Makhshirim, Chapter One, Mishnah Three

 

Mishnah Three

1)      If one shook a tree  and it fell on another tree, or a branch and it fell on another branch, and under them were seeds or vegetables [still] joined to the ground:

a)      Bet Shammai say: this comes under the law of ‘if water be put’.

b)      But Bet Hillel say: this does not come under the law of ‘if water be put’.

2)      R. Joshua said in the name of Abba Yose Holikofri a man of Tivon:   Be surprised if there is any liquid that according to the Torah causes susceptibility to uncleanness except one put it on with intention, for it is said: “If water be put upon the seed.”

 

Explanation

Section one: Bet Shammai holds that even though the water fell on produce that was still attached to the ground, the water is now sufficient to make other produce susceptible to impurity. In other words, since the water has been intentionally removed from its original place, it now makes produce susceptible. Note that the produce on which it fell is not susceptible because produce attached to the ground is never susceptible.

Bet Hillel holds that since the water fell on produce attached to the ground, it is not yet sufficient to make food susceptible. However, if after this the water fell subsequently onto other trees or other branches the water becomes ready to make food susceptible to impurity.

Section two: Rabbi Joshua holds that liquid causes produce to be susceptible only if it was intentionally put on to food. This is because he reads the verb “be put upon” with different vocalization, which yields, “if one puts upon.” In Hebrew the former is “ki yutan” whereas the latter is “ki yiten”—the only difference between the two is in vocalization.

 

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