Rabbi Isaac and Rabbi Judah were out on the road.
They reached the village of Sikhnin
and stayed there with a woman who had one little son
who went to school every day.
That day he left school and came home.
He saw these wise men.
His mother said to him, "Approach these distinguished men;
you will gain blessings from them!"
He approached them and suddenly turned back.
He said to his mother, "I don't want to go near them
because they haven't recited Shema today,
and I have been taught:
'Anyone who has not recited Shema at its proper time
is under a ban that entire day.' "
They heard this and were amazed.
Raising their hands, they blessed him.
They said, "Indeed, it is so!
Today we were engaged with a bride and groom
who did not have what they needed and were delaying their union.
There was no one to engage in helping them,
so we engaged, and we did not recite Shema at its proper time.
One who is busy doing a miẓvab is exempt from another miẓvah."
Then they said, "My son, how did you know?"
He said, "I knew by the smell of your clothes when I came near
They were amazed.
They sat down, washed their hands, and broke bread.
Rabbi Judah's hands were dirty, and he blessed before he washed.
The boy said to them, "If you are students of Rabbi Shema'yah the
you should not have blessed with filthy hands.
One who blesses with filthy hands should be put to death!"