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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Babylonian Talmud, Betzah, 14b

רבא אמר לא קשיא הא לן והא להו,רב פפי אקלע לבי מר שמואל אייתי ליה דייסא ולא אכל ודלמא במכתשת קטנה עבדוה דחזייה דהוה דייק טפי,ודלמא מאתמול עבדוה דחזייה דהוה קליף צהריה ואי בעית אימא שאני בי מר שמואל דאיכא פריצותא דעבדי:,Rava said: This is not difficult; the baraitot do not contradict one another. This ruling, which permits a small mortar and pestle, is for us, the residents of Babylonia, who do not have servants, and that statement is for them, the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael, who have many servants. Since servants might treat the prohibition lightly, by using a large mortar and pestle and claiming they had used only a small one, they are prohibited from pounding in all cases.,The Gemara relates: Rav Pappi happened to come on a Festival to the house of Mar Shmuel. He brought to him porridge, made from wheat groats, but he did not eat it, out of concern that the wheat might have been pounded on the same day. The Gemara asks: And perhaps they performed the pounding with a small mortar and pestle, in a permitted manner? The Gemara answers: This cannot be the case, as he observed that it was well ground, which cannot be achieved by means of a small mortar and pestle.,The Gemara asks: And perhaps they prepared it the day before, on the Festival eve? The Gemara answers: This cannot be the case, as he observed that the husks of the groats were bright, an indication that they had been prepared recently. And if you wish, say instead that he refrained from eating for another reason, because the house of Mar Shmuel is different, as he had slaves, and slaves are lax with regard to prohibitions. Therefore, Mar Shmuel ought to have prohibited all forms of grinding in his house, to ensure that no one grind anything in an inappropriate manner.,one who selects legumes on a Festival by separating the edible and inedible portions, Beit Shammai say: He may select food and eat it immediately, while leaving the refuse. And Beit Hillel say: He may select in his usual manner, in his lap, with a tray, or with a large vessel, but he may not do so with a tablet, nor with a winnow, nor with a sieve, as these vessels are specially designed for selecting, which gives his action the appearance of a weekday activity. Rabban Gamliel says: One may even wash the legumes in water and skim off the refuse floating on top.,It is taught in a baraita: Rabban Gamliel said: In what case is this statement said? Under what circumstances did Beit Hillel permit the removal of the refuse in the weekday manner of selecting? In a case where the quantity of the food is greater than the quantity of the refuse. However, if the quantity of refuse is greater than the quantity of food, everyone agrees that one must remove the food and leave the refuse.,The Gemara asks: If the quantity of refuse is greater than the quantity of food, is there an opinion that permits it? Since the smaller amount of food is nullified by the refuse, the entire mixture is considered muktze and may not be moved. The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary to state this halakha in a case where the removal of the refuse is greater in terms of effort, and yet it is smaller in size. In other words, there is actually more food than refuse, but since greater effort is required to remove the refuse, it is preferable to remove the food.,The mishna taught that Rabban Gamliel says: One may even wash the legumes in water and skim off the refuse floating on top. It is taught (Tosefta, Beitza 1): Rabbi Elazar, son of Rabbi Tzadok, said: This was the custom of the house of Rabban Gamliel, that they would bring a bucket full with lentils and pour water in it, and then the food would sink down and the refuse would float up, which spared them from having to separate the lentils from the refuse manually.,The Gemara asks: But isn’t the opposite taught in another baraita, that the food rose to the top while the refuse sunk below? The Gemara answers: It is not difficult. This baraita, which says the refuse sinks down, is referring to refuse in the form of earth, which sinks below the lentils; that baraita, where it is stated that the refuse rises, speaks of straw, which floats on water.,Beit Shammai say: One may send only portions of prepared food on a Festival, but not any other gifts. And Beit Hillel say: One may even send gifts of domesticated animals, undomesticated animals, and fowl, whether alive or slaughtered. Similarly, one may send wines, oils, and vessels of flour, and even legumes, but not grain, which is unfit for use, as one may not grind it on the Festival. And Rabbi Shimon permits sending gifts even in the case of grain, as it can be made into porridge without being ground.,Rav Yeḥiel teaches: And one may send these items provided that he does not do it by means of a convoy of people, as they would look as though they were transporting merchandise to the marketplace. It is taught in a baraita: A convoy consists of no less than three people; if there are fewer than three, it is not called a convoy and is permitted. Rav Ashi raised a dilemma: In a case of three people and three different types of food, what is the halakha? Is this considered a convoy, or does the fact that there are three different types of food mean that each of them is considered a separate item? The Gemara answers: The dilemma shall stand unresolved, as no answer was found.,The mishna taught that Rabbi Shimon permits the sending of grain. It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon permits the sending of grain, for example: Wheat to prepare from it ludiyot, a type of cookie; barley to place before his animal; or lentils to prepare from them resisin, a dish made from crushed lentils.,One may send clothes, whether they are sewn or whether they are unsewn, and even if they contain diverse kinds, a prohibited mixture of wool and linen [sha’atnez]. But one may do so only if they serve the purposes of the Festival. However, one may not send a spiked sandal, which has nails fixed to it, as the Sages decreed that one may not wear a sandal of this kind on a Shabbat or Festival, nor an unsewn shoe, which is not suitable for a Festival. Rabbi Yehuda says: One may not even send a white shoe, which people do not usually wear, because it requires an artisan to paint it black. This is the general principle: Anything that one may use on a Festival, one may send it.,Granted, it is permitted to send sewn clothes, as they are suitable for wearing. With regard to clothes that are not sewn as well, they are at least suitable for covering oneself. But in the case of clothes than contain diverse kinds, for what use are they suited? Since these clothes may not be used on the Festival, why is it permitted to send them?,And if you say that clothes of diverse kinds are suited for one to place underneath himself, but isn’t it taught in a baraita: “Neither shall there come upon you a garment of diverse kinds” (Leviticus 19:19)? This verse teaches that one may not wear this garment, but by Torah law you may spread it beneath you. However, the Sages said: It is prohibited to do so, lest a thread [nima] wind itself around his flesh. This shows that the Sages prohibited even spreading underneath oneself a cloth that contains a mixture of wool and linen.,And if you say that the allowance of cloth of diverse kinds is referring to a case where there is something separating between them, i.e., one may place a garment of diverse kinds beneath another object, but didn’t Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi say that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said that Rabbi Yosei ben Shaul said that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said, in the name of the sacred congregation in Jerusalem: Even in a case of ten mattresses placed one on top of the other and a cloth of diverse kinds underneath them, it is prohibited to sleep on them, as it is stated: “Neither shall there come upon you” (Leviticus 19:19).,Rather, the mishna is referring to a curtain [vilon] of diverse kinds, which may be hung up, as it is not an item of clothing. The Gemara challenges this: But didn’t Ulla say: For what reason did the Sages say that a curtain is ritually impure, i.e., that it can contract the impurity of a vessel despite the fact that it is not directly used by people? Because the attendant warms himself with it. Since attendants use curtains as makeshift blankets when they are cold, a curtain may not be made from a mixture of wool and linen.

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