אֶלָּא לְהַכְשִׁיר זְרָעִים בִּלְבַד! אֲמַר לֵיהּ: לְכׇל מִילֵּי רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן כְּתָלוּשׁ מְשַׁוֵּי לֵיהּ, וְשָׁאנֵי לְעִנְיַן טוּמְאָה, דְּהַתּוֹרָה רִיבְּתָה טׇהֳרָה אֵצֶל זְרָעִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״עַל כׇּל זֶרַע זֵרוּעַ אֲשֶׁר יִזָּרֵעַ״.
is with regard to rendering seeds capable of becoming ritually impure. Seeds that are in a perforated pot have the legal status of seeds planted in the ground and, as such, cannot become ritually impure. Seeds that are in an imperforated pot are considered detached from the ground and can become ritually impure. Apparently, in other areas of halakha, Rabbi Shimon holds that a plant in a perforated pot has the legal status of a plant in the ground (Me’iri). He said to him: With regard to all matters of halakha, Rabbi Shimon equates the status of a perforated pot with that of being detached. However, the matter of impurity is different, as the Torah amplified purity with regard to seeds, as it is stated: “And if anything falls from their carcasses upon any sowing seed that is sown, it is pure” (Leviticus 11:37). The repetitive language: “Any sowing seed that is sown” teaches that any seed that can be characterized as sowing, including one growing in a perforated pot, remains pure. However, in other areas of halakha, the status of a perforated pot is equal to that of an imperforated pot.
בְּעָא מִינֵּיהּ הָהוּא סָבָא מֵרַבִּי זֵירָא: שׁוֹרֶשׁ כְּנֶגֶד נֶקֶב מַה לִּי אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן? אִישְׁתִּיק וְלָא אֲמַר לֵיהּ וְלָא מִידֵּי. זִימְנָא חֲדָא אַשְׁכְּחֵיהּ דְּיָתֵיב וְקָאָמַר: וּמוֹדֶה רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן שֶׁאִם נִיקַּב בִּכְדֵי טׇהֳרָתוֹ. אֲמַר לֵיהּ: הַשְׁתָּא שׁוֹרֶשׁ כְּנֶגֶד נֶקֶב בְּעַאי מִינָּךְ וְלָא אֲמַרְתְּ לִי וְלָא מִידֵּי, נִיקַּב בִּכְדֵי טׇהֳרָתוֹ מִיבַּעְיָא?!
A certain Elder raised a dilemma before Rabbi Zeira: In a case where the root of a plant in a perforated pot is opposite the hole, what would Rabbi Shimon say in terms of whether or not it is considered attached to the ground? He was silent and did not say anything to him. The Gemara relates that once the same Elder found Rabbi Zeira, who was sitting and saying: And Rabbi Shimon agrees that if the hole in the flowerpot is large enough to render it ritually pure, i.e., unable to hold olives, it is considered attached to the earth with regard to Shabbat. He said to him: Now, I raised a dilemma before you as to Rabbi Shimon’s ruling in a case where the root is opposite the hole, and you did not say anything to me. With regard to a case where the root is not actually opposite the hole, but its hole is large enough to render it pure, do you need to tell me that the dilemma whether or not it is considered detached is unresolved? Rather, this must certainly be understood differently.
אָמַר אַבָּיֵי: וְאִי אִיתְּמַר לְהָא דְּרַבִּי זֵירָא, הָכִי הוּא דְּאִיתְּמַר: וּמוֹדֶה רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן שֶׁאִם נִיקַּב לְמַטָּה מֵרְבִיעִית.
Abaye said: And if the statement of Rabbi Zeira that Rabbi Shimon holds that a perforated pot is considered attached to the ground, was stated, it was stated as follows: And Rabbi Shimon agrees that if the pot was perforated below the level where it could hold a quarter of a log, it is no longer considered a vessel, and the plants are considered attached to the ground.
אָמַר רָבָא, חָמֵשׁ מִדּוֹת בִּכְלֵי חֶרֶס: נִיקַּב כְּמוֹצִיא מַשְׁקֶה — טָהוֹר מִלְּטַמֵּא גִּיסְטְרָא וַעֲדַיִין כְּלִי הוּא לְקַדֵּשׁ בּוֹ מֵי חַטָּאת; נִיקַּב כְּכוֹנֵס מַשְׁקֶה — טָהוֹר מִלְּקַדֵּשׁ בּוֹ מֵי חַטָּאת וַעֲדַיִין כְּלִי הוּא לְהַכְשִׁיר בּוֹ זְרָעִים; נִיקַּב כְּשׁוֹרֶשׁ קָטָן — טָהוֹר מִלְּהַכְשִׁיר בּוֹ זְרָעִים וַעֲדַיִין כְּלִי הוּא לְקַבֵּל בּוֹ זֵיתִים; נִיקַּב כְּמוֹצִיא זֵיתִים — טָהוֹר מִלְּקַבֵּל בּוֹ זֵיתִים וַעֲדַיִין כְּלִי הוּא לְקַבֵּל בּוֹ רִימּוֹנִים; נִיקַּב כְּמוֹצִיא רִימּוֹנִים — טָהוֹר מִכְּלוּם. וְאִם הוּקַּף צָמִיד פָּתִיל — עַד שֶׁיִּפָּחֵת רוּבּוֹ.
Apropos the purification of an earthenware vessel, the Gemara cites that Rava said: Five measures were stated with regard to holes in an earthenware vessel: If it was perforated with a small hole from which liquid seeps, it is no longer a vessel and is ritually pure in terms of the impurity of a shard. Certain shards of impure earthenware vessels remain impure if they can still be used. If it has a hole, even a small one that liquids can flow through, it can no longer transmit ritual impurity. However, it remains a complete vessel in which to sanctify the purification waters of the red heifer, which require a whole vessel. And if it was perforated with a hole large enough to enable liquid to enter the vessel, it is ritually pure in terms of sanctifying the purification waters in it, but it remains a vessel in terms of rendering seeds in it capable of becoming ritually impure. And if it was perforated with a hole the size of a small root, it is ritually pure in terms of rendering seeds in it capable of becoming ritually impure, but it remains a vessel that can become ritually impure in terms of holding olives. And if it was perforated with a hole large enough to enable olives to go out, it is pure in terms of the impurity of all other vessels that can hold olives, but it remains a vessel in terms of holding pomegranates. If the vessel is designated for use in holding pomegranates, it can become ritually impure because it is suitable for that use. If it was perforated with a hole large enough to enable pomegranates to go out, it is ritually pure from any type of impurity. And if the mouth of an earthenware vessel that is in a room with a corpse is surrounded by a sealed cover, it does not become ritually pure, even if its hole was large enough to enable a pomegranate to go out. It protects whatever is inside the vessel from contracting impurity, unless the majority of the vessel is broken.
אָמַר רַב אַסִּי: שָׁמַעְתִּי כְּלִי חֶרֶס שִׁיעוּרוֹ כְּמוֹצִיא רִימּוֹן. אֲמַר לֵיהּ רָבָא: שֶׁמָּא לֹא שָׁמַעְתָּ אֶלָּא בְּמוּקָּף צְמִיד פָּתִיל. וְהָא רָבָא הוּא דְּאָמַר מוּקָּף צְמִיד פָּתִיל עַד שֶׁיִּפָּחֵת רוּבּוֹ! לָא קַשְׁיָא,
Rav Asi said: I heard that with regard to an earthenware vessel, the measure of the hole that renders it unable to become ritually impure is large enough to enable a pomegranate to go out. Rava said to him: Perhaps you only heard this when its mouth is surrounded by a sealed cover, but an ordinary earthenware vessel becomes ritually pure with a hole big enough to enable an olive to go out. The Gemara asks: Isn’t Rava himself the one who said that an earthenware vessel that is surrounded by a sealed cover protects whatever is inside the vessel from contracting impurity unless the majority of the vessel is broken? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult.