(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


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

Ask A Question on the daf

Previous daf

Sotah 12

SOTAH 12 (7 Teves) - Dedicated by Josh Daniel of Efrat, Israel, in memory of Yitzchok Yisroel Daniel, on his Yahrzeit.


(a) Presumably, this is correct - Kalev is called "The Kenizi", not the son of Kenaz.
(b) "Azuvah" is Miryam - she is called Azuvah, for everyone abandoned her (Azvuha) (did not want to marry her) at first.
(c) Question: Why does it say that Kalev fathered her - he married her!
(d) Answer (R. Yochanan): Anyone that marries a woman for the sake of Heaven, it is considered as if he fathered her.
1. She is called Yeri'os, for her face was (green) as curtains (Yeri'os).
(e) "These are Baneha (her children)" - read this, Boneha (the names of the one who built her, i.e. her husband).
1. Yashar - for (Kalev) straightened (Yishar) himself;
2. Shovev - he veered (Shivev) his evil inclination (from following the spies);
3. Ardon - he ruled over (Radah) his inclination.
i. Others say, because his face resembled a rose (Vered).
(f) Ashchur, the father of Teko'ah, had 2 wives - Chel'ah and Na'arah.
1. Ashchur is Kalev - he is called Ashchur, for his face blackened (Hushcharu) through fasting;
2. He is called father, for he was as a father to Miryam;
3. Teko'ah - for he fastened (Taka) his heart to Hash-m;
4. His wife Miryam was as 2 women - at first she was sickly (Chal'ah), and later, youthful (Na'arah).
(g) "The children of Chel'ah were Tzeres, Tzochar and Esnan".
1. Tzeres - she was an affliction for other women (they envied her beauty);
2. Tzochar - her face was as (bright as) noon;
3. Esnan - whoever saw her gave to his wife an Esnan (a gift, so she would agree to relations).
(a) (R. Yosi bar Chanina): "Par'oh commanded his whole nation" - He even decreed on his nation.
1. (R. Yosi bar Chanina): There were 3 decrees - the 1st (to the midwives) 'If it is a son, you will kill him';
2. The 2nd (to all) - 'Any son (Yisrael) born, you will cast into the river';
3. The 3rd - Even a male Egyptian baby must be killed.
(b) Question: "A man from the house of Levi went" - where did he go?
(c) Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): He went on the counsel of his daughter.
1. (Beraisa): Amram was the leader of his generation; when Par'oh decreed to cast all boys in the river, Amram said, it is futile to have children - he divorced his wife; all of Yisrael divorced their wives.
i. Miryam: Your decree is worse than Par'oh's! He only decreed against the boys - you will cause that also girls will not be born!
ii. Par'oh's decree is only in this world - your decree also affects the world to come!
iii. It is uncertain whether Par'oh's decree would be fulfilled - but you are a Tzadik, and your decree will certainly be fulfilled - "As you decree, it will be fulfilled".
2. Amram remarried his wife; all of Yisrael did the same.
(d) Question: "He took" - it should say, he returned (to her)!
(e) Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): He acted as one that marries - he sat her in a bride's chair; Aharon and Miryam danced in front of her, and angels said "The happy mother of children".
(f) Question: "The daughter of Levi" - She was 130 years old, why is she called a daughter?
1. (R. Chama bar Chanina): "That she bore to Levi in Mitzrayim" - Yocheved was born in Mitzrayim, but not conceived there - she was conceived on the descent to Egypt, and was born between the walls (the entrance to Mitzrayim).
i. (This shows that she was 130 when Moshe was born, for we were in Mitzrayim for 210 years, and Moshe was 80 when we left.)
(g) Answer (Rav Yehudah): Signs of youth returned to her.
(h) Question: "She became pregnant, and gave birth - but she was already 3 months pregnant (as we shall say later)!
(i) Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): It only says she became pregnant to equate the conception to the delivery - just as the former was painless, also the latter.
1. We learn that righteous women are not subject to the punishment decreed on Chavah (that childbirth will be painful).
(j) (Beraisa - R. Meir): "She saw that he was Tov (good)" - Moshe's name is Tov; R. Yehudah says, his name is Tuvya;
1. R. Nechemyah says, (she saw that he was) fit for prophecy;
2. Others say, he was born circumcised;
3. Chachamim say, when he was born, the house was filled with light.
i. Here it says, "She saw that he was Tov"; it also says, "Hash-m saw the light, that it was Tov".
(k) "She hid him for 3 months" - the Egyptians only counted from the time he remarried her (to inspect if she had a baby boy), and she was already 3 months pregnant when she remarried
(l) Question: "She could not hide him any longer" - why not?
(m) Answer: When the Egyptians heard of a birth, they would bring another baby to the area. When the hidden baby heard the other one cry, it would also cry.
1. "We were taken by small foxes" (i.e. other babies revealed our hidden babies).
(n) Question: "She took for him an ark of reeds" - why specifically reeds?
(o) Answer #1 (R. Elazar): A Tzadik's money is dearer to him than his life (so she used a cheap material).
1. Question: Why?
2. Answer: Because he is concerned that he should not have to steal.
(p) Answer #2 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): Something soft will endure a collision, whether it hits something soft or hard.
(q) "She sealed it with tar on the outside and pitch on the inside" - so Moshe should not have to suffer the smell of tar.
(r) (R. Elazar): "She put the child in, and put it in the Suf" - this is the Yam Suf;
1. (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): This is a swamp.


