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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Issurei Biah - Chapter Three, Issurei Biah - Chapter Four, Issurei Biah - Chapter Five

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Issurei Biah - Chapter Three

1

When a person has relations with the wife of a minor, he is not liable.1[This applies] even to a yevamah with whom a nine year old [brother] had relations.2 Similar [laws apply when] a person has relations with the wife of a deaf-mute,3the wife of a mentally or emotionally unstable individual,4the wife of a tumtum or an androgynus,5a female deaf-mute or a woman who is mentally or emotionally unstable married to a mentally capable individual,6 or a woman whose consecration is of doubtful status or whose divorce is of doubtful status. In all of the above situations, one is not liable. If they willfully transgress, they are given stripes for rebellious conduct.

א

הַבָא עַל אֵשֶׁת קָטָן אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה יְבָמָה שֶׁבָּא עָלֶיהָ בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה פָּטוּר. וְכֵן הַבָּא עַל אֵשֶׁת חֵרֵשׁ וְשׁוֹטֶה וְאֵשֶׁת טֻמְטוּם וְאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס וְעַל הַחֵרֶשֶׁת וְעַל הַשּׁוֹטָה אֵשֶׁת הַפִּקֵּחַ וְעַל אִשָּׁה שֶׁהִיא מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת בְּסָפֵק אוֹ מְגֹרֶשֶׁת בְּסָפֵק כֻּלָּן פְּטוּרִין. וְאִם הָיוּ מְזִידִין מַכִּין אוֹתָן מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת:

2

[The following rules apply if a man] engages in relations with a female minor, the wife of an adult male. If she was consecrated by her father, [the adulterer] is executed by strangulation.7 She is not liable for anything,8 [but] she is forbidden to her husband,9 as explained in Hilchot Sotah.10

If she has the right to perform mi'un11, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct and she is permitted to [remain married] to her husband, even if he is a priest.12

ב

הַבָּא עַל הַקְּטַנָּה אֵשֶׁת הַגָּדוֹל אִם קִדְּשָׁהּ אָבִיהָ הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶנֶק וְהִיא פְּטוּרָה מִכְּלוּם וְנֶאֶסְרָה עַל בַּעְלָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת סוֹטָה. וְאִם הִיא בַּת מֵאוּן מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת וְהִיא מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה כֹּהֵן:

3

When the daughter of a priest commits adultery while married, she is executed by burning, as [Leviticus 21:9] states: "When the daughter of a man who is a priest will begin to commit adultery, [she will be burnt by fire]." [This applies] whether she is married to a priest or an Israelite. [Indeed,] even if her husband was a mamzer13 or a nitin14 or another whom it is forbidden to marry because of a negative commandment,15 [she is given this punishment].

The man who engages in adultery with her is executed by strangulation.16 Similarly, the daughter of an Israelite who is married to a priest is [executed] by strangulation [if she commits adultery] as is the law with regard to any other married woman.

ג

בַּת כֹּהֵן שֶׁזִּנְּתָה כְּשֶׁהִיא אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ. בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה בַּעְלָהּ כֹּהֵן בֵּין שֶׁהָיָה יִשְׂרָאֵל וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיָה בַּעְלָהּ מַמְזֵר אוֹ נָתִין אוֹ שְׁאָר מֵחַיָּבֵי לָאוִין הֲרֵי זוֹ בִּשְׂרֵפָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כא ט) "וּבַת כֹּהֵן כִּי תֵחֵל לִזְנוֹת". וּבוֹעֲלָהּ בְּחֶנֶק. וְכֵן בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל אֵשֶׁת כֹּהֵן בְּחֶנֶק כְּדִין כָּל אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ:

4

When a man has relations with a consecrated maiden, they are both executed by stoning. They are not liable to be stoned to death until the maiden17 is a virgin, consecrated,18 and in her father's home. If she came of age19 or she entered the chupah20 even if the marriage was not consummated, they are executed by strangulation. [The lesser punishment is given] even if the father gave her to the emissaries of the husband21 and she committed adultery on the way.

ד

הַבָּא עַל נַעֲרָה מְאֹרָשָׂה שְׁנֵיהֶן בִּסְקִילָה. וְאֵינָן חַיָּבִין סְקִילָה עַד שֶׁתִּהְיֶה נַעֲרָה בְּתוּלָה מְאֹרָשָׂה וְהִיא בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ. הָיְתָה בּוֹגֶרֶת אוֹ שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לְחֻפָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא נִבְעֲלָה אֲפִלּוּ מְסָרָהּ הָאָב לִשְׁלוּחֵי הַבַּעַל וְזִנְּתָה בַּדֶּרֶךְ הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶנֶק:

5

When a man has relations with a girl who is a minor and is consecrated while she is living in her father's house, he is executed by stoning22 and she is not liable.23 When a consecrated maiden who is the daughter of a priest commits adultery, she is stoned to death.24

ה

וְהַבָּא עַל קְטַנָּה מְאֹרָשָׂה בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ הוּא בִּסְקִילָה וְהִיא פְּטוּרָה. וְנַעֲרָה מְאֹרָשָׂה בַּת כֹּהֵן שֶׁזִּנְּתָה בִּסְקִילָה:

6

When ten men enter into relations with her one after the other while she is a virgin in her father's home, the first is executed by stoning and the remainder, by strangulation.25

When does the above apply? When they had vaginal intercourse. If, however, they had anal intercourse, she is still a virgin and they are all executed by stoning.26

ו

בָּאוּ עָלֶיהָ עֲשָׂרָה וְהִיא בְּתוּלָה בִּרְשׁוּת אָבִיהָ זֶה אַחַר זֶה הֲרֵי הָרִאשׁוֹן בִּסְקִילָה וְכֻלָּן בְּחֶנֶק (בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁבָּאוּ עָלֶיהָ כְּדַרְכָּהּ אֲבָל אִם בָּאוּ עָלֶיהָ שֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ עֲדַיִן הִיא בְּתוּלָה וְכֻלָּן בִּסְקִילָה):

7

When a consecrated maiden was a freed slave or a convert, even if she was freed or converted before she reached the age of three,27 [the adulterer] is executed by strangulation,28 as is the law with regard to all married women.

ז

נַעֲרָה מְאֹרָשָׂה שֶׁהָיְתָה מְשֻׁחְרֶרֶת אוֹ גִּיֹּרֶת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּחְרְרָה וְנִתְגַּיְּרָה וְהִיא פְּחוּתָה מִבַּת שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶנֶק כְּכָל אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ:

8

There is a new law that applies to a person who spreads a malicious report [about his wife].29 What is this new [law]? That if the gossip is discovered to be true and witnesses come [and testify] that she committed adultery when she was a consecrated maiden, even if she committed adultery after she left her father's house and even if she committed adultery after she entered the marriage canopy before she had relations with her husband, she is stoned to death at the entrance to her father's house. Other consecrated maidens concerning whom a malicious report was not spread are executed by strangulation if they committed adultery after they left their father's home, as we explained.30

Thus there are three types of execution for adultery with a married women: strangulation,31 burning to death,32 and stoning to death.33

ח

דִּין חָדָשׁ יֵשׁ בְּמוֹצִיא שֵׁם רַע. וּמַה הוּא הַחִדּוּשׁ. שֶׁאִם נִמְצָא הַדָּבָר אֱמֶת וּבָאוּ עֵדִים שֶׁזִּנְּתָה כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה נַעֲרָה מְאֹרָשָׂה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁזִּנְּתָה אַחַר שֶׁיָּצְאָה מִבֵּית אָבִיהָ וַאֲפִלּוּ שֶׁזִּנְּתָה אַחַר שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לַחֻפָּה קֹדֶם בְּעִילַת הַבַּעַל סוֹקְלִין אוֹתָהּ עַל פֶּתַח בֵּית אָבִיהָ. אֲבָל שְׁאָר נְעָרוֹת מְאֹרָסוֹת שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה לָהֶן דִּין הוֹצָאַת שֵׁם רַע שֶׁזָּנוּ מֵאַחַר שֶׁיָּצְאוּ מִבֵּית הָאָב הֲרֵי הֵן בְּחֶנֶק כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁבְּאֵשֶׁת אִישׁ שָׁלֹשׁ מִיתוֹת. יֵשׁ אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ שֶׁהִיא בְּחֶנֶק. וְיֵשׁ אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ שֶׁהִיא בִּשְׂרֵפָה. וְיֵשׁ אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ שֶׁהִיא בִּסְקִילָה:

9

Where is a consecrated maiden who committed adultery stoned to death? If she committed adultery while in her father's house, even though the witnesses did not testify until she went to her father-in-law's house and married, she is stoned to death at the entrance to her father's house.34 If she committed adultery in her father-in-law's house before her father conveyed her [to her husband], she is stoned to death at the entrance to the gate of the city.35 [This applies] even if [the witnesses] testified concerning her after she returned to her father's house.

ט

וְהֵיכָן סוֹקְלִין נַעֲרָה מְאֹרָשָׂה שֶׁזִּנְּתָה. אִם זִנְּתָה בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הֵעִידוּ עָלֶיהָ הָעֵדִים אֶלָּא אַחַר שֶׁבָּאָה לְבֵית חָמִיהָ (וְנִיסֵת) הֲרֵי זוֹ נִסְקֶלֶת עַל פֶּתַח בֵּית אָבִיהָ. זִנִּתָה בִּבֵית חָמִיהָ קֹדֵם שֵׁיִּמִסֹר אוֹתָהּ הָאָב אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵעִידוּ עָלֶיהָ אַחַר שֶׁחָזְרָה לְבֵית אָבִיהָ הֲרֵי זוֹ נִסְקֶלֶת עַל פֶּתַח שַׁעַר הָעִיר הַהִיא:

10

If witnesses come [and testify] after she comes of age36 or after her husband has relations with her, she is stoned to death in the place for stoning.37[This applies] even if they testify that she committed adultery in her father's home when she was a maiden.38

י

בָּאוּ עֵדִים אַחַר שֶׁבָּגְרָה אוֹ אַחַר שֶׁבְּעָלָהּ בַּעְלָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵעִידוּ שֶׁזִּנְּתָה בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ כְּשֶׁהָיְתָה נַעֲרָה הֲרֵי זוֹ נִסְקֶלֶת בְּבֵית הַסְּקִילָה:

11

If [a woman] was conceived before her mother converted and born after her mother converted, she is stoned at the entrance to the gate of the city.

[The following rule applies to] every woman who is obligated to be stoned at the entrance to the gate of the city. If the city is predominantly populated by gentiles, we stone her at the entrance to the court.39

[The following rule applies to] every woman who is obligated to be stoned at the entrance to her father's house, if she does not have a father or she has a father, but he does not have a house, she is stoned at the place for stoning. The "entrance to her father's house" was mentioned only as a mitzvah.40

יא

הָיְתָה הוֹרָתָהּ שֶׁלֹּא בִּקְדֻשָּׁה וְלֵדָתָהּ בִּקְדֻשָּׁה נִסְקֶלֶת עַל פֶּתַח שַׁעַר הָעִיר. כָּל מִי שֶׁמִּצְוָתָהּ לִסְקל אוֹתָהּ עַל פֶּתַח שַׁעַר הָעִיר אִם הָיְתָה עִיר שֶׁרֻבָּהּ עַכּוּ''ם סוֹקְלִין אוֹתָהּ עַל פֶּתַח בֵּית דִּין. וְכָל מִי שֶׁמִּצְוָתָהּ לִסְקל אוֹתָהּ עַל פֶּתַח בֵּית אָבִיהָ אִם לֹא הָיָה לָהּ אָב אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה לָהּ אָב וְלֹא הָיָה לוֹ בַּיִת הֲרֵי זוֹ נִסְקֶלֶת בְּבֵית הַסְּקִילָה. לֹא נֶאֱמַר (דברים כב כא) "פֶּתַח בֵּית אָב" אֶלָּא לְמִצְוָה:

12

When a person engages in relations many times with one of the arayot, he is liable for kerait or execution by the court for every time he engages in relations.41 Although the court can only execute the person only once, the different times he engages in relations are considered as different transgressions.

Similarly, if a person is liable for several different transgressions for engaging in relations once,42 if he transgressed inadvertently, he must bring a sacrifice for every transgression he performed even though he engaged in relations only once, as will be explained in Hilchot Shegagot43 If he transgressed intentionally, it is considered as if he violated many transgressions. Similarly, there is a situation where a person engages in relations once and incurs liability for lashes many times as will be explained.44

יב

הַבָּא עַל עֶרְוָה מִן הָעֲרָיוֹת בִּיאוֹת הַרְבֵּה חַיָּב כָּרֵת אוֹ מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין עַל כָּל בִּיאָה וּבִיאָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בֵּית דִּין יְכוֹלִין לְהָמִית אֶלָּא מִיתָה אַחַת הֲרֵי הַבִּיאוֹת נֶחְשָׁבוֹת לוֹ כַּעֲבֵרוֹת הַרְבֵּה. וְכֵן אִם בָּא בִּיאָה אַחַת שֶׁחַיָּבִין עָלֶיהָ מִשֵּׁמוֹת הַרְבֵּה אִם הָיָה שׁוֹגֵג מֵבִיא קָרְבָּן עַל כָּל שֵׁם וְשֵׁם. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא בִּיאָה אַחַת כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת שְׁגָגוֹת. וְאִם הָיָה מֵזִיד הֲרֵי זוֹ נֶחְשֶׁבֶת לוֹ כַּעֲבֵרוֹת הַרְבֵּה. וְכֵן יֵשׁ בָּא בִּיאָה אַחַת וְלוֹקֶה עָלֶיהָ מַלְקִיּוֹת הַרְבֵּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר:

13

The term shifchah charufah employed by the Torah refers to [a woman] who is half a Canaanite maidservant and half a freed woman45 who has been consecrated by a Hebrew servant.46 [Concerning the infidelity of such a woman, Leviticus 19:20] states: "They shall not die, because she was not freed."47 If she was freed entirely, one is liable for execution by the court, for she becomes a married woman in a complete sense, as explained in Hilchot Ishut.48

יג

שִׁפְחָה חֲרוּפָה הָאֲמוּרָה בַּתּוֹרָה הִיא שֶׁחֶצְיָהּ שִׁפְחָה וְחֶצְיָהּ בַּת חוֹרִין וּמְקֻדֶּשֶׁת לְעֶבֶד עִבְרִי שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט כ) "לֹא יוּמְתוּ כִּי לֹא חֻפָּשָׁה". הָא אִם נִשְׁתַּחְרְרָה כֻּלָּהּ חַיָּבִין עָלֶיהָ מִיתַת בֵּית דִּין שֶׁהֲרֵי נַעֲשֵׂית אֵשֶׁת אִישׁ גְּמוּרָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת אִישׁוּת:

14

[The laws regarding] relations with this maidservant are different than [those regarding] all other forbidden relations in the Torah. For she is lashed, as [ibid.] states: "There shall be an inquiry."49 He is liable to bring a guilt offering, as [ibid.:21] states: "And he shall bring his guilt offering."50Whether he transgresses intentionally or inadvertently with a shifchah charufah, he must bring a guilt offering.

When he enters into relations with her many times, whether intentionally or unintentionally, he is required to bring only one sacrifice.51 She, however, is liable for lashes for every act of relations if she acted intentionally, as is the law with regard to other instances [where relations are forbidden] by merely a negative commandment.

יד

בִּיאַת שִׁפְחָה זוֹ מְשֻׁנָּה מִכָּל בִּיאוֹת אֲסוּרוֹת שֶׁבַּתּוֹרָה. שֶׁהֲרֵי הִיא לוֹקָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט כ) "בִּקֹּרֶת תִּהְיֶה" וְהוּא חַיָּב קָרְבַּן אָשָׁם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט כא) "וְהֵבִיא אֶת אֲשָׁמוֹ". אֶחָד שׁוֹגֵג אֶחָד מֵזִיד בְּשִׁפְחָה חֲרוּפָה מֵבִיא אָשָׁם. וְהַבָּא עָלֶיהָ בִּיאוֹת הַרְבֵּה בֵּין בְּזָדוֹן בֵּין בִּשְׁגָגָה מֵבִיא אָשָׁם אֶחָד. אֲבָל הִיא חַיֶּבֶת מַלְקוֹת עַל כָּל בִּיאָה וּבִיאָה אִם הָיְתָה מְזִידָה כִּשְׁאָר חַיָּבֵי לָאוִין:

15

When a person just inserts his corona into the female organ of the shifchah charufah, but does not insert the entire organ, he is not liable. [Liability is incurred only when] he inserts the entire organ.52

He is only liable when she is above majority, had engaged in relations previously and acts intentionally and willfully.53 If, however, she is a minor, she had never engaged in relations, or she transgressed inadvertently, was raped, or was sleeping, he is not liable. Similarly, if he had anal intercourse with her, he is not liable, for with regard to a shifchah charufah an equation was not established between vaginal intercourse and anal intercourse, for [Leviticus 19:20] speaks of: "ly[ing] while emitting seed."54 With regard to other [forbidden] relations, the Torah did not distinguish between one type of relations and the other, for [ibid. 18:22] speaks of "the ways [in which a man] lies with a woman." Implied is that the Torah recognizes two ways of lying with a woman.

טו

הַמְעָרֶה בְּשִׁפְחָה חֲרוּפָה וְלֹא גָּמַר בִּיאָתוֹ פָּטוּר עַד שֶׁיִּגְמֹר בִּיאָתוֹ. וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב אֶלָּא עַל הַגְּדוֹלָה הַבְּעוּלָה הַמְּזִידָה וּבִרְצוֹנָהּ. אֲבָל אִם הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה אוֹ שֶׁלֹּא הָיְתָה בְּעוּלָה אוֹ הָיְתָה שׁוֹגֶגֶת אוֹ אֲנוּסָה אוֹ יְשֵׁנָה פָּטוּר [וְכֵן אִם בָּא עָלֶיהָ שֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ פָּטוּר שֶׁבְּשִׁפְחָה חֲרוּפָה לֹא הִשְׁוָה בִּיאָה כְּדַרְכָּהּ לְבִיאָה שֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט כ) "שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע". אֲבָל בִּשְׁאָר בִּיאוֹת לֹא חָלַק בֵּין בִּיאָה לְבִיאָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יח כב) (ויקרא כ יג) "מִשְׁכְּבֵי אִשָּׁה" מַגִּיד [לְךָ] הַכָּתוּב שֶׁשְּׁנֵי מִשְׁכָּבוֹת בְּאִשָּׁה]:

16

In every instance concerning a maidservant where we said there was no liability, he is not liable for a sacrifice and she is not liable for lashes. He,55 however, is given "stripes for rebellious conduct" according to Rabbinic Law56 if they were both adults who acted intentionally.

טז

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ בְּשִׁפְחָה שֶׁהוּא פָּטוּר הוּא פָּטוּר מִן הַקָּרְבָּן וְהִיא פְּטוּרָה מִן הַמַּלְקוֹת. אֲבָל מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם אִם הָיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶן מְזִידִין וּגְדוֹלִים:

17

When a youth nine years old engages in relations with a shifchah charufah, she is given lashes and he is required to bring a sacrifice,57 provided that she is an adult, not a virgin, and acts willfully, as we explained.58For a man is not liable to bring a sacrifice until she is liable for lashes, as [implied by] the verse: "There shall be an inquiry.... And he shall bring his guilt offering."

יז

בֶּן תֵּשַׁע שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד שֶׁבָּא עַל שִׁפְחָה חֲרוּפָה הִיא לוֹקָה וְהוּא מֵבִיא קָרְבָּן. וְהוּא שֶׁתִּהְיֶה גְּדוֹלָה וּבְעוּלָה וּבִרְצוֹנָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. שֶׁאֵין הָאִישׁ חַיָּב קָרְבָּן עַד שֶׁתִּתְחַיֵּב הִיא מַלְקוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט כ) "בִּקֹּרֶת תִּהְיֶה" (ויקרא יט כא) "וְהֵבִיא אֶת אֲשָׁמוֹ":

Footnotes
1.

For there is no concept of marriage with regard to a male below the age of majority.

The term liable in this context means "liable for execution" if the transgression was performed willfully or "liable for a sacrifice" if it was performed inadvertently.

2.

A yevamah is a childless widow whom one of the brothers of the deceased is obligated to marry. Now, relations with a yevamah do not require the conscious intent of the brother who seeks to marry her (Hilchot Yibbum 2:3) and relations carried out by a nine year old are of consequence in certain contexts (Chapter 1, Halachah 14). Hence, one might think that by carrying out relations with the yevamah, the nine year old would acquire her as his wife. See also Hilchot Yibbum 5:18.

3.

A deaf-mute is not considered of sufficient mental capacity to be responsible for his actions. Hence, as the Rambam states in Hilchot Ishut 4:9, he cannot consecrate a woman according to Scriptural Law. Although according to Rabbinic Law, his consecration is binding, he is not held liable for execution or a sacrifice for violating a Rabbinic prohibition.

4.

In this instance, the consecration is not binding even according to Rabbinic Law (ibid.).

5.

As mentioned in the notes to Chapter 1, Halachah 15, there is an unresolved doubt with regard to the halachic status of an androgynus and a doubt with regard to the physiological makeup of a tumtum. Hence we cannot be certain whether the adulterer is engaging in relations with a woman whose marriage is halachicly significant.

6.

Since such women are not considered as capable of making responsible decisions, the man's consecration is not effective according to Scriptural Law. And since the consecration is not effective according to Scriptural Law, there are no punishments that result from it. In particular, however, there is a difference between the two situations, for the consecration of a woman who is mentally or emotionally unstable is not effective at all. The consecration of a female deaf-mute, by contrast, is effective according to Rabbinic Law (Hilchot Ishut, loc. cit.).

7.

He is given the punishment due any adulterer, for the consecration is binding according to Scriptural Law (Hilchot Ishut3:11). This is speaking about a situation where the couple later married. Otherwise, the adulterer would be stoned to death. Also, it is speaking about a situation where the child is over three years old. Otherwise, the relations are not significant.

8.

Neither punishment, nor a sacrifice. For she is a minor and is not responsible for her conduct.

9.

As the Rambam states in Hilchot Gerushin 11:14, a woman who engages in adulterous relations becomes forbidden to her husband.

10.

Chapter 2, Halachah 4. The Ra'avad both here and in Hilchot Sotah differs with the Rambam, basing his objections on Yevamot 33b which states "The seduction of a minor is always considered equivalent to rape." Since she is not responsible for her actions, her consent is of no significance. And if a woman is raped, she is permitted to her husband if he is not a priest (Hilchot Ishut 24:19).

The Maggid Mishneh admits that the question raised by the Ra'avad is substantial, but points to a passage in Ketubot 9a which appears to support the Rambam's decision. The Shulchan Aruch (Even HaEzer 178:3) cites both views without stating which to favor. The Beit Shmuel 178:3 states that the Ra'avad's view is accepted by most authorities.

11.

Mi'un refers to a means of terminating a Rabbinically originated marriage arrangement. When a girl's father is not alive, our Sages gave her mother and/or her brothers the opportunity to consecrate her. This consecration is not binding according to Scriptural Law (see Hilchot Ishut 4:8, Hilchot Gerushin 11:1). Hence, an adulterer is not punished for relations with her.

This law also applies to a deaf-mute and anyone else whose consecration is acceptable only according to Rabbinic Law (Rav David Arameah).

12.

A priest is not allowed to remain married to a woman who engaged in forbidden relations, even if she was compelled to do so. Nevertheless, in this instance, she can end her marriage whenever she desires without a formal divorce, it is as if she was never married. Hence, her "adultery" is not of consequence.

13.

A person born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship whom it is forbidden to marry.

14.

See Chapter 12, Halachot 22-23, which explain that this term refers to a person descended from one of the seven Canaanite nations who converted. Such a person is forbidden to marry into the Jewish people.

15.

When the prohibition against marriage is punishable by execution or kerait, the marriage is not considered valid and there is no punishment for adultery. If, however, it is forbidden only by a negative prohibition, the marriage is binding.

16.

For the Torah states the severe punishment only for the woman herself.

17.

The term maiden has a specific halachic definition: a girl who at the age of 12 (or over) manifested signs of physical maturity. She remains in this category for six months (Hilchot Ishut 2:1).

18.

But not married.

19.

I.e., the six months mentioned above passed.

20.

I.e., completed the marriage ceremony.

21.

For from this time, she is no longer under her father's control.

22.

Although the verse speaks about "a consecrated maiden," relations with even a younger girl are given the same punishment.

23.

Since she is a minor, she is not responsible for her actions and is not subjected to any punishment.

24.

I.e., she is given the more severe punishment.

25.

Because after relations with the first, she is no longer a virgin. Hence, they are given the ordinary penalty for adultery.

26.

For with regard to punishment, there is no difference between anal intercourse and vaginal intercourse.

27.

In which instance, even if she had engaged in relations beforehand, her signs of virginity would return.

28.

Ketubot 44a states that this concept is derived from a Scriptural reference. When speaking of this transgression, Deuteronomy 22:21 states: "He committed an abuse in Israel," i.e., involving a native-born Jewess. In his Commentary to the Mishneh (Ketubot 4:3), the Rambam offers a different explanation, one which has raised questions among the commentaries.

29.

See Deuteronomy 22:13-21 and Hilchot Na'arah, ch. 3, where this instance is discussed. A man enters into relations with his newly-wed wife and afterwards, claims she is not a virgin. Moreover, he produces witnesses who testify that the women committed adultery before entering into relations with him. If the testimony of the witnesses is not disproved, the women is executed as the Rambam continues to explain.

30.

Halachah 4. The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling, explaining that once a woman enters the marriage canopy as a virgin, she is executed by strangulation as are all other married women. The difference of opinion centers on the interpretation of Ketubot 45a. Rashi and Tosafot also differ in their interpretation of that passage.

31.

An ordinary case of adultery.

32.

The daughter of a priest who committed adultery.

33.

A consecrated maiden who committed adultery in her father's house or a maiden about whom a malicious report was spread and it was discovered to be true.

34.

As Ketubot 45a states, this is intended to dishonor her parents, as if to say: "See the offspring which you raised."

35.

As stated in Deuteronomy 22:23. This is a mark of dishonor for the city, a sign that the environment is not moral. The Rambam's ruling is based on his version of Ketubot 45a. Rashi (and the standard published text of that passage) follow a different version.

Or Sameach states that since the transgression did not take place in her father's home, it is not fitting that he be dishonored in this fashion.

36.

I.e., six months after she manifests signs of physical maturity.

37.

As Hilchot Sanhedrin 13:1, 15:1, the place for stoning was a two storey building somewhat removed from the city.

38.

Since she has already come of age, the laws governing her change and she is not stoned at her father's house. If she would commit adultery at this age, she would be executed by strangulation. Hence, when she is punished for the adultery she committed beforehand, her sentence is commuted somewhat and she is not executed at her parents' home (Maggid Mishneh).

The Ra'avad and the Maggid Mishneh himself note that when a man spreads a malicious report about a woman and his statements are proved to be correct, the woman is executed at her father's home. Although she already had relations with her husband, she is executed in the same place as before. This would indicate that her coming of age is also not significant. Rav Akiva Eiger explains that since when a malicious report was proven true, a woman is stoned to death even though she has already married her husband, it obviously is a different type of instance than an ordinary case of a maiden committing adultery.

39.

For the verse mentions stoning her "at the entrance to your gates." If the city is predominantly populated by gentiles, its entrance is not "your gates" (Tosafot, Sanhedrin 45b).

40.

I.e., the optimum manner for the execution to be performed.

41.

With regard to his obligation to bring a sin-offering for inadvertent transgression, see Hilchot Shegagot 5:1 which states that even though a person transgressed several times, as long as he does not become aware of his transgression, he is liable for only one sin offering. If he transgresses inadvertently again after he became aware of his first transgression(s), he must bring another sin-offering.

