A FETUS IN THE WOMB
(R. Elazar): A fetus inside the womb resembles a nut floating in a flask of water. If you put your finger on it, it sinks to this side or that side.
(Beraisa): The first three months, the fetus is in the lower part of the womb. The middle three months, it is in the middle part. The last three months, it is in the upper part;
When it is time for it to leave, it turns over and leaves, causing Chevlei Leidah (birthpangs);
(Beraisa): The Chavalim for delivery of a girl are harsher than those for a boy. (This will be explained.)
(R. Elazar): "Asher Useisi va'Seser Rukamti b'Sachtiyos Aretz" -- it does not say that I dwelled in the lower chamber, rather, Rukamti (I was formed there. Later, I moved...)
Question: Why are the Chavalim for a girl harsher than those for a boy?
Answer: Each is born in its normal position of Bi'ah (a boy faces down, like he already is in the womb. A girl must turn over to face up.)
(Beraisa): The first three months, Bi'ah is bad for the mother and fetus. The middle three months, Bi'ah is bad for the mother and good for the fetus. The last three months, they are good for the mother and fetus. It cleanses the fetus and makes it robust.
(Beraisa): Bi'ah on day 90 (from conception) is prone to kill the fetus.
Question: How can one know (the day of conception) to avoid this?!
Answer (Abaye): He may have Bi'ah like usual -- "Shomer Pesa'im Hash-m." (Hash-m protects people who do not know to be careful.)
(Beraisa): There are three partners in the formation of a child -- Hash-m, the father and the mother;
The father contributes white semen, which forms bones, sinews, (finger and toe) nails, the brain, and the white of the eyes;
The mother contributes red seed (blood), which forms skin, flesh, bones, hair (Gra - blood) and the black of the eyes;
Hash-m puts in Ru'ach (breath), a Neshamah, radiance of the face, sight, hearing, speech, the ability to walk, understanding and knowledge.
When a person dies, Hash-m takes back what He gave. What came from the parents (a lifeless body) remains.
(Rav Papa): This is like people say, if you remove the salt (used to preserve meat, the meat will spoil quickly), throw the meat to the dogs.
(R. Chanina bar Papa): "Oseh Gedolos Ad Ein Cheker v'Nifla'os Ad Ein Mispar" -- Hash-m's ways are unlike those of people;
A person puts something in a tied pouch, in which the opening is at the top, yet he is unsure if it will be guarded inside. Hash-m forms a fetus in a woman, she is open at the bottom, and it stays inside!
Also, when one puts something on a balance scale, the heavier it is, the further down it goes;
Hash-m forms a fetus, as it grows and gets heavier, it goes further up!
(R. Yosi ha'Gelili): "Odcha Al Ki Nora'os Nifleisi Nifla'im... " -- Hash-m's ways are unlike those of people;
A person plants different kinds of seeds, and each type produces a plant of its species;
Hash-m takes diverse seed (of men and women), and makes one being (a child) from them.
Also, a dyer puts ingredients into the pot, and it produces one color. Hash-m forms a fetus (from red seed and white seed), and each color goes where it is needed!
(Rav Yosef): "Odcha Hash-m Ki Anafta Bi... " discusses two people who wanted to go on a business voyage. One was unable to go because a thorn lodged in his foot, and he blasphemed;
Later, he heard that the ship sank and his friend died. He thanked Hash-m that he himself was saved -- "Yashov Apcha u'Senachameni."
(R. Elazar): "Oseh Nifla'os Levado" -- only Hash-m knows the miracles that He does. e/ven the one for whom they are done, does not know!
(R. Chanina bar Papa): "Archi v'Riv'i Zerisa" -- Hash-m forms a person from the choice part of a drop of semen.
(Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): A parable for this is one who winnows. He takes the edible part and leaves the waste.
Contradiction (R. Avahu): It says "va'Tazreni (Hash-m selects) Chayil," and it says "ha'Kel ha'M'azreni (girds with strength) Chayil"!
Answer: David thanked Hash-m for selecting him and girding him with strength.
(R. Avahu): "... U'Mispar Es Rova Yisrael" -- Hash-m counts the marital acts of Yisrael, and waits for the drop of semen that will produce a Tzadik;
Bil'am (who had this prophecy) scorned that Hash-m, Who is so Tahor and Kadosh, considers such things;
Hash-m blinded him in one eye due to this -- "u'Ne'um ha'Gever Shesum ha'Ayin." (Only one eye is open.)
(R. Yochanan): "Va'Yishkav Imah ba'Lailah Hu" -- Hash-m caused Yakov to have Bi'ah with Leah that night (so Yisachar would be conceived);
"Yisachar Chamor Garem" -- a donkey caused his birth. (It brought Yakov to Leah's tent. Alternatively, she heard it, and came out to greet him.)
(R. Yitzchak bar Ami): If the woman is Mazra'as before the man, the child will be a boy. If he is Mazri'a first, the child will be a girl -- "Ishah Ki Sazri'a v'Yaldah Zachar."
