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The Babylonian Talmud, Book 1: Tract Sabbath, tr. by Michael L. Rodkinson, [1903], at

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MISHNAS I., II., III., IV., and V. Throwing from private into private by way of public ground. What constituted the sin of the wood-gatherer. The mysterious scrolls found by Rabh in the house of his uncle R. Hyya concerning the principal acts of labor. What was the name of the wood-gatherer. Arraignment of R. Aqiba by Jehudah ben Bathyra for slandering Zelophchad, by naming him as the wood-gatherer, and for slandering Aaron, by stating that he had been punished by leprosy. Reward for merit comes more quickly than retribution for wickedness. Regulations concerning pits in public ground for the Sabbath. Throwing from a distance of four ells against a wall. Throwing within four ells, when the object thrown rolled to a greater distance. Throwing at sea for a distance of four ells, and throwing from the sea to land, or from one ship to another. Throwing a thing on Sabbath and recollecting that it was Sabbath immediately afterwards. If the thing thrown was caught by another. The rule concerning what constitutes committing an act through error, involving the liability for a sin-offering, 189-203


MISHNAS I., II., III., and IV. Concerning building. The amount of building involving liability for a sin-offering; the amount of ploughing. The writing of how many letters make one liable for a sin-offering; with which hand that is to be done. The wonderful statement of some young men at the schoolhouse, which was not heard of even in the time of Joshua the son of Nun. Why the letters of the word Sheqer (lie) are so close together (in the order of sequence of the alphabet) and the letters of Emeth (truth) so far apart? Because lies are very frequent and truth very scarce. Tattooing. Ben Sattadai, being a fool, cannot be cited as an instance, 204-212


MISHNAS I., II., III., and IV. Concerning weaving. How many threads one must weave to become culpable. One who tears an article or breaks a

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vessel on the Sabbath in a moment of fury is regarded as one who practises idolatry. Concerning one who rends his garments upon being advised of the death of a relative on Sabbath. Reward for shedding tears over the death of a righteous man. Fate of those who fail to mourn the death of a scholar. If one member of the community die, let the entire community beware. Rules pertaining to hunting and trapping. May the door be closed on a stag who seeks refuge in a dwelling? 213-218


MISHNA I. Concerning the eight kinds of vermin mentioned in the Thorah. On what material the Phylacteries may be written. Samuel's and Karna's experience with Rabh upon the arrival of the latter in Babylon from Palestine. Questions put to Rabh by Karna. Samuel's remedies given Rabh during the latter's illness. Questions put to R. Joshua of Garthi by a Bathusee, and R. Joshua's replies, 219-222

MISHNA II. Concerning the preparation of salt water on Sabbath. A drop of water the best remedy for sore eyes. Which parts of the body must not be touched by the hand immediately after arising and before performing the morning ablutions. The comparison of the eye to a princess, who should not be touched by a hand that had not been washed three times. Is it permitted to bathe a sore hand in wine or vinegar on Sabbath? 222-225

MISHNAS III. and IV. Concerning foods and beverages which may be partaken of on Sabbath for medicinal purposes. Definition of the tree-water mentioned in the Mishna. The aptitude of Babylonian beer as a remedy. The use of Ikkarim (a preventive against pregnancy), 225-229


MISHNAS I., II., and III. Concerning the tieing and untieing of knots on Sabbath. The poverty of R. Jehudah, the brother of Sallah the Pious, and the manner he and his shared the use of one pair of sandals, 230--233

MISHNA IV. Concerning the folding of clothes and the making of beds on the Sabbath. Laws concerning a Sabbath that is concurrent with the Day of Atonement. Distinction of attire on Sabbath from that on week-days. R. Johanan's statement in reference to clothes. Rules for walking on the Sabbath. Inferences drawn from the biblical passage: "Give unto the wise, and he will become wiser." Boaz's object in marrying Ruth. The mention made in the Thorah concerning change of attire. The necessity for a scholar of keeping his attire immaculate. The degree of trustworthiness required of a scholar in order that he may recover a lost article without identification. The degree of worth required of a scholar to allow of his eligibility to the presidency of a congregation. Rules concerning the cleansing of food on the afternoon of the Day of Atonement, 233-238


MISHNAS I. and II. Concerning the saving of sacred scrolls from a conflagration on Sabbath. What is the law concerning such scrolls if written in

