Shabbat 67 - Fox's tooth and nail from the gallows

The mother of Abaye died while giving birth to him, and he was brought up by his nurse, so every time Abaye says, "My mother told me..." he means her. She taught him very many things quoted in the Talmud, and here is one.

Abaye said, "My mother told me that one afflicted with daily fever should take a white, newly-minted zuz coin, measure its weight in salt, then tie the salt by the neck opening of his shirt with a strand of hair."

"If this remedy is not available, he must sit at the crossroads and when he sees a large ant carrying something, he must take the ant and place it into a copper tube, close the tube with lead, and seal it with sixty different type of seal. Then he must shake the tube, carry it, and say to the ant, 'Your burden is upon me, and my burden is upon you.'"

But, says the Talmud, what if another person already placed his burden on this ant? Rather, he should say, "My burden is upon you, and your burden is upon you."

One may go out on Shabbat with a locust's egg, with a fox's tooth, or with a nail from the gallows of one that was hanged. All these items have therapeutically value, and are thus ornaments, not a forbidden burden - these are the words of Rabbi Meir. However, the Sages prohibit these practices even on weekdays, since they involve magic and were used by other nations.

Art: Mihaly Munkacsy - Mother and Child