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Daf Yomi

December 10, 2019 | י״ב בכסלו תש״פ

נדה מח

מה הכוונה שבבן ושבבת – שלפי הברייתא הגיל הוא מעת לעת? האם לעניין ערכין או לעניין גילאים בפרק שלנו? או שניהם? מה הדין לגבי אשה שיש לה צמיחה בשדיים ולא שערות? האם דנים בה כקטנה ולא כגדולה? האם זה אפשרי? נשים הן אלו שבדקו עניין שערות בבנות – האם העדות שלהן מתקבלת לכל עניין?


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שני תבואות ימכר לך פעמים שאתה מוכר שלשה תבואות בשתי שנים


of years of the crops he shall sell to you” (Leviticus 25:15). The plural form of both “years” and “crops” indicates that the number of years does not necessarily correspond to the quantity of crops. Consequently, sometimes you might sell three yields of crops in two years. If one purchases a field in the summer, when the produce has not yet been harvested, and he harvests that yield and subsequently grows and harvests two more crops before the completion of the whole two years, he will have gained three yields in less than two years.


שש שנה שבעבד עברי מנלן אמר קרא שש שנים יעבד ובשביעת ובשביעית נמי יעבוד


The Gemara asks: From where do we derive the halakha that the six years stated with regard to a Hebrew slave is calculated by whole years? The Gemara answers that the verse states: “Six years he shall work, and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing” (Exodus 21:2). The word “and” in the phrase “and in the seventh” indicates that he shall also work in the seventh calendar year, if six full years have not passed since he was sold. For example, if he was sold in the month of Nisan, it means that five years and six months have passed when Tishrei, the first month of the seventh year, arrives; he has not yet completed six years of service, and he must work in this seventh calendar year as well, until the date on which he was sold.


שבבן ושבבת למאי הלכתא אמר רב גידל אמר רב לענין ערכין ורב יוסף אמר לפרקין דיוצא דופן


The baraita mentions the years of a son and of a daughter among those calculated as full years. The Gemara asks: With regard to what halakha is this stated? Rav Giddel says that Rav says: With regard to valuations, i.e., the age of a valuated male or female is calculated in whole years from the date of his birth, not by calendar years. And Rav Yosef says: The halakha is stated with regard to the matters taught in our fifth chapter in tractate Nidda, which is named after its opening words: Yotze Dofen, meaning an offspring born by caesarean section. In other words, when a mishna in this chapter mentions years, it means full years, even when it does not state this explicitly.


אמר ליה אביי מי פליגת אמר ליה לא הוא אמר חדא ואנא אמינא חדא ולא פליגינן


Abaye said to Rav Yosef: Do you and Rav disagree with regard to this matter? In other words, as you interpreted the mention of a son and a daughter differently, does each of you reject the halakhic application of the other? Rav Yosef said to Abaye: No, he said one matter, and I said one different matter, but we do not disagree.


והכי נמי מסתברא דאי סלקא דעתך פליגי מאן דאמר לערכין לא אמר ליוצא דופן והאמר רב הלכתא בכולה פרקין מעת לעת


The Gemara notes: And this, too, stands to reason, as if it enters your mind that they disagree with regard to this matter, then the one who said full years are required for determining valuations does not say that full years are necessary for the halakhot of this chapter, Yotze Dofen. But doesn’t Rav say, like Rav Yosef, that the halakha in this entire chapter with regard to all of the places where an age is mentioned in years is that even when the phrase: And one day, is not explicitly noted, they are all calculated from the time of year of birth until that same time of year in the age specified, not by calendar years?


אלא למאן דאמר לערכין מאי טעמא לא אמר ליוצא דופן דומיא דהנך מה הנך דכתיבן אף הני נמי דכתיבן


The Gemara asks: But if that is correct, then according to Rav, who is the one who said that full years are required for determining valuations, what is the reason that he does not say in his interpretation of the baraita that full years are required for the halakhot of Yotze Dofen? The Gemara answers: Rav maintains that the years of a son and of a daughter mentioned in the baraita are similar to those other cases mentioned in the baraita: Just as those numbers of years are written in the Torah, so too these years of a son and of a daughter are referring to matters where the years are written in the Torah, i.e., the years of valuations, unlike the topics discussed in Yotze Dofen, where the years are not mentioned explicitly in the Torah.


ואידך האי שבבן ושבבת שבזכר ושבנקבה מבעי ליה


The Gemara asks: And how would the other amora, Rav Yosef, respond to this contention? The Gemara answers: He would maintain that if the baraita were referring to the years of valuations, which are written in the Torah, then this expression in the baraita: Of a son and of a daughter, is unsuitable. Rather, the baraita should have stated: Of the male and of the female, which are the terms the Torah uses with regard to valuations, whereas the terms: Son and daughter, are used in Yotze Dofen.


אמר רב יצחק בר נחמני אמר רבי אלעזר הלכה כרבי יוסי בן כיפר שאמר משום רבי אליעזר אמר רבי זירא אזכה ואיסק ואגמר לשמעתא מפומיה דמרא


§ Rav Yitzḥak bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Elazar says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei ben Keifar, who said his ruling in the name of Rabbi Eliezer, that a man nineteen years and thirty days of age who has not developed signs of puberty is deemed a sexually underdeveloped man. In this regard, the Gemara relates that Rabbi Zeira said: May it be God’s will that I merit to ascend to Eretz Yisrael, and that I learn this halakha from the mouth of its Master, Rabbi Elazar.


כי סליק אשכחיה לרבי אלעזר אמר ליה אמרת הלכה כרבי יוסי בן כיפר אמר ליה מסתברא אמרי מדכוליה פירקין תני יום אחד והכא לא קתני שמע מינה מסתברא כותיה


The Gemara recounts that when Rabbi Zeira eventually ascended to Eretz Yisrael he indeed found Rabbi Elazar and said to him: Did you say that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei ben Keifar? Rabbi Elazar said to him: I said that it stands to reason that the halakha is in accordance with his opinion. He elaborated: From the fact that throughout the entire chapter the Mishna teaches: And one day, but here, in the last mishna, it does not teach this phrase, one can conclude from it that it stands to reason that there is a reason for this discrepancy, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei ben Keifar.


הדרן עלך יוצא דופן



מתני׳ בא סימן התחתון עד שלא בא העליון או חולצת או מתיבמת


MISHNA: If the lower sign of puberty, two pubic hairs, appeared in a young woman before the upper sign, development of the breasts, appeared, then she is an adult, as the pubic hairs are an unequivocal sign. Therefore, if her childless husband died and she came before her husband’s brother [yavam] for levirate marriage, she either performs the ritual through which a yavam frees a yevama of her levirate bonds [ḥalitza] or enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother.


בא העליון עד שלא בא התחתון אף על פי שאי אפשר רבי מאיר אומר לא חולצת ולא מתיבמת


If the upper sign indicating puberty appeared before the lower sign appeared, i.e., the two pubic hairs are not visible, although that order of development is apparently impossible, Rabbi Meir says: In fact, it is possible for the breasts to develop before the growth of two pubic hairs, and the concern is that the two hairs did not grow and fall out but rather they never grew in the first place, which would mean that she remains a minor. Therefore, if her childless husband dies, she neither performs ḥalitza nor does she enter into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother.


וחכמים אומרים או חולצת או מתיבמת מפני שאמרו אפשר לתחתון לבא עד שלא בא העליון אבל אי אפשר לעליון לבא עד שלא בא התחתון


And the Rabbis say: She has reached majority, and therefore if her childless husband dies she either performs ḥalitza or enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother. That is due to the fact that the Sages said: It is possible for the lower sign of puberty to appear before the upper sign appears; but it is impossible for the upper sign to appear before the lower sign appears.


גמ׳ אף על פי שאי אפשר והלא בא בא לרבי מאיר אף על פי שאי אפשר לרבנן


GEMARA: The mishna teaches that Rabbi Meir and the Rabbis disagree with regard to the halakha when the upper sign of puberty appears before the lower sign. The mishna stated about that case: Although that order of development is impossible. The Gemara raises a difficulty: But the mishna explicitly states that it is referring to a situation where the upper sign did appear before the lower one. The Gemara explains: When the mishna states that it did appear, that is according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who maintains that such an occurrence is possible, whereas when the mishna teaches: Although that order of development is impossible, it is referring to the opinion of the Rabbis, who contend that it is not possible.


ולתני בא העליון רבי מאיר אומר לא חולצת ולא מתיבמת וחכמים אומרים או חולצת או מתיבמת ואנא ידענא משום דאי אפשר הוא


The Gemara objects: But why is it necessary at all to mention the phrase: Although that order of development is impossible. Instead, let the mishna simply teach: If the upper sign of puberty appeared, Rabbi Meir says: She neither performs ḥalitza nor does she enter into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother; and the Rabbis say: She either performs ḥalitza or enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother. And I would know that the ruling of the Rabbis is due to the fact that it is impossible for the upper sign of puberty to appear before the lower sign.


אי לא תנא אף על פי שאי אפשר הוה אמינא רוב נשים תחתון אתי ברישא ומיעוט עליון אתי ברישא ורבי מאיר לטעמיה דחייש למיעוטא ורבנן לטעמייהו דלא חיישי למיעוטא


The Gemara explains: If the mishna had not taught: Although that order of development is impossible, I would say that with regard to most women the lower sign appears first, before the upper sign; but in a minority of women, the upper sign appears first. And Rabbi Meir, who rules that she is a minor who may not perform either ḥalitza or enter into levirate marriage, conforms to his standard line of reasoning, that one must be concerned for the minority. In other words, Rabbi Meir takes into account the minority of women in whom the upper sign appears first, and therefore he considers her to be a minor. And the Rabbis likewise conform to their standard line of reasoning that one need not be concerned for the minority, and therefore they consider the young woman to have reached majority.


והני מילי בסתמא אבל היכא דבדקן ולא אשכחן אימר מודו ליה רבנן לרבי מאיר דעליון קדים


And this statement, that one can rely on the assumption that if a woman has the upper sign then she certainly has the lower sign, while the minority of cases are not taken into account, applies only in an ordinary case, where the woman was not examined to determine if she had the lower sign. But in a case where we examined her and did not find the lower sign, one might say that the Rabbis concede to Rabbi Meir that the upper sign appeared before the lower sign, and therefore she neither performs ḥalitza nor enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother.


קא משמע לן דאי אפשר ודאי אתי ומנתר הוא דנתר


Therefore, the mishna teaches us that according to the Rabbis it is impossible for the upper sign to precede the lower sign, which means that even if she was examined and no lower sign was found, the assumption is that the two hairs of the lower sign had certainly appeared, but later they fell out.


בשלמא לרבי מאיר היינו דכתיב שדים נכנו ושערך צמח אלא לרבנן איפכא מבעי ליה הכי קאמר כיון ששדים נכנו בידוע ששערך צמח


The Gemara raises a difficulty: Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who holds that it is possible for the upper sign to precede the lower, that accounts for that verse which is written with regard to a maturing young woman: “And you increased and grew up, and you came to excellent beauty; your breasts were fashioned, and your hair was grown” (Ezekiel 16:7). This verse mentions the upper sign before the lower sign. But according to the opinion of the Rabbis, the verse should have said the reverse, first stating “your hair has grown,” and then stating “your breasts were fashioned.” The Gemara answers that this is what the verse is saying: Since your breasts were fashioned, it is known that your hair was already grown.


