מתני׳ נוטלין לידים לחולין ולמעשר ולתרומה ולקודש מטבילין ולחטאת אם נטמאו ידיו נטמא גופו
MISHNA: One must wash his hands by pouring a quarter-log of water over them before eating non-sacred food, and for tithes and for teruma; but for eating sacrificial food one must immerse one’s hands in purification waters, such as those of a ritual bath. And with regard to one who wishes to touch the purification waters of the red heifer used for sprinkling, concerning which the Sages ordained further measures of sanctity, if one’s hands were rendered impure even by rabbinical ritual impurity, which usually only renders the hands impure, his entire body is rendered impure, and he must immerse himself in a ritual bath.
טבל לחולין הוחזק לחולין אסור למעשר טבל למעשר הוחזק למעשר אסור לתרומה טבל לתרומה הוחזק לתרומה אסור לקודש טבל לקודש הוחזק לקודש אסור לחטאת טבל לחמור מותר לקל טבל ולא הוחזק כאילו לא טבל
The mishna continues to list additional differences between various levels of ritual purity: If one immersed for the purpose of eating non-sacred food, he assumes a presumptive status of ritual purity for non-sacred food, and it is prohibited for him to eat tithes, as he did not purify himself with the intention of eating tithes. If one immersed to eat tithes, he assumes a presumptive status for tithes, but he is prohibited from eating teruma. If one immersed for teruma, he assumes a presumptive status for teruma, but he is prohibited from eating sacrificial food. If he immersed for sacrificial food, he assumes a presumptive status for sacrificial food, but he is prohibited from coming in contact with the purification waters. The principle is as follows: One who immersed to eat a food in a stringent category is permitted to eat a food in a lenient one. Another principle: One who immersed without the intention to assume a presumptive status of ritual purity, i.e., one who immersed but did not intend to purify himself, it is as though he has not immersed at all.
בגדי עם הארץ מדרס לפרושין בגדי פרושין מדרס לאוכלי תרומה בגדי אוכלי תרומה מדרס לקודש בגדי קודש מדרס לחטאת
The mishna continues: The garments of an am ha’aretz, one who is not careful with regard to the laws of ritual purity, are considered impure with the ritual impurity imparted by the treading of a zav. That is considered a primary level of impurity for individuals who are scrupulous with regard to impurity [perushin]. The garments of perushin are considered impure by the treading of a zav for priests who eat teruma; the garments of those who eat teruma are considered impure by the treading of a zav for those who eat sacrificial food; and likewise the garments of those who eat sacrificial food are considered impure by the treading of a zav for those dealing with the preparation of the purification waters.
יוסף בן יועזר היה חסיד שבכהונה והיתה מטפחתו מדרס לקודש יוחנן בן גודגדא היה אוכל על טהרת הקודש כל ימיו והיתה מטפחתו מדרס לחטאת:
The mishna relates: Yosef ben Yo’ezer was the most pious member of the priesthood and was extremely careful to eat teruma in a state of ritual purity, and yet his cloth was considered impure by the treading of a zav for those who ate sacrificial food. Yoḥanan ben Gudgeda would eat non-sacred food while following the laws of ritual purity for sacrificial food all his days, and nevertheless his cloth was considered impure by the treading of a zav for those preparing the purification waters.
גמ׳ חולין ומעשר מי בעו נטילת ידים
GEMARA: Before discussing the details of the halakhot listed in the mishna, the Gemara poses a basic question: Do non-sacred foods and tithes indeed require washing the hands?
ורמינהי התרומה והביכורים חייבין עליהן מיתה וחומש ואסור לזרים והן נכסי כהן ועולין באחד ומאה וטעונין נטילת ידים והערב שמש הרי אלו בתרומה וביכורים מה שאין כן במעשר וכל שכן בחולין
The Gemara raises a contradiction to the mishna, from the following mishna in tractate Bikkurim (2:1): With regard to teruma and first fruits, one is liable to the death penalty for them, e.g., if a non-priest ate them intentionally; if he did so unintentionally, he must restore the amount he ate with the addition of a fifth; and they are prohibited to non-priests; and they are the property of the priest. Consequently, a priest can purchase anything he wishes with them, or betroth a woman with them. And if they fell into non-sacred produce and became mixed with it, they are nullified only in a mixture that contains one hundred and one times their amount; and they require washing of the hands and the setting of the sun before they can be eaten, i.e., an impure priest who has immersed at the proper time must still wait for the sun to set before he is fit to eat them. These laws apply to teruma and first fruits, but not to tithes. The mishna adds: And all the more so do they not apply to non-sacred food.
קשיא מעשר אמעשר קשיא חולין אחולין
This is difficult: The halakha of tithes stated in Bikkurim seems to contradict the halakha of tithes taught in the mishna here, which states that the hands must be washed before tithes are eaten. Additionally, it is difficult with regard to the halakha of non-sacred food, as it contradicts the halakha applicable to non-sacred food stated in the mishna here.
בשלמא מעשר אמעשר לא קשיא הא ר' מאיר והא רבנן
The Gemara comments: Granted, one of the laws with regard to tithes, as opposed to the other law with regard to tithes, is not difficult, since the contradiction can be resolved as follows: This case, the mishna in Bikkurim, is in accordance with Rabbi Meir, while that case, the mishna here, follows the Rabbis.
דתנן כל הטעון ביאת מים מדברי סופרים מטמא את הקודש ופוסל את התרומה ומותר לחולין ולמעשר דברי רבי מאיר וחכמים אוסרים במעשר אלא חולין אחולין קשיא
As we learned in a mishna (Para 11:5): Anything that requires immersion in water by rabbinic law renders sacrificial food impure. If it touches a consecrated item, the latter is itself rendered impure with a second-degree ritual impurity. It also renders impure any other consecrated object that comes into contact with it with a third-degree ritual impurity and invalidates teruma, meaning that it renders the teruma itself impure, but not to the extent that the teruma can render other teruma impure. And anything that requires immersion in water by rabbinic law is permitted for non-sacred produce and for tithes, meaning that it does not render these items impure, as something impure to such a low degree does not invalidate even non-sacred food. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. But the Rabbis prohibit this in the case of tithes, meaning that they are invalidated. This source demonstrates that according to the Rabbis, the halakha that applies to tithes differs from that of non-sacred produce, which explains why one must wash his hands for tithes. However, the law with regard to non-sacred food as opposed to the other law of non-sacred food is still difficult.
לא קשיא כאן באכילה כאן בנגיעה
The Gemara responds: It is not difficult. Here the mishna is referring to eating, before which one must wash his hands. There the mishna in Bikkurim deals with touching alone, for which prior washing of the hands is not necessary.
מתקיף לה רב שימי בר אשי עד כאן לא פליגי רבנן עליה דרבי מאיר אלא באכילה דמעשר אבל בנגיעה דמעשר ובאכילה דחולין לא פליגי אלא אידי ואידי באכילה ולא קשיא כאן באכילה דנהמא כאן באכילה דפירי דאמר רב נחמן כל הנוטל ידיו לפירות הרי זה מגסי הרוח
Rav Shimi bar Ashi strongly objects to this: The Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Meir only with regard to eating tithes, but with regard to touching tithes and eating non-sacred food they do not disagree with him. Therefore, the Gemara’s resolution of the difficulty with regard to non-sacred food is not acceptable. Rather, the previous explanation is to be rejected in favor of the following: Both this mishna and that mishna are referring to eating, and it is not difficult: Here the mishna is dealing with eating bread, which requires washing one’s hands, whereas there, in Bikkurim, the mishna is referring to eating non-sacred fruit, for which one need not wash his hands, for Rav Naḥman said: Anyone who washes his hands for fruit is of the haughty of spirit because he shows himself to be more particular than required by the Sages.
ת"ר הנוטל ידיו נתכוון ידיו טהורות לא נתכוון ידיו טמאות וכן המטביל ידיו נתכוון ידיו טהורות לא נתכוון ידיו טמאות והתניא בין נתכוון בין לא נתכוון ידיו טהורות אמר רב נחמן לא קשיא כאן לחולין
§ The Sages taught: One who washes his hands, if he intended to purify them, his hands are pure; if he did not intend to do so, his hands are impure. Similarly, in the case of one who immerses his hands in forty se’a of water, if he intended to purify them, his hands are pure; if he did not so intend, his hands are impure. The Gemara raises a difficulty: But isn’t it taught in a baraita that his hands are pure whether he did or did not intend to purify them? Rav Naḥman said: This is not difficult, as here the first baraita is referring to non-sacred food, for which one need not have the intention to purify his hands;