Rabbi stated: R. Judah b. Agra's ruling is acceptable where she did not examine1 and the ruling of the Sages where she did examine. What is meant by 'she did examine' and by 'she did not examine'? — Raba replied: I found the Rabbis of the schoolhouse sitting at their studies and discoursing thus: 'Here2 we are dealing with the case of a woman who examined herself,3 but did not examine her shirt;4 and even her own body was examined by her only at the twilight of R. Judah,5 while at the twilight of R. Jose6 she did not examine herself. In such a case, the Rabbis being of the opinion that at the twilight of R. Jose it is already night, [the question of zibah does not arise] since she had examined herself at the twilight of R. Judah,7 and R. Jose follows his own view, he having stated that twilight is a doubtful time'.8 But I said to him: 'Had her hands been kept in her eyes9 throughout the twilight10 you would11 have spoken well,12 but now,13 is it not possible that she experienced a discharge14 as soon as she had removed her hands?'15 They then told me, 'We only spoke of a case where the woman had her hands in her eyes9 throughout the twilight'.
'Rabbi stated: R. Judah b. Agra's ruling16 is acceptable where she did not examine'. Now17 what is meant by 'she did not examine'? If it be suggested that she examined herself in the twilight of R. Judah but did not examine herself in the twilight of R. Jose [the difficulty would arise]: From this18 it follows that R. Judah holds19 that even where she examined herself both times,20 the possibility of zibah must be considered; [but why should this be so] seeing that she did examine herself?21 It is obvious then [that the meaning22 is] that she did not examine herself either in the twilight of R. Judah or in that of R. Jose;23 but if she had examined herself in R. Judah's twilight24 and did not examine herself in R. Jose's25 there is no need for her to consider the possibility [of zibah].26 It is thus clear that the twilight of R. Jose is according to Rabbi27 regarded as night.28 Now read the final clause: 'And the ruling of the Sages where she did examine' — What is meant by 'she did examine'? If it be suggested that she examined herself in the twilight of R. Judah but did not examine herself in that of R. Jose,29 it would follow30 that the Rabbis are of the opinion that even if she did not examine herself in either31 there is no need to consider the possibility of zibah [but why should this be so] seeing that she did not examine herself?32 It is obvious then that [the meaning33 is] that she examined herself both in the twilight of R. Judah and in that of R. Jose, but that if she had examined herself in the twilight of R. Judah and not in that of R. Jose the possibility of zibah34 must be considered.35 It is thus clear that the twilight of R. Jose is according to Rabbi36 regarded as doubtful time.37 Does not this then present a contradiction between two statements of Rabbi?38 — It is this that he39 meant: The view of R. Judah b. Agra40 is acceptable to the Rabbis41 when she did not examine herself at all either in R. Judah's twilight or in that of R. Jose's, for even the Sages differed from him42 only when she has examined herself in R. Judah's twilight43 and did not examine herself in that of R. Jose,44 but where she did not examine herself at all they agree with him,45 But does not the following show incongruity?46 [For it was taught:] If a woman observed a bloodstain, the observation being one of a large one,47 she must take into consideration the possibility of a discharge at twilight,48 but if the observation was one of a small stain49 she should not take the possibility into consideration. This is the ruling of R. Judah b. Agra who cited it in the name of R. Jose. Said Rabbi: I heard from him50 that in both cases must the possibility be taken into consideration; 'and', he said to me, 'it is for this reason: What if she had been a menstruant who did not51 make sure of her cleanness52 from the minha time53 and onwards, would she not54 have been regarded as being in a presumptive state of uncleanness?55 And his ruling is acceptable to me where she has examined herself. Now what is meant by 'she has examined herself'? If it be suggested that she has examined herself in the twilight of R. Judah and did not examine herself in that of R. Jose, it would follow that R. Judah b. Agra holds that even though she did not examine herself either in the twilight of R. Judah or in that of R. Jose the possibility need not be considered; but why should this be so seeing that she did not examine herself? It must be obvious then that she did examine herself both in the twilight of R. Judah and in that of R. Jose. Thus it follows that R. Judah b. Agra holds that if she examined herself in the twilight of R. Judah and not in that of R. Jose she need not consider the possibility. It is thus clear that the twilight of R. Jose is according to R. Judah b. Agra regarded as night. Does not this then present a contradiction between two rulings of R. Judah b. Agra?56 In the absence of Rabbi's interpretations57 there would well be no difficulty, since the former ruling might refer to a case where she has examined herself in R. Judah's twilight and not in that of R. Jose while here it is a case where she has examined herself in R. Jose's twilight as in that of R. Judah's; but with Rabbi's interpretations58 does not the contradiction arise? — Two Tannas expressed different views as to the opinion of R. Judah b. Agra. The first Tanna holds that the twilight of R. Judah ends first
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- This is discussed presently.
