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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 22

SOTAH 21-25 - These Dafim have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham-Fauer in honor of the first Yahrzeit (18 Teves 5761) of her father, Reb Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner). May the merit of supporting and advancing the study of the Talmud be l'Iluy Nishmaso.



(a) Rebbi Elazar ben P'das refers to someone who has learned Chumash and Mishnah but not Gemara, as an Am ha'Aretz - in which case, they are not believed regarding Ma'asros and Taharos, and their touch renders Tamei.

(b) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini calls him a Bur and Rebbi Yanai, a Kuti. The difference between ...

1. ... an Am ha'Aretz and a Bur (see Agados Maharsha) - is that the latter does not even have Midos either, whereas the former has at least that.
2. ... an Am ha'Aretz and a Kuti - is that whereas the latter's bread and wine are forbidden too (because his lack of interest in learning Gemara demonstrates his unreliability, and he only studied Mishnah for show), the former's are not.
(c) Rav Acha bar Ya'akov calls him a Magush and Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak agrees with him. A 'Magush' is a magician who tricks people with his sleight of hand tricks; likewise this 'Talmid-Chacham' tricks people into thinking that he is very learned by quoting lots of sources, though he does really understand them.
(a) Rebbi Meir in a Beraisa, defines an Am ha'Eretz as someone who does not read the Shema with the B'rachos each day (Rashi appears not to have had 'with the B'rachos' in his text) see Agados Maharsha. The Chachamim and ben Azai respectively define it - as someone who does not wear Tefilin every day, or one who wears a four-cornered garment without Tzitzis.

(b) Rebbi Yonasan ben Yosef defines an Am ha'Aretz as someone who does not educate his children to study Torah, and Acheirim, in the same way as Rebbi Elazar ben P'das (whose opinion we saw earlier). The Pasuk ...

1. ... "Ve'zara'ti es Beis Yisrael ve'es Beis Yehudah Zera Adam *ve'Zera Beheimah*" - is referring to people who have not even learned Chumash and Mishnah, in which case they are no better than an animal.
2. ... "Yerei es Hashem, B'ni u'Melech, ve'Im *Shonim* Al Tis'arev", according to Rebbi Yitzchak - is referring to those who learn Mishnah (which the Tana calls 'Halachos'), and with whom Shlomoh advised his son Rechav'am not to mix.
(c) The reason for this advice - because it is dangerous to rule from Mishnayos without first having learned the Gemara.

(d) If not for Rebbi Yitzchak, we would have established "Shonim" like Rav Huna - who says that once a person has performed a sin and repeated it, he considers as if it was actually permitted (and the word "Shonim" would then mean those who repeat their sins).

(a) The Pasuk "Halichos Olam Lo" refers to - those who learn the Mishnahs, thereby establishing the basis of Halachos.

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua reconciles the statement 'ha'Tana'im Mevalei Olam' with this Pasuk - by establishing the Pasuk with regard to those who compile the Mishnayos, and the statement with regard to those who issue rulings from the Mishnah.

(a) Rebbi Yochanan learned ...
1. ... fear of sin from a young virgin - who fell on her face and whom he overheard praying that no-one should sin because of her, to lose their portion in Gan Eden and to inherit Gehinom on account of her.
2. ... the concept of reward from a widow - who used to Daven in his Shul every single day, even though she lived at the other end of town. When he asked her whether there was no Shul closer to her, she responded that she wanted not only the reward for Tefilah, but also for walking further (S'char Pesi'os).
(b) The Tana of a Beraisa, who includes a praying woman in his list of those who destroy the world is referring - (not to such a sincere woman, but rather) to someone of the caliber of Yuchni bas Retivi, who would use sorcery to stop pregnant women from bearing their children, and then pretend to pray for them whilst she simply removed the spell, until the time that someone discovered her bubbling pot.

(c) The Tana also included an Almanah Shovavis - a widow who was constantly visiting her neighbors (whose real intention is to live an immoral lifestyle).

