This week we begin with big mazel tov wishes to our cousins and dear friends, Sharon & Brian Duftler, upon the celebration last shabbis -continued on Sunday– of the bar mitzvah of their son, Boaz Katz Duftler. As expected Boaz lained his parsha flawlessly. Mazel tov to siblings Rachel, Aliza, and Mendy Duflter, to Sandy and Irwin Duftler, proud grandparents and to all uncles, aunts and cousins. Boaz, born shortly after the untimely passing of his grandmother Ruth Katz, a very lovely and great women – also a cousin to the Oisvorfer, proudly took on her name.
Long before we read of leaks and leakers inside different agencies of the government, an inyan seemingly quite prevalent of late, the heylige Toirah, in the back end of this week’s double header parshas of Tazria / Mitzoiro, introduced us to these people and told us how they should be handled.
Wake up!! We’re just about done with korbonois and Sefer Vayikra is about to get very interesting and exciting. The hot topics which include sexual activity before and after a baby is born, begin this week. Want to know how to conceive a boy or a girl? Forget Masters & Johnson and other trickery: learn the heylige Toirah which tells of foolproof methods in gender selection. Parshas Tazria, which we have the great pleasure of hearing this coming shabbis, discusses what happens after pleasure and sex: kinderlach! It also contains interesting laws about how long a woman remains impure following childbirth, the purification process and the korban (sacrifice) she needs to bring. What great sin she committed that warrants a korban, ver veyst but she is seemingly guilty of a few offenses. The commandment to perform a bris on day eight, even on the heylige shabbis, as well as the myriad laws of tzora’as (leprosy) are all covered in the parsha and were also thoroughly reviewed by the Oisvorfer in previous editions of this parsha review. Find them all at www.oisvorfer.com.
Strap in and buckle up; we’re about to meet some of the more colorful characters that Sefer Vayikra has to offer. None are mentioned by name but rest assured that you will not soon forget them. Let’s quickly meet Mr. or Mrs. Metzoira (they got a parsha named after themselves), Mr. or Mrs. Zav and Zava, Master, if you chap, or Mr. Motzie Shicvas Zera (livatolo at times), and Mrs. Nidda. We’ll get to know them better shortly. And now that we have your attention, let’s learn some parsha. Ober, we begin our review -our eighth- of these parshas with a few words on Tazria.
Nu, as you can only imagine, these opening pisukim about seeding, conception and childbirth and the ensuing impurity of the child-bearing mother, didn’t go unnoticed and there’s quite a bit of commentary in the heylige Gemora and medrish. Let’s check out one of each.
Says the heylige Gemora (Nida 31a): If the woman gives seed first, she gives birth to a male; if the man gives seed first, she gives birth to a female. Nu, could it be any clearer? To chap all this, we must think in terms of farming. First the field is to be thoroughly plowed, if you chap, and then seeded. Seemingly the seeding order is what determines the sex of child and because men traditionally are so magnanimous and love giving seed, typically before the women, many more girls are born than are boys. Are you following all this? In plain English: Because you chazerim have no control over yourselves and because you combine plowing and seeding into one act and don’t allow your partners to seed first, we taka have so many more girls than boys and of course the shidduch crisis. Case closed, no need for further discussion or scientific facts: we don’t argue with the heylige Gemora, chas v’sholom.
Nu, since we’re tif (deep) into the woman, avada by that we mean, the sugya (topic) of childbirth, let’s taka learn one more halocho about post-delivery activities (of a sexual nature). See possik 4 below for boy delivery status and then possik 5 for the mother’s status following the birth of a girl. Says the heylige Toirah azoy:
- And for thirty three days, she shall remain in the blood of purity; she shall not touch anything holy, nor may she enter the Sanctuary, until the days of her purification have been completed. ד. וּשְׁלֹשִׁיםיוֹםוּשְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּשֵׁב בִּדְמֵיטָהֳרָה בְּכָלקֹדֶשׁ לֹאתִגָּע וְאֶלהַמִּקְדָּשׁ לֹאתָבֹאעַדמְלֹאתיְמֵיטָהֳרָהּ:
- And if she gives birth to a female, she shall be unclean for two weeks, like her menstruation [period]. And for sixty six days, she shall remain in the blood of purity. ה. וְאִםנְקֵבָהתֵלֵדוְטָמְאָה שְׁבֻעַיִם כְּנִדָּתָהּ וְשִׁשִּׁיםיוֹםוְשֵׁשֶׁת יָמִים תֵּשֵׁב עַל דְּמֵיטָהֳרָה:
Said The Chizkuni azoy: A woman has inside of her [uterus] seven chambers, three on the right side and three on the left side, and one in the center. When the seed enters on the right side, she will give birth to a male child; if the seed enters on the left side she’ll give birth to a female child. And if the seed enters at the center, she will give birth to a tumtum (child with ambiguous genitalia) or an androgynous child. Then he gives a primer on gender selection: Follow this if you have too many of any one gender (or just for fun).
When the woman rests, after intercourse, on her right side, the seed will enter the chambers on the right side, and she will have a boy…ober (but) if she rests on her left side, the seed will enter on the left and she’ll have a girl. Interestingly, there is no mention of the man following intercourse. Taka why? Because the Chizkuni was a genius, a man ahead of his time. A man that chapped that after a man chaps, he’s off. Sleeping, smoking, playing with his other device or gone mamish. As proof of his scientific theory, he cites an intimate possik (verse) from ‘Shir Hashirim, “His left arm is under my head and his right arm embraces me” (2:6).
While the heylige Gemorah (Kiddushin 19) cautions against interpreting Shir Ha-Shirim literally, this verse, which may be understood as an image of the two lovers engaged in a special moment of intimacy, is interpreted by the Chizkuni as a purposeful arrangement of bodies so that the woman would give birth to a male child! If the man’s left hand is under the woman’s head, and they are facing each other, then it must be that she is lying on her right side – the appropriate arrangement for having a boy. Is this p’shat? Ver veyst (who knows)?
Grada today’s leading experts on the Uterus (including some of you) and medical halacha state that Chizkuni’s description of the anatomy of the female uterus, while taka common in Jewish exegesis in the middle ages, coincided with the prevalence of that anatomical view among medieval scientists. Ober: the so-called doctrine of the seven chambered uterus is a product of medieval imagination; in other words: nisht gishtoigen and nisht gifloigen (a bunch of bs).
Today, scientists and later commentators no longer believe in the doctrine of the seven-chambered uterus; have you seen seven on anyone? Is looking for even one chamber permitted? Ver veyst! Some say that looking is altogether verboten and maybe even dangerous to one’s health. Ober, once upon a time, there was a rich body of brilliant Toirah interpretation that drew on this idea. The good news is that most males are famers and explorers; as long as they get to plow and seed, they are tzifridin (satisfied) with even one chamber. Ok, veyter.
The majority of the parsha deals with the physio-spiritual plague of tzora’as. What the hec is Tzora’as? Seemingly it is a discoloration that appears in varying forms, on human skin, on hair, clothing, and even on the walls of one’s home. It’s not a reward for being a good Jew, no surprise here. And how did it manifest? Seemingly, back when tzora’as was in vogue, it presented as an affliction of the skin, on a wound, or an affliction of the beard or scalp. Tzora’as is usually translated as leprosy.
Ober, it stands to reason that tzora’as was a different ailment than leprosy as we know it today. Also, it seems that tzora’as did not entail great suffering and pain on the part of the sick person. It was merely epes a form of rash broken out on the body’s skin, but instead of going to a doctor, the sick person went to his local koihen (priest). Seemingly, the koihen, when not on duty in the Beis Hamikdash, or busy eating the leftover korbonois (sacrifices), moonlighted as a dermatologist and had several options before declaring the person a metzoira (tzora’as afflicted). The Koihen has some wide discretion about whom to declare and when. We call these loopholes which the koihen could use to avoid declaring someone a Metzoira (carrier) if he was properly motivated and so inclined. That for another day. Like doctor shopping, it appears that koihen shopping was quite important.
We will soon learn that most commentators agree that to get Tzora’as, one typically used his mouth incorrectly. One can get tzora’as from oral activity? Sadly, most you can relate to this in some manner, if you chap.
Says the heylige Gemora (Eiruchin 16a) azoy: Tzora’as comes for seven aveiros (sins.) Asks the Marhsho azoy: how can all these seven aveiros of varying severity receive the exact same punishment? Ober he answers his own question azoy: there are seven kinds of tzora’as; each is fitting for one of the seven aveiros. To see the list of aveiros and their corresponding Tzora’as paybacks, open the heylige Gemora and learn; it won’t kill you. You might even find yourself right there in the Gemora.
In any event, once declared to have tzora’as, the afflicted individual would endure a complicated process of purification in order to rejoin the community. Seemingly, he is sent out of the camp as a punishment because “he separated friends and families through his words, and deserves to be separated from his community.”
Says the heylige Gemora (Ayrachin 16b) azoy: tzora’as is a divine punishment for the sins of slander and gossip. Efsher you’re klerring azoy: ok- we can accept that: Ober if tzora’as is taka a punishment for slander, loshoin horo and gossip, wouldn’t you expect that every person we know and come into contact with, every person in the gantzevelt (entire world) would be walking around with tzora’as somewhere on their skin, hair clothing? And if not, efsher somewhere on their body and of course their houses. Taka it’s an excellent kasha and the answer is Raboyseyee that nowadays, giloibt der abishter (thank the RBSO), there taka is no more tzora’as. Coast clear and feel free to go about your slanderous activities.
And said the Kuzari azoy: tzora’as was found only when the Yiddin were on a high spiritual level, on their best behavior and when the Divine Presence dwelt among them, in their bodies, clothes, and houses. Mamish like the soul in a body. When did that happen and for how long, ver veyst. In the same way that when the soul leaves the body, the body’s form changes. So too according to the Kuzari, when the Divine Presence leaves because of a person’s sins, there is a change in the body, clothing, or houses.
Says the heylige Toirah (Vayikra 13:1-2) azoy”……Odom-Ki-Yihiyeh-B’Oir-Bisoroi (the RBSO spoke to Moishe and Aharoin saying, “When a man (Odom) will have a rising in his flesh . . . ” And said the Alshich: the entire parsha of tzora’as is introduced with the word “Odom” (a person). The word “Odom” always denotes a person of stature and importance; not just any regular person. Tzora’as does not affect just anyone, but only people on the correct level. And what does all that mean? Nu, our wise sages, Chazal, tell us that the primary cause of tzora’as is the sin of slander. If a person sullied himself with the sin of slander, the person’s inherent holiness would push the impurity gained through this sin, out of his body, and it would manifest itself as tzora’as. Ober there is great news in this pshat: In our days, people are avada not on this level, nor on any level but at the lowest levels where they are seemingly immune from tzora’as. Gishmak!
And listen to this mamish gishmakepshat. There are four words used in Tanach to classify man; Odom, Ish, Gever, and Enosh. Odom is the word used for the highest caliber of mankind. Interestingly, when talking about tzora’as, a terrible spiritual disease, the heylige Toirah, as quoted above, begins with the word Odom. “Odom-Ki-Yihiyeh-B’Oir-Bisoroi.” Shouldn’t a person with this awful disease be labeled with a lesser title?
Ober said Rav Mordechai Yosef MiIzhbetza azoy: one of the reasons for Tzora’as is taka loshoin horo. The heylige Toirah is telling us that, unfortunately, this disease of badmouthing people, idle gossip and plain loshoin horo is very prevalent among the highest echelons of society. Even those we call men, even those with beards! Their lofty status notwithstanding, they still manage to gossip about others. The bottom line: Even an otherwise Odom (a real man) can get tzora’as.
On the other hand, said Rav Itzele Volozhin azoy: we find five kinds of tzora’as in our parsha. It could affect skin, clothing, head, beard, and even the house. Tzora’as is an exterior sign of internal corruption. Each one of these nega’im (afflictions) correspond to a certain tumah within the person. Check off the one’s that resemble you most.
- Skin tzora’as shows up because of a constant craving by the person to satisfy his bodily desires with food and other physical pleasures, if you chap.
- A clothing nega (affliction) is an indication of the pursuit of material items, whether new clothing or anything else. Mistama this one was reserved for women and a few metrosexuals.
- Bad character, corrupt ideology, and haughtiness are plagues of the mind, and show up as a nega on the head.
- Sins of the mouth like lashon horo and rechilus manifest themselves as tzora’as on the beard. This was seemingly the most popular form.
- The chase after wealth such as real estate, results in nega’im on one’s house.
