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Pesachim 14a: Introduction to Tumah & Taharah #1

Why the Laws of Purity and Impurity Are Vital to Judaism

Mikveh at Masada by Bradley Howard on Flickr

Class Summary:

This class was presented on Tuesday Parshas Pinchas, 20 Tammuz, 5779, July 23, 2019 at the Ohr Chaim Shul, Monsey, NY 

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  • M

    mati -4 years ago

    most relevant in today's time during coronavirus .Instead of lingering days and nights over the virus himself  ,counting the sick and the dead, is it not more  appropriate to consider the similarities between the דינים  of טומאה and טהרה and the virus .We have now a better view  to try understand how was it  possible for our ancestors to live a daily  life full of traps, to become טמא  i.e by any dead שרץ or אוהל המת .Life  was continuously full of pitfalls !

    How did they manage ?? And if they did ,how can we manage   with all the safeguards we have to consider these days  with the virus (quarantine,fomite ,etc ) ?  You will admit it's pretty exhausting already to watch yr steps this way  ,although we are only in to this for a few weeks !


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  • R

    Ralph -4 years ago

    dirty money?

    My shver told me when he was a teenager he went to a chabad camp and the counselors had a sign on their door “money is the root of all evil; leave your evil here." The ideas was that monet was bad, so  leave your bad stuff with us. something like that.

    One time the rebbe came he saw it he made them take it down he said money is not bad; money could be the best thing in the world. It all depends how you spend it.


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  • Y

    Yitzi -4 years ago

    sweeter than honey

    Great. Finally, it does not feel so incomprehensible, far fetched and just way beyound us.You taught us the spiritual side of it, the depth behind it. 

    Also you made sure we do not allow the endless details to confuse us and take over the conversation here.

    Today's class the intro to purity and imputiory was delicious, masuk m'dvash!

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  • S

    Sholom -4 years ago


    Eye opening. I had an AHA moment. The entire subject and process came to light in a new way.

    I finally understood the sensitivity of a Neshamah of a Jew, which I never really understood.

    What also came up for me: I travel a lot and over many years I have seen Chassidim of the Lubavitcher Rebbe ariound the globe, and how careful they are with food and so many other things. I never really understood why. 

    Not I got it.

    I think the understanding of this is lacking in our Mosdos and our community.

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  • I

    Isaac -4 years ago

    A must watch

    To understand this class, this class by Rabbi YY is a must watch:


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  • RA

    reb aharon -4 years ago


    D’roisa Halachas of Tumah & Tahara

    Foods, beverages, people and vessels/clothes are susceptible to tumah.

     Avi avos hatumah = human body, a mais              strongest tumah

     Person or kli touches a mais = now an av hatumah

     or kli he touches, i.e. he’s the same level as other av hatumahs

     Food or beverage touches a mais  =   a rishon  “v’lad hatumah'

     becuz tamai food cannot m’tamei man or kelim

     Av hatuma – Always originates from a living being.

     Term for anything w/capacity to convey tumah even to people & keilim.

     They are: 

     Dead sheretz,           neveila,           metzora,         zav or zava,           nida,  

     Yoledes (woman gave birth),           person or kli that touched a mais

    Rishon  - Rishon l’tumah – “v’lad l’tumah”  

    A person or kli or food or beverage that touched an av hatumah.

    A rishon - can only m’tumay food & beverages (not people or keilim)

    From V’yikra 11:34

    Can’t convey tumah to people and keilim even if it’s on the level of an av in the

    transmission chain

    So, if food touches a mais, it’s not an av hatumah 

    but, is like an av by other foods making them a rishon when touched

    But if becomes tamei mais anything it touches is a rishon

    Sheni – “v’lad v’lad” – food or beverage that touched a rishon

    Shelishi – food or beverage of terumah or kodshim that touched a sheni

    Revii - food or beverage of kodshim that touched a shelishi

    People & keilim – only gets tumah from an av hatumah or an avi avos

    Can never go lower than a rishon   ie never are a sheni or a shelishi

    Foods & liquids  - can become an av, rishon, sheni, shelishi or revii

    Susceptibility to becoming what level of tamei:

    Chullin  -  av, rishon or sheni

    sheni chullin  (14a2  #6)  is pasul – may be eaten;  unfit to become kodesh

    Terumah  -  av, 1, 2, or 3. shelishi terumah = pasul

    Kodshim   -      av 1, 2, 3, 4. revii kodshim = pasul

    One opinion – tumah revii is d’rabanan

    General Info:

    Liquids:  “yad shochat dam”  --   yayin, devash, shemen, chalav, tal, dam, mayim

    Wine, honey, oil, milk, dew, blood, water

    Susceptible to tumah d’roisa

    Machshir (prepare) foods – foods become susceptible to tumah only after  

    being wetted by one of these liquids (w/some additional requirements)

    Fr Machshirin 6:4 w/Rambam               V’Yikra 11:38      

    Cohenim are careful w/tahara of hands.

