ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 17
SOTAH 17 - This Daf has been dedicated in honor of the engagement of Naomi Katz to
(a) According to the Tana Kama of our Mishnah (Rebbi Meir), the Kohen writes three
Pesukim from Parshas Sotah in the Megilah of a Sotah. 1. "Im Lo Shachav Ish Osach,
ve'Im Lo Satis Tum'ah ... "; 2. "ve'At Ki Satis Tachas Ishech"; 3. "Yiten Hashem
Osach le'Alah ve'li'Shevu'ah, u'Va'u Vah ha'Mayim ... u'Va'u Vah ha'Mayim ... " -
specifically these three Pesukim, because they all contain curses.
(b) He does not also include "ve'Hishbi'a ha'Kohen es ha'Ishah" (which introduces the
first of the above-mentioned Pesukim), and "ve'Amrah ha'Ishah Amen, Amen" (which
occurs at the end of the third Pasuk) - because they deal with the 'Tzava'os and
Kabalos (the Kohen's warning and the Sotah's acceptance), and not with the actual
(c) Rebbi Yossi maintains that the Kohen writes all three Pesukim without omitting
(a) Rebbi Yehudah too, argues with the Tana Kama. In his opinion, the Kohen does not
include the first Pasuk ("Im Lo Shachav Ish Osach, ve'Im Lo Satis Tum'ah ... ") in
the Megilah - because the curse is not written specifically, only inferred.
(b) And he certainly agrees with the Tana Kama - that the Tzava'os and the Kabalos
are not included.
(c) The three Tana'im argue over the Pasuk "ve'Kasav es ha'Alos ha'Eileh ha'Kohen
ba'Sefer". They all agree however, that the word "ha'*Eileh*" comes to preclude the
curses in Ki Savo (even though the Torah refers to them as well as ''Alos").
(d) They also agree that ha'*Alos*" means exactly what it says. Even though Rebbi
Meir includes K'lalos that are implied from B'rachos from the Pasuk "*ha*'Alos",
Rebbi Yehudah excludes them from the same word (because in his opinion, every 'Hey'
implies an exclusion).
(a) Even though Rebbi Yossi includes the Tzava'os and Kabalos from "ve'Kasav *es*
ha'Alos ... ", the Rabbanan argue with him - on the grounds that they do not Darshen
every "es" in the Torah.
(b) Both the Tana Kama and Rebbi Yehudah - preclude Tzava'os and Kabalos from
(c) Rebbi Meir includes (K'lalos that are implied from B'rachos) from the 'Hey' of
"ve'Kasav es *ha*'Alos", and excludes (Tzava'os and Kabalos) from the 'Hey' of
"ha'Eileh" - because the 'Hey' always follows the same pattern as the word to which
it belongs (and in this case, "Alos comes to include, and "Eileh" to exclude).
(a) We know that Rebbi Meir does not normally Darshen inferences - because he
requires a T'nai Kaful (that both the positive and the negative inferences of a
condition must be expressed).
(b) Consequently, when he Darshens from "Im Lo Shachav Ish Osach ... ", 'K'lalos
ha'Ba'os Machamas B'rachos' - it is not just from the inference, but from the fact
that the word "Hinaki" (in the Pasuk ve'Im Lo Satis Tum'ah Tachas Ishech, Hinaki") is
written without a 'Yud', implying that if she is not innocent, then "Chinaki" (she
will be strangled).
(a) Rebbi Akiva Darshens from the words 'Ish' and 'Ishah' - that if a man and a woman
live a moral life, then the Shechinah dwells with them (as is hinted in the
combination of the 'Yud' in 'Ish' and the 'Hey' in 'Ishah'), whereas if they do not,
then they will be consumed by fire (as is hinted in the fact that in both words, the
remaining letters after the 'Yud' and the 'Hey' have been removed, spell 'Eish').
