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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Sotah 49

SOTAH 49 (Siyum!) - sponsored by Jeff Ram (Atlanta/Jerusalem), an avid Dafyomi learner and a loyal supporter of Kollel Iyun Hadaf. May he and his wife always have much Nachas from their wonderful children and grandchildren!



(a) One would expect poor people to sell 'Revav' (fatty and oily substances) - because it is messy and disgusting, and only a person who has no financial alternative would get involved with it.

(b) Rebbi Ila'ah bar Yeverechyah ...

1. ... learns from the Pasuk "Shisah Hashem Morah Lahem" - that David prayed for Hashem to give the poor of Yisrael riches to gain the respect of the Nochrim, sparing them the degradation of all becoming sellers of Revav.
2. ... says that if not for Chavakuk's prayers - Talmidei-Chachamim would be so poor that they would sleep two to a Talis.
3. ... learns from the Pasuk (written in connection with Eliyahu and Elisha) "Vayehi Heimah Holchim Haloch ve'Dabeir ve'Hinei Rechev Eish ... " - that two Talmidei-Chachamim who travel together on a journey and fail to discuss Divrei Torah, deserve to be burned.
(c) Rebbi Ila'ah bar Yeverechyah learns from the Pasuk "Lanus Shamah Rotzei'ach Asher Yirtzach es Re'eihu bi'V'li Da'as" - that if two Talmidei-Chachamim who live in the same town but do not communicate respectfully with each other, one of them will die, and the other will go into exile.
(a) Rav Yehudah Brei de'Rav Chiya says - that the Tefilos of a Talmid-Chacham who learns Torah in spite of his poverty will be answered.

(b) Rebbi Avahu adds that he is also satiated with the glory of the Shechinah - which means that the secrets of Torah will be revealed to him (Agados Maharsha).

(c) Rav Acha bar Chanina adds - that the curtain (that divides between Hashem and him) is never closed.

(a) The Pasuk writes "ba'Boker Tomar Mi Yiten Erev, u'va'Erev Yomar Mi Yiten *Boker*", which cannot refer to the morning after - because how can one know that the following morning will be any better than the previous night.

(b) Rava therefore explains - that it refers to the previous morning, and he proves from there that the K'lalos constantly go from bad to worse.

(c) In that case, the world would have been destroyed long ago - and it is the 'Kedushah de'Sidra (of 'u'Va le'Tziyon Go'el') and 'Amen, Yehei Sh'mei Rabah ... ' after the Shabbos D'rashah (Kadish de'Rabbanan) which keep it going.

(d) The significance of Kedushah de'Sidra and 'Amen Yehei Sh'mei Rabah' lies in the fact that the former contains words of Torah with their Targum that have been learned publicly, and the latter is said after Torah that has been learned in public, and both incorporate Kidush Hashem (a Davar she'bi'Kedushah that can only be performed with ten people). That combination of Torah that is learned publicly and the Kidush Hashem, provides the impetus that keeps the world going.

(a) Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar in our Mishnah connected the good smell of fruit to the Taharah, which is measure for measure - because when Yisrael purified themselves, Hashem purified their fruit of bad smells and tastes.

(b) When Rav Huna's son Rabah ...

1. ... recognized the smell of the beautiful-smelling date that he had wrapped in his Sudar - he remarked that he must be pure in order to have such a keen sense of smell, and gave him the date.
2. ... handed the date to his son Aba - he was upset, commenting that he should not have demonstrated that his love towards his son was greater than his love towards him (by taking the date from him and giving it to his son).
(c) When Rav Acha bar Ya'akov Rav Ya'akov's grandfather (who was also his foster father) asked him for a cup of water - he responded by pointing out that even though he had brought him up, he was still not his father, and that he was therefore not obligated to honor him like a father (see Agados Maharsha).

(d) The adage they learned ...

1. ... from Rav Huna is - 'Rachmei de'Aba a'B'nei, Rachmei de'B'nei a'Bnei'.
2. ... from Rav Ya'akov is - 'Rebbi Rebbi , bar B'ratach Ana'.
(a) When Vespasian attacked Yerushalayim, the Chachamim issued a decree forbidding Chasanim to wear a Chasan's crown and Eirus (which will be explained in the Sugya). When Titus attacked - they added the prohibition of a Kalah's crown and that of learning Greek philosophy (though from the Sugya later it appears that this decree was issued earier - in the time of Hurkanus and Aristobulus).

