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 21
SOTAH 21-25 - These Dafim have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne
Abraham-Fauer in honor of the first Yahrzeit (18 Teves 5761)
of her father, Reb Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner). May
the merit of supporting and advancing the study of the Talmud
be l'Iluy Nishmaso.
1) MERIT SUSPENDS PUNISHMENT
(a) (Mishnah): If she has merit ...
2) THE PROTECTION OF TORAH AND MITZVOS
(b) Question: The Mishnah is unlike all the following
1. (Beraisa - Aba Yosi ben Chanan): Merit suspends her
death 3 months, the time necessary for pregnancy to
(c) Answer: The Mishnah is as R. Yishmael; another verse
shows that Hash-m's patience is 3 times greater.
2. R. Eliezer ben Yitzchak says, 9 months,
corresponding to the term of pregnancy;
i. (By an innocent woman) it says "She will be
vindicated, and have Zera (seed, i.e.
3. R. Yishmael says 12 months; there is not a proof for
this, but a verse hints at it.
ii. We learn from "The seed of those that serve
(Hash-m), the praise of Hash-m will be told" -
seed that is fit to tell Hash-m's praise;
i. "... Redeem your (Nevuchadnetzar's) sin with
Tzedakah ... your serenity will be prolonged".
ii. "At the end of 12 months (he was punished)".
1. "(Hash-m will not punish until) 3 transgressions of
(d) Question: Why did R. Yishmael say this is not a proof?
(e) Answer: (One could say), Hash-m is not as quick to punish
Nochrim (in this world).
(a) (Mishnah): Some merit can suspend for 3 years ...
(b) Question: Which merit?
1. Suggestion: If merit of Torah - but a woman is not
(c) Answer #1: The merit of Mitzvos.
(d) Objection: The merit of Mitzvos does not protect so much!
1. (Beraisa R. Menachem bar Yosi): "A Mitzvah is (as) a
lamp; Torah is light" - just as a lamp only
illuminates temporarily, a Mitzvah only protects
(e) Answer #2 (Ravina): Really, the merit of Torah can give a
woman 3 years.
i. Just as light always illuminates, Torah always
2. "When you walk, (Torah) will give you to rest" - in
i. "When you lie down, it will guard you" - in
3. A parable: a man is walking in the black of the
night. He fears thorns, pits, wild beasts, and
robbers; also, he does not know on which path he is
ii. "When you wake up, it will advocate for you" -
in the world to come.
i. If he gets a torch - this saves him from thorns
and pits; he still fears wild beasts and
robbers; and does not know on which path he is
4. "Great waters cannot extinguish the love" - a sin
can inhibit the reward for a Mitzvah, but not the
reward for Torah.
ii. When dawn comes, he is saved from wild beasts
and robbers, but he still does not know on
which path he is walking;
iii. When he gets to the crossroads, he is saved
from all his concerns.
5. (Rav Yosef): A Mitzvah protects (from punishment)
and saves (from sin) when one is doing it;
afterwards, it protects, but does not save;
i. Torah protects and saves, even when not
engaging in it.
6. Objection (Rava): Do'eg and Achitofel engaged in
Torah - why didn't it save them from sin?
7. (Rava): Rather, Torah protects and saves when
engaging in it; when not engaging in it, it only
i. A Mitzvah protects but does not save, both when
doing the Mitzvah and when not doing it.
1. Even though she is not commanded to learn - since
she brings her sons to learn Chumash and Mishnah,
and misses her husband when he is learning, she
shares in their reward.
(f) Question: What is the crossroads in the parable?
(g) Answer #1 (Rav Chisda): A Chacham that comes to the day
of his death.
(h) Answer #2 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): A Chacham that
obtains fear of sin.
(i) Answer #3 (Mar Zutra): A Chacham whose words are accepted
as the ruling.
(j) (Beraisa (above)): A sin can inhibit the reward for a
Mitzvah, but not the reward for Torah.
