Bekhorot 38aבכורות ל״ח א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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38aל״ח א

כמלא נקב של עול אישתיק וא"ל רב חסדא שמא מקדח וחיסומו שנינו

like the size of the hole of a yoke of an animal. Evidently, the measure of the drilled hole stipulated by Beit Shammai with regard to a deficient skull equals the size of a sela coin stipulated by Beit Hillel according to the statement of Rav Taḥlifa. The Gemara relates: Rav Taḥlifa was silent. And Rav Ḥisda said to him: Perhaps we learned that Beit Shammai did not mean the size of a drilled hole alone, but rather the size of a drilled hole and its obstruction, i.e., a hole that allows for the drill to be inserted and removed. This is slightly larger than the sela mentioned by Beit Hillel.

וא"ל רב תחליפא לא תימא שמא אלא ודאי מקדח וחיסומו צריך להתלות עליה כחזקיה אבי עקש

And Rav Taḥlifa said to him: Do not say: Perhaps. Rather, say: Beit Shammai definitely was referring to the size of a drilled hole and its obstruction, and you can rely on this explanation since it is certainly correct, as certain as the testimony of Ḥizkiyya, the father of Ikkesh, which is uncontested. It can be derived from here that just as the phrase: Size of a drilled hole, is referring to the size of a hole into which the drill can be inserted and removed, so too, the size of a bitter vetch mentioned in the mishna is referring to a hole into which the bitter vetch can be inserted and removed.

דתנן זו עדות העיד חזקיה אבי עקש לפני רבן גמליאל ביבנה שאמר משום רבן גמליאל הזקן כל שאין לו תוך בכלי חרס אין לו אחורים לחליקה נטמא תוכו נטמא גבו נטמא גבו נטמא תוכו

§ The Gemara explains the reference to the testimony of Ḥizkiyya the father of Ikkesh. As we learned in a baraita that Ḥizkiyya, the father of Ikkesh, testified this testimony before Rabban Gamliel in Yavne, which he said in the name of Rabban Gamliel the Elder: With regard to earthenware vessels, any vessel that does not have a receptacle has no distinction with regard to the halakhic status of its sides. This is in contrast to the earthenware vessels mentioned in the Torah, where only the inside, and not the outside, is susceptible to ritual impurity. Rather, if its inside, i.e., the sides that are used, became impure, its outside also becomes impure. Likewise, if its outside became impure, its inside also becomes impure.

כלי חרס בתוכו תלה רחמנא אית ליה תוך איטמי ליה לית ליה תוך לא איטמי ליה

The Gemara challenges: With regard to an earthenware vessel, the Merciful One rendered its susceptibility to impurity dependent on the presence of a receptacle, as it states: “And every earthen vessel into whose interior any of them falls” (Leviticus 11:33). Consequently, if there is a receptacle, it will become impure, but if there is no receptacle, it should not become impure.

א"ר יצחק בר אבין הכי קאמר כל שאין לו תוך בכלי חרס כנגדו בכלי שטף אין לו אחורים לחליקה נטמא תוכו נטמא גבו נטמא גבו נטמא תוכו

Rabbi Yitzḥak bar Avin said in response: The testimony is not referring to earthenware vessels, but to vessels that are purified through immersion in a ritual bath, such as wooden vessels, which are susceptible to ritual impurity even if they lack a receptacle. Accordingly, this is what the tanna is saying: With regard to earthenware vessels, any vessel that does not have a receptacle never becomes impure. The halakha in the corresponding case with regard to a vessel that is purified though rinsing, i.e., immersion in a ritual bath, where it lacks a receptacle, is that there is no distinction with regard to the halakhic status of its sides. Therefore, if its inside, i.e., the side that is used, became impure, its outside also becomes impure. Likewise, if its outside became impure, its inside also becomes impure.

למה לי למיתלייה בכלי חרס נימא כל שאין לו תוך בכלי שטף אין לו אחורים לחליקה

The Gemara asks: Why do I need to render this halakha dependent on an earthenware vessel? Let us simply say: With regard to a vessel that is purified though rinsing, any vessel that does not have a receptacle has no distinction with regard to the halakhic status of its sides.

