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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 31

SOTAH 31-35 - 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 learned in our Mishnah, that on that day, Rebbi Yehoshua ben Hurkanus Darshened from the Pasuk "Hein Yikteleini Lo Ayachel" that Iyov served Hashem with love, but he required the Pasuk "Ad Egva Lo Asir Tumasi Mimeni" (declaring that his perfection will never leave him) - because we might otherwise have interpreted the first Pasuk to mean that if Hashem kills him, he will no longer hope for His salvation. Examining the word to see whether it is spelt with an 'Alef' or with a 'Vav' will not help - because sometimes the word "Lo", even when it is spelt with a 'Vav', means 'not' (as if it was spelt with an 'Alef').

(b) We prove this from the Pasuk "ve'Chol Tzarasam Lo Tzar" - which means that Hashem suffers whenever Yisrael suffer, even though "Lo" is spelt with an Alef' (see Agados Maharsha).

(a) The Pasuk "Zera Avraham Ohavi", indicates that the Pasuk "Ata Yada'ti Ki Yerei Elokim Atah" - does not confine Avraham to one who only feared G-d, but who loved Him too (one could explain this to mean that the fear of G-d here is 'Yir'as ha'Romemus' (fear of G-d Himself, i.e. fear of 'hurting' Hashem), as opposed to 'Yir'as ha'Onesh' (fear of punishment).

(b) Rebbi Meir learns from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' ("Yerei Elokim" "Yerei Elokim") - that "Yerei Elokim" mentioned by Iyov also incorporates love.

(c) Based on the Pesukim "Notzer Chesed la'Alafim le'Ohavai u'le'Shomrei Mitzvosai" and "u'le'Shomrei Mitzvosai le'Elef Dor", Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar distinguishes between someone who serves Hashem out of fear and someone who serves Him out of love - in that Hashem sometimes rewards the former's descendants up to a thousand generations, whereas those of the latter might receive their reward up to as much as two thousand generations later.

(d) He proves his point from the Pasuk itself - which places "le'Ohavai" next to "la'Alafim" and "u'le'Shomrei Mitzvosai" (the equivalent of 'Yir'ei Elokim') to "le'Elef Dor".

(a) This Sugya is not synonymous with 'Parush me'Ahavah' and 'Parush mi'Yir'ah' which we discussed above in Perek Notel - which is referring to the love of reward and the fear of punishment (not of Hashem Himself).

(b) When one Talmid dreamt the Pasuk "Mah Rav Tuvcha Asher Tzafanta li'Yere'echa", and the other, the Pasuk there "Ve'yismechu Kol Chosei Vach ... Ve'ya'altzu Becha Ohavei Shemecha", Rava commented - that they were both perfect Tzadikim, only the one served Hashem out of love, and the other, out of fear.

***** Hadran Alach ke'Sheim she'ha'Mayim *****

***** Perek Mi she'Kinei *****


(a) Following their respective opinions in the opening Mishnah in the Masechta, if someone heard from a bird in flight that his wife had contravened his warning and secluded with another man ...
1. ... Rebbi Eliezer holds - that he is obligated to divorce his wife, though she does not lose her Kesuvah.
2. ... Rebbi Yehoshua - requires two witnesses even for that.
(b) The significance of 'Ad she'Yis'u ve'Yitnu Bah Muzaros' is - that if people are talking about her, it is as good as two witnesses as far as the obligation to divorce her is concerned (due to the Pasuk "u'Tehorah Hi" which precludes her from remaining with her husband).
(a) If, in the previous case, one witness adds that she committed adultery - she does no longer drinks, but goes out without her Kesuvah.

(b) We will believe ...

1. ... even an Eved or a Shifchah in this case.
2. ... even her mother-in-law, her husband's sister or brother's wife, her rival wife or her husband's daughter.
(c) The Halachah in the previous two groups of cases differs - inasmuch as in the former group, she loses her Kesuvah, whereas in the latter group, she does not, because, although the Torah believes any witness regarding prohibiting her from her husband, we cannot believe this group with regard to money-matters, because they all hate her.

(d) These last-mentioned five have in common - that they are not believed to testify that her husband died.




(a) We learn from the Pasuk "ve'Eid Ein Bah" - that even if there are no two witnesses, but only one, she is forbidden, provided she was not raped.

(b) If not for the Pasuk, we have thought that one witness is not believed - because, if he is not believed by the S'tirah (which does not forbid her on her husband permanently [until she drinks the water]), then he should certainly not be believed by the Tum'ah, which does.

(c) We learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' (from Mamon) "Ki Matza Bah Ervas *Davar*", "al-Pi Shenayim Eidim Yakum *Davar*" - that one witness is not believed by the S'tirah.

(d) If not for the Pasuk, we would have thought that one witness is believed - 'Kal va'Chomer from the Din of Tum'ah, which forbids her forever, yet he is.

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah states that in a case where one witness testifies that she is Tamei and another witness testifies that she is not - she drinks (because the two witnesses cancel each other out, and the woman remains a Safek.

(b) The Din ...

1. ... in the previous case when the two witnesses are women - is exactly the same as when they are men.
2. ... if one witness testifies that she is Tamei and two, that she is not (because, they claim, they were with him when he witnessed the S'tirah and that his testimony is untrue) - she drinks.
3. ... if two witnesses testify that she is Tamei, and one witness, that she is not - she does not drink.
(a) We extrapolate from the Pasuk "ve'Eid Ein *Bah*" - "Bah", 've'Lo be'Kinuy', "Bah", 've'Lo bi'S'tirah', which teaches us that one witness is not believed with regard to Kinuy and S'tirah.

(b) The Tana of our Mishnah - does not really quote the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Davar" "Davar" from Mamon regarding this Din at all. He actually cites the D'rashah of "Bah ... ", 've'Lo be'Kinuy', "Bah", 've'Lo bi'S'tirah', which we need to add to the text.

(c) He cites the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' - to teach us that, when there was no Kinuy and S'tirah, one witness is not believed to say that a woman committed adultery (as we might otherwise have learned from Sotah that he is).

(a) We learn from the Pasuk "Lo Yakum *Eid Echad be'Ish"* - that whenever the Torah writes "Eid" S'tam, it means two witnesses.

(b) Consequently, when the Torah writes "ve'Eid Ein Bah" - it means that there are not two witnesses, but only one, teaching us that one witness is believed by Tum'ah of Sotah (as we cited earlier).

(c) Ula says that whenever the Torah believes one witness - he has the strength of two.

(d) Consequently, he (and Rebbi Yitzchak) amend our Mishnah 'Eid Omer Nitmeis, ve'Eid Omer Lo Nitmeis, Haysah Shosah' - to 'Lo Haysah Shosah' (seeing as the first witness, who testified that she is Tamei, has the power of two witnesses).

(a) Rebbi Chiya retains the original version of our Mishnah ('Haysah Shosah') - because he establishes the Mishnah when the second witness testified 'Toch K'dei Dibur' of the first one, in which case, the testimony of the first witnesses has not yet been accepted. Ula's Din on the other hand, will apply when the second witness testified only after the testimony of the first one had been accepted.

(b) We can extrapolate from the case of 'Eid Omer Nitmeis, u'Shenayim Omrim Lo Nitmeis, Haysah Shosah' - that if there were two single witnesses, she would not drink (like Ula's text).

(c) Rebbi Chiya will counter this proof against him - by making the exact opposite inference from the final case 'Shenayim Omrim Nitmeis, ve'Echad Omer Lo Nitmeis, Lo Haysah Shosah', 'Ha Chad ve'Chad, Haysash Shosah' (like his text).

(d) He does not remain with the original assumption, that the Tana's intention is to teach us the inferences, and the third case speaks when the second witness came after Toch K'dei Dibur of the first (like he explained in the Reisha) - because 'u'Shenayim Omrim Lo Nitmeis' implies 'Lo Nitmeis be'Fanecha' (as we explained in the Mishnah), in which case all the witnesses came together to Beis-Din.

(a) Seeing as the Tana clearly does not come to teach us the inferences, he must be speaking when in both cases, the two witnesses are women, and the Chidush is - that whenever the Torah believes one witness, we always go after the majority opinion, even if it is two women versus one man. Consequently, when the Tana says ...
1. ... Echad Omer Nitmeis, u'Shenayim Omrim Lo Nitmeis, Haysah Shosah' - he means that one man testifies 'Nitmeis' and two women, 'Lo Nitmeis'.
2. ... 'Shenayim Omrim Nitmeis, ve'Echad Omer Lo Nitmeis, Lo Haysah Shosah' - that two women testify 'Nitmeis, and one man, "Lo Nitmeis'.
(b) The author of our Mishnah will then be - Rebbi Nechemyah.
(a) According to the second Lashon - we amend Rebbi Nechemyah to read - 'Kol Makom she'He'eminah Torah Eid Echad, Halach Achar Rov Dei'os ve'Asu Sh'tei Nashim be'Ishah Achas, ki'Shenei Anashim be'Ish Echad'.

(b) According to this Lashon, if one man testifies that she is Tamei, and two women (or even a hundred) that she is not assuming that ...

1. ... they came together - the Din will be exactly the same as one against one; they cancel each other out and she is obligated to drink.
2. ... one of them came after 'Toch K'dei Dibur' of the other - then whichever testified first will be believed like two, and the one that followed will not be believed.
(c) In the case of 'Eid Echad Omer Nitmeis, u'Shenayim Omrim Lo Nitmeis, Haysah Shosah', the Tana must be speaking when the two witnesses came after 'Toch K'dei Dibur' - because if they came together, then she would drink even if it was one against one.

(d) The Chidush is therefore - that even though the woman testified first, the two men who came after her negate her testimony, and she is obligated to drink.

13) The Tana finds it necessary to teach us the Din of 'Sh'nayim Omrim Nitmeis, ve'Echad Omer Lo Nitmeis', after having already informed us that we follow the majority opinion in the reverse case - because we would otherwise have restricted the ruling to the first case, where we go le'Chumra and make her drink, but we would not perhaps follow the majority opinion to go le'Kula and absolve her from drinking.

***** Hadran Alach Mi she'Kinei *****

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