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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah

Folio 41a

Since Scripture both widened and limited the scope of the law, you might rightly say:1  I include the former whose disqualification arose within the Sanctuary and exclude the latter whose disqualification did not arise within the Sanctuary.2  At all events, it was here taught that the young extracted by means of a caesarean operation is not included in the scope of the law;3  and this refers, does it not, to the young that were so extracted in the case of a consecrated beast?4  — R. Huna son of R. Nathan replied: No, the reference is to one so extracted in the case of a firstling. But is not the law of the firstling5  deduced from the expression of openeth the womb.6  What then do you suggest? That the reference is to one of the consecrated beasts? Is not7  this [it could be retorted] inferred from a deduction of 'the dam' from 'the dam'?8  — What a comparison!9  If you grant that the reference is to a consecrated beast one can well understand the necessity for two Scriptural texts:10  One11  to exclude12  the young of an unconsecrated beast born by way of a caesarean cut and then consecrated, and the other,13  to exclude14  the young of a consecrated beast15  born by way of the caesarean cut,16  he being of the opinion that the young of consecrated beasts become sacred only after they come into a visible existence,17  but if you maintain that the reference is to a firstling [the objection would arise:] Is not this18  deduced from the expression openeth the womb?19  This20  may also be supported by reason. For 'a beast that covered or was covered, that was set aside for an idolatrous purpose, that was worshipped and kil'ayim' were mentioned.21  Now is the law concerning these deduced from this text?22  Is it not in fact deduced from a different text:22  Of the cattle23  excludes24  a beast that covered or was covered, Of the herd23  excludes24  a beast that was worshipped, Of the flock23  excludes24  one that was set aside for an idolatrous purpose, Or of the flock23  excludes25  one that gores?26  And, furthermore, is the law concerning kil'ayim27  deduced from here? Is it not in fact deduced from a different text: When a bullock, or a sheep, or a goat, is brought forth;28  'a bullock' excludes kil'ayim, 'or a goat' excludes one that29  only resembles it?30  But the fact is that two series of texts were required there: One in connection with an unconsecrated beast31  and the other in connection with a consecrated beast; well then, in this case also two texts were similarly required.

Our Rabbis taught: If a woman was in protracted labour32  for three days,33  but the embryo was born by way of a caesarean cut, she is to be regarded as having given birth in zibah.34  R. Simeon, however,35  ruled: A woman in such circumstances is not regarded as36  having given birth in zibah. The blood, furthermore, that issues from that place37  is unclean, but R. Simeon declared it clean. The first clause may be well understood, since R. Simeon follows his known view38  and the Rabbis follow theirs; on what principle, however, do they differ in the final clause?39  — Rabina replied: This is a case where, for instance, the embryo was born through the side

To Part b

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. By recourse to a process of reasoning.
  2. V. Zeb. 27b.
  3. So that it is obviously not regarded as sacred.
  4. In agreement with R. Johanan's interpretation of R. Simeon s view.
  5. Viz., that a firstling extracted by means of a caesarean cut is not subject to the restrictions and sanctity of a firstling.
  6. Ex. XXXIV, 19; emphasis on the last word. Now since it is not sacred it is obviously to be treated like an ordinary beast and must be removed from the altar even after it had been placed upon it; what need then was there to exclude it by the text of Lev. VI, 2.
  7. That the one so extracted is not sacred.
  8. Supra 40a ad fin.
  9. Lit., 'that, what'.
  10. 'This' and 'the dam'.
  11. 'The dam'.
  12. From sanctity, in consequence of which it must be removed from the altar even after it had been placed on it.
  13. 'This'.
  14. From the law that requires a sacrifice that was once upon the altar never to be taken down.
  15. Though the dam is sacred.
  16. Since the disqualification arose without the Sanctuary.
  17. Sc. on being born, but no earlier; and when the young was born it was already disqualified. Rashi deletes 'he being … existence'.
  18. V. supra p. 281, n. 8.
  19. Of course it is. Hence the conclusion that the reference must be to a consecrated beast.
  20. That all the disqualifications enumerated supra, including the young born by way of the caesarean cut, apply only to consecrated beasts and to their young.
  21. Supra 40b.
  22. Lit., 'from there'.
  23. Lev. I, 2.
  24. 'Of' implying a limitation.
  25. By the use of the redundant 'or'.
  26. And killed a human being. The last three classes (covered, was covered and gores) are such whose status was determined on the evidence of only one witness or their owner. Hence they are only forbidden as sacrifices but permitted for ordinary use; but if their status is determined on the evidence of two witnesses they are forbidden for ordinary use also.
  27. In beasts; a cross-breed between a goat and a sheep.
  28. Lev. XXII, 27.
  29. Being born from a goat and having the appearance of a lamb.
  30. The goat. Now, since it follows from these texts that the beasts are not sacred, what need was there for an additional text from which to deduce that even though they have already been put upon the altar they must be taken down from it?
  31. Which a man consecrated.
  32. Accompanied by bleeding.
  33. During her zibah period; the discharge having made its appearance on each of the three days.
  34. Sc. she is subject to the restrictions of a confirmed or major zabah. Only in the case of normal birth is the blood during the labour preceding it exempt from the uncleanness of zibah.
  35. Being of the opinion (v. our Mishnah) that such a birth is valid.
  36. Lit., 'this is not'.
  37. This is explained infra.
  38. Expressed in our Mishnah (cf. prev. n. but two).
  39. If the blood issued through the caesarean cut the opinions should have been reversed: According to R. Simeon, who regards the birth as valid, the blood should be unclean while according to the Rabbis it should be clean.
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Niddah 41b

