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ב"ה

Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Issurei Biah - Chapter Eight

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Issurei Biah - Chapter Eight

1

There are women who have vesetot, established times [when they menstruate] and other women who do not have vesetot. Instead, they feel nothing until the blood is actually released1 and they do not have a fixed day on which they menstruate.

[The intent when speaking of] a woman who has a veset is that there is a specific day - [e.g.,] from the twentieth [day of the month] to the twentieth or from the twenty-fourth to the twenty-fourth, or more or less - [on which she begins to menstruate].

א

יֵשׁ אִשָּׁה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ וֶסֶת וְיֵשׁ אִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ וֶסֶת אֶלָּא לֹא תַּרְגִּישׁ בְּעַצְמָהּ עַד שֶׁיֵּצֵא הַדָּם וְאֵין לָהּ יוֹם קָבוּעַ לִרְאִיָּתָהּ. וְזֶהוּ שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ וֶסֶת הִיא שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ יוֹם קָבוּעַ. אוֹ מֵעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם לְעֶשְׂרִים יוֹם. אוֹ מִכ''ד יוֹם לְכ''ד יוֹם. אוֹ פָּחוֹת אוֹ יוֹתֵר:

2

Before the onset of menstruation, she will demonstrate physical symptoms,2 [e.g.,] she yawns, sneezes,3 feels anxiety at the opening to her stomach and lower intestinal area, the hairs of her flesh will stand up, her flesh will become warm, or any similar physical symptoms.4 She will experience these - or at least one of these - symptoms at the fixed time when she [will menstruate] on the established day.

ב

וְקֹדֶם שֶׁיָּבוֹא הַדָּם תַּרְגִּישׁ בְּעַצְמָהּ. מְפַהֶקֶת וּמִתְעַטֶּשֶׁת וְחוֹשֶׁשֶׁת פִּי כְּרֵסָהּ וְשִׁפּוּלֵי מֵעֶיהָ וְיִסְתַּמֵּר שַׂעֲרַת בְּשָׂרָהּ אוֹ יֵחַם בְּשָׂרָהּ וְכַיּוֹצֵא בִּמְאֹרָעוֹת אֵלּוּ. וְיָבוֹאוּ לָהּ וְסָתוֹת אֵלּוּ אוֹ אֶחָד מֵהֶן בְּשָׁעָה הַקְּבוּעָה לָהּ מִיּוֹם וֶסְתָּהּ:

3

We have already explained5 that any woman who does not have a [fixed] veset is forbidden to engage in relations until she makes an internal examination first. If she has a [fixed] veset, she is forbidden to engage in relations through the entire time of the veset. If her veset is during the day, she is forbidden to engage in relations throughout the entire day.6 If her veset is during the night, she is forbidden to engage in relations throughout the entire night. She should begin counting her "days of niddah" and her "days of zivah"7 from the day of the veset at all times.8

ג

כְּבָר בֵּאַרְנוּ שֶׁכָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁאֵין לָהּ וֶסֶת אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ עַד שֶׁתִּבְדֹּק עַצְמָהּ תְּחִלָּה. וְשֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ וֶסֶת אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ בְּכָל עוֹנַת הַוֶּסֶת. אִם וֶסְתָּהּ בַּיּוֹם אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ כָּל אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם. וְאִם וֶסְתָּהּ בַּלַּיְלָה אֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ כָּל אוֹתוֹ הַלַּיְלָה. וּמִתְּחִלַּת יוֹם הַוֶּסֶת תִּסְפֹּר יְמֵי נִדָּתָהּ וִימֵי זִיבָתָהּ לְעוֹלָם:

4

Therefore women must be careful with regard to vesetot until they know the day and the hour when a veset is established. If her pattern was to begin menstruation on the twentieth day9 and the twentieth day came and she did not menstruate and she did menstruate on the twenty-third, she is forbidden [to engage in relations on] the twentieth and twenty-third.10

Similarly, if a second time she did not menstruate on the twentieth and [instead,] began to menstruate on the twenty-third day, both days remain forbidden.11 If for a third time, she did not menstruate on the twentieth and [instead,] began to menstruate on the twenty-third day, the twentieth day is purified12 and the veset is transferred to the twenty-third day. For a woman does not establish a veset until she establishes it three times, nor does she uproot a veset until she bypasses it three times.

