[55a - 44 lines; 55b - 51 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 and Rashi.

[1] Rashi 55a DH Iy Mah ד"ה אי מה:

The words "l'Tamei Even Mesama" לטמא אבן מסמא

should be "l'Tamei b'Even Mesama" לטמא באבן מסמא (RASHASH)

[2] ibid.:

The words "d'Ein Masa'o" דאין משאו

should be "d'Ein Masa" דאין משא

[3] ibid.:

The words "Aval Gedolah" אבל גדולה

should be "Aval Even Gedolah" אבל אבן גדולה (RAV SIMCHAH MI'DESAU)


1)[line 1]אבן מסמאEVEN MESAMA

(a)RASHI (here) explains that it is a stone that is too heavy to move. The Nidah is on the stone and the stone is resting on clothing or utensils that become Teme'im. Although the Nidah is on top of the clothing or utensils that are under the stone, since the stone is too heavy to carry, the normal Tum'as Masa does not apply to them.

(b)RASHI (to Shabbos 82b) explains that Even Mesama is a stone that is set up on poles or supports, such that the clothes or utensils underneath it do not touch it.

(c)TOSFOS (to Shabbos ibid.), quoting RABEINU TAM, states that it is a stone that is so heavy that there is no recognizable pressure from the Nidah who is on it to the clothing or utensils under it.

2)[line 3]"והנושא אותם""VEHA'NOSEI OSAM"- "[And one who touches anything that will be beneath him will be Tamei until nightfall,] and one who carries them [shall immerse his clothes in a Mikvah, immerse himself in a Mikvah, and he will be Tamei until nightfall] " (Vayikra 15:10).

3)[line 4]"לכל טומאתו""L'CHOL TUM'ASO"- "whatever Tum'ah it is" (Vayikra 5:3, 22:5).

4)[line 6]"או בעצם אדם או בקבר""O V'ETZEM ADAM O V'KAVER"- "[And whoever touches in the open fields, one who was slain with a sword, or a dead body,] or a bone of a man, or a grave, [shall be Tamei for seven days]" (Bamidbar 19:16).

5)[line 8]אפריך אפרוכיAFRICH AFRUCHEI- it crumbled

6)[line 10]אקמחIKMACH- it was ground to powder

7)[line 17]אין גזעו מחליףEIN GIZ'O MACHALIF- (lit. and its trunk does not regenerate) if cut off, it does not grow back

8)[line 21]הגלודהHA'GELUDAH- an animal, the hide of which is stripped off (see Background to Chulin 42:3:b:11)

9)[line 24]אלו שעורותיהם כבשרןELU SHE'OROSEIHEN KI'VESARAN- these are the ones, the hides of which are [Metam'im] like their flesh (RASHI to Chulin 122a)

10)[line 26]עור אדם טהורOR ADAM TAHOR- mid'Oraisa, human skin is Tahor because (a) it is not flesh (Basar) and thus is not considered to be part of the Mes (RASHI to Chulin 122a DH Devar Torah) (See Insights to Chulin 122:3); (b) only parts of the body that are similar to the bones in that they do not regenerate are considered parts of the Mes and are Metamei. Skin regenerates and therefore it is not Metamei mid'Oraisa (TOSFOS to Chulin ibid. DH Or, based on our Gemara)

11)[line 28]שטיחיןSHETICHIN- bedspreads or mats used for riding

12)[line 30]קריר בשרא וחייאKARIR BISRA, V'CHAYA- the flesh gets as hard as hide, and the Geludah recovers

13)[line 33]עבדןIBDAN- one tanned

14)[line 33]הילך בהן כדי עבודהHILECH BAHEN KEDEI AVODAH- one walked on them enough to process them into leather

15)[line 38]נעשה מקומו צלקתNA'ASEH MEKOMO TZALEKES- it is replaced by scar tissue; i.e. it does not return to its original state

16)[line 39]זובZOV (ZAV)

(a)A Zav (Vayikra 15:1-15), 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 (the Tum'ah generated by a Zav is discussed in Background to Nidah 54:18). 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. Zov is an Av ha'Tum'ah and is Metamei people, utensils and foods to be a Rishon l'Tum'ah, when one touches (Maga) or carries (Masa) it.

(b)A man who emits Zov one time is Tamei like a Ba'al Keri (see Background to Nidah 43:4) and must immerse and wait for nightfall to become Tahor. A man who emits a discharge that may be Zov is "checked" in seven ways to determine whether or not he becomes a Zav. If this discharge came about b'Ones (due to an external cause), he is Tahor. The seven external causes are:

1.eating too much;

2.drinking too much;

3.carrying a heavy load;


5.being sick;

6.(a) seeing a frightening sight (RASHI to Nazir 65b); (b) seeing a woman, even without having unclean thoughts (ROSH to Nazir ibid.);

7.having unclean thoughts.

(c)In order to start his purification process, a Zav must count seven "clean" days ("Shiv'ah Nekiyim") in which he experiences no discharge of Zov (checking once in the morning and once towards evening), 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. Even if the first time was b'Ones, as long as the second emission was not, he is Tamei. 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 (on the eighth day) in order to enter the Beis ha'Mikdash and to eat Kodshim. The Korban is two Torim (turtledoves) or two Bnei Yonah (common doves), one offered as an Olah and one as a Chatas.

(e)In the case of three emissions, he is only obligated in a Korban if the first two were not b'Ones. The third emission may come about b'Ones according to the Rabanan. According to Rebbi Eliezer, he is only obligated in a Korban if all three emissions are not b'Ones (Nazir 65b). However, if the Zav had an emission during Shiv'ah Nekiyim, even b'Ones, all agree that this emission stops his count, and he must start counting again (Zavim ibid.; RAMBAM, Hilchos Mechusrei Kaparah 3:1).

(f)If, however, the third time that a Zav emitted Zivah occurred during his Shiv'ah Neki'im, he is not required to bring a Korban. Rather, he begins a new count of Shiv'ah Neki'im. Even if he emits Zivah three times consecutively during Shiv'ah Neki'im, he need not bring a Korban (RAMBAM ibid. 3:4). Following this reasoning, a Zav will never be required to bring a Korban unless he emits Zivah three times during three or less consecutive days.

17)[line 40]שעיר המשתלחSA'IR HA'MISHTALE'ACH

(a)On Yom ha'Kipurim, a Goral (lottery) is performed by the Kohen Gadol to choose between two identical goats (Vayikra 16:7-10). One (the Sa'ir la'Sh-m) is offered as a Korban Chatas ha'Nisraf and its blood is sprinkled in the Kodesh ha'Kodashim (Vayikra 16:15); the other (the Sa'ir la'Azazel) is dispatched ("Mishtale'ach") to Azazel (a hard rocky cliff), from which it is pushed off to its death (Vayikra 16:21-22). The remains of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach are Asurim b'Hana'ah.

(b)A strip of crimson wool is tied between the horns of the Sa'ir ha'Mishtale'ach before it is led to Azazel. The Kohen Gadol performs Semichah upon it, confessing the sins of all of the people while doing so. According to Rebbi Yehudah, this confession achieves atonement for all of the people, for all sins except sins of Tum'as Mikdash v'Kodashav. According to Rebbi Shimon, this confession achieves atonement for all of the people except the Kohanim, for all sins except sins of Tum'as Mikdash v'Kodashav. (The second confession over the Par of the Kohen Gadol provides the Kohanim atonement for all other sins besides sins of Tum'as Mikdash v'Kodashav.)

(c)Although the goat itself is Tahor (as long as it is alive), the person who takes the goat to Azazel becomes Tamei and is required to immerse his body and clothing in a Mikvah. (Vayikra 16:26)

18)[line 43]מגע / משאMAGA / MASA

A person who touches (Maga) or carries (Masa) either a Midras of a Zav (see Background to Nidah 54:18), Zov or the Zav himself, 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.


19)[line 2]מטמא אדם ובגדיםMETAMEI ADAM U'VEGADIM (ZOV)

See above, entries #16, 18.

20)[line 4]"... הזב את זובו לזכר ולנקבה""… HA'ZAV ES ZOVO LA'ZACHAR VELA'NEKEVAH..."- "... [and] concerning a person who has his flow, whether male or female..." (Vayikra 15:33).

21)[line 12]בשלישי אקשיה רחמנא לנקבהBA'SHELISHI AKSHEI RACHMANA L'NEKEVAH- and when the Zav has a third emission, he is compared to a female (i.e. a Zavah) [and is Metamei even b'Ones, as long as the first two emissions were not b'Ones — see above, entry #16]

22)[line 15]"וכי ירוק הזב בטהור""V'CHI YAROK HA'ZAV BA'TAHOR"- "and if he (the Zav) were to spit upon a person who is Tahor" (Vayikra 15:8)

23)[line 17]כיחו וניעוKICHO V'NI'O- (a) his phlegm and mucus [from the throat] (RASHI); Ki'ach is brought up as a result of a coughing sickness [O.F. tos - cough] (RASHI to Eruvin 99a); one is brought up from the chest with force and the other does not need as much force to bring it into the throat (TOSFOS); (b) his phlegm from the throat and mucus of the nose (O.F. crac) (RASHI to the Mishnah Daf 54b)

24)[line 19]מהיכא תיתי?ME'HEICHA TEISI?- Why would I think so? (lit. from where would you bring [this idea]?)

25)[line 20]יבמהYEVAMAH (YIBUM / CHALITZAH)

(a)If a married man dies childless and has brothers who survive him, his widow (or widows) may not remarry until one of the deceased husband's brothers performs Yibum (levirate marriage) or Chalitzah (levirate release) with the widow (or one of the widows), as it states in Devarim 25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that if there are a number of brothers, there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum or Chalitzah (Yevamos 24a). If the conditions for the Mitzvah of Yibum do not exist, marital relations between a man and his brother's wife are prohibited and make them liable to the punishment of Kares.

