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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 3, She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 4, She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 5

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She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 3

1

The carcass of a kosher fowl that was not ritually slaughtered imparts impurity according to Scriptural Law. According to the Oral Tradition, it is taught that Leviticus 17:15: "Any soul that will partake of the carcass of a fowl or one that is tereifah - whether a native or a convert - shall launder his garments and bathe in water" is speaking only about one who partakes of the carcass of a fowl from a kosher species that is forbidden because it is a carcass or tereifah.

How is its impurity defined? It does not impart impurity when touched or when carried or when it is in one's mouth, only in one's gullet. This is implied by the phrase: "Any soul that will partake...," i.e., it imparts impurity only when it has been ingested in "the chamber of the soul." It uses the term "partake" to define that the minimum measure that imparts impurity is the measure to which the prohibition against eating applies, i.e., an olive-sized portion. Moreover, it is written: "shall launder his garments;" this teaches that one who contracts impurity from such a carcass imparts impurity to his garments until he separates himself from the object that imparted impurity to him, as we explained.

What is implied? When one swallows an olive-sized portion of the carcass of a fowl from a kosher species and touched keilim while swallowing it, they become impure and are considered a primary derivative of impurity. If he was touching a person or earthenware containers while swallowing it, he does not impart impurity to them, as we stated with regard to other primary categories of impurity. After he has ingested the meat from the fowl, he does not impart impurity to other keilim. He is like a k'li that is a primary derivative of impurity that has been separated from the substance that imparted impurity to him. For even though he must immerse himself and wait for nightfall to regain ritual purity, he does not impart impurity to keilim.

א

נִּבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר מְטַמָּא מִן הַתּוֹרָה. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יז טו) "וְכָל נֶפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכַל נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה בָּאֶזְרָח וּבַגֵּר וְכִבֶּס בְּגָדָיו וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם" אֵינוֹ מְדַבֵּר אֶלָּא בְּאוֹכֵל נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר בִּלְבַד שֶׁהוּא אָסוּר מִשּׁוּם נְבֵלָה וּטְרֵפָה. וְכֵיצַד הִיא טֻמְאָתָהּ. אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה לֹא בְּמַגָּע וְלֹא בְּמַשָּׂא וְלֹא כְּשֶׁהִיא בְּתוֹךְ הַפֶּה אֶלָּא בְּתוֹךְ בֵּית הַבְּלִיעָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר וְכָל נֶפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכַל אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהִיא בְּבֵית הַנֶּפֶשׁ. וְזֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר תֹּאכַל לָתֵת שִׁעוּר לְטֻמְאָתָהּ כְּשִׁעוּר אֲכִילָה שֶׁהוּא כְּזַיִת. וַהֲרֵי נֶאֱמַר בָּהּ וְכִבֶּס בְּגָדָיו מְלַמֵּד שֶׁהַמִּתְטַמֵּא בָּהּ מְטַמֵּא בְּגָדָיו עַד שֶׁיִּפְרשׁ מִמְּטַמְּאָיו כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. כֵּיצַד. הַבּוֹלֵעַ כְּזַיִת מִנִּבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר וְנָגַע בְּכֵלִים בִּשְׁעַת בְּלִיעָתוֹ טְמֵאִים וְנַעֲשׂוּ רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה. הָיָה נוֹגֵעַ בְּאָדָם וּבִכְלֵי חֶרֶס בִּשְׁעַת בְּלִיעָתוֹ לֹא טִמְּאָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּשְׁאָר אֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת. וְאַחַר שֶׁבָּלַע אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא שְׁאָר כֵּלִים שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא כִּכְלִי רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה אַחַר שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ מִמְּטַמְּאָיו שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא טָעוּן טְבִילָה וְהַעֲרֵב שֶׁמֶשׁ אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא כֵּלִים:

2

It is not necessary for one to have the intent to consider the carcass of a fowl from a kosher species as food to impart this severe type of impurity. Instead, whenever one swallows an olive-size portion of such a carcass, it imparts impurity when in the person's gullet.

If one thought to partake of it, it imparts the impurity of foods. It is considered as a primary derivative of impurity even though it did not touch another source of impurity, nor must it be made fit to contract impurity.

ב

אֵין נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר צְרִיכָה מַחֲשָׁבָה לְטַמֵּא טֻמְאָה זוֹ הַחֲמוּרָה אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁבָּלַע מִמֶּנָּה כְּזַיִת מִכָּל מָקוֹם הֲרֵי זוֹ מְטַמְּאָה בְּבֵית הַבְּלִיעָה. חָשַׁב עָלֶיהָ לַאֲכִילָה הֲרֵי זוֹ מְטַמְּאָה טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין וַהֲרֵי הִיא כְּאֹכֶל רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע בָּהּ טֻמְאָה אַחֶרֶת וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה הֶכְשֵׁר:

3

The above does not apply to a red heifer and goats that are to be burned. Even though they impart impurity to those involved in offering them, if one considers partaking of them, it is necessary for them to come in contact with a source of impurity. Only then, do they contract the impurity associated with food.

ג

פָּרָה אֲדֻמָּה וּשְׂעִירִין הַנִּשְׂרָפִים אֵינָן כֵּן. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מְטַמְּאִין הַמִּתְעַסֵּק בָּהֶן אִם חָשַׁב עֲלֵיהֶן לַאֲכִילָה צְרִיכִין שֶׁתִּגַּע בָּהֶן טֻמְאָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִטַּמְּאוּ טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין:

4

When a person skewered an olive-size portion of an animal carcass with a weaving needle and inserted it into the inner organs of a woman from below or inserted it into the gullet of a colleague in a place where the carcass of a fowl from a kosher species would impart impurity, the person contracts impurity, because he or she is carrying the impurity, not because he touches it, as we explained in the beginning of this book.

