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These are the individual tractates of Taharos, the sixth and final order of the Mishna. These descriptions are not meant as Halachic decisions. Please consult an Orthodox Rabbi for specific information.

  • Kaylim - The longest tractate in the whole Mishna. It deals with the ritual purity (tuma'ah) of utensils.
  • Ohalos - The laws of ritual impurity that can be caused by being under the same roof as the defiled object.
  • Negaim - The laws of Tzara'as.
  • Para - The red heifer (cow) whose ashes are used to purify those who have come in contact with dead human bodies.
  • Taharos - The general laws of impurity.
  • Mikvaos - The laws governing the building and maintenance of ritual (purification) pools.
  • Nidah - The laws surrounding a woman's menstrual cycle.
  • Machshirim - The preliminary preparation needed before an object can become ritually defiled.
  • Zavim - The laws concerning various bodily emmissions.
  • Tavul Yom - The status of an impure person who's been to the mikva, but must still wait for nightfall.
  • Yedaim - The special role played by hands in the laws of purity.
  • Uktzim - The role of stems and shells in the ritual purity of produce.

Rabbi Boruch Clinton teaches at the Ottawa Torah Institute yeshiva high school and Machon Sarah high school for girls (both in Ottawa, Canada). You may reach him with comments and questions at

You can now read some of Rabbi Clinton's essays on Torah life at

You can also buy his collection of essays on the Book of Shmuel (Samuel) in printed form at

Copyright 2000 by Rabbi Boruch Clinton and Project Genesis, Inc.



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