ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 38
SOTAH 38 - dedicated by Dr. Moshe and Rivkie Snow to the memory of their
mother/mother-in-law, Rebbetzin Leah Tilla bas Rav Yosef (Rabinowitz), the
Manostrishtcher Rebbetzin. (Yahrzeit: 15 Teves
(a) We learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' ...
1. ... "Koh *Sevarchu*" (in connection with Birkas Kohanim) and "Eileh
Ya'amdu Le'*varech* es ha'Am" - that Birchas Kohanim, like the B'rachos and
K'lalos, must be recited in Lashon ha'Kodesh.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah maintains that the first 'Gezeirah-Shavah' is
unnecessary - because he learns it from the word "Koh", which in his
opinion, implies that it may not be changed (with regard to Lashon ha'Kodesh
and presumably, with regard to reciting it standing, too).
2. ... "Koh Sevarchu" and "Eileh Ya'amdu *Le'varech* es ha'Am" - that
Birchas Kohanim, like the B'rachos and K'lalos, must be recited standing.
3. ... "Koh Sevarchu" and "va'Yisa Aharon es Yadav el ha'Am
*va'Yevarcheim*" - that the Kohanim are obligated to raise their hands
whilst reciting Birchas Kohanim.
(c) Rebbi Nasan says the same about the second 'Gezeirah-Shavah'. He learns
that the Kohanim are obligated to serve standing, from the Pasuk in Shoftim
(d) He then learn from the Pasuk "le'Sharso u'le'Varech bi'Sh'mo" - that
Birchas Kohanim too, must be recited standing.
(a) Rebbi Yonasan queries the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Koh Sevarchu" and "va'Yisa
Aharon es Yadav el ha'Am *va'Yevarchem*". Maybe that only pertains to the
Kohen Gadol, on Rosh Chodesh and when he is performing the Avodas Tzibur, he
asks? Rebbi Nasan answers him from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Hu u'Vanav" - comparing a Kohen Hedyot to a Kohen Gadol (answering
his first Kashya).
(b) He needs to add 've'Iskish B'rachah le'Sheirus' - because this Pasuk
only mentions Sheirus ("La'amod le'Shareis") and not Birchas Kohanim.
2. ... "Kol ha'Yamim" - at all times (answering his second Kashya. Regarding
the third Kashya, see Tosfos DH 'u'Chesiv').
(c) The Tana of yet another Beraisa learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Samu es Sh'mi" - that the Kohanim are obligated to mention the
Name of Hashem the way it is written when they Duchen.
2. ... "La'sum es Sh'mo *Sham*" - that this is confined to Duchening in the
Beis-Hamikdash, but not elsewhere.
(a) Rebbi Yashiyah finds this latter D'rashah unnecessary. The Pasuk
"be'Chol ha'Makom Asher Azkir es Sh'mi Avo Eilecha u'Veirachticha" cannot be
understood literally - because firstly, we learn from the Pasuk in Sh'mos
"Zeh Sh'mi le'Olam, ve'Zeh Zichri le'Dor Dor" that the Name of Hashem cannot
always be read the way it is written; and secondly, the Shechinah does not
appear anywhere in the world.
(b) So Rebbi Yashiyah inverts the Pasuk to read - "be'Chol ha'Makom Asher
Avo Eilecha u'Veirachticha, (Sham) Azkir es Sh'mi", meaning that in those
places where Hashem appears (i.e. in the Ohel Mo'ed in the desert, in the
Mishkan or in the Beis Hamikdash), there the Kohanim are permitted to read
Hashem's Name the way it is written, but not elsewhere.
(c) In spite of the fact that the Torah writes "Koh Sevarchu es B'nei
Yisrael", the Tana of yet another Beraisa learns that Birchas Kohanim
incorporates converts, women and Avadim Meshuchrarim - from the Pasuk "Amor
(d) And he learns that the ...
1. ... people who are being blessed are obligated to face the Kohanim as
they are being blessed - from the same Pasuk "Amor Lahem" (face to face, as
one talks to a friend).
2. ... Kohanim must Duchen in a loud voice (so that everyone hears them) -
from the same source "Amor Lahem" (in the same way as one talks to a
(a) Amora'im too, make various D'rashos from "Amor Lahem". Abaye learns
from " ... Lahem" - that one only announces Kohanim when at least two
Kohanim are Duchening.
(b) When Rav Chisda, commenting on "Amor Lahem", says 'Amirah mi'she'Lahem
Tehei', he means - that the obligation of announcing the Kohanim can only be
performed by Kohanim.
(c) Rav Chisda's D'rashah is not Halachah.
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Samu es Sh'mi al B'nei Yisrael ... " - that Hashem yearns for
Birchas Kohanim (since He attributes it to His needs [Kevayachol], more than
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi says - that a Kohen who fails to go up to Duchen
transgresses three Mitzvos Asei ("Koh Sevarchu", "Amor Lahem" and "ve'Samu
2. ... "va'Avorchah Mevorchecha" - that a Kohen who Duchens will receive
Hashem's blessing, but not one who doesn't.
