Chagigah 22aחגיגה כ״ב א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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22aכ״ב א

וכחללה בשתי אצבעות חוזרות למקומן

and its space, which is equivalent to the width of two fingers going around in their place, i.e., a space large enough to insert two fingers and twist them around inside. If one body of water contains the requisite forty se’a, while another, adjacent body is lacking this amount, then if the opening between the two bodies of water is wider than this measurement, the two bodies are considered as one, and the smaller body is also considered an acceptable ritual bath. Since any opening smaller than this is not considered to connect two bodies of water, the water inside a bottle with a narrow mouth would be considered disconnected from the water of the ritual bath, and smaller vessels inside such a narrow-necked vessel would not be considered as having come into contact with the water of the ritual bath. The Sages therefore enacted a decree rendering prohibited the immersion of any vessel inside another vessel.

סבר לה כהא דאמר ר"נ אמר רבה בר אבוה י"א מעלות שנו כאן שש ראשונות בין לקודש בין לחולין שנעשו על טהרת הקודש אחרונות לקודש אבל לא לחולין שנעשו על טהרת הקודש

The Gemara notes: Rava holds in accordance with this statement that Rav Naḥman said that Rabba bar Avuh said: They taught eleven stringencies of sacrificial food here in this mishna, rather than Rabbi Ila’s ten. The first six stringencies apply both to sacrificial food itself and to non-sacred food that was prepared according to the standards of purity of sacrificial food, whereas the last five apply only to actual sacrificial food but not to non-sacred food that was prepared according to the standards of purity of sacrificial food.

מאי איכא בין דרבא לדר' אילא

The Gemara asks: What practical difference is there between the opinion of Rava, i.e., that the Sages rendered it prohibited to immerse one vessel inside of another because they were concerned lest one immerse needles in a vessel whose mouth is narrower than the tube of a wineskin, and the opinion of Rabbi Ila, who holds that their concern was about interposition?

איכא בינייהו סל וגרגותני שמילאן כלים והטבילן למ"ד משום חציצה איכא למ"ד משום גזירה שמא יטביל מחטין וצינוריות בכלי שאין בפיו כשפופרת הנוד סל וגרגותני שאין בפיהן כשפופרת הנוד ליכא

The Gemara answers: The practical difference between them is in the case of a basket or a wicker bin [gargutni] that one has filled with smaller vessels and has immersed them all together. According to Rabbi Ila, the one who said it is prohibited to immerse one vessel inside another due to the concern of interposition, in this case as well there is such a concern, as the inner vessels might weigh down against the basket and prevent the water from touching the contact points. But according to Rava, the one who said it is prohibited due to a rabbinic decree lest one immerse needles and hooks inside a vessel whose mouth does not have the width of the tube of a wineskin, there are no such things as baskets and wicker bins whose mouth does not have the width of the tube of a wineskin, and therefore the decree would not apply to them.

ואזדא רבא לטעמיה דאמר רבא סל וגרגותני שמילאן כלים והטבילן טהורין

The Gemara notes: And Rava follows his line of reasoning, as Rava said: A basket or wicker bin that one has filled with smaller vessels and has immersed them all together, they are pure in all regards, even for sacrificial food.

ומקוה שחלקו בסל וגרגותני הטובל שם לא עלתה לו טבילה דהא ארעא כולה חלחולי מחלחלא ובעינן דאיכא מ' סאה במקום אחד

Rava stated a second teaching with regard to baskets and bins as well: And in the case of a ritual bath that one divided into two sections by inserting a basket or wicker bin, so that each section is left with less than the required forty se’a, if one immerses there, his immersion is ineffective for him. Despite the certainty that water seeps through the basket or bin, this is not enough to join the two incomplete sections of the ritual bath to be counted as one. We know that this is so, for the earth is entirely porous, and nevertheless we do not rely on this to allow several adjacent, small ditches full of water to add up to forty se’a, but rather require that there be forty se’a together in one place.

והני מילי בכלי טהור אבל בכלי טמא מיגו דסלקא טבילה לכוליה גופיה דמנא סלקא להו נמי לכלים דאית ביה

The Gemara comments: And this halakha, that small vessels such as needles cannot be immersed inside a vessel with a narrow opening, applies only if he immersed them in a pure vessel, which does not require purification on its own. But if he did so in an impure vessel, which requires purification in its own right, since the immersion is effective for the whole of the outer vessel, including its inside, it is also effective for the vessels that are inside of it. Since the water that enters the outer vessel is considered attached to the rest of the ritual bath for purposes of purification of the outer vessel, so is it considered attached with regard to the purification of the inner vessels.

