ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 6
(a) In the third Lashon, Rav Yosef infers from the Torah's expression
"ve'Yatz'ah le'Ish Acher" - that, since the Torah refers to the man who
marries the Sotah as 'Acher' (insinuating that he is inferior to the first
husband who divorced her), how could it then order the Yavam to take her.
(b) The Torah nevertheless obligates her to perform Yibum, should the second
husband die without children - because whilst she was married to him, she
did not commit adultery, in which case we presume that she did Teshuvah, and
anyone who marries her after she is divorced or after her husband's death
will not therefore be called 'Acher'.
(a) According to Rava, we can learn the Sotah's exemption from Yibum from a
'Kal va'Chomer' from her husband - because if she becomes forbidden to her
husband (to whom she was previously permitted), then she certainly becomes
forbidden to the Yavam, to whom she was forbidden.
(b) By the same token, Abaye asks Rava, a Kohen Gadol who betrothed an
Almanah should be forbidden to perform Yibum when her husband dies. We
refute this Kashya however - because to say 'she *became forbidden* to her
husband' (on which the 'Kal va'Chomer' s built), is inaccurate, seeing as (a
Kohen Gadol may not marry a widow and) she was forbidden to him all the
(c) Abaye then asks on Rava from the wife of a Kohen who was raped - that by
the same token, if she becomes forbidden to her husband (to whom she was
previously permitted), then she should certainly be forbidden to the Yavam
(to whom she was forbidden).
(d) We refute this Kashya too - on the grounds that unlike a Sotah, she did
not sin, and in the same way as she would have been permitted to her husband
had he been a Yisrael, so too, is she permitted to the Yavam; whereas when
she committed adultery, the same sin that forbids her to her husband,
forbids her to the Yavam, seeing as her ties to the Yavam stem from her
marriage to his brother.
(a) Five cases of Sotah become forbidden to eat Terumah: a woman who
confesses to her husband that she committed adultery, one on whom witnesses
testify to that effect and a woman who refuses to drink. The remaining
two are - when her husband refuses to make her drink the Mei Sotah and if he
was intimate with her after her seclusion with the man against whom he
(b) The reason that in the last case, the Mei Sotah will be ineffective is -
because the Torah writes "ve'Nikah ha'Ish me'Avon" (the husband too, must be
free from sin, but should he be guilty, then the water will not work.
(c) Rav Amram quoting Rav Sheishes extrapolates from the Pasuk "ve'Nisterah
ve'Hi Nitma'ah *ve'Eid Ein Bah*" - that if there are witnesses overseas who
know that she is guilty and who arrive only after she has drunk, she remains
forbidden to eat Terumah.
(d) He uses the Pasuk for this D'rashah, even though we have already learned
other things from it (that one witness is believed by Tum'as Sotah and that
a Sotah Vaday does not drink) - because of the principle 'Ein Mikra Yotzei
Mi'yedei Peshuto' (though one will need to clarify when we apply *this*
principle, and when we apply the principle that a Pasuk which is needed
intrinsically cannot be used for a D'rashah).
(a) Rav Sheishes proves his Chidush from the case in our Mishnah when
witnesses testify that she committed adultery - which clearly speaks when
they arrived after she had already drunk the water - because if they arrived
beforehand, then she would be a Zonah, and it is obvious that she will
forbidden to eat Terumah. Consequently, he must be speaking after she drank,
and we see from here that witnesses who are overseas negate the power of the
water, which proves that we do not consider them to be false witnesses, and
she will remain forbidden to eat Terumah even though she has already drunk
(b) According to Rav Yosef, even though the Tana must be speaking when the
witnesses came after she had already drunk, we nevertheless suspect the
witnesses of being false - and the reason that nothing happened to her after
she drank is because, as we shall see later, there are a number of merits
that might shield her and save her from death.
(c) Based on a Mishnah, where Rebbi says that even if she is spared from
death, she nevertheless deteriorates from the moment she drinks until
finally, she dies the death of a Sotah, the basis of the Machlokes between
Rav Sheishes and Rav Yosef is - whether the Rabbanan agree with Rebbi (Rav
Sheishes) with regard to the Sotah's deterioration or not (Rav Yosef).
(d) Consequently, establishing our Mishnah like the Rabbanan ...
1. ... will help to explain why the witnesses are not believed according to
Rav Yosef - because according to him the author of our Mishnah will be the
Rabbanan. Consequently, it may well be because of the merit that the water
proved ineffective, whereas as far as the witnesses are concerned, the water
may well have performed its task in spite of them.
2. ... would make no difference according to Rav Sheishes - since they, like
Rebbi, hold that she would have deteriorated, and since she did not, it can
only be because when there are witnesses, the water does not take effect.
(a) Rebbi Shimon rejects the entire concept of merits that will save the
Sotah from death - because then, everyone will challenge the innocence of
the Sotah (which is the real objective of the water). Whenever nothing
happens to her, he argues, people will attribute that to the merit that save
her from death (rather than to her innocence).
(b) Rav Sheishes did indeed state his Chidush according to the Rabbanan, who
do not take account of Rebbi Shimon's fears - but not according to Rebbi
Shimon (who put the overseas witnesses on a par with merits).
(a) The Beraisa states two cases when the Sotah's Minchah has to be burned,
one of them when the Sotah confessed to having sinned - the other, if
witnesses arrive who testify to her guilt.
(b) This Beraisa cannot be speaking before she sanctified the Minchah in a
holy vessel - because then there would be no reason for her not to simply
redeem it (and avoid having to burn it).
(c) Despite the fact that the Tana speaks after she sanctified it, the
Minchah cannot be brought ...
1. ... on her behalf - because it only comes to test the guilt of a Sotah
whose guilt is unknown, but not one who has already been proved guilty.
(d) This Beraisa poses a Kashya on Rav Sheishes, according to whom witnesses
render a Sotah unfit to drink the water. In that case - when the witnesses
arrive, her Minchah should become invalid retroactively.
2. ... as a Minchas Nedavah - because a Minchah that comprises barley can
only be brought as a Minchas Sotah or as a Minchas ha'Omer (on Pesach), but
not as a Nedavah (which comprises wheat-flour).
(a) Rav Yehudah from Diskarta answers that the Beraisa is speaking when she
committed adultery in the Azarah (not the first time, but) -a second time,
and it is on this second act that the witnesses testify. Consequently, even
though her Minchah is valid, it is burned, seeing as she is pronounced
guilty for her second act of adultery anyway.
(b) We initially dispense with the Kashya of Rav Mesharshaya, who points out
that the young Kohanim were accompanying her, and asks how could she
possibly commit adultery without their knowledge - by establishing the
Beraisa when she committed adultery with one of those very Kohanim.
(c) Rav Ashi dispenses with the Dochek of saying that she committed adultery
in the Azarah - by establishing the Beraisa when she left the Azarah (with
permission) in order to relieve herself, and committed adultery whilst she
(d) Rav Papa establishes the Beraisa by the initial act of adultery, like we
originally thought, yet the Minchah must be burned - (according to Rav
Sheishes, who holds that it is not Kadosh retroactively) mi'de'Rabbanan -
because not everyone knows that the witnesses prevent a Sotah from drinking
(and people will think that a Kadosh Minchah is going out to Chulin without
(a) The Tana of a Beraisa says that a Minchas Sotah that became Tamei ...
1. ... before 'Kidush K'li' - is like all other Menachos and can be
(b) In a case where they had already been Mekadesh the Kometz, but her
husband or she died before there was time ...
2. ... after Kidush K'li - is like all other Menachos and must be burned
(off the Mizbei'ach).
1. ... to bring it on the Mizbei'ach - it is like all other Menachos and
must be burned (off the Mizbei'ach).
(c) If witnesses testified ...
2. ... to eat the remainder of the Minchah, even though the Kometz had been
brought on the Mizbei'ach - it is like all other Menachos and the Kohanim
may eat it, because it was brought be'Hechsher and will remain Kasher unless
some intrinsic P'sul occurs to render is Pasul.
1. ... that she had committed adultery before the Kometz was burned - it
must be burned off the Mizbei'ach.
(d) Rav Sheishes will agree here, that the Minchah does not need to be
burned (mi'de'Rabbanan), on account of what people may think -because Eidim
Zomemin has a 'Kol' (becomes public knowledge) so nobody will think that a
Kadosh Minchah is going out to Chulin without justification.
2. ... that the witnesses (of S'tirah) were Zomemin - her Minchah is Chulin
(a) Another Beraisa learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "(u)'Tehorah" - that she will not give birth if the reason that the
water was ineffective is because there are witnesses overseas who know that
she is guilty.
(b) We prove from this Beraisa - that the Tana holds like Rav Sheishes,
though (not from the same source as Rav Sheishes ["ve'Eid Ein Bah"], but)
from a different one.
2. ... "u('Tehorah)" - that she will not give birth if the reason that the
water was ineffective is because she had a merit.
3. ... "Hi" - that she will not give birth if the reason that the water was
ineffective is because everyone knew about her guilt and they were all
talking about it.
(c) According to this, Rebbi Shimon, whom we saw earlier, is worried about
the good name of the Sotah, is not worried that people may ascribe nothing
having happened to witnesses overseas, and not to her innocence - because
witnesses overseas is an uncommon phenomenon and people are unlikely to do
(d) It is true that earlier, we explained that just as Rebbi Shimon doesn't
ascribe nothing happening to the Sotah's merits, he doesn't ascribe it to
witnesses either - but that was before we knew about the current D'rashah
(of "u'Tehorah Hi". Now that we do, it seems logical to say that even though
he may not agree with the D'rashah of the 'Vav', he certainly Darshens the