Zavim, Chapter Two, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

A zav must wait for seven clean days to become pure. Our mishnah deals with a man who during those seven days in which he is supposed to be clean sees a discharge of semen.

 

Mishnah Two

1)      If one sees an issue of semen on the third day of counting his zov:

a)      Bet Shammai says: it undoes the two preceding days;  

b)      But Bet Hillel says: it undoes only that day.  

2)      Rabbi Ishmael says: one who sees it on the second day, it undoes the preceding day.

3)      But Rabbi Akiva says: it matters not whether he saw it on the second day or on the third day:

a)      Bet Shammai says: it undoes the two preceding days;

b)      And Bet Hillel says: it undoes only that day.

4)      But they agree that if he saw it on the fourth day [of counting] it undoes only that day.

5)      This is if he saw semen; but he saw zov, then even if this had occurred on the seventh day, it undoes all the days that had preceded.

 

Explanation

Section one: Bet Shammai holds that if he has a seminal discharge on the third day of waiting to become clean from his zov, the first two days of cleanness are undone. He must now start his count over again.

Bet Hillel says it only undoes the day on which he experienced the discharge. After that day he may resume his count.

Section two: Rabbi Ishmael says that even Bet Hillel agrees that if one sees a seminal discharge on the second day, it undoes the first day. He must have two days of cleanness for them not to be undone.

Section three: Rabbi Akiva disagrees with Rabbi Ishmael and maintains that according to Bet Hillel it doesn’t matter whether the seminal discharge occurred on the third or second day; in both cases Bet Hillel holds that it causes only that day not to count.

Section four: The two houses agree that if he counted three full days of cleanness, they are not undone by seeing a seminal discharge. This is because three days is the amount of time it takes one to become a zav in the first place.

Section five: However, this is only true if he had a discharge of semen. The two houses argue whether and when a discharge of semen undoes the clean period for a zav. But if he sees another issue of zov, clearly this undoes the entire clean period and he must start the count all over again.   

 

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