In other words; everything is dealt with Mida-Kneged-Mida (an eye for an eye). Therefore, to get cured, once afflicted, the metzoira (carrier) was instructed to seek out his local Koihen (priest) who was considered to be an ‘ish-tzadik-v’Tohoir (a righteous and holy person). This holy person would take a deep look at the nega and understand its source. He would then prescribe the correct cure for the sinner and help him cleanse his insides as a result of the treatment to the outside.
And says Rashi and also the Ramban azoy: the first form of tzora’as does not begin on the person. The RBSO, in his magnificence and mercy, sends out warning shots. At first, they hit inanimate objects — one’s possessions. The discoloration first appears on the walls of a home, forcing the affected stones to be removed and destroyed. If the initial wake-up-call fails, the badmouthing and gossiping go on unabated, the clothing is next to be affected. If that fails, eventually the flesh is transformed and white lesions appear, forcing the afflicted to leave the machana (Jewish camp) until the plague subsides and the Koihen declares him acceptable to return.
It would appear then that tzora’as is a merciful early warning system employed by the RBSO. The message might be that the path the slanderer is on, is dangerous and leading in a wrong spiritually direction. Physical danger can only follow in its wake. It is a way of providing a little extra wake-up time before the true consequences of the person’s spiritual decline become inevitable and visible.
And here then the pshat of the week, shabbis tish worthy; pay attention. Tzora’as, on a personal level, has a few forms and intensities. So do ‘tzoros’ – ‘troubles,’ and though they are spelled a little differently, they function in pretty much the same way as an early warning system to help us realize that we are on the wrong path and must quickly reverse the trend in a better and healthier direction Either we do it, or the RBSO does it Himself. Yikes.
On the other hand, says Rashi, that the first stage of tzora’as — the home — is actually a blessing in disguise. Tzora’as on a home can indeed bring fortune to the affected. Does one get rewarded for loshoin horo? Maybe they do! And efsher you recall that when the Yiddin were approaching the promised land, the inhabitants, (the Canani, Chiti, Yivuci and a few others), figuring they would one day return and re-conquer, hid all their gold and silver inside the walls of their homes. When one dislodged the afflicted stones of his home he would find the hidden treasures that were left by the fleeing goyim. And efsher you’re wondering how is this at all possible? Is loshoin horo good at times? What spiritual import is gained from the materialistic discovery? Ver veyst! Ober let’s remember that these are all medroshim; they don’t necessarily have to be true, they do however have to sound plausible and shabbis tish worthy.
And the bottom line: Nowadays we don’t see anyone walking around with Tzora’as even though loshoin horois likely at an all-time high and has not gone out of fashion. Said the Chofetz Chaim (ShaarHaZechira 6) azoy: in our times, since there is no Koihen or Beis HaMikdash, if a person gets tzora’as, he remains Tamei his whole life. And if one dies before repenting, his soul will be rejected and locked out of Gan Eden due to his arrival in an impure state.
This week, we will also discuss discharges. Not from the hospital, a nursing home, the military or even from prison. We will? Ober halt zicheyn (keep your pants on): grada, that’s usually a good way to prevent discharges, if you chap, though not always. Discharged from where, you must be klerring? Nu, the heylige Toirah does not disappoint, and if the RBSO decided to include discharges in His heylige Toirah, avada we must learn the sugya (subject). Efsher you’re longing for and miss terribly the exciting stories we read back in Sefer Bereishis about individuals, their challenges, successes and foibles. Ober not to worry, Parshas Metzoira, read alone this year without its sister parsha of Tazria, is not at all boring.
What’s a metzoira you ask? Nu, because you were so busy looking for the seven chambers that your eishes chayil or significant other is supposed to have somewhere in her holy grail, mistama you forget that in plain English, a metzoira is a person who has Tzora’as. The first four aliyos of the parsha are taka dedicated to his healing, purification and return to the camp. Ober this year we will focus on other characters not specifically mentioned by name but mamish central to the parsha. They are found at chamishi (5th aliya), closer to the end of the parsha, the part you never get to because you long lost concentration while engrossed in loshoin horo talk with your chaver. Don’t you remember that Miriam, Moishe’s sister got Tzora’as for speaking loshoin horo? Not to worry: she recovered! In any event, a series of commandments which surround these mystery people, made for a whole lot of interesting Gemora and medrish discussion. We’’ll learn some of them below. Because they are a shtikel graphic, the Oisvorfer will, instead of giving his own spin, quote them verbatim (almost). Of course you will find a shtikel commentary along the way. There are many, way too many for this short (joke) review ober we’ll try to cover a few interesting highlights.