ד

כְּזַיִת מִנִּבְלַת הַבְּהֵמָה שֶׁתְּחָבוֹ בְּכוּשׁ וְהִכְנִיס לְתוֹךְ מְעִי הָאִשָּׁה מִלְּמַטָּה. אוֹ שֶׁהִכְנִיסוֹ לְתוֹךְ בְּלִיעָתוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ בְּמָקוֹם שֶׁנִּבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר מְטַמְּאָה. הֲרֵי זֶה טִמְּאוֹ מִשּׁוּם נוֹשֵׂא לֹא מִשּׁוּם נוֹגֵעַ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּתְחִלַּת הַסֵּפֶר:

5

If a person wound an olive-sized portion of the carcass of a fowl from a kosher species in lettuce or the like and swallowed it, he is impure, even if it did not touch his throat. If he wound it with tree bast and swallowed it, he is pure.

ה

הַכּוֹרֵךְ כְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר בַּחֲזֶרֶת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ וּבְלָעוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע בִּגְרוֹנוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא. כְּרָכוֹ בְּסִיב וּבְלָעוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר:

6

If a person swallowed an olive-sized portion of the carcass of a fowl from a kosher species and, after swallowing it, vomited it before it was digested, he does not impart impurity to his garments when it passes his throat when vomiting it. For it imparts impurity in the gullet only when it is swallowed, but not when it is vomited.

ו

הַבּוֹלֵעַ נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר וְאַחַר שֶׁבְּלָעָהּ הֱקִיאָהּ קֹדֶם שֶׁתִּתְעַכֵּל הֲרֵי זֶה אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּגָדִים כְּשֶׁתֵּצֵא לִגְרוֹנוֹ בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּקִיאָהּ. שֶׁאֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה בְּבֵית הַנֶּפֶשׁ אֶלָּא בִּשְׁעַת בְּלִיעָה לֹא בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמְּקִיאָהּ:

7

The following rules apply when a person swallowed part of an intestine of a kosher species of fowl, part of it was in his gullet, and part was in his mouth. In there is an olive-sized portion in his gullet at one time, he is impure. If not, he remains pure.

ז

מְעִי שֶׁל נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר שֶׁבְּלָעוֹ מִקְצָתוֹ בְּבֵית הַבְּלִיעָה וּמִקְצָתוֹ בַּחוּץ לְתוֹךְ פִּיו אִם יֵשׁ בְּבֵית הַבְּלִיעָה כְּזַיִת הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא וְאִם לָאו טָהוֹר:

8

When a person swallows an entire limb that is not as large as an olive-sized portion from such a carcass, it does not impart impurity. Even if he took an entire fowl and swallowed it, if it is as large as an olive, he becomes impure. If not, he remains pure.

ח

בָּלַע מִמֶּנָּה אֵיבָר שָׁלֵם שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כְּזַיִת אֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא. אֲפִלּוּ נָטַל צִפּוֹר וַאֲכָלָהּ אִם יֵשׁ בָּהּ כְּזַיִת נִטְמָא וְאִם לָאו טָהוֹר:

9

Although the thin feathers and the wooly hairs on the carcass of a fowl are considered as food and contract and impart the impurity associated with food, they are not included when reckoning an olive-sized portion of the carcass of a kosher species of fowl.

In contrast, the soft portions of the beak and the nails that are close to the flesh are considered like meat and are included in the reckoning of an olive-sized portion. The tips of the wings, the tip of the tail, and the bones, even those which are soft, are not included.

ט

הַכְּנָפַיִם וְהַנּוֹצָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן כָּאֳכָלִים וּמִתְטַמְּאִין וּמְטַמְּאִין טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין בְּנִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר לִכְזַיִת. אֲבָל הַמְּקוֹמוֹת הָרַכִּים הַקְּרוֹבִים לַבָּשָׂר מִן הַחַרְטוֹם וְהַצִּפָּרְנַיִם הֲרֵי הֵן כְּבָשָׂר וּמִצְטָרְפִין לִכְזַיִת. רָאשֵׁי אֲגַפַּיִים וְרֹאשׁ הַזָּנָב וְהָעֲצָמוֹת אֲפִלּוּ הָרַכּוֹת אֵינָן מִצְטָרְפִין:

10

When a person partakes of the soft bones, the sinews, underdeveloped eggs while in the mother's body, or the blood of the carcass of a fowl from a kosher species or meat cut from such a fowl while it was alive, he is pure. If, however, one partook of the meat to which the underdeveloped eggs were attached, the gizzard, or the intestines of such a fowl after it died, or he liquefied the fat in fire and drank it, he is impure like one who partakes of its meat. One who drinks is like who eats. If he liquefied it in the sun and partook of it, he is pure, for he has caused it to become rancid.

י

הָאוֹכֵל מִנִּבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר מִן הָעֲצָמוֹת הָרַכִּין אוֹ מִן הַגִּידִין וּמִן הַשְּׁלַל שֶׁל בֵּיצִים וּמִן הַדָּם וּמִבָּשָׂר מִן הַחַי מִמֶּנּוּ טָהוֹר. אֲבָל הָאוֹכֵל מִן הָאֶשְׁכּוֹל שֶׁל בֵּיצִים וּמִן הַקֻּרְקְבָן וּמִן בְּנֵי הַמֵּעַיִם אוֹ שֶׁהִמְחָה אֶת הַחֵלֶב בְּאוּר וּגְמָעוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא כְּאוֹכֵל מִבְּשָׂרָם שֶׁהַשּׁוֹתֶה בִּכְלַל אוֹכֵל. הִמְחָהוּ בַּחַמָּה וּגְמָעוֹ טָהוֹר שֶׁהֲרֵי הִסְרִיחוֹ:

11

When the carcass of a fowl of a kosher species has decomposed to the extent that it is unfit to be eaten by a dog, it is pure. Similarly, if it becomes dry like a shard and would not return to its original state if left in lukewarm water for an entire day, it is pure. One who partakes of the netzel of the carcass of a fowl of a kosher species is pure.

