Makhshirin, Chapter Three, Mishnah Seven

 

Introduction

Today’s mishnah continues to deal with situations in which Rabbi Judah says that one can’t help but be happy about his produce getting wet. 

 

Mishnah Seven

1)      If donkey-drivers were crossing a river and their sacks [filled with produce] fell into the water and they were happy about it, it comes under the law of ‘if water be put’.

a)      Rabbi Judah says: one cannot help being happy about it. Rather, [it comes under the law] only if they turned over [the sacks].  

2)      If one’s feet were full of clay, similarly, the feet of his beast, and he crossed a river and he was happy about it, this comes under the law of ‘if water be put’.  

a)      Rabbi Judah says: one cannot help being happy about it. Rather, [it comes under the law] only if he stopped and rinsed off his [feet] or those of his [domesticated] beast.

3)      But with an unclean [beast] it always causes   susceptibility to uncleanness.

 

Explanation

Section one: If the donkey drivers were happy about their produce getting wet, it is susceptible to impurity.

Rabbi Judah responds that since they will obviously be happy about the produce getting wet, there must be something more. For the produce to be susceptible he must turn over the sack so it gets wet.

Section two: If he is happy about his feet or his animal’s feet getting wet (and thereby cleaned off) by the river then the water that is on them will make produce susceptible to impurity.

Rabbi Judah says that the water on his or his domesticated beast’s feet does not make produce susceptible unless he stops in the river to wash off his feet.

Section three: However, when it comes to unclean animals, it doesn’t matter whether he stops to wash his feet or not. The water will in any case make produce susceptible because he will always be happy about his feet or his animal’s feet getting cleaned by the river.

I have explained this mishnah according to Albeck. Albeck states that the difference between clean and unclean animals, and why one must wash off the feet of the former for the water to make produce susceptible, is not clear. The meaning of this mishnah has been lost.

 

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