Shabbat 121 - Firemen

If a non-Jew comes to extinguish a fire that broke out in a Jew's home on Shabbat, the Jew should not tell him to stop extinguishing, but he also should not tell him not to - because the Jew has not responsibility to watch that a non-Jew does not work on Shabbat. However, if a Jewish minor wants to extinguish the fire, the Jew should stop him, since it is the Jew's responsibility to have minors rest on Shabbat.

Yosef ben Simai was the king's treasurer. A fire once broke out in his courtyard on Shabbat, and the men of the Roman governer of Tzippori came to extinguish the fire, but he stopped them. However, a miracle happened for him, and rain fell and extinguished the fire. Later Yosef sent to each man of the garrison two sela coins, and to their leader he sent fifty. When the Sages heard of the matter, they said, "He did not have to do it, since we learned, 'we don't tell him to extinguish nor do we stop them.'"

One may invert a bowl over a lamp to protect a wooden beam above, and one may overturn the bowl over a scorpion, so that it should not sting. In fact, one may kill the dangerous animals like a snake. The spirit of the pious ones is not pleased with one who kills a snake on Shabbat, but the spirit of the Sages is not pleased with those pious ones.

Art: Egbert Lievensz. Van Der Poel - A Fire In A Village At Night With Villagers Trying To Extinguish It