QUESTION: The Mishnah discusses a case in which a woman gave birth to a piece of flesh ("Chatichah") and we are unsure of its source. The Rabanan rule that if the piece is accompanied by blood, then the woman has the status of a Nidah. If it is not accompanied by blood, then she is Tahor. Rebbi Yehudah says that the woman is Tamei regardless of whether blood accompanied the Chatichah.
In the Gemara, Rebbi Yochanan explains the logic behind their argument. Everyone agrees that if the Chatichah itself appears to be composed of one of the four colors of Tamei blood, then it certainly is Tamei. If it is composed of other types of blood, then it is Tahor. Their argument is only in a case in which the Chatichah is no longer in front of us and we are unsure about its composition. Rebbi Yehudah maintains that we follow the Rov; since a majority of Chatichos are Tamei, he rules that the Chatichah in doubt is also Tamei. The Rabanan maintain that there is no such Rov, and thus they rule that the Chatichah in doubt is Tahor.
The Rishonim question Rebbi Yochanan's explanation of the Machlokes. Even if the Rabanan do not maintain that a majority of Chatichos are Tamei, there still is a doubt about the Chatichah in question. Why do they rule that it is Tahor? They should rule that it is Safek Tamei!
(a) TOSFOS (DH v'Rabanan) asks this question in the following way. Since the status of the Chatichah is a Safek Tum'ah, the woman should definitely be Tamei in Reshus ha'Yachid, even according to the Rabanan.
Tosfos is asking that the Rabanan should apply the general rule of "Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Yachid Tamei," which applies despite the person's previous status of being Tahor (Chezkas Tahor).
Tosfos answers that even according to Rebbi Yehudah, there is no clear majority of Chatichos that are Tamei, and, consequently, Terumah is not burned when it comes in contact with such Tum'ah. However, the Rov is enough to make the woman Tamei mi'Safek. The Rabanan maintain that most pieces are clearly not from the four types of blood, and therefore they rule that the woman is Tahor (they do not consider this a case of Safek Tum'ah).
(b) The RAMBAN and RAN ask that the woman should be Tamei because the possibility that she is Tamei and the possibility that she is Tahor are equal, and therefore she should be Tamei mi'Safek. They answer (as Tosfos mentions in his question) that a woman does not become Tamei due to a Safek when she has a Chezkas Tahor.
Why does Tosfos say that the woman should definitely be Tamei because of the rule of Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Yachid, while the Ramban and Ran ask only that she should be Tamei out of doubt, and they make no mention that Reshus ha'Yachid is a factor in this question?
The ARUCH LA'NER explains that the answer to this question is based on a fundamental argument. When the Gemara derives from the laws of Sotah that a Safek Tum'ah in Reshus ha'Yachid is Tamei, does this apply to an object of Tum'ah that comes out of a woman's body as well, or does it apply only to situations similar to Sotah, where the Safek Tum'ah is based on something outside of the woman's body? Tosfos must maintain that it applies to both situations, and that is why Tosfos insists that we should apply the rule of Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Yachid and the woman should be Tamei. The Ramban and Ran, however, maintain that the rule of Safek Tum'ah b'Reshus ha'Yachid does not apply to Tum'ah that comes out of the body. Therefore, they do not ask that the woman should definitely be Tamei because of this rule, but rather they ask only that she should be Tamei mi'Safek. (The MAHARAM has a different approach to Tosfos, but the Aruch la'Ner and MAHARI SHAPIRA have considerable difficulty with the Maharam's explanation.)
The RASHBA questions the answer of the Ramban and Ran. Since we know that a Chatichah definitely came out of her, and most Chatichos are Tamei, her Chazakah should not help and she should not be Tahor!
Many Acharonim (see MEI NIDAH, CHAZON ISH YD #215 on Nidah, and others) ask that the text of our edition of the Rashba is difficult to understand. The Ramban and Ran are discussing the opinion of the Rabanan, and the Gemara explicitly says that they do not agree that most of Chatichos are Tamei! How, then, can the Rashba ask that the Chazakah that most Chatichos are Tamei should determine that the woman is Tamei?
