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Steinsaltz

But they deemed pure all items that were under the small openings to the house, i.e., those whose width was less than four handbreadths. And you infer from this statement that the reason the large openings are impure in such a case is that the form of the corpse still exists; but otherwise, i.e., if the corpse was deformed, then even the large openings are pure.

The Gemara explains why one cannot infer from here that a deformed corpse does not impart impurity to other items that are under the same roof: On the contrary, one can infer from this statement in the opposite manner: It is only because the form of the corpse still exists that the Sages deemed pure the small openings of the house; but otherwise, the small openings are also impure, as each and every one of them is fit for taking out the corpse through them, each limb one by one. Consequently, no proof can be derived from this statement in support of the opinion of Reish Lakish.

Ravina said to Rav Ashi: In accordance with whose opinion did Rabbi Yoḥanan say that a deformed corpse imparts impurity to items that are under the same roof? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, as we learned in a mishna (Oholot 2:2): With regard to the ashes of burned corpses that are not mixed with other types of ashes or dirt, Rabbi Eliezer says that its measure for imparting impurity to items that are under the same roof is a quarter of a kav. Clearly, Rabbi Eliezer maintains that a deformed corpse imparts impurity to items that are under the same roof.

The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of this case of a corpse that was burned but its form still exists? How is this possible? Abaye says: It is possible in a case where one burned the corpse on top of a hard leather spread [katavla], which does not burn, and therefore the corpse retains its shape even after it is burned. Rava says: It is possible in a case where one burned the corpse on top of a marble slate [apoderim]. Ravina says: It is possible in a case where the corpse was charred without being reduced to ashes.

§ The Sages taught in a baraita: In the case of a woman who discharges 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 the hand or foot certainly came from a full-fledged fetus. And we are not concerned that perhaps they 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.

Rav Ḥisda and Rabba bar Rav Huna both say: Although the woman observes the period of impurity of a woman after childbirth, we do not give her the days of purity following the period of impurity. What is the reason? Although it is presumed that the discharged limbs came from a full-fledged fetus, it is unknown whether or when the woman discharged the rest of the fetus, and the principle is that a woman who discharges observes her periods of impurity and purity when the majority of the limbs of the fetus emerge. Therefore, one can say that perhaps her childbirth was distant, i.e., the woman discharged the majority of the limbs of the fetus long before she discharged this hand or foot, and consequently her period of purity has already ended.

Rav Yosef raises an objection from a mishna (29a): In the case of a woman who discharges and it is not known what sex fetus she discharged, she shall observe the strictures of a woman who gave birth both to a male and to a female. And if it enters your mind that in any case like this one should say that perhaps the woman’s childbirth was distant, let the mishna teach that the woman shall observe the strictures of a woman who gave birth to both a male and a female, and also observes the strictures of a menstruating woman. Since it is possible that the item she discharged was a limb from a fetus the majority of which she discharged a long time beforehand, then she must forgo the period of purity observed by a woman who gave birth, and treat any blood that emerges during this period like the blood of a menstruating woman.

Abaye says in response: If the mishna had taught that the woman observes the strictures of a menstruating woman, I would say that as her status as a woman after childbirth is uncertain, since she observes the strictures of a menstruating woman with regard to any blood that emerges, she brings an offering like any woman after childbirth, but it is not eaten by the priests. It might be thought that perhaps the woman did not give birth at all and is not obligated to bring the offering, and therefore her bird sin offering cannot be eaten. By omitting the halakha that the woman observes the strictures of a menstruating woman, the mishna teaches us that her offering is eaten. This indicates that she certainly discharged an offspring; the uncertainty is only about when she discharged it.

§ Rav Huna says: If a fetus extended its hand out of the womb and then returned it, its mother is impure with the impurity of a woman after childbirth. This is considered childbirth, as it is stated with regard to Tamar, Judah’s daughter-in-law: “And it happened when she gave birth that one put out a hand…and it happened that as he drew back his hand, his brother came out” (Genesis 38:28–29). Evidently, the fetus extending out its hand was considered childbirth, despite the fact that it subsequently drew back the hand.

Rav Yehuda raises an objection from a baraita: If a fetus extended its hand out of the womb, its mother need not be concerned that she is considered a woman after childbirth with regard to any matter. Rav Naḥman says in response: The meaning of this statement was explained to me personally by Rav Huna himself: With regard to being concerned that she has the status of a woman after childbirth, the woman must be concerned, i.e., she must observe the strictures of a woman after childbirth. But we do not give her a period of days of purity like any woman after childbirth, until most of the fetus emerges.

The Gemara asks: But doesn’t the baraita say that its mother need not be concerned that she is considered a woman after childbirth with regard to any matter? Abaye says: The baraita means that the woman need not be concerned with regard to any matter by Torah law; but by rabbinic law she must be concerned, i.e., she is required to observe the strictures of a woman after childbirth. The Gemara asks: But doesn’t Rav Huna cite a verse as proof for his statement that if a fetus extended its hand out it is considered childbirth? The Gemara answers: This halakha applies by rabbinic law, and the verse is cited as mere support for it, i.e., it is not an actual source.

MISHNA: A woman who discharges or gives birth to a tumtum, whose sexual organs are obscured, or to a hermaphrodite [ve’androginos], who has both male and female sexual organs, shall observe the strictures of a woman who gave birth both to a male and to a female. She is impure for fourteen days like a woman who gave birth to a female, but blood that she sees thereafter is pure only until forty days after birth, like for a woman who gave birth to a male.

In a case where she gave birth to twins, if they are a tumtum and a male, or a hermaphrodite and a male, she observes the strictures of a woman who gave birth both to a male and to a female. But if the twins are a tumtum and a female, or a hermaphrodite and a female, she shall observe the periods of purity and impurity established by the Torah for a woman who gives birth to a female alone. Regardless of the status of the tumtum and the hermaphrodite, the woman’s seven days of impurity and her succeeding thirty-three days of purity are subsumed in the fourteen days of impurity and sixty-six days of purity for a female.

If the fetus emerged in pieces, or if it emerged reversed, i.e., feetfirst rather than headfirst, when most of its limbs emerge, its status is like that of a child born, with regard to the impurity of a woman after childbirth. If the fetus emerged in the usual manner, headfirst, it is not considered born until most of its head emerges. And what is considered most of its head? It is from when its forehead emerges.

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Now that with regard to a woman who gives birth to a tumtum alone, or a hermaphrodite alone, the mishna states that she shall observe the strictures of a woman who gave birth both to a male and to a female, as the sex of the offspring is uncertain, is it necessary for the mishna to rule that if a woman gives birth to twins, a tumtum and a male, or a hermaphrodite and a male, she shall observe the strictures of a woman who gave birth to both a male and a female?

The Gemara answers: It was necessary for the mishna to state this halakha, lest you say that since Rabbi Yitzḥak says that the sex of a fetus is determined at the moment of conception, in that if the woman emits seed first she gives birth to a male, and if the man emits seed first she gives birth to a female, therefore one might say that since this offspring that was born with the tumtum or hermaphrodite is male, that tumtum or hermaphrodite is also male. Consequently, the mishna teaches us that the woman shall observe the strictures of a woman who gave birth to a female as well, as one can say that perhaps both the man and the woman emitted seed at the same time, which would mean that this offspring is male and that tumtum or hermaphrodite is female.

§ Rav Naḥman says that Rav says: In the case of a tumtum and a hermaphrodite who saw a white gonorrhea-like discharge [ziva], for which a man is impure, or who emitted a red discharge that had the appearance of menstrual blood, for which a woman is impure, if they entered the Temple they are not liable for entering the Temple in a state of impurity, as perhaps they are pure, in accordance with their true sex. And if they touched teruma after such a discharge, one does not burn the teruma due to their contact, as although impure teruma must be burned, the impurity in this case is uncertain.

If a tumtum and a hermaphrodite saw white ziva and red blood as one, i.e., they emitted both ziva and blood and are therefore impure regardless of their sex, they are still not liable for entering the Temple, but one does burn teruma due to their contact. The reason they are not liable for entering the Temple, despite the fact that they are definitely impure, is that it is stated: “Both male and female

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)
אדם סלומון
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