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Rambam - 3 Chapters a Day

Issurei Biah - Chapter Nine, Issurei Biah - Chapter Ten, Issurei Biah - Chapter Eleven

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Issurei Biah - Chapter Nine

1

According to Scriptural Law,1 a woman does not become impure as a niddah or a zavah until she experiences a physical sensation,2 menstruates, and discovers blood which emerges within her flesh as we explained.3 She becomes impure from the time she menstruates and onward only.4

If she does not experience a physical sensation, but conducts an internal examination, and discovers bleeding within the vaginal channel, we operate under the presumption that it was accompanied by a physical sensation,5 as explained previously.6

א

אֵין הָאִשָּׁה מִתְטַמְּאָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה בְּנִדָּה אוֹ בְּזִיבָה עַד שֶׁתַּרְגִּישׁ וְתִרְאֶה דָּם וְיֵצֵא בִּבְשָׂרָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְתִהְיֶה טְמֵאָה מֵעֵת שֶׁתִּרְאֶה וּלְהַבָּא בִּלְבַד. וְאִם לֹא הִרְגִּישָׁה וּבָדְקָה וּמָצְאָה הַדָּם לְפָנִים בַּפְּרוֹזְדוֹר הֲרֵי זֶה בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁבָּא בְּהַרְגָּשָׁה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

2

According to Rabbinic Law, whenever a woman discovers a bloodstain on her flesh7 or on her clothes,8 she is impure, as if she discovered bleeding within [the vaginal channel] on her flesh. [This applies] even if she did not experience a physical sensation [and] even if she conducted an internal examination and did not discover bleeding.9 This impurity is [because of our] doubt;10 perhaps the stain came from uterine bleeding.

ב

וּמִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁכָּל הָרוֹאָה כֶּתֶם דָּם עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ אוֹ עַל בְּגָדֶיהָ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא הִרְגִּישָׁה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁבָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ וְלֹא מָצְאָה דָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה וּכְאִלּוּ מָצְאָה דָּם לְפָנִים בִּבְשָׂרָהּ. וְטֻמְאָה זוֹ בְּסָפֵק שֶׁמָּא כֶּתֶם זֶה מִדַּם הַחֶדֶר בָּא:

3

Similarly, according to Rabbinic Law: Whenever a woman discovers bleeding at a time other than her veset11 and whenever she discovers a bloodstain, she is impure retroactively for 24 hours.12 If she conducted an internal examination within this time and discovered that she was pure, she is impure retroactively until the time of the inspection.13

Although she is impure retroactively, she does not cause a man who engages in relations with her to become impure, as we explained.14 Nor may she begin counting her "days of niddah" or counting because of the stain except from the time she discovered the bleeding or the stain.

Whenever a woman discovers a stain, her reckoning [of her veset] is confused. For it is possible that the bleeding came from the uterus and her veset must be recalculated.15

ג

וְכֵן מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים שֶׁכָּל הָרוֹאָה דָּם בְּלֹא עֵת וֶסְתָּהּ וְכָל הָרוֹאָה כֶּתֶם טְמֵאָה לְמַפְרֵעַ עַד כ''ד שָׁעוֹת. וְאִם בָּדְקָה בְּתוֹךְ זְמַן זֶה וּמָצְאָה טָהוֹר טְמֵאָה לְמַפְרֵעַ עַד זְמַן בְּדִיקָה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא טְמֵאָה לְמַפְרֵעַ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה אֶת בּוֹעֲלָהּ לְמַפְרֵעַ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְאֵינָהּ מוֹנָה לְנִדָּתָהּ אוֹ לְכִתְמָהּ אֶלָּא מֵעֵת שֶׁתִּרְאֶה הַדָּם אוֹ שֶׁמָּצְאָה הַכֶּתֶם. וְכָל הָרוֹאָה כֶּתֶם הֲרֵי זוֹ מְקֻלְקֶלֶת (לְמִנְיָנָהּ) שֶׁמָּא מִן הַחֶדֶר בָּא וְנִתְקַלְקְלָה וֶסְתָּהּ:

4

When a woman discovers bleeding at the time of her veset, she does not become impure retroactively. Instead, [the impurity begins] at the time [of discovery]. Similarly, a woman who is pregnant, nursing, a virgin,16 or elderly do not become impure retroactively.

What is meant by a pregnant woman? A woman whose pregnancy has become obvious, i.e., she is three months pregnant.17 What is meant by a woman who is nursing? A woman within 24 months of childbirth, even if her child died, she weaned him, or gave him to a nursemaid.18

ד

הָרוֹאָה דָּם בִּשְׁעַת וֶסְתָּהּ אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה לְמַפְרֵעַ אֶלָּא בִּשְׁעָתָהּ בִּלְבַד. וְכֵן מְעֻבֶּרֶת וּמֵינִיקָה בְּתוּלָה וּזְקֵנָה דַּיָּן שְׁעָתָן וְאֵינָן מְטַמְּאוֹת לְמַפְרֵעַ. אֵיזוֹ הִיא מְעֻבֶּרֶת. מִשֶּׁיֻּכַּר עֻבָּרָהּ. וְהוּא שְׁלֹשָׁה חֳדָשִׁים. מֵינִיקָה כָּל כ''ד חֹדֶשׁ אֲפִלּוּ מֵת בְּנָהּ אוֹ גְּמָלַתּוּ אוֹ נְתָנַתּוּ לְמֵינִיקָה:

5

[The term] "virgin" refers to a girl who has never menstruated even through she experienced uterine bleeding because of marriage19 or because of birth.20

The term "elderly woman" refers to a woman who did not menstruate for 90 days near her old age.21 When is she considered elderly? When she is called an old woman [by others] and she does not protest.

[The laws that apply when] a pregnant, nursing, or elderly woman [discovers] a stain are the same as when she discovers bleeding. She does not become impure retroactively. With regard to a virgin who has never menstruated and who is still a minor, a stain that is discovered is pure until she menstruates on three successive months.

ה

בְּתוּלָה כָּל שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה דָּם מִיָּמֶיהָ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרָאֲתָה מֵחֲמַת נִשּׂוּאִין אוֹ מֵחֲמַת לֵדָה. זְקֵנָה כָּל שֶׁעָבְרוּ עָלֶיהָ תִּשְׁעִים יוֹם סָמוּךְ לְזִקְנָתָהּ. וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא זְקֵנָה כָּל שֶׁקּוֹרְאִין לָהּ זְקֵנָה וְאֵינָהּ מַקְפֶּדֶת. מְעֻבֶּרֶת וּמֵינִיקָה וּזְקֵנָה כִּתְמָן כִּרְאִיָּתָן וְאֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא לְמַפְרֵעַ. בְּתוּלָה שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה דָּם מִיָּמֶיהָ וַעֲדַיִן הִיא קְטַנָּה כִּתְמָהּ טָהוֹר עַד שֶׁתִּרְאֶה דָּם שָׁלֹשׁ וְסָתוֹת:

6

What is the difference between a stain which is found on a woman's flesh and one found on her clothing? There is no minimum measure for a stain found on a woman's flesh.22 A stain on a garment, by contrast, does not render a woman impure unless it is the size of half a Cilikean bean (a gris)23 which is equivalent to a square large enough to contain nine lentils, i.e., three rows of three. If it is smaller than this, she is pure.24

If [a stain] is composed of small spots, they are not considered as a single entity.25 If it is extended, it is considered as a single entity.26

ו

מַה בֵּין כֶּתֶם הַנִּמְצָא עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ לְכֶתֶם הַנִּמְצָא עַל בִּגְדָהּ. שֶׁהַכֶּתֶם הַנִּמְצָא עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ אֵין לוֹ שִׁעוּר. וְהַנִּמְצָא עַל הַבֶּגֶד אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא עַד שֶׁיִּהְיֶה כִּגְרִיס הַקִּלְקִי שֶׁהוּא מְרֻבָּע שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ כְּדֵי תֵּשַׁע עֲדָשׁוֹת שָׁלֹשׁ עַל שָׁלֹשׁ. הָיָה פָּחוֹת מִשִּׁעוּר זֶה טָהוֹר. נִמְצָא טִפִּין טִפִּין אֵין מִצְטָרְפוֹת. הָיָה אָרֹךְ הֲרֵי זֶה מִצְטָרֵף:

7

[When] a stain is discovered on an article that is not susceptible to ritual impurity, the woman is pure and she need not be concerned about it.

What is implied? If a woman sat on a utensil made of stone,27 earth, animal dung, on fish skin, on the outside of an earthenware utensil,28 or on a cloth that is smaller than three fingerbreadths by three fingerbreadths29 and blood was discovered on the above, she is pure. Even if she inspected earth,30 then sat on it, and when she arose, a stain was discovered, she is pure. For our Sages did not decree that a woman would be impure when a stain was discovered on an article that is not susceptible to ritual impurity.31 Nor did they decree [that a stain discovered on an article susceptible to ritual impurity renders a woman] impure unless that article is white.32 If, however an article is colored, we are not concerned with a stain. For this reason, our Sages ordained that a woman should wear colored garments33 so that she be protected from problems arising due to stains.

ז

כֶּתֶם שֶׁנִּמְצָא עַל דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה טָהוֹר וְאֵינָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לוֹ. כֵּיצַד. יָשְׁבָה עַל כְּלֵי אֲבָנִים כְּלֵי אֲדָמָה וּכְלֵי גְּלָלִים אוֹ עַל עוֹר הַדָּג אוֹ עַל כְּלִי חֶרֶשׂ מִגַּבּוֹ אוֹ עַל בֶּגֶד שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת עַל שָׁלֹשׁ אֶצְבָּעוֹת וְנִמְצָא עֲלֵיהֶן דָּם טְהוֹרָה. אֲפִלּוּ בָּדְקָה הַקַּרְקַע וְיָשְׁבָה עָלֶיהָ וְנִמְצָא כֶּתֶם עַל הַקַּרְקַע כְּשֶׁעָמְדָה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה. שֶׁכָּל שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה לֹא גָּזְרוּ עַל כֶּתֶם שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא בּוֹ. וְלֹא בִּמְקַבֵּל טֻמְאָה אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן הָיָה לָבָן. אֲבָל כְּלֵי צִבְעוֹנִין אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְכֶתֶם הַנִּמְצָא בָּהֶן. לְפִיכָךְ תִּקְּנוּ חֲכָמִים שֶׁתִּלְבַּשׁ הָאִשָּׁה בִּגְדֵי צִבְעוֹנִין כְּדֵי לְהַצִּילָהּ מִדִּין הַכְּתָמִים:

8

[A woman] does not become impure because of a bloodstain found on every place on her body, only due to those found opposite her genital area.

What is implied? If a stain is found on her heel, she is impure. For perhaps she touched her genital area when she sat.34 Similarly, she is impure if a stain was found on her calves or on the inner side of her ankles, [the portions of her legs] that will touch each other when she stands with her feet and calves together. If it is found on the tip of her toe, she is impure. Perhaps [blood] dripped from the uterus to her foot when she walked.

Similarly, if blood is found in any place where her menstrual blood could have spattered when she walked, she is impure. Similarly, if blood is found on her hands, even on the backs of her fingers, she is impure. For the hands are active.35 If, however, blood is found on the outer or side portions of her calves and, needless to say, if it is found from her thighs upward,36 she is pure. For this is certainly blood that was spattered on her from another place.37

ח

לֹא בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁנִּמְצָא הַדָּם עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ תִּטְמָא מִשּׁוּם כֶּתֶם עַד שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא כְּנֶגֶד בֵּית הַתֻּרְפָּה. כֵּיצַד. נִמְצָא עַל עֲקֵבָהּ טְמֵאָה שֶׁמָּא נָגַע בְּבֵית תֻּרְפָּה בְּעֵת יְשִׁיבָתָהּ. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצָא עַל שׁוֹקָהּ אוֹ עַל פַּרְסוֹתֶיהָ מִבִּפְנִים וְהֵם הַמְּקוֹמוֹת הַנִּדְבָּקוֹת זוֹ בְּזוֹ בְּעֵת שֶׁתַּעֲמֹד וְתִדְבֹּק רֶגֶל לְרֶגֶל וְשׁוֹק לְשׁוֹק הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה. נִמְצָא עַל רֹאשׁ גּוּדַל רַגְלָהּ טְמֵאָה שֶׁמָּא נָטַף מִן הַחֶדֶר עַל רַגְלָהּ בְּעֵת שֶׁהָלְכָה. וְכֵן כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּנָּתֵז עָלָיו דַּם נִדָּתָהּ כְּשֶׁתְּהַלֵּךְ וְנִמְצָא שָׁם דָּם טְמֵאָה. וְכֵן אִם נִמְצָא הַדָּם עַל יָדֶיהָ אֲפִלּוּ עַל קִשְׁרֵי אֶצְבְּעוֹת יָדֶיהָ טְמֵאָה שֶׁהַיָּדַיִם עַסְקָנִיּוֹת הֵן. אֲבָל אִם נִמְצָא הַדָּם עַל שׁוֹקָהּ וְעַל פַּרְסוֹתֶיהָ מִבַּחוּץ אוֹ מִן הַצְּדָדִין וְאֵין צָרִיךְ לוֹמַר אִם נִמְצָא מִן הַיְרֵכַיִם וּלְמַעְלָה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה שֶׁאֵין זֶה אֶלָּא דָּם שֶׁנִּתַּז עָלֶיהָ מִמָּקוֹם אַחֵר:

9

When a bloodstain that is found on a woman's body is long like a strand or round, or made up of small drops, the length of the stain was across the width of her thigh, it looks like it came from below upward,38 since it is opposite her genital area, she is impure. We do not say: Had it dripped from her body, it would not be found in such a form.39 Instead, we are stringent with regard to all blood that is found in these places, even though there is a doubt concerning it.

ט

הַכֶּתֶם הַנִּמְצָא עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ שֶׁהוּא אָרֹךְ כִּרְצוּעָה אוֹ עָגל. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ טִפִּין טִפִּין. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה אֹרֶךְ הַכֶּתֶם עַל רֹחַב יְרֵכָהּ. אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה נִרְאֶה כְּאִלּוּ הוּא מִמַּטָּה לְמַעְלָה. הוֹאִיל וְהוּא כְּנֶגֶד בֵּית תֻּרְפָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה. וְאֵין אוֹמְרִים אִלּוּ נָטַף מִן הַגּוּף לֹא הָיָה כָּזֶה. שֶׁכָּל דָּם הַנִּמְצָא בִּמְקוֹמוֹת אֵלּוּ מַחֲמִירִין בּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא סָפֵק:

10

A stain that is found below the belt on a woman's garment40 renders her impure.41 If it is above the belt, she is pure. If it is found on her sleeve, if it could reach her genital area,42 she is impure. If not, she is pure.

י

הַכֶּתֶם הַנִּמְצָא עַל הֶחָלוּק שֶׁלָּהּ מֵחֲגוֹרָהּ וּלְמַטָּה טְמֵאָה מֵחֲגוֹרָהּ וּלְמַעְלָה טְהוֹרָה. נִמְצָא עַל בֵּית יָד שֶׁלָּהּ אִם מַגִּיעַ כְּנֶגֶד בֵּית תֻּרְפָּה טְמֵאָה וְאִם לָאו טְהוֹרָה:

11

If she would remove her garment and cover herself with it at night, she is impure wherever blood is found.43 Similarly, if blood is found anywhere on her girdle, she is impure.

יא

הָיְתָה פּוֹשַׁטְתוֹ וּמִתְכַּסָּה בּוֹ בַּלַּיְלָה כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא בּוֹ דָּם טְמֵאָה. וְכֵן הָאֵזוֹר שֶׁלָּהּ כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא בּוֹ הַדָּם טְמֵאָה:

12

If a woman wears one tunic for three days or more during a time that is not part of her "days of niddah" and inspected it and discovered three stains or one stain that contains the measure of three stains,44 there is a doubt whether she is a [major] zavah.45 For it is possible that each day, she stained the garment.46

Similarly, if she wore three garments that had been inspected47 for three days in her "days of zivah" and discovered a stain in each of them, there is a doubt whether she is a [major] zavah.48 [This applies] even if the stains are one opposite the other.49

יב

הָיְתָה לוֹבֶשֶׁת חָלוּק אֶחָד וְשָׁהָה עָלֶיהָ שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים אוֹ יֶתֶר בְּלֹא עֵת נִדָּתָהּ וּבָדְקָה וּמָצְאָה עָלָיו שְׁלֹשָׁה כְּתָמִים אוֹ כֶּתֶם אֶחָד גָּדוֹל שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ שִׁעוּר שְׁלֹשָׁה כְּתָמִים הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה שֶׁמָּא כֶּתֶם נָטַף מִמֶּנָּה בְּכָל יוֹם. וְכֵן אִם לָבְשָׁה שְׁלֹשָׁה בְּגָדִים בְּדוּקִים וְשָׁהוּ עָלֶיהָ שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ וּמָצְאָה כֶּתֶם בְּכָל אֶחָד מֵהֶן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁזֶּה כְּנֶגֶד זֶה הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה:

13

[The following rules apply if] she found one stain that did not contain the measure of three stains.50 If she inspected herself throughout bein hashamashot51 of the first day and found that she was pure, but did not inspect her clothes and on the third day, discovered this stain which is not the measure of three stains, she need not worry about being a zavah.52

If she did not inspect herself throughout bein hashamashot, she must suspect that she is a zavah. [The rationale is that] she did not inspect her garment and continued wearing it for three days during her "days of zivah."53

יג

מָצְאָה כֶּתֶם אֶחָד שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ כְּדֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה כְּתָמִים אִם בָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ כָּל בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת שֶׁל יוֹם רִאשׁוֹן וּמָצְאָה טָהוֹר וְלֹא בָּדְקָה חֲלוּקָהּ וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי מָצְאָה זֶה הַכֶּתֶם שֶׁאֵינוֹ כִּשְׁלֹשָׁה כְּתָמִים אֵינָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְזִיבוּת. וְאִם לֹא בָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ כָּל בֵּין הַשְּׁמָשׁוֹת הוֹאִיל וְלֹא בָּדְקָה חֲלוּקָהּ וְשָׁהָה עָלֶיהָ שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְזִיבוּת וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הַכֶּתֶם כְּדֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה כְּתָמִים:

14

If she discovered a stain on her garment on one day and then experienced bleeding for two successive days or experienced bleeding for two [successive] days and discovered a stain on the third day, there is a doubt whether she is a [major] zavah.54

יד

מָצְאָה כֶּתֶם עַל חֲלוּקָהּ הַיּוֹם וְרָאֲתָה דָּם אַחַר כָּךְ שְׁנֵי יָמִים זֶה אַחַר זֶה. אוֹ שֶׁרָאֲתָה שְׁנֵי יָמִים וּבַיּוֹם הַשְּׁלִישִׁי רָאֲתָה כֶּתֶם. הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה:

