When one makes keilim out of the bones of a fish or its skin, they are not susceptible to ritual impurity, neither according to Scriptural Law, nor according to Rabbinic Law. Similar concepts apply with regard to the green moss that appears at the surface of the water and the like. For all entities that come from the sea are pure, as will be explained in Hilchot Keilim. Accordingly, when one makes a tent from the skin of a fish or from moss growing in the sea, the tent itself is not susceptible to impurity although it conveys impurity to everything under it like other tents.


עַצְמוֹת הַדָּג וְעוֹרוֹ הָעוֹשֶׂה מֵהֶן כֵּלִים אֵינָן מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה כְּלָל לֹא מִדִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה וְלֹא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְכֵן יְרוֹקָה שֶׁעַל פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ שֶׁכָּל מַה שֶּׁבַּיָּם טָהוֹר כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת כֵּלִים. לְפִיכָךְ הָעוֹשֶׂה אֹהֶל מֵעוֹר הַדָּג אוֹ מִצֶּמֶר שֶׁגָּדֵל בַּיָּם. אֵין עַצְמוֹ שֶׁל אֹהֶל זֶה מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמֵּבִיא אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה לְכָל אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה תַּחְתָּיו כִּשְׁאָר אֹהָלִים:


Keilim made from animal turds, stone implements, or implements made from earth (raw dirt), are not susceptible to ritual impurity, neither according to Scriptural Law, nor according to Rabbinic Law. This applies to the impurity stemming from a human corpse and to other types of impurity.

Similarly, containers that are made to be left in place semi-permanently, e.g., a chest, a cabinet, a container shaped like a beehive which can contain 40 se'ah of a liquid and have a base are not susceptible to ritual impurity, neither according to Scriptural Law, nor according to Rabbinic Law. They are called: oversized wooden containers.


כְּלֵי גְּלָלִים וּכְלֵי אֲבָנִים וּכְלֵי אֲדָמָה אֵינָן מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה לֹא מִדִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה וְלֹא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים בֵּין טֻמְאַת מֵת בֵּין שְׁאָר הַטֻּמְאוֹת. וְכֵן כְּלִי עֵץ הֶעָשׂוּי לְנַחַת כְּגוֹן הַתֵּבָה וְהַמִּגְדָּל וְהַכַּוֶּרֶת שֶׁהֵן מַחֲזִיקִין אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה בְּלַח וְיִהְיֶה לָהֶם שׁוּלַיִם אֵינָן מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה כְּלָל לֹא מִדִּבְרֵי תּוֹרָה וְלֹא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַנִּקְרָאִין כְּלִי עֵץ הַבָּא בְּמִדָּה:


When implements are made from wood, those which are flat are pure, while those that can serve as a container are susceptible to impurity. Similarly, with regard to earthenware implements: those which are flat are pure, while those that can serve as a container are susceptible to impurity. The latter are susceptible to impurity only from their inner space or when moved by a zav. Even when a corpse touches the outer surface of an earthenware container, the container does not contract impurity. If any of the sources of impurity enter the inner space of such a container, they impart impurity even though they do not touch the container.

If an earthenware container was in the same tent as a corpse, it contracts impurity, because the impurity enters its inner space. If it had a cover fastened to it, it and everything in it is pure, as stated in the Torah, for impurity enters it only through its opening and when it is moved by a zav. In the latter instance, it is impure, because he is considered to have touched it in its entirety.


כְּלֵי עֵץ פְּשׁוּטֵיהֶם טְהוֹרִים מְקַבְּלֵיהֶם טְמֵאִים. כְּלֵי חֶרֶשׂ פְּשׁוּטֵיהֶן טְהוֹרִין וּמְקַבְּלֵיהֶן טְמֵאִין וְאֵינָן טְמֵאִין אֶלָּא מֵאֲוִירָן אוֹ בְּהֶסֵּט הַזָּב. אֲפִלּוּ נָגַע כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ בְּמֵת מִגַּבּוֹ אֵינוֹ מִתְטַמֵּא. וְאִם נִכְנְסָה טֻמְאָה מִן הַטֻּמְאוֹת בַּאֲוִירוֹ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָגְעָה בּוֹ נִטְמָא. הָיָה כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ עִם הַמֵּת בְּאֹהֶל נִטְמָא שֶׁהֲרֵי הַטֻּמְאָה נִכְנְסָה בַּאֲוִירוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה מֻקָּף צָמִיד פָּתִיל הוּא וּמַה שֶּׁבְּתוֹכוֹ טָהוֹר כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְפָּרֵשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה. שֶׁאֵין טֻמְאָה נִכְנְסָה לוֹ אֶלָּא מִפִּתְחוֹ וּבְהֶסֵּט הַזָּב. שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא כְּמִי שֶׁנָּגַע בְּכֻלּוֹ:


When one makes a gollel from an object that is not susceptible to impurity, e.g., he placed a stone, a vessel made from earth, an oversized wooden container, an earthenware container that was fastened closed, or a fish skin or its bone, on a grave, one who touches these articles contracts the impurity that lasts seven days, because he has touched a gollel. If they ceased serving as a gollel, or the corpse was removed from beneath them, they are pure,

Similarly, when an animal is tied down and made a gollel, anyone who touches it contracts the impurity that lasts seven days as long as it serves as a gollel. If the animal is released, it is pure, like all other animals. Similarly, if a barrel filled with liquids that was fastened closed was made into a gollel for a corpse, one who touches it contracts the impurity that lasts seven days. The barrel and the liquids are pure.


הָעוֹשֶׂה גּוֹלֵל מִדָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁהִנִּיחַ עַל גַּבֵּי הַקֶּבֶר אֶבֶן אוֹ כְּלִי אֲדָמָה אוֹ כְּלִי עֵץ הַבָּא בְּמִדָּה אוֹ כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ הַמֻּקָּף צָמִיד פָּתִיל אוֹ עוֹר הַדָּג וְעַצְמוֹ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהֶן טָמֵא טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה מִשּׁוּם נוֹגֵעַ בְּגוֹלֵל. וְאִם פֵּרְשׁוֹ מִלִּהְיוֹת גּוֹלֵל אוֹ שֶׁהֵסִיר אֶת הַמֵּת מִתַּחְתֵּיהֶן הֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין. וְכֵן בְּהֵמָה שֶׁכְּפָתָהּ וְעָשָׂה אוֹתָהּ גּוֹלֵל הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ טָמֵא טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהִיא גּוֹלֵל. הִתִּיר הַבְּהֵמָה הֲרֵי הִיא טְהוֹרָה כִּשְׁאָר הַבְּהֵמוֹת. וְכֵן חָבִית שֶׁהִיא מְלֵאָה מַשְׁקִין מֻקֶּפֶת צָמִיד פָּתִיל וְעָשָׂה אוֹתָהּ גּוֹלֵל לְמֵת הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ טָמֵא טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה וְהֶחָבִית וְהַמַּשְׁקִין טְהוֹרִין:


When a beam is used as a gollel for a grave, whether it is standing upright or lying on its side, only the portion that is above the opening of the grave becomes impure. One who touches the end of it which is lying outside the grave is pure.

If one made its head a gollel for a grave and it is standing over the grave like a tree, anyone who touches it within the four handbreadths that are immediately above the grave is impure because of the laws of gollel. If he touches it above four handbreadths, he is pure.

When does the above apply? When he will cut off the upper portions of the beam in the future. If he is not planning to cut them off, the beam is considered as a gollel in its entirety.


קוֹרָה שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהּ גּוֹלֵל לְקֶבֶר בֵּין עוֹמֶדֶת בֵּין מֻטָּה עַל צִדָּה אֵין טָמֵא אֶלָּא כְּנֶגֶד פֶּתַח הַקֶּבֶר בִּלְבַד. וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּקָּצֶה הַמֻּנָּח חוּץ לַקֶּבֶר טָהוֹר. עָשָׂה רֹאשָׁהּ גּוֹלֵל לְקֶבֶר וַהֲרֵי הִיא עוֹמֶדֶת עַל הַקֶּבֶר כְּמוֹ אִילָן הַנּוֹגֵעַ מִמֶּנָּה בְּאַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים סָמוּךְ לַקֶּבֶר טָמֵא מִשּׁוּם גּוֹלֵל וּמֵאַרְבָּעָה וּלְמַעְלָה טָהוֹר. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא עָתִיד לָקֹץ אוֹתָהּ. אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ עָתִיד לָקֹץ אוֹתָהּ כֻּלָּהּ גּוֹלֵל:

Mishneh Torah (Moznaim)

Featuring a modern English translation and a commentary that presents a digest of the centuries of Torah scholarship which have been devoted to the study of the Mishneh Torah by Maimonides.


If two large stones, four handbreadths by four handbreadths, were used as a gollel, when one stands over either of them, he is impure. If one of them was removed, one who stands over the other is pure. The rationale is that the impurity has a path through which to depart.


שְׁתֵּי אֲבָנִים גְּדוֹלוֹת שֶׁל אַרְבָּעָה אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים שֶׁעֲשָׂאָן גּוֹלֵל הַמַּאֲהִיל עַל גַּבֵּי שְׁתֵּיהֶן טָמֵא. נִטְּלָה אַחַת מֵהֶן הַמַּאֲהִיל עַל גַּבֵּי שְׁנִיָּה טָהוֹר מִפְּנֵי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לַטֻּמְאָה דֶּרֶךְ שֶׁתֵּצֵא בּוֹ:


When one uses a mound of small stones as a gollel for a grave, only the inner layer which covers the grave per se imparts impurity. One who touches the remainder of the stones is pure.


גַּל שֶׁל צְרוֹרוֹת שֶׁעֲשָׂאָהוּ גּוֹלֵל לְקֶבֶר אֵין טָמֵא אֶלָּא סֵדֶר הַפְּנִימִי שֶׁהוּא צָרְכּוֹ שֶׁל קֶבֶר. אֲבָל הַנּוֹגֵעַ בִּשְׁאָר הָאֲבָנִים טָהוֹר:


When a burial vault was hewed out of a large stone, the corpse was placed inside and then one covered it with a gollel, one who touches any portion of the stone is pure. One who touches the gollel is impure. To what can this be compared? To a large pit filled with corpses with a large stone covering its opening. Only the portion above the open space imparts impurity. If one builds a structure over it, it is considered as a closed grave which imparts impurity from all sides.

If a burial vault hewn into the stone was wide at its bottom and narrow at its top, and a corpse was placed within, one who touches it from below is pure, but one who touches it from above is impure. The rationale is that the side portions above are resting over the corpse and are considered like a gollel.

If a burial vault hewn into the stone was wide at its top and narrow at its bottom, one who touches any place on it is impure. If its sides are straight, one who touches it from the handbreadth next to the bottom of the grave and upwards, is impure. If he touches from that handbreadth and lower, he is pure. If one hollowed out a burial vault in a stone and inserted the corpse in it like a nail, one who touches anywhere on the stone's surface is pure, except for the opening through which the corpse was inserted.


אָרוֹן שֶׁהוּא חָקוּק בַּסֶּלַע וְהִנִּיחוּ בּוֹ הַמֵּת וְכִסּוּהוּ בְּגוֹלֵל הַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּסֶּלַע בְּכָל מָקוֹם טָהוֹר וְהַנּוֹגֵעַ בַּגּוֹלֵל טָמֵא. לְמָה זֶה דּוֹמֶה לְבוֹר גָּדוֹל מָלֵא מֵתִים וְאֶבֶן גְּדוֹלָה עַל פִּיהָ שֶׁאֵין טָמֵא אֶלָּא כְּנֶגֶד חֲלָלָהּ. וְאִם בָּנָה נֶפֶשׁ עַל גַּבָּהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּקֶבֶר סָתוּם וּמְטַמֵּא מִכָּל סְבִיבָיו. הָיְתָה הָאָרוֹן הַחֲקוּקָה בַּסֶּלַע רְחָבָה מִלְּמַטָּה וְצָרָה מִלְּמַעְלָה וְהַמֵּת בְּתוֹכָהּ הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ מִלְּמַטָּן טָהוֹר וּמִלְּמַעְלָן טָמֵא שֶׁהֲרֵי הַצְּדָדִין מִלְּמַעְלָה סָמְכוּ עַל גַּבֵּי הַמֵּת וְנַעֲשׂוּ כְּגוֹלֵל. הָיְתָה הָאָרוֹן רְחָבָה מִלְּמַעְלָה וְצָרָה מִלְּמַטָּה הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ מִכָּל מָקוֹם טָמֵא. הָיְתָה שָׁוָה הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ מִטֶּפַח הַסָּמוּךְ לְקַרְקָעִיתָהּ וּלְמַעְלָה טָמֵא מִטֶּפַח וּלְמַטָּה טָהוֹר. נִקֵּב אָרוֹן בַּסֶּלַע וְהִכְנִיס הַמֵּת בְּתוֹכָהּ כְּמוֹ נֶגֶר הַנּוֹגֵעַ בָּהּ מִכָּל מָקוֹם טָהוֹר חוּץ מִמְּקוֹם פִּתְחָהּ:


The following laws apply to a cave in which a grave is located and to the courtyard in front of the cave. When the courtyard is open, one standing in it is pure as long as he does not touch the lintel of the cave. Different laws apply when the courtyard is covered. If there is an area four handbreadths by four handbreadths or more that is open at the side of the cave, anyone who enters the courtyard is pure. If the open space was less than four handbreadths by four handbreadths, one who enters the courtyard is impure, even though he did not touch the entrance to the cave.


מְעָרָה שֶׁהַקֶּבֶר בְּתוֹכָהּ וְחָצֵר לִפְנֵי הַמְּעָרָה. בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֶחָצֵר לָאֲוִיר הָעוֹמֵד לְתוֹכָהּ טָהוֹר וּבִלְבַד שֶׁלֹּא יִגַּע בְּמַשְׁקוֹף הַמְּעָרָה. וּבִזְמַן שֶׁהֶחָצֵר מְקֹרָה אִם הָיָה בָּהּ [מְגֻלֶּה בְּצַד הַמְּעָרָה] אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים עַל אַרְבָּעָה טְפָחִים אוֹ יֶתֶר הַנִּכְנָס לְשָׁם טָהוֹר. הָיְתָה פְּחוּתָה מֵאַרְבָּעָה עַל אַרְבָּעָה הַנִּכְנָס לְשָׁם טָמֵא וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע בְּפֶתַח הַמְּעָרָה: