The Babylonian Talmud

Mikva'oth

 

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 1

MISHNAH 1. THERE ARE SIX DEGREES OF GATHERINGS OF WATER,1 EACH SUPERIOR TO THE OTHER.2 THE WATER OF PITS3 — IF AN UNCLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT AND THEN A CLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT, HE BECOMES UNCLEAN;4 IF AN UNCLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT AND WATER WAS THEN DRAWN FROM IT IN A CLEAN VESSEL, [THE VESSEL] BECOMES UNCLEAN;4 IF AN UNCLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT AND THEN A LOAF OF TERUMAH5 FELL IN AND WAS WASHED IN IT, IT BECOMES UNCLEAN; BUT IF IT WAS NOT WASHED IN IT, IT CONTINUES CLEAN.6

MISHNAH 2. IF ONE DREW WATER FROM IT IN AN UNCLEAN VESSEL AND THEN A CLEAN PERSON DRANK [OUT OF THE PIT]. HE BECOMES UNCLEAN;7 IF ONE DREW WATER [FROM IT] IN AN UNCLEAN VESSEL AND THEN DREW WATER FROM IT IN A CLEAN VESSEL, IT BECOMES UNCLEAN; IF ONE DREW WATER [FROM IT] IN AN UNCLEAN VESSEL AND A LOAF OF TERUMAH FELL IN AND WAS WASHED IN IT, IT BECOMES UNCLEAN; BUT IF IT WAS NOT WASHED IN IT, IT CONTINUES CLEAN.

MISHNAH 3. IF UNCLEAN WATER8 FELL INTO IT AND A CLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT, HE BECOMES UNCLEAN; IF UNCLEAN WATER FELL INTO IT AND THEN WATER WAS DRAWN FROM IT IN A CLEAN VESSEL, IT BECOMES UNCLEAN; IF UNCLEAN WATER FELL INTO IT AND A LOAF OF TERUMAH FELL IN AND WAS WASHED IN IT, IT BECOMES UNCLEAN; BUT IF IT WAS NOT WASHED IN IT, IT CONTINUES CLEAN. R. SIMEON SAYS: IT BECOMES UNCLEAN9 WHETHER IT WAS WASHED IN IT OR WHETHER IT WAS NOT WASHED IN IT.

MISHNAH 4. IF A CORPSE FELL INTO IT OR AN UNCLEAN PERSON10 WALKED IN IT, AND A CLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT, HE CONTINUES CLEAN. THE SAME RULE APPLIES TO THE WATER OF PITS, THE WATER OF CISTERNS,11 THE WATER OF DITCHES,12 THE WATER OF CAVERNS,13 THE WATER OF RAIN DRIPPINGS14 WHICH HAVE STOPPED,15 AND MIKWEHS16 OF LESS THAN FORTY SE'AHS: THEY ARE ALL CLEAN DURING THE TIME OF RAIN;17 WHEN THE RAIN HAS STOPPED THOSE NEAR TO A CITY OR TO A ROAD ARE UNCLEAN,18 AND THOSE DISTANT REMAIN CLEAN UNTIL THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE PASS [THAT WAY].19

MISHNAH 5. WHEN ARE THEY ACCOUNTED CLEAN AGAIN? BETH SHAMMAI SAY: WHEN THEIR CONTENTS HAVE BEEN INCREASED20 [BY MORE THAN THE ORIGINAL QUANTITY] AND THEY OVERFLOW.21 BETH HILLEL SAY: WHEN THEIR CONTENTS HAVE BEEN INCREASED22 [BY MORE THAN THEIR ORIGINAL QUANTITY] ALTHOUGH THEY DO NOT OVERFLOW. R. SIMEON SAYS: WHEN THEY OVERFLOW ALTHOUGH THEIR CONTENTS HAVE NOT BEEN SO23 INCREASED. [ALL SUCH PIT- WATER]24 IS VALID [FOR PREPARING DOUGH] FOR HALLAH25 AND FOR THE WASHING OF THE HANDS.26

MISHNAH 6. SUPERIOR TO SUCH [WATER] IS THE WATER OF RAIN DRIPPINGS WHICH HAVE NOT STOPPED.27 IF AN UNCLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT AND THEN A CLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT, HE CONTINUES CLEAN;28 IF AN UNCLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT AND WATER WAS THEN DRAWN FROM IT IN A CLEAN VESSEL, IT CONTINUES CLEAN; IF AN UNCLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT AND A LOAF OF TERUMAH FELL IN, EVEN IF IT WAS WASHED IN IT, IT CONTINUES CLEAN; IF ONE DREW WATER FROM IT IN AN UNCLEAN VESSEL AND THEN A CLEAN PERSON DRANK [OUT OF THE POOL]. HE CONTINUES CLEAN; IF ONE DREW WATER FROM IT IN AN UNCLEAN VESSEL AND A LOAF OF TERUMAH FELL [INTO THE POOL]. EVEN IF IT WAS WASHED IN IT, IT CONTINUES CLEAN; IF UNCLEAN WATER FELL INTO IT AND A CLEAN PERSON DRANK OF IT, HE CONTINUES CLEAN; IF UNCLEAN WATER FELL INTO IT AND ONE DREW WATER FROM IT IN A CLEAN VESSEL, IT CONTINUES CLEAN; IF UNCLEAN WATER FELL INTO IT AND A LOAF OF TERUMAH FELL IN, EVEN IF IT WAS WASHED IN IT, IT CONTINUES CLEAN. [ALL SUCH WATER] IS VALID FOR TERUMAH29 AND FOR THE WASHING OF THE HANDS.30

MISHNAH 7. SUPERIOR TO SUCH [WATER] IS [THE WATER OF] THE MIKWEH CONTAINING FORTY SE'AHS,31 FOR IN IT PERSONS MAY IMMERSE THEMSELVES32 AND IMMERSE OTHERS.33 SUPERIOR AGAIN IS [THE WATER OF] A FOUNTAIN WHOSE OWN WATER IS LITTLE BUT HAS BEEN INCREASED BY A GREATER QUANTITY OF DRAWN WATER; IT IS EQUIVALENT TO THE MIKWEH IN AS MUCH AS IT MAY RENDER CLEAN BY STANDING WATER,34 AND TO AN [ORDINARY] FOUNTAIN IN AS MUCH AS ONE MAY IMMERSE IN IT WHATEVER THE QUANTITY OF ITS CONTENTS.35

MISHNAH 8. SUPERIOR AGAIN ARE ‘SMITTEN WATERS’36 WHICH CAN RENDER CLEAN EVEN WHEN FLOWING. SUPERIOR AGAIN ARE ‘LIVING WATERS’37 WHICH SERVE FOR THE IMMERSION OF PERSONS WHO HAVE A RUNNING ISSUE38 AND FOR THE SPRINKLING OF LEPERS,39 AND ARE VALID FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE WATER OF PURIFICATION.40

 
(1) במקואות, here used in the ordinary and more original sense of an assemblage of water, as in biblical Hebrew (e.g., Gen. I, 10). and not in the later technical sense of a ritual bathing-pool; cf. Introduction. The six degrees are: I, water of pits (mishna 1); II, water of rain drippings (mishna 6); III, the mikweh; IV, the fountain (mishna 7); V. smitten water; VI, living water (mishna 8).
(2) In their power of imparting and removing uncleanness.
(3) נביאים, cf. Isa. XXX, 14. The contents are less than 40 se'ahs. If the pit contains 40 se'ahs or more, it becomes a mikweh.
(4) The water taken up by the drinker in his mouth having become unclean, it may be feared that a drop of it fell from his mouth back’ into the water of the pit, and was afterwards drunk by the clean person, or was taken up in the clean vessel.
(5) Heave-offering which, by reason of its sanctity, is susceptible to uncleanness more than ordinary food; cf. Zabim V, 12; Shab. 14a.
(6) The water in the pit is considered as joined to the ground, and as such is incapable of becoming unclean or of conveying uncleanness (cf Lev. XI, 36), until it is deliberately removed from the pit. Therefore, if the person did not wash the loaf, the unclean drop of water, which may have been absorbed by the loaf, was neutralized and its uncleanness rendered ineffective by the rest of the water in the pit. But when the person washed the loaf, he deliberately removed from the pit water absorbed by the loaf, which may have included the unclean drop. This drop, therefore, was not neutralized, but imparted its uncleanness to the loaf.
(7) The same rule obtains in the case of an unclean vessel as in the case of an unclean drinker. The vessel imparts uncleanness to the water it takes up from the pit. A drop of this unclean water may have fallen back from the vessel into the pit, and may have been taken up again by the drinker in his mouth.
(8) The rule applying to a drop falling back into the pit from an unclean drinker or from an unclean vessel applies also to unclean water which falls into the pit.
(9) In all the three cases discussed above. He holds that even when the loaf was not washed, we may suspect that it was the clean water alone which escaped from the loaf when lifted from the pit, and that the unclean water adhered to the loaf, and rendered it unclean.
(10) The corpse or the unclean person did not make the water unclean, because, as stated above p. 423, n. 6, water in a pit is considered joined to the ground, and is not susceptible to uncleanness unless it is deliberately separated from the pit.
(11) They are shaped round like wells.
(12) Shaped long and narrow.
(13) These are more or less square-shaped and roofed.
(14) Pools formed by rain water running down from the hills.
(15) To trickle down from the hills. If they have not stopped, they would neutralize an unclean drop falling into them.
(16) Artificial pools designed for ritual immersion (cf. Introd.), somewhat rectangular in shape, but not roofed.
(17) When wayfarers are few and drinking water is abundant. There is then no need to suspect that an unclean person had drunk from them, or that water had been drawn from them in an unclean vessel. And if by chance this did happen, the flowing rain water would have neutralized the unclean drop.
(18) It may be suspected that an unclean wayfarer had drunk from them, or that water was drawn from them in an unclean vessel.
(19) Among whom there may have been an unclean person who drank of the water, or a person who drew water in an unclean vessel.
(20) By rain water.
(21) So that it may be assumed that the unclean quantity had escaped.
(22) The larger quantity of rain water is sufficient to neutralize the unclean quantity; cf. Maksh. II, 3.
(23) Even if the new rain water was less than the original contents, but was sufficient to overfill the receptacle.
(24) As defined Supra I, n. 3.
(25) I.e. dough from which hallah, or dough-offering, has to be taken; cf. Num. XV, 20; Hal. I. 1.
(26) Before eating of common food; cf. Hag. II, 5.
(27) Cf. p. 425 nn. 3, 4.
(28) A possible unclean drop falling back into the pool is neutralized by the fresh flow of water coming down from the hills.
(29) For preparing in it food of heave- offering.
(30) Even for eating terumah; cf. Hag. l.c.
(31) Not filled by the hand of man; cf. Introd.
(32) All persons who require purification by immersion, with the exception of persons with a running issue; cf. next Mishnah.
(33) Unclean vessels and the hands before eating of the meat of sacrifices; cf. Hag. l.c.
(34) Whereas a fountain with its water coming from under the ground can purify also when the water is flowing.
(35) It does not require to have 40 se'ahs, but just sufficient for the complete immersion of persons or of utensils; cf. Introd.
(36) Salty water or hot water from a spring.
(37) Pure and sweet spring water.
(38) Cf. Lev. XV, 13.
(39) Ibid. XIV, 5-7.
(40) Num. XIX, 17.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 2

MISHNAH 1. IF AN UNCLEAN MAN WENT DOWN TO IMMERSE HIMSELF AND IT IS DOUBTFUL WHETHER HE DID IMMERSE HIMSELF OR NOT,1 OR EVEN IF HE DID IMMERSE HIMSELF,2 IT IS DOUBTFUL WHETHER THE MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS OR NOT, OR IF THERE WERE TWO MIKWEHS, ONE CONTAINING FORTY SE'AHS BUT NOT THE OTHER, AND HE IMMERSED HIMSELF IN ONE OF THEM BUT HE DOES NOT KNOW IN WHICH OF THEM HE IMMERSED HIMSELF, IN SUCH A DOUBT HE IS ACCOUNTED UNCLEAN.3

MISHNAH 2. IF A MIKWEH WAS MEASURED AND WAS FOUND LACKING [IN ITS PRESCRIBED QUANTITY],4 ALL THINGS WHICH HAD BEEN PURIFIED IN IT HITHERTO,5 WHETHER IN PRIVATE PREMISES OR IN PUBLIC PREMISES,6 ARE ACCOUNTED UNCLEAN. TO WHAT DOES THIS RULE APPLY?7 TO A SERIOUS UNCLEANNESS.8 BUT IN THE CASE OF A LESSER UNCLEANNESS,9 NAMELY IF ONE ATE UNCLEAN FOODS10 OR DRANK UNCLEAN LIQUIDS, OR IF HIS HEAD AND THE GREATER PART OF HIS BODY ENTERED INTO DRAWN WATER,11 OR IF THREE LOGS OF DRAWN WATER FELL ON HIS HEAD AND THE GREATER PART OF HIS BODY,12 AND HE THEN WENT DOWN TO IMMERSE HIMSELF AND HE IS IN DOUBT WHETHER HE IMMERSED HIMSELF OR NOT, OR EVEN IF HE DID IMMERSE HIMSELF THERE IS [STILL] A DOUBT WHETHER THE MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS OR NOT, OR IF THERE WERE TWO MIKWEHS, ONE CONTAINING FORTY SE'AHS AND NOT THE OTHER, AND HE IMMERSED HIMSELF IN ONE OF THEM BUT DOES NOT KNOW IN WHICH OF THEM HE IMMERSED HIMSELF, IN SUCH A DOUBT HE IS ACCOUNTED CLEAN. R. JOSE CONSIDERS HIM UNCLEAN, FOR R JOSE SAYS: ANYTHING WHICH IS PRESUMPTIVELY UNCLEAN ALWAYS REMAINS IN A CONDITION OF UNFITNESS UNTIL IT IS KNOWN THAT IT HAS BECOME CLEAN;13 BUT IF THERE IS A DOUBT WHETHER A PERSON BECAME UNCLEAN14 OR CAUSED UNCLEANNESS,15 IT IS TO BE ACCOUNTED CLEAN.

MISHNAH 3. IN THE CASE OF A DOUBT ABOUT DRAWN WATER WHICH THE SAGES HAVE DECLARED CLEAN,16 WHEN THERE IS A DOUBT WHETHER [THREE LOGS OF DRAWN WATER] FELL INTO THE MIKWEH OR NOT, OR IF, THOUGH THEY DID FALL IN, THERE IS A DOUBT WHETHER [THE MIKWEH] CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS OR NOT, OR IF THERE WERE TWO MIKWEHS OF WHICH ONE CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS AND THE OTHER DID NOT, AND DRAWN WATER FELL INTO ONE OF THEM AND IT IS NOT KNOWN INTO WHICH OF THEM IT FELL, IN SUCH A DOUBT IT IS ACCOUNTED CLEAN,17 BECAUSE THERE EXISTS [A POSSIBILITY]18 ON WHICH WE MAY DEPEND [IN DECLARING IT CLEAN]. IF THEY BOTH CONTAINED LESS THAN FORTY SE'AHS, AND [DRAWN WATER] FELL INTO ONE OF THEM AND IT IS NOT KNOWN INTO WHICH OF THEM IT FELL, IN SUCH A DOUBT IT IS ACCOUNTED UNCLEAN, BECAUSE THERE EXISTS NO [POSSIBILITY]19 ON WHICH WE MAY DEPEND [IN DECLARING IT CLEAN].

MISHNAH 4. R. ELIEZER SAYS: A QUARTER-LOG OF DRAWN WATER IN THE BEGINNING20 MAKES THE MIKWEH INVALID, AND THREE LOGS ON THE SURFACE OF THE WATER.21 BUT THE SAGES SAY: BOTH IN THE BEGINNING AND AT THE END, THE MEASURE [WHICH MAKES THE MIKWEH INVALID] IS THREE LOGS.

MISHNAH 5. IF THERE WERE THREE CAVITIES22 IN A MIKWEH23 EACH HOLDING A LOG OF DRAWN WATER, IF IT IS KNOWN THAT THERE FELL THEREIN FORTY SE'AHS OF VALID WATER BEFORE REACHING THE THIRD CAVITY, [SUCH A MIKWEH IS]24 VALID; OTHERWISE IT IS INVALID. BUT R. SIMEON DECLARES IT VALID, SINCE IT RESEMBLES A MIKWEH ADJOINING ANOTHER MIKWEH.25

MISHNAH 6. IF THE MUD26 HAD BEEN MOVED TO THE SIDES AND THEN THREE LOGS [OF WATER] WERE DRAWN OUT FROM IT, [THE MIKWEH IS STILL] VALID. BUT IF THE MUD HAD BEEN REMOVED AWAY27 AND THREE LOGS WERE DRAWN FROM IT [INTO THE MIKWEH]. IT BECOMES INVALID.28 BUT R. SIMEON PRONOUNCES IT VALID, SINCE THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO DRAW [THE WATER].29

MISHNAH 7. IF ONE HAD LEFT WINE-JARS ON THE ROOF TO DRY30 AND THEY BECAME FILLED WITH WATER,31 R. ELIEZER SAYS: IF IT WAS THE SEASON OF RAIN32 AND33 THERE WAS [IN THE CISTERN] A LITTLE WATER, ONE MAY BREAK THE JARS;34 OTHERWISE ONE MAY NOT BREAK THEM.35 R. JOSHUA SAYS: IN EITHER CASE ONE MAY BREAK THEM OR TILT THEM OVER,36 BUT ONE MAY NOT EMPTY37 [THEM INTO THE CISTERN].

MISHNAH 8. IF A PLASTERER FORGOT HIS LIME-TUB IN A CISTERN AND IT BECAME FILLED WITH WATER, IF WATER FLOWED ABOVE IT HOWEVER LITTLE,38 IT MAY BE BROKEN;39 OTHERWISE IT MAY NOT BE BROKEN.40 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. ELIEZER. BUT R. JOSHUA SAYS: IN EITHER CASE IT MAY BE BROKEN.41

MISHNAH 9. IF ONE HAD ARRANGED WINE-JARS IN A CISTERN42 AND THEY BECAME FILLED WITH WATER, EVEN THOUGH THE WATER OF THE CISTERN WAS ALL SOAKED UP,43 THEY MAY BE BROKEN.44

MISHNAH 10. IF A MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS OF WATER AND MUD45 [COMBINED]. R. ELIEZER SAYS: ONE MAY IMMERSE OBJECTS IN THE WATER BUT ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE THEM IN THE MUD. BUT R. JOSHUA SAYS: IN THE WATER AND ALSO IN THE MUD. IN WHAT KIND OF MUD MAY OBJECTS BE IMMERSED? MUD OVER WHICH WATER FLOATS.46 IF THE WATER WAS ON THE ONE SIDE ONLY. R. JOSHUA ADMITS THAT OBJECTS MAY BE IMMERSED IN THE WATER BUT MAY NOT BE IMMERSED IN THE MUD.47 OF WHAT KIND OF MUD HAVE THEY SPOKEN?48 MUD INTO WHICH A REED WILL SINK OF ITSELF.49 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. R. JUDAH SAYS: [MUD] IN WHICH50 A MEASURING-ROD WILL NOT STAND UPRIGHT.51 ABBA ELEAZAR B. DULA'I SAYS: [MUD] INTO WHICH A PLUMMET WILL SINK. R. ELIEZER SAYS: SUCH AS WILL GO DOWN INTO THE MOUTH OF A JAR.52 R. SIMEON SAYS: SUCH AS WILL ENTER INTO THE TUBE OF A WATER- SKIN.53 R. ELEAZAR B. ZADOK SAYS: SUCH AS CAN BE MEASURED IN A LOG MEASURE.54

 
(1) Whether the immersion was carried out in accordance with the prescribed regulations.
(2) He is sure the immersion was carried out properly.
(3) The doubtful purification has not the power of undoing the certain state of a previous defilement.
(4) 40 se'ahs.
(5) Since the time it was known to have contained 40 se'ahs until it was measured.
(6) Although the rule is that a doubtful defilement in public premises is deemed clean (cf. Toh. IV, 7, 11; ‘Ed. (Sonc. ed.) p. 11, n. 6; p. 19, n. 13.), because the doubt here is not about the defilement but about the purification of a previous certain defilement.
(7) In this and in the last Mishnah.
(8) Caused by a principal defilement (אב הטימאה; ‘Ed. (Sonc. ed.) p. 10, n. 1), enacted by the Torah.
(9) Caused by a secondary defilement enacted by rabbinic law only.
(10) Of a secondary defilement of the first or second degree; cf. ‘Ed. l.c.
(11) Immediately after immersion in a mikweh.
(12) All these acts cause secondary defilement in accordance with rabbinic law only, disqualifying the person from eating terumah; cf. Toh. IV, 11; Zabim V, 12; Shab. 13b.
(13) R. Jose makes no distinction between a defilement according to Mosaic law and a defilement according to rabbinic law. In either case when the defilement is certain and the purification doubtful, the defilement continues. Only when the doubt is about a defilement according to rabbinic law may it be deemed clean.
(14) By any of the named secondary defilements.
(15) After the person had become unclean by a secondary defilement, there arose a doubt whether he had conveyed uncleanness to terumah things.
(16) Cf. Toh. IV, 7.
(17) In both cases the mikwehs are valid when their contents are brought up to 40 se'ahs.
(18) Viz., that the three logs did not fall in at all, or that the mikweh did contain 40 se'ahs, or, finally, that the three logs fell into the mikweh containing 40 se'ahs.
(19) Since one of the two mikwehs was certainly rendered invalid, and as we do not know which of the two, both must be considered invalid.
(20) Before the mikweh became filled with rain water, a quarter-log of drawn water was put into it.
(21) Poured in after the mikweh had been filled with rain water, but with less than 40 se'ahs.
(22) One above the other in the wall of the mikweh.
(23) Which was empty.
(24) Because when the contents of the mikweh reached 40 se'ahs, the quantity of drawn water in it was still less than three logs.
(25) The cavities are to be considered as distinct and separate from the main mikweh, and as if they were themselves mikwehs. But the validity of a mikweh is not affected by its contiguity with an invalid mikweh.
(26) In a mikweh holding less than 40 se'ahs.
(27) Out of the mikweh.
(28) The water from the mud is considered drawn water.
(29) The intention was only to remove the mud but not the water contained therein; therefore the water is deemed as still belonging to the mikweh.
(30) But if the intention was that they should be filled with water, the water would become equivalent to drawn water.
(31) Rain water.
(32) When the mikweh under the roof might be expected to be filled with nearly 40 se'ahs of rain water.
(33) Var. lec. ‘or’.
(34) So that their water may flow into the mikweh below and make up 40 se'ahs.
(35) If it is not the rainy season and the mikweh cannot be expected to be filled with rain water, it may not, according to R. Eliezer, be filled with water from a receptacle, even though the water flows freely without human touch from the receptacle into the mikweh. Again, if the cistern had no water at all, it may be feared that a quarter-log of water would run over from the jars into the empty mikweh before the jars are broken, and this would invalidate the mikweh in accordance with R. Eliezer's opinion in Mishnah 4.
(36) So as to let the water flow freely from the jars into the mikweh below.
(37) By hand, for this would render the water in the jars drawn water.
(38) Its contents are then part of the contents of the cistern.
(39) And its contents allowed to mingle with the contents of the cistern which serves as a mikweh. But the tub must not be lifted from the cistern and emptied into the cistern, for its contents would then become drawn water.
(40) The contents of the tub are equivalent to drawn water.
(41) And let its contents flow into the cistern, because the water in the tub is not deemed drawn water.
(42) Which held water, in order that the porous sides of the wine-jars might become saturated with water and not be able afterwards to soak in any wine.
(43) In the soil, and there is no water left save that which is in the jars.
(44) And their contents may be used for making a mikweh in the cistern, because they are not deemed drawn water since it was not his intention for the water to fill the jars.
(45) Thin mud; cf. infra VII, 1.
(46) For the cavity formed by the immersed object becomes filled with water.
(47) Although the mud serves to make up the 40 se'ahs.
(48) That it may combine with water to form the 40 se'ahs, and that objects may be immersed in it.
(49) Without being pressed down by the hand. Of the opinions that follow, each assumes a thicker mud than the preceding opinion.
(50) Lit., ‘a place’.
(51) But must be held by the hand.
(52) And so cannot serve as a stopper to the jar.
(53) Even if it can stop the mouth of a jar.
(54) Like a liquid.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 3

MISHNAH 1. R. JOSE SAYS: IF THERE ARE TWO MIKWEHS NEITHER OF WHICH CONTAINS FORTY SE'AHS, AND A LOG AND A HALF [OF DRAWN WATER] FELL INTO EACH, AND THEY ARE MINGLED TOGETHER, THEY REMAIN VALID, SINCE THEY HAD NEVER1 BEEN EXPLICITLY ACCOUNTED AS INVALID; BUT IF THERE IS A MIKWEH HOLDING LESS THAN FORTY SE'AHS, AND THREE LOGS [OF DRAWN WATER] FELL INTO IT, AND IT WAS THEN DIVIDED INTO TWO,2 IT IS INVALID, SINCE IT HAD ALREADY BEEN EXPLICITLY ACCOUNTED AS INVALID.3 R. JOSHUA DECLARES IT VALID; FOR R. JOSHUA USED TO SAY: ANY MIKWEH CONTAINING LESS THAN FORTY SE'AHS INTO WHICH THREE LOGS [OF DRAWN WATER] FELL AND FROM WHICH A KORTOB4 WAS WITHDRAWN BECOMES VALID, SINCE THE THREE LOGS HAVE ALSO BEEN DIMINISHED.5 BUT THE SAGES SAY: IT ALWAYS REMAINS INVALID UNTIL THE FORMER CONTENTS THEREOF ARE REMOVED AND A LITTLE MORE.6

MISHNAH 2. IN WHAT MANNER? IF THERE WAS A CISTERN7 IN A COURTYARD AND THREE LOGS [OF DRAWN WATER] FELL INTO IT, IT WILL ALWAYS REMAIN INVALID UNTIL THE WHOLE OF IT IS REMOVED AND A LITTLE MORE, OR UNTIL [ANOTHER MIKWEH CONTAINING] FORTY SE'AHS IS PLACED IN THE COURTYARD,8 SO THAT THE HIGHER9 MIKWEH IS RENDERED VALID BY THE LOWER.10 R. ELIEZER B. AZARIAH DECLARES IT INVALID UNLESS THE [NEW MIKWEH] IS STOPPED UP.11

MISHNAH 3. IF THERE WAS A CISTERN FULL OF DRAWN WATER AND A CHANNEL12 LED INTO IT AND OUT OF IT, IT CONTINUES INVALID UNTIL IT CAN BE RECKONED THAT THERE DOES NOT REMAIN IN IT THREE LOGS OF THE FORMER [WATER].13 IF TWO MEN POURED14 EACH A LOG AND A HALF [OF DRAWN WATER] INTO A MIKWEH, OR IF ONE WRUNG OUT HIS CLOTHES AND SO POURED IN [WATER] FROM SEVERAL PLACES,15 OR IF ONE EMPTIED OUT A WATER-COOLER16 AND SO POURED IN [WATER] FROM SEVERAL, PLACES, R. AKIBA DECLARES IT VALID,17 BUT THE SAGES DECLARE IT INVALID. R. AKIBA SAID: THEY18 DID NOT SAY ‘IF THEY POURED IN’, BUT ‘IF ONE19 POURED IN’. BUT THEY SAID: THEY SAID NEITHER THUS NOR THUS, BUT ONLY IF THERE FELL THEREIN THREE LOGS20 [OF DRAWN WATER]’.

MISHNAH 4. [IF THE THREE LOGS OF DRAWN WATER FELL IN] FROM ONE VESSEL OR FROM TWO OR FROM THREE, THEY COMBINE TOGETHER;21 BUT IF FROM FOUR, THEY DO NOT COMBINE TOGETHER.22 IF A MAN WHO HAD A SEMINAL ISSUE WAS SICK AND NINE KABS OF WATER23 FELL ON HIM, OR IF THERE FELL ON THE HEAD AND THE GREATER PART OF THE BODY OF A CLEAN PERSON THREE LOGS OF DRAWN WATER24 FROM ONE VESSEL OR FROM TWO OR FROM THREE, THEY COMBINE TOGETHER; BUT IF FROM FOUR, THEY DO NOT COMBINE TOGETHER. IN WHAT CASE DOES THIS APPLY?25 WHEN THE SECOND BEGAN BEFORE THE FIRST FINISHED. AND IN WHAT OTHER CASE DOES [THE OTHER STATEMENT]26 APPLY? WHEN THERE WAS NO INTENTION TO INCREASE27 IT. BUT IF THERE WAS AN INTENTION TO INCREASE IT, IF ONLY A KORTOB IN A WHOLE YEAR, THEY COMBINE TOGETHER TO ADD UP TO THE THREE LOGS.

 
(1) Before they became mingled, when the amount of drawn water which fell into each was less than three logs.
(2) And each had its contents increased to 40 se'ahs.
(3) Before it was divided into two.
(4) The smallest liquid measure, viz., one sixty-fourth of a two.
(5) The kortob which was withdrawn must have included also some portion of the drawn water.
(6) To make the mikweh valid a quantity of water must be withdrawn from it, which is equal to the quantity which the mikweh contained when the drawn water fell into it, and a little more to reduce the drawn water in the mikweh to less than three logs.
(7) Containing less than 40 se'ahs.
(8) One above the other and connected.
(9) Var. lec.: ‘the lower’.
(10) Var. lec.: ‘the higher’.
(11) פקק, so that one has to come first to the old mikweh. Var. lec.: פסק, until all its water is used up.
(12) Of rain water less than 40 se'ahs in quantity.
(13) That through the channel leading out of the cistern there flowed away the former contents of drawn water in the cistern, leaving of them less than three logs plus the quantity of fresh rain water which entered the cistern on the one side and flowed out on the other side. This together will be considerably more than the former contents of the cistern, required in the last Mishnah, because there the former contents of the cistern consisted of valid water which only became invalid by the addition of three logs of drawn water, whereas here all the former contents were invalid water.
(14) Simultaneously; cf. next Mishnah.
(15) To the quantity of three logs.
(16) Containing a sieve-like filter within its neck; cf. Kelim II, 8.
(17) He holds that the three logs of water which invalidate the mikweh must all come from one receptacle.
(18) The Sages who formulated the rule regarding drawn water in a mikweh.
(19) Which wording implies that all the three logs must come from one vessel.
(20) Which may imply also pouring in from more than one vessel. Cf. ‘Ed. I, 3. The dispute between R. Akiba and the Sages turns on the exact wording of the traditional formula of the rule.
(21) In accordance with the opinion of the Sages, provided each vessel contains one log.
(22) Because one of them must contain less than one log.
(23) Which is sufficient purification for a person with such a defilement who, owing to sickness, is unable to undergo full immersion in a mikweh, provided the defilement was unintentional. If, however, the defilement was intentional, he needs complete immersion before he can occupy himself with the study of the Torah; cf. Ber. 22b, and infra VIII, 1, n. 3.
(24) Which confers a defilement of the second degree, disqualifying a person from eating terumah; cf. Zabim V. 6; Shab. 13b.
(25) That three logs of drawn water derived from two or three vessels combine to invalidate the mikweh.
(26) That the contents of more than three vessels are not reckoned together to invalidate the mikweh.
(27) To increase the quantity of water in the mikweh by the addition of the drawn water.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 4

MISHNAH 1. IF ONE PUT VESSELS UNDER A WATER-SPOUT,1 WHETHER THEY BE LARGE VESSELS2 OR SMALL VESSELS3 OR EVEN VESSELS OF DUNG, VESSELS OF STONE OR EARTHEN VESSELS,4 THEY MAKE THE MIKWEH INVALID.5 IT IS ALL ALIKE WHETHER THEY WERE PUT THERE [PURPOSELY] OR WERE [MERELY] FORGOTTEN. THIS IS ACCORDING TO THE OPINION OF BETH SHAMMAI. BUT BETH HILLEL DECLARE IT CLEAN IN THE CASE OF ONE WHO FORGETS.6 R. MEIR SAID: THEY VOTED AND BETH SHAMMAI HAD A MAJORITY OVER BETH HILLEL;7 YET THEY AGREE8 IN THE CASE OF ONE WHO FORGETS [AND LEAVES VESSELS] IN A COURTYARD9 THAT THE MIKWEH REMAINS CLEAN.10 R. JOSE SAID: THE CONTROVERSY STILL REMAINS AS IT WAS.

MISHNAH 2. IF ONE PUT A BOARD UNDER A WATER-SPOUT AND IT HAD A RIM11 TO IT, IT MAKES THE MIKWEH INVALID; OTHERWISE IT DOES NOT MAKE THE MIKWEH INVALID. IF HE MADE IT STAND UPRIGHT TO BE RINSED, IN NEITHER CASE DOES IT MAKE THE MIKWEH INVALID.

MISHNAH 3. IF ONE MAKES12 A HOLLOW IN A WATER-SPOUT TO COLLECT THE GRAVEL,13 IT MAKES THE MIKWEH INVALID14 IN THE CASE OF A WOODEN [SPOUT] IF IT HOLDS HOWEVER LITTLE, BUT IN THE CASE OF AN EARTHENWARE [SPOUT] IF IT WILL HOLD A QUARTER-LOG.15 R. JOSE SAYS: ALSO IN THE CASE OF AN EARTHENWARE [SPOUT] IF IT HOLDS HOWEVER LITTLE: THEY HAVE SPOKEN OF ‘A QUARTER-LOG’16 ONLY IN THE CASE OF BROKEN SHERDS OF AN EARTHENWARE UTENSIL. IF THE PIECES OF GRAVEL MOVED ABOUT INSIDE [THE HOLLOW]. IT MAKES THE MIKWEH INVALID.17 IF EARTH CAME DOWN INTO IT AND WAS PRESSED DOWN,18 [THE MIKWEH CONTINUES] VALID. IF THE SPOUT WAS NARROW AT EACH END AND WIDE IN THE MIDDLE, IT DOES NOT MAKE [THE MIKWEH] INVALID, BECAUSE IT19 HAD NOT BEEN FASHIONED FOR GATHERING [ANYTHING IN IT].20

MISHNAH 4. IF DRAWN WATER AND RAIN WATER WERE MINGLED TOGETHER IN A COURTYARD OR IN A CAVITY OR ON THE STEPS OF A CAVE,21 IF THE GREATER PART WAS VALID,22 THE WHOLE IS VALID; AND IF THE GREATER PART WAS INVALID,23 THE WHOLE IS INVALID. IF THEY WERE EQUAL IN QUANTITY. THE WHOLE IS INVALID. WHEN [DOES THIS APPLY]?24 WHEN THEY WERE MINGLED TOGETHER BEFORE THEY ARRIVED AT THE MIKWEH. BUT IF THEY FLOWED [EACH ONE DIRECT] INTO THE WATER [OF THE Mikweh].25 IF IT WAS KNOWN THAT THERE FELL IN FORTY SE'AHS OF VALID WATER BEFORE THERE CAME DOWN THREE LOGS OF DRAWN WATER, [THE MIKWEH IS] VALID; OTHERWISE IT IS INVALID.

MISHNAH 5. IN THE CASE OF A TROUGH26 IN THE ROCK,27 WATER MAY NOT BE GATHERED IN IT,28 NOR MAY THE WATER OF PURIFICATION BE CONSECRATED29 THEREIN, NOR MAY ONE SPRINKLE30 THEREFROM; AND IT DOES NOT REQUIRE A TIGHTLY STOPPED-UP COVERING,31 AND IT DOES NOT MAKE THE MIKWEH INVALID.32 IF IT WAS A [MOVABLE] VESSEL33 AND HAD BEEN JOINED TO THE GROUND WITH LIME, WATER MAY BE GATHERED IN IT, AND THE WATER OF PURIFICATION MAY BE CONSECRATED THEREIN, AND ONE MAY SPRINKLE THEREFROM, AND IT REQUIRES A TIGHTLY STOPPED-UP COVERING, AND IT MAKES THE MIKWEH INVALID. IF A HOLE WAS MADE IN IT BELOW OR AT THE SIDE SO THAT IT COULD NOT CONTAIN WATER IN HOWEVER SMALL A QUANTITY,34 IT IS VALID.35 AND HOW GREAT SHOULD BE THE HOLE? LIKE THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN. R. JUDAH B. BATHYRA SAID: IT HAPPENED IN THE CASE OF THE TROUGH OF JEHU36 IN JERUSALEM THAT THERE WAS A HOLE IN IT LIKE THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN, AND IT WAS USED FOR ALL THINGS IN JERUSALEM WHICH NEEDED A STATE OF PURITY. BUT BETH SHAMMAI SENT AND BROKE IT DOWN, FOR BETH SHAMMAI SAY: [IT REMAINS A VESSEL] UNLESS THE GREATER PART OF IT IS BROKEN DOWN.

 
(1) Conveying rain water from the roof.
(2) Containing more than 40 se'ahs.
(3) Too small to become unclean; cf. Kelim II, 2.
(4) These are not susceptible to uncleanness.
(5) If their contents of three logs are emptied into a mikweh containing less than 40 se'ahs (so also below where this phrase occurs). For, unlike the case discussed in II, 7, these serve for the special purpose of receiving the water from the spout.
(6) Because there was no intention to collect water in them.
(7) And the controversy was settled in accordance with the opinion of Beth Shammai; cf. Shab. I, 4.
(8) Beth Shammai.
(9) Not under a water-spout.
(10) Since evidently there was no intention to collect the water.
(11) It is considered a receptacle, and the rain water passing from the roof along the board becomes drawn water.
(12) Before fixing the spout to the roof.
(13) Coming down in the rain water.
(14) The cavity becomes a receptacle for the water that passes through it into the mikweh. The spout itself is not deemed a receptacle, because it is open at both ends.
(15) If it holds less than a quarter-log, it is not considered a vessel; cf. Kelim II, 2.
(16) As the minimum capacity of a vessel.
(17) Though the gravel fills the cavity.
(18) Filling the cavity.
(19) The wide part in the middle.
(20) But only for facilitating the flow of the water.
(21) Containing a mikweh.
(22) The rain water exceeds in quantity the drawn water.
(23) Consisting of drawn water.
(24) That the mikweh is valid when rain water makes up the greater part of the mixture.
(25) I.e., the drawn water flowed directly from the vessel into the mikweh.
(26) Cf. Parah V, 7.
(27) If filled with water from a fountain. Being naturally joined to the ground, it cannot be considered a vessel; cf. supra I, 1, n. 6.
(28) For the Water of Purification, for which a vessel is required; cf. Num. XIX, 17.
(29) By mixing in it the ashes of the Red Heifer.
(30) If properly prepared Water of Purification is put on to it; ibid. XIX, 18.
(31) Ibid. XIX, 15. It protects its contents against defilement from a corpse even if it has only an ordinary covering; cf. Ohol. V, 6.
(32) If three logs of rain water flow from it into a mikweh containing less than 40 se'ahs.
(33) The trough had been hollowed out in a movable stone.
(34) It loses the character of a vessel and becomes like a channel.
(35) The water which flows from it does not render the mikweh invalid.
(36) The site of this trough is not known. The name Jehu occurs in Judah, I Chron. II, 38. etc. S. Klein conjectures that the trough belonged to a family which traced its descent from Jehu, King of Israel; cf the Well of Ahab, Parah VIII, 11; v. ציון, IV (Jerusalem, 1938), p. 40f.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 5

MISHNAH 1. [WATER FROM] A FOUNTAIN WHICH IS MADE TO PASS OVER INTO A TROUGH1 BECOMES INVALID;2 IF IT WAS MADE TO PASS OVER THE EDGE IN ANY QUANTITY, [WHAT IS] OUTSIDE [THE TROUGH] IS VALID,3 FOR [THE WATER OF] A FOUNTAIN PURIFIES HOWEVER LITTLE ITS QUANTITY.4 IF IT IS MADE TO PASS OVER INTO A POOL AND THEN IS STOPPED, THE POOL COUNTS AS A MIKWEH;5 IF IT IS MADE TO FLOW AGAIN,6 IT IS STILL INVALID FOR PERSONS WITH A RUNNING ISSUE AND FOR LEPERS AND FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE WATER OF PURIFICATION7 UNTIL IT IS KNOWN THAT THE FORMER [WATER] IS GONE.

MISHNAH 2. IF IT WAS MADE TO PASS OVER THE OUTSIDE OF VESSELS OR OVER A BENCH, R. JUDAH SAYS: LO, IT REMAINS AS IT WAS BEFORE.8 R. JOSE SAYS: LO, IT IS LIKE A MIKWEH,9 EXCEPT THAT ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE ANYTHING ABOVE THE BENCH.10

MISHNAH 3.IF [WATER FROM] A FOUNTAIN THAT FLOWS INTO MANY CHANNELS11 WAS INCREASED12 IN QUANTITY SO THAT IT WAS MADE TO FLOW IN ABUNDANCE, IT REMAINS AS IT WAS BEFORE.13 IF IT WAS A STANDING FOUNTAIN14 AND ITS QUANTITY WAS INCREASED15 SO THAT IT WAS MADE TO FLOW, IT BECOMES EQUAL TO A MIKWEH IN THAT IT CAN PURIFY IN STANDING WATER,16 AND TO A FOUNTAIN IN THAT ONE MAY IMMERSE [OBJECTS] THEREIN HOWEVER SMALL ITS QUANTITY.

MISHNAH 4. ALL SEAS17 ARE DEEMED VALID AS A MIKWEH,18 FOR IT IS WRITTEN, ‘AND THE MIKWEH19 OF THE WATERS CALLED HE SEAS’,20 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. R. JUDAH SAYS: THE GREAT SEA21 ALONE IS A VALID MIKWEH, FOR THE REASON THAT SCRIPTURE SAYS ‘SEAS’ IS BECAUSE IN IT ARE MANY KINDS OF SEAS.22 R. JOSE SAYS: ALL SEAS PURIFY AS FLOWING WATERS,23 BUT THEY ARE INVALID FOR PERSONS WITH A RUNNING ISSUE AND FOR LEPERS AND FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE WATER OF PURIFICATION.24

MISHNAH 5 .FLOWING WATER25 IS AS WATER OF A FOUNTAIN AND DRIPPING WATER26 IS AS A MIKWEH. R. ZADOK27 TESTIFIED THAT IF FLOWING WATER EXCEEDED DRIPPING WATER [WITH WHICH IT WAS MIXED] IT WAS VALID [AS FLOWING WATER].28 IF DRIPPING WATER BECAME FLOWING WATER, ITS FLOW MAY BE BLOCKED29 BY A STICK OR BY A REED OR EVEN BY A MAN OR A WOMAN WHO HAS A RUNNING ISSUE, AND THEN ONE MAY GO DOWN AND IMMERSE ONESELF THEREIN. THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. JUDAH. R. JOSE SAYS: ONE MAY NOT STOP THE FLOW OF WATER30 WITH ANYTHING WHICH IS LIABLE TO UNCLEANNESS.

MISHNAH 6. IF A WAVE WAS SEPARATED [FROM THE SEA] AND COMPRISED FORTY SE'AHS, AND IT FELL ON A MAN OR ON VESSELS,31 THEY BECOME CLEAN. ANY PLACE CONTAINING FORTY SE'AHS IS VALID FOR IMMERSING ONESELF AND FOR IMMERSING OTHERS.32 ONE MAY IMMERSE IN TRENCHES33 OR IN DITCHES34 OR EVEN IN A DONKEY-TRACK35 THE WATER OF WHICH IS JOINED36 [WITH A VALID MIKWEH] IN A VALLEY. BETH SHAMMAI37 SAY: ONE MAY IMMERSE IN A RAIN TORRENT.38 BUT BETH HILLEL SAY: ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE.39 THEY40 ADMIT, HOWEVER, THAT ONE MAY BLOCK ITS FLOW WITH VESSELS41 AND IMMERSE ONESELF THEREIN, BUT THE VESSELS WITH WHICH THE FLOW IS BLOCKED ARE NOT THEREBY [VALIDLY] IMMERSED.42

 
(1) Which had been hollowed out in a movable stone and then fixed to the ground; cf. supra IV, 5.
(2) For immersion either in the trough itself or in the water that passes out of the trough, for since the trough is like a vessel, this water becomes drawn water.
(3) For immersion.
(4) Cf. supra I, 7.
(5) And requires 40 se'ahs of standing water; cf. supra I, 7.
(6) The flow from the fountain into the pool was restored. It then becomes valid for immersion even if its quantity is less than 40 se'ahs, but not for those who require for their purification ‘living water’.
(7) Cf. supra I, 8, and notes 5-7.
(8) With the efficacy of a fountain.
(9) And requires 40 se'ahs of standing water.
(10) Or above the backs of the vessels, lest one may be led to immerse things in vessels.
(11) Lit., ‘is drawn out like a centipede’.
(12) By pouring into it drawn water.
(13) It retains the characteristics of a fountain.
(14) I.e., a well or a lake.
(15) By the addition of drawn water.
(16) But not in its flowing water, since this is derived from drawn water.
(17) Parah VIII, 8.
(18) And require 40 se'ahs of standing water, and are invalid for those who need ‘living water’.
(19) ‘The gathering together’; cf. Introd.
(20) Gen. I. 10.
(21) The Mediterranean, and likewise the oceans, to the exclusion of inland seas and lakes.
(22) It gathers water from numerous sources.
(23) Like fountains.
(24) Because these require ‘living water’ and sea water being salty is ‘smitten water’, cf. supra I, 8.
(25) Streams and rivers.
(26) Rain water.
(27) Cf. ‘Ed. VII, 3. (Sonc. ed.) p. 42, and notes.
(28) And is treated as a fountain.
(29) So as to make it standing water, as required in a mikweh.
(30) So most commentators explain the reading in the editions מוחילין, which being in the causative stem (hiph'il) should rather be rendered ‘one may not cause to flow’. However, the Cambridge text (cf. Introd. n. 1). and MS.M. read מוחלינם, which may be interpreted as a privative pi'el, to prevent or stay the flow.
(31) Who were unclean, immersing them accidentally.
(32) Vessels and the hands before eating sacrificial meat; cf. I, 7, n. 7.
(33) Square-shaped like caverns, but not roofed over; cf. I, 4, n. 2.
(34) Narrow at the top and wide at the bottom; cf. B.K. 5ob.
(35) Or holes made by the feet of other animals.
(36) Through a hole of the size prescribed infra VI, 1.
(37) ‘Ed. V, 2.
(38) In the running water, though the whole stream contains no more than 40 se'ahs.
(39) Except when the stream forms a pool of 40 se'ahs of standing water.
(40) Beth Hillel.
(41) So as to form standing water.
(42) Because only one of their sides is immersed in standing water.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 6

MISHNAH 1. ANY [GATHERING OF WATER]. WHICH IS JOINED WITH [THE WATER OF] A MIKWEH IS AS VALID AS THE MIKWEH1 [ITSELF]. ONE MAY IMMERSE IN HOLES OF A CAVERN2 AND IN CREVICES OF A CAVERN2 JUST AS THEY ARE;3 BUT ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE IN THE PIT4 OF A CAVERN EXCEPT IT HAD A HOLE AS BIG AS THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN. R. JUDAH SAID: WHEN [IS THIS THE CASE]? WHEN IT STANDS BY ITSELF;5 BUT IF IT DOES NOT STAND BY ITSELF, ONE MAY IMMERSE THEREIN JUST AS IT IS.6

MISHNAH 2. IF A BUCKET WAS FULL OF UTENSILS AND THEY WERE7 IMMERSED, LO, THEY BECOME CLEAN; BUT IF [THE BUCKET] WAS NOT IMMERSED [FOR ITS OWN SAKE]8 . THE WATER IN THE BUCKET IS NOT RECKONED AS JOINED9 [WITH THE WATER OF THE MIKWEH] UNLESS IT BE JOINED [BY MEANS OF THE NECK OF THE BUCKET WHICH IS AS BIG] AS THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN.

