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Babylonian Talmud, Book 9: Tracts Maccoth, Shebuoth, Eduyoth, Abuda Zara, and Horioth, tr. by Michael L. Rodkinson, [1918], at

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MISHNA I.: R. 'Hanina the segan of the priests testified the following four statements--viz.: The priests have never hesitated to burn meat defiled in a secondary degree together with meat defiled in a primary degree, though latter augments the uncleanness of the former; R. Aqiba added: Nor have they ever hesitated to burn oil, that has become unusable through a defiled one though bathed during the day, in a lamp defiled through contact with one who touched a corpse, though the uncleanness of the oil is thereby augmented.

MISHNA II.: Furthermore, he said: During all my life I have not seen a hide (of a sacrificed animal found internally injured) brought out to the fireplace. Said R. Aqiba: We learn therefrom that when the first-born cattle on being stripped of its hide is found internally injured, the priests may use its hide. The sages, however, say: "We have not seen" is no evidence, so that the hide must be removed to the fireplace.

MISHNA III.: The same R. 'Hanina testified that there was an old man in a little village near Jerusalem, who was lending money to all the villagers, writing himself the notes and having others to sign them; when this case came before the sages, they declared fit proper. From here is to infer that both woman and man may write she her divorce and he the receipt respectively, since the validity of a divorce is effected only by the undersigned thereon.

He finally testified that, when an (unclean) needle was found in the flesh (of a sacrifice), the knife and the hands are clean, but the flesh is uncle-an; but if found in the paunch everything is clean.

MISHNA IV.: R. Ismael propounded three things before the sages at Iabnah in the vineyard: (a) a cracked egg put upon a colewort of Terumah forms a combination except when put on like a hat; (b) an ear of corn left standing in the crop with its point toward the yet unreaped corn, belongs to the landowner provided it be capable of being cut off with the standing corn, otherwise it belongs to the poor (as forgotten); (c) a small garden

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fenced with creeping vine may be sowed (with seeds) if it has enough room, so that the vine-dresser with his basket can stand on all its sides, but not otherwise.

Three things have been propounded in the presence of R. Ismael, and as he did not express himself either for or against, R. Jehoshua b. Mathia interpreted them: (a) One who inflicts upon one's self a sore on the Sabbath day is guilty if he did it in order to make a permanent orifice, but is free if his purpose was to remove the pus; (b) one is free for hunting a snake on Sabbath in order to escape its bites, but is liable if for medicinal purposes; (c) earthen dishes used in cities are clean when in the tent of a corpse, but become unclean when carried by him who is possessed of a running issue, in which latter case R. Eliezar b. Zadok declares them also clean since their work has not yet been completed.

MISHNA VI.: R. Ismael declared three things which R. Aqiba has not agreed in: Garlick, sour grapes, and unripe corn-ears ground (on Friday) before twilight may, according to R. Ismael, be finished after sunset, while R. Aqiba does not allow it.

MISHNA VII.: Of the following three statements cited before R. Aqiba the first two were in the name of R. Eliezar, and the third one in that of R. Jehoshua: (a) A woman may go out on Sabbath in her gold city-crown; (b) hunters after another's doves are unfit as witnesses; (c) when a weasel with a worm in its mouth runs over the breads of Terumah and it remains dubious as to whether or not the worm touched the breads they are clean.

MISHNA VIII.: R. Aquiba has made statements, of which only the first two found the approval of the sages: (a) A sandal of the lime-burners is subject to defilement by the steps of him who has a running issue; (b) the remnants of an (unclean) oven are unclean when four hand-widths high, which height was thought before to be only three; (c) a chair, from whose seat two consecutive boards have been removed is, according to R. Aqiba only, subject to defilement.

MISHNA IX: He (R. Aqiba) was wont to say: The father conditions in his son beauty, force, wealth, wisdom, longevity, and the reward to be bestowed on (his) posterity; and herein lies the end of destiny, as it reads [Is. xli. 4]: "He predetermines from the beginning of fate of the generations to come," and though it reads [Gen. xvi. 13]: "They will enslave them

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and torture them for 400 years," yet we read further [ibid. xvi.]: "The fourth generation will return again unto here."

MISHNA X: Furthermore, he was saying: There are five things of a twelve months' duration--viz.: the punishment of the generation of the flood, that of job, of the Egyptians, of Gog and Magog in time to come [Ezek. xxxv. 2], and of the wicked in the infernum, for it reads [Isa. xv. 6]: "It will take place (chodesh bechodsho) every month," i.e., from the month he died next year the same month renewed. R. Johanan b. Nari says (regarding the last point): It lasts only from Passover till Azereth, for it reads [ibid.]: "From one festival to the other."

Next: Chapter III