Sacred Texts  Judaism  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


§ 1. All sacred writings are to be saved out of a conflagration,

p. 59

whether they be read in [on the Sabbath] or not, 1 and in whatever language they be written, they must be taken care of. Why are they not read in? In order not to neglect [miss] the discourse in the Medrash. The cover of a book is to be saved along with the book, and the cover [case] of the Tephilin, even though there be money in it. Whither may they be carried for safety? Into any place that is completely inclosed. Ben Bethera saith, "Even if the place be not completely, inclosed [but is partly open on one side, they may carry it in and save it out of a conflagration]."

§ 2. Food for [the] three [Sabbath] meals is to be saved; for man, that which is fit for human food; and for beasts, that which is fit for animal [food]. How is this to be understood? If the fire broke out on the Sabbath-evening, food for three meals is to be saved; if in the morning, food for two meals is to be saved; and if at noon, food for one meal is to be saved. R. José saith, "At all times food for three meals is to be saved.

§ 3. A basket filled with loaves may be saved, even though it contain [food sufficient for] one hundred meals; also a [large] fig-cake, and a cask of wine. It is lawful to call to others, "Come and save for yourselves [whatever you can];" if those who save are knowing, 2 they will settle accounts with the owner after the Sabbath. 3 Whither may they [the articles saved] be carried for safety? Into any court that is combined by Erub; 4 Ben Bethera saith, "Even into one that is not so combined."

§. 4 Thither he may carry out all vessels required [for his meals that day]. He dresses [himself] in as many [garments] as he can put on, and girds round him as much as he can gird. R. José saith, "[He must not put on more than] eighteen [pieces of ordinary] wearing-apparel; and he may go back and again dress in, and put on [as much as he can] and carry it out, and call to others, 'Come, and save with me' [help me to save]."

§ 5. R. Simeon ben Nonos saith, "They may spread a goat-skin

p. 60

over a chest, or a box, or a cupboard, which has caught fire, as it will only get singed. It is also lawful to erect a partition with any kind of vessels, be they full [of water] or empty, to prevent the fire from spreading. R. José forbids this being done with new crockery-ware filled with water, as this [kind of vessels] cannot stand the heat, but would burst, and extinguish the fire.

§ 6. If a heathen comes to put out the conflagration, he is not to be told, "extinguish," or "do not extinguish," because it is not obligatory on them [Israelites], to make him observe the Sabbath-rest. But if a minor [an Israelitish child] wishes to extinguish [the conflagration], they must not allow him [so to do], as it is obligatory on them [Israelites] to make him observe the Sabbath-rest.

§ 7. A dish may be put over the light, to prevent the beam [of the roof] from catching fire; also [a dish may be put] over the ordure [of poultry], [on account of] children; and over a scorpion, that it may not bite. R. Jehudah said, "It happened that such a case was brought before R. Jochanan ben Sachai, at Arob, when he remarked, 'I doubt whether I ought not to have inflicted a sin-offering' [on the accused]." 5

§ 8. If a heathen has lighted a candle, an Israelite may use the light; but if [the heathen has lighted it] on purpose for the Israelite, it is prohibited [to use it]; if a heathen has drawn water to give to his cattle to drink, the Israelite may give his cattle to drink after him; but if [the heathen has drawn the water] on purpose for the Israelite, it is prohibited [to use it]. If a heathen has made a step to descend [from a ship], an Israelite may descend [thereon] after him, but if [the heathen has made it on purpose] for the Israelite, it is prohibited to use it. It once happened that Rabbon Gamaliel and the elders arrived in a ship, and a heathen made a step by which he descended, and Rabbon Gamaliel and the elders descended after him.


59:1 All the books of the Bible [except the Pentateuch] are here designated: those read on the Sabbath are the Prophets; those not read, the Kethubim (Hagiographa).

59:2 Alive to their own interests.

59:3 They sell him at a low rate the articles of food which he abandoned, and they saved; thus they obtain a compensation, which they could not claim for assistance rendered on the Sabbath; and his loss is lessened.

59:4 Vide Treatise Erubin.

60:5 Because he caught, on the Sabbath-day, a scorpion, that did not actually threaten him.

Next: Chapter XVII