Kelim, Chapter Two, Mishnah Four

 

Mishnah Four

1)      A lantern that has a receptacle for oil is susceptible to impurity, but one that has none is not susceptible.

2)      A potter’s mould on which one begins to shape the clay is not susceptible to impurity, but that on which one finishes it is susceptible.  

3)      A funnel for home use is not susceptible to impurity, but that of merchants is susceptible because it also serves as a measure, the words of Rabbi Judah ben Batera.

a)      Rabbi Akiva says: because he puts it on its side to let the buyer smell it. 

 

Explanation

Section one:  All of the vessels mentioned in this mishnah are earthenware vessels. If the lantern has a receptacle for oil, it is susceptible to impurity. If it does not, it cannot be made impure. Even though it has walls, they are only there to protect the fire and not to contain the oil.

Section two: The mould on which the potter begins to shape the clay does not have a receptacle, therefore it is not susceptible to impurity. However, the mould on which he finishes making the vessel does have a receptacle and therefore it is susceptible to impurity.

Section three: A funnel doesn’t hold the liquids or dry goods poured into it, therefore it is not susceptible to impurity. However, since a merchant uses the funnel for measuring (sticking his finger below to hold in that which he is measuring), his funnel is susceptible to impurity.

Rabbi Akiva agrees that the funnel used by the merchant is impure but for a different reason. Occasionally, the merchant will tilt the funnel on its side so that a little bit of liquid stays in it. This qualifies it as a receptacle. 

 

 

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