ד

לְפִיכָךְ צְרִיכוֹת הַנָּשִׁים לְהִזָּהֵר בִּוְסָתוֹת עַד שֶׁתֵּדַע הַיּוֹם וְהַשָּׁעָה שֶׁנִּקְבְּעָה בָּהּ וֶסְתָּהּ. הָיָה דַּרְכָּהּ לִרְאוֹת בְּיוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וּבָא יוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְלֹא רָאֲתָה וּבָא יוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים וְרָאֲתָה הֲרֵי יוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְיוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים שְׁנֵיהֶן אֲסוּרִין. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה בְּיוֹם כ''ג וְלֹא רָאֲתָה בְּיוֹם עֶשְׂרִים עֲדַיִן שְׁנֵיהֶן אֲסוּרִין. רָאֲתָה פַּעַם שְׁלִישִׁית בְּיוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים וְלֹא רָאֲתָה בְּיוֹם עֶשְׂרִים טָהַר יוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְנֶעֱקָר הַוֶּסֶת לְיוֹם שְׁלֹשָׁה וְעֶשְׂרִים. שֶׁאֵין הָאִשָּׁה קוֹבַעַת וֶסֶת עַד שֶׁתִּקְבָּעֶנּוּ שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים. וְאֵינָהּ מִטַּהֶרֶת מִן הַוֶּסֶת עַד שֶׁתֵּעָקֵר מִמֶּנָּה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים:

5

When a veset is established because of outside factors, even if recurs several times, it is not a veset, because [menstruation] came as a result of an outside factor.13

If a woman jumped14 and menstruated and [again] jumped and menstruated, she establishes a veset for the specific day without considering whether she jumped. What is implied? She jumped on Sunday and menstruated. After an interval of 20 days,15 she again jumped on Sunday and menstruated. Then after an interval of 19 days, she jumped on the Sabbath and did not menstruate, but menstruated after the Sabbath without jumping, she establishes [a fixed veset] for Sunday after a twenty day interval.16 For it is clear that the interval causes her to menstruate and not jumping,17 and the interval has been established as the onset of menstruation on three occasions. Similar laws apply in all analogous situations.

ה

כָּל וֶסֶת שֶׁנִּקְבַּע מֵחֲמַת אֹנֶס אֲפִלּוּ רָאֲתָה בּוֹ כַּמָּה פְּעָמִים אֵינוֹ וֶסֶת שֶׁמִּפְּנֵי הָאֹנֶס רָאֲתָה. קָפְצָה וְרָאֲתָה קָפְצָה וְרָאֲתָה קָבְעָה לָהּ וֶסֶת לְיָמִים בְּלֹא קְפִיצוֹת. כֵּיצַד. קָפְצָה בְּאֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וְרָאֲתָה דָּם. וּלְאַחַר עֶשְׂרִים יוֹם קָפְצָה בְּאֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת וְרָאֲתָה דָּם. וּלְאַחַר י''ט קָפְצָה בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת וְלֹא רָאֲתָה דָּם וּלְאַחַר שַׁבָּת רָאֲתָה בְּלֹא קְפִיצָה. הֲרֵי נִקְבָּע אֶחָד בְּשַׁבָּת אַחַר עֶשְׂרִים. שֶׁהֲרֵי נוֹדַע שֶׁהַיּוֹם גָּרַם לָהּ לִרְאוֹת וְלֹא הַקְּפִיצָה. וּכְבָר נִקְבַּע יוֹם זֶה שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים. וְכֵן כָּל כַּיּוֹצֵא בָּזֶה:

6

When a woman begins menstruating on the fifteenth of one month, and menstruates on the sixteenth of the following month, the seventeenth of the month which follows that, and the eighteen of the month which follows that, she establishes a veset which advances.18

If during the fourth month, she begins menstruating on the seventeenth, the veset is not established.19 Instead, [in the following month,] she suspects that she will menstruate on the day on which she menstruated during the previous month.20 If that day arrives and she does not menstruate, that day becomes pure and is no longer suspected. For only a date that has been established by three [consecutive onsets] need be uprooted by three consecutive occasions when menstruation does not occur.

ו

רָאֲתָה יוֹם ט''ו בְּחֹדֶשׁ זֶה וְיוֹם ט''ז בְּחֹדֶשׁ שֶׁל אַחֲרָיו וְיוֹם י''ז בְּחֹדֶשׁ שֶׁל אַחֲרָיו וְיוֹם י''ח לְחֹדֶשׁ שֶׁל אַחֲרָיו הֲרֵי קָבְעָה לָהּ וֶסֶת לְדִלּוּג. בָּא חֹדֶשׁ רְבִיעִי וְרָאֲתָה בְּיוֹם י''ז עֲדַיִן לֹא נִקְבָּע לָהּ וֶסֶת. וְכָל יוֹם שֶׁרָאֲתָה בּוֹ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לוֹ לְהַבָּא. כֵּיוָן שֶׁיַּגִּיעַ אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם וְלֹא תִּרְאֶה טָהַר אוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם מִן הַוֶּסֶת שֶׁאֵין צָרִיךְ עֲקִירַת שָׁלשׁ פְּעָמִים אֶלָּא יוֹם שֶׁנִּקְבַּע שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים:

7

If her pattern had been to begin menstruation on the fifteenth and she changed21 to the sixteenth, [relations] are forbidden on both.22 If, [in the following month,] she changed to the seventeenth, the sixteenth is released and the seventeenth becomes prohibited. The fifteenth remains prohibited.23 If, [in the following month,] she changed to the eighteenth, the eighteenth becomes prohibited24 and all the other dates are released.

ז

הָיָה דַּרְכָּהּ לִהְיוֹת רוֹאָה יוֹם ט''ו וְשִׁנְּתָה לְט''ז שְׁנֵיהֶם אֲסוּרִין. שִׁנְּתָה לְי''ז הֻתַּר ט''ז וְנֶאֱסַר י''ז וְט''ו בְּאִסּוּרוֹ עוֹמֵד. שִׁנְּתָה לְי''ח נֶאֱסַר י''ח וְהֻתְּרוּ כֻּלָּם:

8

If her pattern had been to begin menstruation on the twentieth day and she changed to the twenty-second, they are both forbidden.25 If, [in the following month,] the twentieth arrives and she does not menstruate, but she does menstruate on the twenty-second, they both remain forbidden. If, [in the following month,] the twentieth arrived and she began menstruating, she is considered to have returned to her fixed pattern.26 The twenty-second is released, because it was not established through three [onsets of menstruation].

ח

הָיָה דַּרְכָּהּ לִרְאוֹת יוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְשִׁנְּתָה לְיוֹם כ''ב שְׁנֵיהֶם אֲסוּרִין. הִגִּיעַ עֶשְׂרִים וְלֹא רָאֲתָה כ''ב וְרָאֲתָה עֲדַיִן שְׁנֵיהֶן אֲסוּרִין. הִגִּיעַ יוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְרָאֲתָה טָהַר יוֹם כ''ב. שֶׁהֲרֵי חָזְרָה לְוֶסְתָּהּ הַקָּבוּעַ וְנֶעֱקַר כ''ב מִפְּנֵי שֶׁלֹּא נִקְבַּע שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים:

9

A woman does not establish a veset in the midst of her "days of niddah" during which she has menstruated.27 Since she menstruates on one of these days, she cannot establish a veset in any of the seven. Similarly, a woman does not establish a veset in her eleven "days of zivah." She may, however, establish a fixed veset in her "days of niddah" when she has not menstruated.

If she established a veset in her "days of zivah,"28 she must show concern over that veset.29 Whenever a veset is established in [a woman's] "days of zivah," it is uprooted if it is bypassed even once. It does not have to be bypassed three times. [The rationale is that] it is an accepted presumption that a woman's [menstrual] blood is withdrawn on these days.30

ט

אֵין הָאִשָּׁה קוֹבַעַת לָהּ וֶסֶת בְּתוֹךְ יְמֵי נִדָּתָהּ שֶׁרָאֲתָה בָּהֶן. כֵּיוָן שֶׁרָאֲתָה יוֹם אֶחָד אֵינָהּ קוֹבַעַת לָהּ וֶסֶת בְּכָל הַשִּׁבְעָה. וְכֵן אֵין הָאִשָּׁה קוֹבַעַת וֶסֶת בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ שֶׁהֵן אַחַד עָשָׂר יוֹם. אֲבָל קוֹבַעַת הִיא וֶסֶת בִּימֵי נִדָּתָהּ שֶׁאֵינָהּ רוֹאָה בָּהֶן. וְאִם נִקְבָּע לָהּ וֶסֶת בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְוֶסְתָּהּ. וְכָל וֶסֶת שֶׁקָּבְעָה בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ אִם נֶעֶקְרָה אֲפִלּוּ פַּעַם אַחַת נֶעֶקְרָה וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה לְהֵעָקֵר שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים שֶׁחֶזְקַת דָּמִים מְסֻלָּקִין הֵן לְיָמִים אֵלּוּ:

10

What is meant by "she must show concern over that veset"? If she sighted bleeding on this veset for even one day, she must wait as a niddah because of the doubt.31 [In the following month,] she is forbidden to engage in relations on that day even if she did not sight bleeding as32 on the other days of the vesetot. If she discovers bleeding for three successive days, she is a zavah.33

י

כֵּיצַד חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְוֶסֶת. אִם רָאֲתָה דָּם בְּוֶסֶת זוֹ אֲפִלּוּ יוֹם אֶחָד תֵּשֵׁב לְנִדָּתָהּ מִסָּפֵק וַאֲסוּרָה לְשַׁמֵּשׁ בְּאוֹתוֹ הַיּוֹם. וַאֲפִלּוּ לֹא רָאֲתָה בִּשְׁאָר יְמֵי הַוְּסָתוֹת. וְאִם רָאֲתָה שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים הֲרֵי זוֹ זָבָה:

11

When a woman frequently inspects herself at all times, her conduct is praiseworthy.34 [This applies] even if she has established a fixed veset. For bleeding may come at times other than her veset.

