Ohalot, Chapter Ten, Mishnah One



Chapter ten discusses cases where there is a hatchway in a house leading to the roof. The mishnah will discuss various scenarios with regard to how large the hatchway is, and whether or not something covers it.


Mishnah One

1)      A hatchway in a house, which has an opening of a [square] handbreadth,

2)      If there is uncleanness in the house, what is directly [below] the hatchway remains clean. 

3)      If the uncleanness is directly [below] the hatchway, the house remains clean.

4)      If the uncleanness is either in the house or directly [below] the hatchway, and a person placed his foot above [the hatchway] he has combined [with the roof to bring] uncleanness.

5)      If part of the uncleanness is in the room and part of it directly [below] the hatchway, the house becomes unclean and what is directly [above] the uncleanness becomes unclean. 



Section one: The first mishnah deals with a hatchway that is a square handbreadth. Tomorrow, we will deal with a smaller hatchway (I bet you can’t wait). In this case, the place directly below the hatchway is not an ohel.

Section two: The part underneath the hatchway is not in the ohel (house). Therefore, whatever is there remains clean.

Section three: If there is uncleanness right below the hatchway it is not in a tent. The impurity travels straight up and the other things in the house remain clean.

Section four: In this case, a person put his leg over the hatchway and thereby reduced the hatchway to less than a square handbreadth. The entire house is now one tent. Therefore, no matter where the impurity is found, the contents of the entire house are impure. Furthermore, the person himself is impure.

Section five: If part of the source of uncleanness is under the house and part is under the hatchway, then the house becomes unclean as if the entire source of uncleanness was in the house. Anything found directly above the part of the impurity that was in the hatchway is impure. But things found opposite the hatchway but not directly above or below the source of impurity remain pure.