דתנן כלים שמילאן כלים והטבילן הרי אלו טהורין ואם לא טבל מים המעורבים עד שיהיו מעורבין כשפופרת הנוד מאי קאמר ואם לא טבל ה"ק ואם אינו צריך להטבילו ומים המעורבין עד שיהו מעורבין כשפופרת הנוד

We know this, as we learned in a mishna (Mikvaot 6:2): With regard to vessels that one filled with other vessels and immersed them all together, they are pure, regardless of the width of the opening of the outer vessel. And if he did not immerse, the joining of waters is not effective until they are joined like the width of the tube of a wineskin. This second sentence of the mishna is unclear, and the Gemara seeks to clarify it. What is the mishna saying here when it says: And if he did not immerse? The Gemara explains. This is what the mishna is saying: And if he has no need to immerse the outer vessel, as it was already pure, and similarly in a case of two bodies of water that are joined together by means of a hole, it is not valid until the water is joined through a space as wide as the tube of a wineskin.

והא דרבא ודר' אילא תנאי היא דתניא סל וגרגותני שמילאן כלים והטבילן בין לקודש בין לתרומה טהורין אבא שאול אומר לתרומה אבל לא לקודש

§ The Gemara notes: And this dispute between Rava and Rabbi Ila is also a dispute between tanna’im. As it is taught in a baraita: With regard to a basket or a wicker bin that one filled with vessels and then immersed them, whether for purposes of sacrificial food or for purposes of teruma, they are pure. This is identical to Rava’s opinion. Abba Shaul says: They are pure for purposes of teruma but not for purposes of sacrificial food. This is identical to Rabbi Ila’s opinion.

אי הכי תרומה נמי למאן קאמרינן חברים חברים מידע ידעי

The Gemara asks: If so, in light of these two reasons we have given for concern with regard to immersing vessels inside other vessels, this should not be permitted for teruma either. The Gemara responds: For whom do we say the principle that one vessel may not be immersed inside another? For ḥaverim, individuals devoted to the meticulous observance of mitzvot, especially halakhot of ritual purity. Others do not carefully follow these halakhot in any event. And ḥaverim know such things well, that water is considered detached from the ritual bath if it is separated by a narrow opening, and that if one vessel is weighing down on another, preventing the water from reaching that spot, the top vessel must be lifted to allow the water to touch all parts of the vessel. Therefore, there is no need to apply these concerns and stringencies to the case of teruma.

א"ה קודש נמי חזי ליה ע"ה ואזיל מטביל

The Gemara counters with another question. If so, we should say the same thing in the case of sacrificial food too, i.e., that all these halakhot are for ḥaverim, who meticulously follow ritual purity for sacrificial food and inquire about such halakhot. Why, then, did the Sages apply these concerns and stringencies to the case of sacrificial food? The Gemara responds: With regard to sacrificial food they were concerned that a common person [am ha’aretz], who is not meticulous about ritual purity, may see the ḥaver immersing small vessels inside of large vessels, and will then go and immerse vessels of his own in this manner. But he will not take the same precautions as the ḥaver would, ensuring that the outer vessel has a wide opening and that the vessels on top do not weigh down on the lower ones.

תרומה נמי חזי ליה ע"ה ואזיל מטביל לא מקבלינן מינייהו

The Gemara objects: But the same concern could be raised with regard to teruma as well. It is possible that an am ha’aretz may see the ḥaver immerse vessels for teruma in this manner, and he will then go and immerse his vessels this way, without taking the precautions that the ḥaver would take. The Gemara answers: We do not accept teruma from amei ha’aretz, as they are not trustworthy with regard to the halakhot of ritual purity, and therefore it does not matter if the vessels he uses for teruma are not immersed properly. Therefore, the Sages were not concerned that the am ha’aretz may come to a misunderstanding when observing a ḥaver immersing vessels within vessels.

קודש נמי לא נקביל מינייהו הויא ליה איבה

The Gemara continues its line of questioning. If so, we should likewise not accept sacrificial food from amei ha’aretz, since they are not sufficiently meticulous with ritual purity, and we should therefore not care if they immerse their vessels improperly. The Gemara responds: The am ha’aretz will have feelings of antagonism if sacrificial food is not accepted from him, and this would lead to internal discord and conflict within Israel.

תרומה נמי הויא ליה איבה לא איכפת ליה דאזיל יהיב ליה לכהן עם הארץ חבריה

The Gemara asks: If so, in the case of teruma he will also have feelings of antagonism if teruma is not accepted from him. Why were the Sages concerned about this factor only with regard to sacrificial food and not teruma? The Gemara replies: An am ha’aretz does not care if his teruma is not accepted by ḥaverim, as he can always go and give his teruma to an am ha’aretz priest who is his friend and who will accept it from him. In the case of sacrificial food, however, there is only one Temple, and care must be taken not to make the amei ha’aretz feel they are being rejected.

ומאן תנא דחייש לאיבה רבי יוסי היא דתניא א"ר יוסי מפני מה הכל נאמנין על טהרת יין ושמן כל ימות השנה כדי שלא יהא כל אחד ואחד הולך ובונה במה לעצמו ושורף פרה אדומה לעצמו

The Gemara notes that this sensitivity of not causing offense to the am ha’aretz is expressed elsewhere as well: And who is the tanna that is concerned for such antagonism of amei ha’aretz? It is Rabbi Yosei, as it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yosei said: For what reason are all people, i.e., even amei ha’aretz, trusted with regard to the purity of their wine and oil that they bring to the Temple for sacrificial purposes throughout the year? Why is the status of these items not investigated to determine that they were prepared with the necessary regard for ritual purity? In order to avoid schisms among the people, so that each and every individual should not go off and build a private altar for himself and burn a red heifer for himself. Were the Sages to reject sacrificial wine and oil from amei ha’aretz, they would become alienated and go off and create schisms, going so far as to build their own separate temples and bring their own private offerings.

אמר רב פפא כמאן מקבלינן האידנא סהדותא מע"ה כמאן כרבי יוסי

Rav Pappa said: In accordance with whose opinion do we accept testimony nowadays from an am ha’aretz, despite the concern of some Sages that their carelessness with regard to observance of halakha might also lead to personal untrustworthiness? In accordance with whom is this done? In accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei.

וניחוש לשאלה

§ We have established that the reason for leniency with regard to immersing one vessel inside another for teruma is based on the fact that we do not care if the vessels amei ha’aretz use for teruma are improperly purified, since we do not accept teruma from them in any event. The Gemara asks: But let us be concerned about borrowing vessels from them. Although ḥaverim do not accept teruma from an am ha’aretz, they do sometimes borrow their vessels and use them for teruma. It should therefore be a matter of concern for us if those vessels are not properly purified.

דתנן כלי חרס מציל על הכל דברי ב"ה ב"ש אומרים אינו מציל אלא על אוכלים ועל המשקים ועל כלי חרס

The Gemara proves that it is acceptable to borrow vessels from an am ha’aretz: As we learned in a mishna (Eduyyot 1:14): An earthenware vessel of an am ha’aretz shields all kinds of items from the ritual impurity imparted by a corpse. There are two applications of this fact: If there are objects or foods inside a tightly sealed earthenware vessel located inside a room containing a corpse, the vessel prevents the impurity from reaching the items inside it. Also, if there is a corpse in the first floor of a house and food or vessels are located in a second story of the same building, with an opening such as a skylight in the floor between the two stories, an earthenware vessel plugging up the opening will prevent the ritual impurity from spreading to the second story. This is the statement of Beit Hillel. Beit Shammai say: It shields only food, drink, and earthenware vessels, but not utensils of metal, wood, cloth, etc.

אמרו להם ב"ה לב"ש מפני מה אמרו ב"ש מפני שהוא טמא ע"ג ע"ה ואין כלי טמא חוצץ אמרו להם ב"ה והלא טיהרתם אוכלין ומשקין שבתוכו אמרו להם בית שמאי כשטיהרנו אוכלין ומשקין שבתוכו

The mishna continues: Beit Hillel said to Beit Shammai: For what reason do you make this distinction? It is clear that a closed, pure earthenware vessel serves as a barrier, blocking the spread of impurity in a room with a corpse (see Numbers 19:15). Beit Shammai said to them: Because the earthenware vessel itself is impure on account of its contact with an am ha’aretz. The Sages decreed that anything touched by an am ha’aretz is impure, since such people are not meticulous or sufficiently knowledgeable about the halakhot of purity; therefore his vessels are considered impure. And the principle is that an impure vessel does not serve as a barrier from impurity. Beit Hillel said to them: But didn’t you declare the food and drink inside the earthenware vessel to be pure? If the vessel of an am ha’aretz cannot serve as a barrier, why do you say that some items inside it are pure? Beit Shammai said to them: When we declared the food and drink inside it to be pure,