(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Sotah 26

SOTAH 26,27,29,30 - 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) The Tana draws a distinction between a young man whose old wife or one who is unable to have children is a Sotah who has another wife - in which case she is fit to retain and drinks, one who does not, in which case she is unfit to retain and does not drink.

(b) The latter leaves the marriage without a Kesuvah.

(c) The Tana obligates a Sotah who is pregnant or feeding to drink the Mei Sotah (or to leave without a Kesuvah) - even though this will result in her fetus or her baby dying too.

(d) What 'Eishes Mamzer le'Mamzer, Eishes Nasin le'Nasin, Eishes Ger ve'Eved Meshuchrar ve'Aylonis' have in common is - that they either drink the Mei Sotah or they leave the marriage without a Kesuvah.

(a) Rav Nachman (who holds that even the Rabbanan of Rebbi Eliezer agree that an Aylonis does not drink) holds like Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar, who learns from the Pasuk "Ve'niksah Ve'nizre'ah Zara" - a woman who is unfit to have children does not drink the Mei Sotah.

(b) Rebbi Akiva learns from "Ve'niksah Ve'nizre'ah Zara" - that if the woman had previously been barren, she would now bear children).

(c) Rebbi Yishmael objects to this D'rashah - because is would serve as an incentive for women who could not have children to contravene their husband's instructions and seclude with other men to enable them to bear children (as indeed Chanah threatened to do, according to the Gemara in B'rachos).

(d) So he modifies the D'rashah to learn from the Pasuk - that if until now, she was used to having painful births, she would from now on, bear children painlessly, and if she was used to bearing girls, short or ugly children, she will from now on give birth to boys, tall and good-looking children.

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah included a Pasul woman who is married to a Mamzer in the Din of drinking, as well as the wife of a convert and a a freed slave. He found it necessary to include ...
1. ... a Pasul woman who is married to a Mamzer - because we might otherwise have thought that (bearing in mind that the main function of the water is to make peace between the man and his wife) it would be better for her not drink, so as not to encourage them coming together again and bringing more Mamzeirim into the world.
2. ... the wife of a convert and a a freed slave - because the Torah introduces the Parshah of Sotah with the words "Daber el B'nei Yisrael ... ", implying 'but not converts'.
(b) His source for including them - is "Ve'amarta (see Tosfos).

(c) He also includes the wife of a Kohen. We might have otherwise Darshened from the Pasuk "*ve'Hi* Lo Nispasah" (bearing in mind that "ve'Hi" is a Mi'ut [which comes to preclude]) - only a bas Yisrael (to whom the inference ''ve'Hi Lo Nispasah", 'Ha Nispasah [be'O'nes] Muteres' applies) is subject to the Dinim of Sotah, but not a bas Kohen (to whom it does not).

(a) The Tana states further (with regard to the wife of a Kohen) 'u'Muteres le'Ba'alah', which he finds necessary to insert in the Mishnah - because he is speaking when, immediately after the Sotah drunk, she began to deteriorate, conveying the impression that she is a Zonah whom is forbidden to her husband.

(b) Even though the Tana is speaking when the water affects her, it is nevertheless not at all obvious that she is indeed guilty (and that she did not die on account of her merits) - because the Mishnah is speaking when the water affected other parts of her body than her stomach and thighs (e.g. her head became heavy ... ).

(c) The Tana is coming to teach us - that we do not consider the fact that the water is affecting her via limbs other than her stomach and thighs as an indication that she had relations with the man concerned, only she was an O'nes (which would render her forbidden to her husband who is a Kohen).

(a) The Tana also says 'Eishes S'ris Shoseh'. This is not a case of the Shechivah of the adulterer preceding that of the husband (in which case, the water will not have any effect) - because although a S'ris cannot be Mazri'a, he can be intimate.

(b) The Tana must be referring to a S'ris Chamah (who was born a S'ris) and not a S'ris Adam (who became one through an accident) - because the latter is forbidden to retain his wife (due to the Pasuk in Ki Seitzei "Lo Yavo Fetzu'a Daka u'Kerus Shafchah bi'Kehal Hashem"), and we have already learned that a woman who is forbidden to her husband does not drink.

(c) We might have thought that Kinuy will not apply to an adulterer who is a close relative - because "Ve'nitma'ah Ve'nitma'ah" ('Echad le'Ba'al ve'Echad le'Bo'el) implies that the adulterer (like her husband) becomes forbidden through it, to preclude one who is forbidden to her anyway.

