בְּכׇל טָמֵא לֹא יֵאָכֵל״, מִי לָא עָסְקִינַן דְּנָגַע בְּשֵׁנִי. רְבִיעִי מִקַּל וָחוֹמֶר, כִּדְאָמְרִינַן.
any impure thing shall not be eaten” (Leviticus 7:19). Are we not dealing even with a case where meat touched an object that was ritually impure with second-degree ritual impurity? And nevertheless, the verse states explicitly that it is impure and assumes third-degree ritual impurity status. No other source is needed to teach that consecrated objects can assume third-degree ritual impurity status. Therefore, fourth-degree impurity status can be derived by means of the a fortiori inference, as we stated above.
וְאִי סָלְקָא דַעְתָּךְ סָבַר כְּרַבִּי עֲקִיבָא, נִיתְנֵי נָמֵי: רְבִיעִי בַּתְּרוּמָה וַחֲמִישִׁי בַּקּוֹדֶשׁ.
The Gemara returns to its previous point: And if it enters your mind that Rabbi Yosei holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva that non-sacred objects can assume third-degree impurity status, let him also teach the halakha of the fourth degree of impurity with regard to teruma, and the fifth degree with regard to consecrated items, on the basis of that same a fortiori inference. The fact that he does not extend the a fortiori inference to include these halakhot proves that Rabbi Yosei does not agree with Rabbi Akiva’s opinion on this issue.
אֶלָּא רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא לָא סָבַר כְּרַבִּי יוֹסֵי מְנָלַן?
However, with regard to the fact that Rabbi Akiva does not hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, from where do we derive this? Perhaps he accepts Rabbi Yosei’s a fortiori inference and holds that teruma assumes fourth-degree impurity status and consecrated items assume fifth-degree impurity status.
אֲמַר לֵיהּ: דְּלָא לִישְׁתְּמִיט תַּנָּא וְלִיתְנֵי רְבִיעִי בַּתְּרוּמָה וַחֲמִישִׁי בַּקּוֹדֶשׁ, וְנֵימָא רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא הִיא — וַאֲנַן אַהָכִי נֵיקוּם וְנִסְמוֹךְ?!
Rav Kahana said to Rav Ashi that there is indirect proof that this is the case. As it is not possible to avoid finding at least one tanna who teaches fourth-degree impurity with regard to teruma and fifth-degree impurity with regard to consecrated items, and says that this is the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who derived it from the a fortiori inference of Rabbi Yosei. In response to this claim, the Gemara asks: And will we stand and rely on that proof? Can proof for Rabbi Akiva’s opinion be cited from the fact that no such tanna was found? Perhaps there is some source for that halakha.
נְפַק רַב אָשֵׁי, וְאִי תֵּימָא רַב כָּהֲנָא, דַּק וְאַשְׁכַּח הָא דִּתְנַן: הַכְּלִי מְצָרֵף אֶת מַה שֶּׁבְּתוֹכוֹ לַקּוֹדֶשׁ, אֲבָל לֹא לַתְּרוּמָה. וְהָרְבִיעִי בַּקּוֹדֶשׁ פָּסוּל, וְהַשְּׁלִישִׁי בַּתְּרוּמָה.
Rav Ashi, and some say it was Rav Kahana, left the study hall to examine this matter. He analyzed the issue and found proof positive that Rabbi Akiva does not hold that there is fifth-degree impurity with regard to consecrated items. He proved this from that which we learned in a mishna: A vessel joins that which is in it into a single unit. For example, if there are fruits in a vessel between which there is no contact and one of them became ritually impure, all of the fruits are impure, as they are joined by the vessel. This principle applies with regard to consecrated property, but not with regard to teruma. And the fourth degree of impurity disqualifies consecrated items but does not transmit impurity, while third-degree impurity disqualifies teruma.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי חִיָּיא בַּר אַבָּא אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: מֵעֵדוּתוֹ שֶׁל רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא נִשְׁנֵית מִשְׁנָה זוֹ. (דְּתַנְיָא:) הוֹסִיף רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא הַסּוֹלֶת וְהַקְּטוֹרֶת וְהַלְּבוֹנָה וְהַגֶּחָלִים, שֶׁאִם נָגַע טְבוּל יוֹם בְּמִקְצָתָן פָּסַל אֶת כּוּלָּן.
And Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It is from the testimony of Rabbi Akiva that this mishna is taught, as it was taught in a baraita: Rabbi Akiva added in his testimony with regard to the fine flour, the incense, the frankincense, and the coals on the altar, which are not foods and do not ordinarily become impure, that if a person who immersed during that day, who disqualifies consecrated items, touches some of them, he disqualifies all of them, as the vessel joins them into one unit.
רְבִיעִי אִין, חֲמִישִׁי לָא. שְׁלִישִׁי אִין, רְבִיעִי לָא.
This baraita, which is the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, states that with regard to fourth-degree impurity, yes, consecrated objects assume that status; however, with regard to fifth-degree impurity, no, consecrated objects do not assume that status. With regard to third-degree impurity, yes, teruma assumes that status; however, with regard to fifth-degree impurity, no, teruma does not assume that status.
אַלְמָא קָסָבַר: צֵירוּף דְּרַבָּנַן. וּפְלִיגָא דְּרַבִּי חָנִין, דְּאָמַר: צֵירוּף דְּאוֹרָיְיתָא, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״כַּף אַחַת עֲשָׂרָה זָהָב מְלֵאָה קְטֹרֶת״, הַכָּתוּב עָשָׂה כׇּל מַה שֶּׁבַּכַּף אַחַת.
The Gemara comments: Apparently, Rabbi Yoḥanan holds that joining in a single vessel, of frankincense, incense, or coals, is a halakha by rabbinic law, not by Torah law, as the ritual impurity of frankincense and coals is by rabbinic law. And Rabbi Yoḥanan disputes that statement of Rabbi Ḥanin, who said: Joining in a vessel is a halakha by Torah law, as it is stated: “One golden spoon of ten shekels, filled with incense” (Numbers 7:20). The verse rendered everything in the spoon, i.e., all the incense, as one entity.
תְּנַן הָתָם: עַל מַחַט שֶׁנִּמְצֵאת בַּבָּשָׂר, שֶׁהַסַּכִּין וְהַיָּדַיִם — טְהוֹרוֹת, וְהַבָּשָׂר טָמֵא. נִמְצֵאת בַּפֶּרֶשׁ — הַכֹּל טָהוֹר. אָמַר רַבִּי עֲקִיבָא: זָכִינוּ שֶׁאֵין טוּמְאַת יָדַיִם בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ.
Apropos ritual purity and impurity in the Temple, the Gemara cites that we learned in a mishna there: The Sages testified about the case of a needle that was found in the meat of an animal that was led through water, that the knife and the hands that touched the needle are ritually pure but the meat is impure, as the needle might have been impure. If the needle was found in the secretions of the animal’s stomach, everything is pure, as secretions do not transfer impurity to the meat. Rabbi Akiva said: We were privileged to learn a novel halakha from here, which is that there is no impurity of hands in the Temple as in this case the hands did not become impure upon contact with the needle.