MISHNAH 3. IF THERE WERE THREE MIKWEHS, TWO OF WHICH HELD TWENTY SE'AHS [OF VALID WATER] AND THE THIRD HELD TWENTY SE'AHS OF DRAWN WATER, AND THAT HOLDING DRAWN WATER WAS AT THE SIDE. IF THREE PERSONS WENT DOWN10 AND IMMERSED THEMSELVES THEREIN AND [THE WATER OF THE THREE MIKWEHS] JOINED,11 THE MIKWEHS ARE CLEAN12 AND THEY THAT IMMERSED THEMSELVES BECOME CLEAN. IF THE ONE HOLDING THE DRAWN WATER WAS IN THE MIDDLE13 AND THREE PERSONS WENT DOWN AND IMMERSED THEMSELVES THEREIN AND [THE WATER OF THE THREE MIKWEHS] JOINED, THE MIKWEHS CONTINUE AS THEY WERE BEFORE14 AND THEY THAT IMMERSED THEMSELVES ARE AS THEY WERE BEFORE.15

MISHNAH 4. IF A SPONGE OR A BUCKET CONTAINING THREE LOGS OF WATER FELL INTO A MIKWEH,16 THEY DO NOT MAKE IT INVALID, BECAUSE THEY HAVE ONLY SAID:17 ‘IF THREE LOGS FELL IN’.18

MISHNAH 5. ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE IN A COFFER OR IN A BOX19 WHICH IS IN THE SEA EXCEPT IT HAS A HOLE20 AS LARGE AS THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN. R. JUDAH SAYS: IN THE CASE OF A LARGE VESSEL21 [THE HOLE SHOULD BE] FOUR HANDBREADTHS, AND IN A SMALL ONE [THE HOLE SHOULD BE AS LARGE AS] THE GREATER PART OF IT. IF THERE IS IN THE SEA A SACK OR A BASKET, ONE MAY IMMERSE THEREIN AS IT IS. SINCE THE WATER [IN THE SEA AND IN THE SACK OR BASKET] IS JOINED TOGETHER.22 IF THEY ARE PLACED UNDER A WATER-SPOUT, THEY DO NOT MAKE THE MIKWEH INVALID,23 AND THEY MAY BE IMMERSED AND BROUGHT OUT IN THE ORDINARY WAY.24

MISHNAH 6. IF THERE WAS A DEFECTIVE [EARTHENWARE] VESSEL IN THE MIKWEH AND UTENSILS WERE IMMERSED THEREIN, THEY BECOME CLEAN FROM THEIR [FORMER] UNCLEANNESS25 BUT ARE AGAIN RENDERED UNCLEAN BECAUSE OF THE EARTHENWARE VESSEL;26 BUT IF WATER FLOWED ABOVE IT IN ANY QUANTITY. THEY WILL REMAIN CLEAN.27 IF [WATER OF] A FOUNTAIN ISSUED FROM AN OVEN28 AND A MAN WENT DOWN AND IMMERSED HIMSELF, HE IS CLEAN29 BUT HIS HANDS BECOME UNCLEAN;30 BUT IF [THE WATER WAS AS] HIGH ABOVE THE OVEN AS THE HEIGHT OF HIS HANDS,31 HIS HANDS ALSO ARE CLEAN.

MISHNAH 7. MIKWEHS CAN BE JOINED TOGETHER [AS ONE IF THEIR CONNECTION IS AS BIG] AS THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN IN THICKNESS AND IN CAPACITY, IN WHICH TWO FINGERS32 CAN BE TURNED ROUND IN FULL. IF THERE IS A DOUBT [WHETHER IT IS AS BIG] AS THE TUBE OF A WATER SKIN OR NOT, IT IS INVALID, BECAUSE [THE RULE CONCERNING IMMERSION] IS A COMMAND OF THE TORAH.33 THE SAME APPLIES ALSO TO THE OLIVE'S BULK OF A CORPSE AND THE OLIVE'S BULK OF CARRION AND THE LENTIL'S BULK OF A CREEPING THING.34 ANYTHING WHICH REMAINS35 IN [THE SPACE MEASURING] THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN LESSENS [ITS MEASURE].36 RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS: IF IT IS ANY WATER CREATURE37 WHATSOEVER, [THE MIKWEHS] REMAIN CLEAN.

MISHNAH 8. MIKWEHS MAY BE MADE CLEAN [BY JOINING DRAWN WATER FROM] A HIGHER [MIKWEH TO VALID WATER] FROM A LOWER [MIKWEH OR DRAWN WATER FROM] A DISTANT [MIKWEH TO VALID WATER] IN A [MIKWEH] NEAR AT HAND. IN WHAT MANNER? ONE BRINGS A TUBE OF EARTHENWARE OR OF LEAD38 AND PUTS HIS HAND BENEATH IT39 TILL IT IS FILLED WITH WATER; THEN HE DRAWS IT ALONG TILL [THE TWO WATERS] TOUCH — EVEN IF IT BE BY A HAIR'S BREADTH IT IS SUFFICIENT. IF IN THE HIGHER [MIKWEH] THERE WERE FORTY SE'AHS AND NOTHING IN THE LOWER, ONE MAY DRAW WATER AND CARRY IT ON THE SHOULDER37 AND PLACE IT IN THE HIGHER [MIKWEH] TILL FORTY SE'AHS HAVE FLOWED DOWN INTO THE LOWER [MIKWEH].40

MISHNAH 9. IF A WALL BETWEEN TWO MIKWEHS41 HAD A PERPENDICULAR CRACK, [THEIR WATERS] MAY BE RECKONED TOGETHER [TO MAKE UP THE REQUIRED QUANTITY]; [IF IT WAS CRACKED] LENGTHWISE, THEY CANNOT BE RECKONED TOGETHER, UNLESS THERE IS AT ONE PLACE [A HOLE AS BIG] AS THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN. R. JUDAH SAYS: THE RULE IS JUST THE REVERSE. IF THERE IS A BREACH42 [ON THE TOP OF THE WALL] FROM ONE [MIKWEH] TO THE OTHER, [THEY CAN BE RECKONED TOGETHER] IF THE HEIGHT IS AS [THE THICKNESS OF] THE SKIN OF GARLIC AND THE BREADTH LIKE THE TUBE OF A WATER-SKIN.

MISHNAH 10. THE OUTLET43 OF A BATH, IF IT IS IN THE CENTRE, RENDERS [THE BATH] INVALID44 [AS A MIKWEH]; BUT IF IT IS AT THE SIDE, IT DOES NOT RENDER IT INVALID, BECAUSE THEN IT IS LIKE ONE MIKWEH ADJOINING ANOTHER MIKWEH. THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. MEIR. BUT THE SAGES SAY: IF THE BATH- BASIN CAN CONTAIN A QUARTER-LOG BEFORE [THE WATER] REACHES THE OUTLET,45 IT IS VALID; BUT IF NOT, IT IS NOT VALID.46 R. ELEAZAR B. ZADOK SAYS: IF THE OUTLET CAN CONTAIN [WATER]. IT IS INVALID IN ANY POSITION WHATEVER.

MISHNAH 11. IF IN THE BATH'S ‘PURIFIER’47 THE BOTTOM [PIPE] WAS FULL OF DRAWN [WATER] AND THE TOP [PIPE] FULL OF VALID48 [WATER]. IF [THE SPACE] IN FRONT OF THE HOLE CAN CONTAIN THREE LOGS IT IS INVALID49 [AS A MIKWEH]. HOW LARGE NEED THE HOLE BE TO CONTAIN THREE LOGS? A THREEHUNDRED- AND-TWENTIETH PART50 OF THE POOL. THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. JOSE. BUT R. ELEAZAR SAYS: EVEN THOUGH THE BOTTOM [PIPE] WERE FULL OF VALID [WATER] AND THE TOP [PIPE] FULL OF DRAWN [WATER] AND BY THE HOLE'S SIDE WERE THREE LOGS, [THE BATH IS] VALID, FOR THEY HAVE ONLY SAID: ‘IF THREE LOGS FELL IN’.51

 
(1) It becomes part of the mikweh. One may immerse in it though it contains less than 40 se'ahs, and it may serve to make up 40 se'ahs in the mikweh itself.
(2) Forming a mikweh.
(3) Their water need not be joined by a hole to the water in the cavern.
(4) As explained by R. Judah in the following.
(5) It forms an independent pool separated by a wall from the pool in the cavern.
(6) It is part of the pool in the cavern, and need not have 40 se'ahs, nor be connected with the pool by a hole.
(7) Var. lec.: ‘it was’. The bucket as well as the utensils needed immersion.
(8) Lit., ‘if one did not immerse’, i.e., the bucket itself was clean, and needed no immersion; cf. Hag. 22a.
(9) For the purpose of purifying the utensils. The text is very doubtful. Hag. l.c. and some commentators omit ‘not’.
(10) Simultaneously.
(11) By overflowing through the immersion of the three persons.
(12) All the three mikwehs become valid. They are now considered as one mikweh containing 40 se'ahs of valid water to which were added 20 se'ahs of drawn water.
(13) Thus preventing the junction of the two with the valid water.
(14) They remain three separate mikwehs, two with valid water but of insufficient quantity, and one with invalid water.
(15) Unclean.
(16) Containing less than 40 se'ahs.
(17) Cf. supra III, 3, n. 13.
(18) Whereas here some portion of the three logs remained in the pores of the sponge or in the folds of the bucket.
(19) Even though they contain 40 se'ahs.
(20) Which joins their water to the water in the sea.
(21) Some nine handbreadths in height.
(22) Through their holes.
(23) The rain water from the spout flowing through them into the mikweh is not deemed drawn water as in supra IV, I, n. 5.
(24) And not bottom upwards as prescribed for a bolster or a cushion of leather, v. infra VII, 6.
(25) Because the water in the defective or broken earthenware vessel is considered as joined to the water in the mikweh through the breakage in the vessel.
(26) If it is unclean. For an earthenware vessel is not rendered clean by immersion in a mikweh (Lev. XI, 33), and though the water in it, as part of the mikweh, is clean, yet uncleanness remains in the air-space of the vessel above the water. Hence when utensils are immersed in such an earthenware vessel, the water which adheres to them renders them unclean as they are raised into the airspace of the earthenware vessel.
(27) Because the air-space of the unclean earthenware vessel is all covered by the clean water.
(28) Of earthenware, fixed to the ground and open at the top, and large enough to hold a man. The oven is unclean.
(29) Because a man's body is not rendered unclean by the air-space of an unclean vessel.
(30) Hands do become unclean by the air-space; cf. Yad, III, 1.
(31) The surface of the water covered his hands.
(32) Those near the thumb.
(33) And in the case of a doubt respecting the fulfillment of a Mosaic law we must abide by the more stringent alternative.
(34) These are the minimum quantities which cause defilement, and if there is a doubt whether they were of the required quantity or not, we must assume that they were, and that they did cause defilement.
(35) And not carried off by the water flowing through the opening which joins the two mikwehs.
(36) And the two mikwehs remain separate.
(37) It is considered part of the water.
(38) Or of any other metal.
(39) To shut the lower end of the tube.
(40) I.e., fill the lower mikweh with drawn water through the higher one. For since the two mikwehs are reckoned as one, and the upper one has 40 se'ahs of valid water, no amount of drawn water can render either of them invalid.
(41) One of which had less than 40 se'ahs.
(42) Which forms a connecting channel between the two mikwehs.
(43) In the shape of a receptacle, having a hole for the discharge of foul water with a stopper.
(44) Because the outlet is then regarded as a receptacle and water which is made to flow over vessels is thus invalid.
(45) The outlet is higher than the bottom of the bath-basin, so that water gathers in the bath-basin before any water reaches the outlet.
(46) Even if the outlet is at the side.
(47) An arrangement for a cold-water douche after a hot bath, consisting of two pipes one above the other with a hole in the upper pipe communicating with the lower one.
(48) Less than 40 se'ahs.
(49) The three logs of drawn water at the hole in the lower pipe render the water in the upper pipe invalid. It goes without saying that such would be the case also if the upper pipe contained drawn water and the lower pipe contained valid water.
(50) This is the proportion of three logs to 40 se'ahs, since a se'ah consists of 24 logs; cf. Introd., n. 2.
(51) But here the drawn water does not fall into the valid water, but both, the valid water of one pipe and the drawn water of the other pipe, are mixed together in the mikweh; and since the valid water is more in quantity than the drawn water, the mikweh is valid as in the case discussed above, IV, 4.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 7

MISHNAH 1. SOME MATERIALS MAKE UP THE MIKWEH [TO THE REQUIRED QUANTITY]1 AND DO NOT MAKE IT INVALID;2 SOME MAKE IT INVALID AND DO NOT MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY] AND SOME NEITHER MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY] NOR MAKE IT INVALID. THESE MAKE UP THE REQUIRED QUANTITY AND DO NOT MAKE THE MIKWEH INVALID: SNOW, HAIL, HOARFROST, ICE, SALT, AND THIN3 MUD. R. AKIBA SAID: R. ISHMAEL ONCE ARGUED AGAINST ME SAYING; SNOW DOES NOT MAKE UP THE MIKWEH [TO ITS REQUIRED QUANTITY]. BUT THE MEN OF MADEBA4 TESTIFIED IN HIS NAME THAT HE HAD ONCE TOLD THEM: GO AND BRING SNOW AND WITH IT FROM THE FIRST5 PREPARE A MIKWEH. R. JOHANAN B. NURI SAYS: HAILSTONES ARE LIKE DRAWN WATER. IN WHAT MANNER DO THEY MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY] AND DO NOT RENDER IT INVALID? IF THE MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS LESS ONE, AND A SE'AH6 OF THEM7 FELL IN AND MADE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY], THEY THUS MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY] BUT DO NOT RENDER IT INVALID.

MISHNAH 2. THESE RENDER THE MIKWEH INVALID AND DO NOT MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY]: DRAWN WATER, WHETHER CLEAN OR UNCLEAN, WATER THAT HAS BEEN USED FOR PICKLING OR FOR SEETHING, AND GRAPE-SKIN8 WINE STILL UNFERMENTED.9 IN WHAT MANNER DO THEY MAKE THE MIKWEH INVALID AND DO NOT MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY]? IF A MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS LESS A KORTOB,10 AND A KORTOB OF THESE FELL INTO IT, IT DOES NOT MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY]; AND IF THERE WERE THREE LOGS OF ANY OF THESE, THEY WOULD RENDER THE MIKWEH INVALID. BUT THE OTHER LIQUIDS,11 AND THE JUICE OF FRUITS, BRINE, AND LIQUID IN WHICH FISH HAS BEEN PICKLED, AND GRAPE-SKIN WINE THAT HAS FERMENTED AT TIMES MAKE UP [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY] AND AT TIMES DO NOT MAKE IT UP.12 HOW IS THIS? IF A MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS LESS ONE, AND A SE'AH OF ANY OF THESE FELL IN IT, THIS DOES NOT MAKE UP13 [THE REQUIRED QUANTITY]. BUT IF THE MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS AND A SE'AH OF ANY OF THESE WAS PUT IN AND ONE SE'AH WAS REMOVED, LO, THE MIKWEH IS STILL VALID.14

MISHNAH 3. IF BASKETS OF OLIVES OR BASKETS OF GRAPES WERE WASHED IN THE MIKWEH AND THEY CHANGED ITS COLOUR, IT CONTINUES VALID. R. JOSE SAYS: DYE-WATER RENDERS IT INVALID BY A QUANTITY OF THREE LOGS,15 BUT NOT THROUGH CHANGING ITS COLOUR.16 IF WINE OR THE SAP OF OLIVES FELL INTO IT AND CHANGED ITS COLOUR, IT BECOMES INVALID.17 WHAT SHOULD ONE DO [TO MAKE IT VALID AGAIN]?18 ONE SHOULD WAIT WITH IT TILL THE RAIN FALLS AND THE COLOUR REVERTS TO THE COLOUR OF WATER. IF IT CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS,19 WATER MAY BE DRAWN AND CARRIED ON THE SHOULDER AND PUT THEREIN UNTIL THE COLOUR REVERTS TO THAT OF WATER.

MISHNAH 4. IF WINE OR THE SAP OF OLIVES FELL INTO THE MIKWEH20 AND CHANGED THE COLOUR OF A PORTION OF THE WATER,21 ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE ONESELF THEREIN IF IT HAS NOT FORTY SE'AHS WITH THE COLOUR OF WATER.

MISHNAH 5. IF A KORTOB OF WINE FELL INTO THREE LOGS OF WATER AND ITS COLOUR BECAME LIKE THAT OF WINE, AND THE WATER THEN FELL INTO A MIKWEH,22 IT DOES NOT RENDER IT INVALID.23 IF THERE WERE THREE LOGS OF WATER LESS A KORTOB INTO WHICH A KORTOB OF MILK FELL, AND THEIR COLOUR REMAINED LIKE THE COLOUR OF WATER, AND THEN THEY FELL INTO A MIKWEH, THEY DO NOT RENDER IT INVALID.24 R. JOHANAN B. NURI SAYS: ALL GOES BY THE COLOUR.25

MISHNAH 6. IF A MIKWEH CONTAINED FORTY SE'AHS EXACTLY AND TWO PERSONS WENT DOWN AND IMMERSED THEMSELVES ONE AFTER THE OTHER, THE FIRST BECOMES CLEAN BUT THE SECOND REMAINS UNCLEAN.26 R. JUDAH SAYS: IF THE FEET OF THE FIRST WERE STILL TOUCHING THE WATER,27 THE SECOND ALSO BECOMES CLEAN. IF ONE IMMERSED A THICK CLOAK28 AND WHEN HE DREW IT OUT A PART WAS STILL IN CONTACT WITH THE WATER [AND THEN ANOTHER PERSON IMMERSED HIMSELF IN THE MIKWEH], HE BECOMES CLEAN.29 IF A BOLSTER OR A CUSHION OF LEATHER WAS IMMERSED, AS SOON AS IT IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WATER BY ITS OPEN ENDS THE WATER WHICH STILL REMAINS IN IT IS DRAWN WATER.30 HOW SHOULD ONE DO IT? ONE SHOULD IMMERSE THEM AND DRAW THEM UP BY THEIR LOWER EDGES.31

MISHNAH 7. IF A BED WAS IMMERSED THEREIN,32 ALTHOUGH ITS FEET SINK INTO THE THICK MUD, IT STILL BECOMES CLEAN BECAUSE THE WATER TOUCHED THEM BEFORE [THE MUD].33 IF THE WATER OF A MIKWEH34 IS TOO SHALLOW,35 ONE MAY PRESS DOWN EVEN BUNDLES OF STICKS, EVEN BUNDLES OF REEDS, SO THAT THE LEVEL OF THE WATER MAY RISE,36 AND THEN GO DOWN AND IMMERSE ONESELF. IF AN [UNCLEAN] NEEDLE IS PLACED ON THE STEP37 [LEADING DOWN TO A MIKWEH] IN A CAVERN, AND THE WATER IS PUT IN MOTION, ONCE A WAVE HAS PASSED OVER IT, [THE NEEDLE] BECOMES CLEAN.

 
(1) If they enter a mikweh containing less than 40 se'ahs.
(2) If three logs of them fall into a mikweh of less that 40 se'ahs.
(3) Lit., ‘like spittle’.
(4) East of the Jordan, cf. Num. XXI, 30.
(5) To make a new mikweh.
(6) A quantity which when melted was equal to a se'ah.
(7) Of the materials in the above list.
(8) ‘Tamed’, an inferior wine made by steeping in water husks and stones of pressed grapes; cf. Ma'as. Sh. I, 3.
(9) It is still considered water.
(10) V. supra III, 1, n. 4.
(11) The seven liquids enumerated in Maksh. VI, 4, including wine, oil, milk, etc.
(12) Neither do these liquids render the mikweh invalid if they fall into it and do not change the colour of the water. These liquids thus form the third class of materials which neither make up the required quantity of the mikweh, nor render it invalid.
(13) But neither does it render the water in the mikweh invalid.
(14) Although the greater portion of the se'ah removed must have consisted of the valid water, so that now the mikweh must contain less than 40 se'ahs of its original water.
(15) Like ordinary drawn water.
(16) Because the dye is an artificial addition to the water.
(17) Because the colour of wine or olives is natural to them and inseparable from them. A mikweh so coloured would appear to be not a mikweh of water, as prescribed by the Torah, but a mikweh filled with wine or with the sap of olives.
(18) In the case of a mikweh containing less than 40 se'ahs which may not be increased by drawn water.
(19) Which does not become invalid by the addition of any quantity of drawn water.
(20) Holding less than 40 se'ahs.
(21) At one side of the mikweh. That portion can no longer be reckoned as part of the mikweh.
(22) Holding less than 40 se'ahs, and the colour of which was not changed.
(23) Because the three logs are no longer considered as water.
(24) Because milk cannot make up the required quantity of the three log of water.
(25) And if the milk did not change the colour of the water, it combines with the water to make up three logs, and so renders the mikweh invalid.
(26) Because some water must have adhered to the body of the first person, thus reducing the quantity of the mikweh to less than 40 se'ahs.
(27) When the second person immersed himself, the whole of the body of the first person may thus be considered as if still in the water.
(28) In a mikweh containing 40 se'ahs exactly.
(29) The water absorbed by the cloak is considered as if still in the mikweh.
(30) They form a receptacle, and if immersed in a mikweh of 40 se'ahs exactly, the water running down from them into the mikweh, if three logs in quantity, will render the mikweh invalid.
(31) So that no water will be held inside them.
(32) In a mikweh containing 40 se'ahs exactly.
(33) Or, according to some commentators, because the water fills the holes in the mud before the feet of the bed sink in them.
(34) Containing more than 40 se'ahs.
(35) For the body to be completely covered by it.
(36) Lit., ‘swell up’.
(37) The owner will not immerse the needle in the cavern for fear of its being lost.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 8

MISHNAH 1. THE LAND OF ISRAEL IS CLEAN1 AND ITS MIKWEHS ARE CLEAN.2 THE MIKWEHS OF THE NATIONS OUTSIDE THE LAND ARE VALID FOR THOSE WHO HAD A SEMINAL ISSUE3 EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE FILLED WITH A SWIPE-BEAM;4 THOSE IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL WHEN OUTSIDE THE ENTRANCE [TO THE CITY]5 ARE VALID ALSO FOR MENSTRUANTS,6 AND THOSE WITHIN THE ENTRANCE [TO THE CITY] ARE VALID FOR THOSE WHO HAD A SEMINAL ISSUE BUT INVALID FOR ALL [OTHERS] WHO ARE UNCLEAN.7 R. ELIEZER SAYS: THOSE WHICH ARE NEAR TO A CITY OR TO A ROAD ARE UNCLEAN BECAUSE OF THE WASHING [OF CLOTHES8 THEREIN]; BUT THOSE AT A DISTANCE ARE CLEAN.

