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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Kelim - Chapter 20

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Kelim - Chapter 20


We already explained that every accessory that is required by an implement when it is being used is considered as an integral element of the implement with regard to both contracting and imparting impurity. Therefore, when one coats an earthenware container which is intact and strong, if the container contracts impurity and foods and/or liquids touch the coating, they are pure. The rationale is that the container does not require this coating.

If, however, one coats an unsound earthenware container, the coating is considered as an integral element of the container. Similarly, when one reinforces an earthenware jug used to draw water by covering it with leather, parchment, or the like, if the jug was unsound, the coating is considered as an integral element of the container.


כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל יַד הַכֵּלִים שֶׁהַכְּלִי צָרִיךְ לָהּ בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁוֹ הֲרֵי הִיא חֲשׁוּבָה כְּגוּף הַכְּלִי לְהִתְטַמֵּא וּלְטַמֵּא. לְפִיכָךְ הַטּוֹפֵל כְּלִי חֶרֶס הַבָּרִיא אִם נִטְמָא הַכְּלִי הֲרֵי אוֹכְלִין וּמַשְׁקִין הַנּוֹגְעִין בַּטְּפֵלָה טְהוֹרִין שֶׁאֵין הַכְּלִי צָרִיךְ לִטְפֵלָה זוֹ. אֲבָל הַטּוֹפֵל אֶת כְּלִי חֶרֶס הָרָעוּעַ הֲרֵי הַטְּפֵלָה חֲשׁוּבָה כְּגוּף הַכְּלִי. וְכֵן הַמְהַדֵּק אֶת הַקֵּרוּיָה שֶׁל חֶרֶס הַדּוֹלִין בָּהּ הַמַּיִם אִם חִפָּה אוֹתָהּ בְּעוֹר אוֹ בִּקְלָף וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן אִם הָיְתָה רְעוּעָה הֲרֵי הֵן כְּגוּפָהּ:


When one coats an earthenware container in order to cook with it, the coating is not considered as joined to it. If one coats implements in order to heat tar in them, the coating is considered as joined to them.


הַטּוֹפֵל כְּלִי חֶרֶס לִהְיוֹת מְבַשֵּׁל בּוֹ אֵינוֹ חִבּוּר. טָפַל כֵּלִים לִהְיוֹת זוֹפֵת בָּהֶן חִבּוּר:


When there was a hole in a barrel and one plugged it with tar, tin, sulfur, lime, or gypsum, the filling is not considered as joined to it. If one plugged it with other substances, the filling is considered as joined to it.


חָבִית שֶׁנִּקְּבָה וַעֲשָׂאָהּ בְּזֶפֶת בְּבַעַץ וְגָפְרִית בְּסִיד וּבִגְפָסִים אֵינָן חִבּוּר וּשְׁאָר כָּל הַדְּבָרִים חִבּוּר:


Moist substances that can be stretched that are used to coat casks of water so that water will not drip from the container are considered as integral elements of the container. Even if the container contracted impurity because of the presence of impurity within its inner space, food and/or liquids that touch the coating are impure.

Similarly, the coating of an oven is considered as the earthenware substance of the oven itself, provided the coating is no more than a handbreadth thick, because that it is what is necessary for an oven. Anything more than a handbreadth is not necessary for an oven and entities that touch a portion of the coating that is more than a handbreadth thick are pure. The coating necessary for a range is three fingerbreadths thick.


דְּבָרִים הַלַּחִין הַמְּשׁוּכִין שֶׁטּוֹפְלִין בָּהֶן הַפִּטָסִין שֶׁל מַיִם כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִדְלֹף הַכְּלִי הֲרֵי הֵן כְּגוּפוֹ שֶׁל כְּלִי שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ נִטְמָא הַכְּלִי מֵאֲוִירוֹ אֳכָלִין וּמַשְׁקִין הַנּוֹגְעִין בַּטְּפֵלָה טְמֵאִין. וְכֵן טְפֵלוֹ שֶׁל תַּנּוּר הֲרֵי הוּא כְּחֶרֶס הַתַּנּוּר וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּעֳבִי הַטְּפֵלָה עַד טֶפַח שֶׁהוּא צָרְכּוֹ שֶׁל תַּנּוּר אֲבָל יֶתֶר עַל טֶפַח אֵינוֹ מִצֹּרֶךְ הַתַּנּוּר וְהַנּוֹגְעִין בְּיֶתֶר עַל טֶפַח מֵעָבְיוֹ טְהוֹרִים. טְפֵלַת הַכִּירָה עָבְיוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת:


When there was a hole in a barrel and one plugged it with more tar than was necessary, an entity that touches the portion that is necessary to plug it is impure. If it touches the portion that is not necessary, it is pure. When tar dripped onto a barrel, an entity that touches it is pure.