During the eleven days of zivah, we assume that she is pure.35 [Hence,] she need not inspect herself. After her days of zivah,36 however, she should inspect herself.

יא

כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁמַּרְבָּה לִבְדֹּק עַצְמָהּ תָּמִיד הֲרֵי זוֹ מְשֻׁבַּחַת וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ וֶסֶת קְבוּעָה. שֶׁאֶפְשָׁר שֶׁיָּבוֹא דָּם בְּלֹא שְׁעַת הַוֶּסֶת. וְכָל י''א יוֹם שֶׁל יְמֵי זִיבָתָהּ הֲרֵי הִיא בָּהֶן בְּחֶזְקַת טָהֳרָה וְאֵינָהּ צְרִיכָה בְּדִיקָה. אֲבָל אַחַר יְמֵי זִיבָתָהּ צְרִיכָה לִבְדֹּק:

12

When a woman remains passive37 and does not inspect herself, either because of forces beyond her control or intentionally, she is assumed to be pure until she inspects herself and discovers [that she is] impure.38

יב

שָׁכְחָה וְלֹא בָּדְקָה בֵּין בְּאֹנֶס בֵּין בְּרָצוֹן הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת טָהֳרָה עַד שֶׁתִּבְדֹּק וְתִמָּצֵא טְמֵאָה:

13

[The following laws apply when] a woman did not inspect herself at the time of her veset39 and inspected herself a few days afterwards and discovered that she was impure. Retroactively, she is considered impure from the time of her veset with regard to matters of ritual purity and impurity, as will be explained.40 Nevertheless, she does not render a man who engaged in relations with her impure retroactively41 and she may not count [the days of niddah] except from the time she discovered the bleeding.42 If [in the inspection], she discovered that she is pure, we operate under the assumption that she is pure.43

יג

הָאִשָּׁה שֶׁלֹּא בָּדְקָה עַצְמָהּ בִּשְׁעַת וֶסְתָּהּ וּלְאַחַר יָמִים בָּדְקָה וּמָצְאָה טָמֵא אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא טְמֵאָה לְמַפְרֵעַ עַד שְׁעַת וֶסְתָּהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּעִנְיַן טֻמְאָה וְטָהֳרָה. הֲרֵי זוֹ אֵינָהּ מְטַמְּאָה אֶת בּוֹעֲלָהּ לְמַפְרֵעַ. וְאֵינָהּ מוֹנָה אֶלָּא מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁרָאֲתָה דָּם. וְאִם מָצְאָה עַצְמָהּ טְהוֹרָה הֲרֵי זוֹ בְּחֶזְקַת טְהוֹרָה:

14

Similarly, when a woman discovers bleeding due to a wound that she has in her uterus, she is pure, even if she discovers the bleeding at the time of her veset.44 The blood is also pure. [The rationale is that the obligation to show concern for] vesetot is Rabbinic in origin, as will be explained in Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav.45

יד

וְכֵן אִשָּׁה שֶׁרָאֲתָה דָּם מֵחֲמַת מַכָּה שֶׁיֵּשׁ לָהּ בַּמָּקוֹר אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁרָאֲתָה בִּשְׁעַת וֶסְתָּהּ הִיא טְהוֹרָה וְהַדָּם טָהוֹר. שֶׁהַוְּסָתוֹת מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם כְּמוֹ שֶׁיִּתְבָּאֵר בְּהִלְכוֹת מְטַמְּאֵי מִשְׁכָּב וּמוֹשָׁב:

15

A blind woman should conduct an internal examination herself and show [the ed] to her friends.46 A deaf-mute47 and a mentally or emotionally incapacitated woman must be inspected by intellectually capable women48 so that their vesetot can be established. [Afterwards,] they are permitted to their husbands.49

טו

הַסּוּמָא בּוֹדֶקֶת עַצְמָהּ וּמַרְאָה לַחֲבֵרְתָהּ. אֲבָל הַחֵרֶשֶׁת וְהַשּׁוֹטָה צְרִיכוֹת פִּקְחוֹת לִבְדֹּק אוֹתָן וְלִקְבֹּעַ לָהֶן וְסָתוֹת וְאַחַר כָּךְ יִהְיוּ מֻתָּרוֹת לְבַעְלֵיהֶן:

16

Should a woman err and be unaware of the day when her "days of niddah"50 begins, if she menstruates, she must be concerned that she is a zavah.51 Therefore if she menstruated for one day or two days, she must nevertheless wait a full seven52 lest the blood have come in her "days of niddah." And if she discovers bleeding for three days, she must count seven "spotless" days, lest she be in the midst of her "days of zivah."