בשלמא לרבי מאיר היינו דכתיב בעשות ממצרים דדיך למען שדי נעוריך אלא לרבנן איפכא מבעי ליה


The Gemara raises a further difficulty: Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, this accounts for that which is written: “When they from Egypt bruised your breasts for the sprouting forth of your young womanhood” (Ezekiel 23:21). This verse, which compares the Jewish people to a promiscuous girl, describes how, in her childhood, Egyptian men would play with her by pressing her breasts in order to engage in licentious sexual intercourse with her when she became a young woman, i.e., once the pubic hairs that indicate puberty developed. This indicates that it is possible for the upper sign to appear before the lower sign. But according to the opinion of the Rabbis, the verse should have said the reverse.


הכי קאמר כיון שבאו דדיך בידוע שבאו נעוריך ואיבעית אימא מאי שדי כולה בדדי כתיב והכי קאמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל


The Gemara similarly answers that this is what the verse is saying: Since your breasts appeared, it is known that the pubic hairs, which are the sign of your young womanhood, have already appeared. Or if you wish, say instead: What is the meaning of the phrase: The sprouting forth of [shedei] your young womanhood? It is not speaking of the lower sign, but rather of the upper sign, i.e., the entire verse is written in reference to the breasts, shadayim in Hebrew. And this is what the Holy One, Blessed be He, is saying to the Jewish people:


איכרפו דדיך לא הדרת בך אישתדו דדיך נמי לא הדרת בך


Although your breasts began to develop, you still did not reform your ways, and you continued to act licentiously. And furthermore, even when your breasts grew fully, you also did not reform your ways.


דכולי עלמא מיהא אתחתון סמכינן מנלן אמר רב יהודה אמר רב וכן תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל אמר קרא איש או אשה כי יעשו מכל חטאת האדם השוה הכתוב אשה לאיש לכל עונשין שבתורה מה איש בסימן אחד אף אשה בסימן אחד


§ The Gemara asks: In any event, everyone, both Rabbi Meir and the Rabbis, agrees that we rely on the lower sign. From where do we derive that we rely exclusively on the lower sign and do not require the appearance of the upper sign as well? Rav Yehuda said that Rav said, and likewise a Sage of the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: The verse states: “A man or woman, when they commit any of the sins of men” (Numbers 5:6). The Torah thereby rendered a woman equal to a man with regard to all punishments of the Torah. Just as a man is considered to have reached majority based on one sign, i.e., the lower sign of two pubic hairs, so too, a woman reaches majority based on one sign, the lower sign.


ואימא או האי או האי כאיש מה איש תחתון ולא עליון אף אשה תחתון ולא עליון


The Gemara raises a difficulty: But one can say that although a woman’s status, like that of a man, depends on one sign, in the case of a woman she reaches majority either through this, the lower sign, or that, the upper sign. From where is it derived that it must be specifically the lower sign? The Gemara answers: This is based on the same comparison of men and women. Her halakha is like that of a man: Just as a man reaches majority based on the lower sign and not the upper sign, as this is not applicable to him, so too, a woman reaches majority based on the lower sign and not the upper sign.


תניא נמי הכי אמר רבי אליעזר ברבי צדוק כך היו מפרשין ביבנה ואמרו כיון שבא תחתון שוב אין משגיחין על עליון


The Gemara notes that this halakha, that the lower sign is sufficient by itself for a woman, is also taught in a baraita. Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Tzadok, said: This is how the Sages would explain it in the study hall of Yavne. They said: Once the lower sign has appeared, we no longer concern ourselves with the appearance of the upper sign in order to establish a woman’s status, as she is considered to have reached her majority by virtue of the lower sign.


תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר בנות כרכים תחתון ממהר לבא מפני שרגילות במרחצאות בנות כפרים עליון ממהר לבא מפני שטוחנות ברחים


§ It is taught in a baraita, with regard to the appearance of signs indicating puberty in young women, that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: In the case of young women who reside in cities, the lower sign appears more quickly than the upper sign, because they frequent the bathhouses, which stimulates the growth of the hair. By contrast, in the case of young women who reside in villages, the upper sign appears more quickly than the lower sign, because they grind with mills, which develops their breasts.


רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר בנות עשירים צד ימין ממהר לבא שנישוף באפקריסותן בנות עניים צד שמאל ממהר לבא מפני ששואבות כדי מים עליהן ואיבעית אימא מפני שנושאין אחיהן על גססיהן


Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: There are differences in the rate of development of the breasts. In the case of the daughters of the wealthy, the growth of the breast on the right side arrives more quickly than that of the left side, as it rubs against their upper body cloaks, which are worn by the wealthy. By contrast, in the case of the daughters of the poor, the growth of the breast on the left side arrives more quickly than that of the right side, because they draw jugs of water on that side. And if you wish, say instead that the left breast develops more quickly because they carry their younger brothers on their left sides.


תנו רבנן צד שמאל קודם לצד ימין רבי חנינא בן אחי רבי יהושע אומר מעולם לא קדם צד שמאל לצד ימין חוץ מאחת שהיתה בשכונתי שקדם צד שמאל לצד ימין וחזר לאיתנו


The Sages taught in a baraita: The growth of the breast on the left side arrives before that of the right side. Rabbi Ḥanina, son of the brother of Rabbi Yehoshua, says: It never occurred that the growth of the breast on the left side arrived before that of the right side, except for the case of one young woman who was in my neighborhood, as the growth of the breast on her left side arrived before that of the right side, and later the right breast returned to its normal condition and developed normally.


