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Sotah 10

SOTAH 10 (5 Teves) - has been dedicated to the memory of Max (Meir Menachem) Turkel on his Yahrzeit by his children Eddie and Lawrence and their children, and by his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz.



(a) "Va'yigdal ha'Na'ar (Shimshon), Va'yevarcheihu Hashem". Hashem blessed him, says Rav Yehudah Amar Rav - with a lot of Zera for Tashmish (just as he wished for).

(b) Before Shimshon died, he asked Hashem to avenge the removal of one of his eyes by restoring his strength (so that he would be able to bring the house down on the P'lishtim who had gathered to watch him). Rav explains that his request was based on the merit - that throughout the twenty years that he had led Yisrael, he never even asked anyone to move his stick from one location to another.

(c) For his second eye - he could be expected to be rewarded in the World to Come.

(d) On an earlier occasion, he used three hundred *foxes* to avenge himself from the P'lishtim, says Rebbi Chiya bar Aba - to hint to them that by going back on their word, they had behaved like a fox, who, when trapped, does not run away, but backtracks.

(a) One night when the P'lishtim thought they had trapped Shimshon in Aza - he arose at midnight, tore out the gates of the town together with the posts and the bolt, placed them on his shoulders and marched escaped with them still perched there.

(b) This teach us, says Rebbi Shimon Chasida - that the width of his shoulders were sixty Amos, because that was the size of the gates of Aza (see Agados Maharsha), though it is doubtful whether this is meant to be understood literally.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan explains the Pasuk "Va'yehi Tochen be'Veis ha'Asurim" (since "Tochen" also has connotations of Tashmish) to mean - that all the P'lishtim brought him their wives for Tashmish in the hope that he would produce in the P'lishti camp, a man with his stregth.

(d) The folk-saying that matches this episode is - 'Before a farmer and someone who digs in the fields one places a basket of vegetables'.

(a) When people say 'He is busy with large pumpkins, and she, with small ones', they mean to say - that 'a man's wife works in the same profession (in a small way) as her husband does (in a big way)'. This saying is brought in connection with Rebbi Yochanan, who said - that there where a man behaves immorally, his wife is like to follow suite.

(b) Rebbi Yochanan explains the Pasuk "Dan Yadin Amo *ke'Achad* Shivtei Yisrael" - that Shimshon judged Yisrael with integrity like Hashem Himself (Others explain "judged ... " to mean that he avenged Yisrael single-handedly like Hashem, who is the 'Ish Milchamah' - see Agados Maharsha).

(c) Rebbi Yochanan extrapolates from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Ki Shemesh u'Magen Hashem Elokim", that Shimshon (from "Shemesh" - meaning a protective wall), was called after the Name of Hashem. What he really meant was - that through his immense strength, he could be compared ('Kevayacol') to the Name of Hashem. He could not have meant what he actually said - because then "Shimshon" ought to be included in the names that may not be erased.

(d) The Torah in Balak writes "Va'yeilech *Shefi*", whereas in connection with Shimshon, Ya'akov said in Va'yechi "*Shefifon* Alei Orach". Rebbi Yochanan explains - that whereas Bil'am was lame in one of his legs, Shimshon was lame in both legs.

(a) Shimshon, Shaul, Avshalom, Tzidkiyah and Asa, says the Tana in a Beraisa - were all blessed with certain Divine attributes, and all of them were ultimately punished through them.

(b) The Divine attributes listed by the Tana are Shimshon's strength, Shaul's neck, Avshalom's hair, Tzidkiyah's eyes and Asa's legs. Ultimately ...

1. ... Shaul - fell on his sword so that it pierced his neck.
2. ... Tzidkiyah - had his eyes blinded by Nevuchadnetzar.
3. ... Asa - become ill in his legs (with the illness known as 'Padgera').
(c) When Mar Zutra B'rei de'Rav Nachman asked his father how the illness feels, he replied 'Like a needle sticking into a person'. Besides the fact that he may have suffered the illness himslf, or that his Rebbe may have taught him the explanation - he might also have known it due to Pasuk in Tehilim "Sod Hashem li'Yerei'av, u'Verisam La'hodi'am".

