The Mishna on today’s daf continues its discussion regarding accoutrements that we might fear could possibly be removed and carried on Shabbat. The Mishna lists those things that we assume will not be removed, for which reason they can be worn. The Mishna teaches:
A woman may go out with a sela coin that she ties on a tzinit – a wound – on her foot.
The tzinit mentioned in the Mishna is either an inflamed swelling or callus on the sole of the foot. The coin that is stuck on the wound apparently prevented chafing. It is also conceivable that contact with the metal also healed the wound inasmuch as even today, various metal-based powders are used in the treatment of wounds. However, in the Jerusalem Talmud, tzinit is explained as gout, a very painful condition caused by elevated levels of uric acid in the blood, afflicting the feet, primarily the toes.
The Gemara asks: What is different about a sela? Why specifically is a coin placed on the wound? If you say that any object that is hard is beneficial for her, make an earthenware shard for her instead. Rather, it is beneficial due to the rust on the coin. If so, make a small silver plate for her. Why specifically a coin? Rather it is beneficial due to the image engraved on the coin. If so, make her a pulsa – an unminted coin – and engrave an image on it. Abayye said: Learn from it that all these factors together are beneficial for her.
The Me’iri explains that the depressions on the coin from the engraved image leave room for the swollen flesh protruding from the wound. Therefore, it is not painful to wear a shoe.
A pulsa is a token or coin on which there is no imprimatur, or on which its image has rubbed off. In either case, it is not accepted as a coin.