Pesachim 14 - The chapter of Rabbi Chanina the supervisor of the priests

Rabbi Chanina the supervisor of the priests made the following statement: "All the days of the priests the fact that they had to burn together meats of different degrees of impurity did not stop them; rather, they always burned such meats together, even though while burning they would further contaminate the meat of lesser impurity."

What follows for the next seven pages of the Talmud is a discussion of the ramifications of this rule, and this chapter is considered one of the hardest in the Talmud, so that it can be presumed that one who understands it will understand also the rest.

The subjects that will be discussed include sources of ritual impurity (humans and animals), degrees of impurity (there are five of them), objects that can become impure (humans but not animals, also vessels, clothing, food and beverages), purification from impurity (mikveh), and consequences of impurity (none today, all were important only in the times of the Temple).

Art: A landscape with monkeys and humans and a mythical city beyond by (after) Lucas Gassel