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Aramaic, Coptic, Median, old Hebrew, Elamite, and Greek? What happened to Aba Halafta on his visit to R. Gamaliel the Great in Tiberias, while sitting at the table of Johanan the Nazuph. Aba Halafta's reminiscence of R. Gamaliel's grandfather, in reference to the book of Job, written in Aramaic. The law concerning the saving of written benedictions and amulets from a conflagration. One who writes benedictions is regarded as one who burns the Law. What happened to men of Sidon, who wrote benedictions, which fact became known to R. Ishmael. Why are the two verses (Numbers x. 35 and 36) marked by signs? What is the law concerning the saving of the Gilyonim and the books of the Sadducees from a conflagration? R. Tarphon's dictum in this matter. Ema Shalom, R. Eliezer's wife's, and her brother R. Gamaliel's experience with a philosopher, who was also a judge. The law concerning covers of books, and to which place they may be taken in case of fire, 239-257

MISHNA III. How much food may be saved from a conflagration on Sabbath? How should bread be cut on the Sabbath? The number of meals to be eaten on Sabbath. The amount of property a poor man may own and still not be debarred from accepting charitable gifts. What should be given to an itinerant beggar, The reward of those who observe the eating of three meals on the Sabbath. The reward of one who maketh the Sabbath a delight. By what means we may make the Sabbath a delight. The good deeds related by several Tanaim and Amoraim, to have been especially taken care of by them. The different kinds of work performed by each one of the Amoraim personally in honor of the Sabbath. Anecdote told of Joseph, who honored the Sabbath, and his rich Gentile neighbor. The eventual impoverishment of the Gentile through the purchase of a pearl which was swallowed by a fish, and the sudden wealth of Joseph, who bought the fish and found the pearl. Experience of R. Hyya bar Aba while the guest of a rich man in the city of Ludkai. How must the Day of Atonement be honored? What the two angels who accompany man at the close of Sabbath say to one who had honored the Sabbath and to one who had not. The story of R. Abuha and his calf. Different opinions concerning the cause of the destruction of Jerusalem, 257, 258

MISHNAS IV., V., VI., and VII. How many loaves of bread maybe saved in a basket from a conflagration. It is allowed to cover a chest with a goatskin to keep it from burning. Partitions to be made with vessels filled with water. Concerning a candle that had fallen on the table. Concerning Gentiles and minors at the extinguishing of a fire on Sabbath. The miracle occurring for Joseph ben Simai. What dangerous animals may be killed on Sabbath. The dissatisfaction of the pious with those who kill on the Sabbath, and the dissatisfaction of the sages with the pious. Aba bar Minyumi at the house of the Exilarch. The story of R. Gamaliel on board of a ship, and of Samuel, in whose presence a Gentile lit a candle for his own use, 258-265


MISHNAS I. to VI. Concerning vessels which may be handled on the Sabbath. Vessels which may be removed for lack of space, also from sunshine into the shade; whether fragments of the vessels may be moved with them,

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and other such matters. The questions put to Rabh by Mari bar Rachel, and Rabh's replies. Concerning window-blinds and covers of vessels, 266-275


MISHNA I. How much straw may be removed for the accommodation of guests on Sabbath. The reward for hospitality. Different opinions concerning the merits of hospitality. The six things of which the interest is paid to man on earth and the principal in the world to come. The four additional things which include the previous six. Concerning one who judges his neighbor charitably, and his reward above. The story of the man who was hired by the father of Hyrcanos for three years, and who was not paid at the end of the term. The story of the pious man who ransomed a maiden from captivity. The story of R. Jehoshua and the Roman matron, and his disciples. Whether salt meat and salt fish may be handled, 276-281

MISHNA II. Concerning a basket set down for chickens to climb. Concerning a woman carrying her child. What may be done in the event of an animal falling into the water on Sabbath, 281, 282

MISHNA III. Concerning animals about to calve on a festival. What assistance may be given a woman about to give birth to child on a Sabbath. For how long a period may the Sabbath be violated on account of a woman lying-in? From what time is she considered to be lying-in? Where life is at stake, the ordinances may be put. to the most lenient construction. Every thing necessary for a sick person, where the illness is not dangerous, should be performed by a Gentile. Concerning bleeding. Meals after being bled. The duty of drinking wine after being bled, and advice to one who has no wine, On what days one should be bled and on what days one should not. Everything mentioned in Ezekiel xvi. 4 may be done for a woman lying-in on Sabbath, 282-287