טז

כָּל אִשָּׁה שֶׁטָּעֲתָה וְלֹא יָדְעָה עֵת וֶסְתָּהּ וְרָאֲתָה דָּם חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְזִיבוּת. לְפִיכָךְ אִם רָאֲתָה יוֹם אֶחָד אוֹ שְׁנַיִם יוֹשֶׁבֶת תַּשְׁלוּם שִׁבְעָה שֶׁמָּא דָּם זֶה בִּימֵי נִדָּתָהּ הִיא. וְאִם רָאֲתָה שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים שֶׁמָּא בִּימֵי זִיבָתָהּ הִיא עוֹמֶדֶת:

17

What must she do to redefine when her "days of niddah" begin, to know if she is definitely a zavah or that if there is a question concerning that53, and to know when her "days of zivah" begin? Everything is dependent on [the number of days] during which she discovers [bleeding].

If she discovered bleeding for one day or for two days, she counts the remainder of the seven54 and begins counting the eleven55 days after these seven.56

יז

וְכֵיצַד הִיא עוֹשָׂה לְתַקֵּן וֶסְתָּהּ וְלֵידַע אִם הִיא זָבָה וַדָּאִית אוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה וְלֵידַע יְמֵי זִיבָתָהּ. הַכּל לְפִי יָמִים שֶׁתִּרְאֶה בָּהֶן. כֵּיצַד. רָאֲתָה יוֹם אֶחָד אוֹ שְׁנַיִם מַשְׁלֶמֶת עֲלֵיהֶן הַשִּׁבְעָה וְתַתְחִיל לִמְנוֹת הָאַחַד עָשָׂר יוֹם מֵאַחַר הַשִּׁבְעָה:

18

If she discovered bleeding for three days, there is a doubt whether she is a zavah.57 For perhaps one of these days preceded her "days of niddah" and two were at the beginning of her "days of niddah." Similarly, if she discovered bleeding for four days, [there is a doubt whether she is a zavah]. For perhaps two of these days preceded her "days of niddah" and two were at the beginning of her "days of niddah." She must observe the five as the remainder of the seven and [count] the eleven days after these five.

יח

רָאֲתָה שְׁלֹשָׁה יָמִים הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה שֶׁמָּא יוֹם אֶחָד מֵהֶן קֹדֶם נִדָּתָהּ וּשְׁנַיִם בִּתְחִלַּת הַנִּדָּה. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה אַרְבָּעָה שֶׁמָּא שְׁנַיִם קֹדֶם הַנִּדָּה וּשְׁנַיִם מִתְּחִלַּת הַנִּדָּה וְיוֹשֶׁבֶת חֲמִשָּׁה תַּשְׁלוּם יְמֵי נִדָּה וְאַחַד עָשָׂר יְמֵי זִיבָה אַחַר הַחֲמִשָּׁה:

19

Similarly, if she discovered bleeding for nine days,58 there is a doubt whether she is a zavah. Perhaps two of the days preceded her days of niddah" and seven are her "days of niddah." She begins counting the eleven days after the ninth day [on which] the bleeding stopped. Similarly, if she discovered bleeding for eleven days,59 there is a doubt whether she is a zavah. Perhaps two of the days preceded her days of niddah," seven are her "days of niddah," and two days followed her "days of niddah." Thus there remain nine days within her "days of zivah."60

יט

וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה תִּשְׁעָה יָמִים הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה שֶׁמָּא שְׁנַיִם קֹדֶם יְמֵי נִדָּה וְשִׁבְעָה שֶׁל נִדָּה וּמַתְחֶלֶת לִמְנוֹת אַחַד עָשָׂר יוֹם מֵאַחַר הַתִּשְׁעָה שֶׁפָּסַק הַדָּם. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה אַחַד עָשָׂר יוֹם הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק זָבָה. שֶׁמָּא שְׁנַיִם קֹדֶם הַנִּדָּה וְשִׁבְעָה שֶׁל נִדָּה וּשְׁנַיִם שֶׁל אַחַר הַנִּדָּה וְנִשְׁאַר לָהּ מִימֵי זִיבָתָהּ תִּשְׁעָה:

20

If she discovered bleeding for twelve days, she is definitely a zavah. For even if two of the days preceded her days of niddah" and seven are her "days of niddah," there are three days61 following her "days of niddah. Thus there remain eight days within her "days of zivah." The same laws apply if she discovered bleeding for thirteen days. There remain seven days within her "days of zivah" and they are the days on which she counts [seven "spotless" days].