חָבִית שֶׁנִּקְּבָה וּסְתָמָהּ בְּזֶפֶת יוֹתֵר מִצָּרְכָּהּ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּצָרְכָּהּ טָמֵא וּבְיֶתֶר מִצָּרְכָּהּ טָהוֹר. זֶפֶת שֶׁנָּטְפָה עַל חָבִית הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ טָהוֹר:


When a samovar that was coated with both mortar and pieces of ground shards contracts impurity, one who touches the mortar contracts impurity. One who touches the ground shards does not contract impurity, because the ground shards do not attach themselves thoroughly to the container.


מֵחַם שֶׁטְּפָלוֹ בְּחֵמָר וּבְחַרְסִית וְנִטְמָא הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּחֵמָר טָמֵא וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּחַרְסִית טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵין הַחַרְסִית מִתְחַבֵּר לַכְּלִי:


When a coating was applied to the cover of a barrel and to the barrel, the covering is not considered as connected to it. If impure liquids touch the barrel, the cover does not contract impurity. If such liquids touch the cover, the outside of the barrel does not contract impurity.


מְגוּפַת הֶחָבִית שֶׁטָּפַל בְּטִיט עָלֶיהָ וְעַל הֶחָבִית אֵינָהּ חִבּוּר לָהּ וְאִם נָגְעוּ מַשְׁקִין טְמֵאִין בָּחָבִית לֹא נִטְמֵאת הַמְּגוּפָה וְאִם נָגְעוּ בַּמְּגוּפָה לֹא נִטְמְאוּ אֲחוֹרֵי הֶחָבִית:


When a metal implement is covered with tar, the tar is not considered as joined to it. If it was designated for wine, the coating is considered an integral part of the container.


כְּלֵי נְחשֶׁת שֶׁזְּפָתָן אֵין הַזֶּפֶת חִבּוּר וְאִם לְיַיִן הֲרֵי זֶה כְּגוּף הַכְּלִי:


The following laws apply when the carcass of a crawling animal comes in contact with dough that is in the cracks of a kneading trough. On Pesach, since there is a significant prohibition against the possession of dough, it is considered as an intervening substance and the contact of the carcass with it does not impart impurity to the kneading trough. Different laws apply throughout the year. If one is particular about it, the kneading trough does not contract impurity. If one desires that the dough remain, it is considered as part of the kneading trough and the kneading trough contracts impurity.


בָּצֵק שֶׁבְּסִדְקֵי הָעֲרֵבָה שֶׁנָּגַע בּוֹ שֶׁרֶץ אִם בְּפֶסַח הוֹאִיל וְאִסּוּרוֹ חָשׁוּב חוֹצֵץ וְלֹא נִטְמֵאת הָעֲרֵבָה. וְאִם בִּשְׁאָר יְמוֹת הַשָּׁנָה אִם הָיָה מַקְפִּיד עָלָיו הָעֲרֵבָה טְהוֹרָה וְאִם רוֹצֶה בְּקִיּוּמוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא כַּעֲרֵבָה וְנִטְמֵאת הָעֲרֵבָה:


The following laws apply to the strands and the straps attached to covers for books or handkerchiefs for children. Those that are sewn are considered as attached, while those that are merely tied are not. Similar laws apply to the straps attached to a hoe, a sack, and a bushel. Those joined to the handles of an earthenware container, by contrast, are not considered as attached - even if they are sewn - because there is no way they can be attached to an earthenware container.


הַמְּשִׁיחוֹת וְהָרְצוּעוֹת שֶׁבְּמִטְפְּחוֹת הַסְּפָרִים וְשֶׁבְּמִטְפְּחוֹת הַתִּינוֹקוֹת תְּפוּרוֹת חִבּוּר וּקְשׁוּרוֹת אֵינָן חִבּוּר. וְכֵן רְצוּעוֹת שֶׁבַּמַּעְדֵּר וְשֶׁבַּשַּׂק וְשֶׁבַּקֻפָּה אֲבָל שֶׁבְּאָזְנֵי כְּלֵי חֶרֶס אֲפִלּוּ תְּפוּרוֹת אֵינָן חִבּוּר שֶׁאֵין חִבּוּרִין לִכְלֵי חֶרֶס:


The following rules apply with regard to the extension of the handle of a hatchet: Within three fingerbreadths of the head is considered as joined. Anything that touches beyond three fingerbreadths is pure.

With regard to the portion of the handle that is held, the handbreadth next to the head is considered as attached. Anything that touches beyond that measure is pure.


יַד קוֹרְדוֹם הַיּוֹצֵא מֵאַחֲרָיו שָׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת חִבּוּר וְהַיֶּתֶר עַל שָׁלֹשׁ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בּוֹ טָהוֹר. יַד קוֹרְדוֹם מִלְּפָנָיו טֶפַח הַסָּמוּךְ לַבַּרְזֶל חִבּוּר יֶתֶר עַל כֵּן הַנּוֹגֵעַ בּוֹ טָהוֹר:


For the implement to be susceptible to impurity, the remnant of the shaft of a compass must be a handbreadth long. The handle of a jewelers' hammer must be a handbreadth. The handle of a goldsmith's hammer must be two handbreadths long, that of a carpenter, three handbreadths.

The remnant of a plow drawn by oxen is four handbreadths close to the metal peg implanted in its upper end. The handle of the hatchet with which one digs irrigation ditches is four handbreadths. The handle of a hatchet used to prune trees is five handbreadths. The handle of a small hammer is five handbreadths and that of an ordinary hammer is six. The handle of a hatchet used to chop firewood and that of one use to break up earth is six handbreadths. The handle of a hammer used by stonecutters is six handbreadths. The remnants of a plow that is close to the metal edge at the plow's end must be seven handbreadths. The handle of a ladle is eight handbreadths, that used by appliers of lime is ten handbreadths. With regard to any greater measure, if one desires to keep it, it is susceptible to impurity. The handles of any implements used when cooking over a fire, e.g., spits and skewers, are susceptible to impurity even if they are very long.


שְׁיָרֵי הַפַּרְגָּל טֶפַח. וְיַד מַקֶּבֶת שֶׁל מְפַתְּחֵי אֲבָנִים טֶפַח. יַד קֻרְנָס שֶׁל זֶהָבִים טְפָחַיִם וְשֶׁל חָרָשִׁים שְׁלֹשָׁה. שְׁיָרֵי מַלְמַד הַבָּקָר אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים סָמוּךְ לַדָּרְבָן. יַד קוֹרְדוֹם שֶׁחוֹפְרִין בּוֹ בְּדִידִין שֶׁל מַיִם אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים. וְיַד קוֹרְדוֹם שֶׁל נִכּוּשׁ חֲמִשָּׁה. וְיַד בֶּן פַּטִּישׁ חֲמִשָּׁה. וְשֶׁל פַּטִּישׁ שִׁשָּׁה. וְכֵן יַד קוֹרְדוֹם שֶׁל בִּקּוּעַ וְשֶׁל עָדִיר שִׁשָּׁה. יַד מַקֶּבֶת שֶׁל סַתָּתִין שִׁשָּׁה. שְׁיָרֵי הַמַּרְדֵּעַ הַסָּמוּךְ לְחַרְחוּר שֶׁל מַתֶּכֶת שֶׁבְּרֹאשׁ הַמַּרְדֵּעַ שִׁבְעָה טְפָחִים. יַד הַמַּגְרֵפָה שֶׁל בַּעֲלֵי בָּתִּים שְׁמוֹנָה טְפָחִים. וְשֶׁל סַיָּדִין עֲשָׂרָה. וְכָל הַיֶּתֶר עַל זֶה אִם רָצָה לְקַיְּמוֹ טָמֵא. יַד כָּל מְשַׁמְּשֵׁי הָאוּר כְּגוֹן הַשִּׁפּוּדִין וְהָאַסְכְּלָאוֹת אֲפִלּוּ אֲרֻכִּין כָּל שֶׁהֵן טְמֵאִין:


When a staff is temporarily used as a handle for a hatchet, it is considered as attached to it at the time one is working with it. If a source of impurity comes in contact with the staff while one is breaking up earth or chopping with it, the head of the hatchet contracts impurity. If impurity touches the head, the staff contracts impurity.

Similarly, a diyustar which is made up of two wooden implements held together by a peg with which one sets up a loom is considered as attached at the time one works with it. If one affixed the diyustar to a beam, it is still susceptible to impurity and the beam is not considered as attached to it. If one made part of the beam a diyustar, any part of the beam that is necessary for the diyustar is considered as part of the diyustar. However, a person who touches the remainder of the beam is pure because the entire beam is not considered as joined to the diyustar.


מַקֵּל שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ יָד לְקוֹרְדוֹם הֲרֵי הוּא חִבּוּר לַטֻּמְאָה בִּשְׁעַת מְלָאכָה וְאִם נָגְעָה טֻמְאָה בַּמַּקֵּל כְּשֶׁהוּא חוֹרֵשׁ אוֹ מְבַקֵּעַ בּוֹ נִטְמָא הַקּוֹרְדוֹם וְאִם נָגְעָה בַּקּוֹרְדוֹם נִטְמָא הַמַּקֵּל. וְכֵן הַדְּיוּסְטָר שֶׁהֵן כִּשְׁנֵי כֵּלִים וְהַמַּסְמֵר מְחַבְּרָן לִהְיוֹת מֵסֵךְ עֲלֵיהֶן הֲרֵי הֵן חִבּוּר בִּשְׁעַת מְלָאכָה. קְבָעוֹ בְּקוֹרָה הֲרֵי זֶה מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה וְאֵין הַקּוֹרָה חִבּוּר לוֹ. עָשָׂה קְצָת הַקּוֹרָה דְּיוּסְטָר כָּל שֶׁהוּא מִן הַקּוֹרָה לְצֹרֶךְ הַדְּיוּסְטָר חִבּוּר לַדְּיוּסְטָר. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בִּשְׁאָר הַקּוֹרָה טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵין כָּל הַקּוֹרָה חִבּוּר:


When a wagon contracts impurity, one who touches the metal bar, the wooden yoke, the eye, and the thick ropes - even at the time work is being performed - is pure.

One who touches the swordlike beam of wood, the kneelike piece of wood, the handle, a metal ring, the "cheeks" of the yoke, and the articles hanging from it. are impure.

Similarly, when a saw manned by two people becomes impure, one who touches either side contracts impurity. One who touches the strap or the band the shaft, and its supports remains pure, for these are not considered as attached to it. In contrast, one who touches the frame of a large saw is impure.


עֲגָלָה שֶׁנִּטְמֵאת הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּעל וּבַקַּטְרָב וּבָעֵץ וּבֶעָבוֹת אֲפִלּוּ בִּשְׁעַת מְלָאכָה טָהוֹר. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּחֶרֶב וּבַבֹּרֶךְ וּבַיְּצוּל וּבַעַיִן שֶׁל מַתֶּכֶת וּבַלְּחָיַיִם וּבַעִירָאִין טָמֵא. וְכֵן מְגֵרָה שֶׁנִּטְמֵאת הַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּיָדָהּ מִכָּאן וּמִכָּאן טָמֵא. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּחוּט וּבַמְּשִׁיחָה וּבָאַמָּה וּבַסְּנִיפִין שֶׁלָּהּ טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵין אֵלּוּ חִבּוּר לָהּ. אֲבָל הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּמַּלְבֵּן שֶׁל מַסָּר הַגָּדוֹל טָמֵא:


When the lance in a carpenter's press becomes impure, one who touches the press itself is pure. When a drill becomes impure, one who touches the bow wound around it is pure, because it is not considered as attached to the drill.

When a bow was extended and the arrow extended within it, if the arrow contracts impurity, one who touches the bowstring or the bow does not contract impurity. This applies even when it is extended. Similarly, if the lance of a trap for field mice becomes impure, the trap does not contract impurity, even if it has been set.

Similarly, when a loom that is extended contracts impurity in the weaving process, one who touches all of the following: the upper beam and the lower beam, the heddles, the weaver's comb, the thread that is passed over purple thread when weaving a sheet of fabric, and a strand extending from the weave that will not be integrated within it is pure. The rationale is that all of these are not considered as joined to the garment. One, however, who touches the woof that has not yet been tightened, the woof that is standing, a thread that is woven as part of a purple fabric, and a strand extending from the weave that will be integrated with it is impure. The rationale is that all of these are considered as joined to the garment.


מַכְבֵּשׁ שֶׁל חָרָשׁ שֶׁנִּטְמָא הָרֹמַח שֶׁבּוֹ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּמַּכְבֵּשׁ טָהוֹר. מְגֵרָה שֶׁנִּטְמָא הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּקַּשְׁטָנִית שֶׁהִיא לְפוּפָה עָלָיו טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵינָהּ חִבּוּר. קֶשֶׁת שֶׁהָיְתָה מְתוּחָה וְהַחֵץ מָשׁוּךְ עִמָּהּ וְנִטְמָא הַחֵץ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּיֶּתֶר וּבַקֶּשֶׁת טָהוֹר וַאֲפִלּוּ כְּשֶׁהִיא מְתוּחָה. וְכֵן מְצוּדַת הָאִישׁוּת שֶׁנִּטְמָא הַחֵץ שֶׁלָּהּ לֹא נִטְמֵאת הַמְּצוּדָה אֲפִלּוּ כְּשֶׁהִיא מְתוּחָה. וְכֵן מַסֶּכֶת נְסוּכָה שֶׁנִּטְמֵאת בִּשְׁעַת הָאָרִיג הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּכֹּבֶד הָעֶלְיוֹן וְהַתַּחְתּוֹן וּבַנִּירִים וּבַקֵּירוֹס וּבַחוּט שֶׁהֶעֱבִירוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי אַרְגָּמָן וּבָעִירָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ עָתִיד לְהַחְזִירָהּ טָהוֹר שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ אֵינָן חִבּוּר לְבֶגֶד. אֲבָל הַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּנֶפֶשׁ הַמַּסֶּכֶת וּבַשְּׁתִי הָעוֹמֵד וּבַכֶּפֶל שֶׁהֶעֱבִירוֹ עַל גַּבֵּי אַרְגָּמָן וּבָעִירָה שֶׁהוּא לְהַחְזִירָהּ טָמֵא שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ חִבּוּרִין לְבֶגֶד:


One who touches wool that is on the base of a spindle of a loom or on a rod is pure. One who touches a spool before it has been uncovered, is impure. After it has been uncovered, he is pure.


הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּצֶּמֶר שֶׁעַל הָאִימָה וּבָאַשְׁוָיָה טָהוֹר. הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּפִּיקָה עַד שֶׁלֹּא פְּרָעָהּ טָמֵא מִשֶּׁפְּרָעָהּ טָהוֹר:


When a string is threaded through a needle, even if it is tied on both sides, it is not considered as joined to it. If it was inserted into a garment, the string is considered as connected to the garment, but the needle is not considered as connected to the garment. Moreover, not even the entire string is considered as connected to the garment, only what is necessary for sewing. What is not necessary is not considered as connected.

When a thread has unraveled from a garment, even if it is 100 cubits long, the entire thread is considered to be attached to the garment. When a rope is attached to an earthenware container, even if it is 100 cubits long, the entire rope is considered to be attached to it. If one tied another rope to the initial rope, the portion on the inside of the knot is considered as attached. The portion outside the knot is not considered as attached. When a rope is attached to a basket, it is not considered as attached unless one sewed one to the other.


הַחוּט שֶׁהִשִּׁילוֹ לְמַחַט אֲפִלּוּ קָשׁוּר מִשְּׁנֵי צְדָדִין אֵינוֹ חִבּוּר. הִכְנִיסוֹ לְבֶגֶד הַחוּט חִבּוּר לַבֶּגֶד וְאֵין הַמַּחַט חִבּוּר לַבֶּגֶד. וְאֵין הַחוּט כֻּלּוֹ חִבּוּר לַבֶּגֶד אֶלָּא כָּל שֶׁהוּא לְצֹרֶךְ הַתְּפִירָה חִבּוּר שֶׁאֵינוֹ לְצֹרֶךְ הַתְּפִירָה אֵינוֹ חִבּוּר. הַחוּט שֶׁפֵּרֵשׁ מִן הַבֶּגֶד אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה אַמָּה כֻּלּוֹ חִבּוּר. חֶבֶל שֶׁקָּשׁוּר בְּחֶרֶס אֲפִלּוּ מֵאָה אַמָּה כֻּלּוֹ חִבּוּר. קָשַׁר בּוֹ חֶבֶל אֶחָד מִן הַקֶּשֶׁר וּלְפָנִים חִבּוּר מִן הַקֶּשֶׁר וְלַחוּץ אֵינוֹ חִבּוּר. הַחֶבֶל שֶׁהוּא קָשׁוּר בְּקֻפָּה אֵינוֹ חִבּוּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן תָּפַר:

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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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