Kelim, Chapter Five, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

Today’s mishnah begins to deal with the “stove” which either had one or two holes on its top upon which they would place pots and pans.  

 

Mishnah Two

1)      A double stove: its original height must be no less than three fingerbreadths and what is left of it three fingerbreadths.  

2)      [Its susceptibility to impurity begins] as soon as its manufacture is completed.  

a)      What is regarded as the completion of its manufacture? When it is heated to a degree that suffices for the cooking of the lightest of eggs when scrambled and put in a saucepan.

3)      A single stove: if it was made for baking its prescribed size is the same as that for a baking-oven, and if it was made for cooking its prescribed size is the same as that for a double stove.  

4)      A stone that projects one handbreadth from a baking-oven or three fingerbreadths from a double stove is considered a connection.  

a)      One that projects from a single stove, if it was made for baking, the prescribed size is the same as that for a baking-oven, and if it was made for cooking the prescribed size is the same as that for a double stove.

5)      Rabbi Judah said: they spoke of a ‘handbreadth’ only where the projection was between the oven and a wall.  

6)      If two ovens were adjacent to one another, they allot one handbreadth to this one and one to the other and the remainder is clean.

 

Explanation

Section one: Stoves were much smaller than ovens and therefore as long as it was originally three fingerbreadths or if it was broken and there remain three fingerbreadths, the stove is considered usable and susceptible to impurity.

Section two: A stove of this height is susceptible to impurity once its walls have been fired enough to cook on it a scrambled egg.

Section three: A single stove was hotter than a double stove and therefore it could either be used to bake bread inside like a baking oven, or to cook on top. If it was made to bake bread, then it must be as large as an oven (see yesterday’s mishnah) in order to contract impurity. If it was made to serve as a stove, then it only needs to be as large as a stove to become impure.

Section four: Stones protruding from ovens and stoves may either be useless, in which case they are not susceptible to impurity, or they may be handles through which the oven or stove is carried, in which case they are susceptible to impurity.

For an oven the stone can be up to a handbreadth for it to be considered connected and therefore a handle. If it is larger than it is not susceptible. For a double stove, which is smaller, the measure is only three fingerbreadths.

Again, the single stove does not have its own set of rules—rather it is considered like an oven if made for baking and like a double stove if made for cooking on top.

Section five: Rabbi Judah says that the measure of the stone as a “handbreadth” was only given in the case of a stone that was between the oven and the wall. In order to push the oven up against the wall, they reduced the stone to a handbreadth. But if the oven is not next to the wall, the stone is considered connected as a handle no matter how long it is. It will always be susceptible.

Section six: If two ovens were next to each other and one stone connected them, then the handbreadth closest to each oven is susceptible to impurity. Any space between the two beyond the handbreadth allotted to each remains clean, even if the oven is impure. 

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