A bloodletter showed his horn (with which he lets blood). Ameimar said 'this is the red of our Mishnah.'
He showed them another horn. Ameimar said 'this is different.'
Rav Ashi: I cannot tell the difference between them. I should not judge questions of blood.
(Mishnah): Black is like Cheres.
(Rabah bar Rav Huna): Cheres refers to vitriol melted into ink (but not into water).
Support (Beraisa): When Chachamim say "black as Cheres" or "black", this is like ink.
Question: Why doesn't the Mishnah say "ink"?
Answer: If so, one might have thought it refers to the lighter, thinner ink seen at the top of the Kli;
Rather, it says Cheres, which refers to the thicker, darker ink at the bottom.
Question: Does the Mishnah refer to wet or dry ink?
Answer: R. Ami would break off pieces of ink to check blood.
(Mishnah): Anything more Amuk than this is Tamei.
(Rav Yehudah): This includes (blood resembling) black wax, ink (Rashba - that has aged and become darker) or grapes.
(Mishnah): Anything more Dehah than this is Tahor.
(R. Elazar - Mishnah): This includes black olives, pitch and ravens.
(Ula): (Cheres is like) garments of Siva'ah.
Ula came to Pumbedisa. He saw a merchant in black clothing. He said 'this is the black of the Mishnah.'
People started tearing samples of his garment. They paid him 400 Zuz for it. (This is a huge sum, about two years income. Presumably, this was for the embarrassment.)
(R. Yochanan): (Cheres is like) the Kelim (garments) of Ulyarin (bathhouse attendants. Alternatively, this is the name of a place) overseas.
Inference: Ulyarin garments are black.
Question: R. Yanai told his children, "do not bury me in black clothing. Perhaps I will merit to be in Gan Eden, and I will look like a mourner among Chasanim (rejoicers);
Also, do not bury me in white clothing. Perhaps I will be in Gehinom, and I will be like a Chasan among mourners!
Rather, bury me in Ulyarin garments of overseas."
Answer: R. Yochanan referred to linens of Ulyarin, but garments of Ulyarin are not black.
BLACK IS SPECIAL
(Shmuel): We check for all of these on a white cloth. (Chazon Ish 107:7 - the area under the blood must be white. If not, the cloth will affect the color. We are not concerned for the area around the blood.)
(R. Yitzchak bar Avodimi): We may check for black on a red cloth.
(R. Yirmeyah mi'Difti): They do not argue. Shmuel meant that all colors except for black require a white cloth.
Objection (Rav Ashi): If so, he should have said "except for black"!
(Rav Ashi): Rather, They argue about whether or not we may use red to check for black.
(Ula): Anything more Amuk than any of these colors is Tamei. Anything more Dehah than any of them is Tahor, like the law of black.
Question: If so, why did the Mishnah mention more Amuk and Dehah only regarding black?
Answer: R. Chanina taught that black blood was red, just it was stricken. One might have thought that also more Dehah is Tamei. The Mishnah teaches that this is not so.
Version #1 (R. Ami bar Aba): Anything more Amuk or Dehah than any of these colors is Tamei, except for black.
Question: If so, why did the Mishnah describe the shades of the other colors? In any case they are Teme'im!
Answer: If it is far fainter than the given shades, it is Tahor.
Version #2 (Rami bar Aba): Anything more Amuk or Dehah than any of these colors is Tahor, except for black.
(Bar Kapara): Anything more Amuk than any of these colors is Tamei, and anything more Dehah than any of them is Tahor, except for mixed wine. (More Amuk or Dehah is Tahor.)
They showed Bar Kapara blood more Dehah than mixed wine, and blood more Amuk than it. He was Metaher both of them.
R. Chanina: This attests to his greatness. He can perceive any difference to be Metaher, according to his teaching! (Me'iri - he is audacious, to be lenient against the majority.)
COMPARING TO SAFFRON
(Mishnah): Choice leaves of saffron...
(Beraisa): This refers to moist leaves, but not dry ones.
(Beraisa #1): The Mishnah refers to the bottom (leaves), but not the top.
Contradiction (Beraisa #2): The Mishnah refers to the top, but not the bottom.
Contradiction (Beraisa #3): The Mishnah refers to the top, and all the more so to the bottom.
Contradiction (Beraisa #4): The Mishnah refers to the bottom, and all the more so to the top.
Resolution (Abaye): There are three rows of leaves. Each row has three leaves. (Beraisa #1 "allows" the middle row, and disqualifies the top row. Beraisa #2 allows the middle row, and disqualifies the bottom row. Within the middle row, Beraisa #3 allows the bottom leaf, all the more so the one above it. Beraisa #4 allows the top leaf, and all the more so the one below it.)
The middle leaf of the middle row is the best (to compare to).
(R. Avahu): The saffron must still be attached.
COMPARING TO WATER POURED ON EARTH
(Mishnah): Water poured on earth...
(Beraisa - R. Meir): One brings thick earth from the valley of Beis Kerem and puts water on it
R. Akiva (Gra's text - R. Yehudah) says, he brings from the valley of Yudefes.
R. Yosi says, he brings from the valley of Sichni.
R. Shimon says, he may bring even from Ginosar or similar valleys.
(Beraisa): (To gauge) water poured on earth, he brings thick earth from the valley of Beis Kerem and puts water on it, until the water is (just barely) over it like the thickness of a garlic peel;
There is no Shi'ur of water, for there is no Shi'ur of earth.
We do not check when the water is clear, only when it is cloudy;
If the water becomes clear, we must make it cloudy, not b'Yad (using the hand), rather, bi'Chli (using a utensil).
Question: Does this mean we must make it cloudy in a Kli, but not in his hand? Or, must we make it cloudy using a Kli (to shake the earth), but not using his hand?
