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Nidah 18



The Gemara rules that if nine frogs and one Sheretz were mixed together and a person touched one of them but did not know which one he touched, if this took place in Reshus ha'Yachid the person is Tamei. If it took place in Reshus ha'Rabim he is Tahor. If he found one of the creatures apart from the others and he touched that one, we can rely on the fact that the majority are frogs and the person is Tahor even in Reshus ha'Yachid.

This ruling of the Gemara implies that when Rov is used to resolve a questionable situation, the case is no longer considered a Safek and therefore the person is Tahor even in Reshus ha'Yachid (i.e. it is not a Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Yachid).

On the other hand, the Gemara (Bava Metzia 6b) discusses the ruling that "Asiri Vadai v'Lo Asiri Safek" (one is exempt from the obligation to separate every tenth animal from his herd as Ma'aser Behemah, if there is any doubt as to whether the obligation to do so applies). The Gemara rules that if one is counting his herd in order to designate every tenth animal as Ma'aser Behemah, and one of the already-counted sheep jumped back into the uncounted part of the herd, then all of the remaining animals are exempt from Ma'aser Beheimah (since the any one that will be separated from the herd as Ma'aser may be the one that was already exempted from the Mitzvah of separating Ma'aser, since it was already counted).

Tosfos (ad loc.) asks that the one that jumped back into the herd should become Batel b'Rov. Therefore the others should still be obligated in Ma'aser since it can be said of each animal that Rov dictates that it is not the one that jumped back. The SHITAH MEKUBETZES (citing the ROSH) answers that the Torah requires that the tenth animal be *definitely* obligated in Ma'aser and the dictates of Rov do not remove the animals from the category of Safek.

The words of the Rosh imply that Rov does not resolve a question for certain, and the situation still remains a Safek. (That is, Rov merely permits us to *act* one way when in doubt, but it does not resolve the question.) If so, why isn't a person Tamei in Reshus ha'Yachid even if there is a Rov making him Tahor!!

REBBI AKIVA EIGER and RAV GUSTMAN (ZT"L) explain that there are three levels of certainty: Safek (50/50), Rov (51/49 or more), and unquestionable certainty (100%). The verse tells us that a *Safek* is Tamei in Reshus ha'Yachid, since the Torah considers a Safek Sotah to be Tamei. Since it is no longer in the category of Safek if the odds are no longer 50/50, the ruling of Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Yachid Tamei does not apply. With regard to Ma'aser Beheimah, the Torah tells us that the animal of Ma'aser must *certainly* be obligated in Ma'aser ("Asiri *Vadai* v'Lo Asiri Safek"). Therefore, when only a Rov dictates that the animal is obligated in Ma'aser, it is not considered to be *certainly* obligated and it is exempt from Ma'aser.


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