MISHNAS I., II., and III. Concerning the bringing of the knife for circumcision on Sabbath. When it should be brought publicly and when concealed; when it should be concealed before witnesses. Public carrying of the knife as a proof of the love of the commandment. Commandments accepted by Israelites with joy are even now carried out joyfully; those received with protest are now reluctantly carried out. Story of Elisha, "the man of wings." The Sabbath may be violated on account of preparations for circumcision. Concerning the sucking out of the blood, and bandages necessary for circumcision. What Abayi's mother told him. Rabh's experience with the physicians of Me'huzza. Children who have imperfect circulation should not be circumcised until in perfect health. What happened to Nathan of Babylon. How a child should be bathed on Sabbath. The law concerning hermaphrodites. Concerning a child born at twilight and a child born without a foreskin. The story of the child of R. Ada bar Ahabha, who was carried to thirteen circumcisers. Whether the Sabbath may be violated on account of a child that had been delivered from the side of the mother (with instruments). When a child is called a miscarriage. If a child was to a

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certainty regularly born, it must in the event of its death be mourned in the regular manner, 288-305

MISHNAS IV., V., and VI. Concerning one who had two children to be circumcised. Under what circumstances a child may be circumcised after the eighth day and until the twelfth. The benedictions pronounced by the circumciser, the father of the child, and the assembled guests after the circumcision, 305-308


MISHNAS I. to V. Concerning wine-filters. Laws concerning folding-beds, folding-chairs, etc. Question put by R. Kahana to Rabh. Rabh's reply and the explanation of same by the Gemara. The assertion that the Law will be forgotten by Israel, and R. Simeon's ben Jochai explanation of same. The advisability of investigating amongst the judges in Israel in times of trouble. Corrupt judges the hindrance to the resting of the Lord's Shekhina among the children of Israel. Zion's redemption must come through justice. The story of the young scholar who was accused before R. Ashi. The story told by R. Joseph concerning the goblet of wine served him by Mar Uqba. Concerning the soaking of laserpitium on Sabbath, Indisposition of R. A'ha bar Joseph, who was cured by laserpitium. Several sayings of R. Hisda, giving advice. How animals must be fed. Concerning straw on a bed. Concerning customary and unusual handling of things. Small men should not wear large shoes nor women torn shoes, 309-321


MISHNAS I. to III. Concerning the lifting of a child in connection with things held by the child, and the lifting of a corpse in connection with other things. Concerning a base to a prohibited thing. Concerning a stone at the opening of a barrel or on a cushion. Concerning the removal of husks and bones from the table. The decision of Abayi that the school of Hillel is always in conformity with R. Simeon's opinion, that the law of Muktza has no foundation, 322-327


MISHNA I. How much may be saved from a broken cask. Concerning fruit which is pressed in order to extract the juice. Bunches of grapes may be pressed into the cooking pot direct, but not into a bowl. According to biblical law one is not culpable for pressing any fruit, with the exception of grapes and olives. Witnesses testifying from hearsay are not accredited, 328-331

MISHNA II. Concerning eatables that are dressed with hot water. The three questions propounded by R. Hyya bar Aba: "Why are the fowls of Babylon so fat? Why are the Babylonians so merry during the festivals? Why are the scholars of Babylon so well dressed?" The answers of R. Johanan: "If a thing is as certain to thee as the fact that thou canst not marry thy own sister, then say it. Otherwise, say it not!" 331, 332

MISHNAS III. and IV. Concerning the breaking open of a cask and eating its contents. Rabh shows his respect for his pupils R. Kahana and R.