תנו רבנן כל הנבדקות נבדקות על פי נשים וכן היה רבי אליעזר מוסר לאשתו ורבי ישמעאל מוסר לאמו


§ The Sages taught in a baraita: All girls who are examined to determine whether or not their signs indicating puberty have appeared are examined based on the testimony of women. And likewise, Rabbi Eliezer would follow this halakha in practice and give the girls to his wife to examine, and Rabbi Yishmael would similarly give the girls to his mother to examine.


רבי יהודה אומר לפני הפרק ולאחר הפרק נשים בודקות אותן תוך הפרק אין נשים בודקות אותן שאין משיאין ספקות על פי נשים רבי שמעון אומר אף תוך הפרק נשים בודקות אותן ונאמנת אשה להחמיר אבל לא להקל


The baraita continues: Rabbi Yehuda says: Before the minimum age at which pubic hair is considered a sign, i.e., eleven years and one day, when any hair that is found is considered to be merely a mole and not a sign, and similarly after the age of majority, twelve years and one day, when a female is presumed to have grown pubic hair like most girls her age, women may examine them and their testimony is accepted. But during the time between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may not examine them. The reason is that one does not resolve cases of uncertainty based on the testimony of women. Rabbi Shimon says: Even during the time between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may examine them. And a woman is deemed credible, and her testimony is accepted, to be stringent but not to be lenient.


כיצד גדולה היא שלא תמאן קטנה היא שלא תחלוץ


The baraita continues: How so, i.e., how is a woman’s testimony accepted with regard to the girl she has examined as a stringency but not a leniency? If the woman said that the girl is a female who reached majority, her claim is accepted to the extent that she does not perform refusal. The refusal of a husband, which applies in the case of a girl whose father had died and who was married off by her mother or brother, can be performed by the girl only until she reaches majority. If the woman said that this girl is a minor, her testimony is accepted to the extent that she does not perform ḥalitza.


אבל אין נאמנת לומר קטנה היא שתמאן וגדולה היא שתחלוץ


The baraita concludes: But the woman who examined the girl is not deemed credible to say that she is a minor girl to the extent that she performs refusal. And likewise, the woman is not deemed credible to say that she is a female who reached majority to the extent that she performs ḥalitza.


אמר מר רבי יהודה אומר לפני הפרק ולאחר הפרק נשים בודקות אותן בשלמא לפני הפרק בעי בדיקה דאי משתכחי לאחר הפרק שומא נינהו


The Gemara analyzes the baraita. The Master said that Rabbi Yehuda says: Before the minimum age at which pubic hair is considered a sign, and similarly after the age of majority, women may examine them. The Gemara raises a difficulty: Granted, one can understand that before the minimum age there is a requirement for examination, so that if they find hair after the minimum age which they already saw before the minimum age, these hairs are evidently a mere mole, not a sign of maturity.


אלא לאחר הפרק למה לי בדיקה והאמר רבא קטנה שהגיעה לכלל שנותיה אינה צריכה בדיקה חזקה הביאה סימנין כי אמר רבא חזקה למיאון אבל לחליצה בעיא בדיקה


But why do I need a girl to undergo an examination after the age of majority? Didn’t Rava say: A minor girl who reached her full years, i.e., her age of majority, twelve years and one day, does not require an examination, as there is a presumption that she has developed signs indicating puberty? The Gemara explains: When Rava said that one relies on this presumption, he was referring specifically to her inability from now on to perform refusal. But with regard to ḥalitza, she requires an examination to determine that she has reached maturity.


תוך הפרק אין נשים בודקות אותן קסבר תוך הפרק כלאחר הפרק (דמי)


The baraita stated that according to Rabbi Yehuda, women are deemed credible to examine girls who are either younger than eleven years and one day or older than twelve years and one day. But during the time between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may not examine them. The Gemara explains that Rabbi Yehuda holds that the period during this time is considered like after the age of majority. In other words, the signs indicating puberty that a girl develops during this time are considered to be full-fledged signs, which means that she has reached majority even before the age of twelve and one day. Accordingly, the testimony of women is not accepted for this period, as her change of status enables her to perform ḥalitza with her husband’s brother.


ולאחר הפרק דאיכא חזקה דרבא סמכינן אנשים ובדקי תוך הפרק דליכא חזקה דרבא לא סמכינן אנשים ולא בדקי נשים


But after the minimum age of twelve years and one day, when there is the presumption of Rava that a girl has already developed signs indicating puberty, one may rely on women and have them examine the girl. During this age, between eleven and twelve, when there is no presumption of Rava that she has already developed signs indicating puberty, one may not rely on women, and therefore women may not examine the girl.


רבי שמעון אומר אף תוך הפרק נשים בודקות אותן קסבר תוך הפרק כלפני הפרק ובעיא בדיקה דאי משתכחי לאחר הפרק שומא נינהו


By contrast, Rabbi Shimon says that even during this age, between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may examine girls to determine if they have grown pubic hair. This is because Rabbi Shimon holds that the period during this age is considered like before the minimum age, which means that the girl is a minor based on her age, regardless of the results of the examination. And the only reason she requires an examination is that if they find hair after the minimum age, which they had already seen before the minimum age, these hairs are deemed a mere mole, not a sign of maturity.


ונאמנת אשה להחמיר אבל לא להקל האי מאן קתני לה איבעית אימא רבי יהודה ואתוך הפרק


The baraita further teaches: And a woman is deemed credible to testify to be stringent with regard to the girl who she examined but not to be lenient. The Gemara asks: Who taught this halakha? The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, and it is referring to during the age between eleven years and one day and twelve and one day.