(a) He finally listed a minor whose years are not yet completed. Some explain this to mean a disciple who rebels against his Rebbe. Rebbi Aba connects it with a statement by Rebbi Avahu Amar Rav Huna Amar Rav, who learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Ki Rabim Chalalehah *Hipilah*" - that someone who has not yet attained the age to issue rulings, should not do so (from the word 'Nefel' [a premature baby]).
2. ... "*va'Atzumim* Kol Harugehah" - that someone who has, should not refrain from doing so (from the word 'Otzem' [to close]).
(b) One is considered unfit to issue rulings - until the age of forty.

(c) Rabah issued rulings for a number of years (despite the fact that he died at the age of forty) - because he was equal to the greatest Talmid-Chacham in town. One would also be permitted to issue rulings if there was nobody older than forty.




(a) The Beraisa lists seven Perushin - meaning people who make a pretense of abstaining from evil, but who are not sincere. What they have in common is that they comprise the 'Makos P'rushin' who destroy the world, mentioned by Rebbi Yehoshua in our Mishnah.

(b) Parush ...

1. ... Shichmi - refers to someone who performs good deeds purely so that others should hold him in high esteem (like the inhabitants of Sh'chem, who performed the Milah purely for the material benefits that they hoped to gain from it.
2. ... Nakfi - refers to someone who takes short steps without lifting his feet from the ground (so as to appear modest), banging his feet against stones in the process.
(c) Parush Kiza'i is someone who pretends to close his eyes so as not to look at women, banging his head against the wall in the process. 'Parush Maduchya' - refers to people who walk with heads bent in fake modesty (like a pestle with a bent head).

(d) Parush 'Mah Chovasi' seems to be a good thing. What he really means to say is - 'What more can I possibly do that I have not done already?'

1. ... Parush me'Ahavah' - is someone who abstains from evil out of love of reward.
2. ... Parush mi'Yir'ah' - is someone who does so out of fear of punishment.
(b) Abaye and Rava instructed the Beraisa-expert to erase them from the text because of what Rav Yehudah Amar Rav - who said that one is obligated to study Torah and perform Mitzvos even for motives other than that Hashem commanded them, because doing so leads a person to perform them for the right motive.
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak says that - the Beis-Din shel Ma'alah will punish those people who 'cover their heads with a Talis' (pretending to be Tzadikim), when really they are not.

(b) Yanai ha'Melech told his wife 'Shelomis' on his death-bed that she need fear neither the Perushim nor the Tzedokim. She might have had reason to fear the Perushim - who hated Yanai for having killed many of their number during his life-time, and they might take it out of her or out of their children.

(c) Yanai nevertheless instructed her not to be afraid of them - because they were Tzadikim and would not punish her or their children on account of what he had done.

(d) When he said 'Osin Ma'aseh Zimri u'Mevakshin S'char ke'Pinchas' - he was referring to the 'Tzevu'in' (the pretenders) who make out that they are Perushim when really they are Tzedokim (they behave like Zimri but they want reward like Pinchas - or with regard to modesty; they are decadent in their personal conduct, but pretend to be exceptionally modest.

(a) Rebbi Shimon in our Mishnah rejects the concept of merits protecting a Sotah from punishment - because first of all, it weakens the deterrent quality of the water in the eyes of the women who might have to drink it; and secondly, because it will give a bad name to those women who drink and are truly innocent, since people will now accuse them of bring guilty, and ascribe nothing happening to them to their merits.

(b) According to Rebbi - a woman who had merits would neither have children nor would she improve. In fact, she would begin to decline until she died the death that was her due.

10) Should a Sotah's Minchah become Tamei ...
1. ... before it is placed in a K'li Sha'res - it may be redeemed (like any other Minchah), and a replacement purchased with the proceeds.
2. ... afterwards - it must be burned (like any other Minchah), because Kedushas ha'Guf cannot be redeemed.
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