Tevul Yom, Chapter Two, Mishnah Two


Mishnah Two

1)      A pot which was full of liquid and a tevul yom touched it:

a)      If it is terumah, the liquid is disqualified, but the pot is clean. 

b)      But if the liquid is non-sacred [hullin] then all remains clean. 

2)      If his hands were defiled [and he touched the liquids in the pot], all becomes unclean.  

3)      This is a case defiled hands are treated more stringently than a tevul yom.

a)      But a greater stringency is applied to a tevul yom than to defiled hands, since a doubtful tevul yom disqualifies terumah, but doubts with regard to defiled hands are clean.



Section one: As we have learned, a tevul yom disqualifies liquids but he does not cause them to be defiled. So a tevul yom who touches liquid in a pot, the liquids themselves are disqualified (if they are terumah), but they don’t have the power to defile the pot. And if the liquids are not terumah, then all is clean, because as we learned in yesterday’s mishnah, a tevul yom does not defile non-sacred liquids.

Section two: In contrast, defiled hands (the topic of the next tractate) do defile liquids. These liquids will now in turn defile the pot in which they are in.

Section three: The mishnah now compares the halakhot governing defiled liquids with those governing defiled hands. In the above matter defiled hands were treated more stringently than the tevul yom.

However, there is another halakhah in which tevul yom is treated more stringently than defiled hands. Any case of doubt regarding the tevul yom is treated stringently. For instance, if we are not sure if a tevul yom touched something of terumah, the terumah cannot be eaten. However, if a person has unclean hands and we are not sure if he touched something, the thing remains pure.