Let’s meet the fab five. Each of them is Tomay (impure) for a different reason. The Metzoira was introduced last week, the others are found beginning this week. Say hello to the ‘Yoiledes’ (a women who gave birth to either a boy or girl), the ‘Zav’, the ‘Zava’ (male and female leakers), and the ‘Nida’ (she in her menstrual cycle and beyond). Oh and let’s not forget the emitter. And what do they all have in common? They all, says the heylige Gemora, belong to a subset of tum’a known as “tumois-hayotzois-migufo” (the source of tum’a is the body of the tamei). In plain English: something coming out of them renders them impure. Seemingly, things going in for some of the group are ok, if you chap. Shoin! The bottom line: they are impure. Not by coming into contact with something else, or something they contracted from the outside, but as a result of a body condition where something came out of them. And what is that something? Chap nisht, you’re about to be enlightened. Veyter.
The action, as we said, picks up as the heylige Toirah turns its attention to other people who are impure. They include – the zav (literally the flow), a man with an unusual penile emission; a man who had a regular seminal emission; the niddah, the woman who has menstruated; and the zava, the woman who has had an irregular flow of blood. The Toirah says all that? Not exactly but of course the heylige Mishnah, the Gemora and myriad medroshim fill in the blanks. Nu, do you see why it’s important to learn the heylige Gemora daily and why hundreds of thousands do so all over world?
Says the heylige Toirah (Vayikro 15:2) azoy: Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: Any man, should there be a discharge from his body, [because of his discharge] he is impure. A later posik will discuss female discharges. In other words: a he or she, who has a flow from their bodies, is a Zav or Zava. A flow? What the hec is a flow? Nu, for now, a flow is a discharge. And shreklich as it sounds, the heylige Toirah discuses those very discharges you are most familiar with, chazerim that you are. We’re talking semen, indeed we are. Or are we? And if not exactly semen, it epes looks like semen, ver veyst. And we’re talking blood, Welcome to the laws of the Zav and Zava, the male and female offenders. Who are they? They are the discharges and because they are discharged, they are tomay. Is that so giferlich? Weren’t most of you discharging zav in high school and ever since, if you chap? Wasn’t the rebbe zaving all over himself when he approached you with his shtekin? Let’s go veyter.
And who were the experts that chapped what the heylige Toirah meant? The heylige Gemora of course and lommer lernrin (Niddah Daf 35): A zav is a man who has an emission similar to, but not identical to, a seminal discharge. He is tomei and he transmits tumah only through contact. What to do? He immerses in a mikvah on the same day and he is tahor (pure) by nightfall. (Of course this assumes that the mikveh itself is not full of zav from the last pervert who dipped in, if you chap. This also assumes he emitted only once. Shoin! But…..if he experiences two emissions, he is upgraded and now classified as an ‘av hatumah’. His ability to transmit tuma through contact and by being carried, are upgraded as well. He must observe seven clean days and then immerse in spring water. Interestingly enough, a woman does not require spring water; any mikveh water will do. That for another day. And as expected, there is also the case of the zav that discharges three times. We’ll call him lucky! In any event, the three-time offender will need to bring a korban (sacrifice) as part of his purification process. Of course there are loopholes in counting and says the Gemora that if one of the three emissions was caused by stimulus, whatever that means, that one discharge does not count towards the three that would require a korban. In other words: stimulated discharges do not count towards the Zav count.
Ober what is a discharge that epes looks like semen but may efsher not be real semen? Said Rav Huna azoy: The discharge of a zav resembles the dough water of barley. The discharge of the zav issues from dead flesh- meaning a limp organ, while the real thing, semen, issues from live flesh – meaning an erect organ. Shoin, no further commentary required; all you chazerim know exactly what Rav Huna meant. Ober he continues: The discharge of a zav is watery and resembles the white of a spoiled egg, while semen is viscous and resembles the white of a sound egg. You hear this Raboyseyee?
