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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Temurah - Perek 4, Tum'at Met - Chapter 1, Tum'at Met - Chapter 2

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Temurah - Perek 4

1

What are the laws pertaining to the offspring of consecrated animals? The offspring of an animal consecrated as a peace-offering and the offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a peace-offering was transferred are like peace-offerings and they should be treated like peace-offerings in all respects. Similarly, the offspring of an animal consecrated as a thanksgiving-offering and the offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a thanksgiving-offering was transferred should be sacrificed like a thanksgiving-offering, except that they do not require bread. For bread is brought only for a thanksgiving-offering itself. This is derived from Leviticus 7:12 which states: "He shall offer on the slaughtering of the thanksgiving-offering...." Implied is on its slaughtering, and not on the slaughtering of its offspring or on that of an animal to which its holiness was transferred, as we explained.

To what does the above apply? To the offspring themselves. But the offspring of the offspring should not be sacrificed. From his conduct, it is obvious that he is delaying their offering to raise herds from them. Hence, he is penalized and should not offer them.

א

כֵּיצַד דִּין וַלְדוֹת הַקָּדָשִׁים. וְלַד שְׁלָמִים וּוְלַד תְּמוּרַת שְׁלָמִים הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כִּשְׁלָמִים וְהֵן עַצְמָן כִּשְׁלָמִים לְכָל דָּבָר. וְכֵן וְלַד הַתּוֹדָה וּוְלַד תְּמוּרָתָהּ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יִקָּרְבוּ כְּתוֹדָה אֶלָּא שֶׁאֵינָן טְעוּנִין לֶחֶם שֶׁאֵין מְבִיאִין לֶחֶם אֶלָּא עִם הַתּוֹדָה עַצְמָהּ. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא ז יב) "עַל זֶבַח הַתּוֹדָה" עָלָיו וְלֹא עַל וְלָדָהּ וְלֹא עַל תְּמוּרָתָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בַּוְּלָדוֹת עַצְמָן אֲבָל וַלְדֵי וְלָדוֹת אֵינָן קְרֵבִין. שֶׁמִּתּוֹךְ מַעֲשָׂיו נִכָּר שֶׁהוּא מַשְׁהֶה אוֹתָן לְגַדֵּל מֵהֶן עֲדָרִים עֲדָרִים וּלְפִיכָךְ קוֹנְסִין אוֹתוֹ וְלֹא יַקְרִיבֵם:

2

The offspring of a sin-offering, and, needless to say, the offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a sin offering was transferred, should be consigned to death.

ב

וְלַד הַחַטָּאת יָמוּת וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר וְלַד תְּמוּרָתָהּ:

3

If a person slaughters an animal offered as a sin-offering and discovers that it was carrying a four-month old fetus that was alive, it may be eaten like the meat of the sin-offering. For the offspring of consecrated animals while they are in their mother's womb are like the consecrated animals themselves.

ג

הַשּׁוֹחֵט אֶת הַחַטָּאת וּמָצָא בָּהּ בֶּן אַרְבָּעָה חַי הֲרֵי זוֹ נֶאֱכֶלֶת כִּבְשַׂר הַחַטָּאת. שֶׁוַּלְדֵי הַקָּדָשִׁים בִּמְעֵי אִמָּן הֵם קְדוֹשִׁים:

4

The offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a guilt-offering was transferred, the offspring of its offspring, and so too until the end of time should be allowed to pasture until they contract a disqualifying blemish. Then they should be sold and the proceeds used to purchase freewill offerings. If the animal to which the holiness of the guilt-offering was transferred gave birth to a male after the guilt-offering is sacrificed, the offspring itself should be sacrificed as a burnt-offering.If one set aside a female animal as a guilt-offering and it gave birth, it and its offspring should be allowed to pasture until they become blemished. Then they should be sold and the person's guilt-offering purchased with the proceeds of the sale. If he already sacrificed his guilt-offering, the proceeds of their sale should be used to purchase freewill offerings.

ד

וְלַד תְּמוּרַת הָאָשָׁם וּוְלַד וְלָדָהּ עַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם יִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בָּהֶם מוּם וְיִמָּכְרוּ וְיִפְּלוּ דְּמֵיהֶן לִנְדָבָה. וְאִם יָלְדָה זָכָר אַחַר שֶׁהִקְרִיב אֲשָׁמוֹ הַוָּלָד עַצְמוֹ יִקָּרֵב עוֹלָה. הִפְרִישׁ נְקֵבָה לַאֲשָׁמוֹ וְיָלְדָה תִּרְעֶה הִיא וּבְנָהּ עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בָּהֶן מוּם וְיִמָּכְרוּ וְיָבִיא בִּדְמֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם אֲשָׁמוֹ. וְאִם כְּבָר הִקְרִיב אֲשָׁמוֹ יִפְּלוּ דְּמֵיהֶן לִנְדָבָה:

5

The male offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a burnt-offering was transferred, the offspring of its offspring, and so too until the end of time are considered as burnt-offerings and should themselves be offered as burnt-offerings.

If one set aside a female as a burnt-offering and it gave birth, even though it gave birth to a male, the offspring should be allowed to pasture until it contracts a disqualifying blemish and then the proceeds of the sale should be used to bring a burnt-offering.

We already explained in Hilchot Ma'aseh HaKorbanot that whenever we use the expression "the proceeds of the sale should be used to purchase freewill offerings" the intent is that the money should be placed in the chests that existed in the Temple whose number we explained in Hilchot Shekalim. The court sacrifices freewill burnt-offerings with that money. The accompanying offeringsare brought from communal funds and they do not require semichah. Whenever, by contrast, we use the expression "it itself should be offered as a burnt-offering" or "he should bring a burnt-offering with the proceeds," the sacrifice requires semichah and the owner must bring the accompanying offerings.

ה

וְלַד תְּמוּרַת הָעוֹלָה וּוְלַד וְלָדָהּ עַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּעוֹלָה וְהֵן עַצְמָן יִקָּרְבוּ עוֹלָה. הִפְרִישׁ נְקֵבָה לְעוֹלָתוֹ וְיָלְדָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיָּלְדָה זָכָר יִרְעֶה עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בּוֹ מוּם וְיָבִיא בְּדָמָיו עוֹלָה. כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בְּמַעֲשֵׂה הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת שֶׁכָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאָנוּ אוֹמְרִין יִפְּלוּ לִנְדָבָה הוּא שֶׁיִּתֵּן הַמָּעוֹת בַּשּׁוֹפָרוֹת שֶׁהָיוּ בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּשְׁקָלִים כַּמָּה הֵם. וּבֵית דִּין מַקְרִיבִין בְּאוֹתָן הַמָּעוֹת עוֹלוֹת נְדָבָה וְנִסְכֵּיהֶם מִשֶּׁל צִבּוּר וְאֵינָן טְעוּנוֹת סְמִיכָה. אֲבָל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר הוּא עַצְמוֹ יִקְרַב עוֹלָה אוֹ יָבִיא בְּדָמָיו עוֹלָה. הֲרֵי זוֹ טְעוּנָה סְמִיכָה וּנְסָכֶיהָ מִשֶּׁלּוֹ:

6

The offspring born to an animal selected as a tithe offering, the offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a tithe offering was transferred, and the offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a firstborn animal was transferred, and the offspring of their offspring until the end of time should not be offered. Instead, they should be allowed to pasture until they contract a disqualifying blemish and then they should be eaten according to the laws applying to a blemished firstborn animal and tithe offering.

The offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a firstborn animal was transferred belongs to the priest. The offspring of an animal selected as a tithe offering and the offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a animal designated as a tithe offering was transferred belong to the owner.

ו

וְלַד הַמַּעֲשֵׂר. [וּוְלַד] תְּמוּרַת הַמַּעֲשֵׂר. וְלַד תְּמוּרַת הַבְּכוֹר וּוַלְדֵי וַלְדוֹתֵיהֶן עַד סוֹף הָעוֹלָם. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ לֹא יִקָּרְבוּ אֶלָּא יִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בָּהֶן מוּם וְיֵאָכְלוּ כִּבְכוֹר וּכְמַעֲשֵׂר שֶׁנָּפַל בָּהֶן מוּם. וַלְדוֹת תְּמוּרַת הַבְּכוֹר לְכֹהֵן. וַלְדוֹת מַעֲשֵׂר וּתְמוּרָתוֹ לִבְעָלָיו:

7

The laws that apply to the offspring of an animal to which the holiness of a Paschal sacrifice was transferred are the same as those applying to an animal to which the holiness of a Paschal sacrifice was transferred itself. If its mother should be sacrificed as a peace-offering, its offspring should be offered as a peace-offering. If the law was that the mother should be allowed to pasture until it contracts a blemish and then be sold and the proceeds used to purchase a peace-offering, this same law applies to its offspring.

If one designated a female for one's Paschal sacrifice and it gave birth or he designated it for that sacrifice while pregnant, it and its offspring should be allowed to pasture until they contract a disqualifying blemish and a Paschal sacrifice should be brought with the proceeds of their sale. If this female remained unblemished until after Pesach or it gave birth after Pesach, it and its offspring should be allowed to pasture until they contract a disqualifying blemish and a peace-offering should be brought with the proceeds of their sale.

ז

וְלַד תְּמוּרַת הַפֶּסַח כִּתְמוּרַת הַפֶּסַח. אִם הָיְתָה אִמּוֹ קְרֵבָה שְׁלָמִים וְלָדָהּ יִקָּרֵב שְׁלָמִים וְאִם הָיָה דִּינָהּ שֶׁתִּמָּכֵר וְיָבִיא בְּדָמֶיהָ שְׁלָמִים אַף וְלָדָהּ נִמְכָּר וְיָבִיא בְּדָמָיו שְׁלָמִים. הִפְרִישׁ נְקֵבָה לְפִסְחוֹ וְיָלְדָה. אוֹ שֶׁהִפְרִישָׁהּ מְעֻבֶּרֶת. הִיא וּוְלָדָהּ יִרְעוּ עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בָּהֶן מוּם וְיָבִיא בִּדְמֵיהֶן פֶּסַח. וְאִם נִשְׁאֲרָה נְקֵבָה זוֹ עַד אַחַר הַפֶּסַח אוֹ שֶׁיָּלְדָה אַחַר הַפֶּסַח. תִּרְעֶה הִיא וּוְלָדָהּ עַד שֶׁיִּפּל בָּהֶן מוּם וְיָבִיא בִּדְמֵיהֶן שְׁלָמִים:

8

When the offspring of sacrificial animals were born through Caesarian section, as a tumtum, an androgynus, a hybrid, or a tereifah, they should be redeemed and a sacrificial animal that is fit to be brought with the money from the sale of these offspring should be brought.

ח

וַלְדוֹת הַקָּדָשִׁים שֶׁיָּצְאוּ דֶּרֶךְ דֹּפֶן. אוֹ שֶׁיָּלְדוּ טֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס וְכִלְאַיִם וּטְרֵפָה. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ יִפָּדוּ וְיָבִיא בִּדְמֵיהֶן קָרְבָּן הָרָאוּי לְהָבִיא בִּדְמֵי וָלָד שֶׁל זוֹ:

9

The offspring of a blemished consecrated animal is like the offspring of an unblemished consecrated animal in all respects and it should be offered in the appropriate manner.

ט

וְלַד בַּעֲלַת מוּם הֲרֵי הוּא כִּוְלַד הַתְּמִימָה לְכָל דָּבָר וְיִקָּרֵב כָּרָאוּי לוֹ:

10

When a consecrated animal discharges a stillborn animal or a placenta, it should be buried and it is forbidden to benefit from it.

י

קָדָשִׁים שֶׁהִפִּילוּ נֵפֶל אוֹ שִׁלְיָא יִקָּבְרוּ וַהֲרֵי הֵם אֲסוּרִים בַּהֲנָאָה:

11

A person who changes the purpose for which an article was consecrated from one holy purpose to another violates a prohibition. This is derived from Leviticus 27:26 which states with regard to a firstborn animal: "A person may not consecrate it," i.e., he may not designate it as a burnt-offering or a peace-offering. The same applies to other consecrated animals. They may not be changed to a purpose other than that for which they were originally consecrated. This applies both to animals consecrated for the altar and animals consecrated for the improvement of the Temple.

What is implied? If an article was consecrated for the improvement of the Temple Sanctuary, it should not be changed and the money used for the improvement of the altar. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. One is not liable for lashes for the violation of this prohibition.

יא

הַמְשַׁנֶּה אֶת הַקָּדָשִׁים מִקְּדֻשָּׁה לִקְדֻשָּׁה עוֹבֵר בְּלֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בִּבְכוֹר (ויקרא כז כו) "לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ אִישׁ אֹתוֹ" שֶׁלֹּא יַעֲשֶׂנּוּ עוֹלָה אוֹ שְׁלָמִים. וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הַקָּדָשִׁים שֶׁאֵין מְשַׁנִּין אוֹתָן מִקְּדֻשָּׁה לִקְדֻשָּׁה אֶחָד קָדְשֵׁי מִזְבֵּחַ וְאֶחָד קָדְשֵׁי בֶּדֶק הַבַּיִת. כֵּיצַד. אִם הִקְדִּישׁ לְבֶדֶק הַהֵיכָל לֹא יְשַׁנֶּה לְבֶדֶק הַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. וְאֵין לוֹקִין עַל לָאו זֶה:

12

What clever technique can be used with regard to a firstborn to consecrate it to the altar for another sacrifice? One may consecrate it in its mother's womb, before it is born. This is derived from Leviticus 27:26: "which will become a firstborn for God among the livestock - a man shall not consecrate it." Implied is that when it is born, one may not consecrate it, but one may consecrate it in its mother's womb.

Therefore one may say: "If the fetus in the womb of this cow that has not given birth previously is male, it is consecrated as a burnt-offering." He may not, however, designate it as a peace-offering, for he cannot remove it from the holiness of the firstborn in order to benefit from it. If one said: "It should be a burnt-offering when the majority of its head emerges," it is a firstborn and not a burnt-offering.

יב

כֵּיצַד מַעֲרִימִין עַל הַבְּכוֹר לְהַקְדִּישׁוֹ לַמִּזְבֵּחַ הֶקְדֵּשׁ אַחֵר. מַקְדִּישׁוֹ בַּבֶּטֶן קֹדֶם שֶׁיִּוָּלֵד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כז כו) "אֲשֶׁר יְבֻכַּר לַה'" (ויקרא כז כו) "לֹא יַקְדִּישׁ אִישׁ אוֹתוֹ". מִשֶּׁיְּבֻכַּר אִי אַתָּה מַקְדִּישׁוֹ אֲבָל אַתָּה מַקְדִּישׁוֹ בַּבֶּטֶן. לְפִיכָךְ יֵשׁ לוֹ לוֹמַר מַה שֶּׁבְּמֵעֶיהָ שֶׁל מַבְכֶּרֶת זוֹ אִם הוּא זָכָר הֲרֵי זוֹ עוֹלָה. אֲבָל אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לוֹמַר זִבְחֵי שְׁלָמִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְהַפְקִיעַ אוֹתוֹ מִקְּדֻשָּׁתוֹ כְּדֵי לֵהָנוֹת בּוֹ. וְאִם אָמַר עִם יְצִיאַת רֹב רֹאשׁוֹ יִהְיֶה עוֹלָה הֲרֵי זֶה בְּכוֹר וְאֵינוֹ עוֹלָה:

13

One may not use a clever technique to change the fetus of a consecrated animal to another purpose. Instead, it is consecrated with the holiness of its mother. The rationale is that the offspring of a consecrated animal become consecrated in the womb, as we explained. Thus every fetus is consecrated with the holiness of its mother and its holiness cannot be changed in the womb as one may with regard to a firstborn animal. The rationale is that a firstborn animal becomes consecrated only when it emerges from the womb.

Although all of the statutes of the Torah are decrees, as we explained in the conclusion of Hilchot Me'ilah, it is fit to meditate upon them and wherever it is possible to provide a reason, one should provide a reason. The Sages of the early generations said that King Solomon understood most of the rationales for all the statutes of the Torah.

It appears to me that the verse Leviticus 27:10: "It and the animal to which its holiness will be transferred shall be consecrated" shares a similar motivating rationale as the verse ibid.:15: "If the one who consecrates it shall redeem his house, he shall add a fifth of the money of the redemption valuation to it." The principle behind these laws is that the Torah descended to the bottom of a person's thoughts and the scope of his evil inclination. For human nature tends to increase his property and attach importance to his money. Even though he made a vow or consecrated something, it is possible that he will reconsider, change his mind, and redeem it for less than its worth. Hence the Torah states: "If he redeems it for himself, he must add a fifth." Similarly, if he consecrated an animal in a manner that its physical person becomes consecrated, he might reconsider. In this instance, since he cannot redeem it, he will exchange it for a lesser one. If he was given permission to exchange a superior animal for an inferior one, he will exchange an inferior one for a superior one and claim that it was superior. Therefore, the Torah removed that option, forbidding all exchanges and penalized him that if he made an exchange, "It and the animal to which its holiness will be transferred shall be consecrated."

All of these ordinances are to subjugate one's evil inclination and improve one's character. Similarly, most of the Torah's laws are nothing other than "counsels given from distance" from "He Who is of great counsel" to improve one's character and make one's conduct upright. And so it is written Proverbs 22:20-21: "Behold, I have written for you in the Torah prominent matters, to inform you of the veracity of the words of truth, so that you will respond truthfully to those who send to you."

