סקר
עם סיום מס' שבת





 

Steinsaltz

MISHNA: A woman who sees a blood stain on her flesh adjacent to her vagina [beit haturpa], i.e., a place where blood that originated in her vagina could be found, becomes ritually impure, as there is a concern that it originated in the uterus and is menstrual blood. And if it was discovered on her flesh in an area not adjacent to her vagina she remains ritually pure, as it certainly did not originate in the uterus. If the stain was discovered on her heel or on the tip of her large toe, although it is not adjacent to her vagina she is ritually impure, as blood from the uterus could have reached there.

In a case where the stain was discovered on her leg or on her feet, if it was on the inner side she is ritually impure, as blood from the uterus could have reached there. If it was on the outer side she is ritually pure, and if it was on the sides, either from here, i.e., on the front of her leg or foot, or from there, i.e., on the back of her leg or foot, she is also ritually pure, as blood from the uterus could not have reached there.

In a case where the woman saw a blood stain on her robe, if it was from the belt and below she is ritually impure, as blood from the uterus could have reached there; if it was from the belt and above she is ritually pure. In a case where she saw the stain on the end of the sleeve of the robe, if the sleeve can reach adjacent to her vagina she is ritually impure; and if not, i.e., if the stain is in a place on the sleeve that does not reach adjacent to the vagina, she is ritually pure.

If it was a robe which she would remove and with which she would cover herself at night, wherever on the robe that the stain is found, the stain renders her ritually impure, due to the fact that the robe moves while the woman is asleep and therefore the blood could have originated in the uterus. And likewise with regard to a kerchief [bapoleyos], no matter where the blood is found on the kerchief, the woman is impure.

GEMARA: With regard to the cases discussed in the mishna concerning a blood stain found on a woman, Shmuel says: If a woman examined the ground beneath her to see if it was clean from blood and other substances, and she found nothing, and subsequently she sat upon it and then found blood on it, although it might be assumed that this blood came from her, she is ritually pure. The reason is as it is stated: “And her issue in her flesh shall be blood, she shall be in her menstrual state seven days” (Leviticus 15:19). This verse teaches that a woman does not become impure unless she senses, i.e., experiences some type of sensation, in her flesh that she emitted blood from her uterus. Since this woman did not sense an emission of blood, she is pure.

The Gemara asks: How can Shmuel interpret the verse in this manner? After all, he requires this term: “In her flesh,” to teach a different halakha, that a woman becomes impure by finding blood inside her body just as by seeing blood outside her body, i.e., provided that the blood is uterine blood, even if it is currently situated inside her vaginal canal, she is impure. The Gemara answers: If so, if it serves to teach only that blood inside is like blood outside, let the verse say: In the flesh. What is the reason that the verse states: “In her flesh”? Conclude from this term that a woman does not become impure unless she senses in her flesh.

The Gemara asks: And still, Shmuel requires the term “in her flesh” to teach that she is impure only if the blood touches her flesh, and not through blood found in a gestational sac, nor through blood found in an amorphous piece of tissue that she emitted. The Gemara answers: Conclude two conclusions from this verse, as the plain meaning of the term teaches all these halakhot.

With regard to the opinion of Shmuel, the Gemara suggests: Come and hear a mishna at the beginning of the next chapter (59b): In the case of a woman who is urinating and sees blood intermingled with the urine, Rabbi Meir says: If she urinates while she is standing she is ritually impure, as the blood could have originated in the uterus. And if she is sitting she is ritually pure, as it is clear that the blood is from a wound.

The Gemara analyzes this mishna: What are the circumstances? If she sensed while urinating, then in the case where she is sitting, why is she ritually pure, according to Shmuel? Rather, is it not referring to a case where she did not sense while urinating? And yet the mishna teaches that if she urinates while she is standing she is ritually impure. This indicates that her status does not depend on her sensing, which contradicts the statement of Shmuel.

The Gemara answers: This affords no proof, as the mishna is actually referring to a case where she sensed while urinating, and yet since this feeling accompanied urination, one might say it was the sensation of urine. Consequently, if she urinated while standing, the urine would return to her uterus and bring blood with it. But if she urinated while sitting the urine cannot return to the uterus and therefore she is pure, as the sensation is attributed to her urine.

The Gemara further suggests: Come and hear the mishna below (58b): With regard to an examination cloth that was placed beneath the pillow and blood was later found on the cloth, and it is unclear whether it is the blood of an examination or the blood of a louse that was crushed beneath it, if the stain is round it is ritually pure. There is no concern that this blood might have come from her examination, as a woman examines through an act of wiping and a stain produced in this manner would not be round. And if the stain is elongated it is ritually impure, as this shape can be formed by an examination.

The Gemara analyzes the mishna: What are the circumstances? If she sensed, then in the case where the stain is round why is it pure? Rather, is it not referring to a case where she did not sense? And yet the mishna teaches that an elongated stain is impure. This contradicts the opinion of Shmuel that a woman is rendered impure only if she sensed.

