The Talmud, by Joseph Barclay, , at sacred-texts.com
1. Short hyssop is made sufficient for sprinkling with a thread and spindle, and it is dipped and lifted, and one holds the hyssop and sprinkles. R. Judah and R. Simon say, "as is the rule for sprinkling with the hyssop, so is the dipping with the hyssop" (i.e. in holding it).
2. "If one sprinkled and there is a doubt if the water with ashes came from the thread, or a doubt if it came from the spindle, or a doubt if it came from the stalk?" "His
sprinkling is disallowed." "If he sprinkled on two vessels, there is a doubt; if he sprinkled on both, there is a doubt that the sprinkling splashed from one to the other?" "His sprinkling is disallowed." "A needle is placed on a potsherd, and he sprinkled it, there is a doubt if he sprinkled on the needle, there is a doubt if the sprinkling splashed from the potsherd upon it?" "His sprinkling is disallowed." "A pan for purification with a narrow mouth?" "He is to dip the hyssop in and lift it out as usual." R. Judah says, "the first sprinkling (is allowed)." "The water of purification which became diminished?" "One may dip in even the tops of the stalks and sprinkle, except that he should not dry up the vessel." "His intention 1 was to sprinkle before him, and he sprinkled behind him, to sprinkle behind him, and he sprinkled before him?" "His sprinkling is disallowed." "Before him and he sprinkled sidewise in front?" "His sprinkling is allowed." He may sprinkle a man whether he be aware of it or not. He may sprinkle a man, or vessels, even should they be an hundred.
3. "His intention was to sprinkle on anything which can receive defilement, and he sprinkled on a thing which cannot receive defilement?" "If there remain (water) in the hyssop he must not repeat it." "His intention was to sprinkle on something which does not receive defilement, and he sprinkled on something which does receive defilement?" "If there remain (water) in the hyssop, he may repeat it." "If upon man, and he sprinkled on a beast?" "If there remain (water) in the hyssop, he must not repeat it." "Upon beast and he sprinkled on man?" "If there be (water) in the hyssop he may repeat it." Water which has dropped from the hyssop is allowed, because it renders everything unclean like the water of purification. 2
4. He who sprinkled from a public window and entered the sanctuary, and the water was afterwards found (to be) disallowed, is free. He who sprinkled from a private window and entered the sanctuary, and the water was afterwards found (to be) disallowed, is a debtor. But the high priest, whether he sprinkled from a private, or from a public window, is free, since no high priest is indebted (for an offering) on his entering the sanctuary. Persons were slipping in water of purification before a public window, and treading in it and were not hindered, because the (Sages) say, "the water of purification, which has done its duty, causes no uncleanness."
5. A clean man who took the axe of one legally unclean by the handle, 1 and sprinkled it, even though there be so much water upon it as is sufficient for sprinkling, is clean. "How much water is sufficient for sprinkling?" "Sufficient that the tops of the stalks of hyssop be dipped and sprinkle." R. Judah said, "we regard them as though the hyssop were copper."
6. "He who sprinkled with unclean hyssop?" "If it be the size of an egg, the water is disallowed, and the sprinkling is disallowed." "If it be not the size of an egg?" "The water is allowed, but the sprinkling is disallowed, and he who is sprinkled renders his companion unclean, and he again his companion, even though there be an hundred."
7. He who was cleansed for purification, if his hands became unclean, his body is unclean, and he renders his companion unclean, and he again his companion, even though there be an hundred.
8. A jug for purification, which became unclean on the outside, becomes unclean inside, and renders unclean the one next to it, and it again the next one, even though they be an hundred. The bell and its clapper are reckoned as one. The spindle for bulrushes is not to be sprinkled either on the spindle or on the ring. But if it be sprinkled, it is sprinkled. If it be a spindle for flax, its parts are all reckoned as one. The skin which covers a couch which is joined to rings, is reckoned as one with it. The canopy is
neither reckoned for uncleanness or cleanness. All handles of vessels which enter them are reckoned as one with them. Rabbi Jochanan, the son of Nuri, said, "even if they be only attached."
9. The panniers of an ass, and the staff of the threshing waggon, and the pole of a bier, and the horn vessels of travellers, and a chain for keys, and the stitch-hooks of washers, and a garment sewed with a mixture of wool and linen, are reckoned as one for uncleanness, but not reckoned as one for sprinkling.
10. "The cover of a kettle which is bound by a chain?" The school of Shamai say, "it is reckoned as one for uncleanness, but not reckoned as one for sprinkling." The school of Hillel say, "he sprinkled the kettle, he sprinkled the cover; he sprinkled the cover, he did not sprinkle the kettle." All are permitted to sprinkle, except a neuter and a woman, and a child without understanding. A woman may help a man when he sprinkles, and she may hold for him the water. And he dips the hyssop and sprinkles. If she take hold of his hand even in the moment of sprinkling, it is disallowed.
11. "One dipped the hyssop by day, and sprinkled by day?" "It is allowed." "He dipped the hyssop by day, and sprinkled by night, by night, and sprinkled by day?" "It is disallowed." "By day, and sprinkled on the day following?" "It is disallowed." But he himself washed by night, and sprinkled by day, since we do not sprinkle till the sun rise; and everything done in sprinkling when the pillar of the morn ascends, is allowed.
321:1 This doctrine of Intention has also been adopted into the system of Romanism. The Council of Trent (Session vii., Canon xi.) teaches, that "Whoever shall affirm that when ministers perform and confer a sacrament, it is not necessary that they should have at least the intention to do what the Church does; let him be accursed." It follows, that if, for example, in the Sacrament of Orders, any bishop in any age failed in due intention, all the Orders which flowed from him are invalid. So that, at the present day, all Romish ecclesiastics, from the Pope in the Vatican down to the lowest priest, are probably laymen. And the history of the Papacy rather confirms this conclusion.
321:2 Chap. ix. 9; viii. 5.
322:1 Another rendering is "in his garment."