יג

וְאֵין מַעֲרִימִין עַל בֶּהֱמַת הֶקְדֵּשׁ לְהַקְדִּישׁ עֵבָּרָהּ קְדֻשָּׁה אַחֶרֶת אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הוּא כִּקְדֻשַּׁת אִמּוֹ. שֶׁוַּלְדוֹת הַקָּדָשִׁים מִמְּעֵי אִמָּם הֵם קְדוֹשִׁים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וַהֲרֵי כָּל עֵבָּר מֵהֶן כִּקְדֻשַּׁת אִמּוֹ וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְשַׁנּוֹתוֹ בַּבֶּטֶן כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁעָשָׂה בִּבְכוֹר שֶׁרַבְּכוֹר בִּיצִיאָתוֹ הוּא שֶׁמִּתְקַדֵּשׁ. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל חֻקֵּי הַתּוֹרָה גְּזֵרוֹת הֵם כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּסוֹף מְעִילָה. רָאוּי לְהִתְבּוֹנֵן בָּהֶן וְכָל מַה שֶּׁאַתָּה יָכוֹל לִתֵּן לוֹ טַעַם תֵּן לוֹ טַעַם. הֲרֵי אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים שֶׁהַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה הֵבִין רֹב הַטְּעָמִים שֶׁל כָּל חֻקֵּי הַתּוֹרָה. יֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁאָמַר הַכָּתוּב (ויקרא כז י) (ויקרא כז ל) "וְהָיָה הוּא וּתְמוּרָתוֹ יִהְיֶה קֹדֶשׁ". כָּעִנְיָן שֶׁאָמַר (ויקרא כז טו) "וְאִם הַמַּקְדִּישׁ יִגְאַל אֶת בֵּיתוֹ וְיָסַף חֲמִישִׁית כֶּסֶף עֶרְכְּךָ עָלָיו". יָרְדָה תּוֹרָה לְסוֹף מַחֲשֶׁבֶת הָאָדָם וּקְצָת יִצְרוֹ הָרַע. שֶׁטֶּבַע שֶׁל אָדָם נוֹטֶה לְהַרְבּוֹת קִנְיָנוֹ וְלָחוּס עַל מָמוֹנוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנָּדַר וְהִקְדִּישׁ אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁחָזַר בּוֹ וְנִחַם וְיִפְדֶּה בְּפָחוֹת מִשָּׁוְיוֹ אָמְרָה תּוֹרָה אִם פָּדָה לְעַצְמוֹ יוֹסִיף חֹמֶשׁ. וְכֵן אִם הִקְדִּישׁ בְּהֵמָה קְדֻשַּׁת הַגּוּף שֶׁמָּא יַחְזֹר בּוֹ וְכֵיוָן שֶׁאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִפְדּוֹתָהּ יַחְלִיפֶנָּה בִּפְחוּתָה מִמֶּנָּה. וְאִם תִּתֵּן לוֹ רְשׁוּת לְהַחְלִיף הָרַע בְּיָפֶה יַחְלִיף הַיָּפֶה בְּרַע וְיֹאמַר טוֹב הוּא. לְפִיכָךְ סָתַם הַכָּתוּב בְּפָנָיו שֶׁלֹּא יַחְלִיף. וּקְנָסוֹ אִם הֶחְלִיף וְאָמַר וְהָיָה הוּא וּתְמוּרָתוֹ יִהְיֶה קֹדֶשׁ. וְכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים כְּדֵי לָכֹף אֶת יִצְרוֹ וּלְתַקֵּן דֵּעוֹתָיו. וְרֹב דִּינֵי הַתּוֹרָה אֵינָן אֶלָּא עֵצוֹת מֵרָחוֹק מִגְּדוֹל הָעֵצָה לְתַקֵּן הַדֵּעוֹת וּלְיַשֵּׁר כָּל הַמַּעֲשִׂים. וְכֵן הוּא אוֹמֵר (משלי כב כ) "הֲלֹא כָתַבְתִּי לְךָ שָׁלִישִׁים בְּמֹעֵצוֹת וָדָעַת". לְהוֹדִיעֲךָ קֹשְׁטְ אִמְרֵי אֱמֶת לְהָשִׁיב אֲמָרִים אֱמֶת לְשלְחֶיךָ:

Blessed be the Merciful One Who grants assistance.

סליקו להו הלכות תמורה בס"ד:

With the help of the Almighty, this concludes the eighth book which is the Book of Sacrifices.

נגמר ספר תשיעי והוא ספר הקרבנות:

Tum'at Met - Chapter 1

"God, create for me a pure heart and renew within me an upright spirit" (Psalms 51:12).

The Tenth Book

SEFER TAHARAH

It includes eight halachot. They are:

Hilchot Tum'at Meit - The Laws of the Impurity Imparted by a Human Corpse

Hilchot Parah Adumah - The Laws of the Red Heifer

Hilchot Tum'at Tzara'at - The Laws of the Impurity Imparted by Tzara'at

Hilchot Metamei Mishkav UMoshav - The Laws of the Sources of Impurity

that Impart Impurity to the Places Where One Lies and Sits

Hilchot Sha'ar Avot HaTum'ah - The Laws of Other Primary Categories of Impurity

Hilchot Tum'at Ochalin - The Laws of the Impurity Contracted by Foods

Hilchot Keilim - The Laws of the Impurity Contracted by Keilim

Hilchot Mikveot - The Laws Governing Mikveot

In the name of the Lord, the God of the world.
Create for me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

The tenth book which is The Book of Ritual Purity

It contains eight sets of Halachot and this is their order:

The Laws of Tum'at Meit
The Laws of Parah Adumah
The Laws of Tum'at Tzara'at
The Laws of Metamei Mishkav UMoshav
The Laws of Sha'ar Avot HaTum'ah
The Laws of Tum'at Ochalin
The Laws of Keilim
The Laws of Mikveot

Introduction to Hilchos Tum'as Mes

Included in this text is one positive commandment: the laws governing the impurity imparted by a human corpse.

This mitzvah is explained in the ensuing chapters.

בְּשֵׁם יי אֵל עוֹלָם (בראשית כא לג)
לֵב טָהוֹר בְּרָא לִי אֱלֹהִים, וְרוּחַ נָכוֹן חַדֵּשׁ בְּקִרְבִּי (תהלים נא יב)

ספר עשירי והוא ספר טהרה

הלכותיו שמונה, וזה הוא סידורן:

טומאת מת
הלכות פרה אדומה
הלכות טומאת צרעת
הלכות מטמאי משכב ומושב
הלכות שאר אבות הטומאות
הלכות טומאת אוכלים
הלכות כלים
הלכות מקואות הלכות טומאת מת - הקדמה הלכות טומאת מת מצות עשה אחת והוא דין טומאת מת וביאור מצוה זאת בפרקים אלו:

1

A human corpse imparts ritual impurity that persists for a minimum of seven days when it is touched or carried or when one is under the same structure (ohel). The impurity imparted by touching a corpse or being under the same structure is explicitly mentioned in the Torah, as Numbers 19:11 states: "One who touches a corpse of any human being will be impure for seven days" and ibid.:14 states: "Anyone who enters the tent and anything in the tent will be impure for seven days.

א

הַמֵּת מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה. וְטֻמְאַת מַגָּע וְאֹהֶל מְפֹרָשִׁין בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט יא) "הַנֹּגֵעַ בְּמֵת לְכָל נֶפֶשׁ אָדָם וְטָמֵא שִׁבְעַת יָמִים". וְנֶאֱמַר (במדבר יט יד) "כָּל הַבָּא אֶל הָאֹהֶל וְכָל אֲשֶׁר בָּאֹהֶל יִטְמָא שִׁבְעַת יָמִים":

2

The impurity stemming from carrying a human corpse is derived from the Oral Tradition. It is based on an inference from a lesser matter to a more severe one. If the carcass of animal makes a person impure only until the evening, but does not cause a person to incur ritual impurity when under the same shelter, and yet causes him to incur impurity when carrying it, as Leviticus 11:40 states: "One who carries their carcasses," how much more so should this apply with regard to a human corpse. And the process of reasoning continues: if touching an animal carcass causes one to become impure until the evening and carrying it causes a person to be impure until the evening, so too, since touching a corpse causes a person to be impure for seven days, it should cause him to be impure for seven days if he carries it. The impurity resulting from carrying a corpse is not considered of Rabbinic origin, but is instead, a Scriptural Law. It appears to me that Scripture remained silent concerning this type of impurity in the same way that it remained silent concerning the prohibition against relations with one's daughter, because it explicitly forbade relations with the daughter of one's daughter. And it remained silent concerning the prohibition against partaking of meat cooked with milk, because it explicitly forbade cooking it. Similarly, Scripture did not mention the impurity incurred by carrying a human corpse because it explicitly mentioned that one who was under the same shelter as a corpse incurs impurity. Thus one can infer that this certainly applies to one who carries it.

ב

טֻמְאַת מַשָּׂא מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה. וְקַל וָחֹמֶר הַדְּבָרִים אִם נְבֵלָה שֶׁהִיא טֻמְאַת עֶרֶב וְאֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה בְּאֹהֶל מְטַמְּאָה בְּמַשָּׂא שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יא כח) "וְהַנּשֵֹׁא אֶת נִבְלָתָם" הַמֵּת לֹא כָּל שֶׁכֵּן. וּמַה נְּבֵלָה שֶׁמַּגָּעָהּ טֻמְאַת עֶרֶב מַשָּׂאָהּ טֻמְאַת עֶרֶב אַף הַמֵּת שֶׁמַּגָּעוֹ טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה מַשָּׂאוֹ טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה. אֵין טֻמְאַת מַשָּׂא בְּמֵת מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים אֶלָּא דִּין תּוֹרָה. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁשָּׁתַק מִמֶּנָּה הַכָּתוּב כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁשָּׁתַק מֵאִסּוּר הַבַּת לְפִי שֶׁאָסַר בְּפֵרוּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ בַּת הַבַּת. וְשָׁתַק מֵאִסּוּר אֲכִילַת בָּשָׂר בְּחָלָב לְפִי שֶׁאָסַר בְּפֵרוּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ בִּשּׁוּלוֹ. כָּךְ שָׁתַק מִטֻּמְאַת מַשָּׂא בְּמֵת לְפִי שֶׁטִּמֵּא בְּפֵרוּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ טֻמְאַת אָהֳלוֹ כָּל שֶׁכֵּן מַשָּׂאוֹ:

3

The impurity incurred by touching mentioned in all situations, whether involving a human corpse or another source of impurity, is brought about by a person touching the source of impurity itself. Whether he touches it with his flesh, his hand, his foot, or any other portion of his body, even with his tongue, he becomes impure. Similarly, it appears to me that if a person touches a source of impurity with his nails or with his teeth, he becomes impure. The rationale is since they are connected to the body, they are considered as the body itself. If, however, a person took a source of impurity, skewered it with a weaving needle, and inserted it into the throat of a person who is ritually pure without it touching his tongue or inserted it within the womb of a woman from below without touching her flesh, the person who swallowed the source of impurity does not become impure because his inner organs came in contact with the source of impurity. The rationale is that contact between a source of impurity and one's inner organs is not considered as touch.

