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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sotah 10

SOTAH 10 (5 Teves) - has been dedicated to the memory of Max (Meir Menachem) Turkel on his Yahrzeit by his children Eddie and Lawrence and their children, and by his wife Jean Turkel/Rafalowicz.


(a) Question: "And the child grew, and Hash-m blessed him" - in what was he blessed?
(b) Answer (Rav Yehudah): His Ever was as big as a man; his semen was as a gushing river.
(c) (Rav): "Hash-m, remember me ... I will take 1 vengeance, from my 2 eyes, on the Pelishtim" - remember the 20 years I judged Yisrael, and I never told one of them to transport my staff for me.
(d) Question: "Shimshon captured 300 foxes" - why specifically foxes?
(e) Answer (R. Aibo bar Negdi): A fox flees backwards, it is fitting to punish the Pelishtim that went back on their oath.
(f) (Beraisa - R. Shimon ha'Chasid): Shimshon's shoulders spanned 60 Amos, for he carried the doors of the Azah gate on his shoulders.
1. We have a tradition, the doors are 60 Amos wide.
(g) (R. Yochanan): "He Tochen (would grind) in the jail" - Tochen is a language of relations.
1. Everyone brought his wife to become pregnant from Shimshon.
2. (Rav Papa): This is as people say - put wine before a wine-drinker, put vegetables before a gardener.
(h) (R. Yochanan): Any man that has extramarital relations, his wife has extramarital relations under him.
1. "If my heart was enticed on a woman, if I waited by the door of my fellow man" - then another will "(Seek relations with) my wife".
2. This is as people say - he is in the big gourds, she is in the small gourds.
(i) (R. Yochanan): Shimshon judged Yisrael as Hash-m - "Dan will judge his people as One (the lone judge)".
(j) (R. Yochanan): Shimshon was called on Hash-m's name - "Hash-m is a Shemesh (sun) and shield".
(k) Question: If so, it should be forbidden to erase the word 'Shemesh'!
(l) Correction: Rather, it is akin to a name of Hash-m.
(m) Just as Hash-m shields over the whole world, Shimshon shielded over Yisrael in his generation.
(n) (R. Yochanan): Bil'am was lame in 1 foot - "He went Shefi (in a lowly way)"; Shimshon was lame in both feet - "Shefifon".
(a) (Beraisa): 5 people were created with a semblance Hash-m - all 5 were stricken through this - Shimshon in his strength, Shaul in his neck, Avshalom in his hair, Tzidkiyahu in his eyes, and Asa in his legs.
1. Shimshon was stricken in his strength - "His strength left him".
2. Shaul in his neck - "Shaul took the sword and fell on it (at his neck);
3. Avshalom in his hair - this will be explained later.
4. Tzidkiyahu in his eyes - "He blinded Tzidkiyahu's eyes".
5. Asa in his legs - "When he grew old, his legs fell sick".
i. (Rav Yehudah): He was stricken by Pedagra (a sickness which makes the toes hurt).
(b) Question (Mar Zutra brei d'Rav Nachman): What is this like?
(c) Answer (Rav Nachman): As a needle in living flesh.
1. Question: How did Rav Nachman know?
2. Answer #1: He himself suffered from this.
3. Answer #2: He had a tradition from his Rebbi.
4. Answer #3: Secrets of Hash-m are made known to those that fear him.
(d) (Rava): Asa was punished because he used Chachamim to make war - "Asa alerted all of Yehudah, no one was clean (exempt)".
(e) Question: What does it mean, "No one was exempt"?
(f) Answer (Rav Yehudah): Even a bride and groom that just got married.
(a) Contradiction: It says, "Shimshon descended to Timnah", and it says "Your father-in-law (Yehudah) is ascending to Timnah"!
(b) Answer #1 (R. Elazar): Since Shimshon was disgraced there, it says that he descended; since Yehudah was elevated through what happened there, it says that he ascended.
(c) Answer #2 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): There are 2 places called Timnah - one is on a hill, one is in a valley.
(d) Answer #3 (Rav Papa): Timnah is on a slope - Shimshon came from the top, and Yehudah came from the bottom.
(e) Question: "(Tamar) sat b'Fesach Einayim (opening of eyes)" - what is this?
(f) Answer #1 (R. Aleksandri): The doorway of Avraham, the place all eyes long for.
(g) Answer #2 (R. Chanin): There was a place called Einayim; she sat at the entrance.
(h) Answer #3 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): She gave eyes (justifications) to her words.
1. Yehudah: Maybe you are a Nachris!
2. Tamar: No, I am a convert.
3. Yehudah: Maybe you are married!
4. Tamar: No, I am single.
5. Yehudah: Maybe your father betrothed you to a man!
6. Tamar: No, I am an orphan.
7. Yehudah: Maybe you are a Nidah!
8. Tamar: No, I am Tehorah.
(i) (Reish Lakish): "(Avraham) planted an Eshel in Be'er Sheva" - he planted an orchard with delicacies.
1. R. Yehudah and R. Nechemyah argued - one said, Eshel is an orchard; the other said, it is an inn.
2. If it means 'orchard', the language "Planted" is understood.
3. Question: If it means 'inn' - why does it say he planted it?
4. Answer: We find such a language elsewhere - "He will plant the tents of his palace".
(j) (Reish Lakish): "va'Yikra (Avraham called) there in the name of Hash-m, L-rd of the world" - this should be read va'Yakri (he made call).

