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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 18



(a) Rava invalidates a Megilas Sotah that is written on two columns - because the Pasuk writes 'ba'Sefer', implying one Sefer and not two or three Sefarim.

(b) And he learns from the Pasuk "ve'Asah Lah ha'Kohen es Kol ha'Torah ha'Zos" - that he needs to place the entire Megilah into the water at once, and not each letter after he has already erased the previous one.

(a) "Ve'asah Lah" implies that the Megilas Sotah must be written for that particular Sotah (and not for another). Rava thinks that two Megilos might not be Kasher if they are placed in the same cup of water, even if they were written for two Sotos - because it is possible, he says, that like the writing, the erasing needs to be performed specifically for that particular Sotah.

(b) And assuming that we require ...

1. ... the erasing to be performed for the actual Sotah, we might even invalidate two Megilos that were written separately and placed into two cups, if they were then poured into one cup - because each Sotah requires her own cup.
2. ... each Sotah to drink her own cup, we might even invalidate the previous case, if they subsequently poured the water into two cups before the two Sotos drank it - because perhaps we will apply the principle 'Ein Bereirah' (the water that each one drank is not retroactively hers).
(a) Rava also asks whether the Sotah will have performed her obligation if she placed a fibrous substance into the cup, and then sucked the water that it had absorbed (according to the explanation of the Aruch), or if she drank from a straw. She might not have fulfilled her obligation - because that is not the way people normally drink.

(b) Rav Ashi - asks whether the Sotah will have fulfilled her obligation if some of the water spilled (a She'eilah which remains unanswered).

(a) Rava rejects Rav's contention that when the Torah writes two Shevu'os, one pertains to before the Megilah is written, and the other, to afterwards - on the grounds that both Pesukim are written before the erasing.

(b) So Rava explains - that one refers to a Shevu'ah with a curse (on the assumption that she is guilty) and the other, to a Shevu'ah without a curse (on the assumption that she is innocent).

(c) Rava rejects Rav Amram Amar Rav, who defines a Shevu'ah with an Alah as 'Mashbi'eini Alayich she'Lo Nitmeis, she'Im Nitmeis Yavo'u Bach', on the grounds that in that case, the Alah and the Shevu'ah are unconnected - so he amends the wording to 'Mashbi'eini Alayich she'Im Nitmeis Yavo'u Bach'.

(d) Rav Ashi rejects Rava's explanation because, in that case, there is only an Alah, but no Shevu'ah. So he finally amend Rava's definition to read 'Mashbi'eini Alayich she'Lo Nitmeis, ve'Im Nitmeis Yavo'u Bach'

(a) Following the Alah and the Shevu'ah, the Sotah would respond with 'Amen, Amen', to cover both of the them, and to cover any man other than the one about whom her husband warned her. When the Tana of our Mishnah mean adds that the two Amens also cover 'Arusah u'Nesu'ah, Shomeres Yavam u'Kenusah' - he is referring to two independent cases, 'Arusah u'Nesu'ah' refers to a married woman and 'Shomeres Yavam u'Kenusah' to a Yevamah.

(b) According to the Tana Kama - the double Amen also implies 'Amen she'Lo Nitmeisi, ve'Im Nitmeisi, Yavo'u Bi'.

(c) According to Rebbi Meir, this list also incorporates future acts of adultery on the woman's part (so it therefore includes 'Amen she'Lo Nitmeisi, Amen she'Lo Atamei').

(a) The second Amen covers any seclusion - from the time of the husband's engagement (according to everyone), until his divorce (according to Rebbi Meir).

(b) If a divorced woman secludes herself with another man, and her husband remarries her, the second Amen (by a subsequent Kinuy and S'tirah) will not cover that seclusion - because the adultery of a divorced woman does not forbid her to her first husband (and, as our Mishnah concludes, any act of seclusion that does not forbid a wife on her husband, is not covered by the second Amen.

