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THE TALMUDIC SABBATH-LAW.

781

APP.
XVII

sin. Similarly, ink sufficient to write two letters, wax enough to fill up a small hole, even a pebble with which you might aim at a little bird, or a small piece of broken earthenware with which you might stir the coals, would be burdens !'

Passing to another aspect of the subject, the Mishnah lays it down that, in order to constitute sin, a thing must have been carried from one locality into another entirely and immediately, and that it must have been done in the way in which things are ordinarily carried. If an object which one person could carry is carried by two, they are not guilty. Finally, like all labour on the Sabbath, that of cutting one's nails or hair involves mortal sin, but only if it is done in the ordinary way, otherwise only the lesser sin of the breach of the Sabbath rest. A very interesting notice in connection with St. John v., is that in which it is explained how it would not involve sin to carry a living person on a pallet, the pallet being regarded only as an accessory to the man; while to carry a dead body in such manner, or even the smallest part of a dead body, would involve guilt.

From this the Mishnah proceeds to discuss what is analogous to carrying, such as drawing or throwing. Other •labours' are similarly made the subject of inquiry, and it is shown how any approach to them involves guilt. The rule here is, that anything that might prove of lasting character must not be done on the Sabbath. The same rule applies to what might prove the beginning of work, such as letting the hammer fall on the anvil; or to anything that might contribute to improve a place, to gathering as much wood as would boil an egg, to uprooting weeds, to writing two letters of a word-in short, to anything that might be helpful in, or contribute towards, some future work.

The Mishnah next passes to such work in which not quantity, but quality, is in question—such as catching deer. Here it is explained that anything by which an animal might be caught is included in the prohibition. So far is this carried that, if a deer had run into a house, and the door were shut upon it, it would involve guilt, and this, even if, without closing the door, persons seated themselves at the entry to prevent the exit of the animal.

Passing over the other chapters, which similarly illustrate what are supposed to be Biblical prohibitions of labour as defined in the thirty-nine Aboth and their toledoth, we come, in the sixteenth chapter of the tractate, to one of the most interesting parts, containing such Sabbath laws as, by their own admission, were imposed only by the Rabbis. These embrace: 1. Things forbidden, because they might lead to a transgression of the Biblical command; 2. Such as are like the kinds of labour supposed to be forbidden in the Bible ; 3. Such as are regarded as incompatible with the honour due to the Sabbath. In the first class are included a number of regulations in case of a fire. All portions of Holy Scripture, whether in the original or translated, and the case in which they are laid ; the phylacteries and their case, might be rescued from the flames. Of food or drink only what was needful for the Sabbath might be rescued ; but if the food were in a cupboard or basket the whole might be carried out. Similarly, all utensils needed for the Sabbath meal, but of dress only what was absolutely necessary, might be saved, it being, however, provided, that a person might put on a dress, save it, go back and put on another, and so on. Again, anything in the house might be covered with a skin so as to save it from the flames, or the spread of the flames might be arrested by piling up vessels. It was not lawful to ask a Gentile to extinguish the flame, but not duty to hinder him, if he did so. It was lawful to put a vessel over a lamp, to prevent the ceiling from catching fire; similarly, to throw a vessel over a scorpion, although on that point there is doubt. On the other hand, it is allowed,

APP. XVII

if a Gentile has lighted a lamp on the Sabbath, to make use of it, the fiction being, however, kept up that he did it for himself, and not for the Jew. By the same fiction the cattle may be watered, or, in fact, any other use made of his services.

Before passing from this, we should point out that it was directed that the Hagiographa should not be read except in the evening, since the daytime was to be devoted to more doctrinal studies. In the same connection it is added, that the study of the Mishnah is more important than that of the Bible, that of the Talmud being considered the most meritorious of all, as enabling one to understand all questions of right and wrong. Liturgical pieces, though containing the Name of God, might not be rescued from the flames. The Gospels and the writings of Christians, or of heretics, might not be rescued. If it be asked what should be done with them on weekdays, the answer is, that the Names of God which they contain ought to be cut out, and then the books themselves burned. One of the Rabbis, however, would have had them burnt at once, indeed, he would rather have fled into an idolatrous temple than into a Christian church : ‘for the idolaters deny God because they have not known Him, but the apostates are worse. To them applied Ps. cxxxix. 21, and, if it was lawful to wash out in the waters of jealousy the Divine Name in order to restore peace, much more would it be lawful to burn such books, even though they contained the Divine Name, because they led to enmity between Israel and their Heavenly Father.

