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Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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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.


(a) Question: R. Shimon should agree, "Tehorah" teaches that she does not die when witnesses know of her guilt!
(b) Answer: He does - but this is uncommon, so it will not dispel fear of the water nor cause suspicion of women that survive.
(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;
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.
i. If there were only 2, if one must leave to relieve himself, the other will be secluded with a woman!
(d) Rejection: No - 2 are sent with them so they can testify (if he has relations with his wife).
(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.
i. There was a case, 10 men took a woman out in a coffin to have relations with her!
(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).
(h) (Mishnah): R. Yehudah says, this is not needed - the husband ...
(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;
2. R. Yosi says, a Kal va'Chomer shows that the husband is trusted.
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 her!
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".
(l) Answer: First R. Yehudah said the Kal va'Chomer; after Chachamim rejected it, he brought a proof from the verse.
(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.'
2. They say to her things not fit for her and her family to hear.
(b) If she admits - she writes a receipt for her Kesuvah (i.e. that she is not entitled to it) and leaves.
(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.
(h) Anyone that wants to see her is permitted, except for her slaves, because she is unlikely to admit in front of them.
(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 is required?
(k) Answer (R. Chiya bar Gamda): A Gezeirah Shavah, Torah-Torah.
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 teach you".
2. Just as there, he must oppose the Beis Din of 71, also here.
(l) (Mishnah): We threaten her ...
(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.
i. If there is a wound, it will penetrate; if not, it will not do anything.
(n) Resolution: Before the scroll is erased, we threaten her that she should not drink; after it is erased, we encourage her to drink.
(a) (Beraisa): We tell her about Tzadikim of old who confessed.
1. Yehudah confessed, he was not ashamed - in the end, he inherited life in the world to come; also, Reuven.
(b) Question: What was their reward?
1. Objection: The Beraisa just said, they inherited the world to come!
2. Answer: We are asking, what reward did they receive in this world.
(c) Answer: "To them alone was given Eretz Yisrael; a stranger did not come between them."
(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 Yehudah"!
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.
(g) We understand, Yehudah admitted so that Tamar should not be burnt.
(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.
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