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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Mikvaot - Chapter 2, Mikvaot - Chapter 3, Mikvaot - Chapter 4

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Mikvaot - Chapter 2

1

These are the substances that intervene for a person: the secretion outside the eye, the fluid outside a wound that crusts, dried blood over a wound, a bandage over a wound, crusts of filth on one's flesh, dough or mud under one's nails, particles of mud or dough that collect on one's flesh, thick mud, potters' clay, and mud that is found in the thoroughfares at all times, even in the summer. All of these substances intervene. Other mud does not intervene when wet, because it will dissolve in the water. When it is dry, it is considered as an intervening substance.

א

אֵלוּ חוֹצְצִין בָּאָדָם. לִפְלוּף שֶׁחוּץ לָעַיִן. וְגֶלֶד שֶׁחוּץ לַמַּכָּה. וְהַדָּם יָבֵשׁ שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַמַּכָּה. וְהָרְטִיָּה שֶׁעָלֶיהָ. וְגִלְדֵי צוֹאָה שֶׁעַל בְּשָׂרוֹ. וּבָצֵק אוֹ טִיט שֶׁתַּחַת הַצִּפֹּרֶן. וְהַמִּלְמוּלִין שֶׁעַל הַגּוּף. וְטִיט הַיָּוֵן וְטִיט הַיּוֹצְרִים וְטִיט שֶׁל דְּרָכִים הַנִּמְצָא שָׁם תָּמִיד אֲפִלּוּ בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה כָּל אֵלּוּ חוֹצְצִין. וּשְׁאָר כָּל הַטִּיט כְּשֶׁהוּא לַח אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ שֶׁהֲרֵי נִמְחָה בְּמַיִם וּכְשֶׁהוּא יָבֵשׁ חוֹצֵץ:

2

When the following: honey, ink, milk, blood, and the sap of berry bushes, fig trees, wild fig trees, and carob trees are dry, they are considered intervening substances. When they are moist, they are not. The sap of other fruits are considered as intervening substances whether moist or dry.

Blood that sticks to the flesh, even if it is moist, is considered an intervening substance. A loosely hanging limb or flesh is considered an intervening substance.

ב

הַדְּבַשׁ. וְהַדְּיוֹ. וְהֶחָלָב. וְהַדָּם. וּשְׂרַף הַתּוּת. וְהַתְּאֵנָה. וְהַשִּׁקְמָה. וְהֶחָרוּב. יְבֵשִׁין חוֹצְצִין לַחִין אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין. וּשְׁאָר כָּל הַשְּׂרָפִין בֵּין לַחִין בֵּין יְבֵשִׁין חוֹצְצִין. וְדָם שֶׁנִּסְרַךְ בַּבָּשָׂר אֲפִלּוּ לַח חוֹצֵץ. הָאֵיבָר וְהַבָּשָׂר הַמְדֻלְדָּלִים חוֹצְצִין:

3

A woman's hidden area is considered to have intervening substances present unless she washes before her immersion, because that portion of the body is always sweaty and dust collects there and intervenes.

To whom does the above apply? To a married woman. Different rules apply for an unmarried woman. Since she is not concerned about the cleanliness of that area, it is not considered to have intervening substances present.

ג

בֵּית הַסְּתָרִים בְּאִשָּׁה חוֹצֵץ עַד שֶׁתָּדִיחַ תְּחִלָּה. שֶׁהַזֵּעָה שָׁם תָּמִיד וְהֶאָבָק מִתְקַבֵּץ וְחוֹצֵץ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּנְשׂוּאָה. אֲבָל בִּפְנוּיָה הוֹאִיל וְאֵינָהּ מַקְפֶּדֶת אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ:

4

The following rules apply to bandages on a wound, metal plates on a broken bone, necklaces, noserings, choker necklaces, and rings. When they are firm and cling to the flesh, they are considered as intervening substances. If they are loose, they are not considered as intervening substances.

ד

הָאֶגֶד שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַמַּכָּה. וְהַקַּשְׂקַשִּׂין שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַשֶּׁבֶר. וְהַשֵּׁירִים וְהַנְּזָמִים וְהַקַּטְלָיוֹת וְהַטַּבָּעוֹת. בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵן חֲזָקִים וּדְבוּקִים בַּבָּשָׂר חוֹצְצִים. רָפִים אֵינָם חוֹצְצִין:

5

Strands of wool, strands of flax, and straps that women tie to their heads as adornments are intervening substances, because they separate between the body and the water. Strands of hair are not considered intervening substances, because water penetrates through them, even when they are not loose.

ה

חוּטֵי צֶמֶר וְחוּטֵי פִּשְׁתָּן וְהָרְצוּעוֹת שֶׁקּוֹשְׁרוֹת הַנָּשִׁים בְּרָאשֵׁיהֶן לְנוֹי חוֹצְצִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּבְדִּילִין בֵּין הַגּוּף וּבֵין הַמַּיִם. אֲבָל חוּטֵי שֵׂעָר אֵין חוֹצְצִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמַּיִם בָּאִין בָּהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן רָפִין:

6

Strands tied around one's neck, even of flax, are not considered as intervening substances, because a woman does not strangle herself with them. Tight necklaces, e.g., choker necklaces and necklets, are intervening substances, because a woman chokes herself with them to look fat.

ו

חוּטִין שֶׁבַּצַּוָּאר אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין אֲפִלּוּ שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן לְפִי שֶׁאֵין אִשָּׁה חוֹנֶקֶת עַצְמָהּ בָּהֶן. אֲבָל חֲבָקִים שֶׁבַּצַּוָּאר כְּגוֹן קַטְלָיוֹת וַעֲנָקִים חוֹצְצִין לְפִי שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה חוֹנֶקֶת עַצְמָהּ בָּהֶן כְּדֵי שֶׁתֵּרָאֶה בַּעֲלַת בָּשָׂר:

7

Hair over the heart that became tangled and matted and similarly, matted hairs of the beard are intervening substances.

ז

שֵׂעָר שֶׁעַל הַלֵּב שֶׁנִּתְקַשֵּׁר וְנַעֲשָׂה קִלְקְלֵי. וְכֵן קִלְקְלֵי הַזָּקָן חוֹצְצִין:

8

When an arrow is stuck in a person's flesh, if it is visible, it is considered an intervening substance. If it is not visible, he may immerse in a mikveh and partake of terumah in the evening even though the arrow itself is impure. Similarly, if a person swallowed an impure ring and immersed, he is pure. If he vomited it out after immersing, he contracts impurity, because of contact with it. For, as we explained, any entities swallowed within the body of a living being, do not impart impurity or contract impurity.

If pebbles or splinters enter the cracks on the soles of a person's feet, they are considered as intervening substances.

ח

חֵץ הַתָּחוּב בְּאָדָם בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא נִרְאֶה חוֹצֵץ. וּבַזְּמַן שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִרְאֶה טוֹבֵל וְאוֹכֵל בִּתְרוּמָתוֹ לָעֶרֶב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חֵץ טָמֵא. וְכֵן מִי שֶׁבָּלַע טַבַּעַת טָמֵא וְטָבַל הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וְאִם הֱקִיאָהּ אַחַר שֶׁטָּבַל נִטְמָא בְּמַגָּעָהּ שֶׁכְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל הַבְּלוּעִים בְּגוּף הַחַי לֹא מְטַמְּאִין וְלֹא מִתְטַמְּאִין. נִכְנְסוּ צְרוֹרוֹת וְקֵיסָמִין בְּסִדְקֵי רַגְלָיו מִלְּמַטָּה חוֹצְצִין:

9

When there is a bandage, a compress, or a dressing over the hidden parts of a person's body, they are considered as intervening substances. The rationale is that even though water need not enter these parts, they must be fit for water to enter them and not have any intervening substances upon them, as we explained.

If there was one or two hairs that were outside the wound, but their tips were stuck to the wound, there were two hairs with mud or filth stuck to their tips, or there were two hairs from one's upper eyelashes that were perforated and hairs from one's lower eyelashes were threaded through them, they are considered an intervening substance.