Another chapter of the tractate deals with the question of the various pieces of furniture—how far they may be moved and used. Thus, curtains, or a lid, mas be regarded as furniture, and hence used. More interesting is the next chapter (xviii.), which deals with things forbidden by the Rabbis, because they resemble those kinds of labour supposed to be interdicted in the Bible. Here it is declared lawful, for example, to remove quantities of straw or corn in order to make room for guests, or for an assembly of students, but the whole barn must not be emptied, because in so doing the floor might be injured. Again, as regards animals, some assistance might be given, if an animal was about to have its young, though not to the same amount as to a woman in childbirth, for whose sake the Sabbath might be desecrated. Lastly, all might be done on the holy day needful for circumcision. At the same time, every preparation possible for the service should be made the day before. The Mishnah proceeds to enter here on details, not necessarily connected with the Sabbath law.

In the following chapter (xx.) the tractate goes on to indicate such things as are only allowed on the Sabbath on condition that they are done differently from ordinary days. Thus, for example, certain solutions ordinarily made in water should be made in vinegar. The food for horses or cattle must not be taken out of the manger, unless it is immediately given to some other animal. The bedding straw must not be turned with the hand, but with other parts of the body. A press in which linen is smoothed may be opened to take out napkins, but must not be screwed down again, &c.

The next chapter proceeds upon the principle that, although everything is to be avoided which resembles the labours referred to in the Bible, the same prohibition does not apply to such labours as resemble those interdicted by the Rabbis. The application of this principle is not, however, of interest to general readers.

In the twenty-second chapter the Mishnah proceeds to show that all the precautions of the Rabbis had only this object: to prevent an ultimate breach of a Biblical prohibition. Hence, where such was not to be feared, an act might be done. For example, a person might bathe in mineral waters, but not carry home the

THE TALMUDIC SABBATH-LAW.

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APP. XVII

It was

linen with which he had dried himself. He might anoint and rub the body, but not to the degree of making himself tired; but he might not use any artificial remedial measures, such as taking a shower-bath. Bones might not be set, nor emetics given, nor any medical or surgical operation performed.

In the last two chapters the Mishnah points out those things which are unlawful as derogatory to the dignity of the Sabbath. Certain things are here of interest, as bearing on the question of purchasing things for the feast-day. Thus, it is expressly allowed to borrow wine, or oil, or bread on the Sabbath, and to leave one's upper garment in pledge, though one should not express it in such manner as to imply it was a loan. Moreover, it is expressly added that if the day before the Passover falls on a Sabbath, one may in this manner purchase a Paschal lamb, and, presumably, all else that is needful for the feast. This shows how Judas might have been sent on the eve of the Passover to purchase what was needful, for the law applying to a feast-day was much less strict than that of the Sabbath. Again, to avoid the possibility of effacing anything written, it was forbidden to read from a tablet the names of one's guests, or the menu. lawful for children to cast lots for their portions at table, but not with strangers, for this might lead to a breach of the Sabbath, and to games of chance. Similarly, it was improper on the Sabbath to engage workmen for the following week, nor should one be on the watch for the close of that day to begin one's ordinary work. It was otherwise if religious obligations awaited one at the close of the Sabbath, such as attending to a bride, or making preparations for a funeral. On the Sabbath itself it was lawful to do all that was absolutely necessary connected with the dead, such as to anoint or wash the body, although without moving the limbs, nor might the eyes of the dying be closed—a practice which, indeed, was generally denounced.

In the last chapter of the tractate the Mishnah returns to the discussion of punctilious details. Supposing a traveller to arrive in a place just as the Sabbath commenced, he must only take from his beast of burden such objects as are allowed to be handled on the Sabbath. As for the rest, he may loosen the ropes and let them fall down of themselves. Further, it is declared lawful to unloose bundles of straw, or to rub up what can only be eaten in that condition ; but care must be taken that nothing is done which is not absolutely necessary. On the other hand, cooking would not be allowed-in short, nothing must be done but what was absolutely necessary to satisfy the cravings of hunger or thirst. Finally, it was declared lawful on the Sabbath to absolve from vows, and to attend to similar religious calls.

Detailed as this analysis of the Sabbath law is, we have not by any means exhausted the subject. Thus, one of the most curious provisions of the Sabbath law was, that on the Sabbath only such things were to be touched or eaten as had been expressly prepared on a weekday with a view to the Sabbath (Bez. 2 b). Anything not so destined was forbidden, as the expression is 'on account of Mukzah' (178719), i.e. as not having been the intention.' Jewish dogmatists enumerate nearly fifty cases in which that theological term finds its application. This, if a hen had laid on a Sabbath, the egg was forbidden, because, evidently, it could not have been destined on a weekday for eating, since it was not yet laid, and did not

i It is curious as bearing upon a recent controversy, to note that on this occasion it is said that an Israelite may be buried in the coffin and grave originally destined for a

Gentile, but not vice versa.

? This destination or preparation is called Hachanah.

APP. XVII

exist; while if the hen had been kept, not for laying but for fattening, the egg might be eaten as forming a part of the hen that had fallen off! But when the principle of Mukzah is applied to the touching of things which are not used because they have become ugly (and hence are not in one's mind), so that, for example, an old lamp may not be touched, or raisins during the process of drying them (because they are not eatable then), it will be seen how complicated such a law must have been.

Chiefly from other tractates of the Talmud the following may here be added. It would break the Sabbath rest to climb a tree, to ride, to swim, to clap one's hands, to strike one's side, or to dance. All judicial acts, vows, and tilling, were also prohibited on that day (Ber. v. 2). It has already been noted that aid might be given or promised for a woman in her bed. But the Law went further. While it prohibited the application or use on the Sabbath of any remedies that would bring improvement or cure to the sick, “all actual danger to life' (TIVD Pod sa navn ng 1917, Yoma viii. 6) superseded the Sabbath law, but nothing short of that. Thus, to state an extreme case,

if on the Sabbath a wall had fallen on a person, and it were doubtful whether he was under the ruins or not, whether he was alive or dead, a Jew or Gentile, it would be duty to clear away the rubbish sufficiently to find the body. If life were not extinct the labour would have to be continued ; but if the person were dead nothing further should be done to extricate the body. Similarly, a Rabbi allowed the use of remedies on the Sabbath in throat diseases, on the express ground that he regarded them as endangering life. On a similar principle a woman with child or a sick person was allowed to break even the fast of the Day of Atonement, 'while one who had a maniacal attack of morbid craving for food (dibua =Boú,quos) might, on that sacred day have even unlawful food (Yoma viii. 5, 6).

Such are the leading provisions by which Rabbinism enlarged the simple Sabbath-law as expressed in the Bible, and, in its anxiety to ensure its most exact observance, changed the spiritual import of its rest into a complicated code of external and burdensome ordinances. Shall we then wonder at Christ's opposition to the Sabbath-ordinances of the Synagogue, or, on the other hand, at the enmity of its leaders? and can greater contrast be imagined than between the teaching of Christ on this subject, and that of His most learned and most advanced contemporaries ? And whence this difference unless Christ was the Teacher come from God,' Who spake as never before man had spoken ?

1 Ex. xx. 8-11 ; xxiii. 12 ; xxxi. 12-17 ; xxxiv. 21 ; xxxv. 1-3; Deut. v. 12-15.

JEWISH LEGEND ABOUT ST. PETER.

785

APPENDIX XVIII.

HAGGADAH ABOUT SIMEON CHEPHA (LEGEND OF SIMON PETER).

(אגדתא דשמעון כיפא)

(Vol. ii. Book III. ch. xxxviii.)

APP. XVIII

This Haggadah exists in four different Recensions (comp. Jellinek, Beth ha-Midrash, Pt. V. and Pt. VI., pp. ix., x.). The first of these, reproduced by Jellinek (u. s. Pt. V. p. xxvi, &c., and pp. 60–62) was first published by Wagenseil in his collection of Antichristian writings, the Tela ignea Satanæ, at the close of that blasphemous production, the Sepher Toledoth Jeshu (pp. 19-24). The second Recension is that by Huldrich (Leyden, 1705); the third has been printed, as is inferred, at Breslau in 1824; while the fourth exists only in MS. Dr. Jellinek has substantially reproduced (without the closing sentences) the text of Wagenseil's (u. s. Pt. V.), and also Recensions III. and IV. (u. 8. Pt. VI.). He regards Recension IV. as the oldest ; but we infer from its plea against the abduction of Jewish children by Christians and against forced baptisms, as well as from the use of certain expressions, that Recension IV. is younger than the text of Wagenseil, which seems to present the legend in its most primitive form. Even this, however, appears a mixture of several legends; or perhaps the original may afterwards have been interpolated. It were impossible to fix even approximately the age of this oldest Recension, but in its present form it must date after the establishment of Christianity in Rome, and that of the Papacy, though it seems to contain older elements. It may be regarded as embodying certain ancient legends among the Jews about St. Peter, but adapted to later times, and cast in an apologetic form. A brief criticism of the document will best follow an abstract of the text, according to the first or earliest Recension.

The text begins by a notice that the strife between the Nazarenes and the Jews had grown to such proportions that they separated, since any Nazarene who saw a Jew would kill him. Such became the misery for thirty years, that the Nazarenes increased to thousands and myriads, and prevented the Jews from going up to the feasts at Jerusalem. And the distress was as great as at the time of the Golden Calf. And still the opposing faith increased, and twelve wicked men went out, who traversed the twelve kingdoms. And they prophesied false prophecies in the camp, and they misled Israel, and they were men of reputation, and strengthened the faith of Jesus, for they said that they were the Apostles of the Crucified. And they drew to themselves a large number from among the children of Israel. On this the text describes, how the sages in Israel were afflicted and humbled themselves, each confessing to his neighbour the sins which had brought this evil, and earnestly asking of God to give them direction how to arrest the advance of Nazarene doctrine and persecution. As they finished their prayer, up rose an elder

VOL. II.

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