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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah
It was stated: If on the body of a woman6 was found a stain of the size of a split bean plus some addition,7 and to that addition clung a louse, R. Hanina ruled: She is unclean;8 and R. Jannai ruled: She is clean.9 'R. Hanina ruled: She is unclean', since she may attribute a stain to a louse only where the former is of the size of a split bean but not where it is of the size of a split bean plus. 'R. Jannai ruled: She is clean', since this restriction10 applies only where no louse clings to the addition, but where a louse clings to it, it is quite evident that the addition is the blood of a louse, so that only a stain of the size of a split bean remains;11 and since such a size may elsewhere12 be attributed to a louse it may also here be so attributed.
R. Jeremiah enquired: What is the ruling where a woman handled some blood of the bulk of a split bean but on her body was found a bloodstain of the size of a split bean and a little more? This question arises according to R. Hanina and it also arises according to R. Jannai. 'This question arises according to R. Hanina', since R. Hanina may have maintained his view there13 that the woman was unclean, only because she did not handle any blood, but here, where she did handle some, she may well attribute [the stain to an extraneous cause].14 or is it possible that, even according to R. Jannai who ruled13 that she was clean, the ruling applies only where a louse clings to the stain, but where no louse clings to it, the stain may not be attributed to it? — Come and hear: If she was handling red stuff she may not attribute to it a black stain; if she was handling a small quantity15 she may not attribute to it a large stain. Now how is one to imagine the circumstances?16 Would you not agree that they were of the same nature?17 — No, this16 might be a case, for instance, where she handled a quantity of blood of the bulk of a split bean while on her body was found a stain of the size of two split beans and a little more in excess.18 But if so,19 what was the need of mentioning it?20 — It might have been presumed that one takes the part of the stain21 that may be attributed to the blood of the bird22 to be in the middle23 so that there remains less than the prescribed minimum on either of its sides,24 hence we were informed [that the stain cannot be attributed to it25 at all].
Raba ruled: If one kind of material26 was found upon a woman27 she may attribute to it any kind of stain.28 It was objected: If she was handling red stuff she may not attribute to it a black stain!29 — A case where she had handled the stuff is different.30 There are some who say: Raba ruled, If a woman was handling one kind of material, she may attribute to it any kinds of stain.28 It was objected: If she was handling red stuff she may not attribute to it a black stain!31 — When Raba laid down his ruling he referred to a woman who was handling a hen which contains several kinds of blood.
A WOMAN ONCE etc. But was it not taught: Seeing that the Sages did not lay down the rule in order to relax the law but rather to restrict it?32 — Rabina replied: The meaning is that they did not lay down the rule to relax Pentateuchal laws,33 but rather to add restrictions to them;34 but the uncleanness of bloodstains is altogether a Rabbinical enactment.35
IF ON A TESTING RAG THAT WAS PLACED. The question was raised: Do the Rabbis differ from R. Eliezer son of R. Zadok or not? — Come and hear: A long stain is counted36 but scattered drops are not combined.37 Now whose view does this represent? If it be suggested: That of R. Eliezer son of R. Zadok [the difficulty would arise:] Why was there need38 for the combination, seeing that he ruled that even a stain that was only slightly elongated is unclean. Must we not then conclude that it represents the view of the Rabbis? Thus it follows, does it not, that they differ from his view? — No, this may indeed represent the view of R. Eliezer son of R. Zadok, for he laid down the law39 in regard to a testing rag40 but not in regard to a bloodstain.41
Come and hear42 what Rab Judah citing Samuel stated: 'The halachah is in agreement with R. Eliezer son of R. Zadok'. Now since the halachah had to be declared it follows that they43 differ from him.44 This is conclusive.
MISHNAH. IF A WOMAN WHEN ATTENDING TO HER NEEDS1 OBSERVED AN ISSUE OF BLOOD, R. MEIR RULED: IF SHE WAS STANDING SHE IS UNCLEAN2 BUT IF SHE WAS SITTING SHE REMAINS CLEAN. R. JOSE RULED: IN EITHER CASE SHE REMAINS CLEAN. IF A MAN AND A WOMAN ATTENDED TO THEIR NEEDS1 IN THE SAME BOWL AND BLOOD WAS FOUND ON THE WATER, R. JOSE3 RULED THAT IT WAS CLEAN,4 WHILE R. SIMEON RULED THAT IT WAS UNCLEAN, SINCE IT IS NOT USUAL FOR A MAN TO DISCHARGE BLOOD, BUT THE PRESUMPTION IS THAT BLOOD ISSUES FROM THE WOMAN.