(c) Living with another man not forbid a divorcee to return to her husband - because the Torah specifically forbids a woman to return to her first husband only if she married someone else after her divorce, but not if she only lived with him.




(a) Based on the previous statement, Rav Hamnuna proves from the fact the Tana of our Mishnah includes Shomeres Yavam u'Kenusah - that a Shomeres Yavam who commits adultery with another man is forbidden to the Yavam (even though she only contravened an ordinary La'av).

(b) In Eretz Yisrael however, they refuted Rav Hamnuna's proof. According to them, she is not forbidden to the Yavam through having committed adultery. They justify our Mishnah mentioning Shomeres Yavam u'Kenusah - by establishing its author as Rebbi Akiva, in whose opinion Kidushin do not take effect on Chayvei La'avin, giving them the Din of Chayvei Ka'res (but according to the Rabbanan, the Mishnah would not have inserted Shomeres Yavam u'Kenusah).

(c) Rebbi Yirmiyah asked whether the second Amen also covers the previous marriage, either his own or his brother's. We cannot learn this from our Mishnah, which explicitly says 'Arusah u'Nesu'ah, Shomeres Yavam and K'nusah' - because, as we explained in our Mishnah, the Tana is dealing with two independent cases.

(d) We resolve Rebbi Yirmiyah's She'eilah - from the Seifa of our Mishnah, 'Zeh ha'K'lal ... ', from which we can infer that whenever such an act would forbid her on her husband, the second Amen incorporates it, which is the case in both She'eilos.

(a) When Rebbi Meir says that the husband's warning covers future acts of seclusion - he does not mean that the water works retroactively (see Poras Yosef), but from the time that she commits adultery the second time.

(b) Rav Ashi asks whether, according to Rebbi Meir, a man's warning to his wife can take effect now for when he divorces her and remarries her. We resolve this She'eilah from our Mishnah - because the Tana only says that it does not work in a case where she committed adultery whilst she was divorced (since then, she does not become forbidden to him), from which we can infer that if she committed adultery after he remarried her, then it does.

(a) The Tana Kama of the Beraisa learns from the Pasuk "Zos *Toras* ha'Kena'os" - that a woman can (become a Sotah and) drink twice.

(b) Whereas Rebbi Yehudah learns from "*Zos*" - that she cannot.

(c) Rebbi Yehudah establishes the testimony of Nechunyah Chofer Shichin that a woman can drink twice - when she had two husbands (i.e. if her first husband warned her, then died or divorced her and she married again).

(d) The Rabbanan say that even then, she does not drink a second time.

(a) The problem with the Tana Kama and the latter Rabbanan is - how do they learn "Zos" and "Toras" respectively?

(b) Everybody agrees that a woman ...

1. ... cannot drink twice - in a case of one husband and one adulterer (from "Zos").
2. ... can drink twice - in a case of two husbands and two adulterers (from "Toras").
(c) Consequently, they argue when there is one husband and two adulterers or two husbands and one adulterer. The Tana Kama includes all cases from "Toras" and excludes only the case of one husband and one adulterer from "Zos". According to ...
1. ... the latter Rabbanan - we exclude all cases from "Zos", except for two husbands and two adulterers, which we include from "Toras".
2. ... Rebbi Yehudah - "Zos excludes two cases (when there is one husbands, even if there are two adulterers); and "Toras comes to include two cases (when there are two husbands, even if there is only one adulterer).
(d) The Tana Kama evidently maintains that "Toras" is more all-inclusive than "Zos" is exclusive, and the Rabbanan hold the opposite. According to Rebbi Yehudah, the Torah left it to the Chachamim to Darshen as they saw fit, and they found it more logical to Darshen "Zos" to exclude one husband and two adulterers from drinking twice rather than two husbands and (even) one adulterer - on the grounds that once the woman is found to be innocent with that husband, we can assume that it is he who is out to make trouble for his wife, irrespective of who the so-called adulterer is) Rashi.
***** Hadran Alach Hayah Meivi *****

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