With regard to the earth of the Diaspora: our Sages instituted a decree regarding a clod of earth - that it be considered like a beit hapras. They would only deem impure one who walked on it or touched or carried its earth. Afterwards, they decreed that even its space imparts impurity, even if one did not touch or carry its earth. Instead, even when one merely inserted his head and the majority of his body into the space of the Diaspora, he becomes impure. Similarly, if the open space of an earthenware implement was taken into the Diaspora or the larger portion of other types of implements were taken into the open space of the Diaspora, they contract impurity.


אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם בַּתְּחִלָּה גָּזְרוּ עַל גּוּשָׁהּ בִּלְבַד כְּבֵית הַפְּרָס ולֹא הָיוּ מְטַמְּאִים אֶלָּא הַמְהַלֵּךְ בָּהּ אוֹ נוֹגֵעַ אוֹ נוֹשֵׂא מֵעֲפָרָהּ. חָזְרוּ וְגָזְרוּ עַל אֲוִירָהּ שֶׁיְּטַמֵּא וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נָגַע וְלֹא נָשָׂא אֶלָּא כֵּיוָן שֶׁהִכְנִיס רֹאשׁוֹ וְרֻבּוֹ לַאֲוִיר אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם נִטְמָא. וְכֵן כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ שֶׁהִכְנִיס אֲוִירוֹ לְאֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם וּשְׁאָר כֵּלִים שֶׁהִכְנִיס רֻבָּם לַאֲוִיר אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם נִטְמְאוּ:


The impurity of the open space of the Diaspora is not as severe as the impurity of its earth, but instead, is more lenient. Because of the impurity of its earth, terumot and sacrificial foods are burnt and one who carries such earth contracts the impurity that lasts seven days and the ashes of the Red Heifer must be sprinkled on him on the third and seventh days. When, by contrast, one contracts impurity through entering its open space, it is not required that the ashes of the Red Heifer be sprinkled on him on the third and seventh days, merely that he immerse himself in a mikveh and wait until sunset. Similarly, the ruling concerning terumot and sacrificial foods that contracted impurity through entering its open space is held in abeyance; they are not eaten, nor are they burnt.


טֻמְאַת אֲוִיר אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם לֹא עָשׂוּ אוֹתָהּ כְּטֻמְאַת עֲפָרָהּ אֶלָּא קַלָּה הִיא מִמֶּנָּה. שֶׁעַל טֻמְאַת עֲפָרָהּ שׂוֹרְפִין תְּרוּמוֹת וְקָדָשִׁים. וְהַמִּתְטַמֵּא בְּגוּשָׁהּ טָמֵא טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה וְצָרִיךְ הַזָּיָה שְׁלִישִׁי וּשְׁבִיעִי. אֲבָל הַנִּטְמָא בַּאֲוִירָהּ אֵין צָרִיךְ הַזָּיָה שְׁלִישִׁי וּשְׁבִיעִי אֶלָּא טְבִילָה וְהַעֲרֵב שֶׁמֶשׁ. וְכֵן תְּרוּמָה וְקָדָשִׁים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ מֵחֲמַת אֲוִירָהּ תּוֹלִין לֹא אוֹכְלִין וְלֹא שׂוֹרְפִין:


The earth of the Diaspora and the earth of a beit hapras impart impurity when touched or carried, as explained.

What is the measure that imparts impurity? The amount of earth necessary for a seal for sacks. This is the size of the large ball of a sack-maker's needle.

The following rules apply when the earth of the Diaspora or the earth of a beit hapras comes attached to a vegetable. If there is an amount the size of the seal of a sack in one place, it imparts impurity. If not, the various pieces of earth are not combined. The rationale is that our Sages instituted a decree only on a clod of earth in its natural state. An incident occurred when letters from the Diaspora were coming to the sons of the High Priests and there were about a se'ah or two of seals. They nevertheless did not show any concern regarding their impurity, because not one of the seals was as large as the seal of a sack.