The MALBUSHEI YOM TOV (volume II, Dinei Chazakos #2) says that the correct text of the Rashba should have the word "half [of the Chatichos]" in place of "most [Chatichos]." The Rashba is asking that the fact that a Chatichah definitely came out of the woman combined with the fact that half of the Chatichos in the world are Tamei should determine that the woman is at least Tamei mi'Safek.
(c) The Rashba writes in the name of RASHI that the Rabanan actually agree that the woman is Tamei mi'Safek. They argue only with Rebbi Yehudah's ruling that she is definitely Tamei. (Our version of Rashi does not have this explanation. Some say that the Rashba might be referring to a comment of the RASHBAM found in the OR ZARU'A (p. 38).) (Y. MONTROSE)


OPINIONS: Rebbi Yirmeyah asked Rebbi Zeira about a woman who placed a Shefoferes (small tube) into her uterus and, upon removing it, noticed that there was blood in the tube. Is she Tamei? Perhaps when the Torah says that she is Tamei when blood "flows in her flesh" -- "bi'Vesarah" (Vayikra 15:19), it means that she is not Tamei when blood comes out via a tube. However, perhaps when the Torah says "bi'Vesarah" it means that the woman is Tamei when the blood enters the Prozdor from the uterus, since it is "within her flesh."
Rebbi Zeira answered that the woman is Tahor, and "bi'Vesarah" indeed excludes blood that flowed via a Shefoferes.
What is the logic for such blood to be Tahor, if it originated in the same place and is actually the exact same blood as Dam Nidah?
(a) RASHI (DH bi'Vesarah) seems to understand that when the Torah says "bi'Vesarah," it means that the blood is Tamei only when it flows out of the uterus to the Prozdor in such a way that it touches her flesh at the time that it flows. When blood flows through a tube which separates the blood from the flesh of the Prozdor outside the uterus, the woman does not become Tamei. This is what the verse of "bi'Vesarah" teaches.
(b) The ROSH (3:2) asks a number of questions on Rashi's explanation. He quotes RABEINU SHIMSHON MI'KUTZI who has a different understanding of the Gemara. According to Rabeinu Shimshon, the verse of "bi'Vesarah" teaches that the woman must see Dam Nidah in the normal manner in order to become Tamei. If she sees Dam Nidah in an unusual manner, it does not make her Tamei.
This obviously cannot mean that any unusual sighting of blood does not qualify as Dam Nidah. What exactly does Rabeinu Shimshon mean?
There are two approaches to understanding the logic of Rabeinu Shimshon:
1. The DIVREI CHAYIM (2:63), ONEG YOM TOV (#84), and RAV SHLOMO ZALMAN AUERBACH zt'l (in the end of IMREI AVRAHAM) explain that Rabeinu Shimshon's point is that it is not normal for blood to leave the uterus by passing through the body within a Shefoferes. Accordingly, even if the Shefoferes would be placed at the opening of the uterus, the blood would not make the woman Tamei as long as it exited via the Shefoferes. However, if the blood is merely on the Shefoferes instead of inside the Shefoferes, then even if the Shefoferes was in the uterus and caused the blood to come out, the blood on the Shefoferes is Tamei.
2. The SHULCHAN ARUCH HA'RAV and AVNEI NEZER (225:46) write that the reason why the blood in a Shefoferes is not Tamei is that the flow of the blood is considered to have been caused by the Shefoferes. Since the Shefoferes caused the flow, and not the woman's normal physiological cycle, the blood is not Tamei. This is true, however, only where the Shefoferes was placed into the uterus, and not when it was placed at its opening. The reasoning of Rabeinu Shimshon is that the woman must see blood for the normal cause for which women see blood; this refers to the natural flow from her body. If it comes only through external intervention, then it is not considered Dam Nidah. The BADEI HA'SHULCHAN (Tziyunim 188:83) points out that this does not mean that we rule that blood that comes out on a Shefoferes that was inserted into the uterus is Tahor. We still must suspect that the blood on the outside of the Shefoferes was in the Bayis ha'Chitzon before the Shefoferes was inserted there. (In practice, any questions regarding such blood must be brought to a competent Halachic authority.) (Y. MONTROSE)