יא

נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר שֶׁנִּפְסְדָה מִלֶּאֱכל הַכֶּלֶב טְהוֹרָה. וְכֵן אִם יָבְשָׁה כְּחֶרֶס וְאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לְהִשָּׁרוֹת בְּפוֹשְׁרִין מֵעֵת לְעֵת לַחְזֹר לִכְמוֹת שֶׁהָיְתָה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה. וְהָאוֹכֵל נֶצֶל שֶׁל נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר:

12

When a fowl from a kosher species becomes tereifah, but was slaughtered in a kosher manner, the slaughter causes it to be considered pure. This applies even if it was slaughtered in the Temple Courtyard. If its head was snipped off through melikah and it was discovered to be tereifah, the melikah does not cause it to be considered as pure. Thus it can be inferred that when one slaughters a fowl from a kosher species, whether outside the Temple Courtyard or inside of it, whether the fowl is consecrated or not, it is pure. Whether one performs melikah on ordinary fowl within the Temple Courtyard or consecrated fowl outside the Temple Courtyard, they impart impurity to a person and his garments when in the gullet.

יב

עוֹף טָהוֹר שֶׁנִּטְרַף וְנִשְׁחַט שְׁחִיטָה כְּשֵׁרָה שְׁחִיטָתוֹ מְטַהַרְתּוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁחַט בָּעֲזָרָה. וְאִם נִמְלַק וְנִמְצָא טְרֵפָה אֵין מְלִיקָתוֹ מְטַהֲרְתּוֹ. נִמְצֵאתָ אוֹמֵר שֶׁהַשּׁוֹחֵט עוֹף טָהוֹר בֵּין בַּחוּץ בֵּין בִּפְנִים בֵּין קָדָשִׁים בֵּין חֻלִּין הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וְהַמּוֹלֵק חֻלִּין בִּפְנִים אוֹ שֶׁמָּלַק קָדָשִׁים בַּחוּץ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְטַמְּאִין בְּגָדִים בְּבֵית הַבְּלִיעָה:

13

When one performs melikah on consecrated fowl in the Temple Courtyard, if they are fit for a sacrifice and do not have disqualifying blemishes, as explained in its place, they are pure. Similarly, when a calf that has its neck broken as required by law, it is pure, for "atonement" is mentioned with regard to it, as with regard to sacrificial offerings. Similarly, if it was slaughtered after it was taken down to the wadi, even though it is forbidden to benefit from it, the slaughter prevents it from being considered as an impure carcass.

יג

הַמּוֹלֵק קָדָשִׁים בִּפְנִים אִם הָיוּ רְאוּיִין לְקָרְבָּן וְלֹא נִמְצְאוּ בָּהֶן מוּמִין שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ טְהוֹרִין. כַּיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ עֶגְלָה עֲרוּפָה שֶׁנֶּעֱרֶפֶת כְּהִלְכָתָהּ טְהוֹרָה כַּפָּרָה כְּתִיב בָּהּ כְּקָדָשִׁים. וְכֵן אִם נִשְׁחֲטָה אַחַר יְרִידָתָהּ לַנַּחַל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֲסוּרָה בַּהֲנָאָה הִצִּילָה אוֹתָהּ שְׁחִיטָתָהּ מִידֵי נְבֵלָה:

14

The carcass of a fowl from a non-kosher species is pure and does not impart impurity in the gullet. If one thought to partake of it and it was made fit to contract impurity, it is considered as an impure food which is a primary derivative of impurity. The thin feathers, the wooly hairs, and the soft portions of its beak and its nails are considered as its meat.

יד

נִבְלַת הָעוֹף הַטָּמֵא טְהוֹרָה וְאֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה בְּבֵית הַבְּלִיעָה. וְאִם חָשַׁב עָלֶיהָ לַאֲכִילָה וְהֻכְשְׁרָה הֲרֵי הִיא כָּאֳכָלִין טְמֵאִין שֶׁהֵן רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה. וּכְנָפַיִם וְהַנּוֹצָה וְהַמְקוֹמוֹת הָרַכִּים מִן הַחַרְטוֹם וּמִן הַצִּפָּרְנַיִם שֶׁלָּהּ הֲרֵי הֵן כִּבְשָׂרָהּ:

15

When a limb is separated from a living fowl - whether from a kosher species or a non-kosher species - it is pure and does not impart impurity at all, as can be inferred from Leviticus 11:24-26: "Because of these, you will contract impurity... because of all the animals." This excludes fowl, because it does not have a hoof. According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that the verse comes solely to teach that a limb from a living domesticated or wild animal is impure.

טו

אֶחָד הָעוֹף הַטָּהוֹר וְאֶחָד הָעוֹף הַטָּמֵא אֵיבָר מִן הַחַי הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מֵהֶם טָהוֹר וְאֵין בּוֹ טֻמְאָה כְּלָל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יא כד) "וּלְאֵלֶּה תִּטַּמָּאוּ" (ויקרא יא כו) "לְכָל הַבְּהֵמָה" לְהוֹצִיא אֶת הָעוֹף שֶׁאֵין לוֹ פַּרְסָה. וּמִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁלֹּא בָּא הַכָּתוּב אֶלָּא לְטַמֵּא אֵיבָר מִן הַחַי שֶׁל בְּהֵמָה אוֹ חַיָּה:

16

A limb separated from the carcass of a fowl is considered like the carcass of the fowl from which it was separated. If it was from the carcass of a kosher fowl, an olive-sized portion of it imparts severe impurity in the gullet. If one thought of partaking of it, it contracts the impurity associated with impure foods. If the carcass was from a non-kosher fowl, it contracts the impurity associated with impure foods if one thought of partaking of it and it was made fit to contract impurity. It does not impart impurity to other foods unless it is the size of an egg. This is the measure required for all foods to contract impurity, as will be explained.

טז

אֵיבָר מִן הַמֵּת מִן הָעוֹף הֲרֵי הוּא כְּנִבְלַת הָעוֹף שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ. אִם הָיְתָה נִבְלַת עוֹף טָהוֹר מְטַמְּאָה טֻמְאָה חֲמוּרָה בְּבֵית הַבְּלִיעָה בִּכְזַיִת. וְאִם חָשַׁב עָלָיו לַאֲכִילָה מִטַּמֵּא טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין. וְאִם הָיְתָה נִבְלַת עוֹף טָמֵא מִטַּמֵּא טֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין אִם חָשַׁב עָלָיו וְהֻכְשַׁר. וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא אֳכָלִין אֲחֵרִים עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בּוֹ כְּבֵיצָה כְּשִׁעוּר כָּל הָאֳכָלִין לְטַמֵּא כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:

She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 4

1

The eight crawling animals that are mentioned in the Torah are: the weasel, the mouse, the ferret, the hedgehog, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail, and the mole. The impurity of them all is the same. They are each referred to as a sheretz with regard to impurity.

