THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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YEVAMOS 86-95 - Ari Kornfeld has generously sponsored the Dafyomi
publications for these Dafim for the benefit of Klal Yisrael.
1) BECOMING PROHIBITED TO THE ONE WHO MADE HER PROHIBITED TO THE OTHER
QUESTION: The Gemara searches for a case that fits the description of a man
who lives with a woman who is Asur to him, "and that man causes her to
become Asur to the one who made her Asur to him in the first place." The
Gemara suggests that it might be referring to a Sotah. If a Sotah -- after
being alone with another man ("Setirah") when her husband had warned her not
to be alone with him -- has relations with her husband (which is prohibited
once she has become a Sotah), then that act of prohibited relations with her
husband causes her to become Asur "to the one who made her Asur [to her
husband]" in the first place -- the Bo'el (the suspected adulterer).
The Gemara rejects this, saying that it is not the prohibited relations
between the husband and the Sotah that causes her to become Asur to the
Bo'el. Rather, she is Asur to the Bo'el even if the husband does not have
relations with her, but instead gives her a Get or refuses to let her drink
the Mei Sotah. Hence, it is not correct to say that it is the prohibited act
of the husband living with her that causes her to become prohibited to the
What was the Gemara's initial intention when it said that when the husband
lives with his Sotah wife, he makes her prohibited to her Bo'el? The Bo'el
is already Asur to her even before the husband lives with her, because the
rule is that after she has been alone with him, she is Asur to both her
husband and the Bo'el! In what way does living with her husband make her
Asur to the Bo'el?
(a) TOSFOS explains that even though the Bo'el is prohibited to the Safek
Sotah, it is nevertheless possible for her to become Mutar to him by
drinking the Mei Sotah and proving her innocence. Once the husband lives
with her, though, the husband is no longer "Menukeh me'Avon" and the Mei
Sotah will no longer be effective in determining whether his wife was
innocent or not. Therefore, living with his wife causes her to become Asur
*permanently* to the Bo'el by depriving her of the ability to vindicate
herself by drinking the Mei Sotah. That is why the Gemara says that the
prohibited act of relations with her husband causes the Bo'el to become Asur
to her -- it causes the Bo'el to become Asur to her in a more permanent
fashion than he was until now.
However, Tosfos has difficulty with this explanation. If this is what the
Gemara means, then why does the Gemara say that even if the husband says
that he does not want to give his wife the Mei Sotah to drink, he also
causes her to become Asur to the Bo'el? Just because he says that he is not
going to give her the Mei Sotah now is not a reason to say that she will
*never* be able to prove her innocence! Perhaps her husband will change his
mind the next day and decide to give her the Mei Sotah, and then she will be
able to prove her innocence, and thus the Bo'el still has a possibility of
being permitted to the Sotah!
Tosfos suggests a novel ruling based on this question. Tosfos suggests that
if a husband says that he does not want his wife to drink the Mei Sotah, he
cannot change his mind. He is given only one opportunity to let her drink,
and once he forfeits that opportunity, he can no longer opt to bring her to
drink the Mei Sotah.
This suggestion, though, is problematic. Tosfos himself has difficulty
finding a source for such a law. Moreover, we may add that if this is what
the Gemara means, the Gemara should not have to mention that her husband can
prevent her from drinking the Mei Sotah in one of two ways -- by giving her
a Get, or by saying that he does not let her drink the Mei Sotah. Preventing
her from drinking the Mei Sotah by giving her a Get is basically the same as
saying that he will not let her drink, because he is divorcing her and
refusing to let her drink the Mei Sotah and prove her innocence. Thus, the
Gemara did not have to mention that he could prevent her from drinking the
Mei Sotah by giving her a Get, for giving a Get is essentially the same as
refusing to let her drink! The reason she will not be able to drink the Mei
Sotah after the Get is because her husband did not want to give her the Mei
Sotah to drink in the first place. They are not two ways of stopping her
from drinking; they are one and the same.
(b) RASHI does not mention anything about the requirement that the husband
must be "Menukeh me'Avon" in order for the wife to drink the Mei Sotah.