    Usually can’t mitamey a man w/a kli so a kli is never an av hatumah except if

    kli cheres touches a mais - kli becomes an av - anything the kli touches =  rishon

    “Tamei” – is able to convey tumah to its genre

    “Pasul” – can’t convey tumah   ex.  A shelishi terumah    ex.  A revii kodshim

    Can’t eat it – cuz it tamei              Can’t transmit tumah to like genre

    People & keilim – tahor w/a mikve       May touch/eat chullin & eat maiser sheni

    Tovel yom – waiting period fr mikve until sunset  (he’ch’raiv shemesh) –

    V’Yikra 12:4

    May not eat terumah or kodshim   -     if touches, makes them a shelishi

    People & keilim tamei mais – 7 day process to m’tahair

    require sprinkle w/H20 mixed w/ashes of parah adumah and mikve

    Zav or zava or yoledes    

    Also “m’chussar kippurim” – V’Yikrah 12:8       “lacking atonement”

    till they bring a korban the following day

    may eat terumah, can’t eat kodesh.   If touch kodesh makes it a revii

    Kli cheres – must be broken    V’Yikrah 11:33,35           no way to m’tahair

    Tumah & taharah important in regard to kodesh only

    Maser sheni, terumah & kodshim

     Need to protect fr tumah

    If tamei – unfit to eat, must be burned

    Chullin – food or keilim or beverages

    If tamei – ok to eat, ok to use     will emanate tumah to kodesh foods

    Can’t carry into Temple, can’t designate as kodesh

    Kodshim tamei:    assur b’hanah, must burn w/o hanah

    Terumah tamei:  mutar b’hanah for Cohenim – may burn as fuel or heat or light 

    Devarim 18:8

    14a4 #24

    Food can’t m’tamei another food, even kodshim d’roisa (Ravina 14a)

    Haggai 2:12, Rashi – by kodshim food can m’tamey other food   

    14b2 #9: 

    Beverages – machlokes Tannaim

      Can tamei beverage or can m’tamey a food -- d’roisa or only d’rabanan


    “Techilah” – a beverage that is a rishon

    D’rabanan by touching a rishon or a sheni a beverage is a rishon


    D’rabanan – often make a person or a keli a sheni

    then if the person or kli touch terumah it becomes pasul.

     To protect terumah fr possible d’roisa tumah   Shabbos 13b – 17b

     D’rabanan – Beverage is a rishon even if it touches a sheni d’rabanan) makes beverages a rishon if touched

     exception:  tavul yom –  makes beverages of terumah or kodesh a shlelishi

    14b3 #13: 

    Av hatumah – must be d’roisa tamei     ie. no case of a d’rabanan av hatumah

     Rishon / v’lad – may be d’rabanan

     D’roisa – foods & beverages never av hatumah

    Kli can’t be m’tameid by less than an av hatumah  (14a #3)

    D’rabanan – tamai beverage (always a v’lad, a rishon) can m’tamei a

    kli, makes it a sheni

    Mishna Pesachim 14a

    R Chanina S’gan Cohenim:  May burn basar sh’nitmah v’valad hatumah w/ basar sh’nitmah b’av h’tumah even tho they added tumayh to its tumah

    R Akiva:   May light oil (of teruma) that was pasul thru touching a tevul yom (makes the oil a sh’lishi) in a lamp touched by one who is tumay meis 

    R Meir:   From their words we learn,

    may burn tahor (chametz) of teruma with tamei on erev Pesach.

     R Yosi:  Not analogous.     

    R Eliezer & R Yehoshua agree:

    Tahor (chametz) terumah with tamei terumah on erev Pesach -

    – burn each by itself

     Argue:  on talua (suspended) terumah & tamei terumah

     R Eliezer       –   burn separately

    R Yehoshua  –  burn together

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Gemarah Pesachim #57 -- Intro to Reb Chanina Segan HaKohanim

Rabbi YY Jacobson

  • July 23, 2019
  • |
  • 20 Tamuz 5779
  • |

Dedicated by TheYeshiva.net in the loving memory of HaRav Hagaon Reb Reuven ben Reb Shmuel Yom Tov Scheiner Zt”l, Rosh Mesivta Torah Vodaas, who passed away on Monday, 19 Tamuz, 5779.

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