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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 15



(a) We learn from the Pasuk "Ve'hiktir ha'Kohen es Azkarasah ... ve'ha'Noseres min ha'Minchah le'Aharon u'le'Vanav" - that as soon as the Kometz has been brought, the Kohanim are permitted to eat the remainder of the Minchah.

(b) According to some, the Kohanim are permitted to eat the Minchah as soon as the fire ignites the Kometz; according to others - only when most of the Kometz is burning.

(c) We learn that ...

1. ... the Kohanim are permitted to add wine, oil and honey to their part of the Minchah - from "le'Mashchah" (Korach, in connection with the gifts of Kehunah), which implies 'for greatness, like the kings eat their food'.
2. ... they are obligated to eat it as Matzah and not Chametz - from the Pasuk in Tzav "Lo Se'afeh Chametz, Chelkam".
(a) We have already discussed the qualifications of the various Menachos above. The problem with the statement in the Mishnah 'Kol ha'Menachos Te'unos Shemen u'Levonah' - is that it is inaccurate, due to the Minchas Chotei, which does not.

(b) A Minchas Chotei comprises - the Korban Oleh ve'Yored of a Tamei Mikdash or someone who made a false Shevu'as ha'Eidus or Shevu'as Bituy (in Parshas Vayikra), who cannot afford to bring the initial animal Korban or even the birds.

(c) Our Mishnah already discussed why a Minchas Sotah does not require oil and frankincense. Rebbi Shimon in a Beraisa explains that it really ought to - so that the sinner should not gain.

(d) Similar reasoning pertains to a Chatas Cheilev - which really ought to include Nesachim (a drink-offering) but does not, both for exactly the same reasons as the Minchas Sotah. The reason that Chazal refer to every Chatas as a Chatas Cheilev is - because of the juxtaposition of the Din of Chatas next to that of Cheilev.

(a) The Chatas and Asham of a Metzora differ from other Chata'os and Ashamos - inasmuch as they require Nesachim.

(b) The reason for this is because they do not come to atone for a sin (like the others do). That what we have learned in Erchin that Tzara'as is a punishment for any one of seven sins - is atoned by the actual Tzara'as itself, and not by the Korban.

(c) The purpose of the Chatas and the Asham of the Metzora therefore, is - to permit the Metzora to eat Kodshim?

(d) The reason that a Chatas Nazir Tahor, according to Rebbi Shimon, does not also require Nesachim is - because he holds like Rebbi Elazar ha'Kapar, who maintains that a Nazir too, has sinned by abstaining from wine, and that is what his Chatas comes to atone.

(a) According to Rebbi Meir in a Beraisa, the Sotah's Minchah consists of barley, measure for measure, for feeding her lover the finest foods. Raban Gamliel disagrees with him (as we learned in our Mishnah) - because, in that case, the Minchah of a poor Sotah, who cannot afford fine foods, should consist of wheat. Therefore he explains that it is because she behaved like an animal.

(b) Raban Gamliel explained it like a 'Chomer' - a button, which ties the two loose ends together.




(a) The Kohen then placed water from the Kiyor into an cup. We learn that the water was taken from the Kiyor for this purpose - from the fact that the Torah refers to the water as "Mayim Kedoshim".

(b) He would pour half a Lug into an earthenware cup.

(c) According to Rebbi Yehudah, it was only a quarter of a Lug. The sign that the Tana gives whereby to remember that Rebbi Yehudah's Shiur is smaller than the Tana Kama's is - that just as Rebbi Yehudah diminishes from the Tana Kama's Shiur of what was written on the parchment, so too, does he diminish from the Tana Kama's Shiur of how much water the Kohen placed in the cup.

(a) The Kohen took the earth that he placed into the water - from the Heichal, to the right of the point of entry from the Ulam (because of the principle that, all things being equal, 'one should always turn to the right').

(b) The exact spot was easily recognizable - inasmuch as it was covered by a slab of marble an Amah by an Amah which differed from all the other slabs by virtue of a metal ring that was set in it, which served as a handle.

