At the beginning of this text, we explained that with regard to other types of impurity, if a person moves a source of impurity which imparts impurity when carried, he contracts impurity. If, however, the source of impurity caused a person to move, he does not contract impurity.


כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ בִּתְחִלַּת סֵפֶר זֶה שֶׁאִם הֵסִיט הָאָדָם אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה שֶׁהִיא מְטַמְּאָה בְּמַשָּׂא נִטְמָא מִשּׁוּם נוֹשֵׂא אֲבָל אִם הֵסִיטָה הַטֻּמְאָה אֶת הָאָדָם לֹא נִטְמָא:


None of the sources of impurity imparts impurity when moving a pure person or a pure k'li except a zav and the like. This is the extra dimension of impurity - that if a zav moves something that is pure, that entity contracts impurity - that exists with regard to a zav that has no comparison in the entire Torah.

What is implied? A beam was positioned on top of a fence and a pure person or pure keilim, even earthenware containers, were on one side and a zav moved the other side. Since the person or the keilim were moved by the zav, it is as if he touched them. They become impure and are considered as a primary derivative of impurity according to Scriptural Law. Needless to say, the person or the keilim become impure if the zav lifted them up. All the laws that apply to a zav also apply to a zavah, a nidah, and a woman after childbirth.

Thus it can be concluded that when a pure person moves a zav, he is impure because it is as if he carried a zav. And when a zav moves a pure entity, whether a person or a k'li, even an earthenware container, that entity is impure, because having the zav move other entities is equivalent to him touching them.


אֵין בְּכָל אֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת כֻּלָּן טֻמְאָה שֶׁאִם תָּסִיט אֶת הָאָדָם הַטָּהוֹר אוֹ אֶת הַכְּלִי הַטָּהוֹר תְּטַמֵּא אוֹתָן אֶלָּא הַזָּב אוֹ חֲבֵרָיו בִּלְבַד. וְזוֹ הִיא הַטֻּמְאָה הַיְתֵרָה בְּזָב שֶׁלֹּא מָצִינוּ כְּמוֹתָהּ בְּכָל הַתּוֹרָה שֶׁאִם הֵסִיט אֶת הַטְּהוֹרִין טְמֵאִין. כֵּיצַד. הָיְתָה קוֹרָה מֻטֶּלֶת עַל רֹאשׁ הַגָּדֵר וְאָדָם טָהוֹר אוֹ כֵּלִים אֲפִלּוּ כְּלִי חֶרֶס עַל קְצָתָהּ וְהֵנִיד הַזָּב אֶת הַקָּצֶה הַשֵּׁנִי הוֹאִיל וְנִתְנַדְנְדוּ מֵחֲמַת הַזָּב הֲרֵי זֶה כְּמִי שֶׁנָּגַע בָּהֶן וּטְמֵאִין וְנַעֲשׂוּ רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה דִּין תּוֹרָה. וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁאִם נָשָׂא הַזָּב אֶת הָאָדָם אוֹ אֶת הַכֵּלִים שֶׁטִּמְּאָן. וְאֶחָד זָב וְזָבָה נִדָּה וְיוֹלֶדֶת בְּכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ. הִנֵּה לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁהָאָדָם הַטָּהוֹר שֶׁהֵסִיט אֶת הַזָּב נִטְמָא מִשּׁוּם נוֹשֵׂא זָב. וְהַזָּב שֶׁהֵסִיט אֶת הַטָּהוֹר בֵּין אָדָם בֵּין כֵּלִים אֲפִלּוּ כְּלֵי חֶרֶס טְמֵאִין. מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהַנָדַת הַזָּב לַאֲחֵרִים כְּאִלּוּ נָגַע בָּהֶן:


There is a more stringent dimension to the impurity imparted by a zav moving an entity than to the impurity he imparts by touching it. If a zav touches an earthenware container that is firmly sealed closed, it is pure. If, however, the zav moves the article, it becomes impure.

A similar stringency applies to an earthenware container that is hollow like a ball for which an opening was not made, e.g., a double frying pan. If it was moved by a zav, it is impure, even though it would be considered pure were it to have been located in a tent containing a human corpse, for it is like an earthenware container that is sealed closed, for its opening is sealed. Similarly, when a needle is entirely embedded in a piece of wood or a ring is entirely embedded in a brick, if a zav moves the wood or the brick, the keilim embedded within become impure. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.


חֹמֶר בְּהֶסֵּט הַזָּב מִמַּגָּעוֹ שֶׁאִם נָגַע בִּכְלִי חֶרֶס הַמֻּקָּף צָמִיד פָּתִיל טָהוֹר וְאִם הֱסִיטוֹ טִמְּאָהוּ. וְכֵן כְּלִי חֶרֶס שֶׁהוּא נָבוּב כְּכַדּוּר וַעֲדַיִן לֹא נַעֲשָׂה לוֹ פֶּה כְּמוֹ אִלְפָּסִין אִירְנִיוֹת אִם הֱסִיטָן הַזָּב טְמֵאִים וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן טְהוֹרִין בְּאֹהֶל הַמֵּת שֶׁהֲרֵי הֵן כִּכְלִי חֶרֶס הַמֻּקָּף צָמִיד פָּתִיל שֶׁפִּתְחוֹ סָתוּם. וְכֵן מַחַט שֶׁהָיְתָה בְּלוּעָה בְּתוֹךְ הָעֵץ וְטַבַּעַת הַבְּלוּעָה בְּתוֹךְ הַלְּבֵנָה וְהֵסִיט הַזָּב אֶת הָעֵץ אוֹ הַלְּבֵנָה נִטְמְאוּ הַכֵּלִים הַבְּלוּעִים שֶׁבְּתוֹכָן. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:


When a zav inserts his hand or foot into the inner space of an earthenware container, since he did not touch the inside of the container, nor did he move it, it remains pure. The rationale is that a nidah or the like do not impart impurity through their limbs alone.


זָב שֶׁהִכְנִיס יָדוֹ אוֹ רַגְלוֹ לַאֲוִיר כְּלִי חֶרֶס הוֹאִיל וְלֹא נָגַע בּוֹ מִתּוֹכוֹ וְלֹא הֱנִידוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵין הַנִּדָּה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ מְטַמְּאִין לְאֵיבָרִים:


When a zav had a rod held fast in the folds of his skin and used the end of the rod to move a person or a k'li, he or it remain pure, as implied by Leviticus 15:11: "Anything that will be touched by the zav when his hands were not washed in water." According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that this verse is speaking about a zav moving entities. It uses the wording "touch" to teach the following concept: Just as touch involves one's hand and other parts of the body like one's hands, i.e., revealed limbs that can touch, so too, moving an object must be performed by a revealed portion of the body and not by a hidden portion.

If a rod was in the folds of the skin of a pure person and he moved a zav with it, he contracts impurity. For one who moves an impure object is considered as if he carried it. Hence, just as one who carries an article in the hidden portions of his body contracts impurity, as we stated at the beginning of this book, so too, one who moves an impure object with the hidden portions of his body contracts impurity.


זָב שֶׁהָיָה קָנֶה אָחוּז בְּתוֹךְ קֻמְטוֹ וְהֵסִיט וְהוֹצִיא בִּקְצֵה הַקָּנֶה אָדָם אוֹ כְּלִי הֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו יא) "וְכָל אֲשֶׁר יִגַּע בּוֹ הַזָּב וְיָדָיו לֹא שָׁטַף בַּמָּיִם" מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁהַכָּתוּב הַזֶה מְדַבֵּר בְּהֶסֵּט הַזָּב וְהוֹצִיאוֹ בִּלְשׁוֹן נְגִיעָה לוֹמַר מָה נְגִיעָה בְּיָדָיו וְהַדּוֹמֶה לְיָדָיו מִשְּׁאָר גּוּפוֹ הַגָּלוּי אֵצֶל הַנְּגִיעָה אַף הֶסֵּטוֹ עַד שֶׁיָּסִיט בְּגָלוּי שֶׁבְּגוּפוֹ לֹא שֶׁיָּסִיט בְּבֵית הַסְּתָרִים. הָיָה הַקָּנֶה בְּקֻמְטוֹ שֶׁל טָהוֹר וְהֵסִיט בּוֹ אֶת הַזָּב טָמֵא שֶׁהַמֵּסִיט אֶת הַטֻּמְאָה כְּנוֹשֵׂא אוֹתָהּ וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהַנּוֹשֵׂא בְּבֵית הַסְּתָרִים טָמֵא כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בִּתְחִלַּת סֵפֶר זֶה כָּךְ הַמֵּסִיט בְּבֵית הַסְּתָרִים טָמֵא:

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 following laws apply when a zav was on one side of a scale and a k'li made to lie on or ride on was placed on the other side. If the zav outweighed them, causing them to rise, they are considered as keilim which he touched, for he moved them. If they outweighed him, they contract the impurity associated with articles on which one lies and become a primary source of impurity. The rationale is that they lifted up the zav. Thus it is as if he stood on them.

