ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafNidah 27
(a) One does not connect the Shilya with the live baby, if it was
discharged before the baby was born.
(b) According to those who maintain that a nine-month baby can only be born
after a full nine months, but not earlier, how is it possible for one baby
to be born thirty-three days after the other - without one of them being an
eighth-month baby, which cannot live.
(c) The Gemara resolves the problem by switching the two cases and saying
that they connected the Shilya to the baby that was born thirty three days
earlier; and that one baby remained in the womb twenty-seven days after its
twin (this is possible if they were both seventh-month babies, which,
everyone agrees, can both be born in the same month).
(a) Rebbi Meir holds that if a Shilya is lying in a room, the contents of
the room becomes Tamei
Rebbi Shimon holds that the baby disintegrated and became Bateil in the
(b) According to Rebbi Shimon and his colleagues, the room remains Tahor,
as we shall see in the Gemara.
They ask Rebbi Meir why he differentiates between the first room and the
second (the room into which they subsequently transported the Shilya);
because, just as there was no visible sign of the birth in the second room,
so too was there no sign in the first.
(c) Rebbi Meir replied that each time the Shilya moved, it disintegrated
more. Consequently, after the first time, some of the baby remains and some
disintegrated, but after the second time, it had disintegrated completely.
(a) Rebbi Meir replied that, the Shilya will have partly disintegrated
after it was born, and then completely during transportation from the one
room to the other.
Rav Papa then asked whether Rebbi Shimon's colleagues, Rebbi Yossi and
Rebbi Yehudah, who agree with him, agree for the same reason. So they
laughed. Is it not obvious that, since they agree with his statement, they
will also agree with his reasoning.
(b) Rav Papa explained that, nevertheless, one should never be ashamed to
ask something that is not clear to him.
(a) A 'Melo Tarvad Rekev' is a spoonful of the dust of a corpse, which is
Metamei even be'Ohel, Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai.
(b) The reason that the 'Me'lo Tarvad Rekev' into which a speck of dust
fell, is not Metamei, is not because it is impossible for two specks of
dust not to have fallen on to the corpse-dust, and been Mevateil it,
because, if so, we could just as well argue that it is impossible for two
specks of the corpse-dust not to fallen onto one speck of the dust and been
(c) Rebbi Shimon learns the latter stages of Rekev from the first stage,
where the Halachah (le'Moshe mi'Sinai) dictates that the Rekev of a corpse
is Metamei only if it was buried naked in a marble coffin (which does not
disintegrate into dust), or on a stone floor; but not if it was buried
dressed, in a wooden coffin or on a floor of bricks - So in the same way as
when the corpse is first buried, the fact that it is buried in a situation
where anything which will turn into dust (even one speck) is Mevateil the
Rekev, also later, when the body has already turned into dust, we apply the
same principle and say that, if there is even one speck of dust mixed with
the Rekev, it is not Metamei.
(Rebbi Meir presumably, holds that we cannot make such Derashos from a
Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai. Consequently, the Halachah is confined to the
time of burial, but not to the later stages of the body's decay).
(d) When Chazal say that the Din of Rekev is confined to a corpse, they
mean to preclude the body of a man who was slain by the sword, to whom it
does not apply.
The reason for this is because the Din of 'Rekev' only applies to a body
which is complete, but not to one where there is even the minutest amount
missing - such as in the case of a man killed by the sword, who will have
lost some blood.
(a) Had they restricted their Machlokes to the decay of a corpse *in a
room*, we would have said that the Rabbanan agree with Rebbi Shimon in a
case where the corpse-dust *is scattered*, because they will agree that we
do not say 'Ma'ahil ve'Chozer u'Ma'ahil' (Each speck of dust is under a
different part of the ceiling, so that the Din of Ohel must be applied a
number of times to make up the Shiur of 'Me'lo Tarvad').
Whereas had they only argued when it is scattered, we would have said that
Rebbi Shimon is Metaher because 'Ein Ma'ahil ve'Chozer u'Ma'ahil', but when
the dust is all together in one place, he will agree with the Rabbanan that
it is Metamei.
(b) If a little more than a Tarvad-full of corpse-dust is found in a
grave-yard, it is Tamei, because we may take for granted that at least one
Me'lo Tarvad of that is from a decayed corpse (provided that the corpse was
buried under the conditions specified above in 4c).
(c) Rebbi Shimon holds, like in the previous question: that it is Tahor.
(a) Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov maintains that if a large animal discharges a
cake of blood, it must be buried, and the subsequent baby that is born, is
not a Bechor.
(b) One needs to bury the clot of blood, even though it is not even
considered a birth, in order to publicize the fact that the next-born baby
is not a Bechor.
(c) The cake of blood is not Metamei, due to the fact that the melted baby
is Bateil in the blood; and it is for the same reason that Rebbi Shimon
declared Tahor the above case of a Shilya in the room.
(d) The mother of the Shilya in the room is Temei'ah Leidah, Rebbi Yochanan
explains according to Rebbi Shimon, because the Torah writes "Ishah Ki
Sazriy'a, ve'Yalda Zachar" - even if she gave birth to no more than what
she germinated, she is also Temei'ah Leidah.
(Note that, according to the Rabbanan, she is Temei'ah Leidah anyway, since
in their opinion, the baby does not melt when it is born - Tosfos ha'Rosh.)
(a) Resh Lakish compares a baby that is born in the form of a Shefir mixed
in its water, to a corpse which was completely broken up and scattered,
which in his opinion, is Tamei.
(b) Rav Yitzchak Magdela'ah states that a corpse that was burnt but still
remained intact, is Tamei; from which Resh Lakish will have inferred that
had the burnt corpse fallen apart and lost its shape, it would be Tahor.
(c) In the case of the burnt but still-intact corpse, they declared all the
large doorways of more than four Tefachim Tamei (meaning that, even if they
were shut, objects on the other side which were under the same roof (for
example, if they were under the awnings of the entrance to the house)
became Tamei be'Ohel ha'Meis. However, they declared Tahor the doorways
which were smaller than four Tefachim (any objects on the other side of the
closed doors remain Tahor). The reason for this is, because a complete
corpse stands to be taken out through a door of at least four Tefachim, not
less - and one must contend with the fact that one might carry the corpse
through any of the doors of that size, but not through smaller ones.
As far as open doors are concerned, it makes no difference as to the size
of the doorways; either way, the Tum'ah passes through to the other side,
provided they are more than one Tefach.
(d) Rebbi Yochanan inferred from this statement that it is only if the
shape of the corpse is still intact, that they declared a doorway of less
than four Tefachim Tahor (since it is unlikely that they would carry a
corpse through such a small doorway). But if the corpse had fallen apart,
when it stands to be transported in pieces, even (shut) doorways of less
than four Tefachim are also Tamei.
So there is no place to make Resh Lakish's inference.
(a) Rebbi Eliezer says that the Shiur for ashes of a burn corpse to be
Metamei is a quarter of a Kav (See Tosfos ha'Rosh, d.h. 'Ke'ein', who
explains explains how Rebbi Yochanan can, on principle, agree with the
Chachamim of Rebbi Eliezer, as well).
(b) A burnt corpse can remain intact (and not mixed with anything else) if
is it either burnt on a hard leather mat or on marble; either way, there
must be walls to prevent the ashes from scattering.
Alternatively, it speaks when the corpse was scorched, but not completely