Makhshirin, Chapter Four, Mishnah Five

 

Introduction

Yesterday’s mishnah dealt with water from a roof that falls into a jar of produce. Today’s mishnah deals with water that falls into a tub.

 

Mishnah Five

1)      A tub into which a like [from a roof] fell, the water which splashed out or ran over does not come under the law of ‘if water be put’.

2)      If one moved the tub in order to pour out the water:

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

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

3)      If one placed the tub in order that the leak [from the roof] should fall into it:

a)      Bet Shammai say: the water that splashes out or runs over  comes under the law of ‘if water be put’.

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

4)      If one moved the tub in order to pour out the water, both agree that it comes under the law of ‘if water be put’.

5)      If one immersed vessels or washed his garment in a cavern, the water that came up on his hands comes under the law of ‘if water be put’; but what came up on his feet does not come under the law of ‘if water be put’.

a)      Rabbi Eliezer says: if it was not possible for him to go down into the cavern without soiling his feet, what came up on his feet also comes under the law of ‘if water be put’.

 

Explanation

Section one: The water in the tub and even the water that flows or splashes out of the tub does not cause susceptibility because in this case (unlike the case in section three) he didn’t put it there in order to collect it.

Section two: According to Bet Shammai, once he lifts up the tub in order to pour out the water, he gives significance to the water because he is thinking about what to do with it. Therefore, it will now cause susceptibility to impurity. Bet Hillel says that even in this case the water does not cause susceptibility.

Section three: In this case, he intentionally put the tub under the roof so that the water would fall in. Both houses would agree that the water in the tub does cause susceptibility because that is where he intended the water to go.

The houses disagree concerning the water that spills or splashes out. According to Bet Shammai since he wanted the water to go into the tub, the water that goes in and then splashes out does cause susceptibility. Bet Hillel says that since this water did not end up in the tub, where he wanted it to go, it does not cause susceptibility.

Section four: Once he lifts up the tub to pour out the water, the water retains its ability to cause susceptibility. The difference here is that he intentionally removed the water, whereas in section three it just spilled or splashed out.

Section five: Since he needed to get his hands wet to immerse the vessel, the water that clings to his hands does cause susceptibility.

But theoretically he could immerse the vessel without getting his feet wet or dirty, so the water that clings to his feet does not cause susceptibility.

Rabbi Eliezer adds a caveat that if there was no way to immerse the vessel without getting his feet wet and dirty then the water that clings to his feet also causes susceptibility.

As a reminder, when someone does something that will necessarily cause him or part of him, or even his things to get wet, the water that clings to him is something he desired because he knew that he would get wet. But if he didn’t need to get wet, and also wouldn’t have wanted to do so, then the contact with the water is not to his wishes and the water does not cause susceptibility.

 

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