ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 7
SOTAH 7 (2 Teves) - the Dafyomi study for the last day of Chanukah has been
dedicated to the memory of Hagaon Rav Yisroel Zev Gustman Ztz"L (author of
"Kuntresei Shiurim") and his wife, Rebbetzin Sarah Gustman (daughter of
Hagaon Rav Meir Bassin) on the Rebbetzin's Yahrzeit. Sponsored by Rav A.
Feldman, who merited to study under Rav Gustman's tutelage.
(a) When a husband discovers his wife in seclusion with the man whom he
warned her about - he takes her to the local Beis-Din.
(b) The local Beis-Din give her two Talmidei-Chachamim to accompany her to
Yerushalayim, according to the Tana Kama - to be on hand should her husband
be intimate with her on the way.
(c) Rebbi Yehudah says - that the husband is believed to say that he was
(a) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav makes a distinction between someone who is in
town - where two people will suffice to remove the Isur Yichud, and and
someone who is traveling, where three are required.
(b) There is no proof for Rav from our Mishnah, which requires two
Talmidei-Chachamim to accompany the woman to Yerushalayim, which together
with the husband, makes three - because the reason that the Tana requires
two Talmidei-Chachamim is not because of the Isur Yichud, but in order that
there should be two witnesses on hand should the need arise.
(c) Rav Yehudah Amar Rav also rules - that only 'Kasher' people are eligible
to remove the Isur Yichud, but as far as people with loose morals is
concerned, even ten men are forbidden to travel in the company of a woman.
(d) We cannot prove this from our Mishnah, which requires specifically two
*Talmidei-Chachamim* - because the reason for that is because
Talmidei-Chachamim are able to warn him more effectively than others.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that the husband himself is believed to say
that he was not intimate with his wife on the way - 'Kal va'Chomer' from
Nidah, where his wife is believed even though there is a Chiyuv Kareis
(whereas on a Sotah there is only a La'av).
(b) We learn from the Pasuk "Lo Yuchal Ba'alah ha'Rishon ... Acharei Asher
Hutama'ah" - that someone (including her husband) who is intimate with a
Sotah transgresses a La'av.
(c) The Rabbanan counter Rebbi Yehudah's 'Kal va'Chomer' - by arguing that,
to the contrary, it is precisely because of the stringency of Kareis that a
Nidah is believed (seeing as the harsh penalty will serve as a deterrent).
(a) In a Beraisa, it is Rebbi Yossi who argues with the Tana Kama, and who
believes the husband with a 'Kal va'Chomer'. The Rabbanan there counter the
'Kal va'Chomer' - by arguing that the reason the Torah permits a Nidah on
her word alone is only because it is only a matter of time before she will
become permitted, whereas in the case of a Sotah this is not certain.
(b) The Pasuk they quote in support of their argument - is "Mayim Genuvim
Yimtaku" (Mishlei - which teaches us that the more something is forbidden,
the more a person wants it).
(c) Rebbi Yehudah there learns that the husband is believed min ha'Torah
from the Pasuk "ve'Heivi ha'Ish es Ishto". In the previous Beraisa, he
himself based his opinion on a 'Kal va'Chomer'. In fact - after he presented
the 'Kal va'Chomer' and the Rabbanan countered it (as we saw earlier), he
quoted the Pasuk as his new source.
(d) Rebbi Yehudah argues with the Chachamim - inasmuch as they conclude
'Aval Amru Chachamim Mosrin Lo Sh'nei Talmidei-Chachamim ... ', whereas in
his opinion, the Chachamim made no such Takanah.
(a) As they took the Sotah to the Beis-Din ha'Gadol in Yerushalayim, they
would frighten her (like they did to the witnesses in matters of life and
death) - in order to induce her to confess, to avoid the need to blot out
Hashem's Holy Name in the water.
(b) They finally implored her to confess for the sake of Hashem's great Name
after first pointing out to her - that wine, youth and bad neighbors tend to
have a bad effect on a person (deflecting some of the blame from her to make
a confession less painful).
(c) When the Tana adds 've'Omer Lefanehah Devarim she'Einah K'dai
le'Shom'an' - he means that they spoke to her in a respectable manner, which
neither she nor her father's family, deserved.
(d) In the event that she persisted in her claim that she was innocent -
they took her to the Sha'ar ha'Mizrach (which led into the Har ha'Bayis),
and from there to Sha'ar Nikanor?
(a) Sha'ar Nikanor was the gate leading from the Ezras Nashim to the Ezras
(b) The two people listed by the Tana as having been stood at the Sha'ar
Nikanor for their purification ceremony were a Yoledes (a woman who had just
given birth) and a Metzora.
(c) Nikanor was the man who, with much self-sacrifice, transported these
copper gates from Alexandria to Yerushayim (largely by water, where miracles
occurred during their transportation).
(d) They made the Sotah drink particularly at that spot - because, on the
one hand, it was still considered "Lifnei Hashem" (which the Sotah's
required), and on the other, for the benefit of the Metzora, who was still a
Mechusar Kipurim and could not enter the Ezras Yisrael, the portals of the
gate were not sanctified with the Kedushah of the Azarah, and it was not
befitting for what would now transpire there to take place in a place that
(a) If she admitted that she was guilty - she was sent away with a Get and a
receipt which she had to sign, stating that she forfeited her Kesuvah due to
the fact that she had committed adultery.
