Mishnah Keilim 11:4 says:

קלוסטרא, טמאה ... רבי יהושע אומר, שומטה מפתח זה ותולה בחברו בשבת. רבי טרפון אומר, הרי היא לו ככל הכלים, ומטלטלת בחצר

A door bolt is susceptible to impurity ... Rabbi Joshua says: he may remove it from one door and hang it on another on Shabbat. Rabbi Tarfon says: it is like all other vessels and may be carried about in a courtyard.

Tosefta Keilim Bava Metzia 1:3 says:

קלוסטרא רבי טרפון מטמא וחכמים מטהרין וברוריא אומרת שומטה מן הפתח זה ותולה בחבירו בשבת כשנאמרו דברים לפני ר' יהושע אמר יפה אמרה ברוריא

A door bolt: Rabbi Tarfon declares unclean and the sages declare clean. And Beruria says: one removes it from this door and hangs it on another on the Sabbath. When these things were reported before Rabbi Joshua, he said: beautifully did Beruria rule.

Am I correct that the Mishnah concludes that a bolt is tamei, and the Tosefta concludes that a bolt is tahor, and there is therefore a direct contradiction?

  • @Dov edited the question to make the Tosefta reference “1:3”. This is incorrect. Sefaria has it as 1:3 however every reliable printed edition has it as 1:6.
    – Zarka
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 10:30
  • You had it as 11:6?
    – Dov
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 10:44
  • Bar Ilan and Zuckermandel have the Tosefta reference as Keilim BM 1:6.
    – Zarka
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 11:05
  • Yes but you wrote 11 not 1
    – Dov
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 11:22
  • Either way it is an online link so people can see the quote in context which is helpful
    – Dov
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 11:22

1 Answer 1


Bartenura to the mishnah suggests that it is only R. Tarfon who believes the bolt is impure. R. Yehoshua holds that it is pure, consistent with his limiting the permission to move it on shabbat, as it does not have the status of a keli.

This would then be consistent with the tosefta quoted: R. Tarfon believes it is impure, but the sages (and Beruria) follow R. Yehoshua and hold that it is pure.

  • But the MIshnah explicitly says "קלוסטרא, טמאה", before any dispute between R Tarfon and R Joshua is introduced?
    – Zarka
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 11:06
  • 2
    This is a common style in mishnayot. It is possible that the first line is from an older stratum (mishnah rishonah), and the debate between R. Tarfon and R. Joshua was added to the mishnah at a later stage, precisely in order to clarify that the original line is not as unanimous as would seem at first glance.
    – Joel K
    Commented Dec 6, 2020 at 11:21
  • In general -- these were word-of-mouth traditions from the same time period, so it happens all the time that the Mishna and Tosefta have slightly different takes on the same topic. It will leave us with a question of what the halacha follows, but the contradiction per se is hardly a horrible conundrum.
    – Shalom
    Commented May 1, 2022 at 11:51

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