POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Sotah 7
SOTAH 7 (2 Teves) - the Dafyomi study for the last day of Chanukah has been
dedicated to the memory of Hagaon Rav Yisroel Zev Gustman Ztz"L (author of
"Kuntresei Shiurim") and his wife, Rebbetzin Sarah Gustman (daughter of
Hagaon Rav Meir Bassin) on the Rebbetzin's Yahrzeit. Sponsored by Rav A.
Feldman, who merited to study under Rav Gustman's tutelage.
1) SUSPENSION OF DEATH
(a) Question: R. Shimon should agree, "Tehorah" teaches that
she does not die when witnesses know of her guilt!
2) TAKING HER TO YERUSHALAYIM
(b) Answer: He does - but this is uncommon, so it will not
dispel fear of the water nor cause suspicion of women
(a) (Mishnah): (After warning and seclusion), the husband
takes his wife to the local Beis Din. They send 2
Chachamim to accompany them on the way to Yerushalayim,
lest he have relations with his wife on the way;
3) BEFORE SHE DRINKS
1. R. Yehudah says, this is not needed - the husband is
trusted not to have relations with her.
(b) (Gemara): Including the husband, there are 3 men in all.
(c) Suggestion: This supports Rav Yehudah.
1. (Rav Yehudah): (2 men may be secluded with a woman)
only in town; on the road, 3 men are required.
(d) Rejection: No - 2 are sent with them so they can testify
(if he has relations with his wife).
i. If there were only 2, if one must leave to
relieve himself, the other will be secluded
with a woman!
(e) The Mishnah says, Chachamim must accompany them.
(f) Suggestion: This supports Rav Yehudah.
1. (Rav Yehudah): (2 men may be secluded with a woman)
only if they are proper; if they are lewd, even 10
men may not be secluded with a woman.
(g) Rejection: No - Chachamim are sent with them so they can
warn the husband (that if he has relations with her, the
water will not test her).
i. There was a case, 10 men took a woman out in a
coffin to have relations with her!
(h) (Mishnah): R. Yehudah says, this is not needed - the
(i) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): A Kal va'Chomer shows that the
husband is trusted.
1. Nidah is Chayavei Kerisus, and the husband is
trusted to be secluded with his wife when she is
Nidah - Sotah is only a Lav, all the more so he is
trusted to be alone with her!
(j) Chachamim hold, the only reason he is trusted with a
Nidah is because the punishment is severe - but Sotah is
light in his eyes!
(k) Contradiction: In this Beraisa, R. Yehudah learned from a
Kal va'Chomer - elsewhere, he learns this from a verse!
1. (Beraisa): "He will bring his wife to the Kohen" -
the Torah trusted a man to bring his wife alone, but
Chachamim enacted that 2 Chachamim should accompany
them, lest they have relations on the way;
(l) Answer: First R. Yehudah said the Kal va'Chomer; after
Chachamim rejected it, he brought a proof from the verse.
2. R. Yosi says, a Kal va'Chomer shows that the husband
i. A man may be secluded with his wife when she is
Nidah, which has Kares - Sotah is only a Lav,
all the more so he is trusted to be alone with
3. Chachamim: No - he is trusted with a Nidah, since
she will again become permitted to him - but a Sotah
might never become permitted!
i. Also - "Stolen waters are sweet".
4. R. Yehudah says, the Torah trusted a man to bring
his wife alone - "He will bring his wife".
(m) Question: R. Yehudah says just as the 1st Tana!
(n) Answer: They differ in this - the 1st Tana says that
mid'Rabanan, 2 Chachamim must accompany them.
(a) (Mishnah): They take her to the great Beis Din in
Yerushalayim and threaten her, as we threaten witnesses
in capital cases.
1. They say to her 'Wine, frivolity, youth, bad
neighbors - these can cause many things. Admit for
the sake of Hash-m's great name, that it should not
have to be erased.'
