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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 129



(a) According to Mar Zutra (quoting Shmuel):
1. As long as the Chayah's womb is still open: Whether she expresses the need or even if she says she doesn't, one is Mechalel Shabbos on her behalf.
2. Once her womb is closed: One is Mechalel Shabbos for her, only if she expresses the need, but not if she doesn't.
(b) In case 1., we are Mechalel Shabbos, even if she says that she does *not* need, only if her friends' assess that she *does*.

(c) We rule like Mar Zutra - even against Rav Ashi - because of the principle 'Safek Nefashos Lehakel'.

(a) Some give the beginning of Pesichas ha'Kever as from the time that blood begins to flow (before she sits on the birth-stool), and others from the time that she needs her friends' support because she can no longer walk on her own (which is presumably, in between the other two).

(b) The three days given by the Neherda'i is synonymous with the Din of Mar Zutra mentioned above ('Kol Zeman she'ha'Kever Pasu'ach - in 1a. 1.); the seven days with 'Nistam ha'Kever' (in 1a. 2.); whereas, during the thirty day period, a Jew is not permitted to break the Shabbos at all on her behalf. Should she however, express the need, then we permit a gentile to do whatever is necessary- like the ruling of Rav Hamnuna, who permits all cures to be performed through a gentile, even when there is no life-danger.

(c) When Shmuel says 'le'Chayah Sheloshim Yom', he means that a woman who has given birth should not Tovel before thirty days, because she needs to be kept warm (in former times, Mikva'os were generally cold).

(d) This does not however, apply when her husband is with her, because then he keeps her warm.

(a) Yes! one is permitted to light a fire for a sick person or for someone who let blood, even in the height of summer (if necessary) - because they need additional warmth.

(b) When Rabah broke up the bench for firewood, he justified the Isur of Bal Tashchis - on the grounds that 'Bal Tashchis de'Gufa'i Adif'.

(c) Despite the importance of wearing shoes, one may sell one's shoes, if necessary, in order to procure the needs for the Se'udah after blood-letting?

(d) Rav says that one should eat meat - a soul for a soul; Shmuel says (even) wine - red for red (he agrees that red meat is equally effective, as is evident from the case that the Gemara then cites.

(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak implored his Talmidim even to tell their wives (on the day they let blood) that he was coming to visit them - even though this was not true - to ensure that they would prepare a hearty meal - which is vital in one way or another, after letting blood.

(b) Someone who let blood and has no wine, is advised to take a bad Zuz, and to go from one winery to another, asking to taste their wines, as if he intended to make a purchase, and then to offer the merchant the Zuz, which he will refuse. Then he should proceed to the next shop. (Geneivas Da'as is normally prohibited. Here presumably, the Gemara permits it because of the element of life-danger involved).

(c) Someone who does not possess a bad Zuz, should eat seven black dates, rub oil on his forehead (both of which cause heat), and sleep in the sun.

(a) Avalat found Shmuel sleeping in the sun, so he asked him how something bad (the heat of the sun) could become good.

(b) Shmuel answered that he had let blood that day. However, that was not the true answer (only he did not want to divulge the real answer to a gentile). The truth of the matter is that there is one day in the year when the heat of the sun is good - the day on which Tekufas Tamuz (some say Tekufas Teves) falls (which happened to be the very day that this incident took place).

(a) If someone is not careful to eat the special blood-letting meal, Hashem will not show concern about his sustenance. He doesn't care about himself, why should Hashem care? (This is similar to the Ma'amar Chazal - 'Mi she'Ein Bo Da'as, Asur Lerachem Alav').

(b) There is a danger that, if the blood-letter left him with only one Revi'is of blood (the minimum that a person needs to live), then even a slight breeze could dry up some of the remaining blood, and he will die.

(c) Shmuel would normally have his blood let in a house whose walls were seven and a half bricks thick (each brick of three Tefachim). Once, after his blood had been let, he felt weak, and, upon investigation, he discovered that half a brick was missing from the thickness of the wall. From here we can see just how sensitive the body is to wind after blood-letting.

(d) If someone leaves the house after blood-letting without eating, and comes across ...

  1. ... a corpse - his face will turn green;
  2. ... a murderer - he will die;
  3. ... a pig - he will be stricken with leprosy.



(a) When Rav and Shmuel said, with reference to blood-letting, 'Lishhi Purta ve'Hadar Leikum' - they meant that it is dangerous get up immediately after blood-letting, but should first wait for a short while, and then get up.

(b) Rav and Shmuel's advice also applies to getting up immediately after waking up from one's sleep, and after Tashmish ha'Mitah.

(c) The ideal timing for blood-letting is once every thirty days.

(d) At the age of forty, this should be reduced to once every two months, and at sixty, to once every three months.

(a) Monday and Thursday are not good for blood-letting, because, due to the fact that Beis-Din sit on those days (of Takanas Ezra), they are known as Yemei Din (even in Heaven); and after blood-letting, one requires Rachamim, not Din.

(b) Nor is Tuesday a good, because on Tuesday, Mazal Ma'adim (Mars - which Par'oh referred to as Ra'ah) rules during the eighth hour (an even number, which is known as Zugos), a combination which can be lethal (On Wednesday too, Ma'adim rules during an even hour, but that is only at the end of the day, when one does not normally practice blood-letting anyway). (See Rabeinu Chananel, who explains that Ma'adim is in charge of blood.)

(c) It is acceptable to let blood on Friday, in spite of the fact that Mazal Ma'adim also rules during an even hour, because of the principle 'Kevan de'Dashu Bei Rabim, Shomer Pesa'im Hashem'.

(d) The reason that the custom to let blood on Friday became so widespread - is because people could not afford the blood-letting meal, so they would perform the operation as close to Shabbos as possible, and rely on the Shabbos meal. And on Shabbos, it is Kavod Shabbos to eat big fish, and 'Sheni le'Dam (for after blood-letting), Dag'.

(a) What Shmuel meant by 'four which is four, or fourteen or twenty-four, is dangerous' - is that it is dangerous to let blood on a Wednesday (the fourth day) which falls on the fourth, the fourteenth or the twenty-fourth.

(b) It is also dangerous to let blood on the last Wednesday of the month, if less than four days remain until the end of the month.

(c) Blood-letting on ...

  1. ... the first or second of the month makes one weak, but to do so on the third, is dangerous.
  2. ... every other Erev Yom-Tov makes one weak, but to do so on Erev Shevu'os, is dangerous.
(d) 'Tavo'ach' is the name of the wind that blows on Erev Shevu'os, and endangers anyone who lets blood on that day. Therefore, Chazal issued a decree prohibiting blood-letting on every Erev Yom-Tov because of Erev Shevu'os
(a) Letting blood after eating is effective only with regard to that particular meal, provided one is letting-blood as a cure, but if he is doing so in order to lose excessive blood, then even after eating, the operation will be fully effective.

(b) One should ...

  1. ...drink -immediately after the blood-letting operation.
  2. ... eat - within half a Mil (nine minutes) after the operation.
(c) Regarding blood-letting *after* this time, the Gemara remains uncertain whether it is harmful, or merely pointless.

(d) Pumpkins, animal heads and animal lips - are all not very healthy, and one should not buy them unless they are extremely cheap. (We have already explained elsewhere, that when it comes to health, the Gemara's definition of what is healthy and what is not, does not necessarily apply nowadays.)

(e) Rav Huna would refer to a wasted day (a day on which the Talmidim came late) as 'Yoma de'Shifmi' - because, as we just saw, animals lips are not much use.

(a) Princesses would place the placenta in a bowl of oil, wealthy women in wads of combed wool, whereas poor women would place it in old cloths.

(b) The Rabbanan concede that if twins are born, one needs to cut their umbilical cords; otherwise, they might become entangled, thereby endangering the babies.

(c) We learn from ...

  1. ... "u'va'Mayim Lo Ruchatz le'Mish'i" - that one may (indeed one must) wash the new-born baby
  2. ... "ve'Hamlei'ach Lo Humlachat" - that one may salt him (to harden his flesh).
  3. ... ve'Hachtel Lo Chutalt" - that one may wrap him tightly with cloths, which one ties with belts.
******Hadran Alach, 'Mefanin'!******

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