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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Tum'at Met - Chapter 12, Tum'at Met - Chapter 13, Tum'at Met - Chapter 14

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Tum'at Met - Chapter 12

1

A covering that is a square, a handbreadth by a handbreadth and a handbreadth high brings ritual impurity and intervenes between ritual impurity according to Scriptural Law. For an ohel is given that distinction only when it is a handbreadth by a handbreadth and a handbreadth high or more.

What is implied? There was an olive-sized portion of a corpse lying with open space above it and implements (keilim), e.g., needles and spits, were at its side, without touching it. If one covered the portion of the corpse and the implements with an ohel that was a handbreadth by a handbreadth and was more than a handbreadth above the ground, the covering conveys impurity to the implements and renders them impure.

If there were other implements on top of this ohel that was a handbreadth by a handbreadth, they are pure, because the ohel intervenes between them and the impurity. Thus we have learnt that just as an ohel imparts impurity to everything that is under it, it preserves the purity of anything outside it, and intervenes between the impurity and the implements that are on top of it. Similarly, if the impurity was above the ohel and the implements were below it, the implements are pure, because the ohel intervenes in the face of impurity.

If the ohel was less than a handbreadth high or less than a handbreadth by a handbreadth, even if it was several handbreadths high, the implements that are next to the impurity are pure. Any of the implements that are above this ohel and are directly above the impurity are impure. The rationale is that they were positioned over the impurity and there was no ohel intervening in the face of the impurity. Similarly, if there was impurity above this ohel and implements beneath it, any implements that are directly beneath the impurity are impure, for the impurity was hanging over them and there is no ohel intervening in the face of the impurity. The rationale is that whenever there is less than a handbreadth of open space, it is considered as touching and the impurity under it is considered as "flush," as we explained.

When does the above apply? When the ohel was not a person or an implement. If, however, a person or an implement serves as an ohel over the impurity, whether they were the covering itself or the support for the covering, even if the implements were such that themselves do not contract impurity, they convey impurity and do not intervene in the face of impurity.

What is implied? If there was a board placed upon four men or on four implements, even stone implements or the like that do not contract impurity or, needless to say, if they were placed on four spits or four reeds that were a handbreadth high, and there was impurity and other implements beneath it, those implements are impure. If the implements were on top of the board, even if they were not directly above the impurity, they are impure. If there was impurity above the board and implements below it, all of the implements below the board are impure. If, however, the board was placed on four stones or on an animal or a beast and there was impurity under it, the implements on top of it are pure.

א

טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח מְרֻבָּע עַל רוּם טֶפַח מֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה וְחוֹצֵץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה דִּין תּוֹרָה. שֶׁאֵין קָרוּי אֹהֶל אֶלָּא טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח בְּרוּם טֶפַח אוֹ יֶתֶר עַל זֶה. כֵּיצַד. כְּזַיִת מִן הַמֵּת מֻנָּח לַאֲוִיר וּבְצִדּוֹ כֵּלִים כְּגוֹן מְחָטִין וְצִנּוֹרוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן וְאֵינָן נוֹגְעִים בְּטֻמְאָה. אִם הֶאֱהִיל עֲלֵיהֶן אֹהֶל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח וְהָיָה גָּבוֹהַּ מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ טֶפַח הֲרֵי זֶה מֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה לַכֵּלִים וּטְמֵאִין. הָיוּ כֵּלִים אֲחֵרִים עַל גַּבֵּי אֹהֶל זֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח הֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָאֹהֶל חוֹצֵץ בֵּינָם וּבֵין הַטֻּמְאָה. הִנֵּה לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁכְּשֵׁם שֶׁהָאֹהֶל מְטַמֵּא כָּל שֶׁתַּחְתָּיו מַצִּיל כָּל שֶׁחוּצָה לוֹ וְחוֹצֵץ בֵּין הַטֻּמְאָה וּבֵין כֵּלִים שֶׁעַל גַּבָּיו. וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה הַטֻּמְאָה עַל גַּבָּיו וְכֵלִים תַּחְתָּיו הַכֵּלִים טְהוֹרִין. שֶׁהָאֹהֶל חוֹצֵץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה. הָיָה הָאֹהֶל פָּחוֹת מֵרוּם טֶפַח אוֹ פָּחוֹת מִטֶּפַח עַל טֶפַח. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא גָּבוֹהַּ כַּמָּה טְפָחִים הַכֵּלִים שֶׁבְּצַד הַטֻּמְאָה טְהוֹרִים וְכֵלִים שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה מֵאֹהֶל זֶה כָּל שֶׁכְּנֶגֶד הַטֻּמְאָה טָמֵא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֶאֱהִילוּ עַל הַטֻּמְאָה וְאֵין שָׁם אֹהֶל לָחֹץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה. וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה טֻמְאָה עַל גַּבֵּי אֹהֶל זֶה וְכֵלִים תַּחְתָּיו כָּל שֶׁכְּנֶגֶד הַטֻּמְאָה טָמֵא שֶׁהֲרֵי הֶאֱהִילָה עֲלֵיהֶן וְאֵין שָׁם אֹהֶל שֶׁיָּחֹץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה שֶׁכָּל פָּחוֹת מֵרוּם טֶפַח כִּנְגִיעָה הוּא חָשׁוּב. וְטֻמְאָה שֶׁתַּחְתָּיו טֻמְאָה רְצוּצָה הִיא כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁלֹּא הָיָה הָאֹהֶל אָדָם אוֹ כֵּלִים. אֲבָל אָדָם אוֹ כֵּלִים שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ אֹהֶל עַל הַטֻּמְאָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ הֵן עַצְמָן אֹהֶל בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ עַמּוּדֵי הָאֹהֶל אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ כֵּלִים שֶׁאֵין מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה כָּל עִקָּר הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה וְאֵינָן חוֹצְצִין בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה. כֵּיצַד. לוּחַ שֶׁהָיָה מֻנָּח עַל גַּבֵּי אַרְבָּעָה בְּנֵי אָדָם אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי אַרְבָּעָה כֵּלִים אֲפִלּוּ כְּלֵי אֲבָנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִכֵּלִים שֶׁאֵין לְמִינָן טֻמְאָה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם הָיָה מֻנָּח עַל אַרְבָּעָה שִׁפּוּדִין אוֹ אַרְבָּעָה קָנִים שֶׁגְּבוֹהִין טֶפַח. וְהָיְתָה טֻמְאָה וְכֵלִים תַּחְתָּיו הַכֵּלִים טְמֵאִים. וְאִם הָיוּ כֵּלִים עַל גַּבָּיו אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁלֹּא כְּנֶגֶד הַטֻּמְאָה טְמֵאִים. וְאִם הָיְתָה טֻמְאָה עַל גַּבֵּי לוּחַ וְכֵלִים תַּחְתָּיו כָּל כֵּלִים שֶׁתַּחַת הַלּוּחַ טְמֵאִין. אֲבָל אִם הַלּוּחַ הָיָה מֻנָּח עַל גַּבֵּי אַרְבַּע אֲבָנִים אוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה. וְהָיְתָה טֻמְאָה תַּחְתָּיו הֲרֵי הַכֵּלִים שֶׁעַל גַּבָּיו טְהוֹרִין:

