Get the best of content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Metamme'ey Mishkav uMoshav - Chapter 2

Show content in:

Metamme'ey Mishkav uMoshav - Chapter 2


Uterine bleeding of a nidah, a zavah, or a woman in childbirth, imparts impurity whether it is moist or dry. Nevertheless, the discharge of a zav, his saliva, and his semen impart impurity only when moist. If, however, they are overly dry, they do not impart impurity.

To what extent must these substances be dry not to impart impurity? If they would return to their natural state after being soaked in lukewarm water for 24 hours, they impart impurity as if they were moist. If they would not return to their natural state after this, they are considered as having been dried out, even if the water was lukewarm at the outset even though it was not lukewarm at the end of the 24 hour period. All of these matters are part of the received tradition.


דַם נִדָּה וְזָבָה וְיוֹלֶדֶת מְטַמֵּא לַח וְיָבֵשׁ אֲבָל זוֹבוֹ שֶׁל זָב וְרֻקּוֹ וְשִׁכְבַת זַרְעוֹ אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא אֶלָּא כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהוּא לַח אֲבָל יָבֵשׁ יוֹתֵר מִדַּאי אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא. וְעַד כַּמָּה. אִם שׁוֹרִין אוֹתוֹ בְּפוֹשְׁרִין מֵעֵת לְעֵת וְחוֹזֵר לִכְמוֹת שֶׁהָיָה הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא בְּלַח אִם הָיוּ הַמַּיִם פּוֹשְׁרִין בִּתְחִלָּתָן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵינָן פּוֹשְׁרִין בְּסוֹפָן. וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ דִּבְרֵי קַבָּלָה הֵן:


When flax was spun by a woman in the nidah state, one who moves it is pure. If it was moist, it imparts impurity because of the saliva from her mouth.


פִּשְׁתָּן שֶׁטְּוָאַתּוּ נִדָּה הַמְּסִיטוֹ טָהוֹר. וְאִם הָיָה לַח מְטַמֵּא מִפְּנֵי רֹק פִּיהָ:


When a zav places his mouth on a cup and then changes his mind and decides not to drink from it, one who moves the cup remains pure. If the zav drank even the slightest amount from it, a person who moves it is impure because of the liquid from the mouth of the zav.


זָב שֶׁהִנִּיחַ פִּיו עַל פִּי הַכּוֹס וְנִמְלַךְ שֶׁלֹּא לִשְׁתּוֹתוֹ הַמֵּסִיט אֶת הַכּוֹס טָהוֹר. שָׁתָה מִמֶּנּוּ הַזָּב כָּל שֶׁהוּא הַמְּסִיטוֹ טָמֵא מִפְּנֵי מַשְׁקֵה פִּי הַזָּב:


When a zav bites into a piece of bread or an onion, a person who moves them is considered pure. If he bites into a zucchini or a cucumber, one who moves them is impure, because of the liquid from the mouth of the zav which becomes mixed with them.


זָב שֶׁנָּשַׁךְ אֶת הַפַּת וְאֶת הַבָּצָל הַמְּסִיטָן טָהוֹר. נָשַׁךְ אֶת הַקִּשּׁוּת וְהַמְּלָפְפוֹן הַמְּסִיטָן טָמֵא מִפְּנֵי מַשְׁקֵה פִּי הַזָּב הַמִּתְעָרֵב בָּהֶן:


When the shells of beans and vetch were cut off by a gentile, one who moves them is impure, because gentiles are considered like zavim in all contexts, as will be explained. The ruling concerning shells in the marketplace depends on the majority.


קְלִפֵּי פּוֹלִין וּקְלִפֵּי תּוֹרְמוֹסִין שֶׁקְּצָצָן הָעַכּוּ''ם הַמְּסִיטָן טָמֵא שֶׁכָּל עַכּוּ''ם כְּזָבִים לְכָל דִּבְרֵיהֶן כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. הַקְּלִפִּין שֶׁבַּשְּׁוָקִין הוֹלְכִין בָּהֶן אַחַר הָרֹב:


When impure blood becomes mixed with water, the entire mixture is pure if there is no appearance of blood. If such blood becomes mixed with pure blood and/or with wine, we consider the wine and the blood as if they were water.