(d) Asa deserved this punishment - because he included Talmidei-Chachamim in a head-tax to assist in carrying heavy stones in his battle against Yisrael, because if, as Rav Yehudah Amar Rav learns from the Pasuk "Ein Naki", he even employed newly-wed Chasanim and Kalos, he certainly employed Talmidei-Chachamim.

(a) The Pasuk in Va'yeishev in connection with Yefudah) speaks about going *up* to Timnah, whilst another Pasuk in Shoftim (in connction with Shimshon) mentions going *down*. According to Rebbi Elazar, this is due to the fact that Yehudah was elevated through that particular journey, whereas Shimshon was downgraded.
1. Yehudah was elevated - inasmuch as from his ensuing union with Tamar, Peretz nd Zerach were born, and Peretz was the ancestor of Mashi'ach.
2. Whereas Shimshon was downgraded - inasmuch as it resulted in his illicit relationships with P'lishti women.
(b) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini explains that there were two towns called Timnah. Rav Papa resolve the discrepancy - by pointing out that Timnah was built on a slope, and could therefore be approached from the top of the hill or from the bottom.

(c) The Torah writes with regard to Tamar "va'Teishev be'Pesach Einayim", which, according to Rav Alexandri, means the entrance to Avrahamm Avinu's tent - because all eyes would turn towards it in the knowledge that board and lodging were available there. She chose specifically that spot to make sure that Yehudah would not fail to see her.

(d) According to Rav Chanin Amar Rav, Einayim is a place-name. and according to Rav Shmuel bar Nachmeini explains 'she'Nasnah Einayim li'Devarehah'. She replied, when Yehudah asked her whether ...

1. ... she was a Nochris (an idolater) - that she was a Giyo'res (a believer in G-d).
2. ... she was married - in the negative.
3. ... her father had received Kidushin on her behalf - that she was an orphan.
4. ... she was a Nidah - that she was Tehorah.
(a) Resh Lakish translates the Pasuk in Va'yeira "Va'Yita *Eishel* bi'Ve'er Sheva" as an orchard in which he planted a variety of exotic fruit-trees. This follows the opinion of either Rebbi Yehudah or Rebbi Nechemyah, who argue over the interpretation of this Pasuk. The alternative intrepretion is - that it refers to an inn that he set up to provide board and lodging.

(b) This opinion explains the expression "*Va'yita* Eishel" - to mean to set up (like we find in Daniel "Va'yita Ohalei Apadno").

(c) Those who learn that it means an inn lend support from the acronym of 'Eishel' - 'Achilah, Shesiyah, Levayah'.

(d) Resh Lakish interprets the Pasuk "*Va'yikra* Sham Keil Elokei Yisrael" - as if it had written "Va'yakri Sham ... " meaning that Avraham caused others to call out the Name of Hashem. After his guests had eaten and got up to thank him for his services - he would ask them to thank, not him, but the One who created the world, to whom everything belonged.




(a) We have a problem with the Pasuk "Va'yir'ehah Yehudah Va'yachshevehah le'Zonah Ki Chis'sah Panehah", seeing as it was not customary for prostitutes to cover their faces. Consequently - Rebbi Elazar explains the Pasuk to mean - that Yehudah did not recognize Tamar (whose face was uncovered) because she had always kept it covered when, as his daughter-in-law, she lived in his house.

(b) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan extrapolates from Tamar - that a woman who behaves modestly in her father-in-law's house will merit that, like Tamar, kings and prophets will descend from her.

(c) Rebbi Levi cites a tradition - that Amotz (father of Yeshayah, who was a Navi too) and Amatzyah (King of Yehudah), proving the previous D'rashah of Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini Amar Rebbi Yonasan.

(a) The Torah writes in Va'yeishev (in connection with Tamer) "Hi Mutzeis" suggesting that something was found. Rebbi Elazar Darshens from here - that Tamar was looking for the three Simanim that Yehudah gave her.

(b) If not for this D'rashah - the Torah would have written "Hi Misutzeis".

(c) After she found them, Samael (alias the Satan) hid them again - because he knew that Mashi'ach would descend from this union (and he wanted to prevent it, because then he will out of a job).

(d) The Angel Gavriel ultimately produced them.

