Thursday, August 18, 2005

Rif Shabbat 39b {digression from Shabbat 109a, to Niddah 13a, then to Avodah Zarah 28b}


{Niddah 13a continues}
Whoever holds his membrum when he makes water is as though he had brought a flood on the world!
Abaye said: He treated this case as that of a reconnoitering troop, concerning which we learnt {tnan - in Avoda Zara 70b}: 'If a reconnoitering troop has entered a town in time of peace the open wine jars are forbidden and the closed ones are permitted, but in times of war the former as well as the latter are permitted because the troops have no time to offer libations'.

Thus it clearly follows that owing to their being in a state of fear they do not think of offering libations, and so also in this case, since he {Rav Yehuda} was in a state of fear he would not think of lustful matters.
But what fear could there be here?
If you wish I might reply: The fear of the night and of the roof.
If you prefer I might reply: The fear of his Master {Shmuel}.
If you prefer I might say: The fear of the Shechinah.
If you prefer I might say: Rav Yehuda is different, for the fear of his Master {Hashem} was upon him, for Shmuel once remarked of him 'This man is no mortal being' {lit. born of woman}.
If you prefer I might say: He was a married man, and concerning such Rav Nachman ruled: If a man was married, this is permitted.
If you prefer I might say: It was this that he taught him, vis., that which Abbay the son of Rav Binyamin bar Chiyya: But he may support the testicles from below.
If you prefer I might say: It was this that he taught him, vis., that Rabbi Abahu cited Rabbi Yochanan: It has a limit; from the corona downward [touch] is permitted,

{Niddah 13b}
but from the corona upwards {in the direction of the body} it is forbidden.

Rav said: A man who wilfully causes erection should be placed under the ban.
But why did he not say, 'This is forbidden'?
Because the man merely incites his evil inclination against himself.
Rabbi Ammi said: He is called a kofer, because such is the art of the evil inclination: To-day it incites man to do one wrong thing, and to-morrow it incites him to worship idols and he proceeds to worship them.

Some say, Rabbi Ammi said: He who excites himself by lustful thoughts will not be allowed to enter the division of the Holy One, blessed be He. For here it is written {Bereishit 38:10}:

י וַיֵּרַע בְּעֵינֵי ה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה; וַיָּמֶת, גַּם-אֹתוֹ. 10 And the thing which he did was evil in the sight of the LORD; and He slew him also.
and there it is written {Tehillim 5:5}:
ה כִּי, לֹא אֵל חָפֵץ רֶשַׁע אָתָּה: לֹא יְגֻרְךָ רָע. 5 For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; evil shall not sojourn with Thee.
Rabbi Eliezer said: What is meant by לֹא יְגֻרְךָ רָע? In your dwelling evil shall not sojourn.

And Rabbi Eliezer said: What is meant by that which is written {Yeshaya 1:15}:
טו וּבְפָרִשְׂכֶם כַּפֵּיכֶם, אַעְלִים עֵינַי מִכֶּם--גַּם כִּי-תַרְבּוּ תְפִלָּה, אֵינֶנִּי שֹׁמֵעַ: יְדֵיכֶם, דָּמִים מָלֵאוּ. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of blood.
Those that commit sexual impropriety {=masturbation} with their hands.

It was taught at the school of Rabbi Yishmael: {Shemot 20:12}
יב לֹא תִרְצָח, {ס} לֹא תִנְאָף; {ס} לֹא תִגְנֹב, {ס} לֹא-תַעֲנֶה בְרֵעֲךָ עֵד שָׁקֶר.
12 Thou shalt not murder. {S} Thou shalt not commit adultery. {S} Thou shalt not steal. {S} Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. {S}
implies, Thou shalt not practise sexual impropriety {=masturbation} either with hand or with foot.

The Sages learnt {in a brayta}: proselytes and those that play with children delay the advent of the Messiah.

The statement about proselytes may be understood on the lines of the view of Rabbi Chelbo, for Rabbi Chelbo said: proselytes are as hard for Israel to endure as a sore in raw flesh.

What, however, could be meant by 'those that play with children'?

If it be suggested: Those that practise anal sex [it could well be objected]: Are not such people subject to stoning?

If, however, it be suggested: Those that practise by way of the limbs {=onanism through external contact} [it could be objected]: Are not such deserving destruction by flood?

The meaning rather is: Those that marry minors who are not capable of bearing children, for Rabbi Yossi said: The Son of David will not come before all the souls in Guf {literally 'body,' here the region inhabited by the souls of the unborn} will have been disposed of, since it is said {Yeshaya 57:16}:

טז כִּי לֹא לְעוֹלָם אָרִיב, וְלֹא לָנֶצַח אֶקְצוֹף: כִּי-רוּחַ מִלְּפָנַי יַעֲטוֹף, וּנְשָׁמוֹת אֲנִי עָשִׂיתִי. 16 For I will not contend for ever, neither will I be always wroth; for the spirit that enwrappeth itself is from Me, and the souls which I have made.
{where the first part of the verse states "For I will not contend for ever," and when Mashiach comes God will have stopped contending.}

We learn in perek Ain maamidin beheima {Avodah Zara 28b}: Mar Zutra bar Tovia cited Rav: If one's eye gets out of order, it is permissible to paint it on Shabbat.

He was understood to be of opinion that this only holds good when the medical ingredients had been ground the previous day, but if it is necessary to grind them on the Shabbat and carry them through a public road, it would not be permitted; but one of the Rabbis, and Rabbi Yaakov by name, remarked to him: It was made plain to me on behalf of Mar Yehuda {=Rav Yehuda} that even grinding on Sabbath and the carrying through the public street are permissible.

It once happened to a maid-servant in Mar Shmuel's house that her eye became inflamed on a Sabbath; she cried, but no one attended her {thinking it was not serious enough to warrant desecration of Shabbat} and her eye dropped, and she died. Mar Shmuel went forth and propounded that if one's eye gets out of order it is permissible to paint it on Shabbat.

What kind [of disorder]?
Rav Yehuda said: Such as discharge, pricking, congestion, watering, inflammation or the first stages of sickness, excluding the last stage of sickness or the brightening of the eyesight in which cases it is not permitted.

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