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Sotah 48

SOTAH 47, 48 - have been anonymously dedicated by a very special Marbitz Torah and student of the Daf from Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.



(a) Yochanan Kohen Gadol negated the Mitzvah of 'Hodayas Ma'aser' because we give Ma'aser Rishon to the Kohanim instead of to the Levi'im - in which case it is impossible to recite the Viduy, which contains the words "ve'Gam Nesativ la'Levi" (and not to a Kohen).

(b) We give Ma'aser Rishon to the Kohanim - due to a Takanah of Ezra, who penalized the Levi'im because the vast majority of them did not return to Eretz Yisrael from Bavel.

(c) Resh Lakish forbids reciting the Viduy on the other Matanos only, because, as Abaye points out - the Pasuk begins with Ma'aser Rishon (in which case it would be inappropriate to recite Viduy over other things and not on it).

(a) In a Beraisa, the Tana writes about Yochanan Kohen Gadol 'Af Hu Biteil es ha'Viduy ve'Gazar al ha'D'mai; L'fi she'Shalach be'Chol G'vul Mitzrayim ... '. He did not include Terumah in the Din of D'mai - because he discovered that even Amei ha'Aretz gave Terumah (because it carries with it a Chiyuv Misah. The reason that they did not treat Terumas Ma'aser with the same reverence, is because they thought that Terumas Ma'aser only needs to be given by a Levi [Mosaf Rashi]).

(b) The two Matanos that he did include - were Terumas Ma'aser (which is forbidden to be eaten by a Zar) and Ma'aser Sheini (which may not be eaten outside Yerushalayim).

(c) He exempted Ma'aser Rishon and Ma'aser Ani from D'mai - because there is no intrinsic prohibition for a Zar to eat them (like there is by the other two Matanos), only an obligation to give them to their respective owners. Consequently (in view of the fact that D'mai is only a Safek), we apply the principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro, Alav ha'Re'ayah'.

(a) Yochanan Kohen Gadol in our Mishnah (where he exempts giving Ma'aser Rishon to the Levi'im, but obligates giving it to the Kohanim) appears to clash with his words in the Beraisa, where he ascribes both the Takanah of Bitul Hodayas Ma'aser and the reason that D'mai does not apply to Ma'aser Rishon, to the S'vara of 'ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro Alav ha'Re'ayah'. In that case - he would not be obligated to give it to a Kohen either).

(b) We answer - that in fact, the two Takanos are independent of each other, and that it is not the Tana's intention, when he mentions the Takanah of Bitul Hodayas Ma'aser, to connect it to the reason that he then proceeds to give for D'mai not applying to Ma'aser Rishon.

(c) He also negated the Me'orerin and the Nokfin.

1. 'The Me'orerin' (protesters) - were the Levi'im, explains Rachbah, who used to sing each day "Urah Lamah Sishan Hashem"! They were really asking Hashem why He allowed Yisrael to suffer and the Nochrim to live in tranquillity and happiness
2. 'The Nokfin', according to the first explanation - refers to the Kohanim, who used to make a cut between the horns before Shechting a calf of Korbanos (Rav Yehudah Amar Rav - so that the blood would fall into its eyes and it would loosen its foothold on the ground, falicilitating throwing it down to the ground for Shechting).
3. 'the Nokfin', according to the second explanation - refers to the beating of the animal with sticks in order to knock it to the ground.
(d) Yochanan Kohen Gadol negated ...
1. ... the Me'orerin - because Hashem never sleeps, as the Pasuk says in Tehilim.
2. ... the Nokfin - because, according to the first explanation, such a cut resembled a blemish, and according to the second, beating an animal with sticks is liable to render it a T'reifah. He replaced its function by arranging rings in the slaughtering area, into which they would place the animal's head to hold it firm during the Shechitah.
1. Chazal instated the Takanah of "be'Shir Lo Yishtu Yayin" - when the Sanhedrin broke up.
2. The Urim ve'Tumim ceased to function - when the first Nevi'im (which will be explained in the Sugya) died.
3. The Shamir worm, and the delicious 'Nofes Tzufim' became extinct - with the Churban Beis Hamikdash. Men of integrity also disappeared then.
(b) Since the Churban Beis-Hamikdash, there is not a day which does not contain a curse and on which the dew falls as a blessing. The third item included in this group listed by Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in the name of Rebbi Yehoshua is - that the fruit no longer tastes the same.

(c) Rebbi Yossi adds the fatness of the fruit to the list. According to Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar, what deprived ...

1. ... the fruit of its smell - was the cessation of Taharos.
2. ... the corn of its fatness - was the cessation of Ma'asros.
3. ... the world of all other blessings (according to our text, this is the opinion of the Chachamim) - was promiscuity and witchcraft.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk "Zekeinim mi'Sha'ar Shavasu, Bachurim mi'Neginasam" - that they forbade music at parties once the Sanhedrin broke up.


