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Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Nazir 52


(a) Question (Rava): What is the law of (one who eats) an incomplete ant?
1. Was it received that one is liable for eating a complete creation?
2. Or, is one liable for eating an amount that could live?
(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 them";
1. Based on this, one might have thought that even part of one imparts Tum'ah - therefore. the Torah said "Bahem";
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 required.
(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 question remains.
(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 (joins them).
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 1 person.
2. We deduce, if there was a spine or skull of 1 person, a Nazir would shave because of it!
(f) Rejection: No - the doctors said that the bones were not even close to imparting Tum'ah in a tent.
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.

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 Tamei!
(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.
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;
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.
(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.
1. (R. Yehoshua): We can reconcile the opinions of Beis Hillel and Beis Shamai:
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,
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).
2. Shamai says, even from 1 bone of the spine or skull.
i. Apparently, each imparts Tum'ah by itself!
(m) Rejection: We cannot bring a proof from Shamai, for he is more stringent.
1. Suggestion: Let us prove the opposite - only Shamai, who is stringent, says that either imparts Tum'ah by itself!
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!
2. Or, perhaps the same amount applies to bones of the spine or skull.
(b) Answer #1 (Rava - Mishnah): 'The (full) spine and 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 Kav.)
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