(9 Av 5757, Maseches Nidah)

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QUESTION: The Midrash comments on the verse "Al Zeh Hayah Daveh Libenu" (Eichah 5:17) the following: "Hashem caused tremendous anguish to a woman, she must count 11 days of Zivah after seven days of Nidah. What does this have to do with the destruction of the Beis ha'Mikdash, which is the subject of the above verse?

ANSWER: Rav EIZEL CHARIF (Emek Yehoshua, Drush #15) explains that there is a fundamental difference between a Nidah and a Zavah: A Nidah is Tamei for a fixed period of time. As soon as her seven days of Nidah are up she may be Toveles in a Mikvah, regardless of whether or not she bled during those seven days. On the other hand, a Zavah may only be Toveles if she experiences seven consecutive clean days. If she sees blood within these seven days she has to count another period of cleanliness, such that her becoming Tehorah is dependent on more factors than just time.

"Al Zeh Hayah Daveh Libenu" refers to the destruction of the first Beis ha'Mikdash. The Jewish people were heavy at heart having been sent into Galus. However, this period of Galus was similar to the days of Tum'ah of a Nidah (or "Davah," Vayikra 12:2). The Jews were promised that their Galus would last only for a fixed period of seventy years. This promise served to comfort them in their misery, knowing that with every passing day their Galus was nearing its end.

The destruction of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, however, was like the days of Tum'ah of a Zavah. There was no promise of a fixed date of redemption. We require a symbolic "seven clean days" from sin in order to merit being redeemed from this Galus. Hence the verse continues "Al Eleh Chashchu Eineinu" ("Due to these, our vision has become dimmed") with reference to the destruction of the second Beis ha'Mikdash, since this second Galus did not come with a reassuring promise that there is a deadline by which we will be redeemed; rather its end will come when we merit a redemption in our own right. (The time referred to as "b'Ita" is not a prescribed length of time for the Galus, but rather a time-limit built into Creation, after which the world cannot continue in its present state -MK)

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