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Nidah 33

    • Question: The Gemara derives from the verse, "v'Chol ha'Nogea b'Chol Asher Yihye Tachtav Yitma," that Elyono Shel Zav is Metamei liquids and foods and is not Metamei humans and utensils.

      But the verse itself concludes, "Yitma Ad ha'Arev" (i.e, after having been immersed in a Mikvah it becomes Tahor at nightfall). This obviously refers to utensils and not to food, since food cannot be made Tahor through Tevilah! If so, how can the Gemara say that the Pasuk refers to Elyono Shel Zav which is only Metamei food?

    • Answer:
      1. TOSFOS (32b, DH Elyono) answers that the true subject of the verse in question is the handle of a saddle, which is Tamei with Tumas Merkav. The verse is teaching us that anything, even utensils which touch a Merkav becomes Tamei until Tevilah and nightfall. Our Gemara means to say that the extra word "v'Hanosei" (or "Tachtav") teaches us the Halachah of Elyono Shel Zav. The phrase "Yitma Ad ha'Erev" only applies to to the simple meaning of the verse, and not to its exegetical interpretation.
      2. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Metamei Mishkav u'Moshav 6:3) rules that although Elyono Shel Zav is Metamei Ochlin u'Mashkin, this Tumah is mid'Rabbanan. The commentators explain that the Rambam understood our Gemara to be an Asmachta b'Alma (and not a full-fledged Limud), since the verse obviously cannot be dealing with Elyono Shel Zav, which is only Metamei foods.
      3. The RA'AVAD (ad loc.) rules that Elyono Shel Zav is Metamei Kelim (except for Klei Cheres). This seems to contradict our Sugya, which clearly states that it is not Metamei Kelim. Apparently, the RA'AVAD means that while an object is still lying above a Zav it can be Metamei Kelim. Our Gemara means that after it is removed it is not Metamei Kelim. (ACHARONIM)
      4. The MALBIM (Parashas Metzora) suggests that the words "Mai Nihu" (top of 33a) should be "Mai Mi'et." The Gemara's intention, then, is that the verse is indeed referring to Merkav, which is Metamei Kelim, and it excludes Elyono Shel Zav from being Metamei Kelim. (The Malbim) explains that this exclusion is deduced from the fact that the Merkav is called "Asher Yiheyeh (ha'Zav) Tachtav" and not "Asher Yiheyeh Al ha'Zav.")


    • Question: The Gemara recounts the episode of a Kohen Gadol who was talking with a Tzeduki (Sadducee) in the marketplace. Some saliva fell from the Tzeduki onto the Kohen's garments, and the Kohen immediately went to find out if the Tzeduki was a Bo'el Nidah. RASHI (DH v'Horiku) explains that the Kohen Gadol was worried that his garments became Tamei.

      TOSFOS (DH Bo'el) and the RASH (Taharos 7:5) tell us that the Ma'ayanos (liquid discharges from the body) of a Bo'el Nidah are Metamei b'Masa. If so, why does Rashi say that the Kohen Gadol was only concerned for the Taharah of his garments? If the discharge of a Bo'el Nidah fell on his garments, he himself would become Tamei through Masa!

    • Answer: There actually is extensive literature in the Rishonim discussing whether the Halachah of Ma'ayanos ha'Zav applies to a Bo'el Nidah. (The RASH and the ROSH discuss this in the beginning of Ohalos.) Although Tosfos and the Rash conclude otherwise, the RASHBATZ (Nidah loc. cit.) writes clearly that the Ma'ayanos of a Bo'el Nidah are only a Rishon l'Tumah, since they touched the Bo'el Nidah, and not an Av like the Ma'ayanos of a Zav. If they are only a Rishon, they will only be Metamei through contact and not through Masa. Perhaps Rashi also learned that Ma'ayanos of a Bo'el Nidah are only a Rishon l'Tumah. If so, the saliva of the Tzeduki would only be Metamei the Kohen's clothes. (Although a normal Rishon cannot be Metamei clothes, the Rabanan were Gozer that liquids which are Tamei make clothes and Kelim become Tamei.) The Kohen Gadol therefore had no reason to be concerned about his body becoming Tamei through Masa. (ARUCH LA'NER)

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