Any wooden k'li that is made with the intent that it remain in one place, even though it is made to contain only a small amount, is not susceptible to ritual impurity, neither according to Scriptural Law, nor according to Rabbinic Law. Conversely, any wooden k'li that is intended to be carried whether full or empty like a sack - even if it holds 100 se'ah and it has a base, since it is not intended to remain in one place - it is susceptible to ritual impurity according to Scriptural Law like other receptacles.

Whenever a k'li's use is undefined, if it has a base to rest upon on the ground so that it is not easily rolled and it could hold 40 se'ah of liquid measure which equals two kor in dry measure, it is not susceptible to impurity at all, neither according to Scriptural Law nor Rabbinic Law, because it can be assumed that it is not intended to be moved.

These principles are part of our received tradition. According to the Oral Tradition, it was taught that just as a sack is carried whether full or empty, so too, a wooden implement is not susceptible to impurity unless it would be carried full or empty. This excludes a wooden implement that is intended to remain in one place.


כָּל כְּלִי עֵץ הֶעָשׂוּי לְנַחַת אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל אֶלָּא דָּבָר מוּעָט אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה לֹא מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְכָל כְּלִי עֵץ הֶעָשׂוּי לְהִתְטַלְטֵל מָלֵא וְרֵיקָן כְּשַׂק אֲפִלּוּ הָיָה מַחֲזִיק מֵאָה סְאָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שׁוּלַיִם הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ עָשׂוּי לְנַחַת הֲרֵי זֶה מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה דִּין תּוֹרָה כִּשְׁאָר כְּלֵי קִבּוּל. וְכָל כְּלִי עֵץ שֶׁהוּא סְתָם אִם הָיוּ לוֹ שׁוּלַיִם לֵישֵׁב עֲלֵיהֶם עַל הַקַּרְקַע כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יְהֵא נוֹחַ לְהִתְגַּלְגֵּל וְהָיָה מַחֲזִיק אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה בְּלַח שֶׁהֵן כּוֹרַיִים בְּיָבֵשׁ אֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה כְּלָל לֹא מִן הַתּוֹרָה וְלֹא מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים מִפְּנֵי שֶׁחֶזְקָתוֹ שֶׁעָשׂוּי לְנַחַת. וּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ דִּבְרֵי קַבָּלָה הֵן. מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ מָה שַׂק שֶׁהוּא מִתְטַלְטֵל מָלֵא וְרֵיקָן אַף כְּלִי עֵץ לֹא יִטְמָא אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה מִטַּלְטֵל מָלֵא וְרֵיקָן לְהוֹצִיא כְּלִי עֵץ הֶעָשׂוּי לְנַחַת:


Keilim that are made to remain in one place, e.g., a chest, a counter, a closet, a bee-hive like container made of reeds, a reservoir of drinking water for a large ship, and the like, if they contain 40 se'ah, they are not susceptible to ritual impurity.

The following are wooden keilim that are intended to be moved even when they are full: a large barrel of water that is placed on a wagon, a food trolley of kings, a leather maker's trough, the water reservoir of a small ship that cannot sail on a large sea, and a coffin. Even though all of these five types of wooden keilim contain more than 40 se'ah, they are susceptible to impurity, because initially they were made to be carried while full.

It can be assumed that all other wooden containers that are made to hold 40 se'ah and that have a base are not meant to be carried when full. Therefore they are not susceptible to ritual impurity. Similarly, containers made of bone or leather that hold 40 se'ah of liquid measure are not susceptible to impurity unless they were initially made to be carried when they were full.


הַכֵּלִים שֶׁחֶזְקָתָן שֶׁהֵן עֲשׂוּיִין לְנַחַת כְּגוֹן שִׁדָּה תֵּבָה וּמִגְדָּל וְכַוֶּרֶת הַקַּשׁ וְכַוֶּרֶת הַקָּנִים וּבוֹר סְפִינָה גְּדוֹלָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בְּאֵלּוּ. אִם הֵן מַחֲזִיקִין אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה אֵין מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַכֵּלִים שֶׁל עֵץ שֶׁהֵן עֲשׂוּיִין לְהִתְטַלְטֵל בִּמְלוֹאָן. דִּרְדּוּר שֶׁמַּנִּיחִין אוֹתוֹ עַל הָעֲגָלָה וְקוֹסְטוֹת הַמְּלָכִים וַעֲרֵבַת הַעֲבְּדָן וּבוֹר סְפִינָה קְטַנָּה שֶׁאֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לְהַלֵּךְ בְּאֶמְצַע הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל וְהָאָרוֹן. כָּל אֶחָד מֵחֲמֵשֶׁת כְּלֵי עֵץ אֵלּוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן מְקַבְּלִין יוֹתֵר מֵאַרְבָּעִים סְאָה הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה שֶׁלֹּא נַעֲשׂוּ מִתְּחִלָּתָן אֶלָּא לְהִטַּלְטֵל מְלֵאִין. וּשְׁאָר כָּל כְּלֵי עֵץ אִם הָיוּ מְקַבְּלִין אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם שׁוּלַיִם חֶזְקָתָן שֶׁאֵינָן עֲשׂוּיִין לְהִתְטַלְטֵל בִּמְלוֹאָן וּלְפִיכָךְ אֵין מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה. וְכֵן כְּלֵי עֶצֶם וּכְלֵי הָעוֹר הַמְקַבְּלִין אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה בְּלַח אֵין מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן נַעֲשׂוּ מִתְּחִלָּתָן כְּשֶׁהֵן מְלֵאִין:


Large chests, counters, and closets of glass are pure. Other glass containers, even if they hold more than 40 se'ah, are susceptible to ritual impurity. This is an added stringency that applies to glass keilim over wooden keilim.


