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Nidah 58


    • Question: RAV AVRAHAM AV BEIS DIN, quoted by the RA'AVAD (Ba'alei ha'Nefesh, Introduction to Sha'ar ha'Kesamim) rule that the laws of Kesamim do not apply today since it may be asserted that tthe sources in the Gemara that refer to Kesamim may only be dealing with Taharos. A woman who finds a Kesem on her clothing or bed is therefore permitted to her husband until she experiences actual bleeding.

      The Gemara states that when a woman finds a drop of blood on her bed and she has not killed a bug, there is a difference of opinion as to whether or not she may assume that the blood did come from a bug. Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel rules that she may not. Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel himself, in assessing his Halachic ruling, states that his opinion is much too stringent. According to him, a woman will never be permitted to her husband. All beds have some drops of blood on them!

      The RA'AVAD uses Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel's statement to disprove the opinion of Rav Avraham Av Beis Din. Raban Shimon Ben Gamliel is specifically referring to whether or not a woman is permitted to her husband. We see that Kesamim are not only limited to Taharos, and therefore they ought to apply today! How could Rav Avraham Av Beis Din answer the Ra'avad's question?

    • Answer: ARUCH LA'NER and CHASAM SOFER (Daf 58a) explain that although the law of morning and evening Bedikos that is mentioned in the first Perek was instituted to guard Taharos from becoming Temei'im, a woman who has no fixed Veses and always deals with Taharos, also needs to do a Bedikah before she is permitted to her husband (Gemara 11b). Similarly, according to RAV AVRAHAM AV BEIS DIN a woman who always deals with Taharos needs to consider herself Temei'ah when she finds a Kesem. Perhaps RAV AVRAHAM AV BEIS DIN will admit that such a woman needs to consider herself Temei'ah for her husband, also. However nowadays, that women do not handle Taharos, Kesamim will not cause Tum'ah with regard to her husband.

      This explanation fits accurately into the words of Rav Avraham Av Beis Din. He claims that Kesamim do not apply today. He does not write that Kesamim only apply to Taharos, as we might have expected based upon the understanding of the Ra'avad and the other Rishonim. When Taharos are in effect, Kesamim apply to marital relations also.

      HALACHAH: The overwhelming majority of Rishonim argue with the opinion of Rav Avraham Av Beis Din. The Poskim unanimously agree that Kesamim apply today and will prohibit a woman to her husband.

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