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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah

Folio 65a

the objection would arise: Have we not learnt, UNTIL THE WOUND IS HEALED?1  If, however, it is suggested that he allowed her all the nights during the period of her na'aruth2  the difficulty would arise: Does na'aruth ever extend over twelve months, seeing that Samuel had stated: The period intervening between the commencement of na'aruth and maturity is only six months? And should you suggest that the meaning is that the period is not shorter but may be longer3  it could be retorted: Did he not in fact state 'only'?4  If, however, it is suggested that he allowed her two nights during the days of her minority and two during her na'aruth, the difficulty would arise: Did not R. Hinena b. Shelemya once ask Rab, 'what is the ruling where her age of menstruation arrived when she was already under the authority of her husband?' and the other replied: All acts of intercourse which one performs5  are regarded as one act only and the other6  make up the four nights?7  Consequently this must be a case where he allowed her one night during her minority, two nights during her na'aruth period and one night during the days of her maturity. Now if you grant that a woman of mature age generally is allowed8  more than one night9  one can well see the justification for the ruling;10  for, as intercourse during minority has the effect of reducing one night11  during her na'aruth period, so intercourse during the na'aruth period has the effect of reducing one night12  during her maturity;13  but if you maintain14  that a woman of mature age generally8  is not allowed more than one night, should he15  not have allowed her16  but one act of the obligatory marital intercourse and no more?17  — The fact is that he15  allowed her one night during her minority and three nights during her na'aruth period,18  but19  it was not as you think20  that every three months represented a period; every two months rather represented a period.

Menjamin of Saksanah was embarking on a journey21  to the locality of Samuel where he intended to act22  according to the ruling of Rab,23  even where the woman had observed a discharge, assuming that Rab drew no distinction between one who did and one who did not observe a discharge, but he died while he was underway. Samuel accordingly applied to Rab24  the Scriptural text, There shall no mischief befall the righteous.25

R. Hinena b. Shelemya observed: As soon as a person's teeth fall out26  his means27  of a livelihood are reduced; for it is said: And I also have given you cleanness of teeth26  in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places.28

IF SHE OBSERVED A DISCHARGE WHILE SHE WAS STILL etc. Our Rabbis taught: If a girl observed a discharge while she was still in her father's house, Beth Hillel ruled: She is permitted marital intercourse all the night29  and, moreover, she is allowed a full 'onah. And how long is a full 'onah?30  — R. Simeon b. Gamaliel explained: A night and half a day. But do we require an 'onah to be so long?31  Is not [such a requirement] rather incongruous with the following: If a person's winepresses or oil-presses were unclean and he desired to prepare his wine and oil respectively32  in conditions of cleanness, how is he to proceed? He rinses the boards,33  the twigs34  and the troughs;

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Why then 'four nights'?
  2. V. Glos.
  3. Lit., 'less than this only there is not, but there is more'.
  4. He did, thus implying that the period cannot be longer than six months.
  5. During her minority.
  6. Performed subsequently.
  7. Why then did Rabbi allow only two (instead of three) nights during her na'aruth period?
  8. If she married after attaining the age of maturity.
  9. Sc. two nights at least.
  10. Of Rabbi who allowed, as just explained, one night during the woman's maturity period.
  11. Of the four.
  12. Of the two (cf. prev. n. but two).
  13. Hence Rabbi's ruling (cf. prev. n. but two).
  14. As Rab did (supra 64b ad fin.).
  15. Rabbi.
  16. The woman who, as explained, had been allowed some nights during her minority and na'aruth periods.
  17. How then could he ignore completely all previous intercourse and allow her a full night?
  18. So that the question of maturity does not arise at all.
  19. As to the objection, How is it possible for three three-monthly periods to be included in the one six-monthly period of na'aruth?
  20. Lit., 'do you think?'
  21. Lit., 'took and went'.
  22. Lit., 'to do a deed'.
  23. That one of mature age is allowed all the first night (supra 64b ad fin.).
  24. Whose ruling was misinterpreted by Menjamin.
  25. Prov. XII, 21. Rab was spared the mischief that would have ensued if Menjamin had acted in accordance with his erroneous interpretation (cf. prev. n.).
  26. Metaph. for old age.
  27. Lit., 'his foods'.
  28. Amos IV, 6.
  29. That follows her marriage. Lit., 'all the night is hers'.
  30. A period,
  31. Lit., all this'.
  32. Lit., 'to do them'.
  33. That are placed on the grapes or the olives.
  34. Wherewith the presses are swept and cleaned.

Niddah 65b

and as for the wickerwork, if it is made of willows and hemp it must be scoured, and if of bast or reeds it must remain unused;1  and for how long must they remain unused? For twelve months. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel ruled: One must leave them from one period of wine-pressing to another2  and from one period of oil-pressing to another.2  (But is not this ruling3  identical with that of the first Tanna?4  — The practical difference between them arises in the case of early or late ripening fruit.)5  R. Jose stated: If a person desires to obtain cleanness forthwith he pours over them boiling water or scalds them with olive water. R. Simeon b. Gamaliel citing R. Jose ruled: He puts them under a pipe through which runs a continuous stream of water or in a fountain with flowing water. And for how long? For one 'onah. (As these provisions were applied to yen nesek so were they applied to matters of cleanness. But is not the order6  reversed, seeing that we are here dealing with the laws of cleanness? — Rather say: As these provisions were applied to matters of cleanness so were they applied to yen nesek.) And how long is an 'onah? R. Hiyya b. Abba citing R. Johanan replied: Either a day or a night. R. Hana She'una or, as some say, R. Hana b. She'una citing Rabbah b. Bar Hana who had it from R. Johanan replied: Half a day and half a night. And in connection with this R. Samuel b. R. Isaac explained: There is no real difference between them,7  the former referring to the spring and autumn equinoxes8  and the latter to the summer and winter solstices?9  — Here also, in the case of the menstruant woman,10  read: Half a day and half a night. But did he not say 'a night and half a day'? — Rather say: Either 'a night' in the spring or autumn equinox or 'half a day and half a night' in the winter or summer solstice. And if you prefer I might reply: The case involving a kethubah11  is different12  since protracted negotiations take place13  before it is signed.14

