The Gemara asks: Now consider, how many days of purity are there, in the case of a woman who gave birth to a female? There are sixty-six days. Therefore, in order to account for all of the nights that might occur immediately after the woman’s period of purity, she must immerse on sixty-six nights, according to Beit Shammai. Remove from this sum the immersions of the third week, when we require the woman to immerse seven times, and sixty less one are left. These sixty-less-one times she immerses after the third week and the thirty-five times she immerses during the first three weeks are together ninety-four immersions. If so, those ninety-five immersions, required by Beit Shammai, what is their purpose? Why do they require an extra immersion?
Rav Yirmeya of Difti says: The baraita is referring to a case where the woman came before us, i.e., she returned from her journey, during twilight, when it is halakhically uncertain whether it is day or night. The ruling is that in this case we give her another immersion, i.e., she is obligated to immerse on an additional day, in case she completed her days of impurity on the day she arrived, and that night is the night she must immerse.
The Gemara asks: And according to Beit Hillel, who say that a woman who immersed that long day, i.e., a woman observing her period of purity after childbirth, does not require immersion once her period of purity is over, those thirty-five immersions that they require, what is their purpose?
The Gemara answers: Twenty-eight immersions are required as we said above, i.e., due to the end of the period of impurity in case the woman gave birth to a male or to a female, and due to the completion of the woman’s seven clean days in case she gave birth as a zava. In addition, during this fifth week we require the woman to immerse each and every night, as one can say that it is the end of her seven-day period as a menstruating woman.
The Gemara raises a further difficulty: Why do I need the baraita to state that after the woman did not experience any bleeding for the first three weeks after arriving, she alternated for ten weeks between experiencing bleeding every day for a week and not experiencing any bleeding for a week. How does this detail contribute to Beit Shammai’s ruling that the woman must immerse ninety-five times? After all, eight and a half weeks are sufficient. Combined with the first three weeks after the woman’s arrival, this period amounts to eighty days, which is the number of days on which the woman must immerse according to Beit Shammai, as each day might be the last of her period of purity.
The Gemara answers: Although eight and a half weeks are sufficient, since the baraita must teach half a week, it completes that week, for a total of nine weeks. And since the baraita teaches with regard to the ninth week that the woman is impure, it also taught with regard to the tenth week that the woman is pure, in accordance with the pattern of a week of purity following every week of impurity.
With regard to the opinion of Beit Hillel that the woman immerses only thirty-five times, the Gemara asks: But isn’t there the immersion that the woman is obligated to perform due to the possibility that she is a zava? It is possible that by the fourth week, the woman’s period of purity after childbirth has already ended, and the bleeding she experiences that week is menstrual blood, in which case the next week that she sees blood renders her a zava. If so, she must immerse at the end of that week, after counting seven clean days. The same applies to all the other weeks on which she experiences bleeding, apart from the fourth. Consequently, there are additional immersions not counted by Beit Hillel.
The Gemara answers: Beit Hillel count only the times that the woman is obligated to immerse before she is permitted to engage in intercourse with her husband, which amount to thirty-five. They do not count the times that she must immerse after she is permitted to engage in intercourse with her husband.
The Gemara asks: But according to Beit Shammai, who count the times that the woman is obligated to immerse after she is permitted to engage in intercourse in their total of ninety-five immersions, let them also count those immersions in which the woman is obligated due to the possibility that she is a zava. The Gemara answers: Beit Shammai deal with immersions that are due to the woman’s childbirth; they do not deal with immersions that are due to the possibility of ziva.
The Gemara questions this response: But there are immersions counted by Beit Shammai that are due to the possibility that she is a woman who gave birth as a zava. These immersions serve to purify the woman from her status as a zava, not as a woman after childbirth. The Gemara answers: Beit Shammai count immersions that are due to the possibility that she is a woman who gave birth as a zava. In such a scenario, immersion is delayed due to the childbirth, and is performed when the woman’s impurity period of ziva following childbirth is over. Therefore, these immersions are considered as connected to the childbirth. But Beit Shammai do not count immersions that are due to ziva alone.
