ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler of Kollel Iyun Hadaf
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
12TH CYCLE SHABBOS 129 (4 Elul) - dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Chaim Yissachar (ben Yaakov) Smulewitz of Cleveland on his Yahrzeit, by his daughter and son in law, Jeri & Eli Turkel of Raanana, Israel.
(a) According to Rav Ashi citing Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel, as long as the womb remains open, even if the Chayah did not express a particular need, one breaks Shabbos on her behalf; whereas once it closes, Chilul Shabbos is not permitted under any circumstances. In a case where the womb ...
1. ... is still open - Mar Zutra holds that one even breaks Shabbos for her, if she says that it is unnecessary to do so ...
2. ... whereas even if it has already closed - we will break Shabbos for her, should she claim that she needs it.
(b) According to Mar Zutra, one is permitted to break Shabbos for her, even if she says that it is not necessary - because Rav Yehudah is speaking where her friends claim that it is.
(c) We rule like Mar Zutra - because we follow the principle 'Safek Nefashos Lehakel'.
(a) According to Abaye, the Pesichas ha'Kever begins - as soon as she sits on the birth-stool.
(b) Rav Huna b'rei de'Rav Yehoshua defines it as from the time the blood flows. Yet others say - from the time that she needs to be supported (because she is unable to walk by herself [which is presumably, in between the other two]).
(c) Abaye maintains that Pesichas ha'Kever lasts three days - Rava in the name of Rav Yehudah says seven days, and others, thirty days.
(d) The Neherda'i give all three time-periods - during the first three days, one breaks Shabbos even if she says that it is not necessary (others say even if she says nothing [though this appears to clash with Mereimar's ruling like Mar Zutra]); during the seven-day period, we break Shabbos if she says she needs it, but not if she says she does not; whereas after thirty days we are not permitted to break Shabbos at all.
(a) Even though, as the Neherda'i maintain, one is forbidden to break Shabbos between seven and thirty days, they nevertheless mention the thirty-day period inasmuch as she is still considered to be sick, and (based on rulings by Rav Ula b'rei de'Rav Ila'i and Rav Hamnuna) one is permitted to break Shabbos through a Nochri, like every regular sick person.
(b) When Shmuel says 'le'Chayah Sheloshim Yom', he is referring to Tevilah - which she avoid doing before thirty days have elapsed, because the cold water is harmful to her.
(c) This will not apply - to a woman whose husband is with her, because he will keep her warm with his body.
(d) Even though her husband is not there, the Yoledes could Tovel - in order to eat Taharos.
(e) When Rav Chisda's daughter, who after giving birth, Toveled when her husband (Rava) was in Pumbedisa (and they lived in Mechuza) - they carried her bed all the way to Pumbedisa.
(a) W might infer (but don't) from Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel's ruling permitting lighting a fire for a Chayah (in the winter) - that it is only permitted to light a fire for a Chayah in the winter, but not for another sick person, or even for a Chayah in the summer.
(b) Rav Chiya bar Avin gave permission to light a fire even in the height of summer - to someone who has let blood and feels cold.
(c) They broke up an ivory chair for firewood for Shmuel, after he had let blood, and for Rav Yehudah and Rabah respectively - they broke a table made of Yonah-wood (a kind of cedar, some say brush-wood [which they used to build the Beis-Hamikdash]).
(d) Rabah justified to Rava the Isur of Bal Tashchis - with the statement 'Bal Tashchis de'Gufa'i Adif' (My own health is more important than my objects).
(a) Even though a person should even sell the beams of his house to purchase shoes, he will nevertheless be permitted to sell his shoes - in order to procure the needs for the Se'udah after bloodletting.
(b) Rav says that one should eat red meat - a soul for a soul; Shmuel says (even) red wine - to make up for the red blood that was taken from him.
(a) On the day that Shmuel let blood -they serve him a spleen dish (red meat).
