Skip to content

Today's Daf Yomi

January 25, 2020 | כ״ח בטבת תש״פ

Berakhot 22

There is a debate regarding whether one who experienced a seminal emission can learn some types of Torah, none at all, or all kinds? Was the takana of Ezra entirely cancelled? Does he need to go in a mikveh with 40 se’ah or can one pour nine kav of water. What does one do if one is in the middle of tefilla or reading from the Torah and one remembers that one has impurity from a seminal emission?

תוכן זה תורגם גם ל: עברית

משמשת וראתה נדה אינה צריכה טבילה אבל בעל קרי גרידא מחייב לא תימא מברך אלא מהרהר

that a woman who engaged in intercourse and saw menstrual blood is not required to immerse herself, but one who experienced a seminal emission alone, with no concurrent impurity, is required to do so? If so, we must interpret Rabbi Yehuda’s statement in the mishna that one recites a blessing both beforehand and thereafter as follows: Do not say that one recites a blessing orally, but rather he means that one contemplates those blessings in his heart.

ומי אית ליה לרבי יהודה הרהור והתניא בעל קרי שאין לו מים לטבול קורא קריאת שמע ואינו מברך לא לפניה ולא לאחריה ואוכל פתו ומברך לאחריה ואינו מברך לפניה אבל מהרהר בלבו ואינו מוציא בשפתיו דברי רבי מאיר רבי יהודה אומר בין כך ובין כך מוציא בשפתיו

The Gemara challenges this explanation: And does Rabbi Yehuda maintain that there is validity to contemplating in his heart? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: One who experienced a seminal emission and who has no water to immerse and purify himself recites Shema and neither recites the blessings of Shema beforehand nor thereafter? And when he eats his bread, he recites the blessing thereafter, Grace after Meals, but does not recite the blessing: Who brings forth bread from the earth, beforehand. However, in the instances where he may not recite the blessing, he contemplates it in his heart rather than utter it with his lips, this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. However Rabbi Yehuda says: In either case, he utters all of the blessings with his lips. Rabbi Yehuda does not consider contemplating the blessings in his heart a solution and permits them to be recited.

אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק עשאן רבי יהודה כהלכות דרך ארץ

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Rabbi Yehuda’s statement in the mishna should be interpreted in another way. Rabbi Yehuda rendered the blessings like Hilkhot Derekh Eretz, which according to some Sages were not considered to be in the same category as all other matters of Torah and therefore, one is permitted to engage in their study even after having experienced a seminal emission.

דתניא והודעתם לבניך ולבני בניך וכתיב בתריה יום אשר עמדת לפני ה׳ אלהיך בחורב מה להלן באימה וביראה וברתת ובזיע אף כאן באימה וביראה וברתת ובזיע

As it was taught in a baraita: It is written: “And you shall impart them to your children and your children’s children” (Deuteronomy 4:9), and it is written thereafter: “The day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb” (Deuteronomy 4:10). Just as below, the Revelation at Sinai was in reverence, fear, quaking, and trembling, so too here, in every generation, Torah must be studied with a sense of reverence, fear, quaking, and trembling.

מכאן אמרו הזבים והמצרעים ובאין על נדות מותרים לקרות בתורה ובנביאים ובכתובים לשנות במשנה וגמרא ובהלכות ובאגדות אבל בעלי קריין אסורים

From here the Sages stated: Zavim, lepers, and those who engaged in intercourse with menstruating women, despite their severe impurity, are permitted to read the Torah, Prophets, and Writings, and to study Mishna and Gemara and halakhot and aggada. However, those who experienced a seminal emission are prohibited from doing so. The reason for this distinction is that the cases of severe impurity are caused by ailment or other circumstances beyond his control and, as a result, they do not necessarily preclude a sense of reverence and awe as he studies Torah. This, however, is not the case with regard to impurity resulting from a seminal emission, which usually comes about due to frivolity and a lack of reverence and awe. Therefore, it is inappropriate for one who experiences a seminal emission to engage in matters of in Torah.

רבי יוסי אומר שונה הוא ברגיליות ובלבד שלא יציע את המשנה רבי יונתן בן יוסף אומר מציע הוא את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא רבי נתן בן אבישלום אומר אף מציע את הגמרא ובלבד שלא יאמר אזכרות שבו רבי יוחנן הסנדלר תלמידו של רבי עקיבא משום רבי עקיבא אומר לא יכנס למדרש כל עיקר ואמרי לה לא יכנס לבית המדרש כל עיקר רבי יהודה אומר שונה הוא בהלכות דרך ארץ

However, there are many opinions concerning the precise parameters of the Torah matters prohibited by this decree. Rabbi Yosei says: One who experiences a seminal emission studies mishnayot that he is accustomed to study, as long as he does not expound upon a new mishna to study it in depth. Rabbi Yonatan ben Yosef says: He expounds upon the mishna but he does not expound upon the Gemara, which is the in-depth analysis of the Torah. Rabbi Natan ben Avishalom says: He may even expound upon the Gemara, as long as he does not utter the mentions of God’s name therein. Rabbi Yoḥanan the Cobbler, Rabbi Akiva’s student, says in the name of Rabbi Akiva: One who experiences a seminal emission may not enter into homiletic interpretation [midrash] of verses at all. Some say that he says: He may not enter the study hall [beit hamidrash] at all. Rabbi Yehuda says: He may study only Hilkhot Derekh Eretz. In terms of the problem raised above, apparently Rabbi Yehuda considers the legal status of the blessings to be parallel to the legal status of Hilkhot Derekh Eretz, and therefore one may utter them orally.

מעשה ברבי יהודה שראה קרי והיה מהלך על גב הנהר אמרו לו תלמידיו רבינו שנה לנו פרק אחד בהלכות דרך ארץ ירד וטבל ושנה להם אמרו לו לא כך למדתנו רבינו שונה הוא בהלכות דרך ארץ אמר להם אף על פי שמיקל אני על אחרים מחמיר אני על עצמי:

The Gemara relates an incident involving Rabbi Yehuda himself, who experienced a seminal emission and was walking along the riverbank with his disciples. His disciples said to him: Rabbi, teach us a chapter from Hilkhot Derekh Eretz, as he maintained that even in a state of impurity, it is permitted. He descended and immersed himself in the river and taught them Hilkhot Derekh Eretz. They said to him: Did you not teach us, our teacher, that he may study Hilkhot Derekh Eretz? He said to them: Although I am lenient with others, and allow them to study it without immersion, I am stringent with myself.

תניא רבי יהודה בן בתירא היה אומר אין דברי תורה מקבלין טומאה מעשה בתלמיד אחד שהיה מגמגם למעלה מרבי יהודה בן בתירא אמר ליה בני פתח פיך ויאירו דבריך שאין דברי תורה מקבלין טומאה שנאמר הלא כה דברי כאש נאם ה׳ מה אש אינו מקבל טומאה אף דברי תורה אינן מקבלין טומאה

Further elaborating on the issue of Torah study while in a state of impurity, it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira would say: Matters of Torah do not become ritually impure and therefore one who is impure is permitted to engage in Torah study. He implemented this halakha in practice. The Gemara relates an incident involving a student who was reciting mishnayot and baraitot hesitantly before the study hall of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira. The student experienced a seminal emission, and when he was asked to recite he did so in a rushed, uneven manner, as he did not want to utter the words of Torah explicitly. Rabbi Yehuda said to him: My son, open your mouth and let your words illuminate, as matters of Torah do not become ritually impure, as it is stated: “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:29). Just as fire does not become ritually impure, so too matters of Torah do not become ritually impure.

