Kelim, Chapter Thirteen, Mishnah One

 

Mishnah One

1)      The sword, knife, dagger, spear, hand-sickle, harvest-sickle, clipper, and barbers’ whose component parts were separated, are susceptible to impurity.

2)      Rabbi Yose says: the part that is near the hand is susceptible to impurity, but that which is near the top is clean.

3)      The two parts of shears which were separated:

a)      Rabbi Judah says: they are still susceptible to impurity;

b)      But the sages say that they are clean.

 

Explanation

Section one: All of these instruments are metal and are therefore susceptible to impurity. The scissors are susceptible even though their two knives have been separated.

Section two: Rabbi Yose says that when any of these instruments has been separated into multiple pieces, only the part that is near the hand is still susceptible, because only it can be held. The other parts are not susceptible because they can’t be held without cutting one’s hands.

Section three: The “shears” referred to here have only one knife, which is bent to aid in cutting. If this type of shears was split into two, Rabbi Judah says that it is still susceptible, since each part is still usable. The other sages say that since it is difficult to use each individual part on its own, both are clean.

 

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