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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Kamma
As you might say that this is so even where the value [for other purposes] exceeds that for fruits, it says 'only'.1 Samuel's field labourer brought him some dates. As he partook of them he tasted wine in them. When he asked the labourer how that came about, he told him that the date trees were placed between vines. He said to him: Since they are weakening the vines so much, bring me their roots tomorrow.2 When R. Hisda saw certain palms among the vines he said to his field labourers: 'Remove them with their roots. Vines can easily buy palms but palms cannot buy vines.'2
MISHNAH. EVEN THOUGH THE OFFENDER PAYS HIM [COMPENSATION], THE OFFENCE IS NOT FORGIVEN UNTIL HE ASKS HIM FOR PARDON, AS IT SAYS: NOW THEREFORE RESTORE THE MAN'S WIFE ETC.3 WHENCE CAN WE LEARN THAT SHOULD THE INJURED PERSON NOT FORGIVE HIM HE WOULD BE [STIGMATISED AS] CRUEL? FROM THE WORDS: SO ABRAHAM PRAYED UNTO GOD AND GOD HEALED ABIMELECH ETC.4 IF THE PLAINTIFF SAID: 'PUT OUT MY EYE, CUT OFF MY ARM AND BREAK MY LEG,' THE OFFENDER WOULD NEVERTHELESS BE LIABLE; [AND SO ALSO EVEN IF HE TOLD HIM TO DO IT] ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT HE WOULD BE EXEMPT HE WOULD STILL BE LIABLE. IF THE PLAINTIFF SAID: 'TEAR MY GARMENT AND BREAK MY PITCHER,' THE DEFENDANT WOULD STILL BE LIABLE, BUT IF HE SAID TO HIM: '[DO THIS] ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WILL BE EXEMPT,' HE WOULD BE EXEMPT.5 BUT IF ONE SAID TO THE DEFENDANT: 'DO THIS TO A THIRD PERSON6 ON THE UNDERSTANDING THAT YOU WILL BE EXEMPT,' THE DEFENDANT WOULD BE LIABLE, WHETHER WHERE THE INJURY WAS DONE TO THE PERSON OR TO HIS CHATTELS.
GEMARA. Our Rabbis taught: All these fixed sums stated above7 specify only the payment [civilly due] for Degradation. For regarding the hurt done to the feelings of the plaintiff, even if the offender should bring all the 'rams of Nebaioth'8 in the world,9 the offence would not be forgiven until he asks him for pardon, as it is written: Now therefore restore the man's wife for he is a prophet and he will pray for thee.10 But is it only the wife of a prophet who has to be restored, whereas the wife of another man need not be restored? R. Samuel b. Nahmani said in the name of R. Johanan: 'Restore the man's wife' [surely implies] in all cases; for as to your allegation, Wilt thou slay even a righteous nation? Said he not unto me, She is my sister and she even she herself said: He is my brother,11 [you should know that] he is a prophet who has already [by act and deed]12 taught the world that where a stranger comes to a city whether he is to be questioned regarding food and drink — or regarding his wife, whether she is his wife or sister. From this we can learn that a descendant of Noah13 may become liable to death if he had the opportunity to acquire instruction14 and did not do so [and so committed a crime through the ignorance of the law].
For to close the Lord had closed up [all the wombs of the house of Abimelech].15 R. Eleazar said: Why is 'closing up' mentioned twice?16 There was one 'closing up' in the case of males, viz. semen [virile], and two in the case of females, viz. semen and the giving of birth. In a Baraitha it was taught that there were two in the case of males, viz. semen [virile] and urinating, and three in the case of females, i.e. semen, urinating and the giving of birth. Rabina said: Three in the case of males, viz. semen [virile], urinating and anus, and four in the case of females, viz. semen and the giving of birth, urinating and anus. 'All the wombs of the house of Abimelech.' It was stated at the College of R. Jannai that even a hen of the house of Abimelech did not lay an egg [at that time].
Raba said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the lesson taught by our Rabbis that one who solicits mercy for his fellow while he himself is in need of the same thing, [will be answered first]? — He replied: As it is written: And the Lord changed the fortune of Job when he prayed for his friends.17 He said to him: You say it is from that text, but I say it is from this text: 'And Abraham prayed unto God and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his maidservants,'18 and immediately after it Says: And the Lord remembered Sarah as he had said, etc.,19 [i.e.] as Abraham had [prayed and] said regarding Abimelech.
Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the proverbial saying that together with the thorn the cabbage is smitten?20 — He replied: As it is written, Wherefore will ye contend with Me, ye all have transgressed against Me, says the Lord.21 He said to him: You derive it from that text, but I derive it from this, How long refuse ye22 to keep My commandments and My laws.23 Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: It is written: 'And from among his brethren, he took five men.24 Who were these five? — He replied: Thus said R. Johanan that 'they were those whose names were repeated [in the Farewell of Moses].'25 But was not the name Judah repeated too?26 He replied: The repetition in the case of Judah was for a different purpose, as stated by R. Samuel b. Nahmani that R. Johanan said: What is the meaning of the words, Let Reuben live and not die, in that his men become few, and this is for Judah?27 All the forty years that the Israelites were in the wilderness the bones of Judah were scattered28 in the coffin29 until Moses came and solicited for mercy by saying thus to God: Master of the universe, who brought Reuben to confess30 if not Judah?31 Hear [therefore] Lord the voice of Judah! Thereupon each limb fitted itself into its original place.32 He was, however, not permitted to ascend to the heavenly gathering33 until Moses said: And bring him in unto his people.34 As, however, he did not know what the Rabbis were saying and was thus unable to argue with the Rabbis on matters of the law, Moses said: His hands shall contend for him!34 As again he was unable to bring his statement into accord with the Halachah, Moses said, Thou shalt be a help against his adversaries!34
Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence35 can be derived the popular saying that poverty follows the poor?36 — He replied: We have learnt:37 'The rich used to bring the first fruits38 in baskets of gold and silver, but the poor brought it in wicker baskets made out of the bark of willow, and thus gave the baskets as well as the first-fruits to the priest.'39 He said to him: You derive it from there, but I derive it from this:
Baba Kamma 92b
And shall cry unclean, unclean.1
Rabbah [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the advice given by our Rabbis:2 Have early breakfast in the summer because of the heat, and in the winter because of the cold, and people even say that sixty3 men may pursue him who has early meals in the mornings and will not overtake him? — He replied: As it is written, They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them.4 He said to him: You derive it from that text but I derive it from this one, And ye shall serve the Lord your God:5 this [as has been explained] refers to the reading of Shema'6 and the Tefillah,'7 'And he will bless thy bread and thy water:'5 this refers to the bread dipped in salt and to the pitcher of water;8 and after this, I will take [Mahalah, i.e.] sickness away from the midst of thee.5 It was [also] taught: Mahalah9 means gall;10 and why is it called mahalah! Because eighty-three different kinds of illnesses may result from it [as the numerical value of mahalah amounts exactly to this];11 but they all are counteracted by partaking in the morning of bread dipped in salt followed by a pitcher of water.
Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the saying of the Rabbis: 'If thy neighbour calls thee an ass put a saddle on thy back?'12 — He replied: As it is written: And he said: Hagar, Sarai's handmaid; Whence camest thou and whither goest thou? And she said: I flee from the face of my mistress Sarai.13
Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying: 'If there is any matter of reproach in thee be the first to tell it?' — He replied: As it was written: And he said, I am Abraham's servant.14
Raba again said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying: 'Though a duck keeps its head down while walking its eyes look afar'? — He replied: As it is written: And when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord then remember thy handmaid.15 Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying, 'Sixty16 pains reach the teeth of him who hears the noise made by another man eating17 while he himself does not eat'? — He replied: As it is written, But me, even me thy servant and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called.18 He said to him: You derive it from that verse, but I derive it from this verse, And Isaac brought her unto his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah and she became his wife; and he loved her. And Isaac was comforted for his mother;19 and soon after it is written, And again Abraham took another wife and her name was Keturah.20
Raba [further] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying, 'Though the wine belongs to the owner, the thanks are given to the butler'? — He replied: As it is written, And thou shalt put of thy honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may hearken,21 and it is also written, 'And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands upon him; and the children of Israel hearkened unto him. etc.22
Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying, 'A dog when hungry is ready to swallow even his [own] excrements'?23 — He replied: As it is written, The full soul loatheth an honeycomb, but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.24
Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying, 'A bad palm will usually make its way to a grove of barren trees'? — He replied: This matter was written in the Pentateuch, repeated in the Prophets, mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, and also learnt in a Mishnah and taught in a Baraitha: It is stated in the Pentateuch as written, So Esau went unto Ishmael;25 repeated in the prophets, as written, And there gathered themselves to Jephthah idle men and they went out with him;26 mentioned a third time in the Hagiographa, as written: Every fowl dwells near its kind and man near his equal;27 it was learnt in the Mishnah: 'All that which is attached to an article that is subject to the law of defilement,28 will similarly become defiled, but all that which is attached to anything which would always remain [levitically] clean would similarly remain clean;29 and it was also taught in a Baraitha: R. Eliezer said: 'Not for nothing did the starling follow the raven, but because it is of its kind.'30 Raba [again] said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying: 'If you draw the attention of your fellow to warn him [and he does not respond], you may push a big wall and throw it at him'?31 — He replied: As it is written: Because I have purged thee and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more.32
Raba again said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular saying: 'Into the well from which you have once drank water do not throw clods?' He replied: As it is written: Thou shalt not abhor an Edomite, for he is thy brother; thou shalt not abhor an Egyptian because thou wast a stranger in his land.33
Raba again said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular Saying, 'If thou wilt join me in lifting the burden I will carry it, and if not I will not carry it?' — He replied: As it is written: And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go; but if thou wilt not go with me, I will not go.34
Raba again said to Rabbah b. Mari: Whence can be derived the popular Saying: 'When we were young we were treated as men, whereas now that we have grown old we are looked upon as babies'? — He replied: It is first written: And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light,35
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