while the blood issued1  through the womb; and R. Simeon follows his view while the Rabbis follow theirs.2  R. Joseph demurred: Firstly, is not then the final clause identical with the first?3  And, furthermore, 'from that place' means, does it not, the place of birth?4  Rather, said R. Joseph, this is a case, where, for instance, both the embryo and the blood issued through the side,5  and the point at issue between them6  is whether the interior of the uterus is unclean. The Masters hold that the interior of the uterus is unclean,7  while the Master holds that the interior of the uterus is clean.8

Resh Lakish stated: According to him who holds the blood to be unclean the woman also9  is unclean10  and according to him who holds the blood to be clean the woman also is clean. R. Johanan, however, stated: Even according to him who holds the blood to be unclean the woman is clean. In this R. Johanan follows a view he previously expressed. For R. Johanan citing R. Simeon b. Yohai stated: Whence is it deduced that a woman is not unclean11  unless the discharge issues through its normal channel? From Scripture which says, And if a man shall lie with a woman having her sickness,12  and shall uncover her nakedness — he hath made naked her fountain,13  which teaches that a woman is not unclean11  unless the discharge of her sickness issues through its normal channel.

Resh Lakish citing R. Judah Nesi'ah14  ruled: If the uterus15  became detached and dropped upon the ground the woman is unclean, for it is said, Because thy filthiness16  was poured out,17  and thy nakedness18  uncovered.19  In what respect?20  If it be suggested: In that of an uncleanness for seven days11  [the objection would arise:] Did not the All Merciful speak of blood and not of a solid piece? — As a matter of fact the reference is to the uncleanness until evening.21

R. Johanan ruled: If the uterus produced a discharge that was22  like two pearl drops23  the woman is unclean. In what respect? Should it be suggested: In respect of an uncleanness for seven days11  [it might be objected:] Are there not just five unclean kinds of the blood for a woman, and no more? — The fact is that the reference is to the uncleanness until evening.24  This, however, applies only to two drops but if there was only one drop it may be assumed that it originated elsewhere.25

ALL WOMEN ARE SUBJECT TO UNCLEANNESS [IF BLOOD APPEARED] IN THE OUTER CHAMBER. Which is the OUTER CHAMBER? — Resh Lakish replied: All that part which, when a child sits, is exposed. Said R. Johanan to him: Is not that place deemed exposed as regards contact with a dead creeping thing?26  Rather, said R. Johanan, as far as the glands.27  The question was raised: Is the region between the glands regarded as internal or as external? — Come and hear what R. Zakkai taught: The region up to the glands and that between the glands is regarded as internal. In a Baraitha it was taught: As far as the threshing-place. What is meant by threshing-place? — Rab Judah replied: The place where the attendant threshes.28

Our Rabbis taught: In her flesh29  teaches that she30  contracts uncleanness internally as externally. But from this text I would only know of the menstruant, whence the deduction that the same law applies to a zabah? It was explicitly stated, Her issue31  in her flesh.29  Whence the proof that the same law applies also to one who emitted semen? It was explicitly stated, Be.32  R. Simeon, however, ruled: It is enough that she be subject to the same stringency of uncleanness as the man who had intercourse with her. As he is not subject to uncleanness unless the unclean discharge issued forth, so is she not subject to uncleanness unless her unclean discharge issued forth. But could R. Simeon maintain that 'it is enough that she be subject to the same stringency of uncleanness as the man who had intercourse with her'? Was it not in fact taught: 'They shall both bathe themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.33  What, said R. Simeon, does this34  come to teach us? If that it applies also to one who came in contact with semen35  [it could be retorted:] Was it not in fact36  stated below, Or from whomsoever [the flow of seed goeth out]?37  But [this is the purpose of the text:] Since the uncleanness arises in a concealed region38  and since an uncleanness in a concealed region is elsewhere ineffective, a special Scriptural ordinance was required39  [to give it effect in this particular case]'40  — This is no difficulty: The latter deals with one who received the semen at intercourse,41  while the former refers to one who ejected it subsequently.42  'Ejected'! Should not her uncleanness be due43  to her preceding intercourse?44  — This is a case where she had undergone ritual immersion in respect of her intercourse.45  This then46  says that for one who had intercourse it suffices to be unclean only until the evening. But did not Raba rule: A woman who had intercourse is forbidden to eat terumah for three days since it is impossible that she should not eject some semen during that time?47  — Here48  we are dealing with one who was immersed49  with her bed.50  It may thus51  be inferred that Raba52  spoke of a woman53  who went herself on foot and performed immersion, but then is it not possible that she had ejected the semen while she was walking?54

