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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Nidah 49



(a) A 'Gistera' is a broken piece from an earthenware receptacle, that is still fit to contain liquids.

(b) A vessel that leaks water, but is too small to let water in, is Kasher for Mei Chatas, but Pasul by a Gistera (Pasul means that it is no longer considered a vessel as far as receiving Tum'ah is concerned).

(c) A whole vessel will not lose its status in this regard unless (depending on its initial size) the hole is at least the size of a small root. The reason that it remains Kasher is because, when the hole is so small, people tend to retain it (at least, they did in those days, before the advent of mass-manufactured vessels), and to use it by placing it inside a 'Gistera'. A Gistera, however, is Pasul, because people do not place a Gistera inside another Gistera; but as soon as the hole lets out water, they tend to throw it away.

(a) According to the Chachamim, one simply places the vessel with a hole inside another vessel which contains water - if water enters, then we know that the hole is large enough to let water in, etc.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah disagrees, on the grounds that sometimes, the pressure caused by the contact between the bases of the two vessels forces the water to enter, even though it would have done so naturally - and water entering by artificial means is not called entering in this regard (the Rabbanan hold that it is) (with the result that they will declare Tahor a vessel, when really it ought still to be Tamei). According to Rebbi Yehudah therefore, one would have to place the holed vessel upside-down into the complete vessel, and then to fill the complete vessel with water to a point above the hole in the holed one. In that way, the water will enter naturally should the hole be sufficiently large.




(a) According to the Chachamim, the fire will stop the water from seeping through, if the hole is only sufficiently large to let the water *out*, but if it is large enough to let water *in*, then the fire will not prevent the water from seeping through.

(b) Rebbi Yossi maintains that the fire will prevent the water from seeping through, even if the hole is large enough to let water *in*.

(c) Rebbi Yossi suggests instead, that one places the vessel with water on burning coals, where the test *will* be effective.

(d) If the water drips out quickly, drop after drop, then we know that the hole is large enough to let water in.

(a) A finger which does not have a nail is Metamei through touching and carrying, but not be'Ohel, whereas if it does, it is Metamei be'Ohel as well.

(b) The sixth finger is not Metamei be'Ohel only if it is not in line with the other fingers, and only if it does not contain a Kezayis of flesh . But if it is in line with the other fingers of the hand, or it contains a Kezayis of flesh,, then it is Metamei be'Ohel anyway.

(c) A bone the size of a barley, is Metamei through touching or carrying.

(a)&(b) We learn from "Asher Yeishev Alav ha'Zav", that any vessel which is not designated for the Zav to sit or lie on, but which one is liable to say to him 'Get up, and let us do our work with this vessel', is not Metamei Medras.
(a) A Mamzer and a convert are Kasher to judge in money-matters, but not in matters which might result in the death-sentence.

(b) We would not know a Mamzer from a convert, because a convert is fit to marry a Kasher Jewess, and that is why he is permitted to judge at least in money-matters, but a Mamzer, who is unfit to marry a Kasher Jewess, is not permitted to judge in money-matters either. On the other hand, we could say that a Mamzer, who is born from a Jewish mother, is Kasher to judge in money-matters, whereas a convert, who does not, is not. Therefore we also need the Mishnah by convert.

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