Similar laws apply if impure saliva becomes mixed with water. If the saliva remains a viscous entity as is its natural state, it is impure. If it is reduced to nothing in the water and it is no longer visible as a distinct entity, everything is pure. If it becomes mixed with other saliva, we consider the pure saliva as if it was water.

Similarly, when the urine of such an impure person becomes mixed with water, if it is no longer visible as a distinct entity, the entire mixture is pure. If not, it is impure. If it is mixed with wine or pure urine, we consider the wine or the pure urine as if it was water.

If the urine of a Jew becomes mixed with the urine of a gentile, the ruling is determined by the majority. What is implied? When there is a urinal into which both gentiles and Jews would urinate, if the majority of those who use the urinal are gentiles, all its contents are impure. If the majority are Jewish, all its contents are pure. If equal numbers use it, all its contents are impure. Similarly, if the urine of one gentile is mixed with the urine of one Jew, the ruling is determined by the majority.


דָּם טָמֵא שֶׁנִּתְעָרֵב בְּמַיִם אִם בָּטְלוּ מַרְאָיו הַכּל טָהוֹר. נִתְעָרֵב בְּדָם טָהוֹר וּבְיַיִן רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מַיִם. וְכֵן רֹק טָמֵא שֶׁנִּתְעָרֵב בְּמַיִם אִם הָיָה קָרוּשׁ כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא וְאִם נִמְחָה בְּמַיִם אִם בָּטְלוּ מַרְאָיו הַכּל טָהוֹר. נִתְעָרֵב בְּרֹק אַחֵר רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מַיִם. וְכֵן מֵי רַגְלָיו שֶׁל טָמֵא שֶׁנִּתְעָרְבוּ בְּמַיִם אִם בָּטְלוּ מַרְאֵיהֶן הַכּל טָהוֹר וְאִם לָאו טָמֵא. נִתְעָרֵב בְּיַיִן אוֹ בְּמֵי רַגְלַיִם טְהוֹרִין רוֹאִין אוֹתוֹ כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מַיִם. נִתְעָרְבוּ בְּמֵי רַגְלַיִם שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹב. כֵּיצַד. כְּלִי שֶׁהָיוּ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַכּוּ''ם מְטִילִין שָׁם מֵי רַגְלֵיהֶן אִם רֹב עַכּוּ''ם הַכּל טָמֵא וְאִם רֹב יִשְׂרָאֵל הַכּל טָהוֹר מֶחֱצָה לְמֶחֱצָה הַכּל טָמֵא. וְכֵן אִם נִתְעָרֵב מֵי רַגְלֵי עַכּוּ''ם זֶה בְּמֵי רַגְלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל זֶה הוֹלְכִין אַחַר הָרֹב:


Urine can be borrowed from Jews in all situations. We do not suspect that it is from a nidah, for Jewish women were not suspect to save their urine when in the nidah state.


שׁוֹאֲלִין [כְּלֵי] מֵי רַגְלַיִם מִכָּל מָקוֹם וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין שֶׁמָּא שֶׁל נִדּוֹת הֵן שֶׁלֹּא נֶחְשְׁדוּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְכַנֵּס אֶת מֵי רַגְלֵיהֶן כְּשֶׁהֵן נִדּוֹת:


When a urinal into which a zav or a zavah would urinate was washed once or twice, the fluid with which it was washed is deemed impure. After the third washing, whether it was washed with water or other urine, the fluid is pure, because it can be assumed that none of the impure urine remained.


