More Discussions for this daf
1. Baby born after 8 Months 2. Birth Yotzai Dophen 3. Hatafat Dam Brit
4. 8 month birth 5. Status of a "Nefel" 8-month-old baby that was not expected to live 6. Safek 7- or 8-month baby
7. Eight-month Babies and Modern Science 8. A Fetus At Eight Months 9. ברש"י בסוף עמוד א'

Judy Slome Cohain asked:

Dear Kollel,

This week daf yomi talked about cesarean section (birth via Yotzai Dophen)

It was saying that a woman is not tamei after a cesarean birth.

I was wondering if this was a theoretical TEST CASE or something practical that happened.

Trying to decide if a woman in tomei or not after a cesarean implies that the woman survived the cesarean. The first documented cesarean section in which the mother survived the cesarean took place around 1600, and it was another 200 years or so, until that was repeated and some people question the accuracy of the report from 1600.

I would like to know if there is a beraita or any evidence (or more than one) in the talmud or Rambam, in which a woman has a birth "yotzai dofen" and lived for more than a week afterwards.

Back in Caesars time, they did caesareans to save the baby after the mother died, or when it was clear the mother was almost dead.

Judy Slome Cohain, Alon Shvut Israel

The Kollel replies:

A woman is definitely not Tamei after a Cesarean birth (that is not in question).

The Gemara in Nidah (40a) states that a woman needs to observe neither the days of Tumah nor those of Taharah that follow a Cesarean birth. Bearing in mind that this covers a period of forty days (for a boy) and eighty days (for a girl), it is clear that the Torah is talking about a woman who can survive such a birth and live to tell the tale.

The fact that Chazal do not refer to this as impossible (confining the Pasuk to a case where the woman subsequently died, as you intimated) suggests that this was possible in their eyes too. In fact, Rashi specifically states that the woman recovers after the birth.

It is not uncommon for the world to attribute new-found discoveries to the gentile who discovers them in his day, even though we knew about them many centuries earlier (and this is true for example, in the world of astronomy, in which Chazal were expert long before the rest of the world was).

I cannot recall any case of Cesarian birth mentioned in Shas, but it is clear that, not only might there have been such a case, but that the mother might have survived too.

May you and yours be inscribed in the Book of Good Life.

Kol Tuv

Rabbi Chrysler.