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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database

Babylonian Talmud, Betzah, 36b

אלא אימא ובלבד שלא יעשנה מצודה פשיטא מהו דתימא במינו נצוד אסור שלא במינו נצוד מותר קמ"ל,רב אשי אמר מי קתני בימות החמה ובימות הגשמים בחמה מפני החמה ובגשמים מפני הגשמים קתני ביומי ניסן וביומי תשרי דאיכא חמה ואיכא גשמים ואיכא דבש:,ונותנין כלי תחת הדלף בשבת: תנא אם נתמלא הכלי שופך ושונה ואינו נמנע,בי רחיא דאביי דלוף אתא לקמיה דרבה אמר ליה זיל עייליה לפוריך להתם דלהוי כגרף של רעי ואפקיה,יתיב אביי וקא קשיא ליה וכי עושין גרף של רעי לכתחלה אדהכי נפל בי רחיא דאביי אמר תיתי לי דעברי אדמר,אמר שמואל גרף של רעי ועביט של מימי רגלים מותר להוציאן לאשפה וכשהוא מחזירו נותן בו מים ומחזירו,סבור מינה גרף של רעי אגב מנא אין בפני עצמו לא ת"ש דההוא עכברתא דאשתכח בי אספרמקי דרב אשי אמר להו רב אשי נקטה בצוציתה ואפקוה:,but rather say the following: Provided he does not make it a trap as he covers it, i.e., as long as he takes care not to cover all the openings. The Gemara questions this: But it is obvious that it is prohibited to directly trap bees on Shabbat; why would the baraita mention it? The Gemara responds: It does inform us of something that is not obvious: Lest you say: An animal whose type is generally trapped and hunted by people for some purpose is prohibited to be trapped on Shabbat, whereas an animal whose type is not generally trapped, such as a bee, is permitted to be trapped even ab initio, as this is not considered to be the normal manner of hunting. The baraita therefore teaches us that one may not in fact trap bees.,Rav Ashi said a different elucidation: Is it taught in the baraita: In the summer, and: In the rainy season? No, it is taught: In the sun due to the sun and in the rain due to the rain. The baraita speaks not of the summer and the rainy season, but of the spring days of Nisan and the autumn days of Tishrei, when there is sometimes sun and there is sometimes rain, and when there is also honey in the hive. It is possible, then, that the baraita permits covering the hive during these seasons because of the honey that is in it, as initially proposed.,§ It was taught in the mishna: And one may place a vessel beneath a leak in order to catch the water on Shabbat. A Sage taught in a baraita: If the vessel became full with the leaking water, he may pour out its contents, place the vessel back under the leak, and repeat the entire process if necessary, and he need not refrain from doing so.,The Gemara relates: Abaye’s millhouse once developed a leak on Shabbat. Abaye was concerned about the potential damage to the millstones, which were made partly of clay and which would become ruined from the leaking water, and he did not have enough buckets to catch all the water without emptying and refilling them. But the water was unfit for drinking and was therefore muktze and could not be removed. Abaye came before Rabba to ask him how to proceed. Rabba said to him: Go and bring your bed into the millhouse, so that the dirty water will be considered like a container of excrement, which, despite being muktze, may be removed from one’s presence due to its repulsive nature, and then remove the water.,Abaye sat and examined the matter and posed a difficulty: And may one initiate a situation of a container of excrement, i.e., may one intentionally place any repulsive matter into a situation which will bother him and will then have to be removed, ab initio? In the meantime, as he was deliberating the issue, Abaye’s millhouse collapsed. He said: I had this coming to me for having gone against the words of my master, Rabba, by not following his ruling unquestioningly.,Shmuel said: With regard to a container of excrement and a container of urine, it is permitted to remove them on Shabbat to a garbage heap. And when he returns the container to the house he must place water in it first and then return it, for it is prohibited to carry these containers alone, as their foul odor makes them muktze due to their repulsive nature.,Some Sages at first understood from the wording of Shmuel’s statement that with regard to removing a container of excrement on account of the vessel, i.e., along with its vessel: Yes, this is permitted; but to remove the excrement by itself, without a vessel containing it: No, this is prohibited. The Gemara counters this conclusion with the following story: Come and hear that a certain dead mouse was discovered in Rav Ashi’s storeroom for spices [isparmekei]. Rav Ashi said to them: Take hold of it by its tail and remove it. This shows that repulsive matter may be removed even directly.,Any act for which one is liable due to a rabbinic decree made to enhance the character of Shabbat as a day of rest [shevut]; or if it is notable because it is optional, i.e., it involves an aspect of a mitzva but is not a complete mitzva; or if it is notable because it is a full-fledged mitzva, if it is prohibited on Shabbat, one is liable for it on a Festival as well.,And these are the acts prohibited by the Sages as shevut: One may not climb a tree on Shabbat, nor ride on an animal, nor swim in the water, nor clap his hands together, nor clap his hand on the thigh, nor dance.,And the following are acts that are prohibited on Shabbat and are notable because they are optional, i.e., which involve an aspect of a mitzva but are not complete mitzvot: One may not judge, nor betroth a woman, nor perform ḥalitza, which is done in lieu of levirate marriage, nor perform levirate marriage.,And the following are prohibited on Shabbat despite the fact that they are notable because of the full-fledged mitzva involved in them: One may not consecrate, nor take a valuation vow (see Leviticus 27), nor consecrate objects for use by the priests or the Temple, nor separate teruma and tithes from produce.,The Sages spoke of all these acts being prohibited even with regard to a Festival; all the more so are they prohibited on Shabbat. The general principle is: There is no difference between a Festival and Shabbat, except for work involving preparation of food alone, which is permitted on a Festival but prohibited on Shabbat.,halakhot: One may not climb a tree. This is a decree that was made lest one detach branches or leaves as he climbs, thereby transgressing the prohibited labor of reaping.,Nor ride on an animal: This is a decree that was made lest one go beyond the Shabbat limit on the animal. The Gemara asks: Can one then learn from here that the prohibition against venturing beyond the Shabbat limits, which applies also to Festivals, is by Torah law? If the prohibition with regard to the Shabbat limit were rabbinic, the Sages would not have reinforced it with the additional decree against riding an animal. It is known that this is a matter of dispute; in light of this explanation of the mishna it would be a proof that Shabbat boundaries are of Torah origin. Rather, give a different reason for the prohibition: It is a decree that was made lest one cut off a branch to use as a riding switch, and thereby perform the labor of reaping, which is prohibited by Torah law.,Nor swim in the water: This is a decree that was made lest one make a swimmer’s barrel, i.e., an improvised flotation device used to teach beginners how to swim.,Nor clap one’s hands together, nor clap his hand on the thigh, nor dance: All of these are prohibited due to a decree that was made lest one fashion a musical instrument to accompany his clapping or dancing.,§ It was taught in the mishna: And the following are acts that are prohibited on Shabbat and are notable because they are optional, i.e., which involve an aspect of a mitzva but are not complete mitzvot: One may not judge. The Gemara asks: But doesn’t one perform a full-fledged mitzva by acting as a judge in a court? Why is it categorized as optional rather than as a full-fledged mitzva? The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary for the mishna to categorize it as optional, as it is speaking of a case where there is another person who is more qualified than he. Since the other person can judge even better, it is not considered an absolute mitzva for the first one to judge.,§ Nor betroth a woman: The Gemara asks: Why is this categorized as optional, indicating that it is not a full-fledged mitzva? But doesn’t one perform a full-fledged mitzva when he marries, as this enables him to fulfill the mitzva to be fruitful and multiply? The Gemara answers: No, it is necessary for the mishna to categorize it as optional

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