Yevamot 71bיבמות ע״א ב
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71bע״א ב

מעת לעת

that during the recovery period one must wait from the time the seven days began to the exact same time seven days later, i.e., seven complete twenty-four-hour periods. Therefore, if the child recovered in the afternoon of a particular day, one is required to wait until that same time of day a week later, and only then is he circumcised.

והתני לודאה יום הבראתו כיום הולדו מאי לאו מה יום הולדו לא בעינן מעת לעת אף יום הבראתו לא בעינן מעת לעת

The Gemara asks: Didn’t the Sage from Lod teach that the day of his healing is like the day of his birth? What, is it not that just as with regard to the day of his birth we need not wait from the time he is born to the same time on the eighth day to circumcise him, so too, with regard to the day of his healing we need not wait from the time he heals to the same time seven days later?

לא עדיף יום הבראתו מיום הולדו דאילו יום הולדו לא בעינן מעת לעת ואילו יום הבראתו בעינן מעת לעת

The Gemara refutes this argument: No, the day of his healing is superior to the day of his birth: While from the day of his birth until circumcision we need not wait from the time he is born to the same time on the eighth day to circumcise him, i.e., the child may be circumcised already at the start of the eighth day, from the day of his healing we need to wait seven complete days from the time he heals to the same time seven days later.

רב פפא אמר כגון דכאיב ליה עיניה לינוקא ואיתפח ביני וביני

The Gemara suggests other circumstances where a male child may be present at the time of the eating of the Paschal lamb but absent at the time of its preparation. Rav Pappa said: This would take place, for example, if the baby’s eye hurt him on the eighth day following his birth, which occurred on the eve of Passover, and he recovered in the meantime between the time of the preparation of the Paschal lamb and the time of its eating. In the case of a minor ailment such as eye pain, circumcision is not performed as long as the pain persists, but it may be performed as soon as the child has recovered, without first waiting seven days.

רבא אמר כגון שהיו אביו ואמו חבושין בבית האסורין

Rava said: This would occur, for example, if the infant’s father and mother were incarcerated in a prison at the time of the preparation of the Paschal lamb, and they slaughtered their offering by way of an agent, and there was no one available to circumcise the infant, and the parents were released from prison before the time for eating the Paschal lamb arrived.

רב כהנא בריה דרב נחמיה אמר כגון טומטום שנקרע ונמצא זכר ביני וביני

Rav Kahana, son of Rav Neḥemya, said: This would occur, for example, if the infant was a tumtum, one whose external sexual organs are indeterminate and it is unclear whether the infant is male or female, and in the meantime between the time of the preparation of the Paschal lamb and the time of its eating, he was torn open, his gender was revealed, and he was found to be a male, so that the obligation to circumcise him went into effect.

רב שרביא אמר כגון שהוציא ראשו חוץ לפרוזדור

Rav Sherevya said: This would occur, for example, if seven days earlier the baby had already extended his head, but not the rest of his body, out of the corridor to his mother’s womb. In such a situation he is considered born, but he is fit for circumcision only after his entire body has emerged. If this occurs between the time of the preparation of the Paschal lamb and the time of its eating, the child’s father may not eat of the offering until he has circumcised his son.

ומי חיי והתניא כיון שיצא לאויר העולם נפתח הסתום ונסתם הפתוח שאלמלא כן אין יכול לחיות אפילו שעה אחת

The Gemara poses a question: But in a case such as this, can the child live for such a long period with only his head outside? Isn’t it taught in a baraita: Once a baby emerges into the air of the world, that which had been closed, the mouth and nostrils, open, and that which had been open, the umbilical cord, from which the child had previously received its sustenance, closes, as, if this did not occur it could not live for even an hour, as it has no other way to receive nutrition. If so, this child whose head alone emerged from his mother’s womb would certainly starve, as it cannot take in any sustenance.

הכא במאי עסקינן כגון דזנתיה אישתא אישתא דמאן אילימא אישתא דידיה אי הכי כל שבעה בעי אלא דזנתיה אישתא דאימיה ואיבעית אימא ה"מ היכא דלא מעוי אבל היכא דמעוי מחייא חיי

The Gemara answers: With what case are we dealing here? It is, for example, a case where he was sustained by the heat of a fever and therefore did not need to eat. The Gemara asks: Whose fever? If we say it is his own fever, i.e., the baby himself had a fever, if so, it should be necessary to wait a full seven days after his entire body exits the womb before he can be circumcised, in accordance with the halakha governing an infant who was ill. Rather, it must be that he was sustained by his mother’s fever. And if you wish, say that this principle that a child cannot survive in such conditions applies only when he does not cry, but when he cries he can live, as his crying indicates that he has already started to breathe.

אמר ר' יוחנן משום רבי בנאה ערל מקבל הזאה שכן מצינו באבותינו שקבלו הזאה כשהן ערלים שנאמר (יהושע ד, יט) והעם עלו מן הירדן בעשור לחדש הראשון

§ Rabbi Yoḥanan said in the name of Rabbi Bena’a: An uncircumcised man may receive the sprinkling of the water mixed with the ashes of a red heifer in order to purify himself from ritual impurity imparted by a human corpse, as we do not say that this sprinkling is ineffective as long as he is uncircumcised. As we found that our forefathers received the sprinkling when they were uncircumcised, as it is stated: “And the people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month” (Joshua 4:19), and the verses go on to relate that the men were all later circumcised before sacrificing the Paschal lamb on the fourteenth (see Joshua 5:10).

