What are the mechanics by which Tum'ah works?

  • How does one detect it, or diagnose someone as Tamei?

  • Certain materials can contract and transfer Tum'ah. Why do these material do so, but others don't?

  • How does Mikvah immersion remove Tum'ah? Why don't other immersions (ex. in non-Mikvah water) remove it?

Related: What is Ruach Rah , What is "בלי עין הרע"?

  • 1
    isn't tuma a spiritual concept? and hence undetectable by physical means.
    – ray
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 8:14
  • Then what are the spiritual means to detect it?
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 8:15
  • Follow-up: How does one interact with things that are not physical, given that our bodies, minds, and environment are all physical?
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 8:36
  • 2
    Your question assumes that tuma is a metaphysical reality as opposed to a halachik state. Do you have any basis for assuming that?
    – Jewels
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 14:30
  • 2
    Metaphysical reality implies that there is some kind of actual reality to the tuma, which would then allow it to be detected, that there is a spiritual "mechanism" for transferring or getting rid of tuma etc. A halachik state means that someone who meets certain halachik criteria needs to act in accordance with a set of halachos as defined by the Torah, but no that there is any reflection of a reality which has a mechanism to be detected or transferred. Basically it's just a gezeiras hakasuv
    – Jewels
    Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 11:41

1 Answer 1


In order to understand how to detect tumah in a person one must find a person who is not tamei. Unfortunately, we don't have a kohen Gadol. But we can see partial holy people.

I believe that Tumah effects ones way of thought. The following cant be taken that if one posesses one the mentioned traits below, then he is tamaei. Rather there is a uniqueness to these and on a path but not only to a kind of self-destruction. The Greatest weapon in the world is when you can take someone and turn him on himself.

  • paranoya
  • feverish swelling
  • guilt
  • depression
  • stubborness
  • there are other things that don't come mind at the moment
  • but there is one MAIN ONE .. i have labeled it as being blocked.

The sons of Eli the Kohen Gadol had sinned against Hashem (you can read more about it in shoftim). Eli the Kohen Gadol, let his kids know (not an exact quote) "To sin against man is one thing, but to sin against Hashem - who can say anything or justify it". THe following pasuk states (something like this, you can look it up) "And Eli's Children good not hear him because of their sin".

They were blocked....

I found this in many places.. including Pharoh in Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar (Hashem called him his servant - meaning although he would think he is in control - Hashem pulls the strings), Yom Kippur war - (ARab general pulls back which leads us win), OG and Sichon in the Torah -(Hashem hardens their hearts so that they fight us to that we can earn the land), Sancharib & Yael and in my own life.

Blocked does not just mean preventing one from doing tshuvah. It prevents a smart person from hearing a good idea. (I hope you are understanding this).

The most amazing thing about this is that even if you are concious of this blocking it can't be stopped.

How can we fix this? Hashem has given us the instruction. Hashem's Law is above our own thoughts and above all thoughts. This includes Rabbis. I love Rabbis, like listening to them.
But i draw the limit of control. That is reserved for Hashem.

  • 1
    Hi not telling and welcome to mi.yodeya! You certainly have a systematic opinion of this highly technical topic. Is the information in your second paragraph and on based on precedent or are they exclusively your own? If the former, inclusion of sources would improve your answer.
    – WAF
    Commented Aug 14, 2014 at 13:01

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