— It is R. Meir. For it was taught: A minor, whether male or female, may neither perform, nor submit to halizah, nor contract levirate marriage; so R. Meir. They1 said to R. Meir: You spoke well when you ruled that they 'may neither perform, nor submit to halizah', since in the Pentateuchal section2 man3 was written, and we draw a comparison between woman and man.4 What, however, is the reason why they may not contract levirate marriage? He replied: Because a minor male might be found to be a saris;5 a minor female might be found to be incapable of procreation;6 and thus the law of incest7 would be violated where no religious act8 is thereby performed. And the Rabbis?9 — Follow the majority of minor males and the majority of minors are no sarisim; follow the majority of minor females, and the majority of minor females are not incapable of procreation.10 Might it not be suggested that R. Meir was heard [to take a minority into consideration only where that] minority is frequent; was he, however, heard [to maintain his view in regard to] an infrequent minority? — This also is a frequent minority, for it was taught: R. Jose stated, It happened at 'En Bol11 that the infant was made to undergo ritual immersion12 before her mother;13 and Rabbi stated, It once happened at Beth She'arim that the infant was made to undergo ritual immersion12 before her mother;13 and R. Joseph stated, It once happened at Pumbeditha that the infant was made to undergo ritual immersion12 before her mother;13 One can well understand the incidents spoken of by R. Joseph and Rabbi14 since [immersion was necessary as a protection for] the terumah15 of Palestine; but why was that necessary16 in the case spoken of by R. Joseph,17 seeing that Samuel had laid down: The terumah of a country outside the Land of Israel is not forbidden unless [it came in contact] with a person whose uncleanness emanated from his body,18 and this applies only to eating but not to contact?19 — Mar Zutra replied: This20 was required only in regard to anointing her with the oil of terumah;21 for it was taught: And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they set apart unto the Lord22 includes23 one who anoints oneself or drinks.24 But what need was there for a Scriptural text [for inclusion in the prohibition of] one who drinks, seeing that drinking is included in eating?25 — Rather [say that the text22 was intended] to include one who anoints oneself [in the same prohibition] as one who drinks.26 And if you prefer I might reply, The prohibition27 is derived from here: And it is come into his inward parts like water, and like oil into his bones.28 But if so29 should not our daughters also [be unclean from their cradle]? — For us who make a deduction of the use of 'and if a woman'30 instead of 'a woman' and [our daughters,] when observing any discharge are kept away,31 the Rabbis enacted no preventive measure; but as regards the Samaritans32 who do not make any deduction from the use of 'and if a woman'30 instead of 'a woman', and [their daughters] when observing any discharge are not kept away,31 the Rabbis enacted the preventive measure. What is the exposition of 'a woman', 'and if a woman'? — It was taught: [If it had been written,]33 'A woman', I would only know that a woman [is subject to the restrictions of menstrual uncleanness], whence could it be deduced that an infant one day old is also subject to the restrictions of menstruation? Hence it was explicitly stated, 'And if a woman'.33 Thus it is evident that in including a child Scripture included even one who is one day old. May not, however, an incongruity be pointed out: [If Scripture had only written,]34 'the woman' I would only know [that the restriction applies to] a woman, whence could it be derived that a child who is three years and one day old [is equally under the restrictions] in respect of cohabition? Hence it was explicitly stated, 'The woman also'?34 — Raba replied: These35 are traditional laws but the Rabbis tacked them on to Scriptural texts. Which one [can be deduced from] the Scriptural text and which is only a traditional law?36 If it be suggested that the law relating to an infant one day old is traditional and that the one relating to such as is three years and one day old is deduced from a Scriptural text, is not the text [it may be retorted] written in general terms?37 — Rather say: The law relating to one who is three years and one day old is traditional and the one derived from the text is that concerning an infant who is one day old. But since the former law is traditional, what was the purpose of the Scriptural text?38
Original footnotes renumbered.
- The Rabbis who disagreed with him.
- That deals with halizah.
- Deut. XXV, 7; thus excluding the minor.
- As the latter must be a grown-up man so must the former be a grown-up woman.
- One wanting in generative powers. Only one capable of having a child to succeed in the name of his brother (Deut. XXV, 6) is subject to the duty of the levirate marriage.
- Cf. prev. n.
- Marriage with a brother's wife.
- Cf. prev. n. but two.
- How in view of R. Meir's reason can they maintain their view?
- Yeb. 61b.
- [Ain Ibl, north west of Safed, v. Klein S.. N. B. p. 41.]
- To protect any terumah which may come in contact with her.
- Whose immersion is performed on the fourteenth day. That of the menstruant takes place on the seventh.
- Both of which occurred in Palestinian towns.
- Which is rendered unfit through contact with a menstruant (cf. prev. n. but two).
- Lit., 'wherefore to me'.
- Which occurred in a Babylonian town.
- A zab, for instance, or a menstruant.
- Bek. 27a.
- The immersion of the infant spoken of by R. Joseph.
- Anointing being forbidden like eating.
- Lev. XXII, 15, in the section dealing with persons unclean for terumah.
- In the prohibition.
- Which proves that anointing is forbidden like eating.
- Cf. Shebu. 22b; and since eating was forbidden drinking also was obviously forbidden.
- Reading [H] instead of [H].
- Of anointing.
- Ps. CIX, 18.
- That in imposing a restriction a minority also must be taken into consideration.
- Lev. XV, 19, from which it is inferred infra that uncleanness may begin at infancy.
- From holy things, during the prescribed unclean period.
- Lit., 'they'.
- In Lev. XV, 19.
- Ibid. 18, dealing with uncleanness through cohabitation.
- The two restrictions under discussion.
- Sc. since Scripture uses the same expression we-ishah (rendered 'and if a woman' in Lev. XV, 19 and 'the woman also' ibid. 18) in both verses what age exactly was implied?
- And, since there is no reason why the age of three years and one day should be meant rather than that of two or of four years, the lowest possible age. vis., that of one day, should obviously be the one intended.
- Sc. why the additional waw in we-ishah?
— To exclude a man from the uncleanness of a red discharge.1 But consider the following Baraitha:2 From the term of 'woman'3 I would only infer that a woman [is subject to the restriction of zibah], whence, however, could it be deduced that a female child that is ten days old4 is also subject to the restrictions of zibah? Hence it was explicitly stated, And if a woman.3 Now, what need was there for this text,5 seeing that the law could have been inferred from that of menstruation?6 — It was necessary. For if the All Merciful had written the law in regard to a menstruant only it might have been presumed that it applied only to the menstruant, since even if she observed a discharge on one day only she must continue unclean for seven days, but not to a zabah for whom, if she observed a discharge7 on one day, it suffices to wait only one day corresponding to it;8 hence the necessity for the second text. Then why should not the All Merciful write the law in regard to a zabah and there would be no need to give it again in regard to a menstruant, since one knows that there can be no zabah unless she was previously a menstruant? — That is so indeed. Then what was the need for the Scriptural text?9 — To exclude a man from the uncleanness of a red discharge.10 But was he not already once excluded?11 — One text serves to exclude him from the uncleanness of a discharge of red semen and the other from that of blood.
The same law12 applies also to males. For it was taught:13 'A man, a man',14 what need was there for the repetition of 'man'? To include a male child one day old who also is to be subject to the uncleanness of zibah; so R. Judah. R. Ishmael son of R. Johanan b. Beroka said: This15 is not necessary, for, surely, Scripture says, Whether it be a man or a woman,16 'whether it be a man' implies any one who is man, whether adult or infant; 'or a woman' implies any one who is a female irrespective of whether she is adult or minor. If so, why was it expressly stated, 'a man, a man'?17 The Torah used an ordinary form of speech.18 Thus it is evident that in including a child Scripture included even an infant one day old. Does not, however, an incongruity arise: [If Scripture had only written]19 'a man' I would only know [that the law applied to] a man, whence could it be derived that it also applies to a child who is nine years and one day old? Hence it was explicitly stated, And a man?19 — Raba replied: These20 are traditional laws but the Rabbis found props for them in Scriptural texts. Which one is only a traditional law and which can be deduced from the Scriptural text? If it be suggested that the law relating to an infant one day old is traditional and that relating to a child who is nine years and one day old is deduced from a Scriptural text, is not the text [it could be objected] written in general terms?21 — Rather say: The law relating to a child who is nine years and one day old is traditional and the one relating to an infant one day old is derived from the Scriptural text. But, since the former is a traditional law, what was the purpose of the Scriptural text? — To exclude a woman from the uncleanness of a white discharge.
