A Daf A Day (daf yomi)

A daf yomi blog for discussion, questions and comments on the daily daf.

Monday, January 31, 2005


Check in Mishnayos Bikurim Fourth Perek about a ToomToom being a "Berya Bifnay Atzmah" I am not sure it is there but my rabbi mentioned that as a source.
(this is a continuation of the discussion on androgenus and toomtoom)

Rashi d"h lomar shemimaet (nidda 44b)

I just want to summarize this Rashi so that I can be sure that I have it clear in my own mind. I'm going to use the example that the father left 48 zehuvim instead of 6 just so that we can avoid fractions. We'll call the brothers Reuven, Shimon and Levi.
  • Just two brothers with no baby in the picture: Reuven gets 32 (double) and Shimon gets 16.
  • Levi is born before the father dies but then dies immediately afterwards: Reuven gets 30 and Shimon gets 18. That is because first you divide it between all the brothers with Reuven getting double. So Reuven starts with 24 and Shimon and Levi each have 12. There is no bechor for Levi's portion so they each get 6 of it.
  • Levi was born after the father dies and then dies: Reuven gets 32 and Shimon gets 16. This is because you ignore the fetus when it comes to determining the bechor's portion. So the bechor gets 1/3 for his "double" portion. Then you divide the rest evenly between the three brothers so each brother gets 10 2/3 (ok, I couldn't completely avoid fractions). Now Levi dies so his portion gets divided evenly between Reuven and Shimon and they each get the same amount as they would have had Levi not been in the picture at all.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

beis hastarim

We know that tumas maga is not metamei in beis hastarim so if you take a sheretz and stick it inside someone's mouth then he is not tamei. Someone asked me tonight if it works the other way. If you are tamei and someone sticks something tahor in your mouth does that beomce tamei? It is mashma from todays gemara (nidda 43b) and the mishna that it does become tamei because we're talking about the teruma that is already in the Kohen's mouth and we want to prevent it from becoming tamei. I guess that means that it could become tamei even in beis hastarim or it could be that I'm misunderstanding something.

UPDATE: (1/31 in the morning) Rashi says straight out on daf 43a that if a tamei person touches something that is tahor in the beis hastarim it does not become tamei. The Rambam in hilchos avos hatuma also uses the phrase that "maga beis hastarim aino negia." Rabbi Tendler pointed out that our gemara is no raya that there is tuma because the fear isn't necessarily that the truma will become tamei but only that a tamei person will eat truma tehora. The only problem I have with that is that the Tosafos Harash says clearly that the fear in this gemara is that the teruma will become tamei.

Ocheiz b'ama

The gemara on nidda 43a asks how could the mishna suggest that a man should be ocheiz b'ama instead of just ruining the teruma if being ocheiz b'ama can bring a mabul to the world. Tosafos Harash can't understand the gemara's question - being metamei truma is an isur d'oraysa while being ochez b'ama is at best an isur d'rabbonon. There's a little aleph in the Tosafos Harash which points to the Cheishek Shlomo at the bottom where two answers are suggested. The first is that even though it's "just" an isure d'rabbonon it still might outweigh the d'oraysa because it's meivi mabul l'olam. The second answer proposed is that shev v'al taaseh would be not to be ocheiz b'ama.

I have trouble with both answers. Meivi mabul l'olam on a d'rabbonon, I would think still can't outweigh a d'oraysa. Also, is it really shev v'al taaseh? There are three choices here:
1. spit out the teruma
2. finish eating it and eat tamei truma
3. be ocheiz b'ama
All 3 of those involve an action. Once an action is required shouldn't we choose option 3 since that's only an issure d'rabonnon. I guess that the cheishek Shlomo is assuming that just continuing to eat is a shev v'al taase but it does seem to involve an action of continuing to eat. I think that Tosafos Harosh' question is still very good. Of course, in the end the gemara has solutions which make it that you don't have to be ovair on any of the three so that's obviously ideal.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Keri - is it tumas maga or reiya

Today's gemara (nidda 42a) discusses if a woman who is poletes shichvas zera is temaia because of maga or reiya. The gemara seems to assume that for the man it's definitely misum reiya and it would be tamei with just a mashehu because there is never a shiur if it's mishum reiya. Rashi (d"h metamei b'mashehu) says straight out that keri is reiya and is metamei b'mashehu and the truth is that is the pashtus of the mishna at the beginning of the perek. When I learned it, I was bothered by the gemara on 22a where Rabba asked R' Huna what the halacha is for a man who uses a kisem. R' Huna's answer seems to say that there is a shiur for keri meaning that it's not mishum reiya but maga.

So I looked up the Rambam in hilchos avos hatuma (5:1). He seems to pasken like R Huna from the gemara on 22a but seems to ignore our gemara. I think that is what the Raavad on the spot is asking on the Rambam. The Kesef Mishna attempts to answer the question for the Rambam based on the Tosefos on 22a. This is really beyond the scope as I didn't learn all of these well enough to write about them but I was just happy to see that the Rishonim did discuss this apparent stira between the gemaras. It seems that there are multiple ways to understand Rav Huna but l'halacha it comes out like our gemara that it is metamei mishum reiya and it is b'mashehu. (See the Tosafos, Kessef Mishna, Raavad for more details).

UPDATE: The beauty of daf yomi - you learn the next daf (nidda 43b) the next day and it often helps clarify things a little. From the gemara it does seems to be a machlokes tannaim/amoraim about whether there is a shiur for the reiya of the zav. It's still difficult to understand Shmuel and R' Huna who insist that there is a shiur in light of yesterday's gemara which says that there can be no shiur for a reiya. For this you (I) need to look at the kessef mishna and Tosafos. Maybe I'll look at it later or if someone else does feel free to comment.

nida/zava during pregnancy

Someone emailed me the following:
A small question that I could not find the answer, about the last perek. A few pages discuses the issue of Isa yoledet that saw blood before birth, what is the verdict of the blood if the days were not her days of nida, but in the 11 days of zava. This I don’t understand how a women in her ninth, has days of Nida and zava. Even though if she spotted blood at the beginning of the ninth she is fur sure Tmea, but why is she called also Nida?

This was my response:
I'll do my best to answer the question but let me know if I misunderstood you.

Whenever a woman sees blood she is either a zava, nida, yoledet or
tehora. We know she can only be in one of the last two categories
after she has a baby and those last for a total of 40 or 80 days. So
when she's pregnant and she sees blood (not including during labor)
she has to be either a nida or a zava. The question is which one and
this really leads to a machlokes rishonim. The way most rishonim learn
is the way that Rashi learns throughout the mesechta. Any time that
she sees dam she is a nida unless she is in her yemei ziva. The only
way that she can possibly be in yemei ziva is if she in the 11 days
immediately following her 7 days of nida (it could go beyond the 11 if
she was already a zava but she had to have first seen three straight
days during the 11). So anytime the woman sees dam during pregnancy
she is a nida unless she just completed her yemei nida.

The Rambam argues with Rashi and says that it's a constant calendar.
So it's just 7 days that if she sees dam she'll be a nida then 11 that
she'll be a zava and then 7 of nida and then 11 of ziva and it goes on
forever like that regardless when she actually sees dam. Just to
clarify Rashi a bit more. It starts with 7 of nida when she sees dam
then 11 of ziva and then the 7 doesn't start again until she sees dam.

I hope this answered your questions and/or clarified things a bit. let
me know otherwise.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Mekor mekomo tamei

Even if you hold mekor mekomo is tamei it is still just tumas maga so why does Rashi (nidda 41b d"h rabbonon savri) say it would be metamei b'kol shehu? Doesn't tumas maga always have a shiur?

Same quesion lower down on nidda 41b when R' Yochanan says that mekor sheheziya k'shtei tipay margoliyos is tamei tumas maga. Why are two drops tamei (and the gemara explains that even one drop would be tamei except that we can assume it didn't come from the mekor), isn't it less than the shiur?

V'dam hayotzei misham

On 41a continuing to 41b, Ravina suggests that the second half of the braisa is talking about that the dam came out derech rechem and it's really based on the same machlokes as in the reisha. Rav Yosef asks two extremely obvious questions that it makes you wonder what Ravina was thinking.
Q1 - That's the EXACT same machlokes as the reisha so why does the beraisa bother repeating it.
Q2 - It says misham - from there - what else could "there" be referring to if not derech dofen which is what we were talking about in the reisha.
So what was Ravina thinking?
A to Q1: The Maharsha explains why Ravina wasn't bothered by the first question. It's true that if you learn like Rashi on 41b that the seifa is also talking about the dam of the three days prior to leida then it's the same machlokes but the Maharsha suggests that maybe Ravina meant that the seifa is talking about the dam that accompanies the birth and the chiddush of the seifa is that not only are the Rabbonon metamei the dam before the birth but even the dam during the birth (and R' Yosef believes that is no chiddush either - there's no reason to differentiate between the damim)
A to Q2: It's true that normally when you say "from there" it would be referring to the last place that we were discussing but maybe Ravina thinks that the braisa was just using a lashon nekiya so instead of saying that the dam came out derech rechem (or another term) it just says "misham" (R' Yosef would say that throughout other mishnayos and braisos it doens't use that lashon so why start now). - this answer was suggested by David Kramer (I learn the daf with him at night).
At least with this we could understand what Ravina was thinking when he suggested the answer.

Kol shetinokes yosheves v'nires

On nidda 41b why does the gemara say "tinokes" as opposed to isha? Is it because it would be a different shiur for a woman as opposed to a girl or is it just because that's how girls usually sit but women sit in a more tznius manner?

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Isn't there a machlokes about an androgenus similar to the machlokes about a koy (kvi) if it's a safek zachar safek nekeiva or if it's a berya bifnei atzmo? If you say that it's a safek then why would you need a pasuk to include that the mother is temaya leida if she has one? She definitely gave birth to a boy or a girl but we just don't know which one. Why should it be different than if she gives birth to a vlad that got lost in the river? She should have to sit the chumros of both - 14 days of tuma followed by 26 days of tahara. Why then on nidda 40a do we need a pasuk for androgenus and tumtum? I can understand it if it's a berya bifnei atzma but doesn't this prove that it's not a safek? I think I remember this being discussed somewhere but I can't remember where?

