Toharot, Chapter Three, Mishnah One

 

Introduction

We have learned previously that impure liquids always have impurity in the first degree. Only food can have second and third degree impurity. Our mishnah deals with liquids that then become solids.

 

Mishnah One

1)      Sauce, bean-mash and milk, when in a condition of fluidity, are unclean in the first degree.

2)      If  they turned solid they become unclean in the second degree.

3)      If they again melted:

a)      If their bulk was exactly that of an egg, they are clean.

b)      But if it was more than the bulk of an egg they remain unclean, for as soon as the first drop issued forth it became unclean by contact with an egg’s bulk.

 

Explanation

Section one: While they are in their liquid state, these liquids, if they are defiled, have first degree impurity.

Section two: When they turn into solids, they lose their first degree impurity but they still retain second degree impurity. This is because as it solidified, the solid part was touching the liquid part and the liquid conveyed second degree impurity to the solid.

Section three: If they melt again, they are now no longer food, but they have lost their original liquid impurity. If there is exactly an egg’s worth then it is pure. This is because as soon as one drop melted the solid part was less than an egg, and food needs to be the size of an egg to convey impurity. So the drop remains pure, as does the rest.

However, if there is more than an egg, then when the first drop melts it is defiled by the solid part. That drop will subsequently defile all the following drops and the whole thing will be impure.

 

 

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