ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 16
SOTAH 16 - Larry and Marsha Wachsman have dedicated this Daf in honor of their
wonderful friends, David and Gerti Kornfeld, to whom they are eternally grateful for
all the good and wonderful things they do.
(a) We ask whether, if there is no dust, the Kohen is permitted to take ashes
instead. That She'eilah is confined to the opinion of Beis Hillel, but will not be a
She'eilah according to Beis Shamai - because, according to Beis Shamai, we do not
find dust referred to as 'Eifer'.
(b) Beis Hillel regard 'Eifer' as dust - with regard to the Mitzvah of Kisuy ha'Dam
(covering the blood of a Shechted bird or wild animal).
(c) Ashes might nevertheless not be eligible by Sotah - because the Torah
specifically writes "be'Karka ha'Mishkan" (implying earth).
(d) Yet they might be eligible - because we use "be'Karka ha'Mishkan" for other
things (like Isi ben Yehudah or Isi ben Menachem, whose opinions we discussed on the
(a) According to Rebbi Yochanan citing Rebbi Yishmael, even though the Torah
specifically writes that one must cover the blood of a Shechted bird or wild animal
with dust, not shave a Nazir with a razor, and write a Get on parchment - the
Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai states that one may cover the blood with anything in which
it is possible to plant, is prohibited from shaving with any implement and write a
Get on anything that is detached.
(b) The Torah writes "be'Afar" by Kisuy ha'Dam, and "Ta'ar" by a Nazir. It indicates
that a Get should be written on parchment - by writing "ba'Seifer".
(c) The prohibition of a Nazir shaving with a razor is not simply an addition (like
the case of Metzora that will be cited later) - because we are speaking here about
receiving Malkos, and someone who administers Malkos without full justification,
transgresses two La'avin.
(a) Instead of the prohibition of a Nazir shaving with a razor - the Yerushalmi
includes the Din of piercing the ear of an Eved Ivri who wants to work beyond the
initial six-year period, where the Torah writes "ba'Martzei'a" (yet the Halachah
permits any other sharp object).
(b) Rashi prefers the Yerushalmi's version - because shaving a Nazir, is not
considered uprooting, but adding (like Rashi asked in the previous question [Tosfos
Shantz], though one wonders whether it may not be because shaving a Nazir is a La'av,
whereas all the others are Asei).
(a) We attempt to prove our She'eilah (whether ashes may replace dust or not) from
Rebbi Yochanan's statement - because if they may, why does he not include them in his
list of Halachos which uproot the Pasuk (bringing the total up to four)?
(b) We reject the proof - using the principle 'Tana ve'Shayer' (the Tana omits other
(c) We suggest that the Tana also omits the second shaving of a Metzora.
1. We learn from the 'K'lal u'F'rat u'Ch'lal' "Ve'hayah ba'Yom ha'Shevi'i, Yegalach
es Kol Se'aro (K'lal), es Rosho, es Zekano ve'es Gabos Einav" (P'rat) "ve'es Kol
Se'aro Yegale'ach" (K'lal) - that, by his second shaving, a Metzora is obligated to
shave off any gathering of hair that is naturally visible.
(d) In fact, the Halachah is - that the Metzora must shave every hair on his body
(like a pumpkin).
2. This ought to include - the hair of the Beis ha'Ervah.
3. And it ought to exclude - the hair under the armpit as well as all the hair that
grows sparsely all over the body.
(a) There is no proof from the Reisha of the Mishnah in Nega'im 'Ba Lo Lehakif es
ha'Metzora Ma'avir Ta'ar Al Kol Besaro' - since that speaks in connection with the
Metzora's first shaving, whereas we are speaking about the second shaving (on the
(b) The proof - lies in the Seifa, which compares the second shaving to the first
(c) When Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak differentiates between 'Halachah Okeves Mikra' and
'Halachah Okeves de'Rabbanan' he means that Rebbi Yochanan is only concerned with the
Halachah uprooting specific Pesukim such as "Seifer", "Eifer", "Ta'ar" or
"Martzei'a"; but not D'rashos such as 'K'lal u'Frat u'Ch'lal' (which he refers to as
de'Rabbanan), as is the case of Metzora, which he considers more feasible.
(d) When Rav Papa says 'Ki ka'Chashiv, Halachah Okeves ve'Okeres, Ha Okeves u'Mosefes
Hi' - he means that in the three cases referred to by Rebbi Yochanan, the Halachah
uproots the Pasuk completely, whereas in the case of the Metzora, it merely comes to
add to the Pasuk's requirements.
(a) Rav Ashi arrives at the same conclusion by establishing the Beraisa of 'K'lal
u'F'rat u'Ch'lal' like Rebbi Yishmael who, throughout the entire Torah, Darshens
'K'lal u'F'rat u'Ch'lal' (in the manner that we described). And according to him, the
Metzora will not be completely shaven. The author of the Mishnah in Nega'im (which
holds that the Metzora must be shaven like a pumpkin, even the second time) - is
Rebbi Akiva, who Darshens the Torah not in the format of a 'K'lal u'F'rat u'Ch'lal',
but of a 'Ribuy u'Mi'ut ve'Ribuy', which includes everything but for one thing
(Again, we have no case to pair with Sotah).
(b) The one thing that the Mi'ut (" es Rosho, es Zekano ve'es Gabos Einav") comes to
exclude according to Rebbi Akiva - is the hair inside the Metzora's nose.
(c) Rebbi Yishmael's tradition stems from Rebbi Nechunyah ben Hakaneh - and it was
Nachum Ish Gamzu who taught Rebbi Akiva his tradition.
(a) We ask 'Mai Havi Alah' - with regard to our She'eilah regarding the use of ashes
instead of dust (even though we seem to have resolved it already. See Tosfos DH 'Mai
(b) We resolve the She'eilah from Rav, who permits the use of rotting vegetables in
place of dust (presumably because they originally grew from the earth) - but not
(a) The Tana of the Beraisa adds two things that must be visible to the Mei Sotah.
One of them is the ashes of the Parah Adumah in the water - the other is the spittle
of the Yevamah before the eyes of the Beis-Din.
(b) When Rebbi Yishmael cites the Pasuk "ve'Taval Osam be'Dam ha'Tzipor ha'Shechutah"
- he is referring to a fourth thing that must be visible; namely, the blood of the
Shechted bird in the purification ceremony of the Metzora (in other words, there
should not be too much water in the earthenware vessel into which he Shechts the
(c) There must certainly be water in the vessel too - because the Torah writes "Al
(d) Rebbi Yishmael gives the Shiur of water as a Revi'is ha'Lug - because that is the
amount of water required for both the blood of the bird and the water to be
(a) According to the Rabbanan, the Torah writes "ve'Taval Osam be'Dam ha'Tzipor
ha'Shechutah" and "Al ha'Mayim ha'Chayim" - to teach us that both are required,
irrespective of whether the blood is recognizable in the water or not.
(b) Rebbi Yishmael counters this with the argument that the Torah could then have
written "ve'Taval Bahem ... ". The Chachamim disagree with him - because that would
imply that one dips the things first into one, then into the other, without actually
(c) Rebbi Yishmael learns the obligation to mix the water and the blood from the
Pasuk "ve'Shachat es ha'Tzipor ha'Echas el K'li Cheres al Mayim Chayim" - which the
Rabbanan would have explained to mean that the Kohen Shechts the bird over the bowl
holding the blood vessels tight so that none of the blood flows into the water whilst
they bring him another bowl for the blood to flow into.
(a) Rebbi Yirmiyah asked Rebbi Zeira what the Din would be if the bird was so big
that it the water was no longer visible once its blood dripped into it, or if it was
so small that the blood was not visible in the water. Rebbi Zeira initially gave a
sharp reply - reminding him that he had told him before not to query the Shiurim of
Chazal, which are scrupulously accurate.
(b) Rebbi Yirmiyah's She'eilah was irrelevant - because when it comes to a Tzipor
D'ror (the type of free-roaming bird that was eligible for this Mitzvah), Chazal
assessed that there is no bird so large that its blood can render the Revi'is ha'Lug
of water invisible, and none so small that its blood should be rendered invisible by
(a) The Tana Kama invalidates the Mei Sotah, if the Kohen placed the dust into the
cup before the water - because the Torah writes Ve'nasan el ha'Mayim".
(b) Rebbi Shimon learns from the Pesukim (in connection with the Parah Adumah)
"ve'Nasan Alav ... " and "... Mayim Chayim el Keli" - that the Kohen had the choice
of either placing the ashes into the vessel first, or of first pouring in the
(c) He now extrapolates from the fact that the Torah writes there "ve'Lakchu la'Tamei
*me'Afar* S'reifas ha'Chatas", and not " ... *me'Eifer* S'reifas ha'Chatas" - that we
Darshen a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' with "Afar" that is written by Sotah.
(d) We learn with regard to ...
1. ... Parah Adumah from Sotah - that the dust may be placed into the water that is
already in the vessel.
2. ... Sotah from Parah Adumah - that Bedi'eved, if he placed the dust first, it
(a) The Tana Kama learns from "Mayim Chayim el Keli" that the water had to be placed
in the vessel first. They interpret the Pasuk "ve'Nasan *Alav* Mayim Chayim" to mean
- that the Kohen then had to mix them together.
(b) Alternatively, he might have learned from "Alav" that the dust must be placed
inside the vessel first, in which case he would have explained "Mayim Chayim el Keli"
to mean - that the water must be drawn from the spring directly into this vessel, and
not first drawn into another vessel and then transferred into this one.
(c) The Tana Kama declines to accept this interpretation - because he takes his cue
from other cases where the Machshir is placed on top.
(d) We find this principle in two other cases: by Sotah and by Metzora. The Machshir
1. ... by Sotah is - the ashes
2. ... by Metzora is - the blood of the bird.