42.

E.g., he had relations with his brother's wife while she is in the niddah state, in which instance he is liable for relations with a married woman, relations with his brother's wife, and relations with a woman in the niddah state.

43.

Chapter 4, Halachah 2.

44.

Chapter 17, Halachot 9-10.

45.

Such a situation is possible when a Canaanite maidservant was owned by two partners. One released her from bondage and one did not. In this situation, she is obligated to serve her master one day and on the following day, she is free to do as she chooses.

46.

In contrast to other Jewish men, a Hebrew servant is permitted to engage in relations with a Canaanite maid-servant. Hence, the fact that this woman is half a maid-servant will not represent a difficulty for him. And because, she is half a freed woman, he may consecrate her.

47.

And since she was not freed, the Hebrew servant's consecration of her is contingent on her freedom. Until she is freed, they are not fully married.

48.

Chapter 4, Halachah 16.

49.

Keritot 11a interprets this phrase as indicating that she - and not the man - should be given the above punishment.

50.

See Hilchot Shegagot, ch. 9, which describes the particulars of this sacrifice.

51.

Keritot 9a derives this concept through the principles of Biblical exegesis. If, however, he enters into relations with many different maid-servants, he is liable for each act (Ra'avad; Hilchot Shegagot 9:5).

52.

The term literally means "complete relations." Our translation is based on the definition given by the Rambam in Chapter 1, Halachah 10. It must be noted that Tosafot, Yevamot 55b understands Rashi as interpreting the phrase "conclude relations" to mean "to ejaculate." Support for that interpretation is brought from the fact that the prooftext from Leviticus speaks of "lying with her with seed." Somehave also pointed to the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Keritot 2:5 for support for this interpretation.

53.

For Keritot 11a teaches: Whenever the woman is lashed, he is required to bring a sacrifice. Whenever she is not punished, he is not liable. And she is not punished unless she is an adult who acts willfully.

54.

And that is significant only with regard to vaginal intercourse.

55.

This is the version of the standard printed text of the Mishneh Torah. Many authentic manuscripts and early printings state "they," i.e., both the male and the female.

56.

For they committed an immoral act which requires punishment lest they continue the pattern.

57.

Since he is already nine years old, his sexual acts are of consequence. Hence, since she transgressed willfully, she is liable. And since she is liable, he is liable for a sacrifice. For a sacrifice is not punishment, but atonement. Although he is still a minor, atonement is still required. In Hilchot Shegagot 9:3, the Rambam clarifies: "It appears to me that he does not bring [the sacrifice] until he comes of age."

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam's ruling, maintaining that a minor is never required to bring such a sacrifice, for this sacrifice is a punishment. And since the male is not liable, the female is also not liable.

58.

In Halachah 15.

Issurei Biah - Chapter Four

1

[A woman in] the niddah1 state is like all of the other arayot. A person who inserts his corona into her vaginal or anal orifice is liable for kerait. [This applies] even if she is a minor who is three years old, as applies with regard to other arayot.

For a woman can become impure as a niddah even on the day she is born.2 And a girl who is ten days becomes impure because of zivah.3 This concept was communicated through the Oral Tradition. There is no difference between an adult and an a minor with regard to the impurity associated with nidah and zivah.

א

הַנִּדָה הֲרֵי הִיא כִּשְׁאָר כָּל הָעֲרָיוֹת. הַמְעָרֶה בָּהּ [בֵּין כְּדַרְכָּהּ בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא כְּדַרְכָּהּ] חַיָּב כָּרֵת וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה בַּת שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים וְיוֹם אֶחָד כִּשְׁאָר עֲרָיוֹת שֶׁהַבַּת מִתְטַמְּאָה בְּנִדָּה וַאֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם לֵדָתָהּ. וּבַת עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים מְטַמְּאָה בְּזִיבָה וְדָבָר זֶה מִפִּי הַשְּׁמוּעָה לָמְדוּ שֶׁאֵין הֶפְרֵשׁ בֵּין גְּדוֹלָה לִקְטַנָּה לְטֻמְאַת נִדּוֹת וְזָבוֹת:

2

[The prohibitions that apply] to one who has relations with a nidah apply throughout the seven days, even if blood was sighted only on the first day. [These same prohibitions] apply to one who has relations with a woman who gave birth to a male throughout the seven days [following birth], to one who has relations with a woman who gave birth to a female throughout the fourteen days [following birth], to one who has relations with a zavah through the time she bleeds and then counts [seven "clean" days].4 This applies also to a Canaanite maidservant and one who has been freed. All [of these relations] are punishable by kerait.

[The association is derived as follows:] With regard to a nidah, [Leviticus 15:19] states: "She will be in her niddah state for seven days." With regard to a zavah, [ibid.:25] states: "All the days of the flow of her impurity will be like the days of her niddah state."5 With regard to a woman who gave birth to a male,6 [ibid. 12:2] states: "She will become impure as in the days of her nidah affliction." 7 And with regard to a woman who gave birth to a female, [ibid. 12:5] states: "She will be impure as in her niddah state for two weeks."8

ב

וְאֶחָד הַבָּא עַל הַנִּדָּה כָּל שִׁבְעַת הַיָּמִים וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא רָאֲתָה אֶלָּא יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן. וְאֶחָד הַבָּא עַל יוֹלֶדֶת זָכָר כָּל שִׁבְעָה אוֹ עַל יוֹלֶדֶת נְקֵבָה כָּל אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר. אוֹ עַל הַזָּבָה כָּל יְמֵי זוֹבָהּ וּסְפִירָתָהּ. בֵּין שִׁפְחָה בֵּין מְשֻׁחְרֶרֶת הַכּל בְּכָרֵת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר בְּנִדָּה (ויקרא טו יט) "שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תִּהְיֶה בְּנִדָּתָהּ". וּבְזָבָה נֶאֱמַר (ויקרא טו כה) "כָּל יְמֵי זוֹב טֻמְאָתָהּ כִּימֵי נִדָּתָהּ תִּהְיֶה". וּבְיוֹלֶדֶת זָכָר הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא יב ב) "כִּימֵי נִדַּת דְּוֹתָהּ תִּטְמָא". וּבְיוֹלֶדֶת נְקֵבָה (ויקרא יב ה) "וְטָמְאָה שְׁבֻעַיִם כְּנִדָּתָהּ":

3

When does the above - that the impurity is dependent on [the passage of] days - apply? When the woman immersed herself in the waters of a mikveh9 after these specifically mentioned days.10 If, however, a niddah, a zavah or a woman who gave birth did not immerse in a mikveh, a person is liable for kerait for having relations with one of them even several years afterwards. For the Torah made the matter dependent on [the passage of] days and immersion, as [Leviticus 15:18] states: "And they shall immerse themselves [in the water]...." This teaches a general principle with regard to any impure person: he is in a state of impurity until he [or she] immerses.

ג

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁהַטֻּמְאָה תְּלוּיָה בְּיָמִים בְּשֶׁטָּבְלָה בְּמֵי מִקְוֶה אַחַר הַיָּמִים הַסְּפוּרִים. אֲבָל נִדָּה וְזָבָה וְיוֹלֶדֶת שֶׁלֹּא טָבְלוּ בְּמֵי מִקְוֶה הַבָּא עַל אַחַת מֵהֶן אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר כַּמָּה שָׁנִים חַיָּב כָּרֵת. שֶׁבְּיָמִים וּטְבִילָה תָּלָה הַכָּתוּב שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו יח) "וְרַחֲצוּ בַמַּיִם" זֶה בִּנְיַן אָב לְכָל טָמֵא שֶׁהוּא בְּטֻמְאָתוֹ עַד שֶׁיִּטְבּל:

4

The prohibitions against relations with a niddah, a zavah, and a woman after childbirth do not apply with regard to relations with gentile women.11 Our Sages decreed that all gentiles, male and female, would be considered like zavim at all times, whether or not they experienced such discharges,12 with regard to matters of purity and impurity.

ד

הָעַכּוּ''ם אֵין חַיָּבִין עֲלֵיהֶם מִשּׁוּם נִדָּה וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם זָבָה וְלֹא מִשּׁוּם יוֹלֶדֶת. וַחֲכָמִים גָּזְרוּ עַל כָּל הָעַכּוּ''ם הַזְּכָרִים וְהַנְּקֵבוֹת שֶׁיְּהוּ כְּזָבִים תָּמִיד בֵּין רָאוּ בֵּין לֹא רָאוּ לְעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה וְטָהֳרָה:

5

All blood manifest by a woman after childbirth during the 33 days associated with the birth of a male13 and the 66 days associated with the birth of a female14 is called blood of purity.15 It does not prevent a woman from [relations with] her husband. Instead, she immerses herself after seven days [of impurity] for a male and fourteen for a female. She may then engage in relations with her husband16 even though her blood flows.17

ה

כָּל דָּם שֶׁתִּרְאֶה הַיּוֹלֶדֶת בְּתוֹךְ ל''ג שֶׁל זָכָר וְס''ו שֶׁל נְקֵבָה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא דַּם טֹהַר. וְאֵין מוֹנֵעַ אֶת הָאִשָּׁה מִבַּעְלָהּ אֶלָּא טוֹבֶלֶת אַחַר שִׁבְעָה לְזָכָר וְאַחַר אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר לִנִקֵבָה וּמִשַׁמֵּשֵׁת מִטָּתָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת וְיוֹרֵד:

6

All of those who must immerse themselves are required to immerse themselves during the day with the exception of a niddah and a woman after childbirth.18 For with regard to a niddah, [Leviticus 15:19] states: "She will be in her niddah state for seven days." Her niddah state prevails for all of the seven days.19 She immerses on the evening of the eighth day. Similarly, a woman who gives birth to a male child immerses on the evening of the eighth day, and one who gives birth to a female immerses on the evening of the fifteenth day, for a woman who gives birth is comparable to one in the niddah state, as we explained.20

ו

כָּל חַיָּבֵי טְבִילוֹת טְבִילָתָן בַּיּוֹם חוּץ מִנִּדָּה וְיוֹלֶדֶת שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר בְּנִדָּה (ויקרא טו יט) "שִׁבְעַת יָמִים תִּהְיֶה בְּנִדָּתָהּ". הַשִּׁבְעָה כֻּלָּן בְּנִדָּתָהּ וְטוֹבֶלֶת בְּלֵיל שְׁמִינִי. וְכֵן יוֹלֶדֶת זָכָר בְּלֵיל שְׁמִינִי וְיוֹלֶדֶת נְקֵבָה בְּלֵיל חֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר. שֶׁהַיּוֹלֶדֶת כְּנִדָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

7

If she21 delayed the matter for many days and did not immerse herself, when she immerses herself, she should immerse only at night. For if she immerses during the day, an error [may be] made and another niddah may come and immerse herself on the seventh day.

ז

נִתְאַחֲרָה יָמִים רַבִּים וְלֹא טָבְלָה כְּשֶׁתִּטְבּל לֹא תִּטְבּל אֶלָּא בַּלַּיְלָה שֶׁאִם תִּטְבּל בַּיּוֹם יִטְעוּ וְתָבוֹא נִדָּה אַחֶרֶת לִטְבּל בִּשְׁבִיעִי:

8

If a woman was sick or the place for immersion was far away and women could not reach there and return at night because of thieves,22 because of cold, or because they close the gates of the city at night, she may immerse during the day on the eighth - or subsequent - days.23

ח

הָיְתָה חוֹלָה אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה מְקוֹם הַטְּבִילָה רָחוֹק וְאֵין הַנָּשִׁים יְכוֹלוֹת לְהַגִּיעַ לוֹ וְלַחֲזֹר בַּלַּיְלָה מִפְּנֵי הַלִּסְטִים אוֹ מִפְּנֵי הַצִּנָּה אוֹ מִפְּנֵי שֶׁנּוֹעֲלִין שַׁעֲרֵי הַמְּדִינָה בַּלַּיְלָה הֲרֵי זוֹ טוֹבֶלֶת בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁמִינִי אוֹ בַּיָּמִים שֶׁל אַחֲרָיו בַּיּוֹם:

9

Whenever a woman has a veset,24 her husband can assume that she is [ritually pure and] permitted until she tells him "I am impure" or she is established as a niddah in her neighborhood.25

If a woman's husband went overseas and left her ritually pure, when he comes he does not have to ask her [concerning her state]. Even if he finds her asleep, he may enter into relations with her26 as long as it is not the time when she is expected to menstruate.27 He need not suspect that perhaps she is a niddah. If he left her a niddah, she is forbidden to him until she tells him: "I am ritually pure."28

ט

כָּל הַנָּשִׁים שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהֶן וֶסֶת בְּחֶזְקַת טָהֳרָה לְבַעְלֵיהֶן עַד שֶׁתֹּאמַר לוֹ טְמֵאָה אֲנִי אוֹ עַד שֶׁתֻּחְזַק נִדָּה בִּשְׁכֵנוֹתֶיהָ. הָלַךְ בַּעְלָהּ לִמְדִינָה אַחֶרֶת וֶהֱנִיחָהּ טְהוֹרָה כְּשֶׁיָּבוֹא אֵינוֹ צָרִיךְ לִשְׁאל לָהּ אֲפִלּוּ מְצָאָהּ יְשֵׁנָה הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר לָבוֹא עָלֶיהָ שֶׁלֹּא בְּעוֹנַת וֶסְתָּהּ וְאֵינוֹ חוֹשֵׁשׁ שֶׁמָּא נִדָּה הִיא. וְאִם הֱנִיחָהּ נִדָּה אֲסוּרָה לוֹ עַד שֶׁתֹּאמַר לוֹ טְהוֹרָה אֲנִי:

10

When a woman tells her husband: "I am ritually impure," and afterwards she tells him: "I am ritually pure. Before I was just speaking facetiously with you," her word is not accepted.29 If she provides a rationale for her original statements, her word is accepted. 30

What is implied? Her husband asked her to engage in relations and his sister or his mother was together with her in the courtyard. She originally said she was impure. Afterwards, she said: "I am pure. I told you that I am impure only because of your sister or your mother; lest they see us." [In this instance,] her statement is accepted. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.31

י

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁאָמְרָה לְבַעְלָהּ טְמֵאָה אֲנִי וְחָזְרָה וְאָמְרָה טְהוֹרָה אֲנִי וְדֶרֶךְ שְׂחוֹק אָמַרְתִּי לְךָ תְּחִלָּה אֵינָהּ נֶאֱמֶנֶת. וְאִם נָתְנָה אֲמַתְלָא לִדְבָרֶיהָ נֶאֱמֶנֶת. כֵּיצַד. תְּבָעָהּ בַּעְלָהּ וַאֲחוֹתוֹ אוֹ אִמּוֹ עִמָּהּ בֶּחָצֵר וְאָמְרָה טְמֵאָה אֲנִי וְאַחַר כָּךְ חָזְרָה וְאָמְרָה טְהוֹרָה אֲנִי וְלֹא אָמַרְתִּי לְךָ טְמֵאָה אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי אֲחוֹתְךָ וְאִמְּךָ שֶׁמָּא יִרְאוּ אוֹתָנוּ הֲרֵי זוֹ נֶאֱמֶנֶת. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

11

When a man was in the midst of relations with a woman who had been ritually pure and she said: "I became impure," he should not separate himself immediately while he is erect. For withdrawing is as pleasurable for him as entry. If he withdraws while he is still erect, he is liable for kerait,32 like one who enters into relations with a niddah. This law also applies with regard to other arayot.33

What should he do? Implant his toenails in the ground and wait without moving until he loses his erection.34 Afterwards, he should withdraw.

