What is Talmud Tweets?

What is Talmud Tweets? A short, personal take on a page of Talmud - every day!

For several years now, I have been following the tradition of "Daf Yomi" - reading a set page of Talmud daily. With the start of a new 7 1/2 year cycle, I thought I would share a taste of what the Talmud offers, with a bit of personal commentary included. The idea is not to give a scholarly explanation. Rather, it is for those new to Talmud to give a little taste - a tweet, as it were - of the richness of this text and dialogue it contains. The Talmud is a window into a style of thinking as well as the world as it changed over the centuries of its compilation.

These are not literal "tweets" - I don't limit myself to 140 characters. Rather, these are intended to be short, quick takes - focusing in on one part of a much richer discussion. Hopefully, I will pique your interest. As Hillel says: "Go and study it!" (Shabbat 31a)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Shabbat 126 - Bolt

We learned that a skylight can be propped open on Shabbat with a stick which had been set aside or fastened by a rope for that purpose – so long as this was done before Shabbat.

This leads to a discussion of door bolts. One in particular is interesting – a “dragging bolt” (neger hanagar) – that is attached to a door but with an arm which drags against the ground.

With a dragging bolt, one may lock [the door] in the Temple, but not in the country;

“The country” here is any location outside the Ancient Temple in Jerusalem. The bolt is allowed there, but nowhere else.

but one that is laid apart [on the ground] is forbidden in both places.

A non-attached bolt – one which is simply put in place through a door socket into the ground – is not allowed.

But there is controversy:

R. Judah said: That which is laid apart [is permitted] in the Temple; and that which is dragged, in the country.

Now it was taught: Which is a dragging bolt wherewith we may close [a door] in the Temple but not in the country? That which is fastened [to the door] and suspended — one end reaching the ground.

R. Judah said: Such is permitted even in the country. But which is forbidden in the country? That which is neither fastened nor suspended — but which one removes and places in a corner.

Interesting that the exception would even exist for the Temple doors exclusively. Also the attention to detail of the kind of bolt (attached or loose) used. Advance preparation (fastening - like the skylight prop) helps.

No comments:

Post a Comment