(b) If the woman sins it is worse than if the man does - as is inherent in the words
themselves, since in the word 'Ishah', the letter from Hashem's Name does not divide
between the 'Alef' and the 'Shin' as it does in the word 'Ish'.
(c) The dust that is placed in the Mei Sotah has dual connotations. Assuming that she
1. ... innocent - it hints that she will have a son like Avraham Avinu, who said
"ve'Anochi Afar va'Eifer".
2. ... guilty - it hints that she will revert to dust.
(a) For saying "ve'Anochi Afar va'Eifer"(symbolical of his supreme humility) -
Avraham Avinu merited for his descendants the Mitzvos of *Eifer* ha'Parah and *Afar*
(b) Afar Sotah and not Afar Kisuy ha'Dam - which is a Hechsher Mitzvah, but offers no
benefits in this world.
(c) And for his words to the king of S'dom "Im mi'Chut ve'Ad S'roch Na'al"
(symbolical of his integrity) he merited the Mitzvah of Tefilin-straps and
Tzitzis-threads. The advantage (besides the reward for the Mitzvah in the World to
Come) of ...
1. ... Tefilin-(straps) is - that the nations of the world will be afraid of Yisrael
when they see the Tefilin shel Rosh.
2. ... Tzitzis-threads is - that the deep-blue threads that it contains (or should
contain) remind one constantly of Hashem's Sovereignty (via the sea, the sky and
Hashem's Majestic Throne) imbuing us with His fear.
(a) Rebbi Eliezer extrapolated that the nations of the world are afraid of Yisrael
when they see the Tefilin shel Rosh on our heads - from the Pasuk in Ki Savo "ve'Ra'u
Kol Amei ha'Aretz Ki Shem Hashem Nikra Alecha, ve'Yar'u Mimeka".
(b) We learn from the Pesukim "Va'yir'u es Elokei Yisrael ve'Sachas Raglav ke'Ma'aseh
Livnas ha'Sapir u'che'Etzem ha'Shamayim la'Tohar" and "ke'Mar'eh Even ha'Sapir D'mus
Kisei" - that Hashem's Throne resembles the sky in color?
1. We learn from the word "ba'Seifer" (in connection with Sotah) - that the Parshah
of Sotah must be written on a Megilah (i.e. parchment).
(b) The Kohen is not permitted to write the Parshah on ...
2. We learn from the word "u'Machah" - that it must be written with ink (which can be
fully erased without leaving a mark).
1. ... a Lu'ach - which is a wooden board.
(c) Nor is he permitted to write it with ...
2. ... Neyar - papyros (made of grass).
3. ... Diftera - skin that has not been fully treated (to which flour and salt have
been added, but not gall-nuts).
1. ... 'Kumus' - plain sap from a tree added to water.
(d) The reason for this is - because they leave a mark when erased.
2. ... 'Kankantum' - vitriol.
(a) From the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ve'asah Lah ha'Kohen es Kol *ha'Torah* ha'Zos",
"al-Pi *ha'Torah* Asher Yorucha ve'Al ha'Mishpat ... " (written in connection with
judging) - Rava compares Megilas Sotah to the Din of judging, which cannot be
performed at night.
(b) We learn that judgment is confined to the daytime - from the Dinim of
inheritance, where the Torah writes "Ve'hayah *be'Yom* Hanchilo es Banav" (and to
which all judgments are compared).
(c) He learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Ve'kasav es ha'Alos ha'Eileh" (in spite of the fact that we already Darshened
from "ve'Eileh" on the previous Amud) - that the Megilah must be written in the exact
order that it appears in the Torah (and not inverted).
(d) And Rava learns from "ba'Sefer" that if the Kohen wrote the Parshah on an Igeres
- a Megilah without lines scratched on it to mark the location of the writing, it is
2. ... "Ve'hishbi'a ... Ve'kasav" - that if the Kohen wrote it before the Sotah had
accepted the oath, it is Pasul.