א

שְׁמוֹנָּה שְׁרָצִים הָאֲמוּרִין בַּתּוֹרָה. וְהֵן הַחלֶד וְהָעַכְבָּר וְהַצָּב וְהָאֲנָקָה וְהַלְּטָאָה וְהַכֹּחַ וְהַתִּנְשֶׁמֶת וְהַחֹמֶט. טֻמְאַת כֻּלָּן שָׁוָה וְהֵן הַנִּקְרָאִין שֶׁרֶץ לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה:

2

A sheretz is considered as a primary source of impurity and imparts impurity to persons and keilim when touched and to an earthenware container, when it enters its inner space. It does not impart impurity when carried and one who touches it does not impart impurity to his clothes when touching it. The minimum measure that imparts impurity is a lentil-sized portion. All the sh'ratzim can be combined to reach this measure.

ב

הַשֶּׁרֶץ אָב מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת מְטַמֵּא אָדָם וְכֵלִים בְּמַגָּע וּכְלֵי חֶרֶס בָּאֲוִיר וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּמַשָּׂא. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בּוֹ אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּגָדִים בִּשְׁעַת מַגָּעוֹ. וְשִׁעוּר טֻמְאָתוֹ בְּכַעֲדָשָׁה וְכָל הַשְּׁרָצִים מִצְטָרְפִין לְכַעֲדָשָׁה:

3

There is no minimum measure for the limbs of a sheretz to impart impurity. To impart impurity a limb of a sheretz must be intact as when it came into being.

ג

הָאֵיבָרִים אֵין לָהֶן שִׁעוּר אֵיבָר מִן הַשֶּׁרֶץ כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ:

4

A limb from a sheretz that is intact with flesh, sinews, and bones that is less than a lentil-sized portion - whether it was separated from the sheretz while it is alive or after it died - imparts impurity. It must have enough flesh or marrow within the bone to regenerate and return to a state of wholeness.

ד

בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וַעֲצָמוֹת שֶׁהוּא פָּחוֹת מִכַּעֲדָשָׁה בֵּין שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ מִן הַחַי בֵּין שֶׁפֵּרַשׁ מִן הַמֵּת מְטַמֵּא טֻמְאָתוֹ. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בַּבָּשָׂר שֶׁעָלָיו אוֹ בַּמֹּחַ שֶׁבָּעֶצֶם כְּדֵי לְהַעֲלוֹת אֲרוּכָה:

5

When flesh is separated from a living sheretz, it is pure. Only a limb which is comparable to an entire sheretz imparts impurity. What is meant by comparable? Just as a sheretz possesses flesh, sinews, and bones, so too, a limb separated from it must possess flesh, sinews, and bones.

ה

בָּשָׂר מִן הַחַי הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִן הַשֶּׁרֶץ טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵין מְטַמֵּא אֶלָּא אֵיבָר הַדּוֹמֶה לַשֶּׁרֶץ כֻּלּוֹ. מַה שֶּׁרֶץ בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וַעֲצָמוֹת אַף אֵיבָר הַפּוֹרֵשׁ בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וַעֲצָמוֹת:

6

A kidney, a liver, the tongue, and the like, even though they are considered as organs and will not regenerate, are considered as flesh in this context. If they were separated from a living sheretz, they are pure.

ו

הַכֻּלְיָא וְהַכָּבֵד וְהַלָּשׁוֹן וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן אֵיבָר וְאֵין עוֹשִׂין חֲלִיפִין הֲרֵי הֵן כְּבָשָׂר. וְאִם פֵּרְשׁוּ מִן הַחַי טְהוֹרִין:

7

The blood of a sheretz is considered as its flesh. It can be combined to reach the minimum measure of a lentil-sized portion, as long as it is connected to its flesh.

ז

דַּם הַשֶּׁרֶץ כִּבְשָׂרוֹ וּמִצְטָרֵף לְכַעֲדָשָׁה כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהוּא מְחֻבָּר בַּבָּשָׂר:

8

The bones of a sheretz, its sinews, and its nails are pure. The hides of the weasel, the mouse, the ferret, and the mole are pure. This applies even though it is still fresh and was not processed or trodden upon. The hides of the hedgehog, the chameleon, the lizard, and the snail, by contrast, are considered as their flesh and a lentil-sized portion of it imparts impurity. If it was processed or trodden upon to the extent that it is processed, it is pure. For how long must one tread on a hide in order to process it? For as long as it takes to walk four millin.

ח

עַצְמוֹת הַשֶּׁרֶץ וְגִידָיו וְצִפָּרְנָיו טְהוֹרִין. וְעוֹר הַחלֶד וְהָעַכְבָּר וְהַצָּב וְהַתִּנְשֶׁמֶת טָהוֹר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא לַח וַעֲדַיִן לֹא עִבְּדוֹ וְלֹא הָלַךְ בּוֹ. אֲבָל עוֹר הָאֲנָקָה וְהַכֹּחַ וְהַלְּטָאָה וְהַחֹמֶט כִּבְשָׂרָן וּמְטַמֵּא בְּכַעֲדָשָׁה. וְאִם עִבְּדָן אוֹ שֶׁהִלֵּךְ בָּהֶן כְּדֵי עֲבוֹדָה טְהוֹרִין. וְכַמָּה הִיא כְּדֵי עֲבוֹדָה כְּדֵי הִלּוּךְ אַרְבָּעָה מִילִין:

9

When a person touches the thigh bone of a sheretz, he is pure, even though it is filled with marrow, provided the marrow in it rattles, for then it could not regenerate flesh were the sheretz to have been alive. If, however, it is in its natural place and it has sufficient marrow that it could regenerate flesh on the outside of the bone, one who touches it is impure, as is true with regard to all the limbs that could regenerate flesh as we explained. If the thigh bone was perforated to even the slightest degree, one who touches any part of it is impure.