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[paragraph continues] Ashi by refusing to sit on a bolster when they sat on the ground. Concerning the depositing of victuals in a cave. Concerning the dusting of clothes on Sabbath. R. Shesha's, the son of Idi, tasteful arrangement of his cloak. The narrative of R. Dimi in the name of and regarding Rabbi, 332-338

MISHNA V. Concerning bathing in a cavern or in the hot springs of Tiberias. How the wine of Purgaitha and the water of Deumseth robbed the Israelites of ten tribes. How R. Jehudah had a pledge taken from Rabba bar bar Hanna to insure the latter's appearance at his college, and the advantage gained by R. Jehudah in learning a new Halakha, 338-341


MISHNAS I. and II. Concerning borrowing and lending. Such acts as must be performed on festivals should be performed in as different a manner to what they are performed on week-days as possible. Concerning the counting of guests and dishes. Casting lots at meals. A man on whose account another is punished is not admitted into the abode of the Lord, 342-346

MISHNAS III., IV., and V. Concerning the hiring of laborers on Sabbath. The rule laid down by Abba Saul. Concerning the transaction of the affairs of a community on Sabbath. The betrothal of children on the Sabbath. The miracle which occurred to a man who would not mend a fence of his field on Sabbath. Concerning waiting at the techoom on account of a bride or a corpse. Concerning the performance of all necessities for a corpse on Sabbath, 346-353

MISHNA VI. Closing the eyes of a corpse on Sabbath. Concerning the closing of the eyes of a dying person on a week-day. On account of a living child, only one day old, the Sabbath may be violated; but not even for David, King of Israel, if he be dead, may this be done. A living child one day old need not be guarded from the attacks of rats, but even the dead body of Og, King of Bashan, must be guarded from such attacks. Practise charity when the opportunity presents itself and when it is within thy reach. Poverty is compared to a wheel constantly turning. He who pities living creatures is pitied also in Heaven. The explanation of many verses in Ecclesiastes regarding the human body. Why R. Hanina did not weep over the death of his daughter. There are six kinds of tears which are shed: three good and three bad. The dispute of Joshua ben Kar'ha with the eunuch. Why Barzillai was a liar. Worms are as annoying to a corpse as a needle is to excrescences on the flesh. The soul of a man mourns for the body seven days. The narrative relating to R. Jehudah and his actions towards a stranger who died in his vicinity. "Return thy soul as clean as it was given thee," and the parable connected with the statement. The conversation between R. Na'hman and the dead body of R. Ahai ben Yashi. The bones of a man who had no jealousy in his heart will not rot. The souls of the righteous are ensconced underneath the throne of honor a twelvemonth after leaving the body. "Make my funeral sermon impressive, for I shall be present." To repent one day before death means to repent every day, lest the morrow bring death. "At all times let thy garments be white," and the parable connected with it, 353-362

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MISHNA I. Concerning one who was overtaken by dusk on the eve of Sabbath while on the road. The Sabbath rest must be kept inviolate as far as one's animal is concerned, but one is not responsible for the Sabbath rest of a Gentile. An additional statement concerning the Sabbath rest, which the sages would not reveal. On the day the eighteen precautionary ordinances were instituted, according to the opinion of some, the measure of laws was made heaping full, while, according to others, it was not filled enough. The examples connected with this statement. Why R. Gamaliel allowed his ass to drop dead under a load, 363-367

MISHNAS II., III., and IV. Concerning the untieing of straw for cattle. Concerning the cramming of camels, calves, poultry, and doves. Kneading on Sabbath. The fate of those born on the different days of the week, according to the diary of R. Jehoshua ben Levi. The seven planets guiding the destiny of man. Designation (Muktza) on account of filth and on account of expensive articles. Concerning the cutting up of pumpkins and carrion, 367-376

MISHNA V. What vows may be annulled on Sabbath. Whether a vow may be annulled before the expiration of twenty-four hours after one hears it pronounced, or only during the same day. How consultation concerning vows must be had. Should a Chacham (sage) only be consulted, or will three ordinary men suffice for that purpose? How vows are to be annulled on Sabbath. By thought or by word of mouth; may one say merely: "Go, eat and drink!" The sages comply with the request of Mar Zutra and annul his vow on a Sabbath. How water for ritual purposes may be measured on Sabbath. What happened to Ula at the house of the Exilarch regarding the measuring of water in a hath, 376-378


Epigraph. Translator's remarks, 379, 380


Concerning the eighteen regulations enacted in the attic of Hananiah ben Hizkyah ben Garon. Their importance and influence on the government of the Jews. The degeneracy of priestdom, 381-390


xlvii:1 We would call the attention of the reader to the appendix of this volume, which will prove interesting to the general reader and present something heretofore unpublished to the student of the Talmud.

Next: Chapter XI. Regulations Concerning Throwing From One Ground Into Another.