חזנהו דקא שדו מיא מפומא דחצבא אמר אי הוה ידענא דרגיליתו למיעבד הכי לא איעכבי the demon saw the members of Rav Pappa’s household pouring water from the mouth of the pitcher before drinking from it. The demon said to them: If I had known that you regularly do this, I would not have delayed. I would have brought the water straight from the river, knowing you would pour out the foul waters.
כי אתא רב דימי אמר מים הראשונים האכילו בשר חזיר § When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael he said: Due to the failure to wash with the first waters, they ultimately fed a Jew pig meat. This case involved a storekeeper who would sell different meat to his Jewish and gentile customers. When a Jew who came to eat with him neglected to wash before eating, the storekeeper assumed he was a gentile and fed him pig meat.
אחרונים הוציאו את האשה מבעלה And due to the failure to wash with final waters a woman was ultimately divorced from her husband. In this incident, a host who had stolen his guests’ money had lentils on his mustache from a previous meal because he had not washed his hands and mouth after eating. Realizing he had eaten lentils that day, his victims approached the man’s wife and said that her husband had instructed them to tell her to return their money. They then claimed that the man told them to tell her that he had eaten lentils that day as proof that they were telling the truth. They thereby fooled his wife into thinking he wanted her to give their money back. Out of anger, the host divorced his wife.
כי אתא רבין אמר ראשונים האכילו בשר נבלה אחרונים הרגו את הנפש אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק וסימניך אתא רב דימי אפקה אתא רבין קטלה When Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael he said the statement slightly differently: Due to the failure to wash with first waters, they fed a Jew meat from an animal carcass, and the failure to wash with final waters killed a person, as in the second incident the host was so angry with his wife that he killed her. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And your mnemonic to remember which Sage said which version is: Rav Dimi came and divorced her from her husband, i.e., according to his version she was divorced, and Ravin came and killed her, since in his version the husband killed his wife.
ר' אבא מתני חדא מהני וחדא מהני לחומרא Rabbi Abba would teach one of these versions involving first waters and one of them with regard to final waters, and in both cases he taught the more severe version, i.e., he specified the meat of a pig and that the husband killed his wife.
איתמר חמי האור חזקיה אמר אין נוטלים מהן לידים ורבי יוחנן אמר נוטלין מהם לידים אמר רבי יוחנן שאלתי את רבן גמליאל בנו של רבי ואוכל טהרות ואמר לי כל גדולי גליל עושין כן A disagreement was stated with regard to water heated by fire: Ḥizkiyya says that one may not wash his hands with such water, and Rabbi Yoḥanan says that one may wash his hands with it. Rabbi Yoḥanan said: I asked Rabban Gamliel, son of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, about this halakha, and he was one who would eat only in a state of ritual purity and was therefore careful about washing his hands; and he said to me that all the great men of the Galilee would do so, i.e., wash their hands in heated water.
חמי טבריא חזקיה אמר אין נוטלין מהם לידים אבל מטבילין בהן הידים ורבי יוחנן אמר כל גופו טובל בהן אבל לא פניו ידיו ורגליו Likewise, with regard to the hot springs of Tiberias, Ḥizkiyya says that one may not wash his hands with water from them before eating, but if there are forty se’a, the requisite size of a ritual bath, then one may immerse the hands directly in them, and this is effective for the ritual of washing the hands before a meal. And Rabbi Yoḥanan says that an impure person may immerse his entire body in such water to become pure, but one may still not use it for the immersion of part of his body, such as his face, hands, and feet, as this immersion is not considered equivalent to washing the hands.
השתא כל גופו טובל בהם פניו ידיו ורגליו לא כ"ש אמר רב פפא במקומן דכולי עלמא לא פליגי דשרי משקל מינייהו במנא דכ"ע לא פליגי דאסיר כי פליגי דפסקינהו בבת בירתא מר סבר גזרינן בת בירתא אטו מנא ומר סבר לא גזרינן The Gemara asks: Now that it has been said that one may immerse his entire body in the hot springs of Tiberias, is it not all the more so permitted for his face, hands, and feet? Rav Pappa said: When the water in the hot springs stands in place, everyone, both Ḥizkiyya and Rabbi Yoḥanan, agrees that it is permitted to immerse one’s hands in it. Likewise, everyone agrees that to take from these waters in a vessel and wash one’s hands from it is prohibited. They disagree when one draws the waters through a ditch. One Sage, Rabbi Yoḥanan, holds that we decree against the use of ditch water due to the concern that one might come to use water in a vessel, and one Sage, Ḥizkiyya, holds that we do not decree against it.
כתנאי מים שנפסלו משתיית בהמה בכלים פסולים בקרקע כשרין רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר אף בקרקע טובל בהן כל גופו אבל לא פניו ידיו ורגליו The Gemara comments: This dispute is like a dispute between tanna’im, as it was taught: When water that has ceased to be fit for drinking even by an animal is in vessels, it is unfit for washing the hands, but when it is in the ground it is fit for immersion, like a ritual bath. Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: Even when the water is in the ground, one may immerse his entire body in it, but he may not immerse his face, hands, and feet.
השתא כל גופו טובל בהן ידיו ורגליו לא כ"ש אלא לאו דפסקינהו בבת בירתא ובהא פליגי דמר סבר גזרינן בת בירתא אטו מנא ומר סבר לא גזרינן As above, one might ask: Now that one may immerse his entire body in the water, is it not all the more so the case that one may immerse his hands and feet in it? Rather, must it not be referring to a case when one draws the waters through a ditch? And if so, they disagree about this: One Sage, Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, holds that we decree against the use of ditch water due to concern that one may come to use a vessel, and one Sage, the first tanna of that baraita, holds that we do not decree against it.