- In the dispute between R. Judah b. Agra and the Rabbis,
- Each day at twilight.
- Which was examined for the first time on the third day when a stain of the size of two beans was discovered. As it is thus unknown when the stain was made, the possibility must be taken into consideration that there may have been a discharge at the twilight of each, or at least one, of the two days; and, since a discharge at twilight counts as two (one for the passing and one for the coming day), that she had experienced no less than three discharges on three consecutive days.
- Which extends after sunset for a time during which one can walk a distance of a thousand cubits.
- Which lasts no longer than a 'wink of the eye', beginning and ending later than R. Judah's twilight.
- When she had ascertained that on that day she was clean, Any subsequent discharge at the twilight of R. Jose could only be counted as one for the following day. The total of her discharges cannot consequently have been more than two.
- Cf. prev. n. but one, As it is possible that there was a discharge at that time (which counts as both possible day and possible night) the woman must be treated as if she experienced two discharges (one on the passing, and one on the incoming day) in addition to the discharge on the other day in question, thus making a total of three discharges.
- Of R. Judah.
- As far as the Rabbis are concerned.
- Since it would have been definitely established that during the passing day no discharge had occurred.
- That a general statement was made that the discharge is always ascribed to one day only.
- During the twilight of R. Judah.
- And this would count as two.
- That the possibility of zibah is to be considered even where a stain is not big enough to be divided into three parts, each of the prescribed minimum.
- Since Rabbi stated that only in this case he accepted the ruling of R. Judah b. Agra, it follows that where she did examine herself he does not accept his ruling though R. Judah himself maintains that the possibility of zibah must be considered even in the latter case.
- Since 'no examination' only means the absence of one in R. Jose's twilight though one did take place in R. Judah's twilight.
- Cf. prev. n. but one.
- The twilight of R. Judah and the twilight of R. Jose.
- Making sure that on that day there was no discharge. How then could one subsequent possible discharge in the night be counted as two?
- Of the expression 'she did not examine',
- So that the possibility must be considered that she may have experienced a discharge in R. Judah's twilight.
- Thus ascertaining that she was clean on that day.
- Which is regarded as night.
- Since one discharge in the night cannot possibly be counted as two discharges.
- Who on this point disagrees with R. Judah.
- Cf. prev. n. but two
- And it is in this case only that Rabbi stated that the ruling of the Sages is acceptable but, it follows, where she examined herself in neither, though the Rabbis still maintain that the possibility of zibah need not be considered he holds that it must be taken into consideration.
- Cf. prev. n.
- Lit., 'in the two'. The twilights of R. Judah and R. Jose respectively.
- In consequence of which she may have experienced a discharge at twilight when the one discharge is counted as two. How then could the possibility of zibah be ruled out?
- Of the expression 'she did examine', in Rabbi's approval of the ruling of the Sages.
- According to Rabbi who in this case disagrees with the Sages' ruling.
- It being possible that she experienced a discharge in R. Jose's twilight when one discharge is counted as two.
- Who on this point disagrees with the Sages.
- Cf. prev. n. but one.
- Lit., 'a difficulty of Rabbi on Rabbi'. According to the inference from the first clause R. Jose's twilight is regarded by him as right while according to the inference from the final clause it is doubtful whether it is day or night.
- That the possibility of a discharge at twilight is to be considered.
- Not to himself; sc. Rabbi did not express any opinion as to what view he accepted and with whom he agreed (as was previously assumed when the contradiction was pointed out) but merely explained the extent and limits of the dispute between the Sages and R. Judah b. Agra.
- In maintaining that the possibility (cf. p. 368, n. 14) may be disregarded.
- Thus ascertaining that there was no discharge at twilight.
- Which in their opinion is regarded as night.
- Cf. p. 368 n. 14. R. Jose, however, who holds his twilight to be a doubtful time, takes into consideration the possibility of a discharge in his twilight which would be regarded as two, one of which must be attributed to the passing, and the other to the incoming day.
- With what had been said supra that according to R. Judah b. Agra it is not certain whether the twilight of R. Jose is night or day.
- One that can be divided into three stains each of which is slightly bigger than the size of a bean.
- Which counts as two.
- Sc. one not bigger than a little more than the size of two beans, so that it can only be divided into two stains of the prescribed minimum.
- R. Jose.
- On the seventh day after menstruation.
- Lit., 'separated in cleanness'.
- Two and a half seasonal hours before nightfall.
- Though in the morning she made sure of her cleanness.
- Of course she would, and in consequence she would not be allowed to undergo immersion in the evening. Thus it follows that in the absence of an examination, the possibility of a discharge is considered. Similarly in the case of the stain under discussion, since no examination was held at twilight, the possibility of a discharge that must be counted as two must be taken into consideration.
- According to his first ruling supra the twilight of R. Jose is only a doubtful time while according to his present ruling it is definitely night.
- Both here and supra.
- Which inevitably lead to the conclusion (as stated supra) that, according to the first ruling, R, Judah b. Agra holds R. Jose's twilight to be a doubtful time, while according to his second ruling, it is definitely night.
and then begins the twilight of R. Jose,1 while the second Tanna holds that the twilight of R. Jose is absorbed in that of R. Judah.2
Our Rabbis taught: A woman who observes a bloodstain causes uncleanness to herself3 and to consecrated things retrospectively;4 so Rabbi. R. Simeon b. Eleazar ruled: She causes uncleanness5 to consecrated things but does not cause uncleanness to herself, since her bloodstain cannot be subject to greater restrictions than her observation.6 But7 do we not find that her bloodstain is subject to greater restrictions in regard to consecrated things? — Read rather thus: R. Simeon b. Eleazar ruled, Even to consecrated things she conveys no uncleanness,8 since her bloodstain should in no case be subject to greater restrictions than her observation.6
Our Rabbis taught: If a woman observed first a bloodstain and then9 she observed a discharge of blood she may for a period of twenty-four hours ascribe her stain to her observation;10 so Rabbi. R. Simeon b. Eleazar ruled: Only during the same day.11 Said Rabbi: His view seems more acceptable than mine, since he improves12 her position while I make it worse. 'He improves it'! Does he not in fact13 make it worse? — Rabina replied: Reverse the statement,14 R. Nahman said: You need not really reverse it, [the meaning being:] Since he improves her position in regard to the laws of zibah while I make her position worse as regards the laws of zibah.15
R. Zera enquired of R. Assi: Do stains16 necessitate an interval of cleanness17 or not? The other remained silent, answering him nothing at all. Once he18 found him19 as he was sitting at his studies and discoursing as follows: 'She may for twenty-four hours ascribe her stain to her observation. This is the ruling of Rabbi. In connection with this Resh Lakish explained that it applied only where she has examined herself,20 while R. Johanan explained: Even though she did not examine herself'.21 'Thus it follows', he18 said to him,19 'that22 stains necessitate an interval of cleanness'. 'Yes', the other19 replied. 'But did I not ask you this question many a time and you gave me no answer at all? It is likely that you recalled the tradition23 in the rapidity of your reviewing?'24 — 'Yes', the other replied, 'in the rapidity of my reviewing I recalled it'.
MISHNAH. IF A WOMAN OBSERVED A DISCHARGE OF BLOOD ON THE ELEVENTH DAY25 AT TWILIGHT,26 AT THE BEGINNING OF A MENSTRUATION PERIOD AND AT THE END OF A MENSTRUATION PERIOD,27 AT THE BEGINNING OF A ZIBAH PERIOD AND AT THE END OF A ZIBAH PERIOD,27 ON THE FORTIETH DAY AFTER THE BIRTH OF A MALE28 OR ON THE EIGHTIETH DAY AFTER THE BIRTH OF A FEMALE,29 [THE DISCHARGE HAVING BEEN OBSERVED] AT TWILIGHT IN ALL THESE CASES,30 BEHOLD WOMEN IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES31 ARE IN A STATE OF PERPLEXITY.32 SAID R. JOSHUA: BEFORE YOU MAKE PROVISION FOR THE FOOLISH WOMEN33 COME AND MAKE PROVISION FOR THE WISE ONES.34
GEMARA. AT THE BEGINNING OF A MENSTRUATION PERIOD AND AT THE END OF A MENSTRUATION PERIOD! Is it35 not rather the beginning of a menstruation period and the end of a zibah period?36 — R. Hisda replied: It is this that was meant: IF A WOMAN OBSERVED A DISCHARGE OF BLOOD ON THE ELEVENTH DAY AT TWILIGHT a time which is THE BEGINNING OF A MENSTRUATION PERIOD AND THE END OF A ZIBAH PERIOD, or on the seventh day of her menstruation when it is THE END OF A MENSTRUATION PERIOD AND THE BEGINNING OF A ZIBAH PERIOD.
