Kelim, Chapter Twenty-Five, Mishnah Eight
Today’s mishnah teaches how the laws of the “bet tzviah” the indentation on a cup (or other vessel) through which the vessel may be held applies to clean hands. This was a point of agreement between Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Yose at the end of yesterday’s mishnah.
1) If one’s hands were clean and the outer side of a cup was unclean, one may hold it by its holding-place and need not be concerned lest his hands have contracted uncleanness from the outer side of the cup.
2) If one was drinking from a cup whose outer side was unclean he need not be concerned lest the liquid in his mouth contracted uncleanness from the outer side of the cup and that it then conveyed uncleanness to the cup.
3) If a kettle was boiling one need not be concerned lest liquid should come out from it and touch its outer side and return again within it.
Section one: If one has clean hands that have some liquid on them, and he wants to hold an impure cup without defiling the liquids on his hands which would then defile his hands, he can hold the cup by the bet tzviah, the holding place. In such a case he need not be concerned lest his hands accidentally touched the outside of the cup.
Section two: This section is independent of the halakhah taught in section one. It is brought here because of the similar formula”he need not be concerned.” If one is drinking from a cup whose outer side is impure and whose inner side is pure he does not have to be concerned that the liquid in his mouth became impure and then conveyed impurity to the inside of the cup.
Section three: The kettle is impure on the outside and pure on the inside. If one is boiling water in the kettle he need not be concerned lest the water boils over, becomes impure upon contact with the outside of the kettle and then spills back inside and conveys impurity to the inside of the kettle.