If a Jewish Man has intimate relations with his wife, and then the seed escapes the woman's body she becomes known as a Paletes Shichvas Zerah. Now, if that occurs within 3 days she becomes Tamei. If the seed escaped after 3 days then she's Tahor and it's fine. However, if she has intimate relations with a Goy, then she never becomes Tamei no matter when the seed escapes from her body. Being that the reason why men would separate from their wives 3 days before Matan Torah, it makes zero sense to say they had to, because, they weren't Jewish anyways! So what's the pshat?

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    Now, you can say the whole shpeil where they were kinda like Jewish more then your avg goy. But cmon, gimme a better pshat pls.
    – Moshe
    Jun 7, 2019 at 1:08
  • Why get into a discussion of Zera? Gentiles aren't Tamei Deorayta at all for any reason
    – Double AA
    Jun 7, 2019 at 1:51
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    They were Jewish enough to be forbidden to go out and collect the Mann on the Shabbat (and chastised for not obeying) since Marah (for which "גוי ששבת חייב מיתה"), and Jewish enough to eat from the Qorban Pesach in Mitzrayim (of which "כל בן נכר לא יאכל בו ... תושב ושכיר לא יאכל בו"). Why wouldn't they be Jewish enough to require three days to purify (to include a Poletet Shikhvat Zera), especially when preparing to stand before God, in the greatest event in [Jewish] history?
    – Tamir Evan
    Jun 7, 2019 at 2:38
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    @TamirEvan they had already gotten the mitzva of shabbos, which is why they had to keep it (no collecting manna, etc.) but they hadn’t gotten the mitzva of taharah yet- in fact, many of them were probably tamei meis because of the fight with amalek and the lack of para adumah.
    – Lo ani
    Jun 7, 2019 at 6:23
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    I think the premise of this question is that am yisrael was nothing special but rather completely indistinct from any other group before matan Torah which I think is obviously false.
    – Daniel
    Jun 7, 2019 at 13:29

1 Answer 1


One could easily argue that they were fully Jewish not on the 7th of Sivan, but on the 4th. After all, we learn the halachos of conversion from Har Sinai (Yevamos 46b), and, according to R’ Yosi, they washed their clothes, toveled, and sprinkled on the 4th of Sivan, and so they had to have three days (Shabbos 86b-87a).

The Gemara ibid. 86a makes this point explicitly: the one who holds that she’s impure for three days holds like R’ Yosi, and the one who holds that she’s impure for just two days holds like the Chachamim that they separated on the 5th.

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    And this is why it’s good practice to check your sources before asking a question: best case scenario, you’ll find your answer right there. Worst case scenario, you’ll at least probably find some information to improve your question.
    – DonielF
    Jun 7, 2019 at 11:42

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