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“‘You Might Come to Fix a Musical Instrument’: The Bavli’s Reasons for Shevut Laws”. Richard Hidary Yeshiva University. 4Q264a frag. 1 (col. I ) reconstructed by Vered Noam and Elisha Qimron [ אל יתהלך איש חוץ לעירו כיא אמ אל]ף באמה אל יקח איש

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you might come to fix a musical instrument the bavli s reasons for shevut laws

“‘You Might Come to Fix a Musical Instrument’: The Bavli’s Reasons for ShevutLaws”

Richard Hidary

Yeshiva University

slide2

4Q264a frag. 1 (col. I) reconstructed by Vered Noam and Elisha Qimron

[ אל יתהלך איש חוץ לעירו כיא אמ אל]ף באמה אל יקח איש

2 [כול כלי שיר לש̇ורר בהם ביום השבת ] גם הכוהנים ב̇ני

3 [אהרון אל יקחו כלי שיר לשורר בהם על ]העולות וה̇ז̇ב̇חים אשר̇

4 [יקריבו בשבת אל יקח איש מגל]ת̇ ספר [ לקרו]א̇ בכתבו ביום [השבת]

5 [רק הרבים יקחו כתבים ו]יק̇רא̇ו̇ [ו]יל̇מד̇ו בם אל יחשב איש̇ [בפיה̇ו]

6 [לעשות חפצו בשבת אל ידבר] בכול דבר או ע̇בודה או בהון או במק[ח]

7 [וממכר או לצאת לדרך] ב̇יום המ[וחר]ת̇ ואל יד[בר ד]בר כי אם ל̇דבר[י]

8 [קודש כח̇וק̇ ויד]בר̇ לברך̇ [את] א̇ל אך ידבר [דבר] ל̇אכול ולש̇תו̇ת̇[ ]

1 [ No one shall go outside his city but up to a thousa]nd cubits. No one shall take

2 [any musical instruments to play them on the Sabbath]. Also the priests, the sons of

3 [Aaron, shall not take any musical instruments to play them over] the burnt-offerings and the sacrifices which

4 [they sacrifice on the Sabbath. No one shall take a scr]oll [to rea]d his own book on the [Sabbath]

5 [Only the public may take books to]read [and] study them. No one shall reckon [with his mouth]

6 [to pursue his affairs on the Sabbath. He shall not speak] about any matters or working or property or buyin[g]

7 [and selling or traveling] on the next d[a]y. He may only sp[eak w]ords of [holy]

8 matters [as is customary and he may sp]eak to bless God. Yet, one may speak [of things] with regard to eating and drinking [ ]

mishnah be ah 5 2
Mishnah Beṣah5:2

Anything for which one is liable as a restful act (shevut), as an optional act, or as a commanded act on the Sabbath, one is also liable on a festival.

These are restful acts: one may not climb a tree, one may not ride on an animal, one may not float on the water, one may not clap, one may not slap, and one may not dance.

These are optional actions: one may not judge, one may not betroth, one may not perform halisah, and one may not perform a levirate marriage.

These are commanded acts: one may not dedicate anything to the Temple, one may not dedicate one’s value to the Temple, one may not make a vow devoting something to the Temple, one may not separate terumah or tithes.

mekhilta d r shimon bar yohai 12 16
Mekhiltad’R. Shimon bar Yohai, 12:16

I know that “work” (Exod 16:12) includes acts for which one is liable a sin offering. But concerning an act for which one is not liable a sin offering, how do I know one may not climb a tree, that one many not ride and animal, that one may not float on the water, that one may not clap nor slap, nor dance? Scripture therefore teaches, “any work” (Exod 16:12).

jubilees ch 50
Jubilees ch. 50

And the man that does any work on it shall die: whoever desecrates that day, whoever lies with his wife, or whoever says he will do something on it, that he will set out on a journey thereon in regard to any buying or selling: and whoever draws water thereon which he had not prepared for himself on the sixth day, and whoever takes up any burden to carry it out of his tent or out of his house 9 shall die.

…And every man who does any work thereon, or goes a journey, or tills (his) farm, whether in his house or any other place, and whoever lights a fire, or rides on any beast, or travels by ship on the sea, and whoever strikes or kills anything, or slaughters a beast or a bird, or 13 whoever catches an animal or a bird or a fish, or whoever fasts or makes war on the Sabbaths: The man who does any of these things on the Sabbath shall die.

damascus document 10 14 11 18
Damascus Document 10:14 – 11:18

A man may not work on the sixth day from the time that the solar orb is above the horizon by its diameter, because this is what is meant by the passage, "Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy" (Deuteronomy 5:12). On the Sabbath day, one may not speak any coarse or empty word. One is not to seek repayment of any loan from his fellow. One may not go to court about property or wealth. One may not discuss business or work to be done the next day. A man may not go about in the field to do his desired activity on the Sabbath. One may not travel outside his city more than a thousand cubits.

A man may not eat anything on the Sabbath day except food already prepared. From whatever was lost in the field he may not eat, and he may not drink unless he was in the camp. If he was on a journey and went down to bathe, he may drink where he stands, but he may not draw water into any vessel. One may not send a Gentile to do his business on the Sabbath day. A man may not put on filthy clothes or clothes kept in wool unless he washes it in water or if they scrub it with spice. A man may not voluntarily cross Sabbath borders on the Sabbath day. A man may walk behind an animal to graze it outside his cityup to two thousand cubits. One may not raise his hand to hit it with a fist. If it is uncooperative, he should leave it inside. A man may not carry anything outside his house, nor should he carry anything in. If he is in a temporary shelter, he should not take anything out of it or bring anything in. No one should open a sealed vessel on the Sabbath. No one should carry medicine on his person, either going out or coming in, on the Sabbath. No one should pick up stone and dust in an inhabited place. No caregiver should carry a baby on the Sabbath, either going out or coming in. No one should provoke his servant, his maid, or his employee on the Sabbath. No one should help an animal give birth on the Sabbath; and if it falls into a well or a pit, he may not lift it out on the Sabbath.No one should rest in a place nearto Gentiles on the Sabbath.No one should profane the Sabbath for wealth or spoil on the Sabbath.Any living human who falls into a body of water or a cistern shall not be helped out with ladder, rope, or instrument. No one should offer any sacrifice on the Sabbath except the Sabbath whole-burnt-offering, for so it is written, "besides your Sabbaths" (Leviticus 23:28).

yerushalmi be ah 5 2 63a
Yerushalmi Beṣah 5:2, 63a

שהוא מצווה על שביתת בהמה כמוהו [שמות כג יב] למען ינוח שורך וחמורך כמוך

A man is commanded concerning the Sabbath rest of his beast as much as concerning his own. [This is in line with the following verse of Scripture: ‘Six days you shall do your work but on the seventh day you shall rest;] that your ox and your ass may have rest as you do.”

jubilees and dead sea scrolls
Jubilees and Dead Sea Scrolls

All Forms of Work

Biblical Prohibitions

+ Punishment

mishnah midrash yerushalmi
Mishnah, Midrash, Yerushalmi

39 מלאכות

  • Greater Systematization
  • Tendency towards leniency

Shevut Laws

Biblical Prohibition

+ Punishment

Biblical Prohibition

NO Punishment

bavli be ah 36b
BavliBeṣah 36b
  • “One may not climb a tree” – this is a safeguard lest one pluck fruit.
  • “One may not ride on an animal” – this is a safeguard lest one travels past the Sabbath boundary. Can we thus derive that Sabbath boundaries are biblical? Rather, this is a safeguard lest on come to cut a branch.
  • “One may not float on water” – this is a safeguard lest one make a bottle for use as a flotation device.
  • “One may not clap, one may not slap one’s thigh, and one may not dance” – this is a safeguard lest one come to repair musical instruments. “
  • These are optional acts: One may not judge…levirate marriage” – what is the reason for all of these? It is a safeguard lest one come to write. “
  • These are commanded acts: One may not dedicate…” – this is a safeguard lest one come to buy and sell.
bavli stammaim
Bavli (Stammaim)

39 Conceptual Categories of Work

  • Even greater systematization
  • Greater tendency towards leniency?

