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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Kelim - Chapter 24

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Kelim - Chapter 24


These are the hides that can contract the impurity associated with the support of a zav (midras): a hide that one intended to use as a carpet, a hide placed on top of beds to sleep upon, a hide placed on a donkey under the burden it carries, a hide placed in a basinet under a baby, a hide used for a pillow, a hide used for a cushion, a hide placed beneath the table while eating so that crumbs will fall upon it; it is susceptible to impurity, because one leans his feet upon it, a hide worn by a potter, a hide worn by a flax-carder when he cards flax, a hide a porter places on his shoulders when he is carrying burdens, and a hide which a doctor places on his knees when he is puncturing boils. These hides are susceptible to impurity, because a person will sit upon them.

The hide placed over a child's heart upon which spittle descends so that his clothes will not be spoiled, a hide meant to place over a person's heart during the harvest, because of the heat, a hide wrapped around a garment, and a hide sewed into a chest in which clothes are placed are all susceptible to impurity. The rationale is that they are all turned upside down and used as supports.


אֵלוּ עוֹרוֹת מִתְטַמְּאִין בְּמִדְרָס. עוֹר שֶׁחָשַׁב עָלָיו לִשְׁטִיחָה. וְעוֹר שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין עַל הַמִּטּוֹת מִלְּמַעְלָה לִישֹׁן עָלָיו. וְעוֹר שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין עַל הַחֲמוֹר תַּחַת הַמַּשּׂאוֹי. וְעוֹר שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין בָּעֶרֶס תַּחַת הַקָּטָן. וְעוֹר הַכַּר. וְעוֹר הַכֶּסֶת. וְעוֹר שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין תַּחַת הַשֻּׁלְחָן בְּעֵת הָאֲכִילָה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּפְּלוּ עָלָיו הַפֵּרוּרִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא נִשְׁעָן עָלָיו בְּרַגְלוֹ. וְעוֹר שֶׁחוֹגֵר נוֹפֵץ הַפִּשְׁתָּן עָלָיו בְּעֵת שֶׁנּוֹפֵץ. וְעוֹר שֶׁחוֹגֵר הַחַמָּר עָלָיו. וְעוֹר שֶׁמַּנִּיחַ הַסַּבָּל עַל כְּתֵפוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁסּוֹבֵל. וְעוֹר שֶׁמַּנִּיחַ הָרוֹפֵא עַל בִּרְכָּיו בְּעֵת שֶׁמֵּפִיס הַשְּׁחִינִין מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּל הָעוֹרוֹת הָאֵלּוּ יוֹשֵׁב עֲלֵיהֶן. וְעוֹר הַלֵּב שֶׁל קָטָן שֶׁרִירוֹ יוֹרֵד עָלָיו כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִפָּסְדוּ בְּגָדָיו. וְעוֹר שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ לְנוֹתְנוֹ עַל לִבּוֹ בִּשְׁעַת הַקָּצִיר מִפְּנֵי הַשָּׁרָב. וְעוֹר שֶׁלּוֹפְפִין הַכְּסוּת בּוֹ. וְעוֹר הַתָּפוּר בְּתֵבָה שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין בּוֹ הַבְּגָדִים שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ מִתְהַפְּכִין עֲלֵיהֶן וְנִשְׁעָנִין עֲלֵיהֶן:


All of the hides that are susceptible to midras impurity are not susceptible to that impurity unless they are of the minimum size: five handbreadths by five handbreadths.

The following hides are not susceptible to midras impurity: a hide a person who combs wool wears while combing, a hide wrapped around combed wool, a hide wrapped around fine purple cloth, and a carrying case for fine purple cloth sewn from leather. All of these hides are susceptible to other types of impurity.


