1

The following laws apply when a functional window was closed entirely or closed to the extent that less than a handbreadth by a handbreadth remained. If it was closed with an entity that intervenes in the face of ritual impurity it is considered as closed, provided it is an entity that the owner does not intend to move.

Therefore if he closed a window or reduced its size with foods that were not made susceptible to contract ritual impurity, they do not intervene. Even though they are not susceptible to ritual impurity and they are pure, his intent is to move them. If they were rotting, they intervene. Similarly, straw that is rotting intervenes. If it is not rotting, it does not intervene, because we assume that the owner intends to move it.

When grain grew and blocked a window or reduced its size, it does not intervene, because the owner's intent is to remove it, lest it damage the wall. If its roots were distant from the wall, but the heads of the stalks grew on an incline and blocked the window, it intervenes. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

א

חַלוֹן תַּשְׁמִישׁ שֶׁסְּתָמָהּ כֻּלָּהּ אוֹ סְתָמָהּ עַד שֶׁנִּשְׁאַר בָּהּ פָּחוֹת מִטֶּפַח אִם בְּדָבָר הַחוֹצֵץ בִּפְנֵי הַטֻּמְאָה סָתַם הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹצֵץ וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתוֹ. לְפִיכָךְ אִם סָתַם הַחַלּוֹן אוֹ מִעֲטוֹ בָּאֳכָלִין שֶׁאֵינָן מֻכְשָׁרִין אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין שֶׁאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה וַהֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין דַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתָן. הָיוּ סְרוּחִין הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹצְצִין. וְכֵן תֶּבֶן סָרוּחַ חוֹצֵץ וְשֶׁאֵינוֹ סָרוּחַ אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתוֹ. תְּבוּאָה שֶׁגָּדְלָה וְסָתְמָה אֶת הַחַלּוֹן אוֹ מִעֲטַתּוּ אֵינָהּ חוֹצֶצֶת לְפִי שֶׁדַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתָהּ שֶׁמָּא תַּפְסִיד הַכֹּתֶל. הָיָה עִקָּרָהּ רָחוֹק מִן הַכֹּתֶל וְנָטָה רֹאשׁוֹ וְסָתַם הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹצֶצֶת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

2

The following rules apply when a barrel that is filled with rotting dried figs which were never made susceptible to ritual impurity and are not fit to be eaten were placed in a window and the opening of the window faced a source of impurity. The barrel itself is impure, In such a situation, and similarly, if a container is filled with rotten straw that is not fit to be used as animal fodder, for mortar for building, or for kindling that was placed in the window: when the figs or the straw would be able to remain standing independently were their container to be removed, they would be considered as intervening. If not, they do not intervene.

The following entities all reduce the size of a window:

a) bitter grasses that are not fit for animal fodder,

b) patches that are not three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths, that are filthy and firm, so that they are not fit to clean blood off a scratch,

c) a limb or flesh that was hanging limply from an impure animal, provided the animal was lean and unfit to be sold to a gentile and tethered so that it will not flee,

d) an impure fowl resting in a window, provided it is one which scratches, so that it would not be fit for a child to play with,

e) a gentile who is bound, because he is one of the prisoners of the king whom another person may not release,

f) an infant born after an eighth month pregnancy on the Sabbath, because it is forbidden to move him,

g) salt that is mixed with thorns that is not fit to be used for food, nor for leatherworking, provided it is placed on a shard so that it will not damage the wall.

The rationale is that these substances are not susceptible to ritual impurity, nor does the owner intend to move them, because they are not fit for work. Similarly, when a Torah scroll was worn out and placed in a window, if the owner had decided that it would be entombed there, it reduces the size of the window. In contrast, snow, hail, sleet, ice, and water do not reduce the size of a window, for they are susceptible to ritual impurity.

