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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah
Rabba required of R. Huna: What is the ruling where one observed semen on a splinter?12 Did the Divine Law say, From him13 to indicate that the man is unclean only when it14 issued naturally from his body but not when it was brought out by means of a splinter, or is it possible that the expression 'from him' implies [that the man is unclean] only when his uncleanness12 has come out of his body, in which case [he is unclean] even though that was effected by means of a splinter? — The other replied: You can infer the ruling [from the fact] that the man himself15 becomes unclean only when the quantity of semen emitted suffices to close up the orifice of the membrum.16 This then17 implies that the man18 is regarded as having touched the semen.19 But, then, this20 should not cause [the counting of the clean days] after a zibah to be void.21 Why then was it taught: This is the law of him that hath an issue,22 and of him from whom the flow of seed23 goeth out,24 as zibah25 causes [the counting of the clean days] to be void26 so does semen? — The other replied: As regards counting again, this is the reason why the previous counting is void: because it is impossible for semen to be emitted27 without an admixture of some particles of zibah.28 Now then,29 this should cause the counting of all the seven days30 to be void,31 why then was it taught: 'This is the law of him that hath an issue etc.', as zibah causes the clean days to be counted again so does semen? But in case you should assume that as zibah causes the counting of all the seven days30 to be void so does semen also, it was expressly stated, So that he is unclean thereby;24 you can apply to it32 only that which had been said about it,33 hence it causes the counting of one day only to be void?34 — The other35 replied: It is a decree of Scripture that an absolute zibah in which no semen is mixed causes the counting of all seven days to be void, but particles of zibah in which semen is mixed cause only the counting of one day36 to be void.
R. Jose son of R. Hanina enquired of R. Eleazar: What is the ruling in the case of dry blood?37 Did the Divine Law say, Have an issue38 of her blood39 to indicate that it must be actually flowing,40 hence it refers only to fluid blood but not to dry, or is it possible that the expression, 'have all issue of her blood'41 was used merely because blood usually flows, but the same law in fact applies to dry blood also? — The other replied: You have learnt it: The blood of a menstruant and the flesh of a corpse convey uncleanness when fresh or when dry.42 Said he [R. Jose] to him, 'Where the blood was first fresh and then it dried up, I have no question to ask; my question arises only where it was originally dry'.43 'This also', the other replied, 'you have learnt: IF A WOMAN ABORTED AN OBJECT THAT WAS LIKE A RIND, LIKE A HAIR, LIKE EARTH, LIKE RED FLIES, LET HER PUT IT IN WATER
Niddah 22bAND IF IT DISSOLVES SHE IS UNCLEAN.1 But if so,2 [should not uncleanness be caused] even if the object was not dissolved? — Rabbah replied: If it is not dissolved it is an independent creature.3 But is there such a phenomenon?4 Yes; and so it was taught: R. Eleazar son of R. Zadok stated, A report of the following two incidents was brought up by my father from Tib'in5 to Jamnia. It once happened that a woman was aborting objects like pieces of red rind and the people came and asked my father, and my father asked the Sages, and the Sages asked the physicians who explained to them that that woman had an internal sore [the crust] of which she cast out in the shape of the pieces of red rind. [It was ruled that] she should put them in water and if they dissolved she should be declared unclean. And yet another incident occurred when a woman was aborting objects like red hairs, and she came and asked my father, and my father asked the Sages, and the Sages asked the physicians who explained to them that the woman had a wart6 in her internal organs and that that was the cause of her aborting objects like red hairs.7
LET8 HER PUT IT IN WATER AND IF IT DISSOLVES SHE IS UNCLEAN. Resh Lakish ruled: And [this must be done] with lukewarm water.9 So it was also taught: Let her put it in water, viz., in lukewarm water. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel ruled: She [must attempt to] crush it with spittle on her nail. What is the practical difference between them?10 — Rabina replied: The practical difference between them is [an abortion that can be] crushed by the exercise of pressure.11
Elsewhere we have learnt: How long must they12 be soaked in the lukewarm water?13 Twenty-four hours.14 Now in this case,15 what length of time is required? Do we require a period of twenty-four hours or not?16 Is it only in regard to a creeping thing and carrion, which are tough, that a twenty-four hours' soaking is required but not in that of blood, which is soft, or is it possible that there is no difference? — This is undecided.17
IF AN ABORTION WAS IN THE SHAPE OF FISHES. But why does not R. Judah18 disagree19 in this case also?20 — Resh Lakish replied: This21 was indeed learnt as a controversial ruling,22 and it21 represents only the opinion of the Rabbis. R. Johanan, however, replied: It23 may even be said to agree with R. Judah,24 for R. Judah gave his ruling25 only there, in the case of a SHAPELESS OBJECT, since it is the nature of blood to congeal and to assume the form of a shapeless object,26 but [not here,27 since] it28 can never assume the form of a creature.29 According, however, to that version in which R. Johanan stated that 'the point at issue between them is the question whether it is possible for the uterus to open without bleedings',30 should not R. Judah31 have disagreed in this case also? — He who learnt that version32 reads here: Both R. Johanan and Resh Lakish replied: This33 was learnt as a controversial ruling,34 and it33 represents only the view of the Rabbis.
IF AN ABORTION HAD THE SHAPE OF A BEAST etc. Rab Judah citing Samuel stated: What is the reason of R. Meir? Since in their case35 an expression of forming36 is used as in that of man.37 Now then, if an abortion was in the likeness of a sea-monster38 would its mother be unclean by reason of child-birth, since an expression of forming was used in its case as in that of man, it having been said, And God created39 the great sea-monsters?40 — I can answer: An expression of forming41 may be deduced from another expression of forming42 but one of creating43 may not be deduced from one of forming.44 But where lies the practical difference between the two expressions? Surely the School of R. Ishmael taught: And the priest shall return,45 and the priest shall come,46 'returning' and 'coming' are the same thing!47 Furthermore, why should not one expression of 'creating'43 be deduced from another expression of 'creating', it being written, And God created man in His own image?48 — I can answer: 'And … created'48 is required for its own context while 'and … formed is available for deduction, hence it is that the expression of 'forming'49 may be deducted from the similar one of 'forming'.44 On the contrary [might it not be submitted that] 'And … formed'44 was required for its own context while 'and … created'48 is available for deduction, hence the expression of 'creating'43 may be deduced from 'creating'?48 — The fact is that the expression 'And … formed' is available for deduction on the two sides: It is available in the case of man50 and it is also available in that of beast;51 but the expression of 'And … created' is available for deduction only in the case of man52 but it is not available for the purpose in that of sea-monsters.53 But why is it54 regarded available for deduction in the case of beast? If it be suggested because it is written, And God made the beast of the earth55 and it is also written, And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field,56 is not a similar expression [it may be retorted] also available for deduction in the case of a sea-monster, since it is written, And God made … and every thing that creepeth upon the ground,57 and it is also written, And God created the great seamonsters?58 — 'Every thing that creepeth' that was written in the previously mentioned verse refers to those on the dry land. What, however, is the practical difference between an expression that is available for deduction on one side and one that is available for deduction on two sides?59 — The practical difference is the statement Rab Judah made in the name of Samuel who had it from R. Ishmael:60 From any gezerah shawah61 neither of whose terms is available for deduction62 no deduction may be made;63 if one of the terms is available for the purpose, then according to R. Ishmael, a deduction may be made and no refutation may be offered, while according to the Rabbis deduction may be made64 but a refutation65 may be offered; and if both terms are available for deduction, all66 agree that deduction may be made and no refutation may be offered. As to R. Ishmael, however, what is the practical difference between a gezerah shawah one of whose terms only is available for deduction and one both of whose terms are available for the purpose? — The practical difference is that where there is one of which one term only is available for deduction and another both of which both terms are available for deduction we must leave the former
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