12th Cycle dedication

CHULIN 88 (23 Elul) - Dedicated by Dr. Alain Bitton of Geneva, Switzerland, in honor of the first Yahrzeit of his aunt, Messodi bat Frecha.

[88a - 40 lines; 88b - 34 lines]

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We recommend using the textual changes suggested by the Bach and the marginal notes of the Vilna Shas. This section is devoted to any OTHER important corrections that Acharonim have pointed out in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos

[1] Tosfos 88b DH Shochek Dinar Zahav u'Mechaseh שוחק דינר זהב ומכסה:

The words "Rebbi Yishmael Palig a'Beraisa... me'Halachah"רבי ישמעאל פליג אברייתא דהכא דמפיק בכל דבר מוכסהו ואיהו אית ליה דהוי מהלכה are unnecessary (They are part of Tosfos answer, and need not be repeated in the middle of his question — M. KORNFELD)


1)[line 3]תחלהTECHILAH- a Rishon l'Tum'ah (see next entry)

2)[line 4]משקה שהוא אב הטומאהMASHKEH SHE'HU AV HA'TUM'AH - liquids that are Temei'im at the level of an Av ha'Tum'ah

(a)In general, the various levels of Tum'ah are called, respectively: 1. Av ha'Tum'ah, 2. Rishon l'Tum'ah, 3. Sheni and 4. Shelishi. The latter two (Sheni and Shelishi) are called "Velad ha'Tum'ah."

(b)The Chachamim decreed that liquids become Tamei at the level of a Rishon l'Tum'ah when touched by a Rishon and Sheni l'Tum'ah. They decreed further that these liquids are Metamei utensils to become a Velad ha'Tum'ah (Shabbos 14b, and Tosfos DH Ela b'Mashkin), since there are liquids that are Metamei utensils mid'Oraisa; namely the bodily liquids of a Zav (see below, entry #4) or Zavah (see Background to Menachos 89:6). The Zov, semen, saliva and urine of a Zav, and the blood, saliva and urine of a Zavah are all Avos ha'Tum'ah.


(a)A Sheretz (a crawling pest — see Vayikra 11:29-38 and Background to Menachos 29:25), even if it or a part of it is only the size of an Adashah (lentil bean), is an Av ha'Tum'ah (Chagigah 11a). It makes a person or object Tamei at the level of a Rishon l'Tum'ah through Maga (contact), whether the Sheretz was touched willingly or unwillingly. The person who becomes Tamei by touching a Sheretz may not eat Terumah or Kodshim or enter the Azarah of the Beis Ha'Mikdash. However, he can immediately immerse in a Mikvah. After nightfall he becomes Tahor and may eat Terumah or Kodshim or enter the Azarah.

(b)In addition to Tum'as Maga, a dead Sheretz that is found in an earthenware oven makes the oven and all food or drink items that are in it Temei'im, whether the Sheretz touches them or not.

4a)[line 5]זבZAV (TUM'AS ZAV)

(a)A Zav, a man who emits Zov two or three times, whether it is emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, is an Av ha'Tum'ah. Zov is a clear discharge with the appearance of the white of a sterile or spoiled egg, in contrast with semen, which has the consistency of fresh egg white. Zov can also be a pus-like discharge resembling the liquid from barley dough or soft barley batter.

(b)A man who emits a discharge that may be Zov is "checked" to determine whether or not he becomes a Zav. If the discharge came about b'Ones (due to an external cause), he is Tahor. Some examples of Ones are: 1. eating too much; 2. drinking too much; 3. jumping; 4. being sick; etc. (see Zavim 2:2).

(c)A Zav must count seven "clean" days in which he sees no Zov in order to start his purification process, as it states in Vayikra 15:13. On the seventh day or afterwards, he must immerse in a spring during the day. At nightfall he becomes Tahor, if he did not emit Zov again beforehand (ibid.).

(d)If a Zav emits Zov only two times, he does not bring a Korban. If he emitted Zov three times, whether it is emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, he has to bring a Korban after he becomes Tahor in order to enter the Beis ha'Mikdash and to eat Kodshim and Terumah.


(a)A Zav (see previous entry), as well as a Zavah (see Background to Menachos 89:6), Nidah (see Background to Chulin 31:13) or Yoledes (see Background to Chulin 41:39), can cause objects that are under them to become Avos ha'Tum'ah whether they touch them or not. The objects become Tamei Midras (lit. an object that is treaded upon), otherwise known as Mishkav or Moshav ha'Zav (or the Tachton, of a Zav). An object (other than Klei Cheres - earthenware objects) that is under a Zav or a Zavah becomes a Midras only if it was made for lying, sitting, or leaning upon.

