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Shabbos 16


OPINIONS: The Gemara cites a Mishnah that states that Klei Gelalim, among other types of vessels, will invalidate rain water from being used for a Mikvah by giving it the disqualification of drawn water ("Mayim She'uvim"). What are "Klei Gelalim?"
(a) RASHI says that this is "Shayish," which means "marble" in Hebrew, from the root "Even *Glal*" (Ezra 5:8). (RABEINU CHANANEL cited by Tosfos in Bava Kama (2b) also interprets the word "Galal" in a verse cited by the Gemara (from Ezra 6:4) to mean marble. However, this does not mean that he translated the word "Gelalim" in the Mishnayos of Taharos to mean marble as well.)

(b) However, all of the other Rishonim, including RASHI himself elsewhere in Shas (such as later, 58a) and TOSFOS (Menachos 69a), say that Klei Gelalim refers to vessels made from dry animal dung. The Rishonim cite three proofs for this translation:

(1) The RAMBAM (Perush ha'Mishnayos, Kelim 10:1) says that if it means marble, then it is already included in the Mishnah, because the Mishnah mentions "stone vessels" and marble is a type of stone.

(2) TOSFOS (Menachos 69a) points out that the Gemara says that if an elephant swallows a basket and eliminates it in its waste, it has the status of Klei Gelalim. If Klei Gelalim are marble utensils, what does the basket that comes out in the waste of an elephant have to do with marble?

(3) The RASH M'SHANZ to Ukatzin (2:10) writes that the Mishnah there says that if utensils made of earth (Adamah) or of Gelalim are soft enough to allow roots to penetrate through them, they are considered to be utensils with holes in them. The Mishnah specifically leaves out stone utensils, because stone utensils are never soft enough to allow the roots of a plant to penetrate. If Gelalim is marble, which is even harder than stone, the Mishnah should have also left out Gelalim. It must be, then, that Gelalim refers to utensils made of dried animal dung.

The NETZIV in MEROMEI SADEH suggests that even Rashi in our Sugya learned the Klei Gelalim were made from animal dung. The word "Shayish" in Rashi is a foreign word Rashi is using to translate Gelalim, which means animal dung. (Perhaps the Netziv is referring to the German word upon which the American English swear-word is based.) If so, all Rishonim agree that Klei Gelalim means utensils made from dung.
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