THOUGHTS ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of Har Nof
Rosh Kollel: Rav Mordecai Kornfeld
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SOTAH 2 - Today's Dafim are dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Malka bas Menashe
Krause, mother of Gitle Bekelnitzky, Fred Krause and Fran Vogel. During very
difficult times, under both material and spiritual duress, she and her
husband raised their children in the spirit of our fathers, imbuing them
with a love for Torah and Yiddishkeit. Her home was always open to the
needy, even when her family did not have enough to feed themselves.
1) "ZIVUG RISHON" AND "ZIVUG SHENI"
QUESTION: Rav Shmuel bar Rav Yitzchak says in the name of Reish Lakish that
a man's Zivug is made only according to his deeds ("l'Fi Ma'asav"). Rabah
bar bar Chanah adds in the name of Rebbi Yochanan that making a Zivug is as
difficult as Keri'as Yam Suf.
The Gemara challenges Reish Lakish's assertion that a Zivug is determined
based on a person's deeds from the statement of Rav Yehudah in the name of
Rav, who says that forty days before the creation of the embryo, a Bas Kol
issues forth and pronounces who his Zivug will be ("Ploni l'Bas Ploni"). If
the Zivug is already determined, based on Mazal, then how can it be
determined based on one's deeds?
The Gemara answers that only the "Zivug Sheni" is determined by one's deeds.
The "Zivug Rishon" is based on Mazal.
The reason why the Zivug is determined based according to one's deeds is
because if a person's deeds are meritorious, he is given a better Zivug (see
Rashi). Why, though, is the Zivug Rishon -- which is decreed before the
person is born -- not dependent on the person's deeds? That Zivug should
also depend on the person's deeds! Why should a person who is a Tzadik be
stuck with a woman who is not a Tzadekes just because that is what was
decreed for him at the time of his creation?
(a) When Hashem first created man, He created Adam and Chavah together as
one, and then He separated them. The RASHBA (TESHUVOS HA'RASHBA 1:60)
explains that Hashem first created man and woman together and then separated
them, so that they would later be able to come together and be joined and
feel like a single unit. Perhaps it is for this reason that before the man
is born a Bas Kol announces who his Zivug will be -- this shows that they
both come from the same spiritual root, and that the woman that he
eventually marries will be part of his own Neshamah. It would be impossible
to bond their souls together in such a way *after* they are created, and
therefore Hashem bonds them together before they are created in order for
them to be able to bond together strongly. (If one of them is a Tzadik and
the other is a Rasha, then one can influence the other to improve since they
are bonded together so strongly.) It is only possible, of course, for one
man to be bonded to one woman. A second Zivug cannot come from the same
spiritual root, and therefore the Zivug Sheni must be "l'Fi Ma'asav,"
determined according to one's deeds.
(b) RABEINU TAM cited here by TOSFOS SHANTZ explains that "Zivug Sheni"
refers to a widow or widower. The Zivug Sheni can only occur after the first
Zivug occurred. In order for the Zivug Sheni to occur, Hashem must take the
life of one of the spouses in the Zivug Rishon. Rabeinu Tam explains that
this is the similarity between Zivug Sheni and Keri'as Yam Suf. In both of
them, Hashem must take the life of some in order to benefit others.
According to Rabeinu Tam, it is possible that everything that occurs to a
person is based normally on Mazal, unless he is an outstanding Tzadik (as
Tosfos says in Shabbos 156a), and when it says that the Zivug Rishon is
announced before the person is born, it means that his Mazal is determined
already from the time that he is born. The Zivug Sheni also should be
determined by his Mazal just like the other major events in his life.
However, there are times when a woman loses her husband not because it was
the Mazal of her husband to die, but because of the great Zechuyos of
another person who deserved her as his wife. This is the Zivug Sheni to
which the Gemara is referring.
(c) The ME'IRI takes the opposite approach. He says that, normally, the
Zivug should always be determined by the Zechus and actions of a person,
like we asked in our question. When the Gemara says that the Zivug Rishon is
determined by Mazal, it is referring to the Zivug that a person finds upon
reaching the age of Mitzvos, which is the proper time for getting married
(see ROSH, Kuntrus Pidyon ha'Ben, end of Bechoros). Since he did not yet
have a chance to do many Mitzvos or Aveiros, his Zivug is still determined
by his Mazal. However, any spouse that he finds after he has reached the age
at which he is rewarded or punished for his deeds, then his Zivug is
determined according to his deeds. The Gemara calls it "Zivug Sheni" since
when a person gets married at this age it is normally the second marriage
(since most people, at that time, became married at the age of Bar Mitzvah).
(d) The Mekubalim explain that "Zivug Sheni" does not refer to a second
marriage. Rather, it means a second *matching*. Hashem determines -- before
a person is born -- who will be the best match for the person. But he only
gets that match if he is Zocheh to it through his Ma'asim Tovim. If he is
not Zocheh, then he ends up with another woman, and that is what the Gemara
calls "Zivug Sheni" (it is like a "secondary" match in place of the primary
one). (HAGAHAH in BE'ER SHEVA; YA'AVETZ; see also TASHBETZ 2:1.)