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Section: Questions   Category: Halacha
Halacha - The Wife of a Kohen
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Peretz Moncharsh
Question: The Magen Avram (also quoted by the Mishna Brurah) at the end of Hilchos Shabbos cites a Rokeach in siman 328 who says that a wife of a Kohen can be Mitamei Meis due to a Sfek Sfeika. (ie: nekaiva/shema neifel). Today with our modern day equipment, we can tell the status of the child. Would you say that there's still a sfek sfaika? What do you think one should do?
Answer:

The Magen Avraham you quote actually disagrees with the Rokeach, because tumah does not affect an absorbed object like a fetus (tahara b'lua). The Radvaz and Nesiv Chaim answer that the Rokeach was referring specifically to a woman at the end of her 9th month of pregnancy, where there was a risk that she would go into labor and deliver in the beis hakvaros. In that case the Rokeach relied on a sfek sfeika, and you are correct that presumably this would not apply with today's technology. Certainly a woman who had an ultrasound that indicated a boy would no longer be considered a safek, but even one who didn't would be considered a situation where the safek can easily be resolved, which does not count towards a sfek sfeika. Furthermore, the Pri Megadim questions the whole premise of the Rokeach's sfek sfeika, because the chance of a stillborn is less than 50% and does not count as a safek. If you want more sources, the Pischei Teshuva in Yoreh Deah 371:1 brings many seforim who discuss this issue.

posted:2008-06-16 14:36:23


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