ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 8
SOTAH 8 (3 Teves) - Dedicated by Sid and Sylvia Mosenkis of Queens, N.Y., in
memory of Sylvia's father, Shlomo ben Mordechai Aryeh, who passed away 3
(a) The Tana states that they took the Sotah up to Sha'ar Nikanor, despite
the fact that she was already there - because they would move her around,
making her walk a considerable distance in order to wear down her
resistance, in an attempt to get her to confess.
(b) We have a precedent for this from a statement by Rebbi Shimon ben
Elazar - who issued a similar ruling with regard to witnesses of matters of
life and death (that they would move them around to get them to retract
should they not be quite certain of their testimony).
(a) We know that a Sotah and a Metzora had to stand by Sha'ar Nikanor,
because the Torah writes "Lifnei Hashem". A Yoledes has to stand there too -
just like everybody else who brought a Korban, because it is not befitting
to bring a Korban and not stand by it (at least in the same area - of
"Lifnei Hashem") when it is brought.
(b) We learn from the word "*Tishmeru* Lehakriv Li be'Mo'ado" - that a
person is expected to stand by his Korban whilst it is being brought.
(c) A Zav (and a Zavah) is obligated to stand in the same spot for the same
reason as a Yoledes.
(d) The Tana Kama of a Beraisa prohibits giving two Sotos to drink
simultaneously, because the one might encourage the other to dig in her
heels and persist that she is innocent. According to Rebbi Yehudah - this
reason is superfluous, seeing as we already have a Pasuk "ve'Hishbi'a
*Osah"* ha'Kohen" (one and not two).
(a) The Tana Kama does not argue with Rebbi Yehudah's D'rashah - only the
Tana Kama is Rebbi Shimon, who Darshens the Torah's reasons and fixes the
(b) The ramifications of Rebbi Shimon's D'rashah - are by a Sotah who is
trembling with fear at the effect of the water, who is unlikely to be
fortified by the second Sotah.
(c) According to Rebbi Shimon then, if the first Sotah appears afraid of the
water, we are permitted to tend to another Sotah at the same time. In view
of the principle 'Ein Osin Mitzvos Chavilos Chavilos' ...
1. ... says Abaye, this is permitted - provided the two Sotos are handled by
two independent Kohanim.
(d) The reason for the principle 'Ein Osin Mitzvos Chavilos Chavilos' is -
because by performing two Mitzvos simultaneously, one conveys the impression
that the Mitzvos are a burden and that one is trying to get rid of them as
quickly as possible.
2. ... it is permitted to pierce the ears of two Avadim Ivrim (who want to
remain beyond the initial six-year period) - provided the two servants
either belong to two different masters, or the ceremony takes place in two
(a) We learn that the Kohen is obligated to uncover not only the Sotah's
hair, but also part of her body - from the Pasuk "u'Para es Rosh
*ha'Ishah*" - because otherwise, the Torah should have written "u'Para es
(b) And we learn from the word "Rosh" - that the Kohen not only uncovers her
hair, but that he also undoes her plats.
(a) When stoning a man, says Rebbi Yehudah in a Beraisa, one covers him in
front with a loin-cloth (but no more, in order not to prolong his death and
increase the pain ); whereas a woman one covers at the back, too. The
Rabbanan say - that a woman is stoned fully-clothed.
(b) Rabah reconciles Rebbi Yehudah in the Beraisa with Rebbi Yehudah in the
Mishnah like this: In the latter case he is more concerned about the effect
of the woman on the young Kohanim (and others men present) than the
Rabbanan, because assuming the woman to be innocent, they will be proceed to
molest her for the rest of her life; whereas in the former case, where she
is about to die anyway, there is nothing to worry about.
(c) Whereas Rava reconciles the seemingly contradictory opinions of the
Rabbanan in the two places - by reminding us that their reason in our
Mishnah is based on the Pasuk in Yechezkel "ve'Nosru Kol ha'Nashim" (so that
all the women who are there should take note what happens to a woman who
behaves in this way), a lesson which is unnecessary in the case of the
Beraisa, where the woman's death will serve that purpose admirably.
(a) According to Rebbi Yehudah, we are not afraid that the men present might
molest other women - because Rava (or Rabah) has already taught us that it
is not the way of the Yetzer-ha'Ra for a man to stalk one woman because he
saw another one.
(b) The Rabbanan do not want to increase the warning by disgracing the
guilty woman too, says Rav Nachman Amar Rabah bar Avuhah - because of the
Pasuk in Kedoshim "ve'Ahavta le'Rei'acha Kamocha", which teaches us to treat
every person with respect.
(c) Rebbi Yehudah however, does require the woman to be killed partially
uncovered. This does not mean that Rav Nachman's statement is confined to
the opinion of the Rabbanan - because although Rebbi Yehudah generally
agrees with his principle, he maintains that here, reducing the pain of the
woman's death takes precedence.
(d) Whereas the Rabbanan hold - that her dignity takes precedence over the
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that the Kohen would change her white clothes
for black ones - provided she did not look more alluring in black clothes.
(b) Having taught us that the Kohen uncovered the top of her body to make
her look ugly, he nevertheless needs to add that he should remove her
jewelry - because we may otherwise have thought that a woman in that state
wearing jewelry looks silly, and that she should therefore be allowed to
(c) 'Sheli'ach Artil ve'Sayam Mesa'ani' means - that a naked man wearing
shoes looks ridiculous.
(a) Rebbi Aba asked Rav Huna whether the reason for tying the Chevel
ha'Metzari around the Sotah's chest is to stop her clothes from falling
down - in which case any rope will do (should a Chevel ha'Metzari not be
available); or whether it was 'measure for measure' (because she wore a nice
belt to attract her lover), and Chazal insisted on that kind of rope because
it is ugly.
(b) Rav Huna replied - by citing the Mishnah, which specifically gives the
first of the two reasons (as the main one).
(c) First the Tana of our Mishnah says that whoever wanted to come and watch
was welcome to do so; then he says that only the women were invited. Rava
rejects Abaye's suggestion that the Tana throughout is only speaking about
women - on the grounds that, in the Reisha, he specifically writes '*Kol*
ha'Rotzeh Lir'os ... '.
(d) So *he* reconciles the two statements by establishing the first one as
being voluntary (that men are invited to watch the spectacle should they so
wish) - whereas the second one as obligatory (obligating all women in the
vicinity of the Sha'ar Nikanor to witness the spectacle).
(a) Hashem always punishes measure for measure. The Tana of our Mishnah
portrays this principle here in her punishment for the way she behaved in
the three stages of sin - her ornaments are removed because she adorned
herself in preparation for the sin; she is exposed - because she exposed
herself to her lover at the commencement of the sin, and the curse begins
with her thigh and ends with her stomach - because that is the order in
which she actually sinned.
(b) Rav Yosef (as well as the Tana of a Beraisa) stated with regard to
nowadays, that, even though there is no longer a Sanhedrin to put into
practice the four deaths of Beis-Din - the Din of the four deaths
nevertheless takes effect.
(c) Someone who deserves S'kilah, might die by falling off the roof, someone
who deserves S'reifah might be burned to death. Alternatively, a person who
deserves to die by ...
1. ... stoning - might be bowled over and killed by a lion.
(d) And someone who deserves Hereg might be captured and put to death by the
ruling power, whereas someone who deserves Chenek might drown.
Alternatively, someone who deserves to die by ...
2. ... burning - might be poisoned by a snake.
1. ... the sword - might be killed by armed robbers.
2. ... by strangulation - might contract quinsy (a form of illness that
strangles a person to death).
(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "be'Sa'asah be'Shalchah Terivenah" - that Hashem punishes measure for
(b) We learn from the Pasuk "Achas le'Achas Limtzo Cheshbon" - that
sometimes Hashem punishes bit by bit until the punishment is complete.
2. ... "Ki Chol Se'on So'en be'Ra'ash" - that the principle of measure for
measure (is not confined to those who are Chayav Misah, but) extends even
to smaller sins.
(c) Based on these Pesukim ...
1. ... the Sotah is stood by Sha'ar Nikanor to be disgraced in front of
everybody - because she stood outside her house to receive her lover.
2. ... her head-cover is removed and placed at her feet - because she wore
beautiful hats when he came to visit her.
3. ... her face turned yellow - because she painted her face to look pretty.
4. ... her eyes protruded - because she painted her eyes to look attractive.