THE KABBALAH OF TIME:
Kahane and Wainer explain that the calendar is the master key to unlock the hidden rationale behind the formal structure of ancient sacred texts, as well as to understand basic mystical concepts. When comprehended within the context of the Jewish calendar, these works reveal the spiritual energy of each week, serving as a practical guide for self-analysis and development.
It is forbidden to
chop wood that had been placed in a pile of beams, for it is muktzeh. Nor may
one [chop wood] from a beam that broke on a holiday, because it is nolad. Similarly,
utensils that broke on a holiday may not be used for kindling, because they are
However, one may
use utensils that are intact or utensils that were broken before the
commencement of a holiday for kindling, for they were prepared to be used for
purposes [other than that for which they were originally suitable] before the
nuts or almonds were eaten before the commencement of a holiday, their shells
may be used for kindling on the holiday. If, however, they were eaten on the
holiday, their shells may not be used for kindling.
There are, however,
versions [of the Talmud] that read: If they were eaten before nightfall, we may
not use their shells for kindling, because they have become muktzeh. If, by
contrast, they were eaten on the holiday, they may be used for kindling,
because they are considered to be designated for use, because of the food [they
We may not bake in
a new earthenware oven on a holiday. [This is] a decree [instituted] lest [the
oven] crack open, spoiling the bread, and tainting the person's festive joy.
We may not rake out
[the coals and ash] of an oven or a range; we may, however, press them down.If
baking or roasting in it is impossible unless we rake out [the coals and ash],
it is permitted to do so.
We may seal the
opening of an oven with mud or sediment from a river bank, provided it was made
soft on the previous day. It is forbidden to mix mud on a holiday. We may,
however, mix ashes with water [to form a clay-like mixture] to seal the opening
of an oven.
It is forbidden to
lift the opening of a lamp upward so that it will be extinguished, nor may one
remove oil from it, nor may one cut off the top of the wick with a utensil. One
may, however, flick the top of the wick with one's hand [to remove the charred
When a bundle of
wood has been lit in a fire, it is permitted to remove any piece of wood that
did not catch fire. This does not resemble removing oil from a lamp.
We may not blow [on
a fire] with a bellows on a holiday, so that we do not follow a craftsman's
practice. One may, however, blow with a tube.
We may not make
charcoal. Nor may we braid wicks, singe them, or cut them in two with a
utensil. One may, however, squeeze [a wick until it becomes firmer] by hand.
[Similarly, one may] soak it in oil, and one may place it between two lamps
[with one end in each], and light it in the middle, thus causing the wick to be
divided for each of the lamps.
It is forbidden to
break an earthenware shard or cut a piece of papyrus over which to roast
[fish]. One may not break a reed to use as a spit with which to roast salted
[meat or fish]. When a spit has become bent, fixing it is forbidden, even when
one can straighten it with one's hands.
When two utensils
have been attached from the time they were originally fashioned - e.g., two
lamps or two cups - it is forbidden to break them into two, since by doing so
one makes a utensil fit for use.
A woman should not
walk among piles of wood to look for a branch [appropriate to use as a spit]
for roasting. One may not support a pot or a door with a block of wood, for
carrying wood on a holiday was permitted solely for the purpose of kindling.
Utensils made of
detachable parts - e.g., candelabra made up of several pieces or a chair or
table made up of pieces - may be constructed on a holiday provided one does not
firmly attach the pieces. [This is permissible] because the forbidden labor of
building does not apply to utensils.
It is permitted to
stack stones to use as a toilet. [Stacking them creates] only a temporary
structure, and because of respect for human dignity [the Sages] did not
institute any restrictions [regarding this matter].
When a person who
makes a fire on a holiday sets up the wood, he should not place one log on top
of the other in an orderly fashion, for this looks like building. Although this
is merely a temporary structure, it is forbidden. Instead, he should either
unload all the logs in disarray, or arrange them in order using an irregular
What is implied?
One should place a log on top and then place another below it, and then another
even lower, until one reaches the ground.
We may not direct
an animal with a staff, nor may a blind man go out with a cane,4 nor may a
shepherd carry his pack.
Neither a man nor a
woman may be carried out in a chair, so that the ordinary weekday practice will
not be followed. A person whose presence is required by many may be carried out
on a chair on another person's back. Similarly, he may be carried out in a
litter, even on people's shoulders.
Laws of Keilim (Utensils)
container does not become susceptible to ritual impurity until the tasks
necessary to finish it are completed.
When are the tasks
necessary to finish it completed? When they are fired in a kiln. An oven: When
it is heated to bake donuts. A range with two openings: When it is heated so
that a stirred egg can be baked over it in a frying pan. A range with one
opening: If it was made for baking, the measure is the same as that of an oven.
If it was made for cooking, the measure is the same as that of a range.
Laws of Issurei Biah
We operate under
the presumption that all families are of acceptable lineage and it is permitted
to marry their descendants as an initial and preferred option. Nevertheless, if
you see two families continuously quarreling with each other, you see one family
that is always involved with strife and controversy, or you see a person who
frequently quarrels with people at large and is very insolent, we suspect
[their lineage]. It is fitting to distance oneself from such people for these
are disqualifying characteristics.
Similarly, a person
who always slurs the lineage of others, casting aspersions on the ancestry of
families or individuals, claiming that they are mamzerim, we are suspicious
that he himself is a mamzer. Similarly, if he calls others servants, we suspect
that he is a servant.
a person is characterized by insolence and cruelty, hating people and not
showing kindness to them, we seriously suspect that he is a Gibeonite. For the
distinguishing signs of the holy nation of Israel is that they are meek,
merciful, and kind. With regard to the Gibeonites, [II Samuel 21:2] states:
"The Gibeonites are not of the Jewish people." For they acted extremely
brazenly and would not be appeased. They did not show mercy to the sons of
[King] Saul, nor did they show kindness to the Jews to forgive the descendants
of their king, while [the Jews] had shown them kindness and allowed them to
Laws of Matanot Ani’im
A person will never
become impoverished from giving charity. No harm nor damage will ever be caused
because of charity, as [ibid. 32:17] states: "And the deed of charity is
peace." Everyone who is merciful evokes mercy from others, as [Deuteronomy
13:18] states: "And He shall grant you mercy and shower mercy upon you and
multiply you." Whenever a person is cruel and does not show mercy, his
lineage is suspect, for cruelty is found only among the gentiles, as [Jeremiah]
3:42] states: "They are cruel and will not show mercy."
The entire Jewish
people and all those who attach themselves to them are as brothers, as
[Deuteronomy 14:1] states: "You are children unto God your Lord." And
if a brother will not show mercy to a brother, who will show mercy to them? To
whom do the poor of Israel lift up their eyes? To the gentiles who hate them
and pursue them? Behold their eyes are pointed to their brethren alone.
Laws of Shabat
One may not cut a
reed, since this resembles preparing a utensil. If [a reed] is cut [before the
commencement of the Sabbath], even though it has not been adjusted, it may be
inserted into a hole in the barrel on the Sabbath. We are not concerned that
one might adjust it.
It is forbidden to
place a myrtle leaf or the like in the opening of a cask so that the wine will
flow through it, since this resembles making a faucet on the Sabbath. We may
not break a shard or tear a piece of paper, since this resembles preparing a