Kelim, Chapter Fourteen, Mishnah Three

 

Mishnah Three

1)      A builder’s staff and a carpenter’s axes are susceptible to impurity.  

2)      Tent-pegs and surveyors’ pegs are susceptible to impurity.  

3)      A surveyor’s chain is susceptible to impurity, but one used for wood is clean.  

4)      The chain of a big bucket [is susceptible to impurity to a length of] four handbreadths, and that of a small one [to a length of] ten handbreadths.  

5)      A blacksmith’s jack is susceptible to impurity.

6)      A saw whose teeth were made in a hole susceptible to impurity, but if they were turned from below upwards it is clean.  

7)      All covers are clean except that of a boiler.

 

Explanation

Section one: Since these are metal tools, they are susceptible to impurity.

Section two: Tent pegs are considered utensils and are therefore susceptible to impurity. Surveyors’ pegs are put into the ground and strings are attached to them to measure the ground. They too are susceptible.

Section three: A chain used by surveyors to measure the length of the ground is susceptible to impurity, just as are the pegs. However, if the chain is used to bundle up wood, it is not susceptible because it is not considered a vessel.

Section four: Up until four handbreadths, the chain attached to a large bucket is considered to be part of the bucket and it is susceptible to impurity. However, the large bucket does not need a chain any longer than this, and therefore if the chain is longer, the remainder is not susceptible.

Smaller buckets have longer chains and therefore the chain is susceptible to impurity up to a length of ten handbreadths.

Section five: The blacksmith’s jack is the iron base which he uses to forge his vessels. It itself is considered a vessel and is susceptible to impurity.

Section six: In this section I am following the Rambam’s interpretation. If a person made a saw by inserting teeth into the holes in the saw, the saw is susceptible to impurity. However, if he turns the teeth in such a way that he cannot use the saw, it is clean.

Section seven: Generally, metal covers are pure because they are not considered vessels. The exception is the cover of a boiler, which is on occasion used independently of the boiler.     

 

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