Shabbat 17 - The other decrees of Beit Shammai
What other decrees were accepted " on that day " that we have been discussing so far? One concerns the laws of a mikveh and the rainwater collected into it, but the distinctions are made finer and finer. If one placed vessels under a gutter pipe, and later poured it into a the mikveh to complete it, this water is considered drawn by a human, not rainwater, and it disqualifies the mikveh. Beit Shammai further say that this disqualification is true even if he put the vessels there unintentionally or forgot them, but Beit Hillel say that then the water is valid. Rabbi Meir says that if he forgot the vessels in the middle of his courtyard, all agree that the water is valid. Some say that the argument is when he placed the vessels when the clouds were gathering, but then dispersed, he forgot about his vessels, and now the clouds gathered again and brought rain.
On that day the students of Shammai prevailed over Hillel with force. They stuck a sword in the meeting of the Sages and said, "Whoever wants to enter is welcome, but nobody is allowed to leave until the law is decided." Hillel sat in front of Shammai like one of his students, and due to that his words were not listened to, and the day was as grievous to Israel as the day when the Golden Calf was made - because there too, people did not listen to Aaron and Hur.
Art: Thomas Moran - Storm Clouds Over Long Island