DO WE CIRCUMCISE ONE WHOSE BROTHERS DIED DUE TO BRIS MILAH? [Bris Milah: danger]
From R. Noson we learn that Yarok and Adumah (red) are Kosher (in the lungs. Stam Yarok is yellow. Green is normally called 'Yarok like leeks.')
i. (Beraisa - R. Noson): I met a woman who had lost two sons through circumcision. The third baby was red. I counseled her to postpone the Milah until the blood was absorbed. She did so, and the baby survived. In a similar case, the third baby was Yarok. I saw that it did not have enough blood for Milah. I counseled her to postpone the Milah until the blood comes in. She did so, and the baby survived.
(Rav Sama brei d'Rava): If the lungs are like hops, saffron or an egg, it is Tereifah.
Question: If so (yellow is Tereifah), in what case is Yarok Kosher?
Answer: If they are Yarok like leeks, it is Kosher.
Shabbos 134a - Abaye's (surrogate) mother: If a baby is red, this shows that his blood has not been absorbed. One should delay Milah until his blood is absorbed. If he is Yarok, this shows that he does not have enough blood yet. One should delay Milah until he has enough blood.
(Beraisa - R. Noson (ha'Bavli)): I met a woman who had lost two sons through Milah...
The women called the sons Noson ha'Bavli.
Yevamos 99b (Beraisa): There are 10 categories to whom we do not distribute Terumah at the granaries... a minor, Arel, Tamei, a Kohen married to a Pesulah (a woman forbidden to him).
In every case we send to their houses, except for a Tamei or a Kohen married to a Pesulah.
Question: Why do we send to an Arel? If it is due to Ones, the same applies to a Tamei!
Answer: An Arel is totally blameless. A Tamei could have been more careful.
The Rif and Rosh (Shabbos 53a and 19:2) bring the Beraisa of R. Noson.
Rambam (Hilchos Milah 1:18): If a woman circumcised her first son, and he died due to Bris Milah, i.e. it weakened his strength, and similarly with her second son, she does not circumcise the third in his time. Rather, she waits until he grows a little and gets strong. Mortal danger overrides everything. One can circumcise him later. One can never return the life of a Yisrael.
Chasam Sofer (YD 145): The Rambam says that Piku'ach Nefesh overrides Milah because one can circumcise him later, but one can never return the life of a Yisrael. If it were not possible to circumcise later, Milah would override Piku'ach Nefesh. We must say that there is always a chance that one will circumcise later even if his brothers died due to Milah. What is the Rambam's source? Piku'ach Nefesh overrides everything except for the three Aveiros! One opinion learns that Piku'ach Nefesh overrides Shabbos from "v'Shamru Vnei Yisrael Es ha'Shabbos" - desecrate one Shabbos for him, in order that he will observe many Shabbosos. This connotes that it is only so he will keep many Shabbosos, but not because he will observe many other Mitzvos such as Tefilin... From here we learn to all Mitzvos, that we transgress them once in order to fulfill them many times. Likewise, we delay Milah, in order that he will be circumcised at a later time, for all of his life. If there is no hope to circumcise him later, why should we delay Milah even a short time? However, the Gemara concludes like Shmuel, that we learn from "va'Chai Bahem." The Rambam himself says so in Hilchos Shabbos (2:3). I explained elsewhere that we need both verses.
Nimukei Yosef (Yevamos 20a DH u'Shlishi): If a woman's first two sons died due to Milah, we do not circumcise the third on the eighth day, until he strengthens.
Tosfos (47b DH Shelishi): It seems that R. Noson holds that two times makes a Chazakah, since he told the mother to wait.
Maharsha: Some ask that perhaps he holds that two times does not make a Chazakah, and he told the mother to wait because the baby was red! In Shabbos, we prove from this episode that if a baby is red, we wait before circumcising him! This is not difficult. If not for the Chazakah, he would not have mentioned that the first two babies died due to Milah! Do not say that if the third was not red, he would have said to circumcise him immediately even though the first two died. If this baby did not depend on the first two babies, he should not have mentioned them. Rather, we must say that R. Noson did not yet know that we delay circumcising a red baby until he heard that also the first two were red, and they died. He told her to circumcise after the blood is absorbed, for the Chazakah was only that her babies die when they are red, i.e. because the blood was not yet absorbed.
Chasam Sofer (YD 145): Seemingly, one could say oppositely! R. Noson holds that three times make Chazakah. Since only two had died, he relied on his Chachmah to circumcise after his blood was absorbed. Had the Gemara said Stam that she lost children due to Milah, one might have thought she already lost three, and even though there was a Chazakah, he relied on his Chachmah. Had the Gemara not mentioned that she had lost children due to Milah, we would not know why she called the son by his name. This requires investigation. It seems that Tosfos had the Rosh's text, which says that the case of the red baby was her fourth, and the case of the Yarok baby was her third. This shows that even after a Chazakah, R. Noson relied on his Chachmah. Therefore, surely the Beraisa mentioned that the Yarok baby was her third, to teach that even twice makes a Chazakah.