יא

הָיָה מְשַׁמֵּשׁ עִם הַטְּהוֹרָה וְאָמְרָה לוֹ נִטְמֵאתִי לֹא יִפְרשׁ מִיָּד וְהוּא בְּקִשּׁוּיוֹ שֶׁהֲנָאָה לוֹ בִּיצִיאָתוֹ כְּבִיאָתוֹ. וְאִם פֵּרֵשׁ וְהוּא בְּקִשּׁוּיוֹ חַיָּב כָּרֵת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבָּעַל נִדָּה. וְהוּא הַדִּין בִּשְׁאָר עֲרָיוֹת. אֶלָּא כֵּיצַד יַעֲשֶׂה. נוֹעֵץ צִפָּרְנֵי רַגְלָיו בַּקַּרְקַע וְשׁוֹהֶה וְאֵינוֹ מִזְדַּעֲזֵעַ עַד שֶׁיָּמוּת הָאֵיבָר וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִשְׁמָט מִמֶּנָּה:

12

It is forbidden for a person to engage in relations35 with his wife near the time she can expect menstruation to begin,36 lest she menstruate in the midst of relations. [This is alluded to by Leviticus 15:31]: "And you shall warn the children of Israel concerning their impurity."37

For how long [is it necessary to refrain from relations]? If [the woman] would ordinarily begin menstruating during the day, she is forbidden to enter into relations from the beginning of the day. If she would ordinarily begin menstruating during the night, she is forbidden to enter into relations from the beginning of the night.38

יב

וְאָסוּר לוֹ לָאָדָם לָבֹא עַל אִשְׁתּוֹ סָמוּךְ לְוֶסְתָּהּ שֶׁמָּא תִּרְאֶה דָּם בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו לא) "וְהִזַּרְתֶּם אֶת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל מִטֻּמְאָתָם". וְכַמָּה. אִם הָיָה דַּרְכָּהּ לִרְאוֹת בַּיּוֹם אָסוּר לְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִתְּחִלַּת הַיּוֹם. וְאִם הָיָה דַּרְכָּהּ לִרְאוֹת בַּלַּיְלָה אָסוּר לְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִתְּחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה:

13

If the time when menstruation could be expected to come passes and she did not begin menstruating, she is permitted to engage in relations after the time when menstruation was expected to begin passes.

What is implied? If she was accustomed to begin menstruating after six hours of the day passed. She is forbidden to engage in relations from the beginning of the day. If six hours pass without her beginning to menstruate, she is forbidden to engage in relations until the evening. 39 Similarly, if she was accustomed to begin menstruating after six hours of the night and that time passed without her beginning to menstruate, she is forbidden to engage in relations until sunrise.

יג

עָבַר וֶסְתָּהּ וְלֹא רָאֲתָה מֻתֶּרֶת לְשַׁמֵּשׁ אַחַר שֶׁתַּעֲבֹר עוֹנַת הַוֶּסֶת. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה דַּרְכָּהּ לִרְאוֹת בְּשֵׁשׁ שָׁעוֹת בַּיּוֹם אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִתְּחִלַּת הַיּוֹם. עָבְרוּ שֵׁשׁ שָׁעוֹת בַּיּוֹם וְלֹא רָאֲתָה אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ עַד לָעֶרֶב. וְכֵן אִם הָיָה דַּרְכָּהּ לִרְאוֹת בְּשֵׁשׁ שָׁעוֹת בַּלַּיְלָה וְעָבְרוּ וְלֹא רָאֲתָה אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ עַד שֶׁתִּזְרַח הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ:

14

It is the habit of Jewish men and women to carry out a personal inspection after relations.40 What is implied? The man should clean himself with a cloth prepared for [this purpose] and the woman should clean herself with a cloth prepared for [this purpose]. [The purpose of these inspections is] to see whether the woman menstruated in the midst of relations. The man may allow the woman to check with his cloth. Since her word is accepted with regard to her [cloth], it is also accepted with regard to his.

יד

דֶּרֶךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּבְנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעוֹלָם לִבְדֹּק עַצְמָם אַחַר הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ. כֵּיצַד. מְקַנֵּחַ הָאִישׁ עַצְמוֹ בְּמַטְלִית נְכוֹנָה לוֹ וּמְקַנַּחַת הָאִשָּׁה עַצְמָהּ בְּמַטְלִית נְכוֹנָה לָהּ וְרוֹאִין בָּהֶן שֶׁמָּא רָאֲתָה דָּם בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ. וְיֵשׁ לָאִישׁ לְהָנִיחַ אִשְׁתּוֹ שֶׁתִּבְדֹּק בְּמַטְלִית שֶׁלּוֹ מִתּוֹךְ שֶׁנֶּאֱמֶנֶת עַל שֶׁלָּהּ נֶאֱמֶנֶת עַל שֶׁלּוֹ:

15

The cloths used to clean oneself must be from worn-out,41 white42 linen.43 They are called eidim, "witnesses," in this context. The cloth with which the man cleans himself is called his ed and the cloth with which the woman cleans himself is called her ed.

טו

בְּגָדִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁמְּקַנְּחִין בָּהֶן צְרִיכִין שֶׁיִּהְיוּ שֶׁל פִּשְׁתָּן שַׁחֲקִים וּלְבָנִים וְהֵם הַנִּקְרָאִים עֵדִים בְּעִנְיָן זֶה. וְהַבֶּגֶד שֶׁמְּקַנֵּחַ בּוֹ הוּא נִקְרָא עֵד שֶׁלּוֹ. וְהַבֶּגֶד שֶׁמְּקַנַּחַת הִיא בּוֹ נִקְרָא עֵד שֶׁלָּהּ:

16

Modest women do not engage in relations until they carry out an inspection beforehand.44 A woman who does not have a [fixed] veset is forbidden to engage in relations until she carries out an inspection.45 Therefore, she engages in relation with two edim, one for before relations and one for afterwards. When, however, a woman has a [fixed] veset, she need not use an ed before relations except as a measure of modesty.

After relations, however, everyone needs two witnesses: one for him and one for her, even a pregnant woman, one who is nursing, an elderly woman, or a minor46A virgin47 or a woman whose blood is pure48 does not require edim, because blood is flowing from her.49

טז

הַצְּנוּעוֹת אֵין מְשַׁמְּשׁוֹת אֶלָּא עַד שֶׁיִּבְדְּקוּ עַצְמָן תְּחִלָּה קֹדֶם תַּשְׁמִישׁ. וְאִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ וֶסֶת אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ עַד שֶׁתִּבְדֹּק. לְפִיכָךְ הִיא מְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת בִּשְׁנֵי עֵדִים אֶחָד לִפְנֵי הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ וְאֶחָד לְאַחַר הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ. אֲבָל אִשָּׁה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ וֶסֶת אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה עֵד לִפְנֵי תַּשְׁמִישׁ אֶלָּא מִשּׁוּם צְנִיעוּת בִּלְבַד. אֲבָל אַחַר תַּשְׁמִישׁ הַכּל צְרִיכִין שְׁנֵי עֵדִים אֶחָד לוֹ וְאֶחָד לָהּ אֲפִלּוּ מְעֻבֶּרֶת וּמֵינִיקָה וּזְקֵנָה. וּקְטַנָּה לֹא תְּשַׁמֵּשׁ אֶלָּא בִּשְׁנֵי עֵדִים אֶחָד לוֹ וְאֶחָד לָהּ. אֲבָל בְּתוּלָה וְיוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל דַּם טֹהַר אֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה עֵדִים שֶׁהֲרֵי הַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת מִמֶּנָּה:

17

When a man engages in intercourse several times [in one night], [he and his wife] do not have to check their two edim after each time they engage in intercourse. Instead, he should clean himself with his ed, she should clean herself with her ed after each time they have relations that entire night. In the morning, they should check the edim. If blood is discovered on her ed or on his ed, she is impure.

If a women engaged in relations, cleaned herself, and then the ed was lost, she should not engage in relations again until she makes an internal inspection with another ed first. [We fear that] perhaps there was blood on the ed that was lost.50

יז

הַמְשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתוֹ פְּעָמִים רַבּוֹת אֵינָן צְרִיכִין לִבְדֹּק שְׁנֵי הָעֵדִים שֶׁלָּהֶן עַל כָּל בִּיאָה וּבִיאָה. אֶלָּא מְקַנֵּחַ הוּא בְּעֵד שֶׁלּוֹ וְהִיא בְּעֵד שֶׁלָּהּ אַחַר כָּל בִּיאָה וּבִיאָה שֶׁל כָּל הַלַּיְלָה וּלְמָחָר יִבְדְּקוּ הָעֵדִים. נִמְצָא הַדָּם עַל עֵד שֶׁלָּהּ אוֹ עַל עֵד שֶׁלּוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה. שִׁמְּשָׁה מִטָּתָהּ וְקִנְּחָה עַצְמָהּ וְאָבַד הָעֵד הֲרֵי זוֹ לֹא תְּשַׁמֵּשׁ פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה עַד שֶׁתִּבְדֹּק בְּעֵד אַחֵר תְּחִלָּה. שֶׁמָּא דָּם הָיָה עַל הָעֵד שֶׁאָבַד:

18

[The following rules apply if] she placed the ed51 under a pillow or a bolster and blood was discovered upon it. If [the stain] is extended, she is impure. For we can assume that [the stain] came from the cleaning.52 If it is rounded,53 she is pure. [We assume that the stain] came only from the blood of a louse which was killed under the pillow.54

יח

הִנִּיחָה הָעֵד תַּחַת הַכַּר אוֹ תַּחַת הַכֶּסֶת וְנִמְצָא עָלָיו דָּם. אִם מָשׁוּךְ טְמֵאָה שֶׁחֶזְקָתוֹ מִן הַקִּנּוּחַ. וְאִם הָיָה עָגל טְהוֹרָה שֶׁאֵין זֶה אֶלָּא דַּם מַאֲכלֶת שֶׁנֶּהֶרְגָה תַּחַת הַכַּר:

19

[When a woman] cleaned herself with an ed that has been checked, then touched it to her thigh,55 and on the next day discovered blood upon it, she is impure. We do not say: Maybe a louse was killed when she touched it to her thigh.56

[The following rules apply if] she cleaned herself with an ed that was not checked57 and she did not know whether it had blood on it before she cleaned herself with it or not. If there was more than a gris of blood [on it], she is [considered] a niddah.58 If the stain was less than that, she is pure. [We assume that the stain] came from a louse.

יט

קִנְּחָה עַצְמָהּ בְּעֵד הַבָּדוּק לָהּ וְטָחֲתוֹ בִּירֵכָהּ וּלְמָחָר נִמְצָא עָלָיו דָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים שֶׁמָּא כְּשֶׁטָּחָה אוֹתָהּ בִּירֵכָהּ נֶהֶרְגָה מַאֲכלֶת. קִנְּחָה עַצְמָהּ בְּעֵד שֶׁאֵינוֹ בָּדוּק לָהּ וְלֹא יָדְעָה אִם הָיָה עָלָיו דָּם קֹדֶם שֶׁתְּקַנֵּחַ בּוֹ אוֹ לֹא הָיָה. נִמְצָא עָלָיו דָּם אִם הָיָה הַדָּם כִּגְרִיס וְעוֹד הֲרֵי זוֹ נִדָּה. הָיָה פָּחוֹת מִכֵּן טְהוֹרָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִן הַמַּאֲכלֶת:

20

When a woman suffers vaginal bleeding in the midst of relations,59she is permitted to engage in relations again a second time once she becomes pure.60 If she suffers vaginal bleeding [in the midst of relations] a second time, she is permitted to engage in relations a third time. If she suffers vaginal bleeding [in the midst of relations] a third time,61 she is forbidden to ever enter into relations again with this husband.62

When does the above apply? When there was no other factor that [the bleeding] could be attributed to.63 If, however, they entered into relations close to the time when she was expected to menstruate,64 we attribute [the bleeding] to her ordinary pattern. If she had a wound [in her vaginal area], we attribute [the bleeding] to the wound. If, however, the blood that comes from the wound is a different shade than the blood which she sees in the midst of relations, she may not attribute [the bleeding] to the wound.65

We accept the word of a woman when she says: "If have a wound in the uterus which bleeds."66 On this basis, she is permitted to her husband even though the uterus bleeds in the midst of relations.