עֲפַר אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם וַעֲפַר בֵּית הַפְּרָס מְטַמְּאִין בְּמַגָּע וּבְמַשָּׂא כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְכַמָּה שִׁעוּרָן כְּחוֹתַם הַמַּרְצוּפִין וְהוּא כְּפִיקָה גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁל סַקָּאִין. עֲפַר בֵּית הַפְּרָס וַעֲפַר חוּצָה לָאָרֶץ שֶׁבָּא בְּיָרָק. אִם יֵשׁ בְּמָקוֹם אֶחָד כְּחוֹתַם הַמַּרְצוּפִין מְטַמֵּא וְאִם לָאו אֵינוֹ מִצְטָרֵף. שֶׁלֹּא גָּזְרוּ אֶלָּא עַל גּוּשׁ כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ. מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁהָיוּ אִגְּרוֹת בָּאוֹת מִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ לִבְנֵי כֹּהֲנִים גְּדוֹלִים וְהָיוּ בָּהֶן כִּסְאָה וּכְסָאתַיִם חוֹתָמוֹת וְלֹא חָשׁוּ לָהֶן מִשּׁוּם טֻמְאָה לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה בְּחוֹתָם מֵהֶן כְּחוֹתַם הַמַּרְצוּפִין:


The following rules apply when a person brings ovens, cups, and other earthenware utensils from the Diaspora. Until they were fired in a kiln, they are considered impure because of the earth of the Diaspora. Once they were fired, they are considered impure like an earthenware utensil that became impure in the lands of the Diaspora. Such a utensil does not impart impurity to people or utensils, as we explained.


הַמֵּבִיא תַּנּוּרִים וּסְפָלִין וּכְלֵי חֶרֶשׂ מִחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ עַד שֶׁלֹּא הֻסְּקוּ טְמֵאִים מִשּׁוּם אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם. מִשֶּׁהֻסְּקוּ טְמֵאִים מִשּׁוּם כְּלֵי חֶרֶס שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּאֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא אָדָם וְכֵלִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


When a person is walking on mountains and boulders in the Diaspora, he contracts the impurity that lasts seven days. If he proceeds in the sea or in a place where the waves of the sea wash up, he is pure despite the decree against touching the earth of the Diaspora, but is impure because of the decree against entering its open space.

One who enters the Diaspora in a cabinet, chest, or closet which are carried in the air is impure, because a tent that is movable, is not considered as a tent.


הַמְהַלֵּךְ בְּאֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם בֶּהָרִים וּבַסְּלָעִים טָמֵא טֻמְאַת שִׁבְעָה. בַּיָּם וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁהַיָּם עוֹלֶה בְּזַעְפּוֹ טָהוֹר מִשּׁוּם נוֹגֵעַ בָּאָרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם וְטָמֵא מִשּׁוּם אֲוִירָה. הַנִּכְנָס לְאֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם בְּשִׁדָּה תֵּבָה וּמִגְדָּל הַפּוֹרְחִין בָּאֲוִיר טָמֵא. שֶׁאֹהֶל זָרוּק אֵינוֹ קָרוּי אֹהֶל:

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.


The earth of Syria is impure like the earth of the Diaspora. Its open space is pure, because a decree was not imposed concerning it.

Therefore if there was a portion of Syria next to Eretz Yisrael, one edge to the other edge without the earth of the Diaspora, a cemetery, or a beit hapras interposing between them, one could enter there in a state of purity in a cabinet, chest, or closet, provided he did not touch its earth. Similarly, if there is a portion of the earth of the Diaspora next to Eretz Yisrael and there is no place of impurity between them, it may be checked and is considered as pure.


