1

It is explicitly stated in the Torah that foods and liquids contract ritual impurity, as Leviticus 11:34 states: "Of all foods that will be eaten that were exposed to water will become impure and any beverage which one will drink in any vessel will become impure."

Food that contracted impurity does not impart impurity to other foods according to Scriptural Law. Nor do liquids that contracted impurity impart impurity to other entities according to Scriptural Law. Nevertheless, according to Rabbinic Law, it was decreed that impure food that touched other foods would impart impurity to them. Similarly, if impure foods touched liquids, the liquids are impure. Food does not, by contrast, ever impart impurity to a container that it touches even according to Rabbinic Law. Similarly, the Sages decreed that impure liquids should impart impurity to foods, liquids, and keilim that they touch.

א

דָבָר מְפֹרָשׁ בַּתּוֹרָה שֶׁהָאֳכָלִין וְהַמַּשְׁקִין מִתְטַמְּאִין שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יא לד) "מִכָּל הָאֹכֶל אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל אֲשֶׁר יָבוֹא עָלָיו מַיִם יִטְמָא וְכָל מַשְׁקֶה אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׁתֶה בְּכָל כְּלִי יִטְמָא". וְאֵין הָאֹכֶל שֶׁנִּטְמָא מְטַמֵּא אֹכֶל אַחֵר מִן הַתּוֹרָה. וְלֹא הַמַּשְׁקִין שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ מְטַמְּאִין דָּבָר אַחֵר מִן הַתּוֹרָה. אֲבָל מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים גָּזְרוּ עַל הָאֹכֶל הַטָּמֵא שֶׁאִם נָגַע בְּאֹכֶל אַחֵר טִמְּאָהוּ. וְכֵן אִם נָגַע אֹכֶל הַטָּמֵא בְּמַשְׁקִין טְמֵאִין. וְאֵין אֹכֶל מְטַמֵּא כְּלִי שֶׁנָּגַע בּוֹ לְעוֹלָם וַאֲפִלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם. וְכֵן גָּזְרוּ עַל הַמַּשְׁקִין הַטְּמֵאִים שֶׁיְּטַמְּאוּ אֳכָלִין אוֹ מַשְׁקִין אוֹ כֵּלִים שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בָּהֶן:

2

There are no derivatives of impurity that impart impurity to keilim other than impure liquids. This impurity is a Rabbinic decree. It applies provided the original source of the liquid's impurity is a primary category of impurity, whether of Scriptural or Rabbinic origin.

Why did they decree that impure liquids should impart impurity to keilim? Because of a similarity to the liquids that emanate from a zav, which are a primary source of impurity and impart impurity to keilim according to Scriptural Law, as ibid. 15:8 states: "When a zav shall spit on a person who is pure," as we explained.

ב

אֵין לְךָ וְלַד טֻמְאָה שֶׁמְּטַמֵּא כֵּלִים אֶלָּא מַשְׁקִין טְמֵאִים בִּלְבַד. וְטֻמְאָה זוֹ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם וְהוּא שֶׁיִּהְיוּ אוֹתָן הַמַּשְׁקִין טְמֵאִין מֵחֲמַת אָב מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת בֵּין שֶׁל תּוֹרָה בֵּין שֶׁל דִּבְרֵיהֶם. וּמִפְּנֵי מָה גָּזְרוּ עַל הַמַּשְׁקִין טְמֵאִין שֶׁיְּטַמְּאוּ כֵּלִים גְּזֵרָה מִשּׁוּם מַשְׁקֵה הַזָּב שֶׁהוּא אָב וּמְטַמֵּא כֵּלִים דִּין תּוֹרָה. שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו ח) "וְכִי יָרֹק הַזָּב בַּטָּהוֹר" כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

3

When the Sages decreed that impure liquids should impart impurity to containers, they decreed that they should impart impurity from their inner surfaces.

What is implied? If impure liquids fell into the inner space of an earthenware container, it becomes impure in its entirety. It is considered as a secondary derivative. If they touch other containers on their inner surface, they become impure in their entirety and are considered as secondary derivatives of impurity. If, however, impure liquids touch the outer surface of a container, whether it be an earthenware container, a k'li that can be purified by immersion, or a metal k'li, only the outer surface becomes impure. The outer surface is considered as a secondary derivative, but its inner surface does not become impure.

