POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Sotah 12
SOTAH 12 (7 Teves) - Dedicated by Josh Daniel of Efrat, Israel, in memory of
Yitzchok Yisroel Daniel, on his Yahrzeit.
1) MIRYAM'S FAMILY
(a) Presumably, this is correct - Kalev is called "The
Kenizi", not the son of Kenaz.
2) THE BIRTH OF MOSHE
(b) "Azuvah" is Miryam - she is called Azuvah, for everyone
abandoned her (Azvuha) (did not want to marry her) at
(c) Question: Why does it say that Kalev fathered her - he
(d) Answer (R. Yochanan): Anyone that marries a woman for the
sake of Heaven, it is considered as if he fathered her.
1. She is called Yeri'os, for her face was (green) as
(e) "These are Baneha (her children)" - read this, Boneha
(the names of the one who built her, i.e. her husband).
1. Yashar - for (Kalev) straightened (Yishar) himself;
(f) Ashchur, the father of Teko'ah, had 2 wives - Chel'ah and
2. Shovev - he veered (Shivev) his evil inclination
(from following the spies);
3. Ardon - he ruled over (Radah) his inclination.
i. Others say, because his face resembled a rose
1. Ashchur is Kalev - he is called Ashchur, for his
face blackened (Hushcharu) through fasting;
(g) "The children of Chel'ah were Tzeres, Tzochar and Esnan".
2. He is called father, for he was as a father to
3. Teko'ah - for he fastened (Taka) his heart to
4. His wife Miryam was as 2 women - at first she was
sickly (Chal'ah), and later, youthful (Na'arah).
1. Tzeres - she was an affliction for other women (they
envied her beauty);
2. Tzochar - her face was as (bright as) noon;
3. Esnan - whoever saw her gave to his wife an Esnan (a
gift, so she would agree to relations).
(a) (R. Yosi bar Chanina): "Par'oh commanded his whole
nation" - He even decreed on his nation.
1. (R. Yosi bar Chanina): There were 3 decrees - the
1st (to the midwives) 'If it is a son, you will kill
(b) Question: "A man from the house of Levi went" - where did
2. The 2nd (to all) - 'Any son (Yisrael) born, you will
cast into the river';
3. The 3rd - Even a male Egyptian baby must be killed.
(c) Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): He went on the counsel
of his daughter.
1. (Beraisa): Amram was the leader of his generation;
when Par'oh decreed to cast all boys in the river,
Amram said, it is futile to have children - he
divorced his wife; all of Yisrael divorced their
(d) Question: "He took" - it should say, he returned (to
i. Miryam: Your decree is worse than Par'oh's! He
only decreed against the boys - you will cause
that also girls will not be born!
2. Amram remarried his wife; all of Yisrael did the
ii. Par'oh's decree is only in this world - your
decree also affects the world to come!
iii. It is uncertain whether Par'oh's decree would
be fulfilled - but you are a Tzadik, and your
decree will certainly be fulfilled - "As you
decree, it will be fulfilled".
(e) Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): He acted as one that
marries - he sat her in a bride's chair; Aharon and
Miryam danced in front of her, and angels said "The happy
mother of children".
(f) Question: "The daughter of Levi" - She was 130 years old,
why is she called a daughter?
1. (R. Chama bar Chanina): "That she bore to Levi in
Mitzrayim" - Yocheved was born in Mitzrayim, but not
conceived there - she was conceived on the descent
to Egypt, and was born between the walls (the
entrance to Mitzrayim).
(g) Answer (Rav Yehudah): Signs of youth returned to her.
i. (This shows that she was 130 when Moshe was
born, for we were in Mitzrayim for 210 years,
and Moshe was 80 when we left.)
(h) Question: "She became pregnant, and gave birth - but she
was already 3 months pregnant (as we shall say later)!
(i) Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): It only says she became
pregnant to equate the conception to the delivery - just
as the former was painless, also the latter.
1. We learn that righteous women are not subject to the
punishment decreed on Chavah (that childbirth will
(j) (Beraisa - R. Meir): "She saw that he was Tov (good)" -
Moshe's name is Tov; R. Yehudah says, his name is Tuvya;
1. R. Nechemyah says, (she saw that he was) fit for
(k) "She hid him for 3 months" - the Egyptians only counted
from the time he remarried her (to inspect if she had a
baby boy), and she was already 3 months pregnant when she
2. Others say, he was born circumcised;
3. Chachamim say, when he was born, the house was
filled with light.
i. Here it says, "She saw that he was Tov"; it
also says, "Hash-m saw the light, that it was
(l) Question: "She could not hide him any longer" - why not?
(m) Answer: When the Egyptians heard of a birth, they would
bring another baby to the area. When the hidden baby
heard the other one cry, it would also cry.
1. "We were taken by small foxes" (i.e. other babies
revealed our hidden babies).
(n) Question: "She took for him an ark of reeds" - why
(o) Answer #1 (R. Elazar): A Tzadik's money is dearer to him
than his life (so she used a cheap material).
1. Question: Why?
(p) Answer #2 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): Something soft will
endure a collision, whether it hits something soft or
2. Answer: Because he is concerned that he should not
have to steal.
(q) "She sealed it with tar on the outside and pitch on the
inside" - so Moshe should not have to suffer the smell of
(r) (R. Elazar): "She put the child in, and put it in the
Suf" - this is the Yam Suf;
1. (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): This is a swamp.
3) THE SALVATION OF MOSHE
(a) (R. Yochanan): "Par'oh's daughter descended to bathe by
the river" - she descended to cleanse herself of the
idolatry of her father's house - "If Hash-m will bathe
the filth of the daughters of Tziyon"
4) MOSHE IS NURSED BY HIS MOTHER
(b) (R. Yochanan): "Her servants were going" - this is a
language of death - "I am going to die".
(c) "She saw the ark in the Suf" - when her servants saw that
she wanted to save Moshe, they protested.
1. 'Our mistress, the way of the world is that if a
mortal king makes a decree, (even) if the whole
world doesn't follow it, at least his house follows
it - you are transgressing your father's decree!'
(d) (R. Yehudah or R. Nechemyah): "She sent her Amah" - this
means, her hand.
2. Gavri'el pounded them on the ground (and killed
1. (The other of R. Yehudah and R. Nechemyah): "Amah"
means her servant.
(e) Question: "She opened it, and saw him, the child" - it
should say, 'she saw (the child)'!
2. The 1st opinion is understood - it says, her Amah.
3. The 2nd opinion learns from the fact that the Torah
did not unambiguously say 'her hand'.
4. Question: How can one say that she sent her servant
- we said, Gavri'el killed them!
5. Answer: He left 1 alive - it is not proper for the
king's daughter to be alone.
6. Question: The one that says that she sent her hand -
why didn't the Torah unambiguously say 'her hand'?
7. Answer: We learn that her hand stretched.
8. (Just as Achashverosh's scepter stretched), also
Par'oh's daughter's hand, and teeth of the wicked -
"The teeth of the wicked Shibarta (you broke)"
i. (Reish Lakish): This can be read, Sherivavtah
(that you increased it).
(f) Answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): She saw the Divine Presence
with the child.
(g) Contradiction: "There was a youth crying" - but he was
just called a child!
(h) Answer (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): He was a child, his voice
was as of a youth;
1. R. Nechemyah: If so, Moshe would be blemished
(abnormal)! Rather, his mother made him a youth's
canopy, for she feared that she would not see him
(i) Question: "She pitied him, and said, 'This is from the
Hebrews'" - how did she know?
(j) Answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): He was circumcised.
(k) (R. Yochanan): "This" - she was unaware that she was
1. This is the last child to fall in the river.
(l) (R. Chama bar Chanina): "They are the waters of Merivah,
that (Benei Yisrael) quarreled..." - they are the waters
that Par'oh's astrologers saw and misunderstood.
2. (R. Elazar): "When they will say to you, seek the
Ovos and Yidonim (forbidden ways of conjuring up the
dead) that Metzaftzef (chirp) and utter" - they see
(Tzofin) and do not know what they see; they utter,
and do not know what they utter.
i. (The Egyptian astrologers) saw that the savior
of Yisrael will be stricken in water; they
decreed that every boy born should be cast into
ii. Once Moshe was thrown in the water, the sign
(of the savior) went away, and the decree was
iii. They did not realize, the water he would be
punished by was that of Merivah.
1. "600,000 on account of me" - Moshe told Yisrael that
they were saved (the decree ended) because of him.
(m) (R. Chanina bar Papa): Moshe was put into the water on
the 21st of Nisan.
1. The angels pleaded to Hash-m - Moshe, who is
destined to sing praises (when the Yam Suf will be
split) on this day, will be stricken on this day?!
(n) (R. Acha bar Chanina): It was the 6th of Sivan.
1. The angels pleaded to Hash-m - Moshe, who is
destined to receive the Torah on Mount Sinai on this
day, will be stricken on this day?!
(o) We understand, according to R. Acha, there were 3 months
from Moshe's birth until he was put in the water (as the
above verse - "She hid him 3 months").
1. Moshe died on the 7th of Adar, and was also born on
2. Question: According to R. Chanina, there were only 1
and a half months!
3. Answer: It was a leap year; the 3 months are (most
of) Adar 1, all of Adar 2, and most of Nisan.
(a) Question: "His sister said to Par'oh's daughter, 'Shall I
call for you a Hebrew wet-nurse?'" - why specifically a
(b) Answer: Par'oh's daughter tried having Moshe nurse from
all the Egyptian women, but he would not.
1. Hash-m did not want that Moshe, with whom Hash-m
would later speak mouth to mouth, should nurse from
one who eats Tamei food.
(c) (R. Elazar): "And ha'Almah (the young girl) went" - she
went zealously, as a youth;
2. "To whom does he teach knowledge ... who will
understand - he who weaned himself from (impure)
milk, who detached from the breast.
1. (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): She hid (HA'ALiMAH) her
words (and did not reveal that the baby is her
(d) (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): "Heilichi (take) this child"
- Par'oh's daughter did not know that she had a prophecy.
1. HEI SheLICHI (this is your (son)).
(e) (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): "I will give your wages" -
not only does a Tzadik get back his lost object, he even
(f) Question: "And Miryam, Aharon's sister..." - is she
Aharon's sister, and not Moshe's sister?!
(g) Answer (Rav Amram): This teaches, she prophesized when
she was (only) Aharon's sister (before Moshe was born).