Our Rabbis taught: What type of corpse produces corpsemould [that can defile]? A corpse buried naked in a marble sarcophagus or on a stone floor is a corpse which produces corpse-mould. If it is buried in its shroud, or in a wooden coffin, or on a brick floor, it is a corpse which does not produce corpse-mould [that can defile].1
'Ulla said: Corpse-mould [to defile] must come from flesh and sinew and bone. Raba raised [the following] objection to 'Ulla. [It has been taught:] Corpse-mould derived from flesh is clean. This implies that if it be from bones it is unclean, even though there be no flesh present? — Say rather as follows: Corpse-mould derived from flesh is clean, unless there be bone in the flesh. But there are no sinews!2 — It is impossible that there should be flesh and bones without sinews.
Rab Samuel3 b. Abba said that R. Johanan said: Two corpses buried together act as gilgelin4 to each other. R. Nathan [son of R. Oshaia]5 raised the following objection. [It has been taught that corpse-mould] derived from two corpses is unclean? — Said Raba, [we suppose that] each was buried separately and decayed and together' formed a ladleful of corpse-mould.6
Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said that R. Johanan said: If a man cut [the corpse's] hair and buried it with it, it acts as gilgelin [and the resultant mould does not defile].
We have learnt elsewhere: Every part of a corpse is unclean except the teeth, the hair and the nails; but whilst still attached [to the corpse], they are all unclean.7 Hezekiah propounded: What is the law in the case of hair long enough to be polled,8 and nails long enough to be pared?9 Do we say that anything which is fit to be cut is as though already cut,10 or perhaps they are after all still attached?11 — But cannot the question be resolved from [the dictum of] Rabbah b. Bar Hanah?12 The reason [that the hair acts as gilgelin] is because he cut it, but if he does not cut it, it does not?13 He [Rabbah b. Bar Hanah] might have meant this: If he cut it, it acts as gilgelin; but if he did not cut it, he was in doubt [as to its effect].14
R. Jeremiah propounded: What is the law regarding corpsemould coming from the heel?15 Does our tradition specify corpsemould derived from a whole corpse, but not corpse-mould resulting from [the decomposition of] the heel, or is there no difference? — Come and hear: R. Nathan son of R. Oshaia learnt that corpsemould derived from two corpses is unclean. Now if you assume that what comes from the heel is not [counted as corpse-mould], then, if we look to the one [corpse], [the mould in the mixture] may have been taken from the heel, and if to the other, it may have been taken from the heel?16 — Where the whole corpse has decayed and [the corpse-mould] has been taken from the heel, there it would certainly be [counted as corpse-mould],17 but here the question is when one limb18 has decomposed and [the mould] has been taken from the heel. This was left unsolved.
R. Jeremiah propounded: Does a fetus in a woman's womb act as gilgelin or not? Since a Master has affirmed that a fetus counts as the thigh of its mother, is it therefore part of her body and so does not act as gilgelin, or perhaps since it would eventually leave [the womb], does it count as separated from her? Should you decide that since a fetus will eventually leave [the womb], it is separate from her,
Nazir 51bwhat would be the law regarding semen in a woman s womb? Do we say that because it has not yet formed [into an embryo] it counts as part of her body,1 or perhaps seeing it has come from elsewhere, it is not [part of the body]?2
R. Aha son of R. Ika propounded: What about his skin?5
R. Huna b. Manoah propounded: What about his phlegm and his mucus?
R. Samuel b. Aha said to R. Papa: If now you assume that all these mentioned act as gilgelin, how can there be corpse-mould which defiles? — If he was given to drink water from [the Well of] the Palm Trees,6 depilated with nasha,7 and was steeped in the [hot] springs of Tiberias.8
Abaye said: We hold a tradition that a corpse that has been ground to powder does not come under [the law of] corpse-mould. The following was propounded: If it were ground and then decayed, what would be the law? Is the reason [that corpse-mould defiles] solely because flesh and bones and sinews are present, and here they are present, or do we require it [to have become corpsemould] as in its original form, and this has not occurred? This was left unsolved.
'Ulla b. Hanina learned: A defective corpse9 does not come under [the law of] corpse-dust,10 nor does it acquire the soil on which it lies,11 nor does it help to make an area into a graveyard.12 The following objection was raised. [We have learnt:] No! Because you say this13 of a corpse to which [the law concerning] 'the greater part, a quarter [kab]' and 'a ladleful of corpse-mould' applies, would you say it of a living body to which [the laws concerning] 'the greater part, a quarter [kab of bones]' and 'a ladleful of corpse-mould' do not apply?14 What are the circumstances?15 [Surely,] that one limb has decayed.16 And similarly17 in the case of a corpse, even if one member [has decomposed, the law of] corpse-dust applies?18 — Does it say, 'whereas in the case of a corpse [the law of corpse-dust applies]'?19 What we are told is that there are corpses to which [the law of] corpse-dust applies,20 but there are no living bodies to which [the law of] corpse-dust applies.
Raba propounded: If [a man's limb] decayed whilst he was alive and he then died,21 what would the law be?22 Does the tradition specify corpse-mould which decayed when he was dead, or perhaps it is enough that he is now dead? — Come and hear [the following]. [We have learnt:] No! Because you say this of a corpse to which [the laws concerning] 'the greater part', 'a quarter [kab of bones]' and 'a ladleful of corpse-mould' apply, would you say it of a living body etc. The reason [that the law of corpse-mould does not apply to a living body] is because it is alive, from which we infer that if he died [the law of] corpse-mould would apply.23 — Does it say, 'whereas if he died [the law of corpse-mould applies]'? What we are told is that there are corpses to which [the law of] corpse-mould applies, but there are no living bodies to which [the law of] corpse-mould applies.24
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