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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Bechoros 22



(a) When the Mishnah in Ohalos, in connection with a Nefel (a stillborn baby), it discusses ‘Pesichas ha’Kever’, the Tana means – that if the woman has already sat on the birth-stool, and her vagina opened to give birth, but the Nefel did not emerge and they moved her to another room, the first room is Tamei as if the Nefel had been born.

(b) But that is only if the head of the Nefel is round like a Pikah, which Rav Huna defines as – a ball of wool.

(c) Chiya bar Rav asked Rav Huna whether he was referring to that of the warp (the Shesi) or of the woof (the Eirev) – which is larger.

(d) In reply, Rav Huna cited a Beraisa, where Rebbi Meir says ‘Pikah shel Shesi’ - and Rebbi Yehudah, ‘shel Eirev’.

(a) In the same Beraisa, Rebbi Eliezer b’Rebbi Tzadok states ‘mi’she’Yir’u Tefifiyos’. He argues with the Tana Kama – inasmuch as in his opinion, Pesichas ha’Kever does not require the head of the Nefel to create the required size opening.

(b) According to Rav Yehudah Amar Shmuel ... quoting the B’nei Eretz Yisrael, what Rebbi Eliezer b’Rebbi Tzadok means is – that if the birth has reached the stage where the ring-like formations at the mouth of the vagina are visible, it is Metamei in any event, and this is reminiscent of a mule (which crouches more prominently than other animals), urinating.

(c) Rav Huna heard that there were two ‘Pikos’, one of the Shesi and one of the Eirev – but he was unable to explain it.

(d) To complicate matters, when Rav Dimi quoting Rebbi Yochanan arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he added – the big Pikah of sack-makers, whose wool is much thicker. Rebbi Yochanan, too was unable to explain it.

(a) When Ravin arrived from Eretz Yisrael, he solved the problem, quoting Rebbi Yochanan, who interpreted the Pikah shel Shesi with regard to the Din of Pesichas ha’Kever (like Rebbi Meir, as we discussed earlier), and the Pikah shel Eirev with regard to the head of a stillborn animal – rendering Tamei anyone who touches the Neveilah inside its mother womb, as long as the head has reached the size of a Pikah shel Eirev.

(b) Otherwise, he will be Tahor (because of Tum’ah Belu’ah) like the Mishnah in Chulin rules with regard to a shepherd who placed his hand inside the womb of an animal, touching the dead fetus that is inside.

(c) The Pikah Gedolah shel Saka’in refers to a clod of earth from the Beis ha’Peras or from Nochri lands, which is Metamei be’Ohel and causes Terumah and Kodshim that touch it to be burned.

(d) And it was used – to seal sacks made of bulrushes and the tall tapered lids of barrels made in Beis-Lechem.

(a) Resh Lakish Amar Rebbi Yehudah Nesi’ah rules that someone who purchases brine from an Am-ha’Aretz can render it Tahor – by performing Hashakah (placing the vessel containing it in the Mikvah, until the water in the Mikvah touches the brine.

(b) Hashakah will solve the problem, assuming that the majority is ...

1. ... water – because Hashakah is effective to purify water.
2. ... fish-juice – because fish-juice is not subject to Tum’ah in the first place.
(c) In the latter case, we are not concerned about the bit of water that is mixed in the fish-juice – because it is Bateil to it.



(a) Rebbi Yirmiyah confines this latter ruling to using the brine for dipping one’s bread into. Someone who wishes to add the brine into a cooked dish however, cannot rely on it – because when the water in the brine combin es with the water in the pot, to form a majority and render the Tzir Tamei (‘Matza Miyn es Miyno, ve’Niy’ur’).

(b) When Rav Dimi told this to Abaye, the latter objected – on the grounds that this principle does not apply to Tum’ah.

(c) Rav Dimi cited a Mishnah in Terumos. In a case where a Sa’ah of Terumah Temei’ah fell into a hundred Sa’ah of Tahor Chulin which had not been Muchshar Lekabel Tum’ah, Rebbi Eliezer requires the removal of one Sa’ah, which must be left to rot – because we assume that the Sa’ah that fell in is the Sa’ah that he removed (since min ha’Torah, the Sa’ah is Bateil anyway).

(a) According to the Chachamim, it is not necessary to remove anything – because the Sa’ah that fell into the hundred Sa’ah is Bateil.

(b) Nevertheless, they restrict the owner to one of four options. He can either eat the mixture without adding any liquid, or roast it in the form of Kelayos (roasted kernels); knead it with fruit-juice – or divide into doughs (and knead it with water), each of less than a ‘k’Beitzah’ (which is not subject to Tum’ah).

(c) Rebbi Eliezer - permits the same four options with the remaining hundred Sa’ah as the Rabbanan with the hundred and one.

(a) The problem with the remaining hundred Sa’ah, according to Rebbi Eliezer (who applies ‘she’Ani Omer’), and with the entire hundred and one Sa’ah, according to the Rabbanan (who hold that the Sa’ah is Bateil) is – why they cannot be kneaded with water in the regular manner?

(b) Ula solves the problem – by establishing a Gezeirah de’Rabbanan, who are afraid that the owner may bring a Kav of Tamei Chulin dough in order to mix it with a Kav and a bit of this dough (which we have pronounced Tahor but which contains a bit of Tamei Terumah), but which will now combine with the Tamei Chulin dough.

(c) Rav Dimi is trying to prove from here – that we apply the principle of ‘Matza Miyn es Miyno ve’Niy’ur’ by Tum’ah, too.

(d) Abaye refutes Rav Dimi’s proof however, by drawing a distinction between this case – where it is *Tamei* Chulin which combines with the Tamei Terumah, and ‘ha’Loke’ach Tzir me’Am ha’Aretz’, where Rebbi Yirmiyah wants the *Tahor* water in the pot to combine with the Tamei water in the fish-juice.

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