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Nidah 32


    • Question: The Gemara tells us that the Vav of the word "v'Isha" (discussing Tum'as Be'ilah) was written in order to exclude a man who had a discharge of red Shichvas Zera from Tum'as Keri. Similarly, the Vav of the word "v'Ish" (discussing Tum'as Keri) was written in order to exclude a woman who had a white discharge from Tum'as Nidah.

      Why does the Gemara here interpret the extra "Vav" to be limiting the verse? We normally explain that an extra "Vav" means to extend the simple meaning of the verse! (TOSFOS DH li'M'utei)

    • Answer:
      1. TOSFOS (ibid.) answers, quoting from Rashi, that we normally understand the letter Vav to be extending the meaning of a verse rather than limiting it, but in the above cases the Gemara found nothing to include in the Parsha at hand that is not already discussed in the Parsha. Therefore, it had no choice but to limit the Parsha at hand instead.
      2. KORBAN AHARON (on the Toras Kohanim) explains that normally the letter Vav is interpreted as extending the meaning of a verse because the word before which it appears has added some detail to the verse. Just as the word itself extends the meaning of the verse, so too the Vav which precedes it broadens the verse's meaning. In our Gemara, however, the word preceding the Vav is Ish, or Isha. These words were written in the Torah exclusively in order to limit the meaning of the verse to an adult and to exclude a child from the laws discussed in the respective verses. (That is, although a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai reveals that the laws of these verses indeed apply to 3-year old girls and 9-year old boys, the verse itself without the Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai implies otherwise.) In such a case, where the word itself is limiting what is written, the Vav extends the limitation and adds a second limitation -- in this case, limiting the laws of the section under discussion to a man or to a woman. (Quoted in Chochmas Betzalel)

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