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FOUR MIL

Chulin 122b: Rabbi Avahu in the name of Resh Lakish said: With regard to a hired kneader, and with regard to prayer and with regard to the obligation to wash ones hands, the distance set by Chazal is four mil.

is the amount of time it takes an average person to walk 2000 (about one kilometer). There are three major opinions how long this takes: 1) The Shach (25) explaining the Mechaber says that a is 18 minutes. 2) The Gilyon Maharsha brings the Pri Chadash who that a is 24 minutes. 3) The opinion of the Gr"a (Orach Chaim Siman 459:5) is that a is 22 minutes.

Hired kneader 1. Rashi: Hired to knead dough for a customer in the customers utensil, but the customers utensil is tamei. The kneader must travel to immerse the customers utensil in a mikveh up to four mil. Greater that this amount, the kneader can make the dough in tumah, unless the customer will pay the expenses to travel farther. 2. Tosfos: An individual is traveling and wishes to knead dough but his own utensils are impure. The halacha requires the individual to travel up to four mil to a mikvah. If the mikvah is more than four mil, then the individual need not wait but can knead and eat the food in an impure state. 3. Rambam: The case involves anyone even in their own home. One must strive to separate Chalah in a pure state so that a Cohen can eat it. Therefore, if a Mikvah is within four mil, one must go to it in order to make the dough in a pure state. If there is no Mikvah then one may make the dough and eat it in an impure state. 4. Shita Mebubetzes: The case involves a person who eats his food on a level of purity. He must travel up to four mil to wash his hands prior to kneading his dough. 5. Natronai haGaon: The measurement of four mil involves the prohibition of chametz on Pesach. If one lets dough sit for up to four mil it becomes chametz on Pesach and the source of Kores. Prayer 1. Rashi: A person on a journey and wishes to seek lodging for the night while there is still daylight. He should continue to travel four mil in order to pray in a synagogue. If there is no synagogue within that distance, then the traveler may pray privately. 2. Tosfos: The case involves washing ones hands prior to praying. 3. Rabbenu Chananel: The case involves a baal keri and need to go to the mikvah prior to prayer. 4. Halachos Gedolos: The case involves the need for one that is traveling to pray in a secured place that one would have a settled mind. 5. Sefer Eshkol: This case involves the need to say Tefilas haDerech (see Berchos 30a). 6. Ran: This case involves when one has to urinate which would make ones prayer disgusting. Washing Hands 1. Rashi: A person on a journey and wishes to eat bread, but does not have water with him to fulfill the obligation to wash the hands prior to eating bread. He should continue to travel four mil in order to find water. If there is no available water within that distance, then the traveler may eat the bread without washing, using instead the method of wrapping ones hand in a cloth (O.C. 163:1). 2. Ritva: This case involves the need to wash ones hands after the using the toilet in order to say the blessing of Asher Yatzer, or to learn Torah.

Beur Halacha (163:1) states that the critical factor is not distance bur rather travel time. Thus, if one is traveling by some swift means of transportation (automobile, plane) one must continue traveling for the time it takes an average person to walk four mil (72 96 minutes).