Traditional Jewish Talmud - cover

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WITH this tract we commence the translation of the section of the Talmud called Moed (Festivals), containing the following tracts: Sabbath, Erubhin, Rosh Hashana, Yuma, Shekalim, Sukkah, Megillah, Taanith, Pesachim, Betzah, Hagigah, and Moed Katan. All these tracts are entirely devoted to precepts pertaining to the observance of the festivals and Sabbath, such as the performance of the different ritual ceremonies on feast-days, the manner of sanctifying the Sabbath, and the ordinances relating to mourning for the dead both on Sabbath and week-days.

The commandments on which these precepts are founded, or from which they are derived, are contained in various portions of the Pentateuch. The fourth commandment of the Decalogue enacts (Exod. xx. 8-11 and Deut. v. 12-15): “The seventh day shall ye keep holy.” In various other parts of the Pentateuch the due observance of the Sabbath is repeatedly ordained; in some instances merely mentioning the day as one to be kept inviolate and holy; and in others employing greater emphasis, referring to the history of creation, and establishing the observance as a sign of the covenant between the Lord and Israel. Such texts are Exod. xiii. 12; xvi. 15; xxxi, 13-17; xxxiv. 21; xxxv. 1-3; Lev. xix. 29; xxiii. 32; Num. xv. 9, etc. While the general principle is thus frequently inculcated, its special application, however, and specific enactments as to what constitutes a violation of the Sabbath, are nowhere fully carried out in the Pentateuch, and thus but few texts of the Scriptures serve as a direct basis for the minute and numerous enactments of the rabbinical law.

The Mishna enumerates thirty-nine “Abhoth” or principal acts

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of labor, the performance of any one of which constitutes a violation of the Sabbath. Every other kind of work becomes illegal only if it can be classified under one or any of these principal acts of labor. Thus, for instance, under the principal act of ploughing, every analogous kind of work, such as digging, delving, weeding, dunging, etc., must be classified. In addition to these thirty- nine principal acts and their accessories and derivatives, there are other acts which are especially prohibited by the rabbinical law as tending to violate the Sabbath rest (Shbhuth). For the violation itself various degrees of culpability are established, and various degrees of punishment awarded. All these subjects relating to the due observance of the Sabbath, and pointing out its violation in every possible way, form the contents of the treatise Sabbath.

In order properly to understand the Mishna, and to avoid tedious repetitions, it is necessary to commence with the explanation of certain general principles and technical expressions predominating in the text.

Wherever throughout the Mishna the expression guilty, culpable (Hayabh), or free (Patur) is used, the meaning of the former (guilty) is that the transgressor acting unintentionally must

bring the sin-offering prescribed in the law; of the second expression (free), that the accused is absolved from punishment.

If through the performance of an unprohibited act some other (prohibited) occupation is inadvertently entered upon, it constitutes no offence, providing the latter is not done intentionally nor the lawful occupation entered upon with the covert purpose of making it serve as a subterfuge to do that which is prohibited.

In the degrees of violation the nature of the occupation must be considered, as various kinds of labor may be required to perform and complete one act, and thus the offender may become amenable to several penalties. On the other hand, the rule is laid down that such occupations as only destroy, but do not serve an end in view, do not involve culpability (in the rigorous sense of the word); nor yet does work which is but imperfectly or incompletely performed involve culpability.

The prohibition to carry or convey any object from one place

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to another, which in Chap. I., § 1, of this treatise is called “Yetziath (Ha) Shabbath” (which means transfer on the Sabbath) and forms the thirty-ninth of the principal acts of labor, requires particular attention and explanation from the complexity of cases to which it gives rise. All space was by the Tanaim divided into four distinct kinds of premises, explained in the Gemara of this chapter. When in the text of the Mishna the question is about carrying and conveying from one place to another, it does not apply to the “free place,” as that is subject to no jurisdiction. Moreover, the open air above private property has no legal limitation, whereas that over public property or unclaimed ground (carmelith) only belongs thereto to the height of ten spans (see explanation of the Gemara). The carrying or conveying from one kind of premises to another does not constitute a complete or perfect act, unless the same person who takes a thing from the place it occupies deposits it in another place.

The tracts Sabbath and Erubhin will contain the laws for the observance of rest on Sabbath, and these laws can be divided into two separate parts. Firstly, the part prohibiting labor on the Sabbath day, at the same time defining what is to be termed labor and what does not constitute an act of labor; and secondly, the part ordaining how the day is to be sanctified and distinguished from a week-day in the manner of eating, drinking, dress, lighting of candles in honor of the Sabbath, and incidentally the lighting of candles in honor of the festival of ‘Hanukah (the Maccabees).

It has been proven that the seventh day kept holy by the Jews was also in ancient times the general day of rest among other nations, 1 and was usually spent by the people of those days in much the same way as it is spent now, wherever local laws do not restrict buying and selling, namely: In the forenoon prayers were recited and the necessities of life for the day were bought, while

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the afternoon was devoted to pleasure-seeking, merrymaking, visiting, and so forth. The Jews

living prior to the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, and even during the latter’s régime, were wont to spend the Sabbath in the same manner as their pagan neighbors. It was this fact that caused the sages of Nehemiah’s time to fear that should the Jews, who were always in the minority as compared with other nations, continue this method of keeping the Sabbath and join in the merrymaking and pleasures of their neighbors, mingling freely with their sons and daughters, assimilation was almost inevitable, especially as the Jewish race was scattered over all the known world and was nowhere in very large numbers.

The sages then devised means to keep the Jew from mingling with the Gentile and from participating in the pleasures and carousals of his neighbors. This can be seen from Nehemiah,

xiii. 1-26: “In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath,” etc. “In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab,” etc. “Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves.” Thus we see that Nehemiah began by prohibiting traffic and the carrying of burdens on the Sabbath [ibid. xiii. 19] and ended by prohibiting intermarriage with foreign women. About this time also another prophet, the second Isaiah–who, though not possessing the temporal power of Nehemiah, was gifted with that persuasive eloquence that appealed to the heart–preached against indulging in pleasures on the Sabbath day. He says [Isaiah, lviii. 13-14]: “If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath” (meaning if thou keep away from drinking-places, dancing-houses, etc., on the Sabbath and follow not the custom of other nations), “and call the Sabbath a delight” (meaning the rest on the Sabbath shall constitute thy pleasure), “the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” (The inference is very

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plain. The prophet wishes to impress the Jew with the fact that the Lord will reward those with the heritage of Jacob who have kept away from mingling with the pleasures of other nations.

Read ibid. lvii., especially verses 10, 11, and 12.)

After the establishment of a permanent government among the Jews, however, it was found that the exhortations of the prophets after the manner of Isaiah were of no avail; the people still continued seeking pleasures on the Sabbath, after the manner of other nations, and were still wont to enjoy the pastimes of their neighbors. The enforcement of the prohibition of carrying burdens was then decided upon to act as a check upon the people by defining minutely the meaning of burdens, and the prohibition was interpreted to include not only heavy burdens, but all portable articles, such as money, trinkets, eatables, etc., while only necessary articles of clothing and apparel were permitted to be worn. To such an extent was the matter carried that even the wearing of rings, with the exception of such as had the name of the wearer engraved upon them, was not permitted. In fact, everything that could be converted into money was included in the definition of burdens. Beggars were not permitted to solicit alms on the Sabbath, contrary to the customs of other nations, so as not to afford any one an excuse for carrying money on that day.

The enforcement of such a law, however, was practically impossible in the case of people who remained in their houses, and certain modifications were made. These modifications were as follows: The laws were made to apply only on public grounds but were not valid on private

grounds, so that in a private house a person was permitted to carry whatever was necessary. Private grounds were also established by the institution of Erubhin, i.e., where a street or a public place was inhabited by Jews alone a small amount of meal was collected from each household; from the meal a cake was made and hung conspicuously in that locality. The point where the street inhabited by Jews alone commenced and the point where it ended were joined by a piece of twine, and thus definitely marked. Thus public grounds were turned into private grounds, from the fact that each household

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contributing a share of meal made them all in a manner copartners in one object. The walking of more than two thousand ells outside of the city limits was also prohibited. Within the city limits, be the city ever so large, walking was permitted.

The possibility of confinement in the house on the Sabbath becoming conducive to the performance of labor was offset by the establishment of a law prohibiting all the different modes of labor used in the construction of the tabernacle, besides all manner of agricultural labor. This again brought about the detailing of all the different modes of labor employed in the construction of the tabernacle and in agriculture, all of which is discussed in these treatises of Sabbath and Erubhin.

Naturally the institution of laws carries with it provisions for the penalties attending their infraction, and these penalties were divided into three classes:

First, the penalties for unintentional infractions. Secondly, for intentional infractions.

Thirdly, for intentional violations where the violator had been previously forewarned of the penalty by two witnesses.

The penalty for the first class of infractions was simply the sacrificing of a sin-offering, which, however, involved a great many hardships, as the culprit had to bring the sin-offering to the temple in Jerusalem in person, and was frequently compelled to travel quite a distance in order to do so, besides sustaining the loss of the value of the offering.

For the second class, if two witnesses testified before the tribunal that the culprit had labored on the Sabbath, and the culprit admitted that he had done so intentionally, no penalty was inflicted by the tribunal, but the person was told that he would be punished by the heavenly power with the curse of Karath (shortening his allotted time of existence on earth). No penalty was inflicted, for the reason that, the culprit having made himself liable to severe punishment from superhuman sources, it served as an excuse to absolve him from human punishment. 1

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For the third class, however, when the culprit openly defied the existing authority and in spite of forewarnings; persisted in violating the law, he was considered a traitor to the government, to be

sentenced to death by stoning, as was the wood-gatherer [Numbers, xv. 32].

It is upon these laws that the discussions in the treatises Sabbath and Erubhin are based, and in addition the reader will find many ethical laws, legends, and the enumeration of such enjoyments as are permitted on the Sabbath day and the festivals.

In addition to the above we would make the following citations from the text of the Talmud, as a necessary feature of the introduction:

We find in the Tract Sabbath, 61b and 96b, the story of the mysterious scroll which Rabh claimed to have found in the house of his uncle, R. Hyya. This scroll referred to the principal acts of labor prohibited on the Sabbath, which were forty less one. Rabh discovered in this scroll the statement of R. Issi b. Jehudah to the effect that although thirty-nine principal acts of labor are enumerated, only one of them makes a man actually culpable. The Gemara then amends this statement and declares that it should read: “One of the thirty-nine does not involve culpability,” but does not mention which one it is. Consequently it remains doubtful which act it is that does not involve culpability, and where a doubt exists as to whether an act is prohibited or not no punishment can be inflicted for its commission. From this, two things may be inferred: First, that these acts of labor were prohibited for political reasons, because the mystery was extant, and we find the term mystery applied to political cases only; and second, that the Gemara declares in the same passage that the carrying of an object from public ground into private ground is not one of the doubtful acts and a penalty is prescribed in the event of its being committed. Hence the object was to prevent the assimilation explained above.

We find in Yebamoth, 90b: “R. Eliezer b. Jacob said: “I have heard that a man was found riding a horse on Sabbath in the time of the Greeks, and being brought before the tribunal for

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the crime was stoned to death.’ This man was punished, not because his crime merited the penalty, but because the times made it necessary.” The inference is therefore clearly established that the man was punished for political reasons, and that the violation of the Sabbath laws did not involve capital punishment.

In Yoma, 85b, it is written: “R. Jonathan b. Joseph said, ‘The Sabbath is holy unto you,'” implying that the Sabbath is handed over to you and not you to the Sabbath. 1

R. Johanan states elsewhere that in Palestine, where the Jews were together, no public ground existed.


CINCINNATI, March, 1896.



xxiii:1 In a table compiled by Rev. A. H. Lewis, Alfred Centre, N. Y., 1884, in his work entitled “Biblical Teachings, concerning the Sabbath and the Sunday,” it is shown that among nearly all nations the Sunday is the first and the Sabbath the seventh day of the week.

xxvi:1 Because it is a rule of rabbinical law that, of two punishments incurred by one act, the severer one is meted out Qâm lêh bid’rabba minêh.

xxviii:1 This is taken from Mechilta, an authority older than the Talmud, and stands in no connection with the Halakha. Furthermore, the mystic scrolls may in some instances have had reference to political necessities of the day, but by no means in all cases.–The Reviser.


Next: Synopsis of Subjects


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SEVERAL requests have been received by the translator that an index should be made to the volumes of the Talmud, as is customary with all modern works. It would be an utter impossibility to give a complete index of everything contained in the Talmud. Were it like other scientific works, which treat each subject separately, this could easily be done; but with the Talmud it is different. On one page many different subjects may be discussed, and again a single subject may occupy several pages. The Talmud, therefore, has never had an index, not even the portions which have been translated.

After careful examination of the volumes, page by page, it has been decided to make a synopsis, i.e., to give briefly the heads of the discussions and conversations upon each Mishna, indicating the page where the Mishna is to be found, and the Gemara of each one, which serves as a commentary. By this the reader should be able to refer to what he desires to know.

A synopsis is therefore given of every Mishna which discusses a single subject, with its accompanying Gemara; but when several short Mishnas cover the same subject, a single synopsis is given of the whole, including the Gemara of each one; and where a chapter is short and has but one subject, a synopsis of the whole chapter is made, without dividing it into Mishnas.

This is the best that can be done, and it is hoped that readers will find it satisfactory.


MISHNA I. Regulations concerning prohibited and permitted acts of transfer over the dividing line of adjoining premises and the area of such premises; the classification of premises; in which premises transfer is permitted; laws of transfer of labor, when committed by the joint efforts of two persons; transfer from and to doorsteps, 1-13

MISHNA II. Whether work may be commenced at the approach of the time for afternoon prayer; what kind of work is referred to; how a man should pray; what he must wear; when he

may eat his midday meal; the

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informing of the bestowal of gifts; Sabbath as a valuable gift of God and its origin; various legends of Rabha bar Ma’hassia in the name of Rabh, 13-19

MISHNA III. Tailors and other artisans are not permitted to go out with their tools on Friday near eventide. Treats also on whether one may read by lamplight on the Sabbath; the laws of visiting the sick; what prayers may be offered for the sick, 19-22

MISHNAS IV. TO VI. How the eighteen famous ordinances were instituted in the attic of Hananya ben Hyzkiyah ben Gorion, and by whom the Roll of Fasts was written. Which acts of labor may be commenced on Friday eve; concerning labor which is accomplished without assistance of man on Sabbath; laws concerning labor which is accomplished without assistance of man on Sabbath; laws concerning work given to Gentiles. Narrative of R. Simeon ben Gamaliel concerning how his father’s house dealt with Gentile clothes-washers. On transmission of letters and journeying on ships on the Sabbath. Regulations pertaining to the roasting of meats and baking of bread before the Sabbath; the sacrifices at the Temple on the Passover.

Appendix to p. 8, 22-30


MISHNAS I. AND II. Permissible and non-permissible oils and wicks for lamps on the Sabbath and ‘Hanukah (feast of Maccabbees); the law of the ‘Hanukah lights; ‘Hanukah and the miracle; the duration of ‘Hanukah; benedictions to be said on that festival; the reward of those who keep the Sabbath-light commandment; the reward of those who esteem scholarship, The second Mishna treats on: What balsams may and may not be used both for light and for the person on the Sabbath; a narrative of a woman who hated her daughter-in-law; who may be called a rich man, 31-42

MISHNAS III. TO V. What wicks made from parts of trees may be used; whether broken vessels may be used for fuel on a biblical feast clay; what may be done with the residue of oil left in a lamp; practical laws of egg-shells and whether chairs may be dragged on the floor on Sabbath. The different opinions of R. Eliezer and R. Aqiba concerning the defilement of a piece of cloth, and if it is allowed to make a wick of it. What happened with R. Jehudah in the Hall of Beth Nitza and with Abhin of Ziphoris, who committed certain acts which were not allowed, in the presence of the sages, 42-49

MISHNA VI. Whether a light may be extinguished on Sabbath either for fear of accident or to afford rest for the sick; the question asked R. Tan’hum of Nav and his replying sermon; the soul being called the “Light of God”; the intended concealment of the Book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes; the Shekhina (divine presence) not resting with a man except through his joy of having performed a good deed; Rabha’s custom when commencing his lectures to his disciples.

R. Gamaliel’s sermon and answers to the disciple who derided him. The story of the three proselytes rejected by Shamai and accepted by Hillel. “What is hateful to thee, do not unto thy neighbor, that is the law. All else is but a commentary.” The six sections of the Mishna are

inferred from a biblical passage. The first thing asked of a man

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when standing before the divine judgment is, “Hast thou traded in good faith?” The “Fear of the Lord” is the chief principle. The wicked fear death, although mentioning it every day, 48-53

MISHNAS VII. AND VIII. The sins of women are passed upon when confined in childbirth, the sins of men while in danger, A good deed is committed through the agency of a meritorious person and a bad deed through the agency of the wicked; all who are about to die must repent of their sins; the defenders of man before divine judgment are repentance and good deeds. A thousandth part of one defender saves a man from the danger threatened him by a thousand accusers. The penalties imposed upon man for hating without cause; for robbery; for perverting or procrastinating justice; for destroying the law; for murder; for adultery; for idolatry; for using obscene language. The story of R., Simeon ben Johai, who remained in a cave for twelve years. The causes leading up to his concealment in the cave; his adventures after leaving the cave. The three things to be said by a man in his house on Friday eve; how they are to be said; when twilight takes place; how many signals of the horn were blown to remind the people of the advent of the Sabbath. Is there a difference between a shophar and a fife?, 53-62


MISHNAS I. AND II. In which hearths or ovens victuals may be deposited on the Sabbath. The opinions of the school of Hillel and the school of Shamai concerning the same; the different opinions upon the teaching of the two schools. Victuals having once been taken out of an oven, would it be allowed to replace them? The law concerning a pot of victuals which had been forgotten and was thus cooked on the Sabbath. Usages of R. Jose on his way to Zipporah, and of

R. Jehudah Hanassi when travelling. A narrative of R. Ishai while in the presence of R. Hyya the Great. The difference in law between an oven and a hearth; also, difference arising from an oven or a hearth being heated with straw or with wood, etc., 63-67

MISHNAS III. TO VII. Customs of the people of Tiberias relative to the heating of a pitcher of cold water. Is it allowed to place a pitcher of cold water into one filled with hot water in order to heat the water; or, vice versa, in order to heat the water? May one wash his body in the warm water of the Tiberius springs or in water warmed on the Sabbath eve? May the entire body be washed at once or each member separately? Customs in a bath-house. Are sweat-baths permitted on the Sabbath? Incidents occurring in the bath-house of the city of B’ni Brak. Why sweat-baths were prohibited. May one warm himself by a hearth-fire? Is bathing one’s self in a washtub and anointing one’s self with oils permitted on the Sabbath? Usages of Rabbi Jehudah Hanassi in this matter. Is swimming in a lake permitted on the Sabbath? Incidents attending R. Zera’s witnessing R. Abuhu’s swimming in a lake on a Sabbath. Concerning the permissibility of pouring cold water in a muliar or antikhi, the fuel of which had been removed; or in a kettle, the hot water of which had been poured out, and the prescribed quantity of such water. Concerning the addition of spices to a pot of victuals. Concerning the permissibility of placing a vessel under a burning lamp to receive its dripping oil or falling

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sparks, and the placing of a vessel under a hen to receive the egg. Ordinance relating to a corpse lying in the sun. If it is allowed to save a corpse from fire. Prayers to be offered on Sabbath over the dead. The accordance of permission to save a corpse from conflagration on the Sabbath, 67- 74

MISHNAS VIII. AND IX. Concerning the handling of new and old lamps on the Sabbath. Ordinances relative to a bed which had been designated for the purpose of holding money on the Sabbath. The permissibility of handling a burning ‘Hanukah lamp for fear of the Persians. The law of Muktza. The ordinance relative to handling a lamp on Sabbath and the dictum of Resh Lakish in Zidon. The ordinance concerning the nuptial couch. Action of R. Malkia while the guest of R. Simlai and R. Abuhu at the house of R. Joshua ben Levi and R. Johanan. The experience of R. Avia, who came to the house of Rabha and sat on Rabha’s bed without removing his dirty shoes. Questions put to him by Rabha, and his replies. The law of a principal prohibited act. What R. Hanina did with a folding-bed that had become unfastened on a feast day, 74-82


MISHNAS I. TO IV. What substances may be used for the preserving of victuals. Rabba’s and

R. Zera’s upbraiding of a slave of the Exilarch, while sojourning in the latter’s house. Concerning the replacing of feathers in a pillow. Concerning the opening of a bunghead in a barrel and the making of a neckband in a shirt. Concerning the permissibility of depositing victuals in cloth and shorn wool intended for market. The derivation of the thirty-nine principal acts of labor on the Sabbath from the thirty-nine times “work” is mentioned in the Pentateuch. The law concerning branches of trees which were bound together to be used for fuel and were subsequently intended for sitting upon. R. Hanina ben Aqiba’s action in such a case. The ordinance relating to the use of soap-powder and soap on the Sabbath. The necessity of washing one’s hands and feet for the sake of the Creator. What is to be done with a pot that had not been covered on the eve of Sabbath? The decision of Ishmael in the matter in the presence of Rabbi. The mutual respect of the sages for one another. R. Na’hman’s statement to Doen his servant, 83-



MISHNAS I. TO III. What gear animals may go out in on the Sabbath. Levi the son of R. Huna bar Hyya and Rabbi the son of R. Huna, occurrence on the road. A bridle may be worn by an ass whose behavior is bad. A bridle is allowed as a guard but not as an ornament. An ass may go out with a rug, but what is the law concerning a saddle? Ordinances relative to a feed-bag. The decision of Arioch of Babylon (Samuel) in the matter. Concerning bags tied around the udders of she-goats. The miracle that was wrought for a man whose wife died and left him a nursing child. The discussion of the rabbis about such a miracle. Narrative relating to a man whose wife was maimed. Concerning gear which may not be worn by animals on Sabbath. Peculiarities of the Hanun tree and where it may be found.

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[paragraph continues] The wealth of R. Eliezer ben Azariah. Penalty for the failure to warn one’s family against evil. The different signs on the foreheads of the righteous and the wicked. The

seal of God. Derivation of the merits of the fathers. Is death possible without sin? Defence for Reuben and others who are mentioned in the Bible as sinners. Rabbi Hanassi’s justification for David. Was David guilty of listening to slander? Consequences of David’s sin. King Solomon’s sin. The Archangel Gabriel’s act at the time of King Solomon’s marriage with Pharaoh’s daughter. The most fervent penitents, 91-106


MISHNAS I. TO III. What garments a woman may go out in. Definition of totaphoth. Concerning the garb of slaves. May the rabbis wear their insignia of office on Sabbath? Effect of a sermon on the women of the city of Mehuza concerning ornaments in the shape of a crown.