ט

קוּלְיַית הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ טָהוֹר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא מְלֵאָה מֹחַ וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַמֹּחַ מִתְקַשְׁקֵשׁ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַעֲלֶה אֲרוּכָה. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה עוֹמֵד בִּמְקוֹמוֹ וְיֵשׁ בּוֹ כְּדֵי לְהַעֲלוֹת אֲרוּכָה בָּהּ מִבַּחוּץ הֲרֵי הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ טָמֵא כְּכָל הָאֵיבָרִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהֶן כְּדֵי לְהַעֲלוֹת אֲרוּכָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. נִקְּבָה הַקּוּלִית בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ מִכָּל מָקוֹם טָמֵא:

10

An egg of a sheretz in which the embryo has begun to take form is pure, even though the embryonic sheretz can be seen within it. If it is perforated to the slightest degree, one who touches it is impure.

י

בֵּיצַת הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַמְרֻקֶּמֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַשֶּׁרֶץ נִרְאֵית מִתּוֹכָהּ טְהוֹרָה. נִקְּבָה כָּל שֶׁהוּא הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ טָמֵא:

11

The following laws apply with regard to the carcass of a sheretz that is half flesh and half earth. If one touched the flesh, he is impure. If he touched the earth, he is pure. If the form of the sheretz was already apparent over its entire length, even one who touches the earth that has not yet been formed into a sheretz is impure.

יא

שֶׁרֶץ שֶׁחֶצְיוֹ בָּשָׂר וְחֶצְיוֹ אֲדָמָה הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּבָּשָׂר טָמֵא וּבָאֲדָמָה טָהוֹר. וְאִם הִשְׁרִיץ עַל פְּנֵי כֻּלּוֹ אַף הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּאֲדָמָה שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִגְמְרָה צוּרָתוֹ טָמֵא:

12

When the flesh of a sheretz has decomposed and become spoiled and is unfit to be eaten by a dog, it is pure.

The following laws apply if the carcass of a sheretz dries out like a shard. If it would return to a moist state and be fit for a dog to eat when left to soak in lukewarm water for an entire day, it imparts impurity. If not, it is pure. It does not even impart impurity like impure foods do.

When does the above apply? With regard to a portion of a sheretz. If, however, an entire sheretz has become dry and its skeleton remains intact or it was burned and its skeleton remains intact, since its entire form remains, it imparts impurity. In my eyes, this impurity is a Rabbinic decree.

יב

בְּשַׂר הַשֶּׁרֶץ שֶׁנִּפְסַד וְהִבְאִישׁ וְנִפְסַל מִלֶּאֱכל הַכֶּלֶב טָהוֹר. יָבַשׁ עַד שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה כַּחֶרֶשׂ אִם יָכוֹל לְהַשְׁרוֹת בְּפוֹשְׁרִין מֵעֵת לְעֵת וְלַחֲזֹר לַח כְּשֶׁהָיָה מְטַמֵּא וְאִם לָאו טָהוֹר וַאֲפִלּוּ כָּאֳכָלִין טְמֵאִים אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּמִקְצָת הַשֶּׁרֶץ. אֲבָל שֶׁרֶץ שֶׁיָּבַשׁ וְשִׁלְדּוֹ קַיָּם אוֹ שֶׁנִּשְׂרַף וְשִׁלְדּוֹ קַיָּם הוֹאִיל וְתַבְנִית כֻּלּוֹ עוֹמֶדֶת הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא. וְקָרוֹב בְּעֵינַי שֶׁטֻּמְאָה זוֹ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם:

13

An olive-sized portion of meat from an animal carcass or a lentil-sized portion from the carcass of a sheretz that shrank and was reduced in size is pure. If a piece of flesh from a sheretz that is less than a lentil or one from an animal carcass that was less than an olive swelled and increased to the size of the minimum measure, they impart impurity according to Rabbinic decree. If, originally, they were the size of the minimum measure and then shrank, but afterwards swelled until they regained the size of the minimum measure, according to Scriptural law, they impart impurity like they did previously. Similar laws apply with regard to an olive-sized portion from a human corpse.

יג

כְּזַיִת מִן הַנְּבֵלָה אוֹ כַּעֲדָשָׁה מִן הַשֶּׁרֶץ שֶׁצָּמְקוּ וְחָסְרוּ טְהוֹרִין. פָּחוֹת מִכַּעֲדָשָׁה מִן הַשֶּׁרֶץ וּפָחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת מִן הַנְּבֵלָה שֶׁתָּפְחוּ וְעָמְדוּ עַל כַּשִּׁעוּר מְטַמְּאִין מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. הָיוּ בַּתְּחִלָּה כַּשִּׁעוּר וְצָמְקוּ וְחָזְרוּ וְתָפְחוּ עַד שֶׁהִגִּיעוּ לְשִׁעוּרָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְטַמְּאִין כְּשֶׁהָיוּ דִּין תּוֹרָה. וְכֵן אַתָּה אוֹמֵר בִּכְזַיִת מִן הַמֵּת:

14

A sheretz does not impart impurity until it dies. If it has been decapitated, even if the head is still connected to the skin of the body, and it is still in its death throes as happens with regard to the tail of a lizard, it imparts impurity.

All the other teeming and creeping animals, e.g., a frog, a snake, a scorpion, or the like, even though it is forbidden to partake of them, do not impart impurity at all. They are not even considered as impure foods. There are no teeming animals that impart impurity except the eight species mentioned in the Torah.

