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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Baba Kamma
Now since he says 'in all places' we may conclude that he referred to the concluding clause1 and took the lenient view. This proves it.
NOR WOOD NOR FRUITS FROM THOSE IN CHARGE OF FRUITS. Rab2 bought bundles of twigs from an aris.3 Abaye thereupon said to him: Did we not learn, NOR WOOD NOR FRUITS FROM THOSE IN CHARGE OF FRUITS? — He replied: This ruling applies only to a keeper in charge who has no ownership whatsoever in the substance of the land, whereas in the case of an aris who has a part in it,4 I can say that he is selling his own goods.
Our Rabbis taught: It is allowed to buy from those in charge of fruits while they are seated and offering their wares, having the baskets before them and the scales5 in front of them, though in all cases if they tell the purchaser to hide [the goods purchased], it is forbidden. So also it is allowed to buy from them at the entrance of the garden though not at the back of the garden.
It was stated: In the case of a robber, when would it be allowed to buy6 [goods] from him? — Rab said: Only when the majority [of his possessions] is his, but Samuel said: Even when only the minority [of them] is his. Rab Judah instructed Adda the attendant7 [of the Rabbis] to act in accordance with the view that even where [only] a smaller part [of his possessions] is his [it is already permitted to deal with him].
Regarding the property of an informer, R. Huna and Rab Judah are divided: One said that it is permitted to destroy it directly8 whereas the other one said that it is forbidden to destroy it directly. The one who stated that it is permitted to destroy it directly [maintains that an offence against] the property of an informer could surely not be worse than [one against] his body,9 whereas the one who held that it is forbidden to destroy it maintains that the informer might perhaps have good children, as written, He, the wicked, may prepare it but the just shall put it on.10
R. Hisda had [among his employees] a certain aris11 who weighed and gave,12 weighed and took13 [the produce of the field]. He thereupon dismissed him and quoted regarding himself: And the wealth of the sinner is laid tip for the just.14
For what is the hope of the hypocrite though he hath gained when God taketh away his soul.15 R. Huna and R. Hisda differed as to the interpretation of this verse; One said that it referred to the soul of the robbed person, the other one said that it referred to the soul of the robber: The one said that it referred to the soul of the robbed person, for it is written: So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof,16 whereas the other said that it referred to the soul of the robber because it is written: Rob not the poor, because he is poor; neither oppress the afflicted in the gate. For the Lord will plead their cause and spoil the soul of those that spoiled then.17 But what then does the other make of the words: Which taketh away the life of the owners thereof? — By 'the owners thereof' is meant the present possessors thereof.18 But what then does the other make of the words: And [he will] spoil the soul of those that spoiled them? — The reason [of the punishment] is here given: The reason that He will spoil those that spoiled them is because they had spoiled life.19
R. Johanan said: To rob a fellow-man even of the value of a perutah20 is like taking away his life21 from him, as it says: So cite the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof, and it is also written: And he shall eat up thine harvest and thy bread [which] thy sons and thy daughters [should eat],22 and it is again said: For hamas [the violence] against the children of Judah because they have shed innocent blood in their land,23 and it is said further: It is for Saul and for his bloody house because he slew the Gibeonites.24 But why cite the further statements? Because you might say that this applies only to his own soul but not to the soul of his sons and daughters. Therefore come and hear: The flesh of his sons and his daughters. So also if you say that these statements apply only where no money was given25 whereas where money was given, this would not be so,26 come and hear: 'For hamas27 [the violence] against the children of Judah because they have shed innocent blood in their land.' Again, should you say that these statements refer only to a case where a robbery was directly committed by hand whereas where it was merely caused indirectly this would not be so, come and hear: 'It is for Saul and for his bloody house because he slew the Gibeonites'; for indeed where do we find that Saul slew the Gibeonites? It must therefore be because he slew Nob,28 the city of the priests, who used to supply them with water and food,'29 Scripture considers it as though he had slain them.
IT IS HOWEVER PERMITTED TO BUY FROM HOUSEWIVES. Our Rabbis taught:30 It is permitted to buy from housewives woollen goods in Judea and flaxen goods in Galilee, but neither wine nor oil nor flour; nor from slaves nor from children. Abba Saul says that a housewife may sell the worth of four or five31 denarii for the purpose of making a hat for her head. But in all these cases if it was stipulated that the goods should be hidden it is forbidden [to buy them]. Charity collectors may accept from them small donations but not big amounts. In the case of oil pressers it is permitted to buy from them [their housewives]32 olives by measure and oil by measure,33 but neither olives in a small quantity nor oil in a small quantity. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel however says: In Upper Galilee34 it is permitted to buy from housewives olives [even] in small quantities,35 for sometimes a man is ashamed to sell them at the door of his house and so gives them to his wife to sell.
Rabina came once to the city of Mahuza,36 and the housewives of Mahuza came and threw before him chains and bracelets, which he accepted from them.37 Said Rabbah38 Tosfa'ah to Rabina: Was it not taught: Charity collectors may accept from them small donations but not big amounts? He, however, said to him: These things are considered with the people of Mahuza39 as small amounts.
MISHNAH. SHREDS [OF WOOL] WHICH ARE TAKEN OUT BY THE WASHER BELONG TO HIM40 BUT THOSE WHICH THE CARDER REMOVES BELONG TO THE PROPRIETOR.41 THE WASHER MAY REMOVE THE THREE THREADS AT THE EDGE] AND THEY WILL BELONG TO HIM, BUT ALL OVER AND ABOVE THAT WILL BELONG TO THE PROPRIETOR, THOUGH IF THEY WERE BLACK UPON A WHITE SURFACE, HE MAY REMOVE THEM ALL42 AND THEY WILL BELONG TO HIM. IF A TAILOR LEFT A THREAD SUFFICIENT TO SEW WITH, OR A PATCH OF THE WIDTH OF THREE [FINGERS] BY THREE [FINGERS], IT WILL BELONG TO THE PROPRIETOR.41 WHATEVER A CARPENTER REMOVES WITH THE ADZE BELONGS TO HIM,43 BUT THAT WHICH HE REMOVES BY THE AXE BELONGS TO THE PROPRIETOR.44 IF, HOWEVER, HE WAS WORKING ON THE PROPRIETOR'S PREMISES,45 EVEN THE SAWDUST BELONGS TO THE PROPRIETOR.