סוּרְיָא עֲפָרָהּ טָמֵא כְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ וַאֲוִירָהּ טָהוֹר. לֹא גָּזְרוּ עַל אֲוִירָה. לְפִיכָךְ אִם הָיְתָה סְמוּכָה לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל שָׂפָה בְּשָׂפָה וְלֹא הָיָה מַפְסִיק בֵּינֵיהֶן לֹא אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם וְלֹא בֵּית הַקְּבָרוֹת וְלֹא בֵּית הַפְּרָס הֲרֵי זֶה יָכוֹל לְהִכָּנֵס לָהּ בְּטָהֳרָה בְּשִׁדָּה תֵּבָה וּמִגְדָּל וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יִגַּע בְּגוּשָׁהּ. וְכֵן אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם הַסְּמוּכָה לְאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵין בֵּינֵיהֶן מָקוֹם טָמֵא הֲרֵי זוֹ נִבְדֶּקֶת וּטְהוֹרָה:


A place where gentiles dwelled in Eretz Yisrael is considered impure like the earth of the Diaspora until it is inspected, lest a miscarried fetus have been buried there.


מָקוֹם שֶׁשָּׁכְנוּ בּוֹ עַכּוּ''ם בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל הֲרֵי זֶה מְטַמֵּא כְּאֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם עַד שֶׁיִּבָּדֵק שֶׁמָּא קָבְרוּ בּוֹ נְפָלִים:


The ruling concerning terumah and sacrificial food that became impure because they were brought into a dwelling of the gentiles should be held in abeyance; they are not eaten, nor are they burnt.

How long must gentiles stay in a dwelling for it to require an inspection? 40 days, sufficient time for a woman to become pregnant and miscarry a fetus that conveys impurity. Even if a gentile man without a wife stays in a dwelling for 40 days, it is impure until it is inspected. This is a decree, instituted because of a dwelling where there is a woman. Even a servant, a eunuch, a woman, or a minor of nine years of age causes a dwelling to be considered as "the dwelling of a gentile."


וּתְרוּמָה וְקָדָשִׁים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ מֵחֲמַת מְדוֹר הָעַכּוּ''ם תּוֹלִין לֹא אוֹכְלִין וְלֹא שׂוֹרְפִין. וְכַמָּה יִשְׁהוּ בַּמָּקוֹם וְיִהְיֶה צָרִיךְ בְּדִיקָה. אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּתְעַבֵּר אִשָּׁה וְתַפִּיל נֵפֶל שֶׁמְּטַמֵּא. אֲפִלּוּ אִישׁ שֶׁאֵין עִמּוֹ אִשָּׁה אִם שָׁהָה אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם מְדוֹרוֹ טָמֵא עַד שֶׁיִּבָּדֵק. גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם מָדוֹר שֶׁתִּהְיֶה בּוֹ אִשָּׁה. אֲפִלּוּ עֶבֶד וְסָרִיס אוֹ אִשָּׁה אוֹ קָטָן בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד עוֹשֶׂה מְדוֹר הָעַכּוּ''ם:


If there was a Jewish servant, woman, or minor who was nine years old in a dwelling of the gentiles, guarding so that a fetus would not be buried there, an inspection is not required.

What do they inspect? The deep septic drains and the cisterns of squalid water. Wherever a pig or a mole could drag out the fetus, an inspection is not necessary, because it can be assumed that they will drag it out.

When a dwelling of the gentiles is destroyed, it is still considered impure, until it is inspected.


מְדוֹר עַכּוּ''ם שֶׁהָיָה בּוֹ עֶבֶד (מִיִּשְׂרָאֵל) אוֹ אִשָּׁה אוֹ קָטָן בֶּן תֵּשַׁע מְשַׁמְּרִין אוֹתוֹ שֶׁלֹּא יִקְבְּרוּ שָׁם נֵפֶל אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ בְּדִיקָה. וְאֶת מַה הֵן בּוֹדְקִין אֶת הַבִּיבִין הָעֲמֻקִּים וְאֶת הַמַּיִם הַסְּרוּחִין. וְכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁהַחֲזִיר וְהַחֻלְדָּה יְכוֹלִין לְהוֹלִיךְ מִשָּׁם הַנֵּפֶל אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ בְּדִיקָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן גּוֹרְרִין אוֹתָם מִשָּׁם. מְדוֹר הָעַכּוּ''ם שֶׁחָרַב הֲרֵי הוּא בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּבָּדֵק:


A covered walkway is not included in the decree concerning the dwellings of the gentiles because it is open and there is no place to hide a miscarried fetus.

There are ten places where the decree concerning the dwellings of the gentiles does not apply. Since these are not permanent dwellings, a decree considering them impure was not instituted with regard to them. These are the ten places: a) Arab tents, b) sukkot, c) rubber tents, d) storage areas, e) roofed areas above pillars without walls; people would dwell there in the summer, f) guard houses, g) the open space of a courtyard, h) a bathhouse, i) a workshop where arrows and other weapons are fashioned, and j) soldiers' barracks.


הַאִיצְטְוַונִיוֹת אֵין בָּהֶן מִשּׁוּם מְדוֹר עַכּוּ''ם לְפִי שֶׁהִיא גְּלוּיָה וְאֵין בָּהּ מָקוֹם לְהַטְמִין הַנְּפָלִים. וַעֲשָׂרָה מְקוֹמוֹת אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם מְדוֹר עַכּוּ''ם לְפִי שֶׁאֵין דִּירָתָן קְבוּעָה לֹא גָּזְרוּ עֲלֵיהֶן טֻמְאָה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הָעֲשָׂרָה מְקוֹמוֹת אָהֳלֵי הָעַרְבִיִּים וְהַסֻּכּוֹת וְהַצְּרִיפִין וְהַבֻּרְגָּנִין וְהַתִּקְרָה שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי הָעַמּוּדִים וְאֵין לָהּ דְּפָנוֹת וְהֵן בָּתֵּי הַקַּיִץ וּבֵית שַׁעַר וַאֲוִירָהּ שֶׁל חָצֵר וְהַמֶּרְחָץ וּמָקוֹם שֶׁעוֹשִׂין בּוֹ הַחִצִּים וּכְלֵי הַמִּלְחָמָה וּמְקוֹם הַלִּגְיוֹנוֹת:


The decree applying to the dwellings of gentiles does not pertain to a store unless a gentile dwells there. When a courtyard is impure as a result of the decree applying to the dwelling of gentiles, its gatehouse and the open space above it are impure like it. The decree applying to the dwellings of gentiles and the concept of a beit hapras do not apply in the Diaspora.


הַחֲנוּת אֵין בָּהּ מִשּׁוּם מְדוֹר עַכּוּ''ם אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה דָּר בְּתוֹכָהּ. חָצֵר שֶׁהִיא טְמֵאָה מִשּׁוּם מְדוֹר הָעַכּוּ''ם הֲרֵי בֵּית שַׁעַר שֶׁלָּהּ וַאֲוִירָהּ טְמֵאִין כָּמוֹהָ. וְאֵין מְדוֹר הָעַכּוּ''ם וְלֹא בֵּית הַפְּרָס בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ:


The decree concerning the impurity of the earth of the Diaspora does not apply to gentile cities enclosed within the boundaries of Eretz Yisrael, e.g., Sisis and its suburbs, Ashkelon and its suburbs, despite the fact that they are exempt from the tithes and from the obligations of the Sabbatical year,

Although the roadways taken by festive pilgrims from Babylon are surrounded by the earth of the Diaspora, they are presumed to be pure.


עֲיָרוֹת הַמֻּבְלָעוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. כְּגוֹן סִיסִית וְחַבְרוֹתֶיהָ. [אַשְׁקְלוֹן וְחַבְרוֹתֶיהָ]. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁפְּטוּרוֹת מִן הַמַּעַשְׂרוֹת וּמִן הַשְּׁבִיעִית אֵין בָּהֶן מִשּׁוּם אֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם. וְחֶזְקַת דְּרָכִים שֶׁל עוֹלֵי בָּבֶל טְהוֹרוֹת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מֻבְלָעוֹת בְּאֶרֶץ הָעַכּוּ''ם: