B. Said R. Abina to the residents of [107a] the valley of Arabot, “People like you for whom water is not commonly available may wash your hands in the morning and rely on them [that this washing remains effective] the entire day.”
C. There are those that say [the rule applies] in a time of duress, yes, but in a time of no duress, no [it does not apply]. And this is in dispute with the view of Rab. And there are those that say [the rule applies] even in a time where there is no duress as well. And that is identical to the view of Rab [A].
A. Said R. Pappa, “In an irrigation ditch, they do not wash their hands because the flow is not the direct result of human force. [People pour into the ditch vessels of water. It then flows through the field on its own power.] But if one is close to the one who pours where [the water] flows on account of [direct] human force, [at that place] they may wash their hands [with the water flowing in the ditch].”
B. And if the pail [used for drawing the water from the river and pouring it into the ditch] was punctured so that the liquid was streaming [from the pail at the same time both into the ditch and into the river] then it links them and one may dip his hands into it [i.e., into the water of the ditch, and for the purposes of washing the hands that would be deemed an effective immersion in the water of the river].
C. And said Raba, “A vessel punctured with a hole large enough to receive water through it — they do not wash their hands with [water poured out of] it.”
D. And said Raba, “A vessel that does not have a quarter-log [of liquid] — they do not wash their hands with [water poured out of] it.”
E. Is this accurate? Lo, did not Raba say, “A vessel that does not hold a quarter-log — they do not wash their hands with [water poured out of] it?” Lo this implies that if it holds [a quarter-log it may be used for washing] even if it does not have [that much water in it when he pours it on his hands to wash them].
F. This is not a valid question. This [rule that one have a quarter-log] applies to one person [who must have the minimum amount to begin with]. And this [rule that the washing is effective with even less than a quarter-log] applies to two people [who wash consecutively from the same container that had a quarter-log in it to begin with. When the second one washes there is less than the required amount. Nevertheless the washing is effective.]
G. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: [To render hands clean] a quarter-log of water do they pour for hands, for one, also for two [M. Yad. 1:1 A-C].
A. Said R. Sheshet to Amemar, “Are you fussy about the condition of the container [that you use for washing your hands, that it not be damaged]?” He said to him, “Yes.” “About the appearance [i.e., the clarity, of the water]?” He said to him, “Yes.” “About the quantity [of water, that there be a quarter-log]?” He said to him, “Yes.”
B. There are those that say [there is another version of this tradition]: This is what [Amemar] said to him, “About the condition of the container and about the appearance [of the water] we are fussy. About the quantity, we are not fussy.”
C. For it was taught on Tannaite authority: [To render hands clean] a quarter-log of water do they pour for hands, for one, also for two [M. Yad. 1:1 A-C].
D. But this is not a valid comparison. There [in Yad.] the circumstance is different. [The washing for the second person is valid] because the remaining [water for washing the hands of the second person] comes from a quantity that [originally] was sufficient to render the hands clean.
A. R. Jacob of Nehar Peqod set a standard for a washing vessel that it hold a quarter-log. R. Ashi in Huzal set a standard for a wine pitcher that it hold a quarter-log.
B. And said Raba, “The stopper of a barrel that one adapted [to use as a vessel for washing] — they may wash their hands with water poured from it.”
C. There is a Tannaite teaching that accords with this: A stopper that one made for a utensil — they pour out water from it for [washing their] hands. The waterskin and the tub, [even though they are broken down] if he adapted them — they pour out from them water [for washing] the hands. The sack and the basket, even though they hold [liquid] — they do not pour out water from them for [washing] the hands [T. Yad. 1:6 A-C].
A. They posed a question: What is the rule concerning whether one may eat [without washing one's hands by holding the food] with a napkin? Do we suspect that perhaps he touched [the food] or not?
B. Come and take note: When they gave R. Sadoq food that was less than an egg's bulk, he would take hold of it with a napkin and eat it outside of the Sukkah [on the Sukkot festival] and he would not recite after eating it [the blessings over the meal, cf. b. Suk. 26a].
C. Is it not [fair to assume] that it is the case that lo, if there was an egg's bulk he would have to wash his hands [before eating and holding it in a napkin would not be enough]? [No.] Perhaps [the text implies only] if there was an egg's bulk he would have to eat it in a Sukkah and that he would have to recite over it the blessing [after eating].
D. Come and take note: Samuel found Rab eating [holding his food] with a napkin. He said to him, [107b] “Do we permit this practice?” He said to him, “I have little patience [to go and wash first].”
E. When R. Zira departed [to go to Israel] he found R. Ammi and R. Assi eating with pieces of goat skins wrapped around their hands like gloves (Jastrow). He said, “Could two such great men as you misinterpret [the precedent we have based on the actions of] Rab and Samuel? Lo [Rab said], “[I did this because] I have little patience.”
F. He [Zira] neglected that which R. Tahlifa bar Abimi said: “Said Samuel, `They permitted [eating with] a napkin [wrapped around one's hand for a person who did not wash] for those [priests] who eat heave-offering. But they did not permit [eating with] a napkin [without washing one's hands] for those who eat [unconsecrated food] in a state of cleanness.'” And R. Ammi and R. Assi were priests.
