ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 20

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She'ar Avot haTum'ah - Chapter 20

1

Any place designated as a public domain with regard to the Sabbath is also considered as a public domain with regard to the laws of impurity.

א

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁהוּא רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְעִנְיַן שַׁבָּת כָּךְ הוּא רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה:

2

The four cubits that are adjacent to the public domain are considered as a public domain with regard to the laws of impurity. Similarly, a karmelit, e.g., the sea or a covered walkway, is considered as a public domain with regard to the laws of impurity.

ב

אַרְבַּע אַמּוֹת הַסְּמוּכוֹת לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים הֲרֵי הֵן כִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה. וְכֵן הַכַּרְמְלִית כְּגוֹן הַיָּם וְהַאִצְטְוַונִית הֲרֵי הֵן כִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה:

3

There are places which, though they are considered as private domains with regard to the Sabbath, are considered as public domains with regard to the laws of impurity. They are the paths leading to storage caverns, cisterns, and wine presses, an enclosed valley in the summer, a basilica of kings, i.e., a building that is very wide with space for the king's carriage drivers to stay; it has many openings to the public domain, and a poren, i.e., a large building with two openings, one opposite the other, and a courtyard to which many people would enter through one opening and depart through the other. Also, the lanes leading to a sea or a river, although they are fenced in from either side, are considered as a public domain with regard to the laws of impurity if people can climb over the fences. Pillars and bathhouses are also placed in this category. Similarly, the entire Temple Courtyard is considered as a public domain with regard to the laws of impurity.

ג

יֵשׁ שָׁם מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְשַׁבָּת הֲרֵי הֵן כִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הַשְּׁבִילִין הַמְפֻלָּשִׁין לְשִׁיחִין וּלְבוֹרוֹת וּלְגִתּוֹת וְהַבִּקְעָה הַמֻּקֶּפֶת גָּדֵר בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה וּבַסִילְקִי מְלָכִים שֶׁהוּא בִּנְיָן רָחָב הַרְבֵּה לַעֲמֹד בּוֹ אַנְשֵׁי הַמֶּרְכָּבָה וְיֵשׁ לוֹ פְּתָחִים הַרְבֵּה פְּתוּחִים לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְהַפּוֹרָן וְהוּא הַבִּנְיָן הַגָּדוֹל שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שְׁנֵי פְּתָחִים זֶה כְּנֶגֶד זֶה וְחָצֵר שֶׁהָרַבִּים נִכְנָסִין בְּפֶתַח זֶה וְיוֹצְאִין בְּפֶתַח אַחֵר. וְכֵן מְבוֹאוֹת הַיּוֹרְדִים לַיָּם אוֹ לַנָּהָר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן גְּדוּרִין מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן וְרַבִּים מְטַפְּסִין וְעוֹלִין בָּהֶן וְהַבִּימוֹסוֹת וְהַמֶּרְחֲצָאוֹת הֲרֵי הֵן כִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה. וְכֵן כָּל הָעֲזָרָה כִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה:

4

Gardens in a city over which the thoroughfare of a city pass are considered as a public domain with regard to the concept of impurity.

ד

גִּנּוֹת הָעִיר שֶׁדֶּרֶךְ הָעִיר עוֹבֶרֶת עֲלֵיהֶן רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה:

5

When a garden is guarded, it is a private domain. When it is not protected, it is a public domain with regard to impurity. Similarly, a large basilica, when its gates are opened, is a public domain with regard to impurity. When it is closed, it is a private domain in all aspects.

ה

הַגִּנָּה בִּזְמַן שֶׁהִיא מִשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד וּבִזְמַן שֶׁאֵינָהּ מִשְׁתַּמֶּרֶת רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה. וְכֵן בַּסִילְקִי גְּדוֹלָה בִּזְמַן שֶׁפּוֹתְחִין אוֹתָהּ רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה וּבִזְמַן שֶׁנּוֹעֲלִין אוֹתָהּ רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לַכּל:

6

When a valley is enclosed with a fence, in the winter, it is a private domain with regard to the Sabbath and ritual impurity. If it was not enclosed, it is a private domain with regard to impurity alone. When, however, the winter passed after a valley was fenced in, it is considered as a private domain with regard to impurity even in the summer.

This is what is meant by "the summer": When the grain is harvested from the valley. This is what is meant by "the winter": When the second rain begins. The area between the round barrel of grapes and the pile of grape pomace is considered a public domain with regard to impurity.

