Nida and Chazaka

Nidah (2:4) | Yisrael Bankier | 6 years ago

The status of nida is important for two different areas. Firstly, a couple is prevented from having relations if the women is in nida. Secondly, that women also become as source of tumah. Importantly, she already become nida prior to the dam (blood) exiting her body. The first perek dealt with this point and discussed when and how far into the past must one be concerned that she is tameh prior to discovering dam. We also learnt that in order to mitigate the concern, regular bedikot (checks) were instituted.

The Mishnah in the second perek (2:4) however teaches that “all women have a chezkat tahara (presumed status of purity) for their husbands”. The Bartunera explains that this means that the husband is not required to inquire whether she is tahor prior to relations1. The Mishnah continues that this is the case even if he just returned from being away from the town. The Bartenura explains that even though one might think that she may have been less careful to check, the chazaka still stands.

Last cycle (Volume 6, Issue 55) we looked at the first Mishnah and saw how whether chazaka helps in the case of saving taharot from retroactively becoming tameh was debated. In this Mishnah however the strength of chazaka appears universally accepted. Rashi explains that there is a difference between our Mishnah and those in the first perek. In those mishnayot, the Mishnah is dealing with a woman who is “osek be’taharot”. In other words, a woman who is handing either trumah or kodshim. Consequently, in those cases the strength of the chazak is debated with some opinions ruling stringently. In our Mishnah however, the woman is not and the chazaka is strong. Furthermore, the regular bedikot are not required.

The Mishnah Achrona however asks that we do not rely on a chazaka when the matter can be clarified. Since the husband is able to ask, it should preclude the reliance on the chazaka. The Mishnah Achrona however answers that this case involves two sfeikot (doubts). The first is whether she indeed saw dam and the second is that even if she did she might have already waited the seven days and immersed in the mikveh. He explains that in the case of a double doubt, we can rely on the chazaka it is not required to clarify the matter.2


1This is assuming that when they previously parted she was tahor and he returned prior to her veset. See also Volume 6, Issue 56.

2 See Volume 9, Issue 10 where we cite the Chatam Sofer who reasons that this point is actually the subject of debate between Rashi and Tosfot.

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