(a) In this connection, the Pasuk in Tehilim writes "la'Menatzei'ach al Yonas Eilem Rechokim Michtam le'David (the ancestor of Mashi'ach)". Some explain 'Michtam' as an acronym 'Mach ve'Tam', others as 'Makaso Tamo'.
1. 'Mach ve'Tam' means - that he was humble and perfect in his ways.
2. 'Makaso Tamo' - that his Milah (which normally stnads to be cut) was perfect (in other words, he was born circumcised.
(b) Others interpret 'Michtam' - to mean that he was perfect in his humility (because after he was crowned, he remained just as humble as he had been before).
(a) Tamar ...
1. ... sent Yehudah the three signs, rather than confront him directly - because Rav (or Rebbi Shimon Chasida or Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai) said that one should rather cast himself into a furnace than shame someone in public.
2. ... used the expression "Na" - in a plea to Yehudah to save three people (she and her two babies) from death.
(b) Yehudah was confronted with the words "Haker Na" - 'measure for measure', because they were the very words that he used when confronting his father following the sale of Yosef ("Haker Na, ha'Kesones Bincha Hi im Lo').

(c) Yehudah and Yosef both sanctified the Name of Hashem, yet the former merited that his name contains all four letters of Hashem's Great Name, whereas Yosef only had one of the letters (the 'Yud') added to his name (in the Pasuk in Tehilim "Eidus bi'Yehosef Samo ... ") - because whereas Yosef sanctified Hashem's Name in private, Yehudah did so in public.

(d) The great reward that Yehudah would reeive later in history for saving three people from the fire - is that three of his descendents (Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah) would be saved from the furnace in Bavel.

(a) When Yehudah confessed to the truth, he declared "Tzadkah Mimeni", which cannot be undersood literally - because Yehudah could not possibly have known that Tamar was pregnant from him and not from someone else?

(b) "Mimeni" - was not said by Yehudah, but by Hashem, who was announcing that the entire episode was not the fault of Yehudah, but had been orchestrated by Him, so that the kings of Yehudah, who had to descend from Yehudah, should also descend from Tamar.

(c) The Pasuk in Va'yeishev concludes "ve'Lo Yasaf Od Le'da'atah". Based on the Pasuk in Va'eschanan "Kol Gadol ve'Lo Yasaf" - Shmuel Saba quoting Rav Shmuel bar Ami interprets this Pasuk to mean (not that he did not continue to live with her, but) that he did not stop living with her.

(a) Avshalom was a Nazir. He was allowed to cut his hair once a year - because he was a N'zir Olam, to whom this is permitted.

(b) His hair weighed two hundred Shekel by the weight used in Teveryah and Tzipori.

(c) The proof from here that he was proud of his hair lies in the fact - that - he weighed it each year?

(d) He was punished by his hair - when he was running away from Yo'av (David's general) during his rebellion against his father, when his hair became entangled in a large tree, and the mule on which he was riding continued on its way, leaving him hanging between heaven and earth, at the mercy of Yo'av and his men, who subsequently found him.

(a) Even though Avshalom was wearing a sword, he did not cut himself free - because he saw Gehinom open underneath him and he became too too afraid to do so.

(b) David ha'Malech cried bitterly for his son. In his lament, he mention the word "B'ni" no less than eight times - seven times to take him out of the seven levels of Gehinom, and the eighth, either to enable him to enter Gan Eden, or so that his head, which Yo'av had severed, should be reconnected with his body.

(c) The Pasuk in Shmuel writes "ve'Avshalom Lakach Va'yatzev Lo be'Chayav es Matzeves Asher be'Eimek ha'Melech". Like Korach - he took for himself a bad acquisition.

(d) Rav Chanina bar Papa interprets ...

1. ... "Asher be'Eimek ha'Melech" - to mean that the episode with Avshalom was the realisation of the deep plan of the King of the World, who had promised David that, as a punishment for his killing of Uri'ah ha'Chiti, He would bring on him evil from his own house.
2. ... "Va'yishlacheihu me'Eimek Chevron" - to mean that Ya'akov's sending of Yosef to his brothers in Sh'chem was the realisation of the deep plan that Hashem had already revealed to the one who was buried in Chevron (Avraham Avinu).
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