1. Rav says that the ear that listens to music - will become uprooted (i.e. deaf).
2. Rava says that - destruction lurks at the threshold of a house in which songs are heard (see Agados Maharsha).
3. Rebbi Yitzchak learn from the conclusion of the Pasuk in Tzefanyah (which acts as the source for the previous answer) "Ki Arzah Arah" (not that a house that has a ceiling of planks is called a city, but) - that even if the house in question has a ceiling of planks, it will become rickety.
(a) Rav Ashi learns from a phrase in the previous Pasuk ("Cherev ba'Saf") that the destruction of a house begins at the threshold. Others derive it from the Pasuk in Yeshayah - "u'She'iyah Yukas Sha'ar". Mar bar Rav Ashi saw the result of this - it looked as if it had been badly gored by an ox.

(b) Rav Huna make a distinction between people on the river banks who pull ships with a rope and plowers (whom he permits to sing) - to encourage the one to pull harder and to help them plow straight, and weavers (whom he does not) - because *they* sing only for fun.

(c) The decree that Rav Huna issued that resulted in a huge food surplus, to the point where one Zuz could buy a hundred geese or a hundred Sa'ah of wheat (and nobody even wanted them) was - to nullify music in their houses and during their parties.

(d) When Rav Chisda contravened the decree - there was such a shortage of geese, that one could not even find one for the price of a Zuz.

(a) Rav Yosef describes men singing and women answering the refrain as P'ritzus (obscene) - and women singing and men answering the refrain as a fire that has already ignited the flax-shavings.

(b) Rav Yosef found it necessary to categorize them in this way - so that, should one have the opportunity of negating one of them, he should rather choose the latter.

(c) Rebbi Yochanan says that someone who accompanies his festivities with a seven and a ten-stringed harp, a drum and a flute - brings five punishments to the world.

(d) They cause exile, hunger and Torah to be forgotten - and they also cause both Hashem and Yisrael to become lowly (Kevayachol).




(a) According to Rav Huna, when the Tana of our Mishnah dates the cessation of the Urim ve'Tumim as the death of the first Nevi'im, he is referring to Shmuel, David and Shlomoh. Rav Nachman - dates it from the time of David, because already then, we find it working for Tzadok but not for Evyasar (for which reason he lost the Kehunah to Tzadok - see Agados Maharsha).

(b) We refute the Kashya on these Amora'im from the Pasuk in Shmuel, which describes Zecharyah ha'Meivin as seeking Hashem. There is no proof from there that the Urim ve'Tumim was still in use during the time of the kings - because seeking Hashem might just as well refer to the medium of the Nevi'im.

(c) There is no proof from the Pasuk in Ezra, where Hatarshasa told the people that they would not eat Kodesh ha'Kodashim 'until such time as a Kohen would arise who would wear the Urim ve'Tumim', that they had the Urim ve'Tumim during the second Beis Hamikdash, because - he might have been referring to the time of Techi'as ha'Meisim.

(d) We *do* however prove from the Beraisa which cites this Pasuk - that they were in use until the end of the first Beis Hamikdash, because it says explicitly that the Arei Migrash (the cities of the Levi'im) and the Urim ve'Tumim ceased to function when the first Beis-Hamikdash was destroyed.

(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak finally interprets 'Nevi'im ha'Rishonim' - to refer to all the Nevi'im except for Chagai, Mal'achi and Zecharyah.

(b) The Tana of the Beraisa states that Ruach ha'Kodesh (prophecy) came to an end with the death of Chagai, Zecharyah and Mal'achi. This does not mean that all recourse to Divine communication ceased from then on - because they still had access to the Bas-Kol.

(c) Hillel and Shmuel ha'Katan had in common ...

1. ... in their lifetime - that a Bas-Kol declared them both to be worthy of Hashra'as ha'Shechinah (only their respective generations were not).
2. ... after their death - that the term 'Hey Anav, Hey Chasid' were used when eulogizing them.
(d) They wanted to say "Hey Anav, Hey Chasid" - about Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava, but it was not possible - because he was one of the ten martyrs, and one does not eulogize a martyr (for fear of retaliation on the part of the ruling power who put him to death).
(a) On his death-bed, Shmuel ha'Katan proceeded to prophesy in the near future. He was referring, when he listed ...
1. ... Shimon and Yishmael - to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel the Nasi and Rebbi Yishmael ben Elisha the Kohen Gadol?
2. ... the rest of the Chaveirim - to Rebbi Akiva, Rebbi Chanina ben Teradyon and Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava.
(b) He predicted that ...
1. ... Shimon and Yishmael - would die by the sword.
2. ... the rest of the Chaveirim - would be killed in other ways (Rebbi Akiva's skin was torn from him with metal combs, Rebbi Chanina ben Teradyon was burnt alive, and Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava was killed with spears).
(c) And the remainder of the people were destined to be taken captive and to suffer tragically?
(a) Rebbi Yehudah interprets the Pasuk in Melachim "ve'ha'Bayis be'Hibanoso Even Sh'leimah Masa Nivneh" literally. Rebbi Nechemyah, based on the Pasuk "Kol Eileh Avanim Yekaros Meguraros bi'Megeirah (hewn with a saw)", interprets it to mean -that they were cut outside the Beis Hamikdash and then brought inside to be built into the walls.

