A. The marrow bone of the corpse [125a] and the marrow bone of [invalidated] consecrated animals —
B. he who touches them,
C. whether [they are] stopped up or hollowed out,
D. is unclean.
E. The marrow bone of carrion and the marrow bone of a creeping thing —
F. he who touches them,
G. [if they are] stopped up,
H. is clean.
I. [If they are] hollowed out in any amount at all —
J. they impart uncleanness to the one who touches them.
K. How do we know that also to the one who carries them [the marrow bones of carrion that they do impart uncleanness]?
L. Scripture states, “He who touches” and “he who carries” (Lev. 11:39, 40).
M. That which enters the category of touching enters the category of carrying. That which does not enter the category of touching does not enter the category of carrying.
A. If one touches them, yes [he is unclean]. But if one overshadows it, no [he is not unclean].
B. What is the situation? If there is an olive's bulk of flesh [on the bone] in the [contained space of the] tent [created when one overshadows it], let him be made unclean [by it]. [So it must be that] there is not an olive's bulk of flesh on it.
C. And if there is an olive's bulk of marrow inside [the bone, then we know the principle is that] uncleanness breaks forth and rises up into the [contained space of a] tent. There too, let him be made unclean [by it]. [So it must be that] there is not an olive's bulk of marrow inside [the bone].
D. But if [you hold the principle that] marrow inside revitalizes the flesh outside [and therefore any amount of bone, without marrow or flesh, will render unclean, cf. M. Ohalot 1:7 (Rashi)], then it is a perfectly fine limb. There too, let him be made unclean [by it].
E. Said R. Judah the son of R. Hiyya, “That means [we must hold the principle that] marrow inside does not revitalize the flesh outside.”
F. With which view does the Mishnah-passage conform? That there is no olive's bulk [of flesh or marrow]. If so, why does the marrow bone of [invalidated] consecrated animals [M. 9:4 A] render unclean [there is no flesh on it to become invalidated]? And furthermore, [why do] the marrow bone of carrion and the marrow bone of a creeping thing render unclean [if they are] hollowed out [M. 9:4 E, I]?
G. Lo this is not a problem. The former text of the Mishnah-passage [addresses a circumstance] where there is not an olive's bulk [of marrow or flesh]. And the latter text of the Mishnah-passage [addresses a circumstance] where there is an olive's bulk [of marrow or flesh].
H. And what novel point does [the Mishnah-passage] make? Each clause makes a novel point [of its own]. The former text makes the novel point that marrow inside does not revitalize the flesh outside.
I. [The marrow bone of invalidated] consecrated animals [M. 9:4 A] — what novel point does that make? That [an appendage] serving a purpose for invalidated [meat of consecrated animals, i.e. the bone] has [the same] status [as the invalidated meat itself].
J. For said Mari bar Abbuha, said R. Yitzhak, “The bones of consecrated animals that serve a purpose for invalidated meat render the hands unclean because they became a base for something prohibited.” [Neusner (b. Pes. 83a): bones of Holy Things that served as the container for left-over sacrificial material. Freedman (ad. loc.): Marrow left in them after the time permitted for eating the sacrifice having become left-over, for which the bones served as a container].
K. The marrow bone of carrion [M. 9:4 E] — [what novel point does that make]? That even though there is an olive's bulk [of marrow], [if they are] hollowed out, yes [they impart uncleanness]. [If they are not] hollowed out, no [they do not impart uncleanness].
L. Abayye said, “Invariably [we hold the view that] marrow inside does revitalize the flesh outside. But in that case [in M.] what are we dealing with? Where he cleaved it [Cashdan: transversely]. And this accords with the view of R. Eleazar.”
M. For said R. Eleazar, “A marrow bone that one cleaved lengthwise is unclean. [If he cleaved it] transversely, it is clean. And a visual [analogy] for this [rule] is a palm tree. [If one strips off bark lengthwise it will grow. If one strips off bark transversely, it will wither.]”
N. And R. Yohanan said, “Invariably [we hold the view that] there is an olive's bulk [of flesh on it] and that marrow inside does revitalize the flesh outside. And what does he who touches that was taught [in the Mishnah-passage mean]? [It means he who] overshadows.” [This view recalls A, above and contradicts it.]
O. But if [we hold the view that] marrow inside does revitalize the flesh outside then [regarding] The marrow bone of carrion and the marrow bone of a creeping thing if they were not hollowed out, why are they clean?
P. Said R. Benjamin bar Giddal, said R. Yohanan, “In that case what are we dealing with? The case in question may be one where there is an olive's bulk of [dried] marrow that rattles around [inside the bone]. With regard to [its status in the bone of a] corpse, [we follow the rule that] the uncleanness breaks forth and rises up [into a contained space, cf. C above]. But with regard to [its status in the bone of] carrion, because it rattles around, [if the bone] is hollowed out, then yes [it imparts uncleanness]. If it is not hollowed out, then no [it does not].”
A. Said R. Abin, and some maintain it was R. Yosé bar Abin, “We have been taught: He who touches half an olive's bulk and overshadows half an olive's bulk, or touches half an olive's bulk, and half an olive's bulk overshadows him [M. Ohalot 3:1 G-H] is unclean.
B. “It makes perfect sense if you say [uncleanness imparted by touching and by overshadowing] have the same status, then on that basis they combine [the act of touching half a measure and overshadowing half a measure to make up a full measure for uncleanness]. But if you say they have two [distinct] statuses, would they then combine?
C. “But lo it was taught in the Mishnah on Tannaite authority: This is the general rule: Every case [in which contamination is] because of one mode of contamination is unclean; because of two categories is clean [M. Ohalot 3:1 R].”
D. What then is the case? Do they [i.e., touching and overshadowing] have the same status [for imparting uncleanness]? Consider the latter text of the Mishnah-passage: [125b] But he who touches half an olive's bulk, and something else overshadows him and half an olive's bulk [M. Ohalot 3:1 M, O] is clean.
E. And if they are the same status, why is he clean? Rather, this contradicts the [rule in the] former text of the Mishnah-passage!
F. But said R. Zira, “We are dealing with [a case of] an unclean object hanging between two closets and where there is not even an opening of a handbreadth [between them]. The entire concern [in that case] is with touching. [Hence we learn nothing from that as to whether touching and overshadowing have the same status.]”
G. And who is the Tannaite authority who holds the view that we consider [a case of] overshadowing [to be equivalent to] a case of touching? It is R. Yosé.
H. As it was taught on Tannaite authority: R. Yosé says, “A ladleful of corpse mould renders unclean through touching, and carrying and overshadowing” [T. Ahilot 4:1 A]. Now this makes perfect sense [that it render unclean] through carrying or overshadowing for lo, he carries all of it [i.e., the corpse mould in the ladle] or overshadows all of it [at once]. But [as far as it rendering unclean through] touching, lo he did not touch all of it [at once]. Rather here is what you must derive from this. What does touching mean [in this circumstance]? [It means] overshadowing.
I. But lo [you may object to this explanation because] it teaches, through touching... and overshadowing.
J. Said Abayye, “In less than a handbreadth of space, overshadowing is equivalent to touching. In more than a handbreadth of space, overshadowing is simply overshadowing.”
K. Raba said, “Even in more than a handbreath of space, overshadowing is equivalent to touching. And in what circumstance is overshadowing simply overshadowing? [Not in a case where the person overshadows the source of uncleanness directly.] Where [a covering hangs over both the person and the unclean object and conveys the uncleanness within the covered space] by extension.”
L. Said Raba, “On what basis do I maintain this view? As was taught on Tannaite authority: R. Yosé says, `The ropes of the bed and the webbing of the windows interpose between the house and the upper room, lest uncleanness pass to the second side. [If] they were placed on top of the corpse in the open air, that which overshadows the perforation is unclean, and that which is not over the perforation is clean, because the uncleanness exudes by the way which it enters.' [T. Ahilot 9:5 A-B].”
M. What is the circumstance? If you maintain that there is less than a handbreadth [between the objects and the corpse] then why is that which is not over the perforation... clean? It is like the corpse in its shroud [i.e., the ropes and webbing]. And the corpse and its shroud impart uncleanness. [The ropes and webbing should impart uncleanness not interpose before it.]
N. Rather, what then is the circumstance? [You must maintain that] there is more than a handbreadth [between the objects and the corpse]. Then why call it touching?
O. Said Abayye, “Invariably [the case is that there is] less than a handbreadth. And what you stated by way of objection that it is like a corpse in its shroud, well a corpse nullifies [the power of interposition of] its shroud. But a corpse does not nullify [the power of interposition of] these [ropes and webs].”
P. But let this accord with the rule of covered uncleanness, [i.e.,] that it breaks forth and rises. [No we cannot say this because] R. Yosé holds in accord with the view that covered uncleanness does not break forth.
Q. And on what basis do you maintain this? As was taught in the Mishnah on Tannaite authority: A drawer of the cupboard — there is in it a cubic handbreadth, but there is not in its outlet a cubic handbreadth — uncleanness is in it, the house is unclean. Uncleanness is in the house, what is in it is clean, for the way of uncleanness is to exude, and its way is not to seep in. R. Yosé declares clean, because one can remove it in halves or burn it in its place [M. Ohalot 4:2].
R. And the latter text of the Mishnah taught on Tannaite authority: [If] it [the cupboard] was standing in the doorway and opened outward, uncleanness is in it, the house is clean. Uncleanness is in the house, what is in it [M. Ohalot 4:3] should be clean.