ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 44
SOTAH 44 - dedicated by Marcia and Lee Weinblatt to Jeri and Eli Turkel,
with Mazal Tov wishes for Tamar's marriage to Netanel Casado.
(a) Rebbi Yitzchak Amar Rebbi Yochanan further quoted Rebbi Eliezer ben
Ya'akov as saying that a person who enters to within four Amos of a corpse
becomes Tamei - to prevent the scenario when someone approaches a grave with
Taharos, and stretches out his hand with the Taharos over the grave without
(b) A 'Chatzar ha'Kever' is a courtyard surrounded by burial chambers.
(c) According to Beis Shamai, a person standing in a Chatzar ha'Kever does
not become Tamei provided it has an area of at least four by four Amos. Beis
Hillel hold - that four by four Tefachim will suffice.
(d) According to Beis Hillel, Chazal were more lenient in this case, than in
the previous one, where one requires a distance of four Amos - because they
only decreed four Amos when the grave is in the open, since it is easy to
come close to the grave without realizing it, but not when it is covered and
surrounded by walls, since the walls serve as a reminder to keep one's
(a) The Tana restricts Beis Hillel's leniency to where the entrance to the
burial chambers is via an opening on top. But should the entrance be at the
(far) side - they will require four Amos (like Beis Shamai).
(b) We refute this with the words 'K'lapei Laya' - meaning 'Which way does
this lean'? (i.e. it should really lean the other way! )
(c) So we invert the statement, so that Beis Hillel agrees with Beis Shamai
that, when the entrance is on top of the chambers, the Chatzer will require
four Amos - because when a person clambers out of the chamber, his hands and
part of his clothing are likely to jut out over the airspace of the Chatzer,
creating an Ohel over whoever is close to the side, rendering him Tamei
(a) "Mi ha'Ish Asher Eiras Ishah ve'Lo Lekachah". The extra 'Hey' in "ve'Lo
*Lekachah*" comes to - preclude a soldier who is betrothed to one of the
Chayvei La'avin (e.g. if he is a Kohen and she, a Gerushah, or if he is a
Yisrael, and she, a Mamzeres).
(b) The author of this Beraisa could even be Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, who
interprets "ha'Yarei ve'Rach ha'Leivav" to include soldiers who are afraid
of their sins (and who return from the battlefront anyway) because of a
statement of Rabah - who learns from the Pasuk in Emor (regarding a Kohen
Gadol) "Almanah u'Gerushah Lo Yikach ... ve'Lo Yechalel Zar'o ... " that
although the Torah writes "Lo Yikach" (implying Kidushin), he only really
transgresses a La'av when it comes to "ve'Lo Yechalel" (for which "Lo
Yikach" is merely a preparation).
(c) Rabah addresses specifically an Almanah u'Gerushah le'Kohen Gadol, and
not other Chayvei La'avin - because by other Chayvei La'avin, the Torah uses
a Lashon of "Lo Yavo" or "Lo Sischaten" (which automatically implies Bi'ah).
(a) The Tana learns from the order of the Pesukim "Mi ha'Ish Asher Banah
Bayis ... Asher Nata Kerem ... Asher Eiras Ishah" - that it is considered
Derech Eretz to build a house and plant a vineyard (representing a home and
a source of income) before getting married.
(b) Shlomoh ha'Melech gave the same advise in Sefer Mishlei.
(c) The Tana of the Beraisa also interprets the Pasuk metaphorically
"Hachein ba'Chutz Melachtecha - refers to Mikra (Chumash and T'nach);
"ve'At'dah ba'Sadeh Lach" - to Mishnah; "u'Vanisa Beisecha" - to Gemara.
(d) Alternatively, "Hachein ba'Chutz Melachtecha" refers to Mikra and
Mishnah, "ve'At'dah ba'Sadeh Lach" to Gemara and "u'Vanisa Beisecha", to
good deeds. And according to Rebbi Eliezer B'no shel Rebbi Yossi Hagelili -
"Hachein ba'Chutz Melachtecha" refers to Mikra, Mishnah and Gemara,
"ve'At'dah ba'Sadeh Lach" to good deeds, and "u'Vanisa Beisecha", to a
deeper level of Torah understanding (Pilpul).
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if the soldier merely rebuilt his house,
he does not return from the battlefront. The minimum he would have to have
added in order to return is - one row of bricks (to the height or to the
length of the wall.