ג

טֻמְאַת מַגָּע הָאֲמוּרָה בְּכָל מָקוֹם בֵּין בְּמֵת בֵּין בִּשְׁאָר הַמְטַמְּאִים הוּא שֶׁנָּגַע הָאָדָם בִּבְשָׂרוֹ בַּטֻּמְאָה עַצְמָהּ. בֵּין בְּיָדוֹ בֵּין בְּרַגְלוֹ בֵּין בִּשְׁאָר בְּשָׂרוֹ וַאֲפִלּוּ בִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִטְמָא. וְכֵן נִרְאֶה לִי שֶׁאִם נָגַע בְּצִפָּרְנָיו אוֹ בְּשִׁנָּיו נִטְמָא כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵם מְחֻבָּרִים לַגּוּף הֲרֵי הֵם כְּגוּף. אֲבָל אִם תָּחַב אָדָם טֻמְאָה בְּכוּשׁ וְהִכְנִיסָהּ לְתוֹךְ גְּרוֹנוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם טָהוֹר וְלֹא נָגְעָה בִּלְשׁוֹנוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁהִכְנִיסָהּ לְתוֹךְ מְעִי שֶׁל אִשָּׁה מִלְּמַטָּה וְלֹא נָגְעָה בִּבְשָׂרָהּ. לֹא נִטְמָא הַבּוֹלֵעַ מִשּׁוּם מַגָּע זֶה שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נָגְעָה בִּבְשָׂרוֹ. שֶׁנְּגִיעַת פְּנִים אֵינָהּ נְגִיעָה:

4

A scab over a bruise is considered as skin with regard to touching sources of impurity. The underdeveloped body hair of a child, by contrast, is not considered as skin.

What is implied? If a source of impurity touches a person on the scab over a bruise, he is impure; it is as if it touched his flesh. Conversely, if it touched the thin hair on the body of a child, he does not become impure.

Similarly, if an impure person has a bruise and a pure person touched the scab on the bruise, he becomes ritually impure. If a minor was impure and a pure person touched the underdeveloped hair on his body, he does not become impure. This applies both with regard to impurity stemming from a human corpse or other types of impurity.

Similarly, blotches of filth, mud, or similar things that are not considered as intervening substances or dried pieces of filth and things that are considered as intervening substances are not considered as flesh, neither to impart ritual impurity to others, nor to contract ritual impurity.

ד

קְרוּם שֶׁעַל הַמַּכָּה הֲרֵי הוּא כְּעוֹר הַבָּשָׂר לְעִנְיַן מַגַּע טֻמְאוֹת. וּכְשׁוּת שֶׁעַל הַקָּטָן אֵינָהּ כְּעוֹר הַבָּשָׂר. כֵּיצַד. מִי שֶׁנָּגְעָה טֻמְאָה בִּקְרוּם מַכָּתוֹ נִטְמָא כְּאִלּוּ נָגְעָה בְּעוֹרוֹ. נָגְעָה בְּשֵׂעָר הַדַּק שֶׁעַל בְּשַׂר הַקָּטָן לֹא נִטְמָא. וְכֵן אָדָם טָמֵא שֶׁהָיְתָה בּוֹ מַכָּה וְנָגַע הַטָּהוֹר בִּקְרוּם מַכַּת הַטָּמֵא נִטְמָא. אִם הָיָה קָטָן טָמֵא וְנָגַע הַטָּהוֹר בַּכְּשׁוּת שֶׁלּוֹ לֹא נִטְמָא בֵּין בְּטֻמְאַת מֵת בֵּין בִּשְׁאָר טֻמְאוֹת. וְכֵן לִכְלוּכֵי צוֹאָה אוֹ טִיט וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵין חוֹצְצִין עַל הַגּוּף וְכֵן גִּלְדֵי צוֹאָה מִן הַדְּבָרִים שֶׁחוֹצְצִין עַל הַגּוּף אֵינָם כְּעוֹר הַבָּשָׂר לֹא לְטַמֵּא וְלֹא לְהִתְטַמֵּא:

5

Just as a person becomes impure when he comes into contact with a source of impurity, so too, keilim become impure when a source of impurity touches them with the exception of an earthenware utensil that incurs ritual impurity only when a source of impurity enters its inner space, as will be explained in Hilchot Keilim.

This is an inclusive general principle that applies with regard to ritual impurity: Whatever causes a person to contract ritual impurity when touching him, causes keilim to contract ritual impurity. Whatever does not cause a person to contract ritual impurity when touching him, does not cause keilim to contract ritual impurity. A person and keilim contract ritual impurity only from a primary source of ritual impurity.

ה

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁאָדָם מִתְטַמֵּא בִּנְגִיעָתוֹ בְּטֻמְאָה כָּךְ הַכֵּלִים מִתְטַמְּאִים בִּנְגִיעַת הַטֻּמְאָה בָּהֶן. חוּץ מִכְּלִי חֶרֶס שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא אֶלָּא מֵאֲוִירוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת כֵּלִים. [וְזֶהוּ כְּלָל גָּדוֹל בַּטֻּמְאָה. כָּל הַמְטַמֵּא אָדָם בְּמַגָּע מְטַמֵּא כֵּלִים. וְכָל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא אָדָם בְּמַגָּע אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא כֵּלִים. וְאֵין אָדָם וְכֵלִים מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה אֶלָּא מֵאַב הַטֻּמְאָה]:

6

The impurity incurred by carrying mentioned in all situations - whether involving a human corpse or another object that conveys impurity by carrying - is brought about by a person carrying a source of impurity even though he did not touch it. Even if there is a stone between the person and the source of impurity, since he carried it, he becomes impure.

The above applies whether he carries it on his head, his hand, or another portion of his body. And it applies whether the person lifted up the source of impurity himself or another person lifted it up and put it on him; since he carried it on his person in any way, he becomes impure. Even if the source of impurity was hanging on a string or a hair and he hung the string from his hand and lifted the source of impurity to the slightest degree, he is considered to have carried it and he becomes impure.

ו

טֻמְאַת מַשָּׂא הָאֲמוּרָה בְּכָל מָקוֹם בֵּין בְּמֵת בֵּין בִּשְׁאָר כָּל הַמְטַמְּאִים בְּמַשָּׂא. הוּא שֶׁיִּשָּׂא הָאָדָם הַטֻּמְאָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע בָּהּ. אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בֵּינוֹ לְבֵינָהּ אֶבֶן הוֹאִיל וְנָשָׂא נִטְמָא. וְאֶחָד הַנּוֹשֵׂא עַל רֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ עַל יָדוֹ אוֹ עַל שְׁאָר גּוּפוֹ. וְאֶחָד הַנּוֹשֵׂא הוּא בְּעַצְמוֹ אוֹ שֶׁנְּשָׂאָהּ אַחֵר וְהִנִּיחָהּ לְמַעְלָה מִזֶּה הוֹאִיל וְנִשֵּׂאת עָלָיו מִכָּל מָקוֹם נִטְמָא וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה הַטֻּמְאָה תְּלוּיָה בְּחוּט אוֹ בִּשְׂעָרוֹ וְתָלָה הַחוּט בְּיָדוֹ וְהִגְבִּיהַּ הַטֻּמְאָה כָּל שֶׁהוּא הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹשֵׂא וְנִטְמָא:

7

Moving an article is considered as carrying it. Any article that imparts impurity when it is carried imparts impurity when moved.

What is implied? There was a beam resting on a wall and on its side was a human corpse, an animal carcass, or the like. A pure person came to the other end of the beam and moved it. Since he moved the impurity at the other end of the beam, he becomes impure for carrying the source of impurity. Needless to say, this applies if he pulled the other end of the beam toward the earth until the source of impurity was lifted up or he dragged it on the ground, for this is certainly considered as carrying. The above situation and anything similar refers to the activity of moving that imparts ritual impurity, as mentioned in all instances.

ז

מֵסִיט בִּכְלַל נוֹשֵׂא הוּא. וְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁמְּטַמֵּא בְּמַשָּׂא מְטַמֵּא בְּהֶסֵּט. כֵּיצַד. קוֹרָה שֶׁהִיא מֻנַּחַת עַל הַכֹּתֶל וְעַל צִדָּהּ מֵת אוֹ נְבֵלָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וּבָא הַטָּהוֹר לִקְצֵה הַקּוֹרָה הַשֵּׁנִי וְהֵנִידוֹ. כֵּיוָן שֶׁהֵנִיד אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה שֶׁבַּקָּצֶה הַשֵּׁנִי טָמֵא מִשּׁוּם נוֹשֵׂא. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם מָשַׁךְ אֶת הַקָּצֶה הַשֵּׁנִי כְּנֶגֶד הָאָרֶץ עַד שֶׁהִגְבִּיהַּ הַטֻּמְאָה אוֹ שֶׁגָּרַר הַטֻּמְאָה עַל הָאָרֶץ. שֶׁזֶּה נוֹשֵׂא וַדַּאי. וְזֶה וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ הִיא טֻמְאַת הֶסֵּט הָאֲמוּרָה בְּכָל מָקוֹם:

8

When a person carries a source of impurity in a hidden part of his body, he becomes impure. Even though touching such portions of the body is not considered as touch, carrying an article there is considered as carrying unless the source of impurity is swallowed up in the person's digestive system. Once a source of impurity reaches a person's stomach, it is not considered as if he touched or carried it. If such a person immerses in a mikveh he regains purity, even though the source of impurity is in his digestive system.

ח

הַנּוֹשֵׂא בְּתוֹךְ בֵּית הַסְּתָרִים נִטְמָא שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הַנְּגִיעָה שָׁם נְגִיעָה הַנּוֹשֵׂא שָׁם נוֹשֵׂא הוּא. אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נִבְלַע הַטֻּמְאָה בְּתוֹךְ מֵעָיו שֶׁמֵּאַחַר שֶׁהִגִּיעָה לְתוֹךְ בִּטְנוֹ אֵינוֹ לֹא נוֹגֵעַ וְלֹא נוֹשֵׂא. וְאִם טָבַל טָהוֹר וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַטֻּמְאָה בְּתוֹךְ מֵעָיו:

9

Only a human being becomes impure for carrying a source of impurity, not keilim.

