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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Nidah 25



(a) Rebbi told Rebbi Yishmael b'Rebbi Yossi that, just as his first statement (an unformed Shefir full of blood is Tamei Nidah) was only the opinion of an individual (Sumchus quoting Rebbi Meir), so too was his second (that a Shefir full of flesh, is Temei'ah Leidah) only the opinion of Rebbi Yehoshua.

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua quotes the Pasuk "va'Ya'as Hashem Elokim ... Kosnos Or va'Yalbisheim", from which he learns that Hashem only makes skin for a person after he has created him. This is a Gezeiras Hakasuv to teach us that a Shefir which is not formed is Metamei Leidah.
Now, if Rebbi Yehoshua was arguing only by Achur, which is really a Sevara (based on the fact that the baby melted), he would not have quoted a Pasuk. So we see, that he must argue by Tzalul, as well.

(a) 'Tinuf' is the waste that is formed from the baby which melted, and which now comes out from the womb.

(b) The placenta is a sign of a baby of a large species of animal, and by a human being, it is the placenta or the Shefir.

(c) The ramifications of these Halachos concern the Dinim of Bechorah: whether the baby is considered a Bechor, and will therefore exempt the subsequent baby that is born, from the Bechorah.

(a) The Tana gives Shilya as a sign of birth by a larger species of animal, but not Shefir. This is understood, if the Machlokes is by Tzalil, and it is there that Rebbi Yehoshua considers a Shefir a baby because of the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv (of "va'Ya'as Elokim" etc.) - so we will say that the Gezeiras ha'Kasuv is restricted to the Shefir of an Adam; but if their Machlokes is confined to Achur, in which case Rebbi Yehoshua's Din is based on a Sevara, and not on a Gezeiras ha'Kasuv, why should the Shefir of an animal be any worse than that of an Adam?

(b) In fact, answers the Gemara, Rebbi Yehoshua himself is not sure whether a Shefir full of Mayim Achurim is a baby or not (Clearly then, he maintains that a Shefir full of Mayim Tzelulim is Tehorah. In that case, we have to say that when the Beraisa quoted the Pasuk of 'va'Ya'as Hashem" as his source, it was no more than an Asmachta.) Consequently, he rules to the strict side in all cases.
By a woman, where it is purely a monetary issue (whether or not the Kohen will be entitled to receive five Sela'im for the subsequent child) he rules that a Shefir Achur *is* a Bechor, to exempt the father from the subsequent five Sela'im.
By an animal, where it is a question of Safek Isur (whether or not, the owner will be permitted to shear or to work with the next baby to which this animal gives birth) he again goes le'Chumra to rule that the Shefir Achur is *not* a Bechor (so that the next one *is*).

And in the case of the woman, he also rules that a Shefir Achur renders her Tamei Leidah mi'Safek, so that she has to keep the fourteen days of Tum'as Leidah of a girl (but no days of Taharah).

(c) Shmuel holds that a Shefir always renders the mother Safek Temei'ah Leidah, whether it is Achur or Tzalul. Consequently, she is obligated to sit the days of Tum'ah of a girl, but no days of Taharah.

(d) The only time that Shmuel ruled leniently in this regard was when the Shefir was so transparent, that one could actually see a hair from one side to the other; so he figured that the Mayim Tzelulim inside it could not possibly be that of a melted baby, which would never be as clear as that.

(a) According to the changed text in our Gemara, the initial size of a Shefir is that of a locust called 'Rishon'.

(b)&(c) Its two nostrils resemble the two eyes of a fly - but close together, and its mouth is just a slit as thin as a hair's-breadth.

(d) The Amah resembles a lentil, and the sexual organ of a female the split in a barley.

(e) It has no hands or feet (because it begins growing from the head - Rashi, according to the original text in the Gemara).




(a) If one were to examine (wash) a Shefir with water, it would melt, so one examines it with oil.

(b) If the sexual organs are not yet visible (because they have not yet broken through the skin), using a splinter with a blunt point, one pushes the skin in the area of the sexual organs; if he feels something resistant underneath, he knows that it a male (and the mother will keep the Tuma'h and Taharah of a boy), whereas if there is no resistance, then he knows that it is a female (and she keeps the Tum'ah and Taharah of a girl).

(c) If the Beitzim themselves are not visible at that early stage, then the Chut shel Beitzim certainly aren't!

(a) Its two thighs resemble two red threads of the weft.

(b) Its two arms resemble two red threads of the warp.

(c) What Shmuel meant was that it is only when a Shefir has hair that it is considered a Vaday baby, to give the mother even the days of Taharah as well.

(d) Shmuel gave a man Malkus because he reckoned that the Shefir to which his wife had given birth was forty-one days old, whereas it was forty days since she had Toveled. Consequently, the husband must have been Boi'el Nidah, though he denied having done so.
So he gave him Malkus, and he admitted.

(e) When Shmuel issued the ruling that a Shefir is only a Safek baby, that was for the ordinary individual, who would not recognize a Shefir. He himself however, was an expert, who could recognize a Shefir.

(a) 'Panav Tuchos' is Tehorah, because it nave had the shape of a face. A Sandel however, is different, because its face was misshapen by the baby that was together with it. Indeed, the second baby is the evidence that the Sandel is a baby.

(b) Some say that a Sandel is flat like a sole, and others that it actually has the shape of a face.

(c) According to those who require a Sandel to have the shape of a face, it makes no difference whether it is in the front or at the back.
They compare it to someone who slapped his friend's face and pushed it through to the other side.

(a) The Chidush of our Mishnah is that, although the second baby was a male, we do not automatically assume that the Sandel is a male too. Because we may have thought that either both babies would be girls - if the father sowed first; or they boys - if the mother was the first to sow. The Chidush of the Mishnah is that we actually contend with the possibility that they both sowed simultaneously.

(b) Even if the first baby was a girl, there would be a Chidush in our Mishnah: namely, that the Sandel may also be a girl, and that we begin the days of Tum'ah from the second baby (the Sandel), and the days of Taharah from the first -a Chumra in each case, because it means that her days of Nidus are extended by one day in either case.

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