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 VAYEITZEI AND CHANUKAH:

View Complete List

The Mysterious Ways of Women
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5764

The Strong and the Weak
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5767

World Rectification
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5771

> True Riches
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Torah Education
Rabbi Wein - 5768

Into the Hands of the Few
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Just Five More Minutes of Sleep!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

How Yosef Got His Job
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

A Torah Perspective
Shlomo Katz - 5766

ArtScroll

Out of Love
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5766

The Lost Jewel
Shlomo Katz - 5765

Holy Eyes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Yesurim (Suffering) is Good For Our Souls
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5774

It's a Match!
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5761

O Chanukah, O Chanukah . . .
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

The Real Story
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763



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