ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous dafNidah 31
(a) During the first three months of its pre-natal life, the baby lives low
down in the mother's stomach, for the next three months, in the middle
section, and for the last three months, at the top.
(b) According to the Gemara, the girl turns round as it is being born,
whereas a boy does not, and it is that which causes the excessive pain at
(c) A girl turns round, because she needs to face upwards (as we shall see
later in the Sugya), and during the pregnancy she is facing downwards like
(a) During the second three months, Tashmish is bad for the mother, but
good for the baby; and during the last three months, it is good for both
the mother and the baby.
(b) Abaye asks on the Beraisa that it is all very well to say Tashmish with
a woman on the ninetieth day of her pregnancy is akin to murder, but how
will one ever know exactly when the ninetieth day arrives, that one should
be able to avoid Tashmish on that day?
Consequently, Abaye says that one should ignore the issue, "Shomer Pesayim
Hashem" - Hashem will 'look after the fools'.
(c) The father contributes the white from which the bones, the nerves, the
nails, the brains (and the marrow) and the white of the eye are formed; the
mother the red from which the skin, the flesh, the blood, the hair and the
pupils of the eye are formed.
Whereas Hashem contributes the Ru'ach, the Neshamah, knowledge,
understanding, common-sense, the countenance (of the face), the powers of
sight, hearing, speech and the ability to walk.
(d) If one shakes the salt off the meat, it will soon become fit to feed
the dogs (it loses its life), so too, when Hashem removes the Neshamah, the
body is fit to feed the dogs.
(a) An object wrapped in a closed flask, with its opening on top, has no
guaranteed security, yet Hashem places a baby inside 'an open flask' (the
mother's womb), with its opening facing downwards, and it remains safe and
(b) The heavier the article placed on the scales, the more it weighs down;
not so a baby, which, as we learnt earlier, actually rises in the mother's
womb, as it gets heavier.
(c) When one sows a variety of seeds in a row, each seed grows
independently; yet when the father and the mother both sow, the two types
of seed combine to form one baby.
(d) When a painter places different color paints into a pot, they all
combine to make one color; whereas when the mother puts in the red, and the
father the white, each one forms its own parts.
(a) The Gemara tells the story of someone who got a splinter, on account of
which he was unable to accompany his friend on a business trip, and he gets
mad at his 'bad luck'. Later, he heard that his friend's ship sunk. Then he
realized how the splinter (which may have been a minor punishment in its
own right) was really a favor - it saved his life! It was a blessing in
(b) Chazal derive from "Oseh Nifla'os *Levado* ..." that sometimes the
recipient of Hashem's kindness, on whose behalf a miracle is performed, is
not aware of the miracle that Hashem performed.
(c) "va'Tazreini Chayil" teaches us that Hashem sorts out the person (He
forms him from the best of the materials - like one winnows the corn to
remove the impurities), and then "ha'Keil ha'Me'azreini Chayil" - He girds
him with strength".
(a) Bil'am was referring, when he said "u'Mispar es Rova Yisrael"- to
Chazal, who learn from this Pasuk that Hashem counts the Zera of Yisrael,
waiting for the drop from which the Tzadik will be formed.
(b) He expressed surprise that Hashem should show interest in such matters,
and that is why Hashem punished him with blindness.
(c) Chazal explain the Pasuk "Yisachar Chamor Gorem", that Hashem used
Ya'akov's donkey as the Sheliach to warn Le'ah of Ya'akov's arrival, which
in turn, enabled her to bring Ya'akov to her tent - and it was from that
night that Yisachar was born. That is why the Torah writes "va'Yishkav Imah
ba'Layla *Hu*"; Hu, (one of Hashem's seventy-two names) - waiting for the
birth of a Tzadik - intervened, and Yisachar (the tribe of Torah) was
(a) Chazal learn from "Eileh Benei Leah' etc. that when the mother 'sows'
first, the baby will be a boy, and when the father 'sows first', it will be
(b) It appears from the Pasuk that it is possible to have more sons at
will. This is possible, explains the Gemara, by holding back the Zera, to
allow one's wife to 'sow' first - if someone does this, it is considered as
if he had "increased sons".
(c) Another way of increasing sons is by being Boil twice. Why?
Because then, even if he sows first the first time, the nature of a woman
is such that, through the desire of Tashmish brought on by the first
Be'ilah, she will sow first the second time, and will conceive a son.