(b)Yibum is a type of marriage. Unlike ordinary Kidushin, though, it can be accomplished only through Bi'ah and not through Kesef or Shtar (see Background to Kidushin 2:1:II:b). Nevertheless, the Rabanan instituted that one should precede Yibum with an act similar to Kidushei Kesef or Shtar, which is known as Ma'amar (see Background to Nidah 45:16). The Bi'ah must be performed with the intention of fulfilling the Mitzvah.

(c)If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He appears before a Beis Din of three (but see Insights to Yevamos 101:2) and states, "I do not want to marry her," after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his right sandal and spits on the floor in front of him. She then declares, "This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother," and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.

26)[line 34]צחצוחי הרוקTZACHTZUCHEI HA'ROK- particles of diluted saliva

27)[line 38]לסתמיה לעיניהLISTEMEI L'EINEI- (lit. to blind his eyes) to become blind

28)[line 38]ליכחולLI'KCHOL- he should paint his eyes (a medicinal treatment)

29)[line 39]לימותLEIMUS- to die

30)[line 41]זיהראZIHARA- toxin

31)[line 42]זיעהZEI'AH- sweat

32)[line 42]ליחה סרוחהLEICHAH SERUCHAH- (O.F. cuiture) and pus

33)[line 42]ריעיRE'I- [liquid] excrement

34)[line 42]דמעת עינוDIM'AS EINO- tears

35)[line 43]דם מגפתוDAM MAGAFASO- and blood from his wound

36)[line 43]מטמאין טומאת משקין ברביעיתMETAM'IN TUM'AS MASHKIN B'REVI'IS

(a)In general, the various levels of Tum'ah are called, respectively:

1.Av ha'Tum'ah,

2.Rishon l'Tum'ah,


4.Shelishi. The latter two (Sheni and Shelishi) are called "Velad ha'Tum'ah."

(b)The only liquids that are an Av ha'Tum'ah are the Zov (see above, entry #16), saliva and urine of a Zav, the blood, saliva and urine of a Nidah or Zavah, and the semen of any person. These liquids are Metamei utensils and even people.

(c)The Chachamim decreed that all other liquids become Tamei at the level of a Rishon l'Tum'ah when touched by a Rishon or 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 the abovementioned liquids are Metamei utensils mid'Oraisa.

37)[line 44]מימי רגליוMEIMEI RAGLAV- his urine

38)[line 48]"ותשקמו בדמעות שליש""VA'TASHKEMO BI'DEMA'OS SHALISH"- "You made them drink tears in great measure" (Tehilim 80:6).

39)[line 48]"ודם חללים ישתה""V'DAM CHALALIM YISHTEH"- "and it drinks the blood of those it has killed" (Bamidbar 23:24) - The word "Yishteh" compares blood with the liquids that bring about Hechsher Ochalin (see Background to Nidah 50:33).

40)[line 48]מה לי קטליה כוליה מה לי קטליה פלגיה?MAH LI KETALEI KULEI MAH LI KETALEI PALGEI?- What difference is there between whether he killed him or wounded him?

41)[line 49]"[ויאמר אליה השקיני נא מעט מים כי צמתי] ותפתח את נאד החלב ותשקהו [ותכסהו]""[VA'YOMER ELEHAH, 'HASHKINI NA ME'AT MAYIM KI TZAMESI,'] VA'TIFTACH ES NOD HE'CHALAV VA'TASHKEIHU [VA'TECHASEHU]" - "[And he said to her, 'Give me now a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.] So she opened a flask of milk and gave him to drink, [then she covered him]" (Shoftim 4:19) (YAEL AND SISRA)

(a)Following Barak's Divinely-inspired defeat of Sisra and his mighty army (see Megilah 14b), Sisra escaped on foot. Arriving at the tent of Chever the Keini (a descendant of Yisro, with whom Sisra was on friendly terms), Chever's wife, the righteous Ya'el, came out to greet the fleeing Sisra and invited him into her tent, assuring him that he would be safe.

(b)After she allowed him to rape her, Sisra asked for a drop of water to quench his thirst. Yael, however, offered him milk, because she knew that milk makes a person tired. Sure enough, Sisra fell asleep. As he slept, Yael took a tent-peg (a woman is not permitted to wield a man's weapon) and imbedded it into his brain. A short while later, when Barak came looking for Sisra, Yael was able to show him the man he was looking for, dead.

(c)Chazal point out that Sisra fell into the hands of a woman because when Devorah instructed Barak to gather an army and to go fight against Syria, he refused unless Devorah accompanied him. She retorted that the glory of killing the enemy would not be his, but it would go to a woman.