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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 38

SOTAH 38 - dedicated by Dr. Moshe and Rivkie Snow to the memory of their mother/mother-in-law, Rebbetzin Leah Tilla bas Rav Yosef (Rabinowitz), the Manostrishtcher Rebbetzin. (Yahrzeit: 15 Teves



(a) We learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' ...
1. ... "Koh *Sevarchu*" (in connection with Birkas Kohanim) and "Eileh Ya'amdu Le'*varech* es ha'Am" - that Birchas Kohanim, like the B'rachos and K'lalos, must be recited in Lashon ha'Kodesh.
2. ... "Koh Sevarchu" and "Eileh Ya'amdu *Le'varech* es ha'Am" - that Birchas Kohanim, like the B'rachos and K'lalos, must be recited standing.
3. ... "Koh Sevarchu" and "va'Yisa Aharon es Yadav el ha'Am *va'Yevarcheim*" - that the Kohanim are obligated to raise their hands whilst reciting Birchas Kohanim.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah maintains that the first 'Gezeirah-Shavah' is unnecessary - because he learns it from the word "Koh", which in his opinion, implies that it may not be changed (with regard to Lashon ha'Kodesh and presumably, with regard to reciting it standing, too).

(c) Rebbi Nasan says the same about the second 'Gezeirah-Shavah'. He learns that the Kohanim are obligated to serve standing, from the Pasuk in Shoftim "La'amod Le'shareis".

(d) He then learn from the Pasuk "le'Sharso u'le'Varech bi'Sh'mo" - that Birchas Kohanim too, must be recited standing.

(a) Rebbi Yonasan queries the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Koh Sevarchu" and "va'Yisa Aharon es Yadav el ha'Am *va'Yevarchem*". Maybe that only pertains to the Kohen Gadol, on Rosh Chodesh and when he is performing the Avodas Tzibur, he asks? Rebbi Nasan answers him from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Hu u'Vanav" - comparing a Kohen Hedyot to a Kohen Gadol (answering his first Kashya).
2. ... "Kol ha'Yamim" - at all times (answering his second Kashya. Regarding the third Kashya, see Tosfos DH 'u'Chesiv').
(b) He needs to add 've'Iskish B'rachah le'Sheirus' - because this Pasuk only mentions Sheirus ("La'amod le'Shareis") and not Birchas Kohanim.

(c) The Tana of yet another Beraisa learns from the Pasuk ...

1. ... "ve'Samu es Sh'mi" - that the Kohanim are obligated to mention the Name of Hashem the way it is written when they Duchen.
2. ... "La'sum es Sh'mo *Sham*" - that this is confined to Duchening in the Beis-Hamikdash, but not elsewhere.
(a) Rebbi Yashiyah finds this latter D'rashah unnecessary. The Pasuk "be'Chol ha'Makom Asher Azkir es Sh'mi Avo Eilecha u'Veirachticha" cannot be understood literally - because firstly, we learn from the Pasuk in Sh'mos "Zeh Sh'mi le'Olam, ve'Zeh Zichri le'Dor Dor" that the Name of Hashem cannot always be read the way it is written; and secondly, the Shechinah does not appear anywhere in the world.

(b) So Rebbi Yashiyah inverts the Pasuk to read - "be'Chol ha'Makom Asher Avo Eilecha u'Veirachticha, (Sham) Azkir es Sh'mi", meaning that in those places where Hashem appears (i.e. in the Ohel Mo'ed in the desert, in the Mishkan or in the Beis Hamikdash), there the Kohanim are permitted to read Hashem's Name the way it is written, but not elsewhere.

(c) In spite of the fact that the Torah writes "Koh Sevarchu es B'nei Yisrael", the Tana of yet another Beraisa learns that Birchas Kohanim incorporates converts, women and Avadim Meshuchrarim - from the Pasuk "Amor Lahem".

(d) And he learns that the ...

1. ... people who are being blessed are obligated to face the Kohanim as they are being blessed - from the same Pasuk "Amor Lahem" (face to face, as one talks to a friend).
2. ... Kohanim must Duchen in a loud voice (so that everyone hears them) - from the same source "Amor Lahem" (in the same way as one talks to a friend).
(a) Amora'im too, make various D'rashos from "Amor Lahem". Abaye learns from " ... Lahem" - that one only announces Kohanim when at least two Kohanim are Duchening.

(b) When Rav Chisda, commenting on "Amor Lahem", says 'Amirah mi'she'Lahem Tehei', he means - that the obligation of announcing the Kohanim can only be performed by Kohanim.

(c) Rav Chisda's D'rashah is not Halachah.




(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Samu es Sh'mi al B'nei Yisrael ... " - that Hashem yearns for Birchas Kohanim (since He attributes it to His needs [Kevayachol], more than to theirs).
2. ... "va'Avorchah Mevorchecha" - that a Kohen who Duchens will receive Hashem's blessing, but not one who doesn't.
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi says - that a Kohen who fails to go up to Duchen transgresses three Mitzvos Asei ("Koh Sevarchu", "Amor Lahem" and "ve'Samu es Sh'mi").

(c) Rav says that we even suspect that he is a ben Gerushah or a ben Chalutzah. We reconcile the two opinions - by establishing Rav by a Kohen who never goes up to Duchen (see also Tosfos DH 'Ha'), and Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, by one who does go up on occasions, and who cannot therefore be suspected of being Pasul.

(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk in Shemini "va'Yisa Aharon es Yadav el ha'Am va'Yevarcheim, va'Yered me'Asos ha'Chatas ve'ha'Olah ve'ha'Shelamim" - that a Kohen is obligated to go up to Duchen before the conclusion of Birchas Avodah, and that failing that, he is not permitted to Duchen.

(b) We reconcile this with Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi, who went to Duchen after the conclusion of Birchas Avodah - by pointing out that they had a long walk to the Duchen, and it did not matter that they only arrived at the Duchen after the Shatz had concluded the Avodah, provided they began to move by then (and this answer is borne out by a Beraisa).

(c) The problem with the Mishnah in B'rachos 've'Im Hivtachto she'Nosei es Kapav ve'Chozer li'Tefilaso, Rashai' - is how a Shatz, who does not walk to the Duchen, can Duchen at all.

(d) We answer that a Kohen does need to actually walk to the Duchen, as long as he moves a short distance in preparation for Duchening (which the Shatz does). By the same token, he does need to walk the full distance to the Duchen before the Avodah, and a slight movement in that direction is sufficient.

(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk "Tov-Ayin Hu Yevorach (which he Darshens as if it were written "Hu Yevarech"), Ki Nasan mi'Lachmo la'Dal" - that the honor of Benching Mezuman (with a Kos shel B'rachah) should be given to a person who is generous (and performs Mitzvos with his money). Elsewhere, this is explained to refer to the person who provided the meal.

(b) When he says that even birds recognize a miserly person - he is referring to people who place grain in their bird-traps to attract the birds. The birds will not be attracted to the grains in the miser's trap, because they recognize the owner for what he is, and will refuse to partake of his food.

(c) He learns from the Pasuk "Al Tilcham es Lechem Ra Ayin" - that someone who accepts food from a miser transgresses a La'av.

(d) And Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak learns from the next words in the Pasuk "ve'Al Tis'av le'Mat'amosav" - that he transgresses a second La'av.

(a) When the previous Pasuk continues "Ki K'mo Sha'ar be'Nafsho ... " - it means either that he embitters the life of the miser by accepting his food, or that he causes him to assess how much he is eating of his and when will he stop.

(b) The essence of the Pasuk (in the Parshah of Eglah Arufah) "ve'Anu ve'Amru, Yadeinu Lo Shafchu es ha'Dam ha'Zeh" is - (not to suggest that the Beis-Din were *directly* responsible for the death of the murdered man, but) that they did not behave in a miserly fashion by seeing him leave town and not providing him with food for the journey, and by allowing him to leave unaccompanied.

(a) Ada Amar Rav Samla'i rules that in a town whose inhabitants are all Kohanim - all of them Duchen.

(b) They bless the people who are working in the fields.

(c) When the Tana of the Beraisa disqualifies anyone standing behind the Kohanim from the B'rachah - he is referring to those who are able to move to the correct position (facing the Kohanim), but fail to do so because they do not take Birchas Kohanim sufficiently seriously; whereas Ada Amar Rav Samla'i is speaking about hired workers who are unable to come to Shul and are therefore A'nus.

(d) When the Beraisa rules 'Beis-ha'K'neses she'Kulah Kohanim, Miktzasan Olin, u'Miktzasan Onin Amen' - it is speaking when at least ten people (a significant number) refrain from going to the Duchen, to respond Amen to those who do go up; whereas Ada Amar Rav Samla'i is speaking when less than ten people refrain from going up.

(a) We quoted the Beraisa disqualifying the people who are standing behind the Kohanim from Birchas Kohanim. It goes without saying - - that this will not apply to a short person standing behind a tall one (who is therefore not standing in front of the Kohanim (face to face), because it is impossible to organize a Shul in such a rigid manner.

(b) We ask what the Din will be if a partition divides between the person and the Kohanim, and we resolve it from a statement of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi - who says that not even a metal barrier can divide between Yisrael and their Father in Heaven.

(c) Someone who is standing at the side of the Kohanim included in their B'r achah - is included, provided he is standing slightly forward and not slightly back.

(a) We actually resolved the previous She'eilah from a Mishnah in Parah which states that if a Kohen intended to sprinkle the Mei Parah forwards, but it inadvertently splashed behind him (or vice-versa), hitting Tamei vessels that needed to be sprinkled - the vessels remain Tamei.

(b) We learn from the Pasuk "ve'Hizah ha'Tahor al ha'Tamei" - that the 'Haza'ah' requires Kavanah (the intention to sprinkle on the specific vessels that were sprinkled).

(c) The Tana says there - that if a Kohen intended to sprinkle the Mei Parah forwards, but it inadvertently hit vessels that were at the side which needed sprinkling, then provided they were slightly forward, they are included (because the Kohen had them in mind too when he sprinkled the Mei Parah), though not if they were slightly behind him.

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