NIDAH 11 - dedicated by Mrs. Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in loving memory of her husband, Reb Yitzchok Yakov ben Eliyahu Grunberger. Irving Grunberger helped many people quietly in an unassuming manner and he is dearly missed by all who knew him. His Yahrzeit is 10 Sivan.
1) THE REQUIREMENT FOR A WOMAN WHO IS ASSUMED TO BE "TAHOR" TO EXAMINE HERSELF
QUESTION: The Mishnah says that even though the Rabanan said that certain women have a Halachah of Dayah Sha'atah (such as a woman with a Veses, and the four women listed in the previous Mishnah), they still must examine themselves, with the exception of a Nidah and a woman who has Tahor blood (such as a Yoledes during her Yemei Tohar).
The TOSFEI HA'ROSH quotes RABEINU YAKOV of Orleans who asks a question from a later Gemara. The Mishnah later (38b) states that during a woman's eleven days of potentially being declared a Zavah (not a Nidah), she has a status of being Tahor. The Gemara (39a) explains that the Mishnah is teaching that such a woman does not have to examine herself during this time, since she has a status of being Tahor. Rabeinu Yakov asks that the women mentioned in the Mishnah here also have a status of being Tahor, like a woman in her Yemei Zivah, and yet the women mentioned here must examine themselves. Why do the women mentioned here need to examine themselves, while a woman in her eleven days of Yemei Zivah does not have to examine herself?
(a) The TOSFEI HA'ROSH answers that although the women mentioned in the Mishnah here should not require a Bedikah, the Rabanan enacted that they must perform Bedikos in order that they not forget the concept of Bedikos. However, the eleven days of Zivah are short enough that even if the woman does not examine herself now, she will examine herself soon afterwards, and thus she will not forget about the requirement to do Bedikos when necessary.
TOSFOS (39a, DH veha'Yoledes) explains this answer in more detail, applying it to each case mentioned in the Mishnah here. A woman who has a regular Veses needs to examine herself when she normally receives her Veses, a young girl needs to examine herself so that she should know that this is required of her when she will have the status of an ordinary woman, and a pregnant or nursing woman must examine herself so that she should not forget about Bedikos. Tosfos concedes that this reason does not seem to apply to the last woman among the four -- an older lady who probably will never again see Dam Nidah. Why is she required to continue examining herself? Even if she will forget about Bedikos, nothing wrong will come of it, because she will never be a Nidah again. Tosfos says that an older woman must examine herself only because the Rabanan decreed that the other women in her category must do so.
TOSFOS REBBI AKIVA EIGER on the Mishnayos (4:7) has difficulty with the first statement of Tosfos. Why does Tosfos mention the fact that a woman who has a Veses must examine herself when the time of her Veses arrives? The question from a woman who has a Veses is not that she must check at that time, but rather that she must check even when she is not expecting her Veses! Why does Tosfos mention the fact that she must check when she expects her Veses? Moreover, there is no question in the first place from a woman who has a Veses who is required to perform a Bedikah to a woman during her eleven days of Yemei Zivah who does not need to perform a Bedikah. During the days of Zivah, the likelihood that she will not seem Dam Nidah is much greater than the likelihood that a woman who has a Veses will see Dam Nidah when it is not the time for her Veses. The only reason why a woman with a Veses has the status of Dayah Sha'atah is that it is assumed that the Veses comes on time and not earlier. However, a woman during her eleven days of Zivah has a status of having no Dam Nidah at all, leaving her with the status of a "Mesulekes Damim" during those eleven days (see RASHI 39a, DH b'Chezkas Taharah). It therefore makes sense that she should not have to examine herself, while a woman with a Veses might still need to examine herself. Rebbi Akiva Eiger concludes that there must be a mistake in the text of Tosfos. (See the TOSFOS ANSHEI SHEM, TIFERES YERUSHALAYIM, and MAHARI SHAPIRA for additional discussion about these questions on Tosfos.) (Y. MONTROSE)
2) SETTING A FIXED "VESES" DURING A WOMAN'S "YEMEI TOHAR"
QUESTIONS: The Mishnah teaches that a woman is not required to check for bleeding during Yemei Tohar (from 15 to 80 days after the birth of a female, and from 8 to 40 days after the birth of a male). As the Gemara explains, the reason for this is that even if a woman bleeds during Yemei Tohar in a manner that would normally establish a fixed Veses, no such Veses is established.
RASHI (DH Dilma) explains the circumstances in which the Gemara says that a Veses is not established during Yemei Tohar: A woman gave birth to a female child. She saw blood during her Yemei Tohar three times, each time twenty days after the previous time (day 15, day 35, day 55 -- according to Raban Gamliel who requires three equally-spaced sightings of blood in order to determine a Veses). Since the bleeding occurred during Yemei Tohar, no Veses is established.
(a) Why does Rashi need to establish the case as one in which all three shows of blood occur in the 80-day period of Yemei Tohar? He should explain simply that the woman saw blood once during Yemei Tohar, followed by two more sightings of blood after the Yemei Tohar are concluded, separated by a normal time-span of 30 days (as Rashi to 11a, DH v'Ein Ishah, explains with regard to establishing a Veses during Yemei Nidah)! (ARUCH LA'NER, MEI NIDAH)
(It is obvious that even in such a manner, a Veses is not established, for otherwise a woman should be required to examine herself during Yemei Tohar in order to establish such a Veses. -M. KORNFELD)
(b) Rashi makes it clear that according to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, it is impossible to establish a 30-day Veses through three sightings of blood during Yemei Tohar. The period of Yemei Tohar is too short. At most, a woman could establish a 20-day Veses, had it been possible to establish a Veses during Yemei Tohar.
Why, though, is this so? A Veses of 30 days, with three sightings of blood, easily can be established during Yemei Tohar! The woman merely needs to see blood once at the beginning of the Yemei Tohar, once in the middle of the Yemei Tohar, and once in end of the Yemei Tohar (days 15, 45, and 75)!
ANSWER: Perhaps Rashi is discussing a "Veses Haflagah," a Veses that is established based on a set time-span between sightings of blood rather than a Veses that is established based on sightings of blood on a constant day of the month. Such a Veses is established only after three equal time-spans have passed between sightings of blood, or after a total of four sightings. According to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel, the woman must have three sightings of blood besides the original bleeding in order to establish a Veses (e.g. on days 15, 35, 55, and 75). It indeed is impossible to have four sightings of blood which are each 30 days apart in the 66 days of Yemei Tohar.
However, the question still remains: why does Rashi discuss a Veses Haflagah in the first place? The Gemara could be explained simply in terms of a 30-day Veses ha'Chodesh (which requires a total of three, and not four, sightings of blood) -- such as when a woman sees blood on days 15, 45, and 75, which all happened to be on the same day of the month! (ARUCH LA'NER)