1. Rav Yosef: R. Menachem bar Yosi expounded the verses
as if he received them on Mount Sinai - had Doeg and
Achitofel expounded thusly, they would not have
sought the downfall of David.
(k) Question: What do we learn from "Boz Yavuzu Lo" - "he
would be laughed to scorn"?
i. They said "Hash-m has abandoned him".
2. Question: Why did they think so?
3. Answer: "Hash-m will not see in you a matter of sin
(illicit relations), lest he turn away from you".
i. They did not realize that a sin can inhibit
the reward for a Mitzvah, but not the reward
for (David's) Torah.
(l) Answer (Ula): Not as Shimon, brother of Azaryah (he was
called thusly, for his brother supported him); nor as R.
Yochanan, (who was supported by the Nasi);
(m) Rather, as Hillel who did not accept support from Shevna.
1. (Rav Dimi): Hillel and Shevna were brothers; Hillel
engaged in Torah, Shevna in business.
i. Shevna: Let us be partners, and split the
rewards (in this and the next worlds).
ii. A voice from Heaven: "If a man would give all
his wealth for love (Torah learning), he would
be laughed to scorn."
3) TEACHING TORAH TO WOMEN
(a) (Mishnah - ben Azai): A man is obligated to teach ... R.
Eliezer says, one who teaches his daughter Torah teaches
4) THOSE WHO DESTROY THE WORLD
(b) Objection: You cannot say, he teaches her folly!
(c) Correction: Rather, it is as if he teaches her folly.
(d) (R. Avahu): R. Eliezer learns from "I (the Torah) am
Chochmah, my neighbor is Ormah (craftiness)" - once a
person learns Chochmah, craftiness enters him.
1. Chachamim expound the verse as R. Yosi bar Chanina.
(e) (R. Yochanan): Torah only lasts in a person that makes
himself as nothing - "Chochmah me'Ayin (from where - the
word may be read 'from nothing') will be found.
2. (R. Yosi bar Chanina): "I am Chochmah, my neighbor
is Ormah (related to Arum - naked)" - Torah only lasts
in a person that strips himself (of possessions).
(f) (Mishnah - R. Yehoshua): A woman prefers ...
(g) Question: What is he saying?
(h) Answer: A woman prefers 1 Kav (sparse rations) and
frequent relations, more than 9 Kabim and infrequent
(a) (Mishnah - R. Yehoshua): A foolish Chasid ...
(b) Question: What is an example of a foolish Chasid?
(c) Answer: When a woman is drowning in the river, he will
not save her, to avoid having to look at a woman.
(d) Question: What is an example of a crafty evildoer?
(e) Answer #1 (R. Yochanan): One who presents his case to the
judge before his opponent comes.
(f) Answer #2 (R. Avahu): One who gives 1 Zuz to a poor
person, in order that he will now have 200 Zuz.
1. (Mishnah): One that has 200 Zuz may not take
agricultural gifts for the poor, i.e. dropped
sheaves, forgotten produce, the unharvested corner
of the field, and the tithe for the poor.
(g) Answer #3 (Rav Asi): One who counsels sons to sell sparse
property (i.e. insufficient to feed all the orphans until
the girls grow up; it should be used to feed the
2. One who has 199 Zuz may accept gifts for the poor,
even if 1000 people give him at once.
1. (Rav Asi): Sons that sold sparse property, the sale
(h) Answer #4 (Abaye): One who counsels to sell received
property, in accordance with R. Shimon ben Gamliel's law.
1. (Beraisa - Rebbi): 'I give my property to Reuven;
after him, it should go to Peloni' - if Reuven sold
it, Peloni takes it from the buyers;
(i) Answer #5 (Rav Yosef bar Chama): One who persuades others
to go in his (evil) ways.
2. R. Shimon ben Gamliel says, Peloni only receives
what Reuven leaves over when he dies.
(j) Answer #6 (R. Zerika): One who is lenient on himself and
stringent on others.
(k) Answer #7 (Ula): One who learned written Torah and
Mishnah, but not the reasons behind the Mishnayos and
resolutions of their difficulties.