(b)A person who touches (Maga) or carries (Masa) either a Midras or a Zav or Zavah themselves gets the status of Rishon l'Tum'ah, and so do the clothes he is wearing and other utensils (except for earthenware utensils) that he is touching at the time.

(c)Utensils or clothes that lie above the Zav also get the status of a Rishon l'Tum'ah, whether he touches them or not. These are called the Elyon of a Zav.

(d)A Zav or Zavah also cause Tum'ah through Heset, when they move (or outweigh on a balance scale) a person or an object that is Tahor. In all other types of Tum'ah besides Zav, Zavah, Nidah and Yoledes, the Tamei who moves a person or object that is Tahor does not Metamei the person or object. Only Zav, etc. can Metamei people or objects in this way.

5)[line 6]מתMES (TUM'AS MES)

(a)A k'Zayis of the flesh of a Mes (corpse) is an "Avi Avos ha'Tumah" and is Metamei through Maga (contact), Masa (carrying), and Ohel (being in the same room (lit. tent). An Ohel is defined as a covered space that is at least one Tefach in length, width and height.

(b)In an Ohel ha'Mes, the house or room becomes Tamei even if the Mes is passing through it and does not stop moving. A person who enters an Ohel ha'Mes becomes Tamei even if only a bit of his body enters, even when entering backwards. A Mechitzah (partition) in an Ohel ha'Mes only prevents the spread of Tum'ah if it reaches the ceiling. (RASH to Kelim 1:4)

(c)The bones of a Mes are only Metamei through Ohel under one of three conditions: 1. They constitute a quarter of a Kav (Rova ha'Kav); 2. They are the majority of the human body (whether they are the majority of the build (Rov Binyano) of the body or the majority of the number (Rov Minyano) of 248 bones; 3. The bone is a complete skull or a complete spinal column. In order to be Metamei through Maga and Masa, it is enough for the bone to be the size of a Se'orah (a grain of barley). An incomplete spine or skull is therefore Metamei through Maga and Masa. Beis Shamai and Beis Hilel disagree as to the amount missing at which point they are no longer Metamei through Ohel. (For a further discussion of Tum'as Ohel, as to objects that prevent or spread Tum'ah, see Background to Chulin 36:11:d-e.)

(d)If a person (or utensil) became Tamei through touching Tum'as Mes or being in the same room as a corpse or something that is Metamei b'Ohel, he must wait seven days to become Tahor. On the third and seventh days he must have spring water mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah (Mei Chatas; see Background to Chulin 81:11) sprinkled on him. A person who is Tahor dips three Ezov branches that have been bound together into the mixture, and sprinkles them on the person who is Tamei. On the seventh day, he immerses in a Mikvah after the mixture is sprinkled on him in order to complete his Taharah (Bamidbar 19:17-19).

6)[line 8]לא בדילי אינשי מיניהLO BEDILEI INSHEI MINEI- people do not separate themselves from him

7)[line 16]אגפייםAGAPAYIM- the sides of the neck where the Shechitah was performed (lit. banks, e.g. of a river)

8)[line 18]דם הנפשDAM HA'NEFESH- the blood that spurts out upon the animal's slaughter

9)[line 23]סידSID- lime, plaster

10)[line 24]חרסיתCHARSIS- (a) ground shards of pottery (RASHI); (b) a type of plaster that is made from shards of pottery (RITVA)

11)[line 24]לבנהLEVENAH- a brick

12)[line 24]מגופהMEGUFAH- the mortar used to seal the lid of a barrel

13)[line 36]דמיפריך איפרוכיD'MIFRICH IFRUCHEI- that it crumbles in one's hand (and some artisans grind it in order to prepare it for use while others do not — RAN)

14)[last line]נעורת פשתןNE'ORES PISHTAN- (O.F. areste) tow; the coarse, broken fibers of flax that are separated after being thoroughly beaten


15)[line 1]נסורת של חרשיןNESORES SHEL CHARASHIN- sawdust of carpenters

16)[line 3]כלי מתכותKLEI MATACHOS- metal utensils

17a)[line 5]סוביןSUBIN- (a) bran that adheres to the wheat kernel that is separated out in the last stages of sifting; alt. coarse bran that comes off the wheat when it is pounded; (b) bran flour (coarse flour that still has the bran in it)

b)[line 5]מורסןMURSAN- coarse bran that comes off the wheat when it is pounded, or flour that still has the bran in it. RASHI to Bava Kama 99b explains that Subin is thicker than Mursan.

