Ohalot, Chapter Eleven, Mishnah Nine

 

Mishnah Nine

1)      Vessels [that are] between the rims of the olive-basket and the rims of the cellar, even to the depths, remain clean.  

2)      If there is uncleanness in the cellar, the house becomes unclean.  

3)      If there is uncleanness in the house, vessels in the walls of the cellar   remain clean, if the place where they are has a content of one cubic handbreadth;   if not, they become unclean.

4)      If the walls of the cellar are wider [apart] than those of the house, in either case the vessels remain clean.

 

Explanation

Section one: In this case, the olive-basket is placed over the cellar such that it wouldn’t fall into the cellar. In other words, it covers the entire opening. There are vessels placed between the rims of the olive-basket and the rims of the cellar. These vessels are pure as if they were actually in the cellar, because they are protected by the olive-basket. This is true no matter how deep in the cellar the vessels are.

Section two: If the uncleanness is in the cellar, the olive-basket does not protect the house and the contents of the house are impure. This is because the impurity will be eventually removed through the house.

Section three: In this case, there is no basket placed over the opening to the cellar. If there are vessels in the walls of the cellars, and the space in which they are found has the capacity to hold a cubic handbreadth, then the vessels are protected. They are in an “ohel” and vessels in an ohel are not defiled by what is outside of the ohel. However, if this space is smaller than is needed to form an ohel, they are impure.

Section four: If the walls of the cellar are wider than the house, then the vessels in the walls are not considered to be part of the house and they are pure even if they are in a space less than a cubic handbreadth.

 

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