SAID R. JOSHUA: BEFORE YOU MAKE PROVISION FOR THE FOOLISH WOMEN etc. But are these
Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
- Hence it is uncertain whether it still belongs to the day or to the following night.
- And since in his opinion the examination must extend over all the twilight of the latter it obviously covers also the twilight of the former, so that the examination took place in both twilights.
- Sc. if she was in the process of counting her clean days she must start anew (Tosaf.).
- To the time the article on which the stain was found had been washed.
- In the latter case the uncleanness is retrospective for twenty-four hours only, while in the former it would go back to the time the article had been washed.
- Since R. Simeon b. Eleazar agrees with Rabbi in the case of consecrated things.
- Within twenty-four hours.
- Sc. her uncleanness does not extend retrospectively to the time the article had been washed but begins at the time the stain was found.
- Sc. only where the stain was observed on the same day as the discharge of the blood may the former be ascribed to the latter (cf. prev. n.); but if the stain was discovered in the daytime while the blood was not observed until after sunset, though this took place within twenty-four hours, the former cannot be ascribed to the latter.
- This is discussed presently.
- By reducing the period of twenty-four hours.
- Reading, 'my view seems more acceptable etc.'.
- According to Rabbi who for a period of twenty-four hours ascribes the stain to the observation of the blood the woman is deemed to have been unclean on the day of her observation as well as on the previous day. If, therefore, she were to observe some blood on the next day following she would be regarded as a confirmed zabah, while according to R. Simeon who ascribes a stain to blood observed during the same day only the woman would be deemed unclean on one day only and could not become a confirmed zabah unless blood was observed on the two following days also (R. Han.).
- According to Rabbi who attributes a stain to an observation of blood if the latter took place within twenty-four hours, and does not regard the woman's uncleanness as having begun at the time the article (on which the stain was found) had been washed,
- Sc. must the woman have examined herself between the time the article had been washed and the discovery of the stain? (Tosaf.).
- R. Zera.
- R. Assi.
- Near the time of discovering the stain, within twenty-four hours; but if twenty-four hours have passed between the examination and the discovery of the stain the woman is deemed unclean retrospectively from the time of the examination (Tosaf.).
- Sc. near the examination between which and the discovery of the stain an interval of twenty-four hours had been allowed to pass. Despite this interval the woman's uncleanness is not retrospective since less than twenty-four hours have passed between the time the article had been washed and the discovery on it of the stain. As the uncleanness in such a case is not retrospective to the time of the washing of the article, it is equally not retrospective over the twenty-four hours' period (Tosaf.). Cf. Tosaf. Asheri.
- According to both Resh Lakish and R. Johanan.
- Lit., 'it came to thee'.
- Cf. Jast,
- After the termination of a menstruation period. Any issue of blood within the eleven days is deemed to be zibah.
- A time which is neither certain day nor certain night, so that it is doubtful whether the issue was one of zibah or one of menstruation. If the time were certain day the issue (cf. prev. n.) would be zibah and if it were certain night (when a new menstruation period commences) it would be menstrual.
- This is discussed in the Gemara infra.
- All discharges of blood from the eighth to the fortieth day after the birth of a male is regarded as clean and after that begins the menstruation period of seven days followed by the zibah one of eleven days.
- From the fifteenth to the eightieth day after the birth of a female all discharges of blood are clean and after the eightieth day the menstruation period followed by that of zibah (cf. prev. n.) begins.
- Cf. prev. n. but three.
- Lit., 'these'.
- Lit., 'erring', as regards the counting of the clean and unclean days prescribed in the various cases mentioned; because they are unable to determine on which of the 'two days involved they had observed the discharge.
- Those of the type just mentioned.
- Women who observed their discharges in the day or the night when no doubt arises. This is further explained in a Baraitha cited infra.
- The twilight of THE ELEVENTH DAY.
- Since the zibah period which began after the seventh day of the menstruation period terminated at the conclusion of the eleventh day when a second menstruation period begins.