אמר מר מציע את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא מסייע ליה לרבי אלעאי דאמר רבי אלעאי אמר רבי אחא בר יעקב משום רבינו הלכה מציע את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא כתנאי מציע את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא דברי רבי מאיר רבי יהודה בן גמליאל אומר משום רבי חנינא בן גמליאל זה וזה אסור ואמרי לה זה וזה מותר

In this baraita the Master said that one who is impure because of a seminal emission expounds upon the mishna but does not expound upon the Gemara. The Gemara notes: This statement supports the opinion of Rabbi El’ai, as Rabbi El’ai said that Rabbi Aḥa bar Ya’akov said in the name of Rabbeinu, Rav: The halakha is that one who experienced a seminal emission may expound upon the mishna but may not expound upon the Gemara. This dispute is parallel a tannaitic dispute, as it was taught: One who experienced a seminal emission expounds upon the mishna but does not expound upon the Gemara; that is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda ben Gamliel says in the name of Rabbi Ḥanina ben Gamliel: Both this and that are prohibited. And some say that he said: Both this and that are permitted.

מאן דאמר זה וזה אסור כרבי יוחנן הסנדלר מאן דאמר זה וזה מותר כרבי יהודה בן בתירא

Comparing these opinions: The one who said that both this and that are prohibited holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan the Cobbler; the one who said that both this and that are permitted holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira.

אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק נהוג עלמא כהני תלת סבי כרבי אלעאי בראשית הגז כרבי יאשיה בכלאים כרבי יהודה בן בתירא בדברי תורה

Summarizing the halakha, Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: The universally accepted practice is in accordance with the opinions of these three elders: In accordance with the opinion of Rabbi El’ai with regard to the halakhot of the first shearing, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoshiya with regard to the laws of prohibited diverse kinds, and in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira with regard to matters of Torah.

כרבי אלעאי בראשית הגז דתניא רבי אלעאי אומר ראשית הגז אינו נוהג אלא בארץ

The Gemara elaborates: In accordance with the opinion of Rabbi El’ai with regard to the first shearing, as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi El’ai says: The obligation to set aside the first shearing from the sheep for the priest is only practiced in Eretz Yisrael and not in the Diaspora, and that is the accepted practice.

כרבי יאשיה בכלאים כדכתיב לא תזרע [כרמך] כלאים רבי יאשיה אומר לעולם אינו חייב עד שיזרע חטה ושעורה וחרצן במפולת יד

In accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoshiya with regard to diverse kinds, as it is written: “You shall not sow your vineyard with diverse kinds” (Deuteronomy 22:9). Rabbi Yoshiya says: This means that one who sows diverse kinds is not liable by Torah law until he sows wheat and barley and a grape pit with a single hand motion, meaning that while sowing in the vineyard he violates the prohibition of diverse kinds that applies to seeds and to the vineyard simultaneously.

כרבי יהודה בן בתירא בדברי תורה דתניא רבי יהודה בן בתירא אומר אין דברי תורה מקבלין טומאה

In accordance with Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira with regard to one who experiences a seminal emission is permitted to engage in matters of Torah, as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira says: Matters of Torah do not become ritually impure.

כי אתא זעירי אמר בטלוה לטבילותא ואמרי לה בטלוה לנטילותא מאן דאמר בטלוה לטבילותא כרבי יהודה בן בתירא מאן דאמר בטלוה לנטילותא כי הא דרב חסדא לייט אמאן דמהדר אמיא בעידן צלותא:

And the Gemara relates: When Ze’iri came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he succinctly capsulated this halakha and said: They abolished ritual immersion, and some say that he said: They abolished ritual washing of the hands. The Gemara explains: The one who says that they abolished immersion holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira that one who experienced a seminal emission is not required to immerse. And the one who says that they abolished washing of the hands holds in accordance with that which Rav Ḥisda cursed one who goes out of his way to seek water at the time of prayer.

תנו רבנן בעל קרי שנתנו עליו תשעה קבין מים טהור נחום איש גם זו לחשה לרבי עקיבא ורבי עקיבא לחשה לבן עזאי ובן עזאי יצא ושנאה לתלמידיו בשוק פליגי בה תרי אמוראי במערבא רבי יוסי בר אבין ורבי יוסי בר זבידא חד תני שנאה וחד תני לחשה

The Sages taught in a baraita: One who experienced a seminal emission who had nine kav of drawn water poured over him, that is sufficient to render him ritually pure and he need not immerse himself in a ritual bath. The Gemara relates: Naḥum of Gam Zo whispered this halakha to Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Akiva whispered it to his student ben Azzai, and ben Azzai went out and taught it to his students publicly in the marketplace. Two amora’im in Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Yosei bar Avin and Rabbi Yosei bar Zevida, disagreed as to the correct version of the conclusion of the incident. One taught: Ben Azzai taught it to his students in the market. And the other taught: Ben Azzai also whispered it to his students.

מאן דתני שנאה משום בטול תורה ומשום בטול פריה ורביה ומאן דתני לחשה שלא יהו תלמידי חכמים מצויים אצל נשותיהם כתרנגולים

The Gemara explains the rationale behind the two versions of this incident. The Sage who taught that ben Azzai taught the law openly in the market held that the leniency was due to concern that the halakhot requiring ritual immersion would promote dereliction in the study of Torah. The ruling of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira eases the way for an individual who experienced a seminal emission to study Torah. This was also due to concern that the halakhot requiring ritual immersion would promote the suspension of procreation, as one might abstain from marital relations to avoid the immersion required thereafter. And the Sage, who taught that ben Azzai only whispered this halakha to his students, held that he did so in order that Torah scholars would not be with their wives like roosters. If the purification process was that simple, Torah scholars would engage in sexual activity constantly, which would distract them from their studies.

אמר רבי ינאי שמעתי שמקילין בה ושמעתי שמחמירין בה וכל המחמיר בה על עצמו מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו

With regard to this ritual immersion, Rabbi Yannai said: I heard that there are those who are lenient with regard to it and I have heard that there are those who are stringent with regard to it. The halakha in this matter was never conclusively established and anyone who accepts upon himself to be stringent with regard to it, they prolong for him his days and years.

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי מה טיבן של טובלי שחרין מה טיבן הא איהו דאמר בעל קרי אסור בדברי תורה הכי קאמר מה טיבן בארבעים סאה אפשר בתשעה קבין מה טיבן בטבילה אפשר בנתינה

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: What is the essence of those who immerse themselves in the morning? The Gemara retorts: How can one ask what is their essence? Isn’t he the one who said that one who experiences a seminal emission is prohibited from engaging in matters of Torah and is required to immerse himself in the morning? Rather, this is what he meant to say: What is the essence of immersion in a ritual bath of forty se’a of water when it is possible to purify oneself with nine kav? Furthermore, what is the essence of immersion when it is also possible to purify oneself by pouring water?

אמר רבי חנינא גדר גדול גדרו בה דתניא מעשה באחד שתבע אשה לדבר עבירה אמרה לו ריקא יש לך ארבעים סאה שאתה טובל בהן מיד פירש

Regarding this, Rabbi Ḥanina said: They established a massive fence protecting one from sinning with their decree that one must immerse himself in forty se’a of water. As it was taught in a baraita: There was an incident involving one who solicited a woman to commit a sinful act. She said to him: Good-for-nothing. Do you have forty se’a in which to immerse and purify yourself afterwards? He immediately desisted. The obligation to immerse oneself caused individuals to refrain from transgression.