(b) Rebbi Yochanan would drink wine until the smell came out of his ears, and Rav Nachman 'until his spleen was floating in wine'. Rav Yosef would drink - until the smell of wine would emerge from the holes in the lancet that the bloodletter would leave sticking in his flesh.
(c) For the Se'udah following his bloodletting, Rava would use wine that was three-year old.
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak would implore his Talmidim to tell their wives (on the day they let blood) that he was coming to visit them, even though he was not - to ensure that they would prepare a hearty meal which is vital in one way or another, ostensibly for the Chashuv guest who was about to arrive.
(b) He added the comment - that all types of trickery are forbidden except for this one.
(c) We advise someone who let blood and has no wine - to take a bad Zuz, and to go from one winery to another, asking to taste their wines, as if he intended to make a purchase, and then to offer the merchant the Zuz, which he will refuse. Then he should proceed to the next shop. (Geneivas Da'as is normally prohibited. Here it is permitted on account of the element of life-danger involved).
(d) Someone who does not possess even a bad Zuz - should eat seven black dates, rub oil on his forehead (both of which cause heat), and sleep in the sun.
(a) When Avalat found Shmuel sleeping in the sun - addressing him as 'Sage of the Jews', he asked him whether something bad can ever be good - meaning that since it is harmful to sleep in the sun, why was Shmuel doing it.
(b) Shmuel replied - that he had let blood that day (and for that the sun is good).
(c) That was not true however - only he did not want to divulge the real answer to a gentile.
(d) The truth of the matter is that there is one day in the year when the heat of the sun is good - the day on which Tekufas Tamuz (some say Tekufas Teves) falls (which happened to be the very day that this incident took place).
(a) Rav and Shmuel both stated - that if someone ...
1. ... is not careful to eat the special bloodletting meal, Hash-m will not show concern about his sustenance, on the grounds that if He doesn't care about himself, why should Hash-m care? (This is similar to the Ma'amar Chazal forbidding taking pity on someone who does himself harm due to a lack of common sense' ('Mi she'Ein Bo Da'as, Asur Lerachem Alav').
2. ... lets blood sitting in a windy place during the bloodletting operation, there is a danger that, if the bloodletter left him with only one Revi'is of blood (the minimum that a person needs to live), then even a slight breeze could dry up some of the remaining blood, and he will die.
(b) We can learn from Shmuel (who would normally have his blood let in a house whose walls were seven and a half bricks thick [each brick of three Tefachim]) just how sensitive the body is to wind after bloodletting. Because once, after his blood had been let - he felt weak, and, upon investigation, he discovered that half a brick was missing from the thickness of the wall.
(c) According to Rav and Shmuel, a person who has let blood should make a point of eating something before leaving the house.
(d) Otherwise, should he come across ...
1. ... a corpse - his face will turn green;
2. ... a murderer - he will die;
3. ... a Chazir - he will be stricken with leprosy.
(a) When Rav and Shmuel said, with reference to bloodletting, 'Lishhi Purta ve'Hadar Leikum' - they meant that it is dangerous to get up immediately after bloodletting, but should first wait for a short while before doing so.
(b) Mar said the same about getting up immediately after eating and drinking and immediately after sleeping - and immediately after Tashmish ha'Mitah.
(c) Shmuel advises bloodletting to be performed - once every thirty days.
(d) This should be reduced, he claims - at the age of forty to once every two months, and at sixty, to once every three months.
(a) The correct days for bloodletting are Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Not on ...
1. ... Monday and Thursday - because both Beis-Din shel Matah (based on Takanas Ezra) and Beis-Din shel Ma'alah sit then in the towns (turning them into days of Din, and after bloodletting, one requires Rachamim, not Din). Only someone with untold Zechus Avos can allow himself do so.
2. ... Tuesday - because on Tuesday, Mazal Ma'adim (Mars - which Par'oh referred to as Ra'ah) rules during the eighth hour (an even number, which is known as Zugos), a combination which can be lethal (See also Rabeinu Chananel).
(b) It is acceptable to let blood on ...
1. ... Wednesday, when Ma'adim rules during an even hour too - because that is only at the end of the day, when one does not normally practice bloodletting anyway.
2. ... Friday, in spite of the fact that Mazal Ma'adim also rules during an even hour - because of the principle 'Keivan de'Dashu Bei Rabim, Shomer Pesa'im Hashem' (once people have become used to doing something dangerous 'Hashem protects fools').
(c) The reason that the custom to let blood on Friday became so widespread - is because people could not afford the bloodletting meal, so they would perform the operation as close to Shabbos as possible, and rely on the Shabbos meal. And on Shabbos, it is Kavod Shabbos to eat big fish, and 'Sheni le'Dam, Dag' (after bloodletting comes fish).
(a) What Shmuel meant by 'four which is four, or fourteen or twenty-four, is dangerous' is - that it is dangerous to let blood on a Wednesday (the fourth day) which falls on the fourth, the fourteenth or the twenty-fourth of the month.
(b) It is also dangerous - to let blood on the last Wednesday of the month, if less than four days remain until the end of the month.
(c) Bloodletting on ...
1. ... the first or second of the month makes one weak, but to do so on the third, is dangerous.
2. ... every other Erev Yom-Tov makes one weak, but to do so on Erev Shevu'os, is dangerous.
(d) 'Tavo'ach' is the name of the wind that blows on Erev Shevu'os, and endangers anyone who lets blood on that day. As a matter of if Yisrael had not accepted the Torah when it was offered to them, it would have killed them there and then. Note, that this seems to clash with what we learned earlier in Perek Amar Rebbi Akiva 've'Im La'av, Sham Tehei Kevuraschem'.
(e) Therefore, Chazal issued a decree prohibiting bloodletting on every Erev Yom-Tov because of Erev Shevu'os.
(a) Letting blood after eating - is effective only with regard to what one just ate ...
(b) ... provided the bloodletting was performed as a cure - but if one did it in order to lose excessive blood, then it will be fully effective, even after eating.
(c) One should ...
1. ...drink -immediately after the bloodletting operation.
2. ... eat - within half a Mil (nine minutes) after the operation.
(d) We ask whether bloodletting after this time is harmful, or merely pointless. The outcome of the She'eilah is - Teiku ('Tishbi Yetaretz Kushyos ve'Ibayos').
(a) Rav announced 'a hundred pumpkins for a Zuz, a hundred animal heads for a Zuz - and animals' lips for free'.
(b) What he meant was - that pumpkins, animal heads and animal lips are all not very healthy, and one should not buy them unless they are extremely cheap (animals' lips only if they are free).
(c) When Rav Huna would speak of 'Yoma de'Shifmi' (meaning a day of lips) he was referring to a wasted day (with reference to the Talmidim having come late) - because, as we just learned, animals lips are worthless.
(a) The Beraisa permits keeping the placenta warm on Shabbos - since they would then use it to wrap the baby in it and keep it warm.
(b) According to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, princesses would place it in a bowl of oil and wealthy women in wads of combed wool - whereas poor women would place it in old cloths.
(c) Rav Nachman Amar ... Rav rules like Rebbi Yossi, who permits severing the umbilical cord on Shabbos. In any case, the Chachamim concede - that if twins are born, one needs to cut their umbilical cords, to avoid them from becoming entangled.
(d) Whatever Yechezkel listed in his Sefer, one is permitted to do to a baby on Shabbos. Delivering the baby and severing the umbilical cord we learn from "u'Moldosayich be'Yom Huledes Osach" and "Lo Karas Sharech" (like Rebbi Yossi)" respectively. We learn from ...
1. ... "u'va'Mayim Lo Ruchatz le'Mish'i" - that one may (indeed one must) wash the new-born baby.
2. ... "ve'Hamlei'ach Lo Humlachat" - that one may salt him (to harden his flesh).
3. ... ve'Hachtel Lo Chutalt" - that one may wrap him tightly with cloths, which one ties with belts.
Hadran Alach 'Mefanin'