יד

הַשֶּׁרֶץ אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא עַד שֶׁיָּמוּת. הֻתְּזוּ רָאשֵׁיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן הָרֹאשׁ מְעֹרֶה בְּעוֹר הַגּוּף אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מְפַרְכְּסִין כִּזְנַב הַלְּטָאָה מְטַמְּאִין. שְׁאָר שְׁקָצִים וּרְמָשִׂים כֻּלָּן כְּגוֹן הַצְּפַרְדֵּעַ וְהַנָּחָשׁ וְהָעַקְרָב וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן אֲסוּרִין בַּאֲכִילָה הֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין מִכְּלוּם וַאֲפִלּוּ כָּאֳכָלִין טְמֵאִין אֵינָן. וְאֵין לְךָ בְּכָל הַשְּׁרָצִים מַה שֶּׁמְּטַמֵּא בְּמוֹתוֹ חוּץ מִשְּׁמוֹנַת הַמִּינִין הַמְפֹרָשִׁין בַּתּוֹרָה:

She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 5

1

Semen is a primary source of impurity and imparts impurity to persons and implements when touched and to an earthenware container, when it enters its inner space. It does not impart impurity when carried and one who touches it does not impart impurity to his clothes even when touching it. It imparts impurity both to one who touches it and one who discharges it. They are both primary derivatives of impurity according to Scriptural Law.

What is the measure that imparts impurity? For one who touches it, an amount the size of a lentil. For one who discharges it, the slightest amount. A man who discharges it is not impure until it leaves his body, reaching the orifice of the male organ, as implied by Leviticus 22:4: "From whom is discharged semen." Therefore even one who discharges semen through a reed, is impure because the semen reached the orifice of the male organ.

One is impure whether he discharges semen as a natural physical reaction or due to forces beyond his control.

א

שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאָה מְטַמְּאָה אָדָם וְכֵלִים בְּמַגָּע וּכְלֵי חֶרֶס בָּאֲוִיר וְאֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה בְּמַשָּׂא וְאֵין הַמִּתְטַמֵּא בָּהּ מְטַמֵּא בְּגָדִים בִּשְׁעַת מַגָּעוֹ. וְאֶחָד הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ וְאֶחָד הָרוֹאֶה אוֹתָהּ בִּבְשָׂרוֹ שְׁנֵיהֶן רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה דִּין תּוֹרָה. וְכַמָּה שִׁעוּרָהּ לְנוֹגֵעַ בְּכַעֲדָשָׁה וְלָרוֹאֶה בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא. וְאֵין הָרוֹאֶה טָמֵא עַד שֶׁתֵּצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ וְיַחְתֹּם מִמֶּנּוּ פִּי אַמָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו לב) (ויקרא כב ד) "אֲשֶׁר תֵּצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ שִׁכְבַת זָרַע". לְפִיכָךְ אֲפִלּוּ רָאָה בְּקֵיסָם הוֹאִיל וְהִגִּיעָה לְפִי אַמָּה נִטְמָא. וְאֶחָד הָרוֹאֶה מֵחֲמַת בְּשָׂרוֹ אוֹ הָרוֹאֶה בְּאֹנֶס טָמֵא:

2

The semen of a minor does not impart ritual impurity until he is nine years old.

ב

אֵין שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁל קָטָן מְטַמְּאָה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד:

3

Semen that is red is pure. It does not impart impurity unless it is white and viscous.

ג

שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע אֲדֻמָּה טְהוֹרָה עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה לְבָנָה וְנִמְשֶׁכֶת:

4

Whenever a person's body does not feel the discharge of semen, it does not impart impurity. Therefore if a person discharges semen without an erection and without desire, it does not impart the impurity associated with semen. If there was a sensation when the discharge began, he is impure even though when it departed from his body, there was no sensation.

ד

וְכָל שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁאֵין גּוּפוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם מַרְגִּישׁ בָּהּ אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם רָאָה בְּלֹא קִשּׁוּי וּבְלֹא תַּאֲוָה אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה מִשּׁוּם שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע. נֶעֶקְרָה בְּהַרְגָּשָׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיָּצְתָה שֶׁלֹּא בְּהַרְגָּשָׁה טָמֵא:

5

When a person thinks about sexual matters at night and dreams that he had intercourse and awakes to find his organ warm, he is impure even though he did not find traces of semen. It is presumed that since, in his dreams, he had the sensation that he was involved in intercourse, he discharged semen with a physical sensation. That is why his organ was warm. The discharge, however, was small and it was absorbed on his flesh or on his clothes. Therefore, he did not find any moisture. If he had sexual thoughts, but did not find his organ warm or found his organ warm, but did not have sexual thoughts, he is pure.

ה

הַמְהַרְהֵר בַּלַּיְלָה וְרָאָה שֶׁשִּׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּה בַּחֲלוֹם וְעָמַד וּמָצָא בְּשָׂרוֹ חַם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא מָצָא שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִרְגִּישׁ שֶׁשִּׁמֵּשׁ בַּחֲלוֹם כְּבָר רָאָה בְּהַרְגָּשָׁה וּלְפִיכָךְ מָצָא בְּשָׂרוֹ חַם וְהָיְתָה מְעַט וְנִתְקַנְּחָה בִּבְשָׂרוֹ אוֹ בְּכֵלָיו וּלְפִיכָךְ לֹא מָצָא לַחְלוּחִית. הִרְהֵר וְלֹא מָצָא בְּשָׂרוֹ חַם אוֹ שֶׁמָּצָא בְּשָׂרוֹ חַם וְלֹא הִרְהֵר טָהוֹר:

6

If a person's urine was slippery or murky at the outset, he is pure. If the slipperiness or the murkiness was seen in the middle of his urination or at the end, he is impure. If, from the beginning to the end, the urine was slippery and murky, he is pure. If it was white and viscous, he is impure. One who releases thick drops from his male organ is pure.

ו

הַמֵּטִיל מַיִם וְרָאָה מַיִם חֲלוּקִין אוֹ עֲכוּרִים בַּתְּחִלָּה טָהוֹר. רָאָה אוֹתָם בָּאֶמְצַע אוֹ בַּסּוֹף הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא. הָיוּ הַמַּיִם שֶׁהֵטִיל כֻּלָּם מִתְּחִלָּה וְעַד סוֹף חֲלוּקִין אוֹ עֲכוּרִים הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. הָיוּ לְבָנִים וְנִמְשָׁכִין טָמֵא. וְהַמֵּטִיל טִפִּים עָבוֹת מִתּוֹךְ הָאַמָּה טָהוֹר:

7

When a man who experienced a seminal emission immerses himself and had not urinated before he immersed himself, he becomes impure when he urinates. For there are remnants of semen that are not discharged until he urinates.

