ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 47
SOTAH 47, 48 - have been anonymously dedicated by a very special Marbitz
Torah and student of the Daf from Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
(a) The forty-two youths who were killed by Elisha - were the result of the
forty-two Korbanos brought by Balak king of Mo'av in the Name of Hashem
(which did not produce results at the time).
(b) The positive reward that Balak received for bringing those Korbanos
was - a son (i.e. descendant) called Eglon, King of Mo'av, whose daughter
(i.e. descendant) was the ancestor of David, whose son Shlomoh brought a
thousand Korbanos on the day that he inaugurated the Beis Hamikdash.
(c) Despite the latter reward , the forty-two youths also died - in order to
bring to fruition Balak's destructive intentions to which end he brought the
Korbanos (bear in mind that this is not described as a reward).
(a) Even though the water of Yericho was bad, and people died there, the
residents nevertheless referred to it as a good land - because the place
where one lives is one of the three things that, against all odds, finds
favor with its owner.
(b) The other two things that Rebbi Yochanan included in his list are - a
wife in the eyes of her husband and a purchased article in the eyes of the
(a) We learn from the Pasuk "ve'Elisha *Chalah" es *Cholyo* *Asher Yamus
Bah*" - that Elisha was sick three times in his life.
(b) If the last illness was the one from which he died - the other two were
punishments for inciting the bears against the youths, and for rejecting his
servant Geichazi out of hand.
(c) The mistake that Elisha made with regard to his handling of his servant
Geichazi was totally rejecting him.
(d) The Tana of the Beraisa says - that he should have rejected him with his
left hand, but drawn him close with his right.
(a) Elisha accused Geichazi of taking eight items from Na'aman, the Syrian
general, though really - he only took two, money (two Kikar of silver) and
clothes (two suits).
(b) Elisha listed eight items - as an indication of the reward that he would
now receive in this world for the Torah that he had learned (because they
had just been leaning Perek *Shemoneh* Sheratzim).
(c) Geichazi and his three sons.
(a) Elisha went to Damascus in order to bring Geichazi back into the fold.
He did not however, succeed - because Geichazi claimed that Elisha himself
had taught him that someone who sins and causes others to sin is not granted
the opportunity of doing Teshuvah.
(b) Some say that he caused others to sin by using a magnet to lift Yeravam
ben Nevat's calf into the air, conveying the impression that it was Divine.
According to others - he engraved a name of Hashem on its mouth, and it
began to announce 'Anochi' and 'Lo Yih'yeh Lecha'.
(c) The third version of his sin is - that he would refuse many Rabbanan
entry to the Beis Hamedrash, which will explain their complaint to Elisha
that there was not sufficient room in the Beis Hamedrash (suggesting that
before there was).
(a) When Yanai ha'Melech fell out with the Chachamim, his wife hid Shimon
ben Shetach (her brother) - whilst Yehoshua ben P'rachyah escaped to
Alexandria of Egypt.
(b) When Shimon ben Shetach sent Rebbi Yehoshua ben P'rachyah a message
'From me Yerushalayim the holy city to you Alexandri'a my sister. My husband
is dwelling in you and I am desolate' - he was informing him that Yanai had
now made peace with the Chachamim and it was safe to return. He referred to
Yehoshua ben P'rachyah (in the name of Yerushalayim) as 'my husband' -
because he was the Nasi.
(c) When they arrived at an inn on their homeward journey, Yehoshua ben
P'rachyah praised the good deeds of the proprietress, to which his Talmid
(alias Yeshu) responded by praising her beautiful round eyes, resulting in
his being placed in Cherem accompanied by the blowing of four hundred
(d) That Talmid (Yeshu) believed that Yehoshua ben P'rachyah had rejected
him - when after having refusing to accept him a number of times, he was
once reciting the Sh'ma when Yeshu came to ask for forgiveness. In fact, he
had in mind to accept him this time, and because he was reading the Sh'ma,
he made a sign with his hand to that effect. Yeshu however, misunderstood
the sign to be a negative one, and he left his presence with the intention
of serving idols.
(a) After he worshipped a brick, Yehoshua ben P'rachyah tried to bring him
back to the fold - to which he responded in the same way as Geichazi did
(that Yehoshua ben P'rachyah himself had taught him that someone who sins
and causes others to sin is not granted the opportunity of doing Teshuvah).
(b) Yeshu caused the people to sin - by performing witchcraft, and by
persuading them to worship idols.
(c) The three things that one should at worst, reject with the left hand and
draw back with the right are - the Yetzer ha'Ra (whom one cannot reject
outright, otherwise he would not have children); a child and one's wife
(both of whom will run away permanently if one is too hard with them).
(a) If the murderer is found before the Eglah Arufah's neck has been cut,
the Eglah Arufah goes out to Chulin - this Tana disagrees with the Tana who
forbids deriving any benefit from the Eglah from the moment it is taken down
to the Nachal Eisan.
(b) If the murderer is found after the Eglah Arufah's neck has already been
1. ... the Eglah - must be buried (because it achieved its original purpose
of temporary atonement [until the murderer is found] as it was meant to do).
(c) In a case where ...
2. ... the murderer - is put to death by the sword.
1. ... one witness claims that he saw the murderer and another witness
claims that this is untrue - they kill the Eglah Arufah.
2. ... one women claimed that she saw the murderer and another woman claims
that it is untrue - they also kill the Eglah Arufah.
3. ... one witness claimed that he saw the murderer and two witnesses claim
that he did not - they cut its neck.
4. ... two witnesses claim that they saw the murderer and one claims that he
did not - they would not cut its neck.
(a) The Eglah Arufah ceased to function - when murder became commonplace
(and the murderers were well-known [based on the Pasuk "Lo Noda Mi
(b) The first of these was Eliezer ben Dina'i. The connection between
Eliezer ben Dina'i, Techinah ben Perishah and ben ha'Ratzchan is - that they
were all one and the same person.
(c) Rebbi Yochanan ben Zakai cancelled the Mei Sotah - when, due to an
increase in adulterers (which had spread to their children), it no longer
had any affect on their wives.
(d) We learn from the Pasuk "Lo Efkod al B'noseichem Ki Siznenah ve'Al
Kaloseichem Ki Sinafenah ... " - that when a man's daughters and
daughters-in-law are guilty of adultery, the Mei Sotah will no longer take
affect on his wife.
(a) With the death of Yossi ben Yo'ezer Ish Tz'reidah and Yossi ben Yochanan
Ish Yerushalayim - the 'Eshkolos' (Ish she'ha'Kol Bo' - whose learning was
so perfect and clear that it was without Machlokes).
(b) The first Torah Machlokes (that occurred in their day) was about making
Semichah on the Yom-Tov Korbanos).
(c) Yochanan Kohen Gadol negated - Hodayas Ma'aser ('the confession of
Ma'asros on Erev Pesach of every fourth year).
(d) He also cancelled the Me'orerin and the Nokfin (which will be explained
later in the Sugya). When the Tana of our Mishnah says that in his day ...
1. ... the hammer used to bang in Yerushalayim - he is referring to the
concession of Meleches Davar ha'Aveid (performing a Melachah in order to
prevent a monetary loss) on Chol ha'Mo'ed, which Yochanan Kohen Gadol
2. ... it became unnecessary to ask about D'mai - he means that there was no
longer any point in asking the owner (who was an Am ha'Aretz whether he had
separated Ma'asros or not), because Yochanan Kohen Gadol instituted the
Takanah of D'mai, obligating anyone who purchased products from the ground
was obligated to separate Ma'asros anyway.
The Tana of the Beraisa learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... in Mas'ei "ve'la'Aretz Lo Yechupar le'Dam Asher Shupach Bah Ki Im
be'Dam Shofcho" - that a murderer who is found after the neck of the Eglah
Arufah has been cut, must nevertheless be apprehended and punished (even
though there are no witnesses!).
(The Sugya of 'Eid Echad' is a replica of the Sugya that we learned above
2. ... in Shoftim "Lo Noda Mi Hikahu" - that if one witness saw the murder
and knows who the murderer is (even if he is on the other side of the
world), they do not cut the neck of the Eglah.
3. ... "ve'Einenu Lo Ra'u" (Rebbi Akiva) - that in the event that the
Sanhedrin witnessed the murder, even if they do not recognize the murderer,
the neck of the Eglah is not cut.
(a) They canceled the Eglah Arufah when the murderers increased and became
known - because the Eglah is only brought when there is a Safek, but not
when the facts are known.
(b) We learn from the Pasuk (in connection with the Sotah) "ve'Nikah ha'Ish
me'Avon" - that if the husband is guilty of immoral conduct, the Mei Sotah
will not take effect.
(c) Having quoted the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Nikah ha'Ish me'Avon", the Tana nevertheless goes on to quote the
Pasuk "Lo Efkod al Benoseichem Ki Siznenah ... " - to teach us that even if
it is only his children who commit adultery, the water will not work either.
(d) Rebbi Elazar learns from the conclusion of that Pasuk "ve'Am Lo Yavin
Yilbat" - that if the men are not careful to behave correctly, the Mei Sotah
will not work on their wives.
2. ... "Lo Efkod al Benoseichem Ki Siznenah ... " he nevertheless finds it
necessary to quote the Pasuk "Ki Heim Im ha'Zonos Yipareidu ve'Im
ha'Kedeishos Yizaveichu" - to teach us that even if his illicit relations
involved, not with married women but unmarried prostitutes (for which he is
not Chayav Kareis), the water will not work either.
(a) Running after personal pleasures resulted in the breakdown of law and
order and caused Hashem to derive no Naches from His world - because the
judges too, got taken up with it, and as a result, they were too busy to
judge properly and to teach the people what they must do.
(b) When the judges began to show favoritism in judgment, they
simultaneously began to fear the powerful, to lose their integrity and man's
rule took over from that of G-d. What caused ...
1. ... G-d to vent His anger against Yisrael and to remove His Shechinah
from them - was the employment of lawyers, who advised the judges as to who
was innocent and who was guilty.
(c) Drawing in their spittle resulted in an increase of snobs and a decrease
in Torah-study. Drawing spittle is indicative of - vanity.
2. ... people to lose their perception of the difference between good and
bad (i.e. praising the Resha'im) - was the pursuit of monetary gains.
3. ... all the woes enumerated in Yeshayah 5 to materialize - was the people
losing their perception of the difference between good and bad.
(d) The women of that time became attracted to these snobs. The statement
that a conceited man is not even accepted by his wife - pertains to later in
the marriage. What happens is that - initially, the women are attracted to
them, but later, all their respect dissipates.
(a) When the judges ...
The result of Jews accepting Tzedakah from Nochrim was - that the Nochrim
gained the upper-hand over the Jews.
1. ... entered into lucrative business deals with the populace (supplying
them with funds for business assignments, to share in the ultimate
profits) - the result was judicial corruption, perversion of justice and the
stopping of good from Yisrael.
(b) The increase of misers and grabbers (i.e. robbers) brought about
tough-hearted characters and people who refused to lend money to those who
needed it. Women strutting around with outstretched necks and with painted
eyes brought about a potential increase in Mei Sotah, which did not
materialize - because it coincided with an increase in adultery, and we have
already learned that when that happened, the Mei Sotah stopped functioning.
2. ... began eliciting favors from them - the result was complete anarchy,
the breakdown of all social barriers and the weakening of the (Jewish)
(c) Based on the Pasuk "ve'Sonei Matanos Yichyeh" - people's lives were
curtailed (and their lives became more miserable), commensurate with the
increase of people who accepted presents.
(d) A growth in the Talmidim of Shamai and Hillel resulted in a growth in
Machlokes - because, in their vanity, they did not listen carefully to what
their Rebbes taught them, and inevitably, misunderstandings crept in.