15

When a woman discovers a stain and then discovers bleeding, she associates the stain with the bleeding for a 24-hour period.55 [This applies] whether she inspected herself at the time she discovered the stain and found herself to be pure or whether she did not inspect herself. If, however, she discovers one stain after another stain within 24 hours, she does not associate one stain with the other unless she carried out an inspection in the interim. If, however, she carried out an inspection and found herself to be pure between [the discovery of the first] stain and the second, they should not be associated with regard to the counting of zivut.56

טו

הָרוֹאָה כֶּתֶם וְאַחַר כָּךְ רָאֲתָה דָּם תּוֹלָה כִּתְמָהּ בִּרְאִיָּתָהּ כָּל מֵעֵת לְעֵת. בֵּין שֶׁבָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ בְּעֵת שֶׁמָּצְאָה הַכֶּתֶם וּמְצָאתָהּ טָהוֹר. בֵּין שֶׁלֹּא בָּדְקָה. אֲבָל הָרוֹאָה כֶּתֶם אַחַר כֶּתֶם בְּתוֹךְ עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבַּע שָׁעוֹת אֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה כֶּתֶם בַּכֶּתֶם אֶלָּא אִם כֵּן בָּדְקָה בֵּינֵיהֶם. שֶׁאִם הִפְסִיקָה טָהֳרָה בֵּין הַכְּתָמִים אֵין מִצְטָרְפִין לְמִנְיַן זִיבוּת:

16

What is implied? She discovered a stain on Friday during the first hour of the day and then she discovered menstrual bleeding at any time until the first hour of the day on the Sabbath, she does not count [her impurity] from [the time she discovered] the stain. Instead, she associates the stain with the bleeding. [This applies] even if she did not inspect herself [after discovering the stain] and did not know whether she was impure or not. Thus if she discovers bleeding on Sunday and on Monday, she is a [major] zavah.57

If, however, she discovered bleeding during the second hour on the Sabbath, she is considered as if she was impure for two days: Friday because of the stain she discovered and the Sabbath because of the bleeding, because there are more than 24 hours between them. Hence, if she discovers bleeding on Sunday, she must suspect that she is a zavah.58

טז

כֵּיצַד. רָאֲתָה כֶּתֶם עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת בְּשָׁעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה מִן הַיּוֹם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא בָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ וְלֹא יָדְעָה אִם טְהוֹרָה הִיא אִם טְמֵאָה וְרָאֲתָה דָּם אַחַר כָּךְ עַד שָׁעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה מִיּוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת אֵינָהּ מוֹנָה לַכֶּתֶם. אֶלָּא תּוֹלָה הַכֶּתֶם בִּרְאִיָּה. וְאִם רָאֲתָה בְּאֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וּבְשֵׁנִי בְּשַׁבָּת תִּהְיֶה זָבָה. רָאֲתָה דָּם בְּיוֹם שַׁבָּת בְּשָׁעָה שְׁנִיָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה שְׁנֵי יָמִים עֶרֶב שַׁבָּת שֶׁמָּצְאָה בּוֹ הַכֶּתֶם וּבְשַׁבָּת שֶׁרָאֲתָה הַדָּם שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין שְׁנֵיהֶם בְּתוֹךְ מֵעֵת לְעֵת. וְאִם רָאֲתָה הַדָּם בְּאֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְזִיבוּת:

17

[The following rules apply if] she did not experience bleeding on the Sabbath, but instead discovered a stain during the first hour on the Sabbath. If she inspected herself on Friday and discovered that she was pure, she only counts from [the time of] the later stain [that was discovered] on the Sabbath, because they both were discovered within the same 24 hour period. If she did not inspect herself and did not know whether or not she was in fact pure between the two, she begins counting from Friday. Thus if she discovers bleeding on Sunday, she must suspect that she is a zavah.59

יז

לֹא רָאֲתָה דָּם בְּשַׁבָּת אֲבָל רָאֲתָה כֶּתֶם אַחֵר בְּשָׁעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה מִיּוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת. אִם בָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ בְּעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וּמָצְאָה טָהוֹר אֵינָהּ מוֹנָה אֶלָּא לְכֶתֶם אֶחָד שֶׁהוּא בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת הוֹאִיל וּשְׁנֵיהֶם בְּתוֹךְ מֵעֵת לְעֵת. וְאִם לֹא בָּדְקָה וְלֹא יָדְעָה אִם הִפְסִיקָה טָהֳרָה בֵּינֵיהֶן אִם לֹא הִפְסִיקָה הֲרֵי זוֹ מוֹנָה לְעֶרֶב שַׁבָּת וְאִם רָאֲתָה בְּאֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְזִיבוּת:

18

If she discovered the second stain during the second hour of the Sabbath day, she is considered as impure for two days, for the two are not within the same 24 hour period. [This applies] whether she inspected herself or did not inspect herself. [In such a situation,] if she discovers bleeding on Sunday after 24 hours have passed, she must suspect that she is a zavah.60

[The following laws apply if] she discovered a third stain during the first hour on Sunday. If she inspected herself and discovered that she was pure, they are not considered as coming in succession61 and she need not suspect that she is a zavah. If she does not carry out such an inspection, she must suspect that she is a zavah.62

יח

רָאֲתָה הַכֶּתֶם הַשֵּׁנִי בְּשָׁעָה שְׁנִיָּה מִיּוֹם שַׁבָּת בֵּין בָּדְקָה בֵּין לֹא בָּדְקָה הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה שְׁנֵי יָמִים שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין שְׁנֵיהֶם בְּתוֹךְ מֵעֵת לְעֵת. וְאִם רָאֲתָה בְּאֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת אַחַר מֵעֵת לְעֵת חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְזִיבוּת. רָאֲתָה בְּשָׁעָה רִאשׁוֹנָה מִיּוֹם אֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת כֶּתֶם שְׁלִישִׁי אִם הִפְסִיקָה טָהֳרָה בֵּינֵיהֶן אֵין מִצְטָרְפִין וְאֵינָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְזִיבוּת. וְאִם לֹא בָּדְקָה חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְזִיבוּת:

19

[The following rules apply] whenever there is a stain that causes a woman to be considered impure and there is a factor to which she could attribute the stain, saying: "The stain came because of this factor."63 If [the stain] is found on a garment, she is pure. For our Sages did not say that one should rule stringently regarding these matters, only leniently.64 If the stain is found on her flesh, she is impure because of the doubt and she may not attribute the stain to the external factor.65 If she has a greater reason to attribute a stain on her flesh [t an outside factor] than one on her clothes,66 she may attribute even a stain on her flesh [to the factor] and she is pure despite the doubt.

יט

כָּל כֶּתֶם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ שֶׁהִיא טְמֵאָה בִּגְלָלוֹ אִם יֵשׁ לָהּ דָּבָר לִתְלוֹת בּוֹ וְלוֹמַר שֶׁמָּא כֶּתֶם זֶה מִדָּבָר פְּלוֹנִי הוּא אִם נִמְצָא עַל הַבֶּגֶד הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה. שֶׁלֹּא אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים בַּדָּבָר לְהַחֲמִיר אֶלָּא לְהָקֵל. וְאִם נִמְצָא עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ סְפֵקוֹ טָמֵא וְאֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה בּוֹ. וְאִם הָיָה לָהּ לִתְלוֹת בִּבְשָׂרָהּ יֶתֶר מֵחֲלוּקָהּ אַף עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ תּוֹלָה וּסְפֵקוֹ טָהוֹר:

20

What is implied? If she slaughtered an animal, a beast, or a fowl, became occupied with stains, sat next to people who were, or passed through a marketplace of butchers and blood was found on her outer garment, she is pure. She may attribute the stain to these factors for it is [likely] to have come from them.

כ

כֵּיצַד. שָׁחֲטָה בְּהֵמָה אוֹ חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אוֹ שֶׁנִּתְעַסְּקָה בִּכְתָמִים אוֹ שֶׁיָּשְׁבָה בְּצַד הָעוֹסְקִין בָּהֶן אוֹ שֶׁעָבְרָה בְּשׁוּק שֶׁל טַבָּחִים וְנִמְצָא דָּם עַל חֲלוּקָהּ טְהוֹרָה וְתוֹלָה בִּדְבָרִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁמֵּהֶן בָּא הַכֶּתֶם:

21

[The following rules apply if] the stain was found on her flesh alone. If the stain is at her belt or lower, she is impure.67 If she turned upside down and flipped,68 even [a stain] from her belt and above renders her impure.69 For if the blood had come from slaughtering or from the market, it would also have been found on her garments. Since it was found on her flesh and not on her garments, she is impure.

כא

נִמְצָא הַכֶּתֶם עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ בִּלְבַד אִם הַכֶּתֶם מֵחֲגוֹר וּלְמַטָּה טְמֵאָה. וְאִם נִתְהַפְּכָה וְקָפְצָה אֲפִלּוּ מֵחֲגוֹר וּלְמַעְלָה טְמֵאָר שֶׁאִלּוּ הָיָה דָּם זֶה מִן הַשְּׁחִיטָה אוֹ מִן הַשּׁוּק הָיָה לָהּ שֶׁיִּמָּצֵא גַּם עַל בְּגָדֶיהָ וְהוֹאִיל וְנִמְצָא עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ וְלֹא בְּבִגְדָּהּ טְמֵאָה

22

If she has a wound, even if it is covered by a scab, if it could be opened and discharge blood70 and blood was found on her flesh, she may attribute the stain to her wound.71 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

כב

הָיְתָה בָּהּ מַכָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁחָיְתָה אִם יְכוֹלָה לְהִתְגַּלַּע וּלְהוֹצִיא דָּם וְנִמְצָא דָּם עַל בְּשָׂרָהּ תּוֹלָה בַּמַּכָּה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

23

When a stain is found on both her garments and her flesh, she may attribute it with all [the external factors] possible.72 And she may explain that [the stain was caused by] a louse, for perhaps when she sat down, a louse was killed and this blood came from the louse.73

Until when [does the above apply]? [When the stain is no larger than] a gris. If, however, the stain is larger than a gris, she may not attribute it to a louse. [This applies] even if there is a crushed louse on the stain. Since the stain is larger than a gris, she may not attribute it to a louse.74

כג

נִמְצָא הַכֶּתֶם עַל בְּגָדֶיהָ וּבְשָׂרָהּ כְּאֶחָד תּוֹלָה בְּכָל שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ לִתְלוֹת. וְתוֹלָה בְּמַאֲכלֶת שֶׁמָּא בְּעֵת שֶׁיָּשְׁבָה נֶהֶרְגָה מַאֲכלֶת וְדָם זֶה דַּם מַאֲכלֶת הוּא. וְעַד כַּמָּה עַד כִּגְרִיס. אֲבָל אִם מָצְאָה הַכֶּתֶם יֶתֶר מִכִּגְרִיס אֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה בְּמַאֲכלֶת וַאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה מַאֲכלֶת רְצוּצָה בַּכֶּתֶם הוֹאִיל וְהוּא יֶתֶר מִכִּגְרִיס אֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה בְּמַאֲכלֶת:

24

Similarly, she may attribute the stain to her son or her husband.75If they were occupied with blood, their hands were soiled, or they had a wound, she may attribute the stain to them saying that they touched her without her knowing it and the blood came from them.76

כד

וְכֵן תּוֹלָה בִּבְנָהּ וּבְבַעְלָהּ אִם הָיוּ עֲסוּקִין בְּדָם אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ יְדֵיהֶן מְלֻכְלָכוֹת אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה בָּהֶן מַכָּה תּוֹלָה בָּהֶן וְאוֹמֶרֶת הֵן נָגְעוּ בָּהּ וְהִיא לֹא יָדְעָה וְדָם זֶה מֵחֲמָתָן הוּא:

25

We do not consider the possibility that blood was [transferred] from one place to another to attribute a stain to it. What is implied? If a woman had a wound on her shoulder and a stain was discovered on her calf,77 we do not say: Maybe she touched the wound with her hand and then touched this other portion of her body.78 Similar laws apply in all analogous situations. We attribute neither stains on her body, nor those on her garment [to such wounds].79

כה

אֵין מַחֲזִיקִין דָּם מִמָּקוֹם לְמָקוֹם לִתְלוֹת בּוֹ. כֵּיצַד. הָיְתָה לָהּ מַכָּה בִּכְתֵפָהּ וְנִמְצָא כֶּתֶם עַל שׁוֹקָהּ. אֵין אוֹמְרִין שֶׁמָּא בְּיָדֶיהָ נָגְעָה בַּמַּכָּה וְנָגְעָה בְּמָקוֹם זֶה. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה אֵין תּוֹלִין בּוֹ בֵּין בְּגוּפָהּ בֵּין בַּחֲלוּקָהּ:

26

[The following laws apply when] two women were occupied with [slaughtering] one fowl and it contained only an amount of blood equal in size to a sela. If a stain the size of a sela is found on both of them, they are both impure.80

If a woman was occupied with blood that could produce a stain no larger than a gris and a stain the size of two grisim was found on her, she may attribute a gris to the blood with which she was occupied with and a gris to a louse.81 If, however, the stain was larger than two grisim, she is impure.

כו

שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים שֶׁנִּתְעַסְּקוּ בְּצִפּוֹר אֶחָד וְאֵין בּוֹ אֶלָּא כְּסֶלַע דָּם וְנִמְצָא עַל כָּל אַחַת מִשְּׁתֵּיהֶן כֶּתֶם כְּסֶלַע שְׁתֵּיהֶן טְמֵאוֹת. נִתְעַסְּקָה בְּדָם שֶׁאִי אֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיִּהְיֶה מִמֶּנּוּ כֶּתֶם אֶלָּא כִּגְרִיס וְנִמְצָא עָלֶיהָ כֶּתֶם כִּשְׁנֵי גְּרִיסִין הֲרֵי זוֹ תּוֹלָה כִּגְרִיס בַּדָּם שֶׁנִּתְעַסְּקָה בּוֹ וְכִגְרִיס בְּמַאֲכלֶת. נִמְצָא הַכֶּתֶם יֶתֶר מִכִּשְׁנֵי גְּרִיסִין טְמֵאָה:

27

If she was occupied with red [blood], she may not attribute a black [stain] to it. If she was occupied with a fowl that had many different colors of blood and one of them was found on her, she may attribute [the stain] to [the fowl].

If she was wearing three outer garments, if there is an external factor to which she could attribute [a stain], she may attribute even [a stain] on the bottom garment to it.82 If she [knows of] no external factor to attribute it to, she may not attribute it to any factor, even if it is found only on the upper one.83

What is implied? If she passed through a butcher's market place, even if the stain is found only on the bottom garment, she may attribute it to the blood of the butcher's. If she did not pass through a butcher's market or the like, even if the stain is only on the upper garment, she is impure. If she is in doubt whether or not she passed through [such a place] or whether or not she was occupied [with an object that could produce a stain], she may not attribute it [to an external factor].84

כז

נִתְעַסְּקָה בְּאָדֹם אֵין תּוֹלָה בּוֹ שָׁחוֹר. נִתְעַסְּקָה בְּעוֹף שֶׁיֵּשׁ בּוֹ מִינֵי דָּם הַרְבֵּה וְנִמְצָא עָלֶיהָ מַרְאֶה אֶחָד מֵהֶן תּוֹלָה בּוֹ. הָיְתָה לוֹבֶשֶׁת שְׁלֹשָׁה חֲלוּקוֹת אִם יְכוֹלָה לִתְלוֹת תּוֹלָה אַף בַּתַּחְתּוֹן. וְאִם אֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לִתְלוֹת אֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה אַף בָּעֶלְיוֹן. כֵּיצַד. עָבְרָה בְּשׁוּק שֶׁל טַבָּחִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּמְצָא הַכֶּתֶם עַל הַתַּחְתּוֹן לְבַדּוֹ תּוֹלָה בְּדַם הַטַּבָּחִים. לֹא עָבְרָה בְּשׁוּק הַטַּבָּחִים וְכַיּוֹצֵא בּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּמְצָא הַכֶּתֶם בָּעֶלְיוֹן לְבַדּוֹ הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה סָפֵק עָבְרָה סָפֵק לֹא עָבְרָה סָפֵק נִתְעַסְּקָה סָפֵק לֹא נִתְעַסְּקָה אֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה:

28

When a city has pigs [that roam freely] or [such animals] enter it at all times, [a woman] need not be concerned with stains that are found on her outer garment.85

כח

עִיר שֶׁיֵּשׁ בָּהּ חֲזִירִים אוֹ שֶׁהֵם בָּאִין לָהּ תָּמִיד אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לִכְתָמֶיהָ הַנִּמְצָאִין בַּחֲלוּקָהּ:

29

When a woman lent her garment to a niddah, whether a Jewess or a gentile woman,86 and then put it on before checking it,87 she can attribute a stain she finds upon it to the niddah who wore it.88

[Similarly,] if she lent [a garment] to a minor zavah on a day that she is impure,89 one who is experiencing [the post-birth] blood of purity,90 or to [a woman who was] a virgin and is experiencing [hymeneal] bleeding [which is] pure, she may attribute the stain to them.91

[A different ruling applies,] however, if she lent [a garment] to a minor zavah on the day she is watching or a major zavah during her seven "spotless" days, put it on before checking it and then discovered a stain. [In such an instance,] the halachic status of both is impaired., the lender and the borrower. For perhaps this one caused the stain or perhaps the other did.92

If she lent [the garment] to a woman who is watching herself because of the discovery of a stain, she may not attribute the stain to her. [The rationale is that] we do not attribute one stain to another.93

כט

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהִשְׁאִילָה חֲלוּקָהּ לְנִדָּה בֵּין עַכּוּ''ם בֵּין יִשְׂרְאֵלִית וְחָזְרָה וְלָבְשָׁה אוֹתוֹ קֹדֶם בְּדִיקָה וּמָצְאָה עָלָיו כֶּתֶם הֲרֵי זוֹ תּוֹלָה בַּנִּדָּה שֶׁלָּבְשָׁה אוֹתוֹ. הִשְׁאִילָה אוֹתוֹ לְזָבָה קְטַנָּה בַּיּוֹם הַטָּמֵא שֶׁלָּהּ אוֹ לַיּוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל דַּם טֹהַר אוֹ לִבְתוּלָה שֶׁדָּמֶיהָ טְהוֹרִין הֲרֵי זוֹ תּוֹלָה בָּהּ. אֲבָל אִם הִשְׁאִילָה אוֹתוֹ לְזָבָה קְטַנָּה בַּיּוֹם הַשָּׁמוּר אוֹ לְזָבָה גְּדוֹלָה בְּשִׁבְעָה יָמִים נְקִיִּים וְחָזְרָה וְלָבְשָׁה אוֹתוֹ קֹדֶם בְּדִיקָה וְנִמְצָא עָלָיו כֶּתֶם שְׁתֵּיהֶן מְקֻלְקָלוֹת הַשּׁוֹאֶלֶת וְהַמַּשְׁאֶלֶת אוֹתָהּ שֶׁמָּא מִזּוֹ שֶׁמָּא מִזּוֹ. הִשְׁאִילָה אוֹתוֹ לְיוֹשֶׁבֶת עַל הַכֶּתֶם אֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה בָּהּ שֶׁאֵין תּוֹלִין כֶּתֶם בְּכֶתֶם:

30

[The following law applies when a woman] inspected her outer garment and then inspected herself94 and discovered that she was pure and afterwards, lent that garment to a colleague. If the borrower wore the garment and then a stain was discovered upon it when she returned it, the borrower is impure. She cannot attribute the stain to the owner, because the owner inspected it before she lent it to her.

