INSIGHTS INTO THE DAILY DAF
THE MIREL BAS YAKOV MORDECHAI KORNFELD
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
QUESTION: The Gemara quotes two statements about a girl who has not yet been established to see Dam Nidah. Rav Chilkiyah says that when such a girl sees Dam for seven consecutive days, she is considered as though she saw Dam a single time. Rav Simi says that a girl who sees drop after drop of Dam is not like a woman who sees Dam.
The Gemara asks that Rav Simi cannot mean that she is like a woman who did not see Dam at all; she definitely saw Dam. He must mean that she is not like a woman who sees one time, but rather she is like one who sees many times. The Gemara asks that this implies that in the case of Rav Chilkiyah, the girl saw a steady stream of Dam like the flow of a river for the entire seven days! RASHI (DH Ela k'Posekes) explains that the Gemara is asking that this is impossible, because a girl cannot have blood flowing from her like a stream for seven days and still live. The Gemara concludes that Rav Simi must mean that such a girl has the same status as a girl who has one constant flow and is considered to have seen Dam only once.
How does this answer the Gemara's question? Both the TUR and the SHULCHAN ARUCH (YD 190:3) record the Gemara's conclusion without any explanation for how a girl can be considered "flowing" for many days. They state that if a girl's Dam was "flowing for many days or was dripping drop after drop without interruption it is considered only one sighting of Dam until it stops. However, if it stops for a while and then she sees three times, even on the same day, then she is considered to have the status of a girl who sees blood." According to Rashi's understanding that it is impossible for a girl to have a flow for many days, what is the case of "flowing for many days"?
(a) The BACH, SHACH, and ARUCH HA'SHULCHAN explain that the case of flowing for many days is not a case of an uninterrupted flow. Rather, flowing for many days means merely that there is a strong flow for many days but with interruptions during that time. When the Tur and Shulchan Aruch say that it is without interruption, they are referring only to the case of the girl with dripping Dam, but not with a constant flow of Dam. Similarly, when they continue and say that if a girl sees Dam three times with intervals she is considered to be one who sees Dam Nidah, that applies only when she sees three drips, and not three sustained flows. Flows which are close together over the course of many days are considered like one flow of Dam.
(b) The TAZ, SHULCHAN ARUCH HA'RAV, CHOCHMAS ADAM and others explain that the case of the Tur and Shulchan Aruch of "flowing for many days" is an uninterrupted flow for up to two or three days. The Gemara here refers only to Rav Chilkiyah's statement that a girl cannot have a constant flow for seven straight days. A flow of two or three days, however, is possible. They therefore assert that when the Tur and Shulchan Aruch rule that if there are interruptions between three sightings of Dam even on the same day, the girl has the status of a woman who sees Dam, they mean that in either case -- whether she had a flow of blood three times on that day or whether she saw a drop of blood three times on that day -- she is considered a girl who sees Dam Nidah. (Y. MONTROSE)
OPINIONS: The Mishnah (7b) says that according to the Tana Kama and Rebbi Eliezer, a woman is considered to be pregnant with regard to the Halachah that she is a "Mesulekes Damim" (she has a status of not seeing Dam Nidah) once her pregnancy is noticeable, which is at three months into the pregnancy (see ). The Gemara here discusses the opinion of Rebbi Yosi who maintains that both a pregnant woman and one is nursing a baby attain this status only after three consecutive Vestos pass with no Dam.
Does Rebbi Yosi argue with the Tana Kama and Rebbi Eliezer, who apparently maintain that even if she saw Dam Nidah during the second month of her pregnancy, once she is in her third month she is considered "Mesulekes Damim"?
(a) RASHI (7b, DH Me'uberes u'Menikah) and the BARTENURA understand that Rebbi Yosi argues with the statement of Rebbi Eliezer and the Tana Kama.
The RASHBA (10b) has difficulty with this position. In the Mishnah earlier, Rebbi Yosi's statement is not placed after the statement of the Tana Kama and Rebbi Eliezer that a pregnant woman is "Mesulekes Damim" when her pregnancy is noticeable. If Rebbi Yosi argues with them, then why does the Mishnah not immediately insert his opinion, at that point in the Mishnah, that she is "Mesulekes Damim" only when she misses three Vestos?
The Rashba answers that it must be that the Mishnah has a specific intention behind the order of its teachings. It first teaches that the four types of women listed by Rebbi Eliezer have the status of Dayah Sha'atah, and only afterwards does it discuss other opinions.
Why, then, does the Mishnah record the argument between the Rabanan and Rebbi Meir (regarding how long a woman is considered a Meinekes, a nursing woman) even before it finishes this list? The Rashba answers that the Mishnah wants to establish a basic opinion about when each status begins. The argument between the Rabanan and Rebbi Meir is merely about how long the category of Meinekes lasts.
However, the Gemara earlier (9a) cites a Beraisa that states that both Rebbi Yosi and Rebbi Shimon maintain that a woman who is nursing has the status of Dayah Sha'atah for twenty-four months after birth. According to Rebbi Yosi, that statement is inaccurate, because he maintains that a nursing woman needs to wait until missing three Vestos in order to be considered "Mesulekes Damim." How, then, can one suggest that Rebbi Yosi argues with the Tana Kama and Rebbi Eliezer?
The Rashba gives two answers to this question:
1. When Rebbi Yosi says that a nursing woman has the status of Dayah Sha'atah for twenty-four months, he is not describing the time when the woman is "Mesulekes Damim," but rather he is describing only until when she can be considered "Mesulekes Damim." In order to be "Mesulekes Damim," according to Rebbi Yosi, she must miss three Vestos at some point during those twenty-four months.
2. Alternatively, it is possible that Rebbi Yosi maintains that if a woman misses three Vestos when she is pregnant immediately before she gives birth, these three occasions count to make her "Mesulekes Damim" immediately when she starts nursing.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Mishkav u'Moshav 4:6) makes the following statement: "A Me'uberes or Meinekes who saw Dam Nidah and then three months passed and she saw again, [her status is] Dayah Sha'atah. If another three months pass and she sees [Dam Nidah] again, which is the third time from the first sighting (before her pregnancy), she is Tamei retroactively." The KESEF MISHNEH explains that the source of the Rambam's ruling is the statement of Rebbi Yosi in the Mishnah. When Rebbi Yosi says that a woman must miss three Vestos in order to have the status of Dayah Sha'atah, he is not arguing with the Tana Kama, who says that a woman has the status of Dayah Sha'atah after her third month of pregnancy. He is arguing only with Rebbi Eliezer, who says that any woman who misses three Vestos has a status of Dayah Sha'atah.
How, though, can Rebbi Yosi not be arguing with the Tana Kama, if the Tana Kama says that a woman has the status of Dayah Sha'atah after her third month of pregnancy, while Rebbi Yosi says that a woman must miss three Vestos in order to have the status of Dayah Sha'atah?
The Kesef Mishneh explains that Rebbi Yosi is stating the Halachah that the Rambam writes. Certainly, a woman is considered Dayah Sha'atah once she reaches her third month of pregnancy. If she sees Dam Nidah at this point, her status is Dayah Sha'atah. However, if she then misses a second set of three months and then sees Dam Nidah, all of these times combine to render her a Nidah who is Tamei retroactively. (The Acharonim, including the CHOCHMAS BETZALEL, MAHARI SHAPIRA, and others discuss the Kesef Mishneh's understanding of the Rambam at great length.) (Y. MONTROSE)