(c) Rav says that we even suspect that he is a ben Gerushah or a ben
Chalutzah. We reconcile the two opinions - by establishing Rav by a Kohen
who never goes up to Duchen (see also Tosfos DH 'Ha'), and Rebbi Yehoshua
ben Levi, by one who does go up on occasions, and who cannot therefore be
suspected of being Pasul.
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk in Shemini "va'Yisa Aharon
es Yadav el ha'Am va'Yevarcheim, va'Yered me'Asos ha'Chatas ve'ha'Olah
ve'ha'Shelamim" - that a Kohen is obligated to go up to Duchen before the
conclusion of Birchas Avodah, and that failing that, he is not permitted to
(b) We reconcile this with Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi, who went to Duchen after
the conclusion of Birchas Avodah - by pointing out that they had a long walk
to the Duchen, and it did not matter that they only arrived at the Duchen
after the Shatz had concluded the Avodah, provided they began to move by
then (and this answer is borne out by a Beraisa).
(c) The problem with the Mishnah in B'rachos 've'Im Hivtachto she'Nosei es
Kapav ve'Chozer li'Tefilaso, Rashai' - is how a Shatz, who does not walk to
the Duchen, can Duchen at all.
(d) We answer that a Kohen does need to actually walk to the Duchen, as long
as he moves a short distance in preparation for Duchening (which the Shatz
does). By the same token, he does need to walk the full distance to the
Duchen before the Avodah, and a slight movement in that direction is
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk "Tov-Ayin Hu Yevorach
(which he Darshens as if it were written "Hu Yevarech"), Ki Nasan mi'Lachmo
la'Dal" - that the honor of Benching Mezuman (with a Kos shel B'rachah)
should be given to a person who is generous (and performs Mitzvos with his
money). Elsewhere, this is explained to refer to the person who provided the
(b) When he says that even birds recognize a miserly person - he is
referring to people who place grain in their bird-traps to attract the
birds. The birds will not be attracted to the grains in the miser's trap,
because they recognize the owner for what he is, and will refuse to partake
of his food.
(c) He learns from the Pasuk "Al Tilcham es Lechem Ra Ayin" - that someone
who accepts food from a miser transgresses a La'av.
(d) And Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak learns from the next words in the Pasuk
"ve'Al Tis'av le'Mat'amosav" - that he transgresses a second La'av.
(a) When the previous Pasuk continues "Ki K'mo Sha'ar be'Nafsho ... " - it
means either that he embitters the life of the miser by accepting his food,
or that he causes him to assess how much he is eating of his and when will
(b) The essence of the Pasuk (in the Parshah of Eglah Arufah) "ve'Anu
ve'Amru, Yadeinu Lo Shafchu es ha'Dam ha'Zeh" is - (not to suggest that the
Beis-Din were *directly* responsible for the death of the murdered man, but)
that they did not behave in a miserly fashion by seeing him leave town and
not providing him with food for the journey, and by allowing him to leave
(a) Ada Amar Rav Samla'i rules that in a town whose inhabitants are all
Kohanim - all of them Duchen.
(b) They bless the people who are working in the fields.
(c) When the Tana of the Beraisa disqualifies anyone standing behind the
Kohanim from the B'rachah - he is referring to those who are able to move to
the correct position (facing the Kohanim), but fail to do so because they do
not take Birchas Kohanim sufficiently seriously; whereas Ada Amar Rav
Samla'i is speaking about hired workers who are unable to come to Shul and
are therefore A'nus.
(d) When the Beraisa rules 'Beis-ha'K'neses she'Kulah Kohanim, Miktzasan
Olin, u'Miktzasan Onin Amen' - it is speaking when at least ten people (a
significant number) refrain from going to the Duchen, to respond Amen to
those who do go up; whereas Ada Amar Rav Samla'i is speaking when less than
ten people refrain from going up.
(a) We quoted the Beraisa disqualifying the people who are standing behind
the Kohanim from Birchas Kohanim. It goes without saying - - that this will
not apply to a short person standing behind a tall one (who is therefore not
standing in front of the Kohanim (face to face), because it is impossible to
organize a Shul in such a rigid manner.
(b) We ask what the Din will be if a partition divides between the person
and the Kohanim, and we resolve it from a statement of Rebbi Yehoshua ben
Levi - who says that not even a metal barrier can divide between Yisrael and
their Father in Heaven.
(c) Someone who is standing at the side of the Kohanim included in their B'r
achah - is included, provided he is standing slightly forward and not
(a) We actually resolved the previous She'eilah from a Mishnah in Parah
which states that if a Kohen intended to sprinkle the Mei Parah forwards,
but it inadvertently splashed behind him (or vice-versa), hitting Tamei
vessels that needed to be sprinkled - the vessels remain Tamei.
(b) We learn from the Pasuk "ve'Hizah ha'Tahor al ha'Tamei" - that the
'Haza'ah' requires Kavanah (the intention to sprinkle on the specific
vessels that were sprinkled).
(c) The Tana says there - that if a Kohen intended to sprinkle the Mei Parah
forwards, but it inadvertently hit vessels that were at the side which
needed sprinkling, then provided they were slightly forward, they are
included (because the Kohen had them in mind too when he sprinkled the Mei
Parah), though not if they were slightly behind him.