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Yevamos, 15


QUESTION: The Gemara says that there was a Shokes, or trough, in Yerushalayim that was used for immersing vessels to be used with Taharos. The trough was filled with water, and it was connected to a Mikvah by way of a hole which had the diameter of a "Shefoferes ha'Nod."

RASHI (DH Shokes) explains that the trough was a hollowed-out stone that was situated beneath a pipe that brought water to it from the mountains. He explains (DH Na'asim Al Gabah) that the trough did not have forty Se'ah of water in it, but it was connected to a "Mikvah Shalem" (a Mikvah with a complete Shi'ur of forty Se'ah) next to it. The next words in Rashi say, "and [the water] of "the spring the Shokes" (sic) mixed by way of the hole that was like a Shefoferes ha'Nod."

These words are very unclear. What does Rashi mean when he mentions a "spring" ("Ma'ayan")? Is he discussing the Mikvah that is next to the Shokes, and he is saying that its source was a natural spring? (Rashi would then read, "The water of the spring [adjacent to the Shokes] *and* the [water in the] Shokes mixed....") Why would he say that, if just a moment earlier he (and the Gemara) called it a "*Mikvah* Shalem" with forty Se'ah? A natural spring is valid for immersion of utensils with any amount of water, and is not called a "Mikaveh!" Also, how did Rashi know that the water adjoining the Shokes was a from a spring? (ARUCH LA'NER)

The same questions arise if Rashi is referring to the water inside the trough, and he is saying that the water in the trough is coming from a spring (i.e., a spring in the mountain and not a flow of rainwater). (According to this interpretation, Rashi reads, "The water of the spring *in* the Shokes mixed [with the adjacent Mikvah]....") First, if the water is coming from a spring, then the trough does not need forty Se'ah of water! Why did Rashi write that it was invalid for Tevilah since it only held twenty Se'ah? Second, how did Rashi know that the water in the trough came from a spring? (YASHRESH YAKOV)

The next statement of the Gemara says that when two Mikva'os are attached by a hole with the width of a Shefoferes ha'Nod, they are considered to combine together to be like one Mikvah. Rashi (DH Eiruv Mikva'os) explains that this refers to a Mikvah which is lacking in Shi'ur, that is next to a complete Mikvah that has a Shi'ur (40 Se'ah). When the waters mix, then the Mikvah with less than forty Se'ah is considered to be a complete Mikvah by virtue of its connection to the complete Mikvah at its side.

Why does Rashi explain the example of connecting two Mikva'os with an opening the size of a Shefoferes ha'Nod as referring to one Mikvah that already has a full Shi'ur of forty Se'ah and one which is lacking the Shi'ur? Even if both Mikva'os were lacking and had only twenty Se'ah, the hole would combine them to form a complete Shi'ur of a Mikvah! (ARUCH LA'NER)

ANSWERS: (a) The RITVA understands Rashi to mean that the water in the Mikvah at the side of the trough was the water of a natural spring (like the first approach we mentioned above). The Ritva, though, argues with Rashi because of the reasons listed above. In addition, the Ritva maintains that in order to connect trough water (Mikvah) to spring water (Ma'ayan), it is necessary to have a hole larger than the size of a Shefoferes ha'Nod. (The opinion of the Ritva based on a Yerushalmi is -- that to complete a Mikvah by connecting it to a spring -- as opposed to connecting it to another Mikvah -- a larger hole is necessary).

(b) It is possible that Rashi is referring to the water *inside* the trough when he mentions a "spring" (like the second approach, above). The Mishnah in Mikva'os discusses Shokes Yehu at the very end of ch. 4. The next Mishnah, at the beginning of ch. 5, begins, "A spring which was directed to the trough is not valid for Tevilah. If the spring flowed over the edge of the trough, it becomes valid for Tevilah..." It seems that Rashi understood the Mishnah in ch. 5 to be discussing the same trough as the one in the previous Mishnah (which is referred to there anonymously, but in our Sugya is called "Shokes Yehu." That is why Rashi wrote that the Shokes of our Sugya was supplied water from a spring.

The reason it is not Metaher with even less than forty Se'ah, even though it contains springwater, is because the spring did not flow into the Shokes at all times. In order to join the trough to a spring, the water must constantly be flowing into it, otherwise it is considered to be cut off from the spring and is judged like a normal Mikvah. In the case of the Shokes of Yehu the water stops flowing on occasion, and therefore it must have forty Se'ah.

