Thursday, September 06, 2007

Tosfos s.v. Dam (Blood)

The Gemora discusses the prohibition of cohabiting for the first time on Shabbos. The Gemora states: If the blood is the result of a wound (caused by the tearing of the vaginal walls when they separate from each other), it would therefore be prohibited.

Why is one liable on Shabbos for causing a wound?

Rashi in Shabbos (107a) states that bruising an animal falls under the category of dyeing, as the skin of the animal is discolored.

Tosfos here asks: There is a Gemora in Chullin which states that one is liable by other rodents when the blood comes out. He cannot be liable for dyeing, for they do not have any hides. Furthermore, in our Gemora there is no dyeing occurring.

Tosfos quotes Shmuel, who states in Gemora Shabbos (75a) that one who slaughters an animal on Shabbos is liable for taking the live of a live creature. Accordingly, one who causes a wound on Shabbos will be liable because he is weakening a life and that is tantamount to taking away life. Tosfos rejects this explanation since in our Gemora, there is no necessity for the weakening of the woman, and one would not be liable for wounding in such a manner. It would be possible to say that our Gemora is discussing a mere Rabbinical prohibition, but there are other Gemoros where it is evident that one would be subject to a Biblical prohibition.

Tosfos concludes that the removal of blood is regarded as the taking of life because the blood is the life of a creature, and when one removes a little blood, it is as if he removed a little life.