(b) She was not sentenced to death - because there had not been two
witnesses present when she sinned.
(a) The Kohen then had to grab her clothes by the neck and pull them down
until her breasts were exposed (if they tore, he was not responsible), and
uncover her hair.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah objects - in the case of a woman who is beautiful and who
is therefore bound to arouse immoral thoughts among those present.
(c) If the Sotah was wearing ...
1. ... white clothes (which were considered more beautiful in former
times) - he would exchange them for black ones.
(d) He had to do all this - in order to make her look ugly her.
2. ... ornaments - he removed them.
3. ... Katli'os (a type of tight necklace that also held the two sides of
the top of her dress together) - he removed them too.
(a) The Kohen then tied an Egyptian rope above her breasts - to prevent her
clothes from falling to the ground.
(b) A 'Chevel ha'Metzari' - is a rope fashioned from a creeper that grows
round the date-palm.
(c) Whoever wanted to come and see her was permitted to do so, except for
her slaves - whose presence would fortify her, and encourage her to to
persist that she was innocent.
(a) Rebbi Chiya bar Gamda Amar Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina learns from the
'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Torah" ("ve'Asah Lah ha'Kohen es Kol ha'Torah ha'Zos")
"Torah" ("al-Pi ha'Torah Asher Yorucha" [with regard to a Zakein Mamrei]) -
that not only must a Sotah drink the Mei Sotah in Yerushalayim, but that she
must do so under the auspices of the Beis-Din ha'Gadol of seventy-one
(rather than under the auspices of one of the two Batei-Din of twenty-three
that sat in the Beis-Hamikdash).
(b) Our Mishnah, which describes how they would frighten the Sotah into
confessing (to avoid drinking the Mei Sotah), speaks before they had blotted
out Hashem's Name - whereas the Beraisa, which describes how they would
induce her to drink it, speaks afterwards.
(c) They would induce her to drink the Mei Sotah - by comparing it to a
balm, which takes effect as long as there is a wound, but does no harm if
there is not. Likewise, the Mei Sotah would only be activated if she sinned,
but it would do her no harm if she was innocent.
(d) They needed to induce her to drink, because they were afraid - that she
might otherwise confess that she sinned (even if she didn't) for fear of
what the water might do to her.
(a) The two famous brothers cited by the Sanhedrin (before the Name of
Hashem had been blotted out in the water) as examples of people who
confessed and went on to receive a rich reward in both worlds - were Yehudah
(b) Yehudah's reward in this world - was the kingship, Reuven's - that he
was the first to receive his portion of land in Eretz Yisrael (in Eiver
(c) When the Sanhedrin added "ve'Lo Avar Zar be'Socham", they were referring
to - Moshe's B'rachah, where he blessed them in close succession (see also
Tosfos DH 'Lo Avar').
(d) Yehudah's bones did not come together during the forty years in the
desert, until Moshe Davened on his behalf - because Yehudah cursed himself
in both worlds should he fail to return Binyamin to his father, and we have
a principle 'Kil'las Chacham Afilu al T'nai Hu Ba'.
(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan learns from the Pasuk in
ve'Zos ha'Berachah ...
1. ... "Y'chi Reuven ve'Al Yamos ... ve'Zos li'Yehudah" - that Moshe prayed
to Hashem to bring Yehudah's bones together, on the grounds that it was due
to Yehudah's confession that Reuven confessed (and *his* bones were intact).
(b) It is obvious that Yehudah confessed - in order to save Tamar from
2. ... "Sh'ma Hashem Kol Yehudah" - that Hashem responded to Moshe's request
and brought Yehudah's bones together.
3. ... "ve'Amo Tevi'enu" - that He then brought him to the Yeshivah shel
4. ... "Yadav Rav Lo" - that he was able to join in the battle of Torah with
the other Talmidei-Chachamim.
5. ... "ve'Eizer mi'Tzarav Tih'yeh" - that his opinion was accepted as
(c) We initially query Reuven's confession - on the grounds that it is
considered a Chutzpah to publicise one's sins unnecessarily (since it
appears that one is unashamed of having performed them).
(d) We justify his confession - by pointing out that he did so in order to
remove the blame from his brothers.
(a) Our Mishnah appears to be a S'tam Mishnah in support of Rebbi Yossi who
maintains (in Bava Basra) 'Kosvin 'Shover' (one writes a receipt - rather
than rely on tearing up the original document). We do not accept the
suggestion to amend 'Shoveres Kesuvasah' to 'Mekar'in Kesuvasah' - because
one cannot amend a Mishnah or Beraisa at will, unless there is some
indication that it needs to be amended.
(b) The reason that there is no proof from our Mishnah is - because the Tana
could be speaking in a town where they did not write a Kesuvah (in which
case even Rebbi Yehudah will agree that, for lack of an alternative, one
writes a receipt.
(c) Rebbi Yehudah holds 'Ein Kosvin Shover' - because that entails the
creditor (who, due to the principle 'Eved Loveh le'Ish Malveh', normally has
the upper hand) having to guard the receipt against mice.