ב

חָבִית שֶׁהִיא מְלֵאָה גְּרוֹגָרוֹת סְרוּחִין שֶׁאֵינָן מֻכְשָׁרִין וְלֹא רְאוּיִין לַאֲכִילָה וּמֻנַּחַת בְּחַלּוֹן וּפִי הֶחָבִית כְּלַפֵּי הַטֻּמְאָה שֶׁהֲרֵי הֶחָבִית טְמֵאָה. וְכֵן קֻפָּה שֶׁהִיא מְלֵאָה תֶּבֶן סָרוּחַ שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לֹא לְמַאֲכַל בְּהֵמָה וְלֹא לְטִיט וְלֹא לְהַסָּקָה וּמֻנַּחַת בְּחַלּוֹן. אִם יְכוֹלִין הַגְּרוֹגָרוֹת וְהַתֶּבֶן לַעֲמֹד בִּפְנֵי עַצְמָן כְּשֶׁיִּנָּטֵל הַכְּלִי שֶׁהֵן בּוֹ הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹצְצִין וְאִם לָאו אֵינָן חוֹצְצִין. עֲשָׂבִים הַמָּרִים שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לִבְהֵמָה. וּמַטְלָנִיּוֹת שֶׁאֵין בָּהֶן ג' עַל ג' שֶׁהָיוּ מְטֻנָּפִים וְקָשִׁים כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיוּ רְאוּיִין אֲפִלּוּ לְקַנֵּחַ הַדָּם מִן הַשְּׂרִיטָה. וְהָאֵיבָר וְהַבָּשָׂר הַמְדֻלְדָּלִים בִּבְהֵמָה טְמֵאָה וְהוּא שֶׁתִּהְיֶה כְּחוּשָׁה שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לְהִמָּכֵר לְעַכּוּ''ם וּקְשׁוּרָה כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּבְרַח. וְהָעוֹף טָמֵא שֶׁשָּׁכַן בַּחַלּוֹן וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מְשָׂרֵט שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינוֹ רָאוּי אֲפִלּוּ לְתִינוֹק לְשַׂחֵק בּוֹ. וְעַכּוּ''ם כָּפוּת שֶׁהוּא מֵאֲסוּרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ שֶׁאֵין אַחֵר יָכוֹל לְהַתִּירוֹ. וּבֶן שְׁמוֹנָה בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת שֶׁהֲרֵי אָסוּר לְטַלְטְלוֹ. וְהַמֶּלַח הַמְעֹרָב בְּקוֹצִים שֶׁאֵינוֹ רָאוּי לֹא לַאֲכִילָה וְלֹא לַעֲבָדָה וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מֻנָּח עַל הַחֶרֶשׂ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יַזִּיק אֶת הַכֹּתֶל. כָּל אֵלּוּ מְמַעֲטִין בַּחַלּוֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָן מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה וְאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתָן מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאֵינָן רְאוּיִין לִמְלָאכָה. וְכֵן סֵפֶר תּוֹרָה שֶׁבָּלָה וְהָיָה מֻנָּח בַּחַלּוֹן אִם גָּמַר שֶׁתִּהְיֶה שָׁם גְּנִיזָתוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה מְמַעֵט בְּחַלּוֹן. אֲבָל הַשֶּׁלֶג וְהַבָּרָד וְהַכְּפוֹר וְהַגְּלִיד וְהַמַּיִם אֵינָן מְמַעֲטִין בַּחַלּוֹן שֶׁהֲרֵי הֵן רְאוּיִין וּמְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה:

3

If one reduced the size of the handbreadth with less than an olive-sized portion of the flesh of a corpse, less than an olive-sized portion of the meat of a dead animal, a portion of bone from a corpse that is less than the size of a barley-corn, or a portion less than a lentil from a crawling animal, these substances intervene in the presence of ritual impurity. The rationale is that they are all pure and since they are not important to the owner, he does not intend to move them. Similarly, less than an egg-sized portion of food that was not made susceptible to ritual impurity is not important, he does not consider moving it. Hence, all of the above reduce the measure of the handbreadth.

ג

מִעֵט אֶת הַטֶּפַח בְּפָחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר הַמֵּת. בְּפָחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר נְבֵלָה. אוֹ בְּעֶצֶם פָּחוֹת מִכִּשְׂעוֹרָה מִן הַמֵּת. אוֹ בְּפָחוֹת מִכַּעֲדָשָׁה מִן הַשֶּׁרֶץ. הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ חוֹצְצִין שֶׁכָּל אֵלּוּ טְהוֹרִין וְאֵינָן חֲשׁוּבִין אֶצְלוֹ לְפִיכָךְ אֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתָן. וְכֵן פָּחוֹת מִכְּבֵיצָה אֳכָלִים שֶׁאֵינָן מֻכְשָׁרִין אֵינָן חֲשׁוּבִין אֶצְלוֹ וְאֵין דַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתָן וּלְפִיכָךְ מְמַעֲטִין אֶת הַטֶּפַח:

4

If one closed a window with an earthenware vessel whose opening faced outward, it intervenes. The rationale is that it does not contract impurity from its outer side and thus it is pure. Therefore this earthenware vessel must be disgusting and perforated so that it is not fit to be used for anything, not even bloodletting, so that the person will not think of moving it.

