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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 25

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) We ask whether a woman an 'Overes al Das Yehudis' requires warning or not. 'Overes al Das Yehudis' - means a woman who walks in the street with her hair uncovered, spins in the main street (which invariably leads to revealing one's arms) and speaks with any man.

(b) The ramifications of the She'eilah - are that she will only lose her Kesuvah if she has been warned (since the warning will give her a chance to do Teshuvah).

(c) We learned in our Mishnah that an Arusah and a Shomeres Yavam do not drink, but they are subject to Kinuy. According to Abaye, there is no proof from here that she only loses her Kesuvah after having been warned, because the warning there may be in order to forbid her on the Arus. Rav Papa refutes the proof - by establishing it like the Beraisa, which rules that the warning of an Arusah will be effective to make her drink should she subsequently seclude herself with a man after her marriage.

(d) In similar vein, Rava attempts to resolve our She'eilah from our Mishnah which states that an Almanah le'Kohen Gadol and a Gerushah le'Kohen Hedyot do not drink but are subject to warning, despite the fact that she is forbidden to her husband anyway. Rav Yehudah from Diskarta however, refutes the proof - because the purpose of the warning might be to forbid her to the adulterer, and not for her to lose her Kesuvah.

(a) We finally resolve the She'eilah from the Seifa of our Mishnah. The Tana himself states that the reason for Beis-Din playing the role of the husband in warning a woman whose husband is a deaf-mute, demented or in prison is - in order for her to lose her Kesuvah, a clear proof that 'Overes al Das' requires warning in order to lose her Kesuvah.

(b) The Amora'im initially attempt to resolve the She'eilah from the earlier sections of the Mishnah, and not from the Seifa (despite the strength of the proof) - because that proof too, they thought they could refute on the grounds that, seeing as those three women do have a husband of whom they are afraid. Consequently, they are less to blame, and would therefore not lose her Kesuvah without due warning; whereas a woman who has a strong deterrent in the form of a fully-functioning husband of whom she is afraid, would not need to be warned.

(a) We ask whether a man has the right to forgive his wife who is Overes al Das and continue to live with her. Even assuming that he is - the Beis-Din warns the wife of a man who is a deaf-mute, demented or in prison - on the grounds that most men would strongly object to such behavior.

(b) We also ask whether a Sotah's husband has the right to forgive his wife and absolve her from drinking the Mei Sotah. Despite the Pasuk "Ve'kinei es Ishto" (implying that the decision lies with him), the Torah might be speaking according to the norms, because that is what most men would do (and not because he has a choice in the matter).

(c) Even assuming that a Sotah's husband does have the right to forgive his wife ...

1. ... Beis-Din nevertheless warn the wife of a man who is a deaf-mute, demented or in prison - on the grounds that most husbands would object to their wives living a licentious lifestyle.
2. ... send two Talmidei-Chachamim to ensure that the husband is not intimate with his wife on the way - precisely because they are Talmidei-Chachamim who will know, when they see signs that the man intends to be intimate with his wife, to warn him to first rescind his warning and forgive her.
(a) We resolve both of these She'eilos from a statement by Rebbi Yashiyah quoting Ze'ira the Yerushalmi, who says - that if a husband rescinded his Kinuy - it is effective.

(b) He also says that ...

1. ... a Zaken Mamrei whom the Sanhedrin forgave - is duly forgiven.
2. ... a ben Sorer u'Moreh whose parents forgave him - is forgiven too.
(c) The Chachamim disagree - with the former of these two rulings so as to eliminate strife in Yisrael.
(a) Rav Acha and Ravina argue over - whether the effectiveness of a Sotah's husband's forgiveness is restricted to before the S'tirah or applies even afterwards.

(b) Rebbi Yossi eliminates the needs for two Talmidei-Chachamim to accompany the Sotah and her husband to the Beis-Hamikdash on the basis of a 'Kal va'Chomer' from Nidah, where the husband is believed constantly (and does not require two witnesses that he was not intimate with his wife )- in spite of the Isur *Kar'es* of Bo'el Nidah - how much more so should he be believed by an Isur Sotah, which is merely a *La'av* ("Acharei Asher Hutama'ah").

(c) The Chachamim counter the 'Kal va'Chomer' - by differentiating between a Nidah, who will shortly become permitted (which explains why he is believed), and a Sotah, who will not.

(d) The Rabbaban's argument help us resolve our She'eilah - because if a Sotah's forgiveness would be effective even after the S'tirah, then the Sotah becomes permitted too, and the difference between a Nidah and a Sotah falls away.



6) We learned in our Mishnah that according to Beis Shamai, in the event that the Sotah's husband dies before she has managed to bring the Mei Sotah, she nevertheless receives her Kesuvah, whereas according to Beis Hillel, she does not. Beis-Shamai holds 'Sh'tar ha'Omed Ligavos ke'Gavuy Dami' (a document is considered as having been claimed, placing the onus to dispel any doubts in the court of the defendant); whereas Beis Hillel holds ' ... La'av ke'Gavuy Dami', in which case, based on the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro Alav ha'Re'ayah', it is still the claimant who must prove his claim.


(a) We learned in our Mishnah that Rebbi Eliezer and the Chachamim argue over an Aylonis, an old woman and one who cannot have children, all of whom Rebbi Eliezer considers fit to retain, because he can always marry a second wife. Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah erases Aylonis from this list - because, as he derives from the Pasuk "Ve'niksah Ve'nizre'ah Zara", a Sotah must be basically fit to have children, which an Aylonis is not.

(b) He differentiates between an Aylonis - who was not fit from birth to have children (and who, one might say, does not belong to the species that can) and the other two cases, both of which belong to the species that can have children, due to the fact that, initially, they were able to do so.

(c) Rav Nachman reconciles his opinion with the Tana of the Beraisa (that we are about to discuss), which specifically lists Aylonis in a group of women who do drink - by establishing this point as a Machlokes Tana'im, as we shall now see.

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