GEMARA. Wherein does the case where the woman WAS STANDING differ [from that of sitting]? [Obviously] in that we presume that the urine had returned to the source5 and brought back blood with it. But then, even where SHE WAS SITTING why should it not also be assumed that the urine had returned to the source and brought back blood with it? — Samuel replied: The reference is to a woman who discharges in a gush.6 But even where a discharge is gushing is it not possible that7 the blood issued8 after the water had ceased to flow?9 — R. Abba replied. The reference is to a woman who sat on the rim of a bowl, discharging into the bowl, and blood was found within the bowl, [in which case it is obvious] that if the blood had issued after the water had ceased to flow it10 should have been found on the rim of the bowl.11 Samuel ruled or, as some say, Rab Judah citing Samuel ruled: The halachah is in agreement with R. Jose; and also R. Abba gave a ruling to Kala:12 The halachah is in agreement with R. Jose.
IF A MAN AND A WOMAN etc. The question was asked: Where both the man and the woman were standing.13 what, pray tell me, is the ruling of14 R. Meir?15 Did R. Meir maintain his view16 only where one doubt17 is involved, but where a double doubt18 is involved he does not hold the woman to be unclean, or is it possible that there is no difference? — Resh Lakish replied: His ruling19 is the same in both. Whence is this20 inferred? — Since it was not stated:21 R. Meir and R. Jose22 ruled that she remains clean'. If so,23 [the difficulty arises:] Now that R. Meir holds the woman to be unclean where a double doubt is involved,24 was there any need for his ruling25 where only one doubt is involved?26 — Yes, in order to inform you how far reaching is the ruling27 of R: Jose who laid down that the woman is clean even where only one doubt is involved. But, instead of disputing about such a case involving only one doubt in order to inform you how far reaching is the ruling of R. Jose, why should they not dispute about a case involving a double doubt in order to inform you how far reaching is the ruling of R. Meir?28 The power of a lenient view29 is preferred.30 R. Johanan, however, replied: R. Meir gave his ruling31 only where one doubt is involved, but where a double doubt is involved32 he did not maintain his view. But if so,33 why was it not stated:34 R. Meir and R. Jose35 ruled that she remains clean? — This should indeed have been done,36 but since he had just left R. Jose37 he also began38 With R. Jose. As to R. Jose, however, since he holds the woman clean where only one doubt is involved,39 was there any need for his ruling where a double doubt is involved?40 — As it might have been presumed that his ruling applied only ex post facto41 but not ab initio,42 we were informed43 that the ruling applied even ab initio. It was taught in agreement with R. Johanan: If a man and a woman attended to their needs in the same bowl and blood was found on the water, R. Meir and R. Jose declared it clean and R. Simeon declared it unclean.
The question was raised: Where a woman44 was sitting,45 what, pray tell me, is the ruling of46 R. Simeon? Did R. Simeon maintain his view only where she is standing, since her passage is then compressed.47 but not where she was sitting;48 or is it possible that there is no difference? — Come and hear what was taught: If she was sitting she may attribute [any discharge of blood to an internal wound], but if she was standing she may not attribute [it to it]; so R. Meir. R. Jose ruled: In either case she may attribute [it to it]. R. Simeon ruled: In either case she may not attribute [it to it].
The question was raised: Where a man and a woman were sitting.49 what, pray tell me, is the ruling of46 R. Simeon? Did R. Simeon maintain his view only where the woman was standing, since her passage is then compressed,50 or where she was sitting, since only one doubt is involved, but not where a double doubt is involved;51 or is it possible that there is no difference? — Come and hear: Since R. Simeon ruled, THE PRESUMPTION IS THAT BLOOD ISSUES FROM THE WOMAN,52 no distinction is to be made between an issue when they53 were standing and one when they were sitting.
MISHNAH. IF SHE LENT HER SHIRT TO A GENTILE WOMAN OR TO A MENSTRUANT SHE MAY ATTRIBUTE A STAIN54 TO EITHER.55 IF THREE WOMEN HAD WORN THE SAME SHIRT OR HAD SAT ON THE SAME WOODEN BENCH AND SUBSEQUENTLY BLOOD WAS FOUND ON IT, ALL ARE REGARDED AS UNCLEAN.56 IF THEY HAD SAT ON A STONE BENCH57 OR ON THE PROJECTION WITHIN THE COLONNADE OF A BATH HOUSE,57 R. NEHEMIAH RULES THAT THEY ARE CLEAN;58 FOR R. NEHEMIAH HAS LAID DOWN: ANY THING THAT IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO UNCLEANNESS IS NOT SUSCEPTIBLE TO STAINS.59
GEMARA. Rab explained: The reference60 is to a GENTILE WOMAN
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