כ

רָאֲתָה שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר יוֹם הֲרֵי זוֹ זָבָה וַדָּאִית. שֶׁאֲפִלּוּ הָיוּ מֵהֶן שְׁנַיִם לִפְנֵי הַנִּדָּה וְשִׁבְעָה שֶׁל נִדָּה הֲרֵי שְׁלֹשָׁה לְאַחַר הַנִּדָּה וְיִשָּׁאֵר לָהּ מִימֵי זִיבָתָהּ שְׁמוֹנָה. וְכֵן אִם רָאֲתָה שְׁלֹשָׁה עָשָׂר יוֹם יִשָּׁאֵר לָהּ מִימֵי זִיבָתָהּ שִׁבְעָה וְהֵן יְמֵי הַסְּפִירָה:

21

Even if a women's menstruation continues for even 1000 days, as soon as the bleeding stops, she should count seven "spotless" days. After these seven days, a woman who erred begins anew her "days of niddah."62

כא

מָשְׁכָה בִּרְאִיַּת הַדָּם אֲפִלּוּ רָאֲתָה אֶלֶף יוֹם כְּשֶׁיִּפְסֹק הַדָּם סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעַת יָמִים נְקִיִּים. וְאַחַר הַשִּׁבְעָה יַתְחִילוּ יְמֵי הַנִּדָּה לְזוֹ שֶׁטָּעֲתָה:

22

Thus we learn: Whenever a woman errs, she never counts less than seven days from the time which her bleeding stops. Nor does she count more than seventeen. Afterwards, come her "days of niddah."

What is implied? If she discovered bleeding for one day and then it stopped, she should count seventeen days. Six to complete her "days of niddah" and eleven as her "days of zivah." If she discovers bleeding for thirteen days or more she counts seven "spotless" days after the bleeding ceases. Afterwards, her "days of niddah" begin as explained [above].

כב

הִנֵּה לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁכָּל הַטּוֹעָה אֵינָהּ מוֹנָה מִשֶּׁיִּפְסֹק הַדָּם פָּחוֹת מִשִּׁבְעָה וְלֹא יוֹתֵר עַל י''ז וְיָבוֹאוּ יְמֵי נִדָּתָהּ. כֵּיצַד. רָאֲתָה יוֹם אֶחָד וּפָסַק הַדָּם מוֹנָה י''ז שִׁשָּׁה לְתַשְׁלוּם נִדָּתָהּ וְי''א יְמֵי זִיבָתָהּ וְיָבוֹאוּ יְמֵי נִדָּתָהּ. וְאִם רָאֲתָה י''ג אוֹ יֶתֶר מוֹנָה שִׁבְעָה מִשֶּׁיִּפְסֹק הַדָּם וְיָבוֹאוּ יְמֵי נִדָּתָהּ כְּמוֹ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ:

Footnotes
1.

I.e., the onset of menstruation is not associated with a specific physical symptom, as stated in Halachah 2.

2.

From the Rambam's wording, it appears that for a woman to establish a veset, two factors are necessary: a) that there be a fixed monthly pattern when menstruation begins, and b) the onset of menstruation be preceded by physical symptoms. The other halachic authorities do not rule in this manner. They maintain that either of these two factors is independently powerful enough to establish a veset (Maggid Mishneh). Their view is followed by the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah, ch. 189).

3.

Our translation of these two terms is based on Rav Kapach's translation of the Rambam's Commentary to the Mishnah (Niddah 9:8). There are other commentaries who offer different interpretations.

4.

For these physical symptoms to be considered as a veset, they must be repeated three times before the onset of menstruation (Niddah 63a).

5.

Chapter 4, Halachah 16. As mentioned in the notes to that halachah, most other authorities differ with the Rambam with regard to these requirements.

6.

The Tzemach Tzedek notes that Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav 3:6 states that a woman may touch ritually pure articles during the time her veset is expected. It is only when she actually discovers bleeding that she conveys ritual impurity upon these articles. He explains the difference between that law and the laws governing relations based on Shulchan Aruch HaRav 189:97 by saying that we fear that relations will cause menstruation to come earlier.

7.

I.e., the seven "days of niddah" and the eleven "days of zivah."

8.

The commentaries have noted somewhat of a difficulty with the Rambam's statements. As he stated in Chapter 6, according to his conception, the cycle of niddah and zivah begin again after eighteen days. Now what if a woman has a 20 day cycle or a 25 day cycle? According to the Rambam's statements here it would seem that "days of niddah" and the "days of zivah" should be counted from the day of the veset, i.e., each 20 days or 25 days.

9.

The Maggid Mishnehinterprets this law as speaking about the intervals between the onset of menstruation (veset haflagah). This interpretation is borne out by the manner in which the Tur and the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 189:14) quote this law. From the Siftei Cohen 189:40, it appears that the Rambam is speaking about the twentieth and the twenty-third of the month (veset hachodesh in halachic terminology).

10.

The twentieth is forbidden because as the Rambam continues to explain, once a veset has been established, it is not uprooted until it passes three times without the woman menstruating. The twenty-third is forbidden, because since she began menstruating on that day, we fear that she will begin menstruated upon it in the following month. See also Halachah 8.

