The verse of Vayikra 15:19 teaches that whoever touches a woman that has her zovah (being blood) becomes impure:

If a woman has a discharge, her flesh discharging blood, she shall remain in her state of menstrual separation for seven days, and whoever touches her shall become unclean until evening.

Does this mean that a toddler or children also became tamei? And if so what did it mean (what did they have to do?) for those children until the evening came?

P.s. how do we deal with this command these days?

  • 1
    This question seems to be premised on the assumption that we decide halacha based on however we would read the relevant verses at first glance. This is incorrect.
    – msh210
    Nov 22, 2015 at 22:21

1 Answer 1


Yes, indeed, even an infant becomes impure.

The mishna in Taharos 3:8 says

תינוק הנמצא בצד העיסה ובצק בידו רבי מאיר מטהר וחכמים מטמאין שדרכו של תינוק לטפח

A child/infant found next to dough, and there is dough in the hand of the child/infant, R' Meir declares it pure and the Sages declare it impure, as it is the normal practice of a child to pat things.

Rabbeinu Tam (in Kiddushin 80a) cites the Tosefta that the reason the child is assumed to be impure, and therefore impurifies the dough if it touched it, is because Niddah women handle the children:

מפני מה אמרו שהתינוק טמא משום דנשים נדות מגפפות ומנשקות אותו

For what reason did [the Sages] say an infant is impure? Because Niddah women handle and kiss them.

The implication of the Tosefta is that they did not bother to remove them from their state of impurity. There was nothing forbidden about leaving them impure, one would just have to keep them away from things that were being maintained as ritually pure, such as terumah.

In terms of how we deal with it today, we don't! Since today we are all assumed to be impure with a much more serious impurity of corpse-impurity, from which we lack the current means to become pure, we are largely unconcerned with matters of ritual impurity, and do not address the Niddah impurity except for the sake of permitting a woman to her husband. There are few contemporary ramifications of impurity, such as for Kohanim to avoid corpse-impurity and to not cause terumah to become impure, but it is largely inapplicable for us in our current state.

  • Your last two sentences are misleading as there are other applications... I would +1 if you'd improve them.
    – Double AA
    Nov 22, 2015 at 19:49
  • @DoubleAA I made the statements less absolute and added in teruma - please let me know if there is any other way that I could improve this post. Nov 22, 2015 at 19:55
  • Thank you. Most of the examples are probably too technical for the OP to appreciate, but limiting it to just Kohein-Meit is a common misconception. My relevant post judaism.stackexchange.com/a/25720/759 (Chalat Chu'l and going up on the edge of Har Habayit (for soldiers, if you don't want to talk about tourists) are both actually Lemaaseh, even if not so common, as is your concern of causing impurity to Terumah (I mention Maaser-Sheni, in the post, but same idea).)
    – Double AA
    Nov 22, 2015 at 20:02

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