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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah
'If another three 'onahs have passed over her and then again she observed a discharge it suffices for her to reckon her uncleanness from the time she observed it'. What is the ruling where she again observes discharges at the end of single 'onahs?3 — R. Kahana citing R. Giddal who had it from Rab replied: After the first time it suffices for her to reckon her uncleanness from the time she observed the discharge but after the second time she causes uncleanness retrospectively for twenty-four hours or from her previous examination to her last examination. Whose view does this4 represent? That of Rabbi who laid down that if a thing has occurred twice presumption is established.5 Read then the final clause:6 'If subsequently three 'onahs have passed over her and then she again observed a discharge, it suffices for her to reckon her uncleanness from the time she observed it'. Does not this agree only with the view of R. Eliezer?7 And should you reply that it in fact represents the view of Rabbi but that in the case of [an interval of three] 'onahs he holds the same view as R. Eliezer, [it could be retorted]: Does he indeed hold the same view seeing that it was stated, 'After he reminded himself'?8 — The fact is that it represents the view of R. Eliezer but9 [in respect of presumption in the case of] menstrual periods he is of the same opinion as Rabbi.10
A stain [discovered by one who had not yet reached the age of menstruation] between her first and second [observation of a discharge] is regarded as clean,11 but as regards one discovered between her second and third observation, Hezekiah ruled: It is unclean, while R. Johanan ruled: It is clean. 'Hezekiah ruled: It is unclean', since, when she observed [a discharge for the third time] she becomes unclean [retrospectively],12 her stain also13 causes her to be unclean; 'while R. Johanan ruled: It is clean,' for this reason: Since14 she was not yet confirmed in the condition of presumptive menstruation15 she cannot be regarded as unclean on account of her stain.
Niddah 10bR. Elai demurred:1 But what is the difference between this class of woman and a virgin [just married] whose blood is clean?2 — R. Zera replied: In the case of the latter her secretion3 is frequent4 but in that of the former her secretion is not frequent.5
'Ulla stated: R. Johanan who had it from R. Simeon b. Jehozadak6 ruled, 'If a young girl who had not yet attained the age of menstruation observed a discharge, her spittle or her midras-uncleanness in the street7 after a first discharge and after a second discharge is clean,8 and her stain is also clean'; but I do not know [whether the last ruling]9 was his own or his Master's.10 In what practical issue could this matter? — In respect of establishing the ruling11 to be the view of one authority11 against two authorities.12 When Rabin and all the other seafarers came13 they stated that the ruling was in agreement with the view of R. Simeon b. Jehozadak.
R. Hilkiah b. Tobi ruled: In the case of a young girl who had not yet reached the age of menstruation14 a discharge of menstrual blood, even if it continued15 throughout all the seven days,16 is regarded as a single observation.17 [Since you say,] 'Even18 if it continued'15 it follows that there is no necessity to state that the law is so19 where there was a break.20 But is not this contrary to reason, seeing that a break would cause the discharge to be like two separate observations? — Rather read: In the case of a young girl who had not yet reached the age of menstruation,14 a discharge of menstrual blood that21 continued throughout all the seven days22 is regarded as a single observation. R. Shimi b. Hiyya ruled: Dripping is not like an observation.23 is But does not the woman in fact observe it?24 — Read: It is not like a continuous discharge but like one broken up.25 Does this26 then imply that the continuous discharge27 was one like28 a river?29 — Rather read: It is only like a continuous discharge.30
Our Rabbis taught: It is established that the daughters of Israel before reaching the age of puberty are definitely31 in a condition of presumptive cleanness and the [elder] women need not examine them. When they have reached the age of puberty they are definitely31 in a condition of presumptive uncleanness and [elder] women must examine them. R. Judah ruled: They must not examine them with their fingers32 because they might corrupt them,33 but they dab them with oil within and wipe it off from without and they are thus self examined.34
R. JOSE RULED: FOR A WOMAN IN PREGNANCY etc. A Tanna recited in the presence of R. Eleazar, 'R. Jose ruled: As for a woman in pregnancy and a nursing woman over whom three onahs have passed it suffices for her35 [to reckon her35 period of uncleanness from] the time of her [observation of the flow]'. 'You', the other remarked, 'began with two36 and finished with one;37 do you perchance mean: A pregnant woman who was also38 a nurse,39 and this40 teaches us incidentally the law that [in respect of an interval of three 'onahs]41 the days of a woman's pregnancy supplement those of her nursing and those of her nursing supplement those of her pregnancy? As it was taught: 'The days of her pregnancy supplement those of her nursing and the days of her nursing supplement those of her pregnancy. In what manner? If there was a break42 of two 'onahs during her pregnancy and of one during her nursing, or of two during her nursing and one during her pregnancy, or of one and a half during her pregnancy and one and a half during her nursing, they are all combined into a series of three 'onahs'.43 One can well understand the ruling that 'the days of her pregnancy supplement those of her nursing' since this is possible where a woman became pregnant while she was still continuing her nursing. But how is it possible that 'the days of her nursing44 supplement those of her pregnancy'?45 — If you wish I might reply: This is possible in the case of a dry birth.46 And if you prefer I might reply: Menstrual blood is one thing and birth blood is another thing.47 And if you prefer I might reply: Read the first clause only.48
OF WHAT DID THEY SPEAK WHEN THEY LAID DOWN THAT IT SUFFICES [FOR THEM TO RECKON] THEIR [PERIOD OF UNCLEANNESS FROM] THE TIME [OF THEIR DISCOVERY OF THE FLOW]'? etc. Rab stated: This49 refers to all of them,50 and Samuel stated: This49 was learnt only in respect of a virgin51 and an old woman52 but for pregnant or nursing women53 it suffices for them, throughout all the days of their pregnancy and throughout all the days of their nursing respectively to reckon their uncleanness from the time of their observing a flow. In the same manner R. Simeon b. Lakish stated: This54 refers to all of them; while R. Johanan stated: This was learnt only in respect of a virgin and an old woman but for pregnant or nursing women it suffices throughout all the days of their pregnancy and throughout all the days of their nursing respectively to reckon their uncleanness from the time of their observing the flow. This dispute55 is analogous to one between Tannas. [For it was taught]: If pregnant or nursing women were
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