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that this problem was raised in Rav Oshaya’s chamber, and they came and asked Rav Asi. He said to them: They only stated the obligation to pour water over one who is impure because of a seminal emission with regard to a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission, but a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is clearly exempt from anything and requires no immersion whatsoever. Rav Yosef said: In that case, Rav Naḥman’s jug is rejoined, meaning that it is effective with regard to purification.

Up to now, discussion has focused on various problems pertaining to the laws of immersion as they concern one whose impurity is due to seminal emission. The Gemara asks: Since all of the amora’im and tanna’im disagree with regard to the decree of Ezra, let us examine how Ezra instituted this ordinance, as this is not an uncommon circumstance and we can see how they conducted themselves.

Abaye said: Ezra did not institute a sweeping ordinance concerning every case of one who experienced a seminal emission; rather, he instituted only that a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission is required to immerse himself in forty se’a, while for a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, nine kav are sufficient. And the amora’im came and disagreed with regard to a sick person. One Sage held that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission. However, another Sage maintained that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, and consequently requires only that nine kav be poured over him, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from any form of immersion or purification.

Rava said: Although Ezra instituted immersion for one who experienced a seminal emission, did he institute the pouring of nine kav? Didn’t the Master say that we have a tradition that Ezra only instituted immersion for those who experienced a seminal emission? Rather, Rava said: We must explain that the diverse opinions developed after Ezra’s decree. Ezra himself instituted immersion in forty se’a only for a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission. And the Sages came and instituted that a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission should have nine kav poured over him. And then the amora’im came and disagreed with regard to a sick person; one Sage held that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, another Sage maintained that only a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission is required to immerse himself in forty se’a while a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, requiring only nine kav. But a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from any form of immersion or purification.

Rava stated that the halakhic ruling is in accordance with the first opinion: A healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission and a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission require forty se’a, while a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission suffices with nine kav. But a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from undergoing any rite of purification.

The Sages taught in a Tosefta: One who experienced a seminal emission and had nine kav of drawn water poured over him is ritually pure. In what case is this statement said? In a case involving Torah study for himself, but in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a. Rabbi Yehuda says: Forty se’a is required for purification in any case.

With regard to this issue, a dispute arose between Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, and Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina. One member of this pair and one member of that pair disagreed with regard to the first clause of the Tosefta. One said: That which you said: In what case is this statement said? In a case involving Torah study for himself, but in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a, was only taught regarding a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission, but for a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, nine kav is sufficient even for teaching others. And one said that anyone who teaches others, even if he was sick and experienced an involuntary seminal emission, is not considered pure until there are forty se’a.

And one member of this pair and one member of that pair disagreed with regard to the latter clause of the Tosefta. One said: That which Rabbi Yehuda said: Forty se’a in any case, was only taught when the water is in the ground, in accordance with the Torah law of ritual bath, but not if it was collected in vessels. And one said: Even forty se’a collected in vessels are sufficient for purification.

The Gemara clarifies this problem: Granted, according to the one who said that forty se’a purifies even in vessels. That is why the Tosefta taught: Rabbi Yehuda says: Forty se’a in any case. However, according to the one who said that Rabbi Yehuda’s opinion is that forty se’a in the ground, yes, it purifies, but in vessels, no, it does not purify, what does the expression in any case come to include?

The Gemara explains: In any case comes to include drawn water, as Rabbi Yehuda permits immersion in forty se’a of water collected in the ground even if the water was drawn by human hand.

The Gemara relates that Rav Pappa and Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, and Rava bar Shmuel ate bread together. Rav Pappa said to them: Allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as I am ritually pure because nine kav of water fell upon me; in other words, he poured it over himself. Rava bar Shmuel said to them: We learned, in what case is this statement that nine kav purify, said? In a case involving Torah study for himself. But, in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, and by extension to fulfill the obligation of others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a. Rather, allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as forty se’a of water fell upon me; in other words, I immersed myself in a ritual bath. Rav Huna said to them: Allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as I have had neither this nor that upon me because I remained ritually pure.

It is also said that Rav Ḥama would immerse himself on Passover eve in order to fulfill the obligations of the masses. However the Gemara concludes: The halakha is not in accordance with his opinion that distinguishes between the purification for oneself and purification for the sake of others.

MISHNA: This mishna contains various statements with regard to individuals with different types of ritual impurity as well as the need to distance oneself from filth and impurity. One who was standing in prayer and he recalled that he experienced a seminal emission, and according to this opinion he is prohibited from praying, should not interrupt his prayer, rather he should abridge each individual blessing.

They stated a general principle: One who descended to immerse himself, if he is able to ascend, cover himself with a garment, and recite the morning Shema before sunrise, he should ascend, cover himself, and recite Shema, and if not, he should cover himself in the water and recite Shema there. He may not, however, cover himself in either foul water, or water in which flax was soaked, until he pours other water into it. And in general, how far must one distance himself from urine and feces in order to recite Shema? At least four cubits.

GEMARA: A baraita further elaborates on the first halakha in the mishna. The Sages taught: One who was standing in prayer and he recalled that he had experienced a seminal emission, should not interrupt his prayer. Rather, he should abridge. One who was reading the Torah and recalled that he experienced a seminal emission, does not interrupt his reading, but rather reads quickly with less than perfect diction. Rabbi Meir disagrees and says: One who experienced a seminal emission is not permitted to read more than three verses in the Torah, as one may read no fewer than three verses in the Torah. After he completes three verses, he must stop and let someone else continue.

It was taught in another baraita: One who was standing in prayer and he saw feces before him must walk forward until he has placed it four cubits behind him. The Gemara challenges this: Wasn’t it taught in another baraita that it is sufficient if he distances himself four cubits to the side? The Gemara resolves this contradiction: This is not difficult, as that baraita which taught that it must be four cubits behind him, is referring to a case where it is possible for him to advance that distance, while that baraita which taught that he may distance himself four cubits to the side, is referring to a case where it is not possible to advance four cubits, in which case he must at least step to the side.

The Gemara cites another halakha: One who was praying and later found feces in the place where he prayed, Rabba said: Although he committed a transgression in his failure to examine that venue to determine if it was worthy of prayer (Tosafot), his prayer is a valid prayer and he fulfilled his obligation. Rava strongly objects to his statement: Isn’t it stated: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, the more so as he offers it in depravity” (Proverbs 21:27), from which we derive that a mitzva performed inappropriately is no mitzva at all? Consequently, the fact that he did not pay proper attention invalidates his prayer. Rather, Rava said: Because this person committed a transgression, although he prayed, his prayer is an abomination and he must pray again.

The Sages taught in a baraita: One who was standing in prayer when, for some reason, urine is flowing on his knees, he must interrupt his prayer until the urine ceases, and then resume praying. The Gemara, asks: To where in the prayer does he return when he resumes his prayer? Rav Ḥisda and Rav Hamnuna disagreed; one said: He must return to the beginning of the prayer, and the other said: He must return to the point where he stopped.

The Gemara notes: Let us say that they disagree about this:

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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