In what context does the above apply? To terumah. For sacrificial foods, by contrast, when the outside of a container becomes impure, it becomes impure in its entirety and it is considered a secondary derivative of impurity in its entirety.

ג

כְּשֶׁגָּזְרוּ עַל הַמַּשְׁקִין שֶׁיְּטַמְּאוּ אֶת הַכֵּלִים גָּזְרוּ שֶׁיִּהְיוּ מְטַמְּאִין אֶת הַכֵּלִים מִתּוֹכָן. כֵּיצַד. אִם נָפְלוּ לַאֲוִיר כְּלִי חֶרֶס נִטְמָא כֻּלּוֹ וַהֲרֵי הוּא שֵׁנִי וְאִם נָגְעוּ בִּשְׁאָר כֵּלִים מִתּוֹכָן מְטַמֵּא כֻּלָּן וְנַעֲשׂוּ שְׁנִיִּים. אֲבָל אִם נָגְעוּ מַשְׁקִין טְמֵאִים בַּאֲחוֹרֵי הַכְּלִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ תּוֹךְ בֵּין בִּכְלִי חֶרֶס בֵּין בִּכְלִי שֶׁטֶף וּכְלִי מַתָּכוֹת נִטְמְאוּ אֲחוֹרָיו בִּלְבַד וַהֲרֵי אֲחוֹרָיו שֵׁנִי וְלֹא נִטְמָא תּוֹכוֹ. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים לִתְרוּמָה. אֲבָל לְקֹדֶשׁ כְּלִי שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אֲחוֹרָיו נִטְמָא כֻּלּוֹ וַהֲרֵי כֻּלּוֹ שֵׁנִי לְטֻמְאָה:

4

We already explained, that foods do not impart impurity to utensils, but that liquids do. Why did our Sages make the above distinction - that when the outer surface of a container was touched by impure liquids, its inner surface does not become impure for terumah? To make it known that the impurity of these keilim is a Rabbinic institution so that terumah and sacrificial foods will not be burnt as a result.

ד

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁהָאֳכָלִין אֵין מְטַמְּאִין כֵּלִים וְהַמַּשְׁקִין מְטַמְּאִין. וְלָמָּה עָשׂוּ בְּטֻמְאַת מַשְׁקִין הֶכֵּר זֶה וְאָמְרוּ שֶׁהַכְּלִי שֶׁנָּגְעוּ מַשְׁקִין טְמֵאִין בַּאֲחוֹרָיו לֹא נִטְמָא תּוֹכוֹ לִתְרוּמָה. לְהוֹדִיעַ שֶׁטֻּמְאַת כֵּלִים אֵלּוּ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׂרְפוּ עָלֶיהָ תְּרוּמָה וְקָדָשִׁים:

5

We already explained that foods and liquids that touch one of the primary sources of impurity become primary derivatives of impurity. Similarly, if food touched a person or a k'li that had contracted impurity from a source of impurity, that food becomes a second derivative of impurity. Food that touches this secondary derivative is considered a tertiary derivative of impurity and if the tertiary derivative touches a fourth food, it is considered a fourth degree derivative of impurity.

To what does the above apply? To foods. With regard to liquids, by contrast, whether a liquid touches a primary source of impurity, a primary derivative or a secondary derivative, that liquid is considered as a primary derivative. It imparts impurity to another liquid, which in turn can impart impurity to another liquid, even if there is a chain of a hundred. For there is no concept of degrees of impurity with regard to liquids.

What is implied? When wine touched a primary source of impurity or a primary or secondary derivative, the wine is considered as a primary derivative of impurity. Similarly, if this wine touched oil, that oil touched milk, that milk touched honey, that honey touched water, and that water touched wine, in an endless chain, all the liquids are considered as primary derivatives. It is as if each one of them contracted impurity from a primary source. They all impart impurity to keilim. Similarly, if the outer surface of a container contracted impurity from a liquid and other liquids touched that impure outer surface, even if the other liquids are not sacred, the other liquids are considered as a primary derivative of impurity and impart impurity to other containers, making them secondary derivatives of impurity. Needless to say, they impart impurity to other foods and liquids.

ה

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁהָאֳכָלִין וְהַמַּשְׁקִין שֶׁנָּגְעוּ בְּאָב מֵאֲבוֹת הַטֻּמְאוֹת הֲרֵי הֵן רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה. וְכֵן אִם נָגַע אֹכֶל בְּאָדָם אוֹ בִּכְלִי שֶׁנִּטְמָא בְּאָב הֲרֵי אוֹתוֹ הָאֹכֶל שֵׁנִי לְטֻמְאָה. וְאֹכֶל שֶׁנָּגַע בְּזֶה הַשֵּׁנִי נִקְרָא שְׁלִישִׁי לְטֻמְאָה. וְאִם נָגַע הַשְּׁלִישִׁי בְּאֹכֶל (רְבִיעִי) הֲרֵי זֶה נִקְרָא רְבִיעִי לְטֻמְאָה. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בָּאֳכָלִין. אֲבָל הַמַּשְׁקִין אֶחָד מַשְׁקֶה שֶׁנָּגַע בְּאַב הַטֻּמְאָה אוֹ שֶׁנָּגַע בְּרִאשׁוֹן אוֹ שֶׁנָּגַע בְּשֵׁנִי הֲרֵי אוֹתוֹ הַמַּשְׁקֶה תְּחִלָּה לְטֻמְאָה וּמְטַמֵּא אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ וַחֲבֵרוֹ אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ אֲפִלּוּ הֵן מֵאָה שֶׁאֵין מוֹנִין בְּמַשְׁקִין. כֵּיצַד. יַיִן שֶׁנָּגַע בְּאַב הַטֻּמְאָה אוֹ בְּרִאשׁוֹן אוֹ בְּשֵׁנִי הֲרֵי יַיִן זֶה כְּרִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה. וְכֵן אִם נָגַע יַיִן זֶה בְּשֶׁמֶן וְשֶׁמֶן בְּחָלָב וְחָלָב בִּדְבַשׁ וּדְבַשׁ בְּמַיִם וּמַיִם בְּיַיִן אַחֵר וְכֵן עַד לְעוֹלָם כֻּלָּן רִאשׁוֹן לְטֻמְאָה וּכְאִלּוּ כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן נִטְמָא בְּאָב תְּחִלָּה וְכֻלָּן מְטַמְּאִין אֶת הַכֵּלִים. וְכֵן כְּלִי שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אֲחוֹרָיו בְּמַשְׁקִין וְנָגְעוּ מַשְׁקִין אֲחֵרִים בַּאֲחוֹרֵי הַכֵּלִים הַטְּמֵאִין אֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ מַשְׁקִין חֻלִּין נַעֲשׂוּ הַמַּשְׁקִין הָאֲחֵרִים תְּחִלָּה לְטֻמְאָה וּמְטַמְּאִין כֵּלִים אֲחֵרִים וְעוֹשִׂין אוֹתָן שְׁנִיִּים וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר שֶׁהֵן מְטַמְּאִין אֳכָלִין וּמַשְׁקִין אֲחֵרִים:

6

When the outer surface of a container contracted impurity and then foods - even food that are terumah - touched this impure outer surface, the foods are pure. For when only the outer surface of a container contracts impurity, it does not impart impurity to foods with the exception of sacrificial foods. For when the outer surface of a container contracts impurity, it is considered as entirely impure with regard to sacrificial foods, as we explained. Therefore, it imparts impurity to sacrificial foods.

ו

אֲחוֹרֵי הַכְּלִי שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ בְּמַשְׁקִין וְנָגְעוּ אֳכָלִין בַּאֲחוֹרֵי הַכְּלִי הַטָּמֵא אֲפִלּוּ אָכְלֵי תְּרוּמָה הֲרֵי הֵן טְהוֹרִין שֶׁהַכְּלִי שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אֲחוֹרָיו בִּלְבַד אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא אֶת הָאֳכָלִין אֶלָּא לְקֹדֶשׁ בִּלְבַד שֶׁהַכְּלִי שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ אֲחוֹרָיו הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא כֻּלּוֹ לְקֹדֶשׁ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וּלְפִיכָךְ מְטַמֵּא אֹכֶל הַקֹּדֶשׁ: