Kelim, Chapter Sixteen, Mishnah Six



Today’s mishnah deals with the purity of gloves. The general rule is stated clearly in section four: if the glove is made to protect the hand while holding potentially lacerating or irritating objects, then the glove is considered a receptacle and it is susceptible. However, if it is only made to prevent slippage due to sweat, then it is not susceptible. To use a modern case: a baseball fielder’s mitt would be susceptible because it is meant to hold the ball. Without it, one would hurt one’s hands. But a wide receiver’s gloves are meant largely to give him a better grip on the ball and to prevent slippage due to sweat. Therefore they would probably be pure.

The mishnah itself is straightforward once we know the general rule, therefore I have refrained from commenting below. 


Mishnah Six

1)      The leather glove of winnowers, travelers, or flax workers is susceptible to uncleanness.

2)      But the one for dyers or blacksmiths is clean.

3)      Rabbi Yose says: the same law applies to the glove of grist dealers.

4)      This is the general rule: that which is made for holding anything is susceptible to uncleanness, but that which only affords protection against perspiration is clean.