Oktzim, Chapter Tow, Mishnah Eight

 

Introduction

This mishnah deals with foods that have an empty space in them, or that might have an empty space. Does the empty space count as part of the volume of the food?

 

Mishnah Eight

1)      Onion leaves or the offshoots of onions, if there is moisture in them they are to be measured as they are; if there is empty space within them, it must be squeezed tightly together.

2)      Spongy bread is measured as it is, but if there is empty space within it, it must be pressed firmly.

3)      The flesh of a calf which had swollen, or the flesh of an old [beast] that has shrunken in size, are measured in the condition they are in.

 

Explanation

Section one: “Onion leaves” probably refers to leaks. “Offshoots of onions” are small onions that sprout from larger onions. In either case, if they are still moist, then they are measured for matters of impurity as they currently are. However, if they have dried out and the inner part is not full of moisture, then we squeeze the air out of them before measuring them.

Section two: The same is true for spongy bread. If it is moist, it is measured as it is, but if there is an empty space in it, the empty space is squeezed before it is measured.

Section three: The swelling or shrinking of this meat is after cooking. The mishnah basically teaches that if meat either expands or shrinks when cooked, its volume is measured as it is, and not as it was. 

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