הַשִּׁדָּה וְהַתֵּבָה וְהַמִּגְדָּל שֶׁל זְכוּכִית הַבָּאִים בְּמִדָּה טְהוֹרִין וּשְׁאָר כְּלֵי זְכוּכִית אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמְּקַבְּלִין אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה הֲרֵי הֵן מְקַבְּלִין טֻמְאָה. וְזֶה חֹמֶר בִּכְלֵי זְכוּכִית מִבִּכְלֵי עֵץ:


Whenever the volume of a container is one cubit by one cubit with a height of three cubits, it will contain 40 se'ah of liquid measure. When the container is measured, it is measured from the outside. If it is one cubit by one cubit with a height of three cubits, it is pure even though its inner space is less than that. For the thickness of the walls does not reduce its size. The breadth of its legs and the breadth of its border, if it has one, is not included in its measure.


כָּל כְּלִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ בְּשִׁבּוּרוֹ אַמָּה עַל אַמָּה בְּרוּם שָׁלֹשׁ הֲרֵי הוּא מַחֲזִיק אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה בְּלַח. וּכְשֶׁמּוֹדְדִין אֶת הַכְּלִי מוֹדְדִין אוֹתוֹ מִבַּחוּץ אִם הָיָה בּוֹ אַמָּה עַל אַמָּה בְּרוּם שָׁלֹשׁ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין תּוֹכוֹ אֶלָּא פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה הֲרֵי הוּא טָהוֹר שֶׁאֵין עֳבִי הַדְּפָנוֹת מְמַעֵט. אֲבָל עֳבִי הָרַגְלַיִם וָעֳבִי הַזֵּר אִם הָיָה לוֹ זֵר אֵין נִמְדָּדִין עִמּוֹ:


If there was a drawer in a small counter, e.g., a drawer in a chest, it is not included in the measure of its volume if it can be removed. It is not considered as attached to it, nor is it protected from impurity by it in a shelter that is impure due to the presence of a human corpse. If it cannot be removed, it is measured with it and they are considered as one utensil.


הָיָה בְּתוֹךְ הַכְּלִי תֵּבָה קְטַנָּה כְּגוֹן מוּכְנִי שֶׁבְּתוֹךְ הַשִּׁדָּה בִּזְמַן שֶׁהִיא נִשְׁמֶטֶת אֵינָהּ נִמְדֶּדֶת עִמָּהּ וְאֵינָהּ חִבּוּר לָהּ וְאֵינָהּ מַצֶּלֶת עִמָּהּ בְּאֹהֶל הַמֵּת. וְאִם אֵינָהּ נִשְׁמֶטֶת נִמְדֶּדֶת עִמָּהּ וַהֲרֵי הֵן כִּכְלִי אֶחָד:

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.


When a large container has a domed cover, if it is permanently affixed to it, it is included in its measurement. If it is not permanently affixed, it is not. If it has drawers that open to the inside, they are measured with it. If they open to the outside, they are not measured with it.


הָיָה לַכְּלִי כִּסּוּי קָמוּר בִּזְמַן שֶׁהוּא קָבוּעַ נִמְדָּד עִמּוֹ. אֵינוֹ קָבוּעַ אֵינוֹ נִמְדָּד עִמּוֹ. הָיוּ בּוֹ מְגוּרוֹת מִבִּפְנִים נִמְדֶּדֶת עִמּוֹ. וְאִם הָיוּ מִבַּחוּץ אֵינָן נִמְדָּדוֹת עִמּוֹ:


Even though a wooden container does not hold 40 se'ah when standing upright, if it could hold such an amount when leaned on its side or supported by another entity, since it is ultimately capable of holding more than 40 se'ah, it is pure.


כְּלִי עֵץ שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה כְּדַרְכּוֹ אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הִטָּהוּ עַל צִדּוֹ אוֹ סְמָכוֹ בְּדָבָר אַחֵר הוֹאִיל וּמְקַבֵּל אַרְבָּעִים סְאָה מִכָּל מָקוֹם טָהוֹר:


When one of the legs of a chest, a counter, or a closet was removed - even though it was not perforated and thus they can still serve as containers - they are pure. The rationale is that they still have a base and it can be assumed that the intent is still that they will not be moved like they were originally.


הַשִּׁדָּה וְהַתֵּבָה שֶׁנִּטְּלָה אַחַת מֵרַגְלֵיהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִקְּבוּ אֶלָּא הֲרֵי הֵן מְקַבְּלִין הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ טְהוֹרִין וַעֲדַיִן יֵשׁ לָהֶם שׁוּלַיִם וְחֶזְקָתָן שֶׁהֵן לְנַחַת כְּשֶׁהָיוּ: