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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath
But the Rabbis imposed a preventive measure in respect of defilement, when they are not in use,1 on account of defilement when they are in use;2 and in respect of sprinkling, when they are in use,3 on account of when they are not in use.
WHEN THEY ARE MOIST. The Scholars propounded: Naturally moist, or artificially moist?4 — Come and hear: [WE MAY NOT STORE …] IN STRAW, GRAPE-SKINS, FLOCKING OR HERBAGE WHEN THEY ARE MOIST. Now, if you say [that it means] artificially moistened, it is well; but if you say, naturally moist, how can flocking be naturally moist? — [It is possible] in the case of wool plucked from between the flanks.5 And as to what R. Oshaia taught: We may store [food] in a dry cloth6 and in dry produce, but not in a damp cloth or moist produce, — how is naturally damp cloth possible? — In the case of- wool plucked from between the flanks.
MISHNAH. WE MAY STORE [FOOD] IN, GARMENTS, PRODUCE,7 DOVES' WINGS, CARPENTERS' SAWDUST8 AND THOROUGHLY BEATEN HATCHELLED FLAX. R. JUDAH FORBIDS [STORING] IN FINE, BUT PERMITS [IT] IN COARSE [BEATEN FLAX].
GEMARA. R. Jannai said: Tefillin9 demand a pure body, like Elisha, the man of wings. What does this mean? — Abaye said: That one must not pass wind while wearing them; Raba said: That one must not sleep in them.10 And why is he called the man of wings'? Because the wicked Roman government once proclaimed a decree against Israel that whoever donned tefillin should have his brains pierced through;11 yet Elisha put them on and went out into the streets. [When] a quaestor saw him, he fled before him, whereupon he gave pursuit. As he overtook him he [Elisha] removed them from his head and held them in his hand. 'What is that in your hand?' he demanded. 'The wings of a dove,' was his reply. He stretched out his hand and lo! they were the wings of a dove. Therefore he is called 'Elisha the man of the wings'. And why the wings of a dove rather than that of other birds? Because the Congregation of Israel is likened to a dove, as it is said, as the wings of a dove covered with silver:12 just as a dove is protected by its wings, so is Israel protected by the precepts.13
IN CARPENTERS' SAWDUST, etc. The scholars propounded: Does R. Judah refer to carpenters' sawdust or to hatchelled flax? Come and hear: R. Judah said: Fine hatchelled flax is like foliage.14 This proves that he refers to hatchelled flax. This proves it.
MISHNAH. WE MAY STORE [FOOD] IN FRESH HIDES, AND THEY MAY BE HANDLED;15 IN WOOL SHEARINGS, BUT THEY MAY NOT BE HANDLED.16 WHAT THEN IS DONE? THE LID [OF THE POT] IS LIFTED, AND THEY [THE SHEARINGS] FALL OFF OF THEIR OWN ACCORD. R. ELEAZAR B. AZARIAH SAID: THE BASKET17 IS LIFTED ON ONE SIDE AND [THE FOOD] IS REMOVED, LEST ONE LIFT [THE LID OF THE POT] AND BE UNABLE TO REPLACE IT.18 BUT THE SAGES SAY: ONE MAY TAKE AND REPLACE [IT].19
GEMARA. R. Jonathan b. Akinai and R. Jonathan b. Eleazar were sitting, and R. Hanina b. Hama sat with them and it was asked: Did we learn, FRESH HIDES belonging to a private individual, but those of an artisan, since he is particular about them20 may not be handled; or perhaps, we learnt about those of an artisan, and all the more so those of a private individual? — Said R. Jonathan b. Eleazar to them: It stands to reason that we learnt about those belonging to a private individual, but as for those of an artisan, he is particular about them. Thereupon R. Hanina b. Hama observed to them: Thus did R. Ishmael b. R. Jose say:
My father was a hide worker, and he would say: Fetch hides and that we may sit on them.1
An objection is raised: Boards belonging to a householder may be handled; those of an artisan may not be handled;2 but if one intended to place bread upon them for guests, in both cases they may be handled? — Boards are different, for one is [certainly] particular about them.
Come and hear: Hides, whether tanned or not, may be.handled on the Sabbath, 'tanned' being specified only in respect to uncleanness.3 Now surely, no distinction is drawn whether they belong to a householder or an artisan? — No: [It means those] of a householder. But what of those of an artisan? They may not be handled? If so, when it is taught, "'tanned" being specified only in respect to uncleanness,' let a distinction be drawn and taught in that itself: [viz.,] when is that said? [Only] of those belonging to a householder, but not concerning those of an artisan? — The whole deals with those of a householder.4
This is dependent on Tannaim: Hides of a private individual may be handled, but those of an artisan may not: R. Jose maintained: Either the one or the other may be handled.
Again they5 sat and pondered: Regarding what we learnt, The principal categories of labour6 are forty less one, — to what do they correspond?7 — Said R. Hanina b. Hama to them: To the forms of labour in the Tabernacle.8 R. Jonathan son of R. Eleazar said to them, Thus did R. Simeon b. R. Jose b. Lakonia say: They correspond to [the words] 'work' [melakah], 'his work' [melakto], and 'the work of' [meleketh], which are [written] thirty-nine times in the Torah.9 R. Joseph asked: Is 'and he went into the house to do his work'10 included in this number, or not? — Said Abaye to him, Then let a Scroll of the Torah be brought and we will count! Did not Rabbah b. Bar Hanah say in R. Johanan's name: They did not stir thence until they brought a Scroll of the Torah and counted them?11 The reason that I am doubtful, replied he, is because it is written, for the work12 they had was sufficient:13 is that of the number, while this14 is [to be interpreted] in accordance with the view that he entered to perform his business;15 or perhaps and he went into the house to do his work' is of the number, while this 'for the work they had was sufficient' is meant thus: their business was completed?16 The question stands over.
It was taught as the opinion that it corresponds to the forms of labour in the Tabernacle. For it was taught: Liability is incurred only for work of which the same was performed in the Tabernacle. They sowed, hence ye must not sow; they reaped, hence ye must not reap;17 they lifted up the boards from the ground to the waggon,18 hence ye must not carry in from a public to a private domain; they lowered the boards from the waggon to the ground, hence ye must not carry out from a private to a public domain; they transported [boards, etc.,] from waggon to waggon, hence ye must not carry from one private to another private domain. 'From one private to another private domain'- what [wrong] is done? Abaye and Raba both explained — others say, R. Adda b. Ahabah: It means from one private to another private domain via public ground.
IN WOOL SHEARINGS, BUT THEY MAY NOT BE HANDLED. Raba said: They learnt this only where one had not stored [food] in them; but if one had stored food in them [on that Sabbath], they may be handled. A certain student of one day's standing19 refuted Raba: WE MAY STORE [FOOD] [H] IN WOOL SHEARINGS, BUT THEY MAY NOT BE HANDLED. WHAT THEN IS DONE?
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