Niddah 18aנדה י״ח א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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18aי״ח א

ופליגא דרב קטינא

And this option contradicts the opinion of Rav Ketina, who deems the blood impure due to uncertainty.

לרב הונא לא פליגי כאן מן הלול ולפנים כאן מן הלול ולחוץ

And according to the opinion of Rav Huna, who said that if the blood was found in the inner section it is definitely impure, as it is presumed to come from the uterus, and if the blood was found in the outer section it is impure due to uncertainty, one can say that Rabbi Ḥiyya and Rav Ketina do not disagree, as they were referring to different cases. Here, where Rabbi Ḥiyya deems the blood definitely impure, he is speaking of blood found from the vestibule and inward, whereas there, Rav Ketina deems it impure due to uncertainty when it is found from the vestibule and outward.

אלא לרמי בר שמואל ולרב יצחק בריה דרב יהודה דאמרי מן הלול ולחוץ ספקו טהור מן הלול ולפנים ספקו טמא הני במאי מתוקמא מן הלול ולפנים

But according to the opinion of Rami bar Shmuel and Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Yehuda, who say that if the blood is found from the vestibule and outward, its state of uncertainty renders it pure, whereas if it is found in the area from the vestibule and inward, its state of uncertainty renders it impure, with regard to what case can the dispute between these Sages, Rabbi Ḥiyya and Rav Ketina, be interpreted? It must be referring to a situation where the blood was found from the vestibule and inward, as according to Rami bar Shmuel and Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Yehuda, if the blood is found from the vestibule and outward it is pure.

לימא פליגא דרבי חייא

If so, shall we say that Rami bar Shmuel and Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Yehuda, disagree with the opinion of Rabbi Ḥiyya, who deems the blood definitely impure, whereas they maintain that it is impure merely due to uncertainty?

לא קשיא כאן כשנמצא בקרקע פרוזדור וכאן שנמצא בגג פרוזדור

The Gemara answers: This is not difficult. It is possible that Rami bar Shmuel and Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Yehuda, agree with the opinion of Rabbi Ḥiyya, as they maintain that there is no dispute between Rav Ketina and Rabbi Ḥiyya. Once again the reason is that Rav Ketina and Rabbi Ḥiyya might be referring to two different cases: Here, Rabbi Ḥiyya deems the blood definitely impure because he is speaking of a case where it is found on the floor of the corridor, in which case the blood is presumed to come from the uterus rather than the bladder. And there, Rav Ketina, who deems the blood impure due to uncertainty, is referring to blood that is found on the roof of the corridor, and therefore it is uncertain whether the blood came from the bladder or the uterus.

אמר רבי יוחנן בשלשה מקומות הלכו בו חכמים אחר הרוב ועשאום כודאי מקור שליא חתיכה מקור הא דאמרן

§ Rabbi Yoḥanan says: In three places where there is uncertainty the Sages followed the majority, and based on that majority they established the halakha in these cases as though they involved a certainty. The three cases are as follows: The source, the afterbirth [shilya], and a shaped limb. The Gemara elaborates: The source is that which we just said, i.e., that blood found in the corridor from the vestibule and inward it is ritually impure, because the majority of blood found there is from the uterus.

שליא דתנן שליא בבית הבית טמא ולא שהשליא ולד אלא שאין שליא בלא ולד ר"ש אומר נמוק הולד עד שלא יצא

The afterbirth is as we learned in a mishna (26a): If a woman miscarried and the afterbirth is in the house, the house is ritually impure, in the sense that everything under the roof becomes impure due to impurity imparted by a corpse. And the reason is not that the afterbirth itself has the status of an offspring; rather, it is that there is no afterbirth without an offspring. It is clear that the afterbirth contained an offspring, which disintegrated after the miscarriage. That offspring renders the contents of the house impure. Rabbi Shimon says: The offspring was squashed before it emerged with the afterbirth. Consequently, the house is not rendered impure, because the squashed fetus is nullified by the majority of blood that accompanied the miscarriage.

חתיכה דתנן המפלת יד חתוכה ורגל חתוכה אמו טמאה לידה ואין חוששין שמא מגוף אטום באת

The third case of an uncertainty where the Sages followed the majority is that of a shaped limb, as we learned in a baraita: In the case of a woman who miscarries a shaped hand, i.e., its fingers are discernible, or a shaped foot, its mother is impure with the impurity of a woman after childbirth, as it certainly came from a full-fledged fetus, and we are not concerned that perhaps it came from a fetus with a sealed, i.e., deficient body, in which case the miscarriage does not have the status of childbirth with regard to ritual impurity. The reason is that most pregnant women give birth to a fully formed fetus, and therefore it is presumed that the hand or foot came from a whole fetus that was squashed during childbirth. Once again the Sages established the impurity as a certainty, based on a majority.

ותו ליכא והאיכא תשע חנויות

The Gemara asks: And are there no more cases of uncertainty in which the Sages determined the halakha according to the status of the majority, treating the case as though it involved a certainty? But isn’t there the case of nine stores?

דתניא תשע חנויות כולן מוכרות בשר שחוטה ואחת מוכרת בשר נבלה ולקח מאחת מהן ואינו יודע מאיזה מהן לקח ספקו אסור

As it is taught in a baraita: With regard to nine stores in a city, all of which sell kosher meat from slaughtered animals, and one other store that sells meat from unslaughtered animal carcasses, and a person bought meat from one of the stores and he does not know from which store he bought the meat, in this case of uncertainty, the meat is prohibited. With regard to an item of uncertain status, if it separated from its fixed location it is presumed to have separated from the majority of items like it in that location, and has their halakhic status. But in the case of an item that remained in its fixed location, i.e., didn’t separate, it is viewed as an uncertainty that is equally balanced, and one does not follow the majority. This ruling is based on the principle: The halakhic status of uncertainty with regard to any item fixed in its place is that of an uncertainty that is equally balanced, and one does not follow the majority.In this case, when it comes to determining whether or not this meat comes from a kosher store, since the uncertainty stems from the act of buying the meat in the store, and the stores are fixed in their places, the two types of stores are regarded as though they were equal in number.

ובנמצא הלך אחר הרוב

The baraita continues: And in the case of meat found in the street, outside the stores, follow the majority of stores. If most stores in the city sell kosher meat one can assume that the meat he found is kosher, based on the principle: Any item separated, i.e., not fixed in its place, is presumed to have been separated from the majority. Similar to the previous cases, this meat is treated as certainly kosher on the basis of a majority.

טומאה קאמרינן איסור לא קאמרינן

The Gemara answers: We say that this list of cases mentioned by Rabbi Yoḥanan is referring to matters of ritual impurity, whereas we do not say that the list includes cases that involve prohibitions, such as that of non-kosher meat.

והאיכא תשע צפרדעין ושרץ אחד ביניהם ונגע באחד מהן ואינו יודע באיזה מהן נגע ברה"י ספקו טמא ברה"ר ספקו טהור

The Gemara further asks: But isn’t there the case where there were nine dead frogs, which do not impart ritual impurity, and one carcass of a creeping animal among them, which does impart impurity, and someone touched one of these ten dead creatures, and he does not know which of them he touched? The halakha is as follows: If this occurred in the private domain the item’s uncertain impurity renders it impure, as it is derived from the Torah that in cases of uncertainty with regard to ritual impurity in the private domain, the item is deemed impure. If the contact occurred in the public domain, the item’s uncertainty leaves it pure.

ובנמצא הלך אחר הרוב

The Gemara continues: And in a case where one of these creatures was separated from the rest and was found elsewhere, and the person touched it there, follow the majority. Since most of the animals do not impart ritual impurity, this individual remains pure. This is another case involving uncertain impurity where the Sages established the halakha as certain based on the majority.

טומאה דאשה קאמרינן טומאה בעלמא לא קאמרינן

The Gemara explains: We say that Rabbi Yoḥanan’s list is referring to matters of ritual impurity of a woman, whereas we do not say that the list includes cases that involve ritual impurity in general.

והאיכא הא דאמר רבי יהושע בן לוי עברה בנהר

The Gemara further asks: But isn’t there that which Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: With regard to a pregnant woman who passed across a river