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Nidah 19


HALACHAH: The five colors of menstrual blood mentioned in the Mishnah are all Tamei mid'Oraisa (Tur Yoreh De'ah 188:1). The Rishonim write that since we lack the expertise of the earlier sages, *any* blood with a tendency to a red or black color is also Tamei (ibid.). The Poskim discuss some of the colors not mentioned (or seemingly not mentioned) in the Mishnah:


Yarok in modern-day usage is green. This is not its meaning in the Mishnah. Green as a leek or as grass, even with the consistency of blood, is certainly Tahor even according to Akavya (TOSFOS DH ha'Yarok, ROSH, RAN RASHBA.). The argument in the Mishnah is over the color yellow or gold. Tosfos compares Yarok to an Esrog or to wax, while the Rosh compares it to the yellow of an egg. To prove this point, the Rishonim bring various Pesukim in Tanach and Midrashim (see Tehilim 68:14, Midrash Raba 43:2 on Bereishis 14:14, Tosefta Nega'im 1:3 on Vayikra 13:49). In any case, we obviously ought to rule that yellow is Tahor based on the opinion expressed by the Chachamim in our Mishnah.

It is interesting to note that TALMIDEI RABBEINU YONAH in Berachos (22a, of the Rif's pages) quotes an opinion that seems to say otherwise. When Rav Zeira says that our woman have become accustomed to wait 7 bloodless days after seeing even "a drop of blood like a mustard seed," this opinion explains that the women's custom was to consider even blood the color of mustard (i.e. yellow blood) to be Tamei! And Talmidei Rabbeinu Yonah not only agree with this point, they even maintain that it is clearly ruled in the Mishnah(!) that blood the color of mustard is Tamei! (It is not at all clear to which Mishnah they are referring. Apparently, they understood the Mishnah on Daf 40a -- "Afilu *k'Ein ha'Chardal*" -- to be referring to the *color* of mustard, and not to the *size* of a mustard seed.).

HALACHAH: CHOCHMAS ADAM (117:9) writes that at least for a *Hefsek Taharah*, gold or wax-color, which has a tendency towards the color orange, should not be ruled Tahor. His opinion is based on earlier Acharonim who paused before being Metaher Bedikos of this color (since it is so close in color to orange). Present-day Poskim are divided as to whether to accept the Chumra of the Chochmas Adam or not (MAR'EH KOHEN 2:2)

CHOCHMAS ADAM rules that the color of chestnuts or black coffee is Tahor. Other Poskim state that various shades of brown have different rulings, based upon how close they may be leaning towards red (Mar'eh Kohen 2:1).

HALACHAH: With regard to these and all sensitive questions of Halachah, a competent Rabbinic authority should be consulted. In the onset, one should bring to a Rav all Mar'os which are even slightly questionable. In this way, one will slowly become proficient in deciding which Mar'os need the ruling of a Posek and which do not.


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