For the week ending 21 July 2012 / 1 Av 5772

Nidah 58 - 64

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
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  • On which parts of a woman's body does a bloodspot arouse suspicion that it came from her womb
  • Finding a reason for a bloodspot being on her body or clothes which remove suspicion
  • Blood found in the urine
  • Garment which was borrowed by a non-Jewess or a nidah
  • Blood found beneath one of three women sleeping in a bed
  • How much searching for the source of tumah
  • Status of corpses found after years of futile search
  • Why Moshe was more fearful of Og than of his brother Sichon
  • How a faded bloodspot on a garment can be handled in order to purify the garment
  • The various physical symptoms preceding menstruation which form the pattern of a veset
  • The obligation of avoiding marital relations when the wife's veset approaches

To Believe and Not Believe

"In regard to lashon hara (slanderous report) one should not accept what he hears as true but he nevertheless should take caution lest it be true."

This important advice from our Talmudic Sages is the key to solving a mystery in the prophecy of Yirmiyahu.

"The pit into which Yishmael had cast the corpses of the people who were murdered by the hand of Gedaliah…." (Yirmiyahu41:9)

Earlier in that very chapter we learn that Gedaliah, who was appointed head of the Jewish community that remained in Eretz Yisrael, was assassinated by Yishmael. Yishmael subsequently murdered a large band of pilgrims from various parts of Israeland cast their bodies into a common grave. Why then is Gedaliah himself identified as the murderer?

The answer lies in the fact that Yochanan ben Karech had warned Gedaliah that Yishmael had been hired to assassinate him and requested permission to take preemptive action against him. Gedaliah's response was that this could not be true and he took no precautions to protect himself. It was his failure to take caution while disbelieving which eventually led to the death of those buried in that pit.

It was centuries after these events that the pit containing the bodies was discovered after an intensive search for the source of tumah which tradition had assigned to that area.

  • Nidah 61a

What the Sages Say

"Moshe was fearful of Og, king of Bashan, because he was concerned that the merit of his informing Avraham that his nephew Lot had been taken captive might make him unconquerable."

  • Rabbi Yochanan in the name of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochi - Nidah61a

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