What is implied? Ten containers were placed on a person's hand, one on top of the other, and the carcass of an animal or another source of impurity was placed in the uppermost container. The person is considered impure, because he carried the carcass of an animal. The containers on his hand, by contrast, are all pure except for the uppermost one which was touched by the source of impurity. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ט

אֵין מִתְטַמֵּא בְּמַשָּׂא אֶלָּא הָאָדָם בִּלְבַד לֹא הַכֵּלִים. כֵּיצַד. הֲרֵי שֶׁהָיָה מֻנָּח עַל יָדוֹ עֲשָׂרָה כֵּלִים זֶה עַל גַּבֵּי זֶה וְהַנְּבֵלָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ בַּכְּלִי הָעֶלְיוֹן הָאָדָם טָמֵא מִשּׁוּם נוֹשֵׂא נְבֵלָה וְהַכֵּלִים שֶׁעַל יָדוֹ כֻּלָּן טְהוֹרִים חוּץ מִכְּלִי הָעֶלְיוֹן שֶׁנָּגְעָה בּוֹ הַטֻּמְאָה. וְכֵן כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

10

The ritual impurity of ohel does not apply with regard to other sources of impurity, only with regard to a human corpse. Whether a person and/or a k'li, even a needle, was extended over a corpse, a corpse was extended over a person and/or a k'li, or a corpse and a person and/or a k'li were under one shelter, they are impure.

י

טֻמְאַת אֹהֶל אֵינָהּ בִּשְׁאָר טֻמְאוֹת אֶלָּא בְּמֵת בִּלְבַד. וּבֵין שֶׁהֶאֱהִיל הָאָדָם אוֹ הַכְּלִי אֲפִלּוּ מַחַט שֶׁהֶאֱהִילָה עַל הַמֵּת אוֹ שֶׁהֶאֱהִיל הַמֵּת עַל הָאָדָם אוֹ עַל הַכֵּלִים אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה הַמֵּת עִם הָאָדָם אוֹ עִם הַכֵּלִים תַּחַת אֹהֶל אֶחָד הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ טְמֵאִים:

11

The impurity of ohel mentioned in all places refers to impurity imparted by a source of impurity to a person or keilim in one of these three ways.

Whether a person enters entirely to the shelter where a corpse is located or part of his body enters, he becomes impure because of the ohel. Even if he inserted merely his hand, his fingertips, or his nose into the shelter where a corpse is located, his entire person becomes impure. If he joined his hand to the lintel of the doorway of such a shelter, he becomes impure as if part of his body entered. If he touched the doorframe from a handbreadth and below above the ground, he is pure. From a handbreadth and above, he is impure. It appears to me that this impurity is of Rabbinic origin.

יא

וְטֻמְאַת אֹהֶל הָאֲמוּרָה בְּכָל מָקוֹם הוּא שֶׁתְּטָמֵּא אוֹתָהּ טֻמְאָה הָאָדָם אוֹ הַכֵּלִים בְּאַחַת מִשָּׁלֹשׁ דְּרָכִים אֵלּוּ. אֶחָד הַבָּא כֻּלּוֹ לְאֹהֶל הַמֵּת אוֹ הַבָּא מִקְצָתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נִטְמָא בְּאֹהֶל אֲפִלּוּ הִכְנִיס יָדוֹ אוֹ רָאשֵׁי אֶצְבְּעוֹתָיו אוֹ חָטְמוֹ לְאֹהֶל הַמֵּת הֲרֵי זֶה נִטְמָא כֻּלּוֹ. נָגַע בַּמַּשְׁקוֹף וְצֵרֵף יָדוֹ עִם הַמַּשְׁקוֹף נִטְמָא כְּאִלּוּ בָּא מִקְצָתוֹ. נָגַע בָּאַסְקֻפָּה מִטֶּפַח וּלְמַטָּה קָרוֹב לָאָרֶץ טָהוֹר. וּמִטֶּפַח וּלְמַעְלָה טָמֵא. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁדָּבָר זֶה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם:

12

Corpses of both Jews and gentiles impart impurity through touch or through carrying.

יב

אֶחָד הַמֵּת מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל אוֹ מִן הָעַכּוּ''ם מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא:

13

The corpse of a gentile does not impart ritual impurity through ohel. This matter was conveyed by the Oral Tradition. With regard to the war with Midian, Numbers 31:19 states: "All who touch a corpse...", but does not mention an ohel.

Similarly, a gentile does not contract the impurity connected with a corpse. Instead, if a gentile touches a corpse, carries it, or stands over it, it is as if he did not touch it. To what can the matter be compared? To an animal that touched a corpse or stood over a corpse.

Not only the impurity imparted by a human corpse, but all types of impurity do not cause gentiles and animals to become impure.

יג

וְאֵין הָעַכּוּ''ם מְטַמֵּא בְּאֹהֶל וְדָבָר זֶה קַבָּלָה הוּא וַהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר בְּמִלְחֶמֶת מִדְיָן (במדבר לא יט) "כּל נֹגֵעַ בֶּחָלָל" וְלֹא הַזְכִּיר שָׁם אֹהֶל. וְכֵן הָעַכּוּ''ם אֵינוֹ נַעֲשֶׂה טְמֵא מֵת אֶלָּא עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁנָּגַע בְּמֵת אוֹ נְשָׂאוֹ אוֹ הֶאֱהִיל עָלָיו הֲרֵי הוּא כְּמִי שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע. הָא לְמָה זֶה דּוֹמֶה לִבְהֵמָה שֶׁנָּגְעָה בְּמֵת אוֹ הֶאֱהִילָה עַל הַמֵּת. וְלֹא בְּטֻמְאַת הַמֵּת בִּלְבַד אֶלָּא בְּכָל הַטֻּמְאוֹת כֻּלָּן אֵין הָעַכּוּ''ם וְלֹא הַבְּהֵמָה מִתְטַמְּאִין בָּהֶן:

14

According to Rabbinic Law, gentiles are considered as zavim, According to Scriptural Law, there is no type of living being that contracts ritual impurity while alive or imparts ritual impurity while alive, except a human, and even then, only when he is Jewish.

Both a Jewish adult and a minor can contract all forms of ritual impurity, even the impurity stemming from a corpse, concerning which Numbers 19:20 states: "A man who shall become impure." Nevertheless, both an adult and a minor can contract this impurity, for ibid.:18 states: "for all the souls that were there." Even a newborn infant that touched, carried, or extended a limb over a corpse becomes impure and he is considered impure because of contact with a human corpse.

The above applies provided the baby was born after a nine month pregnancy. If he is born after an eight month pregnancy, he is considered as a stone and he does not contract ritual impurity.

יד

וּמִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁיְּהוּ הָעַכּוּ''ם כְּזָבִין לְכָל דִּבְרֵיהֶן. וְאֵין לְךָ בְּכָל מִינֵי נֶפֶשׁ מַה שֶּׁמִּתְטַמֵּא וְהוּא חַי אוֹ מְטַמֵּא וְהוּא חַי חוּץ מִן הָאָדָם בִּלְבַד. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל. אֶחָד גָּדוֹל וְאֶחָד קָטָן מִתְטַמְּאִין בְּכָל הַטֻּמְאוֹת אֲפִלּוּ בְּטֻמְאַת הַמֵּת. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בָּהּ (במדבר יט כ) "אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר יִטְמָא" אֶחָד הָאִישׁ וְאֶחָד הַקָּטָן שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר שָׁם (במדבר יט יח) "וְעַל כָּל הַנְּפָשׁוֹת אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ שָׁם". אֲפִלּוּ קָטָן בֶּן יוֹמוֹ שֶׁנָּגַע אוֹ נָשָׂא אוֹ הֶאֱהִיל עַל הַמֵּת נִטְמָא וַהֲרֵי הוּא טְמֵא מֵת. וְהוּא שֶׁנּוֹלַד לְתִשְׁעָה. אֲבָל בֶּן שְׁמוֹנָה הֲרֵי הוּא כְּאֶבֶן וְאֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה:

15

A corpse does not impart ritual impurity until the person actually dies. Even if one's veins have been cut, or he is in his death-throes, even if his two vital signs have been slit, he does not impart ritual impurity until his soul expires, as ibid.:13 states: "The soul of a man who dies...."

If his backbone is broken together with most of the surrounding flesh, he was torn apart like a fish from his back, he was decapitated, or he was cut in half from his stomach, he imparts impurity, even though some of his limbs are still making convulsive movements.

טו

הַמֵּת אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא עַד שֶׁתֵּצֵא נַפְשׁוֹ אֲפִלּוּ מְגֻיָּד אוֹ גּוֹסֵס. אֲפִלּוּ נִשְׁחֲטוּ בּוֹ שְׁנֵי הַסִּימָנִים אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא עַד שֶׁתֵּצֵא נַפְשׁוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט יג) "בְּנֶפֶשׁ הָאָדָם אֲשֶׁר יָמוּת". נִשְׁבְּרָה מִפְרַקְתּוֹ וְרֹב בְּשָׂרָהּ עִמָּהּ אוֹ שֶׁנִּקְרַע כְּדָג מִגַּבּוֹ אוֹ שֶׁהֻתַּז רֹאשׁוֹ אוֹ שֶׁנֶּחְלַק לִשְׁנֵי חֲלָקִים בְּבִטְנוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן הוּא מְרַפְרֵף בְּאֶחָד מֵאֵיבָרָיו:

Tum'at Met - Chapter 2

1

A stillborn fetus, even though it is underdeveloped and its limbs have not been firmly connected with their sinews, imparts ritual impurity when it is touched, carried, or when one is under the same structure as it, like the corpse of an adult that has died, as implied by Numbers 19:11: "One who touches a corpse of the soul of any man."

Similarly, an olive-sized measure from the flesh of a corpse imparts impurity like an entire corpse, whether it still retains its moisture or it has become dry like a shard. Netzal is like flesh and imparts impurity when an olive-sized portion is present.

What is meant by the term netzal? Flesh that has decomposed and turned into a putrid liquid mass, provided that the liquid mass that resulted from the corpse coagulates. For if it coagulates, it is apparent that it comes from the flesh of the corpse. If it does not coagulate, it does not impart impurity, for perhaps it is from the deceased's phlegm or other body fluids.

א

הַנֵּפֶל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִתְקַשְּׁרוּ אֵיבָרָיו בְּגִידִין מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל כְּאָדָם גָּדוֹל שֶׁמֵּת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט יא) "הַנֹּגֵעַ בְּמֵת לְכָל נֶפֶשׁ אָדָם". וְכֵן כְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר הַמֵּת בֵּין לַח בֵּין יָבֵשׁ כְּחֶרֶשׂ מְטַמֵּא כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם. וְהַנֶּצֶל בַּבָּשָׂר מְטַמֵּא בִּכְזַיִת. אֵיזֶהוּ נֶצֶל זֶה הַבָּשָׂר שֶׁנִּמּוֹחַ וְנַעֲשֶׂה לֵחָה סְרוּחָה. וְהוּא שֶׁתִּקְרשׁ אוֹתָהּ הַלֵּחָה הַנִּמְצֵאת מִן הַמֵּת שֶׁאִם קָרְשָׁה בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁהוּא מִבְּשָׂרוֹ וְאִם לֹא קָרְשָׁה אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה שֶׁמָּא כִּיחוֹ וְנִיעוֹ הוּא:

2

Even though these measures were all conveyed as halachot to Moses at Sinai, our Sages said: At the onset of his conception, man's body is the size of an olive. Therefore the measure for which his flesh imparts ritual impurity is the size of an olive.

ב

אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַשִּׁעוּרִין כֻּלָּם הֲלָכָה לְמשֶׁה מִסִּינַי הֵן אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים תְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם כְּזַיִת וּלְפִיכָךְ שִׁעוּר טֻמְאַת בְּשָׂרוֹ כְּזַיִת:

3

A limb that was cut off from a living person is considered as an entire corpse and imparts impurity when it is touched, carried, or one is under the same structure. This applies even to a limb of a newborn infant, for there is no minimum measure that applies with regard to complete limbs. This is derived from Numbers 19:16 which states: "Anyone who touches a corpse slain by the sword... on the open field." It is a known matter that the laws applying to one slain by the sword are the same as one slain by a stone or through other means. According to the Oral Tradition, we learned that the verse comes only to deem a limb severed by a sword as impure.

When does the above apply? When the limb was intact as it was when it came into being with flesh, sinews, and bones, as the abovementioned verse states: "Or the bone of a man." Implied is that the bone must be like a man, i.e., a human corpse. Just as a human corpse has flesh, sinews, and bones, so too, a limb from a living person must be intact as it was when it came into being and have flesh, sinews, and bones. In contrast, a kidney and a tongue, and the like, even though they are considered as complete organs, since they do not contain bones, they are considered as the remainder of a person's flesh.

If even the slightest amount of bone was missing from a limb severed from a living person, the entire limb is pure. The following rules apply if some of its flesh was missing: If there remained enough flesh on it that, were the person to be alive, his flesh would regenerate, be healed, and return to a state of wholeness, the limb imparts impurity when it is touched, carried, or when one is under the same structure. If not, it imparts impurity when it is touched, carried, but not when one is under the same structure.

Flesh that is separated from a living person is ritually pure. Similarly, a bone without flesh that is separated from a living person is ritually pure.

ג

אֵיבָר שֶׁנֶּחְתַּךְ מִן הָאָדָם הַחַי הֲרֵי הוּא כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל אֲפִלּוּ אֵיבָר קָטָן שֶׁל קָטָן בֶּן יוֹמוֹ שֶׁהָאֵיבָרִים אֵין לָהֶם שִׁעוּר שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט טז) "כּל אֲשֶׁר יִגַּע עַל פְּנֵי הַשָּׂדֶה בַּחֲלַל חֶרֶב" וְהַדָּבָר יָדוּעַ שֶׁדִּין חֲלַל חֶרֶב כְּדִין חֲלַל אֶבֶן אוֹ חֲלַל שְׁאָר דְּבָרִים מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁלֹּא בָּא זֶה אֶלָּא לְטַמֵּא נוֹגֵעַ בְּאֵיבָר שֶׁפְּלָטַתּוּ הַחֶרֶב. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים כְּשֶׁהָיָה הָאֵיבָר שָׁלֵם כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וַעֲצָמוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט טז) "אוֹ בְעֶצֶם אָדָם" עֶצֶם שֶׁהוּא כְּאָדָם מַה אָדָם בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וַעֲצָמוֹת אַף אֵיבָר מִן הַחַי עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וַעֲצָמוֹת. אֲבָל הַכֻּלְיָא וְהַלָּשׁוֹן וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן אֵיבָר בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן הוֹאִיל וְאֵין בָּהֶן עֶצֶם הֲרֵי הֵן כִּשְׁאָר הַבָּשָׂר. חָסַר מִן הָעֶצֶם שֶׁל אֵיבָר כָּל שֶׁהוּא הֲרֵי הָאֵיבָר כֻּלּוֹ טָהוֹר. חָסַר מִבְּשָׂרוֹ אִם נִשְׁאַר עָלָיו בָּשָׂר שֶׁרָאוּי לַעֲלוֹת בּוֹ אֲרוּכָה בְּחַי וְיִתְרַפֵּא וְיִשָּׁלֵם. הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל. וְאִם לָאו מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּאֹהֶל. וּבָשָׂר הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִן הַחַי טָהוֹר. וְכֵן עֶצֶם בְּלֹא בָּשָׂר הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִן הַחַי טָהוֹר:

4

When a limb is separated from a corpse, it imparts impurity as a corpse does when it is touched, carried, or when one is under the same structure, provided it is intact as it was when it came into being with flesh, sinews, and bones.

If a portion of the bone was lacking, when there is at least an olive-sized portion of flesh on it, it imparts impurity like an entire corpse. The following rules apply if some of the flesh was lacking, but none of the bone. If there remained enough flesh on it that, were the person to be alive, his flesh would regenerate, it imparts impurity like an entire corpse. If not, it is like other bones of a corpse on which there is no flesh.

ד

אֵיבָר הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִן הַמֵּת מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל כְּמֵת וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה שָׁלֵם כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וַעֲצָמוֹת. חָסַר עַצְמוֹ אִם נִשְׁאַר עָלָיו בָּשָׂר כְּזַיִת מְטַמֵּא כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם. חָסַר הַבָּשָׂר וְלֹא חָסַר הָעֶצֶם אִם נִשְׁאַר עָלָיו כְּדֵי לַעֲלוֹת אֲרוּכָה בְּחַי מְטַמֵּא כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם וְאִם לָאו הֲרֵי הוּא כִּשְׁאָר עַצְמוֹת הַמֵּתִים שֶׁאֵין עֲלֵיהֶן הַבָּשָׂר:

5

The marrow of a bone causes flesh to regenerate on the bone's surface. Therefore if the hipbone of a corpse, a bone that is closed on both of its sides, has sufficient marrow to cause the flesh to regenerate, it is considered as an entire corpse.

The following laws apply if a bone has marrow that has dried out and rattles within. If there is an olive-sized portion of marrow, the bone imparts impurity when one is under the same shelter. Even though the bone is closed on all sides, the impurity breaks through and ascends and breaks through and descends, as will be explained. For the marrow is considered like flesh in all contexts.

ה

מֹחַ שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ הָעֶצֶם הֲרֵי הוּא מַעֲלֶה אֲרוּכָה מִבַּחוּץ. לְפִיכָךְ קוּלִית הַמֵּת וְהוּא עֶצֶם הַסָּתוּם מִשְּׁנֵי קְצוֹתָיו אִם יֵשׁ בְּתוֹכָהּ מֹחַ כְּדֵי לַעֲלוֹת אֲרוּכָה הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם. הָיָה בָּהּ מֹחַ הַמִּתְנַדְנֵד אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ כְּזַיִת הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא בְּאֹהֶל אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָעֶצֶם סָתוּם מִכָּל צְדָדָיו טֻמְאָה בּוֹקַעַת וְעוֹלָה בּוֹקַעַת וְיוֹרֶדֶת כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר שֶׁהַמֹּחַ כְּבָשָׂר לְכָל דָּבָר:

6

The following laws apply when there is a limb and/or flesh limply hanging from a person. Even though they cannot be restored to their natural state and vitality, they are pure. If the person dies, the flesh is pure and the limb imparts ritual impurity according to the laws pertaining to a limb severed from a living body and not according to the laws pertaining to a limb severed from a corpse.

What are the differences between the laws pertaining to a limb severed from a living body and the laws pertaining to a limb severed from a corpse? Flesh and bones that become separated from a limb severed from a living person are pure. Flesh and bones that become separated from a limb severed from a corpse are considered as if they were separate from an entire corpse and impart impurity according to the appropriate measures.

ו

הָאֵיבָר וְהַבָּשָׂר הַמְדֻלְדָּלִים בָּאָדָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין יְכוֹלִין לַחְזֹר וְלִחְיוֹת טְהוֹרִים. מֵת הָאָדָם הֲרֵי הַבָּשָׂר טָהוֹר וְהָאֵיבָר מְטַמֵּא מִשּׁוּם אֵיבָר מִן הַחַי וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא מִשּׁוּם אֵיבָר מִן הַמֵּת. מַה בֵּין אֵיבָר מִן הַחַי לְאֵיבָר מִן הַמֵּת. אֵיבָר מִן הַחַי בָּשָׂר הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ וְעֶצֶם הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ טְהוֹרִים וְאֵיבָר מִן הַמֵּת בָּשָׂר הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ וְעֶצֶם הַפּוֹרֵשׁ מִמֶּנּוּ כִּמְפֹרָשִׁים מִן הַמֵּת הַשָּׁלֵם וּמְטַמְּאִין בְּשִׁעוּרָן:

7

There is no minimum measure for either a limb severed from a living body or a limb severed from a corpse.