Shevut Laws

Biblical Prohibition

+ Punishment

Rabbinic Safeguards

tosefta shabbat 17 22
Tosefta Shabbat 17:22

המשמר זרעים מפני עופות ומקשאות מפני חיה משמר כדרכו בשבת ובלבד שלא יספק ולא ירקד ולא יטפיח כדרך שעושה בחול

One who is guarding his seeds from birds and his gourds from animals may guard them as he normally does on the Sabbath as long as he does not clap, dance, or slap his thigh as he does on a weekday.

tosefta shabbat 2 7
Tosefta Shabbat 2:7

מעלין בדיופי ומטיפין מן

הארק לחולה בשבת

One may raise water through a siphon and let it drip from a perforated vessel for a sick person on the Sabbath.

leviticus rabbah 34
Leviticus Rabbah 34

ודבר דבר,

אימיה דר\' שמעון בן יוחי כד הוות משתעייא מותר מילה בשובתא הווה אמ\' לה אימא שובתא היא והיא שתקא.

Nor speak a word (Isaiah 58:13):

When the mother of R. Shimon bar Yohai used to talk too much on the Sabbath, he would tell her, “It is the Sabbath!” and she would be quiet.

yerushalmi be ah 5 2 63a1
Yerushalmi Beṣah 5:2, 63a
  • R. Yonah said: There were elders in our days who would clap with the back of their hand on the Sabbath…
  • R. Eleazar said, anything that produces sound is prohibited on the Sabbath…
  • R. Ila stayed late at the study session. He went home and found them sleeping. He lay down on the ladder in order not to knock on the door on the Sabbath.
bavli eruvin 104a
BavliEruvin104a
  • Rabbah said: Only a musical sound has been forbidden.
  • Abayepointed out an objection against him: ‘Liquids may be drawn by means of a siphon, and water may be allowed to drip from the arak, for a sick person on the Sabbath’. Thus only ‘for a sick person’ is this allowed, but not for a healthy one. Now, how are we to imagine the circumstances? Would you not agree that this is a case where the sick man was asleep and it was desired that he should wake up? May it not then be inferred that the production of any sound is forbidden?

No; this is a case where he was awake and it is desired that he should fall asleep, so that the sound heard is one like a tingling noise.

  • He pointed out to him a further objection: If a man guards his fruit against the birds or his gourds against wild beasts he may proceed on the Sabbath in his usual way, provided he does not clap his hand, beat his chest or stamp his feet as is usually done on weekdays. Now what could be the reason? Is it not that the man produces sound and that the production of any sound is forbidden? — R. Aha b. Jacob replied: This is a preventive measure against the possibility of his picking up a pebble...
  • We learned: WATER MAY BE DRAWN ON THE SABBATH BY MEANS OF A WHEEL FROM THE CISTERN OF THE EXILES AND FROM THE GREAT CISTERN (M. Eruv 10:14). Thus only in the Temple is this permitted but not in the country. But what could be the reason? Is it not that the revolution of the wheel produces a sound which is forbidden? — No; this is a preventive measure against the possibility of a man\'s drawing the water for his garden or his ruin.
  • Amemar allowed the drawing of water by means of a wheel at Mahuza; “for,” he said, “on what ground did the Rabbis enact a preventive measure against such drawing? Only on the ground that a person might also draw water for his garden or his ruin. But in this place there is neither garden nor ruin.”
the epistle of ignatius to the magnesians long form ch 9
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians, long form, ch 9

But let every one of you keep the Sabbath after a spiritual manner, rejoicing in meditation on the law, not in relaxation of the body, admiring the workmanship of God, and not eating things prepared the day before, nor using lukewarm drinks, and walking within a prescribed space, nor finding delight in dancing and clapping which have no sense in them.

