Makhshirin, Chapter Three, Mishnah One



Chapter three (finally) returns to the subject of our tractate—when does contact with liquid cause food to be susceptible to impurity?


Mishnah One

1)      If a sack full of produce was put by the side of a river or by the side of the mouth of a cistern  or on the steps of a cavern, and [the produce] absorbed water, all [the produce] which absorbed the water comes  under the law of ‘if water be put’.

2)      Rabbi Judah says: all [the produce] which faced  the water comes under the law of ‘if water be put’, but all [the produce] which did not face the water does not come under the law of ‘if water be put’. 



Section one: A person put a sack of produce near a source of wetness, either a river, a cistern or a cavern in order for it to stay moist. The produce in the sack, even the side of the sack that didn’t really get all that wet, has been made susceptible to impurity. This is because he wanted the produce to get wet.

Section two: Rabbi Judah limits the susceptibility to the side of the sack that actually faced the water. This side absorbed the water so it is susceptible. The other side didn’t really absorb any water so it is not susceptible.