ל

בָּדְקָה חֲלוּקָהּ וּבָדְקָה עַצְמָהּ וּמָצְאָה טָהוֹר וְהִשְׁאִילָה הֶחָלוּק לַחֲבֵרְתָהּ וּלְבָשַׁתּוּ וְנִמְצָא עָלָיו כֶּתֶם כְּשֶׁהֶחֱזִירָתוֹ לָהּ הַשּׁוֹאֶלֶת טְמֵאָה. וְאֵינָהּ תּוֹלָה בְּבַעֲלַת הֶחָלוּק שֶׁהֲרֵי בָּדְקָה אוֹתוֹ קֹדֶם שֶׁתַּשְׁאִילֵהוּ לָהּ:

31

[The following laws apply when] a tall woman wears an outer garment belonging to a short woman and a stain is discovered upon it. If [the place where the stain is located] reaches her genital area, she is impure.95 If it does not, she is pure, because [it is probable] that the stain came from the short woman.

לא

אֲרֻכָּה שֶׁלָּבְשָׁה חֲלוּקָהּ שֶׁל קְצָרָה וְנִמְצָא בּוֹ כֶּתֶם אִם מַגִּיעַ כְּנֶגֶד בֵּית הַתֻּרְפָּה טְמֵאָה וְאִם לָאו טְהוֹרָה. שֶׁכֶּתֶם זֶה שֶׁל קְצָרָה הוּא:

32

When three woman wore one garment in succession and afterwards, a stain was found upon it, [they are all impure].96 Similarly, if they slept in one bed together97 and a blood [stain] was found under one, they are all impure.98

If one of them inspected herself immediately99 and found herself impure, the [other] two are pure.100

לב

שָׁלֹשׁ נָשִׁים שֶׁלָּבְשׁוּ חָלוּק אֶחָד זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ וְאַחַר כָּךְ נִמְצָא עָלָיו כֶּתֶם. וְכֵן אִם יְשֵׁנוֹת בְּמִטָּה אַחַת כְּאַחַת וְנִמְצָא דָּם תַּחַת אַחַת מֵהֶן כֻּלָּן טְמֵאוֹת. וְאִם בָּדְקָה אַחַת מֵהֶן עַצְמָהּ מִיָּד וּמָצְאָה עַצְמָהּ טְמֵאָה הֲרֵי הַשְּׁתַּיִם טְהוֹרוֹת:

33

[The following principle applies when, in the above situation, the women] all inspected themselves and discovered that they were pure. A woman who is not likely to discover bleeding may attribute the stain to one who is likely to discover bleeding. Thus the one who is unlikely [to discover bleeding] will be pure and the one who is likely will be impure.

What is implied? If one of the woman is pregnant and another is not pregnant, the pregnant101 woman is pure102 and the one who is not pregnant is impure. If one was nursing103 and one was not nursing, the one who is nursing is pure.104 If one is an elderly woman,105 and one is not elderly, the elder woman is pure.106 If one has not experienced menstrual bleeding107 and one has, the one who has no experience is pure.108 If they are all pregnant, all elderly, all nursing, or all have not experienced menstrual bleeding, they are all impure.109

לג

בָּדְקוּ כֻּלָּן וּמָצְאוּ עַצְמָן טְהוֹרוֹת תּוֹלָה מִי שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה לִרְאוֹת דָּם בְּמִי שֶׁהִיא רְאוּיָה. וְתִהְיֶה שֶׁאֵינָהּ רְאוּיָה טְהוֹרָה וְהָרְאוּיָה טְמֵאָה. כֵּיצַד. הָיְתָה אַחַת מְעֻבֶּרֶת וְאַחַת אֵינָהּ מְעֻבֶּרֶת הַמְעֻבֶּרֶת טְהוֹרָה וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ מְעֻבֶּרֶת טְמֵאָה. מֵינִיקָה וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ מֵינִיקָה הַמֵּינִיקָה טְהוֹרָה. זְקֵנָה וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ זְקֵנָה הַזְּקֵנָה טְהוֹרָה. בְּתוּלָה וְשֶׁאֵינָהּ בְּתוּלָה הַבְּתוּלָה טְהוֹרָה. הָיוּ כֻּלָּן מְעֻבָּרוֹת כֻּלָּן זְקֵנוֹת כֻּלָּן מֵינִיקוֹת כֻּלָּן בְּתוּלוֹת הֲרֵי כֻּלָּן טְמֵאוֹת:

34

[The following laws apply when] three women ascended from the foot of a bed,110 and went to sleep. If a blood[stain] was discovered under the middle one, all three are impure.111 If [a stain] was discovered under112 the innermost one, she and the woman to her side are impure and the outermost one is pure.113 If [the stain] was under the outermost, she and the woman to her side are impure and the innermost is pure. If, however, they did not ascend from the foot of the bed, and thus they have no order, if a blood[stain] is discovered under any one of them, they are all impure.

לד

שָׁלֹשׁ נָשִׁים שֶׁעָלוּ דֶּרֶךְ מַרְגְּלוֹת הַמִּטָּה וְיָשְׁנוּ כֻּלָּן וְנִמְצָא דָּם תַּחַת הָאֶמְצָעִית שְׁלָשְׁתָּן טְמֵאוֹת. תַּחַת הַפְּנִימִית הִיא וְשֶׁבְּצִדָּהּ טְמֵאוֹת וְהַחִיצוֹנָה טְהוֹרָה. תַּחַת הַחִיצוֹנָה הִיא וְשֶׁבְּצִדָּהּ טְמֵאוֹת וְהַפְּנִימִית טְהוֹרָה. וְאִם לֹא עָלוּ דֶּרֶךְ מַרְגְּלוֹת הַמִּטָּה שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵין לָהֶם סֵדֶר וְנִמְצָא דָּם תַּחַת אַחַת מֵהֶן כֻּלָּן טְמֵאוֹת:

35

When does the above apply? When the woman all inspected themselves and found themselves to be pure. Thus none of them could attribute [the stain] to the other as we explained. If, however, one of them inspected herself and discovered that she was pure, the woman who is pure can attribute the stain to the one who did not check, and that woman is impure.

לה

בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁבָּדְקוּ כֻּלָּן וּמָצְאוּ טָהוֹר וְלֹא תּוּכַל אַחַת מֵהֶן לִתְלוֹת בַּחֲבֵרְתָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. אֲבָל אִם בָּדְקָה אַחַת וּמָצְאָה עַצְמָהּ טְהוֹרָה וַחֲבֵרְתָהּ לֹא בָּדְקָה תּוֹלָה הַטְּהוֹרָה בְּזוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בָּדְקָה וַהֲרֵי זוֹ שֶׁלֹּא בָּדְקָה טְמֵאָה:

36

Whenever a stain is found on a garment and there is no external source to attribute it to, it, [nevertheless,] does not cause a woman to be considered impure until it is proven to be blood.114 If a doubt arises for [the experts]115 whether [a stain] was blood or [simply] red dye, they [wash the stain] with [the following] seven cleaning agents in order. If it is washed away or its color becomes weaker,116 it is a bloodstain and [the woman] is considered impure. If the stain remains the same color, it is a dye and [she] is pure.117

לו

כָּל כֶּתֶם שֶׁנִּמְצָא עַל הַבֶּגֶד שֶׁאֵין לָהּ בְּמַה יִּתְלֶה אֵינוֹ מְטַמֵּא עַד שֶׁיִּוָּדַע שֶׁהוּא דָּם. וְאִם נִסְתַּפֵּק לָהֶם שֶׁמָּא הוּא דָּם אוֹ צֶבַע אָדֹם מַעֲבִירִין עָלָיו שִׁבְעָה סַמָּנִין אֵלּוּ עַל הַסֵּדֶר. אִם עָבַר אוֹ כֵּהָה עֵינוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כֶּתֶם דָּם וּטְמֵאָה וְאִם עָמַד כְּמוֹת שֶׁהוּא הֲרֵי זֶה צֶבַע וּטְהוֹרָה:

37

These are the seven cleaning agents in the order [in which they should be used]: the saliva of a person who has not eaten, beans that have been chewed, urine that has become sour, lye,118 natron,119 cumin powder,120 and bleach.121 [The garment] must be rubbed three times with each cleansing agent and it must be passed back and forth while being rubbed.

If a person did not use these cleansing agents in the above order or used them all at once, his deeds are of no consequence.122 If he used the last substances before the first ones, the fact that he used the last ones - i.e., the first ones in the proper order - is significant. He may then use [merely] the last ones - which he used first - so that he will have used all seven in order.

לז

וְאֵלּוּ הֵן הַשִּׁבְעָה סַמָּנִים עַל סִדְרָן. רֹק תָּפֵל. וּלְעִיסַת גְּרִיסִין שֶׁל פּוֹל. וּמֵי רַגְלַיִם שֶׁהֶחֱמִיצוּ. וּבֹרִית. וְנֶתֶר. וְקִימוֹנְיָא. וְאַשְׁלָג. וְצָרִיךְ לְכַסְכֵּס שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים עַל כָּל סַם וְסַם וּמוֹלִיךְ וּמֵבִיא בְּכָל כִּסְכּוּס. הֶעֱבִירָן שֶׁלֹּא עַל הַסֵּדֶר אוֹ שֶׁהֶעֱבִירָן כְּאֶחָד לֹא עָשָׂה כְּלוּם. הִקְדִּים הָאַחֲרוֹנִים לָרִאשׁוֹנִים אֵלּוּ שֶׁהֶעֱבִיר בָּאַחֲרוֹנָה שֶׁהֵן הָרִאשׁוֹנִים עָלוּ לוֹ וְחוֹזֵר וּמַעֲבִיר אַחֲרֵיהֶם אַחֲרוֹנִים שֶׁהִקְדִּים עַד שֶׁיַּעַבְרוּ הַשִּׁבְעָה עַל הַסֵּדֶר:

38

What is meant by "the saliva of a person who has not eaten"? [Saliva taken from a person who did not eat from the beginning of the night and slept the second half of the night and gave this saliva before he ate the next morning. [Moreover,] he must not have spoken excessively for the first three hours of the day. If, however, a person arose and repeated his studies before three hours of the day passed, his saliva is not placed in this category. For speaking nullifies the power of the saliva and causes it to be like water.

What is meant by beans that have been chewed? Beans that have been chewed thoroughly until a large quantity of saliva has been mixed with them. What is meant by urine that has soured? Urine that is three days old or more.

לח

אֵי זֶהוּ רֹק תָּפֵל שֶׁלֹּא טָעַם כְּלוּם מִתְּחִלַּת הַלַּיְלָה וְהָיָה יָשֵׁן מֵחֲצִי הַלַּיְלָה הָאַחֲרוֹן לְמָחָר קֹדֶם שֶׁיֹּאכַל נִקְרָא רֹק תָּפֵל. וְהוּא שֶׁלֹּא יָצָא רֹב דִּבּוּרוֹ עַד שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁעוֹת בַּיּוֹם. וְאִם הִשְׁכִּים וְשָׁנָה פִּרְקוֹ קֹדֶם שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁעוֹת אֵין זֶה רֹק תָּפֵל שֶׁהַדִּבּוּר מְבַטֵּל חֹזֶק הָרֹק וּמַחֲזִירוֹ כְּמַיִם. וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא לְעִיסַת גְּרִיסִין הוּא שֶׁיִּלְעֹס הַגְּרִיסִין עַד שֶׁיִּתְעָרֵב עִם הַפּוֹל רֹק הַרְבֵּה מִפִּיו. וְאֵי זֶהוּ מֵי רַגְלַיִם שֶׁהֶחֱמִיצוּ אַחַר שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים אוֹ יֶתֶר:

39

[The following laws apply to] any woman who becomes impure because of a stain. If she discovers the stain during her "days of niddah," she must consider herself a niddah because of the doubt. She must remain [impure] for seven days and immerses herself on the eighth night. Afterwards, she is permitted to her husband.

If she discovered [the stain] during her "days of zivah," because of the doubt, she must consider herself as a minor zavah or a major zavah as clarified in this chapter.123 She must remain [impure] for one day if she is a minor zavah or count seven "spotless" days if there is a doubt whether she is a major zavah.

All this stems from Rabbinic decree as we explained.124 Therefore if a man engages in relations with such a woman in conscious violation, he is given stripes for rebellious conduct125 and he is not obligated to bring a sacrifice.126

לט

כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁהִיא טְמֵאָה מִשּׁוּם כֶּתֶם אִם מָצְאָה הַכֶּתֶם בִּימֵי נִדָּתָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק נִדָּה וְיוֹשֶׁבֶת עָלָיו שִׁבְעָה יָמִים וְטוֹבֶלֶת בְּלֵיל שְׁמִינִי וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ. וְאִם מָצְאָה אוֹתוֹ בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה גְּדוֹלָה אוֹ קְטַנָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁנִּתְבָּאֵר בְּפֶרֶק זֶה. וְיוֹשֶׁבֶת יוֹם אֶחָד אִם הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה אוֹ שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים אִם הָיְתָה גְּדוֹלָה מִסָּפֵק. וְהַכּל מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. לְפִיכָךְ הַבָּא עָלֶיהָ בְּזָדוֹן מַכִּין אוֹתוֹ מַכַּת מַרְדּוּת וּפְטוּרִין מִקָּרְבָּן:

Footnotes
1.

In contrast to Rabbinic Law as defined by the following halachah.

The Turei Zahav 190:1 interprets the gloss of the Maggid Mishneh as stating that even if we are certain that a woman experienced uterine bleeding, if she did not experience the physical sensations that accompany menstruation, she is not impure according to Scriptural Law.

2.

The physical sensation described here is not the heaviness, nausea, or stomach contractions which sometimes precipitate a woman's menstrual bleeding. [These sensations are also halachicly significant, but are related to another aspect of the niddah laws - the determination of vesetos, the time when her menstruation could be expected to begin (see Chapter 8, Halachah 2).] Instead, here the intent is either: a) an awareness of the opening of the uterus, or b) shivers or shudders as in a state of shock. Certain authorities also speak of a third sensation: that of a flow of moisture in the uterine channel. See the commentaries to Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 183:1). It must be emphasized that today, many authorities rule that a woman is unable to identify these sensations.

3.

Chapter 5, Halachah 2.

4.

I.e., according to Scriptural Law, she does not become impure retroactively.

5.

Carrying out the internal examination, however, prevented her from feeling that sensation.

6.

Chapter 5, Halachah 5, which states that the discovery of bleeding in the vaginal channel renders her impure.

7.

As clarified in Halachah 8.

8.

As clarified in Halachot 9-11.

9.

We do not say that the fact that she did not discover any internal signs of bleeding indicates that the bleeding originated elsewhere.

10.

Since we are speaking about a Rabbinic institution and there is doubt involved, there is some room for leniency as will be explained.

The Kessef Mishneh questions why we do not consider this a question of multiple doubt (s'fek s'feika) in which case we rule leniently. In this instance, it is possible that the blood came from her flesh and it is possible that it came from an outside source. And even if it came from her flesh, it is possible it came from the uterus and it is possible it came from the ovaries.

The Kessef Mishneh offers two resolutions: a) because of the serious nature of the prohibition involved, our Sages were stringent despite the multiple doubt;

b) when the woman has no outside factors to which the blood can be attributed, our Sages ruled stringently and maintained that it is considered as if the bleeding is definitely from her flesh. Thus there is only one doubt: whether the bleeding comes from the uterus or the ovaries.

Kin'at Eliyahu offers a third resolution: Essentially, there is one question involved? Did the bleeding originate in the uterus or elsewhere? Where elsewhere - the ovaries or an outside source - does not multiply the doubt involved.

11.

If she discovers bleeding at the time of her veset, we assume that she began menstruating then, since that is when she ordinarily menstruates, as stated in the following halachah. Otherwise, we assume she began menstruating beforehand.

12.

I.e., any articles that she touched within that time are considered as if they are ritually impure. We assume that she began menstruating before she discovered the bleeding and therefore consider her impure retroactively.

13.

I.e., we reduce the time of impurity from 24 hours, because she conducted an internal examination in the interim. Nevertheless, we still follow the basic premise that she is considered impure retroactively.

14.

Chapter 8, Halachah 13. Note Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav 3:8 which states that although the man who engages in relations with her is not governed by the severe rules that apply to one who had relations with a niddah, he is still considered ritually impure for touching the woman.

15.

As stated in Chapter 8, a woman must calculate the day on which she is expected to begin menstruated. In this instance, she cannot do so, for she does not know whether to begin counting anew from the time she discovered the stain or perhaps her original cycle has not changed.

16.

These terms are defined in this and the following halachah. The rationale is that these women are not expected to menstruate. Hence, we do not show concern for the possibility that they menstruated at an earlier time.

17.

Even if she discovers her pregnancy earlier, she must take the bleeding into consideration until three months.

18.

Conversely, although a woman continues nursing beyond this times, she is not granted this leniency (Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav 4:1).

19.

I.e., hymeneal bleeding.

20.

As stated in Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav 4:3, this principle applies the first two times she menstruates.

21.

I.e., once three months pass without her menstruating, we assume that she will no longer menstruate according to a set pattern.

22.

She becomes impure no matter how small it is.

23.

A gris is half a bean. Cilik is a place where beans grow very large [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Keilim 17:112)]. Most contemporary experts consider this to be the size of an American dime.

24.

It is possible that the blood came from a louse that was inadvertently killed (see Halachah 23). Since the question is one of Rabbinic Law, we rule leniently and consider the woman pure. When, however, the stain is on her flesh, we rule stringently, because lice are not usually found on one's flesh (Kessef Mishneh).

The distinction between a stain on one's body and on one's clothes is not accepted by all authorities. Ra'avad, Ramban, and Rashba differ and maintain that there is no difference between the two. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:6) quotes both opinions without stating which one is favored.

25.

I.e. unless one of the spots is the size of a gris, the woman is considered pure. We are not concerned with the combined area of the spots.

26.

In this instance, if the combined area of the stain is the size of a gris, the woman is considered as impure.

27.

All of the following are examples of articles that are not susceptible to ritual impurity. The Rambam discusses all of these types of utensils in Hilchot Keilim. Commenting on the citation of this law in the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:10), the Rama (and Pitchei Teshuvah 190:19) also give the example of a toilet seat as an article that is not susceptible to ritual impurity.

28.

For an earthenware utensil only contracts ritual impurity from its inside.

29.

A cloth of this size is considered too small to serve any purpose and hence, is not considered as a garment or utensil.

30.

And found there were no bloodstains on it.

31.

As mentioned above, the designation of a woman as impure because of a stain that is discovered is a Rabbinic decree. When our Sages instituted the decree, they allowed for leniency in certain instances.

32.

Niddah 61b relates that originally our Sages thought to prohibit women from wearing colored garments as part of the mourning customs introduced because of the destruction of the Temple. Afterwards, they reconsidered and recommended that they wear such garments as the Rambam explains.

33.

On days other than her seven "spotless" days.

34.

In the Talmudic era, people would sit on rugs on cushions on the ground and when sitting in this manner, it is possible that a woman's foot will touch her genital area.

35.

And it is possible that unknowingly, she touched a place on her body where there was menstrual blood (Maggid Mishneh).

36.

When restating this law, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:11) uses the wording "if it is found above her genital area." It also states that if a woman lifted her legs above her waist, she is impure even if a stain is found on the upper portion of her body.

37.

I.e., we assume that the blood came from an external source. For it is not ordinary that her menstrual blood would spatter to these portions of her body.

38.

I.e., the shape of the stain appeared to indicate that the blood was spattered upward, rather than dripped downward.

39.

I.e., even when the shape of the stain appears to indicate that it came from an external source, as long as its position leaves open the possibility that it came from uterine bleeding, we rule stringently.

40.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:12) rules that this law applies even when the stain is found on only the external part of her garment.

41.

For the possibility exists that it came as a result of uterine bleeding. See Halachot 19-20 which explain that when there is justified reason to suspect that the stain came from an external source, she is pure, even though the stain is found on the lower portion of her garment.

42.

Even when she bends (Maggid Mishneh in the name of the Rashba).

43.

Because it is possible that she and the blanket both shifted position while she was sleeping.

44.

I.e., it is three times the size of a gris.

45.

She must wait seven "spotless" days before engaging in relations. She brings the sacrifice required of a zavah, but because of the doubt concerning her status, it is not eaten.

46.

Three stains are sufficient to render her a major zavah. She is not, however, definitely given this status, for it is possible that the three stains came on one day.

47.

I.e., she wore the three garments at the same time, one on top of the other.

48.

For it is possible that she experienced bleeding on three successive days.

49.

And thus it is likely that the three stains came from the same bleeding. Nevertheless, since we are not certain of this, she is considered a zavah because of the doubt.

50.

I.e., it is smaller than three times the size of a gris.

51.

Bein hashamashot refers to the time between sunset and the appearance of the stars. The intent is not that a woman should continue to inspect herself throughout this entire time. Instead, what is meant is that she should insert a small cloth into her vagina and leave it there for this entire time.

52.

For she will have verified that she had not experienced bleeding on the first day.

53.

Since she was wearing the garment for three days, the possibility exists that she experienced bleeding for three days, but all the stains were in the same place.

54.

Since on one of the days, she became impure because of a stain without feeling the physical sensations associated with menstruation, her impurity is not of Scriptural status. For to be considered as a zavah according to Scriptural Law, she must experience these physical sensations.

55.

If the bleeding was discovered within 24 hours of the stain, we assume that the stain came about because of the subsequent bleeding and therefore she is governed by the same laws that would apply had she experienced only the bleeding as stated in Halachah 16.

56.

The Rambam's ruling is dependent on his understanding of Niddah 53b. The Ra'avad does not accept the Rambam's interpretation of this passage and harshly dismisses the Rambam's conclusions. The Maggid Mishneh both supports and explains the Rambam's position.

57.

But if she does not discover blood on Monday, she is not a major zavah, i.e., we pay no attention to the stain that she discovered on Friday.

(Any time the term zavah is mentioned subsequently in this chapter, she is considered as a zavah.)

58.

She is not definitely placed in that category, because one of the days is associated with a stain, as stated in Halachah 14.

59.

Because she experienced either a stain or bleeding on three consecutive days..

60.

Because she experienced either a stain or bleeding on three consecutive days..

61.

I.e., instead of being concerned that she discovered stains on three consecutive days, she associates the stain of the Sabbath and that of Sunday and counts them only as one.

62.

For each of the stains is considered individually.

63.

The principles mentioned in this halachah are illustrated in the halachot that follow.

64.

Since the impurity associated with a stain is a matter of Rabbinic Law, we follow the principle: Whenever there is a doubt involved a matter of Rabbinic Law, we rule leniently [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:18)].

65.

Since the stain is found on her flesh and not on her clothes, we assume that it is more likely to come from the uterus than from an external factor.

66.

E.g., she has a wound on her flesh.

67.

Provided the stain is found on a portion of her body from which the blood could have dripped from the uterus as stated in Halachah 8.

68.

This phrase was not found in the texts of the Mishneh Torah possessed by the Ra'avad and the Maggid Mishneh. Therefore they raised objections to the Rambam's ruling.

69.

Ordinarily, however, such a stain does not alter her status even though it is found on her flesh alone.

70.

E.g., if it was scratched [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:18)].

71.

And thus her status does not change. Note, however, Halachah 25.

72.

For we can assume that it came from the outside first to her garments and then to her flesh. Hence she may attribute the blood to any of the factors mentioned in Halachah 20, as if the blood was found on her garments alone.

73.

This applies even if she did not see that she killed a louse. If she knows that she killed an insect and it is possible that it produced a stain larger than a gris, she may attribute the stain to that [the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 8:2)].

74.

For it is an accepted principle that a louse contains no more than a gris of blood. Hence if the stain is larger, that is an indication that the blood came from another source. Note Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:28) which rules leniently and explains that it is possible that there were two lice here, one which she killed previously and the one which is found crushed on her garment.

75.

As indicated by the Rambam's explanation, even if she did not know that they touched her with soiled hands, if their hands were soiled, she may assume that this is the fact. For it is likely for a husband to touch his wife and a child to touch his mother.

76.

If, however, their hands are not soiled, we do not attribute a stain to them unless the blood could have spattered upon her [Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:19)].

77.

It is highly improbable that blood dripped from her shoulder to her calf.

78.

There are instances where we postulate that a person's hands are active and the possibility exists that one transferred impurity from one place to another. Nevertheless, this concept is used only to lead to a stringency, not as a source for leniency.

79.

The Maggid Mishneh states that if it is possible that the garment passed over the wound when it was removed, we can attribute a stain on a garment to such a wound. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:16) quotes this conclusion.

80.

Since the fowl did not contain enough blood to produce two stains of this size, we assume that one came from another source and attribute it to menstrual bleeding. Since we don't know which of the women was soiled by the fowl and which was not, we rule that they are both impure.

The Bayit Chadash (Yoreh De'ah 190) rules that this law applies only when the two women come to inquire about their status together. If they come one after the other, he rules that they are both considered pure. The Turei Zahav 190:17 differs, maintaining that although the ruling of the Bayit Chadash has parallels in other contexts, the logic should not be applied in this instance. The Nekudot HaKessef, however, accepts the ruling of the Bayit Chadash.

81.

As stated in Halachah 23. The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 190:26) states that although there are opinions which rule that a woman is impure in such an instance, we follow the more lenient view, for the entire issue is one of Rabbinic Law.

82.

Although there is reason to say that if the stain came from the outside, it would certainly be found on the outer garment as well, we still rule leniently, because there is the possibility that the outer garment was raised up at the time the blood was spattered.

83.

Thus had the stain come from the woman's body, it would be far more likely to be found on the lower garment.

84.

Although we rule leniently in questions involving stains, that is when we know that there is definitely a factor that could cause a stain involved. In this instance, we are not certain that there is indeed such a factor involved.

When quoting this law, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:22) adds that this ruling applies only in a city where there is a set place for butchering and the like. In places where these activities are carried out in many different places, a woman can attribute a stain to such a factor even if she is not certain that she passed such a place.

85.

For the pigs eat small crawling animals and spatter their blood on passersby. Needless to say in most modern cities, this law does not apply.

86.

According to Scriptural Law, the laws of niddah do not apply to gentile woman, but according to Rabbinic Law, every gentile women is considered as if she is a niddah. The Maggid Mishneh quotes opinions which maintain that even if the gentile woman is not known to be a niddah, the stain can still be attributed to her, because her halachic status is that of a niddah. This opinion is also reflected in the ruling of the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:41). Even according to this conception, the gentile woman must be of the age that it is possible that she will experience menstrual bleeding. See Halachah 33 for further clarification regarding the fundamental principle on which this halachah is based.

87.

The Rambam's wording teaches us another concept: We are not concerned about stains on clothing unless the clothes were checked first (Maggid Mishne).

88.

Since the niddah and the gentile woman are already impure and will not suffer any difficulty if the stain is attributed to them, we indeed consider them as the source of the bleeding.

89.

The day on which she experienced uterine bleeding.

90.

This was the law in the era of the Talmud when the laws of "the blood of purity" were observed after childbirth. As will be explained in Chapter 11 and notes, at present, this leniency is no longer observed.

91.

In all these instances, attributing the stain to the borrower does not change her halachic status. The minor zavah is impure and the woman after childbirth and the virgin are pure regardless of the stain.

As stated in Chapter 11, the concept of a minor zavah does not apply in the present age and instead, she is considered as equivalent to a major zavah. Hence a stain can certainly be attributed to her. The laws concerning a woman with hymeneal bleeding or a woman after childbirth are different, for in the present age, we do not consider such woman as ritually pure. Instead, uterine bleeding - and even a stain - renders them ritually impure. Accordingly, since the status of these woman will be impaired because of the discovery of the stain, there is reason to assume that it should not be attributed to them alone, but instead, both the borrower and the lender should be considered impure as in the following clause. {See the Tur (Yoreh De'ah 190) which cites such views.} The commentaries explain, however, that according to the Rambam, this law applies even in the present era. Indeed, it is quoted by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:42) and the Shulchan Aruch only quotes laws that apply in the present era.

The Siftei Cohen 190:54 explains that even though the halachic status of these women changed in the present era, their physical tendency did not change. They frequently experience uterine bleeding and hence, we attribute the stain to them.

92.

Both the lender and the borrower are not likely to experience uterine bleeding and for both, it will impair their halachic status. Since we do not know which one is responsible for the stain, both share the resulting halachic liability.

The Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah, loc. cit.) differ with the Rambam's ruling and maintain that the owner of the garment is pure. Since the status of the woman who is seeking to attain ritual purity is already impaired when compared to that of the owner, the stain is attributed to her alone despite the fact that her status will become further impaired by this ruling.

93.

Although a woman is considered impure because of a stain, we do not consider it a certain enough sign of uterine bleeding to attribute another stain to it.

94.

When quoting this law, the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:40) omits mention of the fact that the woman inspected herself as well as her garment.

95.

I.e., the owner is definitely impure; in this instance, the borrower is also impure, because it is possible that the stain comes from her.

96.

Since there is no reason to attribute the stain to one more than the other and they all share the same halachic status, they are all considered as impure.

97.

With their bodies intertwined [see Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:50) based on Niddah 61a].

98.

Based on Niddah, loc. cit., the Maggid Mishneh and the Shulchan Aruch (loc. cit.) interpret this as referring to an instance when the woman all climbed into the bed from the same side. See Halachah 34.

99.

The Maggid Mishneh and the Kessef Mishneh interpret this as meaning that she inspected herself within the same day or night as the stain was discovered. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:51) states that the inspection must be made immediately thereafter.

100.

For we assume that the woman who found herself impure is the source of the stain.

The commentaries question if this clause applies only with regard to the bed or also with regard to the garment. The Maggid Mishneh asserts that it applies to the garment as well. The Kessef Mishneh, however, argues against his position.

101.

See Halachah 4 for the definition of this term in the present context.

102.

For she is unlikely to experience uterine bleeding.

103.

For we assume that the woman who found herself impure is the source of the stain.

The commentaries question if this clause applies only with regard to the bed or also with regard to the garment. The Maggid Mishneh asserts that it applies to the garment as well. The Kessef Mishneh, however, argues against his position.

104.

See Halachah 4 for the definition of this term in the present context.

105.

See Halachah 5 for the definition of this term in the present context.

106.

See Halachah 4 for the definition of this term in the present context.

107.

This is the meaning of the term betulah in this context. See Halachah 5.

108.

See Halachah 4 for the definition of this term in the present context.

109.

Since there is no reason to favor one over the other, we rule stringently with regard to all of them.

110.

And thus each one did not pass over the place where the other slept. See the notes to Halachah 32.

111.

Because either of the woman on the sides could have shifted position slightly and the blood have come from her.

112.

If, however, the stain was discovered on the top sheet, they are all impure, because the top sheet is likely to shift position during their sleep.

113.

For it is unlikely that one twisted and turned to that degree.

114.

The Maggid Mishneh interprets the Rambam's words as follows: If a stain that appears to be blood is discovered, a woman must consider herself impure. If, however, there is a question in the minds of the experts whether or not she is truly impure, they could verify the woman's status through the test the Rambam mentions. It is not, as the Ra'avad appeared to understand that the Rambam maintained, that a woman should not consider herself impure unless she verified that the stain was blood through the process described. This interpretation is quoted by Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:31). See also Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav, ch. 4.

115.

I.e., the sages to whom women would turn to determine whether a stain was blood or not.

116.

See the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 9:6).

117.

The Ra'avad also differs with the Rambam concerning this point, maintaining that the seven cleansing agents are used to help purify a garment, not to determine whether a woman is pure. As explained in Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav, loc. cit., the Rambam also appreciates the role of these cleansing agents in restoring the ritual impurity of a garment. If, however, the cleansing agents are not effective, it becomes obvious that the stain is not blood. Hence, not only the garment, but also the woman is considered as pure.

118.

We have given the popular translation. In his edition of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 9:6), Rav Kappach identifies the Arabic term used by the Rambam as a cleaning agent made from the plant "althaea officinalis."

119.

Again, we have used the common translation. In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Keilim 2:1), the Rambam defines the term is referring to a blue stone that becomes dissolved in water easily and which is used to clean hair and garments.

120.

Again, we have used the common term. Rav Kappach (loc. cit.) defines the Arabic term used by the Rambam as referring to a plant known as anabis setifera.

121.

Rav Kappach (loc. cit.) defines the Arabic term used by the Rambam as referring to a plant known as saponaria officinalis.

122.

I.e., the fact that the stain remains is not considered evidence that it is not blood.

Note Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 190:31) which states that because we are unsure of the identity of some of these seven cleansing agents, we do not employ this examination process in the present age.

123.

Halachot 12-18.

124.

Halachah 2.

125.

The punishment given for violating a Rabbinic commandment.

126.

If he engaged in relations with her inadvertantly.

Issurei Biah - Chapter Ten

1

Every woman who gives birth is impure like a niddah, even if she did not suffer uterine bleeding.1 [This applies whether] a woman gives birth to a living child or one which is still born, and even is she miscarries [and discharges a fetus]. If [the fetus is] male, she remains impure [for seven days as is required after giving birth to] a male.2 If it is female, she remains impure [for fourteen days as is required after giving birth to] a female.

[The above applies,] provided the form [of the fetus] is complete. And the form of a fetus will never become complete in less than forty days. [This applies] to both a male and a female.

א

כָּל יוֹלֶדֶת טְמֵאָה כְּנִדָּה וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה דָּם. וְאֶחָד הַיּוֹלֶדֶת חַי אוֹ מֵת אוֹ אֲפִלּוּ נֵפֶל. אִם זָכָר יוֹשֶׁבֶת לְזָכָר וְאִם נְקֵבָה יוֹשֶׁבֶת לִנְקֵבָה וְהוּא שֶׁתִּגָּמֵר צוּרָתוֹ. וְאֵין צוּרַת הַוָּלָד נִגְמֶרֶת לְפָחוֹת מֵאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם אֶחָד הַזָּכָר וְאֶחָד הַנְּקֵבָה:

2

If a woman miscarries within forty days, she is not impure because of birth.3 [This applies] even on the fortieth day.

If a woman miscarried on the forty-first day after relations,4 there is a doubt whether she is considered as having miscarried.5 [Hence,] she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female and those applying to a niddah.6 If the human form could be barely detected in the fetus without it being clear and obvious, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female.7 This is called a developed8 embryo.

ב

וְהַמַּפֶּלֶת בְּתוֹךְ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם אֵינָהּ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה אֲפִלּוּ בְּיוֹם אַרְבָּעִים. הִפִּילָה בְּיוֹם אַרְבָּעִים וְאֶחָד מֵאַחַר הַתַּשְׁמִישׁ הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק יוֹלֶדֶת וְתֵשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה וּלְנִדָּה. הָיְתָה צוּרַת הָאָדָם דַּקָּה בְּיוֹתֵר וְאֵינָהּ נִכֶּרֶת בַּעֲלִיל הֲרֵי זוֹ תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה וְזֶהוּ הַנִּקְרָא שַׁפִּיר מְרֻקָּם:

3

What is meant by a developed embryo? At the beginning of the formation of the human body, it is the size of a lentil. His two eyes are like the two eyes9of a fly, [slightly] separate from each other. His two nostrils are like two eyes of a fly that are close to each other. Its mouth is a hairsbreadth open and its hands and feet are not distinct.

If its form becomes more defined than this, but it still cannot be distinguished as either male or female, we do not check it in water, but in oil. For the oil will burnish it. One should bring a wood chip with a smooth edge and use it to probe the genital area [of the fetus] from above downward. If there is an obstruction, it can be determined as male.10 If the genital area appears like a split barley corn, it is a female and need not be checked. A woman is not granted the leniency of "the blood of purity" for such underdeveloped embryos; the fetus must have hair on its head.

