Kelim, Chapter Fifteen, Mishnah Two
In the wake of yesterday’s mishnah which ended by mentioning a baker’s trough, our mishnah continues to deal with various instruments used by a baker.
1) Bakers baking-boards are susceptible to impurity, but those used by householders are clean.
a) But if he dyed them red or saffron they are susceptible to impurity.
2) If a bakers shelf was fixed to a wall:
a) Rabbi Eliezer rules that it is clean
b) And the sages rule that it is susceptible to impurity.
3) The bakers’ frame is susceptible to impurity but one used by householders is clean.
a) If he made a rim on its four sides it is susceptible to impurity, but if one side was open it is clean.
b) Rabbi Shimon says: if he fixed it so that one can cut the dough upon it, it is susceptible to impurity.
4) Similarly, a rolling-pin is susceptible to impurity.
Section one: Since bakers’ boards are specially designed to hold the dough so that it can be arranged into loaves, they are susceptible to impurity. But householders will use any old board, and therefore one used for such a purpose is not susceptible. However, if he dyes it, he turns it into a vessel and it is susceptible.
Section two: The baker’s shelf is where the baker would put the loaves of bread while they wait to rise. Rabbi Eliezer rules that since it is attached to the wall, it is clean, because anything that is attached to the ground is clean. The other rabbis disagree and hold that despite it being attached to the ground, it is still considered a vessel. We will see this same type of debate in subsequent chapters.
Section three: This frame was used by bakers to hold their water pitchers while they were baking. The one used by professionals is susceptible because it is specified for this purpose. But generally the one used by householders is not, because it is not specified for this type of use.
However, if the householder makes a frame for it from all four of its sides he has specified it for this type of use and it is susceptible.
Similarly, if he fixed the board so that he could use it for cutting dough, it is susceptible.
Section four: Albeck explains that this rolling pin was also used to bring the bread to the oven. Since it “receives” the bread, it is susceptible to impurity.