MISHNAH 2. THESE ARE THE PERSONS THAT HAD A SEMINAL ISSUE WHO REQUIRE IMMERSION: IF HE NOTICED THAT HIS URINE ISSUED IN DROPS OR WAS MUDDY, AT THE BEGINNING9 HE IS CLEAN;10 IN THE MIDDLE AND AT THE END, HE IS UNCLEAN;11 FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END, HE IS CLEAN.10 IF IT WAS WHITE AND VISCOUS, HE IS UNCLEAN.12 R. JOSE SAYS: WHAT IS WHITE COUNTS LIKE WHAT IS MUDDY.13

MISHNAH 3. IF HE EMITTED THICK DROPS FROM THE MEMBER, HE IS UNCLEAN.12 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. ELEAZAR HISMA. IF ONE HAD IMPURE DREAMS IN THE NIGHT AND AROSE AND FOUND HIS FLESH14 HEATED, HE IS UNCLEAN.15 IF A WOMAN16 DISCHARGED SEMEN ON THE THIRD DAY,17 SHE IS CLEAN.18 THIS IS THE OPINION OF R. ELEAZAR B. AZARIAH. R. ISHMAEL SAYS: SOMETIMES THERE ARE FOUR ‘ONAHS,19 AND SOMETIMES FIVE, AND SOMETIMES SIX. R. AKIBA SAYS: THERE ARE ALWAYS FIVE.

MISHNAH 4. IF A GENTILE WOMAN DISCHARGED SEMEN FROM AN ISRAELITE, IT IS UNCLEAN. IF AN ISRAELITE WOMAN DISCHARGED SEMEN FROM A GENTILE, IT IS CLEAN. IF A WOMAN HAD INTERCOURSE AND THEN WENT DOWN AND IMMERSED HERSELF BUT DID NOT20 SWEEP OUT THE HOUSE,21 IT IS AS THOUGH SHE HAD NOT IMMERSED HERSELF.22 IF A MAN WHO HAD A SEMINAL ISSUE IMMERSED HIMSELF BUT DID NOT FIRST PASS URINE, HE AGAIN BECOMES UNCLEAN WHEN HE PASSES URINE.23 R. JOSE SAYS: IF HE WAS SICK OR OLD HE IS UNCLEAN, BUT IF HE WAS YOUNG AND HEALTHY HE REMAINS CLEAN.24

MISHNAH 5. IF A MENSTRUANT PLACED COINS IN HER MOUTH AND WENT DOWN AND IMMERSED HERSELF, SHE BECOMES CLEAN FROM HER [FORMER] UNCLEANNESS,25 BUT SHE BECOMES UNCLEAN ON ACCOUNT OF HER SPITTLE.26 IF SHE PUT HER HAIR IN HER MOUTH27 OR CLOSED HER HAND27 OR PRESSED HER LIPS TIGHTLY,27 IT IS AS THOUGH SHE HAD NOT IMMERSED HERSELF.28 IF A PERSON HELD ON TO ANOTHER MAN OR TO VESSELS AND IMMERSED THEM, THEY REMAIN UNCLEAN;29 BUT IF HE HAD WASHED HIS HAND BEFORE IN THE WATER, THEY BECOME CLEAN.30 R. SIMEON SAYS: HE SHOULD HOLD THEM LOOSELY THAT WATER MAY ENTER INTO THEM. THE SECRET31 AND WRINKLED PARTS OF THE BODY DO NOT NEED THAT WATER SHOULD ENTER INTO THEM.32

 
(1) Even localities occupied by non-Jews.
(2) They are not suspected of having become invalid by drawn water.
(3) To purify them for the study of the Torah; cf. supra III, 4, n. 3. Such a defilement can be removed by immersion even in a mikweh with drawn water.
(4) Carrying drawn water.
(5) Where few people come, and one need not suspect the presence of drawn water in a mikweh.
(6) Even for such a severe defilement as that of menstruation; cf. Lev. XX, 18.
(7) Because such mikwehs are used for ordinary bathing and for washing clothes, and may be suspected of having been filled with drawn water.
(8) Even though they are filled with rain water, they may yet be suspected of having received three logs of water wrung out of the clothes washed in them and thus rendered drawn before they had 40 se'ahs of rain water.
(9) Of his urination.
(10) It is not semen.
(11) It is semen.
(12) V. p. 452, n. 11.
(13) And it differs according as it is discharged at the beginning or in the middle and at the end.
(14) A euphemism for the male member; cf. Lev. XV, 2, etc.
(15) Even though he did not perceive a discharge.
(16) Cf. Shab. IX, 3.
(17) After intercourse. The number of days is derived from Ex. XIX, 15.
(18) After such a time the semen loses its efficacy.
(19) During which the discharge remains unclean. An ‘onah (lit.. ‘period’) is a day or a night, half an astronomical day. R. Ishmael holds that two full astronomical days (viz., a complete night and the day following it) must elapse to render the discharge clean. Thus if intercourse took place at the end of the first day and the discharge at the beginning of the fourth day, two complete days or four ‘onahs intervening, it is clean. But if intercourse took place in the morning of the first day, the discharge will still not be clean till the beginning of the fourth day, a lapse of five ‘onahs. Likewise, if intercourse took place in the evening (preceding) the first day, the discharge is not clean till the beginning of the fourth day, a lapse of six ‘onahs.
(20) Previous to immersion.
(21) A euphemism; did not clean her private parts from any trace of semen.
(22) Because she may have a discharge after her immersion.
(23) The urine may carry a discharge of semen.
(24) The original discharge must have been complete, leaving nothing behind for an additional discharge in the urine.
(25) For fresh intercourse.
(26) Before the immersion some spittle may have come on the coin in her mouth. This spittle does not become clean by the immersion like the rest of the spittle in her mouth, and conveys uncleanness to the woman.
(27) Preventing their contact with the water.
(28) Because the immersion was not complete.
(29) The water in the mikweh did not cover the place held by the hand.
(30) The water adhering still to his hand combines with the water of the mikweh to serve as immersion for the place held by the hand.
(31) The inside of the mouth, ears, and nose.
(32) But they must be left free for contact with the water.

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 9

MISHNAH 1. THE FOLLOWING INTERPOSE1 IN THE CASE OF A PERSON: THREADS OF WOOL AND THREADS OF FLAX AND THE RIBBONS ON THE HEADS OF GIRLS.2 R. JUDAH SAYS: THOSE OF WOOL OR OF HAIR DO NOT INTERPOSE, BECAUSE WATER ENTERS THROUGH THEM.

MISHNAH 2. THE MATTED HAIR ON THE HEART AND ON THE BEARD AND ON A WOMAN'S3 SECRET PARTS; PUS OUTSIDE THE EYE, HARDENED PUS OUTSIDE A WOUND AND THE PLASTER OVER IT, DRIED-UP JUICE, CLOTS OF EXCREMENT ON THE BODY, DOUGH UNDER THE FINGER NAIL, SWEAT-CRUMBS, MIRY CLAY, POTTER'S CLAY, AND ROAD-CLAY. WHAT IS MEANT BY ‘MIRY CLAY’? THIS MEANS THE CLAY IN PITS, FOR IT IS WRITTEN: ‘HE BROUGHT ME UP OUT OF A HORRIBLE PIT, OUT OF THE MIRY CLAY’.4 ‘POTTER'S CLAY’ IS ACCORDING TO ITS LITERAL SENSE. R. JOSE DECLARES POTTER'S CLAY CLEAN,5 BUT CLAY FOR PUTTY UNCLEAN. ‘ROAD-CLAY’6 IS CLAY WHICH BECOMES LIKE ROAD-SIDE PEGS.7 IN THESE [KINDS OF CLAY]8 ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE ONESELF NOR IMMERSE WITH THEM;9 BUT IN ALL OTHER CLAY ONE MAY IMMERSE WHEN IT IS WET. ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE ONESELF WITH DUST [STILL] ON ONE'S FEET.10 ONE MAY NOT IMMERSE A KETTLE WITH SOOT [ON IT] EXCEPT IT HAS BEEN SCRAPED.

MISHNAH 3. THE FOLLOWING DO NOT INTERPOSE: THE MATTED HAIR OF THE HEAD AND OF THE ARMPITS AND OF A MAN'S SECRET PARTS. R. ELIEZER SAYS: IT IS THE SAME WITH A MAN OR A WOMAN: IF IT IS SOMETHING WHICH ONE FINDS ANNOYING, IT INTERPOSES; BUT IF IT IS SOMETHING WHICH ONE DOES NOT FIND ANNOYING, IT DOES NOT INTERPOSE.

MISHNAH 4. PUS WITHIN THE EYE, HARDENED PUS WITHIN A WOUND, JUICE THAT IS MOIST, MOIST EXCREMENT ON THE BODY, EXCREMENT INSIDE THE FINGER NAIL, AND A DANGLING FINGER NAIL.11 THE DOWNY HAIR OF A CHILD IS NOT LIABLE TO UNCLEANNESS12 AND DOES NOT CAUSE UNCLEANNESS. THE SKIN WHICH FORMS OVER A WOUND IS LIABLE TO UNCLEANNESS AND CAUSES UNCLEANNESS.

MISHNAH 5. IN THE CASE OF ARTICLES THE FOLLOWING INTERPOSE: PITCH AND MYRRH13 IN THE CASE OF GLASS VESSELS, WHETHER INSIDE OR OUTSIDE; THEY INTERPOSE [WHEN FOUND] ON A TABLE OR ON A BOARD OR ON A COUCH THAT ARE [USUALLY] KEPT CLEAN,14 BUT THEY DO NOT INTERPOSE [WHEN FOUND] ON THESE ARTICLES IF ALLOWED TO REMAIN DIRTY. THEY INTERPOSE IN THE CASE OF BEDS BELONGING TO HOUSEHOLDERS,15 BUT THEY DO NOT INTERPOSE ON BEDS BELONGING TO A POOR PERSON. THEY INTERPOSE ON THE SADDLE OF A HOUSE-HOLDER, BUT THEY DO NOT INTERPOSE ON THE SADDLE OF A DEALER IN WATER-SKINS. THEY INTERPOSE IN THE CASE OF A PACK-SADDLE.16 RABBAN SIMEON B. GAMALIEL SAYS: [ONLY IF THE STAIN IS AS BIG] AS AN ITALIAN ISSAR.17

MISHNAH 6. THEY DO NOT INTERPOSE [IF FOUND] ON CLOTHING ON ONE SIDE [ONLY]. BUT [IF FOUND] ON TWO SIDES18 THEY INTERPOSE. R. JUDAH SAYS IN THE NAME OF R. ISHMAEL: ON ONE SIDE ALSO. R. JOSE SAYS: IN THE CASE OF BANNA'IM19 THEY INTERPOSE ALSO IF ON ONE SIDE, BUT IN THE CASE OF THE UNCULTURED ONLY IF ON BOTH SIDES.

MISHNAH 7. THEY DO NOT INTERPOSE IN THE CASE OF APRONS BELONGING TO WORKERS IN PITCH, POTTERS, OR TRIMMERS OF TREES. R. JUDAH SAYS: THE SAME APPLIES ALSO TO SUMMER FRUIT-DRIERS. THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: IF IT IS SOMETHING WHICH CAUSES ANNOYANCE, IT INTERPOSES; BUT IF IT IS SOMETHING WHICH DOES NOT CAUSE ANNOYANCE, IT DOES NOT INTERPOSE.

 
(1) Between the body and the water of the mikweh to render the immersion void if they are worn on the body while immersing; cf. supra VIII, 5. nn. 5-7, and Introd.
(2) If tied tightly or interlaced.
(3) A married woman only, who finds such hair annoying in intercourse with her husband.
(4) Psalms XL, 3. This shows that miry clay (טיט היונ) is found in pits.
(5) Water can penetrate through this clay, but not through putty.
(6) גת יוני, of uncertain meaning and pointing (יוני); cf. Kohut, ‘Aruch, II, p. 341.
(7) When it becomes dry and hard; cf. B.K. 81a.
(8) If any such clay is in the mikweh.
(9) If any such clay is sticking to the body.
(10) The dust may turn in the water into clay.
(11) This concludes the list of things which do not interpose.
(12) If it comes in contact with a defilement.
(13) והמור. Var. lec.: וחמר, ‘and bitumen’.
(14) And the stain causes annoyance.
(15) A rich person who is fastidious about the cleanness of his furniture.
(16) Some texts omit this sentence.
(17) The Roman As, a coin which was equal to 1/24 of a denar.
(18) When a stain causes annoyance.
(19) בנאים, ‘builders’ explained in Shab. 114a as scholars learned in the law who build up the world (cf. Ber. 64a). Another explanation given there is ‘bath-attendants’ (בלנאים or בלנים), but this does not correspond to the following ‘uncultured’ (בנר).

Mishna - Mas. Mikva'oth Chapter 10

MISHNAH 1. ANY HANDLES OF VESSELS WHICH HAVE BEEN FIXED NOT IN THEIR CUSTOMARY MANNER, OR, IF FIXED IN THEIR CUSTOMARY MANNER, HAVE NOT BEEN FIXED FIRMLY, OR, IF FIXED FIRMLY, HAVE BEEN BROKEN,1 LO, THEY INTERPOSE.2 IF A VESSEL IS IMMERSED WITH ITS MOUTH DOWNWARDS, IT IS AS THOUGH IT HAD NOT BEEN IMMERSED.3 IF IMMERSED IN THE REGULAR MANNER BUT WITHOUT THE ATTACHMENT,4 [IT BECOMES CLEAN] ONLY IF TURNED ON ITS SIDE.5 IF A VESSEL IS NARROW AT EACH END AND BROAD IN THE CENTRE, IT BECOMES CLEAN ONLY IF TURNED ON ITS SIDE.5 A FLASK WHICH HAS ITS MOUTH TURNED INWARDS6 BECOMES CLEAN ONLY IF A HOLE IS MADE AT THE SIDE.5 AN INKPOT OF LAYMEN7 BECOMES CLEAN ONLY IF A HOLE IS MADE AT THE SIDE. THE INKPOT OF JOSEPH THE PRIEST HAD A HOLE AT ITS SIDE.8

MISHNAH 2. IN THE CASE OF A BOLSTER AND A CUSHION OF LEATHER IT IS NECESSARY THAT THE WATER ENTER INSIDE THEM;9 BUT IN THE CASE OF A ROUND CUSHION OR A BALL OR A BOOTMAKER'S LAST OR AN AMULET OR A PHYLACTERY,10 IT IS NOT NECESSARY THAT THE WATER ENTER INSIDE THEM. THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: ANY ARTICLE THE FILLING OF WHICH IS NOT HABITUALLY TAKEN OUT AND PUT IN MAY BE IMMERSED UNOPENED.

MISHNAH 3. THE FOLLOWING DO NOT REQUIRE THAT THE WATER SHALL ENTER INSIDE THEM: KNOTS [IN THE CLOTHES] OF A POOR MAN,11 OR IN TASSELS, OR IN THE THONG OF A SANDAL, OR IN A HEAD-PHYLACTERY12 IF IT IS FASTENED TIGHTLY, OR IN AN ARM-PHYLACTERY12 IF IT DOES NOT MOVE UP OR DOWN, OR IN THE HANDLES OF A WATER-SKIN, OR IN THE HANDLES OF A WALLET.13

MISHNAH 4. THE FOLLOWING REQUIRE THAT WATER SHALL ENTER INSIDE THEM: THE KNOT IN AN UNDERGARMENT14 WHICH IS TIED TO THE SHOULDER, (LIKEWISE THE HEM OF A SHEET15 MUST BE STRETCHED OUT), AND THE KNOT OF A HEADPHYLACTERY IF IT IS NOT FASTENED TIGHTLY, OR OF THE ARM-PHYLACTERY IF IT MOVES UP AND DOWN, AND THE LACES OF A SANDAL. CLOTHES WHICH ARE IMMERSED WHEN THEY HAVE JUST BEEN WASHED16 MUST BE KEPT IMMERSED UNTIL THEY THROW UP BUBBLES,17 BUT IF THEY ARE IMMERSED WHEN ALREADY DRY, THEY MUST BE KEPT IMMERSED UNTIL THEY THROW UP BUBBLES AND THEN CEASE TO THROW UP BUBBLES.18

MISHNAH 5. ANY HANDLES OF VESSELS WHICH ARE TOO LONG AND WHICH WILL BE CUT SHORT, NEED ONLY BE IMMERSED UP TO THE POINT OF THEIR PROPER MEASURE.19 R. JUDAH SAYS: [THEY ARE UNCLEAN] UNTIL THE WHOLE OF THEM IS IMMERSED. AS FOR THE CHAIN OF A LARGE BUCKET, TO THE LENGTH OF FOUR HANDBREADTHS, AND A SMALL BUCKET, TO THE LENGTH OF TEN HANDBREADTHS; AND THEY NEED ONLY BE IMMERSED UP TO THE POINT OF THEIR PROPER MEASURE.20 R. TARFON SAYS: IT IS NOT CLEAN UNLESS THE WHOLE OF THE RING21 IS IMMERSED. THE ROPE BOUND TO A BASKET IS NOT COUNTED AS A CONNECTION UNLESS IT HAS BEEN SEWN ON.22

MISHNAH 6. BETH SHAMMAI SAY: HOT WATER23 MAY NOT BE IMMERSED IN COLD, OR COLD IN HOT, FOUL IN FRESH OR FRESH IN FOUL.24 BUT BETH HILLEL SAY: IT MAY BE IMMERSED. IF ONE IMMERSED A VESSEL FULL OF LIQUIDS.25 IT IS AS THOUGH IT HAD NOT BEEN IMMERSED;26 IF IT WAS FULL OF URINE, THIS IS RECKONED AS WATER; IF IT CONTAINED WATER OF PURIFICATION,27 [IT IS UNCLEAN] UNLESS THE WATER [OF THE MIKWEH WHICH ENTERS THE VESSEL] EXCEEDS THE WATER OF PURIFICATION. R. JOSE SAYS: EVEN IF A VESSEL WITH THE CAPACITY OF A KOR28 CONTAINS BUT A QUARTER-LOG.29 IT IS AS THOUGH IT HAD NOT BEEN IMMERSED.

MISHNAH 7. ALL FOODS30 COMBINE TOGETHER31 TO MAKE UP THE HALF OF A HALF-LOAF32 WHICH MAKES THE BODY UNFIT. ALL LIQUIDS COMBINE TOGETHER33 TO MAKE UP THE QUARTER-LOG WHICH MAKES THE BODY UNFIT. THIS FORMS A RULE OF GREATER STRINGENCY IN THE CASE OF ONE WHO DRINKS UNCLEAN LIQUIDS THAN IN THE CASE OF THE MIKWEH, FOR IN HIS CASE THEY HAVE MADE ALL OTHER LIQUIDS LIKE WATER.34

MISHNAH 8. IF ONE ATE UNCLEAN FOODS OR DRANK UNCLEAN LIQUIDS. AND HE IMMERSED HIMSELF AND THEN VOMITED THEM UP,35 THEY ARE STILL UNCLEAN BECAUSE THEY DID NOT BECOME CLEAN IN THE BODY.36 IF ONE DRANK UNCLEAN WATER AND IMMERSED HIMSELF AND THEN VOMITED IT UP, IT IS CLEAN BECAUSE IT BECAME CLEAN IN THE BODY.37 IF ONE SWALLOWED A CLEAN RING AND THEN WENT INTO THE TENT OF A CORPSE,38 IF HE SPRINKLED HIMSELF ONCE AND TWICE39 AND IMMERSED HIMSELF AND THEN VOMITED IT UP, LO, IT REMAINS AS IT WAS BEFORE.40 IF ONE SWALLOWED AN UNCLEAN RING, HE MAY IMMERSE HIMSELF AND EAT TERUMAH;41 IF HE VOMITED IT UP, IT IS UNCLEAN42 AND IT RENDERS HIM UNCLEAN.43 IF AN ARROW WAS STUCK INTO A MAN, IT INTERPOSES SO LONG AS IT IS VISIBLE;44 BUT IF IT IS NOT VISIBLE, HE MAY IMMERSE HIMSELF AND EAT TERUMAH.45

 
(1) In all these cases the handle cannot be considered a permanent or an essential part of the vessel.
(2) They prevent the water from covering that part of the vessel where the handle is attached.
(3) Because air remains in the vessel and prevents the water from filling it.
(4) The reading and meaning of this word are very doubtful. It is variously explained as an additional opening, or handle, or long neck, or saucer-like bottom.
(5) To enable the water to fill it completely.
(6) In order to prevent the escape of the liquid when the flask is turned upside down.
(7) Or ‘private persons’ who are not professional scribes. The inkpot was made in the same fashion with the rim of its mouth turned inwards. The Cambridge text (cf. Introd. n. 1.) omits ‘of laymen’.
(8) In accordance with this rule.
(9) Because they are sometimes opened for a change of their filling.
(10) These are not usually opened.
(11) To tie up rents.
(12) Cf. Deut. VI, 8.
(13) They are permanent knots.
(14) It has a wide opening at the neck, which is drawn in and tied to the shoulder.
(15) Which serves as a curtain with folds at the top hem.
(16) And are full of folds and wrinkles.
(17) The bubbles show that the water still adhering to the clothes has mingled with the water of the mikweh, and has thus become part of the water of the mikweh. It is not necessary then for the water of the mikweh to penetrate into all the folds of the clothes.
(18) When we may be sure that the water of the mikweh has penetrated into all the folds and wrinkles of the clothes.
(19) As given in Kelim XXIX. The rest is not considered as belonging to the vessel.
(20) Even if this ends in the middle of a ring. Cf. Kelim XIV, 3.
(21) If the appointed measure ends in the middle of the ring.
(22) Therefore when not sewn on, it must be undone before the basket is immersed.
(23) Water can be rendered clean by filling it in a vessel in which it is immersed to the rim, when the water in the vessel establishes contact with the water of the mikweh.
(24) The water to be immersed must be of the same kind as the water of the mikweh.
(25) Other than water; cf. supra VII, 2, p. 449 n. 3.
(26) These liquids do not mingle with the water of the mikweh, and therefore they interpose between the inside of the vessel and the water of the mikweh.
(27) This water, on account of its importance, cannot be considered as mingled with the water of the mikweh, unless the latter exceeds it in quantity.
(28) Cf. Ezek. XLV, 14. It is equal to thirty se'ahs.
(29) Of liquid other than water or of Water of Purification.
(30) Cf. Me'ilah IV, 5.
(31) If a man ate small quantities of unclean foods of different kinds, these quantities may be reckoned together to make up the minimum quantity of unclean food which renders a person unfit for eating terumah.
(32) A bulk of two eggs, (Rashi), or of an egg and a half, according to Maimonides.
(33) If a person drank small quantities of unclean liquids of different kinds.
(34) To combine with water in order to make up the required quantity, whereas in the case of the mikweh other liquids do not combine with water.
(35) Before they had remained in the stomach sufficiently long for digestion.
(36) Unclean foods and liquids except water cannot be purified by immersion.
(37) Unclean water can be purified by immersion, cf. p. 460, n. 5.
(38) Or any other premises with remains of a dead human body.
(39) With Water of Purification, in accordance with the law in Num. XIX, 19.
(40) The ring remains clean, because a swallowed article is not affected by the defilement of the person after swallowing it.
(41) The ring had a principal defilement (אב הטומאה), and by coming in contact with it before swallowing it, the person received a secondary defilement of the first degree, and requires immersion for eating terumah.
(42) It did not become clean by the person's immersion.
(43) By coming in contact with the ring in the act of vomiting it out.
(44) It sticks out of the body.
(45) Even if the arrow is unclean, because an object enclosed in the body cannot convey uncleanness.

 

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