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Previous daf Sotah 32
SOTAH 31-35 - These Dafim have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham-Fauer
in honor of the first Yahrzeit (18 Teves 5761) of her father, Reb Mordechai
ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner). May the merit of supporting and advancing the
study of the Talmud be l'Iluy Nishmaso.
1) [line 2] V'TARTZAH LED'REBBI NECHEMYAH HACHI - and read [the statement
of] Rebbi Nechemyah as follows:
*****PEREK #7 ELU NE'EMARIN*****
2) [line 12] VIDUY MA'ASER
(a) The Torah requires that at two times during the seven-year Shemitah
cycle the owner of a field must recite Viduy Ma'aser, as is learned from
(b) In the afternoon of Erev Pesach in the fourth and seventh years, the
owner first performs Bi'ur, giving all remaining Terumah and Terumas Ma'aser
to Kohanim, Ma'aser Rishon to Leviyim, and Ma'aser Ani to the poor. All
remaining Ma'aser Sheni, Pidyonos of Ma'aser Sheni (coins on which Ma'aser
Sheni was redeemed), and Bikurim must be destroyed wherever they are.
(c) He then says Viduy Ma'aser, declaring that he has set aside all of the
required tithes and gifts, and that he kept all the Mitzvos with regard to
them. The declaration is found in Devarim 26:13-15, and may be recited *in
any language* that the owner understands. According to the MISHNAH (Ma'aser
Sheni 5:6), RASHI (Sanhedrin 11b) and TOSFOS (Rosh Hashanah 4a DH
u'Ma'asros), this declaration is stated in the afternoon of Erev Pesach.
According to the RAMBAM, (Hilchos Ma'aser Sheni 11:1-3), it is stated in the
afternoon of the last day of Pesach.
(d) The words of Viduy Ma'aser "Bi'arti *ha'Kodesh* Min ha'Bayis, (or
*v'Gam* Nesativ la'Levi - Rashi Devarim 26:13 based on the Yerushalmi
Ma'aser Sheni 5:5) refer to Bikurim. (According to Rebbi Shimon, Viduy
Bikurim refers to the verses that are recited when the owner holds the
basket of fruits on his shoulder -- see below entry #6.)
3) [line 12] KERI'AS SHEMA
(a) There is a Mitzvah for every Jewish male to read Keri'as Shema every
evening and morning. The three chapters or Perakim of Keri'as Shema are
Shema (Devarim 6:4-9), v'Hayah Im Shamo'ah (Devarim 11:13-21) and va'Yomer
(Bamidbar 15:37-41). The phrase "Baruch Shem Kevod Malchuso li'Olam va'Ed"
is recited in an undertone between Shema and v'Hayah Im Shamo'a. There is a
difference of opinion as to whether the obligation is from the Torah or
(b) The reason for the Mitzvah is in order for a person to accept upon
himself HaSh-m's kingship and to remember His Oneness, to help him refrain
from sinning and being led astray by his animal instincts. (SEFER HA'CHINUCH
4) [line 13] SHEVU'AS HA'EDUS
(a) One of the litigants in a court case has the right to force a person to
take an oath when he feels that the person is concealing testimony about the
case. The oath that the alleged witness takes to claim that he is not
harboring any testimony is called a Shevu'as ha'Edus (Vayikra 5:1).
(b) For example, a person asks two witnesses to testify on his behalf, in
order to oblige the opposing litigant to pay him. The witnesses deny all
knowledge of the case and even swear in court to that effect. If they admit
afterwards that they did know testimony, they must bring a Korban Oleh
v'Yored. If they are wealthy they each bring a female sheep or female goat.
If they cannot afford the animal, they may each bring two turtledoves or two
common doves, one as a Chatas and one as an Olah. If they cannot even afford
birds, they may each bring an offering of 1/10 of an Eifah of flour as a
Minchas Chatas (ibid. 5:5-13).
5) [line 13] SHEVU'AS HA'PIKADON
If one of the litigants in a court case claims that his opponent owes him
money or is unjustly holding onto an item that belongs to him, the claimant
has the right to force the accused to take an oath that he holds no such
money. The oath that the accused takes to assert that he is not harboring
any money or item is called a Shevu'as ha'Pikadon. If the accused later
admits to his sin, he must return what he stole, pay a fine of Chomesh, and
bring a Korban Asham to receive atonement (Vayikra 5:20-26).
6) [line 14] MIKRA BIKURIM
(a) The Mitzvah of Bikurim consists of bringing the first fruits to emerge
in one's field every year to the Beis ha'Mikdash. While the basket was on
his shoulder, the owner recites the *Mikra Bikurim*, specific verses from
Devarim (26:3, 5 - 10) thanking HaSh-m for taking us out of Egypt and giving
us the land of Yisrael. He then places the basket of fruit at the base of
the southwestern corner of the Mizbe'ach (RAMBAM Hilchos Bikurim 3:12) and
bows down before HaSh-m. Afterwards, he gives the Bikurim to a Kohen
(Mishnah Bikurim 3:8, RAMBAM ibid. 3:1).
(b) The Mitzvah of Bikurim applies only to the seven species with which the
land of Eretz Yisrael was blessed (Devarim 8:8) -- wheat, barley, grapes,
figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (Bikurim 1:3, RAMBAM ibid. 2:2).
(Although many other types of produce now grow in Eretz Yisrael, these are
the *only* species of produce truly indigenous to Yisrael. Other,
"immigrant," species can be destroyed by drought or harsh weather, but these
7 species will always be part of the land -- heard once from a leading
(c) In certain instances, the owner only brings the fruit, without reciting
the declaration (Mevi v'Eino Korei). For example, if he brings them between
Sukos and Chanukah, he does not recite the verses (see Gemara Pesachim 36b
and Rashi there).
(d) Kohanim eat the Bikurim within the walls of Yerushalayim. If a person
eats them outside of Yerushalayim after the Bikurim have entered
Yerushalayim (according to the Rambam, or after the Bikurim have entered the
Azarah according to Rashi in Makos 18b), he receives Malkos. They must be
brought back into Yerushalayim and eaten there.
7) [line 15] CHALITZAH (YIBUM)
(a) If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (the
marriage of a dead man's brother with his wife), as it states in Devarim
25:5-10. Chazal learn from the verses that there is a preference for the
oldest brother to perform Yibum.
(b) If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a
procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He
appears before a Beis Din of three and states, "I do not want to marry her,"
after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off
his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what
shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother,"
and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.
(c) The *connection* of the brother to the dead man's wife, which obligates
one of the two, is called Zikah. It is comparable to the state of Eirusin
(betrothal) before a marriage. The Tana of the Mishnah from Yevamos rules
that the Zikah "connects" the Yevamah with all of the brothers, not only the
oldest. While the Yevamah is waiting for Yibum or Chalitzah, she is called a
8) [line 15] BERACHOS U'KELALOS
(a) The Torah commands that as soon as Benei Yisrael were to enter the land
of Kena'an, they were to perform a ceremony to accept upon themselves
certain blessings and curses (Devarim 11:29-32; 27:1-26). During the
ceremony, six tribes stood on Har Gerizim (Shimon, Levi, Yehudah, Yosef and
Binyamin) and six on Har Eival (Re'uven, Gad, Asher, Zevulun Dan and
Naftali). The Elders of the Kohanim and the Leviyim stood below with the
Aron ha'Kodesh in the valley between the mountains.
(b) The Elders first faced Har Gerizim and pronounced the verses in Devarim
27:15-26 in the form of a blessing, e.g. "Blessed is the person who does not
make an idol...," contrary to the form of the verses. They next turned
towards Har Eival and pronounced the same verses as they are written.
(c) The twelve stones that the people cut from the dry bed of the Yarden
River (Yehoshua 4:3, 20) were used to build a Mizbe'ach on Har Eival. They
sacrificed Olos and Shelamim there and ate and drank and rejoiced in the
Simchah of the Mitzvos.
(d) According to one opinion of the Tana'im Har Gerizim and Har Eival are
mountains in the Shomron, in the vicinity of Shechem. Another Tana claims
that they were actually two hillocks that were named Har Gerizim and Har
Eival for the ceremony, and were near Gilgal, in the vicinity of Yericho.
9) [line 15] BIRKAS KOHANIM
The Kohanim are required to bless the people with the three-fold blessing,
as described in Bamidbar 6:22-27. In the Beis ha'Mikdash the blessing was
said with the Shem ha'Mefurash (the Tetragrammaton -- Sotah 38a). According
to Tosfos DH Harei Hu Omer (ibid.), this is only true when there is Giluy
Shechinah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Since there was no Giluy Shechinah after
the passing of Shimon ha'Tzadik, the Kohanim stopping saying Birkas Kohanim
with the Shem ha'Mefurash.
10) [line 16] BIRKAS KOHEN GADOL
See the Mishnah and Gemara below, 40b-41a.
11) [line 16] PARASHAS HA'MELECH (HAKHEL)
All of the Jewish people are obligated in the Mitzvah of Hakhel once every
seven years, as it states in Devarim 31:10-13, "At the end of every seven
years, in the Shemitah year, during the festival of Sukos, when all of
Yisrael comes to appear before HaSh-m in the place which He shall choose,
you shall read this Torah before all of Yisrael. Gather the people together,
men, women and children...that they may hear, and learn, and fear HaSh-m,
your Elokim, and observe all the words of this Torah." This takes place in
the Beis ha'Mikdash on the second day of Sukos in the year following the
Shemitah year. During Hakhel, the King reads from the Torah portions of
Devarim, as specified in the Mishnah Sotah 41a.