(b) The Torah writes in Ki Seitzei "Ki Yikach Ish Ishah Chadashah Lo Yeitzei
ba'Tzava". The Tana learns from ...
1. ... "Ishah" - that the soldier is obligated to return even if he is
betrothed to a widow or a divorcee.
(c) Another Tana learns from the continuation of the Pasuk ...
2. ... "Chadashah" - that he is not obligated to do so if the woman is his
1. ... "ve'Lo Ya'avor Alav le'Chol Davar" - that he does not even need to
join the supply force or to build roads, but simply remains at home.
(d) Having written "ve'Lo Ya'avor Alav", the Torah nevertheless added "Lo
Yeitzei ba'Tzava" - to place two La'avin on the one who transgresses.
2. ... "Alav" - that this is not the case with a soldier who built a house
and did not consecrate it or planted a vineyard and did not eat its fruit in
Yerushalayim or redeem it, and one who betrothed a woman and did not yet
married her. They are obligated to join the supply force or to build roads.
(a) We have already discussed the opinion of Rebbi Yossi Hagelili in our
Mishnah that "Mi ha'Ish ha'Yarei ve'Rach he'Leivav" refers to a soldier who
is afraid of the sins he has performed. According to Rebbi Akiva - the Pasuk
is speaking about a soldier who is literally terrified of war.
(b) According to Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, the Torah ordered a soldier who did
not consecrate his house or his vineyard or who did not marry his betrothed,
to return from the battlefront - as a cover-up for the one who is afraid of
war (in order to spare him the embarrassment, when he leaves the battlefield
in view of his fellow soldiers).
(a) The role of the officers who stood ...
1. ... at the front of the troops was - to help those who fell to arise and
encourage them to continue fighting.
(b) The Tana learn from the Pasuk "va'Yanusu Anshei Yisrael Mipnei P'lishtim
va'Yiplu Chalalim" - that fleeing leads to falling (it is unclear why the
Tana also quotes the Pasuk "Nas Yisrael Lifnei P'lishtim ... ").
2. ... behind them was - to prevent soldiers from running away, if necessary
with the help of the metal arrow-shaped staffs that they were holding for
(c) In view of what we have learned until now, even a Chasan must leave his
room and a Kalah her Chupah in order to go to war - in the case of a
Milchemes Mitzvah (which will be explained shortly).
(d) According to Rebbi Yehudah, a Chasan and Kalah are exempt from joining
the army even for a Milchemes Mitzvah. This does not mean that they are
never obligated to go to war - because by a Milchemes Chovah, they are (and
this too, will be explained shortly).
(a) According to Rebbi Yossi Hagelili in our Mishnah, a soldier who has
performed sins must return from the battlefront. Rebbi Yossi then says
'Almanah le'Kohen Gadol, Gerushah va'Chalutzah le'Kohen Hedyot, Mamzeres
u'Nesinah le'Yisrael'. Rebbi Yossi is coming to argue with Rebbi Yossi
Hagelili - regarding a Mitzvah de'Rabbanan, which Rebbi Yossi Hagelili
treats like a Mitzvah min ha'Torah in this regard; whereas in the opinion of
Rebbi Yossi, it is only a soldier who has transgressed a Mitzvah min
ha'Torah who is sent back from the battlefield. Note: Regarding a Chalutzah
le'Kohen Hedyot and a Nesinah le'Yisrael, Rebbi Yossi includes, even though
they are only mi'de'Rabbanan, see Meforshei ha'Mishnah.
(b) The author of the Beraisa that obligates a soldier who spoke between
putting on the Tefilin shel Yad and the Tefilin shel Rosh, to return from
the battlefront - is clearly Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, who includes an Aveirah
de'Rabbanan in the Halachah.
(c) Talking between the two Tefilin is not considered a sin - if one recited
a second B'rachah (according to Rashi).
(d) It certainly seems as if the author of the Beraisa that permits a
soldier who breaks out in a sweat whenever he hears the sound of war to
leave the battlefront is Rebbi Yossi Hagelili. However - based on the Pasuk
"ve'Lo Yimas Levav Echav ki'Levavo", we establish it even like Rebbi Akiva,
who agrees that such a person is a liability to an army rather than an
(a) We amend our Mishnah 'Mipnei she'Techilas Nisah Nefilah' to read -
'Mipnei she'Techilas Nefilah Nisah'.