The reason why Rashi mentions that the springwater flows from a "pipe" from the mountains is perhaps to show that there was a second reason to invalidate the trough for Tevilah, had it not been connected to another Mikvah. The reason is that the water inside the trough is "Mayim She'uvin" (water that has been drawn to the Mikvah via a pipe, which is a Kli; such water is invalid for a Mikvah). Rashi says that the water came through a pipe because the Mishnah in Mikva'os (end of chapter 4) implies that the Shokes in question had in it "Mayim She'uvin," as the ME'IRI writes. (There is another way that the water inside the trough could have been considered "Mayim She'uvin" which Rashi could have said, without explaining that the water was brought by a pipe to the trough. When the trough was not a hollowed-out stone, but it was a vessel that was connected to the ground *after* it had been formed into a usable vessel, any water in that trough would be considered "Mayim She'uvin," as the Mishnah in Mikva'os (ibid.) says. However, the Mishnayos in the beginning of ch. 5 of Mikva'os, which Rashi takes as referring to our Shokes, imply that the Shokes was not a Kli.)

This explains why Rashi -- when he explains "Eiruv Mikva'os" -- says that a hole joins Mikva'os when one of the Mikva'os has a full forty Se'ah and the other is lacking. In the case of Shokes Yehu, since the water in the Shokes was "Mayim She'uvin," it could not join to another incomplete Mikvah (of twenty Se'ah) to make a total of forty Se'ah. Water that is "Mayim She'uvin" invalidates a Mikvah! "Mayim She'uvin" may only be *added* to a *complete* Mikvah after the Mikvah already has a Shi'ur of forty Se'ah. Therefore, Rashi gives an example of joining an invalid Mikvah to one that has forty Se'ah, since that parallels the case of the Shokes that is discussed in the Mishnah. (M. Kornfeld)


QUESTION: Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok related that his father sent olives with him to Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani. Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani did not want to eat them, because he was afraid that they were Tamei (and he had the practice of eating Chulin b'Taharah Kodesh). Rebbi Elazar's father assured him that the olives were not Tamei, even though they were wet and looked as though they had become fit to become Tamei (Huchshar l'Kabel Tum'ah). He said that they were wet only because the drainage hole of the barrel, through which the unwanted juice of the olives flowed out, got stopped up and made the olives wet. Since he originally punctured the barrel to show that he did not want the olives to become wet, the juice was not able to make them Huchshar l'Kabel Tum'ah.

What made Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani think that the olives were Tamei? It was the fact that the olives were wet and were Huchshar l'Kabel Tum'ah. . RASHI (DH she'Hen Lachin) explains that Rebbi Yochanan feared that an Am ha'Aretz touched the outside of the barrel of olives, making the olives inside Tamei mid'Rabanan.

Rashi's words are difficult to understand. What does he mean that the fear was that an Am ha'Aretz might have made the olives Tamei by touching the barrel on the outside? We know that a Kli Cheres does not become Tamei by being touched on the outside, as the Mishnah tells us (Kelim 2:1)! (RITVA, RASHASH)

Second, why does Rashi not explain simply that Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani was afraid that an Am ha'Aretz touched the olives *themselves* and made them Tamei? Or even better, since Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani suspected that Rebbi Tzadok was sending with his son olives that were Tamei, and that Rebbi Tzadok was not concerned with guarding them from becoming Tamei, he should have been afraid that Rebbi Tzadok *himself* made them Tamei (by touching them while he was Tamei)! Why does Rashi say that Rebbi Yochanan was afraid specifically that an Am ha'Aretz touched the olives? (TOSFOS DH Amar Li)

ANSWER: The ARUCH LA'NER gives a beautiful explanation for Rashi. He points out that there is a more basic question to ask on this Gemara. How could Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani suspect Rebbi Tzadok of sending something Tamei to him? Rebbi Tzadok was a Kohen and he ate Terumah all the time, and he was certainly careful to eat Chulin with Taharah! Why, then, did Rebbi Yochanan suspect him of sending something that could become Tamei?

The Rishonim give different answers to this question. The RI cited by Tosfos says that Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani knew for sure that an Am ha'Aretz had handled the olives. Since the olives were wet, he saw no way that they could be Tahor. He did not suspect Rebbi Tzadok of not being careful with Taharah in general; he just did not understand how these olives could possibly be Tahor. Rebbi Tzadok answered him that the olives were not Tamei, and their wetness was not a sign that they had become fit to become Tamei, since there was a hole in the barrel to let the juice flow out and the hole became stopped up. (This appears to be the intention of the ME'IRI as well.)