Said Rashi who is quoted verbatim, azoy: “I might have thought, a discharge from any place [in the body] would make him impure, Therefore the verse says “from his body” – and not all his body. Now after the verse distinguished between flesh and flesh (i.e. flows from different parts of the body), I might reason, that once [the Toirah] declared a man with a discharge unclean and a woman with a discharge unclean, (I would reason) that just like a woman with a discharge from the place [in her body] that she becomes unclean with a lesser impurity – the menstruating woman – so from that same place does she become impure with a stricter impurity – a discharge – likewise with a man, from the place (his sexual organ) from which he becomes impure with a lesser impurity – a seminal emission – from that same place he becomes impure from a greater impurity – a zav.”
And what does all that mean? Ver veyst. And why is Rashi discussing discharges from organs? Ver veyst? Seemingly, like in the army, not all discharges are the same; certain discharges are sanctioned and givaldig and certain, mistama the ones you knew best in high school, make a person impure. Wait, Rashi is not quite done, though you may be, if you chap. By logical analysis, Rashi concludes that the discharges mentioned above, refer to bodily fluids coming from the male or female organ of the person and not from any other discharge in the body. What’s pshat? Seemingly, puss from a wound or blood from the mouth does not render one impure.
Zicher not all discharges are the same. Discharge (zava) from a woman is blood ( verse 19), the same as the blood she discharges when she is menstruating (the lesser impurity). The difference is that menstruation comes at a more or less fixed time in the woman’s monthly cycle, while the Zava discharge comes any other time. But both are blood. For men there is a difference. His Zav discharge is not blood; it is a semen-like substance. But it is seemingly different from the healthy semen that is active in conception. Ok, a few more items of interest about the Zav.
A man who emits a discharge that may be Zav is “checked ” to determine whether or not he becomes a Zav. If the discharge came about b’Oines (accidentally but due to an external cause), he is Tahoir (pure). How does one discharge Zav accidentally? Says the heylige Gemora that such accidental emission can come about from seven external causes. 1. eating too much; 2. drinking too much; 3.carrying a heavy load; 4. jumping; 5. being sick; 6. (a) seeing a frightening sight (Rashi to Nazir 65b); (b) seeing a woman, even without having unclean thoughts (ROSH to Nazir ibid.); 7. having unclean thoughts. Nu, need more be said? Bottom line: mistama none of you qualify, nebech.
And what’s so giferlich (terrible) about an accidental discharge? And when was the last time you had an accidental discharge, you chazzir? And when was the last time you called someone in to check your discharge so that it could be determined if the emission was of a seminal nature or just plain simple and unadulterated Zav? And whose job is it to inspect the discharge? And where does one train for a job like this? Ver veyst?
In any event, in order to start his purification process, a Zav, checking once in the morning and once towards evening (efsher by his high school Rebbe, must count seven clean days in which he experiences no discharge of Zav. On the seventh day or afterwards, he must immerse in spring water during the day. At nightfall he becomes Tahor, unless he suffered (or enjoyed) from yet another emission, if you chap.
Even if the first time was b’Oines, as long as the second emission was not, he is Tomay. If he emitted Zav three times, whether it is emitted in one day or in two or three consecutive days, he has to bring a Korban after he becomes Tahor (on the eighth day) in order to enter the Beis ha’Mikdash and to eat Kodshim (holy food). The Korban is two Torim (turtledoves) or two B’nei Yonah (common doves), one offered as an Olah and one as a Chatas. But in case the chazir (pig) had three emissions, he is only obligated in a Korban if the first two emissions were not b’Oines.
The bottom line is this: discharges of blood during the cycle and discharges of regular semen, especially if stimulated, are considered lesser impurities than the discharge of blood from a woman not during her cycle and the discharge of a semen-looking-like-substance at any time! They are? And if emes, which it appears to be, this is more than givaldige news for most oisvorfs who take advantage. It appears and is seemingly not disputed, that regular seminal emissions, be they in the form of regular semen from a man or regular blood from a woman, are considered lesser impurities than are the emissions known as zav.
Does that make sense? Says the Ramban azoy: the difference between the lesser impurity (menstruation for a woman, and seminal emission for a man), and the more severe impurity (zava for a woman and zav for a man) is that the latter must bring a korban (an offering) in the Temple when their days of purification have ended. For the lesser impurities there is no need to bring an offering. Noch a mol (one more time). Whereas a Zav that has several emissions, three to be specific, needs to bring a korban, the average chazir that has three healthy emissions from an erect member, is exempt from having to bring a korban. Seemingly he has sacrificed enough, if you chap.