(a) Rebbi Yochanan holds that it is not close to the Veses that a woman
becomes pregnant, but close to the Tevilah.
(b) And he learns it from the Pasuk "u've'Chet (meaning purification)
Yechemasni Imi" (my mother conceived me). From "Hein ba'Avon Cholalti",
Rebbi Yochanan learns that the fetus is formed from 'sin' - i.e. the blood
of Nidus, as the Gemara learnt earlier (See also, Agados Maharsha)
(a) Both peace and and the boy's Parnasah come into the world together with
the boy - and both lie in the word "Shilchu *Kar*, Moshel Aretz" - "Kar*
means both a gift (a symbol of peace - perhaps Moshel, the ruler refers to
a man) and 'Kikar' - a loaf (a symbol of Parnasah).
(See also Agados Maharsha, who points out that 'Moshel' contains the
letters of Shalom.)
(b) 'Zachar' is also the acronym of 'Zeh Kar' meaning 'this is a gift
(peace)' and 'this is a loaf (Parnasah)'.
(c) Ya'akov Avinu only became wealthy after he had suggested to Lavan that
Lavan might pay him for his services, to which Lavan replied "Nakvah
Secharcha Alai ve'Eteina" - specify your wages, and I will pay you.
Presumably, Chazal derive from a play on the word "Nakvah", which is spelt
in the same way as 'Nekeivah' - female, that a woman receives only when she
'Nekeivah' is also the acronym of 'Nekiyah Ba'ah' - she comes with nothing.
(a) How can Rebbi Shimon say that a woman's Korban Yoledes is due to the
vain oath that she makes, when firstly, the oath that she makes is done on
purpose, and the only way out of such an oath is by asking a Rav to nullify
her Neder (not by bringing a Korban); and secondly, if anything, she ought
to bring a Korban Shevu'ah (a lamb or a goat), and not birds?
(b) Rebbi Shimon, following his line of thought - that she brings a Korban
because of her oath - goes on to explain that it is for the same reason
that the Tum'as Leidah for a boy is only seven days, as opposed to the
fourteen days for a girl; because since everyone is more happy when *a boy*
is born than a girl, the mother is remorseful for her wrong thoughts
already after seven days, when she longs for her husband, in order to
conceive more boys; whereas after a girl, it takes fourteen days.
(c) Milah takes place only on the eighth day, because Hashem reckons that
it would not be fair to expect everyone to be happy over the Bris of a
newborn infant, whilst the parents are sad on account of their being
forbidden to each other. It is only after the mother becomes Tahor - from
the eighth night and onwards, that the parents can truly rejoice together
with all the other guests.
(d) Tum'as Nidah, according to Rebbi Shimon (who is the author of the
Beriasa containing all the statements that we have just made), is a means
to keep familiarity (and contempt) at bay.
(a) It is the man who looks for his bride, rather than the opposite,
because it was from the rib that Hashem took from Adam that He created
Chavah. Consequently, it will be the man who goes to look for the woman,
just like a person goes to look for the article that he has lost, and not
(b) During Tashmish, the man faces the earth from which he was taken, and
the woman faces the man, from whom she was taken.
(c) A man is easy to appease, just like the dust from which he was created,
which is soft and easy to become Bateil; a woman, on the other hand, is
hard to pacify, just as the bone from which she was created, is hard.
(d) And it is by the same token that a woman's voice is more beautiful than
that of a man, because if one knocks a bone, it has a sound to it, unlike
the dust from which man was created, which has no sound at all.
(a) "Benos Kutim Nidos mei'Arisasan', means that, Stam (even if we do not
know whether they saw blood, or not), they must be treated as if they were
(b) The author of the Mishnah must be Rebbi Meir. Why?
Because it is only a minority of women who see blood, and it is Rebbi Meir
who contends with the minority. He maintains that a Katan and a Ketanah are
forbidden to make Yibum, in case the Katan turns out to be a Seris (a
eunoch), and the Ketanah an Eilonis (a woman who, due to an underdeveloped
femininity, cannot have children)
(c) The Kitim had the Din of Bo'alei Nidos, because the women tended to
treat all kinds of blood - even if it was not the color of blood - as
Nidus. Consequently, they would treat a sighting of yellow blood, say, as
if she was a Nidah, and, if she saw another sighting of red blood within
the seven days, instead of starting the seven days from the second
sighting, they would include it in the first seven days. In this way, the
day after the termination of the first seven days, they would permit
themselves Tashmish, although in reality, she was still a Nidah.