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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Mikvaot - Chapter 6

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Mikvaot - Chapter 6


Whenever water passes over keilim that contain a receptacle or water falls into them, it is considered as drawn water and disqualifies a mikveh, provided that the receptacle was made to serve that purpose. Even containers that are not susceptible to ritual impurity, e.g., stone containers and containers made from earth, disqualify water.


כָּל הַכֵּלִים הַמְקַבְּלִין שֶׁהָלְכוּ הַמַּיִם עֲלֵיהֶן אוֹ שֶׁנָּפְלוּ מִתּוֹכָן הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ שְׁאוּבִין וּפוֹסְלִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה. וְהוּא שֶׁיֵּעָשׂוּ לְקַבָּלָה. אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ כֵּלִים שֶׁאֵין מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה כְּגוֹן כְּלֵי אֲבָנִים וּכְלֵי אֲדָמָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ פּוֹסְלִין:


Whenever a k'li was not made with the intent that it serve as a receptacle, even though it does serve as a receptacle, the water it contains does not disqualify a mikveh, for example, large pipes through which water flows. Even though they are wide in the middle and serve as receptacles, the water they contain does not disqualify a mikveh. This applies whether they were made of metal or of earthenware.


כָּל כְּלִי שֶׁלֹּא נַעֲשָׂה לְקַבָּלָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא מְקַבֵּל אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵל אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה. כְּגוֹן הַסִּילוֹנוֹת שֶׁהַמַּיִם נִמְשָׁכִין מֵהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן רְחָבִים בְּאֶמְצַע וּמְקַבְּלִין אֵין פּוֹסְלִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה בֵּין שֶׁהָיוּ שֶׁל מַתֶּכֶת אוֹ שֶׁל חֶרֶס:


The water contained in a trough in a stone does not disqualify a mikveh, because the trough is not a k'li. If, however, one joins a k'li to a stone, water contained in it disqualifies a mikveh, even if it was joined with cement. If one made a hole from below or one as wide as the mouthpiece of a drinking pouch in the trough from the side, it is acceptable and water contained within it does not disqualify a mikveh.


הַשֹּׁקֶת שֶׁבַּסֶּלַע אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵל אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ כְּלִי. אֲבָל כְּלִי שֶׁחִבְּרוֹ בַּסֶּלַע פּוֹסֵל אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחִבְּרוֹ בְּסִיד. נִקְּבָה מִלְּמַטָּה אוֹ מִן הַצַּד כִּשְׁפוֹפֶרֶת הַנּוֹד כְּשֵׁרָה וְאֵינָהּ פּוֹסֶלֶת אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה:


When a person takes a large barrel or a large kneading trough and makes a hole large enough to purify it from susceptibility to impurity, and then permanently affixes it within the ground, making it into a mikveh, it is acceptable. Similarly, if one plugged the hole with lime and with building materials, this does not disqualify the barrel and the water collected within forms an acceptable mikveh. If one plugged it with lime or with gypsum, the water it contains makes a mikveh unacceptable, unless it was permanently affixed to the earth or made part of a building. If it was taken and placed on the surface of the earth or on lime and mud was smeared on its sides, it is acceptable to use as a mikveh.


הַלּוֹקֵחַ כְּלִי גָּדוֹל כְּגוֹן חָבִית גְּדוֹלָה אוֹ עֲרֵבָה גְּדוֹלָה וְנִקְּבוֹ נֶקֶב הַמְטַהֲרוֹ וּקְבָעוֹ בָּאָרֶץ וַעֲשָׂאָהוּ מִקְוֶה הֲרֵי זֶה כָּשֵׁר. וְכֵן אִם פָּקַק אֶת הַנֶּקֶב בְּסִיד וּבְבִנְיָן אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵל וְהַמַּיִם הַנִּקְוִין בְּתוֹכוֹ מִקְוֶה כָּשֵׁר. סְתָמוֹ בְּסִיד אוֹ בְּגִפְּסִיס עֲדַיִן הוּא פּוֹסֵל אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה עַד שֶׁיִּקְבָּעֶנּוּ בָּאָרֶץ אוֹ יִבְנֶה. וְאִם הוֹלִיכוֹ עַל גַּב הָאָרֶץ וְעַל גַּב הַסִּיד וּמֵרֵחַ בְּטִיט מִן הַצְּדָדִין הֲרֵי זֶה כָּשֵׁר:


The following laws apply when one places a tablet under a drainage pipe and water flows over it into a mikveh. If the tablet had borders on its sides, this water would disqualify the mikveh. If not, it does not disqualify it. If one stood the tablet upright on its point, at an angle under the drainage pipe to wash it, even though it has borders, it does not disqualify the water, because in this position, it was not intended to serve as a receptacle.


הַמַּנִּיחַ טַבְלָא תַּחַת הַצִּנּוֹר וַהֲרֵי הַמַּיִם נִמְשָׁכִין עַל הַטַּבְלָא וְיוֹרְדִין לַמִּקְוֶה אִם הָיָה לַטַּבְלָא דֹּפֶן הֲרֵי זוֹ פּוֹסֶלֶת אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה וְאִם לָאו אֵינָהּ פּוֹסֶלֶת. זְקָפָהּ תַּחַת הַצִּנּוֹר כְּדֵי לַהֲדִיחָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ דֹּפֶן אֵינָהּ פּוֹסֶלֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא עֲשָׂאָהּ לְקַבֵּל:


The following laws apply when one carves a place in a pipe for pebbles that are carried with the water to collect so that they will not descend together with the water. If it was a wooden pipe and he carved out even the slightest hollow, it disqualifies the water, because all of the water passes through a utensil that was made to serve as a receptacle. This applies even if one permanently affixed the pipe to the earth after he carved out the hollow. The rationale is that the pipe had already been considered as a k'li when it was unattached. If, by contrast, it was permanently affixed to the earth and then he carved out the receptacle, it does not disqualify the water. If the pipe was made from earthenware, it does not disqualify the water unless the hollow is large enough to contain a revi'it.

Even though the hollow in the pipe becomes filled with the pebbles that dribble into it, it remains a disqualifying factor. It is not considered as having been stopped up. If earth or pebbles descended into the hollow and stopped it up, because they were compressed there, the water is acceptable.


הַחוֹטֵט בְּצִנּוֹר מָקוֹם לְקַבֵּל בּוֹ הַצְּרוֹרוֹת הַמִּתְגַּלְגְּלִין בַּמַּיִם כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יֵרְדוּ עִם הַמַּיִם אִם הָיָה הַצִּנּוֹר שֶׁל עֵץ וְחָפַר בּוֹ כָּל שֶׁהוּא פּוֹסֵל שֶׁהֲרֵי כָּל הַמַּיִם שֶׁיּוֹרְדִין בָּאִין מִתּוֹךְ כְּלִי שֶׁנַּעֲשָׂה לְקַבָּלָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ שֶׁקְּבָעוֹ אַחַר שֶׁחָקַק בּוֹ הוֹאִיל וְהָיָה עָלָיו תּוֹרַת כְּלִי כְּשֶׁהָיָה תָּלוּשׁ. אֲבָל אִם קְבָעוֹ בַּקַּרְקַע וְאַחַר כָּךְ חָקַק בּוֹ בֵּית קִבּוּל אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵל. וְאִם הָיָה צִנּוֹר שֶׁל חֶרֶס אֵינוֹ פּוֹסֵל עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה בַּחֲקָק כְּדֵי לְקַבֵּל רְבִיעִית. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּתְמַלֵּא הַמָּקוֹם הֶחָקוּק שֶׁבַּצִּנּוֹר צְרוֹרוֹת הַמִּתְחַלְחֲלִין בְּתוֹכוֹ הֲרֵי הוּא בְּפִסּוּלוֹ וְאֵינוֹ כְּסָתוּם. יָרַד לְתוֹךְ הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁחָקַק עָפָר אוֹ צְרוֹרוֹת וּסְתָמוֹ וְנִכְבַּשׁ הֲרֵי זֶה כָּשֵׁר:


When either a sponge or a bucket that contains three lugim of drawn water falls into a mikveh, it does not disqualify it. For it was said only that three lugim of water that fall into it disqualify it, not a container into which drawn water had fallen.


הַסְּפוֹג וְהַדְּלִי שֶׁהָיוּ בָּהֶן שְׁלֹשֶׁת לוֹגִין מַיִם וְנָפְלוּ לַמִּקְוֶה לֹא פְּסָלוּהוּ שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ אֶלָּא שְׁלֹשֶׁת לוֹגִין שֶׁנָּפְלוּ לֹא כְּלִי שֶׁנָּפְלוּ בּוֹ מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין:


When there is a closet or a chest in the sea, one may not immerse in them unless they have a hole the size of the mouthpiece of a drinking pouch. If there was a sack or a basket in the sea, one may immerse in them. Similarly, if one places a sack or a basket under a drainage pipe, the water that flows through them does not disqualify a mikveh.


