web analytics
December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Daf Yomi


Daf-Yomi-logo

Rebirth Of Sorts
‘Immersing Contaminated, Emerging Pure’
(Niddah 42a)

A mikveh purifies the impure. Utensils, clothing, and impure persons who immerse or are immersed in a mikveh become pure. When exactly does that transformation take place? Can we pinpoint the moment?

An interesting statement appears in the Rambam (Hilchos She’ar Avos Hatumah 6:16). He writes that if a person in a mikveh is touching a neveilah, sheretz, or some other impure object, he is impure, “but when he emerges from the mikveh he becomes pure…and the same applies to someone who stepped on a mishkav lying in a mikveh.” Concerning a zav, who defiles an object on which he sets his weight, the law is as follows: If he enters a mikveh and steps on an object on the floor of the mikveh, the object becomes impure, “but when the mishkav emerges from the mikveh, it becomes pure again.” In other words, when the object emerges from the mikveh, its status metamorphoses into one of purity.

Emerging From A Mikveh Purifies

A sensational chidush emerges from the Rambam’s words, as the Kesef Mishneh writes (ibid): “It seems that the impure becomes pure when he emerges from the mikveh but not while he is still inside it.” Thus, if someone touches an impure person while he’s still immersed in the water, one becomes impure even though he is standing in a mikveh. Hence, in theory, it’s possible for someone to immerse in a mikvehand not become pure!

Immersion At Sunset

Impure kohanim need to immerse in a mikveh and await the arrival of sunset. That is, an impure kohen must immerse before the sun sets and afterwards, “when the sun sets, he becomes pure” (Vayikra 22:7). After sunset, these formerly impure kohanim may eat terumah (before sunset they may eat maaser sheini), and after they offer the required sacrifices, they may eat the meat of sacrifices.

If an impure kohen immerses right before sunset but only sticks his head out of the water after sunset, the law is that he isn’t pure until after sunset of the following day (Gilyonei Hashas, Shabbos 35a; Or Sameiach, Ch. 12, Hilchos Metamei Mishkav Umoshav). The author of Gilyonei Hashas (ibid.) writes that the source for this law is the Gemara (Shabbos, ibid.), which says that an impure person who awaits the arrival of sunset to be completely pure “should immerse in the sea and emerge.” The Gemara emphasizes that he must emerge from the water before sunset. If he doesn’t, he only becomes pure after sunset of the following day.

The Achronim discuss this Kesef Mishneh at length and assert that the statement of the Rambam is “a very new thing.” This interpretation of the Gemara, they believe, is not evident in the words of other Rishonim (see Or Sameiach, ibid, and Makor Baruch, 39).

He Who Immerses With A Sheretz In Hand

Many are familiar with the Gemara (Taanis 16a) that immersion does not purify a person who immerses in a mikveh while holding a sheretz: “If a person holds a sheretz, even if he immerses in all the water in the world, the immersion is to no avail; if he discarded it, as soon as he immerses in 40 se’ah, the immersion helps him.”

It is interesting to discover that different poskim derive different proofs regarding the Kesef Mishneh’s interpretation of the Rambam from this famous law. Rabbi Meir Arik, zt”l, writes that it teaches us that someone who immerses in a mikveh becomes pure while still in the water since, as the Gemara says, “if he discarded it, he is pure.” Why “if he discarded it”? Doesn’t he have to emerge from the water? Evidently not (Tal Torah, Yerushalmi, Terumos).

Kisvei Eish (3:32), on the other hand, derives the opposite conclusion from this case. Why does the Gemara say “as soon as he immerses”? After all, he’s already in the water. The Gemara evidently means that the person must immerse again. In other words, a person who enters a mikveh holding a sheretzis impure until he discards it, emerges from the water, and then immerses himself again.

Immersion As Being Born Anew

We should conclude with the careful clarification of Rabbi Yonah Mertzbach, zt”l, as to why immersion helps the impure person only when he emerges from the water. He writes that the inner essence of immersion is the sinner’s “disappearance” in the water and his rebirth, figuratively speaking, when he emerges, since a human being cannot exist in water. The person leaves, so to say, his previous world and enters a new one. Therefore, he becomes pure only when he leaves the water (Aleh Yonah).

About the Author: RABBI YAAKOV KLASS, rav of Congregation K’hal Bnei Matisyahu in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is Torah Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at yklass@jewishpress.com. RABBI GERSHON TANNENBAUM, rav of Congregation Bnai Israel of Linden Heights, Boro Park, Brooklyn, is the Director of Igud HaRabbanim – The Rabbinical Alliance of America.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Daf Yomi”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The 13th issue of Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' online English-language magazine.
Al Qaeda Urges ‘Lone Wolves’ via Magazine to Attack US Airliners
Latest Judaism Stories
Hanukiyah created world famous Venetian Glass Blower
Maestro Gianni Toso

A revolution is taking place between good and evil; light and darkness. Make the light activism!

Joseph Maketh Himself Known to his Brethren

What did Yehudah say that was so effective that it convinced Yosef to make himself known?


What does the way we count the days of Chanukah come to teach us about living in the present?

Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

More Articles from Rabbi Yaakov Klass and Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum
Daf-Yomi-logo

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Daf-Yomi-logo

No Fault Lines
‘…His Father And Mother Were In Prison…’
(Yevamos 71b)

The Daughters Are Mine, The Sons Are Mine
‘Grandchildren Are like Children’
(Yevamos 62b)

The Decree Of 1587
“Two Kabs Of Dinars Were Given…To King Yanai”
(Yevamos 61a)

Ever Vigilant
‘When Unworthy, One’s Number Of Years Is Reduced’
(Yevamos 50a)

Where Frequency Matters
‘We Forbid Haircutting And Laundering’
(Yevamos 43b)

Informing The Decision
‘Found To Be With Child’
(Yevamos 35b)

The Ban Of The Communities
‘Impaired Chalitzah’
(Yevamos 26b)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/daf-yomi-31/2012/06/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: