commandment shall know no evil thing.31
R. Abba said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: When two scholars pay heed to each other in halachah, the Holy One, blessed be He, listens to their voice, as it is said, Thou that dwellest in the gardens, The companions hearken to thy voice: Cause me to hear it.32 But if they do not do thus, they cause the Shechinah to depart from Israel, as it is said, Flee, my beloved, and be thou like, etc.33
R. Abba said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: When two disciples form an assembly34 in halachah,35 the Holy One, blessed be He, loves them, as it is said, and his banner over me was love.36 Said Raba: Providing they know the features of a subject;37 providing also that there is no greater [scholar] in the town from whom to learn.
R. Abba also said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: [Even] if a scholar is vengeful and bears malice like a serpent.40 gird him on thy loins;41 [whereas even] if an 'am ha-arez is pious, do not dwell in his vicinity.42
R. Kahana said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish — others state, R. Assi said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish — others state, R. Abba said in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish: He who breeds a wild dog in his house keeps loving kindness away from his house,43 as it is said, To him that is ready to faint [lamos]
kindness should be shewed from his friend;1 and in Greek a dog is called lamos.2 R. Nahman b. Isaac said: He also casts off the fear of Heaven from himself, as it is said, and he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.3
A certain woman entered a house to bake. The dog barked at her, [whereupon] her child4 moved [from its place]. Said the householder to her, 'Fear not: his fangs and claws have been extracted.' 'Take your favours and throw them on the thorns,' she retorted, 'the child has already moved.'
R. Huna said: What is meant by the verse, Rejoice, O young man, In thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgement?5 Thus far are the words of Evil Desire; thereafter are the words of Good Desire.6 Resh Lakish said: Thus far the reference is to study;7 thereafter, to good deeds.8
A BERITH IS CLEAN. Rab Judah said: A berith is a bracelet.9 R. Joseph objected: A BERITH IS CLEAN, AND ONE MAY GO OUT WITH IT ON THE SABBATH; but a bracelet is [liable to become] unclean? — He meant this: A berith stands in the place of a bracelet.10
Rabin and R. Huna were sitting before R. Jeremiah, and R. Jeremiah was dozing. Now Rabin sat and said: A berith is on one [leg]; whilst kebalim [ankle-chain] is on two.11 Said R. Huna to him, Both are on two, but a chain is placed between them and they become kebalim [anklets]. Does then the chain turn it into a utensil?12 And should you answer, This is in accordance with R. Samuel b. Nahmani, for R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in R. Jonathan's name: How do we know that a metal object which causes sound is unclean? Because it is said: Everything [dabar] that may abide the fire, ye shall make go through the fire:13 even speech [dibbur — i.e., sound] is implied.14 — As for there, it is well: it [the utensil] is needed for sound15 and it performs an action;16 but here, what action does it perform?17 — Here too it performs an action, for Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in R. Johanan's name: There was a certain family in Jerusalem that had large steps, whereby their virginity was destroyed. So they made them leg-suspenders and placed a chain between them, that their steps should not be large, and then their virginity was not destroyed. R. Jeremiah awoke at that and exclaimed to them, Well spoken!18 and thus did R. Johanan say [too].
When R. Dimi came,19 he said in the name of R. Johanan: How do we know that woven [material] of whatever size is [liable to become] unclean? From the ziz.20 Said Abaye to him, Was then the ziz woven? But it was taught: The ziz was a kind of golden plate two fingerbreadths broad, and it stretched round [the forehead] from ear to ear, and upon it was written in two lines 'yod he' above and 'Holy lamed' below.21 But R. Eliezer son of R. Jose said: I saw it in the city of Rome,22 and 'Holy unto the Lord' was written in one line.23 When R. Dimi went up to Nehardea, he sent word: The things that I told you were erroneous. But in truth it was thus said on R. Johanan's authority: How do we know that an ornament of whatever size is [liable to become] unclean? From the headplate. And how do we know that woven material of whatever size is unclean? From [the phrase] or raiment.24
Our Rabbis taught: Woven stuff of whatever size is unclean, and an ornament of whatever size is unclean. [An object partly] woven and [partly] an ornament of whatever size is unclean.25 A sack goes beyond a garment, in that it is unclean as woven material.26 Raba said: Woven stuff of whatever size is unclean: this is [deduced] from, 'or raiment'. An ornament of whatever size is unclean: [this is learnt] from the headplate. [An object partly] woven and [partly] an ornament of whatever size is unclean: this is [deduced] from, every serviceable utensil.27 Said one of the Rabbis to Raba, But that is written in reference to Midian?28 We learn
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