הַשִּׁדָּה וְהַתֵּבָה שֶׁבַּיָּם אֵין מַטְבִּילִין בָּהֶן אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיוּ נְקוּבִים כִּשְׁפוֹפֶרֶת הַנּוֹד. וְאִם הָיוּ שַׂק אוֹ קֻפָּה מַטְבִּילִין בָּהֶן. וְכֵן הַמַּנִּיחַ שַׂק אוֹ קֻפָּה תַּחַת הַצִּנּוֹר אֵין הַמַּיִם הַנִּמְשָׁכִין מֵהֶן פּוֹסְלִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה:


When one immersed keilim over an impure base for a container that was placed inside a mikveh, even though the edge of the base extends above the water, the keilim are purified from their impurity. If, however, one lifts them up from the water into the inner space of the base, the water that is on the keilim contracts impurity because it is within the inner space of the base. The water in turn imparts impurity to the keilim.

Similarly, if a spring emerges from under an earthenware oven and a person descended and immersed in it, he is pure, but his hands contract impurity from the inner space of the oven unless the water extends above the oven for at least the height of his hands. Thus when he immersed, his hands will be above the oven. The difficulties arise, because earthenware keilim do not regain purity through immersion in a mikveh, as we explained.


גִּסְטְרָא טְמֵאָה שֶׁהִיא בְּתוֹךְ הַמִּקְוֶה וּשְׂפָתָהּ לְמַעְלָה מִן הַמַּיִם וְהִטְבִּיל בָּהּ הַכֵּלִים טִהֲרוּ מִטֻּמְאָתָן. אֲבָל כְּשֶׁיַּגְבִּיהֵם מִן הַמַּיִם עַד שֶׁהֵן בָּאֲוִיר הַגִּסְטְרָא מִתְטַמֵּא הַמַּיִם שֶׁעַל גַּבָּן מֵאֲוִיר הַגִּסְטְרָא וְחוֹזֵר וּמְטַמֵּא אוֹתָן. וְכֵן מַעְיָן הַיּוֹצֵא מִתַּחַת הַתַּנּוּר הַטָּמֵא וְיָרַד וְטָבַל בְּתוֹכוֹ הוּא טָהוֹר וְיָדָיו טְמֵאוֹת מֵאֲוִיר הַתַּנּוּר אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיוּ הַמַּיִם לְמַעְלָה מִן הַתַּנּוּר כְּרוּם יָדָיו שֶׁנִּמְצָא כְּשֶׁטָּבַל יָדָיו לְמַעְלָה מִן הַתַּנּוּר שֶׁאֵין כְּלֵי חֶרֶס מִתְטַהֲרִין בְּמִקְוֶה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


When a barrel full of water falls into a sea, even into the Mediterranean Sea, one who immerses there is not considered to have immersed. The rationale is that it is impossible that there will not be three lugim of water from the barrel in one place. If a loaf of terumah falls there, it becomes impure. It contracts impurity due to contact with drawn water, for the water is standing there. If such a situation would take place in a river or the like, one would be able to immerse there, since it flows.


חָבִית מְלֵאָה מַיִם שֶׁנָּפְלָה לַיָּם אֲפִלּוּ לַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל הַטּוֹבֵל שָׁם לֹא עָלְתָה לוֹ טְבִילָה. אִי אֶפְשָׁר לִשְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד. וְכִכָּר שֶׁל תְּרוּמָה שֶׁנָּפַל לְשָׁם נִטְמָא בַּמַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּבִין שֶׁהֲרֵי הַמַּיִם עוֹמְדִין שָׁם. אֲבָל הַנְּהָרוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן הוֹאִיל וְהֵם נִמְשָׁכִין הֲרֵי זֶה טוֹבֵל שָׁם:


When there was a pool of drawn water next to a mikveh that contains less than 40 seah, even though it is touching the water of the mikveh, it does not disqualify it, because it is like a mikveh next to a mikveh. If the pool of the drawn water was in the middle of the mikveh, it disqualifies it.


מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין שֶׁהָיוּ בְּצַד הַמִּקְוֶה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַמַּיִם נוֹגְעִין בְּמֵי הַמִּקְוֶה לֹא פְּסָלוּהוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן כְּמִקְוֶה סָמוּךְ לְמִקְוֶה. הָיוּ הַשְּׁאוּבִין בָּאֶמְצַע פּוֹסְלִין אֶת הַמִּקְוֶה:


The following rule applies when there are two pools of water, one above the other, they are separated by a wall, and the upper one is filled with acceptable water, but the lower one is filled with drawn water, and there is a hole in the wall between the upper pool and the lower one. If there are three lugim of drawn water opposite the hole, the upper pool is disqualified. The rationale is that it is considered as if the hole was in the center of the upper pool, not at its side.


שְׁתֵּי בְּרֵכוֹת זוֹ לְמַעְלָה מִזּוֹ וְכֹתֶל בֵּינֵיהֶן וְהָעֶלְיוֹנָה מְלֵאָה מַיִם כְּשֵׁרִים וְהַתַּחְתּוֹנָה מְלֵאָה מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין וְנֶקֶב בַּכֹּתֶל שֶׁבֵּין הָעֶלְיוֹנָה לַתַּחְתּוֹנָה. אִם יֵשׁ כְּנֶגֶד הַנֶּקֶב שְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין מַיִם שְׁאוּבִין נִפְסְלָה הָעֶלְיוֹנָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַנֶּקֶב כְּאִלּוּ הוּא בְּאֶמְצַע הָעֶלְיוֹנָה לֹא בְּצִדָּהּ:


How large must the hole be for there to be three lugim there? Everything depends on the quantity of water contained in the pool. If the lower pool contains 40 se'ah, the hole must be 1/320th of the pool. If the pool contains 20 se'ah, the hole must be 1/160th of the pool. Continue calculating according to this ratio for other amounts. A se'ah is six kabbin, a kab is four lugim, and a log is the size of six eggs.


כַּמָּה יִהְיֶה בַּנֶּקֶב וְיִהְיֶה בּוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה לוֹגִין הַכּל לְפִי הַבְּרֵכָה. אִם הָיְתָה הַבְּרֵכָה הַתַּחְתּוֹנָה אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה צָרִיךְ שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַנֶּקֶב אֶחָד מִשְּׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת וְעֶשְׂרִים לַבְּרֵכָה. הָיְתָה עֶשְׂרִים סְאָה צָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת הַנֶּקֶב אֶחָד מִמֵּאָה וְשִׁשִּׁים לַבְּרֵכָה. וְצֵא וַחֲשֹׁב לְפִי חֶשְׁבּוֹן זֶה. שֶׁהַסְּאָה שִׁשָּׁה קַבִּין וְהַקַּב אַרְבָּעָה לוֹגִין וְהַלּוֹג שֵׁשׁ בֵּיצִים:


The following laws apply when there are three mikveot, each containing exactly 20 se'ah, next to each other, and one [of those on the side contained drawn water. If three people descended and immersed themselves, causing all the water to rise and mix on the floor outside the mikveot, both the mikveot and the people who immersed themselves are pure. The rationale is that the entire amount totaled 60 se'ah, of which 40 se'ah of acceptable water came from two pools located next to each other. And drawn water does not disqualify a mikveh that contains 40 se'ah, as we explained.

If the pool containing drawn water was in the middle and they descended and immersed themselves, causing the water to rise and the mikveot thus to become joined, the status of the mikveot is the same as it was previously and those who immersed themselves are impure as they were previously. The rationale is that 40 se'ah of acceptable water did not mix together, because their pools were not located next to each other, for the pool of drawn water separates between them.


שְׁלֹשָׁה מִקְוָאוֹת זֶה בְּצַד זֶה בְּכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶן עֶשְׂרִים סְאָה מְכֻוָּנוֹת וְאֶחָד מֵהֶן שָׁאוּב מִן הַצַּד וְיָרְדוּ שְׁלֹשָׁה וְטָבְלוּ שְׁלָשְׁתָּן וְנֶעֶרְמוּ הַמַּיִם מִכֻּלָּן וְנִתְעָרְבוּ מִלְּמַעְלָה. הַמִּקְוָאוֹת כְּשֵׁרִים וְהַטּוֹבְלִים טְהוֹרִים שֶׁהֲרֵי נַעֲשָׂה הַכּל שִׁשִּׁים סְאָה מֵהֶן אַרְבָּעִים כְּשֵׁרִים זֶה בְּצַד זֶה וְאֵין הַמַּיִם הַשְּׁאוּבִים פּוֹסְלִין מִקְוֶה שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. הָיָה הַשָּׁאוּב בְּאֶמְצַע וְיָרְדוּ וְטָבְלוּ בָּהֶן וְנֶעֶרְמוּ הַמַּיִם וְנִתְעָרְבוּ הַמִּקְוָאוֹת. הֲרֵי הַמִּקְוָאוֹת כְּשֶׁהָיוּ וְהַטּוֹבְלִין טְמֵאִין כְּשֶׁהָיוּ שֶׁהֲרֵי לֹא נִתְעָרְבוּ אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה הַכְּשֵׁרִין לְפִי שֶׁאֵינָן זֶה בְּצַד זֶה שֶׁהַשָּׁאוּב מַבְדִּיל בֵּינֵיהֶן:

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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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