(c) We learn from the fact that the Torah writes "u'Min he'Afar ... ve'Nasan el ha'Mayim", rather than "ve'Nasnah ba'Mayim" - that the earth that the Kohen placed into the cup had to be noticeable.

(a) Rebbi Yishmael in a Beraisa learns from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "K'li" "K'li" from a Metzora that the cup must be new. He extrapolates from the Pasuk in Metzora "Ve'shachat es ha'Tzipor ha'Achas el K'li Cheres al Mayim Chayim" that the vessel there, must be a new one - because, he maintains, the Torah is comparing the vessel to the water (which had to be spring water, as the Torah writes specifically).

(b) According to Rebbi Yishmael (the author of this Beraisa) - the water used for the Sotah did indeed have to be spring water (like that used by a Metzora).

(c) We query Rebbi Yishmael's 'Gezeirah-Shavah' from a Metzora on the grounds that the Din of Metzora has a special feature (that it requires a piece of cedar wood, a sprig of hyssop and a red thread) which a Sotah does not (and presumably, the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' is not Mufneh [superfluous]).

(d) Rabah resolves the problem however, from the Torah's wording "Ve'lakach bi'Ch'li Cheres" (rather than "Ve'lakach K'li Cheres") - implying that a K'li Cheres that has been mentioned elsewhere (by Metzora) should be used here (by Sotah) too.

(a) Even though the Chachamim do not learn Mei Sotah from Metzora, says Rava, they will nonetheless concede that the cup used for a Sotah must not have changed its appearance due to age - because it is compared to the water, which must be fresh.

(b) Rava asks whether an aged cup will become eligible if it was returned to the furnace. Rebbi Elazar in a Beraisa rules that a piece of cedar wood, a sprig of hyssop and a red thread that had been tied to a box and slung over one's shoulder and which became bent - is Pasul for a Metzora to use(ostensibly because it was temporarily bent).

(c) We cannot resolve Rava's She'eilah from there however - because the reason there may well be because inevitably, some of the raw material will have rubbed off, which is why it is Pasul (and not because of its having been temporarily bent).

(a) According to the first Beraisa, the Kohen is expected to take the dust from the floor of the Mishkan. We learn from ...
1. ... the word "be'Karka" - that he should take dust from the floor of the Mishkan, and not bring in a boxful from outside?
2. ... "Asher Yih'yeh" - that that is only necessary if there is loose earth there. If not, he is not obligated to bring a spade to loosen the earth, but may bring a boxful of earth from outside.
(b) The Tana of the second Beraisa argues with the first one. He learns from the Torah's wording "Asher Yih'yeh *be*'Karka ha'Mishkan" (rather than "*mi*'Karka ha'Mishkan") - that one should bring a boxful of earth from outside.
(a) Isi ben Yehudah learns from "be'Karka ha'Mishkan" - that Mikdash has the same Din as Mishkan in this regard.

(b) We reject the text 'La'havi Shiloh, Nov ve'Giv'on u'Beis Olamim' ...

1. ... 'Shiloh' - because Shiloh is synonymous with Mishkan, which is precisely where the current Pesukim are written.
2. ... 'Nov ve'Giv'on' - because there was no Mishkan there, only the Mizbei'ach, and the Din of Sotah was not practiced there anyway, seeing as her Korban could not be brought.
(c) The only Korbanos that were brought on the Mizbei'ach in Nov and Giv'on were - Korbanos that had a fixed time.
(a) The author of the first Beraisa cited above is Isi ben Menachem, who considers it unnecessary to learn Mikdash from Mishkan - since he learns that from a 'Kal va'Chomer' from Tum'ah. Since we have already learned with regard to Tum'ah (which is only a Chiyuv Ka'res) that Mikdash has the same Din as Mishkan, then that will certainly be the case with regard to a Sotah, who is subject to Misas Beis-Din.

(b) We learn from the two Pesukim "es Mikdash Hashem Timei" "Ki es Mishkan Hashem Timei" - that both Mikdash and Mishkan are subject to Tum'as Kodesh.

(c) So he learns from "be'Karka ha'Mishkan" - that it is not necessary to bring a boxful from outside as we learned above, according to the first Tana.

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