Niddah 31b:1נדה ל״א ב:א
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31bל״א ב

שמשהין עצמן בבטן כדי שיזריעו נשותיהן תחלה שיהו בניהם זכרים מעלה עליהן הכתוב כאילו הם מרבים בנים ובני בנים והיינו דאמר רב קטינא יכולני לעשות כל בני זכרים אמר רבא הרוצה לעשות כל בניו זכרים יבעול וישנה

they delay while in their wives’ abdomen, initially refraining from emitting semen so that their wives will emit seed first, in order that their children will be male, the verse ascribes them credit as though they have many sons and sons’ sons. And this statement is the same as that which Rav Ketina said: I could have made all of my children males, by refraining from emitting seed until my wife emitted seed first. Rava says another method through which one can cause his children to be males: One who wishes to make all of his children males should engage in intercourse with his wife and repeat the act.

ואמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי אין אשה מתעברת אלא סמוך לוסתה שנאמר (תהלים נא, ז) הן בעון חוללתי

§ And Rabbi Yitzḥak says that Rabbi Ami says: A woman becomes pregnant only by engaging in intercourse close to the onset of her menstrual cycle, as it is stated: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity” (Psalms 51:7). This iniquity is referring to intercourse close to the woman’s menstrual cycle, when intercourse is prohibited. Accordingly, David is saying that his mother presumably conceived him at this time.

ורבי יוחנן אמר סמוך לטבילה שנאמר (תהלים נא, ז) ובחטא יחמתני אמי

And Rabbi Yoḥanan says: A woman becomes pregnant only by engaging in intercourse near the time of her immersion in a ritual bath, through which she is purified from her status as a menstruating woman, as it is stated in the continuation of the same verse: “And in sin [uvḥet] did my mother conceive me” (Psalms 51:7).

מאי משמע דהאי חטא לישנא דדכויי הוא דכתיב (ויקרא יד, מט) וחטא את הבית ומתרגמינן וידכי ית ביתא ואי בעית אימא מהכא (תהלים נא, ט) תחטאני באזוב ואטהר

The Gemara explains this derivation: From where may it be inferred that this term “ḥet” is a reference to purity? The Gemara answers: As it is written with regard to leprosy of houses: Veḥittei the house” (Leviticus 14:52), and we translate the verse into Aramaic as: And he shall purify the house. And if you wish, say that the interpretation is derived from here: “Purge me [teḥatte’eni] with hyssop, and I shall be pure” (Psalms 51:9). Evidently, the root ḥet, tet, alef refers to purification.

ואמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי כיון שבא זכר בעולם בא שלום בעולם שנאמר (ישעיהו טז, א) שלחו כר מושל ארץ זכר זה כר

§ And Rabbi Yitzḥak says that Rabbi Ami says: When a male comes into the world, i.e., when a male baby is born, peace comes to the world, as it is stated: “Send the lambs [khar] for the ruler of the land” (Isaiah 16:1). This khar, or kar, a gift one sends the ruler, contributes to the stability of the government and peace, and the word male [zakhar] can be interpreted homiletically as an abbreviation of: This is a kar [zeh kar].

ואמר ר' יצחק דבי רבי אמי בא זכר בעולם בא ככרו בידו זכר זה כר דכתיב (מלכים ב ו, כג) ויכרה להם כירה גדולה

And Rabbi Yitzḥak from the school of Rabbi Ami says: When a male comes into the world, his loaf of bread, i.e., his sustenance, comes into his possession. In other words, a male can provide for himself. This is based on the aforementioned interpretation of the word male [zakhar] as an abbreviation of: This is a kar [zeh kar], and the term kar refers to sustenance, as it is written: “And he prepared great provision [kera] for them” (II Kings 6:23).

נקבה אין עמה כלום נקבה נקייה באה עד דאמרה מזוני לא יהבי לה דכתיב (בראשית ל, כח) נקבה שכרך עלי ואתנה

By contrast, when a female comes into the world, nothing, i.e., no sustenance, comes with her. This is derived from the homiletic interpretation of the word female [nekeva] as an abbreviation of the phrase: She comes clean [nekiya ba’a], i.e., empty. Furthermore, until she says: Give me sustenance, people do not give her, as it is written in Laban’s request of Jacob: “Appoint me [nokva] your wages, and I will give it” (Genesis 30:28). Laban used the word nokva, similar to nekeva, when he said that he would pay Jacob only if he explicitly demanded his wages.

שאלו תלמידיו את רבי שמעון בן יוחי מפני מה אמרה תורה יולדת מביאה קרבן אמר להן בשעה שכורעת לילד קופצת ונשבעת שלא תזקק לבעלה לפיכך אמרה תורה תביא קרבן

The students of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai asked him: For what reason does the Torah say that a woman after childbirth brings an offering? He said to them: At the time that a woman crouches to give birth, her pain is so great that she impulsively takes an oath that she will not engage in intercourse with her husband ever again, so that she will never again experience this pain. Therefore, the Torah says that she must bring an offering for violating her oath and continuing to engage in intercourse with her husband.

מתקיף לה רב יוסף והא מזידה היא ובחרטה תליא מילתא ועוד קרבן שבועה בעי איתויי

Rav Yosef objects to this answer: But isn’t the woman an intentional violator of her oath? And if she wishes that her oath be dissolved, so that she may engage in intercourse with her husband, the matter depends on her regret of her oath. One is obligated to bring an offering for violating an oath of an utterance only if his transgression is unwitting. And furthermore, if the purpose of the offering that a woman brings after childbirth is to atone for violating an oath, then she should be required to bring a female lamb or goat as an offering, which is the requirement of one who violated an oath, rather than the bird offering brought by a woman after childbirth.

ומפני מה אמרה תורה זכר לשבעה ונקבה לארבעה עשר זכר שהכל שמחים בו מתחרטת לשבעה נקבה שהכל עצבים בה מתחרטת לארבעה עשר

And the students of Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai further inquired of him: For what reason does the Torah say that a woman who gives birth to a male is ritually impure for seven days, but a woman who gives birth to a female is impure for fourteen days? Rabbi Shimon ben Yoḥai answered them: When a woman gives birth to a male, over which everyone is happy, she regrets her oath, that she will never again engage in intercourse with her husband, already seven days after giving birth. By contrast, after giving birth to a female, over which everyone is unhappy, she regrets her oath only fourteen days after giving birth.

ומפני מה אמרה תורה מילה לשמונה שלא יהו כולם שמחים ואביו ואמו עצבים

And the students further asked him: For what reason does the Torah say that circumcision is performed only on the eighth day of the baby’s life, and not beforehand? He answered them: It is so that there will not be a situation where everyone is happy at the circumcision ceremony but the father and mother of the infant are unhappy, as they are still prohibited from engaging in intercourse.

תניא היה ר"מ אומר מפני מה אמרה תורה נדה לשבעה מפני שרגיל בה וקץ בה אמרה תורה תהא טמאה שבעה ימים כדי שתהא חביבה על בעלה כשעת כניסתה לחופה

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: For what reason does the Torah say that a menstruating woman is prohibited from engaging in intercourse with her husband for seven days? It is because if a woman were permitted to engage in intercourse with her husband all the time, her husband would be too accustomed to her, and would eventually be repulsed by her. Therefore, the Torah says that a menstruating woman shall be ritually impure for seven days, during which she is prohibited from engaging in intercourse with her husband, so that when she becomes pure again she will be dear to her husband as at the time when she entered the wedding canopy with him.

שאלו תלמידיו את רבי דוסתאי ברבי ינאי מפני מה איש מחזר על אשה ואין אשה מחזרת על איש משל לאדם שאבד לו אבידה מי מחזר על מי בעל אבידה מחזיר על אבידתו

§ The students of Rabbi Dostai, son of Rabbi Yannai, asked him: For what reason is it the norm that a man pursues a woman for marriage, but a woman does not pursue a man? Rabbi Dostai answered them by citing a parable of a person who lost an item. Who searches for what? Certainly the owner of the lost item searches for his item; the item does not search for its owner. Since the first woman was created from the body of the first man, the man seeks that which he has lost.

ומפני מה איש פניו למטה ואשה פניה למעלה כלפי האיש זה ממקום שנברא וזו ממקום שנבראת

And the students of Rabbi Dostai further asked him: For what reason does a man engage in intercourse facing down, and a woman engage in intercourse facing up toward the man? Rabbi Dostai answered them: This man faces the place from which he was created, i.e., the earth, and that woman faces the place from which she was created, namely man.

ומפני מה האיש מקבל פיוס ואין אשה מקבלת פיוס זה ממקום שנברא וזו ממקום שנבראת

And the students also inquired: For what reason is a man who is angry likely to accept appeasement, but a woman is not as likely to accept appeasement? Rabbi Dostai answered them: It is because this man behaves like the place from which he was created, i.e., the earth, which yields to pressure, and that woman behaves like the place from which she was created, i.e., from bone, which cannot be molded easily.

מפני מה אשה קולה ערב ואין איש קולו ערב זה ממקום שנברא וזו ממקום שנבראת שנאמר {שיר השירים ב } כי קולך ערב ומראך נאוה

The students continued to ask Rabbi Dostai: For what reason is a woman’s voice pleasant, but a man’s voice is not pleasant? He answered: This man is similar to the place from which he was created, the earth, which does not issue a sound when it is struck, and that woman is similar to the place from which she was created, a bone, which makes a sound when it is struck. The proof that a woman’s voice is pleasant is that it is stated in Song of Songs that the man says to his beloved: “For sweet is your voice, and your countenance is beautiful” (Song of Songs 2:14).



הדרן עלך המפלת חתיכה

מתני׳ בנות כותים נדות מעריסתן והכותים מטמאים משכב תחתון כעליון מפני שהן בועלי נדות

MISHNA: Samaritan girls are considered menstruating women from the time they lie in their cradle. And the Samaritan men impart ritual impurity to the lower bedding like the upper bedding, i.e., all layers of bedding beneath them are impure, and their status is like the bedding above a man who experiences a gonorrhea-like discharge [zav]: The status of both levels of bedding is that of first-degree ritual impurity, which can impart impurity to food and drink. This is due to the fact that Samaritan men are considered men who engage in intercourse with menstruating women.

והן יושבות על כל דם ודם

And they are considered men who engage in intercourse with menstruating women because Samaritan women observe the seven-day menstrual period of ritual impurity for each and every emission of blood, even for blood that does not render them impure. Accordingly, if a Samaritan woman has an emission of impure blood during the seven-day period, she will nevertheless continue counting seven days from the first emission. It is therefore possible that the Samaritan men will engage in intercourse with their wives while they are still halakhically considered menstruating women, as the seven-day period of impurity should have been counted from the emission of the impure blood.

ואין חייבין עליהן על ביאת מקדש ואין שורפין עליהם את התרומה מפני שטומאתן ספק

But one who enters the Temple while wearing those garments upon which a Samaritan had lain is not liable to bring an offering for entering the Temple in a status of impurity, nor does one burn teruma that came into contact with those garments, because their impurity is uncertain.

גמ׳ ה"ד אי דקא חזיין אפילו דידן נמי ואי דלא קחזיין דידהו נמי לא

GEMARA: The mishna teaches that Samaritan girls are considered menstruating women from the time they lie in their cradle. The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of this statement? If the mishna is referring to girls who already see menstrual blood, then even our own, i.e., Jewish girls, are also considered menstruating women under such circumstances. And if it is referring to girls who do not yet see menstrual blood, then their girls, i.e., those of the Samaritans, should also not have the status of menstruating women.

אמר רבא בריה דרב אחא בר רב הונא אמר רב ששת הכא במאי עסקינן בסתמא דכיון דאיכא מיעוטא דחזיין חיישינן ומאן תנא דחייש למיעוטא

Rava, son of Rav Aḥa bar Rav Huna, says that Rav Sheshet says: Here we are dealing with an unspecified case, i.e., it is unknown whether these girls have experienced their first menstrual period. Since there is a minority of girls who see menstrual blood, we are concerned with regard to each Samaritan girl that she might be from this minority. The Gemara asks: And who is the tanna who taught that one must be concerned for the minority?