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Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, [1843], at


§ 1. With what [species of wick] may [the lamps] be lighted [on the Sabbath]? and with what may [they] not be lighted? [They] may not be lighted with the moss [that grows upon] cedars, nor with undressed flax, nor with floss-silk, 1 nor with a wick made of osier, nor with thread [made of a kind of grass growing] in the

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wilderness, nor with the weeds [growing] upon the water; 2 [they may not be lighted] with pitch, nor with wax, nor with oil of ‏קיק‎, 3 nor with [consecrated] oil [profaned and set apart] for burning, nor with [the fat from] the tails [of sheep], nor with tallow. Nahum, the Mede, opines that [they] may be lighted with boiled [or clarified] tallow; but the sages hold, that whether it be boiled or not boiled it may not be used to light therewith.

§ 2. [They] may not be lighted [even] on festivals with oil [set apart] to be burnt. R. Ishmael saith, that for the honour of the Sabbath [they] may not be lighted with the dregs of pitch; but the sages allow all [sorts of] oils: with oil of nuts, with oil of radish [seed], with oil of fish, with oil of gourd seed, with oil. of the dregs of pitch, and with naphtha. R. Tarphon saith, they must not be lighted but with oil of olives only.

§ 3. Nothing which grows from [the wood of] a tree is proper to light with but flax; 4 and whatever grows from [the wood of] a tree cannot be polluted by the pollution of a tent 5 but flax. A slip of cloth which has been folded but not singed, R. Eleazar saith it is unclean, and must not [be used to] light with; [but] R. Akivah opines [that] it is clean, and [may be used to] light with.

§ 4. A person may not perforate an eggshell, and fill it with oil, and place it over the lamp, that it may drop [therein], and although it be of earthenware [it is not permitted]; but R. Jehudah allows it. But if the potter had originally thus joined it, it is allowable, because it is then but one vessel. A person may not fill a dish [with] oil and place it beside the lamp, and put the end of the wick into it, so that it may attract [the oil]; but R. Jehudah permits it.

§ 5. He who extinguishes the lamp because he is afraid of heathens, 6 of robbers, of an evil spirit, 7 or that the sick may sleep, is absolved; but [if his intention is] to save his lamp, oil, or wick, he

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is guilty; R. José allows it in either case except the wick, because he thereby forms a coal.

§ 6. For three transgressions women die in childbirth: because they are not careful of their separation at proper periods, 8 of separating the first cake of the dough, 9 and of lighting the lamp [for the Sabbath].

§ 7. A man is obliged to inquire concerning three things in his house on the eve of the Sabbath, near the dusk of the evening:—Have ye separated the tithe? Have ye prepared the Sabbatical mixture [erub]? Light the lamps.

§ 8. If it is doubtful whether it be dark or not, 10 the certainly untithed [grain or fruit] are not to be tithed; neither must the vessels be immersed, nor the lamps lighted; but it is permitted to tithe that which is doubtful, prepare the Sabbatical mixture, and cover [the pots of victuals to retain their heat.]


39:1 The outward coating of the silkworm's cocoon, or ball.

40:2 According to R. Obadiah de Bartenora, a kind of weed that adheres to ships which have been long at sea, or long in one place.

40:3 An oil extracted from the seed of the cotton-plant; or, according to another opinion quoted by Bartenora, a thick oil extracted from a species of gourd.

40:4 Because the Scripture styles it ‏עץ‎ [tree], Josh ii. 6.

40:5 Vide Num. xxix. 14, &c.

40:6 During the Persian dominion, the magi would, in some of their festivals, suffer no fire or light to be burned out of their temples.

40:7 According to Maimonides, a species of melancholy, which causes the sufferer to he easy in darkness only, or in solitude.

41:8 Lev. xii. 2.

41:9 9 Num. xv. 17.

41:10 If three stars be not distinctly visible, or if the sky is darkened by clouds.

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