(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld

Ask A Question about the Daf

Introduction to Nidah

Nidah 2


QUESTION: The Gemara cites two instances in which it is not clear when a change happened. (1) If a Mikvah, which originally had 40 Se'ah, was found to be lacking after a person was Tovel in the Mikvah. (2) If a barrel which originally contained wine was found to be vinegar after a person proclaimed the barrel to be Terumah for wine of Tevel. In the former case, the person who was Tovel remains Tamei. In the latter, the wine of Tevel is *Safek* Tevel, since *perhaps* the wine in the barrel had turned to vinegar before the Terumah was proclaimed.

The Gemara explains why the person is *certainly* Tamei in the case of the Mikvah, whereas in the case of the barrel of wine we are in *doubt* as to whether Terumah has taken effect. The two statements, explains the Gemara, were made by different Tana'im: the Rabbanan make the person who was Tovel in the Mikvah unquestionably Tamei, since in their opinion the Chezkas Tum'ah of the person, combined with the fact that the Mikvah is now lacking, creates *certain* retroactive Tum'ah. The statement about the barrel of wine, on the other hand, was made by Rebbi Shimon, who asserts that only *Safek* Tum'ah is created in such a manner, and therefore the wine from which the person separated Terumah with the barrel (which is now vinegar, combined with the Chezkas Tevel of the other wine) is Safek Tevel.

The RAMBAM (Hil. Terumos 5:24) rules like Rebbi Shimon; the wine in the barrel is Safek Tevel. Yet in the case of the Mikvah the RAMBAM rules (Hil. Mikva'os 10:6) that the person who was Tovel is *certainly* Tamei, like the Rabbanan! How can the Rambam reconcile his citations of these two rulings, which the Gemara appears to consider to be contradictory? (KESEF MISHNEH)

ANSWER: The PRI CHADASH (Mayim Chayim, Gitin 31b, as cited by Chochmas Betzalel) explains that the Mishnah discussing the barrel of wine that turned vinegar adds the following qualification regarding the retroactive status of the wine: "For three days, there is no doubt as to the status of the wine." As Rashi (DH Kol) explains, the Amora'im argue as to the meaning of this cryptic statement. Rebbi Yochanan understands it to mean that for the *first* three days after the barrel was *originally* found to contain wine, we assume that the wine certainly did not yet spoil. Our question as to its status begins only after those three days. Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi takes on the opposite approach. For the *last* three days before the barrel was *eventually* found to contain vinegar, we assume that the wine was certainly vinegar. Our question as to its status regards the previous days only.

The Pri Chadash explains that our Gemara perhaps compares the lacking Mikvah to the barrel of wine since it holds like Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, that the wine is Safek Tamei from the moment it was last inspected. The Rambam, however, rules like Rebbi Yochanan (Hil. Terumos ibid.), who asserts that for the first three days after the barrel was originally inspected and found to contain wine, there is no doubt as to the nature of its contents: it still contains wine. Since, although the barrel now contains vinegar, we know for certain that the barrel must have contained wine even *after* it was first examined, we may be more lenient in the case of the barrel than in the case of the Mikvah. Although the person who was Tovel in the lacking Mikvah is certainly Tamei, the wine in the barrel is Safek Terumah.

Next daf


This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper,
provided that this notice is included intact.
For information on subscriptions, archives, and other Shema Yisrael
Classes, send mail to daf@shemayisrael.co.il

Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Jerusalem, Israel

In the U.S.:
Tel. (908) 370-3344
Fax. (908) 367-6608

Toll free line for dedications: 1-800-574-2646