***** Hadran Alach Mashu'ach Milchamah *****
(b) The Rabbanan in our Mishnah restrict the Din of returning from war to a
Milchemes Reshus, but obligate everyone to go join the army to fight a
Milchemes Mitzvah; Rebbi Yehudah makes the same distinction, but with regard
to a Milchemes Mitzvah and a Milchemes Chovah. Their Machlokes vis-a-vis the
Din in our Mishnah is one of terminology only - what the one refers to as
Reshus and Mitzvah respectively, the other refers to as Mitzvah and Chovah.
(c) Both opinions would categorize ...
1. ... the conquest of Eretz Cana'an with Yehoshua (and the battle against
Amalek) - as Chovah.
(d) Their dispute then, is over a battle that is about to be fought to
contain an enemy, to prevent him from attacking. According to both opinions,
the Torah obligates the respective soldiers to return from the battlefront -
and it is not with regard to them that they argue, but over the soldiers
that remain. Based on the principle 'ha'Osek ba'Mitzvah Patur min
ha'Mitzvah', the Rabbanan, who consider it Reshus, do not exempt them from a
second Mitzvah that comes their way whilst they are occupied with that
battle, whereas according to Rebbi Yehudah, it is a Mitzvah, and they are
2 ... the conquests of David ha'Melech (which he fought merely with the
intention of expanding his territory) - as Reshus.
***** Perek Eglah Arufah *****
(a) Rebbi Avahu learns from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ve'Anu ve'Amru"(by Eglah
Arufah) and "ve'Anu ha'Levi'im ve'Amru" (by the B'rachos and the K'lalos) -
that the elders and the Kohanim who spoke by the ceremony of the Eglah
Arufah had to speak in Lashon ha'Kodesh.
(b) According to the Tana Kama of our Mishnah, three judges from the
Beis-Din ha'Gadol in Yerushalayim had to participate in the ceremony of
Eglah Arufah. Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "ve'Yatz'u Zekeinecha
ve'Shoftecha" - that five judges were required (two from "Zekeinecha", two
from " ve'Shoftecha" and one additional judge, because no Beis-Din was
permitted to comprise an even number.
(c) If the murdered man is found hidden in a pile of stones or hanging from
a tree, the Din of Eglah Arufah does not apply. The third case that the Tana
precludes from the word "ba'Adamah" - is when he is found floating on water.
(d) 'If the murdered man was found near the border, near a town which was
inhabited mainly by Nochrim or near a town which had no Beis-Din - the neck
of the Eglah Arufah was not broken (alternatively, they did not even measure
in the first place).
(a) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah (who require only three judges from the
Beis-Din ha'Gadol to participate in the ceremony of the Eglah Arufah, is
Rebbi Shimon, who learns from the word "ve'Shoftecha" - that it is the top
judges (from the Beis-Din ha'Gadol) who must participate in the ceremony.
(b) Rebbi Yehudah learns from "Ziknei" - "Zekeinecha" - what Rebbi Shimon
just learned from "ve'Shoftecha".
(c) According to Rebbi Shimon, the Torah is forced to write "Zekeinecha" -
because had it written "Ziknei", we would have thought that any elder from
the market-place is eligible (so the Torah wrote "Zekeinecha" to preclude
him, and "ve'Shoftecha", to preclude even judges who are members of the
Sanhedrei Ketanah, [until they belong to the Beis-Din ha'Gadol]).
(a) We suggest that Rebbi Yehudah learns that judges from the Beis-Din
ha'Gadol are required from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ziknei" from "Ziknei
ha'Eidah" (leaving "ve'Shoftecha to add another two judges). The Torah
writes "Ziknei ha'Eidah" - in connection with the Mitzvah of leaning one's
hands on the 'Par He'elam Davar shel Tzibur (the bull brought by the
community who sinned due to a mistaken ruling issued by the Sanhedrin).
(b) We refute this suggestion - on the grounds that since five judges are
also required by the Din of the Par He'elam Davar shel Tzibur, we could have
learned that too, from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' (and the word "ve'Shoftecha"
would then be superfluous).
(c) Rebbi Yehudah ultimately learns ...
1. ... that the judges must be from the Beis-Din ha'Gadol - from the word
"ve'Shoftecha" (and not from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah').
(d) Rebbi Shimon - does not learn anything from the extra 'Vav', because he
does not consider it superfluous.
2. ... that five judges are required - from the extra 'Vav'.