כָּל הָעוֹרוֹת הַמִּתְטַמְּאוֹת בְּמִדְרָס אֵינָן מִתְטַמְּאִין עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בָּהֶן כְּשִׁעוּר חֲמִשָּׁה טְפָחִים עַל חֲמִשָּׁה טְפָחִים. וְאֵלּוּ עוֹרוֹת שֶׁאֵין מִתְטַמְּאִין בְּמִדְרָס. עוֹר שֶׁחוֹגֵר סוֹרֵק הַצֶּמֶר בְּעֵת שֶׁסּוֹרֵק. וְעוֹר שֶׁלּוֹפֵף בּוֹ הַצֶּמֶר הַסָּרוּק. וְעוֹר שֶׁלּוֹפֵף בּוֹ הָאַרְגָּמָן. וְעוֹר הַתּוֹפֵר שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין בּוֹ הָאַרְגָּמָן. וְכֻלָּן מִתְטַמְּאִין בִּשְׁאָר טֻמְאוֹת:


When leather was made into a cover for a k'li, it is pure with regard to all types of impurity. If it was made as a cover for weights, it is susceptible to other types of impurity, because it was made to serve as a receptacle. It is not susceptible to midras impurity.


עוֹר שֶׁעֲשָׂאוֹ חִפּוּי לְכֵלִים טָהוֹר מִכְּלוּם. עֲשָׂאוֹ חִפּוּי לְמִשְׁקלֶת מְקַבֵּל שְׁאָר טֻמְאוֹת שֶׁהֲרֵי נַעֲשָׂה לְקַבָּלָה וְאֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרָס:


If a hide made to protect one's heel and the sole of one's foot, covers the greater portion of the foot, it is susceptible to impurity. If not, it is pure.


עוֹר שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ לַעֲקֵבוֹ וּלְפַרְסָתוֹ אִם חוֹפֶה אֶת רֹב הָרֶגֶל מִתְטַמֵּא וְאִם לָאו טָהוֹר:


A shoe that is on the mold, even though it has not been worn by a person yet, is still susceptible to midras impurity, because the tasks associated with it have been completed.


מִנְעָל שֶׁעַל הָאִמּוּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא לְבָשׁוֹ אָדָם הֲרֵי זֶה מִתְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרָס שֶׁכְּבָר נִגְמְרָה מְלַאכְתּוֹ:


All hides that are fit to become susceptible to midras impurity and are not lacking the performance of any tasks to make them functional become susceptible to impurity through thought alone, i.e., if one intended to use it as a mat for a table or the like, it becomes susceptible to midras impurity. If the performance of a task is necessary to make them functional, one's intent does not change their status until that task is completed. There is an exception: a hide used to cover a saddle to guard it against dust. In this instance, the person's intent has an effect even though the deed necessary to make it functional has not been completed.

With regard to what does the above apply? To hides owned by a private person. Hides owned by a leather maker, by contrast, can be assumed to be set aside for sale. Hence, one's intent does not have an effect on their status unless one performs a deed with them preparing them to serve as a support.


כָּל עוֹר הָרָאוּי לְהִתְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרָס וְאֵינוֹ חָסֵר מְלָאכָה הַמַּחְשָׁבָה מְטַמֵּאתוֹ וְאִם חִשֵּׁב עָלָיו לִהְיוֹת עוֹר שֻׁלְחָן וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מִתְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרָס. וְאִם חָסֵר מְלָאכָה אֵין הַמַּחְשָׁבָה מוֹעֶלֶת בּוֹ עַד שֶׁתִּגָּמֵר מְלַאכְתּוֹ. חוּץ מִן הָעוֹר שֶׁמְּחַפִּין בּוֹ הַמֶּרְכָּב מִפְּנֵי הָאָבָק שֶׁהַמַּחְשָׁבָה מוֹעֶלֶת בּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִגְמְרָה מְלַאכְתּוֹ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּעוֹרוֹת בַּעַל הַבַּיִת. אֲבָל עוֹרוֹת הָעַבְּדָן שֶׁסְּתָמָן לִמְכִירָה אֵין הַמַּחְשָׁבָה מְטַמֵּאתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה בָּהֶן מַעֲשֵׂה וִיכִינֵם לְמִדְרָס:


A person does not impart midras impurity to a surface on which one lies or sits unless it belongs to him, as indicated by Leviticus 15:5: "One who touches his couch...." If one obtained a surface on which one lies through robbery and used it as a support without touching it, it is pure. If the owner despaired of its recovery, it contracts impurity. If one stole a surface on which one lies and sat on it, it contracts impurity, for it can be presumed that the owner despaired of its recovery, because he does not know who stole it. If it is known that the owner has not despaired, the surface is pure. Therefore, if a thief stole a hide and intended to use it to lie on, his intent alone is sufficient to change its status and it can contract midras impurity from him. The intent of a robber, by contrast, does not change the status of an article unless the owner despairs of its return.


