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Steinsaltz

And a carder should not place in a piece of cloth more than three stitches for each loop that he attaches to the cloth in order to stretch it out, as this causes the cloth to overstretch and require trimming. And he should not card the cloth along its warp, i.e., vertically, but along its weft, i.e., horizontally. And he may even out the cloth by cutting it along its length, but not along its width, and if he comes to even out the cloth by removing up to a handbreadth of material, it is permitted for him to do so.

The Gemara analyzes the baraita: The Master said in the baraita that the launderer may take two threads. But didn’t we learn in the mishna that the launderer may take three threads? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult: The ruling of this baraita, which allows only two threads, is stated with regard to thick threads, and the ruling of that mishna, which allows three threads, is stated with regard to thin ones.

It was also stated in the baraita: And he should not card the cloth along its warp but along its weft. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in another baraita that the opposite is the halakha? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult: The ruling of this baraita, which prohibits carding along the warp, is stated with regard to an ordinary garment, which is designed for durability, and one should therefore avoid wearing out the material by carding along the warp. The ruling of that baraita, which allows one to card along the warp, is stated with regard to an elegant cape [besarbela], which is made for aesthetic appearance and is therefore improved by carding in this manner.

The Gemara examines the next clause of the baraita: And a carder should not place in a cloth more than three stiches for each loop. Rabbi Yirmeya raised a dilemma with regard to the definition of the term stitch in this context: Does drawing the needle in and out constitute one stitch, or perhaps does drawing the needle in and out constitute two stitches? The Gemara responds: The question shall stand unresolved.

It was further stated in the baraita: And he may even out the cloth by cutting it along its length, but not along its width. The Gemara asks: But isn’t it taught in another baraita that the opposite is true? The Gemara answers that this is not difficult: The statement of this baraita, which rules that one should even out the cloth along its length, is stated with regard to a garment, where an uneven length would be conspicuous. The statement of that baraita, which rules that one should even it out along its width, is stated with regard to a belt, as the width of a belt is more noticeable than its length while it is being worn.

§ The Gemara cites a baraita that discusses which items may be purchased from a carder. The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 11:12): One may not purchase strands of thread from a carder, because it is assumed that they are not his. And in a place where the residents were accustomed to allow carders to retain strands, the strands may be presumed to be his and one may purchase them. And in every place, one may purchase from them a cushion full of stuffing made from strands, or a mattress full of stuffing made from strands. What is the reason that it is permitted? The reason is that even if the carder had stolen the strands, once he uses them to make a cushion or mattress, he has acquired them through a change of form.

§ Apropos the halakhot pertaining to weaving, the Gemara cites a baraita that discusses which items may be purchased from various craftsmen. The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 11:11): One may purchase from a weaver neither woolen wads [irin], which are used to hold the bobbin in place on a shuttle, nor heddles [nirin], nor threads of the bobbin [punkalin], nor remnants of coils of thread that were left on the spool, as there is a concern that these items were taken from the customer without his consent.

But one may purchase a spotted garment from them, even though the design indicates that it was made from strands of different colors, which the weaver may have stolen from other garments that he was weaving. It is also permitted to purchase warp threads and weft threads from them, as well as wool that was spun into thread or woven. All of these items may be purchased from the weaver because they have undergone a physical change, and have therefore been acquired by the weaver even if he did steal them.

The Gemara asks: Say: Now that the baraita taught that one may purchase spun wool despite the fact that it has undergone only a minor physical change, is it necessary to teach that one may purchase woven wool, which has undergone a greater change of form? The Gemara answers: What does the baraita mean when it mentions woven wool? It is not referring to wool woven into a garment, but to wool that was twisted into chains, which is also a minor physical change.

The Gemara examines which items may be bought from a dyer. The Sages taught in a baraita: One may purchase from a dyer neither pieces of wool used for tests, nor pieces used as a color sample [dugmut], nor detached pieces of wool, as these might have been stolen. But one may purchase from him a colored garment, spun threads, and clothes fashioned from the aforementioned pieces of material. The Gemara asks: Now that the baraita taught that one may purchase spun threads from the dyer, is it necessary to teach that one may purchase clothes? It is obvious that one may purchase clothes, as the clothes themselves are made of spun threads. The Gemara explains: What does the baraita mean when it mentions clothes? It is referring to felt garments, which are not made of spun thread.

