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Sotah 12

SOTAH 12 (7 Teves) - Dedicated by Josh Daniel of Efrat, Israel, in memory of Yitzchok Yisroel Daniel, on his Yahrzeit.


(a) The Pasuk writes in Divrei Hayamim "ve'Kalev ben Chetzron Holid es Azuvah Ishah ve'es Yeri'os". The Navi refers to Miriam as Azuvah because, following an illness in her younger years, everyone forsook her.
Why does he ...
  1. ... call her "Yeri'os"?
  2. ... state that Chetzron bore Miriam, when really he married her?
(b) The Pasuk continues "ve'Eileh Baneheh Yashar, ve'Shovav, ve'Ardon ben Chetzron".
What does "ve'Eileh Banehah" mean? Was Kalev Miriam's son?

(c) The Navi refers to Kalev as "Yashar" because he remained straight (and did not adopt the error of his fellow spies), and "Ardon", either because he rebelled against his Yetzer ha'Ra or because his face was red (aflame) like a rose.
Why is also called ...

  1. ... "Shovav"?
  2. ... "Ashchur"?
(d) And he also refers to him as "Avi" because he was like a father to Miriam.
Why does he call him "Tako'a"?
(a) Did Kalev really have two wives called Chal'ah and Na'arah, like the Navi says?

(b) And he continues "u'Venei Chal'ah Tzaras, Tzochar ve'Esnan". He referred to Miriam as Tzaras because she became so beautiful that all her contemporaries were jealous of her (like one Tzarah [rival wife] is jealous of another).
Why did he refer to her as ...

  1. ... "Tzochar"?
  2. ... "Esnan"?
(c) What do we Darshen from the Pasuk in Sh'mos "Va'yetzav Par'oh *le'Chol Amo*"? Why did Par'oh do that?

(d) Par'oh issued three decrees regarding new-born baby boys.
What were they?

(a) Who was the man from Beis Levi? Where did he go?

(b) Why did his little daughter (Miriam) 'rebuke' him? What argument did she present that caused him to retract?

(c) Amram's decree, she pointed out, was worse than Par'oh's on three scores. Firstly, because whereas Par'oh's decree affected only boys, his affected girls too, and secondly, because his decree incorporated both worlds, whereas Par'oh's was confined to this world only.
What did she mean by that?

(d) Her third argument was based on the Pasuk in Iyov "ve'Sigzar Omer va'Yakam Lach".
What do we learn from there? What was her argument?

(a) What was the result of Miriam's rebuke? Was she successful?

(b) Why does the Torah write "Va'yikach es Bas Levi" (as if he was marrying her for the first time), rather than "Va'yachzir"?

(c) Who danced in front of the Chasan and Kalah?

(d) What did the angels comment?

(a) Why does the Torah refer to Yocheved as "Bas Levi"?

(b) What do we extrapolate from the Pasuk "Asher *Yaldah* Osah le'Levi be'Mitzrayim"?

(c) How can we work out from here how many years Yisrael stayed in Egypt?

(d) Seeing as Yocheved was already pregnant with Moshe, why does the Torah write that she became pregnant and gave birth after Amram re-married her?

(a) The Tana'im argue whether "Ki Tov Hu", mentioned in connection with the birth of Moshe, refers to his name, the fact that he was born circumcised or to his eligibility to be a prophet.
What do the Chachamim learn, based on the Pasuk "Va'yar Elokim es ha'Or Ki Tov"?

(b) How did Yocheved manage to hide Moshe for three months? How come the Egyptians did not discover him immediately?

(c) Having hidden Moshe for those three months, why could Yocheved not continue to hide him? Who were "the little foxes" referred to by the Pasuk in Shir Hashirim?

(a) Some say that she made the casket into which she eventually placed Moshe of cheap reeds and not of a stronger material because Tzadikim are more concerned about their money than about their bodies.
Why is that?

(b) Other attribute it to common sense.
What would have been the advantage of using reeds for that purpose?

(c) Why did she overlay the casket with pitch on the outside but lime on the inside?

(d) "Va'tasem ba'Suf" might refer to the Yam-Suf.
What else might it mean?

Answers to questions



(a) What is the deeper meaning of ...
  1. ... "Va'teilech Bas Par'oh Li'rechotz al ha'Ye'or"?
  2. ... "ve'Na'arosehah Holchos ... "?
(b) Why did Gavriel knock them to the ground and kill them? What had they said?

(c) In the Pasuk "Va'tishlach es Amasah Vatikachehah", Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Nechemyah argue over the meaning of the word "Amasah". Because the Torah uses the word "Amasah" rather than "Yadah", one of them explains it to mean her maidservant.
But did we not just explain that Gavriel killed all her maidservants?

(d) If, on the other hand, "Amasah" means 'her hand', why does the Torah use this word and not "Yadah"?

(a) In light of the previous D'rashah, how do Chazal explain the Pasuk in Tehilim "Shinei Resha'im Shibarta"? Whose teeth is this referring to?

(b) To whom else did a similar miracle occur?

(c) How do we explain the Pasuk "Va'tiftach *Va'tir'eihu* es ha'Yeled" (when it would have sufficed to have written "Va'tir'eh ... "? What will "es" then mean?

(d) Rebbi Yehudah and Rebbi Nechemyah argue over the word "ve'Hinei *Na'ar* Bocheh" when the Pasuk should have written "Yeled". One explains that he was crying like a lad.
On what grounds does the other one object to this explanation? So how does he explain "Na'ar"?

(a) "Va'tomer, mi'Yaldei ha'Ivrim Zeh"!
How did Par'oh's daughter know that Moshe was a Jewish child?

(b) What does the word "Zeh" imply?

(c) Why did Par'oh's decree end then? What was the astrologer's mistake?

(d) What is the connection between the astrologer's error and the Pasuk ...

  1. ... in Sh'lach-Lecha "*Heimah* Mei Merivah ... "?
  2. ... in Beha'aloscha (when they complained about not having meat) "Sheish Mei'os Elef Ragli ..."?
(a) What is the significance of the opinion that Moshe was thrown into the Nile on ...
  1. ... twenty-first of Nisan?
  2. ... the sixth of Sivan?
(b) How will we reconcile the first of these opinions with our tradition that Moshe was born and died on the seventh of Adar? How can the twenty-first of Nisan fall three months after the seventh of Adar?

(c) Given that Yisrael cried for Moshe thirty days, and that they crossed the Jordan River on the tenth of Nisan, how do we know that Moshe died on the seventh of Adar?

(a) Why did Miriam offer Paroh's daughter to go and fetch specifically a *Jewish* 'wet nurse' to feed Moshe?

(b) Why was Moshe so fussy from whom he fed?

(c) "Va'teilech ha'Almah" (following bas Par'oh's permission to fetch a wet nurse) might teach us that Miriam went with alacrity.
What other connotation does the word "ha'Almah" have?

(d) What unintentional prophecy lay in bas Par'oh's words (to Yocheved) "Heilichi es ha'Yeled ... "?

(a) What is remarkable about the Pasuk "va'Ani Etein es S'charech"?

(b) Why does the Pasuk in Beshalach refer to Miriam as the sister of Aharon (and not of Moshe)?

(c) What did she prophecy?

(d) When Moshe was born and the house lit up, Amram kissed his daughter on the head and praised her.
What does that have to do with the Pasuk "va'Teisatzav Achoso me'Rachok le'Dei'ah Mah Ye'aseh Lo"?

Answers to questions

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