What need was there for Scripture to write [an additional word22 and letter]23 as regards males and females respectively?24 — These were necessary. For if the All Merciful had written the law in respect of males only it might have been presumed that it applied to them alone since they become unclean by [three] observations25 [on the same day] as by [three observations on three successive] days,26 but not to females who do not become unclean by [three] observations [on the same day] as by [three observations on three successive] days. And if the All Merciful had written the law in respect of females alone, it might have been presumed to apply to them only, since they become unclean even if a discharge was due to a mishap but not to males who do not become unclean when a discharge is due to a mishap.27 [The additional letters and words were, therefore,] necessary.
THE SAMARITANS IMPART UNCLEANNESS TO A COUCH UNDERNEATH AS TO A COVER ABOVE, What is meant by A COUCH UNDERNEATH AS A COVER ABOVE? If it be suggested to mean that if there were ten spreads28 and he sat upon them they all become unclean, is not this [it could be retorted] obvious seeing that he exercised pressure upon them?29 — The meaning rather is that a couch underneath one who had intercourse with a menstruant is subject to the same law of uncleanness as the cover above a zab.30 As the cover above a zab imparts uncleanness to foods and drinks only so does the couch underneath one who had intercourse with a menstruant impart uncleanness to foods and drinks only. Whence is the law concerning the cover above a zab deduced? — From the Scriptural text, And whosoever toucheth any thing that was under him shall be unclean.31 For what could be the meaning of 'under him'?
Original footnotes renumbered.
- Of semen (v. infra) which is similar in nature to the discharge dealt with in the text under discussion. Only a woman's is subject to uncleanness but not that of a man.
- Lit., 'and that which was taught'.
- Lev. XV, 25, dealing with zibah.
- One younger than ten days cannot possibly be subject to this form of uncleanness since one cannot be a confirmed zabah before the elapse of seven days of menstruation and three subsequent days on each of which a discharge is observed.
- Lit., 'wherefore to me'.
- Sc. since, as has been shown supra, an infant of one day is subject to the uncleanness of menstruation it naturally follows that on her tenth day (cf. prev. n. but one) she is also subject to that of zibah.
- After the seven days of menstruation.
- And if she observed a discharge on the second day also, she need only wait one day, after which she is clean. Only a discharge that continued for three consecutive days would subject her to the uncleanness of a confirmed zabah.
- The additional waw in the case of the menstruant.
- The text implying that only a woman is subject to the uncleanness of a red discharge but not a man.
- That a child one day old is subject to the uncleanness of a discharge as an adult.
- 'Ar. 3a.
- Lev. XV, 2, dealing with the laws of a zab. E.V., 'any man'.
- The exposition of Lev. XV, 2 (v. prev. n.).
- Lev. XV, 33.
- Lev. XV, 2 dealing with the laws of a zab. E.V., 'any man'.
- Lit., 'spoke as is the language of man'.
- Lev. XV, 16, in regard to the emission of semen.
- The law of zibah in respect of an infant one day old and the law of the emission of semen in regard to a boy who is nine years and one day old.
- Cf. supra p. 223, n. 8 mut. mut.
- Waw ('and') in we-ishah.
- Sc. why could not the same ages of the male and of the female be derived from one another?
- Of discharges.
- Cf. B.K. 24a.
- Infra 36b.
- One above the other.
- Midras (v. Glos.) is one of the means whereby a zab conveys uncleanness.
- And not as the couch under him which imparts uncleanness to human beings also.
- Lev. XV, 10.