To whom does the above apply? To one who is sick or elderly. A healthy youth, by contrast, is pure, for he ejaculates semen powerfully, like an arrow and it clears the orifice of the male organ entirely.

Until when is a male considered a youth in this context? As long as he can stand on one foot and put on or remove his other shoe. If he cannot do this because he is sick, he is considered as infirm in this context.

ז

בַּעַל קֶרִי שֶׁטָּבַל וְלֹא הֵטִיל מַיִם קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּטְבּל כְּשֶׁיָּטִיל מַיִם טָמֵא מִפְּנֵי צִחְצוּחֵי שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁאֵינָן יוֹצְאִין אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁיָּטִיל מַיִם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּחוֹלֶה אוֹ בְּזָקֵן. אֲבָל יֶלֶד בָּרִיא טָהוֹר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא יוֹרֶה שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע בְּחָזְקָה כְּחֵץ וְהִיא כֻּלָּהּ נִנְתֶּקֶת מִן הָאַמָּה. עַד כַּמָּה הוּא יֶלֶד כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד עַל רַגְלוֹ אַחַת וְנוֹעֵל אוֹ חוֹלֵץ מִנְעָלוֹ וְאִם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן מִפְּנֵי חָלְיוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹלֶה לְעִנְיָן זֶה:

8

Any woman who engaged in physical intimacy and then went and immersed herself before she washed her vaginal area thoroughly remains impure.

ח

וְכָל אִשָּׁה שֶׁשִּׁמְּשָׁה מִטָּתָהּ וְיָרְדָה וְטָבְלָה קֹדֶם שֶׁתְּקַנֵּחַ עַצְמָהּ יָפֶה יָפֶה הֲרֵי הִיא בְּטֻמְאָתָהּ:

9

Both a man and a woman who engage in physical intimacy are impure. Both of them are considered as primary derivatives of impurity according to Scriptural Law. The woman is not impure because she touched the semen, because the semen touched the inner part of her body, and touching the inner part of the body is not considered as touch. Instead, a woman who engages in intercourse is considered as a man who ejaculates.

The above applies provided the female is at least three years old, as implied by Leviticus 15:18: "A woman with whom a man lies." If a minor is less than three, she does not become impure because of the physical intimacy itself. She can, however, become impure because she touched the semen if it touches the outer surface of her flesh. Based on this logic, when a man engages in anal intercourse with an adult woman, she is pure, for Scripture only dictated that a woman becomes impure although the impurity only touched her internal organs when intercourse was carried out in the ordinary manner.

ט

אֶחָד הָאִישׁ וְאֶחָד הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁשִּׁמְּשׁוּ מִטָּתָן שְׁנֵיהֶן טְמֵאִים. וּשְׁנֵיהֶן רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה דִּין תּוֹרָה. וְאֵין הָאִשָּׁה טְמֵאָה מִשּׁוּם נוֹגַעַת בְּשִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁנְּגִיעַת בֵּית הַסְּתָרִים אֵינָהּ נְגִיעָה. אֶלָּא הַמְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת הֲרֵי הִיא כְּרוֹאָה קֶרִי. וְהוּא שֶׁתִּהְיֶה בַּת שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר [(ויקרא טו יח) "וְאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אִישׁ אֹתָהּ"]. הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה מִבַּת שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים אֵינָהּ מִתְטַמְּאָה בִּשְׁכִיבָה. אֲבָל מִתְטַמְּאָה בִּנְגִיעַת שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע אִם נָגַע בִּבְשָׂרָהּ מִבַּחוּץ. [לְפִיכָךְ הַבּוֹעֵל גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ טְהוֹרָה]. שֶׁלֹּא טִמֵּא אוֹתָהּ הַכָּתוּב בְּטֻמְאַת בֵּית הַסְּתָרִים אֶלָּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ:

10

When a man engages in intercourse with a woman and does not ejaculate, he is pure even though the corona entered the vagina. Similarly, the woman is pure until the man ejaculates.

י

הַבּוֹעֵל אֶת הָאִשָּׁה וְלֹא הוֹצִיא שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע טָהוֹר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֶעֱרָה. וְכֵן הָאִשָּׁה טְהוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיּוֹצִיא הָאִישׁ:

11

The following rules apply when semen seeps from a woman after relations. If she discharges it within three twelve-hour periods after intercourse, she is impure like a man who has a seminal emission. Therefore, she misses one day if she is a zavah, like a man who had a seminal emission. Even the slightest amount of semen renders her impure even if it does not emerge outside her body, but is just discharged between the folds of her vagina, she is impure, for semen is like vaginal bleeding. Just as vaginal bleeding imparts impurity while inside the woman's body, so too, semen that she discharges makes her impure while it is within her body.

יא

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁפָּלְטָה שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע אִם פָּלְטָה אוֹתָהּ בְּתוֹךְ שָׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת הֲרֵי הִיא טְמֵאָה כְּרוֹאָה קֶרִי. לְפִיכָךְ סוֹתֶרֶת יוֹם אֶחָד אִם הָיְתָה זָבָה כְּאִישׁ שֶׁרָאָה קֶרִי. וּמִטַּמְּאָהּ בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא יָצָאת לַחוּץ אֶלָּא נֶעֶקְרָה וְהִגִּיעָה לְבֵין הַשִּׁנַּיִם נִטְמְאָה שֶׁהֲרֵי שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע כְּדָמָהּ מַה דָּמָהּ מְטַמֵּא בִּפְנִים אַף שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁתִּפְלֹט תְּטַמֵּא אוֹתָהּ בִּפְנִים:

12

Semen itself that was discharged within three twelve-hour periods imparts impurity to others who touch it as it imparts impurity to the woman who discharges it.

If she discharged it after three twelve-hour periods, the woman is considered as pure. Similarly, the semen itself that was discharged after such a time is pure, for its substance has already putrefied.

