Friday, December 06, 2019

The Talmud on miscarriages

THIS WEEK'S DAF YOMI COLUMN BY ADAM KIRSCH IN TABLET: Birth Control. In this week’s ‘Daf Yomi,’ Talmudic rabbis debate if a miscarriage causes religious impurity and discuss what to do when a woman discharges a fetus that resembles a fish.
When is a fetus not a fetus? That is the question the rabbis pursue, in graphic detail, in Chapter 3 of Tractate Nidda. As we have seen, a woman who has “an issue of her flesh in blood”—that is, a menstrual period—becomes ritually impure for seven days, during which time she can’t have sex with her husband. A woman also becomes ritually impure when she gives birth, for seven days if the child is a boy and 14 days if it’s a girl.

For more on the tumtum, the person with ambiguous physical gender characteristics, see here and here. Transgender issues are not just a modern concern.

Earlier Daf Yomi columns are noted here and links.

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