כ

מִי שֶׁרָאֲתָה דָּם בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לְשַׁמֵּשׁ כְּשֶׁתִּטְהַר פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה. רָאֲתָה דָּם בְּפַעַם שְׁנִיָּה מְשַׁמֶּשֶׁת פַּעַם שְׁלִישִׁית. רָאֲתָה דָּם בַּשְּׁלִישִׁית הֲרֵי זוֹ אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ עִם בַּעַל זֶה לְעוֹלָם. בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים בְּשֶׁלֹּא הָיָה שָׁם דָּבָר לִתְלוֹת בּוֹ. אֲבָל אִם שִׁמְּשָׁה סָמוּךְ לְוֶסְתָּהּ תּוֹלָה בַּוֶּסֶת. הָיְתָה בָּהּ מַכָּה תּוֹלָה בַּמַּכָּה. וְאִם הָיָה דַּם מַכָּתָהּ מְשֻׁנֶּה מִדָּם שֶׁתִּרְאֶה בְּעֵת הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ אֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה בַּמַּכָּה. וְנֶאֱמֶנֶת אִשָּׁה לוֹמַר מַכָּה יֵשׁ לִי בְּתוֹךְ הַמָּקוֹר שֶׁמִּמֶּנָּה הַדָּם יוֹצֵא וְתִהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁדָּם יוֹצֵא מִן הַמָּקוֹר בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ:

21

When a woman bled in the midst of relations on three [successive] occasions and there was no outside factor to which to attribute [the bleeding], she is required to divorce. She may, however, marry a second husband.67 If she married a second time and bled in the midst of relations on three [successive] occasions, she is required to divorce, but she may marry a third man. If, however, she married a third time and bled in the midst of relations on three [successive] occasions, she is required to divorce and she may not marry again68 until she is healed from this sickness.

כא

מִי שֶׁרָאֲתָה דָּם בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ פַּעַם רִאשׁוֹנָה וּשְׁנִיָּה וּשְׁלִישִׁית וְאֵין שָׁם דָּבָר לִתְלוֹת בּוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ תִּתְגָּרֵשׁ וּמֻתֶּרֶת לְהִנָּשֵׂא לְשֵׁנִי. נִשֵּׂאת לְשֵׁנִי וְרָאֲתָה דָּם כָּךְ בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים הֲרֵי זוֹ תִּתְגָּרֵשׁ וְתִנָּשֵׂא לִשְׁלִישִׁי. נִשֵּׂאת לִשְׁלִישִׁי וְרָאֲתָה דָּם כָּךְ בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים הֲרֵי זוֹ תִּתְגָּרֵשׁ וַאֲסוּרָה לְהִנָּשֵׂא עַד שֶׁתַּבְרִיא מֵחלִי זֶה:

22

How does a woman check herself to see whether she has been healed from this sickness?69 She brings a lead tube with its edge doubled over inside of it.70 She inserts the tube into her vagina until the place it can reach. She then places a shaft within the tube with a cotton swab placed at its top. She pushes [the shaft] until the swab reaches the opening of the uterus and then takes out the swab. If blood is found on the top of swab, it can be assumed that the blood discovered in the midst of relations comes from the uterus.71 If there was no blood on the swab, it can be assumed that the blood discovered [in the midst of relations] comes from pressure on the sides of the vaginal channel.72 She is pure and may marry another man, as stated in Hilchot Ishut.73

כב

כֵּיצַד בּוֹדֶקֶת עַצְמָהּ לֵידַע אִם נִרְפֵּאת אוֹ לֹא נִרְפֵּאת. מְבִיאָה שְׁפוֹפֶרֶת שֶׁל אֲבַר וּפִיהָ רָצוּף לְתוֹכָהּ וּמַכְנֶסֶת הַשְּׁפוֹפֶרֶת עַד מָקוֹם שֶׁהִיא יְכוֹלָה. וּמַכְנֶסֶת בְּתוֹךְ הַשְּׁפוֹפֶרֶת מִכְחוֹל וּמוֹךְ מֻנָּח עַל רֹאשׁוֹ וְדוֹפֶקֶת אוֹתוֹ עַד שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ הַמּוֹךְ לְצַוַּאר הָרֶחֶם וּמוֹצִיאָה הַמּוֹךְ. אִם נִמְצָא דָּם עַל רֹאשׁ הַמּוֹךְ בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁהַדָּם שֶׁהִיא רוֹאָה בִּשְׁעַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ מִן הַמָּקוֹר. וְאִם לֹא נִמְצָא עַל הַמּוֹךְ כְּלוּם בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁהַדָּם שֶׁרוֹאָה מִדֹּחַק הַצְּדָדִין וּטְהוֹרָה הִיא וּמֻתֶּרֶת לְהִנָּשֵׂא לַאֲחֵרִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת אִישׁוּת:

Footnotes
1.

As will be explained, the term niddah refers to a woman who suffers vaginal bleeding at the expected time of her monthly period.

2.

Although a woman usually does not begin menstrual bleeding until around the age of twelve. If, however, she does have menstrual bleeding before then, she is bound by the halachic consequences.

3.

For if a woman bleeds for three consecutive days after the seven days associated with her menstrual period, she is considered as a zavah. The first three days this is possible is the eighth, ninth, and tenth days of her life.

Altough she can become impure from the day of her birth onward, punishment is not allotted for relations with her until she becomes three. For only at that age are relations with her significant, as stated in Chapter 1, Halachah 13.

4.

See Chapter 6, Halachah 8.

5.

Thus establishing an association between the two.

6.

See Chapter 10.

7.

See Chapter 6, Halachah 8.

8.

See Chapter 6, Halachah 8.

9.

A ritual bath that meets the qualifications for this purpose. If she immersed herself in an ordinary bath, by contrast, that is not acceptable as explained in Hilchot Mikveot.

10.

If a niddah immerses herself in the middle of these days, however, the immersion is of no consequence.

11.

Although relations with gentile women are forbidden, none of these particular transgressions apply according to Scriptural Law. For all the defined states of ritual purity and impurity apply only with regard to the Jewish people. The fact that a gentile woman experiences the same physical conditions is not of consequence.

12.

I.e., this was a decree imposed to prevent intimate contact with them, regardless of their physical condition. See Hilchot Mitam'ei Mishkav UMoshav 2:10.

13.

As the Torah relates (Leviticus 12:2-4), after the birth of a male child a woman becomes impure for seven days. Afterwards, she immerses herself to regain ritual purity. For the next 33 days, even if she suffers uterine bleeding, her state does not change and she remains ritually pure.

14.

As ibid.:5 states, similar concepts apply after a woman gives birth to a female except that she originally becomes impure for 14 days. Afterwards, she remains pure for 66 days.

15.

Niddah 36a relates that there is one source of bleeding - the womb - for all 40 (or 80) days. It is just that during the first 7 (14), the Torah rules that this blood is impure and during the final 33 (66), the Torah rules that the blood is pure.

16.

The Kessef Mishneh cites Chapter 7, Halachah 7, which states that the above applies only when a woman is not impure because of zavah bleeding before childbirth. If she is impure for such reasons, she must count seven "clean" days before she immerses herself and engages in relations with her husband.

Also, as will be explained (see Chapter 11, Halachot 5-6), at present the custom is not to observe the concept of blood of purity at all. Even if a woman gives birth, she must wait "seven clean days" after seeing any uterine bleeding.

17.

I.e., she suffers uterine bleeding which would otherwise render her ritually impure.

18.

At present when we do not make any distinctions between niddah and zivah, all women immerse themselves at night.

19.

She cannot terminate the last day earlier by immersing herself in the daytime.

20.

In Halachah 2.

21.

A niddah or a woman after childbirth.

22.

Although such problems are uncommon today, there are several examples - e.g., woman living in new settlements in Israel's West Bank - where these principles are relevant.

23.

She should not, however, immerse herself on the seventh day even if she refrains from engaging in relations until nightfall [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 197:4)].

24.

A fixed time when the onset of menstruation can be expected to begin, as will be explained. Since she has a fixed time when menstruation is expected, at other times, we assume that she remains ritually pure. If she does not have a fixed time when menstruation can be expected to begin, her husband must ask her concerning her state. He cannot make any assumptions (Maggid Mishneh, Kessef Mishneh).

25.

By wearing clothes designated to be worn at this time.

26.

Without inquiring about her ritual state.

27.

Even if there was ample time for her to have become impure due to menstruation, to wait the appointed time, and then to immerse herself, he may assume that she did that. Since she was pure when he left her, we may assume that all of the above transpired [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 184:11)].

28.

Since he knows that she was ritually impure, he cannot assume that she changed her status. Instead, she must explicitly inform him of that change [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 185:1)].

29.

And he must consider her as if she is actually ritually impure.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 185:3) states that if she corrects her statements immediately, her word is accepted.

30.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 185:4) state that if she performed an act that indicated that she was impure, e.g., she wore the clothes that she wears in the niddah state, providing a valid explanation is not sufficient to clear the suspicions and she is considered impure.

31.

E.g., "I originally made a mistake. I thought I was impure according to law and discovered that in fact I was pure," "I did not have strength to engage in relations and avoided them by giving this excuse" (Hagahot Maimoniot).

32.

The Ramah (Yoreh De'ah 185:5) states that if a person withdraws while erect because he is unfamiliar with the transgression involved, he should fast for 40 days to seek atonement. These fasts need not be consecutive. He should also give generously to charity.

33.

I.e., if a person realized his transgression while involved in relations with other arayot, he should not withdraw while erect.

34.

The Rama (loc. cit.) adds that he should be overcome with awe concerning the transgression which he faces.

35.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 184:2) state that it is only necessary to refrain from relations, other expressions of closeness are permitted. Even hugging and kissing are permitted (Siftei Cohen 184:6). This, however, represents the mere letter of the law. There are many authorities who are more stringent and forbid these expressions of closeness (ibid., Turei Zahav 184:3). In some communities, the custom is to observe all stringencies as if the woman was actually a niddah.

36.

See ch. 8, which elaborates on this subject, speaking about situation when women have a fixed veset or a veset that has not been firmly established.

37.

The entire concept of vesetot, calculating the expected time when a woman will begin menstruating is a Rabbinic injunction. Hence the citation of a Scriptural verse is merely an asmachta, a support, and not a direct Scriptural command (Maggid Mishneh).

38.

The Siftei Cohen 184:7 states that this applies only when a woman is accustomed to begin menstruating at a given time during the day or night. If, however, she does not have a fixed time when she begins menstruating, relations are also forbidden during the preceding day or night. This stringency is not, however, accepted by all authorities.

39.

During the evening, however, she is permitted. Before entering into relations, the woman should carry out an internal examination to verify that she in fact did not begin menstruation [Tur, Rama (Yoreh De'ah 184:9)].

40.

This ruling is mentioned by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 186:1) as a minority perspective. The prevailing view is that when a woman possesses a fixed veset, she and her husband need not carry out such inspections at all. If she does not possess a fixed veset, she and her husband should carry out these inspections before and after the first three times they engage in relations. If no blood is discovered, it is established that sexual relations does not cause the woman to menstruate. Hence, in the future, the couple can engage in relations without making these inspections.

41.

Since they are worn-out, they are soft and pliable. It is possible for the woman to insert them into all the corners of the vagina.

42.

In this way, any speck of blood will be noticeable. Needless to say, they must also be clean. Today, in many Jewish communities, special clothes are prepared for this purpose - and other inspections which a woman must undergo - and are available from the local mikveh and at times, even in pharmacies.

43.

Cotton may also be used [Kessef Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 196:6)].

44.

As the Rambam continues to explain, this applies even if she has a fixed veset.

45.

The Ra'avad and Rav Moshe Cohen object to the Rambam's ruling, explaining that the Rambam's source, Niddah 11b, applies only with regard to the laws of ritual purity and not with regard to relations with one's husband. Indeed, the Rambam himself appears to have equivocated back and forth concerning the issue. In the first draft (which is the standard printed text) of his Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 1:7), he follows the position advanced by the Ra'avad. It is only in the Mishneh Torah and the final text of the Commentary to the Mishneh (see Rav Kappach's translation) that he changes his mind.

Although the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 186:2) quotes the Rambam's ruling here as a minority view, the prevailing opinion is that such an inspection is unnecessary. Moreover, a woman should not carry out such an inspection in the presence of her husband, lest he think that she became impure.

46.

All these four types of women are unlikely to menstruate. Nevertheless, they must take the precaution suggested by the Rambam.

47.

Who will suffer hymeneal bleeding after the first (or more) occasions of intercourse. See Chapter 5, Halachah 19.

48.

I.e., a woman after childbirth, as described in Halachah 5.

49.

Thus checking to see whether or not she is bleeding will serve no purpose. This bleeding does not, however, render her ritually impure or forbidden to her husband according to Scriptural Law.

50.

If, however, the ed is clean, we assume that the ed she used at night had also been clean.

51.

This is speaking about an ed that was known to be clean beforehand (Maggid Mishneh).

52.

Since the stain is extended, we assume that the woman had touched a source of bleeding. As she moved the ed, the stain became extended.

53.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:34) states that this applies only when the stain is smaller than a gris (see Chapter 9, Halachah 6). If it is larger than that measure, we do not assume that it comes from a louse, because it is unlikely that a louse will produce that much blood.

54.

This applies even if there is no trace of the body of the louse. We assume that when she put the ed under the pillow, she killed the louse and that produced a rounded stain. If she placed the ed in a box or in any place where a louse is unlikely to be found, she is considered as impure even if the stain is round (Maggid Mishneh).

55.

And afterwards, placed it in a safe place.

56.

For the likelihood of her suffering vaginal bleeding is greater than that of her killing a louse when touching the eid to her thigh. The Maggid Mishneh interprets the Rambam's ruling as applying even if the stain is round. He notes that other authorities differ and apply the principles stated in the previous law. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:35) quotes both opinions without stating which to follow.

57.

This refers to an ed which we do not know whether it was dirty or not. If, however, we know that the ed was dirty, she is not considered impure even if a large stain is found [Rama (Yoreh De'ah 190:36)].

58.

When a stain is larger than a gris, we assume that it will not have come from a louse.

59.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 187:1) emphasizes that these laws apply only when the bleeding is noticed directly after intercourse. If there is an interval before she discovers the bleeding, these laws do not apply.