חֶרֶס שֶׁהָיָה הַזָּב אוֹ הַזָּבָה מְטִילִין בּוֹ מֵי רַגְלֵיהֶן וְכִבְּסוּ פַּעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה הֲרֵי הַמַּשְׁקִין שֶׁכִּבְּסוּ בָּהֶן טְמֵאִין וּפַעַם שְׁלִישִׁית טְהוֹרִין בֵּין שֶׁכִּבְּסוּ בְּמַיִם בֵּין שֶׁכִּבְּסוּ בְּמֵי רַגְלַיִם שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נִשְׁאַר בָּהּ לַחְלוּחִית מֵימֵי רַגְלַיִם:


When at the conclusion of the seven spotless days she is required to count, a zavah felt that she had already begun to urinate, but nevertheless contained herself, descended to a mikveh immersed herself, and only urinated after the immersion, the status of the urine is in doubt. It is unresolved whether we consider the urine as if it had emerged originally while she was a zavah or after it actually emerged when she is pure. Similarly, if a gentile woman who had already begun to urinate, but nevertheless contained herself, converted, immersed herself, and only urinated after the immersion, the status of the urine is in doubt. It is unresolved whether we consider the urine as if it had emerged originally and it is considered as the urine of a gentile woman or after it actually emerged, and is considered as the urine of a pure Jewish women.


זָבָה שֶׁנֶּעֶקְרוּ מֵימֵי רַגְלֶיהָ בְּסוֹף שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הַסְּפִירָה וְיָרְדָה וְטָבְלָה וְהֵטִילָה מַיִם אַחַר הַטְּבִילָה הֲרֵי הֵן סָפֵק אִם אַחַר עֲקִירָה הוֹלְכִין וְזָבָה הָיְתָה אוֹ אַחַר הַיְצִיאָה שֶׁהִיא טְהוֹרָה. וְכֵן עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁנֶּעֶקְרוּ מֵימֵי רַגְלֶיהָ וְנִתְגַיְּרָה וְטָבְלָה וְהֵטִילָה מַיִם אַחַר שֶׁטָּבְלָה הֲרֵי זֶה סָפֵק אִם אַחַר עֲקִירָה הוֹלְכִין וַהֲרֵי הֵן כְּמֵי רַגְלֵי הָעַכּוּ''ם הַטְּמֵאִים אוֹ אַחַר יְצִיאָה וַהֲרֵי הֵם כְּמֵימֵי רַגְלֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל הַטְּהוֹרִים:


Canaanite maidservants and servants contract impurity due to zivah, nidah, and childbirth, like Jews do. Gentiles, by contrast, do not contract impurity not through zivah, nidah, or childbirth according to Scriptural Law, as can be inferred from Leviticus 15:2 which states: "Speak to the children of Israel and tell them: 'A man should he experience a discharge.'" Implied is that the children of Israel contract impurity through zivah, but not the gentiles.

Our Sages, however, decreed that all gentiles impart impurity like zavim in all contexts, both males and females, provided the male is nine years old or more and the female is three years old or more. They did not decree that children under these ages contract impurity, for the primary reason for the decree is that a Jewish child will not be involved in sodomy with gentiles and there is no concept of sexual intimacy for children of younger ages.

When this decree was instituted, they did not decree against the semen of a gentile. Instead, the semen of a gentile is pure, as is its status according to Scriptural Law. Why was a decree not instituted to render it impure? To make it known that the gentiles' impurity is of Rabbinic origin. For everyone knows that if their status as zavim was Scriptural in origin, their semen would be impure like the semen of a zav. And since they know a gentile's impurity is of Rabbinic origin, they will not burn terumah and sacrificial food to which they imparted impurity.

Thus we can infer that all of the following: a gentile male's zav discharge, a gentile woman's nidah blood, her zivah blood, and the blood that comes at childbirth, a gentile man and a gentile woman, even though they are pure from any uterine bleeding and discharges, the saliva of gentiles, their urine, the couches on which they lie, the saddles on which they ride, and one who has relations with a gentile woman are all primary sources of impurity according to Rabbinic Law.

Therefore, one is not liable for entering the Temple or partaking of sacrificial food if one contracted impurity from one of these sources, nor is terumah burnt if it contracted impurity from such a source. All of them do, however, impart impurity to people and implements through physical contact and impart impurity to a person when carried as a zav does in all contexts. It is just that the impurity is of Rabbinic origin, as stated above.

Blood from a gentile woman's uterine bleeding is considered as her saliva and her urine and it imparts impurity when moist, but not when dry.


הָעֲבָדִים מְטַמְּאִין בְּזִיבָה וּבְנִדָּה וּבְלֵדָה כְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבָל הָעַכּוּ''ם אֵין מְטַמְּאִין לֹא בְּזִיבָה וְלֹא בְּנִדּוּת וְלֹא בְּלֵדוֹת דִּין תּוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו ב) "דַּבְּרוּ אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲמַרְתֶּם אֲלֵהֶם אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי יִהְיֶה זָב" בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מְטַמְּאִין בְּזִיבָה וְלֹא הָעַכּוּ''ם. וַחֲכָמִים גָּזְרוּ עַל כָּל הָעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁיְּטַמְּאוּ כְּזָבִים לְכָל דִּבְרֵיהֶן זְכָרִים וּנְקֵבוֹת וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַזָּכָר בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד וּלְמַעְלָה וְהַנְּקֵבָה בַּת שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד וָמַעְלָה. אֲבָל הַקְּטַנִּים לְמַטָּה מִזְּמַן זֶה לֹא גָּזְרוּ עֲלֵיהֶן טֻמְאָה שֶׁעִקַּר הַגְּזֵרָה הִיא כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא תִּינוֹק יִשְׂרָאֵל רָגִיל אֵצֶל הָעַכּוּ''ם בְּמִשְׁכַּב זָכוּר וּפָחוֹת מִזְּמַן זֶה אֵין בִּיאָתָן בִּיאָה. בְּעֵת שֶׁגָּזְרוּ עֲלֵיהֶן לֹא גָּזְרוּ עַל שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁלָּהֶן אֶלָּא שִׁכְבַת זַרְעוֹ שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם טְהוֹרָה כְּדִין תּוֹרָה. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה לֹא גָּזְרוּ עָלֶיהָ טֻמְאָה כְּדֵי לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁטֻּמְאָתָן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁהֲרֵי הַכּל יוֹדְעִין שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיוּ זָבִין דִּין תּוֹרָה הָיְתָה שִׁכְבַת זַרְעָם אַב הַטֻּמְאָה כְּשִׁכְבַת זֶרַע הַזָּב וּמֵאַחַר שֶׁיּוֹדְעִין בְּטֻמְאָתָן שֶׁהָיְתָה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים לֹא יָבוֹאוּ לִשְׂרֹף עָלֶיהָ תְּרוּמָה וְקָדָשִׁים. נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁזּוֹבוֹ שֶׁל עַכּוּ''ם. וְדַם נִדָּה אוֹ דַּם זִיבָה וְלֵדָהּ שֶׁל בַּת עַכּוּ''ם. וּבַת עַכּוּ''ם וְעַכּוּ''ם עַצְמָן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵם נְקִיִּים מִן הַתּוֹרָה מִדַּם הַזָּב. וְרֹק הָעַכּוּ''ם וּמֵימֵי רַגְלֵיהֶן וּמִשְׁכָּבָן וּמֶרְכָּבָן. וּבוֹעֵל עַכּוּ''ם. כָּל אֶחָד מֵאֵלּוּ אַב טֻמְאָה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶן עַל בִּיאַת מִקְדָּשׁ וְקָדָשָׁיו וְאֵין שׂוֹרְפִין עֲלֵיהֶן אֶת הַתְּרוּמָה. וְכֻלָּן מְטַמְּאִין אָדָם וְכֵלִים בְּמַגָּע וּמְטַמְּאִין אָדָם בְּמַשָּׂא כְּזָב לְכָל דָּבָר. אֶלָּא שֶׁהַטֻּמְאָה מִדִּבְרֵיהֶן כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְדַם הַנָּכְרִית כְּרֻקָּהּ וּכְמֵימֵי רַגְלֶיהָ מְטַמֵּא לַח וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא יָבֵשׁ:

Test Yourself on This Chapter

Published and copyright by Moznaim Publications, all rights reserved.
To purchase this book or the entire series, please click here.
The text on this page contains sacred literature. Please do not deface or discard.
Vowelized Hebrew text courtesy Torat Emet under CC 2.5 license.
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.
Download Rambam Study Schedules: 3 Chapters | 1 Chapter | Daily Mitzvah