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Nidah 71


QUESTION: The Tana Kama of the Mishnah maintains that blood that flows from a woman even when she is dead is considered Dam Nidah (and it is Metamei even with a minimal amount) as well as Dam Mes (and it is Metamei b'Ohel). Rebbi Yehudah maintains that only when a woman bleeds while she is alive is the blood considered Dam Nidah. If blood comes out when she is dead, the blood is not considered Dam Nidah but Dam Mes.

The Gemara asks how it could be, according to the Tana Kama, that blood that comes out after the woman is dead is considered Dam Nidah. The Gemara answers that the Tana Kama holds that "Makor Mekomo Tamei."

What does the Gemara mean? Normally, the concept of "Makor Mekomo Tamei" means that anything that passes through the womb is an Av ha'Tum'ah (see Background to Daf 41b). Here, though, we are discussing a woman who is dead. Her womb is Avi Avos ha'Tum'ah. Even if one normally rules that the womb does not make its contents Tamei, this womb certainly will!

ANSWER: TOSFOS (DH Makor) answers that here, the phrase "Makor Mekomo Tamei" does not mean, as it usually does, that whatever comes out of the womb is an Av ha'Tum'ah. It means that blood that was *ready* to come out of the womb when the woman was alive is considered Dam Nidah. Rebbi Yehudah maintains that the blood must have already *left* the womb when the woman was alive in order to be considered Dam Nidah.

SUMMARY: Dam Tevusah is blood that the sages decreed is Metamei Tum'as Mes mid'Rabanan. The Gemara records a Beraisa in which (1) Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan argue concerning the exact definition of Dam Tevusah. Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yehudah's definition of Dam Tevusah is broader and includes much more than the Rabanan's definition of Dam Tevusah. (2) Within the Rabanan's opinion itself there is an argument between Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan of Rebbi Yehudah (a different Rabanan) over two points.
(A) FIRST ARGUMENT: Over which points are Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yehudah and the Rabanan arguing?

Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yehudah's opinion is clear. He maintains that whenever we are in doubt whether the blood that came from a dying person left his body entirely after his death or entirely before his death (or some from both) it is Dam Tevusah and is Metamei mid'Rabanan.

There are two opinions regarding how to understand the Rabanan's ruling. (a) According to RASHI (DH Harug she'Yatza; see also Rashi DH Dam Tevusah Ika Beinaihu), blood may be classified as Dam Tevusah only if we know for sure that a Revi'is of blood did *not* come out after death, but it is possible that less than a Revi'is came out after death. Since a Revi'is did not come out after death, its Tum'ah is only mid'Rabanan.

(b) According to TOSFOS (DH Hachi Garsinan), the Rabanan maintain that blood may be classified as Dam Tevusah if we know for sure that a Revi'is of blood came out while the person was alive, and some blood also came out after he died, however, we do not know how much came out after death. In such a case, the blood is Tahor mid'Oraisa and Metamei mid'Rabanan. (The reason it is Tahor mid'Oraisa even though there is a possibility that a Revi'is came out after death is presumably because of a Safek Sefeka: we do not know if he bled a Revi'is after he died, and even if he did, there might be more blood in the puddle from before death, which would cause the blood from after death to become Batel according to Tosfos.)

(B) SECOND ARGUMENT: Over which two points do Rebbi Yehudah and the Tana'im of the second half of the Beraisa argue?

(a) The Rabanan are of the opinion that every drop of blood that came from a dead body becomes Batel in the puddle of blood (that came from a live body) into which it fell. Therefore the puddle of blood is not Dam Tevusah and is not Metamei at all. The only time that the decree of Dam Tevusah will apply is when blood flowed from the dead body uninterruptedly. Rebbi Yehudah, however, maintains that blood that falls into a puddle of blood does *not* become Batel, and therefore the decree of Dam Tevusah will apply even in such a case. In this respect, Rebbi Yehudah is more stringent.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah maintains that when a person died while bound to the top of a high pole or tree, the blood that flows from him when he is dead stays on the pole or tree. The blood on the ground underneath him is assumed to be blood that flowed from him while he was still alive, and it is not Dam Tevusah and is not Metamei. The Rabanan maintain that the blood underneath him is Dam Tevusah, since blood that came from him when he was dead flowed uninterruptedly into the puddle. In this respect, Rebbi Yehudah is more lenient.

OPINIONS: The Rabanan define Dam Tevusah as blood that came from a body both while the person was still alive and after he had died, "and he is still bleeding." What do these last words mean? (It cannot mean literally that he is still bleeding, because if so, there is certainly a Revi'is of blood from after he died and the blood would be Metamei mid'Oraisa.)

(a) RABBEINU YEHUDAH BEN HA'RAV YOM TOV (cited in TOSFOS DH Hachi Garsinan) explains that the blood was still flowing forth in a steady *stream* from the body after death (but has since stopped flowing). If the blood was only dripping, though, it is Tahor. This is simply another way of expressing the opinion of the Rabanan (that is expressed a few lines later in the Gemara) that every drop that drips after death becomes Batel to the Tahor blood into which it falls. (See Insights above, 2:B:a)

(b) The RI (cited in Tosfos ad loc.) explains that the blood was dripping steadily after death. If it was merely dripping uninterruptedly it is Tahor, because a Revi'is of blood from after death could not have collected in the puddle of blood below.

(c) RABBEINU TAM (cited in Tosfos ad loc.) explains that we know for sure that *some blood* came out after death. Even though the Beraisa expresses this clearly in the next line ("Safek Rubo b'Chayav u'Mi'uto b'Moso..."), it mentions it here to emphasize that this is the point in which the Rabanan argue with Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Yehudah (who maintains that even if we are unsure if blood came out at all after death, it is still Dam Tevusah).


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