יב

שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע עַצְמָהּ שֶׁנִּפְלְטָה בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת מְטַמְּאָה אֲחֵרִים שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בָּהּ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁטִּמְּאָה הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁפָּלְטָה אוֹתָהּ. וְאִם פָּלְטָה אַחַר שָׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת הֲרֵי הָאִשָּׁה טְהוֹרָה וְכֵן שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁנִּפְלְטָה טְהוֹרָה שֶׁכְּבָר נִפְסְדָה צוּרָתָהּ:

13

What is meant by a twelve-hour period? A full day or a full night. The period in which relations took place is not counted.

What is implied? If relations took place on Friday night, the three twelve-hour periods are: the Sabbath day, Saturday night, and during the day on Sunday. If she discharged semen during this time, she is impure. If she discharged it from Sunday night onward, she is pure.

When a man was sodomized, the semen he discharges is impure, as long as it is moist, even after several twelve-hour periods. Similarly, the man who discharges it is impure.

יג

וְכַמָּה הִיא עוֹנָה. יוֹם אוֹ לַיְלָה. וְאֵין הָעוֹנָה שֶׁנִּבְעֲלָה בָּהּ מִן הַמִּנְיָן. כֵּיצַד. נִבְעֲלָה בְּלֵיל הַשַּׁבָּת שָׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת שֶׁלָּהּ יוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְלֵיל אֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וְאֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת אִם פָּלְטָה בְּתוֹךְ זְמַן זֶה טְמֵאָה. פָּלְטָה מִלֵּיל שֵׁנִי וָהָלְאָה טְהוֹרָה. וְהָאִישׁ שֶׁפֵּרְשָׁה מִמֶּנּוּ שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע אֲפִלּוּ לְאַחַר כַּמָּה עוֹנוֹת הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהִיא לֶחָה וְהַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ טָמֵא:

14

Semen does not impart impurity unless it is moist. If it becomes dry like a shard it is pure. If it would return to its original state when left to soak in lukewarm water for an entire day, it imparts impurity.

יד

שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה אֶלָּא כְּשֶׁהִיא לֶחָה. יָבְשָׁה כְּחֶרֶס טְהוֹרָה. וְאִם יְכוֹלָה לִשְׁרוֹת מֵעֵת לְעֵת בְּפוֹשְׁרִין וְלַחֲזֹר לִכְמוֹת שֶׁהָיְתָה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה:

15

In this chapter, we have already explained that a man who ejaculates, a woman who engages in relations with a man, and one who touches semen, are impure according to Scriptural law. Similarly, a woman who discharges semen within three twelve-hour periods after relations is impure according to Scriptural Law like one who has a seminal emission. All of the others about whom it was said in this chapter that they are impure, e.g., one who has sexual thoughts in his dreams or has questionable substances in his urine, are impure only due to Rabbinic decree. That decree applies only to terumah, but for ordinary foods, they are pure.

טו

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּפֶרֶק זֶה שֶׁהָרוֹאֶה קֶרִי וְהָאִשָּׁה שֶׁשָּׁכַב אִישׁ אוֹתָהּ שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּשִׁכְבַת זֶרַע טְמֵאִים מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וְכֵן הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁפָּלְטָה בְּתוֹךְ שָׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת הֲרֵי הִיא טְמֵאָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה כְּרוֹאָה קֶרִי. אֲבָל שְׁאָר הָאֲמוּרִין בְּפֶרֶק זֶה שֶׁהֵן טְמֵאִים כְּגוֹן מְהַרְהֵר וּמֵטִיל מַיִם אֵינָן טְמֵאִין אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם וְלֹא גָּזְרוּ עֲלֵיהֶם טֻמְאָה אֶלָּא לִתְרוּמָה אֲבָל לְחֻלִּין טְהוֹרִין:

16

When a gentile woman discharges the semen of a Jew within three twelve-hour periods - or when an animal discharges the semen of a Jew within this time - the semen discharged is impure. If it was released after this time, there is an unresolved question whether it is considered to have putrefied or not.

טז

נָכְרִית שֶׁפָּלְטָה שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹךְ הַשָּׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת. וְכֵן הַבְּהֵמָה שֶׁפָּלְטָה שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹךְ זְמַן זֶה הֲרֵי אוֹתָהּ הַנִּפְלֶטֶת טְמֵאָה. פְּלָטַתּוּ לְאַחַר זְמַן זֶה הֲרֵי הִיא סָפֵק נִסְרְחָה אוֹ עֲדַיִן לֹא נִסְרְחָה:

17

In Hilchot Metamei Mishkav UMoshav, we already explained that the semen of a gentile is absolutely pure. Therefore if a Jewish woman discharges the semen of a gentile even within three twelve-hour periods, she is pure.

יז

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת מְטַמְּאֵי מִשְׁכָּב וּמוֹשָׁב שֶׁשִּׁכְבַת זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם טָהוֹר מִכְּלוּם לְפִיכָךְ בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁפָּלְטָה שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם אֲפִלּוּ בְּתוֹךְ שָׁלֹשׁ עוֹנוֹת טְהוֹרָה:

18

When a gentile felt the release of semen, converted and went to immerse himself and released the semen that he felt initially after he immersed, there is a question whether or not he is impure.

יח

עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהִרְגִּישׁ וְנִתְגַּיֵּר וְיָרַד וְטָבַל וְיָצָא מִמֶּנּוּ שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁהִרְגִּישׁ בָּהּ אַחַר שֶׁטָּבַל הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק טָמֵא:

19

When a minor less than nine years old - or a gentile or an animal - engages in relations with a mature female, she is pure, as indicated by Leviticus 15:18: "And a man who will lie with a woman." Implied is that the male must be a mature man and Jewish, as we explained.

יט

גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁשָּׁכַב אוֹתָהּ קָטָן פָּחוֹת מִבֶּן תֵּשַׁע [אוֹ עַכּוּ''ם אוֹ בְּהֵמָה] הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר [(ויקרא טו יח) "וְאִשָּׁה אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁכַּב אִישׁ אֹתָהּ"] עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַשּׁוֹכֵב אִישׁ וּמִיִּשְׂרָאֵל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

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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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