Mikvaot, Chapter Seven, Mishnah Four

 

Mishnah Four

If wine or the sap of olives fell into the mikveh and changed the color of a portion of the water, if there is not a portion [of the mikveh] that has forty seahs with the color of water, one may not immerse in there.

 

Explanation

If the wine or sap from olives changed one part of the mikveh, meaning somehow the color stayed on one side, then one cannot immerse in the mikveh unless the remaining side that still has the color of water has at least forty seahs.

I’m not really sure how practical this is (the color would assumedly dissipate pretty quickly throughout the mikveh), but it does teach a principle. The colored water is not usable as a mikveh but it doesn’t disqualify the mikveh. Therefore, we can effectively ignore the fact that there is colored water on one side of the mikveh—such water doesn’t count, but doesn’t disqualify.

 

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