Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, , at sacred-texts.com
§ 1. A quarter lug of water is poured on [the hands of] one person, also on [the hands of] two 4 [persons], half a lug on three or four, a whole lug and upwards on five, or ten, or even one hundred [persons]. 5 R. José saith, "Provided always, there be not less for the last [person using the water] than a quarter [of a lug]." They
may add 6 [water] for the second [ablution], but they must not add [any] for the first.
§ 2. From all [kinds of] vessels they may pour on the hands, even from vessels [made] of cow-dung, or vessels of stone, or of earth. But they must not pour [water] on the hands out of the sides [fragments] of a vessel, or the bottom of a tub, or the bung of a cask: nor [must a man] give to his neighbour [water] out of the hollow of his [own] hand, because they must not draw, or consecrate, or sprinkle the water of purification, 7 or pour [water] on the hands, except [it be] in a vessel. [In cases of uncleanness arising from the tent] 8 they cannot preserve [therefrom], by means of a close cover, [any utensils] except [whole] vessels [only]; nor can they preserve [the contents of] an earthen vessel, [into which a dead reptile has fallen, from contracting uncleanness], except [closed] utensils [only]. 9
§ 3. Water which [on account of its bad smell] is unfit for [domestic] animals to drink, is unfit [for ablution, if contained] in [any kind of] vessels; but on the ground [in a ditch], it is fit [for ablution, by immersing the hands therein]. Should ink, gum, or vitriol black drop into it [the water], so that its colour be changed, it becomes unfit [for ablution]. If it has been used for any purpose, or he [a man] has soaked his bread therein, it [the water] becomes unfit [for ablution]. Simeon, the Temanite, said, "[What!] even though he intended to soak something in one vessel and it dropped into another? [No] it continues fit [for ablution]."
§ 4. Has he rinsed vessels therein [the water], or [used it] to rinse out measures, it becomes unfit; but if he rinsed therein vessels which already had been rinsed [clean], or new ones, [the water so used] continues fit [for ablution]. R. José prohibits it[s use] in [the case of] new vessels.
§ 5. Water in which the baker has dipped rolls is unfit [for ablution], but has he only dipped his hands therein it continues fit. All are qualified to pour water on [other persons’] hands, even the deaf and dumb, idiot or minor. A man may hold a cask between his knees to pour the water [over his hands]. An ape may pour water
on [a person's] hands. R. José declares these two [last-mentioned modes of pouring water on the hands as legally] improper.
357:4 This, according to Maimonides, only applied to second ablutions.
357:5 This hyperbole is used to express any indefinite number.
358:6 Should the vessel not contain water sufficient for a proper ablution.
358:7 Vide Numbers xix. 13, and Treatise Parah [the red heifer].
358:8 Vide Numbers xix. 14, and Treatise Oholoth [of tents].
358:9 Food or beverage of any kind, contained in a vessel into which a dead reptile has fallen, becomes unclean; but close vessels which may be therein contained do not become unclean.