אמר להו רב הונא לרבנן רבותי מפני מה אתם מזלזלין בטבילה זו אי משום צינה אפשר במרחצאות

Rav Huna said to the Sages: Gentlemen, why do you disdain this immersion? If it is because it is difficult for you to immerse in the cold waters of the ritual bath, it is possible to purify oneself by immersing oneself in the heated bathhouses, which are unfit for immersion for other forms of ritual impurity but are fit for immersion in this case.

אמר ליה רב חסדא וכי יש טבילה בחמין אמר ליה רב אדא בר אהבה קאי כוותך

Rabbi Ḥisda said to him: Is there ritual immersion in hot water? Rav Huna said to him: Indeed, doubts with regard to the fitness of baths have been raised, and Rav Adda bar Ahava holds in accordance with your opinion. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that it is permitted.

רבי זירא הוה יתיב באגנא דמיא בי מסותא אמר ליה לשמעיה זיל ואייתי לי תשעה קבין ושדי עלואי אמר ליה רבי חייא בר אבא למה ליה למר כולי האי והא יתיב בגווייהו אמר ליה כארבעים סאה מה ארבעים סאה בטבילה ולא בנתינה אף תשעה קבין בנתינה ולא בטבילה

The Gemara relates: Rabbi Zeira was sitting in a tub of water in the bathhouse. He said to his attendant: Go and get nine kav of water and pour it over me so that I may purify myself from the impurity caused by a seminal emission. Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said to him: Why does my master require all of this? Aren’t you seated in at least nine kav of water in the tub. He said to him: The law of nine kav parallels the law of forty se’a, in that their halakhot are exclusive. Just as forty se’a can only purify an individual through immersion and not through pouring, so too nine kav can only purify one who experienced a seminal emission through pouring and not through immersion.

רב נחמן תקן חצבא בת תשעה קבין כי אתא רב דימי אמר רבי עקיבא ורבי יהודה גלוסטרא אמרו לא שנו אלא לחולה לאונסו אבל לחולה המרגיל ארבעים סאה

The Gemara relates that Rav Naḥman prepared a jug with a capacity of nine kav so that his students could pour water over themselves and become pure. When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yehuda Gelostera said: The halakha that one who experienced a seminal emission can be purified by pouring nine kav was only taught for a sick person who experienced the emission involuntarily. However, a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission in the course of marital relations, is required to immerse himself in forty se’a.

אמר רב יוסף אתבר חצביה דרב נחמן כי אתא רבין אמר באושא הוה עובדא

Rav Yosef said: In that case, Rav Naḥman’s jug is broken, meaning it is no longer of any use, as few people fall into the category of sick people who experienced seminal emissions. Nevertheless, when Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia he said: In Usha there was an incident

בקילעא דרב אושעיא אתו ושאלו לרב אסי אמר להו לא שנו אלא לחולה המרגיל אבל לחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום אמר רב יוסף אצטמיד חצביה דרב נחמן

that this problem was raised in Rav Oshaya’s chamber, and they came and asked Rav Asi. He said to them: They only stated the obligation to pour water over one who is impure because of a seminal emission with regard to a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission, but a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is clearly exempt from anything and requires no immersion whatsoever. Rav Yosef said: In that case, Rav Naḥman’s jug is rejoined, meaning that it is effective with regard to purification.

מכדי כולהו אמוראי ותנאי בדעזרא קמיפלגי ונחזי עזרא היכי תקן

Up to now, discussion has focused on various problems pertaining to the laws of immersion as they concern one whose impurity is due to seminal emission. The Gemara asks: Since all of the amora’im and tanna’im disagree with regard to the decree of Ezra, let us examine how Ezra instituted this ordinance, as this is not an uncommon circumstance and we can see how they conducted themselves.

אמר אביי עזרא תקן לבריא המרגיל ארבעים סאה ובריא לאונסו תשעה קבין ואתו אמוראי ופליגי בחולה מר סבר חולה המרגיל כבריא המרגיל וחולה לאונסו כבריא לאונסו ומר סבר חולה המרגיל כבריא לאונסו וחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום

Abaye said: Ezra did not institute a sweeping ordinance concerning every case of one who experienced a seminal emission; rather, he instituted only that a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission is required to immerse himself in forty se’a, while for a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, nine kav are sufficient. And the amora’im came and disagreed with regard to a sick person. One Sage held that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission. However, another Sage maintained that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, and consequently requires only that nine kav be poured over him, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from any form of immersion or purification.

אמר רבא נהי דתקן עזרא טבילה נתינה מי תקן והאמר מר עזרא תקן טבילה לבעלי קריין אלא אמר רבא עזרא תקן טבילה לבריא המרגיל ארבעים סאה ואתו רבנן והתקינו לבריא לאונסו תשעה קבין ואתו אמוראי וקא מיפלגי בחולה מר סבר חולה המרגיל כבריא המרגיל וחולה לאונסו כבריא לאונסו ומר סבר לבריא המרגיל ארבעים סאה וחולה המרגיל כבריא לאונסו תשעה קבין אבל לחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום

Rava said: Although Ezra instituted immersion for one who experienced a seminal emission, did he institute the pouring of nine kav? Didn’t the Master say that we have a tradition that Ezra only instituted immersion for those who experienced a seminal emission? Rather, Rava said: We must explain that the diverse opinions developed after Ezra’s decree. Ezra himself instituted immersion in forty se’a only for a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission. And the Sages came and instituted that a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission should have nine kav poured over him. And then the amora’im came and disagreed with regard to a sick person; one Sage held that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, another Sage maintained that only a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission is required to immerse himself in forty se’a while a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, requiring only nine kav. But a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from any form of immersion or purification.

אמר רבא הלכתא בריא המרגיל וחולה המרגיל ארבעים סאה ובריא לאונסו תשעה קבין אבל לחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום:

Rava stated that the halakhic ruling is in accordance with the first opinion: A healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission and a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission require forty se’a, while a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission suffices with nine kav. But a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from undergoing any rite of purification.

תנו רבנן בעל קרי שנתנו עליו תשעה קבין מים טהור במה דברים אמורים לעצמו אבל לאחרים ארבעים סאה רבי יהודה אומר ארבעים סאה מכל מקום

The Sages taught in a Tosefta: One who experienced a seminal emission and had nine kav of drawn water poured over him is ritually pure. In what case is this statement said? In a case involving Torah study for himself, but in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a. Rabbi Yehuda says: Forty se’a is required for purification in any case.

רבי יוחנן ורבי יהושע בן לוי ורבי אלעזר ורבי יוסי ברבי חנינא חד מהאי זוגא וחד מהאי זוגא ארישא חד אמר הא דאמרת במה דברים אמורים לעצמו אבל לאחרים ארבעים סאה לא שנו אלא לחולה המרגיל אבל לחולה לאונסו תשעה קבין וחד אמר כל לאחרים אפילו חולה לאונסו עד דאיכא ארבעים סאה

With regard to this issue, a dispute arose between Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, and Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina. One member of this pair and one member of that pair disagreed with regard to the first clause of the Tosefta. One said: That which you said: In what case is this statement said? In a case involving Torah study for himself, but in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a, was only taught regarding a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission, but for a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, nine kav is sufficient even for teaching others. And one said that anyone who teaches others, even if he was sick and experienced an involuntary seminal emission, is not considered pure until there are forty se’a.

