ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf 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
(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.
(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
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.
(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
(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
(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.
(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
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).
(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.
(b) When the Tana says that Kavod ha'Torah died ...
2. ... Rebbi Chanina ben Dosa died - the power of performing miraculous
deeds died with him.
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.
(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.
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.
(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
(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,
(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.
(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.
2. The meeting-places of the Chachamim - will become brothels.
1. The wisdom of the Chachamim - will become rejected.
(c) The young will shame the old, and children will disrespect their parents
and rebel against them.
2. Those who fear sin - will be despised.
3. Truth - will become obsolete.
1. The old - will stand up for the young.
(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.
2. The face of the generation will look - like that of a dog (see Tif'eres
(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
(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
(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.
(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.
2. They did however, permit a bride to wear a felt hat.
(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
(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
(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).
***** Hadran Alach Eglah Arufah, u'Selika Lah Maseches Sotah *****
(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).
(c) What the Tana of our Mishnah writes about Rebbi Yossi, the Tana of the
Beraisa writes about Aba Yossi ben Katonta.
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.
1. When Raban Shimon ben Gamliel died, alongside other Tzaros, the world
suffered a plague of locusts.
(d) We learned in our Mishnah that when Rebbi died, humility and the fear of
sin came to an end.
2. When Rebbi died - the world suffered an upsurge of Tzaros.
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.
On to Gittin