If there were other keilim, foods, liquids, or another person on the other side of the scale, whether they outweighed the zav or he outweighed them, they are all considered a primary derivative of impurity.


הַזָּב בְּכַף מֹאזְנַיִם וּכְלִי הֶעָשׂוּי לְמִשְׁכָּב אוֹ לְמֶרְכָּב בְּכַף שְׁנִיָּה כְּנֶגְדּוֹ. כָּרַע הַזָּב הֲרֵי הֵן כְּכֵלִים שֶׁנָּגַע בָּהֶן שֶׁהֲרֵי הֱסִיטָן. כָּרְעוּ הֵן טְמֵאִין מִשּׁוּם מִשְׁכָּב וְנַעֲשׂוּ אָב שֶׁהֲרֵי נָשְׂאוּ הַזָּב וּכְאִלּוּ עָמַד עֲלֵיהֶן. הָיָה בְּכַף שְׁנִיָּה שְׁאָר הַכֵּלִים אוֹ אֳכָלִין וּמַשְׁקִין אוֹ אָדָם בֵּין שֶׁכָּרְעוּ הֵן בֵּין שֶׁכָּרַע הַזָּב כֻּלָּן רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה:


The following laws apply when a zav and a pure person:

a) were sitting on opposite ends of a bench or a board that moved up and down,

b) both climbed a tree that was not strong, i.e., its trunk is not thick enough for a cavity fit to contain a fourth of a kab to be hollowed out within,

c) ascended a booth that is not strong, i.e., one that can be bent over by a person's hand and when he does so, he presses it and moves it,

d) climbed an Egyptian ladder that was not affixed with nails, or

e) ascended a ramp, a beam, or a door which was not firmly held in place with mortar.

In all these instances, they are impure because the entity they are ascending will shake back and forth and it would be as if the zav is moving the pure person. If, however, they sat in a large boat which would not be affected by the movement of one person, on a board or a bench that was not shaky, or climbed a tree or a booth that was strong, or an Egyptian ladder that was nailed down, or a ramp, a beam, or a door that was held in place with mortar, the pure person remains pure, even if they ascended from the same side.


הַזָּב וְהַטָּהוֹר שֶׁיָּשְׁבוּ עַל הַסַּפְסָל אוֹ עַל הַנֶּסֶר בִּזְמַן שֶׁהֵן מַחְגִּירִין. אוֹ שֶׁעָלוּ בְּאִילָן שֶׁכֹּחוֹ רַע וְהוּא הָאִילָן שֶׁאֵין בָּעֳבִי עִקָּרוֹ כְּדֵי לָחֹק רֹבַע הַקַּב. אוֹ שֶׁעָלוּ בְּסֻכָּה שֶׁכֹּחָהּ רַע וְהוּא שֶׁנֶּחְבָּא בָּהּ וְדוֹחֵק אוֹתָהּ תָּזוּז בּוֹ. אוֹ שֶׁעָלוּ בְּסֻלָּם מִצְרִי שֶׁאֵינוֹ קָבוּעַ בְּמַסְמֵר. אוֹ שֶׁעָלוּ עַל הַכֶּבֶשׁ וְעַל הַקּוֹרָה וְעַל הַדֶּלֶת בִּזְמַן שֶׁאֵינָן מְחֻבָּרִין בְּטִיט. הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֵן מִתְנַדְנְדִין בָּהֶן וּכְאִלּוּ הֵסִיט הַזָּב אֶת הַטָּהוֹר שֶׁעִמּוֹ. אֲבָל אִם יָשְׁבוּ בִּסְפִינָה גְּדוֹלָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לְהָסִיט בָּאָדָם. אוֹ עַל הַנֶּסֶר אוֹ עַל הַסַּפְסָל בִּזְמַן שֶׁאֵינָם מַחְגִּירִין. אוֹ שֶׁעָלוּ בְּאִילָן וּבְסֻכָּה שֶׁכֹּחָן יָפֶה. אוֹ בְּסֻלָּם מִצְרִי הַקָּבוּעַ בְּמַסְמֵר. אוֹ בְּכֶבֶשׁ וּבְקוֹרָה וּבְדֶלֶת שֶׁמְּחֻבָּרִים בְּטִיט. אֲפִלּוּ עָלוּ מִצַּד אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר:


When both a zav and a pure person were closing or opening a door at the same time, the pure person remains pure. If one was closing the door and the other opening it, the pure person contracts impurity.

