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Ruling 115

There are three ways to establish the impurity of an object:

  1. One is certain, or is confident by rational means, that the object is impure. If one only supposes (i.e. has a ẓann) that an object is impure, it is not necessary for him to avoid it [i.e. it is not ruled as being impure]. Therefore, there is no problem in eating in cafés and in guesthouses where the people who eat there are unconcerned about religious matters and who do not observe laws relating to what is pure and what is impure, as long as one is not confident that the food brought to him is impure;
  2. Someone who is in possession of an object says it is impure and that person is not believed to be someone whose word cannot be accepted in this case; for example, one’s spouse, servant, or maid says that a utensil or something else that they have in their possession is impure;
  3. Two dutiful men say that an object is impure, on condition that they give the reason for its impurity; for example, they say that that the object has come into contact with blood or urine. If one dutiful man, or some other person who is reliable, says something is impure but one does not gain confidence in what he says, the obligatory precaution is that one must avoid that thing [i.e. it is ruled as being impure].