(d) We refute this proposition - on the grounds that the Pasuk comes to forbid the adulterer should he have been permitted until the seclusion, but not to preclude from the prohibition one who was forbidden already (because there is no word in the Pasuk that precludes).




(a) The word "Ish" - comes to preclude a woman from the Din of Sotah if the Bo'el is a Katan.

(b) The Tana includes 've'she'Eino Ish' together with a Katan. Initially we suggest that this means a Shachuf. 'Shachafas' is - tuberculosis (a wasting disease which leaves the patient able to perform Bi'ah, but unable to be Mazri'a).

(c) But we reject this proposition on account of Shmuel - who said that he both qualifies as a Bo'el in the Din of Sotah and disqualifies a bas Kohen from eating Terumah.

(d) We attempted to preclude a Shachuf (as well as a Saris - see Tosfos DH 'Shachuf') from the Din of Sotah - from the Pasuk "ve'Shachav Ish Osach *Shichvas Zera*".

(a) The Pasuk "ve'Lo Yechalel *Zar'o*" does not come to preclude a Shachuf from disqualifying a bas Kohen from eating Terumah (because, like a Saris, he is a ben Shechivah), neither does it come to preclude the Bi'ah of a Nochri, because of a statement by Rav Hamnuna, who said - that he both qualifies as a Bo'el in the Din of Sotah and disqualifies a bas Kohen from eating Terumah.

(b) We might have thought that he does not qualify as a Bo'el in the Din of Sotah (just as we learned above regarding a Saris), and that, based on the Pasuk "u'Vas Kohen Ki Sihyeh le'Ish Zar", his Bi'ah does not disqualify a bas Kohen from Terumah either - because "Ki Sihyeh" implies that it is only the Bi'ah of someone with whom Kidushin is effective who disqualifies her.

(c) However, Rebbi Yochanan quoting Rebbi Yishmael learns from the Pasuk "u'Vas Kohen Ki Sih'yeh Almanah u'Gerushah ve'Zera Ein Lah, ve'Shavah el Beis Avihah" - that it is only a man whose divorce and death render the bas Kohen a divorcee or a widow, respectively, who permit her to return to her father's house to eat Terumah, but not the Bi'ah of a Nochri, whose divorce and death will not affect her.

(a) So the 'Mi she'Eino Ish' in our Mishnah - is an animal, who does not qualify as a Bo'el from the Pasuk "ve'Lo Yechalel Zar'o" (because Z'nus with an animal is not called Z'nus [even though it carries with it an Isur S'kilah]).

(b) The Tana of a Beraisa learns from the Pasuk "Lo Savi Esnan Zonah u'Mechir Kelev ... Gam *Sheneihem*" - that this Pasuk is restricted to two cases, and does not incorporate four (meaning that there is no such thing as Esnan Kelev or Mechir Zonah.

(c) The case of ...

1. ... Esnan Kelev - is when a man gives a prostitute a lamb in exchange for having relations with his dog.
2. ... Mechir Zonah - is when a man swaps his prostitute slave-girl for a lamb.
(d) Having included a Shachuf and a Saris in the Din of Sotah, we have a problem as to why the Torah writes "Shichvas Zera". It cannot come to preclude a case where a husband warned her not to ...
1. ... perform an unnatural Bi'ah with the adulterer (like Rav Sheishes suggests) - because the Torah writes "Mishkevei Ishah" (in Acharei-Mos) comparing an unnatural Bi'ah to a natural one (thereby including such a warning in the Din of Sotah).
2. ... lie with him in close proximity, without performing Bi'ah (like Rava suggests - according to our initial understanding) - because even though this may well be an indecent act, there is no reason why it should render a woman a Sotah.
(a) Abaye explains that "Shichvas Zera comes to preclude Neshikah - the first stage of Bi'ah (which entails no more than the touching of the genitals).

(b) We object to Abaye's explanation - on the grounds that although his explanation is acceptable according to those who explain Ha'ara'ah (a partial Bi'ah which the Torah compares to a complete Bi'ah) as 'Hachnasas Atarah' (the entry of the limb), but according to those who explain it to be Neshikah, how can we preclude from the Din of Sotah a case which the Torah has already compared to Bi'ah?

(c) So in order to accommodate those who interpret Ha'ara'ah as Neshikah, we reinstate Rava's answer (that it comes to preclude when the husband warned his wife not to lie with the adulterer in close proximity, without performing Bi'ah). If not for the Pasuk, we may well have thought that the Torah takes its cue from the whim of the husband (and whatever he is fussy about, renders her a Sotah).

Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,