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Nidah 63

  1. "ROK TAFEL" [1] OPINIONS: How long must one not eat in order for his saliva to be considered Rok Tafel? The Gemara says that he cannot eat "mi'ba'Erev," from the evening. What does this mean?

    1. RASHI explains that this means from the time one goes to sleep (before midnight, that is, in accordance with the second condition of the Gemara).

    2. The RAMBAM (Hilchos Isurei Bi'ah 9:38) explains that this means that he must not have eaten from the beginning of the night.

      [2] OPINIONS: Until when in the day is one's saliva considered Rok Tafel? The Gemara says, "Until one speaks most of his speech of the first three hours of the day." What does this mean?

    3. RASHI explains that this means until a person speaks most of what one usually speaks during the first three hours of the day. (Speaking dulls the sharpness of the saliva.)

    4. The RAMBAM explains that until the end of the third hour of the day, one's saliva is Rok Tafel. If so, what does the Gemara mean by "Rov Diburo" ("most of his speech")? It appears that the Rambam did not have the word "Shel" in his text ("most of his speech of the first three hours of the day"). The words "most of his speech" are explaining why Rok Tafel only lasts for the first three hours of the day. The Rambam understood "Rov" to mean "a lot" and not "most"; during the first three hours of the day a person speaks a lot and this dulls the sharpness of his saliva. (It does not mean he must speak a certain amount, like Rashi learns.)

    • Question: Rebbi Yehudah says that in order for Mei Gerisin to serve as an effective cleansing agent, it must be boiling hot, but before adding salt. The words he uses are "Over sh'Yiten b'Socho Melach" -- literally, "ahead of the salt.quot; Why did he not simply say, "Kodem sh'Yiten b'Socho Melach?"

    • Answer: The NIMUKEI HA'GRIV points out that whenever the word "Over" is used, it means right before, or pre-empting another occurrence. Rebbi Yehudah was explaining how hot the Mei Gerisin must be. The Mei Gerisin must be so hot that it is at the point at which salt would normally be put into it, and "Over sh'Yiten" means that it is used to test the stain right before putting salt in it; that is, one's use of the Mei Gerisin pre-empts the salting. This excludes using the Mei Gerisin long before it is hot enough for salt to be put into it.

      The NIMUKEI YOSEF (Hilchos Tefilin) explains that this is also what is meant when we say that a blessing for a Mitzvah must be said "Over l'Asiyasan," or "ahead of" the Mitzvah that is to be performed. One begins the action of the Mitzvah and recites the blessing right before the actual fulfillment of the Mitzvah.

      This meaning is evident from the verse that is cited as a proof for the meaning of "Over," "And Achima'atz ran... and overtook (va'Ya'avor) the Kushi." That is, the Kushi was ahead of him, but Achima'atz overtook him and went right before him.


  1. HALACHAH: SEPARATING FOR THE ENTIRE "ONAH" OF THE "VESES" Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Yosi argue regarding how long a husband and wife must separate when her expected time of bleeding arrives. Rebbi Yosi maintains that they separate only for the hour in which she expects to bleed, and Rebbi Yehudah says that they must separate for the entire twelve-hour period ("Onah") in which time she expects to bleed. Rava rules in accordance with Rebbi Yehudah, and this is the Halachah as well; the separation period includes an entire twelve-hour period, and not just the hour.

    The Rishonim point out that there are two cases in which Rebbi Yehudah would agree that the separation period is only for the time that she expects to see blood, and not the entire twelve-hour period.

    1. The ROSH (9:2) writes that if a woman sees blood at night and the bleeding continues into the day, her separation period is at night (the twelve-hour period during which her bleeding began), and she does not have to separate from her husband during the entire 12-hour daytime period. She must separate from him during the day only during the time that she actually saw the blood by day.

    2. The RA'AVAD (in Ba'alei Nefesh) proves that in a case where a woman has established her Veses to be an "hourly" one -- that is, every month she bleeds at the same hour of the day of her Veses, even Rebbi Yehudah would agree that she does not have to separate from her husband for the entire twelve-hour period of that Veses, but only for the hour. (Cited in the Beis Yosef 189 and Divrei Chamudos 9:15)

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