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נדה מח

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נדה מח

שני תבואות ימכר לך פעמים שאתה מוכר שלשה תבואות בשתי שנים


of years of the crops he shall sell to you” (Leviticus 25:15). The plural form of both “years” and “crops” indicates that the number of years does not necessarily correspond to the quantity of crops. Consequently, sometimes you might sell three yields of crops in two years. If one purchases a field in the summer, when the produce has not yet been harvested, and he harvests that yield and subsequently grows and harvests two more crops before the completion of the whole two years, he will have gained three yields in less than two years.


שש שנה שבעבד עברי מנלן אמר קרא שש שנים יעבד ובשביעת ובשביעית נמי יעבוד


The Gemara asks: From where do we derive the halakha that the six years stated with regard to a Hebrew slave is calculated by whole years? The Gemara answers that the verse states: “Six years he shall work, and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing” (Exodus 21:2). The word “and” in the phrase “and in the seventh” indicates that he shall also work in the seventh calendar year, if six full years have not passed since he was sold. For example, if he was sold in the month of Nisan, it means that five years and six months have passed when Tishrei, the first month of the seventh year, arrives; he has not yet completed six years of service, and he must work in this seventh calendar year as well, until the date on which he was sold.


שבבן ושבבת למאי הלכתא אמר רב גידל אמר רב לענין ערכין ורב יוסף אמר לפרקין דיוצא דופן


The baraita mentions the years of a son and of a daughter among those calculated as full years. The Gemara asks: With regard to what halakha is this stated? Rav Giddel says that Rav says: With regard to valuations, i.e., the age of a valuated male or female is calculated in whole years from the date of his birth, not by calendar years. And Rav Yosef says: The halakha is stated with regard to the matters taught in our fifth chapter in tractate Nidda, which is named after its opening words: Yotze Dofen, meaning an offspring born by caesarean section. In other words, when a mishna in this chapter mentions years, it means full years, even when it does not state this explicitly.


אמר ליה אביי מי פליגת אמר ליה לא הוא אמר חדא ואנא אמינא חדא ולא פליגינן


Abaye said to Rav Yosef: Do you and Rav disagree with regard to this matter? In other words, as you interpreted the mention of a son and a daughter differently, does each of you reject the halakhic application of the other? Rav Yosef said to Abaye: No, he said one matter, and I said one different matter, but we do not disagree.


והכי נמי מסתברא דאי סלקא דעתך פליגי מאן דאמר לערכין לא אמר ליוצא דופן והאמר רב הלכתא בכולה פרקין מעת לעת


The Gemara notes: And this, too, stands to reason, as if it enters your mind that they disagree with regard to this matter, then the one who said full years are required for determining valuations does not say that full years are necessary for the halakhot of this chapter, Yotze Dofen. But doesn’t Rav say, like Rav Yosef, that the halakha in this entire chapter with regard to all of the places where an age is mentioned in years is that even when the phrase: And one day, is not explicitly noted, they are all calculated from the time of year of birth until that same time of year in the age specified, not by calendar years?


אלא למאן דאמר לערכין מאי טעמא לא אמר ליוצא דופן דומיא דהנך מה הנך דכתיבן אף הני נמי דכתיבן


The Gemara asks: But if that is correct, then according to Rav, who is the one who said that full years are required for determining valuations, what is the reason that he does not say in his interpretation of the baraita that full years are required for the halakhot of Yotze Dofen? The Gemara answers: Rav maintains that the years of a son and of a daughter mentioned in the baraita are similar to those other cases mentioned in the baraita: Just as those numbers of years are written in the Torah, so too these years of a son and of a daughter are referring to matters where the years are written in the Torah, i.e., the years of valuations, unlike the topics discussed in Yotze Dofen, where the years are not mentioned explicitly in the Torah.


ואידך האי שבבן ושבבת שבזכר ושבנקבה מבעי ליה


The Gemara asks: And how would the other amora, Rav Yosef, respond to this contention? The Gemara answers: He would maintain that if the baraita were referring to the years of valuations, which are written in the Torah, then this expression in the baraita: Of a son and of a daughter, is unsuitable. Rather, the baraita should have stated: Of the male and of the female, which are the terms the Torah uses with regard to valuations, whereas the terms: Son and daughter, are used in Yotze Dofen.


אמר רב יצחק בר נחמני אמר רבי אלעזר הלכה כרבי יוסי בן כיפר שאמר משום רבי אליעזר אמר רבי זירא אזכה ואיסק ואגמר לשמעתא מפומיה דמרא


§ Rav Yitzḥak bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Elazar says: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei ben Keifar, who said his ruling in the name of Rabbi Eliezer, that a man nineteen years and thirty days of age who has not developed signs of puberty is deemed a sexually underdeveloped man. In this regard, the Gemara relates that Rabbi Zeira said: May it be God’s will that I merit to ascend to Eretz Yisrael, and that I learn this halakha from the mouth of its Master, Rabbi Elazar.


כי סליק אשכחיה לרבי אלעזר אמר ליה אמרת הלכה כרבי יוסי בן כיפר אמר ליה מסתברא אמרי מדכוליה פירקין תני יום אחד והכא לא קתני שמע מינה מסתברא כותיה


The Gemara recounts that when Rabbi Zeira eventually ascended to Eretz Yisrael he indeed found Rabbi Elazar and said to him: Did you say that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei ben Keifar? Rabbi Elazar said to him: I said that it stands to reason that the halakha is in accordance with his opinion. He elaborated: From the fact that throughout the entire chapter the Mishna teaches: And one day, but here, in the last mishna, it does not teach this phrase, one can conclude from it that it stands to reason that there is a reason for this discrepancy, in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei ben Keifar.


הדרן עלך יוצא דופן



מתני׳ בא סימן התחתון עד שלא בא העליון או חולצת או מתיבמת


MISHNA: If the lower sign of puberty, two pubic hairs, appeared in a young woman before the upper sign, development of the breasts, appeared, then she is an adult, as the pubic hairs are an unequivocal sign. Therefore, if her childless husband died and she came before her husband’s brother [yavam] for levirate marriage, she either performs the ritual through which a yavam frees a yevama of her levirate bonds [ḥalitza] or enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother.


בא העליון עד שלא בא התחתון אף על פי שאי אפשר רבי מאיר אומר לא חולצת ולא מתיבמת


If the upper sign indicating puberty appeared before the lower sign appeared, i.e., the two pubic hairs are not visible, although that order of development is apparently impossible, Rabbi Meir says: In fact, it is possible for the breasts to develop before the growth of two pubic hairs, and the concern is that the two hairs did not grow and fall out but rather they never grew in the first place, which would mean that she remains a minor. Therefore, if her childless husband dies, she neither performs ḥalitza nor does she enter into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother.


וחכמים אומרים או חולצת או מתיבמת מפני שאמרו אפשר לתחתון לבא עד שלא בא העליון אבל אי אפשר לעליון לבא עד שלא בא התחתון


And the Rabbis say: She has reached majority, and therefore if her childless husband dies she either performs ḥalitza or enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother. That is due to the fact that the Sages said: It is possible for the lower sign of puberty to appear before the upper sign appears; but it is impossible for the upper sign to appear before the lower sign appears.


גמ׳ אף על פי שאי אפשר והלא בא בא לרבי מאיר אף על פי שאי אפשר לרבנן


GEMARA: The mishna teaches that Rabbi Meir and the Rabbis disagree with regard to the halakha when the upper sign of puberty appears before the lower sign. The mishna stated about that case: Although that order of development is impossible. The Gemara raises a difficulty: But the mishna explicitly states that it is referring to a situation where the upper sign did appear before the lower one. The Gemara explains: When the mishna states that it did appear, that is according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who maintains that such an occurrence is possible, whereas when the mishna teaches: Although that order of development is impossible, it is referring to the opinion of the Rabbis, who contend that it is not possible.


ולתני בא העליון רבי מאיר אומר לא חולצת ולא מתיבמת וחכמים אומרים או חולצת או מתיבמת ואנא ידענא משום דאי אפשר הוא


The Gemara objects: But why is it necessary at all to mention the phrase: Although that order of development is impossible. Instead, let the mishna simply teach: If the upper sign of puberty appeared, Rabbi Meir says: She neither performs ḥalitza nor does she enter into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother; and the Rabbis say: She either performs ḥalitza or enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother. And I would know that the ruling of the Rabbis is due to the fact that it is impossible for the upper sign of puberty to appear before the lower sign.


אי לא תנא אף על פי שאי אפשר הוה אמינא רוב נשים תחתון אתי ברישא ומיעוט עליון אתי ברישא ורבי מאיר לטעמיה דחייש למיעוטא ורבנן לטעמייהו דלא חיישי למיעוטא


The Gemara explains: If the mishna had not taught: Although that order of development is impossible, I would say that with regard to most women the lower sign appears first, before the upper sign; but in a minority of women, the upper sign appears first. And Rabbi Meir, who rules that she is a minor who may not perform either ḥalitza or enter into levirate marriage, conforms to his standard line of reasoning, that one must be concerned for the minority. In other words, Rabbi Meir takes into account the minority of women in whom the upper sign appears first, and therefore he considers her to be a minor. And the Rabbis likewise conform to their standard line of reasoning that one need not be concerned for the minority, and therefore they consider the young woman to have reached majority.


והני מילי בסתמא אבל היכא דבדקן ולא אשכחן אימר מודו ליה רבנן לרבי מאיר דעליון קדים


And this statement, that one can rely on the assumption that if a woman has the upper sign then she certainly has the lower sign, while the minority of cases are not taken into account, applies only in an ordinary case, where the woman was not examined to determine if she had the lower sign. But in a case where we examined her and did not find the lower sign, one might say that the Rabbis concede to Rabbi Meir that the upper sign appeared before the lower sign, and therefore she neither performs ḥalitza nor enters into levirate marriage with her husband’s brother.


קא משמע לן דאי אפשר ודאי אתי ומנתר הוא דנתר


Therefore, the mishna teaches us that according to the Rabbis it is impossible for the upper sign to precede the lower sign, which means that even if she was examined and no lower sign was found, the assumption is that the two hairs of the lower sign had certainly appeared, but later they fell out.


בשלמא לרבי מאיר היינו דכתיב שדים נכנו ושערך צמח אלא לרבנן איפכא מבעי ליה הכי קאמר כיון ששדים נכנו בידוע ששערך צמח


The Gemara raises a difficulty: Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, who holds that it is possible for the upper sign to precede the lower, that accounts for that verse which is written with regard to a maturing young woman: “And you increased and grew up, and you came to excellent beauty; your breasts were fashioned, and your hair was grown” (Ezekiel 16:7). This verse mentions the upper sign before the lower sign. But according to the opinion of the Rabbis, the verse should have said the reverse, first stating “your hair has grown,” and then stating “your breasts were fashioned.” The Gemara answers that this is what the verse is saying: Since your breasts were fashioned, it is known that your hair was already grown.


בשלמא לרבי מאיר היינו דכתיב בעשות ממצרים דדיך למען שדי נעוריך אלא לרבנן איפכא מבעי ליה


The Gemara raises a further difficulty: Granted, according to the opinion of Rabbi Meir, this accounts for that which is written: “When they from Egypt bruised your breasts for the sprouting forth of your young womanhood” (Ezekiel 23:21). This verse, which compares the Jewish people to a promiscuous girl, describes how, in her childhood, Egyptian men would play with her by pressing her breasts in order to engage in licentious sexual intercourse with her when she became a young woman, i.e., once the pubic hairs that indicate puberty developed. This indicates that it is possible for the upper sign to appear before the lower sign. But according to the opinion of the Rabbis, the verse should have said the reverse.


הכי קאמר כיון שבאו דדיך בידוע שבאו נעוריך ואיבעית אימא מאי שדי כולה בדדי כתיב והכי קאמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לישראל


The Gemara similarly answers that this is what the verse is saying: Since your breasts appeared, it is known that the pubic hairs, which are the sign of your young womanhood, have already appeared. Or if you wish, say instead: What is the meaning of the phrase: The sprouting forth of [shedei] your young womanhood? It is not speaking of the lower sign, but rather of the upper sign, i.e., the entire verse is written in reference to the breasts, shadayim in Hebrew. And this is what the Holy One, Blessed be He, is saying to the Jewish people:


איכרפו דדיך לא הדרת בך אישתדו דדיך נמי לא הדרת בך


Although your breasts began to develop, you still did not reform your ways, and you continued to act licentiously. And furthermore, even when your breasts grew fully, you also did not reform your ways.


דכולי עלמא מיהא אתחתון סמכינן מנלן אמר רב יהודה אמר רב וכן תנא דבי רבי ישמעאל אמר קרא איש או אשה כי יעשו מכל חטאת האדם השוה הכתוב אשה לאיש לכל עונשין שבתורה מה איש בסימן אחד אף אשה בסימן אחד


§ The Gemara asks: In any event, everyone, both Rabbi Meir and the Rabbis, agrees that we rely on the lower sign. From where do we derive that we rely exclusively on the lower sign and do not require the appearance of the upper sign as well? Rav Yehuda said that Rav said, and likewise a Sage of the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: The verse states: “A man or woman, when they commit any of the sins of men” (Numbers 5:6). The Torah thereby rendered a woman equal to a man with regard to all punishments of the Torah. Just as a man is considered to have reached majority based on one sign, i.e., the lower sign of two pubic hairs, so too, a woman reaches majority based on one sign, the lower sign.


ואימא או האי או האי כאיש מה איש תחתון ולא עליון אף אשה תחתון ולא עליון


The Gemara raises a difficulty: But one can say that although a woman’s status, like that of a man, depends on one sign, in the case of a woman she reaches majority either through this, the lower sign, or that, the upper sign. From where is it derived that it must be specifically the lower sign? The Gemara answers: This is based on the same comparison of men and women. Her halakha is like that of a man: Just as a man reaches majority based on the lower sign and not the upper sign, as this is not applicable to him, so too, a woman reaches majority based on the lower sign and not the upper sign.


תניא נמי הכי אמר רבי אליעזר ברבי צדוק כך היו מפרשין ביבנה ואמרו כיון שבא תחתון שוב אין משגיחין על עליון


The Gemara notes that this halakha, that the lower sign is sufficient by itself for a woman, is also taught in a baraita. Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Tzadok, said: This is how the Sages would explain it in the study hall of Yavne. They said: Once the lower sign has appeared, we no longer concern ourselves with the appearance of the upper sign in order to establish a woman’s status, as she is considered to have reached her majority by virtue of the lower sign.


תניא רבן שמעון בן גמליאל אומר בנות כרכים תחתון ממהר לבא מפני שרגילות במרחצאות בנות כפרים עליון ממהר לבא מפני שטוחנות ברחים


§ It is taught in a baraita, with regard to the appearance of signs indicating puberty in young women, that Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel says: In the case of young women who reside in cities, the lower sign appears more quickly than the upper sign, because they frequent the bathhouses, which stimulates the growth of the hair. By contrast, in the case of young women who reside in villages, the upper sign appears more quickly than the lower sign, because they grind with mills, which develops their breasts.


רבי שמעון בן אלעזר אומר בנות עשירים צד ימין ממהר לבא שנישוף באפקריסותן בנות עניים צד שמאל ממהר לבא מפני ששואבות כדי מים עליהן ואיבעית אימא מפני שנושאין אחיהן על גססיהן


Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: There are differences in the rate of development of the breasts. In the case of the daughters of the wealthy, the growth of the breast on the right side arrives more quickly than that of the left side, as it rubs against their upper body cloaks, which are worn by the wealthy. By contrast, in the case of the daughters of the poor, the growth of the breast on the left side arrives more quickly than that of the right side, because they draw jugs of water on that side. And if you wish, say instead that the left breast develops more quickly because they carry their younger brothers on their left sides.


תנו רבנן צד שמאל קודם לצד ימין רבי חנינא בן אחי רבי יהושע אומר מעולם לא קדם צד שמאל לצד ימין חוץ מאחת שהיתה בשכונתי שקדם צד שמאל לצד ימין וחזר לאיתנו


The Sages taught in a baraita: The growth of the breast on the left side arrives before that of the right side. Rabbi Ḥanina, son of the brother of Rabbi Yehoshua, says: It never occurred that the growth of the breast on the left side arrived before that of the right side, except for the case of one young woman who was in my neighborhood, as the growth of the breast on her left side arrived before that of the right side, and later the right breast returned to its normal condition and developed normally.