The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 11:16): In the case of one who gives hides to a tanner, the trimmings of hide and the detached hairs belong to the customer, but the substance that comes up while being washed in water belongs to him, the tanner.

§ The mishna teaches that if the threads were black on a white garment, the launderer may take all of them. Rav Yehuda said: A launderer is called a katzra in Aramaic, and he takes the short [katzra] shreds of wool for himself. Rav Yehuda also said: All the threads, even those usually removed from the garment, are counted toward the minimum number of thumb-lengths between the hole through which the sky-blue wool is inserted for ritual fringes and the edge of the garment. But Yitzḥak, my son, is particular about these threads, and makes sure that the garment is of the proper measurement even if the threads were to be removed.

The mishna teaches: In the case of a tailor who left enough thread attached to the cloth in order to sew with it, this thread belongs to the customer. The Gemara asks: And how much thread is necessary in order to be able to sew? Rav Asi said: The length of a needle outside the needle. A dilemma was raised before the Sages: Did Rav Asi mean that the thread must be the size of the needle and that beyond the needle there must be an additional amount of thread equivalent to the size of the needle? Or perhaps he meant that it must be the size of the needle, and that beyond the needle there must be any minimal amount of additional string. In other words, was Rav Asi saying that the thread must be two needle lengths, or slightly more than one needle length?

The Gemara responds: Come and hear a resolution, as it is taught in a baraita: In the case of a tailor who left the thread attached to the cloth, but it was less than the length necessary in order to sew with it, or if there was a patch of cloth that is less than three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths left from the cloth given to the tailor by the customer, the halakha is dependent upon the customer’s inclination: When the customer is particular about such items, these items belong to the customer, but if the customer is not particular about them, these items belong to the tailor.

The Gemara analyzes the baraita to deduce the answer: Granted, if you say that Rav Asi meant to say that the thread must be the size of the needle and that beyond the needle there must be an additional amount of thread equivalent to the size of the needle, then the ruling in the baraita that a slightly shorter thread belongs to the customer if he wishes to keep it is reasonable, since a thread which is less than that length is still fit for use as the stitching of a loop. But if you say that Rav Asi meant that the thread must be the size of the needle and that beyond the needle there must be any amount of additional string, then with regard to a thread that is even less than that, for what use is it fit that the customer might wish to keep it?

Rather, learn from the baraita that Rav Asi meant that the thread must be the size of the needle and that beyond the needle there must be an additional amount of thread equivalent to the size of the needle, so that the thread must be a total of two needle lengths. The Gemara affirms: Conclude from the baraita that this is so.

§ The mishna teaches: That which the carpenter removes with an adze belongs to him, but what he removes with an ax belongs to the customer. The Gemara raises a contradiction to this ruling based upon a baraita: That which the carpenter removes with an adze and that which is severed with a saw belong to the customer. But with regard to that which comes out from under a drill or under a plane [rehitni], and that which is scraped by the saw, i.e., sawdust, these belong to the carpenter. Whereas the mishna rules that the carpenter may keep what is removed with an adze, the baraita rules that it belongs to the customer.

The Gemara presents an answer: Rava said: In the place of the tanna of our mishna, there are two kinds of blades used by carpenters: The larger blade is called an ax, and the smaller one is called an adze. By contrast, in the place of the tanna of the baraita, there is only one carpenter’s blade, and they called it an adze. Consequently, the adze referred to in the baraita is actually an ax and the rulings are therefore congruent.

The mishna teaches: And if he was doing his work in the domain of the customer, then even the sawdust belongs to the customer. The Sages taught in a baraita (Tosefta 11:18): Stone chiselers are not in violation of a transgression due to the prohibition against robbery if they take the leftover chips of rock. Furthermore, with regard to those who prune trees, those who prune vines, those who trim shrubs, those who weed plants, and those who hoe vegetables, the halakha is dependent upon the owner’s inclination: When the owner is particular about the plant trimmings, the workers are in violation of a transgression due to the prohibition against robbery if they take the trimmings, but if the owner is not particular about them, then these items belong to the workers.

Rav Yehuda says: Dodder [keshut] and green grain [veḥaziz], are not subject to the prohibition against robbery, as they grow on their own and no one tends to them. But in a place where people are particular about the ownership of dodder and green grain, they are subject to the prohibition against robbery. Ravina said: And the city of Meḥasya is a city where the residents are particular about dodder and green wheat.

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
אדם סלומון
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