'UḲẒIN ("Stalks of Plants"):

Name of a treatise of the Mishnah and the Tosefta, dealing chiefly with the conveyance of ritual impurity by means of the roots, stalks, and hulls of plants. In the Mishnah it is the twelfth and last treatise of the order Ṭohorot; and it is also the last of the whole Mishnah. Maimonides says: "This treatise has been placed at the end because the impurity of stalks is not explained in the Bible, and depends solely on the judgment of the Rabbis." It is divided into three chapters, containing twenty-seven paragraphs in all. Its contents may be summarized as follows:

  • Ch. i: Difference between roots, stalks, and hulls in regard to impurity; wet roots become unclean sooner than dry ones (§§ 1-2); size of unclean stalks; certain roots that convey no impurity (§§ 3-4); stalks that have been cut from the fruit are clean; a stalk of figs (fresh or dried), or any pods, carobs, gourds, or other portion of a plant, conveys impurity if when taken together with the body of the plant it is as large as an egg (§§ 5-6).
  • Ch. ii.: Olives preserved with their leaves in liquor receive no impurity; kernels of fruit receive impurity (§§ 1-2); pomegranates and melons thathave been partly crushed so that the remnant is smaller than an egg can not become unclean; all husks receive impurity. Rabbi Judah says: "An onion has three skins; the outermost never receives impurity; the innermost always receives impurity; the middle one receives impurity when whole, but not when honeycombed" (§§ 3-4). What parts of garments and plants convey impurity (§§ 5-8); plants growing in the earth can not be unclean; laws relating to plants growing in vases (§§ 9-10).
  • Ch. iii.: Certain objects can become unclean only after they have once been wet (§§ 1-3); under what conditions dills, spices, pepper, unripe fruit, fish, milk, and honeycombs receive impurity (§§ 4-11). The Mishnah concludes with the following paragraphs (§ 12) which are later additions: "Rabbi Joshua ben Levi says, 'The Holy One, blessed be He! will cause every righteous man to inherit 310 worlds, as it is said: "To make those that love me inherit substance; and their treasuries I will fill [Prov. viii. 21, Hebr.; numerically the letters in the word (= "substance") amount to 310]."' Rabbi Simeon ben Ḥalafta says, 'The Holy One, blessed be He! found no other vessel capable of containing so much blessing for Israel as peace, as it is said: "The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace [Ps. xxix. 11]."'"

In the Tosefta likewise, 'Uḳẓin is the last treatise. It is divided into three chapters, containing forty-two paragraphs in all. It includes no haggadic sayings. 'Uḳẓin has no Gemara.

E. C. S. Led.
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