ג

אֵי זֶה הוּא שַׁפִּיר מְרֻקָּם. תְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתוֹ שֶׁל אָדָם גּוּפוֹ כַּעֲדָשָׁה. שְׁתֵּי עֵינָיו כִּשְׁתֵּי טִפֵּי זְבוּב מְרֻחָקוֹת זוֹ מִזּוֹ. שְׁנֵי חֳטָמָיו כִּשְׁתֵּי טִפֵּי זְבוּב מְקֹרָבוֹת זֶה לָזֶה. פִּיו פָּתוּחַ כְּחוּט הַשַּׂעֲרָה. וְחִתּוּךְ יָדַיִם וְרַגְלַיִם אֵין לוֹ. נִתְבָּאֲרָה צוּרָתוֹ יֶתֶר מִזֶּה וַעֲדַיִן אֵינוֹ נִכָּר בֵּין זָכָר לִנְקֵבָה אֵין בּוֹדְקִין אוֹתוֹ בְּמַיִם אֶלָּא בְּשֶׁמֶן שֶׁהַשֶּׁמֶן מְצַחְצְחוֹ. וּמֵבִיא קֵיסָם שֶׁרֹאשׁוֹ חָלָק וּמְנַעְנֵעַ בְּאוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם מִלְּמַעְלָה לְמַטָּה אִם מְסַכְסֵךְ בְּיָדוּעַ שֶׁהוּא זָכָר. וְאִם רָאָה אוֹתוֹ מָקוֹם כִּשְׂעוֹרָה סְדוּקָה הֲרֵי זוֹ נְקֵבָה וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה בְּדִיקָה. וְכָל אֵלּוּ הָרְקִימוֹת שֶׁל נְפָלִים אֵין נוֹתְנִין לָהֶן יְמֵי טֹהַר עַד שֶׁיַּשְׂעִיר הַוָּלָד:

4

When a woman discharges a white mass and when cut open a bone is found within, she is impure, because of birth.11 If she discharges an embryo filled with water, blood, worms,12 or flesh, since it is not developed,13the woman need not suspect [that she is impure] because of birth.14

ד

הִפִּילָה חֲתִיכָה לְבָנָה אִם נִקְרְעָה וְנִמְצָא בָּהּ עֶצֶם הֲרֵי זוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה. הִפִּילָה שַׁפִּיר מָלֵא מַיִם מָלֵא דָּם מָלֵא גִּנּוּנִים מָלֵא בָּשָׂר הוֹאִיל וְאֵינוֹ מְרֻקָּם אֵינָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְוָלָד:

5

When a child is born through Cesarean section, the mother is not impure because of birth. She [need] not [observe] the days of impurity, [nor is she granted] days of purity. [This is derived from Leviticus 12:2]: "When a woman will conceive and give birth to a male...." [The laws of that passage apply] only when she gives birth from the place she conceives.

When a woman has difficulties in giving birth and [ultimately,] gives birth through Cesarean section, the blood from the birth throes which emerges from the womb is considered as the blood of zivah or the blood of niddah.15 The blood that emerges from the operation is itself impure.16 If no blood emerged from the womb, the woman is pure. Although the blood that emerges from the operation is impure, the woman does not become impure unless she suffers bleeding from her vagina.17

ה

יוֹצֵא דֹּפֶן אֵין אִמּוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה וְאֵין לָהּ יְמֵי טֻמְאָה וִימֵי טָהֳרָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יב ב) "אִשָּׁה כִּי תַזְרִיעַ וְיָלְדָה זָכָר" עַד שֶׁתֵּלֵד מִמָּקוֹם שֶׁמַּזְרַעַת. הַמַּקְשָׁה וְיָלְדָה וָלָד דֶּרֶךְ הַדֹּפֶן הֲרֵי דַּם הַקֹּשִׁי הַבָּא דֶּרֶךְ הָרֶחֶם זִיבוּת אוֹ נִדָּה וְדָם הַיּוֹצֵא דֶּרֶךְ הַדֹּפֶן טָמֵא. וְאִם לֹא יָצָא דָּם דֶּרֶךְ הָרֶחֶם הֲרֵי הָאִשָּׁה טְהוֹרָה. אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַדָּם שֶׁיָּצָא מִדָּפְנָהּ טָמֵא. שֶׁאֵין הָאִשָּׁה טְמֵאָה עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא מַדְוֶהָ דֶּרֶךְ עֶרְוָתָהּ:

6

When a fetus is cut up inside a woman's womb,18 whether it emerged according to the order of the limbs, e.g., first a foot emerged, then a calf, and then a thigh, or it emerged in an abnormal order, the woman is not considered impure until the majority of the body emerges.19 If its entire head comes out intact, it is as if the majority [of the body] emerged.20 If it was not cut up and it emerged in the ordinary manner, it is considered as having been born when its forehead emerges, even though it was cut up afterwards.21

ו

נֶחְתַּךְ הַוָּלָד בְּמֵעֶיהָ וְיָצָא אֵיבָר אֵיבָר. בֵּין שֶׁיָּצָא עַל סֵדֶר הָאֵיבָרִים כְּגוֹן שֶׁיָּצְאָה הָרֶגֶל וְאַחֲרֶיהָ הַשּׁוֹק וְאַחֲרֶיהָ הַיָּרֵךְ. בֵּין שֶׁיָּצָא שֶׁלֹּא עַל הַסֵּדֶר אֵינָהּ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא רֻבּוֹ. וְאִם יָצָא רֹאשׁוֹ כֻּלּוֹ כְּאֶחָד הֲרֵי זֶה כְּרֻבּוֹ. וְאִם לֹא נֶחְתַּךְ וְיָצָא כְּדַרְכּוֹ מִשֶּׁתֵּצֵא רֹב פַּדַּחְתּוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה כְּיָלוּד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנֶּחְתַּךְ אַחַר כָּךְ:

7

If a fetus sticks out its hand22 [from the womb] and then returns it, its mother is impure due to birth as a result of Rabbinic decree.23 The woman does not receive "days of purity" until the entire fetus - or [at least] the majority - emerges as we stated.24

ז

הוֹצִיא הָעֻבָּר אֶת יָדוֹ וְהֶחֱזִירָהּ אִמּוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה מִדִּבְרֵי סוֹפְרִים. וְאֵין לָהּ יְמֵי טֹהַר עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַוָּלָד כֻּלּוֹ אוֹ רֻבּוֹ כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ:

8

[The following laws apply when] a woman miscarries and discharges something resembling an animal, beast, or fowl.25 If its face resembles that of a human,26it is considered as a birth even though the remainder of the body resembles an animal, beast, or fowl. If it is male, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male. If it is female, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a female. If it cannot be determined whether it is male or female, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female.

If its face does not resemble that of a human, it is not considered as a fetus and its mother is not impure due to birth.27 [This applies] even though the remainder of the body resembles that of a human, its hands and feet resemble those of a human, and it is male or female.

ח

הַמַּפֶּלֶת כְּמִין בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אִם הָיוּ פָּנָיו כִּפְנֵי אָדָם הֲרֵי זֶה וָלָד. אִם זָכָר תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְאִם נְקֵבָה תֵּשֵׁב לִנְקֵבָה. וְאִם אֵינוֹ נִכָּר בֵּין זָכָר לִנְקֵבָה תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשְּׁאָר הַגּוּף דּוֹמֶה לִבְהֵמָה אוֹ לְחַיָּה אוֹ לְעוֹף. וְאִם אֵין פָּנָיו כְּצוּרַת פְּנֵי הָאָדָם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשְּׁאָר הַגּוּף גּוּף אָדָם שָׁלֵם וְיָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו יְדֵי וְרַגְלֵי אָדָם וַהֲרֵי הוּא זָכָר אוֹ נְקֵבָה אֵינוֹ וָלָד וְאֵין אִמּוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה:

9

What is meant by the human form of a face? That the forehead, eyebrows, eyes, cheeks, and the contour of the jaw share the human form. Even if the mouth, the ears, and the nose resemble that of an animal or a beast, [the fetus] is considered as a birth.

ט

אֵי זוֹ הִיא צוּרַת פְּנֵי הָאָדָם. שֶׁיִּהְיֶה הַמֶּצַח וְהַגְּבִינִין וְהָעֵינַיִם וְהַלְּסָתוֹת וְגַבּוֹת הַזָּקָן כְּצוּרַת הָאָדָם. אֲבָל הַפֶּה וְהָאָזְנַיִם וְהָאַף אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן כְּשֶׁל בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה הֲרֵי זֶה וָלָד:

10

When a woman miscarries and discharges something resembling a snake, the mother is impure due to birth.28 [The rationale is that] the form of its eye is round like that of a human. When a woman miscarries and discharges a human form that has wings of flesh, the mother is impure due to birth.

[The following rules apply when a fetus] is created with one eye and one thigh. If they are on the side, it is considered as half a human and the mother is impure due to birth. If they are in the center, the mother is pure, because this is another creature.

י

הַמַּפֶּלֶת דְּמוּת נָחָשׁ אִמּוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה מִפְּנֵי שֶׁגַּלְגַּל עֵינָיו עָגל כְּשֶׁל אָדָם. הַמַּפֶּלֶת דְּמוּת אָדָם שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ כְּנָפַיִם שֶׁל בָּשָׂר אִמּוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה. נִבְרָא בְּעַיִן אַחַת וְיָרֵךְ אַחַת אִם הָיוּ מִן הַצַּד הֲרֵי הוּא כַּחֲצִי אָדָם וְאִמּוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה. וְאִם הָיוּ בָּאֶמְצַע אִמּוֹ טְהוֹרָה שֶׁהֲרֵי זוֹ בְּרִיָּה אַחֶרֶת:

11

[The following laws apply when a fetus] is created with its windpipe closed, its body lacking [form] from the navel downward, but instead is a mass of flesh, its skull being merely a mass of flesh, its face was amorphous and its features could not be distinguished, it has two backs and two backbones, the contours of the head of the fetus she discharged could not be distinguished, or the contours of its hand could not be distinguished, the mother is not impure due to birth.29

If, however, she miscarried and discharged a hand or a foot that was cut off, we operate under the assumption that it came from a complete fetus and it is included in the sum of the majority of its limbs.30

יא

נִבְרָא וֵשֶׁט שֶׁלּוֹ אָטוּם אוֹ שֶׁהָיָה חָסֵר מִטִּבּוּרוֹ וּלְמַטָּה וַהֲרֵי הוּא אָטוּם. אוֹ שֶׁהָיְתָה גֻּלְגָּלְתּוֹ אֲטוּמָה. אוֹ שֶׁהָיוּ פָּנָיו טוּחוֹת וְאֵין בָּהֶן הֶכֵּר פָּנִים. אוֹ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ שְׁנֵי גַּבִּין וּשְׁתֵּי שְׁדֵרוֹת. אוֹ שֶׁהִפִּילָה בְּרִיַּת רֹאשׁ שֶׁאֵינוֹ חָתוּךְ. אוֹ יָד שֶׁאֵינוֹ חָתוּךְ. כָּל נֵפֶל מֵאֵלּוּ אֵינוֹ וָלָד וְאֵין אִמּוֹ טְמֵאָה לֵדָה. אֲבָל אִם הִפִּילָה יָד חֲתוּכָה וְרֶגֶל חֲתוּכָה הֲרֵי חֶזְקָתָהּ מִוָּלָד שָׁלֵם וּמִצְטָרְפִין לְרֹב אֵיבָרָיו:

12

There are times when from the remainder of the blood from which a fetus is formed will coagulate and form a mass that resembles the tongue of an ox. It is wound around a portion of the fetus and is called a sandal. A sandal will never be formed without a fetus. If a similar mass is formed without a fetus, it is not called a sandal.Most fetuses will not have a sandal with them.

There are times when a pregnant woman will receive a blow on her stomach and the fetus will be damaged and will become like this sandal. There are time when the [resulting sandal] will retain its facial features and there are times when the fetus will dry up and change its appearance and blood from elsewhere will coagulate upon it to the extent that its facial features cannot be recognized.

Accordingly, when a woman miscarries and discharges a male fetus together with a sandal, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female. For perhaps this sandal was a female fetus. [The Sages] ruled stringency and considered her impure due to a [female] fetus even though it did not possess any facial features. [The rationale is that] she is impure due to birth regardless because of the fetus [discharged] with it.

יב

פְּעָמִים יִקְפֶּה מִשְּׁאָר הַדָּמִים שֶׁנּוֹצַר מֵהֶם הָאָדָם חֲתִיכָה כְּמוֹ לְשׁוֹן הַשּׁוֹר וְתִהְיֶה כְּרוּכָה עַל מִקְצָת הַוָּלָד וְהִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת סַנְדָּל. וּלְעוֹלָם לֹא יֵעָשֶׂה סַנְדָּל זֶה אֶלָּא עִם וָלָד. אֲבָל חֲתִיכָה שֶׁנּוֹצְרָה לְבַדָּהּ בְּלֹא וָלָד אֵינָהּ נִקְרֵאת סַנְדָּל. וְרֹב הָעֵבָּרִים לֹא יִהְיֶה עִמָּהֶם סַנְדָּל. וּפְעָמִים יַכֶּה הַמְעֻבֶּרֶת דָּבָר עַל בִּטְנָהּ וְיִפָּסֵד הָעֻבָּר וְיֵעָשֶׂה כְּסַנְדָּל זֶה. וּפְעָמִים יִשָּׁאֵר בּוֹ הֶכֵּר פָּנִים וּפְעָמִים יִיבַשׁ הַוָּלָד וְיִשְׁתַּנֶּה וְיִקְפְּאוּ עָלָיו הַדָּמִים עַד שֶׁלֹּא יִשָּׁאֵר בּוֹ הֶכֵּר פָּנִים. לְפִיכָךְ הַמַּפֶּלֶת זָכָר וְסַנְדָּל עִמּוֹ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין הֶכֵּר פָּנִים לַסַּנְדָּל הֲרֵי זוֹ תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה שֶׁמָּא סַנְדָּל זֶה נְקֵבָה הָיָה. וְחֻמְרָא הֶחְמִירוּ בּוֹ לְטַמְּאָהּ בּוֹ מִשּׁוּם וָלָד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין בּוֹ צוּרַת פָּנִים הוֹאִיל וְהִיא טְמֵאָה לֵדָה מִפְּנֵי הַוָּלָד שֶׁעִמּוֹ:

13

The thick membrane that is like a goatskin in which the fetus is formed and which surrounds the fetus and the sandal - if there is a sandal with it - is called the placenta. When the time comes for the fetus to emerge, it tears it and emerges. At the beginning of its creation, it resembles a thread of the woof that is hollow like a trumpet and thick like the craw of a chicken. A placenta must be at least a handbreadth in size.31

יג

הַחוֹתֶלֶת הֶעָבָה שֶׁהִיא כְּמוֹ חֵמֶת שֶׁבְּתוֹכָהּ נוֹצָר הַוָּלָד וְהִיא מַקֶּפֶת אוֹתוֹ וְאֶת הַסַּנְדָּל אִם הָיָה עִמּוֹ סַנְדָּל וּכְשֶׁיַּגִּיעַ זְמַנּוֹ לָצֵאת קוֹרֵעַ אוֹתָהּ וְיוֹצֵא הִיא הַנִּקְרֵאת שִׁלְיָא. וּתְחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתָהּ דּוֹמָה לְחוּט שֶׁל עֵרֶב וַחֲלוּלָה כַּחֲצוֹצֶרֶת וְעָבָה כְּקֻרְקְבָן הַתַּרְנְגוֹלִים. וְאֵין שִׁלְיָא פְּחוּתָה מִטֶּפַח:

14

When [a woman] miscarries and discharges a placenta, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female. [The intent is] not that a placenta is a fetus, but there will not be a placenta without a fetus.

If she discharged a fetus and then discharged a placenta, we show concern about the placenta and it is considered as a fetus. We do not say: "This is the placenta of the fetus that miscarried." For we associate the discharge of the placenta only with a viable birth.

Accordingly, if the woman gave birth to a viable child and then discharged a placenta - even after 23 days32 - we assume that [the placenta] came as a result of the child. We do not suspect that there was a second fetus. [Instead, we assume] that the child tore through the placenta and emerged.

יד

הַמַּפֶּלֶת שִׁלְיָא תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה. לֹא שֶׁהַשִּׁלְיָא וָלָד אֶלָּא שֶׁאֵין שִׁלְיָא בְּלֹא וָלָד. הִפִּילָה נֵפֶל וְאַחַר כָּךְ הִפִּילָה שִׁלְיָא חוֹשְׁשִׁין לַשִּׁלְיָא וַהֲרֵי הוּא כְּוָלָד אַחֵר וְאֵין אוֹמְרִין זוֹ שִׁלְיַת הַנֵּפֶל. שֶׁאֵין תּוֹלִין אֶת הַשִּׁלְיָא אֶלָּא בְּוָלָד שֶׁל קַיָּמָא. לְפִיכָךְ אִם יָלְדָה וָלָד שֶׁל קַיָּמָא וְהִפִּילָה שִׁלְיָא אֲפִלּוּ אַחַר כ''ג יוֹם תּוֹלִין אוֹתוֹ בַּוָּלָד וְאֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְוָלָד אַחֵר. שֶׁהַוָּלָד קָרַע הַשִּׁלְיָא וְיָצָא:

15

[When a woman] discharges a placenta and afterwards bears a viable child, we suspect that the placenta came as the result of another fetus.33 We do not associate it with the child that was born afterwards, for it is not usual for the placenta to emerge before the fetus.34

If a portion of the placenta emerges on Sunday and a portion emerges on Monday, we count [her days of impurity] from the first day and we count her days of purity only from the second day as a stringency.35

טו

הִפִּילָה שִׁלְיָא תְּחִלָּה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יָלְדָה וָלָד שֶׁל קַיָּמָא חוֹשְׁשִׁין לַשִּׁלְיָא שֶׁהִיא וָלָד אַחֵר וְאֵין תּוֹלִין אוֹתָהּ בַּוָּלָד הַבָּא אַחֲרֶיהָ. שֶׁאֵין דַּרְכָּהּ שֶׁל שִׁלְיָא לָצֵאת לִפְנֵי הַוָּלָד. יָצָאת מִקְצָת הַשִּׁלְיָא בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן וּמִקְצָתָהּ בַּשֵּׁנִי מוֹנִין לָהּ מִיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין לָהּ יְמֵי טָהֳרָה אֶלָּא מִיּוֹם שֵׁנִי לְהַחֲמִיר:

16

If [a woman] miscarries and discharges something resembling an animal, beast, or fowl and a placenta is connected to it, we do not suspect that there is [another] fetus.36 If they are not connected to [the placenta], we treat it with severity as if there were two fetuses. For we say that maybe the fetus that was carried in this placenta became effaced, and maybe the placenta of this fetus that appears like an animal or beast became effaced.37

טז

הִפִּילָה דְּמוּת בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וְעוֹף וְשִׁלְיָא קְשׁוּרָה בּוֹ אֵין חוֹשְׁשִׁין לְוָלָד. וְאִם אֵינָהּ קְשׁוּרָה בּוֹ מְטִילִין עָלֶיהָ חֹמֶר שְׁתֵּי וְלָדוֹת שֶׁאֲנִי אוֹמֵר שֶׁמָּא נִמּוֹחַ שַׁפִּיר מְרֻקָּם שֶׁהָיָה בְּשִׁלְיָא זוֹ וְשֶׁמָּא נִמּוֹחָה הַשִּׁלְיָא שֶׁל שַׁפִּיר זֶה שֶׁהוּא דְּמוּת בְּהֵמָה וְחַיָּה:

17

In all instances when we are concerned that [the emergence of] a placenta [indicates that a fetus emerged previously], a woman is not given days of purity.38

