וְנֵימָא: שֶׁאֵין טוּמְאַת יָדַיִם וְכֵלִים בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ! אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב, וְאִיתֵּימָא רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא: יָדַיִם קוֹדֶם גְּזֵירַת כֵּלִים נִשְׁנוּ. The Gemara asks: And let us say that Rabbi Akiva says that we learn from here that there is no ritual impurity of hands and vessels in the Temple, as the mishna says that the knife which touched the needle is also pure. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said, and some say that it was Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina: The testimony that there is no ritual impurity for hands was taught prior to the decree of impurity for vessels that came in contact with impure liquids outside the Temple. Therefore, there was no novelty in the fact that there is no ritual impurity of vessels in the Temple.
אָמַר רָבָא: וְהָא תַּרְוַיְיהוּ בּוֹ בַּיּוֹם גָּזְרוּ, דִּתְנַן: הַסֵּפֶר וְהַיָּדַיִם וְהַטְּבוּל יוֹם וְהָאוֹכָלִין וְהַכֵּלִים שֶׁנִּטְמְאוּ בְּמַשְׁקִין! Rava said: But weren’t both decrees issued on the same day? As we learned in a mishna: The impurity of a Torah scroll and other sacred scrolls, and the impurity of hands that were not washed or immersed, and the impurity of one who immersed himself during that day, and the impurity of foods and vessels that became impure by contact with impure liquids, all these are included in the eighteen matters with regard to which decrees were issued on the same day.
אֶלָּא אָמַר רָבָא: הַנַּח לְטוּמְאַת סַכִּין, דַּאֲפִילּוּ בְּחוּלִּין נָמֵי לָא מְטַמֵּא. הַאי סַכִּין דִּנְגַע בְּמַאי? אִילֵימָא דִּנְגַע בְּבָשָׂר — הָא אֵין אוֹכֶל מְטַמֵּא כְּלִי, וְאֶלָּא דִּנְגַע בְּמַחַט — וְהָא אֵין כְּלִי מְטַמֵּא כְּלִי! Rather, Rava said: Leave the impurity of the knife, as even outside the Temple in non-sacred circumstances it does not become impure. As in the case of this knife, what did it touch that could transmit impurity? If you say that it touched the meat, food does not transmit impurity to a vessel. If you say, rather, that it touched the needle, a vessel does not transmit impurity to another vessel.
הַאי מַחַט מַאי עֲבִידְתֵּיהּ? אִי נֵימָא סְפֵק מַחַט, וְהָא אִיתְּמַר: רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר וְרַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא, חַד אָמַר: לֹא גָּזְרוּ עַל סְפֵק הָרוּקִּין שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם, וְחַד אָמַר: לֹא גָּזְרוּ עַל סְפֵק הַכֵּלִים שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם. With regard to this needle, the Gemara asks: What is its impurity status? If we say that there is uncertainty with regard to the impurity of the needle, wasn’t it stated that there is a dispute between Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina? One said: The Sages did not issue a decree in the case of uncertainty with regard to the impurity of spittle that is found in Jerusalem. Any spittle found outside of Jerusalem might have come from a zav or from a gentile, whose legal status in this regard is like that of a zav. The Sages decreed that any contact with this spittle should be treated as uncertain contact with a primary source of ritual impurity. That decree was not issued with regard to spittle found in Jerusalem. And one said: The Sages did not issue a decree in the case of uncertainty with regard to the impurity of vessels in Jerusalem. As opposed to the situation outside of Jerusalem, there is no presumption of impurity with regard to vessels found in Jerusalem, including a needle.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר רַב: כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָבְדָה לוֹ מַחַט טְמֵא מֵת, וְהִכִּירָהּ בַּבָּשָׂר. רַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי אָבִין אָמַר: כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיְתָה פָּרָה חֲסוּמָה, וּבָאָה מִחוּץ לִירוּשָׁלַיִם. Rav Yehuda said that Rav said: This is referring to a case where one lost a needle that became impure through contact with a person or vessel impure with ritual impurity imparted by a corpse. Since the needle is a metal utensil, it assumes the same degree of impurity as the source of its impurity, in this case a primary source of impurity. And he then recognized the needle in the meat of the offering. Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Avin, said: This is referring to a case where the cow was muzzled as it came from outside of Jerusalem. The needle is clearly from outside of Jerusalem, and in all cases of uncertainty with regard to vessels outside of Jerusalem the ruling is that they are impure.
גּוּפָא. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר וְרַבִּי יוֹסֵי בְּרַבִּי חֲנִינָא, חַד אָמַר: לֹא גָּזְרוּ עַל סְפֵק הָרוּקִּין שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם, וְחַד אָמַר: לֹא גָּזְרוּ עַל סְפֵק הַכֵּלִים שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם. רוּקִּין תְּנֵינָא, כֵּלִים תְּנֵינָא! The Gemara analyzes the dispute with regard to the decree that was not issued in Jerusalem itself. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, disagreed. One said: The Sages did not issue a decree in the case of uncertainty with regard to the impurity of spittle that is found in Jerusalem. And one said: The Sages did not issue a decree in the case of uncertainty with regard to the impurity of vessels in Jerusalem. The Gemara asks: We already learned the halakha of spittle, and similarly, we already learned the halakha of vessels. What do these amora’im add to the earlier tannaitic rulings?
רוּקִּין תְּנֵינָא, דִּתְנַן: כׇּל הָרוּקִּין הַנִּמְצָאִין בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם טְהוֹרִין, חוּץ מִשֶּׁל שׁוּק הָעֶלְיוֹן! לָא צְרִיכָא, אַף עַל גַּב דְּאִיתַּחְזַק זָב. The Gemara elaborates: We already learned the halakha of spittle, as we learned in a mishna: Any spittle found in Jerusalem is pure, except for the spittle that is found in the upper market, an area frequented by gentiles (Rambam). The Gemara explains: No, it is necessary for the amora to teach that this halakha applies even in a case where there is a presumption that there had been a zav in the area where the spittle was found. Even in that case, no decree of impurity was issued with regard to spittle in Jerusalem.
כֵּלִים תְּנֵינָא, דִּתְנַן: כׇּל הַכֵּלִים הַנִּמְצָאִים בִּירוּשָׁלַיִם, דֶּרֶךְ יְרִידָה לְבֵית הַטְּבִילָה — טְמֵאִין. הָא דְּעָלְמָא — טְהוֹרִין! Likewise, we already learned the halakha of vessels, as we learned in a mishna: With regard to all the vessels found in Jerusalem, if they were found on the path leading down to the ritual bath they are presumed ritually impure. These vessels were probably not yet immersed, as people typically bring impure vessels to the ritual bath. By inference, all other vessels found elsewhere are presumed pure.
וּלְטַעְמָיךְ, אֵימָא סֵיפָא: דֶּרֶךְ עֲלִיָּה — טְהוֹרִין. הָא דְּעָלְמָא — טְמֵאִין! The Gemara raises a difficulty: And according to your reasoning, say the latter clause of the mishna as follows: If the vessels were discovered on the path up from the ritual bath, they are presumed ritually pure. One can learn by inference from this statement the diametric opposite: All other vessels are presumed ritually impure.
אֶלָּא: רֵישָׁא דַּוְקָא, וְסֵיפָא לָאו דַּוְקָא. וּלְאַפּוֹקֵי גָּזְיָיתָא. Rather, the first clause of the mishna is precise in its formulation, and therefore inferences may be drawn with regard to other vessels. And the latter clause is not precise in this way, and it comes to exclude only the small passageways near the ritual bath, where it is unclear whether the vessels there were being taken to the bath for immersion or from the bath after being immersed. Since the vessels were certainly impure when brought to the ritual bath, and it is uncertain whether or not they were immersed, they retain the presumptive status of impurity. However, in cases where the uncertainty is whether or not the vessels were impure at all, then where the impurity is by rabbinic decree, that decree is not in effect in Jerusalem, and the vessels are ritually pure.
וּלְרַב דְּאָמַר: כְּגוֹן שֶׁאָבְדָה לוֹ מַחַט טְמֵא מֵת וְהִכִּירָהּ בַּבָּשָׂר, כֵּיוָן דְּאָמַר מָר: ״בַּחֲלַל חֶרֶב״, חֶרֶב הֲרֵי הוּא כֶּחָלָל — אָדָם וְכֵלִים נָמֵי לִיטַמֵּא! And the Gemara suggests that according to Rav, who said this is referring to a case where one lost a needle that became impure through contact with a person or vessel impure with ritual impurity imparted by a corpse, and he recognized the needle in the meat of the offering, the conclusion should be different. Since the Master said that the verse: “One who is slain with a sword” (Numbers 19:16) teaches that the legal status of a metal sword is like that of one who is slain in terms of its degree of impurity, not only the meat, but a person and vessels as well should become ritually impure by touching the needle. Just as a sword that comes into contact with a corpse assumes its status as an ultimate primary source of ritual impurity, so too, any metal vessel that comes into contact with a person or vessel that is impure with impurity imparted by a corpse assumes its status as a primary source of ritual impurity.
אָמַר רַב אָשֵׁי: זֹאת אוֹמֶרֶת עֲזָרָה רְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים הִיא, וְהָוֵה לֵיהּ סְפֵק טוּמְאָה בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים. וְכׇל סְפֵק טוּמְאָה בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים — סְפֵיקוֹ טָהוֹר. Rav Ashi said: That is to say that the Temple courtyard is a public domain with regard to the halakhot of uncertain impurity. And therefore, the ruling in this case is that of uncertainty with regard to impurity in a public domain, as there is no proof that either the vessels or one’s hands came into contact with the ritually impure needle. And the guiding principle in any case of uncertainty with regard to impurity in a public domain is that its uncertainty is ruled to be ritually pure. Therefore, the meat, which definitely came into contact with the needle, is impure, while everything else is ritually pure.
הָא בִּרְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד — סְפֵיקוֹ טָמֵא הוּא. מִכְּדֵי הַאי מַחַט דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ דַּעַת לִישָּׁאֵל הוּא. וְכׇל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ דַּעַת לִישָּׁאֵל, בֵּין בִּרְשׁוּת הָרַבִּים בֵּין בִּרְשׁוּת הַיָּחִיד — סְפֵיקוֹ טָהוֹר! The Gemara asks: One can learn by inference that if this uncertainty developed in the private domain, its uncertainty is ruled to be ritually impure. Why would that be the case? Since this needle is an item that does not have knowledge to be asked, as an inanimate object cannot be consulted with regard to how it became impure or whether it became impure at all, the following principle is in effect: With regard to any item or person that does not have knowledge to be asked, the person referring to one who lacks the competence to answer the question, whether the uncertainty developed in the public domain or whether it was in the private domain, its uncertainty is ruled to be ritually pure.
מִשּׁוּם דְּהָוֵי סְפֵק טוּמְאָה הַבָּאָה בִּידֵי אָדָם, וְאָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן: סְפֵק טוּמְאָה הַבָּאָה בִּידֵי אָדָם The Gemara responds: Although a needle does not have knowledge to be asked, it is nevertheless impure due to the fact that its uncertainty is uncertainty with regard to impurity that comes about by means of a person. The knife did not come into contact with the needle on its own; rather, a person was holding the knife. And Rabbi Yoḥanan stated another principle: In a case of uncertainty with regard to impurity that comes about by means of a person,