("Menukeh m'Avon" was the rule that Tosfos, above (a), invoked to show that
the husband may not have his wife drink the Mei Sotah once he has had
relations with her after she became a Sotah.) It appears that Rashi is
following his view expressed elsewhere (58b and 85b; see Insights there),
where Rashi holds that there is a Tana that does not agree to the
requirement that the husband be "Menukeh me'Avon" in order to have his wife
drink the Mei Sotah. Rather, even after he lives with his wife, he can give
her the Mei Sotah to drink. Several Gemaras seem to follow that opinion.
Accordingly, our Gemara also means that the husband *is* able to give the
Mei Sotah to his wife even after he lives with her. If so, our original
question returns: why did the Gemara say that when the husband lives with
her, he causes her to become Asur to the Bo'el? She is already Asur to the
Bo'el because she is a Safek Sotah!
The Gemara must mean that in a normal case of a Safek Sotah, when the
husband does not live with her wrongfully, we assume that he is going to
give her the Mei Sotah in order for her to become permitted to him once
again by proving her innocence. A further consequence of her innocence will
be that she becomes Mutar to the Bo'el. However, by having relations with
her, the husband shows that he is disregarding the fact that she is a Sotah,
and he is showing that he has no intentions of giving her the Mei Sotah to
drink! Hence, she will remain Asur to the Bo'el by default. The fact that
the husband lived with her establishes a Chazakah that he will not give her
the Mei Sotah, for he does not care that she is a Sotah. In that sense, he
is prohibiting her to the Bo'el by having relations with her.
When the Gemara rejects the suggestion that it is the relations of the
husband which makes her Asur to the Bo'el, for "even if he says 'I will not
give her to drink,' and even if he divorces her," she is still Asur to the
Bo'el, the Gemara means to say simply that she is Asur without any act on
the part of her husband, merely because she is a Safek Sotah. The husband's
act is not *creating* an Isur to the Bo'el.
"Even if the husband divorces her," permitting her to the rest of the world,
the Bo'el may not marry her -- even if the husband did not live with her
after she became a Sotah. "Even if he says 'I will not give her to drink'"
means that even if the husband *dies* without agreeing to give her the Mei
Sotah, and she now becomes permitted to the rest of the world, she is still
Asur to the Bo'el. (See Rashi end of DH Iy Neima.)
Consequently, in contrast to the way Tosfos learns the Gemara, there is no
proof from the Gemara that the husband may not change his mind when he says
that he is not going to let her drink the Mei Sotah. (Nor can it be proven
from here that the husband cannot give her to drink after divorcing her and
remarrying her, see Tosfos 85b DH ul'Rebbi, and Insights there.) The Gemara
is just saying that if he does not give her the Mei Sotah to drink and
therefore she does not prove her innocence, she is going to be Asur to the
Bo'el simply because of her act of Setirah with him (as we pointed out in
the question with which we started). The fact that the husband had relations
with her, thereby showing that he does not intend to give her the Mei Sotah,
does not create any *new* Isur; it just shows that he is not going to give
her the opportunity to become Mutar. That is why the Gemara rejects the
suggestion that the "one who causes the prohibition in the first place" is
referring to the Bo'el. (M. Kornfeld)
2) THE LENIENCY OF THE ISUR OF "ESHES ISH"
QUESTION: Rava concludes that the case about which it was said that living
with a woman with whom one is prohibited causes the person who made her
prohibited in the first place to become Asur to her as well, is the case of
"Eshes Ish." If a man lives with an Eshes Ish, another man's wife, he causes
her to become Asur to her husband, who was the one who made her Asur to
every other man to begin with (by virtue of marrying her).
The Beraisa (95a) is making a Kal v'Chomer from that case: if, in a lighter
Isur like "Eshes Ish," when a man has prohibited relations with the woman,
he causes the person who created the Isur (i.e. her husband) to become Asur
to her, then certainly in a more severe Isur like "Achos Ishto," when a man
has prohibited relations with the woman (his wife's sister), she should
cause the person who created the Isur (i.e. his wife) to become Asur to him.
The Gemara asks how can we make such a Kal v'Chomer? The Isur of "Eshes Ish"
is more severe than "Achos Ishto" in many ways! The Gemara explains that the
Isur of "Eshes Ish" is less severe because it is possible to remove the Isur
even in the lifetime of the one who makes her Asur, meaning the husband, by
his giving her a Get. In contrast, the Isur of "Achos Ishto" cannot be
removed during the lifetime of the one who makes her Asur, meaning the wife,
because it is never permitted to marry the sister of one's wife during her
lifetime. (Only after his wife dies does he become permitted to marry her
This is a problematic statement. The Gemara earlier, when searching for a
case that fit the description of the statement of "Ne'esar ha'Osrah,"
rejected the possibility that it refers to the Isur of "Machzir Gerushaso"
or to the Isur of "Yevamah la'Shuk." There are various reasons, asserted the
Gemara, why those Isurim are not more lenient than the Isur of "Achos
Ishto." One reason was that in the case of "Yevamah la'Shuk," the woman
herself is "Nitma ha'Guf;" it was the woman herself who did something wrong
and thereby caused her husband to become Asur to her, while in the case of
"Achos Ishto" it is the *sister* who became "Nitma," making her sister --
the man's wife -- Asur to him. Another reason to be more stringent in the
case of "Yevamah la'Shuk" was that the Isur of "Yevamah la'Shuk" causes the
woman to be prohibited to *all* men in the world, while the Isur of "Achos
Ishto" only makes the woman Asur to one man (her sister's husband). For this
reason, the Gemara says that "Yevamah la'Shuk" cannot be called a "more
lenient" Isur than the Isur of "Achos Ishto."
Why, now in the conclusion of the Gemara, does the Gemara say that the Isur
of "Eshes Ish" can be removed during the life of the one who makes her
prohibited (the husband)? What about all of the other objections which the
Gemara raised for making a Kal v'Chomer from "Yevamah la'Shuk" and from
"Machzir Gerushaso?" Those objections also apply to making a Kal v'Chomer
from the Isur of "Eshes Ish!" (TOSFOS DH Ela)
In addition, the Isur of "Yevamah la'Shuk" also has this leniency of being
able to be permitted in the lifetime of the Oser (i.e. the Yavam who makes
her Asur)! If the Yavam does Chalitzah with her, she becomes permitted to
marry la'Shuk! Why, then, does Rava have to say that the Beraisa is
referring to an Eshes Ish? He could have said that the statement refers to a
Yevamah la'Shuk, whose Isur is more lenient than "Achos Ishto" because it
can be removed during the lifetime of the Yavam!
ANSWER: The TOSFOS HA'ROSH answers in the name of the RIVA that in the case
of an Eshes Ish, that fact that she has a Heter in the lifetime of her
husband is such a tremendous leniency that it overrides any of the other
Chumros that she might have (such as the fact that the Isur is punishable
with Chenek, it is a case of "Nitma ha'Guf," and it is "Isurah b'Rov").
If this leniency overrides all of the Chumros, then why did the Gemara not
say the same thing about the Isur of "Yevamah la'Shuk?"
The answer is that the Isur of "Yevamah la'Shuk" is only an Isur Lav. The
fact that an Isur Lav is able to become permitted in the lifetime of the one
who causes that Isur is not such a tremendous leniency over the Isur of
"Achos Ishto." Since the Isur is only an Isur Lav, it can be removed, while
it stands to reason that Achos Ishto, which is an Isur Kares, cannot become
In contrast, if we find that the Isur of "Eshes Ish," which is an Isur
*Chenek*, and which is more severe than an Isur Kares, can nevertheless be
removed in the lifetime of the one who makes that Isur -- if that very
strong Isur can still be removed, then it shows that the Isur is much more
lenient than the Isur of "Achos Ishto," which is a less severe Isur (and
Isur Kares) and yet it cannot be removed. That is why only with regard to
the Isur of "Eshes Ish" could we say that the fact that it is permissible in
the life of the one who causes the Isur shows the leniency of that Isur!