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Bablyonian Talmud, Book 5: Tracts Aboth, Derech Eretz-Rabba, Eretz-Zuta, and Baba Kama (First Gate), tr. by Michael L. Rodkinson, [1918], at

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ONE who enters the bath-house may say: "Let it be thy will, God my Lord, that thou cause me to come in and go out in peace, that thou cause me to return to my place in peace, and save me from this and from similar peril in the world to come."

How should one conduct himself before bathing? Thus: He shall first remove his shoes, take off his hat, remove his overcoat, take off his girdle, then take off his shirt, and after all the drawers. After bathing, when a towel is brought to him, he first wipes his head and then the other parts of his body. When the oil is brought to him, he shall first anoint his head and then other members of his body, and then he shall put on first his drawers, then his shirt, the girdle, then he shall wrap himself in his mantle, and then he shall put on his hat, and then his shoes. And if he has his son, his slave, or bondsman, they shall do it for him. Always shall the right shoe be put on first, and then the left one; and when taking off the shoes, the left one shall be taken off first. One who enters a bath-house must not fatigue himself, nor excite himself, but let him be in every respect careful. Said R. Simeon b. Gamaliel: "One who is not careful is an ass's equal; one who eats in the market is a dog's equal"; and according to others, he is ineligible to be a witness. In the toilet-room the one who enters must not hurry the one who is sitting there, and the same is in a bath-house. One shall not bring oil into a bath-house in a glass vessel (for it may break and cause injury). One must not spit in the presence of his neighbor, even in a bath-house. The law relating to a bathhouse and toilet may be discussed in the respective places, but other things must not be discussed, not alone in the bathing-room but in the dressing-room, and even

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when the majority of the persons were dressed as well, because when even a few are undressed all are considered undressed. One shall not greet his neighbor when he is washing himself; and if he does so, the other may answer him that it is a bath-house. According to others, he may answer the greeting, and there is nothing in it. One should not put his foot in a bath-tub when another one is sitting in it, for it is a disgrace for the one bathing.

Next: Chapter XI.