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Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Niddah
Come and hear: The days of her pregnancy supplement those of her nursing,5 and the days of her nursing supplement those of her pregnancy. In what manner? If there was a break of two 'onahs during her pregnancy and of one during her nursing, or of two during her nursing and of one during her pregnancy, or of one and a half during her pregnancy and of one and a half during her nursing, they are all combined into a series of three 'onahs.6 Now according to Rab who said that there was only one source this ruling is quite justified, for it is for this reason7 that there must be a break of three 'onahs,8 but according to Levi who said that there were two sources why9 should a break of three 'onahs be required, seeing that the slightest [break] should suffice?10 — It is this that was meant: It is necessary for her that there shall be a slight [break] in order that [the following days] shall be counted for her11 as three 'onahs.
Come and hear: Both,12 however, are of the same opinion that where a woman observed a discharge after her clean blood period13 it suffices for her to reckon her uncleanness from the time of her observation. Now according to Levi who said that there exist two sources one may well concede this ruling since it is for this reason14 that15 it suffices for her to reckon her uncleanness from the time of her observation,16 but according to Rab who said that there existed only one source, why should it suffice for her to reckon her uncleanness from the time of her observation seeing that17 she should have become unclean for twenty-four hours retrospectively? — This is a case where there was not time enough.18 But why should she not be unclean from her previous examination to her last examination?19 — As there was no interval of twenty-four hours20 the Rabbis enacted no preventive measure even in regard to uncleanness from the previous examination to the last examination.
Come and hear: If a woman who was in childbirth during zibah had counted the prescribed number of clean days but did not undergo ritual immersion, and then observed a discharge, Beth Shammai gave their ruling in accordance with their own view and Beth Hillel ruled in accordance with their own view.21 Now according to Rab who said that there was only one source this ruling is quite justified, since it is for this reason22 that23 the discharge causes uncleanness both when wet and when dry; but according to Levi who said that there were two sources, why24 does the discharge cause uncleanness both when wet and when dry? — Levi can answer you: I maintain the same view as the Tanna who stated that 'both, however, are of the same opinion'.25 And if you prefer I might reply that here we are dealing with one whose discharge is continuous. But was it not stated that she had counted?26 — Here we are dealing with one who gave birth to a female child while in zibah and whose discharge ceased during the first week27 but continued again28 in the second week,27 he being of the opinion that the unclean days of childbirth in which no discharge is observed are counted among the clean days of one's zibah.29
Rabina said to R. Ashi: R. Shamen of Sikara30 told us, 'Mar Zutra once visited our place when he delivered a discourse In which he laid down: The law is to be restricted in agreement with Rab31 and it is also to be restricted in agreement with Levi'.32 R. Ashi stated: The law is in agreement with Rab both in his relaxations33 and his restrictions.34 Meremar in his discourse laid down: The law is in agreement with Rab both in his relaxations33 and restrictions.31 And the law is in agreement with Rab both in his relaxations33 and restrictions.31
MISHNAH. A WOMAN IN PROTRACTED LABOUR IS REGARDED AS A MENSTRUANT. IF HAVING BEEN IN LABOUR1 FOR THREE DAYS OF THE ELEVEN DAYS,2 SHE WAS RELIEVED FROM HER PAINS FOR TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AND THEN GAVE BIRTH, SHE IS REGARDED AS HAVING GIVEN BIRTH IN A ZIBAH;3 SO R. ELIEZER. R. JOSHUA RULED: THE RELIEF FROM PAIN4 MUST HAVE CONTINUED FOR A NIGHT AND A DAY,5 AS THE NIGHT AND THE DAY OF THE SABBATH.6 THE RELIEF [SPOKEN OF IS ONE] FROM PAIN, NOT FROM BLEEDING.7 HOW LONG MAY PROTRACTED LABOUR CONTINUE?8 R. MEIR RULED: 'EVEN FORTY OR FIFTY DAYS.9 R. JUDAH RULED: HER [NINTH] MONTH SUFFICES FOR HER.10 R. JOSE AND R. SIMEON RULED: PROTRACTED LABOUR CANNOT CONTINUE8 FOR MORE THAN TWO WEEKS.
GEMARA. Is then11 every woman IN PROTRACTED LABOUR REGARDED AS A MENSTRUANT?12 — Rab replied: She13 is deemed to be a menstruant for one day.14 Samuel, however, ruled: The possibility must be taken into consideration15 that she might be relieved from her pain,16 while R. Isaac ruled: A discharge on the part of a woman in labour17 is of no consequence.18 But was it not stated, A WOMAN IN PROTRACTED LABOUR IS REGARDED AS A MENSTRUANT? — Raba replied: During the days of her menstruation19 SHE20 IS DEEMED TO BE A MENSTRUANT,21 but during the days of zibah22 she is clean. And so it was also taught: If a woman is in protracted labour during the days of her menstruation19 she is deemed to be a menstruant,20 but if this occurred during the days of her zibah22 she is clean. In what circumstances? If she was in labour for one day and had relief from pains for two days, or if she was in labour for two days and had relief from pain for one day,23 or if she was relieved from pains and then was again in labour and then was again relieved from pain,23 such a woman is regarded as having given birth in zibah; but if she was relieved from pain for one day and then was in labour for two days, or if she was relieved for two days and then was in labour for one day, or if she was in labour and then was relieved and then was again in labour, such a woman is not regarded as having given birth in zibah; the general rule being that where the pains of labour immediately precede24 birth the woman is not regarded as having given birth in zibah, but if release from pain immediately precedes24 birth the woman25 must be regarded as having given birth in zibah.26 Hananiah the son of R. Joshua's brother ruled: Provided her pains of labour were experienced27 on her third day.28 even though she had relief during the rest of that day, she29 is not regarded as having given birth in zibah. What does the expression 'The general rule' include? — It includes the ruling of Hananiah.
Whence is this30 deduced? — Our31 Rabbis taught: Her blood32 refers to blood that is normally discharged,33 but not to such as is due to childbirth.34 You say. '[Not to such as is] due to childbirth'; is it not possible that only that blood is excluded35 which is due to an accident?34 As it was said, And if a woman have an issue of her blood,36 a discharge that is due to an accident is included;37 to what then could one apply the limitation of 'her blood'?36 Obviously to this: "Her blood" refers to blood that is normally discharged but not to such as is due to childbirth'. But38 what reason do you see for holding the blood of childbirth clean and that which is due to an accident unclean? I hold that which is due to childbirth clean since it is followed by cleanness,39 but hold that which is due to an accident unclean since it is not followed by cleanness. On the contrary! That which is due to an accident should be held clean since a discharge from a zab that is due to an accident is clean? — Now at all events we are dealing with the case of a woman, and we do not find that in the case of a woman blood due to an accident is ever clean. And if you prefer I might reply: What opinion do you hold? Is it to regard a discharge that is due to an accident clean and one that is due to childbirth unclean? Surely you cannot point to any occurrence that is more in the nature of an accident40 than this.41 If so,42 why should it not be said in the case of a menstruant also: Her issue43 refers to an issue that is normally discharged but not to such as is due to childbirth?44 You say, '[not to such as is due to] childbirth'; is it not possible that only that blood is excluded34 which is due to an accident?34 As it was said, And if a woman have an issue,43 a discharge that is due to an accident is included;45 to what then could one apply the limitation of 'her issue'?46 Obviously to this: 'Her issue' refers to an issue that is normally discharged but not to such as is due to childbirth!47 — Resh Lakish answered: Scripture said, She shall continue48 which implies:49 You have another continuation which is of the same nature as this one;50 and which is it?51 It is that of protracted labour during the days of her zibah. Might it not be suggested that this refers to protracted labour during the days of her menstruation? — Rather, said Samuel's father, Scripture said, Then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation,49 [implying] but not 'as in her zibah', from which it may be inferred that her zibah is clean; and which is it?51 It is that of protracted labour during the days of her zibah. Now, however, that it is written, Then she shall be unclean two weeks as in her menstruation,52 what need was there for the expression of 'her blood'?53 — If not for the expression 'her blood' it might have been presumed that the deduction 'as in her menstration'52 and not 'as in her zibah' implies that the discharge is clean even where the woman was relieved from pain,54 hence we were informed55 [that the discharge is clean only where it is due to childbirth].56
Shila b. Abina gave a practical decision in agreement with the view of Rab.57 When Rab's soul was about to depart to its eternal rest he58 said to R. Assi, 'Go and restrain him,59 and if he does not listen to you try to convince him'.60 The other thought that he was told, 'put him under the ban'.61 After Rab's soul came to its eternal rest he62 said to him,63 'Retract, for Rab has retracted'. 'If', the other retorted, 'he had retracted he would have told me so'.64 As he63 did not listen to him' the latter put him under the ban. 'Is not the Master', the other63 asked him, 'afraid of the fire?'65 'I', the former replied, 'am Issi b. Judah66 who is Issi b. Gur-aryeh67 who is Issi b. Gamaliel who is Issi b. Mahalalel, a brazen mortar68 over which rust has no power'. 'And I', the other retorted, 'am Shila b. Abina, an iron pestle that breaks the brazen mortar Thereupon R. Assi fell ill and they had to put him in hot [blankets] to relieve him from chills and in cold [compresses] to relieve him from heat,69 and his soul departed to its eternal rest.
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