UPDATE: (1/31) Read the comments here and the post by David K "tumtum" and the comments there for the source and possible answers to this question.

Yotzei Dofen

The gemara on nidda 40A starts off asking what the reason for the rabbanon is that they hold that the woman is not temaia leida after delivering via C-section (yotzei dofen). The gemara answers that they learn it out from "isha ki sazria v'yalda." R' Shimon though needs the pasuk to teach you that a woman who delivers just a shilya is going to be temaia (Rashi explains why the Rabbonon don't need a posuk for that). The gemara then turns around and asks on R' Shimon how he knows that the woman is temaia leida.

The Ritva asks the obvious question - had the Torah not written anything what would we have thought? First the gemara says that the Chachamim need a posuk to tell you that it's not a leida implying that in the absence of a posuk we would have assumed she was temeiah. Then the gemara says that R' Shimon needs a posuk to tell you that she is temeia. Only one of them should need a posuk! The Ritva suggests an answer that really yotzei dofen should not be temaia but R' Shimon has a pasuk which seems to prove that she is so the Gemara starts off questioning the Rabbonan about why she's not if R' Shimon has a pasuk that says she is temaia. He says that this is "derech hatalmud b'mkomos harbe." That may be true but it still doesn't seem to flow properly.

Tosafos Harosh seems to be answering the same question. He doesn't say much. He comments in d"h R' Shimon may taamei that (in my best translation) "That is to say why doesn't he darshen the passuk like the Rabbonon." It sounds like he's saying just the opposite of the Ritva that absent a passuk R' Shimon would be right but the Rabbonon have a pasuk that says that she should be temaia so now the gemara asks how R' Shimon knows it. This does seem to be pashut pshat but the problem is that it takes us back to our original question. I think that what he means is that the gemara explained that R' Shimon needs the Rabbonon's passuk to teach that the woman is temaya if she delivers just a shilya. The gemara is now asking, "How did R' Shimon know to darshan the passuk that way and not to darshen it to exclude a yotzei dofen. Why didn't he just learn like the Rabbonon and make the lady tehora if she delivers just a shilya." Then the gemara says that he couldn't learn like that because he has another passuk.

The purpose of the blog

There are thousands and thousands of people who learn daf yomi but unfortunately most people don't have a lot of time to spend learning the daf. In yeshiva we could spend weeks and weeks learning a daf of gemara and then hopefully we really understood it. Now, I'm lucky if I spend two hours a day learning the daf. I'm lucky if I get through all the Rashis and some Tosafosim on the page but rarely do I get a chance to look at any other Rishonim who wrote on the daf and certainly not the Acharonim. Occasionally, I'll have time to look up the halacha in the Shulchan Aruch or Rambam but certainly I'll never have time to analyze it. Besides all of that, there are numerous publications that are specifically intended for daf yomi. Artscroll (ok, it's not only for daf yomi but I'd guess that most users of Artscroll are learning daf yomi), Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Al Hadaf (publication), etc. Those all have great stuff and if I had time to read all of those then I'd really have a good understanding of the daf but there's no time for all that either.

Ok, you ask, if there's a ton written out there on the daf already and I'm not learning any of that then what is the purpose of starting a blog? It's just going to be more stuff about the daf that people won't read (I'm assuming that most people who learn the daf are like me as far as not learning much more than what's on the page). That's why I hesitated so much about starting the blog. My sister recently started a blog (about nothing) and she's been encouraging me to start a daf yomi blog. At first I thought it was pointless for the reasons stated. Besides, who would ever read a blog about daf yomi written by me - I'm not a rabbi or a talmid chacham or anything? Then after considering it for a few days, I decided that if I got some friends, rabbeim, etc. who also learn the daf to post then maybe we could discuss various insights that we came across or questions that we had. We might be more likely to read this because these will be specific things that one of us came across while we were learning the daf that we found interesting and wanted to share. Or just because we know if it's posted here it's because someone else was bothered by this while they learned the daf and maybe we'll be able to answer it or just reading the question will help us realize that we didn't understand it as well as we could and we'll be encouraged to go back and review. (UPDATE on 1/30 - I've discovered that the best thing about the writing the blog is that it forces me to organize my thoughts on at least one topic from the daf and often encourages me to look something up that I wouldn't have otherwise. So even if nobody ends up reading this, at least I've learned more because of it.)

So, in the beginning the blog will basically be for a few people to discuss today's daf (or yesterday's or the day before). My goal would be that we'll have some good discussions and 'Chavrech Chavra Is Leih, ve'Chavrech de'Chavrech Chavra Is Leih' and word will spread and others will come and join our discussion. A certain number of people will have posting authority and will be able to start discussions on there but anyone can comment on the discussions started. If someone without posting authority wants a new discussion started then they can email me and I will start the discussion for them. Hopefully, we'll be able to build a community where we can all learn something and help others learn something.

We'll see how it goes.