בטלו במעיה ואי סלקא דעתך מכלים הוא דהדר ביה אבל באוכלין כרבי יוסי ורבי שמעון סבירא ליה אמאי בטלו במעיה לגמרי
The purification waters are nullified in its innards and do not impurify the meat of the cow. And if it enters your mind that it was from his ruling with regard to liquids transmitting impurity to vessels by Torah law that Rabbi Yehuda retracted his opinion, but with regard to foods he holds in accordance with the opinions of Rabbi Yosei and Rabbi Shimon that liquids transmit ritual impurity to food by Torah law, why does he say that the purification waters are nullified in its innards entirely and no longer transfer impurity at all?
נהי דטומאה חמורה לא מטמאו טומאה קלה מיהא ניטמאו
The Gemara elaborates: Although these waters do not transmit a severe form of ritual impurity to a person or vessel that comes into contact with them, in any event let them transmit a lesser form of impurity to food that comes into contact with them. Rabbi Yehuda’s ruling with regard to the purification waters indicates that he retracted his previous opinion entirely and he maintains that there is no impurity of liquids by Torah law at all. Since this impurity is by rabbinic law, the Sages did not extend their decree to the uncommon circumstance of the purification waters.
מאי בטלו במעיה נמי בטלו מטומאה חמורה אבל טומאה קלה מטמאו מכלל דתנא קמא סבר טומאה חמורה נמי מטמאו הא בשרה טמא קתני
The Gemara rejects this contention: What, too, is the meaning of Rabbi Yehuda’s phrase: They are nullified in its innards? It means that they are nullified only from a severe form of impurity. However, according to Rabbi Yehuda, the purification waters transmit a lesser form of impurity. This proves by inference that the first tanna maintains that the purification waters also transmit a severe form of impurity to people and vessels. This is a problematic conclusion, as the first tanna teaches: Its flesh is impure, which clearly indicates that its flesh alone is impure, whereas the purification waters swallowed by the cow do not transmit impurity to people or vessels. The result is that according to this approach, there is no difference between the opinions of Rabbi Yehuda and the first tanna.
כולה רבי יהודה היא וחסורי מיחסרא והכי קתני פרה ששתתה מי חטאת בשרה טמא במה דברים אמורים טומאה קלה אבל טומאה חמורה לא שרבי יהודה אומר בטלו במעיה
The Gemara answers: The entire mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, and the mishna is incomplete and is teaching the following: With regard to a cow that drank the purification waters, its flesh is impure. In what case is this statement said? It is said with regard to a lesser form of impurity, but with regard to a severe form of purity, no, its flesh is not impure, as Rabbi Yehuda says: The waters are nullified in its innards and their status is no longer that of purification waters. Instead, their impurity is by rabbinic law, like any other liquid.
רב אשי אמר לעולם בטלו במעיה לגמרי משום דהוה ליה משקה סרוח
Rav Ashi said: Actually, it is possible to explain that the waters are nullified in its innards entirely from any type of impurity, as this issue is unrelated to the question of whether the impurity of liquids is by Torah law or rabbinic law. Rather, this halakha is due to the fact that purification waters become a foul liquid when ingested, and the principle is that offensive liquid can neither be rendered impure itself nor transfer impurity to other items.
רבי יוסי ורבי שמעון אומרים לאוכלין טמאין לכלים טהורים אמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר ריש לקיש רבי יוסי בשיטת רבי עקיבא רבו אמרה דדריש יטמא יטמא
It was taught in the baraita about uncertainty as to the impurity of liquids that Rabbi Yosei and Rabbi Shimon say: With regard to foods that came into contact with impure liquid, the foods are impure. However, with regard to vessels that came into contact with impure liquid, the vessels are pure. Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Reish Lakish said: Rabbi Yosei said this halakha in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, his teacher, who interpreted the term yitma, which is an intransitive verb in the simple conjugation meaning: It shall be impure, as though it were written yetamme, a transitive verb in the intensive conjugation meaning: It shall render impure, i.e., it transmits impurity to other items.
דתנן בו ביום דרש רבי עקיבא וכל כלי חרש אשר יפל מהם וגו׳ אינו אומר טמא אלא יטמא יטמא אחרים לימד על ככר שני שעושה שלישי בחולין
As we learned in a mishna: On that day, when they appointed Rabbi Elazar ben Azarya the Nasi, Rabbi Akiva taught: “And every earthenware vessel into which any of them falls, whatever is in it shall be impure [yitma], and you shall break it” (Leviticus 11:33). The verse does not say: It is impure [tameh]; rather, it says: It shall be impure [yitma], indicating that an item in an impure earthenware vessel transmits impurity to other items. This verse teaches about a loaf with second-degree ritual impurity status, i.e., ritual impurity imparted through contact with a vessel impurified by a creeping animal, that the loaf renders other items impure with third-degree ritual impurity, even non-sacred items.
והכא היכי דריש וכל משקה אשר ישתה בכל כלי יטמא יטמא לטמא טומאת אוכלין אתה אומר לטמא טומאת אוכלין או אינו אלא לטמא טומאת משקין אמרת לא כך היה
The Gemara inquires: And here, with regard to the ritual impurity of liquids, how does Rabbi Yosei interpret the verses? The Gemara cites the verse: “From all food which may be eaten, upon which water has come, shall be impure; and all drink that may be drunk in every vessel, shall be impure [yitma]” (Leviticus 11:34). Rabbi Yosei interprets the end of the verse as: Shall render impure [yetamme], indicating that liquid also transmits impurity to foods. The Gemara discusses this derivation: Do you say that this expression teaches that liquid transmits ritual impurity to foods, or perhaps the verse is teaching only that it transmits impurity to other liquids, but not to food? You said in response: That was not the correct interpretation.
מאי לא כך היה אמר רב פפא לא מצינו טומאה שעושה כיוצא בה
The Gemara wonders about the unusual expression. What is the meaning of the phrase: That was not the correct interpretation? How can this difficulty be dismissed so easily? Rav Pappa said: It means that we did not find any case of ritual impurity that renders a similar item impure. Therefore, it must be that the verse teaches that this liquid transmits impurity to food.
רבינא אמר מגופיה דקרא נמי לא מצית אמרת יטמא לטמא טומאת משקין דאי סלקא דעתך יטמא דסיפא לטמא טומאת משקין יטמא דרישא נמי לטמא טומאת משקין ניערבינהו וניכתבינהו מכל האכל אשר יאכל אשר יבוא עליו מים וכל משקה אשר ישתה בכל כלי יטמא
Ravina said: From an analysis of the verse itself you also cannot say that the term: Shall be impure, means that the liquid transmits ritual impurity only to liquids. As, if it enters your mind to say that the term: Shall be impure, in the latter portion of the verse means that it transmits ritual impurity only to liquids, then the term: Shall be impure, in the first portion of the verse, in reference to food, should also mean that it transmits ritual impurity only to liquids. And if that is so, let the verse combine the two cases and write them together as follows: From all food which may be eaten, upon which water has come, and all drink that may be drunk in every vessel, shall be impure.
תרי יטמא למה לי אלא יטמא דרישא לטמא טומאת משקין יטמא דסיפא לטמא טומאת אוכלין
Ravina concludes his proof: Why do I need the term: Shall be impure, twice? Rather, it must be that the term: Shall be impure, in the first portion of the verse teaches that food transmits ritual impurity to liquids, while the term: Shall be impure, in the latter portion of the verse teaches that liquid transmits ritual impurity to food.
ואימא לטמא את הכלים ולאו קל וחומר הוא ומה כלי שמטמא משקה אין מטמא כלי משקין הבאין מחמת כלי אינו דין שלא יטמאו את הכלים
The Gemara asks: And say that the term teaches that liquid transmits ritual impurity to vessels. The Gemara rejects this contention: And isn’t it an a fortiori inference? Just as an impure vessel, which transmits impurity to liquid that comes into contact with it, nevertheless does not transmit impurity to another vessel, so too, liquids that come to a state of impurity due to contact with a vessel, is it not right that they should not transmit impurity to vessels?
ואימא כי לא מטמאו משקין הבאין מחמת כלי אבל משקין הבאין מחמת שרץ הכי נמי דמטמאו משקין הבאין מחמת שרץ מי כתיבי
The Gemara suggests: And say that when liquids do not transmit ritual impurity to a vessel, that is in the case of liquids that come to a state of impurity due to contact with an impure vessel, as the vessel itself does not transmit impurity to another vessel. However, with regard to liquids that come to a state of impurity due to contact with a creeping animal, a more severe form of impurity, indeed, they should transmit impurity even to vessels. The Gemara rejects this contention: Are liquids that come to a state of impurity due to contact with a creeping animal stated explicitly in the Torah? The impure liquids mentioned in the verse became impure by contact with a vessel that came into contact with a dead creeping animal.