Ohalot, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Two
Today’s mishnah deals with a portico, a structure made of columns supporting a roof that stands in front of a house.
1) A portico which has been split [into two]:
2) If there is uncleanness on the one side, vessels on the other side remain clean.
3) If a person placed his leg or a reed above [the split], he has combined [with the roof to bring the] uncleanness.
4) If he placed the reed on the ground, it does not form a passage for the uncleanness until it is one handbreadth off the ground.
Section one: Since the portico’s roof is split, impurity found on one side does not travel to the other. And in this case there is no difference between vessels that are found in the inner half and those found in the outer half (as there was with the house) because the portico is open from three sides. Thus the impurity can escape to the sides.
Section two: If a person put his leg over the crack, then he has made the two halves of the portico into one tent. Thus impurity that is found on one side of the tent will travel to the other.
Section four: If a person places a reed on the ground it does not serve to join the two sides of the portico into one tent. However, if he raises it by one handbreadth then the tent that it forms joins the two tents above and everything is considered to be one tent.