1) A NAZIR WHO BECOMES TAMEI THREE SEPARATE TIMES ON THE LAST DAY OF HIS PREVIOUS TUM'AH
QUESTION: The Gemara cites a Beraisa in which Rebbi Eliezer rules that when a Nazir becomes Tamei and thereby loses ("Soser") his Nezirus, and on the seventh day of his Tum'ah -- after he has completed the seven-day Taharah process -- he becomes Tamei again, and seven days later when he becomes Tahor from the second Tum'ah he becomes Tamei a third time, he brings only one Korban Tum'ah. However, if he becomes Tamei each of the three times on the eighth day, he brings three Korbenos Tum'ah.
TOSFOS asks, why does Rebbi Eliezer rule that the Nazir brings three Korbenos Tum'ah when he becomes Tamei on the eighth day? Rebbi Eliezer is the Tana in the Mishnah earlier (16b) who states that a Nazir does not lose any days of Nezirus and does not bring a Korban Tum'ah unless he has observed at least one day of Nezirus Taharah before he becomes Tamei. That is, he brings the Korban Tum'ah only if he becomes Tamei on the second day of his observance of Nezirus. If he becomes Tamei on the first day of his count, the Tum'ah does not "Soser" his Nezirus and he does not bring the Korban Tum'ah. Why, then, does Rebbi Eliezer in the Beraisa here rule that when a Nazir becomes Tamei on the eighth day three consecutive times, he brings three sets of Korbanos Tum'ah? If Rebbi Eliezer maintains that a Nazir does not start the count of Nezirus Taharah until the eighth day, the Nazir's Tum'ah on the eighth day occurs on the first day of his count! Since he was already "Soser" the previous Nezirus, the eighth day is always the first day of his count. Accordingly, he should not be required to bring a Korban Tum'ah for becoming Tamei on the eighth day. (Because of this question, the SHITAH MEKUBETZES and VILNA GA'ON (in Hagahos ha'Gra) assert that the Girsa of the Beraisa should read "Rebbi" instead of "Rebbi Eliezer." It is Rebbi who maintains that even if a Nazir becomes Tamei on the first day of his Nezirus, he is "Soser" the Nezirus and brings a Korban Tum'ah.)
Tosfos answers that Rebbi Eliezer follows the view of Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, who maintains that the Nazir may begin his count of Nezirus Taharah on the seventh day and does not need to wait until the eighth day. On the seventh day he becomes Tahor and may begin the count of Nezirus Taharah; he does not need to wait until he brings the Korbanos on the eighth day in order to begin his count. The eighth day, therefore, is the second day of his count, and that is why he brings a Korban Tum'ah for becoming Tamei on the eighth day after the previous Tum'ah.
REBBI AKIVA EIGER (Teshuvos 1:214) asks a strong question on the answer of Tosfos. The Beraisa states that if the Nazir became Tamei three times, and the last two times he became Tamei on the seventh day of the previous Tum'ah, he brings only one Korban. Apparently, the intention of the Beraisa is to teach that although the Nazir became Tamei with three separate Tum'os, he does not need to bring three separate sets of Korbanos; the three periods of Tum'ah are considered like one long Tum'ah since he became Tamei before he was able to bring his Korban and start Nezirus Taharah. (This is how the SHITAH MEKUBETZES and VILNA GA'ON learn according to their Girsa of "Rebbi.")
According to Tosfos, who says that Rebbi Eliezer is the Tana of the Beraisa and maintains that the Nazir must have counted at least one day of Nezirus in order to be "Soser" his Nezirus, it is obvious that one brings only one Korban for the three sets of Tum'ah periods, because he never had the opportunity to count a day of Nezirus Taharah before he became Tamei again! When he became Tamei on the seventh day after the first Tum'ah, he did not yet count one day of Nezirus Taharah. Since he did not count a day of Nezirus Taharah he is not "Soser" his Nezirus and does not bring Korbenos Tum'ah! Similarly, when he became Tamei on the seventh day after the second period of Tum'ah, again he did not have a chance to count a day towards his Nezirus such that his Tum'ah could be "Soser" it and he should have to bring the Korbanos of a Nazir Tamei.
What is the Chidush of the Reisha according to Tosfos? The Reisha seems to be teaching that the three incidents of Tum'ah are considered one long Tum'ah and not as three distinct Tum'ah periods. Therefore, the Nazir brings only one Korban Tum'ah. According to Rebbi Eliezer, however, that is not the reason why the Nazir brings only one Korban Tum'ah. The reason he brings only one Korban Tum'ah is that he was not "Soser" one day of his Nezirus count!
(a) REBBI AKIVA EIGER answers that in the case of the Reisha, the Nazir actually did count one day of Nezirus, according to Rebbi Eliezer. After the Nazir became Tamei the first time, he waited seven days, became Tahor, and then became Tamei again before nightfall. There was a moment on the seventh day during which he was Tahor. Tosfos maintains that according to Rebbi Eliezer, when a person becomes Tamei on the day he starts his Nezirus, since he is not "Soser" that day (since he has not yet observed a day of Nezirus) he needs to observe only another 29 days after he becomes Tahor (see TOSFOS to 16b, DH Rebbi Eliezer Omer). Accordingly, when the Nazir became Tamei on the seventh day shortly after he became Tahor from his first Tum'ah, there was a small period of time during which he was Tahor -- after the first Tum'ah was over and before he became Tamei with the second Tum'ah on the same day. That amount of time counts as a whole day of Nezirus because of the rule of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo." Hence, the Nazir has observed one day of Nezirus. At the end of the second period of Tum'ah, when he becomes Tahor again and then becomes Tamei again before nightfall, that third Tum'ah occurs on a day after the first day of Nezirus; it occurs on the second day of Nezirus, because he again observed Nezirus b'Taharah for a "Miktzas ha'Yom" for a second day. Since the first day was not revoked, the "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" of Nezirus Taharah on the seventh day after the second Tum'ah counts as the second day, and when he becomes Tamei later it is as if he becomes Tamei on the second day of his Nezirus count. Consequently, his third Tum'ah indeed should be "Soser" his Nezirus and he should be obligated to bring two sets of Korbanos -- one for the first Tum'ah which occurred after he had observed a number of days of his Nezirus and was certainly "Soser" some of his Nezirus, and one for the third Tum'ah which was "Soser" the two days of Nezirus that he counted because of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo."
(b) The CHAZON ISH challenges the approach of Rebbi Akiva Eiger. He asserts that "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" cannot apply when one observes Nezirus in the middle of the day. "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies only when one observes Nezirus at the end of the day, or when he begins his Nezirus on that day (such as a person who accepts upon himself Nezirus and on the same day he becomes Tamei; since the period of time he observed Nezirus during the middle of the day was the beginning of his Nezirus, it counts as "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo"). If, however, at the beginning of the day he was a Nazir Tamei, and in the middle of the day he became Tahor for a short while and then became Tamei again before nightfall, "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" does not apply because he observed Nezirus b'Taharah for only an hour in the middle of the day. "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" applies only at the beginning of the day (or the Nezirus) or at the end of the day.
Therefore, the Chazon Ish writes that perhaps Rebbi Akiva Eiger's assumption in his question is correct: the reason why Rebbi Eliezer in the Beraisa says that the Nazir brings only one Korban when he becomes Tamei three different times on the seventh day of his Tum'ah is simply that he has no days to be "Soser," since each incidence of Tum'ah occurred on the first day, and not the second day, of observance of his Nezirus. Indeed, Rebbi Eliezer's ruling is unrelated to bringing one Korban for multiple Tum'os. The Nazir brings one Korban simply because he was not "Soser" two days.
The Chazon Ish points out that the Beraisa is not necessarily teaching a Chidush about bringing one Korban for multiple Tum'os. It is not similar to the Mishnah in Kerisus (cited on 18a) which states that "there is a case of a person who brings one Korban for many Aveiros" and which mentions the Halachah of bringing one Korban Nezirus for many Tum'os. The intention of the Mishnah in Kerisus is to prove that it is possible to bring one Korban for many Tum'os. This is not necessarily the intention of the Beraisa here.
However, the ROSH also explains like Tosfos that the Tana of the Beraisa is Rebbi Eliezer, and if the Nazir becomes Tamei on the eighth day it is as if two days of observance of Nezirus have passed. However, the Rosh himself writes that the Gemara (18a) could have said that the Mishnah in Kerisus -- which states that "there is a case of a person who brings one Korban for many Aveiros" -- was authored by Rebbi Eliezer even though the intention of the Mishnah is to teach that one brings only one Korban for multiple Tum'os when he becomes Tamei each time on the seventh day. According to Rebbi Eliezer, however, that is not the Chidush. According to Rebbi Eliezer, there is a different reason for why the Nazir does not bring a separate Korban for each Tum'ah -- he did not observe two days of Nezirus, as the Chazon Ish writes.
(c) Perhaps another answer may be suggested. When the Beraisa says that he became Tamei on "Shevi'i," it does not mean on the seventh day, but rather on the night after the seventh day, because with regard to matters of Kodshim "the night follows the day" (Chulin 83a). Hence, on the night after the seventh day, the principle of "Miktzas ha'Yom k'Kulo" certainly applies according to Rebbi Eliezer, since he began his Nezirus Taharah after the first seven days of Tum'ah and continued observing his Nezirus through the end of the day until nightfall. However, since he became Tamei before the next morning (when he would have been fit to bring his Korbanos), he brings only one Korban for the second Tum'ah. This is because Rebbi Eliezer maintains that one must be fit to bring Korbanos in order for a second Tum'ah to be considered a separate Tum'ah, as the Gemara says (beginning of 18b), "Lailah Lav Mechusar Zeman." Thus, a second incident of Tum'ah which occurs at night is considered a continuation of the previous Tum'ah. A second incident of Tum'ah is not considered a separate Tum'ah until he becomes Tamei during the daytime of the following day (the day after the seventh -- i.e. the eighth day), because when the daytime arrives he is fit to bring his Korbanos.