(Beraisa): At first, they used to say that the child is the opposite gender of the one who was Mazri'a first. They did not explain the source;
R. Tzadok expounded "Eleh Bnei Leah Asher Yaldah l'Yakov... v'Es Dinah Vito." The verse attributes the sons to their mother, and the daughter to her father.
Question: "Va'Yihyu Venei Ulam... u'Marbim Banim u'Vnei Vanim" -- it is in one's control to have many children and grandchildren?!
Answer: ("Banim" refers to sons. The verse credits them for having many males.) They would delay Hazra'ah until after their wives were Mazri'os, causing the children to be males.
Rav Ketina: I can ensure that all my children will be males.
(Rava): To have male children, one should have Bi'ah a second time. (Since she is already aroused, at least the second time she will be Mazri'a first.)
(R. Ami): A woman becomes pregnant only shortly before her Veses. "Hen b'Avon Cholalti" (Conception was when Dam Nidah was about to come, which brings (opportunity for) sin.)
(R. Yochanan): She becomes pregnant shortly after immersing (from Nidah) -- "uv'Chet Yechemasni Imi." (Conception was after sge became Tehorah.)
Question: What is the source that "Chet" refers to Taharah?
Answer #1: "V'Chitei Es ha'Bayis." (He will be Metaher the house that had Tzara'as.)
Answer #2: "Techateni v'Ezov v'Et'har." (Purify me with hyssop, and I will be Tahor.)
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN
(R. Yitzchak): When a male is born, Shalom comes to the world .(We say below that men are easier to appease.) "Shilchu Char Moshel Eretz" -- Char (gift, which brings Shalom) is like Zachar.
(R. Yitzchak): A male is born with his Kikar (food. His Mazal determines it. Alternatively, he keeps his earnings);
"Zachar" -- Zeh Kar (this baby has Kar, i.e. food), like it says "va'Yichreh Lahem Kirah Gedolah" (they prepared a great feast).
A Nekevah is born empty-handed. She must request food (Rashi - from Hash-m; Maharsha - from her husband, who receives her earnings) -- "Nokvah Secharcha Alai v'Etenah."
Question: Why does a Yoledes bring a Korban?
Answer (R. Shimon): When she bends down to give birth, she swears that she will not have Bi'ah with her husband again. (This is a vain oath, for she cannot uproot her obligation.) Therefore, the Torah commands her to bring a Korban (for atonement).
Objections (Rav Yosef): She is Mezidah (Korbanos are only for Shogeg)! Regret is needed to permit an oath, and not a Korban! Also, Korban Yoledes (an Olah and Chatas ha'Of) is different than the Korban (Chatas Behemah) for transgressing an oath! (Surely, R. Shimon did not mean that the Torah merely obligates a Yoledes to bring the usual Korban for the oath she surely took! Nevertheless, Rav Yosef holds that since there are so many differences, it is unreasonable to say that the Korban is due to the oath.)
Question: Why is Yoledes Zachar Teme'ah for one week, and Yoledes Nekevah for two weeks?
Answer: All are happy when a male is born. A woman regrets (her oath, and desires to be with her husband again) after one week.
Question: Why is circumcision is on the eighth day? (Maharsha - why is it in the Parshah of Tum'as Yoledes?)
Answer: It would not be proper that all are happy but the parents are sad (because they are forbidden to each other).
(Beraisa - R. Meir) Question: Why is a Nidah forbidden for seven days?
Answer: If a man is too regular with his wife, she might become repulsive to him. The Torah forbids her for seven days, in order that afterwards (when she is permitted again) she will be as dear to him as when he first married her.
Question: Why does a man pursue a wife, and not vice-versa?
Answer (R. Dostai b'Rebbi Yanai): He pursues what he lost. (Woman was created from Adam's Tzela, i.e. rib or backside.)
Question: Why does a man normally face down during Bi'ah, and a woman faces up?
Answer: Each faces what he or she was created from. He faces the ground, and she faces him.
Question: Why are men easier to appease than women?
Answer: Man was created from something soft (earth), but woman was created from something hard (his flesh and bones).
Question: Why do women have nicer voices than men?
Answer: Woman was created from bone, which makes noise (when one strikes it). Man was created from earth, which does not make noise.
KUSIM ARE TEME'IM
(Mishnah): Kusi girls are considered to be Nidos from birth;
A (male) Kusi is Metamei a Mishkav below like one above, for he is Bo'el Nidah (this will be explained);
Kusi women are assumed to be Teme'os, for they sit (i.e. wait before immersing) due to blood of any color.
We do not obligate a Korban (for entering the Mikdash) or burn Terumah due to the (assumed) Tum'ah of Kusim, because it is a Safek.
(Gemara) Question: What is the case (that we consider a Kusi girl to be a Nidah)?
If she saw blood, then also a Yisraelis is Teme'ah!
If she did not see blood, why is she Teme'ah?!
Answer (Rava, grandson of Rav Huna): The case is, we do not know whether or not she saw. We are concerned for the minority of girls who see before maturity.