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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 28

SOTAH 28 (23 Teves) - dedicated in memory of Nachum ben Shlomo Dovid Mosenkis on his 61st Yahrzeit, by his son, Shlomo Dovid (Sid) ben Nachum Mosenkis of Queens N.Y.



(a) When the Tana of our Mishnah says 'ke'Shem she'ha'Mayim Bodkin Osah, Kach ha'Mayim Bodkim *Oso*', he cannot be referring to the husband - because if the husband was guilty of immoral behaviour, the water will not affect his wife.

(b) The reason that he said 'Oso', rather than 'Bo'el' (like he says in the Seifa 'ke'Shem she'Asurah le'Ba'al, Kach Asurah le'Bo'el') is - because it balances with 'Bodkin *Osah*' (with which he began - whereas in the Seifa, it balances with 'ke'Shem she'Asurah *le'Ba'al*' with which the statement began).

(a) We ask whether Rebbi Akiva learns his D'rashah from the double expression "u'Va'u" "u'Va'u", or from the 'Vav' in "u'Vau". The answer lies in the second case of "Ve'nitma'ah" "Venitma'ah" - where Rebbi (who comes to argue with Rebbi Akiva) specifically compares Bo'el to Ba'al from the double wording, in which case Rebbi Akiva must learn it from the extra 'Vav'.

(b) In that case, Rebbi Akiva contends with six Pesukim (three times the word "U'va'u" and the three 'Vavin', and Rebbi with three. The purpose of the three initial Pesukim is for the 'Yedi'ah', for the 'Tzava'ah' and for the 'Asi'ah'. We learn from the Pasuk ...

1. ... "U'va'u ha'Mayim ha'Me'arerim ha'Eileh be'Me'ayich La'tz'bos Beten Ve'lanpil Yarech" - the Yedi'ah, to inform her that the water would first effect her stomach, and then her thighs. This was to avoid the possibility of people attributing the effect of the water to natural causes, due to the fact that the order did not follow that of the curse (which in turn, represented the order in which she sinned).
2. ... "Ve'hishkah es ha'Ishah es Mei ha'Me'arerim, U'va'u Vah ha'Mayim" - the Tzava'ah, where Hashem commanded the water to examione her and to perform its task in the event of her guilt.
3. ... "Ve'Hishkah es ha'Mayim, Ve'haysah Im Nitme'ah ... U'va'u ... " - the Asi'ah, to instruct the Kohen what to do and what will subsequently happen.
(c) Rebbi learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Ve'tzavsah Bitnah Ve'naflah Yereichah" - that the water will cause the Sotah to suffer the consequences of her actions.
2. ... "La'tz'bos Beten Ve'lanpil Yarech" - that whatever happened to the Sotah will also happen to the Bo'el.
(d) Rebbi learns ...
1. ... the Yedi'ah (to inform her that the water will first effect her stomach, and then her thighs [which Rebbi Akiva learns from this Pasuk]) - from the basic words of the Pasuk, and from the Lashon "Beten" and "Yarech" (rather than "Bitnah" amd "Yereichah", he includes the Beten and Yerech of the Bo'el.
2. ... that the Pasuk also comes for the Tza'avah regardimg the woman (and not just to teach us the punishment of the Bo'el) - from the Lashon "Beten and Yarech (rather than "Bitno" and Yerecho").
(a) We already learned in our Mishnah that Rebbi Akiva Darshens the three "Ve'nitma'ah" to teach us that she is forbidden to the husband, to the Bo'el and to eat Terumah. Based on the Isur Terumah - Rebbi Yishmael learns from a 'Kal va'Chomer' from a Gerushah, who is forbidden to marry a Kohen, even though she is *permitted* to eat Terumah, that a Sotah, who is *forbidden* to eat Terumah, should certainly be forbidden to subsequently marry a Kohen in the event of her husband's death.

(b) The problem with the two Pesukim "Ve'kinei es Ishto ve'Hi Nitma'ah" and "O Avar Alav ... ve'Hi Lo Nitma'ah" is - that Mah Nafshach, if she is Tamei (guilty) why should she need to drink; and if she is Tahor, why does her husband give her to drink in the first place?

(c) We solve this problem - by establishing the Pasuk by a Safek, and the Pasuk is actually warning his wife who is perhaps Tamei ... and perhaps not.

(d) The major ruling that now emerges from this explanation is - that a Safek Sotah is forbidden to her husband as if she was a Vaday.




(a) The 'Kal va'Chomer from a Safek Sotah with regard to a Safek Tum'as Sheretz is - that if we are strict with regard to a Safek Sotah, in spite of the fact that she would be Patur if she were a Shogeg, then we should certainly be stringent by Safek Tum'as Sheretz, which renders Tamei even be'Shogeg.

(b) We learn that 'Safek Tum'ah Tamei' is confined to Safek Tum'ah in a Reshus ha'Yachid - from Sotah, who only has the Din of Sotah after secluding herself with the Bo'al in a private location.

(c) The other qualification that we learn from Safek Sotah is - that Safek Tum'ah bi'Reshus ha'Yachid is only Tamei when the Safek is able to ask whether it is Tamei or not (i.e. because either it is a person, or an object that is accompanied by a person).

(a) Rebbi Yishmael extrapolates from a 'Kal va'Chomer' that if the Sotah is Asur to eat Terumah, then she is certainly Asur to marry a Kohen. The initial problem with this is - how can Rebbi Yishmael come to argue with Rebbi Akiva, seeing as the latter did not state any opinion in this matter?

(b) We cannot answer that Rebbi Akiva forbids a Sotah to marry a Kohen because she is a Safek Zonah - because if that were so, she would be forbidden to eat Terumah for the same reason, and Rebbi Akiva would not require "Ve'nitma'ah" to teach us that.

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