וחד מהאי זוגא וחד מהאי זוגא אסיפא חד אמר הא דאמר רבי יהודה ארבעים סאה מכל מקום לא שנו אלא בקרקע אבל בכלים לא וחד אמר אפילו בכלים נמי

And one member of this pair and one member of that pair disagreed with regard to the latter clause of the Tosefta. One said: That which Rabbi Yehuda said: Forty se’a in any case, was only taught when the water is in the ground, in accordance with the Torah law of ritual bath, but not if it was collected in vessels. And one said: Even forty se’a collected in vessels are sufficient for purification.

בשלמא למאן דאמר אפילו בכלים היינו דקתני רבי יהודה אומר ארבעים סאה מכל מקום אלא למאן דאמר בקרקע אין בכלים לא מכל מקום לאתויי מאי

The Gemara clarifies this problem: Granted, according to the one who said that forty se’a purifies even in vessels. That is why the Tosefta taught: Rabbi Yehuda says: Forty se’a in any case. However, according to the one who said that Rabbi Yehuda’s opinion is that forty se’a in the ground, yes, it purifies, but in vessels, no, it does not purify, what does the expression in any case come to include?

לאתויי מים שאובין

The Gemara explains: In any case comes to include drawn water, as Rabbi Yehuda permits immersion in forty se’a of water collected in the ground even if the water was drawn by human hand.

רב פפא ורב הונא בריה דרב יהושע ורבא (ברבי) בר שמואל כריכו ריפתא בהדי הדדי אמר להו רב פפא הבו לי לדידי לברוך דנפול עילואי תשעה קבין אמר להו רבא (ברבי) [בר] שמואל תנינא במה דברים אמורים לעצמו אבל לאחרים ארבעים סאה אלא הבו לי לדידי לברוך דנפול עילואי ארבעים סאה אמר להו רב הונא הבו לי לדידי לברוך דליכא עילואי לא האי ולא האי

The Gemara relates that Rav Pappa and Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, and Rava bar Shmuel ate bread together. Rav Pappa said to them: Allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as I am ritually pure because nine kav of water fell upon me; in other words, he poured it over himself. Rava bar Shmuel said to them: We learned, in what case is this statement that nine kav purify, said? In a case involving Torah study for himself. But, in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, and by extension to fulfill the obligation of others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a. Rather, allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as forty se’a of water fell upon me; in other words, I immersed myself in a ritual bath. Rav Huna said to them: Allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as I have had neither this nor that upon me because I remained ritually pure.

רב חמא טביל במעלי יומא דפסחא להוציא רבים ידי חובתן ולית הלכתא כוותיה:

It is also said that Rav Ḥama would immerse himself on Passover eve in order to fulfill the obligations of the masses. However the Gemara concludes: The halakha is not in accordance with his opinion that distinguishes between the purification for oneself and purification for the sake of others.

מתני׳ היה עומד בתפלה ונזכר שהוא בעל קרי לא יפסיק אלא יקצר

MISHNA: This mishna contains various statements with regard to individuals with different types of ritual impurity as well as the need to distance oneself from filth and impurity. One who was standing in prayer and he recalled that he experienced a seminal emission, and according to this opinion he is prohibited from praying, should not interrupt his prayer, rather he should abridge each individual blessing.

ירד לטבול אם יכול לעלות ולהתכסות ולקרות עד שלא תהא הנץ החמה יעלה ויתכסה ויקרא ואם לאו יתכסה במים ויקרא ולא יתכסה לא במים הרעים ולא במי המשרה עד שיטיל לתוכן מים וכמה ירחיק מהן ומן הצואה ארבע אמות:

They stated a general principle: One who descended to immerse himself, if he is able to ascend, cover himself with a garment, and recite the morning Shema before sunrise, he should ascend, cover himself, and recite Shema, and if not, he should cover himself in the water and recite Shema there. He may not, however, cover himself in either foul water, or water in which flax was soaked, until he pours other water into it. And in general, how far must one distance himself from urine and feces in order to recite Shema? At least four cubits.

גמ׳ תנו רבנן היה עומד בתפלה ונזכר שהוא בעל קרי לא יפסיק אלא יקצר היה קורא בתורה ונזכר שהוא בעל קרי אינו מפסיק ועולה אלא מגמגם וקורא רבי מאיר אומר אין בעל קרי רשאי לקרות בתורה יותר משלשה פסוקים

GEMARA: A baraita further elaborates on the first halakha in the mishna. The Sages taught: One who was standing in prayer and he recalled that he had experienced a seminal emission, should not interrupt his prayer. Rather, he should abridge. One who was reading the Torah and recalled that he experienced a seminal emission, does not interrupt his reading, but rather reads quickly with less than perfect diction. Rabbi Meir disagrees and says: One who experienced a seminal emission is not permitted to read more than three verses in the Torah, as one may read no fewer than three verses in the Torah. After he completes three verses, he must stop and let someone else continue.

תניא אידך היה עומד בתפלה וראה צואה כנגדו מהלך לפניו עד שיזרקנה לאחוריו ארבע אמות והתניא לצדדין לא קשיא הא דאפשר הא דלא אפשר

It was taught in another baraita: One who was standing in prayer and he saw feces before him must walk forward until he has placed it four cubits behind him. The Gemara challenges this: Wasn’t it taught in another baraita that it is sufficient if he distances himself four cubits to the side? The Gemara resolves this contradiction: This is not difficult, as that baraita which taught that it must be four cubits behind him, is referring to a case where it is possible for him to advance that distance, while that baraita which taught that he may distance himself four cubits to the side, is referring to a case where it is not possible to advance four cubits, in which case he must at least step to the side.

היה מתפלל ומצא צואה במקומו אמר רבה אף על פי שחטא תפלתו תפלה מתקיף ליה רבא והא זבח רשעים תועבה אלא אמר רבא הואיל וחטא אף על פי שהתפלל תפלתו תועבה:

The Gemara cites another halakha: One who was praying and later found feces in the place where he prayed, Rabba said: Although he committed a transgression in his failure to examine that venue to determine if it was worthy of prayer (Tosafot), his prayer is a valid prayer and he fulfilled his obligation. Rava strongly objects to his statement: Isn’t it stated: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, the more so as he offers it in depravity” (Proverbs 21:27), from which we derive that a mitzva performed inappropriately is no mitzva at all? Consequently, the fact that he did not pay proper attention invalidates his prayer. Rather, Rava said: Because this person committed a transgression, although he prayed, his prayer is an abomination and he must pray again.

תנו רבנן היה עומד בתפלה ומים שותתין על ברכיו פוסק עד שיכלו המים וחוזר ומתפלל להיכן חוזר רב חסדא ורב המנונא חד אמר חוזר לראש וחד אמר למקום שפסק

The Sages taught in a baraita: One who was standing in prayer when, for some reason, urine is flowing on his knees, he must interrupt his prayer until the urine ceases, and then resume praying. The Gemara, asks: To where in the prayer does he return when he resumes his prayer? Rav Ḥisda and Rav Hamnuna disagreed; one said: He must return to the beginning of the prayer, and the other said: He must return to the point where he stopped.

לימא בהא קמיפלגי

The Gemara notes: Let us say that they disagree about this:

Want to explore more about the Daf?

See insights from our partners, contributors and community of women learners

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Berakhot (chapters 1-3)

Extempore Effusions on the Completion of Masechet Berakhot (chapters 1-3)

PEREK ALEPH: (2a) When may we say Shma at night? From the time the priests take their first bite ‘Til...

