THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question about the Daf
1) THE CORRECT FRAME OF MIND FOR DAVENING
QUESTION: The Mishnah (30b) states that one should Daven only with "Koved
Rosh" (humility -Rashi). The first Beraisa in the Gemara (31a) states that
one should Daven only after having studied a "Halachah Pesukah" (a Halachah
that does not require deep thought, which may cause a person to be
distracted from concentrating properly on his prayers -Rashi). The second
Beraisa states that one should Daven only with "Simchah Shel Mitzvah," the
happiness that comes from performing a Mitzvah.
Are the 2 Beraisos and our Mishnah arguing? Are these three different
ANSWER: The VILNA GA'ON explains that the three opinions are not arguing.
Rather, they complement each other.
(a) *If* one was learning Torah when the time to Daven arrived, then he
should make sure to learn a Halachah Pesukah before he Davens, rather than
beginning to Daven with the complicated Halachos that he was just learning
on his mind. This is the intention of the first Beraisa.
(b) If one was not learning when the time to Daven arrived, then there is a
difference between Shemoneh Esreh and Keri'as Shema. Keri'as Shema should
be recited following "Simchah Shel Mitzvah" (because Shema is an expression
of the *love* of Hashem, and thus it should be said with *Simchah*).
(c) Shemoneh Esreh should be said with Koved Rosh (because in Shemoneh
Esreh we express of our *fear* of Hashem, and humility, not joy, is
appropriate.) Thus, the Mishnah refers to Shemoneh Esreh, and the second
Beraisa refers to Shema. (Rav Ashi, who "followed the ruling of the
Beraisa," was reciting Shema.)
2) I'LL SHOW YOU!
QUESTION: Chanah threatened to seclude herself with another man so that her
husband would accuse her of infidelity and require her to drink the Sotah
waters. Since she was innocent of wrongdoing, she would then merit to have
One is immediately struck by a number of obvious questions on this
FIRST QUESTION: Secluding oneself with a member of the opposite sex is
forbidden by the laws of Yichud. How could Chanah transgress the
prohibition against Yichud?
ANSWERS: Acharonim suggest a number of ways to answer the FIRST QUESTION:
SECOND QUESTION: When a woman is accused of infidelity and drinks the Sotah
waters, part of the process involves writing the name of Hashem on a slip
of paper and placing it into the water to be erased. Causing the name of
Hashem to be erased is a severe transgression; the only time that it is
permitted is for the Sotah waters. How could Chanah threaten to cause the
name of Hashem to be erased?
(a) The CHASAM SOFER (EH 1:102) answers the first question by citing the
opinion of the Rambam, that although it is permitted, under the laws of
Yichud, for one woman to be secluded with two men, nevertheless she can
become a Sotah for doing so. Chanah would seclude herself with two men,
which would not be a transgression of Yichud but would still be grounds for
her husband to accuse her of infidelity and require her to drink the Sotah
The SHEMEN ROKE'ACH answers the SECOND QUESTION. He explains that according
to the Gemara (Nedarim 66b), the reason the name of Hashem may be erased
for the Sotah waters is because the Sotah waters restore Shalom to the
family (when the husband sees that his wife is innocent and is truly loyal
to him, their Shalom is restored). Here, too, Chanah's intention was for
the sake of Shalom between man and his wife. A man is permitted to divorce
his wife if they cannot have children after ten years of marriage. Chanah
wanted to have a child and not be divorced, and by drinking the Sotah
waters (and causing the name of Hashem to be erased) she would be blessed
with a child and restore Shalom to her relationship with her husband.
(b) The TERUMAS HA'DESHEN (#244) says that if the door to the area where
the woman and the man are secluded is open, then there is no prohibition of
Yichud. However, in such a situation the husband still has the right to
accuse his wife of infidelity and require her to drink the Sotah waters.
Thus, Chanah would not transgress the prohibition of Yichud, because the
door could be kept open.
The MAGID TA'ALUMAH adds that when the verse says that Chanah "prayed 'on'
Hashem" ("va'Tispalel Al Hashem"), it means that she prayed *for the sake
of the name of Hashem*, that it should not be erased (that is, that Hashem
should listen to her request and grant her a child without her having to
drink the Sotah waters).