18)[line 9]כלל ופרט, אין בכלל אלא מה שבפרטKLAL U'FRAT, EIN BI'CHLAL ELA MAH SHEB'FRAT

When a Klal (general term) is followed by a Prat (specification), without teaching any new Halachos that pertain to that Prat, then the Halachah of the verse is limited and applies only to the Prat.

19)[line 11]כלל הצריך לפרטKLAL HA'TZARICH L'FRAT

When a Klal cannot be understood without a Prat, the Prat is only defining the Klal and is not excluding anything.

20)[line 15]האי בורכאHAI BURCHA- that is (a) not the main ruling [for the requirements of Kisuy ha'Dam] (RASHI); (b) a fabrication (RASHI to Shevuos 12b); (b) improper (RASHI to Kesuvos 63b); (c) ignorance (ARUCH)

21)[line 23]"... וְעַפְרֹת זָהָב לוֹ.""... V'AFROS ZAHAV LO."- "... and it has dust of gold." (Iyov 28:6)

22)[line 26]וְלָקְחוּ לַטָּמֵא מֵעֲפַר שְׂרֵפַת הַחַטָּאת ...""V'LAKCHU LA'TAMEI ME'AFAR SEREIFAS HA'CHATAS ..."- "And they shall take for the person who is Tamei from the dust of the Parah Adumah ..." (Bamidbar 19:17)

23)[line 28]שחורSHACHOR- powdered charcoal (used as black pigment)

24)[line 29]כחולKECHOL- a blue powder used as eye shadow

25)[line 29]נקרת פיסוליןNIKRAS PISULIN- coarse dust of chiseled millstones (HAGAHOS YA'AVETZ to TOSFOS DH v'Nikras)

26)[line 29]זרניךZARNICH- orpiment, an orange to yellow mineral consisting of arsenic trisufide that is used as a yellow dye

27)[line 32]אפר פרהEFER PARAH (PARAH ADUMAH)

See Background to Chulin 81:11.

28)[line 32]עפר סוטהAFAR SOTAH - the earth taken from the floor of the Azarah that is placed in the water that the Sotah drinks, as prescribed in Bamidbar 5:17 (SOTAH)

(a)A Sotah is a woman who is suspected of committing adultery because she was warned by her husband not to seclude herself with a certain man and she violated the warning. The process of warning her in front of witnesses is called Kinuy. The witnesses who see her seclude herself with the suspected adulterer are called Eidei Stirah. The time of seclusion must be at least for the time that it takes to roast an egg and swallow it. The woman is forbidden to her husband and the alleged adulterer until she drinks Mei Sotah (see (d), below). If she committed adultery after not heeding the warning of two witnesses, she is put to death by Chenek (choking), as it states in the Torah (Devarim 22:22). One witness to adultery ("Ed Tum'ah") prevents her from drinking the Mei Sotah.

(b)After Kinuy and Stirah, the husband must bring his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash to perform the ceremony of the Mei Sotah. On the way there, Beis Din appoints two Torah scholars to accompany them to make sure that they do not engage in marital relations, which are forbidden to them. Moreover, if the couple does have marital relations at this point, the Mei Sotah will not work, since the husband must be "Menukeh me'Avon," clear (lit. cleaned) of sin for the ceremony to work. The Gemara (Sotah 47b) explains that this means that he did not have relations with his wife from the time that she became prohibited to him, or with any other woman (ever) who was prohibited to him (RASHI to Sotah ibid.)

(c)The husband brings a sacrifice consisting of 1/10 of an Eifah (approximately 2.16, 2.49 or 4.32 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) of barley flour as a Minchah offering. Oil and Levonah are not added (Bamidbar 5:15), and Hagashah, Kemitzah and Haktarah are performed (see Background to Menachos 72:25a:c). The Sheyarei ha'Minchah are eaten by the Kohanim. In the Azarah of the Beis ha'Mikdash, a Kohen reads Parshas Sotah, the portion of the Torah describing the curses with which a Sotah is cursed, out loud (in any language that the Sotah understands) and makes the Sotah swear that she has been faithful to her husband.

(d)An earthenware jug is then filled with half a Log of water from the Kiyor and earth from the floor of the Azarah is placed on top of the water. Parshas Sotah (that contains numerous appearances of Hash-m's name) is written on parchment and then immersed in the water, which causes the ink to dissolve, erasing the Holy Names. The Sotah afterwards drinks from the water. If she was unfaithful to her husband and allowed herself to become defiled, the water would enter her body and poison her, causing her belly to swell out and her thigh to rupture. If she was faithful to her husband, she remained unharmed and would be blessed that she would become pregnant (Bamidbar 5:11-31). In times when there is no Mei Sotah such as in the present day, a Sotah must be divorced and does not receive her Kesuvah.