1. He made all passers-by call in Hash-m's name.
i. After he served a guest food and drink, the guest wanted to bless Avraham.
ii. Avraham: You did not eat my food - you ate from G-d of the world - thank the One who created the world through His word!
(k) Question: "Yehudah saw (Tamar); he thought she was a harlot because she covered her face" - this should not make him think that she is a harlot!
(l) Answer (R. Elazar): Because she had covered her face when in his house (when married to his sons).
1. (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): Any bride that is modest in her father-in-law's house merits that kings and prophets will descend from her - we learn this from Tamar.
i. Kings - David (and the kings that descended from him).
ii. Prophets - Yeshayah and his father Amotz; Amotz and Amatzyah were brothers (and we know that Amatzyah descended from David).
(a) Question: "(Tamar) Mutzeis" - it should say, Mitutzeis (was taken out)!
(b) Answer (R. Elazar): It is written Mutzeis, which is spelled as Motza'as (she finds), for Sama'el hid her signs (the deposit she had taken from Yehudah), and Gavri'el brought them back.
1. (R. Yochanan): "To the conductor (Hash-m), for the mute distant dove, to David, Michtam" - when her signs were distant, she was as a mute dove;
i. Explanation #1: "To David, Michtam" - David descended from her, he was MaCH (lowly) and TAM (pure) to all.
ii. Explanation #2: Michtam - His MaKah (wound) (of circumcision) was TAM (pure), for he was born circumcised.
iii. Explanation #3: Michtam - Just as in his youth, he was TAM (made himself lowly before one greater than him in Torah, to learn), also in his maturity.
(c) Question: "She sent to her father-in-law - 'I am pregnant from the owner of these'" - why didn't she say explicitly, from Yehudah?
(d) Answer (Rav Zutra Bat Tuvya): From Tamar, we learn that it is better to throw oneself into a furnace than to humiliate his fellow man in public.
(e) (R. Chama bar Chanina): Yehudah told his father "Please recognize your son's tunic", therefore he was told "Please recognize to whom (are these)".
1. "Na" is a language of request - please recognize your Creator and do not ignore me.
(f) "Yehudah recognized and said 'She is (more) righteous than me.'"
1. (Rav Chanan bar Bizna): Yosef sanctified Hash-m's name in private, he merited that 1 letter of Hash-m's name was added to his name - "Testimony in YeHosef is his name";
2. Yehudah sanctified Hash-m's name in public, his was (entirely) named on Hash-m's name.
(g) When he admitted and said "She is (more) righteous than me", a voice from Heaven said 'You saved Tamar and her 2 children (inside her) from the fire; in your merit, I will save 3 of your descendants from the fire'.
1. Question: Who are these descendants?
2. Answer: Chananyah, Misha'el and Azaryah.
(h) Question: "She is righteous, (she is pregnant) from me" - how did he know?
(i) Answer: A voice from Heaven said 'Hidden matters came from Me (i.e. Hash-m caused that she should have children from Yehudah)'.
(j) (Shmuel the elder): "He did not Yasaf to know her" - this means, he remained married to her.
1. We know that Yasaf means to cease - "A great sound, it did not cease".
(a) (Beraisa): Avshalom rebelled with his hair - "There was not a man as beautiful ... when he shaved his hair, for it was a burden on him, it weighed 200 Shekels;
1. Therefore, he was hanged by his hair - "... His head was caught in the tree, he was (hanging) between Heaven and earth, the mule under him passed; he took a sword and wanted to cut his hair".
2. (Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): Just them, Gehinom opened up under him.
(b) "(David) cried ... My son Avshalom, my son, my son, Avshalom, if only I had died in your place, Avshalom my son, my son ... my son Avshalom, Avshalom my son, my son."
(c) Question: Why did he say "My son" 8 times?
(d) Answer: 7 - to save him from the 7 chambers of Gehinom;
1. Some say - the 8th was to get his head to rejoin his body;
2. Others say, to bring him to the world to come.
(e) Question: "Avshalom took and erected for himself in his life" - what did he take?
(f) Answer (Reish Lakish): A bad purchase for himself (to try to become king).
(g) (R. Chanina bar Papa): "The monument in Emek (valley) of the king" - the deep (Amukah) plan of the King of the world - "I will raise evil against you (David) from your house".
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