IF ONE WRITES ONE LETTER AS AN ABBREVIATION, R. JOSHUA B. BATHYRA HOLDS HIM LIABLE, WHILST THE SAGES EXEMPT HIM. R. Johanan said in R. Jose b. Zimra's name; How do we know [that] abbreviated forms [are recognized] by the Torah? Because it is written, for AB [the father of] HaMWN [a multitude of]3 nations have I made thee:4 a father [Ab] of nations have I made thee; a chosen one [Bahur] among nations have I made thee. HaMWN beloved [Habib]5 have I made thee among nations; a king [Melek] have I appointed thee for the nations; distinguished [Wathik] have I made thee among the nations; faithful [Ne'eman] have I made thee to the nations.6 R. Johanan on his own authority quoted. aNoKY [I — am the Lord thy God, etc.].7 I [ana] Myself [Nafshi] have written the Script [Kethibah Yehabith]. The Rabbis interpreted: Sweet speech [amirah Ne'imah], a writing, a gift [Kethibah Yehibah]. Others state, aNoKY [interpreted] reversed is: Scripture was given [to man] [Yahibah Kethibah]. faithful are its words [Ne'emanin amarehah]. The School of R. Nathan quoted, Because thy way is perverse [YaRaT] before me:8 She [the ass] feared [Yare'ah], saw [Ra'athah], [and] turned aside [naTethah]. The School of R. Ishmael taught: KaRMeL [fresh ears]:9 rounded [KaR] and full [MaLe]. R. Aha b. Jacob quoted, and he cursed me with a curse that is grievous [NiMReZeTh].10 This is an abbreviation: he is an adulterer [No'ef], a Moabite, a murderer [Rozeah], an adversary [Zorer], an abomination [To'ebah]. R. Nahman b. Isaac quoted, What shall we speak7 or how shall we clear ourselves [NiZTaDaK]:11 We are honest [Nekonim], we are righteous [Zaddikim], we are pure [Tehorim], we are submissive [Dakkim], we are holy [Kedoshim].
MISHNAH. IF ONE WRITES TWO LETTERS IN TWO STATES OF UNAWARENESS, ONE IN THE MORNING AND ONE IN THE EVENING, R. GAMALIEL HOLDS HIM LIABLE, WHILST THE SAGES EXEMPT HIM.
GEMARA. Wherein do they differ? — R. Gamaliel holds: Awareness in respect of half the standard is of no account; whilst the Rabbis hold: Awareness in respect of half the standard is of account.12
MISHNAH. R. ELIEZER SAID: HE WHO WEAVES THREE THREADS AT THE BEGINNING13 OR ONE [THREAD] ADDED TO14 WOVEN STUFF, IS CULPABLE; BUT THE SAGES MAINTAIN: WHETHER AT THE BEGINNING OR AT THE END, THE STANDARD [FOR CULPABLE] IS TWO THREADS. HE WHO MAKES TWO MESHES, ATTACHING THEM EITHER TO THE CROSS-PIECES [NIRIM] OR TO THE SLIPS [KEROS], OR IN A WINNOW, SIEVE, OR BASKET, IS CULPABLE. AND HE WHO SEWS TWO STITCHES, AND HE WHO TEARS IN ORDER TO SEW TWO STITCHES [IS LIKEWISE CULPABLE].
GEMARA. When R. Isaac came,15 he recited: Two. But we learnt THREE? — There is no difficulty: the one refers to thick [threads], the other to thin [ones]. Some explain it in one way, others explain it the reverse. Some explain it in one way: [of] thick threads, three will not break, but two will break;16 [of] thin threads, even two will not break. Others explain it the reverse: [of] thin [threads], three are noticeable17 whereas two are not:18 [of] thick threads, even two are noticeable.
It was taught: He who weaves three threads at the beginning or one thread added to woven stuff, is culpable; but the Sages maintain: Whether at the beginning or at the end, the standard is two threads, and at the selvedge, two threads over the breadth of three meshes. To what is this like? To weaving a small belt two threads over the breadth of three meshes [in size].19 [Now,] 'He who weaves three threads at the beginning or one thread added to woven stuff, is culpable': this anonymous [teaching] is in' agreement with R. Eliezer. Another [Baraitha] taught: He who weaves two threads added to20 the border of the web21 or to the hem,22 is culpable. R. Eliezer said: Even one. And at the selvedge, two threads over the breadth of three meshes. To what is this like? To weaving a small belt two or three threads over the breadth of three meshes [in size]. 'He who weaves two threads added to the border of the web or to the hem, is culpable': this anonymous [teaching is] in agreement with the Rabbis.
HE WHO MAKES TWO MESHES, ATTACHING THEM EITHER TO THE CROSS-PIECES [NIRIM]. What does, 'TO THE NIRIM' mean? — Said Abaye: Two in a mesh and one in the cross-piece.
OR TO THE SLIPS [KEROS]. What is KEROS? — Said Rab: The slips.23
AND HE WHO SEWS TWO STITCHES. But we have [already] learnt it in [the list of] principal labours: 'and he who sews two stitches?24 — Because he wishes to teach the second clause: AND HE WHO TEARS IN ORDER TO SEW TWO STITCHES, he also teaches, AND HE WHO SEWS, [etc.]. But we learnt about tearing too in [the list of] principal labours? Rather because he wishes to teach in a subsequent clause, 'He who tears in his anger or for his dead',25 he therefore teaches [here], HE WHO SEWS TWO STITCHES.
AND HE WHO TEARS IN ORDER TO SEW TWO STITCHES. How is that possible?
— If he made it [the garment] like a pocket.1
MISHNAH. HE WHO TEARS IN HIS ANGER OR [IN MOURNING] FOR HIS DEAD,2 AND ALL WHO EFFECT DAMAGE ARE EXEMPT; BUT HE WHO DAMAGES IN ORDER TO REPAIR,3 HIS STANDARD [FOR CULPABILITY] IS AS FOR REPAIRING. THE STANDARD OF BLEACHING [WOOL], HATCHELLING, DYEING OR SPINNING IT, IS A FULL DOUBLE SIT.4 AND HE WHO WEAVES TWO THREADS TOGETHER, HIS STANDARD IS A FULL SIT.
GEMARA. But the following contradicts this: He who rends [his garment] in his anger, in his mourning or for his dead, is guilty, and though he desecrates the Sabbath, he has fulfilled his duty of rending?5 — There is no difficulty: the one refers to his dead,6 the other to the dead in general.7 But he [our Tanna] states, HIS DEAD? — After all, it does refer to his dead,8 but those for whom there is no duty of mourning?9 Now, if he [the dead] was a Sage, he is indeed bound [to rend his garments]? For it was taught: If a Sage dies, all are his kinsmen. All are his kinsmen! can you think so? Rather say, all are as his kinsmen, [i.e.,] all must rend [their garments] for him; all must bare [their shoulders] for him,10 and all partake of the [mourner's] meal for him in a public square!11 — This holds good only if he was not a Sage. But [even] if he was [merely] a worthy man, one is indeed bound [to rend his garments]? For it was taught: Why do a man's sons and daughters die in childhood? So that he may weep and mourn for a worthy man? 'So that he may weep' — is a pledge taken!12 But because he did not weep and mourn for a worthy man, for whoever weeps for a worthy man is forgiven all his iniquities on account of the honour which he showed him! — This holds good only if he was not a worthy man. But if he stood [there] at the parting of the soul13 he is indeed bound? For it was taught, R. Simeon b. Eleazar said: He who stands by the dead at the parting of the soul is bound to rend [his garments]: [for] what does this resemble? A scroll of the Law that is burnt!14 — This holds good only if he was not standing there at the moment of death.
Now, that is well in respect to his dead. But [the two statements concerning tearing] in one's anger are contradictory? — These too cause no difficulty: one agrees with R. Judah, the other with R. Simeon. One agrees with R. Judah, who maintained: One is liable in respect of a labour which is not required per se, the other with R. Simeon, who maintained: One is exempt in respect of a labour which is not required per se.15 But you know R. Judah [to rule thus] in the case of one who repairs? do you know him [to rule thus] in the case of one who causes damage? — Said R. Abin: This man too effects an improvement, because he appeases his wrath. But is it permitted [to effect this] in such a manner? Surely it was taught, R. Simeon b. Eleazar said in the name of Halfa b. Agra in R. Johanan b. Nuri's name: He who rends his garments in his anger, he who breaks his vessels in his anger, and he who scatters his money in his anger, regard him as an idolater, because such are the wiles of the Tempter: To-day he says to him, 'Do this'; to-morrow he tells him, 'Do that,' until he bids him, 'Go and serve idols,' and he goes and serves [them].16 R. Abin observed: What verse [intimates this]? There shall be no strange god in thee; neither shalt thou worship any strange god;17 who is the strange god that resides in man himself? Say, that is the Tempter!18 — This holds good only where he does it in order to instil fear in his household, even as Rab Judah pulled the thrums [of his garment;]19 R. Aha b. Jacob broke broken vessels; R. Shesheth threw brine on his maidservant's head; R. Abba broke a lid.
R. Simeon b. Pazzi said in the name of R. Joshua b. Levi in Bar Kappara's name: If one sheds tears for a worthy man, the Holy One, blessed be He, counts them and lays them up in His treasure house, for it is said, Thou countest my grievings: Put thou my tear into thy bottle; Are they not in thy book?20 Rab Judah said in Rab's name: He who is slothful to lament a Sage deserves to be buried alive, because it is said, And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim; on the north of the mountain of Gaash:21 this teaches that the mountain raged against them to slay them.22 R. Hiyya b. Abba said in R. Johanan's name: He who is slothful to lament a Sage will not prolong his days, [this being] measure for measure, as it is said, In measure, when thou sendest her away, thou dost contend with her.23 R. Hiyya b. Abba objected to R. Johanan: And Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who prolonged their days after Joshua?24 — O Babylonian! answered he, they prolonged 'their days',25 but not years. If so, that your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children.'26 [does that mean] days but not years! — A blessing is different.27
R. Hiyya b. Abba also said in R. Johanan's name]: When one of brothers dies,
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