(a) (R. Yochanan): "Par'oh's daughter descended to bathe by the river" - she descended to cleanse herself of the idolatry of her father's house - "If Hash-m will bathe the filth of the daughters of Tziyon"
(b) (R. Yochanan): "Her servants were going" - this is a language of death - "I am going to die".
(c) "She saw the ark in the Suf" - when her servants saw that she wanted to save Moshe, they protested.
1. 'Our mistress, the way of the world is that if a mortal king makes a decree, (even) if the whole world doesn't follow it, at least his house follows it - you are transgressing your father's decree!'
2. Gavri'el pounded them on the ground (and killed them).
(d) (R. Yehudah or R. Nechemyah): "She sent her Amah" - this means, her hand.
1. (The other of R. Yehudah and R. Nechemyah): "Amah" means her servant.
2. The 1st opinion is understood - it says, her Amah.
3. The 2nd opinion learns from the fact that the Torah did not unambiguously say 'her hand'.
4. Question: How can one say that she sent her servant - we said, Gavri'el killed them!
5. Answer: He left 1 alive - it is not proper for the king's daughter to be alone.
6. Question: The one that says that she sent her hand - why didn't the Torah unambiguously say 'her hand'?
7. Answer: We learn that her hand stretched.
8. (Just as Achashverosh's scepter stretched), also Par'oh's daughter's hand, and teeth of the wicked - "The teeth of the wicked Shibarta (you broke)"
i. (Reish Lakish): This can be read, Sherivavtah (that you increased it).
(e) Question: "She opened it, and saw him, the child" - it should say, 'she saw (the child)'!
(f) Answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): She saw the Divine Presence with the child.
(g) Contradiction: "There was a youth crying" - but he was just called a child!
(h) Answer (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): He was a child, his voice was as of a youth;
1. R. Nechemyah: If so, Moshe would be blemished (abnormal)! Rather, his mother made him a youth's canopy, for she feared that she would not see him get married.
(i) Question: "She pitied him, and said, 'This is from the Hebrews'" - how did she know?
(j) Answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): He was circumcised.
(k) (R. Yochanan): "This" - she was unaware that she was prophesizing.
1. This is the last child to fall in the river.
2. (R. Elazar): "When they will say to you, seek the Ovos and Yidonim (forbidden ways of conjuring up the dead) that Metzaftzef (chirp) and utter" - they see (Tzofin) and do not know what they see; they utter, and do not know what they utter.
i. (The Egyptian astrologers) saw that the savior of Yisrael will be stricken in water; they decreed that every boy born should be cast into the river;
ii. Once Moshe was thrown in the water, the sign (of the savior) went away, and the decree was abolished.
iii. They did not realize, the water he would be punished by was that of Merivah.
(l) (R. Chama bar Chanina): "They are the waters of Merivah, that (Benei Yisrael) quarreled..." - they are the waters that Par'oh's astrologers saw and misunderstood.
1. "600,000 on account of me" - Moshe told Yisrael that they were saved (the decree ended) because of him.
(m) (R. Chanina bar Papa): Moshe was put into the water on the 21st of Nisan.
1. The angels pleaded to Hash-m - Moshe, who is destined to sing praises (when the Yam Suf will be split) on this day, will be stricken on this day?!
(n) (R. Acha bar Chanina): It was the 6th of Sivan.
1. The angels pleaded to Hash-m - Moshe, who is destined to receive the Torah on Mount Sinai on this day, will be stricken on this day?!
(o) We understand, according to R. Acha, there were 3 months from Moshe's birth until he was put in the water (as the above verse - "She hid him 3 months").
1. Moshe died on the 7th of Adar, and was also born on that day.
2. Question: According to R. Chanina, there were only 1 and a half months!
3. Answer: It was a leap year; the 3 months are (most of) Adar 1, all of Adar 2, and most of Nisan.
(a) Question: "His sister said to Par'oh's daughter, 'Shall I call for you a Hebrew wet-nurse?'" - why specifically a Hebrew?
(b) Answer: Par'oh's daughter tried having Moshe nurse from all the Egyptian women, but he would not.
1. Hash-m did not want that Moshe, with whom Hash-m would later speak mouth to mouth, should nurse from one who eats Tamei food.
2. "To whom does he teach knowledge ... who will understand - he who weaned himself from (impure) milk, who detached from the breast.
(c) (R. Elazar): "And ha'Almah (the young girl) went" - she went zealously, as a youth;
1. (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): She hid (HA'ALiMAH) her words (and did not reveal that the baby is her brother).
(d) (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): "Heilichi (take) this child" - Par'oh's daughter did not know that she had a prophecy.
1. HEI SheLICHI (this is your (son)).
(e) (R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): "I will give your wages" - not only does a Tzadik get back his lost object, he even gets paid.
(f) Question: "And Miryam, Aharon's sister..." - is she Aharon's sister, and not Moshe's sister?!
(g) Answer (Rav Amram): This teaches, she prophesized when she was (only) Aharon's sister (before Moshe was born).
Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,