ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafShabbos 129
(a) According to Mar Zutra (quoting Shmuel):
1. As long as the Chayah's womb is still open: Whether she expresses the
need or even if she says she doesn't, one is Mechalel Shabbos on her
(b) In case 1., we are Mechalel Shabbos, even if she says that she does
*not* need, only if her friends' assess that she *does*.
2. Once her womb is closed: One is Mechalel Shabbos for her, only if she
expresses the need, but not if she doesn't.
(c) We rule like Mar Zutra - even against Rav Ashi - because of the
principle 'Safek Nefashos Lehakel'.
(a) Some give the beginning of Pesichas ha'Kever as from the time that
blood begins to flow (before she sits on the birth-stool), and others from
the time that she needs her friends' support because she can no longer walk
on her own (which is presumably, in between the other two).
(b) The three days given by the Neherda'i is synonymous with the Din of Mar
Zutra mentioned above ('Kol Zeman she'ha'Kever Pasu'ach - in 1a. 1.); the
seven days with 'Nistam ha'Kever' (in 1a. 2.); whereas, during the thirty
day period, a Jew is not permitted to break the Shabbos at all on her
behalf. Should she however, express the need, then we permit a gentile to
do whatever is necessary- like the ruling of Rav Hamnuna, who permits all
cures to be performed through a gentile, even when there is no life-danger.
(c) When Shmuel says 'le'Chayah Sheloshim Yom', he means that a woman who
has given birth should not Tovel before thirty days, because she needs to
be kept warm (in former times, Mikva'os were generally cold).
(d) This does not however, apply when her husband is with her, because then
he keeps her warm.
(a) Yes! one is permitted to light a fire for a sick person or for someone
who let blood, even in the height of summer (if necessary) - because they
need additional warmth.
(b) When Rabah broke up the bench for firewood, he justified the Isur of
Bal Tashchis - on the grounds that 'Bal Tashchis de'Gufa'i Adif'.
(c) Despite the importance of wearing shoes, one may sell one's shoes, if
necessary, in order to procure the needs for the Se'udah after
(d) Rav says that one should eat meat - a soul for a soul; Shmuel says
(even) wine - red for red (he agrees that red meat is equally effective, as
is evident from the case that the Gemara then cites.
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak implored his Talmidim even to tell their wives
(on the day they let blood) that he was coming to visit them - even though
this was not true - to ensure that they would prepare a hearty meal - which
is vital in one way or another, after letting blood.
(b) Someone who let blood and has no wine, is advised to take a bad Zuz,
and to go from one winery to another, asking to taste their wines, as if he
intended to make a purchase, and then to offer the merchant the Zuz, which
he will refuse. Then he should proceed to the next shop. (Geneivas Da'as is
normally prohibited. Here presumably, the Gemara permits it because of the
element of life-danger involved).
(c) Someone who does not possess a bad Zuz, should eat seven black dates,
rub oil on his forehead (both of which cause heat), and sleep in the sun.
(a) Avalat found Shmuel sleeping in the sun, so he asked him how something
bad (the heat of the sun) could become good.
(b) Shmuel answered that he had let blood that day. However, that was not
the true answer (only he did not want to divulge the real answer to a
gentile). The truth of the matter is that there is one day in the year when
the heat of the sun is good - the day on which Tekufas Tamuz (some say
Tekufas Teves) falls (which happened to be the very day that this incident
(a) If someone is not careful to eat the special blood-letting meal, Hashem
will not show concern about his sustenance. He doesn't care about himself,
why should Hashem care? (This is similar to the Ma'amar Chazal - 'Mi she'Ein Bo Da'as, Asur Lerachem Alav').
(b) There is a danger that, if the blood-letter left him with only one
Revi'is of blood (the minimum that a person needs to live), then even a
slight breeze could dry up some of the remaining blood, and he will die.
(c) Shmuel would normally have his blood let in a house whose walls were
seven and a half bricks thick (each brick of three Tefachim). Once, after
his blood had been let, he felt weak, and, upon investigation, he
discovered that half a brick was missing from the thickness of the wall.
From here we can see just how sensitive the body is to wind after
(d) If someone leaves the house after blood-letting without eating, and
comes across ...
- ... a corpse - his face will turn green;
- ... a murderer - he will die;
- ... a pig - he will be stricken with leprosy.
(a) When Rav and Shmuel said, with reference to blood-letting, 'Lishhi
Purta ve'Hadar Leikum' - they meant that it is dangerous get up immediately
after blood-letting, but should first wait for a short while, and then get
(b) Rav and Shmuel's advice also applies to getting up immediately after
waking up from one's sleep, and after Tashmish ha'Mitah.
(c) The ideal timing for blood-letting is once every thirty days.
(d) At the age of forty, this should be reduced to once every two months,
and at sixty, to once every three months.
(a) Monday and Thursday are not good for blood-letting, because, due to the
fact that Beis-Din sit on those days (of Takanas Ezra), they are known as
Yemei Din (even in Heaven); and after blood-letting, one requires Rachamim,
(b) Nor is Tuesday a good, because on Tuesday, Mazal Ma'adim (Mars - which
Par'oh referred to as Ra'ah) rules during the eighth hour (an even number,
which is known as Zugos), a combination which can be lethal (On Wednesday
too, Ma'adim rules during an even hour, but that is only at the end of the
day, when one does not normally practice blood-letting anyway). (See
Rabeinu Chananel, who explains that Ma'adim is in charge of blood.)
(c) It is acceptable to let blood on Friday, in spite of the fact that
Mazal Ma'adim also rules during an even hour, because of the principle
'Kevan de'Dashu Bei Rabim, Shomer Pesa'im Hashem'.
(d) The reason that the custom to let blood on Friday became so widespread
- is because people could not afford the blood-letting meal, so they would
perform the operation as close to Shabbos as possible, and rely on the
Shabbos meal. And on Shabbos, it is Kavod Shabbos to eat big fish, and
'Sheni le'Dam (for after blood-letting), Dag'.
(a) What Shmuel meant by 'four which is four, or fourteen or twenty-four,
is dangerous' - is that it is dangerous to let blood on a Wednesday (the
fourth day) which falls on the fourth, the fourteenth or the twenty-fourth.
(b) It is also dangerous to let blood on the last Wednesday of the month,
if less than four days remain until the end of the month.
(c) Blood-letting on ...
(d) 'Tavo'ach' is the name of the wind that blows on Erev Shevu'os, and
endangers anyone who lets blood on that day. Therefore, Chazal issued a
decree prohibiting blood-letting on every Erev Yom-Tov because of Erev
- ... the first or second of the month makes one weak, but to do so on the third, is dangerous.
- ... every other Erev Yom-Tov makes one weak, but to do so on Erev Shevu'os, is dangerous.
(a) Letting blood after eating is effective only with regard to that
particular meal, provided one is letting-blood as a cure, but if he is
doing so in order to lose excessive blood, then even after eating, the
operation will be fully effective.
(b) One should ...
(c) Regarding blood-letting *after* this time, the Gemara remains uncertain
whether it is harmful, or merely pointless.
- ...drink -immediately after the blood-letting operation.
- ... eat - within half a Mil (nine minutes) after the operation.
(d) Pumpkins, animal heads and animal lips - are all not very healthy, and
one should not buy them unless they are extremely cheap. (We have already
explained elsewhere, that when it comes to health, the Gemara's definition
of what is healthy and what is not, does not necessarily apply nowadays.)
(e) Rav Huna would refer to a wasted day (a day on which the Talmidim came
late) as 'Yoma de'Shifmi' - because, as we just saw, animals lips are not
(a) Princesses would place the placenta in a bowl of oil, wealthy women in
wads of combed wool, whereas poor women would place it in old cloths.
******Hadran Alach, 'Mefanin'!******
(b) The Rabbanan concede that if twins are born, one needs to cut their
umbilical cords; otherwise, they might become entangled, thereby
endangering the babies.
(c) We learn from ...
- ... "u'va'Mayim Lo Ruchatz le'Mish'i" - that one may (indeed one must) wash the new-born baby
- ... "ve'Hamlei'ach Lo Humlachat" - that one may salt him (to harden his flesh).
- ... ve'Hachtel Lo Chutalt" - that one may wrap him tightly with cloths, which one ties with belts.