A. They posed a question: Must a person who is eating by being fed by another person wash his hands or not? Come and take note: R. Hamnuna bar Sehora was attending R. Hamnuna. He cut him some meat and he ate it. He said to him, “If you were not R. Hamnuna, I would not have fed you [without seeing you wash first].”
B. What is the basis for this statement? Is it not that [we can be sure that] he is careful and did not touch the food? No. It is that he is conscientious and [we can be sure that] he previously had washed his hands.
A. Come and take note: For said R. Zira, said Rab, “A person should not put a morsel [of bread] into the mouth of a servant unless he knows that he washed his hands. And the servant recites the blessing for each cup [of wine that he drinks]. But he does not recite a [separate] blessing for each morsel that he eats.”
B. And R. Yohanan said, “He recites a blessing for each morsel [that he eats].”
C. Said R. Pappa, “This makes perfect sense according to both Rab and R. Yohanan. There is no contradiction [between their views]. This one [Rab states the rule for a lavish meal] where there is an important person present. [The servant is sure that he will receive more morsels.] And this one [R. Yohanan states the rule for an ordinary meal] where there is no important person present. [The servant is not sure that he will receive another morsel.]
D. But lo it states, “Unless he knows that he washed his hands.” [This must then be the general practice for anyone who feeds another person.] [No, that is not a valid conclusion.] The case of a servant is different because he is working [and may not remember to wash].
A. Our rabbis taught on Tannaite authority: A person [eating at a meal] should not feed a morsel to the servant, whether he is holding the cup in his hand or the householder is holding the cup in his hand, lest some misfortune occur at the dinner. And the servant who did not wash his hands is prohibited to put a morsel into his mouth.
A. They posed a question: Must a person who is feeding another person wash his hands or not? Come and take note: The House of Menasheh taught, Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says, “[On the Day of Atonement when it is prohibited to wash,] a woman may wash one hand in water and give the bread to her young child. They said concerning Shammai the Elder that he did not want to feed [his child] with one hand [because he did not want to wash at all on the Day of Atonement]. And they decreed that he [wash and] feed [his child] with both hands.” [These rules prove that a person who feeds another must wash.]
B. Said Abayye, “There [they wash] on account of the demon Shibta [who endangers those who eat without washing at all (Jastrow)].”
A. Come and take note: Samuel's father found him crying. He said to him, “Why are you crying?” [He said,] “Because my master hit me.” “Why [did he hit you]?” “He told me, `You fed my son and did not [first] wash your hand.'” “And why did you not wash?” He said to him, “If he is eating why should I wash?” He said to him, “It is not sufficient that he does not know the law. But he also hits you!”
B. And the law is: A person who is eating by being fed by another person must wash his hands. A person who is feeding another person does not have to wash his hands.
Unit I.1 discusses and aligns the views in the passage. I.2 appends a related rule. I.3 presents a Tannaite complement to M. Unit I.4 extends the rule of the preceding. II.1 raises second-level inquiries now that the primary considerations have been dealt with. III.1-4 picks up on a point introduced at I.2 A regarding washing of hands at meals. This continues with a large-scale composite at 2-6. It then goes on to a rich exposition of the theme through IX.6. III.5-6 continues the preceding with allusions to demons and magic. Unit IV.1 adds a tertiary concern regarding the kinds of water that may be used for washing. V-VI seek the basis for the ritual of washing. VII.1-3 provide additional rules on the manner and frequency of washing. VII.4-5 invoke related Tannaite materials. To conclude, VIII-IX give us precedents for eating without washing and additional miscellanies on the subject.
A. A man ties up meat and cheese in a single cloth,
B. provided that they do not touch one another.
C. Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says, “Two guests eat on one table, this one meat, and that one cheese, and they do not scruple.”
A. And if they do touch one another what difference does it make? It is [a case of] one cold food [that touches] another cold food [and that does not result in a forbidden mixture, see above M. 8:1, II.2 A].
B. Said Abayye, “We may concede that [a layer] does not need to be peeled [away at the place where the meat and cheese touched]. It does need to be washed off [at that place].”
A. Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says, “Two guests eat on one table, this one meat, and that one cheese, and they do not scruple [C].” Said R. Hanan bar Ammi, said Samuel, “They taught this only where [the two guests in C] do not know each other. But where they know each other, it is prohibited [for them to eat meat and cheese at the same table].
B. It also was taught in this regard on Tannaite authority: [Rabban Simeon b. Gamaliel says,] “Two who came into an inn, this one coming from the north, and that one coming from the south — this one eats his piece of meat, and that one eats his cheese and they do not scruple [M. 8:2 C].” One must [conclude]: They prohibited [meat and cheese on one table] only when they [the people eating the food] all were a single group [T. 8:5 A-C].
C. Must you conclude that it be a single group? Rather even if it appears to be a single group [eating together it is prohibited].
A. Said R. Yemar bar Shalmaya to Abayye, “If there were two brothers who were angry at each other [sitting at the same table, one eating meat and the other cheese] what is the law? He said to him, “Will they say that this is a horse of a different color?” [Lit.: All the fancy cakes are prohibited (on Passover because they may become leaven) but the fancy cakes of Boethus are permitted? See b. Pes. 37a. Because the brothers are angry at one another, that does not make them strangers.]