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Mishnayos Taharos Perek 3 Mishnah 6

טהרות פרק ג׳ משנה ו׳


If a deaf-mute, a person not of sound senses, or a minor was found in an alley way that contained something that was unclean, he is presumed to be clean. But any one of sound senses is presumed to be unclean. And anyone/anything that lacks understanding to be inquired of is in a case of doubtful uncleanness presumed to be clean.

חֵרֵשׁ שׁוֹטֶה וְקָטָן שֶׁנִּמְצְאוּ בְמָבוֹי שֶׁיֶּשׁ בּוֹ טֻמְאָה, הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ בְחֶזְקַת טָהֳרָה. וְכָל הַפִּקֵּחַ, בְּחֶזְקַת טֻמְאָה. וְכֹל שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ דַעַת לְהִשָּׁאֵל, סְפֵקוֹ טָהוֹר:


בחזקת טהרה – for even though that regarding doubtful ritual impurity in the private domain is considered as doubtfully impure and this alleyway is the private domain, nevertheless since the doubt is in a matter where it the temperament/disposition [of the participants] is lacking to be able to be asked, as for example, a deaf-mute, imbecile and/or a minor child, he is considered pure in his status of doubt, for this we derive from Scriptural verses, as it is written (Leviticus 7:19): “Flesh that touches anything impure shall not be eaten.” This implies that something that is definitely impure shall not be eaten; if it is doubtfully impure it may be eaten, as it is written (Leviticus 7:19): “Only he who is pure may eat such flesh.” Someone who is definitely pure may eat it, but if he is doubtfully impure/doubtfully pure, he shall not eat it. But is it not that we learn from it here that when he has awareness/understanding to be interrogated, [as opposed to] when he doesn’t have awareness/understanding to be interrogated.

וכל הפקח – that he has awareness/understanding to be interrogated. If he does not know if he walked in a place of defilement or not, he is under the presumption of defilement. For someone of doubtful defilement in the private domain, his [presumption of] doubt is impure which we derive from [the case of] the Sotah/woman suspected by her husband of being unfaithful, and there is a doubt if she is defiled or not and this doubt is in a place of a married woman’s hiding with a man under suspicious circumstances, that is, in the private domain, and the All-Merciful stated (Numbers 5:13): “and she keeps secret the fat that she has defiled herself without being forced,” but a woman suspected by her husband of being unfaithful has awareness/understanding to be interrogated if she has been defiled or not.

בחזקת טהרה. ואע״ג דספק טומאה ברשות היחיד ספיקו טמא והאי מבוי רשות היחיד הוא, אפילו הכי כיון דספיקא הוי בדבר שאין בו דעת לישאל, כגון חרש שוטה וקטן, ספיקו טהור, דהכי ילפינן מקראי דכתיב [ויקרא ז׳] והבשר אשר יגע בכל טמא לא יאכל, משמע ודאי טמא לא יאכל ספק טמא יאכל, וכתיב כל טהור יאכל בשר, ודאי טהור הוא דיאכל, הא ספק טמא ספק טהור לא יאכל, אלא לאו שמע מינה כאן שיש בו דעת לישאל כאן שאין בו דעת לישאל:

וכל הפקח. שיש בו דעת לישאל. אם לא ידע אם הלך במקום טומאה אם לאו, בחזקת טומאה הוא. דספק טומאה ברה״י ספיקו טמא, מסוטה ילפינן, דספיקא היא אם נטמאת אם לאו, וספק זה במקום סתירה הוא דהיינו רה״י, ואמר רחמנא ונסתרה והיא נטמאה, וסוטה יש בה דעת לישאל אם נטמאה אם לאו: