THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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1) THE LIMBS OF A NIDAH
QUESTION: The Gemara says that a Nidah is not Metamei l'Evarim; her limbs
do not cause other things to become Tamei. What does this mean? If the
woman is alive and a limb comes off, it is Metamei because of Ever Min
ha'Chai (a severed limb of a living person), which is just like Tum'as Mes
which is Metamei b'Maga, Masa, and Ohel. If so, what difference does it
make if it is not Metamei because of Nidah? And if the limb is still
attached to her, then it certainly is Metamei what it touches, because the
limb is part of her entire body!
(a) RASHI (82b) explains that the the limb is severed, and even though it
is Metamei because of Tum'as Mes, Tum'as Mes is *not* Metamei through Even
Mesama, whereas Nidah *is* Metamei through Even Mesama. If this limb is not
Metamei because of Nidah, it will not be Metamai through Even Mesama.
(b) The RAMBAM (Hilchos Metamei Mishkav u'Moshav 8:4) says that the limb is
not severed but is still attached to the woman's body. It makes a
difference that it is not Metamei like a Nidah in a case when a Nidah puts
her arm into a Kli Cheres (an earthenware vessel) without touching the
sides. A Tamei object which enters the airspace of a Kli Cheres is Metamei
the Kli Cheres. However, only if a Nidah goes into a Kli Cheres with her
entire body, it becomes Tamei. If her hand goes into a Kli Cheres but her
body is not within the vessel's airspace, then the vessel's status of Tahor
or Tamei depends on whether the limb of a Nidah is Metamei.
(c) The RA'AVAD (ibid.) explains "Einah Metam'ah l'Evarim" to mean that a
hand of a Nidah cannot cause Tum'as Mishkav or Moshav unless most of the
weight of the Nidah rested on it. If a limb of a Nidah is Metamei
independently, then it can be Metamei Mishkav or Moshav *without* most of
the weight of the Nidah resting on it.
2) A BOAT BECOMING "TAMEI"
QUESTION: Two reasons are given why a boat is not Mekabel Tum'as Mes. (1)
The Tana of our Mishnah says that a boat is not Mekabel Tum'ah because the
verse compares it to the sea (which cannot become Tamei). (2) Chananyah, in
the Beraisa, says that a boat is not a vessel which can be carried both
while empty and while full (it is a "Kli sh'Eino Metaltel Malei v'Reikan").
TOSFOS asks that a boat *should* become Tamei with Tum'as *Midras*, because
it is made for sitting and lying upon. Tum'as Midras does not depend on the
ability of the vessel to be carried both while full and empty (since that
type of Tum'ah is not juxtaposed with sackcloth in the verse that teaches
the conditions for Tum'as Maga; Bechoros 38a; for instance, it applies even
to objects that are flat and do not have receptacles). And since a boat
should become Tamei with Tum'as Midras, it should also be able to become
Tamei with Tum'as *Mes*, for the Gemara (84b) says that anything which is
Mekabel Tum'as Midras is also Mekabel Tum'as Mes! Why, then, is a boat not
Mekabel Tum'ah according to Chananyah?
(a) TOSFOS (DH Nilmidah m'Sak) says that even though people sit on the
boat, the main purpose of a boat is to carry loads. A person sitting can be
told to leave in order to set down loads. Since Tum'as Midras only applies
to objects that are prepared for people sit upon, it does not apply to a
(b) The RAMBAN explains that people sleep on *beds* or sit on *chairs* on
the boat. The boat itself, though, is like the ground, which is not slept
upon without a covering of some sort.
(c) The RE'AH (cited in Chidushei ha'Ran on Daf 44b and here) says that the
only time the juxtaposition to sackcloth is *not* made is with regard to a
*wooden vessel which has no receptacle* (Peshutei Kli Etz). Even though it
has no receptacle, a vessel will still become Tamei with Tum'as Midras.
However, with regard to *all other* conditions, the juxtaposition *is*
made, and thus the conditions taught for sackcloth apply also to Tum'as
Midras. (For example, the utensil must be Metaltel Malei v'Reikan in order
to be Mekabel Tum'as Midras). Anything that is not Metaltel Malei v'Rekan
is not Mekabel any Tum'ah at all; neither Tum'as Midras not Tum'as Mes.
(The RAMBAN here also mentions this idea, but he remains in doubt whether
it is true.)
(d) RAV MOSHE SHAPIRO SHLITA explains that the RAMBAM seems to have a
different approach to this question. The Mishnah (Ohalos 8:1) teaches that
a *Kli* that is held above a Mes does not stop Tum'ah from spreading above
it, even if the Kli is made of stone (which is not Mekabel Tum'ah itself).
The Rambam (Hilchos Tum'as Mes 13:3) writes that if the stone Kli is so
large ("ha'Ba b'Midah") that it cannot be carried, it *will* stop Tum'ah
from spreading above it. Why should there be a difference between a small
stone or a large stone? If a small stone Kli does not stop Tum'ah from
spreading above it even though it itself is not Mekabel Tum'ah, why should
a large stone Kli stop Tum'ah from spreading above it? Apparently, the
Rambam maintains that when it is so large, it is no longer called a Kli and
therefore is able to stop Tum'ah from spreading above it (it is an Ohel).
Similarly, the RASH in Maseches Yadayim says that although a person may use
a stone Kli for Netilas Yadayim (even though it is not Mekabel Tumah), one
may *not* use a very large Kli (ha'Ba'ah b'Midah). What is the difference
between the two -- they are both Tahor? It must be that a large stone Kli
is not considered a Kli at all, but an Ohel. As such, its Taharah has
nothing to do with being compared to sackcloth. (Support for this can be
drawn from the Gemara earlier, 35a.)
Therefore, in our Sugya the Rambam will learn that the boat is not Mekabel
even Tum'as Midras, because it is not a Kli at all. (The RITVA (44b)
mentions such an opinion and rejects it.)