THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
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Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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- SEVEN DAYS OF NIDAH FOLLOWED BY ELEVEN DAYS OF ZIVAH
The Rishonim explain that mid'Oraisa whenever a woman sees blood,
she counts seven days of Nidah. Any blood she sees after that, within a
period of eleven days, is the blood of Zivah. This eleven-day period only
begins after a 7-day period of Nidah. This is clear from a number of Sugyos
in the Gemara.
The RAMBAM (Hilchos Isurei Bi'ah 6:4-6) writes that a woman always counts
seven days, during which any blood she sees is considered Dam Nidah,
followed by eleven days, during which any blood she sees is considered Dam
Zivah (such that she must keep track of her count of 7-11-7-11... her
entire life). She goes through consistent and consecutive periods of Nidah
(seven days) and Zivah (eleven days). During the eleven-day period she can
become a Zavah whether or not she was previously a Nidah, and during the
7-day period she can become a Nidah whether or not she was previously a
The Rambam's opinion seems to contradict the many Sugyos that imply that
her Nidah state only starts after she has become Tahor from her Zavah
state. The Gemara clearly states that a Zavah cannot see blood that will
make her a Nidah (37b).
The NETZIV (notes on the She'iltos, Tazria 86:4, and on our Sugya)
explains in the following manner. The RIF cites the verses from which we
learn the count of seven/eleven, in accordance with the opinion of Rebbi
Akiva who learns that the source of the eleven-day count is a verse. The
Rif adds that we do not rule like this, but like Rebbi Elazar Ben Azaryah,
who says that the eleven-day count is learned from a Halachah l'Moshe
Why does the Rif go out of the way to explain the different opinions
concerning the source for the eleven-day count? The Rif was writing
Halachos; in what way is it relevant to the Halachah to know the source for
the eleven-day count?
The Netziv answers that the Rif considered it to be relevant to Halachah in
the following way. If we rule that the eleven-day count is learned from a
verse, then the days of Zivah will only be the days immediately after a
woman actually saw Dam Nidah and counted seven days, as is clearly implied
from the verse. If the woman did not become a Nidah, she does not count
eleven days. This is the opinion of Rebbi Akiva according to the Rif, and
the Sugyos throughout the Gemara that are inconsistent with the Rambam's
ruling are in accordance with the opinion of Rebbi Akiva.
According to Rebbi Elazar Ben Azaryah, on the other hand, who learns that
the source for the eleven-day count is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai, the
Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai teaches that the count is always a consistent,
alternating count of seven/eleven. The Rambam rules like the Rif, in
accordance with the opinion of Rebbi Elazar Ben Azaryah.
- LEARN HALACHOS EVERY DAY...
The Gemara concludes Maseches Nidah with the statement, "He who
learns Halachos every day, is guaranteed a portion in the World to Come."
This statement appears to be a non sequitur -- in what way is it related to
the Sugya at hand?
- RAV DAVID LURIA (the Radal) of Bichov explains that in numerous places
the Gemara uses the word "Halachos" to refer to Mishnayos, as opposed to
Gemara (cf. Rashi, end of Megilah 26b). D'Vei Eliyahu is encouraging us to
learn the remainder of the Mishnayos of Seder Taharos although no Gemara
was composed to explain them.
- The BE'ER SHEVA points out that there is only one other place in Shas
where this statement is repeated (Megilah, end of 28b). There, too, it
immediately follows a discussion that pertains to the Yemei Nidah and Yemei
Zivah of a woman.
The Mishnah in Avos (3:18) tells us, "Even the laws of bird-offerings and
the laws concerning the beginning of Nidah/Zivah cycles are essential
Halachos of the Torah ('Gufei Halachos')" (as explained in Chagigah 11b,
see Insights, Erchin 8:1). The NIMUKEI HA'GRIV explains that this is why
our Sugya and the Sugya in Megilah conclude with the statement that one who
learns Halachos every day will merit a portion in the World to Come. By
association, the Gemara means to say that even the study of such Halachos
as those concerning the beginning of Nidah/Zivah cycles, which are
essentially mathematics, will guarantee a person a portion in the World to
HADRAN ALACH MASECHES NIDAH,
U'SLIKA LA KULEI SHAS!!!