Monday, 2 July 2018

Zevachim 80: Mixtures of Bloods; Tzelochit

In addition to the many examples of combinations of liquids - blood from different places, for example - we touch on the halacha of para adama, the red heifer.  It permits purification through slaughter, burning, mixing the ashes with water, drawing the water and applying it to the person who has been ritually defiled through contact with a corpse. 

We learn about a case where water fell into the tzelochit, the flask that was holding the water and ashes.  Rabbi Eliezer says that this water is valid as long as it is used twice on the person requiring purification.  The Sages disagree.

Steinsaltz teaches us about the tzelochit, which was usually made of earthenware, glass, gold or silver.  They were used as serving utensils, containers for scents used in cemeteries, body oils, perfumes, medicines, storing/transporting liquids.  Sometimes they had covers made of the same material but often they didn't, because the liquid was kept in the flask for such a brief amount of time.  If the flask had to be closed, people would use anything available, including paper

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