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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Nidah 23



(a) A miscarriage in the shape of a mountain is far too small to resemble a mountain; it can only resemble a piece of rock or stone, and the Lashon "Beriy'ah" is written in connection with a mountain, not with a stone. And even Rebbi Meir will agree that a woman who miscarries a stone is Tehorah.

(b) A woman is not Temei'ah if she miscarried a wind - despite the Pasuk which refers to a wind as a Beriy'ah - because the Pasuk is written in Amos, and we do not learn Divrei Torah from Divrei Kabalah - a title pertaining to Nevi'im and Kesuvim - (except as an Asmachta, when we are dealing with de'Rabbanans).

(a) Had Rebbi Meir stated his case by a snake, we would have said that it is only by a snake that the Rabbanan disagree with Rebbi Meir, because the Torah does not write Yetzirah there, but by other animals, where the Torah does write Yetzirah, they will agree with him.

(b) When Rebbi Yochanan says that animals' eyes are round like those of humans, he is referring to the pupil of the eye, the Beraisa is referring to the eye socket, which is round by humans, but elongated by animals (See also Rabeinu Chanan'el's explanation quoted in the margin).

(a) According to the current explanation, when Rebbi Meir includes birds in his list, he is referring, not to all birds, but to various types of owls, whose eyes are situated in front of their faces, just like those of human beings.

(b) If we accept the Beraisa ('...Nir'in Divrei Chachamim be'Ofos') as it is written, then how do we understand this phrase? If Rebbi Chanina ben Gamliel (the author of the Beraisa) is referring to owls, why should he rule like the Chachamim by owls (whose faces are placed in front of their faces) any more than by animals, where he rules like Rebbi Meir (for that very reason).
Consequently, Rebbi Yanai adjusts the Beraisa to read: 'Rebbi Chanina ben Gamliel Omer, Nir'in Divrei Rebbi Meir bi'Veheimah ... ve'Hu ha'Din le'Karya ve'Kifufa; ve'Divrei Chachamim be'Sha'ar Ofos, she'Af Rebbi Meir Lo Nechlak Imahem Ela be'Karya ve'Kifufa'.

(c) 'be'Ofos Tibadek' appears to go like Rebbi Yanai's interpretation in Rebbi Meir, who differentiates between other birds and owls, as we explained.

(d) Alternatively, the Beraisa could also go like the Rabbanan, and it comes to teach us that, even though a miscarriage which resembles any other species of animal or bird is not Metamei Leidah, owls are. Why is that?
Because they are the only creatures which have cheeks like humans.

(a) Rebbi Yirmiyah asked Rebbi Zeira whether, according to Rebbi Meir, in whose opinion the form of an animal renders the mother Temei'ah Leidah, whether, if the father accepted Kidushin for this baby, she would be Mekudeshes, or not.

(b) The Sha'aleh is not practical because such a baby cannot live, so it is obvious that the Kidushin is invalid.

(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah asked the Sha'aleh only because he hoped that the humor that it contained would bring Rebbi Zeira, who never laughed in this world (a Chumra on the Halachah of never being full of laughter ). Incidentally, he did not succeed in his mission.




(a) Rav Yehudah's statement (that the miscarriage in the form of an animal is Tamei according to Rebbi Meir only because it resembles a species that lives) infers that the miscarriage itself cannot live.

(b) It also appears so from the Mishnah in Bechoros, where it rules that the baby born subsequent to such a miscarriage is a Bechor for inheritance. Now, if the first baby could live, *it* should be considered the firstborn for inheritance. Why should the subsequent baby receive the Bechorah? (It is not clear why the Gemara does not bring a seemingly irrefutable proof from the Lashon of 'ha'Mapeles', which by definition, means that the baby is dead?)

(c) The Gemara refutes this proof by contending that even if such a baby could live, it would still be the next baby who would be considered the Bechor for inheritance. Why is that?
Because the Bechorah is not dependent upon birth alone, but also upon the fact that the father would cry for it if it were to die (because the Torah writes "Reishis Ono" - from the Lashon 'Onein', mourner. And the father would not really be too concerned if his baby born in the shape of an animal, would die. Therefore, even if it were to live, it would not be a Bechor.

(a) Rebbi Meir learns that the form of an animal inside the mother's womb follows its mother - to be considered a human-being - and makes her Temei'ah Leidah.
Similarly, a human baby inside an animal should go after its mother, and be considered an animal.

(b) The Sha'aleh is whether the baby may be eaten or not.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan's Din is different, because a pigeon does not even have a Parsah (the sole of a foot) let alone Perasos (split ones). A human being at least, has a Parsah - and the Torah writes "Kol Mafreses *Parsah* ba'Beheimah, Osoh Socheilu".

(a) Everyone agrees that if the miscarriage has the body of a goat and the face of a human, then the mother is Temei'ah Leidah; and in the oppsite case, that it is an animal, and she is not Temei'ah Leidah.

(b) According to Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba in the name of Rav, they argue in a case when it has a human face, but it has the eye of an animal; Rebbi Meir learns 'mi'Tzuras Adam' - as long as it has something of the shape of a human face, it is considered an Adam, and the mother is Temei'ah Leidah. And the Rabbanan learn 'Kol Tzuras Adam' - it must have the entire shape of a human face before it can be considered an Adam.

(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba informed Rav that he had heard the opposite; namely: that Rebbi Meir learnt 'Kol Tzuras Adam', meaning that as long as a little bit of its face resembled an Adam, even just one eye or one cheek, it is already considered an Adam.
Whereas the Rabbanan learn 'mi'Tzuras Adam' - one requires a good part of the face, at least a half, before it is an Adam.

(a) Rav did not retract from his previous Derashah, because 'Rav Tana Hu u'Palig' - Rav is considered a Tana and has the right to argue against a Beraisa.

(b) The entire face must resemble that of a human, according to Rav in the Chachamim, except for the ears, the nose and the mouth (It is not clear why Rashi, and even the Beraisa later, only mentions the ears).

(c) Rava, who learns that half the face is required, learns like the Rabbanan (above in 7c.)

(d) When the Beraisa writes one feature of the face, it is either referring to one limb missing, which prevents the mother from being Temei'ah Leidah - according to the Rabbanan in the opinion of Rav, who learns that the Rabbanan require 'Kol Tzuras Adam'.
Or it goes according to those who learn 'mi'Tzuras' (like Rebbi Yirmiyah bar Aba), and by one feature, the Beraisa means one of each - one eye, one cheek etc.

(a) If the baby has only one thigh or one eye, the mother is Temei'ah Leidah, provided the thigh or the eye are in the correct place at the side of the body. But if they are in the middle of the body or the face (respectively), then she is not Temei'ah Leidah, because the baby is considered a different species.

(b) A woman who gives birth to a baby with a hole in the esophagus is Temei'ah Leidah, because a hole in the esophagus is a Tereifus, and Rava (the author of this statement) holds that a Tereifah can live.

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