THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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- THE TUM'AH OF WHAT RESTS UPON A "ZAV"
The Gemara derives from the verse, "v'Chol ha'Nogea b'Chol Asher
Yihye Tachtav Yitma," that Elyono Shel Zav is Metamei liquids and foods and
is not Metamei humans and utensils.
But the verse itself concludes, "Yitma Ad ha'Arev" (i.e, after having been
immersed in a Mikvah it becomes Tahor at nightfall). This obviously refers
to utensils and not to food, since food cannot be made Tahor through
Tevilah! If so, how can the Gemara say that the Pasuk refers to Elyono Shel
Zav which is only Metamei food?
- TOSFOS (32b, DH Elyono) answers that the true subject of the verse in
question is the handle of a saddle, which is Tamei with Tumas Merkav. The
verse is teaching us that anything, even utensils which touch a Merkav
becomes Tamei until Tevilah and nightfall. Our Gemara means to say that the
extra word "v'Hanosei" (or "Tachtav") teaches us the Halachah of Elyono
Shel Zav. The phrase "Yitma Ad ha'Erev" only applies to to the simple
meaning of the verse, and not to its exegetical interpretation.
- The RAMBAM (Hilchos Metamei Mishkav u'Moshav 6:3) rules that although
Elyono Shel Zav is Metamei Ochlin u'Mashkin, this Tumah is mid'Rabbanan.
The commentators explain that the Rambam understood our Gemara to be an
Asmachta b'Alma (and not a full-fledged Limud), since the verse obviously
cannot be dealing with Elyono Shel Zav, which is only Metamei foods.
- The RA'AVAD (ad loc.) rules that Elyono Shel Zav is Metamei Kelim
(except for Klei Cheres). This seems to contradict our Sugya, which clearly
states that it is not Metamei Kelim. Apparently, the RA'AVAD means that
while an object is still lying above a Zav it can be Metamei Kelim. Our
Gemara means that after it is removed it is not Metamei Kelim.
- The MALBIM (Parashas Metzora) suggests that the words "Mai Nihu" (top
of 33a) should be "Mai Mi'et." The Gemara's intention, then, is that the
verse is indeed referring to Merkav, which is Metamei Kelim, and it
excludes Elyono Shel Zav from being Metamei Kelim. (The Malbim) explains
that this exclusion is deduced from the fact that the Merkav is called
"Asher Yiheyeh (ha'Zav) Tachtav" and not "Asher Yiheyeh Al ha'Zav.")
- MA'AYANOS OF A "BO'EL NIDAH"
The Gemara recounts the episode of a Kohen Gadol who was talking
with a Tzeduki (Sadducee) in the marketplace. Some saliva fell from the
Tzeduki onto the Kohen's garments, and the Kohen immediately went to find
out if the Tzeduki was a Bo'el Nidah. RASHI (DH v'Horiku) explains that the
Kohen Gadol was worried that his garments became Tamei.
TOSFOS (DH Bo'el) and the RASH (Taharos 7:5) tell us that the Ma'ayanos
(liquid discharges from the body) of a Bo'el Nidah are Metamei b'Masa. If
so, why does Rashi say that the Kohen Gadol was only concerned for the
Taharah of his garments? If the discharge of a Bo'el Nidah fell on his
garments, he himself would become Tamei through Masa!
There actually is extensive literature in the Rishonim discussing
whether the Halachah of Ma'ayanos ha'Zav applies to a Bo'el Nidah. (The
RASH and the ROSH discuss this in the beginning of Ohalos.) Although Tosfos
and the Rash conclude otherwise, the RASHBATZ (Nidah loc. cit.) writes
clearly that the Ma'ayanos of a Bo'el Nidah are only a Rishon l'Tumah,
since they touched the Bo'el Nidah, and not an Av like the Ma'ayanos of a
Zav. If they are only a Rishon, they will only be Metamei through contact
and not through Masa. Perhaps Rashi also learned that Ma'ayanos of a Bo'el
Nidah are only a Rishon l'Tumah. If so, the saliva of the Tzeduki would
only be Metamei the Kohen's clothes. (Although a normal Rishon cannot be
Metamei clothes, the Rabanan were Gozer that liquids which are Tamei make
clothes and Kelim become Tamei.) The Kohen Gadol therefore had no reason to
be concerned about his body becoming Tamei through Masa. (ARUCH LA'NER)
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