The Gemara answers: No, the mishna is actually referring to a case where she sensed, but since she also performed an examination one might say this was the sensation of the examination cloth. Consequently, if the stain was elongated, as appropriate for a stain produced by an examination, the blood certainly came from her body, whereas if the stain was round it is pure, as this is not the usual appearance of a stain from an examination.

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear another mishna (14a): If blood was found on his, i.e., the husband’s, examination cloth following intercourse, the woman and her husband are both ritually impure for seven days, in accordance with the halakha of a menstruating woman and one who engages in intercourse with her, and they are each liable to bring a sin offering for unwittingly performing an action punishable with excision from the World-to-Come [karet]. If blood was found on her cloth immediately after intercourse, the woman and her husband are likewise ritually impure for seven days and are each liable to bring a sin offering. If blood was found on her swatch after time passed, they are both ritually impure due to uncertainty, as it is possible that the blood appeared only after intercourse, and they are exempt from bringing the sin offering.

The Gemara analyzes this mishna: What are the circumstances? If it is referring to a situation where she sensed, then in the case where blood was found on her cloth after time passed, why are they exempt from bringing the sin offering? Rather, is it not referring to a case where she did not sense? And yet the mishna teaches that if blood was found on her cloth immediately after intercourse, they are ritually impure for seven days and are each liable to bring a sin offering. Once again, this contradicts the opinion of Shmuel. The Gemara answers: No, the mishna is actually referring to a case where she sensed, but since she was engaging in intercourse at the time, one might say this was the sensation of the male organ.

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear from a baraita: You are found to say that there are three uncertainties involving cases where blood is found on a woman or her garments. If a stain is discovered on her flesh and there is uncertainty whether it is impure or pure, the halakha is that it is impure. If it is found on her robe and there is uncertainty whether it is impure or pure, the halakha is that it is pure. And in the case of a woman whose status as a menstruating woman is uncertain, with regard to her touching items and with regard to her moving items, one should follow the majority.

The Gemara analyzes the baraita: What is the meaning of the phrase: Follow the majority, with regard to this woman of uncertain status? Does this not mean that if for the majority of her days she is in a state of ritual impurity, as she emits impure blood on many days, then she is considered impure even when her status is uncertain? And since this baraita does not differentiate between cases where she did and did not sense, the ruling that one follows the majority, and that she is impure, evidently applies even though she did not sense, which contradicts the opinion of Shmuel.

The Gemara answers: No proof may be brought from here, as this is what the baraita means: If on the majority of her days this woman sees blood accompanied by a sensation, she is impure, despite the fact that she is uncertain whether she had a sensation, as one can say she sensed on this occasion as well, but it was not on her mind, i.e., she did not pay attention to it at the time.

Before returning to the opinion of Shmuel, the Gemara analyzes the other clauses of this baraita. The Master said above: If a stain is discovered on her flesh and there is uncertainty whether it is impure or pure, it is impure; if it is found on her robe and there is uncertainty whether it is impure or pure, it is pure. The juxtaposition of these two cases indicates that the blood is found in the same area in both instances.

The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances? If the blood was discovered from the belt and below, then when it was found on her robe why is she pure? But didn’t we learn in the mishna: In a case where the woman saw a blood stain on her robe, if it was from the belt and below she is ritually impure? And if the blood was from the belt and above, then if it was discovered on her flesh why is she impure? But didn’t we learn in the mishna that if she saw blood on her flesh in an area not adjacent to her vagina she remains ritually pure?

The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that the blood was discovered from the belt and below, and if you wish, say instead that it was found from the belt and above. The Gemara elaborates: If you wish, say that the blood was found from the belt and below, as the baraita is referring to a situation where the blood can be attributed to an external factor, e.g., a case where she passed through a marketplace of butchers [tabbaḥim]. Consequently, if the blood is found on her flesh it is assumed that it came from her body, as, if it came from the outside world, it should have been found on her robe as well. If it is discovered on her robe it is assumed that it came from the outside world, as, if it came from her body, it should have been found on her flesh as well.

And if you wish, say instead that the blood was found from the belt and above, and the baraita is referring to a situation where it is possible the blood came from her body, e.g., a case where she jumped backward. Therefore, if the blood is found on her flesh it certainly came from her body, as, if it came from the outside world, it should have been found on her robe as well. And if it is discovered on her robe the assumption is that it came from the outside world, as, if it came from her body, it should have been found on her flesh as well.

The Gemara raises an objection from the baraita to the opinion of Shmuel: In any event, the baraita teaches that if a stain is discovered on her flesh and there is uncertainty whether it is impure or pure, it is impure, and this is the halakha even though she did not sense, which contradicts the opinion of Shmuel. And furthermore, we learned in the mishna that a woman who sees a blood stain on her flesh adjacent to her vagina becomes ritually impure, and this is apparently the halakha even though she did not sense. Rav Yirmeya of Difti says: The ruling of Shmuel that a woman must sense in order to be rendered impure applies only by Torah law. But Shmuel concedes that in all the cases cited above, where it is indicated that a woman is impure despite the fact that she did not sense, she is impure

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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