TUM'AH DUE TO A SHEFIR
Question: If a woman miscarried a Shefir full of flesh, what is the law?
Rebbi: I did not hear this.
R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi: My father said that if it is full of blood, she is a Nidah. If it is full of flesh, she is a Yoledes.
Rebbi: Had you just told us the latter law, we would have accepted it;
However, the first law is not the majority opinion. It is like Sumchus (21b, it is unlike our Mishnah). Therefore we suspect that also the second law is like an individual, R. Yehoshua, and the Halachah does not follow him.
(Beraisa - R. Yehoshua): If a woman miscarried a Shefir that is not Merukam, it contains a child;
Chachamim say, there is no child.
(Reish Lakish (and Rav Nachman below)): They argue when it is cloudy (inside, perhaps a child dissolved), but if it is clear, all agree that there is no child.
(R. Yehoshua ben Levi): They argue when it is clear.
Question: Does he mean that they argue only when it is clear, but all agree when it is cloudy that it is a child?
Or does he mean that they argue even when it is clear?
This question is not resolved.
Question #1 (against Reish Lakish - Beraisa - R. Yehoshua): "Va'Ya'as Hash-m Elokim l'Adam ul'Ishto Kasnos Or va'Yalbishem"-- Hash-m makes skin only for a formed person. (I.e. skin testifies that there is a child.)
We understand this if they argue when it is clear. R. Yehoshua needs a verse to be Metamei when it is clear;
However, if they argue when it is cloudy, he is Metamei because there was a child. Why does he need a verse?
Conclusion: They argue when it is clear.
Question #2 (Rava - Mishnah - R. Yehoshua): The following (miscarriages) testify to a child (to exempt the next birth from Bechorah):
Tinuf (a dissolved fetus; alternatively, bubbles of blood) in a small animal;
A Shilya in a large animal;
A Shefir or Shilya in a woman.
Observation: The Tana omits Shefir in animals.
If they argue when it is clear, we understand this. The Torah teaches that skin (even if the inside is clear) testifies to a child in people, but not in animals;
If they argue when it is cloudy, R. Yehoshua knows from reasoning that there is a child. The same should apply to animals!
Answer (to both questions - Rav Nachman): R. Yehoshua is unsure whether or not skin testifies to a child (when it is cloudy inside). He is stringent (about the next birth) in both directions;
Regarding a firstborn son, this is a monetary question (whether or not Pidyon ha'Ben is required). We do not force the father to pay;
One may not work with or shear a firstborn animal. We are stringent due to the Safek.
If a woman miscarried a Shefir,. we are stringent also about her Tum'ah. (She is a Safek Yoledes.)
Question: R. Yehoshua learned from a verse (that skin testifies to a child)!
Answer: Mid'Rabanan, we are stringent as if skin testifies to a child. The verse is only an Asmachta.
Rav Chanina bar Salmiya (to Rav): We have heard the opinions of Rebbi, R. Yishmael b'Rebbi Yosi, R. Oshaya and R. Yehoshua ben Levi (regarding a Shefir full of flesh). Like whom do you hold?
(Rav): Whether it is cloudy or clear, she is not concerned (lest there was a child);
(Shmuel): In either case, she is concerned.
This is consistent with the way Shmuel ruled in practice.
(Rav Dimi): In Neharde'a (Shmuel's city), every woman who miscarried a Shefir was considered a Yoledes, except for one case that was so clear that a thread like a hair could be seen from the other side.
Shmuel: If a child had dissolved, it would not be this clear.
A MERUKAM SHEFIR
(Mishnah): If it was Merukam...
(Beraisa - Aba Sha'ul): The initial formation of a Merukam Shefir is from the head (our text. Tosfos - the size of a grasshopper. It starts from the navel.) The eyes and nostrils are the size of eyes of a fly;
R. Chiya says, the eyes are far apart, and the nostrils are close together.
The mouth is a tiny crack, like a hair. The Ever is the size of a lentil. In a girl, (some texts - a crack) the length of a barley seed can be detected.
The legs and arms are not formed.
"Che'Chalav Taticheni vecha'Gevinah Takpi'eni Ohr u'Vasar Talbisheni uva'Atzamos v'Gidim Tesochecheni" (Hash-m forms man from fluid semen, congeals it, and puts on skin, flesh, bones and sinews).
We do not check the Shefir in water, for water is too hard. It can dissolve it;
Rather, we check it in oil, to make it clear. We look at it in the sun.
Question: How do we check it?
Objection: We just taught how to check it!
Correction: Rather, how do we determine the gender?
Answer: Aba Sha'ul bar Nash says, we use a chip of wood with a smooth end and move it where the genitals should be;
If it gets caught on something, it is a boy. If not, it is a girl.
(Rav Nachman): We must move it vertically -- if we move it sideways, it could get caught on the walls of the Prozdor!
(Rav Ada bar Ahavah - Beraisa): If it is a girl, there is a crack the size of a barley seed.
Question (Rav Nachman): Perhaps the crack is the string holding the Beitzim!
Answer (Abaye): The Beitzim themselves are too small to be detected, and all the more so the string holding them!
(Rav Amram - Beraisa): The thighs are like two threads of Zehoris (red wool). The arms are like two threads of Zehoris.
(Rav Amram): The thighs are like warp threads (of Zehoris). The arms are like woof threads (which are thinner).
Shmuel (to Rav Yehudah): Do not declare it a child unless it has hair (like a properly developed fetus).
Question: Shmuel said (regarding a Shefir full of blood) in either case she is concerned for a child!
Answer (Rav Ami bar Shmuel): She is Safek Yoledes, lest there was a child. She does not get the leniency of Dam Tohar unless it has hair.
Inference: Shmuel is unsure whether or not it is a child.
Question: Shmuel looked at a certain Shefir, and said that it was exactly 41 days from conception. He heard that she only immersed from Tum'as Nidah 40 days ago. He pressured her husband, who then admitted that he had Bi'ah with her before she immersed!
Answer: Shmuel himself was an expert, so he could tell. Others are not so skilled, so he would tell them to be stringent.
A MISCARRIAGE OF A SANDAL
(Mishnah): If a woman miscarried a Sandal (a mashed fetus) (she is a Yoledes for a male or female).
(Beraisa): It is called Sandal because it resembles a fish of the same name. It was originally a proper fetus, and it became mashed.
R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, it resembles an ox tongue.
They testified in the name of Chachamim that it is considered a child only if the face is recognizable.
(Rav Yehudah): The Halachah follows these Chachamim.
(Rav Ada): It is considered a child if (and only if) a face is recognizable, even if it is on the back;
If Reuven slaps Shimon's face, he causes the face to turn. Likewise, something (e.g. another fetus) turned the Sandal's face around!
In the days of R. Yanai, Rabanan wanted to be Metaher (a woman who miscarried) a Sandal without a recognizable face.
R. Yanai: She is a Yoledes!
Question (Beraisa): They testified in the name of Chachamim that it is considered a child only if the face is recognizable.
Answer (Rav Bivi bar Abaye, citing R. Yochanan): R. Nechunya gave this testimony/ (The majority argue with him.)
R. Zeira: Also I heard this from R. Yochanan. Rav Bivi merited that it be said in his name.
Question: What difference does it make whether or not a Sandal is a child? It is born only with another child (which mashed it). She is a Yoledes due to the child!
Answer #1: Indeed, if it was born with a girl, it makes no difference. (The mother has Tum'ah and Taharah of Yoledes Nekevah whether or not she also gave birth to a boy);
It makes a difference if it was born with a boy. (Because perhaps the Sandal was a girl, the mother is Safek Yoledes Zachar, Safek Yoledes Nekevah.)
One might have thought that we assume that both fetuses were the same gender due to R. Yitzchak bar Ami's teaching;
(R. Yitzchak bar Ami): If the man was Mazri'a (emits his seed) before the woman (and she became pregnant from this), the child will be a girl. If she is Mazra'as before him, the child will be a boy.
The Mishnah teaches that this is not so. Perhaps both were Mazri'a at the same time, so the children can be either gender.
Answer #2: Even if it was born with a girl, it can make a difference, e.g. the girl was born before nightfall and the Sandal was born after nightfall. (The stringencies of Tum'as Yoledes Nekevah apply from the night, i.e. the next day.)