(b) According to the Tana Kama, during the final onslaught of Titus, they issued a decree forbidding a Kalah to be carried through the town on an Apiryon - which was a sort of litter surrounded by golden cloaks and suchlike, on which they would transport her from her father's house to that of her Chasan.

(c) The Rabbanan permit it.

(a) Rebbi Meir was the last of the great parable-sayers, and ben Azai of the Masmidim, who studied day and night. When ...
1. ... ben Zoma died - the era of Darshanim came to an end.
2. ... Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa died - the power of performing miraculous deeds died with him.
(b) When the Tana says that Kavod ha'Torah died ...
1. ... with Rebbi Akiva - he is referring to the meticulous care he took to Darshen the whole Torah, every tip of every letter, and certainly every superfluous letter and word.
2. ... with Raban Gamliel ha'Zaken - he is referring to the fact that, until Raban Gamliel, everyone would study Torah standing; whereas after his death, people became physically weaker, and began to sit whilst they studied Torah.
(c) Rebbi Yossi was the last of the Chasidim. He was called 'Rebbi Yossi Katnasa' - because he was also the smallest of the Chasidim, whose level decreased with the passing of time.

(d) When Raban Yochanan ben Zakai died, the glory of Chochmah died too, because his wisdom spanned so many areas (see Agados Maharsha). When ...

1. ... Raban Gamliel ha'Zaken died (besides Kavod ha'Torah) - purity and the Midah of abstention died too.
2. ... Rebbi Yishmael ben Fiabi (the Kohen Gadol) died - the glory of Kehunah died with him (because he was wise and wealthy and many Kohanim would eat at his table).
3. ... Rebbi died - humility and the fear of sin came to an end.
(a) Rebbi Pinchas ben Yair (or Rebbi Yehoshua) says in our Mishnah that after the Churban Beis Hamikdash the Chaveirim (who were careful about Tum'ah) and the Meyuchasin were embarrassed and ashamed - because the insolent and the Mamzeirim took control (and mocked their innocence - Agados Maharsha).

(b) Men of good deeds lost their authority - and tough guys and Ba'alei Lashon ha'Ra took their place.

(c) Nobody cares about Yisrael or takes their part - so we can rely on no-one but Our Father in Heaven.

(d) Rebbi Eliezer ha'Gadol observes that since that time, the Chachamim are on a par with the Sofrim (children's Rebbes), the Sofrim, like Chazanim (Shamashim) - and the Chazanim, like Amei ha'Aretz.




(a) The Amei ha'Aretz too, are deteriorating, and nobody cares about them or takes their part ... . In the time leading up to the Mashi'ach the Midah that will dominate is Chutzpah (insolence).

(b) 've'Yoker Ya'amir' (or Ye'aveis) - means that people will not honor each other, or that even the most honored among them will be dishonest (Rashi, Sanhedrin).

(c) Wine will be expensive in spite of the fact that there will be no shortage of grapes - because everyone will be arranging parties.

(d) There will be no rebuke at that time due to the fact that everyone will be guilty of sinning. Consequently, whenever someone will attempt to rebuke his friend, he will retort that he (the rebuker) is no better.

1. The ruling power - will become heretical.
2. The meeting-places of the Chachamim - will become brothels.
(b) The Galil will be destroyed, the Gavlan will be desolate and the inhabitants of the border towns will travel from one town to the other in search of a haven, but will not find one.
1. The wisdom of the Chachamim - will become rejected.
2. Those who fear sin - will be despised.
3. Truth - will become obsolete.
(c) The young will shame the old, and children will disrespect their parents and rebel against them.
1. The old - will stand up for the young.
2. The face of the generation will look - like that of a dog (see Tif'eres Yisrael).
(d) A person own family will be his enemies. If this is how the generation looks, we will noone to whom to turn but our Father in Heaven.
(a) Rav restricts the prohibition of Chasanim wearing crowns to those made of rock-salt, engraved with sulfur, but permits crowns made of myrtle or roses (garlands). Levi forbids all kinds of crowns. Shmuel includes garlands made of myrtle or roses - but he permits crowns made of reeds or sedge.

(b) Rebbi Elazar describes 'Eirus' which the Rabbanan forbade together with Chasanim's crowns, as a specific type of bell. Rav Huna break the 'Tanboura' (a specific type of drum) which his son Rabah made for his son's wedding - on the grounds that it resembled the bell forbidden by Chazal. He advised him to replace it with an instrument made out of the top of a barrel or a large box.

(c) They also banned a crown worn by brides.

1. This was a sort of crown fashioned in the shape of a tiara with a picture of Yerushalatim engraved on it.
2. They did however, permit a bride to wear a felt hat.
(d) Included in the ban was a Chupas Chasanim - an archway made of of red cloth set with golden plates. They did however, permit a wooden arch, on which one was permitted to suspend anything, even golden strands.
(a) Chazal forbade the study of Greek philosophy due to an episode that took place during the civil was between Hurkanus and Aristobulus. Those besieged in Yerushalayim (Aristobulus), managed to bring the Korban Tamid each day - by letting down a basket of money to the attackers, for which they would receiving in exchange, the two required lambs.

(b) That old man who had studied Greek philosophy advised Hurkanus to - place a pig in the basket instead of the lambs, because, he claimed, as long as the besieged had the merit of sacrifices on their side, they would never be vanquished.

(c) When the pig, on its way up, dug its hoofs into the wall of Yerushalayim and the entire country shook. That is when Chazal issued a curse on anyone who rears pigs or who studies Greek philosophy.

(d) The significance of the fact that, that year, the Omer came form Gagos Tzerifim and the Sh'tei ha'Lechem from the valley of Ein Sochar is - that they usually brought them fromclose to Yerushalayim, for them to be brought to Hashem fresh.

(a) We reconcile the ban on Greek philosophy and the statement of Rebbi in a Beraisa that in Eretz Yisrael one should speak either Lashon ha'Kodesh or Greek, but not Sursian (the Syriac language) - by differentiating between Greek philosophy (which is forbidden) and speaking Greek (which is permitted).

(b) Out of a thousand members of Raban Shimon ben Gamliel's family - five hundred studies Torah and five hundred, Greek philosophy.

(c) This, in spite of the Chachamim's ban on Greek philosophy - because they permitted those who were close to the ruling power (and who could thusly influence them to nullify their evil decrees, and who could foil the sinister plots that they were constantly hatching against Yisrael).

(d) For the same reason, they permitted Avtulus ben Reuven to shave the front of his head and to leave the back, which was normally forbidden - because it was the haircut that was the mark of idolaters.

(a) When the Tana of the Beraisa said that when Rebbi Eliezer died, the Sefer-Torah was hidden - he was referring to his expertise in Halachos (like we learned in Sanhedrin, where he spoke of the three thousand Halachos regarding the planting of cucumbers and three hundred regarding a strong Baheres (mark of Tzara'as).

(b) With the death of ...

1. ... Rebbi Yehoshua - counsel came to an end (because he was Yisrael's champion in his disputations againt the heretics).
2. ... Rebbi Akiva - the arms of Torah came to an end (referring his depth of understanding, logic and reasoning, and his ability to explain all the nuances in the words and letters of the Torah).
3. ... Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah - the crown of wisdom, which is the result of great wealth, came to an end.
(c) What the Tana of our Mishnah writes about Rebbi Yossi, the Tana of the Beraisa writes about Aba Yossi ben Katonta.
1. When Raban Shimon ben Gamliel died, alongside other Tzaros, the world suffered a plague of locusts.
2. When Rebbi died - the world suffered an upsurge of Tzaros.
(d) We learned in our Mishnah that when Rebbi died, humility and the fear of sin came to an end.
1. Rav Yosef instructed the Beraisa expert to omit humility from the Mishnah - on the grounds that he was still alive and was exceedingly humble (some commentaries explain that 'Ana' [means not 'I' in this instance but] is the name of a Chacham).
2. ... Rav Nachman instruct the Beraisa expert to omit the fear of sin - on the grounds that he was still alive, and his fear of sin was exceptional.
***** Hadran Alach Eglah Arufah, u'Selika Lah Maseches Sotah *****

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