Though this may sound counterintuitive, says the Ramban azoy: The lesser impurities are natural biological processes. That is how the RBSO created humans. For these natural events, no offering is necessary. But the occurrence of a discharge (zav or zava) is not a natural event. They are signs of an illness. Illnesses strike a person, not accidentally, but by divine design. Therefore the individual is in need of forgiveness and repentance. Thus, a repeat offender, one with multiple unprovoked discharges, needs forgiveness in the form of a korban.
Oh and since we met the Zav, let’s also say hello to the Baal keri. Who is that? It’s you! Someone who emits semen once is a Baal Keri. Maybe it’s taka not you! In other words: a Ba’al Keri is a man who ejaculated and was required to immerse in a mikveh before learning Toirah and davening. A zav is someone who has two or more emissions. And the difference? The former is tomei until he immerses in a mikvah, and after that, needs only to wait for nightfall to be permitted to eat kodshim, assuming that’s what he wants to eat. The latter cannot purify himself in a mikvah until he has seven days with no emissions. And, if he had three emissions, he was of course a superstar but did subsequently needs to bring a korban before he could eat kodshim again (holy food).Another difference: A Baal keri gets that status whether intentional or accidental, while a zav is only when it was accidental.
Given these very interesting laws the govern the Zav and Zava, efsher you’re wondering why daily mikveh dipping isn’t mandatory? Whatever happened to this halocha? Is the mikveh a dangerous place? It was when the Oisvorfer was growing up!
As stated above, no one chapped this topic more than the heylige Gemora; let’s then learn one more givaldige piece that will put your mind to rest. And because this topic is mamish so explosive, if you chap, the Oisvorfer has decided to quote (in English of course) this next portion. The sidebar comments are of course his.
Says the heylige Gemora (Yuma 88a) azoy: One who experiences a seminal emission [inadvertently –adds Rashi] on the day of Yom Kippur, all his sins will be forgiven.” Is that all it takes? Is that why they instituted the davening break? Ver Veyst? Another Gemora states: “All his sins are arranged before him?” What does this expression “arranged before him mean?” [It doesn’t mean in order that he will be punished] but rather so that he will be forgiven. Ober before we answer, let’s see one more shtikel Gemora.
In the School of Reb Yishmael it was taught, one who experiences a seminal emission on the day of Yom Kippur should worry the entire year [that he will be punished]. However if he survives the year, he is assured that he is deserving of the World to Come.
Rebbe Nachman bar Yitzchok (Yuma 88a) explained [why having a Yom Kippur emission could be a sign of blessing]. The entire world is being deprived and yet he experiences satiation. When Reb Dimi came he said, he will have a long life, thrive and have many children if he has a seminal emission – inadvertently. All his sins are forgiven – it is a favorable sign that indicates he will have many children and long life. He should worry the entire year – that the emission is a sign that his fast is not accepted since he is experiencing satiation.
This is like a servant who pours a cup for his master who throws it in his face. However if he survives the year and doesn’t die – then he possesses good deeds that are protecting him and thus he is deserving of the World to Come. Because you should know that the entire world is deprived of sexual relations while he is sexually satisfied and is not sexual deprived though not through his intent. Nevertheless if he survives the year that shows that he is completely righteous (tzadik gamur). His life is magnified – the one who has the emission on Yom Kippur is deserving of long life. He will multiply and become many – he will have children and grandchildren. As is alluded to in the Novee (Yeshaya 53:10): “you will see seed (seminal emission or children) and long life.”
Says the Mishna Berura(651.3) azoy: If he has a seminal emission he should worry the whole year [for punishment]. Because perhaps his fasting was not accepted because G‑d is showing him that He doesn’t desire his sexual abstention.
And said the Mogen Avraham (6:15:3): If he survives the whole year he is assured that he will get the World to Come. His survival for a year after a seminal emission on Yom Kippur indicates that he apparently is a tzadik and therefore did not need to afflict himself on Yom Kippur.
And the real bottom line is more good news: except for the laws of the Nidda, none of the laws are relevant today. Seemingly without the Beis Hamikdash and without the ability to bring a korban, seemingly we all remain Tomei and can seemingly enjoy or get away with multiple emissions; accidental or not.
And we close with this: Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
A gittin Shabbis
The Heylige Oisvorfer Ruv