A man has 248 limbs, every one of them comprising flesh, sinews, and bones. The teeth are not included in this number. There are 251 in a woman.

Any limb that became separated while intact as it was when it came into being, whether it was separated while the person was alive or after his death imparts impurity when it is touched, carried, or one is under the same structure with the exception of the three extra limbs possessed by a woman. The latter do not convey impurity when one is under the same structure.

Similarly, an extra finger that has a bone, but does not have a nail, can be counted as part of the sum of the majority of a person's limbs if it is counted on his hand together with his other fingers. If it is not counted on his hand together with his other fingers, it can, nevertheless, impart impurity when it is touched or carried. It does not, however, impart impurity when one is under the same shelter. The impurity it imparts is of Rabbinic origin. If it has a nail, it is considered as other limbs.

Why did the Sages rule that a finger that is not counted should impart impurity? This decree was a safeguard lest the impurity that could be imparted by one that is counted would be ignored. Why did they rule that it does not impart impurity when under the same shelter? They established a point of distinction to make it known that the impurity it imparts originates in a Rabbinic decree so that terumah and sacrificial meat will not be burnt because of this type of impurity.

ז

וּבֵין אֵיבָר מִן הַחַי בֵּין אֵיבָר מִן הַמֵּת אֵין לָהֶן שִׁעוּר. אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים מָאתַיִם שְׁמוֹנָה וְאַרְבָּעִים אֵיבָרִים יֵשׁ בָּאִישׁ כָּל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן בָּשָׂר וְגִידִים וְעֶצֶם וְאֵין הַשִּׁנַּיִם מִן הַמִּנְיָן. וּבְאִשָּׁה מָאתַיִם וְאֶחָד וַחֲמִשִּׁים. כָּל אֵיבָר מֵהֶן שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ בֵּין מִן הַחַי בֵּין מִן הַמֵּת מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל חוּץ מִשְּׁלֹשָׁה אֵיבָרִים יְתֵרוֹת שֶׁבָּאִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵינָן מְטַמְּאִין בְּאֹהֶל. וְכֵן אֶצְבַּע יְתֵרָה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ עֶצֶם וְאֵין בָּהּ צִפֹּרֶן אִם נִסְפֶּרֶת עַל גַּב הַיָּד עוֹלָה לְמִנְיַן רֹב הָאֵיבָרִים וְאִם אֵינָהּ נִסְפֶּרֶת עַל גַּב הַיָּד מְטַמְּאָה בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וְאֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה בְּאֹהֶל וְטֻמְאָתָהּ מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְאִם הָיָה בָּהּ צִפֹּרֶן הֲרֵי הִיא כִּשְׁאָר הָאֵיבָרִים. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה גָּזְרוּ טֻמְאָה עַל אֶצְבַּע שֶׁאֵינָהּ נִסְפֶּרֶת גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם הַנִּסְפֶּרֶת. וְלָמָּה לֹא טִמְּאוּהָ בְּאֹהֶל עָשׂוּ לָהּ הֶכֵּר כְּדֵי לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁטֻּמְאָתָהּ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם מִשּׁוּם גְּזֵרָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׂרְפוּ עַל טֻמְאָתָהּ תְּרוּמָה וְקָדָשִׁים:

8

If there is no flesh on the bones of a corpse, they impart impurity like an entire corpse when they are touched or carried or when one is under the same structure, provided it is apparent that they have the form of bones, for one can still refer to them as "the bones of a man." These are the bones that impart the ritual impurity of a corpse: the backbone, the skull, the majority of the body's structure, and the majority of the number of bones in the body.

What is meant by the backbone causing impurity? When the backbone is intact, it is considered as an entire corpse. If even one of the eighteen vertebrae is missing, they are considered as other bones.

What is meant by the skull causing impurity? When the skull is intact, it is considered as an entire corpse. If it is missing a portion as large as a sela, it is considered as other bones. If it has small holes, their area is added together to see if it compromises that of a sela.

The entire structure of a man is: the two shins, the hips, the ribs, and the backbone. The majority of the structure of a corpse is considered as an entire corpse. What is implied? For example, if his two shins and one hip are present, it is as if the entire corpse was present. If even the slightest amount is missing from "the majority of the structure," the bones are considered as other bones.

What is meant by the majority of the number of the bones? The majority of the number of bones, e.g., 125 bones. If there are 124, they are considered as other bones. Even though this particular person had extra limbs or fewer limbs, this figure is calculated according to the number of bones of the majority of people unless the extra limb is a finger that has a nail or which is counted on his hand together with his other fingers. Such a finger is counted in the sum of a person's bones, as stated.

ח

עַצְמוֹת הַמֵּת שֶׁאֵין עֲלֵיהֶם בָּשָׂר אִם נִכֶּרֶת בָּהֶן צוּרַת עֲצָמוֹת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְטַמְּאִין בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם שֶׁאֲנִי קוֹרֵא בָּהֶם (במדבר יט טז) "עֶצֶם אָדָם". וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הָעֲצָמוֹת שֶׁהֵן מְטַמְּאִין כְּמֵת. הַשִּׁדְרָה וְהַגֻּלְגּלֶת וְרֹב בִּנְיָנוֹ וְרֹב מִנְיָנוֹ. הַשִּׁדְרָה כֵּיצַד. שִׁדְרָה שֶׁהִיא שְׁלֵמָה הֲרֵי הִיא כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם וְאִם חָסְרָה אֲפִלּוּ חֻלְיָא אַחַת מִשְּׁמוֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה חֻלְיוֹת הֲרֵי הִיא כִּשְׁאָר הָעֲצָמוֹת. הַגֻּלְגּלֶת כֵּיצַד. גֻּלְגּלֶת שֶׁהִיא שְׁלֵמָה הֲרֵי הִיא כְּמֵת וְאִם חָסְרָה כְּסֶלַע הֲרֵי הִיא כִּשְׁאָר הָעֲצָמוֹת. הָיוּ בָּהּ נְקָבִים קְטַנִּים כֻּלָּם מִצְטָרְפִין לִכְסֶלַע. כָּל בִּנְיָנוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם הוּא שְׁתֵּי הַשּׁוֹקַיִם וְהַיְרֵכַיִם וְהַצְּלָעוֹת וְהַשִּׁדְרָה. וְרֹב בִּנְיָנוֹ שֶׁל מֵת הֲרֵי הוּא כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שְׁתֵּי שׁוֹקָיו וְיָרֵךְ אַחַת אִם חָסֵר רֹב בִּנְיָנוֹ כָּל שֶׁהוּא הֲרֵי הֵן כִּשְׁאָר הָעֲצָמוֹת. רֹב מִנְיָנוֹ כֵּיצַד. רֹב מִנְיַן עֲצָמוֹת כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיוּ קכ''ה עֶצֶם הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּמֵת שָׁלֵם. הָיוּ קכ''ד הֲרֵי הֵן כִּשְׁאָר הָעֲצָמוֹת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהָיָה אָדָם זֶה יָתֵר בְּאֵיבָרָיו אוֹ חָסֵר בְּאֵיבָרָיו אֵין מַשְׁגִּיחִין בּוֹ אֶלָּא עַל מִנְיַן רֹב כָּל אָדָם אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיְתָה אֶצְבַּע שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ צִפֹּרֶן אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה נִסְפֶּרֶת עַל גַּב הַיָּד שֶׁהִיא עוֹלָה לְמִנְיָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

9

The following laws apply to the remaining bones of a corpse when among them, there is not the majority of the number, nor the majority of the structure of the corpse, and not an intact backbone, nor an intact skull. If there are a fourth of a kab of bones, they impart impurity like an entire corpse when they are touched or carried or one is under the same structure. If there are less than a fourth of a kab - this applies even to a bone merely the size of a barley-corn - they impart impurity when they are touched or carried. They do not, however, impart impurity through being under the same structure.

ט

שְׁאָר עַצְמוֹת הַמֵּת שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן רֹב מִנְיַן וְלֹא רֹב בִּנְיָן וְלֹא שִׁדְרָה שְׁלֵמָה וְלֹא גֻּלְגּלֶת שְׁלֵמָה אִם הָיָה בָּהֶן רֹבַע הַקַּב הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְטַמְּאִים כְּמֵת בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל. הָיוּ פָּחוֹת מֵרֹבַע אֲפִלּוּ עֶצֶם כִּשְׂעוֹרָה מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּאֹהֶל:

10

If there is one bone, even if it is a fourth of a kab in size, it imparts impurity when it is touched or carried. It does not, however, impart impurity through being under the same structure.

The impurity imparted by one bone is a halachah conveyed by the Oral Tradition. Numbers 19:18 states: "And all who touch the bone." The Oral Tradition teaches that even a bone the size of a barley-corn imparts impurity when it is touched or carried. Since this impurity is taught as halachah by the Oral Tradition, it is considered as Scriptural Law and not as a Rabbinic decree.

י

הָיָה עֶצֶם אֶחָד אֲפִלּוּ יֵשׁ בּוֹ רֹבַע הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּאֹהֶל. טֻמְאַת עֶצֶם אֶחָד הֲלָכָה מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לְפִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט יח) "כָּל הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּעֶצֶם" לָמְדוּ מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה אֲפִלּוּ עֶצֶם כִּשְׂעוֹרָה מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא. וּלְפִי שֶׁטֻּמְאָתוֹ הֲלָכָה הֲרֵי הוּא דִּין תּוֹרָה וְלֹא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:

11

When the bones of a corpse decompose in the grave and become a rekev, two handfuls of that rekev impart impurity when that quantity is carried or it is located under the same structure as a person or object. It does not, however, impart impurity when it is touched, because it is impossible to touch it in its entirety, because it is not a whole entity. Even if it was mixed with water, the different portions are not considered as joined together.

יא

מֵת שֶׁהִרְקִיבוּ עַצְמוֹתָיו בַּקֶּבֶר וְנַעֲשׂוּ רֶקֶב. מְלֹא חָפְנַיִם מֵאוֹתוֹ רֶקֶב מְטַמֵּא בְּמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל כְּמֵת וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע לְפִי שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר לִגַּע בְּכֻלּוֹ שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ גּוּף אֶחָד. וַאֲפִלּוּ גִּבְּלוֹ בְּמַיִם אֵינוֹ חִבּוּר:

12

The blood of a corpse imparts impurity like the corpse itself when it is touched, carried, or one is under the same structure, for Numbers 19:13 speaks of: "the soul of man" and Deuteronomy 12:23 states: "the blood is the soul."

What is the measure of blood that imparts impurity? A revi'it. Even the liquid left after blood coagulates imparts impurity when one is under the same structure, as a corpse does, as long as it is red in color.

יב

דַּם הַמֵּת מְטַמֵּא כְּמֵת בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא וּבְאֹהֶל. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט יג) "בְּנֶפֶשׁ הָאָדָם" וְנֶאֱמַר (דברים יב כג) "כִּי הַדָּם הוּא הַנָּפֶשׁ". וְכַמָּה שִׁעוּרוֹ רְבִיעִית. אֲפִלּוּ תַּמְצִית הַדָּם כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ אַדְמוּמִית מְטַמֵּא בְּאֹהֶל הַמֵּת:

13

Blood from a living person, even if it is the blood that flows out when the person is stabbed in the throat, is pure as long as the person is alive. If the blood which flows from his body at the end, i.e., before his death, becomes mixed with the blood which flows from his body after he died and the entire mixture is a revi'it, and it is not known how much flowed out while he was alive and how much flowed out after his death, even if half a revi'it flowed out while he was alive and half after his death, this is referred to as "weltering blood." It imparts impurity when it is touched, carried, or when one is under the same structure. This impurity is, however, of Rabbinic origin.

יג

דַּם הַחַי אֲפִלּוּ דַּם נְחִירָה הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהוּא חַי. נִתְעָרֵב הַדָּם שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנּוּ בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה סָמוּךְ לַמִּיתָה עִם הַדָּם שֶׁיָּצָא מִמֶּנּוּ אַחַר שֶׁמֵּת וְכָל הַתַּעֲרוֹבוֹת רְבִיעִית וְאֵין יָדוּעַ כַּמָּה יָצָא מֵחַיִּים וְכַמָּה יָצָא אַחַר מִיתָה. אֲפִלּוּ חֲצִי רְבִיעִית מֵחַיִּים וְחֶצְיָהּ אַחַר מִיתָה הֲרֵי זֶה נִקְרָא דַּם תְּבוּסָה וּמְטַמֵּא בְּמַשָּׂא וּבְמַגָּע וּבְאֹהֶל. אֶלָּא שֶׁטֻּמְאָתוֹ מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים:

14

The following laws apply when the corpse of a person who was slain was lying on a bed. His blood had been dripping from his body while he was alive and descending into a hole. At one point, he died. After he died, the blood continued dripping and descending into that hole. All of the blood is pure. For the drops of blood are nullified one by one, as they become mixed with the blood that flowed from his body during his lifetime.

If only a revi'it of blood flowed out from the person's body and there is a doubt whether it all flowed out during the person's life or afterwards, this is a questionable situation of ritual impurity like other questionable situations. One who touches it in a private domain is impure. In a public domain, he is pure, as will be explained in the appropriate place.

יד

הָרוּג שֶׁהָיָה מֻטָּל עַל הַמִּטָּה וְדָמוֹ מְנַטֵּף כְּשֶׁהוּא חַי וְיוֹרֵד לְגֻמָּא וּמֵת וַהֲרֵי הַדָּם מְנַטֵּף אַחַר מוֹתוֹ וְיוֹרֵד לְאוֹתָהּ גֻּמָּא. הֲרֵי כָּל הַדָּם שֶׁבָּהּ טָהוֹר שֶׁטִּפָּה טִפָּה רִאשׁוֹנָה רִאשׁוֹנָה בָּטְלָה כְּדָם שֶׁיָּצָא מֵחַיִּים. יָצָא מִמֶּנּוּ רְבִיעִית דָּם בִּלְבַד וְסָפֵק כֻּלָּהּ מֵחַיִּים סָפֵק כֻּלָּהּ לְאַחַר מִיתָה הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק טְמֵאָה כִּשְׁאָר הַסְּפֵקוֹת וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ בִּרְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד טָמֵא בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים טָהוֹר כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

15

According to Scriptural Law, as long as the source of impurity is in a grave, the grave imparts impurity when it is touched or when one is under the same structure, as a corpse does, for Numbers 19:16 mentions touching "a corpse, the bone of a man, or a grave." A person is impure whether he touches the covering of a grave or its sides, provided it is built and totally enclosed. Afterwards, in such a situation, the grave imparts impurity in its entirety when it is touched or when one is under the same structure.

If, however, one places keilim, stones, or the like at the side of a corpse and covers the corpse with keilim, stones, or the like, the covering that shelters the corpse from above is called a gollel. And the objects at the side that support the gollel and upon which it rests are called a dofek. Both of them, the gollel and the dofek impart impurity when they are touched or when one is under the same structure, as is true with regard to a grave. The impurity they impart is of Rabbinic origin. They do not impart impurity when carried. Accordingly, if one drags a gollel with ropes until it covers a corpse or drags it or pulls it away from being above a corpse, or one dragged a dofek until he positioned the gollel above it or pulled it by ropes from under the dofek, the person is pure.

Entities that support the dofek are called dofek dofekkim and they are pure.

טו

הַקֶּבֶר כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהַטֻּמְאָה בְּתוֹכוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְאֹהֶל כְּמֵת דִּין תּוֹרָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר יט טז) "אוֹ בְמֵת אוֹ בְעֶצֶם אָדָם אוֹ בְקָבֶר". וְאֶחָד הַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּגַגּוֹ שֶׁל קֶבֶר אוֹ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בִּכְתָלָיו. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּנוּי וְסָתוּם וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִהְיֶה כֻּלּוֹ מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְאֹהֶל. אֲבָל הַמַּעֲמִיד כֵּלִים אוֹ אֲבָנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן בְּצִדֵּי הַמֵּת וְכִסָּה עָלָיו מִלְּמַעְלָה בְּכֵלִים אוֹ בַּאֲבָנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן זֶה הַכִּסּוּי הַמֻּטָּל מִלְּמַעְלָה נִקְרָא גּוֹלֵל וְאֵלּוּ הַצְּדָדִין הַמַּעֲמִידִין אֶת הַגּוֹלֵל שֶׁהוּא נִשְׁעָן עֲלֵיהֶן נִקְרָאִין דּוֹפֵק. וּשְׁנֵיהֶם הַגּוֹלֵל אוֹ הַדּוֹפֵק מְטַמְּאִין בְּמַגָּע וּבְאֹהֶל כְּקֶבֶר וְטֻמְאָתָן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים וְאֵינָן מְטַמְּאִין בְּמַשָּׂא. לְפִיכָךְ אִם גָּרַר הַגּוֹלֵל בַּחֲבָלִים עַד שֶׁכִּסָּה בּוֹ אֶת הַמֵּת. אוֹ גְּרָרוֹ אוֹ שְׁמָטוֹ מֵעַל הַמֵּת. אוֹ שֶׁגָּרַר הַדּוֹפֵק עַד שֶׁהֶעֱמִיד עָלָיו הַגּוֹלֵל אוֹ שְׁמָטוֹ בַּחֲבָלִים מִתַּחַת הַגּוֹלֵל הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וּדְבָרִים שֶׁסּוֹמְכִין אֶת הַדּוֹפֵק וְהֵם הַנִּקְרָאִין דּוֹפֵק דּוֹפְקִין הֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין:

16

When a field containing a grave was plowed and the bones of the corpse were lost in its earth, this is called a beit hapras. Its earth imparts impurity when it is touched or carried, for perhaps it contains a bone the size of a barley corn, but it does not impart impurity when one is under the same structure.

Similarly, the earth in the entire Diaspora imparts impurity when it is touched or carried, because of the possibility of the presence of bones, for they are not careful about burying them. The impurity of a beit hapras and the earth of the Diaspora is of Rabbinic origin, as will be explained.

טז

שָׂדֶה שֶׁנֶּחְרַשׁ בָּהּ קֶבֶר וְאָבְדוּ עַצְמוֹת הַמֵּת בַּעֲפָרָהּ הִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת בֵּית הַפְּרָס. וַעֲפָרָהּ מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא שֶׁמָּא יֵשׁ בָּהּ עֶצֶם כִּשְׂעוֹרָה. וְאֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה בְּאֹהֶל. וְכֵן כָּל אַרְצוֹת הָעַכּוּ''ם עֲפָרָן מְטַמֵּא בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא מִפְּנֵי הָעֲצָמוֹת שֶׁאֵין נִזְהָרִין בָּהֶן. וְטֻמְאַת בֵּית הַפְּרָס וְאֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:

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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 the 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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