[The following laws apply to] every [woman] who miscarries and discharges something that does not resemble a human fetus39 or a fetus that is within 40 days of conception whose form has thus not been completed.40 If [the emergence of] the fetus was accompanied by bleeding, the woman is either a niddah or a zavah.41 If it emerged dry, without any bleeding, she is pure.42

יז

כָּל אֵלּוּ שֶׁחוֹשְׁשִׁין לְשִׁלְיָא אֵין נוֹתְנִין לָהֶן יְמֵי טֹהַר. וְכָל מִי שֶׁהִפִּילָה דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ וָלָד אוֹ שַׁפִּיר בְּתוֹךְ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא נִגְמְרָה צוּרָתוֹ אִם יָצָא עִמּוֹ דָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ נִדָּה אוֹ זָבָה. וְאִם יָצָא יָבֵשׁ בְּלֹא דָּם הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה:

18

When a woman gives birth to twins - a boy and a girl - she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a female.43 If she gives birth to a tumtum44 or an androgynus,45 she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female.46 If she gives birth to twins, one that is male and one that is a tumtum or an androgynus, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female.47 If one [of the twins] is female and one is a tumtum or an androgynus, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a female.48 For the gender of a tumtum and an androgynus is a matter of doubt: Maybe they are male or maybe female.49

יח

מִי שֶׁיָּלְדָה זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה תְּאוֹמִים תֵּשֵׁב לִנְקֵבָה. יָלְדָה טֻמְטוּם אוֹ אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה. יָלְדָה תְּאוֹמִים אֶחָד זָכָר וְהַשֵּׁנִי טֻמְטוּם אוֹ אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס תֵּשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה. הָאַחַת נְקֵבָה וְהַשֵּׁנִי טֻמְטוּם אוֹ אַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס תֵּשֵׁב לִנְקֵבָה בִּלְבַד. שֶׁהַטֻּמְטוּם וְהָאַנְדְּרוֹגִינוּס סָפֵק הֵן שֶׁמָּא זָכָר הֵן שֶׁמָּא נְקֵבָה:

19

When a woman is known to be pregnant miscarries and it is not known what she miscarried, e.g., she passed a river and miscarried there, miscarried into a pit, or miscarried and a beast dragged away the fetus, we assume that she discharged a human fetus.50 Hence, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female.51 If, however, she was not known to be pregnant, miscarried, and did not know what she miscarried, she is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female and those applying to a niddah.52

יט

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁהֻחְזְקָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת וְיָלְדָה וְאֵין יָדוּעַ מַה יָּלְדָה כְּגוֹן שֶׁעָבְרָה לַנָּהָר וְהִפִּילָה שָׁם אוֹ שֶׁהִפִּילָה לְבוֹר אוֹ שֶׁהִפִּילָה וּגְרָרַתּוּ חַיָּה הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת שֶׁהִפִּילָה וָלָד וְתֵשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה. אֲבָל אִם לֹא הֻחְזְקָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת וְהִפִּילָה וְאֵין יָדוּעַ מַה הִפִּילָה הֲרֵי זֶה סְפֵק יוֹלֶדֶת וְתֵשֵׁב לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה וּלְנִדָּה:

20

What are the laws that apply wherever we said: "She is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female"? She is forbidden to her husband for fourteen days like a woman who gives birth to a female. The status of the first seven is definite;53 that of the latter seven is doubtful.54

We do not grant her any "days of purity" beyond the fortieth day [from the birth] as is the law with regard to one who gives birth to a male.55 If she discovers menstrual bleeding between the fortieth and eightieth days from birth, it is not "pure blood."56 Instead, because of the doubt, we consider it as niddah bleeding, or zivah bleeding if it comes in the "days of zivah," as we explained.57

Similarly, if she discovers [uterine bleeding] on the eighty-first day alone, she is considered as a niddah because of the doubt.58 She must observe the seven days of niddah. [The rationale is that] perhaps she gave birth to a female and her "days of niddah" do not begin until after the conclusion [of the days of purity], as we explained.59

כ

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יב ד) "תֵּשֵׁב" לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה כֵּיצַד דִּינָה. תִּהְיֶה אֲסוּרָה לְבַעְלָהּ י''ד יוֹם כְּיוֹלֶדֶת נְקֵבָה. שִׁבְעָה הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וַדַּאי. וְהַשִּׁבְעָה הָאַחֲרוֹנִים סָפֵק. וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין לָהּ יְמֵי טֹהַר אֶלָּא עַד אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם כְּיוֹלֶדֶת זָכָר. וְאִם רָאֲתָה דָּם אַחַר הָאַרְבָּעִים עַד שְׁמוֹנִים אֵינוֹ דַּם טֹהַר אֶלָּא סְפֵק דַּם נִדָּה אוֹ סְפֵק דַּם זִיבוּת אִם בָּא מִימֵי הַזִּיבָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה דָּם יוֹם אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹנִים בִּלְבַד הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק נִדָּה וְתֵשֵׁב שִׁבְעַת יְמֵי הַנִּדָּה שֶׁמָּא נְקֵבָה יָלְדָה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ וֶסֶת נִדּוּת עַד אַחַר מְלֹאת כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

21

What are the laws that apply wherever we said: "She is governed by the laws that apply to the birth of a male and a female and those applying to a niddah"? She is forbidden to her husband for fourteen days like a woman who gives birth to a female. If she discovers blood on the eighty-first day, there is a doubt whether she is a niddah.60

Similarly, if she discovered uterine bleeding on the seventy-fourth day and the eighty-first day, there is a doubt whether she is a niddah.61 Similarly, if she discovered [uterine bleeding] on the forty-first day, there is a doubt whether she is a niddah even though she discovered bleeding on the thirty-fourth day. She is forbidden to her husband until the forty-eighth day, as is the law for a woman who gives birth to a male.62

We do not grant her any "pure days" at all, like a niddah. [The following rules apply with regard to] any bleeding that she discovers from the day on which she miscarried until the eightieth day beginning from seven days after she miscarried. If it is discovered in her "days of niddah, she is a niddah, because of the doubt. And if it is discovered in her "days of zivah," she is a zavah, because of the doubt. For throughout the days after birth, [the previous patterns concerning] the expected times of menstruation do not apply.63

Similarly, if she discovers uterine bleeding on the eighty-first day, her situation is still problematic and she must consider herself a niddah because of the doubt as explained [above]. [This applies] even if she discovers bleeding for only one day. When she establishes a pattern of menstruation after eighty days, her difficulties will cease and she will be either definitely a niddah or definitely a zavah.64 Similarly, from the time she miscarried for seven days, she will be definitely impure [like] a niddah65 if she miscarried in the midst of her days of niddah, as we explained.66

כא

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יב ד) "תֵּשֵׁב" לְזָכָר וְלִנְקֵבָה וּלְנִדָּה כֵּיצַד דִּינָה. תִּהְיֶה אֲסוּרָה לְבַעְלָהּ י''ד יוֹם כְּיוֹלֶדֶת נְקֵבָה. וְאִם רָאֲתָה דָּם בְּיוֹם אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹנִים הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק נִדָּה. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה בְּיוֹם ע''ד וּבְיוֹם פ''א הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק נִדָּה. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה בְּיוֹם אַרְבָּעִים וְאֶחָד אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרָאֲתָה בְּיוֹם ל''ד הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק נִדָּה וַאֲסוּרָה לְבַעְלָהּ עַד לֵיל אַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמוֹנָה כְּיוֹלֶדֶת זָכָר. וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין לָהּ יְמֵי טֹהַר כְּלָל כְּנִדָּה. וַהֲרֵי הִיא כְּמִי שֶׁלֹּא יָלְדָה. וְכָל דָּם שֶׁתִּרְאֶה מִיּוֹם שֶׁהִפִּילָה עַד שְׁמֹנִים יוֹם אִם בָּא בִּימֵי נִדָּתָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק נִדָּה מֵאַחַר הַשִּׁבְעָה מִיּוֹם שֶׁהִפִּילָה. וְאִם בָּא בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה שֶׁכָּל יְמֵי מְלֹאת אֵין בָּהֶן וֶסֶת. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה בְּיוֹם אֶחָד וּשְׁמוֹנִים עֲדַיִן הִיא מְקֻלְקֶלֶת וְתִהְיֶה סְפֵק נִדָּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה אֶלָּא יוֹם אֶחָד וּכְשֶׁיִּקָּבַע לָהּ הַוֶּסֶת אַחַר הַשְּׁמוֹנִים יָסוּר קִלְקוּלָהּ וְתַחֲזֹר לִהְיוֹת נִדָּה וַדָּאִית אוֹ זָבָה וַדָּאִית. וְכֵן מִיּוֹם שֶׁהִפִּילָה עַד שִׁבְעָה יָמִים וְתִהְיֶה נִדָּה וַדָּאִית אִם הִפִּילָה בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי נִדָּתָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

Footnotes
1.

The Kessef Mishneh notes that in Chapter 5, Halachah 13, the Rambam rules that when a woman discharges a piece of flesh from the vagina, it must be accompanied by bleeding. For discharging that piece of flesh is not considered as giving birth. With regard to giving birth (or miscarrying), however, the Torah deems a woman is impure, whether or not the birth is accompanied by bleeding.

2.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 2.

3.

A miscarriage is usually accompanied by uterine bleeding. Thus the woman will become impure (as a niddah or as a zavah). However, the unique laws that apply to childbirth do not apply to her.

Even if she had conceived previously, until she reaches the fortieth day, the embryo is not given the halachic status of a fetus and none of the laws applying to childbirth apply.

4.

I.e., the forty-first day after she immersed herself in the mikveh and engaged in relations that night.

5.

I.e., it is possible that she conceived after engaging in relations that night, but we are not certain. Hence, her status is doubtful.

6.

Since it is possible that the fetus was male, it is possible that it was female, and it is possible that it was not considered a fetus in the halachic sense at all, the woman must take all these possibilities into consideration. See Halachah 21 which defines the laws incumbent on a woman in this situation.

7.

In this instance, it is clear that the embryo had developed into a fetus. Hence the laws that apply to ordinary uterine bleeding need not be considered. Nevertheless, since we are uncertain whether the fetus is male or female, the woman must take both of these factors into consideration. See Halachah 20 which describes the laws that a woman must follow in such a situation.

8.

Rekem, the root of the term merukam, means "embroidered." Implied is that the form of the embryo is beginning to take shape.

9.

Alternatively, as two drops of a fly's discharge.

10.

For ultimately, the male organ will grow there.

11.

For we assume that the mass was a dead fetus. The fact that it contains a bone indicates that it had developed sufficiently to acquire the features mentioned in the previous halachah. Obviously, certain factors had caused the fetus to be crushed and the features obliterated.

12.

Our translation is based on the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 3:3) which interprets the Hebrew as referring to "flesh that appears to be cut in the form of worms."

13.

I.e., developed to the point it possesses the features mentioned in the previous halachah.

14.

Moreover, if there is no apparent blood on the discharge, she is not impure as a niddah (the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah, loc. cit.; see also Chapter 5, Halachah 13).

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:3) states that in the present age, we follow the approach of the Rashba who rules that we are not knowledgeable enough to make the fine distinctions necessary to define when an embryo is developed or not. Hence, a woman should always consider herself impure because of birth.

15.

Depending on the day of her cycle on which the blood emerged.

Although the Torah considered the blood that emerges during birth pure (Chapter 6, Halachah 1), that apples when the woman gives birth in an ordinary manner, and not when she gives birth by Cesarean section (Rashi, Niddah 41a).

16.

The blood itself is impure, because the uterus itself is impure and it conveys impurity on the blood. Therefore anyone who touches the blood is impure until the evening. The blood does not, however, convey impurity on the woman unless it comes into contact with her after it emerges from her body.

17.

Niddah, loc. cit., derives this concept from the exegesis of Leviticus 20:18.

18.

I.e., the woman was unable to birth the baby and the doctors saw that to save the woman's life, the fetus would have to be killed and taken out limb by limb.

19.

I.e., the point brought out by this halachah is not whether the woman becomes impure, but when the impurity takes effect. The Siftei Cohen 194:9 states that the law stated by the Rambam applies according to Scriptural Law. According to Rabbinic decree, she is impure as soon as one limb emerges.

20.

Although the Mishnah (Niddah 3:5) uses the phrase "the majority of the head," the Rambam maintains that the entire head must emerge for this law to apply. See the Maggid Mishneh and Kessef Mishneh.

21.

I.e., complications arouse and it was necessary to cut up the fetus to remove it from the womb entirely.

22.

The Maggid Mishneh questions whether the same laws apply with regard to a foot. The Tur states that they do, while the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:11) quotes the Rambam's ruling verbatim.

23.

Although Genesis 38:28 states: "And when she was giving birth, he stuck out a hand," Niddah 28a rules that this should not be interpreted as an implication that sticking out a hand is considered as giving birth. Instead, according to Scriptural Law, the woman does not become impure until the majority of the body of the fetus emerges.

24.

I.e., as implied by the previous halachah.

25.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 3:2), the Rambam explains that although it is abnormal for a woman to discharge a fetus with such an appearance, there are exceptional situations from time to time. These and the forms mentioned in the following halachot are definite possibilities.

26.

As defined in the following halachah.

27.

The Maggid Mishneh states that this law also applies in the present era, as indicated by Chapter 11, Halachah 12. In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro differs, citing the Ra'avad and the Ramban and explaining that the Rabbis of the present era did not feel that they were expert enough to determine if the face of a fetus resembled that of a man or not. Hence they ruled that woman is impure. In his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:3), he follows this approach.

Note also Halachah 17 which states that if the discharge of such a fetus is accompanied by bleeding, the woman is impure even if the fetus does not resemble a human.

28.

The Ra'avad questions the Rambam's ruling, noting that in the previous two halachot, he stated that for a fetus to be considered as having a human form, it must have the majority of a human facial form intact, not merely the eyes. The Kessef Mishneh supports the Rambam's ruling, explaining that the eye of a snake resembles that of a human much more closely than that of other animals. Hence, there is room for the Rambam's ruling.

29.

This ruling is based on Niddah23b which states that any fetus that is created in a manner that is not fit for its soul to be created (i.e., it is not viable) does not cause the mother to be impure due to birth. Since a fetus with these defects would not live, the mother is not impure. See the Kessef Mishneh which questions the details of certain of the examples cited by the Rambam.

30.

As stated in Halachah 6, when the majority of the limbs of a fetus emerge, the mother is considered as impure due to birth. The present halachah is stating that if previously many of the limbs of a fetus emerged and then the mother discharged this cut off hand or foot, it is not considered as part of a separate fetus, but instead, part of the fetus that already emerged. Hence, if together with the limbs that previously emerged, it equals the majority of the fetus, the woman is impure (Maggid Mishneh).

From Rabbi Akiva Eiger's interpretation of Niddah 28a, the source for this halachah, the following explanation can be given. When a woman discharges a cut off hand or foot, even if we have not seen the remainder of the fetus, we assume that she discharged them already. Hence, she is considered impure. We do not suspect that maybe the fetus she discharged was not viable.

31.

Implied is a leniency. If a woman discharges something resembling a placenta, but which is smaller than a handbreadth, she is not impure due to birth. The Maggid Mishneh quotes Ramban and Rashba who rule that in the present age, we are stringent and rule her impure even if it is smaller than a handbreadth lest an error be made.

32.

Based on Niddah 27a, it appears that this is the maximum number of days granted between a birth and the emergence of the placenta.

In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro notes that there are authorities who maintain that the 23 days include the day of the birth, while the Rambam maintains that the day of the birth is not included. In his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:3), he quotes the Rambam's ruling.

33.

I.e., the woman had been carrying two fetuses. The emergence of the fetus indicates that she had miscarried and discharged one previously.

34.

Since the fetus is carried within the placenta, in a viable birth, the placenta will never emerge before the fetus carried within it.

35.

I.e., as soon as the first portion of the placenta emerges, the woman becomes impure. Nevertheless, her days of purity do not begin until the appropriate time (7 or 14 days) passes after the second day. And they end after 40 or 80 days from the first day, not from the second day.

36.

As stated in Halachah 8, the discharge of these type of creatures does not render the woman impure. When she discharges a placenta that is connected to them, we assume that they were carried within the placenta. Hence, just as they do not render the woman impure, the placenta also does not.

Although the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:7) cites this law without qualification, the Siftei Cohen 194:7 states that just as we are stringent in the present era with regard to the law stated in Halachah 8, we are stringent with regard to this law and rule that the woman is impure.

37.

I.e., we are concerned with the possibility that the woman was carrying two fetuses. Although only one fetus - the animal-formed one - and one placenta emerged, we suppose that originally there was another fetus and another placenta and they were effaced. We assume that the fetus that was effaced was ordinary and hence, the woman is considered as impure.

38.

I.e., the forty or eighty day period when uterine bleeding does not render a woman impure is not granted in this situation, for we suspect that perhaps the woman never in fact gave birth.

39.

As mentioned in Halachah 8.

40.

As mentioned in Halachah 2.

41.

The ruling depends on the day of her personal cycle on which the woman miscarries: Is it one of the days of niddah or one of the days of zivah?

42.

This ruling depends on our Sages' statement (Niddah 21a) that it is possible for the uterus to open without the woman experiencing any bleeding.

This statement is the subject of a difference of opinion in the Talmud and there are some Rishonim who follow the other position and therefore rule that the woman is impure. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:2) follows this view and rules that even if the woman does not notice any bleeding, she must assume that bleeding did in fact take place.

43.

I.e., she must observe 14 days of impurity and then is given 66 days of purity. We do not restrict her to 26 days because of the birth of the boy.

44.

A person whose genital area is covered by a mass of flesh and thus it is impossible to determine his or her gender.

45.

A person who has both male and female sexual organs. There is an unresolved halachic question with regard to the classification of such a person's gender.

46.

Since there is a doubt concerning the issue, the woman must observe the stringencies resulting from either option.

47.

Since it is possible that the tumtum or the androgynus is - or is considered as - a female, the woman must also take the laws governing the birth of a female into consideration.

48.

For even if the tumtum or androgynus was considered as a male, there would be no need for any further severity as stated at the beginning of the halachah.

49.

In particular, there is a difference between the two. With regard to a tumtum, the child has a specific gender, we simply are not able to identify it. With regard to an androgynus, by contrast, the doubt involves the child's halachic status.

50.

And not one of the forms mentioned in Halachah 8.

51.

Because we do not know the gender of the fetus, she must take both possibilities into consideration.

52.

For it is possible that she was less than 40 days pregnant, in which instance the fetus is not considered as being born, and she is governed by the laws applying to a niddah, as stated in Halachah 2.

53.

For even if the fetus was male, she would be impure for this time.

54.

For we do not know that the fetus was female.

55.

In his Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 3:3), the Rambam explains the rationale for this ruling. There is a question of Scriptural Law involved. Whenever doubt arises in such a situation, we follow the more stringent approach.

56.

As would be the ruling was she to have given birth to a female. As explained in Chapter 11, Halachah 6, today

57.

