RUCHOS ON ACCOUNT OF DRINKING OR NOT WASHING
If one does any of the following without washing his hands [afterwards], he will be afraid for the specified period, and he will not know why he is afraid:
Eating cress - he will be afraid for 30 days; letting blood - seven days; cutting his hair - three days; cutting his nails - one day.
Putting one's hand on his lips near his nostrils causes fear [due to Ru'ach Ra'ah]; putting one's hand on his forehead induces sleep.
(Beraisa): If one puts food or drink under a bed, even if it is covered in an iron container, Ru'ach Ra'ah dwells on it. (Toras Chayim, brought in Gilyon ha'Shas - sleep is a taste of death, there is no Neshamah to ward of Mazikim - therefore, under the bed is like under a Mes at the time.)
(Beraisa): One should not drink water on Tuesday night [without a Ner] or Shabbos night; if he does, he is responsible for his own death, from Ru'ach Ra'ah.
Question: If one is thirsty then, what should he do?
Answer: Before drinking he should say the seven Kolos that David said over water - "Kol Hash-m Al ha'Mayim...Kol Hash-m ba'Ko'ach...";
If not, he should say 'Lul Shafan...' (an incantation suggesting to Mazikim to bother someone else).
If not - if someone else is in the house, he should wake him and tell him 'Ploni ben Plonisa (himself) is thirsty', and then drink.
If not, he should bang the cover on the jug [to make it sound like someone else is there] and then drink;
If not, he should throw something into the water, and then drink.
(Beraisa): One may not drink water at night from rivers or lakes; if he does so, he is responsible for his own death;
It is dangerous on account of Shavriri (a Shed that causes blindness).
Question: If one is thirsty then, what should he do?
Answer: If someone else is there, he should tell him 'Ploni ben Plonisa is thirsty', and then drink.
If not, he should say to himself 'Ploni, my mother told me to beware of Shavriri - Shavriri Briri Riri Yiri Ri (the Shed gets afraid when it hears its name reduced each time), I want to drink in a white earthenware cup!'
MUST ANIYIM HONOR SHABBOS?
(Mishnah): [He should get four cups of wine] even if he is supported from the Tamchuy (food given daily to the poorest people).
Objection: This is obvious!
Answer: It is a Chidush according to R. Akiva:
R. Akiva says that it is better to make one's [meals on] Shabbos like [those of] a weekday than to [begin to] receive Tzedakah.
Here, for the sake of publicizing the miracle [of Yetzi'as Mitzrayim by drinking the four cups], one should [even begin to] take Tzedakah.
(Tana d'vei Eliyahu): Even though R. Akiva says that it is better to make one's Shabbos like Chol than to receive Tzedakah, one should do a small matter to honor Shabbos.
Question: What is this small matter?
Answer: It is Kisa d'Harsena (fish fried in its own oil with flour):
(Mishnah - R. Yehudah ben Teima): Make yourself brazen like a leopard, be swift like an eagle [or vulture], run like a deer and be vigorous like a lion to do Hash-m's will. (It is brazen for one who is so poor to splurge for Kisa d'Harsena.)
ADVICE OF CHACHAMIM
(Beraisa): R. Akiva commanded his son R. Yehoshua seven things:
Do not sit and learn at the top of the city (many people will pass by and interrupt you);
Do not live in a city run by Chachamim (they are too involved with learning to supervise the city);
Do not enter you own house suddenly [unannounced, lest people are engaged in something requiring privacy] - all the more so, another's house;
Do not go barefoot (this is disgraceful for a Chacham);
Eat early in the morning in summer, before it is too hot, and early in winter, on account of the cold (Chachamim normally eat at six hours of the day - perhaps this is only in spring and fall, when it does not get too hot or cold. Alternatively, they eat six hours from when they rise - rise very early, so you can eat [six hours later] when it is not so late);
Make Shabbos like Chol [if you must], but do not take Tzedakah.
Have financial dealings with someone who is prospering.
(Rav Papa): He does not mean to buy from or sell to him (the one who is prospering would get the better of the deal), rather, to make a partnership.
[Logically, we would have thought this - however,] we have a source that it is good even to buy from or sell to him!
(Rav Shmuel bar Yitzchak) Question: What does it mean "Ma'ase Yadav Berachta"?
Answer: Anyone who received a Perutah from Iyov was blessed.
When R. Akiva was imprisoned, he commanded R. Shimon [one of his Talmidim] five things;
R. Shimon asked R. Akiva to teach him; R. Akiva refused [because he was imprisoned for teaching Torah]. R. Shimon threatened to have his father inform on him to the government.
R. Akiva: The cow wants to nurse more than the calf wants to suckle (I want to teach more than you want to learn)!
R. Shimon: [Only] the calf (me) is in danger (nothing more will happen to you)!
R. Akiva: If you want people to heed you, say [teachings] in the name of a great Chacham;
Teach your son from a Sefer that has been proofread;
Question: What is [the wisdom behind] this?
Answer (Rava): A mistake at the beginning of one's learning will remain.
Do not cook in a pot that someone else cooked in.
Question: What does this refer to?
Answer #1: It refers to [marrying] a divorcee while her ex-husband is alive;
It was taught that if a man who divorced remarried a divorcee, each of them thinks about their prior spouse [at the time of relations - this is bad for the children that result].