11.

For the same reasons as stated in the previous note.

12.

I.e., she is no longer forbidden to engage in relations on that day.

13.

According to the Maggid Mishneh, the "jumping" mentioned in the following clause illustrates this principle. The "jumping" is an external factor that is not dependent on a woman's internal physical pattern. Even if on three separate occasions, a woman menstruates as a result of "jumping," she is not considered to have established a fixed veset. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 189:17) quotes this principle. The Rama quotes the Hagahot Maimoniot which state that although the jumping is not regarded with the severity of a fixed veset, it is considered as an irregular veset. Until a situation passes when the woman does not menstruate after jumping, she is forbidden to engage in relations afterwards. The Tur rules that even an external factor can cause a veset if a pattern recurs on three consecutive occasions.

14.

Perhaps "jumping" can be interpreted as "undergoing strenuous exercise" which could be considered as a cause for hastening the onset of menstruation.

15.

I.e., the day of menstruation is not counted in the interval.

16.

The Maggid Mishneh deals with question what would happen if the woman jumped and menstruated on Sunday for a third consecutive time. Would her veset be established for the interval only in connection with jumping? Or would the interval itself be considered as a veset. There would be a difference in law if on the fourth occasion after the interval, she did not jump. Is she forbidden to engage in relations or not. The Maggid Mishneh maintains that according to the Rambam, she would be forbidden, because the Rambam does not attach any significance to the external factors. Other authorities - and this view is sustained by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 189:18) - maintain that unless she jumps, she is not forbidden after the fourth interval.

17.

Even though she jumped on the previous day, that jumping is not considered as significant and is not associated with her monthly pattern. Note the Maggid Mishneh's explanation of the approach of the Rashba which differs.

18.

There must be four months in the cycle, so that there are three months during which she advanced a day. In such a situation in the fifth month, she must expect to menstruate on the nineteenth.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 189:7) quotes the Rambam's ruling, but also that of Rabbenu Chananel and the Ra'avad which maintains that a veset is established even after only three months of such a pattern.

19.

For she did not increase a day in the fourth month.

20.

I.e., on the seventeenth of the month. She does not have to be concerned with the fifteenth and the sixteenth. Since she did not begin menstruating on that day in the month which followed it, she need not be concerned with it any longer.

This requirement applies to any woman who does not have a veset kevua, a fixed time when she is known to begin menstruating. According to the halachah at present, a woman in such a situation must refrain from relations on three occasions: the day or the night of the date of the month on which she menstruated in the previous month, the day or the night which matches the interval between her onset of menstruation in the previous and that of the month which preceded it, the day and night of the thirtieth day since the onset of menstruation.

21.

On one occasion.

22.

On the fifteenth because of the existing pattern, and on the sixteenth because of her menstruation in the previous month. The point of this halachah is that when a woman deviates from an established veset, she must show concern both for that established veset and for the date (and interval) resulting from the previous month.

23.

Because it must pass three times without her menstruating upon it.

24.

In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro questions the Rambam's ruling. Seemingly, in this instance, since she increased by one day each month, she established a fixed veset according to that pattern. Thus in the following month, she must show concern over the nineteenth.

In his Kessef Mishneh, Rav Yosef Caro explains that in addition to showing concern for the nineteenth, the woman must show concern for the eighteenth, since this was the day on which her menstruation actually began. In his Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 189:7), however, he does not mention this point.

25.

The twentieth as a fixed veset and the twenty-second because of the deviation in the previous month.

26.

And it must be bypassed on three new occasions to be uprooted. As long as the veset is not uprooted by being bypassed on three successive months, it becomes reaffirmed when the onset of menstruation recurs on it once.

27.

According to the Rambam's interpretation of "days of niddah," the interpretation of this ruling is straightforward. Once a woman has sighted bleeding in her "days of niddah," she cannot establish a veset on any of her other days of niddah. According to interpretation of the Ramban, the explanation is somewhat more complex. See the gloss of the Maggid Mishneh. Similarly, with regard to the other instances mentioned in this halachah, the explanation according to the approach of the Ramban - which as stated previously is accepted as halachah by most authorities - the explanation differs from that of the Rambam.

28.

The same laws would apply if she discovered bleeding only once during her "days of zivah" (without the phenomenon recurring three times). Perhaps the Rambam's intent is to emphasize that even if the phenomenon recurs three timmes, it can be uprooted when it is bypassed once.

29.

As described in the following halachah.

30.

I.e., since it is unlikely that she will menstruate on these days, we treat any veset that has been established as an extraordinary event. Although she must take it into consideration, it can be uprooted easily.

31.

Like a niddah, she is forbidden to engage in relations for seven days.

32.

Our translation follows an emendation of the text based on authoritative manuscripts. See the Noda B'Yehudah, Vol. II, Responum 93, which explains this version.

33.

And must wait until seven "spotless" days pass. I.e., because of the doubt concerning her status, she is given both the stringency applying to a niddah - she is forbidden for seven days after even one sighting of blood - and the stringency associated with a zavah - she must count seven "spotless" days if she sights bleeding for three consecutive days (Maggid Mishneh).

34.

The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 184:1) interprets the Rambam's ruling as applying not at the time of relations. (For if she inspects herself before relations, her husband might think there is reason to refrain from relations.) At present, however, Rabbis have counseled woman not to inspect themselves unless there is a reason. For at times, the inspection itself can cause bleeding. See also Chapter 4, Halachah 16.

35.

For it is unlikely for her to menstruate then.

36.

When it is likely for her to menstruate.

37.

Our translation is based on authoritative manuscripts and early printings of the Mishneh Torah. The standard printed text reads "If she forgot and did not...."

38.

For we do not suspect that she became impure unless she actually discovers bleeding. Slightly different principles apply with regard to the veset on which she can be expected to begin menstruation arrives as explained in the following halachah and notes.

39.

The initial and preferred course of conduct is that when a veset passes without a woman discovering uterine bleeding, she should inspect herself to ensure that this is so. She is forbidden to engage in relations unless she makes such an inspection. See Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 189:4).

40.

Hilchot Mitamei Mishkav UMoshav 3:5. There it is explained that since she discovered bleeding afterwards, we assume that she menstruated at the expected time and became impure.

41.

A man who engages in relations with a niddah becomes impure. Nevertheless, a man who engaged in relations with a woman between the time of her veset and the time she discovered the bleeding is not placed in this category. For although we suspect that the woman became impure, there is no certainty that indeed this took place.

42.

A woman who is a niddah remains impure for seven days. These seven days do not begin from her veset, but from the time when she actually discovered the bleeding.

43.

For although we suspect that menstruation will begin on the veset, if there is no evidence that this indeed happened, we do not assume that it did.

44.

The basic principle upon which this law is based is stated in Chapter 4, Halachah 20. In this halachah, the Rambam is merely clarifying that the fact that a woman has a fixed veset does not change the basic position.

45.

Chapter 3, Halachah 9. I.e., according to Scriptural Law, a woman is not impure until she actually discovers bleeding. Our Rabbis ordained that she should show concern for her veset, but they also limited the extent of that concern as reflected in the above laws.

46.

Since she cannot see, she obviously cannot inspect the ed, the cloth used for the examination. The Rambam (based on Niddah 13b) is emphasizing that she is relied upon to carry out a thorough internal examination.

47.

Who is considered the same as a mentally incapacitated individual. If, however, she is merely deaf or mute, she is considered as a mentally capable individual [Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De'ah 196:8)].

48.

For these women cannot be relied upon to carry out a proper internal examination themselves.

49.

A word of clarification is necessary. Our Rabbis ordained a marriage arrangement for deaf-mutes. They did not, however, ordain such an arrangement for mentally or emotionally incapable individuals.

50.

Although in this and the following halachah, the Rambam uses the term veset, the intent of the term in this context is reflected by our translation.

51.

I.e., she must observe both the stringencies incumbent on a niddah and those incumbent on a zavah as the Rambam continues to explain.

52.

Before purifying herself as is required of a niddah.

53.

See the following halachah.

54.

Days of niddah.

55.

Days of zivah.

56.

The Maggid Mishneh explains that according to the Ramban's understanding of the terms "days of niddah" and "days of zivah," this entire discussion is unnecessary. And according to the Rambam's understanding of these terms, it is somewhat difficult. For as stated above, the Rambam maintains that from the first time a woman menstruates her "days of niddah" are set. Nevertheless, in this situation, the Rambam maintains that, rather than leave a woman in a situation where she is continuously in doubt, our Sages advised her to begin counting "her days of niddah" anew from the time she menstruated.

57.

I.e., and therefore she must keep both sets of stringencies as mentioned above. The rationale for this ruling is that it is possible that the bleeding took place in her "days of zivah." But, as the Rambam continues to explain, it is possible that this is not the case.

58.

The same ruling obviously applies if she discovers bleeding for from five to eight days. It is unnecessary for the Rambam to state this, because it is readily apparent. The Rambam feels it necessary to mention nine days, because this includes a new concept: that we allow for the possibility that she was bleeding for all seven days of niddah. Thus in addition to these seven days, we add two days of zivah.

59.

The same ruling obviously applies if she discovers bleeding for ten days. It is unnecessary to mention, for the rationale is the same as for eleven days.

60.

And her "days of niddah" begin when they are completed.

61.

The number of days necessary for her to be considered a major zavah.

62.

I.e., this is sufficient for her to correct her reckoning.

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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 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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