הא קמ"ל דיש לו תוך הרי הוא ככלי חרס מה כלי חרס נטמא תוכו נטמא גבו לא נטמא תוכו לא נטמא גבו אף כלי שטף נטמא תוכו נטמא גבו לא נטמא תוכו לא נטמא גבו

The Gemara answers: This association teaches us that if the vessel that is purified through rinsing has a receptacle, it is like an earthenware vessel. Therefore, just as in the case of an earthenware vessel, if its inside became impure, its outside also becomes impure, but if its inside did not become impure, its outside does not become impure, so too, with regard to a vessel that is purified through rinsing, if its inside became impure, its outside becomes impure. But if its inside did not become impure, its outside does not become impure.

בשלמא כלי חרס גלי ביה רחמנא תוכו אלא כלי שטף מי גלי ביה רחמנא תוכו

The Gemara asks: Granted that with regard to an earthenware vessel, the Merciful One revealed that it is rendered ritually impure only if the impure item fell into its “inside” (see Leviticus 11:33). But with regard to a vessel that is purified though rinsing, did the Merciful One reveal with regard to it that it becomes impure only through its inside? Therefore, even if the impure item touched the outside, it should become entirely impure.

אי בטומאה דאורייתא ה"נ הכא במאי עסקינן בטומאת משקין דרבנן דתנן כלי שנטמא אחוריו במשקין אחוריו טמאין תוכו אגנו אזנו וידיו טהורין נטמא תוכו כולו טמא

The Gemara answers: If it is referring to ritual impurity that is by Torah law, then indeed a vessel that is purified through rinsing can be become impure even through its outside. But here we are dealing with the ritual impurity of liquids, i.e., liquids that became impure and subsequently touched the vessel, which becomes impure only by rabbinic law. As we learned in a mishna (Kelim 25:6): With regard to a vessel whose outside became ritually impure by contact with impure liquids, only its outside is impure, but its inside, its rim, its ear-shaped handle, and its straight handle are pure. If its inside became impure, it becomes impure in its entirety.

דמדאורייתא אין אוכל מטמא כלי ואין משקה מטמא כלי ורבנן הוא דגזור משום משקה זב וזבה

The Gemara explains the reason: By Torah law, food does not transmit impurity to a vessel, and a liquid does not transmit impurity to a vessel. And it was the Sages who decreed that an impure liquid transmits impurity to a vessel, because of the concern that people will be lenient with regard to the liquid of a zav and a zava, such as their urine or saliva, which are a primary source of impurity and impart impurity to vessels.

הלכך שויוה רבנן כטומאה דכלי חרס ולא שויוה רבנן כטומאה דאורייתא דנפשיה

Therefore, the Sages deemed the impurity of a vessel that is purified though rinsing whose outside became impure through liquid to be like the impurity of an earthenware vessel, and if its exterior became impure, its interior remains pure. But the Sages did not deem its impurity like the impurity of itself, i.e., a vessel that is purified through rinsing, by Torah law, that if its exterior became impure, the vessel becomes impure in its entirety.

עבדו רבנן היכירא כי היכי דלא לישרוף עליה תרומה וקדשים אי הכי אין לו תוך נמי ליעביד נמי היכירא

The reason for this is that through this ruling the Sages employed an indicator that it is impure only by rabbinic law so that people will not burn teruma and consecrated items due to having come into contact with those vessels, as by Torah law they are ritually pure and it is prohibited to burn them. The Gemara asks: If so, that this is the case under discussion, then with regard to a vessel that is purified through rinsing that has no receptacle as well, the Sages should employ an indicator. They should rule that the inside remains pure so that teruma and consecrated items will not be burned after coming in contact with it. Why then did Ḥizkiyya, the father of Ikkesh, testify that if its outside became impure, its inside becomes impure as well?

כיון דעבדו היכירא ביש לו תוך ידיע דאין לו תוך דרבנן

The Gemara answers: Since the Sages employed an indicator with regard to vessels that are purified through rinsing that have a receptacle, it is thereby known that the impurity of a vessel that does not have a receptacle that comes in contact with an impure liquid is by rabbinic law. Therefore, no one will burn teruma and consecrated items that came in contact with it.

ואין לו תוך בכלי שטף דאורייתא בר קבולי טומאה הוא דומיא דשק בעינן מה שק מיטלטל מלא וריקן אף כל מיטלטל מלא וריקן

The Gemara asks: And with regard to a vessel that is purified through rinsing, is it susceptible to ritual impurity by Torah law, so that the Sages found it necessary to decree that the exterior is susceptible to impurity of liquids? After all, in order for a vessel to be susceptible to impurity it is required to be similar to a sack, which is mentioned with regard to ritual impurity (see Leviticus 11:32): Just as a sack is carried both full and empty, so too, any object must be capable of being carried both full and empty in order to become ritually impure. This excludes a vessel that has no receptacle and cannot be carried full.

בהנך דחזו למדרסות אי הכי חרס נמי אין מדרס בכלי חרס

The Gemara answers that it is referring to these vessels that are suited for sitting and are susceptible to ritual impurity imparted by treading, i.e., the ritual impurity imparted by a zav, zava, or a menstruating woman who sits or lies down on an item, even though it lacks a receptacle. The Gemara challenges: If so, with regard to an earthenware vessel that has no inside, the Rabbis should also decree that it is susceptible to the impurity of liquids if it is fit for sitting. The Gemara answers: There is no ritual impurity imparted by treading with regard to earthenware vessels.

רב פפא אמר מקדח גדול שנינו

§ The Gemara returns to the matter of an incomplete skull. According to the opinion of Beit Shammai, if the skull is missing a piece of bone the size of a drilled hole, it does not impart impurity. According to Shmuel, Beit Hillel holds that it must be missing a piece the size of a sela coin. If so, there would be no disagreement between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, as it was taught with regard to a window that imparts ritual impurity that a drilled hole is the same size as a sela coin. The Gemara now offers an additional answer: Rav Pappa says that it was with regard to a large drill that we learned that the minimum size of a window that imparts impurity equals the size of a sela coin.

מכלל דמקדח סתם זוטרא נמי מכסלע הניחא לרבי מאיר אלא לרבנן מאי איכא למימר

The Gemara comments that by inference, the unspecified drill mentioned in the statement of Beit Shammai with regard to an incomplete skull is also smaller than the size of a sela coin mentioned by Beit Hillel. The Gemara asks: This works out well according to the explanation of Rabbi Meir for the opinion of Beit Shammai. But according to the opinion of the Rabbis, what is there to say?

דתנן באיזה מקדח אמרו בקטן של רופאים דברי רבי מאיר וחכ"א בגדול של לשכה

As we learned in a mishna (Oholot 2:3): With regard to which drill did Beit Shammai state their opinion concerning an incomplete skull? It was with regard to a small drill of doctors, used for drilling bones. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: It was with regard to a large drill, such as that used in the Temple chamber. According to the mishna concerning a window that imparts impurity, the size of this drill is like that of a sela coin, and the opinions of Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel would still be identical.

ולרבי מאיר מי ניחא הוה ליה מקולי ב"ש ומחומרי ב"ה ואנן דתנן תנן דלא תנן לא תנן

The Gemara asks further: And even according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, does it work out well? If the unspecified drill mentioned by Beit Shammai is smaller than a sela coin, then this is an instance of the leniencies of Beit Shammai and of the stringencies of Beit Hillel, as with regard to a skull that was missing a piece only the size of a drilled hole, Beit Shammai are lenient and hold that it does not impart impurity in a tent, while Beit Hillel do consider it impure. And we have a principle: That which we learned in the mishna in tractate Eduyyot pertaining to the leniencies of Beit Shammai and the stringencies of Beit Hillel, we learned, and that which we did not learn there, we did not learn. Therefore, in all other cases, Beit Shammai are stringent and Beit Hillel are lenient.

אמר רב נחמן סלע נירונית שנינו כמקדח גדול סלע סתם זוטרא ממקדח סתם:

Rav Naḥman says: It is specifically with regard to a sela of the emperor Nero that we learned in the mishna concerning a window that imparts impurity that it is like the size of a large drilled hole. But with regard to the unspecified sela coin mentioned by Beit Hillel as the measure, it is even smaller than an unspecified drilled hole. Therefore, Beit Shammai are stringent even according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir.

מתני׳ הריס של עין שניקב שנפגם שנסדק הרי בעינו דק תבלול חלזון נחש עצב איזהו תבלול לבן הפוסק בסירא ונכנס בשחור שחור נכנס בלבן אינו מום:

MISHNA: For these blemishes of the eye, one may slaughter the firstborn animal outside the Temple: The eyelid that was pierced, an eyelid that was damaged and is lacking, or an eyelid that was split; and likewise, one may slaughter a firstborn animal outside the Temple if there was in his eye a cataract, a tevallul, or a growth in the shape of a snail, a snake, or a berry that covers the pupil. What is a tevallul? It is a white thread that bisects the iris and enters the black pupil. If it is a black thread that bisects the iris and enters the white of the eye it is not a blemish.