ד

סָתַם הַחַלּוֹן בִּכְלִי חֶרֶשׂ וְהָיָה פִּיו לַחוּץ הֲרֵי זֶה חוֹצֵץ לְפִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִטַּמֵּא מִגַּבּוֹ וַהֲרֵי הוּא טָהוֹר. וְצָרִיךְ לִהְיוֹת כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ זֶה מָאוּס וְנָקוּב עַד שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה רָאוּי אֲפִלּוּ לְהַקִּיז בּוֹ דָּם. כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּהְיֶה דַּעְתּוֹ לְפַנּוֹתוֹ:

5

The following laws apply if there was a corpse, a fourth of a kab of bones, or the like from bones that impart impurity through ohel in a house and the owner sought to reduce the size of the window of this house with a bone that is less than a barley-corn. Its size is not reduced, because the bone in the window is considered as part of the bones that generate impurity.

Similarly, if a corpse or an olive-sized portion from the flesh of a corpse was in a home and the owner sought to reduce the size of the window with a portion of flesh from a corpse, its size is not reduced, because the flesh is combined with the other flesh. Nevertheless, a bone that is less than the size of a barley-corn reduces the size of a window and thus prevents the spread of impurity brought about by an olive-sized portion of flesh. And less than an olive-sized portion of flesh reduces [the size of a window and thus prevents the spread of impurity brought about by] a fourth [of a kab] of bones or the like.

If one sought to reduce the size of a handbreadth with the woof and the warp of cloth that is afflicted with tzara'at or with a clod of earth from a beit hapras, its size is not reduced. The rationale is that an impure object does not intervene in the face of ritual impurity.

If one made a brick from the earth of a beit hapras, it is pure and can reduce the size of a window. Our Sages' decree concerned only a clod of earth in its natural state.

The following rules apply if the handbreadth was closed or reduced in size by a spider web. If its strands were substantial, it is considered as an intervening substance. If not, it does not intervene.

ה

הָיָה בַּבַּיִת מֵת אוֹ רֹבַע עֲצָמוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן מֵעֲצָמוֹת הַמְטַמְּאוֹת בְּאֹהֶל וּמִעֵט הַחַלּוֹן שֶׁל בַּיִת זֶה בְּעֶצֶם פָּחוֹת מִכִּשְׂעוֹרָה אֵינוֹ מִעוּט שֶׁהָעֶצֶם מִצְטָרֵף לָעֲצָמוֹת. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה שָׁם מֵת אוֹ כְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר הַמֵּת וּמִעֵט הַחַלּוֹן בְּפָחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת מִבְּשַׂר הַמֵּת אֵינוֹ מִעוּט לְפִי שֶׁהַבָּשָׂר מִצְטָרֵף לְבָשָׂר. אֲבָל עֶצֶם פָּחוֹת מִכִּשְׂעוֹרָה מְמַעֵט עַל יְדֵי כְּזַיִת בָּשָׂר. וּפָחוֹת מִכְּזַיִת בָּשָׂר מְמַעֵט עַל יְדֵי רֹבַע עֲצָמוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. מִעֵט אֶת הַטֶּפַח בִּשְׁתִי וָעֵרֶב הַמְנֻגָּעִין אוֹ בְּגוּשׁ מִבֵּית הַפְּרָס אֵינוֹ מִעוּט שֶׁדָּבָר טָמֵא אֵינוֹ חוֹצֵץ. עָשָׂה לְבֵנָה מֵעֲפַר בֵּית הַפְּרָס הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה וּמְמַעֶטֶת. שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ אֶלָּא גּוּשׁ כִּבְרִיָּתוֹ. נִסְתַּם הַטֶּפַח אוֹ נִתְמַעֵט בְּקוּרֵי עַכָּבִישׁ אִם הָיָה בָּהּ מַמָּשׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹצֶצֶת וְאִם אֵין בָּהּ מַמָּשׁ אֵינָהּ חוֹצֶצֶת: