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 31
SOTAH 31-35 - 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) SERVING FROM LOVE AND FEAR
(a) (Mishnah): On that day R. Eliezer ben Hurkinus expounded
that Iyov served ...
***** PEREK MI SHE'KINEI *****
(b) Question: Why does the Tana consider 2 possible
interpretations of the word "Lo" - if it is spelled with
an Alef, it means 'No'; if it is spelled with a Vav, it
means 'to him'!
1. Objection: That is not true! "In all their
afflictions, Lo it grieves", and it is spelled with
(c) Conclusion: Really, either way the word is spelled, it
can have either meaning.
i. Suggestion: Perhaps it means, Hash-m is not
ii. Rejection: "An angel of His countenance saved
them (in His love and mercy...)".
(d) (Beraisa - R. Meir): It says "G-d fearing" both by Iyov
and by Avraham.
1. Just as Avraham's fear stemmed from love, also
(e) Question: How do we know that Avraham's fear stemmed from
(f) Answer: "Avraham, the one who loves Me".
(g) Question: What is the difference between one who serves
from love and one who serves from fear?
(h) Answer (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): One who serves
from love is greater than one who serves from fear - the
reward of the former extends to 2000 generations; of the
1. "To thousands, to those that love Me and keep My
Mitzvos"; "To those that keep My Mitzvos, to a
(i) Question: But the latter verse also speaks of those that
serve from love - "To those that love Me and keep My
Mitzvos, to a thousand generations"!
(j) Answer: "Thousands" is immediately followed by "to those
that love Me"; "To those that keep My Mitzvos" is
immediately followed by "to a thousand generations".
(k) 2 Talmidim or Rava had dreams. One was shown the verse
"How great is the good stored away for those that fear
You"; the other saw the verse "Will rejoice in You all
that trust in You; forever will sing and exult in You,
those that love Your name".
1. Rava: Both of you are total Tzadikim; the former
serves from fear, the latter from love.
2) WHEN A HUSBAND CANNOT MAKE HIS WIFE DRINK
(a) (Mishnah - R. Eliezer): A man warned his wife, and she
was secluded. Even if he hears (of the seclusion) from a
bird, he (either makes her drink or) must divorce her and
pay her Kesuvah;
1. R. Yehoshua says, there is no need to divorce her,
unless the women that weave in the moonlight are
talking about her.
(b) If 1 witness testifies that she was defiled, she does not
drink - even a male or female slave is believed, and she
loses her Kesuvah;
(c) (The women suspected of hating her - ) her mother-in-law,
her mother-in-law's daughter, her co-wife, her husband's
brother's wife, or her husband's daughter (from a
different wife) are believed, only to prevent her from
drinking, but not to deprive her of her Kesuvah;
(d) There should be a Kal va'Chomer: the 1st testimony (that
she was secluded) does not forbid her permanently, yet it
requires 2 witnesses; testimony that she was defiled,
which forbids her permanently, all the more so should
require 2 witnesses;
1. "There is not a witness about her" - any testimony
about her (prevents her from drinking).
(e) There should be a Kal va'Chomer to seclusion: the last
testimony (that she was defiled) forbids her permanently,
yet 1 witness suffices; testimony that she was secluded,
which does not forbid her permanently, all the more so, 1
witness should suffice;
3) 2 WITNESSES ARE NEEDED FOR SECLUSION
1. "He found in her a matter of incest"; it also says
"according to 2 witnesses a matter will be
established" - just as 2 witnesses are required
there, also for seclusion.
(f) 1 witness says that she was defiled, 1 says that she was
not; or, a woman says that the Sotah was defiled, another
woman says that she was not - the Sotah drinks;
(g) 1 witness says that she was defiled, 2 say that she was
not - she drinks;
(h) 2 say that she was defiled, 1 says that she was not - she
does not drink.
(a) (Gemara) Question: The Mishnah says that we learn that 2
witnesses are needed for seclusion from "He found in her
a matter of incest" - but really, we learn from "(A
witness) about her (defilement)" - and not a (lone)
witness about her warning, and not a (lone) witness about
(b) Answer: Indeed, that is what the Tana means.
1. We learn from "About her (defilement)" - and not (a
lone witness) about her warning, and not about her
(c) (Mishnah): 1 witness says that she was defiled ...
2. Question: How do we know that 1 witness is not
believed about her adultery if there was no warning
3. Answer: It says here "A matter"; it also says
"(According to 2 witnesses) a matter..." - just as 2
witnesses are required there, also for adultery.
1. We infer, she drinks because a 2nd witness
contradicted the 1st; but if there was a lone
witness of adultery, he would be believed.
(d) Question: What is the source for this?
(e) Answer (Beraisa): "There is not a witness about her" -
this means, there are not 2 witnesses about her.
1. Suggestion: Perhaps it means, there is not even 1
(f) (Culmination of answer): The Torah said, there is not a
(really, 2) witness(es) about her, rather 1 - and "She
was not forced", she is forbidden.
2. Rejection: "1 witness will not rise against a man" -
'witness' implies 1, why did the Torah have to say
i. To teach that everywhere in the Torah,
'witness' refers to 2 witnesses, unless the
Torah specifies 1.
(g) Question: Since 1 witness is believed mid'Oraisa that she
is forbidden, how can the other witness contradict him?
1. But Ula taught, wherever the Torah believed 1
witness, he is believed as 2, and the other witness
is not believed against 2!
(h) Answer #1 (Ula and R. Yitzchak): The Mishnah should say
that she does not drink.
(i) (R. Chiya): She drinks.
1. Question: How does R. Chiya answer the above
(j) (Mishnah): 1 witness says that she was defiled, 2 say
that she was not - she drinks.
2. Answer (This is a 2nd answer to question (g)): The
Mishnah speaks when the witnesses testify together;
Ula's law only applies when they come at different
1. Question: We infer, if only 1 witness said she is
innocent, she would not drink - this refutes R.
(k) (Beraisa - R. Nechemyah): Wherever the Torah believed 1
witness, we follow the majority;
2. Counter-question (end of the Mishnah): 2 say that
she was defiled, 1 says that she was not - she does
i. We infer, if only 1 witness said she was
defiled, she would drink (this supports R.
Chiya and refutes Ula)!
3. Answer: Both Ula and R. Chiya must explain that
these last 2 clauses of the Mishnah speak of invalid
witnesses, as R. Nechemyah.
1. Version #1: 2 women that contradict a man are as 2
men that contradict a man (and they are believed).
2. Version #2: If a valid witness came first, even if
100 women later contradict him, they are only
considered as 1 man (and they are not believed,
since the valid witness was believed as 2).