Kelim, Chapter Seventeen, Mishnah Fifteen


Mishnah Fifteen

1)      If one made a receptacle whatever its size it is susceptible to uncleanness.

2)      If one made a couch or a bed whatever its purpose it is susceptible to uncleanness.

3)      If one made a wallet from untanned hide or from papyrus it is susceptible to uncleanness.

4)      A pomegranate, an acorn and a nut which children hollowed out to  measure dust or fashioned them into a pair of scales, are susceptible to uncleanness, since in the case of children an act is valid though an intention is not.



Section one: A vessel that has a receptacle is susceptible to impurity, no matter how small the receptacle is. Others explain the words that I have translated “whatever its size” to mean “whatever it is made of,” which then refers to the law in section three—even vessels made of poor quality material can be susceptible.

Section two: Vessels which are made to sit upon or lay upon are susceptible, no matter the actual type of sitting or laying done upon them. Commentators explain that this includes vessels which are meant to be leaned upon.

Section three: A proper wallet is made from tanned leather. However, a wallet made from the inferior materials of papyrus or untanned leather is still usable and hence susceptible to impurity.

Section four: If an object can be used as a receptacle, all that an adult has to do for it to be susceptible is think about using it in such a manner. Thinking counts as using. However, children must actually use the object in that way for it to be susceptible. So if a child takes a piece of fruit or a nut and makes it into a receptacle it is susceptible once he uses it. But if all he does is think about using it this way, it is not susceptible.