Monday, July 02, 2007

POWERS OF THE TZITZ - Yevamos 60 - Daf Yomi

Rav Chana bar Bizna said in the name of Rabbi Shimon the Pious: The Midianite women were passed before the tzitz (the golden plate worn on the forehead of the Kohen Gadol). Any woman whose face turned sickly was determined to be fit for cohabitation; any woman whose face did not turn sickly was determined to be too young for cohabitation.

Rav Nachman said: A symptom of sin is hydrokan (a bloating of the stomach).

Rashi states that this was a miracle.

Later on, the Gemora asks regarding the women of Yaveish-Gilad: Why didn’t they pass the women (to determine if they cohabited with a man or not) before the tzitz?

The Acharonim discuss several questions:

1) How would they be permitted to rely on a miracle?

2) How did they know that the tzitz could ascertain if the women cohabited or not; perhaps it can only determine if the women were fit for cohabitation?

3) Why would the Midianite women turn sickly if they were only fit for cohabitation; they didn’t sin yet?


Anonymous said...

Regarding point 1)

Once a miraculous device and method for understanding something hidden is revealed, is it "relying upon a miracle" to use it?

Avromi said...

The Reshash adds a point to this question: They could have relied on the barrel of wine test; why use a miracle?