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Sotah 8

SOTAH 8 (3 Teves) - Dedicated by Sid and Sylvia Mosenkis of Queens, N.Y., in memory of Sylvia's father, Shlomo ben Mordechai Aryeh, who passed away 3 Teves 5751/1990.


(a) Question: But she is already there!
(b) Answer: We take her down and return her, to weary her (it may help her confess).
1. (Beraisa - R. Shimon ben Elazar): Beis Din takes witnesses (in a capital case) from place to place, perhaps they will be befuddled and retract.
(c) (Mishnah): There, Sotos drink ...
(d) We know why Sotos drink there - "The Kohen will stand the woman before Hash-m".
(e) Question: Why does a woman that gave birth stand there?
(f) Answer: Because a person should be present when his sacrifice is offered.
1. (Beraisa): A sacrifice is only offered if the owner is present.
(g) Objection: If so, the same should apply by a Zav!
(h) Answer: It does! The Mishnah just gave 1 example.
(a) (Beraisa): We do not give 2 Sotos to drink at the same time, lest 1 will be encouraged to drink when she sees the other drink;
1. R. Yehudah: No - the reason is, because the Torah says "Her" - alone.
(b) Question: Why doesn't the 1st Tana learn from "Her"?
(c) Answer: The 1st Tana is R. Shimon, who derives laws from the reasons for Mitzvos.
1. He explains, the reason the Torah said "Her", that she should drink alone, is so she will not encourage another woman to drink.
(d) Question: What difference does it make if he expounds the reason (i.e. how does this affect the law)?
(e) Answer: If she is terrified (and unable to confess - according to R. Shimon, she may drink with another woman).
(f) Question: May 2 women really drink together in such a case - we do not do Mitzvos in bundles!
(g) (Mishnah): We do not give 2 Sotos to drink at once; we do not purify 2 lepers at once; we do not pierce the ears of 2 slaves at once; and we do not behead 2 calves (if 2 murdered corpses are found) at once, for we do not do Mitzvos in bundles!
(h) Answer (Abaye): 1 Kohen may not give 2 Sotos to drink at once; but 2 Kohanim may each give 1 Sotah to drink at one time (according to R. Shimon, if 1 is terrified).
(i) (Mishnah): The Kohen grabs her garments ...
(j) (Beraisa): "He will uncover her hair"; it adds "Of the woman" to teach that he also bares her body.
(k) Question: If so, why does it say (only) "He uncovers her hair"?
(l) Answer: To teach that he also unbraids the hair.
(a) (Mishnah): R. Yehudah says, if her heart is nice ...
(b) We infer, R. Yehudah is concerned that this will arouse onlookers, and Chachamim are not concerned.
(c) Contradiction (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): A man (about to be stoned) is covered in 1 place, in front; a woman is covered in front and in back, for her genitals may be seen from both sides;
1. Chachamim say, a man is stoned naked (i.e. with only 1 covering); a woman is stoned clothed.
(d) Answer (Rabah): Here, R. Yehudah is concerned lest the young Kohanim are aroused to desire her, for she may drink and survive; when she is about to be stoned, there is no concern.
1. Suggestion: Perhaps we should be concerned that they will come to desire other women!
2. Rejection: Rava taught, the evil inclination only incites a person for what he has seen.
(e) (Rava): This only answers the contradiction in R. Yehudah - we must also answer for Chachamim!

(f) Completion of Answer (Rava): Here, Chachamim are not concerned for arousal, because we must fulfill "All the women will be chastised";
1. By stoning, that itself is the best chastising!
(g) Suggestion: They will be chastised even more if we stone her unclothed!
(h) Rejection (Rav Nachman): "Love your fellow man as yourself" - choose a nice death for him.
1. Suggestion: The Tana'im argue on this - Chachamim hold as Rav Nachman, R. Yehudah does not!
2. Rejection: No, all agree to Rav Nachman.
i. R. Yehudah says, she is more concerned to minimize pain (she is stoned naked so she dies sooner); Chachamim say, she prefers to minimize her disgrace.
(a) (Mishnah): If she was dressed in white clothing, she must change to black clothing ...
(b) (Beraisa): If she is attractive in black clothing; they cover her in repulsive clothing.
(c) (Mishnah): If she was wearing gold jewelry ...
(d) Question: This is obvious!
1. We disgrace her - certainly, we do not allow her to adorn herself!
(e) Answer: One might have thought, it is a greater disgrace to be naked with jewelry - we hear, this is not so.
(f) (Mishnah): A Mitzri rope is brought ...
(g) Question (R. Aba): Can one use a substitute for a Mitzri rope?
1. Is the rope just to keep her (torn) clothes on - if so, a ribbon suffices!
2. Or, is the main reason to disgrace her corresponding to the way she sinned?
i. She girded herself with a fancy ribbon (to appeal to the adulterer), therefore a Mitzri rope is tied above her breasts.
ii. If so, one must use a Mitzri rope.
(h) Answer (Rav Huna - Beraisa): A Mitzri rope is brought to keep her clothes from falling.
(i) (Mishnah): Anyone that wants to see her is permitted ...
(j) Contradiction: Here it says, all may see her - men and women;
1. The Mishnah continues, all the women may see her - implying, men may not!
(k) Answer #1 (Abaye): Here also, the Mishnah means, any woman that wants to see her is allowed.
1. Objection (Rava): But the Mishnah says, anyone that wants to may see her!
(l) Answer #2 (Rava): Any man or woman that wants to see her is allowed;
(m) All women (in the vicinity) are obligated to see her - "All the women will be chastised, and will not do as her harlotry".
(a) (Mishnah): Hash-m repays a person according to the way he acted. She adorned herself to sin - Hash-m makes her disgusting;
1. She revealed herself to sin, Hash-m reveals her;
2. She first sinned with the thigh, then with her stomach; her thigh is stricken first, and then her stomach, and the rest of the body is not spared.
(b) (Gemara - Rav Yosef): Even though the proper (capital) punishment has ceased, people are still killed as they deserve.
1. (Rav Yosef): Even though the Sanhedrin ceased after the Churban, the 4 death penalties did not cease.
2. Objection: They did!
3. Correction: Rather, being killed as the 4 death penalties has not ceased.
i. One worthy of stoning - he falls from the roof, or a beast tramples him;
ii. One worthy of burning - he falls in a fire, or is bitten by a (poisonous) snake;
iii. One worthy of death by the sword - he is executed by the government (guillotine), or bandits kill him;
iv. One worthy of strangulation - he drowns in the river, or dies of croup.
(c) (Beraisa - Rebbi): Hash-m punishes measure for measure "b'Sase'ah (a Se'ah for a Se'ah) you send punishment on a person".
1. Question: This only shows for a Se'ah (a large measure (of sin)) - how do we know, even for smaller, even tiny measures?
2. Answer: "Every Se'on".
3. Question: How do we know that every Perutah joins to make a big liability?
4. Answer: "1 by 1, to make a calculation".
(d) We find by Sotah, she is punished measure for measure.
1. She stood on the opening of her house to be seen by the adulterer - therefore, the Kohen stands her at the Nikanor Gate, to show her disgrace to all;
2. She put nice kerchiefs on her hair, therefore, the Kohen removes her kerchief, and puts it under her feet;
3. She prettied her face, therefore her face turns green.
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