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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Nidah 13



(a) The more a woman examines herself the better, because, in this way, she does not come to a Safek Tum'ah, and her husband to transgress an Isur.

(b) By a man, it is the opposite, the less he examines himself (even for Tum'ah), the better. Why is that?
Because when he feels his 'Amah', the heat causes him to have an emission.

(c) Certainly, by a man, even once is prohibited - and the Mishnah writes 'ha'Marbeh' only because of the woman.

(a) A man is permitted to examine himself for Zivus (to know whether he is a Zav after two sightings, or Chayav a Korban after three), if he saw once (Zivus, as opposed to Keri which is thick and which oozes from a live limb, comes out in liquid form - from a dead limb.)
He is also permitted to examine himself, even for Keri, provided he uses a thick cloth, which does not warm the 'Amah'.

(b) According to Abaye, a Kohen who feels the beginning of an emission, whilst the process of eating Terumah, should hold his 'Amah' with a thick cloth (to prevent the seed from emerging) until he has swallowed the Terumah in his mouth.

(c) According to Rava, he is even permitted to hold the limb with his hands. Why?
Because once the Keri has emerged, no more will follow - with which Abaye does not agree.

(d) Rava maintains that the Beraisa, which draws an analogy to placing a finger in one's eye, is speaking in a case where the seed is emitted with one's hands, but when it comes through thoughts and not through the hands, then no more will come out, once the first batch has emerged.

(a) The Gemara describes the sin of shedding one's seed in vain as bringing a flood on the world, because this was in fact, the sin of the generation of the flood (They sinned with 'hot water', therefore Hashem punished them with hot water.)

(b) The Chachamim asked Rebbi Eliezer how he could forbid one to hold one's Amah whilst urinating, when, as a result of such a stringency, the urine will splash on his legs, people will think that he is a Kerus Shafchah, whose urine does not flow far, and will come to the conclusion that his children are Mamzeirim.
He replied that people may think what they like, but that is certainly better than being deemed wicked for even one moment by Hashem.

(c) In another Beraisa, Rebbi Eliezer replied that, why should we permit someone to hold his 'Amah' to safeguard his name, when he has the option of standing on high ground or of urinating in soft soil (where the urine will not splash on his legs)?
He first gave the Chachamim the second answer, and, when they asked him what a person should do if he does have such facilities, he gave the first answer.

(a) We learn that someone who emits his seed in vain is Chayav Misah from Er and Onan, Yehudah's sons, who died on account of that very sin, as the Torah explicitly writes by Onan.

(b) The Gemara also compares the emission of seed to murder and to idolatry.

(a) 'Baleshes' was a band of brigands that enters a town, who are known, among other things, to treat all property in the town as Hefker. Consequently, all the barrels of wine are now suspect Yayin Nesech. In time of peace, when the brigands have time on their hands, all open barrels are forbidden, because we assume that they drank from them. Whereas in time of war, when they are busy fighting, they will be afraid to be caught drinking instead of on duty, so all the barrels are permitted. In similar vein, a man standing on a roof in the middle of the night, will be afraid for his life, and will therefore have no time to indulge in sinful acts or thoughts.

(b) Others say that Shmuel was ascribing to Rav Yehudah the fear of his Rebbe, others say the fear of the Shechinah, which is present in a Shul. And yet others learn that Shmuel was praising his disciple's incredible level of Yir'as Shamayim, even going so far as to say about him 'This man is not a human-being!

(c) The Gemara's final two concessions are: to hold the 'Amah' from underneath the 'Beitzim', and to hold the 'Amah' from the 'Atarah' (the top section of the 'Amah', which does not react to handling, as the lower part does).




(a) Rav says that someone who deliberately makes himself stiff should be put in Cheirem, because he incites the Yeitzer Hara upon himself.

(b) Rebbi Ami calls him an 'Avaryon' (a sinner), because one sin leads to another, until eventually, the Yeitzer Hara even succeeds in getting a person to serve idols.

