NIDAH 12 - 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) DOES A "HARGASHAH" AUTOMATICALLY RENDER A WOMAN A "NIDAH"?
QUESTION: Rebbi Zeira asked Rav Yehudah: May a woman be stringent and examine herself prior to having relations with her husband? Rav Yehudah answered that she should not be stringent, because if she examines herself, her husband might become concerned that she is a Nidah and he will refrain from having relations with her.
The Gemara is clearly discussing a situation in which the Bedikah comes out clean, for otherwise the husband would be obligated to refrain from relations with her. The concern that the husband will separate from her out of fear applies when she examines herself and says that the Bedikah was clean. What, then, is the husband's fear?
TOSFOS (DH Libo Nokfo) addresses this question. Tosfos quotes the RACH who explains that when the husband sees his wife examining herself, he assumes that the only reason she is doing so is that she must have had a "Hargashah," "a feeling" that there was a flow of Dam Nidah.
How, though, does this answer the question? Once she checks and the Bedikah is clean, why should the husband be concerned?
(a) The SIDREI TAHARAH (YD 190:3), in his first approach, explains that the answer of Tosfos is based on a principle expressed by the TERUMAS HA'DESHEN (#246). The Terumas ha'Deshen states that if a woman has a Hargashah and then proceeds to check herself and finds no Dam Nidah, she is considered to be a Nidah anyway, because merely having a Hargashah makes a woman a Nidah according to Torah law. The Sidrei Taharah suggests that Tosfos applies the same principle. In the case of the Gemara here, the husband will be concerned that the woman had a Hargashah. Even if she checks and says that she is clean and that she had no Hargashah, the husband will suspect that she did have a Hargashah, in which case a clean Bedikah will not help her be Tahor. Therefore, the husband will stay away from her out of fear that she is a Nidah.
(b) However, the Sidrei Taharah concludes that it is possible that Tosfos does not agree with the Terumas ha'Deshen, but rather he maintains that a woman who has a Hargashah but does not find Dam Nidah is Tahor. Tosfos means that the husband will be worried that his wife might have had a Hargashah and seen Dam Nidah but did not do a thorough Bedikah. He therefore will abstain from being with his wife, suspecting that her Bedikah was not done correctly. This explanation is stated explicitly by the RITVA, and it is likely also the intention of Tosfos. (Y. MONTROSE)
2) THE DONKEY-DRIVER WHO RETURNS HOME
QUESTION: Shmuel rules that a woman who has a Veses must perform a Bedikah prior to having relations only if her husband finds her awake. A woman with no Veses must even be awakened, if she is sleeping, to perform a Bedikah prior to relations. The Gemara concludes that this applies only for a woman who frequently handles Taharos.
The Gemara questions Shmuel's statement from a Beraisa. The Beraisa states that when a donkey driver returns home from his journeys, his wife is assumed to be Tahor (b'Chezkas Taharah) and therefore does not need a Bedikah prior to relations, whether she is awake or not.
What is the question on Shmuel? Perhaps the wife of the donkey driver does not frequently handle Taharos, and that is why she is not required to perform a Bedikah prior to relations. (TOSFOS DH Shmuel)
ANSWER: TOSFOS answers that the Gemara infers from the Beraisa's wording that it is discussing even a woman who frequently handles Taharos. The Beraisa says that the wife of the donkey driver "is b'Chezkas Taharah," and it adds that "the donkey driver may come and be with his wife, whether she is awake or asleep." From the fact that the Beraisa adds these extra words, when it would have sufficed to say that his wife is b'Chezkas Taharah, the Gemara infers that the Beraisa is teaching that even if the wife frequently handles Taharos she is permitted to be with her husband without a Bedikah.