TOSFOS explains the Sugya differently according to Rashi, though. He says that Rashi understood Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani *did* suspect that Rebbi Tzadok had let the olives become Tamei, but not because he was not careful with Taharah. Rather, he assumed that Rebbi Tzadok was conducting himself according to the rulings of Beis Shamai, as he was a Talmid of Beis Shamai, and that Rebbi Tzadok had treated the barrel of olives as Tahor even though it had no hole in it. The opinion of Beis Shamai is that the juice of olives is never Machshir the olives to become Tamei and it is not necessary to make a hole in the barrel to let the juice drain out. That is why Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani thought that Rebbi Tzadok would consider it Tahor for himself.

The problem with this answer (as TOSFOS MAHARAM asks) is what the Gemara says after citing this incident. The Beraisa ends by saying that "even though he (Rebbi Tzadok) was a Talmid of Beis Shamai, he conducted himself in all areas like Beis Hillel." The Gemara asks that if normally, all of the Talmidim of Beis Shamai followed, in practice, the rulings of Beis Hillel and not Beis Shamai, then there is no Chidush in saying that Rebbi Tzadok also did not follow Beis Shamai in practice. However, according to Tosfos, the Gemara should have asked a bigger question: if no one followed the practice of Beis Shamai, then why did Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani suspect Rebbi Tzadok of following Beis Shamai's ruling regarding the juice of olives?

The ARUCH LA'NER explains that Rashi is answering this question by suggesting an entirely new approach. Rebbi Yochanan suspected Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok of following not the opinion of Beis Shamai, but following his own opinion. (When the Beraisa says that "he was the Talmid of Beis Shamai," it might not be referring to Rebbi Tzadok at all, but to Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani, [or "ben ha'Choranis"] whom we find elsewhere to be a Talmid of Beis Shamai that followed the practice of Beis Hillel (Sukah 28a).)

In Chagigah (20a), we find that the Tana'im argue about the status of Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh -- whether such Chulin is treated like Kodesh, Terumah, or Chulin. Although the Mishnah there implies that such Chulin is treated like Kodesh, Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok argues and says that it is treated like Terumah.

Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani and Rebbi Tzadok undoubtedly handled and ate their Chulin with the Taharah of Kodesh, which was a common practice among the Tana'im (see Chagigah 18b). The Gemara in Chagigah (22b) says that normally, when a Tamei liquid touches the outside of a utensil, only the outside of the utensil becomes Tamei, but not the inside of the utensil. However, this is true only for utensils containing Chulin and Terumah. If the utensil contains Kodesh, then when the outside of the utensil becomes Tamei, the inside of the utensil also become Tamei. With regard to Kodesh, we deem the inside of the utensil also to be Tamei when only the outside was touched.

Based on this, we can understand Rashi as follows. Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani -- when he received the olives from Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok -- was afraid that Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok may have allowed an Am ha'Aretz to touch the outside of the barrel while it was wet, because he knew that Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok held that Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh has the status of *Terumah*, for which the outside of the utensil does *not* make the inside Tamei, and thus the olives inside remain Tahor. Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani, though, held that Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh is considered like Kodesh, and just like touching the outside of the barrel will make the inside of the barrel Tamei for Kodesh, it will also make it Tamei for Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh (Chagigah 21b). Therefore, the olives inside the barrel -- according to Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani -- were Tamei.

That is why Rashi says that Rebbi Yochanan feared that an Am ha'Aretz had touched the outside of the barrel and was Metamei it mid'Rabanan -- because he touched liquids on the outside of the barrel which are able to be Metamei a utensil (Shabbos 15b). The reason Rashi did not say that Rebbi Yochanan was afraid that an Am ha'Aretz touched the *inside* of the barrel and the olives themselves is because he knew that Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok would not have permitted an Am ha'Aretz to touch it, because then it would certainly become Tamei! Likewise, Rebbi Yochanan ha'Chorani did not suspect that Rebbi Elazar bar Tzadok himself made the olives Tamei, because he certainly treated them with Taharah!

(The Aruch la'Ner points out that if this is what Rashi means, then we see that Rashi holds like the opinion of the RAMBAM (Hilchos Avos ha'Tum'ah 7:3) who says that the outside of a Kli Cheres can also become Tamei mid'Rabanan, and not just the outside of other types of utensils (not like the opinion of the Ra'avad there), since Rashi writes that the barrel in this case was a Kli Cheres and yet it became Tamei from the outside.)

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