12) [line 17] PARASHAS ELGAH ARUFAH
(a) If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Israel) and it is not known
who the murderer is, the Torah requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in
order to atone for the blood that was spilled (Devarim 21:1). The procedure
is as follows:
(b) Five elders of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish Supreme
Court) measure the distance between the dead body and the cities around it
to determine which city is closest to it.
(c) The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female
calf that has never been worked to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing
stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI).
They strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its
spinal column, gullet and windpipe.
(d) The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our
hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]."
(Devarim 21:7) This includes a proclamation that the dead man was not sent
away from the city without the proper food for his journey or the proper
accompaniment. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people
Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for]
innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this
procedure, HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was
spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).
13) [line 17] MESHU'ACH MILCHAMAH
(a) There is a Mitzvah to appoint a Kohen at the onset of a war to speak to
the soldiers and encourage them. This Kohen is anointed with the Shemen
ha'Mishchah, and is therefore called the Meshu'ach Milchamah.
(b) Before the soldiers leave for the front the Kohen reads the verses in
Devarim (20:5-7) which order certain people to return to their homes. These
people are 1. a person who recently built a house but did not yet consecrate
it, 2. a person who recently planted a vineyard but did not yet redeem the
fourth-year fruits and 3. a person who recently became engaged but did not
yet marry the woman. A Shoter (officer) present also reads the next verse
(ibid. 20:8) that instructs all of those who are afraid of the battle
(because of their personal sins) to return to their homes, lest they instill
fear in the rest of the soldiers going to battle.
(c) Before the onset of each battle, the Kohen admonishes the soldiers not
to fear the battle, reading verses 20:3-4. He encourages them that even if
their only merit is the fact that they read Keri'as Shema twice daily, this
is enough to save them. (RAMBAM Hilchos Melachim 7:1-3, SEFER HA'CHINUCH
14) [line 25] "HALO HEMAH B'EVER HA'YARDEN, ACHAREI DERECH MEVO HA'SHEMESH,
B'ERETZ HA'KENA'ANI HA'YOSHEV BA'ARAVAH; MUL HA'GILGAL ETZEL ELONEI
MOREH." - "Behold, they are on the other side of the Yarden, far from the
road where the sun goes down (alt. comes up), in the land of the Kena'anim,
who live in the Aravah, opposite Gilgal, beside Elonei Moreh." (Devarim
15) [line 29] MEKIFIN - surround
16) [line 30] "V'CHOL YISRAEL U'ZKENAV V'SHOTRIM V'SHOFTAV, OMDIM MI'ZEH
UMI'ZEH LA'ARON NEGED HA'KOHANIM HA'LEVIYIM NOSE'EI ARON BRIS HASH-M KA'GER
KA'EZRACH CHETZYO EL MUL HAR GERIZIM VEHA'CHETZYO EL MUL HAR EIVAL." - "And
all Yisrael, and their elders, and officers, and their judges, stood on
either side of the Ark before the Kohanim the Leviyim who carried the Ark of
the Covenant of HaSh-m; the convert as well as he who was born among them;
half of them on Har Gerizim, and half of them on Har Eival; as Moshe the
servant of HaSh-m had commanded before, that they should bless the people of
Yisrael." (Yehoshua 8:33)
17) [line 32] PESEL - an idol
b) [line 32] MASECHAH - a molten image
18) [line 35] SADUHU B'SID - they plastered it with plaster
19) [line 7] MEKEIDAH SHEL CHERES - a type of earthenware vessel
20) [line 10] SHE'LO L'HOTZI LA'AZ AL HA'MAYIM HA'MARIM - in order not to
cause bad rumors to be spoken about the Mei Sotah
21) [line 12] "V'AMARTA LIFNEI HASH-M ELOKECHA, 'BI'ARTI HA'KODESH MIN
HA'BAYIS, [V'GAM NESATIV LA'LEVI VELA'GER LA'YASOM VELA'ALMANAH, K'CHOL
MITZVASECHA ASHER TZIVISANI; LO AVARTI MI'MITZVOSECHA V'LO SHACHACHTI.']" -
"Then you shall say before HaSh-m, your Elokim, 'I have removed all of the
holy things from my house, [and also have given them to the Levi, and to the
convert, to the orphan, and to the widow, according to all of Your
commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed Your
commandments, nor have I forgotten them.']" (Devarim 26:13)
22) [line 16] GREIDASA - [that is written] alone
23) [line 19] SHIVCHO - his praise
b) [line 19] GENUSO - his disgrace
24) [line 24] LO CHILEK HA'KASUV MAKOM BEIN CHATAS L'OLAH - the verse did
not specify different places for the Shechitah (ritual slaughter) of a
Chatas (sin-offering) and the Shechitah of an Olah (burnt-offering); they
were both slaughtered in the northern part of the Azarah
25) [line 25] CHATAS
(a) If a person transgresses a sin b'Shogeg (unintentionally) for which he
is liable to Kares b'Mezid (intentionally), he is liable to bring a Korban
Chatas. The Korban Chatas is a female goat or sheep. Since it is one of the
Kodshei Kodashim (the highest sanctity of sacrifices), it may only be
slaughtered in the northern part of the Azarah. Before its slaughter, the
owner presses his hands on the head of the animal (Semichah) and confesses
(b) The offering of the Chatas Behemah consists of five procedures:
1. SHECHITAH - Standing on the floor of the Azarah north of the Mizbe'ach,
the Kohen slaughters the animal, making sure to cut two Simanim (the trachea
and the esophagus).
(c) The Kohanim eat the rest of the Chatas Behemah in the Azarah.
2. KABALAS HA'DAM - A Kohen catches the life-blood of the animal in a
utensil. The Eimurim (the fats and other parts of the Korban that are burned
on the Mizbe'ach) are removed from the animal.
3. HOLACHAH - The Kohen walks with the blood up to the top of the Mizbe'ach.
4. NESINAS HA'DAM - Using his finger, the Kohen applies some of the blood to
each of the four Keranos of the Mizbe'ach.
5. HAKTARAS HA'EIMURIM - The Eimurim are cast into the fire on the
26) [line 25] OLAH (OLAS YACHID)
(a) A person may offer a Korban in the Beis ha'Mikdash as a voluntary
sacrifice (Olas Nedavah), as it states in Vayikra 1:2. Voluntary Korbanos
may be Olos (which are burned entirely on the Mizbe'ach, see Vayikra 1:2-17,
6:1-6), Shelamim (parts of which are eaten, see Vayikra 3:1-17, 7:11-21,
7:28-37) or Menachos (flour offerings, see Vayikra 2:1-13, 6:7-11, 7:9-10).
(b) Korbenos Olah are Kodshei Kodashim and therefore they may only be
slaughtered in the northern part of the Azarah. Before its slaughter, the
owner presses his hands on the head of the animal (Semichah). The blood of
the Olah is cast on the northeastern and southwestern corners of the
Mizbe'ach (Shenayim she'Hen Arba). Nesachim (a meal offering consisting of
flour and oil and a wine libation) are brought as part of the Korban
(Bamidbar 15:3-12). The meal offering is completely burned on the Mizbe'ach
and the wine is poured into one of the Sefalim (the silver libation pipes
located at the top of the southwest corner of the Mizbe'ach) (RAMBAM and
RA'AVAD Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 2:1). The amount of flour, oil and wine
needed depends upon the animal offered, as specified in Bamidbar (ibid., see
Background to Sotah 15:9).
(c) The skin of the Olah is given to the Kohanim and the rest of the animal
is dismembered and entirely burned on the Mizbe'ach.
27) [line 26] "...V'TAMEI TAMEI YIKRA." - "[And the Tzaru'a in whom the
affliction is found, his clothes shall be torn, and his head shall remain
uncut, and he shall cover his head until his upper lip,] and shall call out,
'Unclean, unclean.'" (Vayikra 13:45) - The purpose for announcing that he is
Tamei is so that people will pray for him.
28) [line 28] MEVAKSHIM ALAV RACHAMIM - ask mercy for him (i.e. pray for
29) [line 28] SHE'IRA BO - to whom happens
30) [line 34] DAM CHATAS L'MA'ALAH V'DAM OLAH L'MATAH - see above, entries
25:b:4 and 26:b
31) [line 36] MICHASYA B'ALYA - [the genitals] are covered by the fat-tail
32a) [line 37] KIVSAH - a female sheep
b) [line 37] SE'IRAH - a female goat
33) [line 38] IHU D'KA MICHSIF NAFSHEI - he is the one who causes himself
34) [line 39] CHATAS D'AVODAS KOCHAVIM
(a) A person who b'Shogeg (unintentionally) commits an act of idolatry that
carries a Chiyuv Kares when performed b'Mezid (intentionally) must bring a
male goat as a Korban Chatas (Bamidbar 15:27).
(b) Four acts of idolatry carry the Kares punishment regardless of which
Avodah Zarah is worshipped: ha'Mishtachaveh (one who bows down); ha'Zove'ach
(one who offers a sacrifice); ha'Maktir (one who burns incense); ha'Menasech
(one who pours a libation). In addition, if a person performs an act that is
the normal form of worshipping that particular Avodah Zarah, he is also
liable to Kares (RAMBAM Hilchos Avodah Zarah 3:2-3).
35) [line 48] L'MAFRE'A - [starting with a later verse and reciting the
verses] in reverse [order]