The following laws apply when one lifted the other out of a pit. If the impure person lifted out the pure person, he imparted impurity to him, because he moved him. If the pure person lifted up the impure person, he contracts impurity, because it is as if he carried the impure person, as we explained.


זָב וְטָהוֹר שֶׁהָיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם כְּאֶחָד מְגִיפִין אֶת הַדָּלֶת אוֹ פּוֹתְחִין הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. הָיָה אֶחָד מֵגִיף וְאֶחָד פּוֹתֵחַ נִטְמָא. הֶעֱלוּ זֶה אֶת זֶה מִן הַבּוֹר אִם הַטָּמֵא הֶעֱלָה אֶת הַטָּהוֹר טִמְּאָהוּ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהֱסִיטוֹ. וְאִם הַטָּהוֹר הֶעֱלָה אֶת הַטָּמֵא נִטְמָא בְּמַשָּׂאוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:


When a zav and a pure person where pulling ropes back and forth, one pulling in one direction and the other, in the other direction, the pure person contracts impurity. If they were weaving together, whether standing or sitting, or working a mill, unloading or loading a donkey, if their burden is heavy, the pure person contracts impurity. If it is light, he remains pure.


זָב וְטָהוֹר שֶׁהָיוּ מַפְשִׁילִין בַּחֲבָלִים אִם הָיָה זֶה מוֹשֵׁךְ אֵילָךְ וְזֶה מוֹשֵׁךְ אֵילָךְ נִטְמָא. הָיוּ אוֹרְגִין בֵּין בְּעוֹמְדִין בֵּין בְּיוֹשְׁבִין אוֹ טוֹחֲנִין אוֹ פּוֹרְקִין מִן הַחֲמוֹר אוֹ טוֹעֲנִין. בִּזְמַן שֶׁמַּשָּׂאָן כָּבֵד הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא וְאִם הָיָה מַשּׂוֹי קַל טָהוֹר:


When a pure person was administering lashes to a zav, he is pure. When a zav is administering lashes to a pure person, he is impure. The rationale is that that if the pure person will move, the impure person will fall. Thus he is leaning on him. Accordingly, even the clothes of the pure person contract impurity.


טָהוֹר שֶׁהָיָה מַכֶּה אֶת הַזָּב הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וְזָב שֶׁהִכָּה אֶת הַטָּהוֹר טִמְּאָהוּ. שֶׁאִם יִמָּשֵׁךְ הַטָּהוֹר וַהֲרֵי הַטָּמֵא נוֹפֵל וְנִמְצָא כְּאִלּוּ נִשְׁעָן עָלָיו. וּלְפִיכָךְ אַף בִּגְדֵי הַטָּהוֹר טְמֵאִין:


When a portion of a zav's body was resting above a pure person or a portion of a pure person's body was resting above a zav, the pure person contracts impurity.

What is implied? If a finger of a zav was placed above a pure person or a pure person placed his finger above a zav, even if there is a stone, a beam, or the like between them, the pure person contracts impurity.

Similarly, when entities joined to a zav's body rest on a pure person or entities joined to a pure person's body rest on the zav, the pure person contracts impurity. It is as if each one carried the body of the other. These are what is meant by the term "entities joined to the body": the teeth, the nails, and the hair. It appears to me that this impurity is of Rabbinic origin.


זָב שֶׁנִּשָּׂא מִקְצָתוֹ עַל הַטָּהוֹר אוֹ טָהוֹר שֶׁנִּשָּׂא מִקְצָתוֹ עַל הַזָּב נִטְמָא. כֵּיצַד. אֶצְבָּעוֹ שֶׁל זָב שֶׁהִנִּיחָהּ לְמַעְלָה מִן הַטָּהוֹר אוֹ הַטָּהוֹר שֶׁהִנִּיחַ אֶצְבָּעוֹ לְמַעְלָה מִן הַזָּב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בֵּינֵיהֶן אֶבֶן אוֹ קוֹרָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶם הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא. וְכֵן חִבּוּרֵי הַזָּב שֶׁנִּשְּׂאוּ עַל הַטָּהוֹר אוֹ חִבּוּרֵי טָהוֹר שֶׁנִּשְּׂאוּ עַל הַזָּב הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא. וּכְאִלּוּ נָשָׂא כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶם עַצְמוֹ שֶׁל חֲבֵרוֹ. וְאֵלּוּ הֵם הַחִבּוּרִים. הַשִּׁנַּיִם הַצִּפָּרְנַיִם וְהַשֵּׂעָר שֶׁלָּהֶן. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁטֻּמְאָה זוֹ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם: