Kelim, Chapter One, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

Moving up on the hierarchy of “fathers of impurity,” we now encounter two more types of impurity which are even more contagious than the five listed in yesterday’s mishnah.

 

Mishnah Two

1)      Above them are nevelah and waters of purification whose quantity is sufficient to be sprinkled, for these convey impurity to a person [even] by being carried so that he in turn conveys impurity to clothing by contact.  

2)      Clothing, however, is free from impurity where there was contact alone. 

 

Explanation

Section one: Nevelah is carrion of a pure animal, that is, a kosher animal that was not slaughtered properly. See Leviticus 11:24-28, 39-40. Anyone who even carries nevelah, or a piece of nevelah, is impure, even if he doesn’t directly touch the carrion. Furthermore, he in turn defiles the clothing that he is wearing while carrying the carrion.

The same halakhah applies to the waters of impurity (see yesterday’s mishnah) if there is a sufficient amount to sprinkle on a person to purify him.

Section two: If a person touches one of these things, his clothes are not thereby defiled. They are only defiled if he carries one of these things. 

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