FLUIDS THAT ARE TAMEI
(Mishnah): All fluids of a Mes (corpse) are Tahor, except for its blood. If it appears red, it is Metamei b'Ohel.
Contradiction (Mishnah): Fluids of a Tvul Yom (one who immersed today; he is partially Tamei until evening) are like liquids that he touches. They are not Metamei;
The fluids of all other Temei'im (Tamei beings), whether they have a light or severe Tum'ah, are like fluids that they touch, i.e. a Rishon l'Tumah;
The only exception is fluids that are Avos (sources of) Tum'ah.
Suggestion: 'Light' Teme'im refers to Sheratzim and Zavim, and 'severe' Teme'im are Mesim.
Answer: No, light Teme'im are Sheratzim, and severe Teme'im are Zavim.
Question: Why did Chachamim decree Tum'ah on fluids of a Zav, but not of a Mes?
Answer: Chachamim wanted to distance people from Tum'ah, so they decreed about a Zav;
People stay far from a Mes even without a decree.
WHICH BLOOD MUST BE COVERED
(Mishnah): Blood that spurted, and is on the knife...
(Beraisa #1): "V'Chisahu" teaches that blood that spurted or is on the knife must be covered;
R. Yehudah says, when is this? It is if there is no other blood. If there is other blood, he is exempt.
(Beraisa #2): "And you will cover it" teaches that all the blood must be covered, including blood that spurted and blood left on the place of Shechitah;
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, this is only if Dam ha'Nefesh (the blood that leaves when an animal dies) was not covered. If it was covered, he need not cover the other blood.
Question: What do they argue about?
Answer: The first Tana holds that "Damo" connotes all the blood; R. Yehudah holds that even some of it is called "Damo"; R. Shimon ben Gamliel holds that "Damo" refers to its special blood, Dam ha'Nefesh. (Note: 'The first Tana' refers to the first Tana of both Beraisos. Alternatively, R. Yehudah explains the first Tana of Beraisa #1, and 'the first Tana' refers to the first Tana of Beraisa #2 - Tosfos.)
WITH WHAT MAY WE COVER?
(Mishnah): One may cover the blood with fine manure, fine sand, plaster, or ground up pottery, bricks or cork;
One may not cover with coarse manure or sand, nor with bricks or cork that were not ground up;
One may not cover with a Kli;
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, we may cover only with things in which vegetation grows.
(Gemara) Version #1 - Question: What is considered fine sand?
Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This is sand that a potter does not need to crush.
Version #2 - Question: What is considered coarse sand?
Answer (Rabah bar bar Chanah): This is sand that a potter must crush.
Question: What is the difference between the two versions?
Answer: They argue about sand that needs (to be crushed,) and does not need (a Kli). It can be crushed by hand. (Rashi - this is fine according to Version #1, and coarse according to Version #2. Rosh - the Rif learns oppositely.)
(Beraisa) Suggestion: Perhaps one fulfills "v'Chisahu" using rocks, or putting a Kli over it!
Rejection: It says "be'Afar" (earth).
Question: What is the source to include fine manure or sand, pulverized rocks or pottery, stubble of flax, sawdust, plaster, crushed bricks or cork?
Answer: It says "v'Chisahu" (before "be'Afar". This implies that one may cover with anything.)
Suggestion: Perhaps one may cover with coarse manure or sand, ground up metal, bricks or cork that were not ground up, flour, or bran!
Rejection: It says "be'Afar".
Question: Why are the former materials allowed, and not the latter?
Answer: Only types of earth are allowed.
Suggestion: We should say that "v'Chisahu" is a Klal (general term), and "be'Afar" is a Prat (specific term). From a Klal u'Frat we include only the Prat, i.e. earth!
Rejection (Rav Mari): The Prat was needed to understand the Klal. (We would not have known that the blood must be absorbed in the covering (Rashi; Tosfos - that the blood must be covered also from below);
In all such cases, we do not expound Klal u'Frat.
(Rav Nachman bar Rav Chisda): We may cover only with something in which we can plant seeds, and they will grow.
Rava: That is a boorish thing to say!
Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak: What is wrong with it? I taught this to him. I derived it from a Beraisa!
(Beraisa): If a man in the desert or on a ship has no earth, he may grind up a gold coin or burn a garment to cover the blood with the fragments or ashes. (This shows that desert sand is invalid because seeds will not grow in it. Ran - in the She'altos' text, Rava brings this to show that Chachamim disagree with R. Shimon ben Gamliel. They allow gold, even though nothing grows in it.)
Ashes (of a garment) are allowed, because (in a verse) ashes are called earth.
Question: Why may pulverized gold be used?
Answer (R. Zeira): This is also called earth - "earth of gold".
EARTH AND ASHES
(Beraisa - Beis Shamai): We may cover only with earth;
Beis Hillel says, also ashes are valid, since they are called earth - "me'Afar Sereifas (ha'Chatas)".
Beis Shamai: Ashes are called Afar Sereifah, but not (plain) earth.
(Beraisa): Also the following materials were allowed - crushed coals, eye powder, and stubble that is extracted from a grinder;
Some allow even orpiment (a yellow dye).
(Rava): In the merit that Avraham said "I am earth and ashes", his descendants merited two Mitzvos, ashes of the Parah Adumah, and earth in the water that a Sotah drinks.
Question: Why did Rava omit earth of Kisuy ha'Dam?
Answer: That Mitzvah does not give special benefit (more than standard Mitzvos. Rava's Mitzvos are Metaher and permit a woman to her husband.)