(b) According to...

1. ...Rebbi Yehudah, they cut the stones to size - by means of the Shamir worm.
2. ...Rebbi, the Pasuk "Kol Eileh Avanim Yekaros..." - speaks about the stones that Shlomo used to build his own house, and not to the Beis ha'Mikdash.
(c) According to Rebbi Nechemyah, the Shamir was used for the stones of the Eifod (and presumably, Rebbi Yehudah agrees with this too). We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... Pituchei Chosam" - that the letters were not just written but engraved, onto the two stones of the Eifod.
2. ... be'Milu'osam" - that the stones had to remain complete in the process.
(d) They first wrote the letters on the stones in ink, before holding the Shamir over them. The stones would then split automatically (exactly where the writing was) - like ...
1. ... a fig in the summer, and ...
2. ... like a valley in the winter.
(a) The Shamir - which was the size of a barley, was created during the six days of creation and nothing hard could withstand it.

(b) It was preserved inside a wad of wool - which was kept inside a lead pipe (or inside a basket).

(c) The Shamir became extinct with the Churban Bayis Rishon, and so did a number of other things, such as a specific type of silk, white glass and iron chariots. Others add - to Rebbi Ami's list - congealed wine that was produced in S'nir (see Devarim 3:9).

(a) According to Rav, 'Nofes Tzufim' is flour that sticks to the sieve due to its fatness/juiciness ('Nofes, from the word 'Nafah' - a sieve). Its sweet taste is reminiscent of - a dough that was kneaded with honey and oil.

(b) According to Levi, it is the name that is given to two loaves baked on opposite walls of the oven. They are called by the name 'Tzufim' - because, due to Hashem's B'rachah, they expanded to the extent that they actually touched during baking, like the honey in the honeycomb, which expanded and grew so large that it seemed to be floating in the air (from the word 'Tzaf - to float).

(c) According to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, 'Nofes Tzufim' is honey that comes from the mountains, which are referred to as 'Tzufim' - because they serve as lookout posts (from the word 'Tzafah' - to watch).

(d) He supports this with Rav Yosef's Targum of the Pasuk in Devarim "Ka'asher Ta'asenah ha'Devorim" - which he translates as 'like the bees who fly to the high places to bring honey (pollen) from the herbs that grow on the mountains.

(a) The Mishnah in Machshirin says that most liquids that are poured from a Tahor vessel into a Tamei one - do not render the honey in the top vessel Tamei.

(b) The only two exceptians are honeycombs and 'D'vash Zifim' (which are so dense that they join the contents of the two vessels). Resh Lakish translates 'D'vash Zifim' as honey from Zif, as he does in the Pasuk in Tehilim "be'Vo ha'Zifim va'Yomru el Shaul ... ". Rebbi Yochanan translates ...

1. ... 'D'vash Zifim' as - thick honey of excellent quality, that one can forge by adding water and wine without being able to tell the difference.
2. ... 'be'Vo ha'Zifim' as - people who forge their words through lies and tale-bearing.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that 'Anshei Amanah' became extinct at the same time as the 'Nofes Tzufim'. Rebbi Yitzchak interprets Anshei Amanah as people who believe in Hashem, according to Rebbi Eliezer - who describes people who have sufficient food for that day but who worry about what they will eat tomorrow (as if Hashem is unable to provide for them tomorrow just as He provided for them today) as people who possess little faith.

(b) Rebbi Elazar explains with this the Pasuk in Zecharyah "Ki Mi Vaz le'Yom Ketanos" (the little faith that those Tzadikim had resulted in their table in Olam ha'Ba to be despised). According to Rava - the word "Ketanos" refers to the children of Resha'im who died for their fathers' sins.

(c) When Hashem comes to judge these Resha'im in the World to Come, Rava explains, they will argue that, if Hashem wanted to punish them there, why did He cause them such pain in this world by taking away their children when they were young; in other words - they will despise Hashem's judgment on account of their little children, whom Hashem already took from them.

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