ט

אִסְפְּלָנִית מְלוּגְמָא וּרְטִיָּה שֶׁעַל בֵּית הַסְּתָרִים חוֹצְצִין. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם צְרִיכִין שֶׁיִּהְיוּ רְאוּיִין וְלֹא יְהֵא בָּהֶן דָּבָר חוֹצֵץ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. הָיְתָה בּוֹ שְׂעָרָה אַחַת אוֹ שְׁתַּיִם חוּץ לַמַּכָּה וְרֹאשָׁהּ מֻדְבָּק לַמַּכָּה אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת רֹאשָׁם מֻדְבָּק בְּטִיט אוֹ בְּצוֹאָה אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת בְּרִיסֵי עֵינָיו מִלְּמַטָּה וּנְקָבָן וְהוֹצִיאָן בְּרִיסֵי עֵינָיו מִלְּמַעְלָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹצְצִין:

10

A person should not immerse with dust on his feet. If, however, he did, the dust is not an intervening substance.

י

לֹא יִטְבּל אָדָם בֶּעָפָר שֶׁעַל רַגְלָיו וְאִם טָבַל אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ:

11

When one holds another person or an implement and immerses them, they remain impure. This applies even if he loosens his hand and allows water to reach the person or the article being immersed. This is a decree, lest he not loosen his hand. If he rinses his hand in water first, the immersion is acceptable.

יא

הָאוֹחֵז בְּאָדָם וּבְכֵלִים וְהִטְבִּילָן הֲרֵי הֵן בְּטֻמְאָתָן. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרִפָּה יָדָיו עַד שֶׁבָּאוּ בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא לֹא יַרְפֶּה. וְאִם הֵדִיחַ יָדָיו בַּמַּיִם עָלְתָה לָהֶן טְבִילָה:

12

When a woman slings her infant son over her back and immerses, the immersion is not acceptable, for perhaps there was mud on the infant's feet or hands and it became attached to his mother at the time of her immersion and intervened between her body and the water, but it fell off after she emerged.

יב

הַמַּפְשֶׁלֶת בְּנָהּ לַאֲחוֹרָהּ וְטָבְלָה לֹא עָלְתָה לָהּ טְבִילָה שֶׁמָּא הָיָה טִיט בְּרַגְלֵי הַתִּינוֹק אוֹ בְּיָדָיו וְנִדְבַּק בְּאִמּוֹ בִּשְׁעַת טְבִילָה וְחָצַץ וְאַחַר שֶׁעָלְתָה נָפַל:

13

When a woman who was a nidah put her hair in her mouth, clenched her fists, pursed her lips, or a bone was discovered between her teeth, it is as if she did not immerse. This applies to other impure individuals as well.

If she placed coins in her mouth and descended and immersed, she is purified from nidah impurity, but she is impure because of her spittle. Thus she is a primary derivative of impurity, like one who touched the spittle of a nidah. The same laws apply with regard to a zav.

יג

נִדָּה שֶׁנָּתְנָה שְׂעָרָהּ בְּפִיהָ אוֹ שֶׁקָּפְצָה יָדָהּ אוֹ שֶׁקָּרְצָה בְּשִׂפְתוֹתֶיהָ אוֹ שֶׁנִּמְצָא עֶצֶם בֵּין שִׁנֶּיהָ כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טָבְלָה. וְכֵן שְׁאָר כָּל הַטְּמֵאִים. נָתְנָה מָעוֹת בְּפִיהָ וְיָרְדָה וְטָבְלָה טָהֲרָה מִטֻּמְאַת הַנִּדָּה וַהֲרֵי הִיא טְמֵאָה עַל גַּב רֻקָּה וְנִמְצֵאת רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה כְּמִי שֶׁנָּגַע בְּרֹק הַנִּדָּה. וְכֵן הַדִּין בְּזָב:

14

These are the substances that do not intervene for a human: the matted hair of the head, the arm pits, and the hidden parts of a man, the secretions of the eye, the scab above a wound, moist drops of filth on his skin, filth that is under a nail, a loose-hanging nail, and the thin hair that is on the skin of a child. All of these substances are not considered as intervening.

יד

וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵין חוֹצְצִין בְּאָדָם. קִלְקְלֵי הָרֹאשׁ וּבֵית הַשֶּׁחִי וּבֵית הַסְּתָרִים שֶׁבָּאִישׁ. וְלִפְלוּף שֶׁבָּעַיִן. וְגֶלֶד שֶׁהֶעֶלְתָה הַמַּכָּה. וְלִכְלוּכֵי צוֹאָה שֶׁעַל בְּשָׂרוֹ. וְצוֹאָה שֶׁתַּחַת הַצִּפֹּרֶן. וְצִפֹּרֶן הַמְדֻלְדֶּלֶת. וּכְשׁוּת הַקָּטָן וְהוּא הַשֵּׂעָר הַדַּק שֶׁעַל בְּשָׂרוֹ. כָּל אֵלּוּ אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין:

15

When two or more hairs are knotted in one knot, they are not considered as an intervening substance, because the water can penetrate through them. If one hair is knotted, it is considered an intervening substance, provided the person is particular about it. If, however, he is not particular about it, his immersion is acceptable unless the larger portion of his hair is tied individually hair by hair. This is the ruling of the Geonim.

It appears to me that a person's hair is considered like his body with regard to immersion and is not a separate entity to the extent that it is inappropriate to speak of "the larger portion of his hair." Instead, even though all of a person's hair is tied hair by hair, if the person is not particular about the matter, his immersion is acceptable unless the hairs are combined with another intervening substance on his body and thus there are intervening substances covering the larger portion of his body, as we explained. The laws mentioned here apply equally to a woman in the nidah state and to other impure people who have hair on their heads.

טו

שְׁתֵּי שְׂעָרוֹת אוֹ יֶתֶר שֶׁהָיוּ קְשׁוּרִין כְּאַחַת קֶשֶׁר אֶחָד אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמַּיִם בָּאִין בָּהֶן. וּשְׂעָרָה אַחַת שֶׁנִּקְשְׁרָה חוֹצֶצֶת וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מַקְפִּיד עָלֶיהָ. אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עָלֶיהָ עָלְתָה לוֹ טְבִילָה עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה רֹב שְׂעָרוֹ קָשׁוּר נִימָא נִימָא בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ כָּזֶה הוֹרוּ הַגְּאוֹנִים. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁשְּׂעָרוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם כְּגוּפוֹ הוּא חָשׁוּב לְעִנְיַן טְבִילָה וְאֵינוֹ כְּגוּף בִּפְנֵי עַצְמוֹ כְּדֵי שֶׁנֹּאמַר רֹב הַשֵּׂעָר אֶלָּא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל שְׂעַר רֹאשׁוֹ קָשׁוּר נִימָא נִימָא אִם אֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עָלָיו עָלְתָה לוֹ טְבִילָה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נִצְטָרֵף לְחוֹצֵץ אַחֵר עַל גּוּפוֹ וְנִמְצָא הַכּל רֹב גּוּפוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְאֶחָד הַנִּדָּה וְאֶחָד שְׁאָר הַטְּמֵאִין שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּרֹאשָׁן שֵׂעָר:

16

Ezra ordained that a woman should comb out her hair and then immerse. If it is possible for her to comb out her hair at night and immerse immediately thereafter, it is praiseworthy. In a pressing situation or when there is a question of sickness, she may comb out her hair - say - on Friday and immerse Saturday night.

טז

תַּקָּנַת עֶזְרָא הִיא שֶׁתִּהְיֶה אִשָּׁה חוֹפֶפֶת אֶת שְׂעָרָהּ וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּטְבּל. וְאִם אֶפְשָׁר לָהּ לָחֹף בַּלַּיְלָה וְלִטְבּל מִיָּד תֵּכֶף לַחֲפִיפָה הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח. וּבִשְׁעַת הַדְּחָק אוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַחלִי חוֹפֶפֶת אֲפִלּוּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וְטוֹבֶלֶת לְמוֹצָאֵי שַׁבָּת:

17

The following rules apply when a woman immersed and then an intervening substance was found upon her that disqualified her immersion. If she immersed on the same day that she prepared herself, she does not have to prepare herself again. Instead, she may remove the intervening substance and immerse again immediately. If not, she must prepare herself a second time and then immerse.

יז

טָבְלָה וְעָלְתָה וְנִמְצָא עָלֶיהָ דָּבָר חוֹצֵץ אִם בְּאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם שֶׁחָפְפָה טָבְלָה אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לָחֹף פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה אֶלָּא חוֹזֶרֶת וְטוֹבֶלֶת מִיָּד בִּלְבַד. וְאִם לָאו צְרִיכָה לָחֹף פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה וְלִטְבּל:

18

A woman should not comb out her hair with natron, because it causes the hairs to snap, nor with oak sap, because it snarls the hair. Instead, she should use hot water, even water heated in the sun, because it hardens the hair and enables it to be combed out. Cold water, by contrast, tangles the hair and causes it to contract and thus become intertwined.

יח

לֹא תָּחֹף אִשָּׁה בְּנֶתֶר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמְּקַטֵּף אֶת הַשֵּׂעָר. וְלֹא בְּאֹהֶל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּסְרִיךְ אֶת הַשֵּׂעָר. אֶלָּא בְּחַמִּין וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּחַמֵּי חַמָּה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַחַמִּין מְיַשְּׁרִין אֶת הַשֵּׂעָר וּמְסַלְסְלִין אוֹתוֹ. אֲבָל הַצּוֹנְנִין מְקַלְקְלִין וּמְקַבְּצִין אֶת הַשֵּׂעָר וּמִתְקַשֵּׁר:

19

When a nidah gave cooked food to her son and then immersed, the immersion is invalid because of the fatty substances on her hand.

יט

נִדָּה שֶׁנָּתְנָה תַּבְשִׁיל לִבְנָהּ וְטָבְלָה לֹא עָלְתָה לָהּ טְבִילָה מִפְּנֵי הַשַּׁמְנוּנִית שֶׁעַל יָדֶיהָ:

20

The following laws apply if a woman scratched her skin to the extent that it bled and then immersed. If the immersion was within three days of the bleeding, the place of the scratches is not considered as intervening. After three days, it is considered as intervening because the blood coagulates there, like a scab on the wound.

Similar concepts apply with regard to secretion in the eye. If it is dry and has begun to change color, it is considered as an intervening substance for a nidah.

כ

שָׂרְטָה בִּבְשָׂרָהּ וְהוֹצִיא דָּם וְטָבְלָה. בְּתוֹךְ שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים אֵין מְקוֹם הַשְּׂרִיטוֹת חוֹצֵץ לְאַחַר שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים חוֹצֵץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַדָּם נִקְפֶּה שָׁם כְּגֶלֶד שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הַמַּכָּה. וְכֵן לִפְלוּף שֶׁבָּעַיִן אִם הָיָה יָבֵשׁ וְהוּא שֶׁהִתְחִיל לְהוֹרִיק חוֹצֵץ בְּנִדָּה:

21

Blue ointment in the eye is not considered as an intervening substance. If it is outside the eye, it is considered as an intervening substance. If her eyes open and close frequently, even the ointment outside the eye, it is not considered as an intervening substance.

כא

כֹּחַל שֶׁבָּעַיִן אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. שֶׁעַל גַּב הָעַיִן חוֹצֵץ. וְאִם הָיוּ עֵינֶיהָ פּוֹרְחוֹת אַף עַל גַּבֵּי הָעַיִן אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ:

22

If, while immersing, a woman opened her eyes to a great extent or closed them very firmly, the immersion is not acceptable.

With regard to what does the above apply? With regard to immersion to partake or touch pure foods. With regard to permitting intimacy with her husband, by contrast, she is permitted even if she gave cooked food to her son, she had an old scratch, there was blue ointment above her eye, or she opened her eyes very widely or closed them tightly. The rationale is that all of these matters and other similar ones are considered as intervening only according to Rabbinic Law and the Sages ordained their decree with regard to pure foods, but not with regard to intimacy.

Whenever a substance is considered as intervening for a nidah with regard to pure foods, it is considered as intervening for other impure people with regard to pure foods and as intervening for a convert when immersing during conversion.

כב

פָּתְחָה עֵינֶיהָ בְּיוֹתֵר אוֹ עִצַּמְתָּן בְּיוֹתֵר לֹא עָלְתָה לָהּ טְבִילָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים לְעִנְיַן טָהֳרוֹת. אֲבָל לְהַתִּירָהּ לְבַעֲלָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנָּתְנָה תַּבְשִׁיל לִבְנָהּ אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה בָּהּ שֶׂרֶט יָשָׁן אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה עַל גַּב עֵינָהּ כֹּחַל. וּבֵין פָּתְחָה עֵינֶיהָ אוֹ עִצַּמְתָּן הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעֲלָהּ שֶׁכָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין אֶלָּא מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן וּלְעִנְיַן טָהֳרוֹת גָּזְרוּ לְעִנְיַן בִּיאָה לֹא גָּזְרוּ. וְכָל הַחוֹצֵץ בְּנִדָּה לְטָהֳרוֹת חוֹצֵץ בִּשְׁאָר הַטְּמֵאִין לְעִנְיַן טָהֳרוֹת. וְחוֹצֵץ בְּגֵר בִּשְׁעַת טְבִילָה:

23

When a person immersed and after he ascended an intervening substance was found upon his body, even though he was involved with that substance for the entire day after the immersion, he is considered as impure unless he says: "I know with certainty that this substance was not upon me before the immersion." The rationale is that since he was categorized as impure, he is presumed to remain in that state until it is known for certain that he regained purity.

כג

מִי שֶׁטָּבַל וְעָלָה וְנִמְצָא עָלָיו דָּבָר חוֹצֵץ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְעַסֵּק בְּאוֹתוֹ הַמִּין כָּל הַיּוֹם כֻּלּוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ עַד שֶׁיֹּאמַר יוֹדֵעַ אֲנִי בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה זֶה עָלַי קֹדֶם הַטְּבִילָה הוֹאִיל וְהֻחְזַק טָמֵא הַעֲמֵד טָמֵא עַל טֻמְאָתוֹ עַד שֶׁתֵּדַע בְּוַדַּאי שֶׁטָּהַר:

Mikvaot - Chapter 3

1

These are the substances that intervene with regard to the immersion of keilim: Pitch, mortar, and the like.

When tar is on a cup or a bottle, it is considered an intervening substance if it is on the inside. If it is on the outside, it is not an intervening substance. When does the above apply? To a k'li in a craftsman's shop. When one belongs to a homeowner, whether the tar is on the inside or on the outside, it is an intervening substance.

When there is tar on a large pot or on a bowl, whether it is on the inside or on the outside, whether it belongs to a homeowner or comes from a craftsman's shop, it is considered as intervening.

א

וְאֵלוּ חוֹצְצִין בְּכֵלִים. הַזֶּפֶת וְהַחֵמָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. הַזֶּפֶת שֶׁבַּכּוֹס וְשֶׁבַּצְּלוֹחִית מִתּוֹכָן חוֹצְצִין מֵאֲחוֹרֵיהֶן אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים מִבֵּית הָאֻמָּן. אֲבָל מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת בֵּין מִתּוֹכָן בֵּין מֵאֲחוֹרֵיהֶן חוֹצְצִין. הַזֶּפֶת שֶׁבַּתַּמְחוּי וְשֶׁבַּקְּעָרָה בֵּין מִתּוֹכָן בֵּין מֵאֲחוֹרֵיהֶן בֵּין מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת בֵּין מִבֵּית הָאֻמָּן חוֹצְצִין:

2

Musk and black earth are considered as intervening substances, whether in a cup, a bottle, a large pot, or a bowl, whether it belongs to a homeowner or comes from a craftsman's shop.

If pitch or mortar and the like are found on a counter-top, on a table, or on a small chair and they are clean, the foreign substances are considered as intervening, because the owner objects to their presence. If the surfaces are dirty, the foreign substances are not considered as intervening, because he does not object to their presence.

ב

הַמּוֹר וְהַקּוֹמוֹס בֵּין בְּכוֹס בֵּין בִּצְלוֹחִית בֵּין בְּתַמְחוּי וּקְעָרָה בֵּין מִבַּעַל הַבַּיִת בֵּין מִבֵּית הָאֻמָּן בֵּין מִתּוֹכָן בֵּין מֵאֲחוֹרֵיהֶן חוֹצְצִין. הָיָה זֶפֶת אוֹ חֵמָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן עַל הַטַּבְלָא וְעַל הַשֻּׁלְחָן וְעַל הַדַּרְגָּשׁ אִם הָיוּ נְקִיִּים חוֹצְצִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּקְפִּיד עֲלֵיהֶן. וְעַל הַבְּלוּסִין אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עֲלֵיהֶן:

3

If such substances were on the bed of an ordinary homeowner, they are considered intervening. If they were found on the bed of a poor person, they are not considered as intervening. If they were found on the saddle placed on a donkey belonging to an ordinary homeowner, they are considered intervening. If found on the wineskins placed on a donkey, they are not considered as intervening; on both sides of its saddle-blanket, they are considered intervening.

ג

הָיוּ עַל מִטּוֹת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת חוֹצְצִין עַל מִטּוֹת שֶׁל עָנִי אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין. עַל אֻכַּף בַּעַל הַבַּיִת חוֹצֵץ וְעַל זַקָּקִין אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. עַל הַמִּרְדַּעַת מִשְּׁנֵי צְדָדִין חוֹצֵץ:

4

If pitch, mortar, or the like were found on the clothes of Torah scholars, even on one side, they are considered as intervening substances, because they are careful to keep their clothes clean. If such substances are found on both sides of the clothes of unlearned people, they are considered as intervening. If they are only on one side, they are not considered as intervening.

ד

הָיוּ זֶפֶת אוֹ חֵמָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן עַל בִּגְדֵי תַּלְמִידֵי חֲכָמִים אֲפִלּוּ מִצַּד אֶחָד חוֹצֵץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּקְפִּידִין עַל מַלְבּוּשָׁן לִהְיוֹת נָקִי. עַל בִּגְדֵי עַמֵּי הָאָרֶץ מִשְּׁנֵי צְדָדִין חוֹצֵץ מִצַּד אֶחָד אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ:

5

If such substances were found on the handkerchiefs of men who work with tar, potters, or tree-pruners, they are not considered intervening substances.

ה

הָיוּ עַל הַמִּטְפָּחוֹת שֶׁל זַפָּתִים וְשֶׁל יוֹצְרִים וְשֶׁל מְפַסְּלֵי אִילָנוֹת אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין:

6

When there is blood on the garments of a butcher, it is not considered as an intervening substance, because he does not object to its presence.

ו

טַבָּח שֶׁהָיָה דָּם עַל בְּגָדָיו אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד:

7

When oily substances are found on the garments of one who sells such substances, they are not considered as intervening. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

If a butcher also sold oily substances and both blood and oily substances were found on his clothes, there is an unresolved question whether they are considered as intervening, because there are two stains, or whether they are not considered as intervening, since this is his work and hence he does not object to their presence.

ז

מוֹכֵר רְבָב שֶׁהָיָה רְבָב עַל בִּגְדוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה. הָיָה הַטַּבָּח מוֹכֵר רְבָב וְהָיָה עַל בִּגְדוֹ דָּם וּרְבָב הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם חוֹצֵץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן שְׁנַיִם וּמַקְפִּיד אוֹ אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ שֶׁהֲרֵי מְלַאכְתּוֹ הִיא וְאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד:

8

If tar, mortar, or the like were present on the inside of a sandal, on its upper surface, it is intervening; on its lower surface, it is not intervening. If they were found on a bench, on the upper surface or on the sides, they are intervening. On the lower surface, they are not intervening.

ח

הָיָה הַזֶּפֶת אוֹ הַחֵמָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן עַל הַסַּנְדָּל מִתּוֹכוֹ. מִלְּמַעְלָה חוֹצֵץ מִלְּמַטָּה אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. עַל הַסַּפְסָל מִלְּמַעְלָה אוֹ מִן הַצְּדָדִין חוֹצֵץ מִלְּמַטָּה אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ:

9

Spots of filth on a chair and a carriage top that have been laundered, whether in the inside or on the outside, whether below or on the sides, are not intervening, because the water will wash them away. Filth coming from dregs left in a cup and a bottle, cotton on the inside of a necklace or inside a bell, and mud or dough on the handle of a hatchet or a rake are not considered as intervening. Should they harden, they are considered as intervening.

ט

לִכְלוּכֵי צוֹאָה שֶׁבַּכִּסֵּא וְשֶׁבַּקַּתֵּדְרָה הַמְכֻבָּשִׁין בֵּין מִתּוֹכָן בֵּין מֵאֲחוֹרֵיהֶן בֵּין מִלְּמַטָּה בֵּין מִן הַצְּדָדִין אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמַּיִם מַעֲבִירִין אוֹתָן. אֲבָל לִכְלוּכֵי שְׁמָרִים שֶׁבַּכּוֹס וְשֶׁבַּצְּלוֹחִית וְהַמּוֹךְ שֶׁבַּשֵּׁיר וְשֶׁבַּזּוֹג. וְהַטִּיט וְהַבָּצֵק שֶׁעַל יַד הַקּוֹרְדוֹם וְשֶׁעַל יַד הַמַּגְרֵפָה [אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין. הִגְלִידוּ] חוֹצְצִין:

10

It is clear that whenever we have said that tar, mortar, or the like do not intervene for keilim, the rationale is that the owner does not object to their presence. Therefore, if the larger portion of the k'li was covered with tar, mortar, or the like, its immersion is invalid, even though the owner does not object, as we explained. There is no difference in this context regarding any particular type of k'li. Instead, all keilim are the same in this regard.

י

דָּבָר בָּרוּר הוּא שֶׁכָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ בְּזֶפֶת וּבְחֵמָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן שֶׁאֵינָן חוֹצְצִין בְּכֵלִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד הוּא לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיָה רֹב הַכְּלִי חָפוּי בְּזֶפֶת אוֹ בְּחֵמָר וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לֹא עָלְתָה לוֹ טְבִילָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד. אֵין בְּדָבָר זֶה הֶפְרֵשׁ בִּכְלִי מִן הַכֵּלִים אֶלָּא כָּל הַכֵּלִים שָׁוִין בְּדָבָר זֶה:

11

Whenever the handles of a k'li are hollow and were inserted into a mikveh upside down, they were inserted in the ordinary manner, but they were not thoroughly washed out, or they were of metal and they were bent out of shape, their immersion is invalid.

יא

כָּל יְדוֹת הַכֵּלִים שֶׁהֵן חֲלוּלִין שֶׁהִכְנִיסָן שֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּן. אוֹ שֶׁהִכְנִיסָן כְּדַרְכָּן וְלֹא מֵרְקָן. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ שֶׁל מַתֶּכֶת וְנִשְׁבְּרוּ. לֹא עָלְתָה לָהֶן טְבִילָה:

12

When one turned the opening of a container upside down and immersed it, it is as if it was not immersed, because the water will not enter it entirely. If a utensil has a portion into which water will not enter unless it is tilted to its side, its immersion is not valid until it is tilted to its side.

יב

כְּלִי שֶׁהָפַךְ פִּיו לְמַטָּה וְהִטְבִּילוֹ כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טָבַל מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין הַמַּיִם נִכְנָסִין בְּכֻלּוֹ. הָיָה בּוֹ מָקוֹם שֶׁאֵין הַמַּיִם נִכְנָסִין בּוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּטֶּנּוּ עַל צִדּוֹ לֹא עָלְתָה לוֹ טְבִילָה עַד שֶׁיַּטֶּנּוּ עַל צִדּוֹ:

13

When a utensil is narrow on either side and wide in the center, it does not regain purity unless one turns it on its side in the water.

יג

כְּלִי שֶׁהוּא צַר מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן וְרָחָב בָּאֶמְצַע אֵינוֹ טָהוֹר עַד שֶׁיַּטֶּנּוּ עַל צִדּוֹ:

14

When the rim of the opening of a bottle is turned over, it does not regain purity unless one turns it on its side in the water.

יד

צְלוֹחִית שֶׁפִּיהָ שׁוֹקֵעַ אֵינָהּ טְהוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיַּטֶּנָּה עַל צִדָּהּ:

15

An inkwell does not regain purity until a hole was made at its side so that water can enter its curved portions.

טו

קַלְמָרִין אֵינָהּ טְהוֹרָה עַד שֶׁיִּקָּבֶנָּה מִצִּדָּהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ הַמַּיִם לָעַקְמוּמִיּוּת שֶׁבָּהּ:

16

When the collar of an animal was loose and it contracted impurity, it can be immersed in its place.

טז

בְּהֵמָה שֶׁהָיָה הַשֵּׁיר שֶׁעָלֶיהָ רָפוּי וְנִטְמָא מַטְבִּילִין אוֹתוֹ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

17

A person should not immerse a kettle with its coals unless he moves the coals with his hands.

יז

לֹא יַטְבִּיל אָדָם אֶת הַקֻּמְקוּם בְּפֶחָמִין שֶׁבּוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן שִׁפְשֵׁף:

18

When a container was filled with liquids and immersed in a mikveh, it is as if it was not immersed. If the container was filled with water and one immersed it in a mikveh, the water and the container regain purity simultaneously. The rationale is that water can be purified in a mikveh, as we explained in Hilchot Tum'at Ochalin.

If there was urine in the container, it is considered as if it were water. The following rules apply to a container holding water mixed with the ashes of the red heifer. If the greater portion of the container was empty, so that the quantity of mikveh water would be greater than that of the water mixed with the ashes of the red heifer, the container is pure. If not, it is impure, as if the water is another liquid that intervenes between the substance of the container and the water of the mikveh.

יח

כְּלִי שֶׁהוּא מָלֵא מַשְׁקִין וְהִטְבִּילוֹ כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טָבַל. הָיָה מָלֵא מַיִם וְהִטְבִּילוֹ הֲרֵי הַמַּיִם וְהַכְּלִי טְהוֹרִין כְּאַחַת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַמַּיִם יֵשׁ לָהֶן טָהֳרָה בְּמִקְוֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּטֻמְאַת אֳכָלִין וּמַשְׁקִין. הָיָה הַכְּלִי מָלֵא מֵי רַגְלַיִם רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מַיִם. הָיָה בּוֹ מֵי חַטָּאת אִם הָיָה רֹב הַכְּלִי פָּנוּי כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְבּוּ מֵי מִקְוֶה עַל מֵי חַטָּאת שֶׁבְּתוֹכוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וְאִם לָאו עֲדַיִן הוּא בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ וּכְאִלּוּ הֵן שְׁאָר מַשְׁקִין שֶׁחוֹצְצִין בֵּין גּוּף הַכְּלִי וּבֵין מֵי הַמִּקְוֶה:

19

When the inside of a container was pure, but the outside was impure, it was filled with white wine or milk, and immersed in a mikveh, the ruling depends on which is the greater quantity. If the greater portion of the container was empty so that there would be more water than milk or wine, it is pure. This leniency is granted, because the impurity is of Rabbinic origin. If it contained red wine or other liquids, the immersion is not effective.

יט

כְּלִי שֶׁתּוֹכוֹ טָהוֹר וְגַבּוֹ טָמֵא וְהָיָה מָלֵא יַיִן לָבָן אוֹ חָלָב וְהִטְבִּילוֹ. הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹב אִם הָיָה רֹב הַכְּלִי פָּנוּי כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם בְּתוֹכוֹ טָהוֹר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁטֻּמְאָתוֹ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן. אֲבָל אִם הָיָה בּוֹ יַיִן אָדֹם אוֹ שְׁאָר מַשְׁקִין לֹא עָלְתָה לוֹ טְבִילָה:

20

The following law applies to a container that is filled with impure water which had its opening closed with moist mud which was extending into the water of the container. If one immersed it, it is pure. If it was closed with thick mud, it is as if it was not immersed.

Similarly, if a ring was placed in a brick of moist mud and immersed, it is pure. If the brick is made from thick mud, it is as if it was not immersed.

כ

לָגִין שֶׁהוּא מָלֵא מַיִם טְמֵאִין וְהָיָה עַל פִּיו טִיט טוֹפֵחַ וְהָיָה הַטִּיט שׁוֹקֵעַ בַּמַּיִם וְהִטְבִּילוֹ טָהוֹר. וְאִם הָיָה טִיט הַיָּוִן וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טָבַל. וְכֵן טַבַּעַת שֶׁנְּתָנָהּ בִּלְבֵנָה שֶׁל טִיט טוֹפֵחַ וְהִטְבִּילָהּ טְהוֹרָה. וְאִם הָיָה טִיט יָוֵן כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טְבָלָהּ:

21

Water need not penetrate through the following articles for their immersion to be effective:

a) knots in the clothes of poor people as a rule; if they are particular about them, they

are intervening; by contrast, as a rule, knots in the garments of homeowners, intervene;

if they are not particular about them, they do not intervene:

b) knots in the fringes of clothes that became tied unintentionally:

c) the loops of sandals:

d) the head tefilah when its cube is firmly attached to its strand;

e) the arm tefilah when it does not move up and down freely:

f) the handles of a leather drinking pouch or a satchel; and

g) any similar entity that is tied or sewed and will not be untied in the future.

כא

אֵלּוּ שֶׁאֵין צְרִיכִין שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ הַמַּיִם בָּהֶן. סְתָם קִשְׁרֵי בִּגְדֵי עֲנִיִּים, וְאִם הִקְפִּיד עֲלֵיהֶן חוֹצְצִין. וְקִשְׁרֵי בִּגְדֵי בַּעֲלֵי בָּתִּים סְתָמָן חוֹצְצִין, וְאִם אֵינוֹ מַקְפִּיד עֲלֵיהֶן אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין. וְקִשְׁרֵי נִימֵי הַבְּגָדִים שֶׁנִּקְשְׁרוּ מֵאֲלֵיהֶן. וְחֵבֶט הַסַּנְדָּל. וּתְפִלָּה שֶׁל רֹאשׁ בִּזְמַן שֶׁהַקְּצִיצָה דְּבוּקָה עִם הָרְצוּעָה שֶׁבָּהּ וַחֲזָקָה. וּתְפִלָּה שֶׁל זְרוֹעַ בִּזְמַן שֶׁאֵינָהּ עוֹלָה וְיוֹרֶדֶת. וְאָזְנֵי הַחֵמֶת וְהַתּוּרְמִיל. וְכָל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ מִקְּשָׁרִים וּתְפָרִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ עָתִיד לְהַתִּירָם:

22

Water must be able to penetrate the following articles for their immersion to be effective:

a) the knots in the openings of a cloak which are made like loops;

b) the knots that serve as loops on the shoulder;

c) the border of a sheet that must be extended:

d) the head tefilah when its cube is not attached to its strand:

e) the arm tefilah when it moves up and down freely:

f) the laces of a sandal; and knots in the fringes of clothes that were tied by humans; and

g) any similar entity that will be laid open or extended.

With regard to baskets used in winepresses and olivepresses, if the strands of material that make up the basket are firm, one must scratch out around them. If they are loose, one must shake them out. For their immersion to be effective, water must penetrate into leather pillows and cushions.

כב

וְאֵלּוּ שֶׁצְּרִיכִין שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם. הַקְּשָׁרִים שֶׁבְּפִתְחֵי הֶחָלוּק שֶׁהֵן עֲשׂוּיִין לוּלָאוֹת. וְכֵן קִשְׁרֵי לוּלָאוֹת שֶׁבַּכָּתֵף. וְשָׂפָה שֶׁל סָדִין צָרִיךְ לְמַתֵּחַ. וּתְפִלָּה שֶׁל רֹאשׁ בִּזְמַן שֶׁאֵינָהּ קְבוּעָה בִּרְצוּעָה. וְשֶׁל זְרוֹעַ בִּזְמַן שֶׁהִיא עוֹלָה וְיוֹרֶדֶת. וּשְׁנָצִים שֶׁל סַנְדָּל. וְקִשְׁרֵי נִימֵי הַבְּגָדִים שֶׁקְּשָׁרָן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ הַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁהוּא עָתִיד לְגַלּוֹתָן וּלְמָתְחָן. הַסַּלִּין שֶׁל גַּת וְשֶׁל בַּד אִם הָיוּ חֲזָקִים צָרִיךְ לְחַטֵּט וְאִם הָיוּ רָפִים צָרִיךְ לְנַעֵר. הַכַּר וְהַכֶּסֶת שֶׁל עוֹר צְרִיכִים שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם:

23

Water does not have to penetrate into the inner space of a round leather cushion, a ball, a mold, an amulet, and tefillin for their immersion to be valid. This is the general principle: Whenever it is not common to remove and insert entities in the inner space of an object, it may be immersed while closed.

כג

כֶּסֶת עֲגֻלָּה. וְהַכַּדּוּר. וְהָאִמּוּם. וְהַקָּמֵעַ. וְהַתְּפִלָּה. אֵינָן צְרִיכִין שֶׁיָּבוֹאוּ הַמַּיִם לַחֲלָלָן. זֶה הַכְּלָל כָּל שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכּוֹ לְהוֹצִיא וּלְהַכְנִיס טוֹבֵל סָתוּם:

24

When one immerses clothes that have been laundered, the water must penetrate through them to the extent that air bubbles arise. If they were immersed while dry, they must remain in the water until air bubbles arise and then cease arising.

כד

הַמַּטְבִּיל בְּגָדִים הַמְכֻבָּסִין צְרִיכִין שֶׁיִּכָּנְסוּ בָּהֶן הַמַּיִם עַד שֶׁיְּבַעְבְּעוּ. הִטְבִּילָן נְגוּבִין עַד שֶׁיְּבַעְבְּעוּ וְיָנוּחוּ מִבִּעֲבּוּעָן:

25

Whenever the accessories of a k'li are longer than necessary and one will ultimately cut them off, one may immerse them to the extent necessary.

What is implied? For the chain of a large bucket, the measure is four handbreadths; for a small one, ten handbreadths. It is necessary to immerse only this much of the chain, the remainder is pure.

כה

כָּל יְדוֹת הַכֵּלִים שֶׁהֵן אֲרֻכִּים יוֹתֵר מִכְּדֵי צָרְכָּן וְעָתִיד לְקָצְצָן מַטְבִּילָן עַד מְקוֹם הַמִּדָּה. כֵּיצַד. שַׁלְשֶׁלֶת דְּלִי גָּדוֹל אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים וְקָטָן עֲשָׂרָה. מַטְבִּיל מִן הַשַּׁלְשֶׁלֶת עַד מִדָּה זוֹ בִּלְבַד וְהַשְּׁאָר טָהוֹר:

26

When one placed other keilim in an impure k'li and immersed them together, the immersion is effective for all of them, even if the opening of the k'li is very narrow. The rationale is that the water is able to enter it and since the immersion is acceptable for the larger k'li, it is also acceptable for the keilim inside of it. If he inclined it on its side and immersed it, the immersion is not acceptable for the keilim inside of it unless the opening is as wide as the mouthpiece of a drinking pouch. Similarly, if the larger k'li is pure and one placed impure keilim and immersed them together, the immersion is not acceptable for the keilim inside of it unless the opening is as wide as the mouthpiece of a drinking pouch.

When does the above apply? With regard to terumah, but with regard to consecrated food, keilim should not be immersed inside pure keilim at all, even if they were in a basket or a storage bin, as explained in its place.

כו

כְּלִי טָמֵא שֶׁנָּתַן בְּתוֹכוֹ כֵּלִים אֲחֵרִים וְהִטְבִּיל הַכּל עָלְתָה לָהֶן טְבִילָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפִּי הַכְּלִי צַר בְּיוֹתֵר שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמַּיִם נִכְנָסִין לוֹ וּמִתּוֹךְ שֶׁעָלְתָה טְבִילָה לַכְּלִי הַגָּדוֹל עָלְתָה טְבִילָה לַכֵּלִים שֶׁבְּתוֹכוֹ. וְאִם הִטָּהוּ עַל צִדּוֹ וְהִטְבִּיל לֹא עָלְתָה לָהֶן טְבִילָה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה פִּיו רָחָב כִּשְׁפוֹפֶרֶת הַנּוֹד. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה הַכְּלִי טָהוֹר וְנָתַן לְתוֹכוֹ כֵּלִים טְמֵאִים וְהִטְבִּילָן לֹא עָלְתָה לָהֶן טְבִילָה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה פִּיו רָחָב כִּשְׁפוֹפֶרֶת הַנּוֹד. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים לִתְרוּמָה. אֲבָל לְקֹדֶשׁ אֵין מַטְבִּילִין כֵּלִים לְתוֹךְ כֵּלִים טְהוֹרִין כְּלָל וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ בְּסַל אוֹ בְּקֻפָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ לְמַעְלָה בִּמְקוֹמוֹ:

Mikvaot - Chapter 4

1

According to Scriptural Law, it is permissible to immerse in any collected body of water, as implied by Leviticus 11:36: "a gathering of water," i.e., any gathering, provided it contains enough water for the entire body of a human being to immerse in it at one time. Our Sages measured this figure as a cubit by a cubit by a height of three cubits. This measure contains 40 se'ah of water. According to Scriptural Law, the water is acceptable whether drawn or not.

א

דִין תּוֹרָה שֶׁכָּל מַיִם מְכֻנָּסִין טוֹבְלִין בָּהֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יא לו) "מִקְוֵה מַיִם" מִכָּל מָקוֹם. וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּהֶן כְּדֵי לְהַעֲלוֹת בָּהֶן כְּדֵי טְבִילָה לְכָל גּוּף הָאָדָם בְּבַת אַחַת. שִׁעֲרוּ חֲכָמִים אַמָּה עַל אַמָּה בְּרוּם שָׁלֹשׁ אַמּוֹת. וְשִׁעוּר זֶה הוּא מַחֲזִיק אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מַיִם בֵּין שְׁאוּבִין בֵּין שֶׁאֵינָן שְׁאוּבִין:

2

According to Rabbinic Law, water that is drawn is invalid for immersion. Moreover, if there was a body of water that was not drawn and three lugim of drawn water fell into it, the entire body of water is invalidated.

Although the disqualification of drawn water is a Rabbinic decree, our Sages explained it based on an association found in a Biblical verse. Leviticus, op. cit., states: "Only a spring, a cistern, or a gathering of water shall be pure." Based on a comparison of the terms used in the verse, they explained: The water of "a spring" is not dependent on man's activity at all. The water of "a cistern" is entirely dependent on man's activity, for it contains drawn water entirely. Our Sages said: The "gathering of water" should not be entirely made up of drawn water like a cistern, nor need it come entirely from the hand of heaven. Instead, if it came into being partially through human effort, it is acceptable.

ב

מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁהַמַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּבִין פְּסוּלִין לִטְבִילָה. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא מִקְוֵה מַיִם שֶׁאֵינָן שְׁאוּבִין שֶׁנָּפַל לְתוֹכָן שְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין פָּסְלוּ הַכּל. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפִּסּוּל מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לְמָדוּהוּ בְּהֶקֵּשׁ שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא יא לו) "אַךְ מַעְיָן וּבוֹר מִקְוֵה מַיִם יִהְיֶה טָהוֹר", הַמַּעְיָן אֵין בּוֹ תְּפִיסַת יַד אָדָם כְּלָל וְהַבּוֹר כֻּלּוֹ בִּידֵי אָדָם שֶׁהֲרֵי כֻּלּוֹ מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין, אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים הַמִּקְוֶה לֹא יִהְיֶה כֻּלּוֹ שָׁאוּב כְּבוֹר וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת כֻּלּוֹ בִּידֵי שָׁמַיִם כְּמַעְיָן אֶלָּא אִם יֵשׁ בּוֹ תְּפִיסַת יַד אָדָם כָּשֵׁר:

3

What is implied? When a person places barrels on top of a roof to dry, but it rained and they became filled with water, even though it is during the rainy season, he may break the barrels or turn them over and the water collected from them is acceptable for immersion. Even though all of this water had been contained in vessels, the mikveh is acceptable, because the person did not fill it up by hand. Therefore if he lifted up the barrels and overturned them, all of the water in them is considered as drawn.

ג

כֵּיצַד. הַמַּנִּיחַ קַנְקַנִּים בְּרֹאשׁ הַגַּג לְנַגְּבָם וְיָרְדוּ לָהֶם גְּשָׁמִים וְנִתְמַלְּאוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא עוֹנַת הַגְּשָׁמִים הֲרֵי זֶה יִשְׁבֹּר אֶת הַקַּנְקַנִּים אוֹ יִכְפֵּם וְהַמַּיִם הַנִּקְוִים מֵהֶם כְּשֵׁרִים לִטְבּל וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכָּל הַמַּיִם הָאֵלּוּ הָיוּ בַּכֵּלִים שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא מִלְּאָן בְּיָדוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הִגְבִּיהַּ אֶת הַקַּנְקַנִּים וְהֶעֱרָם הֲרֵי כָּל הַמַּיִם שֶׁבָּהֶם שְׁאוּבִין:

4

When a person places containers under a drainage pipe at any time and any season, both small containers and large containers, even containers of stone and the like that are not susceptible to ritual impurity, if they became filled with rainwater, the water is not acceptable for a mikveh. Even if he turned them over or broke them, the water collected from them is considered as drawn in every respect. For the containers were filled as a result of his intent, since it can be assumed that a drainpipe will conduct water. Even if one forgot containers under a drainpipe, the water is unacceptable for a mikveh. Our Sages issued a decree against one who forgot, lest a person place them there intentionally.

Similarly, if one placed containers in a courtyard when the sky was densely cloudy and they became filled with rainwater afterwards, the water inside of them is unacceptable for a mikveh, since they were filled as a result of his intent. Moreover, our Sages issued a decree against one who forgot containers in a courtyard, lest a person place them there intentionally.

If one placed containers in a courtyard when the clouds were dispersed and then the sky became cloudy and the containers became filled with rainwater, the water is acceptable for a mikveh, like that in containers left on top of a roof to dry. Similarly, when one left containers in a courtyard when the sky was densely cloudy, the clouds dispersed, and then became dense again and the containers became filled with rainwater, the water is acceptable. If he breaks the containers or turns them over, the water collected from them is acceptable for a mikveh.

ד

הַמַּנִּיחַ כֵּלִים תַּחַת הַצִּנּוֹר תָּמִיד בְּכָל עֵת וּבְכָל זְמַן אֶחָד כֵּלִים קְטַנִּים וְאֶחָד כֵּלִים גְּדוֹלִים אֲפִלּוּ כְּלֵי אֲבָנִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מִכֵּלִים שֶׁאֵינָן מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה וְנִתְמַלְּאוּ מֵי גְּשָׁמִים הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פְּסוּלִין. וְאִם כְּפָאָן עַל פִּיהֶן אוֹ שְׁבָרָן הַמַּיִם הַנִּקְוִין מֵהֶן כִּשְׁאוּבִין לְכָל דָּבָר שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדַעְתּוֹ נִתְמַלְּאוּ שֶׁחֶזְקַת הַצִּנּוֹר לְקַלֵּחַ מַיִם. וַאֲפִלּוּ שָׁכַח הַכֵּלִים תַּחַת הַצִּנּוֹר פְּסוּלִין גָּזְרוּ עַל הַשּׁוֹכֵחַ מִפְּנֵי הַמַּנִּיחַ. וְכֵן הַמַּנִּיחַ אֶת הַכֵּלִים בֶּחָצֵר בְּעֵת קִשּׁוּר הֶעָבִים וְנִתְמַלְּאוּ הַמַּיִם שֶׁבָּהֶן פְּסוּלִין שֶׁהֲרֵי לְדַעְתּוֹ נִתְמַלְּאוּ. וְכֵן גָּזְרוּ עַל הַשּׁוֹכֵחַ בֶּחָצֵר בִּשְׁעַת קִשּׁוּר עָבִים מִשּׁוּם מַנִּיחַ. הִנִּיחָן בֶּחָצֵר בְּעֵת פִּזּוּר עָבִים וּבָאוּ עָבִים וְנִתְמַלְּאוּ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּשֵׁרִין כְּמוֹ שֶׁמַּנִּיחָן בְּרֹאשׁ הַגָּג לְנַגְּבָן. וְכֵן אִם הִנִּיחָן בְּעֵת קִשּׁוּר הֶעָבִים וְנִתְפַּזְּרוּ וְחָזְרוּ וְנִתְקַשְּׁרוּ וְנִתְמַלְּאוּ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ כְּשֵׁרִין. וְאִם שִׁבְּרָן אוֹ כְּפָאָן הַמַּיִם הַנִּקְוִין מֵהֶן כְּשֵׁרִין:

5

When one who applies lime forgot a large container in a mikveh and it became full with water, even if only a small quantity of water remained in the mikveh and the majority of the water of the mikveh is in the container, he may break the container in its place. Thus the entire mikveh will be acceptable.

Similarly, when one arranged containers in a mikveh to seal them and they became filled with water, even though the mikveh absorbed its water and no water remained except the water in the containers, one may break the containers. The water that collects from them forms an acceptable mikveh.

ה

הַסַּיָּד שֶׁשָּׁכַח עָצִיץ בַּמִּקְוֶה וְנִתְמַלְּאוּ מַיִם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִשְׁאַר בַּמִּקְוֶה אֶלָּא מְעַט וַהֲרֵי הֶעָצִיץ יֵשׁ בּוֹ רֹב הַמִּקְוֶה הֲרֵי זֶה יִשְׁבֹּר אֶת הֶעָצִיץ בִּמְקוֹמוֹ וְנִמְצָא הַמִּקְוֶה כֻּלּוֹ כָּשֵׁר. וְכֵן הַמְסַדֵּר אֶת הַקַּנְקַנִּים בְּתוֹךְ הַמִּקְוֶה כְּדֵי לְחַסְּמָן וְנִתְמַלְּאוּ מַיִם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּלַע הַמִּקְוֶה אֶת מֵימָיו וְלֹא נִשְׁאַר שָׁם מַיִם כְּלָל אֶלָּא מַיִם שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ הַקַּנְקַנִּים הֲרֵי זֶה יִשְׁבֹּר אֶת הַקַּנְקַנִּים וְהַמַּיִם הַנִּקְוִין מֵהֶן מִקְוֶה כָּשֵׁר:

6

How do three lugim of drawn water invalidate a mikveh? If there were less than 40 se'ah of acceptable water in a mikveh and three lugim of water fell in, making the entire amount 40 se'ah, all of the water is disqualified for use. If, however, there are 40 se'ah of water that was not drawn in a mikveh and then one drew water with a pitcher and poured it into the mikveh throughout the entire day, it is acceptable. Furthermore, when there are two mikveot, one above the other, and the upper mikveh had 40 se'ah of acceptable water and one was drawing water by hand and pouring it into that mikveh until the amount of water increased to the extent that 40 se'ah overflowed and descended into the lower mikveh, the lower mikveh is acceptable.

ו

כֵּיצַד פּוֹסְלִין הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּבִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין. שֶׁאִם הָיָה בַּמִּקְוֶה פָּחוֹת מֵאַרְבָּעִים סְאָה [וְנָפַל לְתוֹכָן שְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין וְהִשְׁלִימוּם לְאַרְבָּעִים סְאָה] הַכּל פָּסוּל. אֲבָל מִקְוֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מַיִם שֶׁאֵינָן שְׁאוּבִין וְשָׁאַב בְּכַד וְשָׁפַךְ לְתוֹכוֹ כָּל הַיּוֹם כֻּלּוֹ כָּשֵׁר. וְלֹא עוֹד אֶלָּא מִקְוֶה עֶלְיוֹן שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מַיִם כְּשֵׁרִין וְהָיָה מְמַלֵּא בִּכְלִי וְנוֹתֵן לְתוֹכוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּרְבּוּ הַמַּיִם וְיָרְדוּ לַמִּקְוֶה הַתַּחְתּוֹן אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה הֲרֵי הַתַּחְתּוֹן כָּשֵׁר:

7

When a mikveh contained exactly 40 se'ah and one added a se'ah of drawn water and then removed a se'ah of water from it, the mikveh is acceptable. Similarly, if he added a se'ah of drawn water and removed a se'ah of water from the mikveh, the mikveh is acceptable provided the greater portion of the original water remained.

ז

מִקְוֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מְכֻוָּנוֹת וְנָתַן לְתוֹכוֹ סְאָה מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין וְנָטַל אַחַר כָּךְ מִמֶּנּוּ סְאָה הֲרֵי זֶה כָּשֵׁר. וְכֵן נוֹתֵן סְאָה וְנוֹטֵל סְאָה וְהוּא כָּשֵׁר עַד רֻבּוֹ:

8

Drawn water does not disqualify the water of a mikveh when three lugin fall in unless they fall into the mikveh from a container. If, by contrast, the drawn water flows on the ground outside the mikveh and continues streaming until it descends into the mikveh, it does not disqualify the mikveh unless it constitutes half or more of the original 40 seah of water. If, however, the majority of the original 40 se'ah of water was acceptable, the mikveh is acceptable.

What is implied? When a mikveh contains a little bit more than 20 se'ah of acceptable water, one drew water and poured it outside the mikveh, and then the water flowed and descended into the mikveh, it is acceptable, even if it reached a total of 1000 se'ah. This applies whether the water flowed on the ground or through a conduit or the like that does not disqualify a mikveh. The rationale is that drawn water that was caused to flow is acceptable if the majority of 40 se'ah water is acceptable.

Similarly, if there was a little more than 20 se'ah of rainwater on an enclosed roof and one drew water by hand and poured less than 20 se'ah of water into the water, the entire quantity is unacceptable. Nevertheless, if one opened the drainage pipe and caused all the water to flow into one place, it constitutes an acceptable mikveh. The rationale is that when an entire quantity of drawn water was caused to flow, it is acceptable, provided the majority of the water was acceptable.

ח

אֵין הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּבִין פּוֹסְלִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה בִּשְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין עַד שֶׁיִּפְּלוּ לְתוֹךְ הַמִּקְוֶה מִן הַכְּלִי. אֲבָל אִם נִגְרְרוּ הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּבִין חוּץ לַמִּקְוֶה וְנִמְשְׁכוּ וְיָרְדוּ לַמִּקְוֶה אֵינָן פּוֹסְלִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה עַד שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מֶחֱצָה לְמֶחֱצָה אֲבָל אִם הָיָה רֹב מִן הַכְּשֵׁרִים הֲרֵי הַמִּקְוֶה כָּשֵׁר. כֵּיצַד. מִקְוֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ עֶשְׂרִים סְאָה וּמַשֶּׁהוּ מַיִם כְּשֵׁרִין וְהָיָה מְמַלֵּא וְשׁוֹאֵב חוּץ לַמִּקְוֶה וְהַמַּיִם נִמְשָׁכִין וְיוֹרְדִין לַמִּקְוֶה בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ נִמְשָׁכִין עַל הַקַּרְקַע אוֹ בְּתוֹךְ הַסִּילוֹן וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ מִדְּבָרִים שֶׁאֵינָן פּוֹסְלִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה הֲרֵי הוּא כָּשֵׁר וַאֲפִלּוּ הִשְׁלִימוֹ לְאֶלֶף סְאָה. שֶׁהַשְּׁאִיבָה שֶׁהִמְשִׁיכוּהָ כְּשֵׁרָה אִם הָיָה שָׁם רֹב אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מִן הַכָּשֵׁר. וְכֵן גַּג שֶׁהָיָה בְּרֹאשׁוֹ עֶשְׂרִים סְאָה וּמַשֶּׁהוּ מֵי גְּשָׁמִים וּמִלֵּא בִּכְתֵפוֹ וְנָתַן לְתוֹכוֹ פָּחוֹת מֵעֶשְׂרִים שֶׁנִּמְצָא הַכּל פָּסוּל וּפָתַח הַצִּנּוֹר וְנִמְשְׁכוּ הַכּל לְמָקוֹם אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה מִקְוֶה כָּשֵׁר. שֶׁהַשְּׁאוּבִים שֶׁהִמְשִׁיכוּהָ כֻּלָּהּ כְּשֵׁרָה הוֹאִיל וְהָיָה שָׁם רֹב מִן הַכָּשֵׁר:

9

Some of the scholars of the west ruled that since the Sages declared "An entire quantity of drawn water that was caused to flow is pure," it is not necessary that the majority of the water be acceptable. Instead, the perspective that required both a majority of acceptable water and that it be caused to flow are the words of only one Sage and they were already rebutted, for the conclusion of the passage states: "An entire quantity of drawn water that was caused to flow is pure."

According to the words of the scholars of the west, if one would fill a container with water and pour it out and the water would flow to one place where it collects, it would be an acceptable mikveh. Similarly, all the pools in our bathhouses would be kosher mikveot, for all the water they contain was drawn and then flowed through pipes. Never have we seen anyone who performed such a deed, i.e., ruling that such pools are acceptable for immersion.

ט

הוֹרוּ מִקְצָת חַכְמֵי מַעֲרָב וְאָמְרוּ הוֹאִיל וְאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים שְׁאוּבָה שֶׁהִמְשִׁיכוּהָ כֻּלָּהּ טְהוֹרָה אֵין אָנוּ צְרִיכִין שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שָׁם רֹב מַיִם כְּשֵׁרִין. וְזֶה שֶׁהִצְרִיךְ רֹב וְהַמְשָׁכָה דִּבְרֵי יָחִיד הֵן וּכְבָר נִדְּחוּ שֶׁהֲרֵי אָמְרוּ בַּסּוֹף שְׁאוּבָה שֶׁהִמְשִׁיכוּהָ כֻּלָּהּ טְהוֹרָה. לְפִי דִּבְרֵי זֶה אִם הָיָה מְמַלֵּא בִּכְלִי וְשׁוֹפֵךְ וְהַמַּיִם נִזְחָלִין וְהוֹלְכִין לְמָקוֹם אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה מִקְוֶה כָּשֵׁר. וְכֵן כָּל אַמְבְּטִי שֶׁבְּמֶרְחֲצָאוֹת שֶׁלָּנוּ מִקְוָאוֹת כְּשֵׁרִין. שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל הַמַּיִם שֶׁבָּהֶן שָׁאוּב וְשֶׁנִּמְשָׁךְ הוּא. וּמֵעוֹלָם לֹא רָאִינוּ מִי שֶׁעָשָׂה מַעֲשֵׂה בְּעִנְיָן זֶה:

10

The following laws apply when rainwater and drawn water were mixed together in a courtyard and flowed into a cavity or they were mixed together on the steps leading to an underground cavern and then descended into the cavern. If the majority of the water was acceptable, the mikveh is acceptable. If the majority of the water was unacceptable, it is unacceptable.

When does the above apply? When they became mixed together before they reached the mikveh, but instead, flowed and descended together. If, however, the acceptable water and the unacceptable water were descending directly into the mikveh, different rules apply. If it is known that 40 se'ah of acceptable water fell into the mikveh before three lugim of drawn water, the mikveh is acceptable. If not, it is unacceptable.

י

מֵי גְּשָׁמִים וּמַיִם שְׁאוּבִין שֶׁהָיוּ מִתְעָרְבִין בְּחָצֵר וְנִמְשָׁכִין וְיוֹרְדִין לַעֻקָּה שֶׁבֶּחָצֵר אוֹ שֶׁמִּתְעָרְבִין עַל מַעֲלוֹת הַמְּעָרָה וְיוֹרְדִין לַמְּעָרָה. אִם רֹב מִן הַכָּשֵׁר כָּשֵׁר וְאִם רֹב מִן הַפָּסוּל פָּסוּל. מֶחֱצָה לְמֶחֱצָה פָּסוּל. אֵימָתַי בִּזְמַן שֶׁמִּתְעָרְבִין עַד שֶׁלֹּא יַגִּיעוּ לַמִּקְוֶה וְנִמְשָׁכִין וְיוֹרְדִין אֲבָל אִם הָיוּ הַכְּשֵׁרִים וְהַפְּסוּלִים מְקַלְּחִין לְתוֹךְ הַמִּקְוֶה אִם יָדוּעַ שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לְתוֹכוֹ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מַיִם כְּשֵׁרִין עַד שֶׁלֹּא יָרְדוּ לְתוֹכוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין כָּשֵׁר וְאִם לָאו פָּסוּל:

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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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