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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah
A certain woman once came to Rabbi [with such a complaint].21 Go, he said to Abdan, and frighten her. As the latter approached and frightened her a clot of blood dropped from her. This woman, Rabbi exclaimed, is now cured. A certain woman [with a similar complaint]21 once came to the Master Samuel. Go, he said to R. Dimi b. Joseph, and frighten her. The latter approached and frightened her but nothing dropped from her. This woman, Samuel pronounced, is one full of blood which she scatters,22 and any woman who is full of blood which she scatters22 has no cure. Once there came to R. Johanan a certain woman who, whenever she emerged from her ritual immersion, observed a discharge of blood. It is possible, he said to her, that the gossip of your townspeople23 has caused the affliction;24 arrange25 for your intercourse with him to take place near the river side.26 There is one who says: He27 said to her, Reveal your affliction to your friends so that, as they were astounded in one way,28 they may also be astounded in the other.29 There is also one who says: He30 said to her, Announce your trouble to your friends so that they may offer prayers for mercy to be vouchsafed to you. For it was taught: And shall cry, 'Unclean, unclean',31 he must announce his trouble to the public so that they may pray for mercy to be vouchsafed to him. R. Joseph stated: Such an incident once occurred at Pumbeditha and the woman was cured.
R. Joseph citing Rab Judah who had it from Rab stated: Rabbi ordained at Sadoth,32 If a woman observed a discharge on one day she33 must wait34 six days in addition to it.35 If she observed discharges on two days she33 must wait34 six days in addition to these.36 If she observed a discharge on three days she33 must wait34 seven clean days.37 R. Zera stated: The daughters of Israel have imposed upon themselves the restriction that even if they observe a drop of blood of the size of a mustard seed they wait on account of it seven clean days.
Raba took R. Samuel out for a walk38 when he discoursed as follows: If a woman39 was in protracted labour40 for two days and on the third she miscarried she must wait seven clean days; he being of the opinion that the law relating to protracted labour41 does not apply to miscarriages and that it is impossible for the uterus42 to open without bleeding. Said R. Papa to Raba: What is the point in speaking of one who was in protracted labour for two days seeing that the same applies even where there was the minutest discharge, since R. Zera stated, The daughters of Israel have imposed upon themselves the restriction that even where they observe only a drop of blood of the size of a mustard seed they wait on account of it seven clean days? — The other replied: I am speaking to you of a prohibition,43 and you talk of a custom which applies only where the restriction has been adopted.44
(Mnemonic. Had an offer, natron, In warm water, to perform immersion, folds upon a haven.)45 Raba stated: If a woman had an offer of marriage and she accepted it she46 must allow seven clean days to pass.47
Rabina was engaged in preparations for the marriage of his son at R. Hanina's.48 'Does the Master', the latter said to him, 'intend writing the kethubah four days hence?' 'Yes', the other replied; but when the fourth day arrived he waited for another four days and thus caused a delay of seven days after the day in question.49 'Why', the first asked, 'all this delay?'50 'Does not the Master', the other replied, 'hold the opinion of Raba, Raba having ruled: If a woman had an offer of marriage and she accepted she must allow seven clean days to pass?' 'It is possible', the first suggested, that Raba spoke only of one of mature age who is likely to discharge menstrual blood,51 but did he speak of a minor who is unlikely to discharge menstrual blood?' 'Raba', the other replied, 'has explicitly stated: There is no difference between one of mature age and a minor. For what is the reason why one of mature age is subject to the restriction? Because her passions are excited;52 well, those of a minor also are excited.
Raba ruled: A woman
Niddah 66bmust not wash her head either with natron or with ohal.1 'With natron', because it plucks out the hair;2 and 'with ohal' because it causes the hairs to cling to one another.3
Amemar also citing Raba ruled: A woman4 must wash her head in warm water only and she may do it even with such as was warmed by the sun5 but not with cold water. Why not with cold water? — Because cold water6 loosens7 the hair.8
Raba further ruled: A man should always give instructions to his household that a woman9 should wash the folds of her body10 with water. An objection was raised: It is not necessary for the water11 to penetrate into the folds of the body12 or to its concealed parts!13 — Granted that it is not necessary for the water to penetrate,14 it is necessary nevertheless that it be capable of penetration to every part;15 in agreement with a ruling of R. Zera. For R. Zera ruled: Wherever proper mingling16 is possible actual mingling is not essential,17 but where proper mingling is not possible18 the actual mingling is indispensable.19
Rabin son of R. Adda citing R. Isaac stated: It once happened that a bondmaid of Rabbi performed immersion and when she ascended [from the water] a bone constituting an interposition was found between her teeth, and20 Rabbi required her to perform a second immersion.21
Raba further ruled: If a woman performed immersion, and when she ascended [from the water] an object that caused an interposition was found upon her, she need not wash her head or perform immersion again if her immersion was performed immediately after the washing of her head;22 otherwise, she must wash her head and perform immersion again. There are others who say: If she performed her immersion on the same day on which she washed her head, she need not wash her head or perform immersion again, otherwise she must wash her head and perform immersion again. What is the practical difference between them?23 — The practical difference between them is the question whether immersion must follow immediately upon the washing of the head,24 and whether a woman may wash her head during the day and perform her immersion at night.
Raba ruled: A woman may not stand upon an earthenware when she is to perform ritual immersion. R. Kahana intended to say, 'What is the reason? Because a preventive measure has been enacted against the possibility of using25 bath-houses,26 but that it is quite proper to stand upon a block of wood'. Said R. Hanan of Nehardea to him, 'What is the reason27 there?28 Because she is frightened;29 on a chip of wood she is also frightened'.29
R. Samuel b. R. Isaac ruled: A woman shall not perform immersion
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