(c) Rebbi Ami learns from a Gezeirah Shavah from Er (and Onan) "Vayeira be'Einei Hashem" and the Pasuk in Tehilim "Lo Yegurcha Ra", that someone who brings himself to evil thoughts will not enter the boundaries of Hashem.

(d) Rebbi Elazar learns from the Pasuk "Yedeichem Damim Milei'u", that emitting seed with one's hands is like murder.

(e) The Tana de'Bei Rebbi Yishmael learns virtually the same thing from "Lo Tin'af" - neither with the hands nor with the feet.

(a) Converts delay the coming of the Moshiach because, firstly, they are not well conversant with the Mitzvos, and secondly, because Yisrael learn from their ways.

(b) The reason cannot be because Yisrael are held responsible for their sins, because the Parshah of 'Arvus' (each Jew being responsible for the other) does not incorporate converts.

(c) 'Mesachkin be'Tinokos' are people who marry little girls, who are not yet fit to have children. In so doing, they delay the birth of their children - until their wives are of age to give birth, and Chazal have taught that the Mashi'ach will come only when all the Neshamos that are due to be born (from the 'Guf' - the place where all the Neshamos are kept) have been born.

(a) 'Ba'Anashim Tikatzeitz' in our Mishnah could mean that by law, Beis-Din are obligated to cut off his hand, or it could mean simply a curse, that someone who does so, deserves to have his hand cut off.

(b) Rav Huna actually severed the hand of someone who raised it against his another Jew to strike him.

(c) Rebbi Tarfon cannot have meant what the original quotation says - 'Tikatzeitz Yado Al Tiburo', because why specifically on his navel? What he really meant to say was that a person is prohibited from placing his hand below his navel, and even if he has a splinter there - and his stomach is threatening to split open, it is still forbidden.

(a) Our Mishnah is speaking about someone who was born deaf. Such a person will never learn to speak, and is compared throughout Shas, to a Shoteh. The Beraisa, which describes a Cheresh, who was able to examine other women, is speaking about someone who was born with the ability to hear. She became deaf only afterwards, and had already learnt to speak before that. Such a person is perfectly normal.

(b) A Suma is quite capable of making a Bedikah, and must therefore be erased from our Mishnah.

(c) A Shotah is a woman who is naturally demented, whereas a Nitrefes Da'atah is one who became demented due to an illness.

(a) A Kohen who eats Terumah when he is Tamei, is Chayav Misah.

(b) According to the Chachamim, after Toveling a Kohen Shoteh in the Mikveh by day (so that he will be able to eat Terumah at night), they would ensure that he remained Tahor when night arrived, by keeping him awake.

(c) According to Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Tzadok, he would wear leather trousers, which they would examine for Keri before they fed him the Terumah. In those days, trousers were generally worn tight around the groin, which explains why the Chachamim objected - because, instead of helping their cause, it would actually be self-defeating, by causing him to have an emission. (Rebbi Elazar b'Rebbi Tzadok, presumably, maintains that leather is sufficiently hard to prevent such a thing from happening.) In addition, we suspect that he may emit only a small drop of Keri, which will simply become absorbed in the trousers, and escape our attention.

(d) Abaye adds that the metal must be copper, because copper does not absorb (to counter the Chachamim's second argument above). And he proves this from the Beraisa, in which Rebbi Yehudah describes the stalks used for the sprinkling of the Mei Chatas (the ashes of the Parah Adumah) 'as if they were made of copper', meaning that the Mei Chatas is only Metamei the one who carries them, if there is as large enough amount that, after, after they have absorbed some of the water, a little remains on the stalks - 'as if they were made of copper', which does not absorb.

(a) It is forbidden for a man to wear trousers because they are tight, and their warmth will cause him to emit Keri.

(b) The Kohanim's trousers (like ours') are different, because they were made without the bag which hugged the groin.

(c) The Kohanim's trousers were a kind of loose knee-breeches (modest-looking - some say like the breeches worn by horse-riders of those times), and they had a sort of flap, both at the front and at the back.
These flaps, which were tied shut, but could be opened to allow the Kohanim to relieve themselves whenever necessary.

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