Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend


60. Other Sources of Impurity - She'ar Avos ha-Tumos

The corpse or severed limb of an animal make a person who moves or touches it or a utensil that touches it impure, as it says "[One who touches their corpses shall be impure until evening...] and one who carries their corpses shall wash his clothes and be impure until evening"1; but if a permissible animal was properly slaughtered its corpse is not a source of impurity. The corpse of a permissible bird makes a person who eats it impure, as it says "And any person who eats a corpse... shall wash his clothes and bathe in water [and be impure until evening and become pure]".2 The corpses or limbs of certain rodents and lizards make a person or utensil that touches them impure [as it says "This shall be impure for you of the things that crawl on the ground... anyone who touches them when they are dead shall be impure until evening; and anything that part of them falls on... shall be put into water and be impure until evening and become pure"3].a

Semen is also a source of impurity by touch; and a man who has had a seminal emission or a woman who has had sexual relations are impure [as it says "And if semen comes out of a man he shall bathe all his flesh in water and be impure until evening; and any garment or skin that has semen on it shall be washed in water and be impure until evening; and if a man lies with a woman seminally they shall wash in water and be impure until evening"4]. Rabbinically, idols (by touch) and their offerings (by movement as well) are also sources of impurity, as it says "Remove the strange gods from your midst and make yourselves pure and change your clothes",5 and it says "[The idols of their gods you shall burn in the fire...] you shall abominate them",6 and it says "And they joined Baal Peor and they ate sacrifices to the dead".7,b

Anything that makes a person impure when he moves it also makes things that he touches while moving it (or, except for an animal corpse and a saddle used by a person who makes seats impure: while touching it) impure. Otherwise, a person or thing that has become impure through contact with a source of impurity cannot -- except in the cases where he or it too becomes a source of impurity, as specified earlier -- make persons or utensils impure but can only make food and drink impure. Rabbinically they also make a person's hands impure, as do writings from the Bible (to ensure that they are not handled casually). If a person eats or drinks something impure or washes in "drawn water", or has bathed on account of impurity but the sun has not yet set, he too has this minor degree of impurity (which is that of food that has touched something that has touched a source of impurity); writings from the Bible must also be treated as though they had this degree of impurity.c

Sources:

1. Lev. 11:24-28, 39-40 a. 1:1-2; 2:3; 3:1; 4:2,5
2. Lev. 17:15 b. 5:1,9; 6:1-2,7
3. Lev. 11:29-32 c. 6:12; 8:1-2,10; 9:1,5; 10:1; see 11:10-12; Tumas Mes 5:2,7; Parah Adumah 5:2; Metamei Mishkav u-Moshav 6:2
4. Lev. 15:16-18
5. Gen. 35:2
6. Deut. 7:25-26
7. Psalms 106:28



 

ARTICLES ON TAZRIA AND METZORAH:

View Complete List

Learning A Lesson From G-d Through Punishment
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5758

Turtle Doves Do Not Have
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5771

Speech: A Userís Guide
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Speaking Ill of Others
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5758

One Step at a Time!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

The Miracle of Leprosy
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

ArtScroll

Covenant Throughout The Ages
- 5768

Finding The Silver Lining
Rabbi Elly Broch - 5765

Lashon Hara - Cooking Our Own Kettle
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

> No Free Lunch
Shlomo Katz - 5764

The Servants of G-d
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Negaim: Opening the Book
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5768

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Chirp Chirp
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5765

Days That Count
Rabbi David Begoun - 5766

Children
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

Skin Deep
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information