QUESTION: The Mishnah (20b) lists eleven ways in which Kodesh is treated with greater stringency than Terumah. The Gemara divides the Mishnah into two categories. The first six differences between Kodesh and Terumah (until, and including, "Kelim ha'Nigmarim b'Taharah...") apply to actual Kodesh and to Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh. The last five differences apply only to actual Kodesh.
The Gemara presents two ways to explain the first difference listed in the Mishnah: "for Terumah one may immerse Kelim inside of other Kelim, but not for Kodesh." Rav Ila says that such a Tevilah is ineffective for Kodesh because of the laws of Chatzitzah: there is a concern that the inner Kli might rest on the inner surface of the Kli which contains it, thereby creating a Chatzitzah and preventing the water from reaching all parts of the Kelim. According to Rav Ila, this stringency of Kodesh is identical to the fifth stringency listed in the Mishnah: when one immerses a garment for use with Kodesh, he first must untie it and dry it out, and then he may immerse it, while he may immerse a garment even when it is tied up and wet ("b'Kodesh Matir u'Menagev u'Matbil..."). The stringency of Kodesh in this case is, like the first case, due to a concern for Chatzitzah.
Rava argues with Rav Ila and says that the first difference in the Mishnah is an independent stringency and is not related to the laws of Chatzitzah. Rather, the prohibition against immersing one Kli inside of another Kli for Kodesh is a Gezeirah which the Chachamim enacted in order to prevent people from thinking that they may immerse a Kli inside of another Kli with a very small opening (in which case the inner Kli does not become Tahor at all, because not enough water enters the hole to make the water inside the Kli considered attached to the Mikvah). The Chachamim enacted that one not immerse a Kli inside of another Kli, even if the outer Kli has a wide opening, lest one immerse a Kli inside of another Kli with a very small opening.
According to the Gemara's explanation, the wording of the Mishnah is problematic.
In the middle of its list (immediately before the obligation to untie and dry ("Matir u'Menagev") a garment before immersing it in order to use it with Kodesh), the Mishnah gives a short introduction and says, "The attributes of Kodesh are not like those of Terumah...." The Mishnah indicates that it is starting a new list at this point, and its introductory statement serves to separate between the first list and the new one which follows. An additional change between the first half of the Mishnah and the second half also indicates that the Mishnah is teaching a second list. For each law in the first group of differences between Terumah and Kodesh, the Mishnah says that one is permitted to do such an act "for Terumah but not for Kodesh" -- it always places Terumah before Kodesh. However, from the case of "Matir u'Menagev" onward, the Mishnah switches the order and first says that such an act may not be done for Kodesh but it may be done for Terumah.
The Gemara (21b and 22a) states clearly that everyone agrees that the case of "Matir u'Menagev" is part of the first half of the Mishnah (and it applies to Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh just as it applies to actual Kodesh). Why, then, does the Mishnah insert a new introduction before that Halachah?
Moreover, why does the Mishnah switch from mentioning Terumah before Kodesh at this point in the Mishnah? It should change its style only after the following Halachah ("Kelim ha'Nigmarim b'Taharah") to denote that the last five cases in the Mishnah differ from the first six! (TOSFOS 20b, DH Lo k'Midas, TUREI EVEN to 20b; see also TIFERES YISRAEL.)
Finally, according to Rav Ila, the first and fifth differences between Kodesh and Terumah are the same: the Chachamim enacted a stringency for Kodesh due to the concern for the possibility of a Chatzitzah. The Chachamim invalidated both Tevilah of Kelim inside of other Kelim and Tevilah of knotted and wet garments because of the concern for Chatzitzah. Since these two laws in the Mishnah express aspects of the same law (the concern for Chatzitzah during Tevilah), why does the Mishnah interrupt between them with three other Halachos? The Mishnah should list these two aspects of Chatzitzah together! (TUREI EVEN to 21a; see also NETZIV in MEROMEI SADEH.)
(a) The TUREI EVEN suggests that the Mishnah understands that the first set of Gezeiros that it mentions (until, and not including, "Matir u'Menagev") are logical Gezeiros which one might have assumed should apply not only to Kodesh but to Terumah as well. The Mishnah therefore needs to teach that although these Gezeiros are logical, they do not apply to Terumah. Since the Mishnah's Chidush is that these Gezeiros do not apply to Terumah, the Mishnah mentions first that the Gezeiros do not apply to Terumah and afterwards that the Gezeirah does apply to Kodesh.
The second set of Gezeiros, including "Matir u'Menagev," are less logical; one would not have assumed that such stringencies apply, even to Kodesh. Therefore, the Mishnah needs to teach that even though these Gezeiros do not seem logical, they do apply to Kodesh. Since the Mishnah's Chidush is that these stringencies apply to Kodesh, the Mishnah mentions Kodesh first and afterwards says that the Gezeirah does not apply to Terumah.
(According to this approach, although the stringency of "Matir u'Menagev" applies also to Chulin she'Na'asu Al Taharas ha'Kodesh, and in that sense it is a broad and strong Gezeirah, nevertheless logically there is less reason to apply that Gezeirah than the preceding Gezeiros. Therefore, the Mishnah first says that the Gezeirah applies to Kodesh before it says that the Gezeirah does not apply to Terumah.)
This approach does not answer why, according to Rav Ila, the first and fifth laws -- which are both based on a concern for Chatzitzah -- are not mentioned together. Also, it does not explain how Rav Ila will answer why the case of "Matir u'Menagev" is in the Mishnah's second list; the fifth Gezeirah is as logical as the first Gezeirah (as they are merely two applications of the same Gezeirah).
In order to answer these questions, the Turei Even proposes that Rav Ila agrees with Rava's reason. Rav Ila maintains that both concerns motivated the Chachamim to prohibit immersing one Kli inside of another: the problem of Chatzitzah, and the concern that one might think he is permitted to immerse a Kli inside of a Kli which has a very small opening. Rav Ila argues with Rava only with regard to the second reason for the Gezeirah, the concern for Chatzitzah. Since Rav Ila maintains that there is the additional reason of Chatzitzah, he prohibits immersing one Kli inside of another even when the outer Kli is the type which always has a large opening. Rava permits the Tevilah in such a case because he does not agree that there is a concern for Chatzitzah (and when the opening is large enough, his own reason for the Gezeirah does not apply, as the Gemara on 22a says). The Mishnah teaches, according to Rav Ila, that the Gezeirah of "Kli b'Toch Kli" has a second reason besides the reason of Chatzitzah, and that is why the Mishnah separates that law from the law of "Matir u'Menagev."
Since even Rav Ila agrees that the Chumra of "Matir u'Menagev" is based on a Gezeirah (lest one immerse an object inside of a Kli with a small opening), the Turei Even's explanation of the Mishnah is true according to Rav Ila as well: the reason for the second Gezeirah ("Matir u'Menagev") is more obvious than the Gezeirah of Chatzitzah (of "Kli b'Toch Kli"), and therefore the Mishnah first teaches the Chidush that it does not apply to Terumah and only afterwards that it does apply to Kodesh. (The Mishnah apparently adds the introductory statement, "The attributes of Kodesh are not like those of Terumah...," to separate between the two categories of Gezeiros -- those which are more logical and those which are less logical.)
The Turei Even, however, questions his approach. If Rav Ila agrees that besides the problem of Chatzitzah, an additional Gezeirah prohibits the immersion of one Kli inside of another (lest one immerse inside of a Kli which has a very small opening), then what is the purpose of that second Gezeirah? One will always be prohibited to immerse a Kli inside of another Kli because of the first Gezeirah (concern for Chatzitzah)! Why did the Chachamim add another Gezeirah?
The Turei Even answers that the new Gezeirah applies in a case in which the inner Kli is very light (for example, a needle). The Gezeirah of Chatzitzah does not apply because the small Kli certainly will be lifted up by the water. (This answer seems problematic, however, because if this is why the second Gezeirah is needed, then why does the Gemara need to search for reasons for why the Mishnah mentions two Halachos of Chatzitzah? According to the Turei Even, the Mishnah has a very good reason for why it mentions both Halachos -- to teach that there are two Gezeiros which prevent one from immersing a Kli inside of a Kli. See Turei Even there for his answer to this question.)
(b) Perhaps another approach may be suggested to explain the wording of the Mishnah.
Although the text of the Mishnah as it is printed in the Gemara lists all of the eleven differences between Kodesh and Terumah together in one Mishnah, in the Mishnayos they are divided up into three separate Mishnayos (presumably to facilitate memorization). The first Mishnah ends after the fifth Halachah ("Matir u'Menagev u'Matbil"), the second Mishnah ends after the ninth Halachah (one hand which becomes Tamei makes the other hand Tamei), and the third Mishnah ends after the last of the Halachos ("Onen" and "Mechusar Kipurim"). The Yerushalmi divides the Mishnah in the same manner.
The TOSFOS YOM TOV in Avos (3:13) writes in the name of the DERECH CHAYIM that when the Mishnah presents a list of items, it often reverses the structure of the last statement in the list in order to denote that it is the last. (For example, the Mishnah in Avos states, "Masores Seyag l'Torah, Ma'aseros Seyag l'Osher... Seyag l'Chochmah Shetikah.") Perhaps here, too, the purpose behind the change in the order (of which is mentioned first in each law, Terumah or Kodesh) is to reverse the last statement in the Mishnah. Terumah is mentioned before Kodesh at the start of the Mishnah, but in the last law of the first list ("Matir u'Menagev") Kodesh is mentioned first. The second Mishnah continues in that order, mentioning Kodesh first, until the last law in that Mishnah (one hand is Metamei the other), in which the Mishnah reverses the order and places Terumah before Kodesh, again to indicate the "end" of that list of the Mishnah. In the third Mishnah, the Mishnah again begins in the order used at the end of the previous Mishnah, with Terumah before Kodesh. It, too, ends with the reverse order, listing Kodesh before Terumah with regard to "Onen" and "Mechusar Kipurim." Thus, there is a clear pattern and logic for when Kodesh is mentioned first and when Terumah is mentioned first.
According to Rav Ila, why does the Mishnah not group together the two laws related to Chatzitzah? According to this approach, the reason is because "Matir u'Menagev" is not a new Halachah but rather a clarification of a previously-mentioned one. The Mishnah waits until the end of its first list (i.e. the end of the first Mishnah in the printed Mishnayos) before it returns to clarify the first stringency of Kodesh. The second Mishnah begins by teaching that the Gezeirah of Chatzitzah applies in more ways than just "Kli b'Toch Kli." This is also the reason for why the Mishnah gives an introductory statement before it mentions "Matir u'Menagev." The Mishnah intends to show that the first list has finished and now it is explaining one of the cases in that list.
According to Rava, who says that "Matir u'Menagev" is entirely unrelated to "Kli b'Toch Kli," the reason for the introductory remark before "Matir u'Menagev" apparently is to support the Mishnah's reversal of the order of Kodesh and Terumah in its forthcoming statement. Rava prefers to explain the Mishnah in this way rather than explain that the Mishnah inserts a lengthy interruption between two related laws. (M. KORNFELD)