1

A woman who has given birth whether she bore a living child or a dead one, or even if it was a miscarriage, even if she perceived no blood, she is regarded as unclean with the uncleanliness ascribed to birthgiving. The law prescribes that if the child was a male, the mother is unclean for seven days, (because of her) birthgiving, after which she may count seven clean days and perform the rite of immersion. If the baby is female, the mother is unclean for fourteen days (because of her) birthgiving, after which she counts seven clean days and performs the rite of immersion. There are places where the accepted custom is that woman do not perform the immersion within forty days of giving birth to a male, and within eighty days of giving birth to a female. In a community where this custom is uniformly accepted, it should not be treated lightly, for there is some reason for this. Concerning such instances it is said, "Hear my son, the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother." But in our regions, there is no established custom concerning this.1 The custom prevailing in some communities that she should not immerse herself until six weeks after giving birth to a male, and nine weeks for a female, or similar customs, have no valid reason whatsoever, and have already been abolished in the holy communities by the Geonim, of blessed memory.

א

יוֹלֶדֶת, בֵּין יָלְדָה וָלָד חַי בֵּין וָלָד מֵת, וָאֲפִלּוּ נֵפֶל, אֲפִלּוּ לֹא רָאֲתָה דָם, הֲרֵי הִיא טְמֵאָה טֻמְאַת לֵדָה. וּמִצַּד הַדִּין אִם הָיָה הַוָּלָד זָכָר, הִיא טְמֵאָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים מִשּׁוּם לֵדָה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ יְכוֹלָה לִסְפֹּר שִׁבְעָה נְקִיִים וְתִטְבֹּל. וְאִם הָיָה נְקֵבָה, הִיא טְמֵאָה אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר יוֹם מִשּׁוּם לֵדָה, וְאַחַר כָּךְ סוֹפֶרֶת שִׁבְעָה נְקִיִים וְטוֹבֶלֶת. וְיֵשׁ מְקוֹמוֹת שֶׁנּוֹהֲגִין שֶׁאֵינָן טוֹבְלוֹת תּוֹךְ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם לְזָכָר וּשְׁמוֹנִים יוֹם לִנְקֵבָה. וּבְמָקוֹם שֶׁהַמִּנְהָג הַזֶה הוּא מֻסְכָּם אֵצֶל כֻּלָם, אֵין לְהָקֵל, כִּי יֵשׁ קְצָת טַעַם בָזֶה. וְעַל כָּזֶה נֶאֱמַר, שְׁמַע בְּנִי מוּסַר אָבִיךָ וְאַל תִּטּשׁ תּוֹרַת אִמֶּךָ. אֲבָל בִּמְדִינוֹתֵינוּ, אֵין בָּזֶה מִנְהָג קָבוּעַ. וּמַה שֶׁיֵשׁ בִּקְצָת מְקוֹמוֹת מִנְהָג, שֶׁלֹּא לִטְבֹּל עַד לְאַחַר שִׁשָׁה שָׁבוּעוֹת לְזָכָר וְתִשְׁעָה שָׁבוּעוֹת לִנְקֵבָה וְכַדּוֹמֶה, לְמִנְהָגִים כָּאֵלּוּ אֵין לָהֶם שׁוּם טַעַם, וּכְבָר נִתְבַּטְלוּ בִּקְהִלּוֹת קְדוֹשׁוֹת עַל יְדֵי גְאוֹנִים זִכְרוֹנָם לִבְרָכָה.

2

Some authorities maintain that you must separate from your wife the night of the forty-first day after having given birth to a male, and the night of the eighty-first day after having given birth to a female; for then there is the likelihood2 she may perceive the flow the same as during her menses. Other authorities differ, but a scrupulous person should be strict about it. If she miscarried, and there is doubt if the fetus is male or female, you should separate from her the night of the forty-first day and the night of the eighty-first day.

ב

יֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים, שֶׁצָּרִיךְ לִפְרוֹשׁ מֵאִשְׁתּוֹ לֵיל אַרְבָּעִים וְאֶחָד לְזָכָר וְלֵיל שְׁמוֹנִים וְאֶחָד לִנְקֵבָה, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁאָז אִכָּא חֲשָׁשָׁא, שֶׁמָּא תִרְאֶה דָם כְּמוֹ בִּשִׁעַת וֶסְתָּהּ, וְיֵשׁ חוֹלְקִין. וּבַעַל נֶפֶשׁ יָחוּשׁ לְעַצְמוֹ. וְאִם הִפִּילָה סָפֵק זָכָר סָפֵק נְקֵבָה, יִפְרוֹשׁ לֵיל אַרְבָּעִים וְאֶחָד וְלֵיל שְׁמוֹנִים וְאֶחָד.

3

If a woman suffered a miscarriage and expelled something even if it had no shape of a child, but looked like a piece of flesh or skin, or the like, she must be stringent and consider herself unclean as after the birth of a female, or she should consult a poseik, for sometimes it is possible to be lenient. Also, if she first miscarried a child, and thereafter dropped the afterbirth, although the child was a male, she must be observant of the uncleanliness due to birth of a female, because of the afterbirth3 or seek the opinion of a poseik.

ג

אִשָּׁה שֶׁהִפִּילָה אֵיזֶה דָבָר, אֲפִילּוּ אֵין בּוֹ צוּרַת וָלָד כְּלָל, אֶלָּא כְּמוֹ חֲתִיכַת בָּשָׂר אוֹ עוֹר וְכַדּוֹמֶה, צְרִיכָה לְהַחְמִיר וּלְהַחֲזִיק אֶת עַצְמָה בְטֻמְאַת לֵדַת נְקֵבָה, אוֹ תַעֲשֶׂה שְׁאֵלַת חָכָם, כִּי לִפְעָמִים יֵש לְהָקֵל. וְכֵן אִם הִפִּילָה וָלָד וְאַחַר כָּךְ שִׁלְיָא, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהַוָּלָד הָיָה זָכָר, צְרִיכָה לָחוּשׁ לְטֻמְאַת לֵדַת נְקֵבָה מִשּׁוּם הַשִּׁלְיָא, אוֹ תַעֲשֶׂה שְׁאֵלַת חָכָם.

4

If a woman is certain she has not conceived, and performed the rite of immersion, and within forty days had a miscarriage, she need not deem it a birth, for the embryo is not formed in less than forty days. But she is menstrually unclean, even if no blood was perceived, for presumably there was some blood which may have disappeared, as it is impossible for the womb to have opened without issuing blood.

ד

אִשָּׁה שֶׁבָּרוּר לָה שֶׁאֵינָהּ מְעֻבֶּרֶת וְטָבְלָה לְבַעְלָהּ, וּבְתוֹךְ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם הִפִּילָה, אֵינָהּ חוֹשֶׁשֶׁת לְלֵדָה, כִּי אֵין הַוָּלָד נוֹצָר בְפָחוֹת מֵאַרְבָּעִים יוֹם, אֲבָל טְמֵאָה נִדָּה. וַאֲפִלוּ לֹא נִרְאָה דָם, מִסְּתָמָא הָיָה קְצָת דָּם, אֶלָּא שֶׁנֶּאֱבַד, כִּי אִי אֶפְשָׁר לִפְתִיחַת הָרֶחֶם בְּלֹא דָם.