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THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
(1) UTENSILS MADE OF DUNG
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
(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.
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.
(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.
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