Both Rab and Samuel laid down: The halachah is that15  one performs the obligatory marital act and withdraws forthwith. R. Hisda raised an objection: It once happened that Rabbi allowed a woman intercourse on four nights in twelve months!16  — Said Rabbah17  to him: What need have you18  for repeating the same objection? Rather raise one from our Mishnah?19  — But he was of the opinion that a practical decision20  is weightier.21  At all events,22  does not a difficulty arise against Rab and Samuel?23  They acted in agreement with our Masters; for it was taught: Our Masters decided by a second count of votes24  that one only performs the obligatory marital act and withdraws forthwith.

'Ulla stated: When R. Johanan and Resh Lakish were engaged in the discussions of the chapter on the 'Young Girl'25  they carried away from it only what a fox carries away from a ploughed field,26  and concluded it27  with this statement: One performs the obligatory marital act and withdraws forthwith. Said R. Abba to R. Ashi: Now then,28  should a scrupulous man29  not even finish his act? — The other replied: If that were to be the rule30  one would be ill at ease31  and would withdraw altogether.

Our Rabbis taught: But all these women if they32  were continually discharging blood during33  the four nights and after the four nights or34  during the night and after it, must without exception35  examine themselves;36  and in the case of all these R. Meir imposes restrictions in agreement with the view of Beth Shammai.37  In regard, however, to other observations of blood,38  concerning which a difference of opinion exists between Beth Shammai39  and Beth Hillel,40  he is guided41  by the colour of the blood; for R. Meir ruled: The colours of the various kinds of blood are different from one another. In what manner? Menstrual blood is red, the blood of virginity is not so red; menstrual blood is turbid, the blood of virginity is not turbid; menstrual blood issues from the source, the blood of virginity issues from the sides. R. Isaac son of R. Jose citing R. Johanan stated: This is the ruling of R. Meir alone, but the Sages maintain: All the colours of the various kinds of blood are the same.

Our Rabbis taught: A woman who observes a discharge of blood42  as a result of marital intercourse may perform her marital duty the first, second and third time. Henceforward,43  however, she may not perform it until she is divorced

Original footnotes renumbered. See Structure of the Talmud Files
  1. Lit., 'causes them to be old'.
  2. Presumably twelve months.
  3. Of R. Simeon b. Gamaliel.
  4. Apparently (cf. prev. n. but one) it is.
  5. Where the period intervening between the pressing seasons of two succeeding years is sometimes less, and sometimes more than twelve months.
  6. That compares the laws of cleanness to those of yen nesek v. Glos.
  7. R. Hiyya and Rabbah b. Bar Hana.
  8. Lit., 'in the cycle of Nisan and of Tishri'. When the days and the nights are equal an onah of twelve hours is either a day or a night.
  9. Lit., 'in the cycle of Tammuz and Tebeth'. Since the days and the nights are unequal an 'onah of twelve hours is half a day and half a night. Now in view of this definition and explanation, how could R. Simeon b. Gamaliel maintain (supra 65a ad fin.) that an 'onah is 'a night and half a day'?
  10. Sc. the case dealt with by R. Simeon b. Gamaliel which bears on the laws of menstruation.
  11. Cf. prev. n. mut. mut.
  12. From that of cleanness.
  13. On its terms.
  14. Hence it was necessary to extend the 'onah to a full night and half a day.
  15. Irrespective of whether the girl's age of menstruation has, or has not been reached.
  16. Supra 64b, ad fin.; q.v. notes.
  17. V. marg. gl. Cur. edd., 'Raba'.
  18. So MS.M. Cur. edd., 'I'.
  19. Which also allows more than one marital act.
  20. As was that of Rabbi.
  21. Than a mere theoretical ruling.
  22. Whether from Rabbi's decision or from our Mishnah.
  23. Who allow no more than one marital act. How could they differ from a Tannaitic ruling?
  24. Lit., 'they were counted again'.
  25. Sc. the present (the tenth) chapter of Niddah, which begins, IF A YOUNG GIRL.
  26. I.e., nothing. They completely disregarded its rulings.
  27. In agreement with 'our Masters'.
  28. Since one must withdraw immediately after the act, in order to avoid possible blood of menstruation.
  29. Lit., 'the master of a soul'.
  30. Lit., 'if so'.
  31. Lit., 'his heart beats him'.
  32. Being in the category of such as observed no discharge while still in their father's homes.
  33. Lit., 'from the midst of'.
  34. In the case of those who did observe a discharge in the homes of their fathers.
  35. Lit., 'all of them'.
  36. In order that it may be ascertained (from the colour of the blood) whether the bleeding was due to injured virginity or to menstruation.
  37. Thus, a minor is allowed four nights and she must, therefore, examine herself if the bleeding continued beyond the fourth night while a na'arah who is allowed one night must examine herself if the bleeding continued after the first night.
  38. Where bleeding did not continue after the four nights in the case of the minor or after the first night in that of the na'arah.
  39. Who hold the blood to be unclean irrespective of whether its colour did, or did not change.
  40. Who maintain that the blood is clean even if its colour had changed.
  41. In deciding whether the blood is clean or unclean. Lit., 'go'.
  42. Of menstruation.
  43. If she observed a discharge three times as a result of intercourse.