§ With regard to the statement of the baraita that the woman immerses on every night of the first week in case her period of impurity after childbirth just ended, the Gemara asks: Besides immersing on every night of the first week after she came before us, let the woman immerse during the daytime of every day of that week as well, as perhaps she is a zava, and on each and every day it is possible that her counting of clean days are completed, and she must therefore immerse that morning. Accordingly, seven more immersions should be added to the count.
The Gemara answers: In accordance with whose opinion is this statement? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who said that we require that the seven clean days of a zava must be counted in our presence, i.e., they must actually be counted. Since she did not know she should count before she arrived, she did not begin counting prior to her arrival. Therefore, her seven clean days begin only once she arrives, and she cannot immerse from her status as a zava of uncertain status before the end of the first week.
The Gemara raises a further difficulty: Even so, let her immerse at the end of the first week, on the morning of the seventh day, after counting seven clean days following her return. This adds one more immersion to the count. The Gemara answers: The baraita is not dealing with immersions that the woman is obligated to perform once a week.
The Gemara further inquires: Let the woman immerse on the first day that she came before us, as perhaps she is a lesser zava, i.e., a woman who experienced a discharge of uterine blood after her menstrual period for one or two consecutive days, and who therefore observes a clean day for a day she experiences a discharge. The Gemara answers: The baraita is dealing with a greater zava alone, i.e., one who experienced a discharge for three consecutive days and must therefore count seven clean days before immersing; it is not dealing with a lesser zava.
§ The Gemara summarizes its analysis of the baraita: Conclude from it three conclusions. Conclude from it that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who said that we require that the seven clean days of a zava must be counted in our presence.
And conclude from it that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who says that it is permitted in principle for a zava to engage in intercourse with her husband on her seventh clean day after immersing in a ritual bath, but that the Sages said that it is prohibited for her to do so, lest she come to a case of uncertainty, i.e., in case she experiences a discharge of blood after engaging in intercourse, which retroactively nullifies her entire seven clean days and renders her impure.
And finally, conclude from it that immersion at its proper time is a mitzva, which is why the woman immerses every day despite the fact it remains prohibited for her to engage in intercourse. But Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Yehuda, says: It is sufficient for the immersion to be at the end, and we do not say that immersion at its proper time is a mitzva in its own right. Consequently, the woman is obligated to perform only one immersion.
MISHNA: A woman who discharges on the fortieth day since she immersed herself and engaged in intercourse with her husband need not be concerned that it might have been an offspring and she became impure with its miscarriage, as the formation of the offspring in the womb occurs only forty days after conception. But in the case of a woman who discharges on the forty-first day after immersion, there is concern that perhaps it was an offspring. Since its sex is unknown, she shall observe the period of impurity for a woman who gave birth to a male and for a woman who gave birth to a female; and for any blood that she sees, she observes the halakhot of a menstruating woman.
Rabbi Yishmael says: A woman who discharges on the forty-first day after immersion observes the seven days of impurity for a woman who gave birth to a male; and for any blood that she sees after seven days, she observes the halakhot of a menstruating woman. But a woman who discharges on the eighty-first day after immersion observes the strictures of a woman who gave birth both to a male and to a female, and also the strictures of a menstruating woman, as the formation of the male offspring concludes on the forty-first day and the formation of the female offspring concludes on the eighty-first day. And the Rabbis say: With regard to both the formation of the male and the formation of the female, this and that conclude on the forty-first day.
GEMARA: The Gemara discusses the statement of the mishna that a woman who discharges on the forty-first day after immersion observes the strictures of a woman who gave birth to both a male and a female, and the strictures of a menstruating woman. Why are the strictures of a woman who gave birth to a male mentioned in this statement? What additional strictures must the woman observe due to the possibility that she gave birth to a male, over and above those she observes for the birth of a female?
If these strictures are mentioned due to the days of impurity that a woman who gave birth to a male must observe, doesn’t the mishna in any case teach that the woman observes the strictures of a woman who gave birth to a female? The seven days of impurity that are observed by a woman who gave birth to a male are included in the fourteen days of impurity that she observes for a female. And if these strictures are mentioned due to the days of purity that are observed by a woman who gave birth to a male, which are fewer than the days of purity that are observed for the birth of a female,