In any case, it is evident that Rav approves of one whose property is located near a city. How does this accord with his statement that there is concern for the evil eye when one’s field is viewed by people? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. This statement is referring to a wall and an additional partition [ritka] that surround the plot and prevent it from being harmed by the evil eye. That statement is referring to a case where a wall and an additional partition do not surround it.
§ The Gemara returns to expounding the themes of blessings and the evil eye. The Torah states: “And the Lord will take away from you all sickness” (Deuteronomy 7:15). In interpreting this verse, Rav says: This verse is speaking about the evil eye. The Gemara comments: Rav conforms to his line of reasoning, as Rav went to a graveyard, and did what he did, i.e., he used an incantation to find out how those buried there died, and he said: Ninety-nine of these died by the evil eye, and only one died by entirely natural means.
And Shmuel says: This term: “All sickness,” refers to the wind. The Gemara comments: Shmuel conforms to his line of reasoning, as Shmuel says: Every injury suffered by people is due to the wind that enters wounds and bodily cavities. The Gemara asks: But according to Shmuel, aren’t there those executed by the monarchy and others killed by traumatic injury and not the wind? The Gemara responds: With regard to these too, were it not for the wind, they would prepare a medicine for those injured people and they would be healed and live, but the wind prevents this from happening.
Rabbi Ḥanina says: This phrase: “All sickness,” refers to the cold, as Rabbi Ḥanina says: All occurrences that befall man are at the hands of Heaven, except for excess cold and heat, as it is stated: “Cold and heat are on the path of the perverse; he who guards his soul shall keep far from them” (Proverbs 22:5). This indicates that cold and heat are forms of harm caused by man, from which one can protect himself.
Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina says: This phrase: “All sickness,” refers to excrement, as the Master says: With regard to excrement of the nose, i.e., mucous, and excrement of the ear, i.e., earwax, if a large amount is emitted, having much of it is harmful, but having a bit of it is beneficial.
Rabbi Elazar says: This term: “All sickness,” refers to the gall bladder. The Gemara adds: This is also taught in a baraita: With regard to the term: “Sickness,” this refers to the gall bladder. And why is the gall bladder called sickness? It is because it makes a person’s entire body ill. Alternatively, it is called sickness because eighty-three diseases, the numerical value of maḥala, sickness, are dependent on the gall bladder. The Gemara comments: And with regard to all of them, consuming bread in the morning with salt and drinking a large jug of water negates their ill effects, as a simple morning meal is beneficial to the body.
§ The Gemara cites a related baraita: The Sages taught that thirteen matters of praise were stated with regard to a meal of bread eaten in the morning: It protects the diner from the heat, and from the cold, and from the winds, and from the harmful spirits; and it makes the simple wise, and one who consumes it will be victorious in judgment, he will merit to learn Torah and to teach it, and his statements are heard, and his study will remain in his possession.
In addition, his flesh does not generate excess sweat, and he engages in intercourse with his wife at the proper time, and he does not lust for another woman, and this meal is so advantageous that it even kills any louse in his intestines. And some say it even removes jealousy and brings in love. Since he is completely healthy, he is not inclined to be angered by others.
In relation to the above baraita, Rabba said to Rava bar Mari: From where is this matter that people say derived: Sixty runners ran but could not catch the man who ate in the morning, and the Sages likewise said: Arise early and eat, in the summer due to the sun and in the winter due to the cold, so that one’s body should have the strength to withstand the climate.
Rava bar Mari said to him: It is derived from a verse, as it is written: “They shall not hunger nor thirst, neither shall the heat nor sun smite them” (Isaiah 49:10). Why will the heat and the sun not smite them? Since they shall not hunger nor thirst, as they rose early to eat.
Rava said to him: You said to me that it is derived from there, but I say to you that it is derived from here, a different verse: “And you shall serve the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water” (Exodus 23:25), which he interprets as follows: “And you shall serve the Lord your God,” this refers to the recitation of Shema and the Amida prayer, both of which constitute daily service of God. “And He will bless your bread and your water,” this refers to bread with salt and a large jug of water consumed after morning prayers. From that point onward, the rest of the verse: “And I will take sickness away from your midst,” will be fulfilled.
§ Rav Yehuda said to Rav Adda the surveyor: Do not treat measuring lightly even for small areas of land, as each little bit is suitable for growing the cultivated [rishka] saffron, a very expensive product. Rav Yehuda further said to Rav Adda the surveyor: With regard to the four cubits measured adjacent to an irrigation channel, you may treat them lightly, and it is not necessary to provide an exact measurement of them when calculating the areas of fields. And as for the four cubits adjacent to a river, do not measure them at all, but simply estimate the size and include them in the larger measurement.
The Gemara comments: In this regard, Rav Yehuda conforms to his line of reasoning, as Rav Yehuda says: The four cubits adjacent to a channel belong to the residents of the houses alongside the channel, while the four cubits adjacent to a river belong to everyone.
Rabbi Ami would announce: Cut down the trees along the width of the full shoulders of the pullers of the boat on both sides of the river so that the trees should not interfere with the pulling of the boats. The Gemara relates: Rav Natan bar Hoshaya instructed people to cut down sixteen cubits on each side of the river, and the residents of Mashronya came upon him and beat him for issuing this directive. The Gemara explains: He holds that any pathway must be made as wide as like a public domain, which is sixteen cubits wide. But that is not so, as there, in the case of a public domain, we do require that much space; here, however, the space is necessary needs to be only enough to enable the stretching of the ropes to pull the boats. Therefore, the width of the full shoulders of the pullers is the sufficient measure of space needed in order not to interfere with the pulling of the boats.
The Gemara relates another incident: Rabba bar Rav Huna had a certain forest on the bank of a river. They said to him: Let the Master cut down the trees on the riverbank in accordance with the above statement. Rabba bar Rav Huna said to them: Let those above and below me along the river cut down their trees first, and then I will cut down my trees. I will achieve nothing by cutting down my trees on my own. The Gemara asks: How can he do so, i.e., wait for others to act? But isn’t it written: “Gather yourselves together, and gather [hitkosheshu vakoshu]” (Zephaniah 2:1), and Reish Lakish says concerning this: Adorn [keshot] yourself and afterward adorn others. Therefore, one must first perform the required action himself before offering advice to others.
The Gemara responds: There it was the forest of the house of Parzak, the general, and it was obvious that they would pay no attention to a Jewish scholar. Rabba bar Rav Huna therefore said: If the workers of the Persian officer cut down, I will cut down as well, and if they do not cut down, why should I cut down for no purpose? Since if the pullers can stretch their ropes they can go along this side of the river,