In Chapter 7, Halachah 12, the Rambam writes that "that any bleeding that a woman discovers after the completion of the days associated with childbirth marks the beginning of her days of niddah." Accordingly, the first time a woman in such a situation discovers uterine bleeding between the fortieth and eightieth day after birth, there is a doubt whether she is a niddah. If she discovers bleeding a second time, the question of whether the doubt involves the niddah or zivah state depends on the day when the bleeding is discovered.

58.

I.e., she is not merely a minor zavah.

Apparently, the Rambam's intent is speaking about a woman who discovered uterine bleeding between the fortieth and eightieth day after birth and then a second time on the eighty-first day and according to the niddah-zivah cycle, the eighty-first day is a day of zivah. (For example, she discovered uterine bleeding previous on the seventieth day.). In that instance, there is a doubt whether she is considered a niddah, for if the fetus was female, this would be considered the beginning of the niddah cycle, or a zavah, for if the fetus was male, her cycle would have begun earlier. See the following halachah and notes.

According to this interpretation, however, the word "alone" which the Rambam adds appears to be in error.

59.

Chapter 7, Halachah 12.

60.

The Rambam is speaking about a situation when a woman discovers uterine bleeding for the first time after a miscarriage. Ordinarily, her niddah cycle would start at that time. Nevertheless, since the possibility exists that her miscarriage did not involve a fetus, she must continue her previous reckoning of the "days of niddah" and the "days of zivah."

61.

If the fetus was male, the bleeding on the seventy-fourth day would have been considered the beginning of her "days of niddah" and the eighty-first day, the beginning of her "days of zivah." Thus she would be only a minor zavah. Nevertheless, there is also a possibility that the fetus was female. In such an instance, any bleeding before the eighty-first day is insignificant and the eighty-first day begins the niddah cycle. Hence we rule more stringently and consider her a niddah, because of the doubt.

62.

This would be the law were we certain that she had miscarried a male fetus. Her status is doubtful, for it is possible that her miscarriage is not considered a birth at all. In that instance, the bleeding would be either niddah or zivah bleeding, depending on her cycle.

63.

I.e., were we to know for certain that she had given birth, there would be no concept of days of niddah and days of zivah. Hence, in the present situation, although the woman must observe the stringencies of niddah and zivah, it is only because of the doubt.

64.

Depending on the day of her cycle on which the bleeding is discovered.

65.

Either because of the miscarriage or because the bleeding is considered as blood of niddah. Either way, she is definitely impure for seven days.

66.

In Halachah 20.

Issurei Biah - Chapter Eleven

1

All of what was said with regard to [the laws of] niddah, zivah, and childbirth applies with regard to Scriptural Law. [The Jews] would follow these laws when the Supreme Sanhedrin held sessions and it included great sages who were familiar with [the types of] blood. If a doubt arose [for the lesser judges] with regard to the discovery of blood or the days of niddah and zivah, they could ascend to the Supreme Sanhedrin and ask them. As the Torah promised concerning them [Deuteronomy 17:8]: "If a matter of judgment is unknown to you concerning one type of blood or another, or one judgment and anotherו [you shallו ascend to the place that Godו shall choose]."1

["Concerning one type of blood or another"] means "between the blood of niddah and the blood of zivah. In that era, Jewish women would be careful concerning this matter and would pay attention to their monthly patterns and would always count the "days of niddah" and the "days of zivah."

א

כָּל שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ בְּנִדָּה וְזָבָה וְיוֹלֶדֶת הוּא דִּין תּוֹרָה. וּכְמִשְׁפָּטִים אֵלּוּ הָיוּ עוֹשִׂין כְּשֶׁהָיוּ בֵּית דִּין הַגָּדוֹל מְצוּיִין וְהָיוּ שָׁם חֲכָמִים גְּדוֹלִים שֶׁמַּכִּירִים הַדָּמִים וְאִם נוֹלַד לָהֶם סָפֵק בִּרְאִיּוֹת אוֹ בִּימֵי נִדָּה וְזִיבָה יַעֲלוּ לְבֵית דִּין וְיִשְׁאֲלוּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁהִבְטִיחָה תּוֹרָה עֲלֵיהֶן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים יז ח) "כִּי יִפָּלֵא מִמְּךָ דָּבָר לַמִּשְׁפָּט בֵּין דָּם לְדָם בֵּין דִּין לְדִין", בֵּין דַּם נִדָּה לְדַם זִיבָה. וּבְאוֹתָן הַיָּמִים הָיוּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל נִזְהָרוֹת מִדָּבָר זֶה וּמְשַׁמְּרוֹת וִסְתוֹתֵיהֶן וְסוֹפְרוֹת תָּמִיד יְמֵי הַנִּדָּה וִימֵי הַזִּיבָה:

2

It is very difficult to keep track of the counting of the dates. Many times doubts will arise. For even if a woman discovered bleeding on the day she was born, she must begin counting the "days of niddah" and the "days of zivah," as we explained.2 Therefore a girl cannot become impure as a zavah until she is ten days old. For if she discovered bleeding on the day that she was born, she would be a niddah for seven days. [Then to be a zavah, she would have to discover bleeding] on the three days directly following the "days of niddah." Thus [she would be] ten days [old].

Thus we learned that she begins counting the "days of niddah" and the "days of zivah" from the first time she discovers uterine bleeding throughout her entire life. [This applies] even if [the first time] she discovers bleeding is when she is a minor.

ב

וְטֹרַח גָּדוֹל יֵשׁ בְּמִנְיַן הַיָּמִים וּפְעָמִים רַבּוֹת יָבוֹאוּ לִידֵי סָפֵק. שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ רָאֲתָה הַבַּת דָּם בְּיוֹם הַלֵּדָה מֵאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם מַתְחִילִין לִמְנוֹת לָהּ יְמֵי נִדָּה וִימֵי זִיבָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּלְפִיכָךְ לֹא תִּטָּמֵא הַבַּת בְּזִיבָה אֶלָּא בַּת עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים שֶׁאִם רָאֲתָה בַּיּוֹם שֶׁנּוֹלְדָה הֲרֵי זוֹ נִדָּה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים סָמוּךְ לְנִדָּתָהּ הֲרֵי עֲשָׂרָה יָמִים. הִנֵּה לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁמִּתְּחִלַּת רְאִיָּה מַתְחֶלֶת לִמְנוֹת יְמֵי נִדָּה וִימֵי זִיבָה כָּל יָמֶיהָ וַאֲפִלּוּ רָאֲתָה וְהִיא קְטַנָּה:

3

During the era of the Sages of the Gemara, many doubts arose with regard to the appearance of blood3 and the reckoning of the pattern of menstruation. For it was not within the potential of all women to calculate the "days of niddah" and the "days of zivah." Therefore our Sages ruled stringently concerning this matter and decreed that a woman should consider all her days as "days of zivah" and consider any bleeding that she discovers as zivah bleeding because of the doubt.4

ג

וּבִימֵי חַכְמֵי הַגְּמָרָא נִסְתַּפֵּק הַדָּבָר הַרְבֵּה בִּרְאִיַּת הַדָּמִים וְנִתְקַלְקְלוּ הַוְּסָתוֹת. לְפִי שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה כֹּחַ בְּכָל הַנָּשִׁים לִמְנוֹת יְמֵי נִדָּה וִימֵי זִיבָה. לְפִיכָךְ הֶחְמִירוּ חֲכָמִים בְּדָבָר זֶה וְגָזְרוּ שֶׁיְּהוּ כָּל יְמֵי הָאִשָּׁה כִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ וְיִהְיֶה כָּל דָּם שֶׁתִּרְאֶה סְפֵק דַּם זִיבוּת:

4

In addition, Jewish women accepted a further stringency upon themselves. They accepted the custom that wherever Jews live, whenever a Jewish woman discovers [uterine] bleeding, even if she does not discover more than a drop the size of a mustard seed and the bleeding ceases immediately, she must count seven "spotless" days.5 [This stringency applies] even if she discovered the bleeding during her "days of niddah."6

Whether the bleeding continued for one day, two days, an entire seven days, or longer, when the bleeding ceases, she counts seven "spotless" days as is required of a major zavah and immerses on the night of the eighth day despite the fact that there is a doubt whether she is a zavah.7 Or she may immerse during the day on the eighth day in a pressing situation, as explained.8 Afterwards, she is permitted to her husband.

ד

וְעוֹד הֶחֱמִירוּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל עַל עַצְמָן חֻמְרָא יְתֵרָה עַל זֶה. וְנָהֲגוּ כֻּלָּם בְּכָל מָקוֹם שֶׁיֵּשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁכָּל בַּת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁרוֹאָה דָּם אֲפִלּוּ לֹא רָאֲתָה אֶלָּא טִפָּה כְּחַרְדָּל בִּלְבַד וּפָסַק הַדָּם סוֹפֶרֶת לָהּ שִׁבְעָה יָמִים נְקִיִּים וַאֲפִלּוּ רָאֲתָה בְּעֵת נִדָּתָהּ. בֵּין שֶׁרָאֲתָה יוֹם אֶחָד אוֹ שְׁנַיִם אוֹ הַשִּׁבְעָה כֻּלָּן אוֹ יֶתֶר מִשֶּׁיִּפְסֹק הַדָּם סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים כְּזָבָה גְּדוֹלָה וְטוֹבֶלֶת בְּלֵיל שְׁמִינִי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא סְפֵק זָבָה, אוֹ בְּיוֹם שְׁמִינִי אִם הָיָה שָׁם דֹּחַק כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ. וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ:

5

Similarly, every women who gives birth in the present age is considered as one who gives birth while a zavah and she must count seven "spotless" days, as we explained.9

It is the commonly accepted custom in Babylon, in "the cherished land,"10Spain, and the West,11 that if a woman discovers bleeding in the days after childbirth,12 she must count seven "spotless" days after the bleeding stopped. [This applies] even if she first counted seven "spotless" days and immersed [after giving birth].

We do not grant her any pure days at all. Instead, whenever a woman discovers bleeding whether it is bleeding associated with childbirth or "pure blood," it is all impure. She must count seven "spotless" days after the bleeding ceases.

ה

וְכֵן כָּל הַיּוֹלֶדֶת בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה הֲרֵי הִיא כְּיוֹלֶדֶת בְּזוֹב וּצְרִיכָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ. וּמִנְהָג פָּשׁוּט בְּשִׁנְעָר וּבְאֶרֶץ הַצְּבִי וּבִסְפָרַד וּבַמַּעֲרָב שֶׁאִם רָאֲתָה דָּם בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי מְלֹאת אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרָאֲתָה אַחַר שֶׁסָּפְרָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים וְטָבְלָה הֲרֵי זוֹ סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים אַחַר שֶׁיִּפְסֹק הַדָּם וְאֵין נוֹתְנִין לָהּ יְמֵי טֹהַר כְּלָל. אֶלָּא כָּל דָּם שֶׁתִּרְאֶה הָאִשָּׁה בֵּין דַּם קֹשִׁי בֵּין דַּם טֹהַר הַכּל טָמֵא וְסוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים אַחַר שֶׁיִּפְסֹק הַדָּם:

6

This law was instituted in the era of the Geonim. They decreed that there be no concept of "pure" blood. For the stringency that women accepted upon themselves in the era of the Sages of the Talmud applies only to a woman who discovers bleeding that would render them impure. [In this instance, they accepted the custom of] waiting seven days. Blood which she discovers during her "days of purity" after counting [seven "spotless" days], by contrast, is not a matter of concern [according to Scriptural Law]. For the days of purity are not subject [to concern] with regard to niddah or zivah as we explained.13

ו

וְדִין זֶה בִּימֵי הַגְּאוֹנִים נִתְחַדֵּשׁ וְהֵם גָּזְרוּ שֶׁלֹּא יִהְיֶה שָׁם דַּם טֹהַר כְּלָל. שֶׁזֶּה שֶׁהֶחְמִירוּ עַל עַצְמָן בִּימֵי חַכְמֵי הַגְּמָרָא אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא בְּרוֹאָה דָּם שֶׁהוּא טָמֵא שֶׁיּוֹשֶׁבֶת עָלָיו שִׁבְעָה נְקִיִּים. אֲבָל דָּם שֶׁתִּרְאֶה בִּימֵי טֹהַר אַחַר סְפִירָה וּטְבִילָה אֵין לָחוּשׁ לוֹ שֶׁאֵין יְמֵי טֹהַר רְאוּיִין לֹא לְנִדָּה וְלֹא לְזִיבָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

7

We have heard that in France,14 even today, relations are allowed [despite] "pure" bleeding as was the law in the Talmudic era after [the woman] counts [seven "spotless" days] and immerses herself because of the impurity resulting from giving birth in the zivah state. This matter is dependent on local custom.15

ז

וְשָׁמַעְנוּ שֶׁבְּצָרְפַת בּוֹעֲלִים עַל דַּם טֹהַר כְּדִין הַגְּמָרָא עַד הַיּוֹם אַחַר סְפִירָה וּטְבִילָה מִטֻּמְאַת יוֹלֶדֶת בְּזוֹב וְדָבָר זֶה תָּלוּי בַּמִּנְהָג:

8

Similarly, [stringencies were adopted] with regard to the laws of hymeneal bleeding in the present age. Even if a minor is below the age when she could be expected to menstruate and never discovered uterine bleeding, [her husband] must separate after engaging in the relations which are a mitzvah.16

Whenever she discovers hymeneal bleeding,17 she is impure. When the bleeding ceases, she must count seven "spotless" days [before immersing herself].

ח

וְכֵן דִּין דַּם בְּתוּלִים בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה קְטַנָּה שֶׁלֹּא הִגִּיעַ זְמַנָּה לִרְאוֹת וְלֹא רָאֲתָה דָּם מִיָּמֶיהָ בּוֹעֵל בְּעִילַת מִצְוָה וּפוֹרֵשׁ. וְכָל זְמַן שֶׁתִּרְאֶה הַדָּם מֵחֲמַת הַמַּכָּה הֲרֵי הִיא טְמֵאָה. וְאַחַר שֶׁיִּפְסֹק הַדָּם סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעָה יָמִים נְקִיִּים:

9

Moreover, whenever a girl is asked to marry and consents, she must count seven "spotless" days after she consents to marry.18 Afterwards, [she immerses and] becomes permitted to her husband.19 [The rationale is that] she might have desired a man and released a drop [of blood] without being aware of it. Whether she is a mature woman or a minor, she must wait seven "spotless" days after she consents to marry. Afterwards, she immerses and may engage in relations.

ט

יֶתֶר עַל זֶה כָּל בַּת שֶׁתְּבָעוּהָ לְהִנָּשֵׂא וְרָצְתָה שׁוֹהָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים מֵאַחַר שֶׁרָצְתָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּהְיֶה מֻתֶּרֶת לְהִבָּעֵל. שֶׁמָּא מֵחִמּוּדָהּ לְאִישׁ רָאֲתָה דָּם טִפָּה אַחַת וְלֹא הִרְגִּישָׁה בָּהּ. בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה הָאִשָּׁה גְּדוֹלָה בֵּין שֶׁהָיְתָה קְטַנָּה צְרִיכָה לֵישֵׁב שִׁבְעָה נְקִיִּים מֵאַחַר שֶׁרָצְתָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ תִּטְבּל וְתִבָּעֵל:

10

All of these matters are additional stringencies that have been practiced by Jewish women from the era of the Sages of the Talmud [onward]. One should never deviate from it. Therefore every women who consents when asked to marry should not marry until she counts [these days] and immerses herself. If she marries a Torah scholar, she may marry immediately and then count after marriage and immerse. [The rationale is that] a Torah scholar will know that she is forbidden and observe [the restriction]. He will not approach her until she immerses.20

י

וְכָל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלּוּ חֻמְרָא יְתֵרָה שֶׁנָּהֲגוּ בָּהּ בְּנוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִימֵי חַכְמֵי הַגְּמָרָא וְאֵין לָסוּר מִמֶּנָּה לְעוֹלָם. לְפִיכָךְ כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁרָצְתָה כְּשֶׁתְּבָעוּהָ לְהִנָּשֵׂא לֹא תִּנָּשֵׂא עַד שֶׁתִּסְפֹּר וְתִטְבּל וְאִם נִשֵּׂאת לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם מֻתֶּרֶת לְהִנָּשֵׂא מִיָּד וְתִסְפֹּר מֵאַחַר שֶׁנְּשָׂאַתּוּ וְתִטְבּל. שֶׁתַּלְמִיד חָכָם יוֹדֵעַ שֶׁהִיא אֲסוּרָה וְנִזְהָר מִזֶּה וְלֹא יִקְרַב לָהּ עַד שֶׁתִּטְבּל:

11

The laws applying to [the discovery of] stains in the present era [follow the principles] we explained.21 There is no innovation in this regard, not are there any [new] customs. Instead, any stain which we ruled was pure, is considered pure. And when [a woman discovers] any of the stains which we ruled were impure - [even] of the stain was not of the size that would generate concern for zivut - she must count seven ["spotless"] days, after the day of the discovery of the stain. For the discovery of a stain is not identical with the discovery of bleeding.22

יא

דִּין הַכְּתָמִים בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ וְאֵין בַּדָּבָר חִדּוּשׁ וְלֹא מִנְהָג אֶלָּא כָּל כֶּתֶם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ שֶׁהִיא טְהוֹרָה הֲרֵי הִיא טְהוֹרָה וְכָל כֶּתֶם שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ טְמֵאָה (אִם אֵין בַּכֶּתֶם שִׁעוּר כְּדֵי לָחוּשׁ לְזִיבוּת) סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים מִיּוֹם שֶׁנִּמְצָא בּוֹ הַכֶּתֶם. וְאִם הָיָה שִׁעוּר הַכֶּתֶם כְּדֵי לָחוּשׁ לְזִיבוּת סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים מֵאַחַר יוֹם שֶׁנִּמְצָא בּוֹ הַכֶּתֶם. שֶׁאֵין הָרוֹאָה דָּם כְּרוֹאָה כֶּתֶם:

12

All the statements we made concerning a woman who miscarried [and discharged a creature that does not resemble a human fetus]23 and [hence] is pure also apply in the present age.24

Similarly, when a woman discovers a white or green blood-like secretion25or if she discharges a red mass of flesh that is not accompanied by bleeding,26she is pure even in the present age. For the stringency involves only one who discovers impure bleeding and the above are not considered as impure bleeding.

