POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Sotah 13
SOTAH 13 - dedicated by Larry and Marsha Wachsman l'Iluy Nishmas their aunt,
the late Mrs. Rachel Potack, Z"L -- a true "Eshes Chayil" and "Ba'alas
Midos" -- who passed away b'Seivah Tovah in Yerushalayim on 2 Kislev 5761.
1) MIRYAM'S PROPHECY
(a) She said, my mother will have a son that will save
2) THE BURIAL OF YAKOV
(b) When Moshe was born, the house filled with light; her
father kissed her on the head - 'Your prophecy has been
1. When they put Moshe in the river, he hit her on the
head - 'Where is your prophecy?!'
2. "His sister stood afar, to know what will happen to
him" - to know, what will be the end of her
(a) (Mishnah): Yosef merited ...
3) THE BURIAL OF YOSEF
(b) Question: When they went to bury Yakov, it says "... went
up with (Yosef) all Par'oh's servants ...and the whole
house of Yosef and his brothers and his father's house;
1. On the return, the order is "Yosef ... his brothers
... all that went up with him"!
(c) Answer (R. Yochanan): On the way up, Par'oh's servants
had not yet seen the honor of Yisrael, so they did not
honor Yosef's brothers; on the way back, after they saw
the honor of Yisrael, they honored them.
1. Question: "They came to the threshing floor of
thorns" - does one really pile up thorns?!
(d) (Beraisa): They came to make war; when they saw Yosef's
crown on Yakov's coffin, they put their crowns on it,
2. Answer (R. Avahu): This teaches, they surrounded
Yakov's coffin with crowns, as a threshing floor is
surrounded by a fence of thorns.
i. The children of Esav, Yishmael, and Keturah all
1. (Beraisa): 36 crowns were hung on his coffin.
(e) (Beraisa): "They had a great, honorable eulogy there" -
even horses and donkeys.
(f) When they got to the Ma'aras ha'Machpeilah (his burial
cave) Esav stopped the burial.
1. Esav: Kiryat Arba is Chevron.
(g) Question: If Yosef didn't bury Yakov, his brothers would
i. (R. Yitzchak): Kiryat Arba (city of the four) -
4 couples were buried there - Adam and Chavah,
Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah, Yakov
2. Esav: Yakov buried Leah in his share of the cave -
the rest belongs to me!
3. Yakov's children: You sold your portion!
4. Esav: I sold my extra portion as the first born - I
did not sell my standard portion.
5. Yakov's children: You did sell it! "In the grave
that Karisi (I dug)".
i. (R. Yochanan): Karisi is a language of
acquisition - "on overseas islands, selling is
6. Esav demanded to see the document. It was in Egypt,
Naftali was sent to get it, for he is swift as a
deer - "Naftali is a sent deer, which gives words
of Shefer (beauty)".
i. This may be read, 'words of SoFER (the scribe,
i.e. the document)'.
7. Chushim, Dan's son, was hard of hearing. He asked
why the burial is being delayed; he was unwilling to
leave Yakov unburied until Naftali returned. He hit
Esav on the head with a stick (killing him); Esav's
eyes fell to Yakov's lap.
8. Yakov opened his eyes and smiled - "A Tzadik
rejoices when he sees vengeance, he will wash his
feet in the blood of the evil one".
i. This fulfilled Rivkah's prophecy - "Why should
I lose both of you in 1 day?" - Even though
they died on different days, they were buried
the same day.
1. "His children carried (Yakov) to the land of
(h) Answer: They preferred to let Yosef bury him - it was
more honor to Yakov to be buried by a king.
(a) (Mishnah): Who is greater than Yosef ...
(b) (Beraisa): See how dear Mitzvos are to Moshe - all of
Yisrael were engaged in despoiling Egypt, but Moshe
engaged in Mitzvos - "A wise heart will take Mitzvos".
(c) Question: How did Moshe know where Yosef was buried?
(d) Answer #1: They told him that Asher's daughter Serach was
still alive; he asked her.
1. Serach: The Egyptians buried him in a metal coffin;
he was buried in the Nile, so its waters would be
(e) Answer #2 (R. Nasan): He was buried where the Egyptian
kings are buried.
2. Moshe stood on the bank. 'Yosef - the time has come
to fulfill Hash-m's oath to redeem Yisrael; also,
the time to fulfill your oath (that we return your
bones to Eretz Yisrael). If you do not reveal
yourself, we are clean of your oath.'
3. Immediately, his coffin floated to the surface.
i. Do not be surprised that iron floated - Hash-m
did a miracle through Elisha, to make iron
ii. Elisha was a Talmid of Eliyahu, who was a
Talmid of Moshe - all the more so, Hash-m would
do such a miracle through Moshe!
1. Moshe stood outside. 'Yosef - the time has come to
fulfill Hash-m's oath to redeem Yisrael; also, the
time to fulfill your oath (that we return your bones
to Eretz Yisrael). If you do not reveal yourself, we
are clean of your oath.'
(f) All 40 years in the wilderness, 2 Aronos (chests)
traveled together - Yosef's coffin and the Aron of the
Divine Presence (which holds the tablets).
2. Immediately, his coffin moved. Moshe took it.
1. Passers-by would ask about the 2 chests; they could
not fathom that the Aron of the Divine Presence
traveled with the Aron of a dead person.
