For the week ending 14 July 2012 / 23 Tammuz 5772

Nidah 51 - 57

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Which food matter does not require a previous contact with a liquid to be susceptible to tumah
  • The identifying signs of a kosher fish
  • Blessings before and after
  • Physical signs of adulthood in boy or girl
  • Till when can a minor girl dissolve a marriage through meyun
  • Size of hairs re sign of adulthood, disqualification of the red heifer and sign of leprosy impurity
  • If blood spot on a woman's garment causes suspicion that she is a zavah
  • Which contaminating items have their effect both dry or wet and which only when they are wet
  • Dead rodent found in a street and its effect on pure things in the area before discovery
  • How the kutim dealt with miscarriages

A Blessing After the Mitzvah?

In its effort to provide an example for the rule stated in the mishna, "There are things which require a blessing beforehand but not afterward", the gemara suggests that it cannot refer to food or drink but perhaps to mitzvot. We say a blessing, points out Rashi, before doing the mitzvot of wearing tzitzit and waving the four species on Sukkot, but say no blessing afterward.

The reservation expressed by the gemara is that in Eretz Israelit is customary to say a blessing after taking off the tefillin, so it cannot be considered an ironclad rule.

Tosefot points out that only in regard to removing the tefillin was such a blessing said and not upon removing tzitzit. The only time there was a reason for saying the blessing upon removing the tefillin was just before sunset. Since it is forbidden to put on tefillin after sunset there was a mitzvah to remove them and this justified the blessing those in Eretz Yisrael said at such a time.

The ruling of the authorities, concludes Tosefot, is that one does not say a blessing upon removal of the tefillin.

  • Nidah 51b

What the Sages Say

Why does the Torah mention both scales and fins as signs of a kosher fish if we know that every fish that has scales has fins? In order to expand and glorify the Torah!"

  • Rabbi Abahu and the Yeshiva of Rabbi Yishmael - Nidah51b

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