Antioch, c. 35-108 C.E.

augustine enarrationes ps 92 2
Augustine, Enarrationes, Ps. 92:2

This Psalm is entitled, a Psalm to be sung on the Sabbath day. Lo, this day is the Sabbath, which the Jews at this period observe by a kind of bodily rest, languid and luxurious.

They abstain from labors, and give themselves up to trifles; and though God ordained the

Sabbath, they spend it in actions which God forbids. Our rest is from evil works, theirs from good; for it is better to plough than to dance.

john chrysostom adversus judaeos 1 2 7
John Chrysostom, AdversusJudaeos 1.2.7

In Isaiah\'s day they quarreled and squabbled when they fasted; now when fast, they go in for excesses and the ultimate licentiousness, dancing with bare feet in the marketplace. The pretext is that they are fasting, but they act like men who are drunk.

mishnah ta anit 4 8
Mishnah Ta`anit 4:8

אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיום הכפורים שבהן בנות ירושלם יוצאות בכלי לבן שאולין שלא לבייש את מי שאין לו כל הכלים טעונין טבילה ובנות ירושלים יוצאות וחולות בכרמים ומה היו אומרות בחור שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך

R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: there never were in Israel greater days of joy than the fifteenth of Av and the Day of Atonement. On these days the daughters of Jerusalem used to walk out in white garments which they borrowed in order not to put to shame anyone who had none. All these garments required ritual dipping. the daughters of Jerusalem came out and danced in the vineyards exclaiming at the same time, young man, lift up your eyes and see what you choose for yourself.

bavli be ah 30a
BavliBeṣah 30a

אמר ליה רבא בר רב חנין לאביי: תנן, אין מטפחין ואין מספקין ואין מרקדין, והאידנא דקא חזינן דעבדן הכי, ולא אמרינן להו ולא מידי?

אמר ליה: ... הנח להם לישראל, מוטב שיהיו שוגגין ואל יהיו מזידין. והני מילי - בדרבנן, אבל בדאורייתא - לא.

Raba son of R. Hanin said to Abaye: We have learnt: You may not clap the hands or slap the thighs or dance; and yet we indeed see that [people] do this and we do not take them to task! — He replied to him: … Let Israel [go their way]: it is better that they should err in ignorance than presumptuously; here also [I say], Let Israel go their way: it is better that they should err in ignorance than presumptuously. This, however, applies only to a Rabbinical [prohibition] but not to a Biblical [prohibition].

tosafot to bavli be ah 30a
Tosafot to BavliBeṣah 30a

תנן אין מטפחין ואין מרקדין –

פרש"י שמא יתקן כלי שיר

ומיהו לדידן שרי דדוקא בימיהן שהיו בקיאין לעשות כלי שיר שייך למגזר

אבל לדידן אין אנו בקיאין לעשות כלי שיר ולא שייך למגזר.

shul an arukh ora aim 339 3
ShulḥanArukh, OraḥḤaim, 339:3

אין מטפחין להכות כף אל כף, ולא מספקין להכות כף על ירך, ולא מרקדין, גזירה שמא יתקן כלי שיר. ואפי\' להכות באצבע על הקרקע, או על הלוח, או אחת כנגד אחת כדרך המשוררים, או לקשקש באגוז לתינוק, או לשחק בו בזוג כדי שישתוק, כל זה וכיוצא בו אסור, גזירה שמא יתקן כלי שיר; ולספק כלאחר יד, מותר.

הגה: והא דמספקין ומרקדין האידנא ולא מחינן בהו משום דמוטב שיהיו שוגגין וכו\'.

וי"א דבזמן הזה הכל שרי, דאין אנו בקיאין בעשיית כלי שיר וליכא למגזר שמא יתקן כלי שיר דמלתא דלא שכיח הוא ואפשר שעל זה נהגו להקל בכל (תוספות סוף פרק המביא כדי יין).

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