THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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- "ROK TAFEL"
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?
- RASHI explains that this means from the time one goes to sleep
(before midnight, that is, in accordance with the second condition of the
- The RAMBAM (Hilchos Isurei Bi'ah 9:38) explains that this means that he
must not have eaten from the beginning of the night.
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?
- 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.)
- 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.)
- BEFORE PUTTING SALT IN "MEI GERISIN"
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?"
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.
- 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
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.
- 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.
- 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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