ו

הַבִּקְעָה הַמֻּקֶּפֶת גָּדֵר בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְשַׁבָּת וּלְטֻמְאָה וְאִם לֹא הָיְתָה מֻקֶּפֶת הֲרֵי הִיא רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְטֻמְאָה בִּלְבַד. וּבִקְעָה שֶׁעָבְרוּ עָלֶיהָ בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים הֲרֵי הִיא רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְטֻמְאָה אֲפִלּוּ בִּימוֹת הַחַמָּה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן יְמוֹת הַחַמָּה מִשֶּׁתֵּעָקֵר הַתְּבוּאָה מִתּוֹכָהּ. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן יְמוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים מִשֶּׁתֵּרֵד רְבִיעָה שְׁנִיָּה. בֵּין הָעִגּוּלִים שֶׁל עֲנָבִים לַזּוֹגִין רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה:

7

With regard to ritual impurity, a vineyard in front of the harvesters is considered as a private domain; the portion behind the harvesters, as a public domain. When does the above apply? When many people enter from one direction and leave from the opposite direction. The law pertaining to other places aside from those which we mentioned is: Just as they are a private domain with regard to the laws of the Sabbath, so too, they are a private domain with regard to the laws of impurity.

ז

כֶּרֶם שֶׁלִּפְנֵי הַבּוֹצְרִים רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד וּלְאַחַר הַבּוֹצְרִים רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְטֻמְאָה. אֵימָתַי בִּזְמַן שֶׁהָרַבִּים נִכְנָסִים בְּרוּחַ זוֹ וְיוֹצְאִים בָּרוּחַ שֶׁכְּנֶגְדָהּ. שְׁאָר כָּל הַמְּקוֹמוֹת חוּץ מֵאֵלּוּ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ דִּינָם כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהֵן רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְשַׁבָּת כָּךְ הֵם רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְטֻמְאָה:

8

There are places that are not considered as a private domain with regard to the Sabbath laws, but are, nevertheless, considered as a private domain with regard to the laws of impurity, because the people do not use them. They are: trees and holes in the walls of the public domain even if they are not four handbreadths by four handbreadths. What is implied? There was a tree standing in the public domain with impurity in it. One climbed to the top of the tree and he is in doubt whether or not he touched the impurity, he is impure because of the doubt. One inserted his hand into a hole in which impurity is situated and he is in doubt whether or not he touched it, he is impure because of the doubt.

ח

וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁאֵינָן רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְשַׁבָּת וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן הֵן רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד לְטֻמְאָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵין הָעָם מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁין בָּהֶן וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הָאִילָנוֹת וְחוֹרֵי רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן אַרְבָּעָה עַל אַרְבָּעָה. כֵּיצַד. אִילָן שֶׁהוּא עוֹמֵד בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְטֻמְאָה בְּתוֹכוֹ עָלָה לְרֹאשׁוֹ סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא. הִכְנִיס יָדוֹ לְחוֹר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ טֻמְאָה סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא:

9

When there is a store that is impure which is open to the public domain, and a person is in doubt whether or not he entered, he is pure despite the doubt. For the entire store is considered as the carcass of a creeping animal lying in the public domain in which instance, if a question arose whether one touched it, he is pure. If there are two stores, one pure and one impure, in the public domain, and a person entered one, but he is in doubt whether or not he entered the impure store or the pure store, he is impure because of the doubt. This is considered as a doubt that arose in a private domain, because a store is considered as a private domain. Similarly, if, in the winter, there is a valley that contains many fields, with at least one field known to be impure and one, pure, and a person said: "I entered this valley and I do not know if I entered that field or not," he is impure because of the doubt. The rationale is that when a doubt arises in a private domain - even a doubt whether one entered - the person is impure.

ט

חֲנוּת שֶׁהִיא טְמֵאָה וּפְתוּחָה לִרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים סָפֵק נִכְנַס סָפֵק לֹא נִכְנַס סְפֵקוֹ טָהוֹר שֶׁכָּל הַחֲנוּת כְּמוֹ שֶׁרֶץ הַמֻּנָּח בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים שֶׁסְּפֵק מַגָּעוֹ טָהוֹר. הָיוּ שְׁתֵּי חֲנֻיּוֹת אַחַת טְהוֹרָה וְאַחַת טְמֵאָה וְנִכְנַס לְאַחַת מֵהֶן סָפֵק לְטָמֵא נִכְנַס סָפֵק לְטָהוֹר סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא שֶׁזֶּה סָפֵק רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד שֶׁהַחֲנוּת רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד. וְכֵן בִּקְעָה בִּימוֹת הַגְּשָׁמִים שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ שָׂדוֹת הַרְבֵּה וּבָהּ שָׂדֶה אַחַת טְמֵאָה וְאַחַת טְהוֹרָה וְאָמַר נִכְנַסְתִּי לְבִקְעָה זוֹ וְאֵינִי יוֹדֵעַ אִם נִכְנַסְתִּי לְאוֹתָהּ שָׂדֶה אוֹ לֹא נִכְנַסְתִּי סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא שֶׁסְּפֵק טֻמְאָה בִּרְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד אֲפִלּוּ סְפֵק בִּיאָה טָמֵא:

10

When a place was considered a private domain, it then became a public domain, and then it became a private domain, the ruling depends on its immediate status. While it is a private domain, when there is a doubt, the person is impure. While it is a public domain, when there is a doubt, the person is pure.

י

מָקוֹם שֶׁהָיָה רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד וְנַעֲשָׂה רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים וְחָזַר וְנַעֲשָׂה רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד כְּשֶׁהוּא רְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא וּכְשֶׁהוּא רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים סְפֵקוֹ טָהוֹר:

11

Entities that are situated in the public domain are considered as the public domain. What is implied? There was a container ten handbreadths high in the public domain in which was situated a source of impurity. If one is in doubt whether he touched the container, he is pure despite the doubt. If he inserted his hand into the container, but he was in doubt whether he touched the impurity, he is impure because of the doubt. If there was a stone container resting on his shoulder and a loaf of bread that was terumah wrapped in tree bast or paper contained within it and there was a doubt whether or not another person touched it, it is impure because of the doubt.

יא

דְּבָרִים שֶׁהֵן בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים הֲרֵי הֵן כִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים. כֵּיצַד. קֻפָּה בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים גָּבוֹהַּ עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים וְהַטֻּמְאָה בְּתוֹכָהּ סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָהוֹר. הִכְנִיס יָדוֹ לְתוֹכָהּ סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא. הָיְתָה כְּפִישָׁה נְתוּנָה עַל כְּתֵפוֹ וְכִכַּר תְּרוּמָה כָּרוּךְ בְּסִיב אוֹ בִּנְיָר וְנָתוּן לְתוֹכָהּ סָפֵק נָגַע בָּהּ אַחֵר סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא:

12

When there is a donkey in the public domain that was ten handbreadths high, impurity was placed on it and a doubt arose whether a person touched the donkey's back, he is pure despite the doubt. If he extended his hand above the donkey and he was in doubt whether or not he touched the impurity, he is impure because of the doubt. Similarly, if there was a rock that was ten handbreadths high placed in the public domain and impurity was placed on it, if there was a doubt whether or not one touched the top of the rock, he is pure despite the doubt. If he climbed on top of the rock, but he was in doubt whether or not he touched the impurity, he is impure because of the doubt.

יב

חֲמוֹר בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים גָּבוֹהַּ עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים וְטֻמְאָה נְתוּנָה עָלָיו סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָהוֹר. פָּשַׁט יָדוֹ עַל גַּבָּיו סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא. וְכֵן סֶלַע הַמֻּנָּח בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים גָּבוֹהַּ עֲשָׂרָה טְפָחִים וְטֻמְאָה נְתוּנָה עָלָיו סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָהוֹר. עָלָה בְּרֹאשׁ הַסֶּלַע סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא:

13

In all off the following situations: a) a zav was riding on his donkey; another person was riding on another donkey and they were riding on the way and the person was in doubt whether or not he touched the zav; b) an impure child was being carried on his father's shoulder and a pure child was being carried on his father's shoulder, the fathers were walking next to each other and a doubt arose whether one child touched the other; c) a person was carrying a package on his shoulder; there was unidentified saliva stuck to the wall and a doubt arose whether or not it touched it; d) utensils were spread out on a surface more than ten handbreadths high in the public domain; an impure person passed by and a doubt arose whether he moved them or not. In all these instances, the person or the article is pure.

יג

הָיָה זָב רוֹכֵב עַל חֲמוֹרוֹ וְזֶה רוֹכֵב עַל חֲמוֹרוֹ וּמְהַלְּכִין בַּדֶּרֶךְ סָפֵק נָגַע בַּזָּב סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע. תִּינוֹק טָמֵא מֻרְכָּב עַל כְּתֵפוֹ שֶׁל אָבִיו וְתִינוֹק טָהוֹר מֻרְכָּב עַל כְּתֵפוֹ שֶׁל אָבִיו וְהָלְכוּ זֶה בְּצַד זֶה סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע. חֲבִילָה עַל כְּתֵפוֹ וְהָרֹק מֻדְבָּק בַּכֹּתֶל סָפֵק נָגַע סָפֵק לֹא נָגַע. כֵּלִים שְׁטוּחִין בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים לְמַעְלָה מֵעֲשָׂרָה וְהַטָּמֵא עוֹבֵר סָפֵק הֵסִיט סָפֵק לֹא הֵסִיט הַכּל טָהוֹר: בְּרִיךְ רַחֲמָנָא דְּסַיְּעָן

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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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