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Rambam - 1 Chapter a Day

Issurei Biah - Chapter Nine

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Issurei Biah - Chapter Nine


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


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:


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.


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:


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


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:


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


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:


[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.


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:


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


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:


[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.


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:


[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


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:


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.


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:


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.


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:


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.


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


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


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:


[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


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:


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


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:


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


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:


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


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:


[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


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:


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


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:


[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.


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:


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.


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:


[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.


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


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.


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


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


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:


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


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:


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


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:


[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.


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:


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


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:


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


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


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


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:


[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.


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:


[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.


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


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


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:


[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


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:


[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.


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:


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.


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:


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


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:


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.


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:


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.


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:


[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


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:


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.


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.


Chapter 5, Halachah 2.


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


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


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


As clarified in Halachah 8.


As clarified in Halachot 9-11.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


I.e., hymeneal bleeding.


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


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


She becomes impure no matter how small it is.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


And found there were no bloodstains on it.


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.


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.


On days other than her seven "spotless" days.


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.)


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


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


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


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.


For each of the stains is considered individually.


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


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)].


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.


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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)].


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.


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.


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)].


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


The day on which she experienced uterine bleeding.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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


For she is unlikely to experience uterine bleeding.


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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


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."


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.


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.


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


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.


Halachot 12-18.


Halachah 2.


The punishment given for violating a Rabbinic commandment.


If he engaged in relations with her inadvertantly.

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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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