תנו רבנן כל הנבדקות נבדקות על פי נשים וכן היה רבי אליעזר מוסר לאשתו ורבי ישמעאל מוסר לאמו


§ The Sages taught in a baraita: All girls who are examined to determine whether or not their signs indicating puberty have appeared are examined based on the testimony of women. And likewise, Rabbi Eliezer would follow this halakha in practice and give the girls to his wife to examine, and Rabbi Yishmael would similarly give the girls to his mother to examine.


רבי יהודה אומר לפני הפרק ולאחר הפרק נשים בודקות אותן תוך הפרק אין נשים בודקות אותן שאין משיאין ספקות על פי נשים רבי שמעון אומר אף תוך הפרק נשים בודקות אותן ונאמנת אשה להחמיר אבל לא להקל


The baraita continues: Rabbi Yehuda says: Before the minimum age at which pubic hair is considered a sign, i.e., eleven years and one day, when any hair that is found is considered to be merely a mole and not a sign, and similarly after the age of majority, twelve years and one day, when a female is presumed to have grown pubic hair like most girls her age, women may examine them and their testimony is accepted. But during the time between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may not examine them. The reason is that one does not resolve cases of uncertainty based on the testimony of women. Rabbi Shimon says: Even during the time between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may examine them. And a woman is deemed credible, and her testimony is accepted, to be stringent but not to be lenient.


כיצד גדולה היא שלא תמאן קטנה היא שלא תחלוץ


The baraita continues: How so, i.e., how is a woman’s testimony accepted with regard to the girl she has examined as a stringency but not a leniency? If the woman said that the girl is a female who reached majority, her claim is accepted to the extent that she does not perform refusal. The refusal of a husband, which applies in the case of a girl whose father had died and who was married off by her mother or brother, can be performed by the girl only until she reaches majority. If the woman said that this girl is a minor, her testimony is accepted to the extent that she does not perform ḥalitza.


אבל אין נאמנת לומר קטנה היא שתמאן וגדולה היא שתחלוץ


The baraita concludes: But the woman who examined the girl is not deemed credible to say that she is a minor girl to the extent that she performs refusal. And likewise, the woman is not deemed credible to say that she is a female who reached majority to the extent that she performs ḥalitza.


אמר מר רבי יהודה אומר לפני הפרק ולאחר הפרק נשים בודקות אותן בשלמא לפני הפרק בעי בדיקה דאי משתכחי לאחר הפרק שומא נינהו


The Gemara analyzes the baraita. The Master said that Rabbi Yehuda says: Before the minimum age at which pubic hair is considered a sign, and similarly after the age of majority, women may examine them. The Gemara raises a difficulty: Granted, one can understand that before the minimum age there is a requirement for examination, so that if they find hair after the minimum age which they already saw before the minimum age, these hairs are evidently a mere mole, not a sign of maturity.


אלא לאחר הפרק למה לי בדיקה והאמר רבא קטנה שהגיעה לכלל שנותיה אינה צריכה בדיקה חזקה הביאה סימנין כי אמר רבא חזקה למיאון אבל לחליצה בעיא בדיקה


But why do I need a girl to undergo an examination after the age of majority? Didn’t Rava say: A minor girl who reached her full years, i.e., her age of majority, twelve years and one day, does not require an examination, as there is a presumption that she has developed signs indicating puberty? The Gemara explains: When Rava said that one relies on this presumption, he was referring specifically to her inability from now on to perform refusal. But with regard to ḥalitza, she requires an examination to determine that she has reached maturity.


תוך הפרק אין נשים בודקות אותן קסבר תוך הפרק כלאחר הפרק (דמי)


The baraita stated that according to Rabbi Yehuda, women are deemed credible to examine girls who are either younger than eleven years and one day or older than twelve years and one day. But during the time between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may not examine them. The Gemara explains that Rabbi Yehuda holds that the period during this time is considered like after the age of majority. In other words, the signs indicating puberty that a girl develops during this time are considered to be full-fledged signs, which means that she has reached majority even before the age of twelve and one day. Accordingly, the testimony of women is not accepted for this period, as her change of status enables her to perform ḥalitza with her husband’s brother.


ולאחר הפרק דאיכא חזקה דרבא סמכינן אנשים ובדקי תוך הפרק דליכא חזקה דרבא לא סמכינן אנשים ולא בדקי נשים


But after the minimum age of twelve years and one day, when there is the presumption of Rava that a girl has already developed signs indicating puberty, one may rely on women and have them examine the girl. During this age, between eleven and twelve, when there is no presumption of Rava that she has already developed signs indicating puberty, one may not rely on women, and therefore women may not examine the girl.


רבי שמעון אומר אף תוך הפרק נשים בודקות אותן קסבר תוך הפרק כלפני הפרק ובעיא בדיקה דאי משתכחי לאחר הפרק שומא נינהו


By contrast, Rabbi Shimon says that even during this age, between eleven years and one day and twelve years and one day, women may examine girls to determine if they have grown pubic hair. This is because Rabbi Shimon holds that the period during this age is considered like before the minimum age, which means that the girl is a minor based on her age, regardless of the results of the examination. And the only reason she requires an examination is that if they find hair after the minimum age, which they had already seen before the minimum age, these hairs are deemed a mere mole, not a sign of maturity.


ונאמנת אשה להחמיר אבל לא להקל האי מאן קתני לה איבעית אימא רבי יהודה ואתוך הפרק


The baraita further teaches: And a woman is deemed credible to testify to be stringent with regard to the girl who she examined but not to be lenient. The Gemara asks: Who taught this halakha? The Gemara answers: If you wish, say that it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, and it is referring to during the age between eleven years and one day and twelve and one day.


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