In eight mishnayyot (Keilim 8:4, Parah 8:2–7, Tahorot 8:7), we find the following odd phrase.

הרי זה אומר מטמאיך לא טימאוני ואתה טימאתני

It says: that which made you tamei didn't make me tamei, but you are making me tamei!? [translation mine]

They all describe a situation in which A makes B tamei but cannot make C tamei, but B can make C tamei (and does, once B is tamei). This is surprising, hence (perhaps) worthy of remark.

However, does it need to be remarked upon (with the same language) nine times (and a further three in the tosefta) (and in fact several times in a row in Parah)? This personification language is unusual in the mishna (it seems to me), so why use it here? Is it simply a mnemonic/a common expression, or does it come to add something in particular to the halacha?

  • 2
    whenever I see the same phase repeated many times in mishnayos, my first assumption is that it's a mnemonic to help remember them.
    – Daniel
    May 31, 2019 at 3:22
  • 3
    Frankly, I remember that phrase from when I learned seder taharos and that was some time ago. It served its purpose.
    – Daniel
    May 31, 2019 at 3:25


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