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Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. During the three days of labour, that preceded the birth.
  2. Cf. supra no. 2.
  3. It is; why then the needless repetition?
  4. How then could Rabina explain this as 'the womb'?
  5. The clause thus differing from the first one which deals with an issue of blood from the normal place during labour.
  6. R. Simeon and the Rabbis.
  7. The blood that comes in contact with the uterus causes, therefore, uncleanness for a day until the evening, though, having finally issued through the caesarean cut, it cannot be regarded as a menstrual discharge to subject the woman to an uncleanness of seven days.
  8. The blood that issued through the caesarean cut, though it passed through the uterus, is, therefore, regarded as the blood of a mere wound which conveys no uncleanness. Should the blood issue through the womb, provided there was no relief from pain prior to the birth, the blood, as that of labour, would also, during the zibah period, be clean on account of the birth of the child despite its emergence by way of a caesarean cut.
  9. Though the birth was from her side.
  10. Seven days, as a menstruant.
  11. As a menstruant.
  12. Dawah, applied to the menstrual discharge.
  13. Lev. XX, 18.
  14. The Prince, Judah II.
  15. Or a part of it. Lit., source.
  16. Nehushtek, applied to the uterus.
  17. Sc. 'dropped upon the ground'.
  18. Erwatek, synonymous with uncleanness.
  19. Ezek. XVI, 36; which shows that a uterus dropped out is as unclean as when it is in its place; hence the uncleanness.
  20. Is the uncleanness caused.
  21. On account of the woman's external contact with the unclean uterus.
  22. Lit., perspired'.
  23. White and clear.
  24. The discharge having been in contact with the uterus which is in contact with the woman.
  25. Lit., 'came from the world', not from the uterus, and is consequently clean.
  26. Sc. if the latter came in contact with that place uncleanness is conveyed to the woman though contact with an internal organ conveys no uncleanness. Now since the place is deemed to be exposed, how can Resh Lakish apply to it the expression 'in her flesh' (cf. infra) and regard it as internal?
  27. Of the vagina.
  28. Euphemism.
  29. Lev. XV, 19.
  30. A menstruant of whom the text speaks.
  31. A Heb. word of the same root as zabah.
  32. Her issue in her flesh be etc. (Lev. XV, 19).
  33. Lev. XV, 18.
  34. The repetition of the law of bathing which, as far as the man is concerned, was already stated earlier in Lev. XV, 16.
  35. Sc. the woman.
  36. Lit., 'already'.
  37. Lev. XXII, 4, and this was explained (infra 43b) to apply to a woman who came in external contact with semen virile. Why then the repetition?
  38. Of the body, where internal contact with the semen virile takes place.
  39. Lit., 'it is'.
  40. From which it is evident that, according to R. Simeon, though a man is not subject to an uncleanness arising in an unexposed region of the body, a woman is subject to such an uncleanness. How then could it be maintained that according to R. Simeon 'it is enough that she be subject to the same stringency of uncleanness as the man who had intercourse with her'?
  41. Whose uncleanness is due to a special Scriptural ordinance.
  42. And for whose uncleanness it is enough to be as stringent as that of the man.
  43. Lit., 'let it go out for him'.
  44. Cf. prev. n. but two.
  45. The ejection having taken place after the immersion.
  46. Since, as has been explained, the law subjecting the woman to 'be unclean until the even' (Lev. XV, 18) applies to one who had intercourse.
  47. After three days the semen becomes vapid and conveys uncleanness no longer. Now since during the three days the woman invariably remains unclean, how, according to Raba, could R. Simeon rule that the woman is clean if she had undergone ritual immersion before the three days have passed?
  48. In R. Simeon's ruling (cf. prev. n.).
  49. After intercourse.
  50. As she herself did not move her body it is quite possible for her to avoid ejection.
  51. Since R. Simeon's rule, according to which the uncleanness terminates at evening, refers only to a woman who was carried in a bed.
  52. Who holds the woman to be unclean for three days after intercourse.
  53. Lit., 'that when Raba said'.
  54. So that her subsequent immersion should render her completely free from both the uncleanness of intercourse and that of the ejection. How then could Raba maintain that she is unclean for three days?
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