Baba Kamma 119b
[The carder] must not use [of the cloth for stretching and hackling] more than three widths of a seam. He should similarly not comb the garment towards the warp but towards its woof.1 He may straighten it out lengthways but not breadthways. If he wants, however, to straighten it out up to a handbreadth he may do so.
The Master stated: 'Two threads.' But did we not learn, THREE'? — There is no difficulty, as the former statement applies to thick threads and the latter to thin ones.
'He should similarly not comb the garment towards the warp but towards its woof.'1 But was it not taught to the contrary? — There is no difficulty, as the latter statement refers to an everyday garment whereas the former deals with a best cloak [used very seldom].
'[He must] not use [of the cloth for stretching or hackling] more than three widths of a seam.' R. Jeremiah asked: Does [the preliminary drawing of the] needle to and fro count as one stitch, or does it perhaps count as two stitches? — Let it stand undecided. 'He may straighten it out lengthways but not breadthways.' But was it not taught to the contrary? — There is no difficulty, as the former statement refers to a garment and the latter refers to a girdle.2
Our Rabbis taught: It is not allowed to buy hackled wool from the carder as it is not his, but in places where it is customary for it to belong to him, it is allowed to buy it. In all places, however, it is allowed to buy from them a mattress full of stuffing and a cushion full of stuffing,3 the reason being that these articles had [in any case] been transferred to them through the change [which the stuffing underwent].
Our Rabbis taught:3 It is not right to buy from a weaver either remnants of woof or of warp or threads of the bobbin or remnants of coils. It is however allowed to buy from him [even] a chequered web,4 [and] woof and warp if they are spun and woven. I would here ask: [Since it is] now stated that 'if spun' it may be accepted from them, what necessity was there to say 'woven'?5 — What is meant by 'woven' is merely 'twisted' [without first having been spun].
Our Rabbis taught:3 'It is not right to buy from a dyer either test pieces,6 or samples7 or torn pieces of wool. But it is allowed to buy from him a coloured garment,8 yarn, and ready-made garments'.9 But [since it has] now been stated that yarn may be accepted from him, what doubt could there be regarding ready-made garments?10 — What is meant by 'ready-made garments' is felt spreadings.11
Our Rabbis taught: 'If skins have been given to a tanner the [part] trimmed off and the [pieces of hair] torn off will belong to the proprietor, whereas what comes up by the rinsing in water would belong to him.12
IF THEY WERE BLACK UPON A WHITE SURFACE HE MAY REMOVE THEM ALL AND THEY WILL BELONG TO HIM. Rab Judah said: A washer is named Kazra,13 and he takes the Kazre.14 Rab Judah again said: All the [three] threads can be reckoned for the purpose of tekeleth15 though Isaac my son is particular about them.16
IF A TAILOR LEFT A THREAD SUFFICIENT TO SEW WITH. How much is SUFFICIENT TO SEW WITH? — Said R. Assi: The length of a needle and beyond the needle. The question was raised: [Does this mean] 'the length of a needle and as much again as the length of the needle,' or perhaps 'the length of the needle and anything beyond the needle'? Come and hear: If a tailor left a thread which is less than sufficient to sew with or a patch less than the width of three [fingers] by three [fingers], if the proprietor is particular about them they would belong to the proprietor, but if the proprietor is not particular about them they would belong to the tailor.17 Now, there is no difficulty if you say that 'the length of a needle and beyond the needle' means as much again as a needle, for a thread less than that can still make a clip;18 but if you say that 'the length of a needle and anything beyond the needle' for what purpose could a thread which is less than this be fit? — We may therefore conclude from this that it means 'the length of a needle and beyond the needle as much again as the length of the needle.' This proves it.
WHATEVER A CARPENTER REMOVES WITH THE ADZE BELONGS TO HIM, BUT THAT WHICH HE REMOVES BY THE AXE BELONGS TO THE PROPRIETOR. A contradiction could be raised from the following: Whatever a carpenter removes with the adze or cuts with his saw belongs to the proprietor, for it is only that which comes out from under the borer or from under the chisel or is sawed with the saw that belongs to [the carpenter] himself!19 — Said Raba: In the place where our Tanna [of the Mishnah lived] two kinds of implements were used, the larger called 'axe' and the smaller called 'adze', whereas in the place of the Tanna of the Baraitha there was only one implement [i.e., the larger] and they still called it 'adze'.20
IF HOWEVER HE WAS WORKING ON THE PROPRIETOR'S PREMISES EVEN THE SAWDUST BELONGS TO THE PROPRIETOR. Our Rabbis taught: Workmen chiselling stones do not become liable for robbery [by retaining the chips in their possession]. Workmen who thin trees or thin vines or trim shrubs or weed plants or thin vegetables, if the proprietor is particular [about the waste materials] become liable for robbery, but if the proprietor is not particular about them they will belong to the employees.21 Rab Judah said: Also cuscuta22 and lichen23 are [under such circumstances] not subject to the law of robbery, though in places where proprietors are particular they would be subject to the law of robbery. Rabina thereupon said: Matha Mehasia24 is a place25 where the proprietors are particular about them.26