60.

For an occurrence that takes place once or twice is not usually considered to establish a recurrent pattern.

61.

I.e., on three consecutive occasions without there being an occasion where relations did not lead to vaginal bleeding in the interim (Siftei Cohen 187:3).

62.

Instead, she must be divorced. She may, however, remarry as stated in the following halachah.

The reason she is required to divorce is that the recurrence of a factor three times establishes a chazzakah, a presumption that this factor will continue to recur in the future. Thus if she began bleeding on three successive occasions in the midst of relations with her husband, we assume that she will continue to do so in the future. Since she suffered vaginal bleeding in the midst of intercourse, those relations are considered as involving a severe transgression. On the first three occasions, she and her husband are not held responsible for this is obviously a deviation from the norm. If, however, a pattern is established, this is considered the norm and if she would bleed in the midst of relations in the future, the transgression would be considered as willful. To prevent that from happening, we require divorce.

It must be emphasized that all this applies after the woman has ceased hymeneal bleeding. It is, however, possible for her to engage in relations several times at the beginning of her marriage and continue hymeneal bleeding. See the conclusion of Chapter 5.

63.

And thus, it is assumed that the relations are the cause of the vaginal bleeding.

64.

Note the Siftei Cohen 187:16 who offers several resolutions how this is possible despite the prohibition mentioned in Halachah 12.

65.

Unless we know that the shades of blood are different, we assume that they are the same and attribute the bleeding to the wound (Maggid Mishneh; Siftei Cohen 187:19).

66.

Note the Rama (Yoreh De'ah 187:5) who emphasizes the importance of adding the words "which bleeds."

67.

For we accept the possibility that the difficulty was particular to her first husband and would not affect her relations with other men.

68.

Since the same condition recurred with three different men, a chazzakah is established and we assume that it will recur with all men.

69.

She may check herself in this manner at any time in the process, even before being divorced by her first husband [Maggid Mishneh; see Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 187:3)].

70.

So that it will be smooth and will not scratch her.

71.

For the swab was touched to the uterus without contact with any other part of the body.

72.

And such bleeding does not render her impure.

Without minimizing the effectiveness of this method of checking devised by the Rabbis of the Talmud, today there are more effective medical tools available and it is possible to ascertain the source of a woman's bleeding in that manner. A careful inspection by a doctor or nurse under the guidance of a Rav may - and should - be employed as soon as such problems occur.

73.

Hilchot Ishut 25:8. The Rambam is implying that she cannot remarry her third husband. In Hilchot Ishut, he explains that when a man divorces a woman for this reason, the husband must know he may never remarry her, for otherwise it would be as if he gave the divorce conditionally. If she becomes healed, it would not be effective.

Issurei Biah - Chapter Five

1

A woman becomes impure due to factors beyond her control, whether for niddah or for zivah.1

What is implied? For example, she jumped from place to place;2 she saw animals, beasts, or fowl copulating, was aroused, and began bleeding.3 In these and in other analogous instances, regardless of the situation, since she experienced bleeding, she becomes impure.

She becomes impure from even the smallest amount of bleeding. Even a drop of blood the size of a mustard seed [makes her impure as if] much blood had drained from her.

א

הָאִשָׁה מִתְטַמֵּאת בְּאֹנֶס בֵּין לְנִדָּה בֵּין לְזִיבוּת. כֵּיצַד. כְּגוֹן שֶׁקָּפְצָה מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם. אוֹ רָאֲתָה בְּהֵמָה אוֹ חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף מִתְעַסְּקִין זֶה עִם זֶה וְחָמְדָה וְרָאֲתָה דָּם. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה הוֹאִיל וְרָאֲתָה דָּם מִכָּל מָקוֹם נִטְמֵאת וּמְטַמְּאָה בְּכָל שֶׁהוּא. אֲפִלּוּ רָאֲתָה דָּם טִפָּה כְּחַרְדָּל הֲרֵי זוֹ כְּמִי שֶׁזָּב מִמֶּנָּה דָּמִים הַרְבֵּה:

2

All women become impure [when blood is discovered in] the outer chamber [of the vagina]. Even though the blood did not emerge outside [her body], but instead, was discharged from the womb without flowing further, since it emerged from the upper portion of the vaginal channel,4 she is impure, even though the blood is still within her flesh. [This is alluded to by Leviticus 15:19:] "A discharge of blood within her flesh."

Until where does the upper portion of the vaginal channel extend? Until the place that the male organ reaches when inserted entirely during relations. The upper portion of the vaginal channel itself is like the uterus.5

ב

כָּל הַנָּשִׁים מִתְטַמְּאוֹת בַּבַּיִת הַחִיצוֹן. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא הַדָּם לַחוּץ אֶלָּא נֶעֱקַר מִן הָרֶחֶם וְלֹא שָׁתַת הוֹאִיל וְיָצָא מִבֵּין הַשִּׁנַּיִם הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן הַדָּם בִּבְשָׂרָהּ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו יט) "דָּם יִהְיֶה זֹבָהּ בִּבְשָׂרָהּ". וְעַד הֵיכָן הוּא בֵּין הַשִּׁנַּיִם עַד מָקוֹם שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ אֵלָיו הָאֵיבָר בִּשְׁעַת גְּמַר בִּיאָה. וּבֵין הַשִּׁנַּיִם עַצְמוֹ כִּלְפָנִים:

3

Our Sages6 spoke in metaphoric terms with regard to a woman. The uterus where a fetus is formed is called "the source." It is the place where the blood that renders a woman a niddah or a zavah emanates from. It is called "the room," for it is found deep within her body. The entire uterine channel,7 i.e., the lengthy place whose entrance contracts severely at the time of pregnancy so that the fetus will not fall, but opens very wide at birth is called "the antechamber," i.e., it is like a gateway to the uterus.

ג

מָשָׁל מָשְׁלוּ חֲכָמִים בָּאִשָּׁה. הָרֶחֶם שֶׁנּוֹצַר בּוֹ הַוָּלָד הוּא הַנִּקְרָא מָקוֹר. וְהוּא שֶׁדַּם נִדָּה וְזָבָה יוֹצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ. וְקוֹרְאִין אוֹתוֹ חֶדֶר לְפִי שֶׁהוּא לִפְנַי וְלִפְנִים. וְצַוַּאר הָרֶחֶם כֻּלּוֹ וְהוּא הַמָּקוֹם הָאָרֹךְ שֶׁמִּתְקַּבֵּץ רֹאשׁוֹ בִּשְׁעַת הָעִבּוּר כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִפּל הַוָּלָד וְנִפְתַּח הַרְבֵּה בִּשְׁעַת לֵדָה קוֹרְאִין אוֹתוֹ פְּרוֹזְדוֹר כְּלוֹמַר שֶׁהוּא בֵּית שַׁעַר לַרֶחֶם:

4

When the male organ is inserted entirely during relations, it enters the "antechamber" but does not reach its end. Instead, it is slightly removed according to the size of the organs. Above the "room" and the "antechamber" - but located between the "room" and the "antechamber" - is the place where the woman's two ovaries and the ducts in which her ova become mature are located. This place is called "the loft." There is an opening from the "loft" to the top of the "antechamber." This opening is called the "passageway." When the male organ is inserted entirely during relations it goes beyond the "passageway."8

ד

וּבִשְׁעַת גְּמַר בִּיאָה הָאֵיבָר נִכְנַס בִּפְרוֹזְדוֹר וְאֵינוֹ מַגִּיעַ עַד רֹאשׁוֹ שֶׁמִּבִּפְנִים אֶלָּא רָחוֹק מִמֶּנּוּ מְעַט לְפִי הָאֶצְבָּעוֹת. וּלְמַעְלָה מִן הַחֶדֶר וּמִן הַפְּרוֹזְדוֹר בֵּין חֶדֶר לִפְרוֹזְדוֹר הוּא הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ שְׁתֵּי בֵּיצִים שֶׁל אִשָּׁה. וְהַשְּׁבִילִים שֶׁבָּהֶן מִתְבַּשֶּׁלֶת שִׁכְבַת זֶרַע שֶׁלָּהּ מָקוֹם זֶה הוּא הַנִּקְרָא עֲלִיָּה. וּכְמוֹ נֶקֶב פָּתוּחַ מִן הָעֲלִיָּה לְגַג הַפְּרוֹזְדוֹר וְנֶקֶב זֶה קוֹרְאִין אוֹתוֹ לוּל. וְהָאֵיבָר נִכְנַס לִפְנִים מִן הַלּוּל בִּשְׁעַת גְּמַר בִּיאָה:

5

Blood which comes from the "room" is always impure with the exception of "the blood of purity"9 which the Torah deemed pure and bleeding which occurs before birth, as will be explained.10 Blood from the "loft" is entirely pure. It is like the blood from a wound in the intestines, the liver, or a kidney and the like.

[The following laws apply when blood] is discovered in the "antechamber." If it is discovered between the "passageway" [and the uterus], she is impure, for the assumption is that it came from "the room." She is liable for entering the Temple11 and we burn terumah and sacrificial foods because of this.12 We do not say that perhaps it descended from the "loft" through the opening, for most of the blood found in such a place is from the "room."

When blood is found in the "antechamber" between the opening [and the entrance to the vagina], she is impure, because of a doubt. Perhaps [the blood] came from the "room" or [perhaps it] flowed from the loft through the passageway. Therefore we do not burn terumah and sacrificial foods because of this, nor is she liable for entering the Temple.13

ה

דָּם הַבָּא מִן הַחֶדֶר כֻּלּוֹ טָמֵא חוּץ מִדַּם טֹהַר שֶׁהַתּוֹרָה טִהֲרַתּוּ וְדַם קֹשִׁי כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר. וְדַם הָעֲלִיָּה כֻּלּוֹ טָהוֹר שֶׁהוּא כְּמוֹ דַּם מַכָּה שֶׁבַּמֵּעַיִם אוֹ בַּכָּבֵד אוֹ בְּכוּלְיָא וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן. וְדָם הַנִּמְצָא בַּפְּרוֹזְדוֹר אִם נִמְצָא מִן הַלּוּל וּלְפָנִים הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא שֶׁחֶזְקָתוֹ מִן הַחֶדֶר. וְחַיָּבִין עָלָיו עַל בִּיאַת מִקְדָּשׁ וְשׂוֹרְפִין עָלָיו תְּרוּמָה וְקָדָשִׁים וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים שֶׁמָּא מִן הָעֲלִיָּה יָרַד דֶּרֶךְ הַנֶּקֶב. שֶׁרֹב הַדָּמִים הַנִּמְצָאִין כָּאן מִן הַחֶדֶר. נִמְצָא הַדָּם בַּפְּרוֹזְדוֹר חוּץ לַנֶּקֶב הֲרֵי טֻמְאָתוֹ בְּסָפֵק שֶׁמָּא מִן הַחֶדֶר בָּא אוֹ מִן הָעֲלִיָּה שָׁתַת דֶּרֶךְ הַלּוּל. לְפִיכָךְ אֵין שׂוֹרְפִין עָלָיו תְּרוּמָה וְקָדָשִׁים וְאֵין חַיָּבִין עָלָיו עַל בִּיאַת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ:

6

Not every liquid that comes from the "room" renders a woman impure, only blood, as [ibid.] states: "A discharge of blood." Therefore if a white or a green14 liquid flows from the uterus, even if it is viscous like blood, she is pure since it does not appear as blood.

ו

לֹא כָּל מַשְׁקֶה הַבָּא מִן הַחֶדֶר מְטַמֵּא אֶלָּא הַדָּם בִּלְבַד שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו יט) "דָּם יִהְיֶה זֹבָהּ". לְפִיכָךְ אִם שָׁתַת מִן הָרֶחֶם לֹבֶן אוֹ מַשְׁקֶה יָרֹק אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁסְּמִיכָתוֹ כְּדָם הוֹאִיל וְאֵין מַרְאָיו מַרְאֶה דָּם הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר:

7

There are five [colors of] blood that [render] a woman impure. They are: red, black, bright saffron, muddy water, and diluted wine.15 All other colors are pure.

ז

וַחֲמִשָּׁה דָּמִים טְמֵאִים בָּאִשָּׁה וְהַשְּׁאָר טְהוֹרִין. וְאֵלּוּ הֵן. הָאָדֹם. וְהַשָּׁחוֹר. וּכְקֶרֶן כַּרְכֹּם. וּכְמֵימֵי אֲדָמָה. וּכְיַיִן הַמָּזוּג:

8

What is meant by red? The color of blood that comes from the blood which flows initially when people let blood. This blood is placed in a cup, the stain is placed next to it, and [the two] are compared. The black is like dried ink.16

What is meant by bright saffron? Fresh saffron should be brought together with the clod of earth from which it is growing. From the better stalks, one should take the middle stalk that is entirely a stem. In each one, there are three stalks and each stalk has three leaves. One should bring the stain next to the middle leaf on the middle stalk and compare it.

What is meant by "like muddy water"? We take earth from the valley of Sichnei or the like which is red and pour water over it until the water level is the thickness of a garlic peel above the earth. There is no required amount of water or earth that must be brought. One should stir them in the container and compare [the color to that of the stain] at that time while [the water] is murky. If [the water] becomes clear, one should stir it again and make it murky.

ח

הָאָדֹם כֵּיצַד הוּא עֵינוֹ. כְּעַמּוּד שֶׁיָּצָא רִאשׁוֹן מִדַּם הַקָּזָה שֶׁל בְּנֵי אָדָם, נוֹתֵן הַדָּם בְּכוֹס וּמַקִּיף לוֹ וְרוֹאֵהוּ. וְהַשָּׁחוֹר כְּעֵין הַדְּיוֹ הַיָּבֵשׁ. כְּקֶרֶן כַּרְכֹּם כֵּיצַד. יָבִיא כַּרְכֹּם לַח בְּגוּשׁ אֲדָמָה שֶׁעָלָיו וְלוֹקֵחַ מִן הַבָּרוּר שֶׁבּוֹ הַקָּנֶה הָאֶמְצָעִי שֶׁלּוֹ שֶׁכֻּלּוֹ כְּמוֹ קָנֶה הוּא וּבְכָל אֶחָד וְאֶחָד שְׁלֹשָׁה קָנִים וּבְכָל קָנֶה שְׁלֹשָׁה עָלִים וּמַקִּיף הַדָּם לֶעָלֶה הָאֶמְצָעִי שֶׁבַּקָּנֶה הָאֶמְצָעִי וְרוֹאֶה בּוֹ. כְּמֵימֵי אֲדָמָה כֵּיצַד. יָבִיא אֲדָמָה מִבִּקְעַת סִיכְנֵי וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ שֶׁהִיא אֲדֻמָּה וְנוֹתֵן עָלֶיהָ מַיִם בִּכְלִי עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה הַמַּיִם עַל הֶעָפָר כִּקְלִפַּת הַשּׁוּם. וְאֵין שִׁעוּר לַמַּיִם וְלֹא לֶעָפָר. וּמְעַכְּרָן בִּכְלִי וּמְשַׁעֵר בָּהֶן לִשְׁעָתוֹ וּבִמְקוֹמוֹ כְּשֶׁהֵן עֲכוּרִין. וְאִם צָלְלוּ חוֹזֵר וּמְעַכְּרָן:

9

If the color of the stain matched the color of any of these four shades or was deeper than them, [the woman] is impure. If it is lighter than they are, she is pure.

What is implied? If a black stain was darker than dried ink, [the woman] is impure. If it was lighter than it, i.e., it was like a black olive, tar, or a raven, she is pure. Similar principles apply with regard to the other three colors.

ט

אַרְבָּעָה מַרְאוֹת הַלָּלוּ אִם הָיָה מַרְאֵה הַדָּם כְּמַרְאֵה כָּל אֶחָד מֵהֶן אוֹ עָמֹק מֵהֶן הֲרֵי זֶה טָמֵא. הָיָה דִּיהָה מִמֶּנּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. כֵּיצַד. הָיָה הַדָּם שָׁחוֹר יֶתֶר מִכִּדְיוֹ הַיָּבֵשׁ טְמֵאָה. הָיָה פָּחוֹת מִמֶּנּוּ כְּגוֹן שֶׁהָיָה מַרְאֵהוּ כְּעֵין הַזַּיִת הַשָּׁחוֹר אוֹ כְּעֵין הַזֶּפֶת אוֹ כְּעֵין הָעוֹרֵב הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר. וְכֵן בִּשְׁאָר הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה מַרְאוֹת:

10

What is meant by like diluted wine? Like one portion of fresh, undiluted wine like the wine of the Sharon in Eretz Yisrael17 mixed with two portions of water. If the appearance of the stain was darker or lighter than this, [the woman] is pure. [The stain must be] the exact color of this mixture.

A woman's word is accepted if she says: "I had a stain of this-and-this color and I lost it." The wise man rules whether she is pure or impure [based on her statement].18

י

כְּיַיִן הַמָּזוּג כֵּיצַד. חֵלֶק אֶחָד יַיִן מִן הַיַּיִן הַשָּׁרוֹנִי שֶׁל אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל חַי וְחָדָשׁ וּשְׁנֵי חֲלָקִים מַיִם. הָיָה מַרְאֵה הַדָּם עָמֹק מִמֶּנּוּ אוֹ דִּיהָה מִמֶּנּוּ הֲרֵי זֶה טָהוֹר עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כְּמֶזֶג זֶה בִּלְבַד. וְנֶאֱמֶנֶת אִשָּׁה לוֹמַר כְּמַרְאֶה זֶה רָאִיתִי וְאִבַּדְתִּיו וְהֶחָכָם מְטַמֵּא לָהּ אוֹ מְטַהֵר:

11

How does a person bring the two close and compare? He takes the portion of the cloth that has the stain in his hand and looks at it and at the ink, the saffron leaf, the blood that was let [contained] in a cup, the muddy water, or the diluted wine [contained] in a cup. He compares them according to his perception and rules whether she is impure or pure.

He should not look at the cup from the outside. Instead, he should look at the liquid in the cup. The cup should be wide, weigh a maneh, and contain two luggin,19 so that light will enter it and it will not be shadowy.

יא

כֵּיצַד מַקִּיף וְרוֹאֶה. לוֹקֵחַ הַמַּטְלִית שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ הַדָּם בְּיָדוֹ וּמַבִּיט בּוֹ וּבַדְּיוֹ. אוֹ בְּעָלֶה שֶׁל כַּרְכֹּם. אוֹ בְּדַם הַקָּזָה שֶׁבַּכּוֹס. אוֹ בְּמֵימֵי אֲדָמָה. אוֹ בְּמֶזֶג שֶׁבַּכּוֹס. וְעוֹרֵךְ לָהּ כְּפִי מַה שֶּׁעֵינָיו רוֹאוֹת וּמְטַמֵּא אוֹ מְטַהֵר. וְאֵינוֹ מַבִּיט בַּזְּכוּכִית שֶׁל כּוֹס מִבַּחוּץ אֶלָּא בַּמַּשְׁקֶה שֶׁבַּכּוֹס. וְיִהְיֶה הַכּוֹס רָחָב מִשְׁקָלוֹ מָנֶה וּמַחֲזִיק שְׁנֵי לוֹגִין כְּדֵי שֶׁתִּכָּנֵס בּוֹ הָאוֹרָה וְלֹא יִהְיֶה אָפֵל:

12

A stain should be checked only on a white cloth and in sunlight. One makes a shadow with his hand over the stain while standing in the sun so that he will be able to see it as it is.20

It is not necessary for every person checking a stain to do all the above whenever he checks [a stain]. Instead, a sage develops a sensitive eye [to the colors of stains]. When he sees it, he will immediately rule whether it is impure or pure. If he has doubts regarding the appearance of a particular stain, he should bring it close and compare it to ink, to blood that has been let, or to the other [impure] colors.

יב

אֵין בּוֹדְקִין הַדָּם אֶלָּא עַל גַּבֵּי מַטְלִית לְבָנָה וּבַחַמָּה. וְעוֹשֶׂה צֵל בְּיָדוֹ עַל הַדָּם וְהוּא עוֹמֵד בַּחַמָּה כְּדֵי שֶׁיִּרְאֶה עֵינוֹ כְּמוֹת שֶׁהִיא. וְלֹא כָּל הָרוֹאֶה צָרִיךְ לְכָל אֵלּוּ הַדְּבָרִים בְּכָל עֵת שֶׁיִּרְאֶה אֶלָּא טְבִיעוּת עַיִן יֵשׁ לְחָכָם בְּדָמִים. וּבְעֵת שֶׁיִּרְאֶה מִיָּד יְטַמֵּא אוֹ יְטַהֵר. וְאִם נִסְתַּפֵּק לוֹ בְּמַרְאֶה מִן הַמַּרְאוֹת צָרִיךְ לְהַקִּיף וְלַעֲרֹךְ לִדְיוֹ אוֹ לְדַם הַקָּזָה אוֹ לִשְׁאָר הַמַּרְאוֹת:

13

[The following rules apply when] a woman discharges a piece [of flesh from the vagina]. Even if it is red, she is impure [only] when it is accompanied by blood. If not, she is pure.21 Even if [when the piece of flesh] is cut open, it is filled with blood, she is ritually pure. For this is not the blood of niddah, but rather blood from the piece [of flesh].

יג

הַמַּפֶּלֶת חֲתִיכָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא אֲדֻמָּה אִם יֵשׁ עִמָּהּ דָּם טְמֵאָה וְאִם לָאו טְהוֹרָה וַאֲפִלּוּ נִקְרְעָה הַחֲתִיכָה וְנִמְצֵאת מְלֵאָה דָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה שֶׁאֵין זֶה דַּם נִדָּה אֶלָּא דַּם חֲתִיכָה:

14

When the woman discharges a piece [of flesh] which is torn and there is blood collected within it, she is impure.22

[The following rules apply when a woman] discharges something like a shell, something like a hair, something like earth, or something like mosquitoes. If these entities have a red appearance, they should be placed in lukewarm water. If they dissolve, she is impure. For it was blood that congealed. And whenever [a woman] discovers dried blood, she is impure.23

If the entities remained in lukewarm water for more than a day and then dissolved, there is a doubt whether the woman is impure. If they did not dissolve after an entire day, they are from a wound and she is pure.

יד

הִפִּילָה חֲתִיכָה קְרוּעָה וְדָם אָגוּר בְּתוֹכָהּ טְמֵאָה. הִפִּילָה כְּמִין קְלִפָּה כְּמִין שַׂעֲרָה כְּמִין עָפָר כְּמוֹ יַבְחוּשִׁין אִם הָיָה מַרְאֵה דְּבָרִים אֵלּוּ אָדֹם תַּטִּיל לְמַיִם פּוֹשְׁרִין. אִם נִמּוֹחוּ הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה שֶׁדָּם הוּא וְקָפָה וְכָל הָרוֹאָה דָּם יָבֵשׁ טְמֵאָה. וְאִם שָׁהוּ בְּפוֹשְׁרִין מֵעֵת לְעֵת וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִמּוֹחוּ הֲרֵי זוֹ סָפֵק טְמֵאָה. לֹא נִמּוֹחוּ מֵעֵת לְעֵת הֲרֵי אֵלּוּ מִמַּכָּה וּטְהוֹרָה הִיא:

15

[The following rules apply if a woman] discharges something resembling a locust, a fish, a teeming animal, or a crawling animal. If it is accompanied by blood, it is impure. If not, it is pure.24

טו

הִפִּילָה כְּמִין חֲגָבִים כְּמִין דָּגִים שְׁקָצִים וּרְמָשִׂים אִם יֵשׁ עִמָּהֶן דָּם טְמֵאָה וְאִם לָאו טְהוֹרָה:

16

When a woman places a tube in her "antechamber" and expels blood through the tube,25 she is pure. For [Leviticus 15:19] speaks of "A discharge of blood within her flesh." [Implied is that] the discharge must be within her flesh as is the ordinary way in which women menstruate. For it is not ordinary for a woman to discharge blood through a tube.26

טז

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהִכְנִיסָה שְׁפוֹפֶרֶת בַּפְּרוֹזְדוֹר וְרָאֲתָה הַדָּם בְּתוֹךְ הַשְּׁפוֹפֶרֶת טְהוֹרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא טו יט) "דָּם יִהְיֶה זֹבָהּ בִּבְשָׂרָהּ" עַד שֶׁתִּרְאֶה בִּבְשָׂרָהּ כְּדֶרֶךְ שֶׁהַנָּשִׁים רוֹאוֹת. וְאֵין דֶּרֶךְ הָאִשָּׁה לִרְאוֹת בִּשְׁפוֹפֶרֶת:

17

When a woman urinated and excreted blood together with the urine, she is pure.27 [This applies] whether she was standing or sitting while urinating. Even if she has physical sensations and her body shudders,28 she need not suspect [that the blood originated in the uterus]. Instead, the sensation is associated with her urination [and] urine does not originate in the uterus. Instead, this blood [stems from] a wound in the colon or in the kidney.

יז

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהִשְׁתִּינָה מַיִם וְיָצָא דָּם עִם מֵי רַגְלַיִם. בֵּין שֶׁהִשְׁתִּינָה וְהִיא עוֹמֶדֶת בֵּין שֶׁהִשְׁתִּינָה וְהִיא יוֹשֶׁבֶת הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה. וַאֲפִלּוּ הִרְגִּישׁ גּוּפָהּ וְנִזְדַּעְזְעָה אֵינָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת שֶׁהַרְגָּשַׁת מֵי רַגְלַיִם הִיא זוֹ שֶׁאֵין מֵי רַגְלַיִם מִן הַחֶדֶר וְדָם זֶה דַּם מַכָּה הוּא בַּחַלְחלֶת אוֹ בַּכּוּלְיָא:

18

Hymeneal bleeding is pure. It is neither the blood of niddah or the blood of zivah, for it is not from the uterus. Instead, it is blood from a wound.

What are the laws applying to virgins [who suffer] hymeneal bleeding?29 If she married when she was a minor, whether she never menstruated or whether she menstruated while in her father's home,30 she is permitted to her husband until the wound heals. For any bleeding that she discovers stems from the wound. If she discovers other blood after the wound heals, she is considered as a niddah.

יח

דַּם בְּתוּלִים טָהוֹר הוּא וְאֵינוֹ לֹא דַּם נִדָּה וְלֹא דַּם זִיבָה שֶׁאֵינוֹ מִן הַמָּקוֹר אֶלָּא כְּמוֹ דַּם חַבּוּרָה. וְכֵיצַד דִּין הַבְּתוּלָה בְּדָמִים. אִם נִשֵּׂאת קְטַנָּה בֵּין לֹא רָאֲתָה דָּם מִיָּמֶיהָ בֵּין שֶׁרָאֲתָה דָּם בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ עַד שֶׁתִּחְיֶה הַמַּכָּה שֶׁכָּל דָּם שֶׁתִּרְאֶה מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה הוּא. וְאִם רָאֲתָה דָּם אַחַר שֶׁתִּחְיֶה הַמַּכָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ נִדָּה:

19

[The following rules apply when a woman] marries when she is a na'arah.31 If she never menstruated beforehand, she is permitted to her husband for four days, by day and by night, even though blood is flowing, provided the wound did not heal.32

If she had already menstruated in her father's home and then married, her husband should not [continue] to engage in relations with her.33 After the first time, he should separate. The hymeneal bleeding is considered as if it is the beginning of menstruation.

When a girl who has reached majority,34 but has not menstruated, she is given the entire first night.35

יט

נִשֵּׂאת כְּשֶׁהִיא נַעֲרָה אִם לֹא רָאֲתָה מִיָּמֶיהָ דָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ אַרְבָּעָה יָמִים בַּיּוֹם וּבַלַּיְלָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא חָיְתָה הַמַּכָּה. וְאִם רָאֲתָה דָּם בְּבֵית אָבִיהָ וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִשֵּׂאת אֵין לוֹ לַבָּא עָלֶיהָ אֶלָּא בְּעִילָה רִאשׁוֹנָה וּפוֹרֵשׁ וְיִהְיֶה דַּם בְּתוּלִים זֶה כְּאִלּוּ הִיא תְּחִלַּת נִדָּה. וּבוֹגֶרֶת שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה מִיָּמֶיהָ נוֹתְנִין לָהּ כָּל לַיְלָה הָרִאשׁוֹן:

20

The [first] four nights36 that are granted to a na'arah who has not menstruated need not be consecutive. [Instead,] the couple may engage in relations the first night and wait even two or three months and engage in relations for a second night, provided the wound has not healed.37

כ

אַרְבָּעָה לֵילוֹת שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין לְנַעֲרָה שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה דָּם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן בְּסֵרוּגִין בּוֹעֵל לַיְלָה הָרִאשׁוֹן וּמַמְתִּין אֲפִלּוּ שְׁנֵי חֳדָשִׁים אוֹ שְׁלֹשָׁה וּבוֹעֵל לַיְלָה שֵׁנִי. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא חָיְתָה הַמַּכָּה:

21

Similarly, with regard to a minor who is allowed to continue engaging in relations until the wound heals, even if it does not heal for an entire year, they may engage in relations either non-consecutively or day after day.

כא

וְכֵן קְטַנָּה שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין לָהּ עַד שֶׁתִּחְיֶה הַמַּכָּה אֲפִלּוּ לֹא חָיְתָה שָׁנָה הֲרֵי זֶה בּוֹעֵל כָּל הַשָּׁנָה בֵּין בְּסֵרוּגִין בֵּין בְּיוֹם אַחַר יוֹם:

22

[The following rules apply when a girl] married while she was a minor and became a na'arah while married to her husband. [If] the blood is still flowing because of the wound, all of the times she engaged in relations while a minor are considered as one night and she is given license to complete the four days granted to her38 during the period of na'arut.

Even if the three days she is granted during the period of na'arut are all non-consecutive, [e.g.,] they engaged in relations one night every two months, this is permitted, provided the wound has not healed.

כב

קְטַנָּה שֶׁנִּשֵּׂאת וְנַעֲשֵׂית נַעֲרָה תַּחַת בַּעְלָהּ וַעֲדַיִן הַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה כָּל בְּעִילוֹת שֶׁבָּעַל כְּשֶׁהִיא קְטַנָּה נֶחְשָׁבוֹת לוֹ כְּלַיְלָה אֶחָד וּמַשְׁלִימִין לוֹ כָּל אַרְבָּעָה יָמִים בִּימֵי הַנַּעֲרוּת. וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ הַשְּׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים שֶׁנּוֹתְנִין לוֹ בִּימֵי הַנַּעֲרוּת בְּסֵרוּגִין וּבָעַל בְּכָל שְׁנֵי חֳדָשִׁים לַיְלָה אֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא חָיְתָה הַמַּכָּה:

23

How do we know whether or not the wound has healed? If [the woman] would discover blood when she stands but not when she sits; if she would discover [blood] when she sits on the earth, but not when she sits on pillows or blankets,39the wound has not healed.40 If, however, the bleeding ceases and she does not discover [blood], whether she stands or whether she sits on a pillow, the wound has healed. Similarly, even if her bleeding has not ceased, but she continues to discover blood even when she is sitting on pillows and blankets, we assume that this is not blood from the wound, but rather menstrual bleeding.41

כג

כֵּיצַד יוֹדְעִין אִם חָיְתָה הַמַּכָּה אוֹ לֹא חָיְתָה. הָיְתָה רוֹאָה הַדָּם בְּעֵת שֶׁתַּעֲמֹד וּכְשֶׁתֵּשֵׁב לֹא תִּרְאֶה וּבְעֵת שֶׁתֵּשֵׁב עַל הַקַּרְקַע תִּרְאֶה וְאִם תֵּשֵׁב עַל גַּבֵּי כָּרִים וּכְסָתוֹת לֹא תִּרְאֶה עֲדַיִן לֹא חָיְתָה הַמַּכָּה. פָּסַק הַדָּם וְלֹא רָאֲתָה כְּלָל בֵּין עוֹמֶדֶת בֵּין יוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל הַכַּר כְּבָר חָיְתָה הַמַּכָּה. וְכֵן אִם לֹא פָּסַק כְּלָל אֶלָּא תִּרְאֶה הַדָּם וַאֲפִלּוּ כְּשֶׁהִיא יוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל הַכָּרִים וְהַכְּסָתוֹת אֵין זֶה דַּם מַכָּה אֶלָּא דַּם נִדָּה:

24

If she would discover blood in the midst of relations, [we assume] that it comes as a result of the wound.42 If she engaged in relations and did not discover blood and afterwards, discovered blood out of the context of relations, [we assume] that it is menstrual bleeding.

כד

הָיְתָה רוֹאָה בְּעֵת תַּשְׁמִישׁ הֲרֵי זֶה מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה. שִׁמְּשָׁה מִטָּתָהּ וְלֹא רָאֲתָה דָּם וְאַחַר כָּךְ רָאֲתָה דָּם שֶׁלֹּא מֵחֲמַת תַּשְׁמִישׁ הֲרֵי זֶה דַּם נִדָּה:

25

When a man engages in relations with a virgin and she does not bleed and then, he engages in relations with her again and she does bleed, [we assume] that this is menstrual bleeding, even if she is a minor. [The rationale is that] if it were hymeneal bleeding, it would have appeared the first time.

When a man has relations with a girl below the age of three and she bleeds, this is hymeneal bleeding.

כה

הַבּוֹעֵל בְּתוּלָה וְלֹא יָצָא מִמֶּנָּה דָּם וְחָזַר וּבְעָלָהּ וְיָצָא דָּם אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה הֲרֵי זֶה דַּם נִדָּה שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיָה דַּם בְּתוּלִים הָיָה בָּא בַּתְּחִלָּה. הַבּוֹעֵל פְּחוּתָה מִבַּת שָׁלֹשׁ וְיָצָא דָּם הֲרֵי זֶה דַּם בְּתוּלִים:

Footnotes
1.

I.e., not only does a woman become impure when she suffers ordinary menstrual bleeding, she becomes impure when that bleeding appears to be brought on by an external cause.

2.

And we assume the unusual exertion brought on the uterine bleeding.

3.

Our Sages appreciated that sexual desire could produce uterine bleeding.

4.

We have given a biological term for the metaphoric term used by our Sages which literally means "between the teeth." For a woman to become impure, the blood must emerge from the upper portion of the vaginal channel and reach the lower portion, as explained in Halachah 5.

5.

And blood there does not render a woman ritually impure.

6.

Niddah 17b.

7.

The term used by our Sages literally means "the neck of the uterus."

8.

See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 2:4) where he describes these terms in greater detail, drawing on his medical knowledge.

9.

Blood which flows after childbirth as mentioned in Chapter 4, Halachah 5.

10.

Chapter 7, Halachah 2.

11.

For it is forbidden to enter the Temple while ritually impure.

12.

When terumah or sacrificial food becomes ritually impure, it is no longer fit for consumption and must be burned. If, however, it did not become impure, it is forbidden to burn it. The fact that we burn these objects after such a woman touches them indicates that she has become impure according to Scriptural Law.

13.

She is, however, forbidden to enter the Temple and forbidden to touch terumah or sacrificial foods. Similarly, she is forbidden to engage in relations with her husband. This is particularly true in the present age. We rule stringently and forbid a woman to her husband no matter where the blood is discovered [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 2:7)].

14.

In halachic terminology, the Hebrew term yarok can also mean yellow or golden. See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 188:1) which discusses this issue.

15.

Implied is that if the stain does not match any of these colors, even if it has a red tint, it does not render the woman impure. This, however, applied in Talmudic times when the Rabbis were able to carefully distinguish between different shades of red. At present, however, if a stain has a red tint, it should be considered impure. We do not attempt to make these fine distinctions (Rambam, Commentary to the Mishnah, Niddah 2:7; Siftei Cohen 188:1).

16.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 2:6), the Rambam explains that certain factors will turn red blood to black.

17.

A region not far from the Mediterranean Coast, slightly northeast of present day Tel Aviv.

18.

As mentioned above, in the present age, we rule stringently with regard to all shades of red. Nevertheless, this law applies with regard to secretions of other colors even in the present age. A sage can make a ruling based on a woman's description. If, however, a secretion appears to be blood, but a woman protests that a sage ruled that such a secretion did not render her impure, her word is not accepted [Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 188:2)].

19.

The commentaries to Niddah 21a interpret this as meaning that if the cup contains two luggin, it should not weigh more than a maneh. In this way, its walls will not be overly thick.

20.

As mentioned above, in the present age, we rule that any stain that appears red is considered impure. Nevertheless, the technique used by the Rambam is valuable in determining whether a stain is considered as red or not.

21.

This is not speaking about a woman who miscarries, but rather about one who has a problem about the degeneration of her internal organs. The Rambam, based on Niddah 21b, is stating that as long as the piece of flesh is not accompanied by blood, the woman's difficulties do not render her ritually impure.

This ruling is the subject of a difference of opinion in the Talmud and not all Rishonim accept the Rambam's ruling (see the objections of the Ra'avad and others). It is, however, accepted by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 188:3) provided the piece of flesh is small. If, however, it is large, the Shulchan Aruch rules that she is impure, because it is impossible for the uterus to open and discharge a large piece of flesh without expelling a certain amount of blood as well. The woman would become impure because of the expulsion of that blood.

(The Maggid Mishneh explains that the difference between the positions of the Rambam and the Ra'avad concerning an issue of a larger scope: Is it possible for the uterus to open without bleeding or not? The Rambam rules that this possible and hence, the woman is pure even if the piece is large. The Ra'avad maintains that she is impure, because it is impossible for the uterus to open without bleeding.)

22.

The Rambam's opinion here is also contested by other Rishonim. The Tur (Yoreh De'ah 188) rules that even if the piece of flesh is accompanied by blood and the blood touches the woman's body, she is not impure, for this is not the ordinary way in which a woman experiences uterine bleeding. This ruling is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 188:3).

23.

See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 188:6) which quotes the Ra'avad's view that whenever a woman discovers a particle of dried blood, she is impure, even if it does not dissolve. The Shulchan Aruch, however, also quotes the views of Rav Zerachiah HaLevi and Rabbenu Asher who maintain that even in such an instance, the ruling depends on whether the particle dissolves or not.

24.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:3) follows the ruling of other Rishonim who maintain that in such a situation, we assume that these forms are the preliminary stages of a fetus. Hence, the woman is impure - as if she had miscarried - whether or not bleeding accompanies the expulsion of these forms.

25.

See Shulchan Aruch HaRav (Yoreh De'ah 188:8) which emphasizes that according to the Shulchan Aruch, this is referring to a thin tube which can be inserted into the uterus without causing the uterus to open substantially. If, however, the tube is thick and the uterus must open substantially, that alone is sufficient to render a woman ritually impure.

26.

The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (loc. cit.) emphasizes that the leniency is not granted because the tube interposes between the blood and the woman's flesh and therefore the literal meaning of the verse is not fulfilled. Instead, the reason is - as the Rambam clarifies - because this is not the ordinary manner in which women expel blood.

27.

As the Rambam explains, we assume that the bleeding comes from the urinary tract and not the uterus. The Rambam's view is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 191:1). The Tur and the Rama cite more stringent views. In practice, a woman with such a condition should consult a gynecologist for a precise determination of her medical condition and give this information to a Rav who - on this basis - will rule on her halachic status.

28.

One might think that these physical sensations indicate the onset of menstruation.

29.

It must be emphasized that all the laws that follow applied only in the Talmudic era. At present, the Jewish people have accepted upon themselves the stringency of considering even the slightest drop of blood as requiring a wait of seven "spotless" days. Accordingly, when a woman suffers hymeneal bleeding - even if she knows that it is not at all connected with her menstrual cycle, she is considered impure and must wait seven "spotless" days (Chapter 11, Halachot 4,8).

Note the comments of the Ra'avad and the Kessef Mishneh concerning when this stringency was adopted. Is it of Talmudic origin or was it originated in the post-Talmudic period?

30.

Even if she menstruated, since she has not come of age, we assume that this is an abnormal occurrence which will not repeat itself.

31.

A girl between the age of twelve and twelve and a half who has already manifested signs of physical maturity.

32.

Since she never menstruated before, we assume that she still is suffering hymeneal bleeding and not that she has begun to menstruate.

33.

Since she menstruated before, we recognize the possibility that this is also menstrual blood. Hence, we require the couple to separate. The Ra'avad protests the Rambam's ruling, noting that it follows the position of the School of Shammai, not the School of Hillel. The Maggid Mishneh supports the Rambam's decision, noting that Niddah 65b mentions the opinions of two Amoraim which support this view, indicating that in this instance the opinion of the School of Shammai is followed.

34.

I.e., she has reached the age of twelve and half and manifested signs of physical maturity at age twelve.

35.

I.e., that night the couple may engage in relations as many times as they desire. Needless to say, if she has already menstruated, the couple must separate after the first time they engage in relations (Maggid Mishneh).

36.

More specifically, days and nights as stated in the previous halachah.

37.

And also, of course, that the woman has not begun to menstruate. If during the passage of time, she reaches full majority, she is given only one night from that time onward (Rabbi Akiva Eiger).

38.

As stated in Halachah 19. Thus she is given three more opportunities to engage in relations.

39.

Since she is sitting on a soft surface, the wound will not be aggravated.

40.

Even though her bleeding is not consistent.

41.

Hence she is deemed impure and forbidden to engage in relations with her husband.

42.

Hence we do not apply all the stringencies mentioned in the conclusion of ch. 4.

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The Mishneh Torah was the Rambam's (Rabbi Moses ben Maimon) magnum opus, a work spanning hundreds of chapters and describing all of the laws mentioned in the Torah. To this day it is the only work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws which are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in place. Participating in the one of the annual study cycles of these laws (3 chapters/day, 1 chapter/day, or Sefer Hamitzvot) is a way we can play a small but essential part in rebuilding the final Temple.
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