Ordinances concerning nose-bands, earrings, and finger-rings. What garments a man must not go out in. Consequences of wearing iron-bound sandals. The law of majority. How shoes are to be put on. Why one when anointing himself should first anoint the head. Law concerning amulets, both tried and untried. Ordinances concerning hairpins and perfume-bottles. Causes of poverty. The trees of Jerusalem, 107-117

MISHNAS IV. TO IX. Concerning bows, swords, and shields. Are they considered ornaments or is the wearing of such things degrading? Interpretation of biblical passages. Are they to be taken literally or figuratively. Rewards emanating from the proper study of the Law. Customs of scholars when discussing the Law. God’s blessing upon scholars who mutually instruct one another. Regarding a man who keeps a vicious dog about his premises. Why the children of Israel were in need of forgiveness upon their return from the war with the Midianites. What garments women, young girls, and boys may go out in on Sabbath. References to cripples and to children of princes. Concerning the danger of imitating the customs of the Amorites. Occurrence at the feast given by R. Aqiba, 117-126


MISHNAS I. TO III. The principal rule concerning the Sabbath. Regulations regarding children in captivity among idolaters and converts. Remaining with idolaters. Rules concerning one who was ignorant as to what labor was prohibited on the Sabbath but was conscious of the Sabbath, and vice versa. Concerning a man who, while travelling in a desert, had forgotten which day was Sabbath. How labor may be distinguished. Different instances of forgetfulness regarding Sabbath and the performance of labor on the Sabbath. Instances of forgetfulness in dietary matters. Instances of intentional and unintentional performance of labor, and their distinction.

Enumeration of the forty, less one, acts of labor. Principal and incidental acts. The degree of guilt involved in learning magic arts. Condemnation of one who is able to acquire astronomical knowledge and neglects to do so. Another rule was laid down. Discussions concerning the carrying out of necessary things on the Sabbath and the limitation of quantity. Different kinds of food may be counted together, 127-142

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MISHNAS I. TO V. The prescribed quantities of wine, honey, and milk that may be carried out

on Sabbath. The strength of different wines. In stances of stronger creatures fearing weaker ones. Why goats precede sheep in a flock. Why are she-goats not covered with a tail like sheep? Why has a camel a short tail? Why has an ox a long tail? Why are the feelers of a locust soft?

What is the reason that the lower eyelids of a hen turn up? Three creatures grow stronger, etc. The quantity of rope, paper from which writing has been erased, skins, parchment, bones, loam, etc., which may be carried out on the Sabbath. Honor of man supersedes a biblical commandment. What is magic? The explanation of the verse Isaiah, xxxv. 14, 143-153


MISHNAS I. TO VII. Sayings and deductions of R. Aqiba. The day of the week and the month on which the Law was given to Israel. Assumption of authority by Moses and God’s acquiescence. The name of the month on which the Israelites left Egypt, and was it an intercalary month? The compulsory acceptance of the law by the Israelites and their subsequent voluntary acceptance in the days of Xerxes of Persia. Israel’s readiness to obey even before hearing. The publication of every word spoken by God in seventy languages. Comparison of the sayings of the Torah with a nobleman. The understanding of the Law is healthful, its misinterpretation is poisonous. Every word leaving the mouth of the Lord filled the world with aromatic odors. Complaints of the angels upon the ascension of Moses to heaven. Moses’ answer. Satan’s search for the Torah. Concerning the bearing of a slave toward his master.

Rabha’s lecture upon the patriarchs and their answers to the complaints of God concerning the children of Israel. Isaac’s defence of the children of Israel upon the Lord’s telling him that they had sinned. The quantity of spices, dyes, metals, pedler’s boxes, and seeds which may be carried out on the Sabbath, 154-170


MISHNAS I. TO VIII. Rules pertaining to one who carries out things valuable to him. The quantities in which they may be carried out. The quantities in which they may be carried out by one to whom they are not valuable. Concerning eatables which are carried out of the house and left on the doorstep, and things that are carried in the left hand, on the shoulder, on the head, or in the bosom. Concerning one who, while intending to carry a thing in front, accidentally carries it on his back, or vice versa. Concerning the case of two men carrying out a burden which one alone was not capable of carrying. The law in that case. Concerning the case of one who carries out eatables in quantities less than the limit in a vessel. Is he culpable for carrying the vessel or not? Concerning the permissibility of paring the finger-nails of one hand by means of those of the other hand oil the Sabbath. The case of one tearing off flowers from a plant in an unperforated flower-pot, 171-182


Next: Chapter I: Regulations Regarding Transfer on Sabbath