Niddah 16aנדה ט״ז א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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16aט״ז א

כמין נפל

that she cast an item similar to a non-viable newborn into a pit. Perhaps it was not a non-viable newborn; it might simply have been congealed blood, which does not transmit impurity. Therefore, this is a conflict between uncertainty and uncertainty. It is unclear whether there was anything in the pit that could have rendered the priest ritually impure, and even if there was, it might already have been dragged away.

והא לידע אם זכר אם נקבה קתני

The Gemara challenges: But isn’t it taught in the baraita: And a priest came and looked into the pit to ascertain whether it was male or whether it was female? This indicates that the only uncertainty was with regard to its sex; it was certainly a non-viable newborn.

ה"ק ובא כהן והציץ בו לידע אם נפל הפילה אם רוח הפילה ואת"ל נפל הפילה לידע אם זכר אם נקבה

The Gemara answers that this is what the baraita is saying: And a priest came and glanced at the baby to ascertain whether the woman discharged a non-viable newborn, or whether she discharged an amorphous mass. And if you say that she discharged a non-viable newborn, he sought to ascertain whether it was male or whether it was female.

ואיבעית אימא כיון דחולדה וברדלס מצויים שם ודאי גררוהו

And if you wish, say instead that this was not a conflict between certainty and uncertainty; rather, it was between two certainties. Since martens and hyenas are common there, they certainly dragged it away immediately. Consequently, the ruling in this case does not contradict the principle that an uncertainty does not override a certainty.

בעו מיניה מרב נחמן וסתות דאורייתא או דרבנן

§ The Gemara returns to the issue of a woman’s examination at the projected time of her period. The Sages asked Rav Naḥman: Does the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods, and in turn the obligation for her to perform an examination at that time, apply by Torah law? If so, if a woman did not examine herself she is ritually impure, even if she later examined herself and did not find any blood, as it is assumed that she emitted blood without her seeing it. Or perhaps the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods, and in turn the obligation for her to perform an examination at that time, applies by rabbinic law? If so, a woman who did not examine herself at the time and did not sense the emission of blood can still examine herself after that time and would be ritually pure.

אמר להו מדאמר הונא חברין משמיה דרב אשה שיש לה וסת והגיע שעת וסתה ולא בדקה ולבסוף ראתה חוששת לוסתה וחוששת לראייתה אלמא וסתות דאורייתא

Rav Naḥman said to them: A resolution can be found for your dilemma from that which Huna our colleague said in the name of Rav: With regard to a woman who has a fixed menstrual cycle, and the projected time of her period arrived and she did not examine herself, and ultimately, when she did examine herself, she saw blood, the halakha is that she must be concerned for ritual impurity from the projected time of her period and that therefore any pure items she touched since then are impure. And additionally, she must be concerned for ritual impurity with regard to the twenty-four hours prior to her seeing the blood, and any items she touched during those twenty-four hours are impure, even if she saw the blood a short while after the projected time of her period. Evidently, the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by Torah law, which is why the halakha is stringent.

איכא דאמרי הכי קא"ל טעמא דראתה הא לא ראתה אין חוששין אלמא וסתות דרבנן

There are those who say that this is what Rav Naḥman said to the other Sages: The reason for Rav’s ruling that pure items she touched are retroactively considered impure is that she ultimately saw blood, from which it may be inferred that if she did not see blood, one is not concerned about the status of pure items that she touched from the projected time of her period, despite the fact that she neglected to examine herself at the time. Evidently, the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by rabbinic law.

איתמר אשה שיש לה וסת והגיע שעת וסתה ולא בדקה ולבסוף בדקה אמר רב בדקה ומצאת טמאה טמאה טהורה טהורה ושמואל אמר אפילו בדקה ומצאת טהורה נמי טמאה מפני שאורח בזמנו בא

§ Since the Gemara mentioned Rav’s ruling it cites the dispute between Rav and Shmuel with regard to this halakha. It was stated that these amora’im disagree about a woman who has a fixed menstrual cycle, and the projected time of her period arrived and she did not examine herself, and ultimately she examined herself. Rav says: If she examined herself at this later time and found that she was ritually impure, she is impure; and if she found that she was pure, she is pure. And Shmuel says: Even if she later examined herself and found that she was pure, she is impure. This is because the manner of women, i.e., a women’s menstrual period, comes at its usual time.

לימא בוסתות קמיפלגי דמ"ס דאורייתא ומ"ס דרבנן

The Gemara suggests: Shall we say that Rav and Shmuel disagree with regard to the concern for impurity of women at the pro-jected time of their periods? As one Sage, Shmuel, who rules that the woman is impure in both cases, holds that this concern for impurity applies by Torah law, and one Sage, Rav, who says that if her subsequent examination came out clean then she remains pure, holds that this concern for impurity applies by rabbinic law.

אמר ר' זירא דכ"ע וסתות דאורייתא כאן שבדקה עצמה כשיעור וסת כאן שלא בדקה עצמה כשיעור וסת

Rabbi Zeira says: It is possible that everyone, even Rav, agrees that the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by Torah law, and the reason Rav deems the woman pure in this case is that here it is a situation where she examined herself within the period of time needed for the onset of menstruation, i.e., very close to the projected time of her period, and therefore it is assumed that if there was blood at the projected time of her period she would have seen it upon this examination. By contrast, there, in other cases of subsequent examinations, she did not examine herself within the period of time needed for the onset of menstruation.

ר"נ בר יצחק אמר בוסתות גופייהו קמיפלגי דמ"ס וסתות דאורייתא ומר סבר וסתות דרבנן

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: Actually, Rav and Shmuel disagree with regard to the matter of the projected time of their periods itself, as one Sage, Shmuel, holds that the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by Torah law, and one Sage, Rav, holds that the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by rabbinic law.

אמר רב ששת כתנאי ר' אליעזר אומר טמאה נדה

The Gemara continues to discuss this dispute between Rav and Shmuel. Rav Sheshet says: This disagreement between Rav and Shmuel is parallel to a dispute between tanna’im: Rabbi Eliezer says that a woman who has a fixed menstrual cycle but who did not examine herself at the projected time of her period is ritually impure as a menstruating woman, which indicates that in his opinion the examination at the projected time of a woman’s period applies by Torah law.

ורבי יהושע אומר תבדק והני תנאי כי הני תנאי דתניא רבי מאיר אומר טמאה נדה וחכ"א תבדק

And Rabbi Yehoshua says that she should be examined now, despite the elapsed time, and if the examination came out clean she is pure retroactively as well. Apparently, Rabbi Yehoshua maintains that this examination applies by rabbinic law. The Gemara adds: And the dispute of these tanna’im is parallel to the dispute of those tanna’im, as it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir says: She is ritually impure as a menstruating woman, and the Rabbis say: She should be examined now.

אמר אביי אף אנן נמי תנינא דתנן ר"מ אומר אם היתה במחבא והגיע שעת וסתה ולא בדקה טהורה שחרדה מסלקת את הדמים טעמא דאיכא חרדה הא ליכא חרדה טמאה אלמא וסתות דאורייתא

Abaye said: We, too, learn likewise in a mishna, as we learned in a mishna (39a): Rabbi Meir says: If a woman was in hiding from danger, and the projected time of her period arrived and she did not examine herself, nevertheless she is ritually pure, as it may be assumed that she did not experience bleeding because fear dispels the flow of menstrual blood, and therefore there is no concern that she might have emitted blood without sensing it. By inference, the reason she is pure is that there is fear of danger; but if there is no fear upon this woman, she is impure. Evidently, Rabbi Meir maintains that the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by Torah law.

לימא הני תנאי בהא נמי פליגי דתניא הרואה דם מחמת מכה אפילו בתוך ימי נדתה טהורה דברי רשב"ג

The Gemara further suggests: Shall we say that these following tanna’im also disagree with regard to this matter of whether the examination at the projected time of a woman’s period is required by Torah law? As it is taught in a baraita: With regard to a woman who sees blood due to a wound in her pubic area, even if she saw the blood during the days of her menstruation, including the projected time of her period, she is pure, as it is assumed that the blood came from the wound; this is the statement of Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel.

רבי אומר אם יש לה וסת חוששת לוסתה

Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says that if the woman does not have a fixed menstrual cycle then the blood can be attributed to the wound. But if she has a fixed menstrual cycle, and she saw blood on the projected day of her period, even if the blood was from the wound she must be concerned that blood from her period might be mixed with this blood from the wound, and must therefore observe impurity status.

מאי לאו בהא קמיפלגי דמר סבר וסתות דאורייתא ומר סבר וסתות דרבנן

The Gemara clarifies its suggestion: What, is it not the case that these Sages disagree with regard to this matter, i.e., that one Sage, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, holds that the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by Torah law, and though she can examine herself and ascertain that she is pure, if she did not she is presumed impure, and therefore he is stringent in the case of a woman who has a fixed menstrual cycle; and one Sage, Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel, holds that the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by rabbinic law, and consequently he rules leniently even with regard to a woman who has a fixed cycle?

אמר רבינא לא דכ"ע וסתות דרבנן והכא במקור מקומו טמא קמיפלגי

Ravina says: No; they do not necessarily disagree with regard to this point, as it is possible that everyone, even Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, agrees that the concern for impurity of women at the projected time of their periods applies by rabbinic law, and here they disagree as to whether the location of a woman’s source, i.e., her uterus, is impure, and therefore any blood that passes through there is impure, even if it is blood from a wound.

רשב"ג סבר אשה טהורה ודם טמא דקאתי דרך מקור

Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel holds that the woman herself is pure from the seven-day impurity status of a menstruating woman, as the requirement of an examination upon the projected time of her period applies by rabbinic law, but the blood is impure, even if it is from a wound, as it came through her source, and was thereby rendered impure. Consequently, the blood renders the woman impure until the evening.

ואמר ליה רבי אי חיישת לוסת אשה נמי טמאה ואי לא חיישת לוסת מקור מקומו טהור הוא

And Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi said to Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel: If you are concerned due to the possibility that this is blood of her menstrual period, then the woman should also be impure as a menstruating woman. And if you are not concerned due to the possibility that this is blood of her menstrual period, then her source does not transmit impurity to the blood that passes through its location, as that blood is pure.

מתני׳ בית שמאי אומרים צריכה ב' עדים על כל תשמיש ותשמיש או תשמש לאור הנר בית הלל אומרים דיה בשני עדים כל הלילה:

MISHNA: Beit Shammai say: A woman is required to examine herself with two cloths, once before and once after each and every act of intercourse in which she engages throughout the night, and she must inspect them for blood the following morning, or she must engage in intercourse by the light of a lamp and inspect the cloths before and after each act of intercourse. Beit Hillel say: She is not required to examine herself between each act of intercourse. Rather, it is sufficient for her to examine herself with two cloths throughout the night, once before the first act of intercourse and once after the final act of intercourse.