fbpx

Megillah, Daf Het, Part 4

 

Introduction

Yesterday’s section contained a midrash on the word "from his issue." Today’s section contains another instance where the word appears, asking how it is midrashically interpreted there.

 

והשתא דאמרת מזובו לדרשא, +ויקרא ט"ו+ וכי יטהר הזב מזובו, מאי דרשת ביה?

ההוא מיבעי ליה לכדתניא: וכי יטהר הזבלכשיפסוק, מזובו – [מזובו], ולא מזובו ונגעו.

מזובו וספרלימד על זב בעל שתי ראיות שטעון ספירת שבעה.

 

Now that you have said that the words "from his issue" are to be used for a derashah, "And when he that had an issue is cleansed from his issue" (Leviticus 15:13) what do you derive from it?

That is required for the following, as it has been taught: "And when he that had an issue is cleansed": when the issue ceases. "From his issue": from his issue [only], and not from both his issue and his leprosy.

"From his issue, then he shall count": this teaches us that a zav who has had two observations must count seven days [without issue].

 

Basically, this section is used to introduce another midrash on the issue of zavim, it too based on the word "from his issue" but this time from a different verse. The midrash goes through each word of the verse. "Cleansed" means the flow of discharge has stopped. "From his issue" means that he need only be clean from his genital discharge. If he also has leprosy (or some skin disease), he can still count clean days for his genital discharge. "Then he shall count" means that even if he has only had two discharges he begins to count seven days without discharge before he becomes clean.

 

והלא דין הוא: אם מטמא משכב ומושבלא יהא טעון ספירת שבעה? שומרת יום כנגד יום תוכיח, שמטמאה משכב ומושב ואינה טעונה ספירת שבעה. ואף אתה אל תתמה על זה, שאף על פי שמטמא משכב ומושב לא יהא טעון ספירת שבעה, תלמוד לומר מזובו וספרמקצת זובו וספר, לימד על זב בעל שתי ראיות שטעון ספירת שבעה.

 

But cannot this be deduced logically [as follows]? If he defiles bed and seat, should he not [all the more] be required to count seven days?

This argument can be confuted by the case of the woman who is keeping day for day who defiles bed and seat but does not count seven days. And thus do not be surprised that this one also, although he defiles bed and seat, might not be obligated to count seven days. Therefore it says, "from his issue, and he shall count, " which implies that after part of his issue he shall count; this teaches with regard to one with an issue who has had [only] two observations that he is required to count seven days.

 

The baraita asks why we even need a special midrash to teach that a zav who saw two issues should have to count seven clean days. Shouldn’t this be obvious; after all, if he defiles things he lays and sits on, which constitutes a high level of impurity, clearly he should have to count seven days before he can become clean.

The midrash answers that this is not so obvious, because of the case of a woman who is keeping day for day. If a woman has one observation of non-menstrual discharge, she must count one day before she can become clean. Two observations and she counts two days. But even after one observation, she defiles bed and seat. Thus we can see that one can be impure with this high level of impurity but not need to count seven full days before becoming clean. Therefore, the verse had to teach us with regard to the zav, that after two observations he must count a full seven days before becoming clean.

אמר ליה רב פפא לאביי: מאי שנא האי מזובו דמרבי ביה זב בעל שתי ראיות, ומאי שנא האי מזובו דממעט ביה זב בעל שתי ראיות?

 

R. Papa said to Abaye: Why do we use this "from his issue" to include a zav who has had two observations, and the other "from his issue" to exclude a zav who has had two observations?

 

If we pay careful attention, we can see that in this case the word "from his issue" was used to include a zav who had two observations he already counts seven days before he can become clean. But in yesterday’s midrash, the same word excluded a zav who had two observations from being liable to bring a sacrifice. So why, R. Papa asks, does the word one time include and one time exclude?

 

אמר ליה: אי סלקא דעתך האי למעוטי הוא דאתאלישתוק קרא מיניה.

וכי תימא אתיא מדינאשומרת יום כנגד יום תוכיח.

 

He replied: If you would think that that text is for the purpose of excluding, then the text could simply omit the word.

And should you say, we could then derive the rule [that he is to count seven days] by a logical deduction, such a deduction could be confuted by the case of the woman who counts day for day.

 

R. Ashi answers that if the Torah had wanted to teach that one who has had two observations does not need to count seven days, then it should have said nothing about the matter. It could have omitted the word.

We would not have deduced this rule without the word, because the case of a woman who counts day for day would have refuted it, as we stated above. Just as she need not count seven days free of discharge, neither would a man. Therefore, we need this derashah to teach that the zav does need to count.

 

וכי תימא: האי מיבעי ליה מזובו ולא מנגעואם כן ליכתוב קרא וכי יטהר הזב, ולישתוק, מזובו למה לי? לימד על זב בעל שתי ראיות שטעון ספירת שבעה.

 

And should you say that this word is required to show that the text refers to one who is cleansed of his issue [only] and not [of his issue and] his leprosy. If so let the verse say, "And when he that has an issue is cleansed" and no more.

Why do I have "from his issue"? This teaches that one with an issue who has two observations is required to count seven days.

 

If you might have thought that the word "from his issue" only teaches the first halakhah that we learned above that he need only be free from issue and not skin disease the verse could have skipped the word "from his issue" altogether. The extra word "from his issue" teaches that one who has had two issues must already count seven clean days.