בעשרה לא מהילי משום חולשא דאורחא הזאה אימת עביד להו לאו כשהן ערלים

The Gemara clarifies: On the tenth day itself they did not circumcise themselves due to the weariness caused by their journey. When, then, was the sprinkling done to them in order to remove the ritual impurity resulting from contact with a corpse, so that they would be fit to bring the Paschal lamb on the fourteenth? The first sprinkling must have taken place no later than the tenth, as there is a four-day waiting period between the first and second sprinklings. In that case, wasn’t the initial sprinkling performed when they were still uncircumcised? This proves that an one who is uncircumcised may receive the sprinkling of the purification waters.

ודלמא לא עבוד פסח כלל לא ס"ד דכתיב (יהושע ה, י) ויעשו את הפסח

The Gemara counters: But perhaps they did not sacrifice the Paschal lamb at all. The Gemara answers: This cannot enter your mind, as it is written: “And they kept the Passover” (Joshua 5:10), meaning they brought the Paschal lamb.

מתקיף לה מר זוטרא ודלמא פסח הבא בטומאה היה א"ל רב אשי תניא בהדיא מלו וטבלו ועשו פסחיהן בטהרה

Mar Zutra strongly objects to this: But perhaps it was a Paschal lamb that comes in a state of impurity? If the majority of the community is ritually impure due to contact with a corpse, they may all sacrifice their Paschal lambs even though they are ritually impure, and there is no need for any sprinkling. Rav Ashi said to him: It is taught explicitly in a baraita that they circumcised themselves, immersed in a ritual bath, and performed the ritual of their Paschal lambs in a state of purity.

אמר רבה בר יצחק אמר רב לא ניתנה פריעת מילה לאברהם אבינו שנאמר (יהושע ה, ב) בעת ההיא אמר ה' אל יהושע עשה לך חרבות צורים וגו'

Rabba bar Yitzḥak said that Rav said: The mitzva of uncovering the corona during circumcision was not given to our Patriarch Abraham. The command given to Avraham included only the mitzva of circumcision itself, i.e., the removal of the foreskin, but not the uncovering of the corona, i.e., the folding back of the thin membrane that lies under the foreskin. As it is stated: “At that time the Lord said to Joshua: Make yourself knives of flint, and circumcise again the children of Israel a second time” (Joshua 5:2). Why was it necessary to circumcise them? Apparently, it is because before the Torah was given on Mount Sinai, some of them had been circumcised in the manner of Abraham, without uncovering the corona, and therefore they needed to be circumcised a second time in accordance with the Torah law that requires uncovering the corona.

ודלמא הנך דלא מהול דכתיב (יהושע ה, ה) כי מולים היו כל העם היוצאים וכל העם הילודים וגו'

The Gemara asks: How may it be inferred that those who were already circumcised required a second circumcision? Perhaps the verse is referring to those who had not been circumcised at all, as it is written: “For all the people who came out were circumcised; but all the people who were born in the wilderness…had not been circumcised” (Joshua 5:5)?

א"כ מאי שוב אלא לאו לפריעה ומאי שנית

The Gemara responds: If so, that it was only those who had never been circumcised who required circumcision, what is the meaning of “circumcise again,” which indicates that they had to be circumcised a second time? Rather, is it not referring to uncovering the corona? And what is the meaning of “a second time,” stated in the same verse? This phrase appears redundant, as the verse already stated: “Circumcise again.”

לאקושי סוף מילה לתחלת מילה מה תחלת מילה מעכבת אף סוף מילה מעכבין בו דתנן אלו הן ציצין המעכבין את המילה בשר החופה את [רוב] העטרה ואין אוכל בתרומה

The Gemara explains: It comes to equate the end of circumcision, when it is necessary to circumcise a second time in order to correct an improperly performed circumcision, with the beginning of circumcision: Just as an incomplete performance at the beginning of circumcision invalidates the circumcision, so too, incomplete performance at the end of circumcision, i.e., the foreskin not being fully removed, invalidates the circumcision. As we learned in a mishna (Shabbat 137a): These are the shreds of flesh that invalidate the circumcision if they are not cut. The essential element of circumcision is the removal of the flesh that covers most of the corona, and a child who was not circumcised in this manner is considered uncircumcised, and he does not partake of teruma.

אמר רבינא ואיתימא רב ירמיה בר אבא אמר רב בשר החופה את רוב גובהה של עטרה

With regard to this issue Ravina said, and some say it was Rav Yirmeya bar Abba who said that Rav said: When the mishna mentioned most of the corona, it meant the flesh that covers most of the height of the corona as well as most of its circumference.

ובמדבר מאי טעמא לא מהול איבעית אימא משום חולשא דאורחא

The Gemara returns to the incident involving Joshua. And what is the reason that they did not circumcise themselves in the wilderness after the Torah had already been given? The Gemara answers: If you wish, say it was due to the weariness caused by their journey. Since they were traveling continuously, they were too weak to undergo circumcision.