2

If there was impurity on top of a board, all of the implements under it are pure, because the ohel intervenes in the face of the impurity. Implements made from animal turds, stone implements, or implements made from earth that are oversized are considered as ohalim and not as implements. Therefore, they intervene in the face of impurity.

ב

הָיְתָה טֻמְאָה עַל גַּבָּיו הֲרֵי כָּל הַכֵּלִים שֶׁתַּחְתָּיו טְהוֹרִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָאֹהֶל חוֹצֵץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה. וּכְלֵי גְּלָלִים וּכְלֵי אֲבָנִים וּכְלֵי אֲדָמָה הַבָּאִים בְּמִדָּה הֲרֵי הֵם כְּאֹהָלִים וְאֵינָם כְּכֵלִים וּלְפִיכָךְ חוֹצְצִים בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה:

3

The following laws apply when a board was placed on top of a new oven and it protrudes beyond the oven on either side for more than a handbreadth. If there was impurity below the board, implements that are on top of it are pure. If there was impurity on top of it, the implements below it are pure. The rationale is that a new oven is not considered as a k'li in this context. If the oven was old, everything is impure.

ג

נֶסֶר שֶׁהוּא נָתוּן עַל פִּי תַּנּוּר חָדָשׁ וְעוֹדֵף מִכָּל צְדָדָיו בְּפוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח. הָיְתָה טֻמְאָה תַּחַת הַנֶּסֶר כֵּלִים שֶׁעַל גַּבָּיו טְהוֹרִין. טֻמְאָה עַל גַּבָּיו כֵּלִים שֶׁתַּחְתָּיו טְהוֹרִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁתַּנּוּר חָדָשׁ אֵינוֹ כְּכֵלִים לְעִנְיָן זֶה. וְאִם הָיָה יָשָׁן הַכּל טָמֵא:

4

When a board was placed over two ovens, even if they are old, and it protrudes beyond each oven and there is impurity below it, between the two ovens, only the space between them is impure. Keilim that are beneath the two ends that are beyond the ovens are pure, for the area beneath the ends and that beneath the ovens are considered as two tents, one next to the other.

Similarly, if a board was placed over an oven, even an old one, and it protruded a handbreadth at both ends, but not from the sides, should there be impurity under one end, keilim under the other end are not considered as impure.

ד

נֶסֶר שֶׁהוּא נָתוּן עַל פִּי שְׁנֵי תַּנּוּרִים אֲפִלּוּ יְשָׁנִים וְעוֹדֵף מִחוּצָה לְתַנּוּר זֶה וּמִחוּצָה לְתַנּוּר זֶה וְהָיְתָה טֻמְאָה תַּחְתָּיו בֵּין שְׁנֵי הַתַּנּוּרִים בֵּינֵיהֶן בִּלְבַד טָמֵא. אֲבָל כֵּלִים שֶׁתַּחַת שְׁתֵּי הַקְּצָווֹת שֶׁחוּצָה לַתַּנּוּרִים טְהוֹרִים שֶׁהֲרֵי הֵן כִּשְׁנֵי אֹהָלִים זֶה בְּצַד זֶה. וְכֵן נֶסֶר שֶׁהוּא נָתוּן עַל פִּי תַּנּוּר אֲפִלּוּ יָשָׁן וְיוֹצֵא מִזֶּה טֶפַח וּמִזֶּה טֶפַח אֲבָל לֹא מִן הַצְּדָדִין וְטֻמְאָה בְּצַד זֶה כֵּלִים שֶׁבַּצַּד הַשֵּׁנִי טְהוֹרִין:

5

The following laws apply when a person carries a k'li, e.g., a plow or the like, and one side of the k'li hung over impurity. If the circumference of the k'li was a handbreadth, even though its width was only a finger breadth and a third, it imparts impurity to the person carrying it. Impurity is conveyed to him according to Rabbinic Law, for our Sages decreed impurity for a k'li whose circumference is a handbreadth as a safeguard lest one be lenient when there is one whose width is a handbreadth. It does not, however, convey impurity to keilim that are below it or other people over which it hangs unless its width is a handbreadth.

ה

אָדָם שֶׁנָּשָׂא כְּלִי כְּגוֹן מִרְדַּעַת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ וְהֶאֱהִיל צַד הַכְּלִי הָאֶחָד עַל הַטֻּמְאָה אִם הָיָה בְּהֶקֵּפוֹ טֶפַח אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בְּרָחְבּוֹ אֶלָּא רֹחַב אֶצְבָּעוֹ שְׁלִישׁ הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא אֶת הַנּוֹשֵׂא וּמֵבִיא לוֹ טֻמְאָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם שֶׁגָּזְרוּ עַל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּהֶקֵּפוֹ טֶפַח מִשּׁוּם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּרָחְבּוֹ טֶפַח. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ מֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה לַכֵּלִים שֶׁתַּחְתָּיו וְלִשְׁאָר אָדָם שֶׁיַּאֲהִיל עֲלֵיהֶן וְעַל הַטֻּמְאָה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בּוֹ רֹחַב טֶפַח:

6

Wooden coffins in which a corpse is placed are not considered as graves. Instead, if there is a handbreadth of empty space between the covering of the coffin and corpse, the cover is considered as an intervening substance and one who stands on the cover is considered as pure according to Scriptural Law. Nevertheless, although most coffins have an empty space of a handbreadth, since there are some which do not have such space, our Sages degreed that no coffin would be considered as an intervening substance. Thus one who walks on a coffin is considered as if he touched a corpse or a grave.

ו

אֲרוֹנוֹת שֶׁל עֵץ שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין בָּהֶן אֶת הַמֵּת אֵינָן כְּקֶבֶר (אֲבָל) אִם יֵשׁ בֵּין כִּסּוּי הָאָרוֹן וְהַמֵּת גֹּבַהּ טֶפַח חוֹצֵץ וְהָעוֹמֵד עַל גַּבֵּי הָאָרוֹן טָהוֹר מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרֹב אֲרוֹנוֹת יֵשׁ בָּהֶן חֲלַל טֶפַח הוֹאִיל וְיֵשׁ שֶׁאֵין שָׁם חֲלַל טֶפַח גָּזְרוּ עַל כָּל הָאֲרוֹנוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן חוֹצְצִין וְשֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַמְהַלֵּךְ עַל גַּבֵּי הָאָרוֹן כְּנוֹגֵעַ בַּמֵּת אוֹ בַּקֶּבֶר:

7

The following laws apply when a beam extended from one wall to another wall and there was impurity under it. If it was a handbreadth wide, it conveys impurity to everything under its entire span. Any keilim or persons under it are impure. This applies even if its width is not the same along the entire span and some portions are less than a handbreadth wide. The rationale is that these portions are considered as part of an ohel. If it is not a handbreadth wide, the impurity pierces through and ascends and pierces through and descends, as we explained.

How much must the circumference be for the board to have a width of a handbreadth? If it is round, three handbreadths. If it is square, four handbreadths.

ז

קוֹרָה שֶׁהִיא נְתוּנָה מִכֹּתֶל לְכֹתֶל וְהַטֻּמְאָה תַּחְתֶּיהָ אִם יֵשׁ בָּהּ פּוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח מְבִיאָה אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה תַּחַת כֻּלָּהּ וְכָל הַכֵּלִים אוֹ אָדָם שֶׁתַּחְתֶּיהָ טְמֵאִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין כֻּלָּהּ שָׁוָה וּקְצָתוֹ פְּחוּתָה מִטֶּפַח מִפְּנֵי שֶׁקְּצָתָהּ מִקְצָת אֹהֶל הוּא. וְאִם אֵין בָּהּ פּוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח טֻמְאָה בּוֹקַעַת וְעוֹלָה בּוֹקַעַת וְיוֹרֶדֶת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. כַּמָּה יִהְיֶה בְּהֶקֵּפָהּ וְיִהְיֶה בָּהּ פּוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח. בִּזְמַן שֶׁהִיא עֲגֻלָּה שְׁלֹשָׁה טְפָחִים וּבִזְמַן שֶׁהִיא מְרֻבַּעַת אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים:

8

When a barrel a se'ah in size was on its side in an open area, it does not convey impurity to everything under its entire expanse unless it is approximately four and half handbreadths in circumference. In this way, its upper portion will be a handbreadth and a half above the ground and there will be a portion of it, a handbreadth by a handbreadth a handbreadth above the ground. Accordingly, if it was suspended half a handbreadth above the ground and its circumference was three handbreadths, it conveys impurity.

Similarly, if there is a round pillar lying in an open space and resting on the earth, it does not convey impurity under its side unless it is 24 handbreadths in circumference. If it is not 24 handbreadths in circumference, the impurity pierces through and ascends and pierces through and descends. The reason that 24 handbreadths are required is that whenever there is a circumference of three, there is a width of one. Whenever there is a square, a handbreadth by a handbreadth, its diagonal will be a handbreadth and two fifths. Therefore if the pillar's circumference was 24 handbreadths, there is a little bit more than a handbreadth by a handbreadth that is a handbreadth high under its entire side. All of these calculations are approximations. This is its form.

ח

סְאָה שֶׁהִיא מֻטָּה עַל צִדָּה בָּאֲוִיר אֵינָהּ מְבִיאָה אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה תַּחַת כֻּלָּהּ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בְּהֶקֵּפָהּ אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים וּמֶחֱצָה בְּקֵרוּב. כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיֶה גֹּבַהּ הַצַּד הָעֶלְיוֹן טֶפַח וּמֶחֱצָה וְיִהְיֶה הַטֶּפַח עַל טֶפַח מִמֶּנָּה גָּבְהוֹ מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ טֶפַח. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיְתָה גְּבוֹהָה מֵעַל הָאָרֶץ חֲצִי טֶפַח וְהָיָה בְּהֶקֵּפָהּ שְׁלֹשָׁה מְבִיאָה אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה. וְכֵן עַמּוּד עָגל שֶׁהוּא מֻטָּל לָאֲוִיר וּמֻנָּח עַל הָאָרֶץ אֵינוֹ מֵבִיא טֻמְאָה תַּחַת דָּפְנוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בּוֹ הֶקֵּף כ''ד טְפָחִים וְאִם אֵין בְּהֶקֵּפוֹ עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים טֻמְאָה בּוֹקַעַת וְעוֹלָה בּוֹקַעַת וְיוֹרֶדֶת. זֶה שֶׁהִצְרִיכוּ עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים עַל הָעִקָּרִין שֶׁסּוֹמְכִים עֲלֵיהֶן חֲכָמִים בְּחֶשְׁבּוֹן כָּל הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים. שֶׁכָּל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּהֶקֵּפוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה יֵשׁ בּוֹ רֹחַב טֶפַח. וְכָל טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח בָּרִבּוּעַ יֵשׁ בַּאֲלַכְסוֹנוֹ טֶפַח וּשְׁנֵי חֳמָשִׁין. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה בְּהֶקֵּף הָעַמּוּד עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים נִמְצָא תַּחַת כָּל דָּפְנוֹ טֶפַח עַל רוּם טֶפַח מְרֻבָּע וְיֶתֶר מְעַט. שֶׁחֶשְׁבּוֹנוֹת אֵלּוּ בְּקֵרוּב הֵן:

Tum'at Met - Chapter 13

1

Whenever there is a covering that is a handbreadth by a handbreadth that is a handbreadth high, it is considered an ohel, as we explained. It intervenes in the face of ritual impurity and conveys ritual impurity whether it was made as a shelter or came into being as a matter of course. Even if it was brought into being without human activity, it conveys ritual impurity and intervenes in the face of it.

What is implied? If there was a cavern that was hollowed out by water or crawling animals or even if the earth itself cratered or one gathered stone and beams and created a covered space of a handbreadth, it is considered as an ohel and it conveys ritual impurity and intervenes in the face of it.

א

כָּל טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח בְּרוּם טֶפַח קָרוּי אֹהֶל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְחוֹצֵץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה וּמֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה בֵּין שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ לְהַאֲהִיל בֵּין שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה מֵאֵלָיו אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה שֶׁלֹּא בִּידֵי אָדָם הֲרֵי זֶה מֵבִיא וְחוֹצֵץ. כֵּיצַד. אֶחָד חוֹר שֶׁחָרְרוּהוּ מַיִם אוֹ שְׁרָצִים אוֹ שֶׁאֲכָלַתּוּ מְלַחַת אוֹ שֶׁצָּבַר אֲבָנִים אוֹ קוֹרוֹת וְנַעֲשָׂה בָּהֶן חֲלַל טֶפַח הֲרֵי זֶה אֹהֶל וּמֵבִיא וְחוֹצֵץ:

2

When does the above apply? When the ohel was strong and sturdy. A unstable ohel, by contrast, does not convey ritual impurity, nor does it intervene in the face of ritual impurity according to Scriptural Law. According to Rabbinic Law, by contrast, it conveys ritual impurity, but does not intervene in the face of it.

What is implied? When branches of trees that hang over the earth which are called sichachot and stones which project outward from a wall that hang over the earth and are called peraot are sturdy enough to carry an average ceiling and remain standing, they convey impurity and intervene in the face of it according to Scriptural Law. If they are not sturdy enough to carry an average ceiling and would fall, they convey impurity according to Rabbinic decree and do not intervene in the face of it. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ב

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁהָיָה הָאֹהֶל חָזָק וּבָרִיא. אֲבָל אֹהֶל רָעוּעַ אֵינוֹ מֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה וְאֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה. אֲבָל מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים מֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה וְאֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. כֵּיצַד. שָׂרִיגֵי הָאִילָנוֹת הַסּוֹכְכִים עַל הָאָרֶץ וְהֵן הַנִּקְרָאִים סְכָכוֹת. וַאֲבָנִים הַיּוֹצְאוֹת מִן הַגָּדֵר הַסּוֹכְכוֹת עַל הָאָרֶץ וְהֵן הַנִּקְרָאִין פְּרָעוֹת אִם יְכוֹלִין לְקַבֵּל מַעֲזִיבָה בֵּינוֹנִית וְהֵן עוֹמְדִין הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְחוֹצְצִין מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וְאִם אֵינָן רְאוּיִין לְקַבֵּל מַעֲזִיבָה בֵּינוֹנִית אֶלָּא הֵן נוֹפְלִים הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם וְאֵינָן חוֹצְצִין. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן:

3

These substances convey ritual impurity and intervene in the face of it: oversized wooden vessels, keilim made from stone, animal turds, or earth that are oversized, simple leather keilim, a curtain, a sheet, or a reed mat that are made like tents, animals or beasts, whether kosher or non-kosher, provided the head of one is placed between the legs of another and they are flush against each other, a bird that rests, one who digs out a place for a child in a grainheap to save him from the sun, and food that was not made ready to be susceptible to ritual impurity so that it would not become impure.

When vegetables continue to grow in the summer and the winter, they are considered like trees and convey ritual impurity and intervene in the face of it. Among those in this category are: mint, bindweed, wild gourd, and Greek squash. Similarly, all of the following - branches of trees that hang over the earth, stones which project outward from a wall, projections, balconies, dovecotes, the clefts of stones, stones that stick out of a wall, the arches of a wall, and stony precipices - convey ritual impurity and intervene in the face of it.

ג

אֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְחוֹצְצִין. כְּלִי עֵץ הַבָּא בְּמִדָּה. וְכֵן כְּלֵי אֲבָנִים כְּלֵי גְּלָלִים כְּלֵי אֲדָמָה הַבָּאִין בְּמִדָּה. וּפְשׁוּטֵי כְּלֵי עוֹר וִירִיעָה וְסָדִין וּמַפָּץ וּמַחְצֶלֶת שֶׁהֵן עֲשׂוּיִין אֹהָלִים. וּבְהֵמוֹת אוֹ חַיּוֹת בֵּין טְמֵאוֹת בֵּין טְהוֹרוֹת וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה רֹאשׁ זוֹ בֵּין רַגְלֵי זוֹ וְהָיוּ כֻּלָּן דְּבוּקוֹת. וְהָעוֹף שֶׁשָּׁכַן. וְהַחוֹטֵט בַּשִּׁבֳּלִים מָקוֹם לְקָטָן לְהַצִּילוֹ מִן הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ. וָאֳכָלִין שֶׁאֵינָן מֻכְשָׁרִין כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִטַּמְּאוּ. יְרָקוֹת הַמִּתְקַיְּמִין בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה וְהַגְּשָׁמִים הֲרֵי הֵן כְּאִילָנוֹת וּמְבִיאִין וְחוֹצְצִין. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הָאִרוּס וְהַקִּיסוֹם וִירָקוֹת חֲמוֹר וּדְלַעַת יְוָנִית. וְכֵן הַסְּכָכוֹת וְהַפְּרָעוֹת וְהַזִּיזִין וְהַגְּזוּרוֹת וְהַשּׁוֹבָכוֹת וְהַשְּׁקִיפִין וְהַסְּלָעִים וְהַנְּחִירִים וְהַשְּׁנִינִין. כָּל אֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְחוֹצְצִין:

4

The following convey ritual impurity, but do not intervene in the face of it: a human being, wooden vessels that are not oversized, because they are like all other keilim and convey ritual impurity, simple leather keilim, a curtain, a sheet, or a reed mat that are not made like tents, but merely extended outward, without being on a slant or having walls, an animal or a beast that died, and impure foods or foods that were made susceptible to ritual impurity, for an impure substance does not intervene in the face of ritual impurity, and a hand mill, because it is in the category of stone keilim. All of these convey ritual impurity, but do not intervene in the face of it.