4) THE BURIAL OF MOSHE
2. Yisrael: It is fitting that they travel together -
the deceased fulfilled all that is in the other
(g) Question #1: If Moshe didn't bury Yosef, Yisrael would
1. "The bones of Yosef which Benei Yisrael brought from
Egypt, they buried in Shechem."
(h) Question #2: If Moshe didn't bury Yosef, Yosef's children
would not have?
1. "They were an inheritance to the children of Yosef".
(i) Answer (to both questions): Yosef's children reasoned, we
will let Yisrael bury Yosef - it is more honorable that a
multitude engage in his burial;
1. Yisrael reasoned, we will let Moshe bury Yosef - it
is more honorable that the great engage in his
burial than the small.
(j) Question: "In Shechem" - why specifically there?
(k) Answer (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): He was kidnapped in
Shechem, so it was fitting to return him there.
(l) Contradiction: 1 verse says "Moshe took the bones of
Yosef with him"; another says, "The bones of Yosef which
Benei Yisrael brought from Egypt"!
(m) Answer (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): Anyone that starts a
Mitzvah and does not complete it, and another completes
it, the Mitzvah is attributed to the one that completed
1. (R. Elazar): The one that did not complete it (if
through negligence) is lowered from his greatness -
"At that time, Yehudah (who started saving Yosef,
but did not complete this) went down".
(n) Question (Rav Yehudah): Why was Yosef called bones ("You
will take my bones with you") in his lifetime?
2. (Rav Shmuel bar Nachmani): He even buries his wife
and children - "Bas Shu'a, Yehudah's wife, died";
"Er and Onan died".
(o) Answer (Rav Yehudah): Because he did not stand up for his
(p) Question (Rav Yehudah): Why did Yosef die before his
(q) Answer (Rav Yehudah): Because he conducted himself with
(r) (R. Elazar): "Yosef Hurad (was taken down) to Egypt" -
this may be read HoRiD (he lowered), for he lowered
Par'oh's astrologers from their greatness (when he
interpreted the dreams they could not interpret).
(s) (Rav): "Potifar, the eunuch of Par'oh, bought him" -
because he wanted to have homosexual relations with him.
1. Gavri'el came (and castrated) and exposed Potifar.
i. Originally, he is called Potifar; later, he is
called PotiFeRA (PaRA, exposed).
(a) (Mishnah): Who is greater than Moshe ...
(b) (R. Levi): "Hash-m said to me, Rav Lecha (it is much) for
you" - Moshe told others "It is much for you", therefore
Hash-m told him "It is much for you".
1. Another explanation: "Rav Lecha (You have a
teacher)" - Yehoshua.
(c) Question: Why was Hash-m so exacting with Moshe?
2. Another explanation: "Rav Lecha (you have prayed
enough)" - so people will not say, the Rebbi is
stubborn and the Talmid is patient.
(d) Answer: According to the camel's ability to bear, a load
is placed on it (i.e. according to Moshe's merit, Hash-m
was exacting with him).
(e) Question: "I am 120 years old today" - why must he say
(f) Answer: Today completes my 120th year - this teaches that
Hash-m fulfills a Tzadik's years from day to day and from
month to month - "The number of your days I will
(g) Question: "I cannot leave and come anymore" - what does
1. Suggestion: If as the simple meaning (I cannot walk)
- but it says, "His freshness did not wither";
"Moshe ascended from Arvos Mo'av to Har Nevo";
(h) Answer (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): I cannot debate in
i. (Beraisa): There were 12 steps, and Moshe
jumped them in one leap.
1. The verse teaches, the gates of wisdom were closed
(i) (Beraisa): "Moshe and Yehoshua stood in the Tent of
Meeting" - that was the Shabbos of the 2 - authority was
taken from 1 and given to the other.
(j) (R. Yehudah): If not for the verses, we would not be
allowed to say the following!
1. Moshe died in the portion of Reuven - "Moshe
ascended from Arvos Mo'av to Har Nevo"; "The
children of Reuven built ... Nevo";
(k) (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ha'Gadol): A voice from Heaven
proclaimed to the whole camp of Yisrael, "And Moshe died
- the great Sefer (Torah) of Yisrael".
2. Moshe was buried in Gad's portion - "(Gad) saw (that
Moshe would be buried in Ever ha'Yarden, therefore
he desired that portion)".
i. Question: The portions of Reuven and Gad are 4
Mil apart; who took him?
ii. Answer: Moshe was in the wings of the Divine
Presence; angels were saying "The righteousness
of Hash-m he did, and his judgments with
iii. Hash-m was saying "Who will stand for me
iv. (Shmuel): Hash-m was saying, "Who is as the
Chacham, that knows how to mediate (between me
v. (R. Yochanan): "Where will Chachmah be found?
vi. (Samalyon): "And Moshe died - the great Sefer
(Torah) of Yisrael".
1. Others say, Moshe did not die.
(l) (R. Brachyah): "He buried him in the valley, in the land
of Mo'av, opposite Beis Pe'or" - in spite of all these
signs, no one knows where he was buried.
i. It says here, "He died there"; by Har Sinai, it
says "He was there with Hash-m".
ii. Just as there, Moshe was standing and serving
Hash-m - also, here.