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Sotah 37

SOTAH 37 (3 Shevat) - Dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas: R' Zvi ben R' Zev zt'l -- HaRav Hirschel Milner, who passed away on 3 Shevat 5755 (January 4, 1995), by his granddaughter, Chani (Pogrow) Shaw and family.



(a) Rav Yitzchak stated above that Yehudah, who sanctified Hashem's Name in public, merited that his name contained the four letters of the Name of Hashem. Yehudah himself did so by confessing to his role in the episode with Tamar, as we learned in the first Perek. His tribe took their cue from him - when, after the tribes had been vying with each other as to who should be the first to jump into the Reed Sea, Nachshon ben Aminadav took the initiative and jumped in first.

(b) This is according to the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah. According to Rebbi Meir, Yehudah was not the first tribe to jump into the Sea at all. He learns from the Pasuk in Tehilim ...

1. ... "Sham Binyamin Tza'ir Rodeim" - that Binyamin, the youngest of the tribes, was the first to jump into the sea
2. ... "Sarei Yehudah Rigmasam" - that the princes of Yehudah threw stones at them in their frustration.
3. ... "u'Vein Keseifav Shachein" - that, as a reward, the holiest section of the Beis Hamikdash, which housed the Shechinah, was built in Binyamin's portion.
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, Nachshon ben Aminadav said "Hoshi'eini Elokim Ki Ba'u Mayim ad Nafesh ... ".

(b) During this time - Moshe was Davening.

(c) When Moshe asked Hashem what he needs to do if not to Daven, He replied - 'to order the people to travel into the sea and to raise his staff and split it'.

(d) The connection between the above episode and the Pesukim in Hallel "Haysah Yehudah le'Kodsho Yisrael Mamshelosav. ha'Yam Ra'ah va'Yonos" is - that on account of Yehudah's actions, he merited Malchus.

(a) The Pasuk in Ki Savo implies that the tribe of Levi climbed mount Gerizim, whereas the Pasuk in Yehoshua says - that the Kohanim and the Levi'im surrounded the Aron in the valley.

(b) According to Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov, it was the elders of Levi who climbed the mountain, whilst the remainder of the tribe remained below with the Aron. Rebbi Yashiyah says almost the opposite. According to him - all those who were fit to serve (between the ages of thirty and fifty), remained in the valley, and those who were not, ascended.

(c) Following the Pasuk in Yehoshua, Rebbi maintains that nobody actually climbed either mountain at all. According to him, the Pasuk "Eileh Ya'amdu le'Varech es ha'Am Al Har Gerizim" - means (not on Har Gerizim, but) 'next to it'.

(d) Rebbi learns from the Pasuk ...

1. ... "ve'Nasata al ha'Ma'araches Levonah Zakah" - that the Kohen would place the frankincense (not on top of the row of breads, but) next to it.
2. ... "ve'Sakosa al ha'Aron es ha'Paroches" - that the Pasuk cannot mean anything else but that the Paroches (the dividing curtain) should hang next to the Aron (seeing as it hung vertically and not horizontally).



(a) The Tana of the Beraisa says (regarding the B'rachos and the K'lalos) 'Baruch bi'Ch'lal, Baruch bi'F'rat, Arur bi'Ch'lal, Arur bi'F'rat'. When he says ...
1. ... 'K'lal' - he is referring to the Pasuk "Baruch Asher Yakim es Divrei ha'Torah ha'Zos", which incorporates all the other B'rachos too.
2. ... 'P'rat' - he refers to each of the other eleven Pesukim of 'Baruch'.
(b) What he is actually saying is - that four covenants were made at Har Gerizim and Har Eival: 'Baruch bi'Ch'lal, Baruch bi'F'rat, Arur bi'Ch'lal, Arur bi'F'rat'.

(c) When he adds 'li'Lemod, u'Lelamed, li'Shmor ve'La'asos', he means - that, based on the Pesukim "u'Lemad'tem Osam, u'Shemartem La'asosam" and "ve'Limadtem Osam es Beneichem", each of the Taryag Mitzvos comprises these four obligations.

(d) Consequently, the total number of covenants that accompanies each of the Mitzvos at this point is - sixteen, four for 'Li'lmod', four for 'le'Lamed', four for 'li'Shmor' and four for 'La'asos'.

(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Eileh Divrei ha'B'ris Asher Tzivah Hashem es Moshe" - that Hashem struck a similar covenant with K'lal Yisrael at Arvos Mo'av.
2. ... "Mi'levad ha'B'ris Asher Karas Itam be'Chorev" - that He had already made the same covenant with them at Har Sinai.
(b) Consequently, all in all - Hashem struck forty-eight covenants with Yisrael, sixteen at Sinai, sixteen at Arvos Mo'av and sixteen at Har Gerizim and Har Eival.
(a) Rebbi Shimon agrees with the forty-eight covenants, but disagrees with the fact that sixteen of them were made at Har Gerizim and Har Eival. He omits that location from the list of covenants - because only those Mitzvos contained in the B'rachos and the K'lalos were stated there, and not all the Taryag Mitzvos.

(b) The third set of covenants, according to him, was struck at the Ohel Mo'ed ([alias the Mishkan] after Sinai).

(c) In fact, the Tana Kama of the previous Beraisa concurs with Rebbi Yishmael in another Beraisa, and Rebbi Shimon holds like Rebbi Akiva there. This does not mean that according to the former, no covenant at all was made in the Ohel Mo'ed - only that it was part of the same covenant as that of Sinai (the K'lal was struck at Sinai, and the P'rat in the Ohel Mo'ed).

(a) Rebbi Shimon ben Yehudah Ish K'far Ako quotes Rebbi Shimon as saying that, in view of the above, every single Jew accepted six hundred and three thousand, five hundred and fifty times forty-eight covenants incorporating Arvus - the responsibility that each Jew accepted for the actions of his fellow-Jew (as the Torah describes in Nitzavim).

(b) Rebbi disagrees with the Tana Kama's interpretation of Rebbi Shimon ben Yehudah Ish K'far Ako's quotation of Rebbi Shimon. When he adds the same amount of covenants again, says Rav Mesharshaya - he means that, not only is every Jew responsible for his friend, but - that he is also responsible for his Arvus (see Tosfos DH 'Amar').

(a) Rebbi Yehudah bar Nachmeini - was Resh Lakish's translator.

(b) The problem he had with the Pasuk "Arur ha'Ish Asher Ya'aseh Pesel u'Maseichah ... " - is that surely he denies Hashem, and is not just subject to a curse, but to much worse.

(c) So he interprets it - to refer to someone who commits adultery which results with the child, who is a Mamzer, forbidden to marry a Jewish daughter, mixes with Nochrim in order to find a wife, and proceeds to serve idols like them.

(a) Kol ha'Parshah Kulah ... ' does imply however, that Rebbi Yehudah bar Nachmeini learns all the twelve curses in this way (see Agados Maharsha). He interprets in this light, the curse of ...
1. ... "Shochev Im Chosanto", "Eishes Aviv" or "Achoso" - when the woman is married as well, bringing upon himself a double curse.
2. ... "Shochev Im Kol Beheimah" - by a case of a man who commits adultery with a married woman, and it is her behavior which the Torah describes as that of an animal (as we learned above in the first Perek).
3. ... "Mekalel Aviv ve'Imo" - in the same way, because someone who behaves in this way, brings only shame and disgrace on his parents.
(b) Having already written "Eileh Ya'amdu le'Varech es ha'Am ... ve'Eileh Ya'amdu Al ha'K'lalah", the Torah nevertheless needs to add "ve'Nasata es ha'Berachah al Har Gerizim ve'es ha'K'lalah Al Har Eival" - to teach us that (in spite of the fact that the Torah records only the K'lalos) the Levi'im had to open with the B'rachos.

(c) And we learn from the fact that "B'rachah u'K'lalah" are written in the singular - that rather than announce all the B'rachos first, they would call out one B'rachah at a time, followed by the K'lalah that was coming to whoever failed to adhere to the B'rachah.

(d) In fact, the Pasuk lists only the K'lalos (and not the B'rachos). We learn that all the Halachic details that pertain to the K'lalos pertain also to the B'rachos - from the fact that the Torah compares them by placing them in the same Pasuk.

10) The Hekesh comparing the B'rachos to the K'lalos incorporates five Halachos: that the B'rachos too, must be said by the Levi'im; that they must announced in a loud voice and in Lashon ha'Kodesh (like the K'lalos) - that both the K'lal and the P'rat apply (as we explained earlier) and that when the Kohanim called out the Berachos everyone responded with 'Amen' (just as they did by the K'lalos, as we explained above).


(a) The significance of the fact that Birchas Kohanim is said as three B'rachos outside the Beis-Hamikdash is - that we respond with 'Amen' after each B'rachah (i.e. Pasuk).

(b) In the Beis-Hamikdash however, it is said as one B'rachah - because 'Amen' is never said in the Beis-Hamikdash.

(c) The difference that the Tana of our Mishnah lists between the two as regards ...

1. ... the way the Kohanim recite it is - that in the Beis-Hamikdash, the Kohanim pronounce the Name of Hashem the way it is written, whereas outside the Beis-Hamikdash, they pronounce it the same way as we do.
2. ... the Kohanim place their hands is - that whereas, in the Beis-Hamikdash, they raised their hands above their heads, whereas outside, only at shoulder height.
(d) The Kohanim raise their hands above their heads in the Beis Hamikdash - because they stated the Name of Hashem, and the Shechinah appeared above their finger-joints.
(a) The one exception, in this latter Halachah, according to the Tana Kama, is the Kohen Gadol, who does not differentiate between inside the Beis-Hamikdash and outside it - because he is not permitted to raise his hands above the height of the Tzitz.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah disagrees. He learns from the Pasuk "va'Yisa Aharon es Yadav el ha'Am va'Yevarchem" - that even the Kohen Gadol was obligated to raise his hands above his head when Duchening.

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