ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf 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
(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
(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
(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
(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.
(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".
2. ... Tzidkiyah - had his eyes blinded by Nevuchadnetzar.
3. ... Asa - become ill in his legs (with the illness known as 'Padgera').
(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
(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
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.
(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.
2. Whereas Shimshon was downgraded - inasmuch as it resulted in his illicit
relationships with P'lishti women.
(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
2. ... she was married - in the negative.
3. ... her father had received Kidushin on her behalf - that she was an
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.
(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
2. 'Makaso Tamo' - that his Milah (which normally stnads to be cut) was
perfect (in other words, he was born circumcised.
(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.
(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').
2. ... used the expression "Na" - in a plea to Yehudah to save three people
(she and her two babies) from death.
(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
(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
(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
(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