ד

וְאֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְלֹא חוֹצְצִין. הָאָדָם. וּכְלֵי עֵץ שֶׁאֵינָן בָּאִין בְּמִדָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן כְּכָל הַכֵּלִים וּמִתְטַמְּאִין. וּפְשׁוּטֵי כְּלֵי עוֹר וִירִיעָה וְסָדִין וּמַפָּץ וּמַחְצֶלֶת שֶׁאֵין עֲשׂוּיִין אֹהָלִים אֶלָּא מְתוּחִין בִּלְבַד וְאֵין לָהֶן שִׁפּוּעַ וְאֵין שָׁם כְּתָלִים. וּבְהֵמָה וְחַיָּה שֶׁמֵּתוּ. וָאֳכָלִין טְמֵאִין אוֹ מֻכְשָׁרִין. שֶׁדָּבָר טָמֵא אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. וְרֵחַיִם שֶׁל יָד שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא בִּכְלַל כְּלֵי אֲבָנִים. כָּל אֵלּוּ מְבִיאִין וְאֵינָן חוֹצְצִין:

5

The following articles neither convey ritual impurity, nor do they intervene in the face of it: seeds, vegetables that are still connected to the ground with the exception of the four vegetables mentioned, a mound of hail, snow, sleet, ice, or salt, one who skips from place to place, one who runs from place to place, a bird that flies freely, a garment flying in the wind, or a ship that floats on the water. All these neither convey ritual impurity, nor do they intervene in the face of it. Although they create a covering, the covering is not lasting.

ה

וְאֵלּוּ לֹא מְבִיאִין וְלֹא חוֹצְצִין. הַזְּרָעִים וְהַיְרָקוֹת הַמְחֻבָּרִין לַקַּרְקַע. חוּץ מִן הָאַרְבַּע יְרָקוֹת שֶׁמָּנִינוּ. וְכִפַּת הַבָּרָד וְהַשֶּׁלֶג וְהַכְּפוֹר וְהַגְּלִיד וְהַמֶּלַח. וְהַדּוֹלֵג מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם. וְהַקּוֹפֵץ מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם. וְהָעוֹף הַפּוֹרֵחַ. וְטַלִּית הַמְנַפְנֶפֶת. וּסְפִינָה שֶׁהִיא שָׁטָה עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם. כָּל אֵלּוּ לֹא מְבִיאִין וְלֹא חוֹצְצִין שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֶאֱהִילוּ אֵינוֹ אֹהֶל הַמִּתְקַיֵּם:

6

If one tied a ship to something that could anchor it or covered the corner of a garment with a stone, it conveys ritual impurity.

ו

קָשַׁר אֶת הַסְּפִינָה בְּדָבָר שֶׁהוּא יָכוֹל לְהַעֲמִידָהּ. כָּבַשׁ כְּנַף הַטַּלִּית בְּאֶבֶן הֲרֵי זוֹ מְבִיאָה אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה:

7

When there is a board floating in the water and there is impurity under one of its sides, the keilim under its other side are pure. The rationale is that, as we already explained, a ship that is floating does not convey impurity.

ז

נֶסֶר שֶׁהוּא צָף עַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם וְטֻמְאָה תַּחַת צִדּוֹ הָאֶחָד. הֲרֵי הַכֵּלִים שֶׁתַּחַת צִדּוֹ הַשֵּׁנִי טְהוֹרִים. שֶׁהֲרֵי כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁהַסְּפִינָה הַשָּׁטָה אֵינָהּ מְבִיאָה הַטֻּמְאָה:

8

The following entities intervene in the face of ritual impurity, but do not convey impurity]: the threads of the woof on a weaver's loom, the cords of a bed, a net on which fertilizer is held, and lattice shades for windows.

How do they intervene in the face of impurity? If there was a window between two houses, impurity was found in one house, and one of these entities is extended over this window and covers it, it serves as an intervening substance and prevents impurity from entering the second house. This applies even if there is open space within the intervening article, provided there is not a square handbreadth of empty space in this lattice work, net, or cords. If there is a square handbreadth of empty space, impurity will enter as will be explained.

ח

אֵלּוּ חוֹצְצִין וְלֹא מְבִיאִין. מַסֶּכֶת פְּרוּסָה. וַחֲבִילֵי מִטָּה. וְהַמִּשְׁפָּלוֹת. וְהַסְּרִיגוֹת שֶׁבַּחַלּוֹנוֹת. כֵּיצַד הֵן חוֹצְצִין. שֶׁאִם הָיָה חַלּוֹן בֵּין שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים וְהַטֻּמְאָה בְּבַיִת אֶחָד וְהָיָה אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ מָתוּחַ בְּחַלּוֹן זֶה וּסְתָמוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶן אֲוִיר הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹצְצִין וְלֹא תִּכָּנֵס טֻמְאָה לְבַיִת שֵׁנִי. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה שָׁם בִּסְרִיגוֹת אֵלּוּ אוֹ בְּעֵינֵי הַמִּשְׁפָּלוֹת אוֹ בֵּין חֶבֶל לְחֶבֶל פּוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח שֶׁאִם הָיָה שָׁם פּוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח תִּכָּנֵס בּוֹ הַטֻּמְאָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:

Tum'at Met - Chapter 14

1

Impurity does not enter a shelter, nor does it depart from it if there is an opening less than a handbreadth by a handbreadth.

What is implied? When there is a window between one house and another or between a house and a loft, if it is a square handbreadth by a handbreadth and there was impurity in one of the structures, the other structure is also impure. If the window does not comprise a handbreadth by a handbreadth, impurity does not depart from it, nor does it enter the second structure.

When does the above apply? With regard to a window made by a person for functional purposes. When, by contrast, a window was made by man for illumination, that light should enter, its measure is the size of pundiyon. Then ritual impurity departs through it.

What is implied? There was impurity in a house. A person came and stood on the outside, near this window for light or placed a k'li there, or there was a covering on the other side of the wall, the person, the k'li, and everything under the covering to which the impurity passes through becomes impure. A window made for light is one that is not covered by a roof, but instead, is open to the sun.

א

אֵין טֻמְאָה נִכְנֶסֶת לְאֹהֶל וְלֹא יוֹצְאָה מִמֶּנּוּ בְּפָחוֹת מטֶּפַח עַל טֶפַח. כֵּיצַד. חַלּוֹן שֶׁבֵּין בַּיִת לְבַיִת אוֹ שֶׁבֵּין בַּיִת לַעֲלִיָּה. אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח מְרֻבָּע וְהָיְתָה טֻמְאָה בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן הַבַּיִת הַשֵּׁנִי טָמֵא. אֵין בַּחַלּוֹן פּוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח אֵין הַטֻּמְאָה יוֹצְאָה מִמֶּנּוּ וְלֹא נִכְנֶסֶת לָאֹהֶל הַשֵּׁנִי. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּחַלּוֹן שֶׁעָשָׂה אוֹתוֹ הָאָדָם לְתַשְׁמִישׁ. אֲבָל חַלּוֹן שֶׁעָשָׂה אוֹתוֹ הָאָדָם לְאוֹרָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּכָּנֵס מִמֶּנּוּ הָאוֹר שִׁעוּרוֹ כְּפוּנְדְיוֹן וְהַטֻּמְאָה יוֹצְאָה מִמֶּנּוּ. כֵּיצַד. הָיְתָה טֻמְאָה בַּבַּיִת וּבָא אָדָם וְנִסְמַךְ לְחַלּוֹן זֶה שֶׁל מָאוֹר אוֹ שֶׁהִנִּיחַ בּוֹ כְּלִי אוֹ שֶׁהֶאֱהִיל עָלָיו אֹהֶל בְּצַד הַכֹּתֶל נִטְמָא כָּל שֶׁבְּאֹהֶל שֶׁהַטֻּמְאָה יוֹצְאָה לוֹ. וְחַלּוֹן הֶעָשׂוּי לְאוֹרָה הוּא שֶׁאֵין עָלָיו תִּקְרָה אֶלָּא גָּלוּי הוּא לַשֶּׁמֶשׁ:

2

When an aperture was not made through intentional human activity, e.g., it was hollowed out by water or crawling animals, the earth itself cratered, a window had been shuttered close and the shutter was removed, or it had been covered by glass and the glass broke, the minimum measure is the full span of a shingle which is the size of the head of an ordinary man.

The above applies provided that the owner did not think of using that aperture for functional purposes. If, however, he thought of using it, the minimum measure is an opening of a handbreadth by a handbreadth. If he thought to use it for light, its measure is the size of a pundiyon. The rationale is that, in these instances, thought is considered equivalent to deed.

ב

חַלּוֹן הַנַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁלֹּא בִּידֵי אָדָם כְּגוֹן שֶׁחָרְרוּהוּ מַיִם אוֹ שְׁרָצִים אוֹ שֶׁאֲכָלַתּוּ מְלַחַת אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה חַלּוֹן פָּקוּק וְנָטַל הַפְּקָק אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה בּוֹ זְכוּכִית וְנִשְׁבְּרָה שִׁעוּרוֹ מְלֹא אֶגְרוֹף וְהוּא כְּרֹאשׁ גָּדוֹל שֶׁל אָדָם. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא חָשַׁב עָלָיו לְתַשְׁמִישׁ אֲבָל אִם חָשַׁב עָלָיו לְתַשְׁמִישׁ שִׁעוּרוֹ בְּפוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח. חָשַׁב עָלָיו לְמָאוֹר שִׁעוּרוֹ בְּפוּנְדְיוֹן שֶׁהַמַּחְשָׁבָה כָּאן כְּמַעֲשֶׂה:

3

The following rules apply when a person began closing a window opened for light and did not complete the task because he did not have sufficient cement or a colleague called him, night fell initiating the Sabbath, and there remained a small amount open. If a portion the height of two fingerbreadths and the width of a thumbbreadth remain, it conveys ritual impurity. If it is less than that, it is as if it was closed.

ג

מָאוֹר שֶׁהִתְחִיל לְסָתְמוֹ וְלֹא הִסְפִּיק לְגָמְרוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לוֹ טִיט אוֹ שֶׁקְּרָאוֹ חֲבֵרוֹ אוֹ שֶׁחָשְׁכָה לֵילֵי שַׁבָּת וְנִשְׁאַר מִמֶּנּוּ מְעַט. אִם נִשְׁאַר מִמֶּנּוּ רוּם אֶצְבָּעַיִם עַל רֹחַב הַגּוּדָל מֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה. פָּחוֹת מִכָּאן הֲרֵי הוּא כְּסָתוּם:

4

The following rules apply when there was a large window made for light covered by a lattice or the like. If there was one place where there is a hole as large as a pundiyon, it conveys ritual impurity and allows ritual impurity to depart. If the holes of the lattice are small and not one of them is the size of a pundiyon, it is considered as closed. Similarly, when there was a large window made for functional purposes and it was covered by thatchwork coverings or shades, if there was empty space a handbreadth by a handbreadth square, it conveys ritual impurity and allows ritual impurity to depart. Otherwise, it is considered as closed.

