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מסכת כלים פרק יד משנה ב

A staff

שעשה בראשו מסמר

to whose end one attached a nail

כמין חזינה

shaped like an apple (this was to be used as a weapon)


is tamei;


if one studded it (i.e. if instead of this metal ball, one studded a wooden stick with metal spikes to make it an even more harmful weapon)


it is tamai;

רבי שמעון אומר

Rabbi Shimon says

עד שיעשה בו

[it is not tamei] until they make in it

שלשה סדרים

three rows (he rules that unless there are three rows of them, the metal spikes are decorative rather than functional);

וכולן שעשאן לנוי

and all of them (staffs with spikes or balls) that were made for decoration


are tahor;

עשה בראשו מנקת

if one attached at its end a [metal] tube (the staff was inserted into the metal tube to protect it)

וכן בדלת

and similarly by a door (if one placed a metal tube under a door to protect it or the earth below from wear and tear)


it is tahor;

היתה כלי

if [the tube] was a utensil (i.e. it had that status first)

וחברה לו

and one (subsequently) attached it [to the staff or door]


it is tamei.

מאימתי היא טהרתה

From when is it tahor?

בית שמאי אומרים

Beis Shammai say


from when one destroys it (such that it can no longer be used for its original purpose);

בית הלל אומרים

Beis Hillel say,


from when one attached it (permanently).


פרק יג משנה ג

הקנטר של בנאי

A builder's pry bar

והדקור של חרש

and the carpenter's chisel (some say this is a posthole auger)

הרי אלו טמאין

these are tamei (even though they have wooden handles).

יתדות אהלים

Tent pegs

ויתדות המשוחות

and surveyors' pegs (used to hold a surveyor's chains in place on the ground)


are tamei (even though they are used while attached to the ground, they are meant to be removed and taken to other places).

שלשלת של משוחות

The chain of a surveyor (used to measure distances)


are tamei (even though they were used with pegs that were attached to the ground).

העשויה לעצים

[A chain] that was made for wood (it was used to measure lumber or to tie together bundles of wood)


is tahor (as it served a wooden object).

שלשלת דלי גדול

The chain of a large bucket (used to draw water from a well, the chain is not considered have its own name),

ארבעה טפחים

four handbreadths (closest to the bucket are considered a yad, or handle, and are therefore tamei when attached to the bucket),

ושל קטן עשרה

and of a small [bucket] ten [handbreadths] (as it is lighter, the smaller bucket is ordinarily lowered to greater depths).

חמור של נפחים

The support of blacksmiths (this was either a wooden stand for their bellows, or a metal implement shaped like a donkey, one end of which the smith sat on while hammering items on the other end)


is tamei.


A saw (that was tamei)

שעשה שניה בתוך החור

whose teeth were fixed into the space (the saw was affixed, teeth pointed downward, into a gap in and parallel with the lintel at the top of a doorway; the saw hung down into the doorway and acted as a doorstop, keeping the door from swinging through)


is tamei (as it could harm those who walk beneath it, it was obviously not meant to be left there permanently);

עשאה מלמטן למעלן

if it was made bottom to top (i.e. the teeth are pointed upward, and embedded in the crack of the lintel)


it is tahor (as it poses no danger this way, one may leave it there long-term, and so it is considered attached to the house, which is attached to the ground).

וכל הכסויין

And all covers


are tahor (as they do not have a name of their own)

חוץ משל מיחם

except for that of a boiler (as it was often used to hold things itself, and so was a utensil in its own right).