Daf Yomi

For the week ending 7 July 2012 / 16 Tammuz 5772

Nidah 44 - 50

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • Which laws apply to a boy or girl from birth
  • Which apply to a girl from age three
  • At what age can a girl conceive a child
  • Status of a nine-year old boy
  • Status of vows made by boy or girl a year before adulthood
  • The Divine hairdressing of the first woman
  • If a boy or girl reaches twelve but lacks the physical signs of adulthood
  • The stages of feminine development
  • The father's rights in regard to his daughter
  • When do we declare a woman an ailonit and a man a saris s
  • When do women examine a girl to determine adulthood
  • General rules regarding ritual impurity and eligibility to judge or give testimony

Shaming a Slave

There are certain physical features in a woman which indicate that she has reached the stage of being a na'arah with all the responsibilities of an adult.

When the Sage Shmuel wished to ascertain whether a female slave of his had reached this stage, he faced a dilemma. Without an examination he could not be sure. But such an examination is a source of embarrassment. Shmuel understood that when the Torah (Vayikra 24:15) said in regard to non-Jewish slaves, "You shall work with them forever" it limited a slave owner to working his slave but gave him no right to embarrass a slave.

Shmuel solved the problem by conducting the indispensable examination and then paying her four zuz as compensation for her embarrassment.

Tosefot points out that Shmuel had no legal obligation to make such payment because there is an opinion (Bava Kama 67a) that slaves do not suffer shame and there is no need for compensation. Even according to the opinion that there is a need to compensate when shaming a slave, the payment goes to the slave's owner.

Despite these considerations Shmuel was afraid of Heavenly punishment for what he did to a human being and the payment was to avoid such a consequence.

  • Nidah 47a

What the Sages Say

"When the mishna states that even one who is qualified to judge monetary cases is not qualified to judge capital ones, it is referring to a mamzer and a convert."

  • Rabbi Yehuda - Nidah 49b

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