יב

וְכֵן כָּל מַה שֶּׁאָמַרְנוּ בְּיוֹלֶדֶת שֶׁאִמּוֹ טְהוֹרָה הֲרֵי הִיא טְהוֹרָה בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה. וְכֵן הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁרָאֲתָה לֹבֶן אוֹ דָּם יָרֹק אוֹ שֶׁהִשְׁלִיכָה חֲתִיכָה אֲדֻמָּה שֶׁאֵין עִמָּהּ דָּם הֲרֵי הִיא טְהוֹרָה אַף בַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה. שֶׁלֹּא הֶחְמִירוּ אֶלָּא בְּרוֹאָה דָּם טָמֵא [וְאֵין זֶה דָּם טָמֵא]:

13

Similarly, if she had a wound from which blood was flowing27 or blood was released with her urine,28 she is pure. Innovations [in practice] were made only with regard to all women who discover impure bleeding as explained [above] and also that all different shades of blood are considered impure.29

יג

וְכֵן אִם הָיְתָה בָּהּ מַכָּה וְהָיָה הַדָּם שׁוֹתֵת מִמֶּנָּה אוֹ שֶׁבָּא הַדָּם עִם מֵימֵי רַגְלַיִם הֲרֵי זוֹ טְהוֹרָה. וְלֹא נִתְחַדֵּשׁ דָּבָר אֶלָּא סְפִירַת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים לְכָל רוֹאָה דָּם טָמֵא כְּמוֹ שֶׁאָמַרְנוּ וְשֶׁיִּהְיוּ כָּל מַרְאֵה דָּמִים טְמֵאִים:

14

In certain places, the practice is that a woman must consider herself a niddah for seven days even though her bleeding lasted only one day. [Then] after these seven, she must count seven "spotless" days. This is not a [proper] custom.30 Instead, it is an error on the part of the one who ruled in this manner and is not worthy of being given any consideration.31 Instead, [the law is that if a woman experiences] one day of menstrual bleeding, she should count seven "spotless" days afterwards and immerse on the night [following] the eighth day,32 which is the second day after her ["days of] niddah." She is [then] permitted to her husband.

יד

זֶה שֶׁתִּמְצָא בְּמִקְצָת הַמְּקוֹמוֹת שֶׁהַנִּדָּה יוֹשֶׁבֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים בְּנִדָּתָהּ אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה דָּם אֶלָּא יוֹם אֶחָד וְאַחַר הַשִּׁבְעָה תֵּשֵׁב שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים אֵין זֶה מִנְהָג אֶלָּא טָעוּת הוּא מִמִּי שֶׁהוֹרָה לָהֶם כָּךְ [ג.] וְאֵין רָאוּי לִפְנוֹת לְדָבָר זֶה כְּלָל אֶלָּא אִם רָאֲתָה יוֹם אֶחָד סוֹפֶרֶת אַחֲרָיו שִׁבְעָה (נְקִיִּים) וְטוֹבֶלֶת בְּלֵיל שְׁמִינִי שֶׁהוּא לַיִל שֵׁנִי שֶׁלְּאַחַר נִדָּתָהּ וּמֻתֶּרֶת לְבַעְלָהּ:

15

Similarly, in certain places, the practice is - and support for this is found in the responsa of some of the Geonim - for a woman who gives birth to a male not to engage in relations until the conclusion of forty days and for one who gives birth to a female [to refrain] until after eighty days33 even though they discovered bleeding only during the [first] seven days. This is not a [proper] custom. Instead, these responsa are in error and indeed [the observance of this practice] in these places is of a heretical nature.34 They learned this interpretation from the Sadducees.35 It is a mitzvah to compel [these people] to remove [this improper custom] from their hearts and to return them to [the observance of] the words of the Sages who require only the counting of seven "spotless" days as explained.

טו

וְכֵן זֶה שֶׁתִּמְצָא בְּמִקְצָת מְקוֹמוֹת וְתִמְצָא תְּשׁוּבוֹת לְמִקְצָת הַגְּאוֹנִים שֶׁיּוֹלֶדֶת זָכָר לֹא תְּשַׁמֵּשׁ מִטָּתָהּ עַד סוֹף אַרְבָּעִים. וְיוֹלֶדֶת נְקֵבָה אַחַר שְׁמוֹנִים. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁלֹּא רָאֲתָה דָּם אֶלָּא בְּתוֹךְ הַשִּׁבְעָה. אֵין זֶה מִנְהָג אֶלָּא טָעוּת הוּא בְּאוֹתָן הַתְּשׁוּבוֹת וְדֶרֶךְ אֶפִּיקוֹרוֹסוּת בְּאוֹתָן הַמְּקוֹמוֹת וּמִן הַצְּדוֹקִין לָמְדוּ דָּבָר זֶה. וּמִצְוָה לְכוֹפָן כְּדֵי לְהוֹצִיא מִלִּבָּן וּלְהַחֲזִירָן לְדִבְרֵי חֲכָמִים שֶׁתִּסְפֹּר שִׁבְעָה יָמִים נְקִיִּים בִּלְבַד כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

16

A woman does not ascend from her state of ritual impurity and cease being considered as an ervah until she immerses herself in a mikveh that is halachicly acceptable while there are no substances intervening between her flesh and the water.36 In Hilchot Mikveot, we will explain what defines a mikveh as acceptable and what disqualifies it, the manner in which one should immerse, and the laws concerning intervening substances.

If, by contrast, she washes in a bath - even if all the water in the world passes over her - her state is the same after washing as before washing [and a man who engages in relations with her is liable] for kereit. For there is no way of ascending from a state of ritual impurity to one of purity except through immersing in the waters of a mikveh, a spring, or a sea which is like a spring, as will be explained in Hilchot Mikveot.

טז

אֵין הָאִשָּׁה עוֹלָה מִטֻּמְאָתָהּ וְיוֹצֵאת מִידֵי עֶרְוָה עַד שֶׁתִּטְבּל בְּמֵי מִקְוֶה כָּשֵׁר. וְלֹא יִהְיֶה דָּבָר חוֹצֵץ בֵּין בְּשָׂרָהּ וּבֵין הַמַּיִם. וּבְהִלְכוֹת מִקְוָאוֹת יִתְבָּאֵר הַמִּקְוֶה הַכָּשֵׁר וְהַפָּסוּל וְדֶרֶךְ הַטְּבִילָה וּמִשְׁפְּטֵי הַחֲצִיצָה. אֲבָל אִם רָחֲצָה בַּמֶּרְחָץ אֲפִלּוּ נָפְלוּ עָלֶיהָ כָּל מֵימוֹת שֶׁבָּעוֹלָם הֲרֵי הִיא אַחַר הָרְחִיצָה כְּמוֹת שֶׁהָיְתָה קֹדֶם הָרְחִיצָה בְּכָרֵת. שֶׁאֵין לְךָ דָּבָר שֶׁמַּעֲלֶה מִטֻּמְאָה לְטָהֳרָה אֶלָּא טְבִילָה בְּמֵי מִקְוֵה אוֹ בְּמַעֲיָן אוֹ בַּיַּמִּים שֶׁהֵם כְּמַעֲיָן כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת מִקְוָאוֹת:

17

In the present age, although the seven "spotless" days [are observed only because of] doubt,37 if a woman immerses herself during them, it is as if she did not immerse herself.38 If she immerses herself on the seventh day,39the immersion is valid even though it is forbidden to do so at the outset, lest one engage in relations on the seventh day after the immersion.40 [The rationale is that] she immersed in the appropriate time even were she to have definitely been a zavah.41

יז

כָּל שִׁבְעָה יָמִים נְקִיִּים שֶׁבַּזְּמַן הַזֶּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהֵן סָפֵק אִם טָבְלָה בָּהֶן כְּאִלּוּ לֹא טָבְלָה. וְאִם טָבְלָה בַּשְּׁבִיעִי אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאָסוּר לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן לְכַתְּחִלָּה שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא לִבְעל בַּשְּׁבִיעִי אַחַר הַטְּבִילָה. הוֹאִיל וְטָבְלָה בִּזְמַנָּהּ אֲפִלּוּ הָיְתָה זָבָה וַדָּאִית הֲרֵי זוֹ עָלְתָה לָהּ טְבִילָה:

18

It is forbidden to a person to embrace his wife during these seven "spotless" days. [This applies] even if she is clothed and he is clothed.42 He should not draw close to her, nor touch her, not even with his pinky. He may not eat together with her from the same plate.43 The general principle is he must conduct himself with her during the days she is counting as he does in her "days of niddah." For [relations with her] are still punishable by kereit until she immerses herself, as we explained.44

יח

וְאָסוּר לְאָדָם שֶׁיִּדְבַּק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ בְּשִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים אֵלּוּ וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא בִּכְסוּתָהּ וְהוּא בִּכְסוּתוֹ. וְלֹא יִקְרַב לָהּ וְלֹא יִגַּע בָּהּ אֲפִלּוּ בְּאֶצְבַּע קְטַנָּה. וְלֹא יֹאכַל עִמָּהּ בִּקְעָרָה אַחַת. כְּלָלוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר יִנְהֹג עִמָּהּ בִּימֵי סְפִירָה כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּנְהֹג בִּימֵי נִדָּה שֶׁעֲדַיִן הִיא בְּכָרֵת עַד שֶׁתִּטְבּל כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

19

A niddah may perform any task which a wife would perform for her husband except washing his face, hands, and feet, pouring him a drink, and spreading out his bed in his presence.45 [These were forbidden as] decrees, lest they come to sin.46

For this reason, she should not eat with him from the same plate, nor should he touch her flesh, lest this lead to sin. Similarly, she should not perform these three tasks for him during her seven "spotless" days. It is permitted for a woman to adorn herself during her "days of niddah," so that she does not become unattractive to her husband.

יט

כָּל מְלָאכוֹת שֶׁהָאִשָּׁה עוֹשָׂה לְבַעְלָהּ נִדָּה עוֹשָׂה לְבַעְלָהּ חוּץ מֵהַרְחָצַת פָּנָיו יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו וּמְזִיגַת הַכּוֹס וְהַצָּעַת הַמִּטָּה בְּפָנָיו. גְּזֵרָה שֶׁמָּא יָבוֹא לִדְבַר עֲבֵרָה. וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה לֹא תֹּאכַל עִמּוֹ בִּקְעָרָה אַחַת וְלֹא יִגַּע בִּבְשָׂרָהּ מִפְּנֵי הֶרְגֵּל עֲבֵרָה. וְכֵן בְּשִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה לוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ מְלָאכוֹת אֵלּוּ. וּמֻתָּר לְאִשָּׁה לְהִתְקַשֵּׁט בִּימֵי נִדָּתָהּ כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא תִּתְגַּנֶּה עַל בַּעְלָהּ:

Footnotes
1.

I.e., to the Temple in Jerusalem. See Hilchot Mamrim, chs. 1 and 4, which discuss the authority of the Supreme Sanhedrin and how it served as the final governing body for Jewish Law.

2.

Chapter 4, Halachah 4.

3.

As stated in Chapter 5, Halachah 7-12, in the Talmudic era, our Sages felt capable of distinguishing between different shades of red and were able to identify some shades as pure and others as impure. In the Rambam's era and certainly in later ages, the Rabbis felt incapable of making such distinctions.

4.

The Maggid Mishneh relates that the Rambam did not clarify his statements concerning this Rabbinic ordinance because it was only a temporary measure. It does not reflect Scriptural Law, nor does it reflect Rabbinic Law as practice, because it was later supplanted by the stringency Jewish women accepted upon themselves as stated in the following halachah.

To explain: Niddah 66a relates that Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi ordained that any woman who discovers uterine bleeding should wait six "spotless" days before immersing herself . If, however, she discovers bleeding for three consecutive days, she must wait seven "spotless" days. Thus if the bleeding had come in her days of niddah, she would have waited the seven days required by Scriptural Law (the day she discovered the bleeding and the six "spotless" days). And if the bleeding had come in her days of zivah, all that is required by Scriptural Law is for her to wait one spotless day. This is the ordinance to which the Rambam referred.

5.

The stringency implied by this practice is that even if bleeding is sighted for only one day, the woman counts seven "spotless" days.

6.

According to Scriptural Law, there is no need for her to count seven "spotless" days in such a situation. Instead, she may immerse after the seventh day regardless. Nevertheless, women accepted this stringency upon themselves.

7.

I.e., according to Scriptural Law, a zavah may immerse herself during the day on the seventh day. She need not wait until evening. Nevertheless, since a niddah is required to wait until the evening to immerse herself, women standardized their conduct and ordained that all immersion be performed at night unless there are extenuating circumstances. Note, however, Halachah 17.

8.

Chapter 4, Halachah 8.

9.

Chapter 7, Halachah 5.

According to Scriptural Law, if a women is not a zavah when she gives birth, she may immerse herself after seven or fourteen days, even if she was bleeding the entire time. In the Talmudic era, however, it became customary to observe the stringency described by the Rambam. The rationale is that since every discovery of bleeding renders her a zavah, she is always considered as having given birth in that state (Maggid Mishneh).

When quoting this law, Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:1) emphasizes that this practice does not supplant Scriptural Law. Thus if a woman counts seven "spotless" days directly after giving birth to a girl, she must still wait the fourteen days required by the Torah before immersing.

10.

Eretz Yisrael.

11.

Morocco and North Africa.

12.

The Hebrew term used by the Rambam has a specific meaning, the days between the seventh and fortieth days after a woman gives birth to a male or the days between the fourteenth and eightieth days after she gives birth to a female.

13.

Chapter 7, Halachah 7.

14.

Whose halachic tradition differed from that of the Sephardic community in many particulars.

15.

The Rambam is referring to one of the principles mentioned in his introduction to the Mishneh Torah: Laws ordained by the Sages of the Talmud must be accepted universally throughout the Jewish community. Laws ordained by later authorities are subject to the halachic review of the local authorities.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 194:1) writes that it has already become universal Jewish practice to forbid relations when a woman discovers bleeding during her days of purity.

16.

I.e., the first time the couple engage in relations. As explained in Chapter 5, Halachot 18-25, according to Scriptural Law, hymeneal bleeding does not represent any difficulty for it is not at all related to niddah or zivah. Hence, according to Talmudic Law, when the wife is a minor, the couple may engage in relations until the hymeneal bleeding ceases. Even a girl who gets married at the age of twelve is granted certain leniency. The later Rabbis, however, required all couples to separate because of hymeneal bleeding.

The Maggid Mishneh emphasizes that the groom may complete relations and withdraw while erect even if he knows that bleeding has commenced. Although our Rabbis ordained this stringency, they did not apply it to the first time the couple engaged in relations.

He also states that even if no bleeding is discovered, if the bride was a virgin, we assume that there was a slight amount of blood that was not noticed and rule that she is impure. These laws are quoted by Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 193:1).

17.

I.e., if all the hymeneal blood was not released during the first time the couple engaged in relations and bleeding was discovered after subsequent relations.

18.

The day after she consents is the first of these seven days. If she becomes engaged and there is a considerable time between the engagement and the marriage, the days are counted from the time wedding preparations are made in earnest (Maggid Mishneh; Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 192:1-2).

19.

This stringency applies to a young girl who never menstruated or an older girl who already experienced seven "spotless" days after her last menstruation.

20.

The Kessef Mishneh and the Maggid Mishneh maintain that the Rambam would agree that not only relations, but also remaining alone with one's wife is forbidden in this situation. The Ra'avad and the Tur (Yoreh De'ah 192) infer that the Rambam is not paying heed to this prohibition. Hence, they differ with his ruling.

21.

In Chapter 9.

22.

The Rambam is saying that for a stain a woman is not required to make a hefsek taharah or count seven days. Instead, it is sufficient for her to count six "spotless" days as described in Halachah 3 and notes. For as he explains, the discovery of a stain is not the same as the discovery of bleeding.

The Ra'avad differs with the Rambam and maintains that the laws applying to the discovery of bleeding also apply with regard to the discovery of a stain. The Maggid Mishneh offers theoretical support for the Rambam's approach, but states that since other Rishonim follow the Ra'avad's view, we should be stringent and accept it. This opinion is followed by Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 188:3, 190:1).

23.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 15; Chapter 10, Halachah 8.

24.

The Rambam maintains that the Rabbis did not issue a decree concerning such a situation, nor was this included in the stringency which Jewish women accepted upon themselves. The Ra'avad differs, explaining that in the present era, we are not knowledgeable concerning the distinctions between the forms which our Sages made. Hence, because of the doubt, we rule that a woman is impure after any miscarriage.

In this instance as well, the Ra'avad's view is accepted by the Ramban and the Rashba and is cited as halachah by Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:3).

25.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 6. This ruling is accepted by all authorities.

26.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 13. This ruling is also disputed by the Ra'avad and other Rishonim. For they maintain that it is impossible for the uterus to open without there being any bleeding. This view is accepted by Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 194:2).

27.

See Chapter 4, Halachah 20.

28.

See Chapter 5, Halachah 17. Other Rabbis also do not require stringency with regard to these matters in the present age.

29.

As stated in Halachah 3, the later Rabbis felt incapable of distinguishing between different shades of red as the Sages of the Talmud were capable of doing.

30.

The Rama (Yoreh De'ah 196:11) also mentions the practice cited by the Rambam. He also negates it saying: "There is not reason for the practiceו. A person who is lenient earns a reward and hastens his [involvement in] the mitzvah."

31.

Although the halachic authorities are unanimous in their support of the Rambam's ruling. The custom he quotes has a Rabbinic source in Midrash Tanchuma, Parshat Metzora, sec. 7.

32.

The Rama (loc. cit.) mentions that the Ashkenazic custom is not to begin counting seven until thje fifth day after the woman discovered menstrual bleeding.

33.

By this practice, they distort the meaning of Leviticus, ch. 12, as interpreted in Chapter 4, Halachah 5.

34.

For as indicated by the association with the Sadducees, they undermine the authority of the Oral Law.

35.

A deviant sect which tried to sway our people from Jewish practice by denying the authority of the Oral Law.

36.

For an immersion can be disqualified when there are substances intervening between one's flesh and the waters of a mikveh. See Hilchot Mikveot 1:7 and the laws that follow.

37.

As explained in Halachot 3 and 4 and notes.

38.

Since a niddah or a zavah does not change her state if she immerses herself before the required time, we apply this same ruling to a woman in the present age.

39.

I.e., after sunrise.

40.

We fear that she may discover uterine bleeding after engaging in relations, but before nightfall, and thus nullify the entire seven "spotless" days. In that instance, her immersion is of no consequence.

41.

For according to Scriptural Law, a zavah may immerse at this time, as stated in Chapter 6, Halachah 11. And if the woman is a niddah, she may certainly immerse according to Scriptural Law, for the time of her impurity has passed.

42.

This and the following restrictions were imposed lest they lead to relations, as the Rambam states in the following halachah.

43.

The Ra'avad states: "Our custom is that [they may not eat] even on the same table." The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 195:3) quotes the Ra'avad's ruling, but offers the following leniency. One may place an object between the two to make a distinction.

44.

In Halachah 16.

45.

Implied is that if he is not present, she may make his bed. Outside his presence, making his bed is a household task. In his presence, it could suggest an invitation for intimacy. See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah, ch. 195) and commentaries for a further delineation of stringencies that must be observed until a woman purifies herself.

46.

I.e., relations.

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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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