(b) If she admits - she writes a receipt for her Kesuvah
(i.e. that she is not entitled to it) and leaves.
2. They say to her things not fit for her and her
family to hear.
(c) If she says she is Tehorah - they take her to the east
gate, by the Nikanor Gate.
1. That is where Sotos drink, and women that gave birth
and lepers bring their purification sacrifices.
(d) The Kohen grabs her garments - there is no concern if
they tear at the seams or in the garment itself.
(e) He reveals her heart and undoes the braiding of her hair;
R. Yehudah says, if her heart or hair are nice, he does
not reveal/unbraid them.
(f) If she was dressed in white clothing, she must change to
black clothing; if she was wearing gold jewelry,
necklaces and rings, we remove them, to disgrace her.
(g) A Mitzri rope is tied above her breasts.
4) THE GREATNESS OF CONFESSION
(h) Anyone that wants to see her is permitted, except for her
slaves, because she is unlikely to admit in front of
(i) All women are allowed to see her - "All the women will be
chastised, and will not do as her harlotry".
(j) (Gemara) Question: How do we know that the great Beis Din
(k) Answer (R. Chiya bar Gamda): A Gezeirah Shavah,
1. It says by Sotah, "The Kohen will do this Torah
(procedure) to her"; it says by a rebellious
Chacham, "According to the Torah that they will
(l) (Mishnah): We threaten her ...
2. Just as there, he must oppose the Beis Din of 71,
(m) Contradiction (Beraisa): Just as we threaten her not to
drink, we threaten her to drink.
1. We tell her, if you know you are innocent, drink!
The water is as a dry salve placed on raw skin.
(n) Resolution: Before the scroll is erased, we threaten her
that she should not drink; after it is erased, we
encourage her to drink.
i. If there is a wound, it will penetrate; if not,
it will not do anything.
(a) (Beraisa): We tell her about Tzadikim of old who
5) IF SHE ADMITS
1. Yehudah confessed, he was not ashamed - in the end,
he inherited life in the world to come; also,
(b) Question: What was their reward?
1. Objection: The Beraisa just said, they inherited the
world to come!
(c) Answer: "To them alone was given Eretz Yisrael; a
stranger did not come between them."
2. Answer: We are asking, what reward did they receive
in this world.
(d) We know Yehudah's admission - "Yehudah recognized the
signs, and said, 'She is more righteous than me'".
(e) Question: Where do we see that Reuven admitted?
(f) Answer (Rav Shmuel bar Nachmani): "Reuven will live and
not die; and this is to Yehudah" - all the years in the
wilderness, Yehudah's bones were rolling in his coffin,
until Moshe asked Hash-m to have mercy on him.
1. Moshe: Yehudah caused Reuven to admit - "This is to
(g) We understand, Yehudah admitted so that Tamar should not
2. Moshe continued: "Hear, Hash-m, the voice of
Yehudah" - his bones came together again, but
Yehudah was denied entrance to the Heavenly Yeshiva.
3. "Bring him to his nation" - he was allowed in, but
he could not understand the arguments.
4. "His hands are great for him" - he could understand,
but he could not reach the correct law.
5. "He will have help from his adversaries" - even this
was granted to him.
(h) Question: Why did Reuven admit?
(i) Answer: So his brothers should not be suspected.
(a) (Mishnah): If she says, I am Teme'ah (she gives her
husband a receipt for the Kesuvah).
(b) Suggestion: We infer, a borrower must accept a receipt.
(c) Rejection #1 (Abaye): No - the Mishnah should say, she
tears her Kesuvah.
1. Objection (Rava): Do not change the Mishnah - it
says, she writes a receipt!
(d) Rejection #2 (Rava): Rather, the Mishnah gives the law in
a place where Kesuvos are not written (all agree, when
there is no alternative, we write a receipt).
(e) (Mishnah): If she says she is Tehorah, we bring her up to
the east Gate.