POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Nazir 52
1) AN INCOMPLETE ANT
(a) Question (Rava): What is the law of (one who eats) an
2) TUM'AH OF THE SPINE AND SKULL
1. Was it received that one is liable for eating a
(b) Answer (Rav Yehudah of Diskarta - Beraisa): "Bahem
(Touching rodents)" - one might have thought that only a
complete rodent imparts Tum'ah - another verse says "Of
2. Or, is one liable for eating an amount that could
1. Based on this, one might have thought that even part
of one imparts Tum'ah - therefore. the Torah said
(c) Rejection (Rav Shemayah): This only applies to rodents,
for a soul does not enter a rodent smaller than a lentil
- but a soul enters an ant smaller than a lentil, so the
2. The resolution is, one is Tamei if he touches an
amount equal to a full rodent - Chachamim estimated,
this is a lentil's worth, for this is the size of a
&Chomet upon creation.
3. This Beraisa shows that the full creation is
(a) (Mishnah): The spine and skull ...
(b) Question: Does the Mishnah say that together they impart
Tum'ah (in a tent), or each by itself?
(c) Answer #1 (Rava - Beraisa): If most of the ribs (the
Rambam's text reads 'vertebrae') of the spine were
broken, it is Tahor; if it is in a casket, even if they
were broken or detached, it is Tamei, because the casket
1. We deduce, if whole, the spine is Tamei by itself!
(d) Rejection: No - the Beraisa merely says that if most ribs
are broken, the Tum'ah of the spine does not apply - but
it could be, the spine is only Tamei when with the skull!
(e) Answer #2 (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): There were 6 things
which R. Akiva said are Tamei, and Chachamim argued; R.
Akiva retracted his position;
1. There was a case in which a box of bones was brought
into the quarrier's synagogue. Tudus and other
doctors said that there was not a (full) spine from
(f) Rejection: No - the doctors said that the bones were not
even close to imparting Tum'ah in a tent.
2. We deduce, if there was a spine or skull of 1
person, a Nazir would shave because of it!
1. Not only was there not a spine and skull of 1 person
- there was not even a spine or skull of 1 person!
(g) Answer #3 (Mishnah): 6 things R. Akiva held to be Tamei,
and Chachamim say they are Tahor:
1. A limb from 2 corpses;
2. A limb from 2 living people;
3. 1/2 Kav of bones from 2 corpses;
4. A Revi'is of blood from 2 corpses;
5. A bone the size of a barley seed that was divided
into 2 pieces;
6. A spine and skull from 2 corpses.
3) BONES FROM THE SPINE OR SKULL
(h) Rejection #1: The Mishnah only lists things by which the
majority argued on R. Akiva; the correct text of the
Mishnah omits a bone the size of a barley seed, for only
an individual argues on this.
i. This shows, they only impart Tum'ah when
together - if a spine or skull was Tamei by
itself, there are 7 things R. Akiva held to be
1. (Mishnah): A bone the size of a barley seed that was
divided into 2 pieces - R. Akiva say this is Tamei,
R. Yochanan ben Nuri says it is Tahor.
(i) Rejection #2: The Mishnah only lists a limb from a
corpse, not a limb from a living person (Rashi - the
correct text of the Mishnah omits this; Rosh - the 2 are
counted as 1).
(j) Rejection #3: The Mishnah only lists things for which a
Nazir shaves if he is in the same tent as it; the Mishnah
omits a bone the size of a barley seed.
(k) Rejection #4: The Mishnah only lists things by which R.
Akiva later retracted; the Mishnah omits a Revi'is of
blood, for R. Akiva never retracted by this.
1. (Rebbi): The Mishnah which lists the matters by
which R. Akiva retracted should not include a
Revi'is of blood, for his source was not refuted;
(l) Answer #4 (Beraisa): Beis Shamai say, (Tum'ah is imparted
by) 1/4 Kav of bones taken from 2 or 3 (bones); Beis
Hillel say, 1/4 Kav from bones comprising the majority of
the stature or number of bones.
i. Further, the verse supports him - "On the souls
of any corpse he will not come".
2. (R. Shimon): In his life, R. Akiva never retracted;
I do not know if he retracted after he died.
i. For speaking about his Rebbi thusly, R. Shimon
fasted so often that his teeth turned black.
1. (R. Yehoshua): We can reconcile the opinions of Beis
Hillel and Beis Shamai:
(m) Rejection: We cannot bring a proof from Shamai, for he is
i. The 2 or 3 bones Beis Shamai spoke of are 2
shins (which only count as 1, since they are
thin) and 1 thigh, or 2 thighs and 1 shin -
this comprises the majority of the stature,
2. Shamai says, even from 1 bone of the spine or skull.
ii. Beis Hillel say, from bones comprising the
majority of the stature or number of bones -
the bones in the fingers and toes (we must add
5 more, e.g. from the ankle).
i. Apparently, each imparts Tum'ah by itself!
1. Suggestion: Let us prove the opposite - only Shamai,
who is stringent, says that either imparts Tum'ah by
2. Rejection: No - Chachamim only argue regarding 1
bone from the spine or skull - but they admit that
if either is intact, it imparts Tum'ah.
(a) Question (Rami bar Chama): 1/4 Kav of bones from the
spine or skull - do they obligate a Nazir to shave and
start Nezirus again?
1. The Mishnah said, 1/2 Kav - perhaps this only
applies to other bones, which are less stringent!
(b) Answer #1 (Rava - Mishnah): 'The (full) spine and skull'.
2. Or, perhaps the same amount applies to bones of the
spine or skull.
1. If they are more stringent, the Mishnah should say,
1/4 Kav of bones suffices! (The language of the
Mishnah connotes, only when they are intact; we are
assuming that every spine and skull exceeds 1/4