Berakhot 22

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Berakhot 22

משמשת וראתה נדה אינה צריכה טבילה אבל בעל קרי גרידא מחייב לא תימא מברך אלא מהרהר

that a woman who engaged in intercourse and saw menstrual blood is not required to immerse herself, but one who experienced a seminal emission alone, with no concurrent impurity, is required to do so? If so, we must interpret Rabbi Yehuda’s statement in the mishna that one recites a blessing both beforehand and thereafter as follows: Do not say that one recites a blessing orally, but rather he means that one contemplates those blessings in his heart.

ומי אית ליה לרבי יהודה הרהור והתניא בעל קרי שאין לו מים לטבול קורא קריאת שמע ואינו מברך לא לפניה ולא לאחריה ואוכל פתו ומברך לאחריה ואינו מברך לפניה אבל מהרהר בלבו ואינו מוציא בשפתיו דברי רבי מאיר רבי יהודה אומר בין כך ובין כך מוציא בשפתיו

The Gemara challenges this explanation: And does Rabbi Yehuda maintain that there is validity to contemplating in his heart? Wasn’t it taught in a baraita: One who experienced a seminal emission and who has no water to immerse and purify himself recites Shema and neither recites the blessings of Shema beforehand nor thereafter? And when he eats his bread, he recites the blessing thereafter, Grace after Meals, but does not recite the blessing: Who brings forth bread from the earth, beforehand. However, in the instances where he may not recite the blessing, he contemplates it in his heart rather than utter it with his lips, this is the statement of Rabbi Meir. However Rabbi Yehuda says: In either case, he utters all of the blessings with his lips. Rabbi Yehuda does not consider contemplating the blessings in his heart a solution and permits them to be recited.

אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק עשאן רבי יהודה כהלכות דרך ארץ

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: Rabbi Yehuda’s statement in the mishna should be interpreted in another way. Rabbi Yehuda rendered the blessings like Hilkhot Derekh Eretz, which according to some Sages were not considered to be in the same category as all other matters of Torah and therefore, one is permitted to engage in their study even after having experienced a seminal emission.

דתניא והודעתם לבניך ולבני בניך וכתיב בתריה יום אשר עמדת לפני ה׳ אלהיך בחורב מה להלן באימה וביראה וברתת ובזיע אף כאן באימה וביראה וברתת ובזיע

As it was taught in a baraita: It is written: “And you shall impart them to your children and your children’s children” (Deuteronomy 4:9), and it is written thereafter: “The day that you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb” (Deuteronomy 4:10). Just as below, the Revelation at Sinai was in reverence, fear, quaking, and trembling, so too here, in every generation, Torah must be studied with a sense of reverence, fear, quaking, and trembling.

מכאן אמרו הזבים והמצרעים ובאין על נדות מותרים לקרות בתורה ובנביאים ובכתובים לשנות במשנה וגמרא ובהלכות ובאגדות אבל בעלי קריין אסורים

From here the Sages stated: Zavim, lepers, and those who engaged in intercourse with menstruating women, despite their severe impurity, are permitted to read the Torah, Prophets, and Writings, and to study Mishna and Gemara and halakhot and aggada. However, those who experienced a seminal emission are prohibited from doing so. The reason for this distinction is that the cases of severe impurity are caused by ailment or other circumstances beyond his control and, as a result, they do not necessarily preclude a sense of reverence and awe as he studies Torah. This, however, is not the case with regard to impurity resulting from a seminal emission, which usually comes about due to frivolity and a lack of reverence and awe. Therefore, it is inappropriate for one who experiences a seminal emission to engage in matters of in Torah.

רבי יוסי אומר שונה הוא ברגיליות ובלבד שלא יציע את המשנה רבי יונתן בן יוסף אומר מציע הוא את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא רבי נתן בן אבישלום אומר אף מציע את הגמרא ובלבד שלא יאמר אזכרות שבו רבי יוחנן הסנדלר תלמידו של רבי עקיבא משום רבי עקיבא אומר לא יכנס למדרש כל עיקר ואמרי לה לא יכנס לבית המדרש כל עיקר רבי יהודה אומר שונה הוא בהלכות דרך ארץ

However, there are many opinions concerning the precise parameters of the Torah matters prohibited by this decree. Rabbi Yosei says: One who experiences a seminal emission studies mishnayot that he is accustomed to study, as long as he does not expound upon a new mishna to study it in depth. Rabbi Yonatan ben Yosef says: He expounds upon the mishna but he does not expound upon the Gemara, which is the in-depth analysis of the Torah. Rabbi Natan ben Avishalom says: He may even expound upon the Gemara, as long as he does not utter the mentions of God’s name therein. Rabbi Yoḥanan the Cobbler, Rabbi Akiva’s student, says in the name of Rabbi Akiva: One who experiences a seminal emission may not enter into homiletic interpretation [midrash] of verses at all. Some say that he says: He may not enter the study hall [beit hamidrash] at all. Rabbi Yehuda says: He may study only Hilkhot Derekh Eretz. In terms of the problem raised above, apparently Rabbi Yehuda considers the legal status of the blessings to be parallel to the legal status of Hilkhot Derekh Eretz, and therefore one may utter them orally.

מעשה ברבי יהודה שראה קרי והיה מהלך על גב הנהר אמרו לו תלמידיו רבינו שנה לנו פרק אחד בהלכות דרך ארץ ירד וטבל ושנה להם אמרו לו לא כך למדתנו רבינו שונה הוא בהלכות דרך ארץ אמר להם אף על פי שמיקל אני על אחרים מחמיר אני על עצמי:

The Gemara relates an incident involving Rabbi Yehuda himself, who experienced a seminal emission and was walking along the riverbank with his disciples. His disciples said to him: Rabbi, teach us a chapter from Hilkhot Derekh Eretz, as he maintained that even in a state of impurity, it is permitted. He descended and immersed himself in the river and taught them Hilkhot Derekh Eretz. They said to him: Did you not teach us, our teacher, that he may study Hilkhot Derekh Eretz? He said to them: Although I am lenient with others, and allow them to study it without immersion, I am stringent with myself.

תניא רבי יהודה בן בתירא היה אומר אין דברי תורה מקבלין טומאה מעשה בתלמיד אחד שהיה מגמגם למעלה מרבי יהודה בן בתירא אמר ליה בני פתח פיך ויאירו דבריך שאין דברי תורה מקבלין טומאה שנאמר הלא כה דברי כאש נאם ה׳ מה אש אינו מקבל טומאה אף דברי תורה אינן מקבלין טומאה

Further elaborating on the issue of Torah study while in a state of impurity, it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira would say: Matters of Torah do not become ritually impure and therefore one who is impure is permitted to engage in Torah study. He implemented this halakha in practice. The Gemara relates an incident involving a student who was reciting mishnayot and baraitot hesitantly before the study hall of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira. The student experienced a seminal emission, and when he was asked to recite he did so in a rushed, uneven manner, as he did not want to utter the words of Torah explicitly. Rabbi Yehuda said to him: My son, open your mouth and let your words illuminate, as matters of Torah do not become ritually impure, as it is stated: “Is not my word like fire, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:29). Just as fire does not become ritually impure, so too matters of Torah do not become ritually impure.

אמר מר מציע את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא מסייע ליה לרבי אלעאי דאמר רבי אלעאי אמר רבי אחא בר יעקב משום רבינו הלכה מציע את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא כתנאי מציע את המשנה ואינו מציע את הגמרא דברי רבי מאיר רבי יהודה בן גמליאל אומר משום רבי חנינא בן גמליאל זה וזה אסור ואמרי לה זה וזה מותר

In this baraita the Master said that one who is impure because of a seminal emission expounds upon the mishna but does not expound upon the Gemara. The Gemara notes: This statement supports the opinion of Rabbi El’ai, as Rabbi El’ai said that Rabbi Aḥa bar Ya’akov said in the name of Rabbeinu, Rav: The halakha is that one who experienced a seminal emission may expound upon the mishna but may not expound upon the Gemara. This dispute is parallel a tannaitic dispute, as it was taught: One who experienced a seminal emission expounds upon the mishna but does not expound upon the Gemara; that is the statement of Rabbi Meir. Rabbi Yehuda ben Gamliel says in the name of Rabbi Ḥanina ben Gamliel: Both this and that are prohibited. And some say that he said: Both this and that are permitted.

מאן דאמר זה וזה אסור כרבי יוחנן הסנדלר מאן דאמר זה וזה מותר כרבי יהודה בן בתירא

Comparing these opinions: The one who said that both this and that are prohibited holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan the Cobbler; the one who said that both this and that are permitted holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira.

אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק נהוג עלמא כהני תלת סבי כרבי אלעאי בראשית הגז כרבי יאשיה בכלאים כרבי יהודה בן בתירא בדברי תורה

Summarizing the halakha, Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: The universally accepted practice is in accordance with the opinions of these three elders: In accordance with the opinion of Rabbi El’ai with regard to the halakhot of the first shearing, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoshiya with regard to the laws of prohibited diverse kinds, and in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira with regard to matters of Torah.

כרבי אלעאי בראשית הגז דתניא רבי אלעאי אומר ראשית הגז אינו נוהג אלא בארץ

The Gemara elaborates: In accordance with the opinion of Rabbi El’ai with regard to the first shearing, as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi El’ai says: The obligation to set aside the first shearing from the sheep for the priest is only practiced in Eretz Yisrael and not in the Diaspora, and that is the accepted practice.

כרבי יאשיה בכלאים כדכתיב לא תזרע [כרמך] כלאים רבי יאשיה אומר לעולם אינו חייב עד שיזרע חטה ושעורה וחרצן במפולת יד

In accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoshiya with regard to diverse kinds, as it is written: “You shall not sow your vineyard with diverse kinds” (Deuteronomy 22:9). Rabbi Yoshiya says: This means that one who sows diverse kinds is not liable by Torah law until he sows wheat and barley and a grape pit with a single hand motion, meaning that while sowing in the vineyard he violates the prohibition of diverse kinds that applies to seeds and to the vineyard simultaneously.

כרבי יהודה בן בתירא בדברי תורה דתניא רבי יהודה בן בתירא אומר אין דברי תורה מקבלין טומאה

In accordance with Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira with regard to one who experiences a seminal emission is permitted to engage in matters of Torah, as it was taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira says: Matters of Torah do not become ritually impure.

כי אתא זעירי אמר בטלוה לטבילותא ואמרי לה בטלוה לנטילותא מאן דאמר בטלוה לטבילותא כרבי יהודה בן בתירא מאן דאמר בטלוה לנטילותא כי הא דרב חסדא לייט אמאן דמהדר אמיא בעידן צלותא:

And the Gemara relates: When Ze’iri came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he succinctly capsulated this halakha and said: They abolished ritual immersion, and some say that he said: They abolished ritual washing of the hands. The Gemara explains: The one who says that they abolished immersion holds in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira that one who experienced a seminal emission is not required to immerse. And the one who says that they abolished washing of the hands holds in accordance with that which Rav Ḥisda cursed one who goes out of his way to seek water at the time of prayer.

תנו רבנן בעל קרי שנתנו עליו תשעה קבין מים טהור נחום איש גם זו לחשה לרבי עקיבא ורבי עקיבא לחשה לבן עזאי ובן עזאי יצא ושנאה לתלמידיו בשוק פליגי בה תרי אמוראי במערבא רבי יוסי בר אבין ורבי יוסי בר זבידא חד תני שנאה וחד תני לחשה

The Sages taught in a baraita: One who experienced a seminal emission who had nine kav of drawn water poured over him, that is sufficient to render him ritually pure and he need not immerse himself in a ritual bath. The Gemara relates: Naḥum of Gam Zo whispered this halakha to Rabbi Akiva, and Rabbi Akiva whispered it to his student ben Azzai, and ben Azzai went out and taught it to his students publicly in the marketplace. Two amora’im in Eretz Yisrael, Rabbi Yosei bar Avin and Rabbi Yosei bar Zevida, disagreed as to the correct version of the conclusion of the incident. One taught: Ben Azzai taught it to his students in the market. And the other taught: Ben Azzai also whispered it to his students.

מאן דתני שנאה משום בטול תורה ומשום בטול פריה ורביה ומאן דתני לחשה שלא יהו תלמידי חכמים מצויים אצל נשותיהם כתרנגולים

The Gemara explains the rationale behind the two versions of this incident. The Sage who taught that ben Azzai taught the law openly in the market held that the leniency was due to concern that the halakhot requiring ritual immersion would promote dereliction in the study of Torah. The ruling of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira eases the way for an individual who experienced a seminal emission to study Torah. This was also due to concern that the halakhot requiring ritual immersion would promote the suspension of procreation, as one might abstain from marital relations to avoid the immersion required thereafter. And the Sage, who taught that ben Azzai only whispered this halakha to his students, held that he did so in order that Torah scholars would not be with their wives like roosters. If the purification process was that simple, Torah scholars would engage in sexual activity constantly, which would distract them from their studies.

אמר רבי ינאי שמעתי שמקילין בה ושמעתי שמחמירין בה וכל המחמיר בה על עצמו מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו

With regard to this ritual immersion, Rabbi Yannai said: I heard that there are those who are lenient with regard to it and I have heard that there are those who are stringent with regard to it. The halakha in this matter was never conclusively established and anyone who accepts upon himself to be stringent with regard to it, they prolong for him his days and years.

אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי מה טיבן של טובלי שחרין מה טיבן הא איהו דאמר בעל קרי אסור בדברי תורה הכי קאמר מה טיבן בארבעים סאה אפשר בתשעה קבין מה טיבן בטבילה אפשר בנתינה

The Gemara relates that Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: What is the essence of those who immerse themselves in the morning? The Gemara retorts: How can one ask what is their essence? Isn’t he the one who said that one who experiences a seminal emission is prohibited from engaging in matters of Torah and is required to immerse himself in the morning? Rather, this is what he meant to say: What is the essence of immersion in a ritual bath of forty se’a of water when it is possible to purify oneself with nine kav? Furthermore, what is the essence of immersion when it is also possible to purify oneself by pouring water?

אמר רבי חנינא גדר גדול גדרו בה דתניא מעשה באחד שתבע אשה לדבר עבירה אמרה לו ריקא יש לך ארבעים סאה שאתה טובל בהן מיד פירש

Regarding this, Rabbi Ḥanina said: They established a massive fence protecting one from sinning with their decree that one must immerse himself in forty se’a of water. As it was taught in a baraita: There was an incident involving one who solicited a woman to commit a sinful act. She said to him: Good-for-nothing. Do you have forty se’a in which to immerse and purify yourself afterwards? He immediately desisted. The obligation to immerse oneself caused individuals to refrain from transgression.