אֵין אָדָם מְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרַס מִשְׁכָּב אוֹ מֶרְכָּב שֶׁאֵינָן שֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו כא) "וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בְּמִשְׁכָּבוֹ". גָּזַל מִשְׁכָּב וְדָרַס עָלָיו בְּלֹא נְגִיעָה טָהוֹר וְאִם נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים טָמֵא. גָּנַב מִשְׁכָּב וְיָשַׁב עָלָיו טָמֵא שֶׁחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁנִּתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים שֶׁאֵינָן יוֹדְעִים מִי גְּנָבוֹ וְאִם נוֹדַע שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים טָהוֹר. לְפִיכָךְ גַּנָּב שֶׁגָּנַב עוֹר וְחִשֵּׁב עָלָיו לִשְׁכִיבָה מַחֲשָׁבָה מוֹעֶלֶת לוֹ וּמִתְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרָס אֲבָל הַגַּזְלָן אֵין מַחְשַׁבְתּוֹ מוֹעֶלֶת אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נִתְיָאֲשׁוּ הַבְּעָלִים:


When a hide contracted midras impurity and the owner began tearing straps from it, it remains impure until its size was reduced to less than five handbreadths by five handbreadths.


עוֹר שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּמִדְרָס וְהִתְחִיל לְקָרְעוֹ רְצוּעוֹת הֲרֵי הוּא בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ עַד שֶׁיְּמַעֲטֶנּוּ פָּחוֹת פָּחוֹת מֵחֲמִשָּׁה טְפָחִים:


The following rules apply to all leather keilim that had contracted midras impurity from a zav and, afterwards, were fashioned into another type of k'li. If a leather article was changed from one flat implement to another such implement, it remains impure. If it was changed from a simple implement to a receptacle or from a receptacle to a simple implement, it is pure. And with regard to articles from cloth, everything is impure.

What is implied? If one made a leather drinking pouch into a rug or a rug into a leather drinking pouch, it is pure. If, however, a leather drinking pouch was made into a satchel or a satchel into a drinking pouch, they are considered as impure due to midras as they were before.


כָּל כְּלִי עוֹר שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּמִדְרַס הַזָּב וְשִׁנָּהוּ לִכְלִי אַחֵר אִם שִׁנָּהוּ מִפָּשׁוּט לְפָשׁוּט הֲרֵי הוּא בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ. שִׁנָּהוּ מִפָּשׁוּט לִמְקַבֵּל וּמִמְּקַבֵּל לְפָשׁוּט טָהוֹר. וּבְבֶגֶד הַכּל טָמֵא. כֵּיצַד. חֵמֶת שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהּ שָׁטִיחַ וְשָׁטִיחַ שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהּ חֵמֶת טָהוֹר אֲבָל חֵמֶת שֶׁנִּטְמְאָה מִדְרָס וַעֲשָׂאָהּ תּוּרְמִיל אוֹ תּוּרְמִיל שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ חֵמֶת הֲרֵי הֵן מִדְרָס כְּשֶׁהָיוּ:


When a cloth pillow that had contracted midras impurity was made into a cloak, a cloak was made into a pillow, a cushion or a garment was made into a cover, or a cover was made into a cushion, they remain impure due to midras as they were before.


כַּר שֶׁל בֶּגֶד שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּמִדְרָס וַעֲשָׂאָהוּ סָדִין אוֹ סָדִין שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ כַּר אוֹ כֶּסֶת. בֶּגֶד שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ מִטְפַּחַת אוֹ מִטְפַּחַת שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ כֶּסֶת הֲרֵי הֵן מִדְרָס כְּשֶׁהָיוּ:


The following laws apply to articles that are fundamentally made to function both as receptacles and surfaces on which one can sit or lie, for example, pillows, cushions, sacks, carrying bags. If they were damaged and unable to hold substances, even though they are pure with regard to susceptibility to the impurity associated with a human corpse and other impurities, because they are no longer fit to serve as receptacles, they are still susceptible to midras impurity, for they are still fit to serve as supports.