Note: Our text of the Rosh (Shabbos 19:2) cites the Beraisa like we have it.
Question: How did R. Noson know to wait until the babies were not red or Yarok? Perhaps the first ones died even though they were not red or Yarok! If it is because most do not die from Milah (so presumably the first died because they were red or Yarok), we do not rely on the majority regarding Piku'ach Nefesh! Also, since a minority died due to Milah, why did the Torah command to circumcise? We must say that regarding Milah, we follow the majority.
Chasam Sofer: The Gemara (Gitin 57b) connotes that there is some danger from Stam Milah. It seems that this is only on day eight, but not for descendants of Yishmael and Keturah, who circumcise in adulthood. We find that not one in 1000 Yisre'elim dies due to Milah. We must say that the Mitzvah protects, but naturally, a (sizable) minority would die, and even so the Torah commanded. This shows that for Milah, we rely on the majority regarding Piku'ach Nefesh. There is no question from the episode with R. Noson. The only Hava Amina not to circumcise was based on the Chazakah. For this, we rely on a majority, which is stronger than a Chazakah. Many adults are reddish; this is not related to a red baby. Indeed, Esav was not circumcised because he was red. Also David was red. However, he was born circumcised.
Shulchan Aruch (YD 263:2): If a woman's first two children died due to Bris Milah, she is established that her children die due to Milah.
Beis Yosef (DH Ishah): It seems that the Rif, Rambam and Rosh say not to circumcise even when the third is not sick at all. Rather, some families have weak blood. If the baby is sick, we do not circumcise him even if he is the first! The Rambam and Tur say that the first two died due to Milah, i.e. and not due to another sickness.
Pleisi (YD 38, b'Sof, cited in R. Akiva Eiger): Why did the Rambam, Tur and Shulchan Aruch omit that if a woman's first two or three sons died due to Milah, and she has a baby that is red or Yarok, we may circumcise him? They must hold that we do not rely on Shabbos 134a. R. Noson did not know that these women already lost two sons due to Milah. Had he known, he would not have relied (on the red or Yarok appearance) to permit a Safek danger.
Rebuttal (Pischei Teshuvah 4): His answer is difficult. Beis Efrayim (YD 57) says that the law is not relevant nowadays, for we hold (like Abaye's mother) that if any baby is red or Yarok, we delay Milah until his blood is absorbed or until he has enough blood. In the days of R. Noson, this was not yet known.
Noda bi'Yehudah (2 YD 165): A case occurred in which a three-year old was still not circumcised, because the first two babies died through Milah on day eight. I would have said that we never circumcise him, but the Rambam, Tur and Nimukei Yosef say that we circumcise him after he grows and strengthens. The Gemara, Rif and Rosh say Stam that we do not circumcise the third. We see that R. Noson said to circumcise after two already died. However, perhaps there we assume that the first ones died because also their blood was not absorbed, but no one had paid attention. If two died due to Milah without any sign of weakness, we would never circumcise the third. Or, perhaps R. Noson holds that only three times makes Chazakah, and he delayed the Bris only due to the redness. Had three died, he would have said never to circumcise the fourth.
Hagahah: We can say that this is like the Maharsha. However, the Maharsha is difficult. How can we say that the Gemara omitted that the first two were red? Rather, Tosfos holds that if the blood was absorbed, the danger is only to circumcise on day eight.
Noda bi'Yehudah: We must say that since R. Noson did not see the first two, he had to be stringent, that perhaps they were red. Rather, once the blood was absorbed, it is dangerous only on day eight. Since the Rambam, Nimukei Yosef, Tur and Shulchan Aruch say that we circumcise, who will question them? Therefore, if we see that he is strong like a normal three year old, and his face is Tzahov (yellow), not Yarok, we circumcise him. It is good to do so on a day when the air is clear. The Mitzvah of Milah can protect him.
Chasam Sofer (YD 245): A three year old was not circumcised because his brothers died due to Milah on day eight. Now his body and limbs strengthened. According to the Shulchan Aruch (the text 'Shin-Gimel' is a misprint - PF), now we may circumcise him, like the Rambam and Nimukei Yosef. However, the Noda bi'Yehudah says that the Gemara connotes that we never circumcise him. It seems that he overlooked Tosfos and the Maharsha. If we will say that we circumcise when the baby grows, the only case of an Arel who never circumcises is if two brothers died due to Milah after they matured, and this is not common. It is difficult to say that the verse "Arel Lev v'Arel Basar" discusses this.
Mishneh Halachos (12:180): Rashi (Yevamos 99b DH veha'Arel) says that we discuss a Kohen whose brothers died due to Milah. We must say that he is an adult, for another of the 10 was a minor. The Gemara says that Arel is a great Ones. This implies that even when he matures, he does not circumcise!