אמר רב אידי בר אבין אמר רב יצחק בר אשיאן נטילת ידים לחולין מפני סרך תרומה § Rav Idi bar Avin says that Rav Yitzḥak bar Ashiyan says: The obligation of washing hands before eating non-sacred food is due to an ancillary decree on account of teruma, the portion of produce designated for the priest, which must be consumed in a state of ritual purity. By rabbinic decree, one’s hands are considered impure with second-degree ritual impurity, as they may have touched impure items. Therefore, they render teruma impure. Consequently, priests who partake of teruma are obligated to wash their hands first. The Sages therefore decreed that all must wash their hands even before eating non-sacred food, so that people not become accustomed to eating without washing their hands, which would in turn lead the priests to partake of teruma without washing their hands.
ועוד משום מצוה מאי מצוה אמר אביי מצוה לשמוע דברי חכמים רבא אמר מצוה לשמוע דברי ר"א בן ערך דכתיב (ויקרא טו, יא) וכל אשר יגע בו הזב וידיו לא שטף במים אמר ר"א בן ערך מכאן סמכו חכמים לנטילת ידים מן התורה And the obligation is further due to its being a mitzva. The Gemara asks: What mitzva does it involve? Abaye says: It is a mitzva to listen to and obey the statements of the Sages, who instituted this washing of the hands. Rava says: It is a mitzva to listen to the statement of Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh, as it is written with regard to a man who experiences a gonorrhea-like discharge [zav]: “And whomever he that has the issue touches, without having rinsed his hands in water,” he contracts ritual impurity (Leviticus 15:11), and Rabbi Elazar ben Arakh says: From here the Sages based washing of the hands upon a verse from the Torah.
אמר ליה רבא לרב נחמן מאי משמע דכתיב וידיו לא שטף במים הא שטף טהור הא טבילה בעי אלא הכי קאמר ואחר שלא שטף טמא Rava said to Rav Naḥman: From where is this inferred? How can this verse, which concerns a zav, be interpreted as referring to washing the hands before a meal? Rava explains: As it is written: “Without having rinsed his hands in water.” Consequently, one could infer that if he rinsed his hands the zav becomes ritually pure. But this cannot be correct, as verses elsewhere prove that a zav requires the immersion of his entire body. Rather, this is what the verse is saying: And there is another type of person who, if he has not rinsed his hands in water, is considered like one who is impure. The verse thereby serves as the basis for washing the hands.
אמר ר' אלעזר אמר רבי אושעיא לא אמרו נטילת ידים לפירות אלא משום נקיות סבור מינה חובה הוא דליכא הא מצוה איכא אמר להו רבא לא חובה ולא מצוה אלא רשות ופליגא דרב נחמן דאמר רב נחמן הנוטל ידיו לפירות אינו אלא מגסי הרוח Rabbi Elazar says that Rabbi Oshaya says: The Sages said that washing of the hands before eating fruit is mandatory only due to cleanliness. The Gemara comments: They understood from this statement that there is no true obligation to wash the hands before eating fruit, but there is a mitzva to do so. Rava said to them: This practice is not an obligation nor a mitzva, but merely optional. And the Gemara notes that Rava disagrees with Rav Naḥman in this regard, as Rav Naḥman said: One who washes his hands before eating fruit is nothing other than one of the arrogant, i.e., it is actually prohibited to do so.
אמר רבה בר בר חנה הוה קאימנא קמיה דרבי אמי ורבי אסי אייתו לקמייהו כלכלה דפירי ואכלו ולא משו ידייהו ולא יהבו לי מידי ובריך חד חד לחודיה שמע מינה תלת שמע מינה אין נטילת ידים לפירות וש"מ אין מזמנין על הפירות ושמע מינה שנים שאכלו מצוה ליחלק Rabba bar bar Ḥana said: I was standing before Rabbi Ami and Rabbi Asi when attendants brought a basket of fruit before them, and they ate and did not wash their hands. And they did not give me anything to eat, to enable me to join the zimmun, the quorum required for communal Grace after Meals, and they each recited a blessing after eating, separately. One may learn three halakhot from this incident. Learn from it that there is no washing of the hands before fruit. And learn from it that one does not issue a zimmun on fruit, i.e., the halakha that when three people eat together, one leads the Grace after Meals does not apply when they ate fruit. And finally, learn from it that if only two people ate, it is a mitzva for them to separate, i.e., each should recite the blessing after eating for himself.
תניא נמי הכי שנים שאכלו מצוה ליחלק במה דברים אמורים שהיו שניהם סופרים אבל אחד סופר ואחד בור סופר מברך ובור יוצא The Gemara notes: This halakha is also taught in a baraita: If only two individuals ate, it is a mitzva for them to separate. In what case is this statement said? It is said when they were both scribes, i.e., Torah scholars, who know how to recite Grace after Meals properly. But if one of them was a scribe and one was an ignoramus, the scribe recites Grace after Meals and the ignoramus fulfills his obligation by listening to the scribe.
תנו רבנן נטילת ידים לחולין עד הפרק לתרומה The Sages taught in a baraita: In washing of the hands for consumption of non-sacred food, one must pour the water on the area that extends until the joint of the fingers. In washing hands for consumption of teruma,