Different rules apply when, by contrast, keilim that are made primarily to serve as a receptacle, e.g., a drinking pouch or a satchel. If they are large enough that they are fit to sit upon, since they are sat upon due to their size, they are susceptible to midras impurity as long as they are intact. If they are damaged and unable to hold substances, even though it is still possible to sit upon them, they are not susceptible to midras impurity. The rationale is that they are made primarily to serve as receptacles. Since they become unfit to serve as receptacles, they became pure and are not susceptible to any type of impurity, neither midras, nor any other type.

What is the measure that makes these keilim subject to midras impurity? A drinking pouch, seven kabbin; a carrying case, five kabbin; a feeding bag in which barley is hung from the head of an animal, four; a leather sack with which water is poured, a se'ah. Anything less than these sizes is not fit to be used as a support and it is not common to be used for people to sit upon.

If they were damaged and one bound up the damaged portion, they are pure; it is as if the damaged portion was not tied closed. All of the drinking pouches that were damaged and bound closed are pure except those of Arabs, because it is always their practice to bind them closed. A bag pipe is not susceptible to midras impurity, because it is not common to use it as a support.


כֵּלִים שֶׁעִקַּר עֲשִׂיָּתָן לְקַבָּלָה וּלְמִשְׁכָּב כְּאֶחָד כְּגוֹן הַכָּרִים וְהַכְּסָתוֹת וְהַשַּׂקִּין וְהַמַּרְצּוּפִין אִם נִפְחֲתוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁטָּהֲרוּ מִלְּהִתְטַמֵּא בְּמֵת וּבִשְׁאָר טֻמְאוֹת מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן יְכוֹלִין לְקַבֵּל הֲרֵי הֵן מִתְטַמְּאִין בְּמִדְרָס שֶׁעֲדַיִן הֵן רְאוּיִין לְמִדְרָס. אֲבָל כֵּלִים שֶׁעִקַּר עֲשִׂיָּתָן לְקַבָּלָה בִּלְבַד כְּגוֹן הַחֵמֶת וְהַתּוּרְמִיל אִם הָיוּ גְּדוֹלִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּהְיוּ רְאוּיִין לֵישֵׁב עֲלֵיהֶן הוֹאִיל וְיוֹשְׁבִין עֲלֵיהֶן מִפְּנֵי גָּדְלָן הֲרֵי הֵן מִתְטַמְּאִין בְּמִדְרָס כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהֵן שְׁלֵמִין נִפְחֲתוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר עֲדַיִן לֵישֵׁב עֲלֵיהֶן אֵין מִתְטַמְּאִין בְּמִדְרָס שֶׁעִקַּר עֲשִׂיָּתָן לְקַבָּלָה בִּלְבַד הוֹאִיל וּבָטְלוּ מִלְּקַבֵּל טָהֲרוּ מִלְּהִתְטַמֵּא לֹא בְּמִדְרָס וְלֹא בִּשְׁאָר טֻמְאוֹת. וְכַמָּה הוּא שִׁעוּרָן וְיִהְיוּ רְאוּיִין לְמִדְרָס הַחֵמֶת שִׁבְעָה קַבִּין וְהַיַּלְקוּט חֲמִשָּׁה וְהַקְּלַסְתֵּר שֶׁתּוֹלִין בּוֹ הַשְּׂעוֹרִים בְּרֹאשׁ הַבְּהֵמָה אַרְבָּעָה וְהַכְּרִיתִית שֶׁמְּעָרִין בָּהּ הַמַּיִם סְאָה. פָּחוֹת מִשִּׁעוּרִין אֵלּוּ אֵינָן רְאוּיִין לְמִדְרָס וְאֵין דֶּרֶךְ הָעָם לֵישֵׁב עֲלֵיהֶן. נִפְחֲתוּ וְצָרַר מְקוֹם הַפְּחָת הֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין וּכְאִלּוּ לֹא קָשַׁר מְקוֹם הַפְּחָת. וְכָל הַחֲמָתוֹת שֶׁנִּפְחֲתוּ וּצְרָרָן טְהוֹרוֹת חוּץ מִשֶּׁל עַרְבִיִּים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁכָּךְ הוּא דַּרְכָּן תָּמִיד לְצָרְרָן. וְחֵמֶת חֲלִילִין אֵין מִתְטַמֵּא בְּמִדְרָס שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לְמִדְרָס:

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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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