Answer #2: It even refers to a widow - perhaps she will not enjoy intimacy with him as much as with her first husband.
If you want to do a Mitzvah and gain, lend money [and take the land as collateral; each year you deduct a small amount from the loan,] and eat the produce;
If you want to do a Mitzvah and be Tahor, marry a woman even if you already have children (it will protect you from nocturnal emissions).
Rebbi commanded his sons four things:
Do not live in Shachnetziv, for the residents are scoffers, and you will be drawn after them;
Do not sit on the bed of a Nochris;
Version #1: This means, do not sleep [like Nochrim] without saying Kri'as Shma;
Version #2: It means, do not marry a convert.
Version #3: It literally means, do not sit on the bed of a Nochris, because of an incident with Rav Papa (a Nochris invited Rav Papa to sit on a bed; there was a dead baby underneath, she sought to blame him for killing it. Rashi's version - he sat, and he had to flee on account of her accusation.)
Do not evade taxes - perhaps they will discover what you really have, and they will take everything;
Do not stand in front of an ox when it leaves the swamp, for then the Satan tempts it to gore.
(R. Shmuel): This refers to a black ox in Nisan (winter is over, it sees vegetation all around and becomes bold).
(R. Oshaya): One should distance himself 50 Amos from a Tam ox (not established to gore), and as far as one can see from a Mu'ad (established gorer).
(Beraisa - R. Meir): [Even] if a bull is eating from its basket, go up to the roof and throw down the ladder (i.e. do not go down while it is around - we are not really concerned that it will climb the ladder).
One snarls 'Hen Hen' at an ox [to stop it from goring or to make it work]; one snarls 'Zeh Zeh' at a lion, and 'Da Da' at a camel.
The sing-song for a boat [to induce people to pull well] is 'Hilni Hiya Hila v'Hilak Hulya'. (Meshech Chachmah Shemos 12:21 (uv'Derech) - animals respond to repetitions of a simple sound, but people are aroused by variety - therefore, one can overcome [animalistic] lusts with repetitions of a single ethical teaching, but to straighten out one's mindset requires great critique.)
(Abaye): All of the following [sometimes] make one prone to Tzara'as (these will be explained) - hide, fish, Kos, hot water, eggs, and white lice:
These situations lead to Tzara'as - sleeping on a hide that was not fully tanned, eating Shibuta (a certain fish) in Nisan, eating remnants of KiSa d'Harsena, (fish fried in its own oil with flour), regularly pouring overly hot water over oneself, walking on egg shells, and wearing laundered clothing without waiting eight days - lice return to him with vigor [and bite].
Version #1 (Rav Papa): One should not enter a house with a cat when barefoot.
Question: What is the reason?
Answer: Cats kill and eat snakes, which have small bones [which they leave on the floor] - if a small bone enters one's foot, it will not leave - this is dangerous.
Version #2: One should not enter a house without a cat when it is dark.
Question: What is the reason?
Answer: [Snakes may be there -] perhaps a snake will wrap itself around his foot and he will not notice, and he will be in danger.
R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi commanded three things to Rebbi (R. Chananel's text reads Rav - R. Yishmael sat like a Talmid in front of Rebbi, it is unlikely that he would command him):
Do not blemish yourself.
Question: What does this mean?
Answer: Do not have a litigation against three people - perhaps [they will get angry, and] two will [falsely] testify that you owe money to the third [alone, and they will share the money].
Do not look at an item as if you want to buy it when you have no money (this deters potential buyers from looking at it);
Do not have relations with your wife the first night after she immersed.
(Rav): This refers to a Nidah mid'Oraisa (if she saw blood on the seventh day of Nidah and immersed that night; nowadays, Benos Yisrael count seven clean days after any sighting before immersing);
Since her source of blood is open, we are concerned lest she continue to see.
R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah commanded Rebbi three things:
Do not go out alone at night; do not stand naked in front of a Ner; do not enter a new bathhouse, lest the floor cave in (there is fire or water below).
Question: How long should one wait before entering?
Answer (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): One should wait 12 months.
(Beraisa): One who stands naked in front of a Ner will get epilepsy.
If one has relations in front of a lamp, the resulting child will have epilepsy.
(Beraisa): If one has relations on a bed on which a child sleeps, the child will get epilepsy.
This is a problem only if the child is less than one year old, is sleeping towards your legs, and you did not put your hand on him.
A SHED THAT WAS BANNED
(Beraisa): One should not go out alone on Tuesday night or Shabbos night, for then Igeres Bas Machalas (a Shed) and 180,000 Mazikim go out; each has its own permission to strike.
At first, they were common every night; once, Igeres encountered R. Chanina ben Dosa;
Igeres: Had they not announced in Shomayim not to harm you and your Torah, I would have struck you!
R. Chanina: If I am so important in Shomayim, I decree upon you never to go in settled areas!
Igeres: Please leave me some time!
He allowed her to go on Tuesday night and Shabbos night. (people may not travel on Shabbos; Tosfos Rid explains why villagers who went to cities and returned would not travel on Tuesday night.)
Igeres encountered Abaye, and told him 'Had they not announced in Shomayim not to harm you and your Torah, I would have struck you!' Abaye decreed that she never go in settled areas.
Question: But we see that she goes [with her escorts]!
Answer: When they go in paths through vineyards, their horses flee to settled areas, and they come to retrieve them.