אמר להו רב הונא לרבנן רבותי מפני מה אתם מזלזלין בטבילה זו אי משום צינה אפשר במרחצאות

Rav Huna said to the Sages: Gentlemen, why do you disdain this immersion? If it is because it is difficult for you to immerse in the cold waters of the ritual bath, it is possible to purify oneself by immersing oneself in the heated bathhouses, which are unfit for immersion for other forms of ritual impurity but are fit for immersion in this case.

אמר ליה רב חסדא וכי יש טבילה בחמין אמר ליה רב אדא בר אהבה קאי כוותך

Rabbi Ḥisda said to him: Is there ritual immersion in hot water? Rav Huna said to him: Indeed, doubts with regard to the fitness of baths have been raised, and Rav Adda bar Ahava holds in accordance with your opinion. Nevertheless, I remain convinced that it is permitted.

רבי זירא הוה יתיב באגנא דמיא בי מסותא אמר ליה לשמעיה זיל ואייתי לי תשעה קבין ושדי עלואי אמר ליה רבי חייא בר אבא למה ליה למר כולי האי והא יתיב בגווייהו אמר ליה כארבעים סאה מה ארבעים סאה בטבילה ולא בנתינה אף תשעה קבין בנתינה ולא בטבילה

The Gemara relates: Rabbi Zeira was sitting in a tub of water in the bathhouse. He said to his attendant: Go and get nine kav of water and pour it over me so that I may purify myself from the impurity caused by a seminal emission. Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said to him: Why does my master require all of this? Aren’t you seated in at least nine kav of water in the tub. He said to him: The law of nine kav parallels the law of forty se’a, in that their halakhot are exclusive. Just as forty se’a can only purify an individual through immersion and not through pouring, so too nine kav can only purify one who experienced a seminal emission through pouring and not through immersion.

רב נחמן תקן חצבא בת תשעה קבין כי אתא רב דימי אמר רבי עקיבא ורבי יהודה גלוסטרא אמרו לא שנו אלא לחולה לאונסו אבל לחולה המרגיל ארבעים סאה

The Gemara relates that Rav Naḥman prepared a jug with a capacity of nine kav so that his students could pour water over themselves and become pure. When Rav Dimi came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: Rabbi Akiva and Rabbi Yehuda Gelostera said: The halakha that one who experienced a seminal emission can be purified by pouring nine kav was only taught for a sick person who experienced the emission involuntarily. However, a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission in the course of marital relations, is required to immerse himself in forty se’a.

אמר רב יוסף אתבר חצביה דרב נחמן כי אתא רבין אמר באושא הוה עובדא

Rav Yosef said: In that case, Rav Naḥman’s jug is broken, meaning it is no longer of any use, as few people fall into the category of sick people who experienced seminal emissions. Nevertheless, when Ravin came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia he said: In Usha there was an incident

בקילעא דרב אושעיא אתו ושאלו לרב אסי אמר להו לא שנו אלא לחולה המרגיל אבל לחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום אמר רב יוסף אצטמיד חצביה דרב נחמן

that this problem was raised in Rav Oshaya’s chamber, and they came and asked Rav Asi. He said to them: They only stated the obligation to pour water over one who is impure because of a seminal emission with regard to a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission, but a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is clearly exempt from anything and requires no immersion whatsoever. Rav Yosef said: In that case, Rav Naḥman’s jug is rejoined, meaning that it is effective with regard to purification.

מכדי כולהו אמוראי ותנאי בדעזרא קמיפלגי ונחזי עזרא היכי תקן

Up to now, discussion has focused on various problems pertaining to the laws of immersion as they concern one whose impurity is due to seminal emission. The Gemara asks: Since all of the amora’im and tanna’im disagree with regard to the decree of Ezra, let us examine how Ezra instituted this ordinance, as this is not an uncommon circumstance and we can see how they conducted themselves.

אמר אביי עזרא תקן לבריא המרגיל ארבעים סאה ובריא לאונסו תשעה קבין ואתו אמוראי ופליגי בחולה מר סבר חולה המרגיל כבריא המרגיל וחולה לאונסו כבריא לאונסו ומר סבר חולה המרגיל כבריא לאונסו וחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום

Abaye said: Ezra did not institute a sweeping ordinance concerning every case of one who experienced a seminal emission; rather, he instituted only that a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission is required to immerse himself in forty se’a, while for a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, nine kav are sufficient. And the amora’im came and disagreed with regard to a sick person. One Sage held that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission. However, another Sage maintained that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, and consequently requires only that nine kav be poured over him, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from any form of immersion or purification.

אמר רבא נהי דתקן עזרא טבילה נתינה מי תקן והאמר מר עזרא תקן טבילה לבעלי קריין אלא אמר רבא עזרא תקן טבילה לבריא המרגיל ארבעים סאה ואתו רבנן והתקינו לבריא לאונסו תשעה קבין ואתו אמוראי וקא מיפלגי בחולה מר סבר חולה המרגיל כבריא המרגיל וחולה לאונסו כבריא לאונסו ומר סבר לבריא המרגיל ארבעים סאה וחולה המרגיל כבריא לאונסו תשעה קבין אבל לחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום

Rava said: Although Ezra instituted immersion for one who experienced a seminal emission, did he institute the pouring of nine kav? Didn’t the Master say that we have a tradition that Ezra only instituted immersion for those who experienced a seminal emission? Rather, Rava said: We must explain that the diverse opinions developed after Ezra’s decree. Ezra himself instituted immersion in forty se’a only for a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission. And the Sages came and instituted that a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission should have nine kav poured over him. And then the amora’im came and disagreed with regard to a sick person; one Sage held that a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission, while a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, another Sage maintained that only a healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission is required to immerse himself in forty se’a while a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission is considered like a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, requiring only nine kav. But a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from any form of immersion or purification.

אמר רבא הלכתא בריא המרגיל וחולה המרגיל ארבעים סאה ובריא לאונסו תשעה קבין אבל לחולה לאונסו פטור מכלום:

Rava stated that the halakhic ruling is in accordance with the first opinion: A healthy person who experienced a normal seminal emission and a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission require forty se’a, while a healthy person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission suffices with nine kav. But a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission is exempt from undergoing any rite of purification.

תנו רבנן בעל קרי שנתנו עליו תשעה קבין מים טהור במה דברים אמורים לעצמו אבל לאחרים ארבעים סאה רבי יהודה אומר ארבעים סאה מכל מקום

The Sages taught in a Tosefta: One who experienced a seminal emission and had nine kav of drawn water poured over him is ritually pure. In what case is this statement said? In a case involving Torah study for himself, but in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a. Rabbi Yehuda says: Forty se’a is required for purification in any case.

רבי יוחנן ורבי יהושע בן לוי ורבי אלעזר ורבי יוסי ברבי חנינא חד מהאי זוגא וחד מהאי זוגא ארישא חד אמר הא דאמרת במה דברים אמורים לעצמו אבל לאחרים ארבעים סאה לא שנו אלא לחולה המרגיל אבל לחולה לאונסו תשעה קבין וחד אמר כל לאחרים אפילו חולה לאונסו עד דאיכא ארבעים סאה

With regard to this issue, a dispute arose between Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi, and Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Yosei, son of Rabbi Ḥanina. One member of this pair and one member of that pair disagreed with regard to the first clause of the Tosefta. One said: That which you said: In what case is this statement said? In a case involving Torah study for himself, but in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a, was only taught regarding a sick person who experienced a normal seminal emission, but for a sick person who experienced an involuntary seminal emission, nine kav is sufficient even for teaching others. And one said that anyone who teaches others, even if he was sick and experienced an involuntary seminal emission, is not considered pure until there are forty se’a.

וחד מהאי זוגא וחד מהאי זוגא אסיפא חד אמר הא דאמר רבי יהודה ארבעים סאה מכל מקום לא שנו אלא בקרקע אבל בכלים לא וחד אמר אפילו בכלים נמי

And one member of this pair and one member of that pair disagreed with regard to the latter clause of the Tosefta. One said: That which Rabbi Yehuda said: Forty se’a in any case, was only taught when the water is in the ground, in accordance with the Torah law of ritual bath, but not if it was collected in vessels. And one said: Even forty se’a collected in vessels are sufficient for purification.

בשלמא למאן דאמר אפילו בכלים היינו דקתני רבי יהודה אומר ארבעים סאה מכל מקום אלא למאן דאמר בקרקע אין בכלים לא מכל מקום לאתויי מאי

The Gemara clarifies this problem: Granted, according to the one who said that forty se’a purifies even in vessels. That is why the Tosefta taught: Rabbi Yehuda says: Forty se’a in any case. However, according to the one who said that Rabbi Yehuda’s opinion is that forty se’a in the ground, yes, it purifies, but in vessels, no, it does not purify, what does the expression in any case come to include?

לאתויי מים שאובין

The Gemara explains: In any case comes to include drawn water, as Rabbi Yehuda permits immersion in forty se’a of water collected in the ground even if the water was drawn by human hand.

רב פפא ורב הונא בריה דרב יהושע ורבא (ברבי) בר שמואל כריכו ריפתא בהדי הדדי אמר להו רב פפא הבו לי לדידי לברוך דנפול עילואי תשעה קבין אמר להו רבא (ברבי) [בר] שמואל תנינא במה דברים אמורים לעצמו אבל לאחרים ארבעים סאה אלא הבו לי לדידי לברוך דנפול עילואי ארבעים סאה אמר להו רב הונא הבו לי לדידי לברוך דליכא עילואי לא האי ולא האי

The Gemara relates that Rav Pappa and Rav Huna, son of Rav Yehoshua, and Rava bar Shmuel ate bread together. Rav Pappa said to them: Allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as I am ritually pure because nine kav of water fell upon me; in other words, he poured it over himself. Rava bar Shmuel said to them: We learned, in what case is this statement that nine kav purify, said? In a case involving Torah study for himself. But, in order to purify himself that he may teach Torah to others, and by extension to fulfill the obligation of others, he must immerse himself in forty se’a. Rather, allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as forty se’a of water fell upon me; in other words, I immersed myself in a ritual bath. Rav Huna said to them: Allow me to recite Grace after Meals for the group, as I have had neither this nor that upon me because I remained ritually pure.

רב חמא טביל במעלי יומא דפסחא להוציא רבים ידי חובתן ולית הלכתא כוותיה:

It is also said that Rav Ḥama would immerse himself on Passover eve in order to fulfill the obligations of the masses. However the Gemara concludes: The halakha is not in accordance with his opinion that distinguishes between the purification for oneself and purification for the sake of others.

מתני׳ היה עומד בתפלה ונזכר שהוא בעל קרי לא יפסיק אלא יקצר

MISHNA: This mishna contains various statements with regard to individuals with different types of ritual impurity as well as the need to distance oneself from filth and impurity. One who was standing in prayer and he recalled that he experienced a seminal emission, and according to this opinion he is prohibited from praying, should not interrupt his prayer, rather he should abridge each individual blessing.

ירד לטבול אם יכול לעלות ולהתכסות ולקרות עד שלא תהא הנץ החמה יעלה ויתכסה ויקרא ואם לאו יתכסה במים ויקרא ולא יתכסה לא במים הרעים ולא במי המשרה עד שיטיל לתוכן מים וכמה ירחיק מהן ומן הצואה ארבע אמות:

They stated a general principle: One who descended to immerse himself, if he is able to ascend, cover himself with a garment, and recite the morning Shema before sunrise, he should ascend, cover himself, and recite Shema, and if not, he should cover himself in the water and recite Shema there. He may not, however, cover himself in either foul water, or water in which flax was soaked, until he pours other water into it. And in general, how far must one distance himself from urine and feces in order to recite Shema? At least four cubits.

גמ׳ תנו רבנן היה עומד בתפלה ונזכר שהוא בעל קרי לא יפסיק אלא יקצר היה קורא בתורה ונזכר שהוא בעל קרי אינו מפסיק ועולה אלא מגמגם וקורא רבי מאיר אומר אין בעל קרי רשאי לקרות בתורה יותר משלשה פסוקים

GEMARA: A baraita further elaborates on the first halakha in the mishna. The Sages taught: One who was standing in prayer and he recalled that he had experienced a seminal emission, should not interrupt his prayer. Rather, he should abridge. One who was reading the Torah and recalled that he experienced a seminal emission, does not interrupt his reading, but rather reads quickly with less than perfect diction. Rabbi Meir disagrees and says: One who experienced a seminal emission is not permitted to read more than three verses in the Torah, as one may read no fewer than three verses in the Torah. After he completes three verses, he must stop and let someone else continue.

תניא אידך היה עומד בתפלה וראה צואה כנגדו מהלך לפניו עד שיזרקנה לאחוריו ארבע אמות והתניא לצדדין לא קשיא הא דאפשר הא דלא אפשר

It was taught in another baraita: One who was standing in prayer and he saw feces before him must walk forward until he has placed it four cubits behind him. The Gemara challenges this: Wasn’t it taught in another baraita that it is sufficient if he distances himself four cubits to the side? The Gemara resolves this contradiction: This is not difficult, as that baraita which taught that it must be four cubits behind him, is referring to a case where it is possible for him to advance that distance, while that baraita which taught that he may distance himself four cubits to the side, is referring to a case where it is not possible to advance four cubits, in which case he must at least step to the side.

היה מתפלל ומצא צואה במקומו אמר רבה אף על פי שחטא תפלתו תפלה מתקיף ליה רבא והא זבח רשעים תועבה אלא אמר רבא הואיל וחטא אף על פי שהתפלל תפלתו תועבה:

The Gemara cites another halakha: One who was praying and later found feces in the place where he prayed, Rabba said: Although he committed a transgression in his failure to examine that venue to determine if it was worthy of prayer (Tosafot), his prayer is a valid prayer and he fulfilled his obligation. Rava strongly objects to his statement: Isn’t it stated: “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, the more so as he offers it in depravity” (Proverbs 21:27), from which we derive that a mitzva performed inappropriately is no mitzva at all? Consequently, the fact that he did not pay proper attention invalidates his prayer. Rather, Rava said: Because this person committed a transgression, although he prayed, his prayer is an abomination and he must pray again.

תנו רבנן היה עומד בתפלה ומים שותתין על ברכיו פוסק עד שיכלו המים וחוזר ומתפלל להיכן חוזר רב חסדא ורב המנונא חד אמר חוזר לראש וחד אמר למקום שפסק

The Sages taught in a baraita: One who was standing in prayer when, for some reason, urine is flowing on his knees, he must interrupt his prayer until the urine ceases, and then resume praying. The Gemara, asks: To where in the prayer does he return when he resumes his prayer? Rav Ḥisda and Rav Hamnuna disagreed; one said: He must return to the beginning of the prayer, and the other said: He must return to the point where he stopped.

לימא בהא קמיפלגי

The Gemara notes: Let us say that they disagree about this:

More Ways to Learn with Hadran

Join Hadran Communities! Connect with women learning in your area.

Scroll To Top