to indicate a distinction between the valuation of a man and the valuation of a woman.1
IF THE EMBRYO ISSUED IN PIECES OR IN A REVERSED CONDITION etc. R. Eleazar ruled: Even if the head was with them;2 but R. Johanan ruled: This3 was learnt only in a case where the head was not with them but where the head was with them the embryo is deemed born.4 May it be suggested that they5 differ on a principle of Samuel for Samuel has laid down: The head6 does not exempt7 in the case of miscarriages?8 — Where it9 is whole there is no difference of opinion whatever;10 they only differ in a case where it9 issued in pieces, one Master11 holding the opinion that the head is of importance12 only where the miscarriage is whole but where it is in pieces it is of no importance, while the other Master13 holds that even where it9 is in pieces the head is of importance.9 There15 are some who teach this passage as an independent discussion:16 R. Eleazar ruled, The head17 has not the status of the greater part of the limbs18 but R. Johanan ruled: The head has the same status as the greater part of the limbs. They thus differ on the validity of Samuel's principle.19
We learnt: IF THE EMBRYO ISSUED IN PIECES OR IN A REVERSED POSITION IT IS DEEMED BORN AS SOON AS ITS GREATER PART ISSUED FORTH. Now since 'OR20 IN A REVERSED POSITION' was specifically stated it follows that 'IN PIECES' refers to one that issued in a normal position,21 and yet it was stated, IT IS DEEMED BORN AS SOON AS ITS GREATER PART ISSUED. Does not this then present an objection against R. Johanan? — R. Johanan can answer you: Read, ISSUED IN PIECES and IN A REVERSED POSITION. But was it not stated 'OR'?22 It is this that was meant: IF THE EMBRYO ISSUED IN PIECES OR whole, but in either case, IN A REVERSED POSITION, IT IS DEEMED BORN AS SOON AS ITS GREATER PART ISSUED FORTH. R. Papa stated, [This23 is] a matter of dispute between the following Tannas: 'If an embryo issued in pieces or in a reversed position it is deemed born as soon as its greater part issued forth. R. Jose ruled: Only when it issued in the normal way'. What does he24 mean? — R. Papa replied: It is this that was meant:25 If the embryo issued in pieces and in a reversed position26 it is deemed born as soon as its greater part issued forth, but [it follows] if it issued in the normal way21 the head alone27 causes exemption.28 R. Jose ruled: Only where its greater part issued in the normal manner.29 R. Zebid demurred:30 Thus it follows31 that where the embryo issued in a reversed position32 even the issue of its greater part causes no exemption,31 but surely, have we not an established rule that the greater part33 counts as the whole? Rather, said R. Zebid, it is this that was meant:34 If the embryo issued in pieces and in a reversed position it is deemed born as soon as its greater part issued forth, but [it follows] if it issued in the normal way the head alone causes exemption.28 R. Jose35 ruled: Only36 where it issued in the normal manner in a condition of viability.37 So it was also taught: If the embryo issued in pieces and38 in a reversed position it is deemed born as soon as its greater part issued forth, but, it follows, if it issued in the normal way the head alone causes exemption. R. Jose ruled: Only when it issued in the normal manner in a condition of viability. And what is 'the normal manner in a condition of viability'? The issue39 of the greater part of its head. And what is meant by 'the greater part of its head'? R. Jose40 said: The issue of its temples. Abba Hanan citing R. Joshua said: The issue of its forehead; and some say: The appearance41 of the corners of its head.42
MISHNAH. IF A WOMAN ABORTED AND43 IT IS UNKNOWN WHAT WAS [THE SEX OF THE EMBRYO] SHE MUST CONTINUE [HER PERIODS OF UNCLEANNESS AND CLEANNESS AS] FOR BOTH A MALE CHILD44 AND A FEMALE CHILD.45 IF IT IS UNKNOWN WHETHER IT WAS A CHILD OR NOT, SHE MUST CONTINUE [HER PERIODS OF CLEANNESS AND UNCLEANNESS AS] FOR A MALE AND A FEMALE46 AND AS A MENSTRUANT.47
GEMARA. R. Joshua b. Levi ruled: If a woman crossed a river and miscarried in it, she48 must bring a sacrifice which may 'be eaten, since we are guided by the nature of49 the majority of women and the majority of women bear normal children.
We learnt: IF IT IS UNKNOWN WHETHER IT WAS A CHILD OR NOT, SHE MUST CONTINUE [HER PERIODS OF CLEANNESS AND UNCLEANNESS AS] FOR A MALE AND A FEMALE AND AS A MENSTRUANT. But50 why should she continue as a menstruant. Why should it not be said, 'Be guided by the nature of the majority of women and the majority of women bear normal children'.51 — Our Mishnah deals with a case where there was no presumption of the existence of an embryo,52 while R. Joshua b. Levi spoke of one where there was such presumption.
Come and hear: 'If a beast went out53 full54 and returned55 empty, the young that is born subsequently is deemed to be a firstling of a doubtful nature'.56 But50 why [should its nature be a matter of doubt]? [Why not] be guided by the majority of beasts and, since the majority of beasts bear normal young, this one also57 must be an ordinary beast?58 — Rabina replied, Because it may be said: Most beasts bear young that are exempt from the law of the firstling59 and a minority of them bear young that are not exempt from the law of the firstling but all that bear secrete,60 and in the case of this beast, since it did not secrete, the majority rule has been impaired. If, however, all that bear secrete, must not the young, since this beast did not secrete, be a valid firstling?61 — Rather say: Most of those that bear secrete, and in the case of this beast, since it did not secrete, the majority rule is impaired.
When Rabin came62 he stated: 'R. Jose b. Hanina raised an objection63 [from a Baraitha dealing with] a forgetful woman,64 but I do not know what objection it was'. What was it? — It was taught:
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- Hence the necessity for the additional 'the' and 'if' which serve the purpose of the deduction. In the text of Num. V, 3, however, the full expression of 'male and female', which could well have been condensed to 'man', clearly suggests the deduction made by Rab.
- With some of the pieces; sc. even in such a case the embryo is not deemed born unless ITS GREATER PART ISSUED FORTH.
- Cf. prev. n.
- V. marg. gl. Cur. edd. in parenthesis, 'the head exempts'.
- R. Eleazar and R. Johanan.
- Of a twin, if it was drawn back after it had been put out.
- The other twin (that was born first) from the duty of redemption (cf. Num. XVIII, 15, 16) even if it was viable.
- Bek. 46b. Does then R. Eleazar adopt Samuel's principle?
- The miscarriage.
- Both R. Eleazar and R. Johanan agree that the issue of the head alone suffices to constitute birth.
- R. Eleazar.
- Constituting birth.
- R. Johanan.
- Constituting birth.
- Cur. edd. in parenthesis add; 'Another reading: The reason then is that it issued in pieces or in a reversed condition but if it issued in the normal manner the (putting out of the) head would have caused exemption. (Thus) both do not uphold Samuel's ruling, for Samuel said, The head does not exempt in the case of miscarriages'.
- Sc. not in connection with our Mishnah.
- Of a miscarriage.
- Its issue, therefore, constitutes no birth.
- R. Eleazar agreeing with Samuel while R. Johanan differs from him. According to the former version (which attaches the dispute to our Mishnah) it might be maintained (as has been submitted supra) that R. Eleazar also differs from him.
- Cf. BaH. Cur. edd. omit.
- Head first.
- How can 'or' be understood as 'and'?
- R. Johanan's ruling.
- R. Jose.
- By both the first Tanna and R. Jose.
- Feet foremost.
- Even if the body issued in pieces.
- Cf. n. supra, sc. the embryo is deemed to have been born, in agreement with the view of R. Johanan.
- Only then is the embryo deemed to have been born. According to R. Jose the issue of the greater part of the body (but with its feet first) or the lesser part (head first) constitutes no valid birth, since, wherever an embryo issued in pieces, both conditions are essential.
- Against R. Papa's explanation.
- Cf. prev. n. but one.
- Feet foremost.
- Or 'its majority'.
- By both the first Tanna and R. Jose.
- Objecting to the last clause (the inference).
- Only then does the issue of the head cause exemption.
- But not where the embryo issued in pieces when it cannot possibly live. In such a case the issue of the head constitutes no valid birth.
- So MS.M. Cur: edd. in parenthesis 'or'.
- Lit., 'when it went out'.
- MS.M., 'Nathan'.
- Lit., 'since they will appear'.
- The projection of the head above the neck (Rashi).
- Being known that the abortion was a child.
- In respect of cleanness: Only thirty-three days instead of sixty-six.
