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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Shabbath

Folio 101a

R. Judah said: If it is ten [handbreadths] deep [internally] but not ten high,1  one may transport from it into the sea, but not from the sea into it. Why not from the sea into it: because we [thus] transport from a karmelith into private ground? Then from it into the sea, one also transports from private ground to a karmelith? Hence it must surely mean on its edge.2  which proves that they do not forbid one's force in connection with a karmelith: this proves it.

R. Huna said: As for the canal boats of Mesene,3  we may carry in them only within [a distance of] four cubits.4  But we say this only if they lack [a breadth of] four [handbreadths] at less than three [from the bottom edge]; but if they have [a breadth of] four at less than three, we have no objection; or if they are filled with canes and bullrushes,5  we have no objection.6  R. Nahman demurred to this: But let us say, Stretch and bring the partitions down.7  Was it not taught, R. Jose son of R. Judah said: If one plants a rod in the street, at the top of which is a basket, and throws [an article] and it comes to rest upon it, he is liable: this proves that we say. Stretch and bring the partitions down,8  so here too let us say, Stretch and bring the partition down? R. Joseph demurred to this, Yet did they not hear what was said by Rab Judah in Rab's name, which some trace to R. Hiyya: And it was taught thereon, But the Sages exempt [him]?9  Said Abaye to him: And do you not hold thus? But it was taught: If a pillar in the street [is] ten [handbreadths] high and four broad, but its base is not four, and this narrow portion is three [in height],10  and one throws [an article] and it alights upon it, he is liable: this proves that we say, Stretch and bring the partitions down;11  so here too, stretch and bring the partition down. Hence [Abaye continues].12  this is surely [not] an argument; there13  it is partition through which goats can pass;14  but here15  they are partitions through which goats cannot pass.16  R. Aha son of R. Aha said to R. Ashi: But in the case of a ship too, there is the passing through of fish? The passing through of fish is not designated passing through, he replied. And whence do you say this? For R. Tabla asked Rab: Can a suspended partition make a ruin permissible [for carrying therein]?17  And he answered him: A suspended partition makes [something] permissible only

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. From the edge of the water.
  2. In the latter case the water is not poured directly into the sea but on to the ship's edge. whence it descends into the sea.
  3. V. p, 174. n. 8.
  4. So MS.M. These boats are very narrow and taper to a knife edge in the water. Being thus less than four handbreadths wide at the bottom they do not count as private ground (v. supra 6a), and therefore one may not carry in them.
  5. Up to the height where they have a breadth of four.
  6. Providing in both cases that they are ten high above the level which gives the breadth of four.
  7. I.e., adopt the legal fiction that the sides of the boat drop vertically down to the water, which gives the necessary breadth to make it rank as private ground.
  8. For only if we assume imaginary partitions descending from the sides of the basket, which is not ten handbreadths deep itself have we the necessary conditions for culpability.
  9. Which proves that the majority reject this legal fiction.
  10. So that the principle of being accounted as joined to the ground from the level which gives a breadth of four does not operate.
  11. Otherwise the base would be disregarded, and the sides above would count as partitions suspended in the air, which cannot form a private domain.
  12. R. Joseph's question.
  13. In the case of the basket set on top of a rod.
  14. I.e., even if one adopts that fiction, such imaginary partitions cannot keep goats out! and that is the legal test of a barrier; therefore the Rabbis exempt him.
  15. In the case of the boat.
  16. Being in the water.
  17. E.g. the ruins of a hut which has part of a a wall hanging from the roof: does this wall make it as though enclosed, so that it ranks as a private domain?
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Shabbath 101b

in water, this being a leniency which the Rabbis permitted in connection with water. But why so: surely there is the passing through of fish? Hence infer from this that the passing through of fish is not designated passing through.

IF SHIPS ARE TIED TOGETHER, etc. This is obvious? — Said Raba. This is necessary only to permit [carrying via] a small boat [lying] between them.1  Said R. Safra to him, By Moses!2  do you say right? We learnt, ONE MAY CARRY FROM ONE TO ANOTHER!3 — Rather said R. Safra. It is necessary only to [teach that one may] combine them4  and carry from one to another, and as it was taught: If ships are tied to each other, one may combine them and carry from one to another. If they are separated, they become prohibited. If they are rejoined. whether in ignorance5  or wilfully. accidentally or erroneously,6  they revert to their original permitted condition. Likewise, if mats are spread [i.e.. hung up].7  one may combine them and carry from one to another. If they are rolled up, they become prohibited. If they are respread,8  whether in ignorance or wilfully, accidentally or erroneously, they revert to their original permitted condition. For every partition that is made on the Sabbath, whether ignorantly or wilfully. is designated a partition, But that is not so? For did not R. Nahman say: They learnt this only in respect of throwing,9  yet it is forbidden to carry [therein]?10  — R. Nahman's [dictum] was stated in reference to wilful [erection].11

Samuel said: Even if they are tied by a cloak ribbon. How is that: if it can hold them together, it is obvious? If it cannot hold them together, why [does it suffice]? — In truth, it is one that can hold them together, but Samuel comes to discount his own [dictum]. For we learnt: If one ties it [a ship]12  with something that holds it still, it brings defilement to it; with something that does not hold it still, it does not bring defilement to it. Whereon Samuel observed: Providing that it is fastened with iron chains.13  Now, it is only with respect to defilement where it is written, one that it slain with a sword,14  [teaching.] the sword is like the slain,15  that that [Samuel's dictum] is so. But with respect to the Sabbath, since it can hold it still, even [if it be] with the ribbon of a cloak, [it is sufficient].

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Original footnotes renumbered.
  1. The larger ships being fastened to the opposite sides of the boat,
  2. Or, Scholar, great as Moses!
  3. Not via a third.
  4. By means of an 'erub (q.v. Glos.), if they belong to different owners.
  5. Either of the fact that it is the Sabbath, or that this is interdicted on the Sabbath.
  6. While engaged in fastening something else one tied the boats instead.
  7. Forming tents, all belonging to separate owners.
  8. On the Sabbath.
  9. The space enclosed by partitions erected on the Sabbath is private ground only in so far that throwing an object therein from public ground is a culpable offence.
  10. By Rabbinical law.
  11. In which case the Rabbis have imposed the interdict as penalty.
  12. If it is a ship that can be defiled (v. supra 83b).
  13. Rashi: If a ship is moored by a chain to a wharf where a corpse is lying and touching the chain. Tosaf. explains the passage quite differently but with emendation of the text.
  14. Num. XIX, 16.
  15. I.e.. metal that touches a corpse has the same degree of uncleanness as the corpse itself (v. Pes. 14b). and therefore the chain defiles the ship.
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