ד

חַלּוֹן גָּדוֹל הֶעָשׂוּי לְאוֹרָה וְהָיָה בָּהּ שְׂבָכָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ. אִם יֵשׁ שָׁם בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד מִמֶּנָּה כְּפוּנְדְיוֹן מֵבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה וּמוֹצִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה. הָיוּ נִקְבֵי הַשְּׂבָכָה דַּקִּים וְאֵין בְּאֶחָד מֵהֶן כְּפוּנְדְיוֹן הֲרֵי זוֹ כִּסְתוּמָה. וְכֵן חַלּוֹן הָעֲשׂוּיָה לְתַשְׁמִישׁ וּבָהּ סְכָכוֹת וּרְפָפוֹת אִם יֵשׁ בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד טֶפַח עַל טֶפַח מְרֻבָּע מֵבִיא וּמוֹצִיא וְאִם לָאו הֲרֵי הִיא כִּסְתוּמָה:

5

When a window is exposed to the open air, its minimum measure is the size of a pundiyon, because it is made solely for the purpose of light, as we explained. If one builds a house outside this window and thus the window is now under a roof, it is considered as if it is between two structures and its measure is a handbreadth by a handbreadth of empty space. If the roof was built in the middle of the window, the measure for the lower portion that is below the roof is a handbreadth by a handbreadth of empty space. The measure of the upper portion that is above the roof is the size of a pundiyon, because it is exposed to the open air.

ה

חַלּוֹן שֶׁהִיא גְּלוּיָה לָאֲוִיר שִׁעוּרָהּ כְּפוּנְדְיוֹן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָהּ עֲשׂוּיָה אֶלָּא לְאוֹרָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ. בָּנָה בַּיִת חוּצָה לָהּ וְנַעֲשֵׂית חַלּוֹן זוֹ תַּחַת תִּקְרָה וַהֲרֵי הִיא בֵּין שְׁנֵי בָּתִּים שִׁעוּרָהּ בְּפוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח. נָתַן אֶת הַתִּקְרָה בְּאֶמְצַע הַחַלּוֹן הַתַּחְתּוֹן שֶׁתַּחַת הַתִּקְרָה שִׁעוּרוֹ בְּפוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח. וְהָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁלְּמַעְלָה מִן הַתִּקְרָה שִׁעוּרוֹ כְּפוּנְדְיוֹן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא גָּלוּי לָאֲוִיר:

6

The following rules apply in the situations to be described: There is a hole in a door, a carpenter left an empty place above or below or hung two swinging doors and did not complete adjusting them and thus there was empty space between the two doors, or he closed the door and it was blown open by the wind. In all these situations, if the opening was the size of a shingle, the impurity leaves through this opening and enters through it. If the opening is less than the size of a shingle, it is considered as closed.

ו

הַחֹר שֶׁבַּדֶּלֶת אוֹ שֶׁשִּׁיֵּר בָּהּ הֶחָרָשׁ מָקוֹם פָּתוּחַ מִלְּמַעְלָה אוֹ מִלְּמַטָּה אוֹ שֶׁהֵגִיף אֶת הַדֶּלֶת וְלֹא גָּמַר לְהַדְּקָהּ וְנִשְׁאַר אֲוִיר בֵּין שְׁתֵּי הַדְּלָתוֹת. אוֹ שֶׁסָּגַר הַדֶּלֶת וּפְתָחוֹ הָרוּחַ. בְּכָל אֵלּוּ אִם הָיָה הַפּוֹתֵחַ כְּאֶגְרוֹף הַטֻּמְאָה יוֹצְאָה מִמֶּנּוּ וְנִכְנֶסֶת לָהּ בְּמָקוֹם פָּתוּחַ זֶה. וְאִם הָיָה פָּחוֹת מִכְּאֶגְרוֹף הֲרֵי הוּא כְּסָתוּם:

7

When a person makes a hole in a wall in order to place a rod or a large nail there, to see those who pass by, or to speak to his colleague, it is considered as a window made for functional purposes and its minimum measure is a space a handbreadth by a handbreadth.

ז

הָעוֹשֶׂה חֹר בַּכֹּתֶל כְּדֵי לְהַנִּיחַ בּוֹ קָנֶה אוֹ מַסְמֵר גָּדוֹל אוֹ לִרְאוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ הָעוֹבְרִים וְהַשָּׁבִים אוֹ לְדַבֵּר עִם חֲבֵרוֹ. הֲרֵי זֶה כְּחַלּוֹן הָעֲשׂוּיָה לְתַשְׁמִישׁ וְשִׁעוּרָהּ בְּפוֹתֵחַ טֶפַח:

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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