- Fourteen unclean days instead of seven.
- Cf. prev. two notes.
- Sc. if she observes a discharge of blood even during the 'thirty-three clean' days, she must be regarded as menstrually unclean, since it is possible that the abortion was no child at all in consequence of which she is not entitled to any of the privileges of childbirth.
- Though the abortion was lost in the water and it is unknown whether it was an embryo or a mere inflated sac.
- Lit., 'follow'.
- If R. Joshua b. Levi's argument is tenable.
- And consequently she ought to be entitled, at least, to the thirty-three clean days prescribed for a male birth (during which she is exempt from all menstrual uncleanness).
- The rule of the majority is consequently inapplicable.
- To the pasture.
- On the same day.
- Since it is unknown whether it followed the birth of a developed embryo, in which case it is no firstling, or the abortion of an inflated sac, in which case it is a valid firstling. A doubtful firstling may be eaten by its owner after it had contracted a blemish and the priest has no claim upon it.
- Having thus been born after the birth of a normal one.
- Not even a doubtful firstling, and its owner should consequently be allowed to eat it even if it had no blemish.
- Since each beast can only bear one firstling.
- A day prior to their delivery.
- Why then was it described as one of a doubtful nature?
- From Palestine to Babylon.
- Against R. Joshua b. Levi.
- Lit., 'erring', a woman who does not remember the time of her delivery; v. supra 18b.
If a woman who departed in a condition of pregnancy1 and returned2 without child3 spent, within our cognizance,4 three clean weeks5 and another ten weeks which were alternately unclean6 and clean,7 she may perform her marital duty on the night preceding the thirty-fifth day8 and she is ordered to undergo ninety-five ritual immersions;9 so Beth Shammai. But Beth Hillel ruled: Thirty-five immersions.10 R. Jose son of R. Judah ruled: It suffices if one immersion is performed after the final [period of uncleanness]. Now11 one can well understand why the woman may not perform her marital duty during the first week,12 since she might be presumed to have given birth13 to a male child.14 During the second week she might be presumed to have given birth13 to a female child.15 During the third week she might be presumed to have given birth13 to a female child while she was in the condition of a zabah.16 But17 why should she18 not be permitted to perform her marital duty in the fourth week though she had observed a discharge of blood seeing that it is clean blood?19 Must it not then be admitted that the reason20 is because we are not guided here by the majority rule?21 — What then22 [is the justification for the statement] 'I do not know what objection it was'? — It might be presumed that her delivery took place a long time ago.23 But why should she not be allowed to perform her marital duty during the fifth week24 which25 is a clean one? — In the case of the fourth week26 every day might be regarded as being possibly the conclusion of [the clean days prescribed for] a childbirth and the beginning of the period of menstruation, so that the twenty-eighth day itself27 might be presumed to be the first day of the menstrual period and she must consequently continue [her uncleanness for] seven days in respect of her menstruation.28 But why should she not be permitted to perform her marital duty on the twenty-first day?29 — This30 is in agreement with the view of R. Simeon who ruled: It is forbidden to do so31 since, thereby, she32 might be involved in a doubtful uncleanness.33 But34 why should she not be permitted intercourse in the evening?35 — This is a case where she observed the discharge in the evening.36 'And she is ordered to undergo ninety-five ritual immersions: During the first week37 she is ordered immersion every night, since it might be presumed that she gave birth38 to a male child.39 During the second week she is ordered immersion every night,40 since it might be presumed that she gave birth41 to a female child;39 and every day, since it might also be presumed that she gave birth to a male child while she was in a condition of zibah.42 During the third week she is ordered immersion every day, since it might be presumed that she gave birth to a female child while she was in a state of zibah;43 and every night, because Beth Shammai follow the view they expressed elsewhere that one who performed immersion on a long day44 must again perform immersion [at its conclusion].45
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- Lit., 'who went out full'.
- After some considerable time.
- Lit., 'empty'; and she was unaware when birth took place.
- Lit., 'and she brought before us'.
- Sc. having arrived in the day-time she experienced no discharge from the moment of her arrival for three weeks.
- I.e., experiencing a discharge on each of the seven days of the first alternate weeks.
- I.e., she experienced no discharge on any of the seven days of the second alternate weeks.
- Of her arrival, viz., the last night of the fifth week. After that night, however, as will be explained presently, no cohabitation can be allowed.
- One after each period of uncleanness as will be explained presently.
- Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
- Here begins the 'objection' to which Rabin referred (supra 29a ad fin.).
- After her return. 'First week' includes the day of her return.
- During her absence and immediately before her return.
- So that everyone of the first seven days might be one of the seven unclean days prescribed for a woman after a male childbirth.
- The period of uncleanness after whose birth is two weeks (cf. prev. n. mut. mut.).
- I.e., during the 'eleven days' that intervene between the menstrual periods. Since it is possible that she experienced painless discharges on three consecutive days during this period she must, in addition to the fourteen days (cf. prev. n.), wait a period of another seven clean days (irrespective of whether she did, or did not observe any discharge during the fourteen days) before she can attain to cleanness.
- If R. Joshua b. Levi's rule, that most women bear normal children, is tenable.
- Who was known to be pregnant before her departure (v. supra), and who must, therefore, (cf. prev. n.) be presumed to have given birth to a normal child.
- Since the fourth week is inevitably excluded from the unclean periods (seven days for a male and fourteen for a female) that follow childbirth, and included in the thirty-three clean days prescribed for a male birth.
- Why the woman is treated as unclean even during the fourth week.
- So that there is no presumption of the birth of any child and no consequent allowance of any period of clean blood. How then could R. Joshua b. Levi, contrary to this Baraitha, maintain that in such cases the majority rule is followed?
- In view of the forceful objection just advanced.
- And her clean blood period also has terminated long before the fourth week. The Baraitha would consequently present no objection against R. Joshua b. Levi, since the tenability of his majority rule in no way affects the uncleanness of the fourth week, while, as regards the imposition upon the woman of the obligation of the sacrifice prescribed for one after childbirth, the rule is in fact upheld even in this case.
- I.e., on any of its seven days and not only (as laid down supra) on the night preceding the last one (the thirty-fifth day).
- Since the ten weeks were alternately unclean and clean.
- On every day of which she suffered a discharge.
- The last day of the fourth week.
- Which, beginning on the last day of the fourth week, terminates on the sixth day of the fifth week. Hence the permissibility of marital duty (after due ritual immersion) on the night following that day (the one preceding the thirty-fifth day of her return). During the weeks that follow all intercourse would be forbidden, since each alternate 'clean' week might he regarded as the period of seven days that must be allowed to elapse after the zibah of the previous 'unclean' week before cleanness is attained.
- Of her return. This day (the last one of the third week) must inevitably be a clean one. For even if the woman had been delivered on the very day of her return her period of childbirth uncleanness would have terminated (even in the case of a female child) on the fourteenth day, while the seven days following could be counted as the prescribed seven days following a period of zibah on the last of which she is permitted to perform ritual immersion at any time of the day and to attain to a state of cleanness (cf. Yoma 6a) for the rest of that day.
- The prohibition of intercourse on the twenty-first day.
- To have intercourse on the seventh day after the termination of a zibah even though ritual immersion had been performed.
- If she happened to suffer a discharge later in the day after intercourse.
- Of zibah. A discharge on the seventh day following the termination of zibah renders void all the previous counting, since the seven clean days must be complete.
- Since on the twenty-first day she was still clean and her first discharge in the following (fourth) week occurred presumably on the twenty-second day.
- Following the twenty-first day.
- Cf. prev. n. And similarly in the case of all the alternate unclean weeks the discharges occurred in the evenings.
- After her return.
- Seven days previously.
- So that each day of the first week might possibly be the first one after the termination of the unclean days and it is a religious duty to perform ritual immersion immediately after the unclean days had terminated.
- Cf. BaH. for a different reading.
- Fourteen days previously.
- So that each day of the first week counted as the sixth of the clean days after zibah which (cf. supra n. 5) must be immediately followed (during the day-time of the following day) by ritual immersion.
- Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
- The fourteen unclean days (after which the woman performs immersion) and the sixty-six clean days that follow (during which she is forbidden to eat terumah) are regarded as one long day on which immersion had been performed and sunset is awaited (sunset being represented by that of the eightieth day after childbirth) to complete and terminate ail traces of uncleanness.
- Sc. on the night following the eightieth day and preceding the eighty-first one. As every day of the third week might possibly be the eightieth, immersion must be performed on every night of that week. The same reason could, of course, be given for the necessity for immersion in the previous weeks had there been no other reasons to justify it.