Answer (Beraisa): He must use a cup (to hold the water) when he checks.
Question: (We still cannot resolve) must he make it cloudy using a Kli, or may he use his hand?
This question is not resolved.
Rabah bar Avuha would tell people that one must put the water on earth in its place. (He may not transport it.)
R. Chanina would crack off pieces of the earth and check. (He did not put them in water.)
R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi would curse others who checked in this way, for they are not as expert as R. Chanina is.
WHO IS QUALIFIED TO CHECK
R. Yochanan: R. Chanina used to contradict my rulings (from Tahor to Tamei and vice-versa). Therefore, I do not check blood.
R. Elazar: R. Chanina's humility caused that I do check;
Even though he is greatly humble, he checks, and risks making a mistake. Surely, I should check! xpl
R. Zeira: I am not skilled at determining the validity of coins. All the more so, I am unqualified to check blood!
Question: Ability to distinguish different colors of blood does not depend on ability to distinguish coins. Rabah could distinguish coins, but he could not check blood!
Answer: From Rabah, we see that checking blood is harder. Since R. Zeira was unskilled regarding coins, all the more so he was unqualified to check blood!
When Ula came to Pumbedisa he refused to check blood.
Ula: R. Elazar is the master of Eretz Yisrael (regarding blood), and he would not check here (because Rav Yehudah is the local Chacham). All the more so, I should not check here!
Question: Why was R. Elazar called the master of Eretz Yisrael?
Answer: A woman asked him to look at blood. He smelled it and told her that the blood came due to her desire (for her husband. Ran - such blood is Tahor (if we know that no other blood is mixed with it). Most Rishonim - it itself is Tamei.)
When she left, R. Ami inquired. She told him that her husband had been away, and she was longing for him.
R. Ami: "Sod Hash-m li'Yere'av." (Those who fear Hash-m understand hidden secrets.)
Ifra Hormiz (the mother of Shevor Malka, the Persian king) showed blood to Rava. He (Rashba - Rav Ovadyah) smelled it, and told her that it came due to her desire.
Ifra (to her son): Yisraelim are so wise!
Her son: Perhaps it was a lucky guess. Even a blind person might chance upon the opening to the attic!
She sent 60 types of blood to him to inspect. The last was from lice. He knew all the others. Hash-m caused him to send her a comb for a gift.
Ifra: He hints that the last one was from lice. Yisraelim know one's hidden thoughts!
(Rav Yehudah): Originally, I used to check blood. Once, I heard my wife say "we do not show the first drop of blood to Rabanan, for it is filthy." I stopped checking. (Perhaps I will be Metaher, based on what she shows me, but really she is Teme'ah.)
I do check blood of a woman ending the days of Dam Tohar, for she would show the first drop. It is not filthy. (Rashi - this is because she has been seeing blood steadily. Me'iri - because she has not been checking herself, her Edim are clean, so the first drop will not appear filthy.)
CHANGING A RULING
Yalta (Rav Nachman's wife) showed blood to Rabah bar bar Chanah. He was Metamei it. She showed it to Rav Yitzchak brei d'Rav Yehudah, and he was Metaher it.
Question (Beraisa): A Chacham may not be Metaher what another Chacham previously was Metamei.
Answer (#1): Initially, Rav Yitzchak was Metamei (due to the honor of Rabah bar bar Chanah). When she told him that Rabah bar bar Chanah always used to be Metaher this color, just today his eyes were weak, Rav Yitzchak was Metaher.
Question: Is she really believed to say this?!
(Beraisa): A woman is believed to say 'I saw a color like this, and I lost the Ed.'
Question: Is a woman believed to say that a certain Chacham was Metaher this color?
Answer #1 (Beraisa): A woman is believed to say, I saw a color like this and I lost the Ed. (This shows that she is believed!)
Rejection: Perhaps this case is different. Since the blood is in front of us, we can check it ourselves. We need not rely on her.
Answer #2: Yalta showed blood to Rabah bar bar Chanah. He was Metamei. She showed it to Rav Yitzchak brei d'Rav Yehudah, and he was Metaher.
Question (Beraisa): A Chacham may not Metaher what another Chacham previously was Metamei.
Answer (#1): Rav Yitzchak was Metamei until she told him that Rabah used to be Metaher that color, but this time his eyes were weak.
This shows that a woman is believed!
Rejection: Rav Yitzchak had a tradition that the color is Tahor. (Tosfos - always, a second Chacham may permit if he has a tradition. This is Answer #2 to questions (b) and (i:1). Me'iri, Tosfos Chulin (44b) - even with his tradition, he could permit only because Rabah himself normally permitted this.)
A case occurred in which Rebbi examined blood at night. He ruled that it is Tamei. He examined it the next day, and was Metaher. (He realized that he had not seen it so well the night before.) After a while, he was Metamei again (because at night it looked Tamei.).
Rebbi: Woe to me! Perhaps I erred. (I should not have reverted to be Metamei again.)
Question: Surely, he erred!
(Beraisa): A Chacham should not say "if this would be wet, it would be Tamei." He rules only according to what he sees. (Since now it looks Tahor, he should not say "perhaps last night, when it was wet, it looked Tamei"!)
Answer: The previous night, Rebbi saw that it was Tamei. When he saw it Tahor next day, he assumed that he had not seen it so well the night before. Later, when he saw that it kept getting fainter, he realized that the previous night's ruling probably was correct.
Rebbi would check at night by a lamp. R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi would check during the day, even if it was cloudy, in the Beis Medrash (even though not so much light enters).
(R. Ami bar Shmuel): L'Chatchilah, one should check on the border between the shade and where the sun shines.
(Rav Nachman): One should check in the sun, but make shade with his hand (lest the sun be too bright).