Shabbat 92-95 Survey (August 2-5)
Thus on Shabbat 94b, one is not allowed to pluck out more than one hair, but pulling out the grey ones from among black ones is prohibited entirely – and not just on Shabbat, but on every day, since it is connected with the Torah prohibition of men wearing women’s clothing! The commentator mentions that it is in the pursuit of attractiveness to the point of effeminacy – no “metro-sexuals” wanted here, evidently. I remember once reading a medieval Spanish Hebrew poem (that I can’t put my hands on now) to the effect that you can pluck one grey hair, but it laughs at you because its reinforcements will eventually arrive to overwhelm you. And that is certainly true.
Some of these pages concern again permissible quantities and contexts for carrying out – using a utensil to carry out a material, or a bed to carry out a person, is not considered a separate violation because the tools are part of the important item (or individual) being carried out. However, make sure to avoid carrying out something k’zayit [the size of an olive] from a corpse or a vermin, since that’s a violation! But later generations allow a corpse to be carried out for a burial, drawing on a saying we saw cited on earlier pages – that human dignity is so great that it can supersede a negative Torah commandment; in this case, as Rashi points out, it’s a Rabbinic enactment regarding “carrying,” but remember that the Rabbis are not overly modest when it comes to projecting their authority and rulings back in time as “Torah.” Today we might say that human dignity and individual choice make commandments into suggestions, but that’s our voice, not the Talmud’s.