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Sotah 16

SOTAH 16 - Larry and Marsha Wachsman have dedicated this Daf in honor of their wonderful friends, David and Gerti Kornfeld, to whom they are eternally grateful for all the good and wonderful things they do.


(a) Isi ben Menachem says, a verse is not needed to teach these.
1. Regarding a lenient Tum'ah (e.g. of a reptile, for which there is no capital punishment), the Torah did not distinguish the Mishkanos and the Temple - all the more so, regarding a severe Tum'ah (adultery, for which she dies)!
2. Rather, "In the ground of the Mishkan" teaches that he may not use dirt brought in a basket from outside (unless he puts it on the floor first).
(b) Question: If there is no dirt there - may he bring ashes?
1. Clearly, according to Beis Shamai, he may not - they say, ashes are not called dirt.
2. The question is according to Beis Hillel - they normally say that ashes are called dirt.
i. Perhaps here, they may not be used, for it says "in the ground of the Mishkan".
ii. Or, they can be used, since "in the ground of the Mishkan" is used to teach as in the above Beraisa.
(c) Answer #1: We can learn from R. Yishmael, who said that in 3 places, a tradition from Moshe from Sinai uproots the verse.
1. "(You will cover the blood) in dirt" - but the law is, it may be covered with anything (in which vegetation can grow.
2. "(A Nazir may not shave with a) razor" - but the law is, he may not totally remove hairs in any way;
3. "(The husband will write) a Sefer (of divorce)" - but the law is, he may write on anything.
4. If ashes may be used for a Sotah - R. Yishmael should have listed this case also!
(d) Rejection: One may say, ashes may be used - he did not list all cases.
(e) Question: He would not have omitted only 1 case - what else did he omit?
(f) Answer: The 2nd shaving of a leper.
1. (Beraisa): The Torah says "All his hair" - this is a generality; "His head, beard and eyebrows" - these are specifics; "And all his hair" - this is another generality.
2. This method of expounding says that we include everything similar to the specifics - namely, visible collections of hair.
i. This includes hair of the Ervah, and excludes hair of the armpit (it is covered) and the rest of the body (it is not collected).
3. The law is, the entire body is shaved, leaving him as smooth as a gourd!
i. (Mishnah): A razor is passed over all his flesh;
ii. (Mishnah): The second shaving is performed the same way as the first.
(g) Rejection #1 (Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak): This is not an omission - the law to shave the whole body is not a tradition from Moshe from Sinai, it is only mid'Rabanan!
(h) Rejection #2: (Rav Papa): He only listed cases where the tradition uproots and contradicts the verse - by a leper, it merely adds to the verse.
(i) Rejection #3: (Rav Ashi): R. Yishmael taught the Beraisa which expounds generalities and specifics;

(j) The law, that he shaves his whole body as a gourd, is as R. Akiva, who expounds inclusions and exclusions.
1. (Beraisa): "On the 7th day, he will shave all his hair" - this is an inclusion; "His head, beard and eyebrows" - these are exclusions; "And all his hair" - this is another inclusion.
2. When we have an inclusion, exclusion and inclusion, we include everything and exclude 1 thing.
i. We include all his body; we exclude hair inside the nose.
(k) Question: What is the answer to the question (may ashes be used)?
(l) Answer: We may learn from Rav Huna bar Ashi.
1. (Rav Huna bar Ashi): If there is no dirt, one may bring dust of rotted vegetables, and sanctify it. (And ashes would be no worse.)
(m) Rejection: No - dust of rotted vegetables is considered dirt, but ashes are not considered dirt.
(a) (Mishnah): In order that it will be seen on the water ...
(b) (Beraisa): 3 things must be visible - the dirt for a Sotah, the ashes of the red heifer, and the spit of a Yevamah;
1. R. Yishmael says, also the blood of the bird (of a leper).
(c) Question: What is R. Yishmael's source?
(d) Answer (Beraisa): "He will immerse them in the blood of the bird" - one might have thought, only in the blood, not in the water - "(On the) water";
1. Since it says, "(On the) water", one might have thought, only in the water - "In the blood";
2. To fulfill both verses, he brings water in which the blood of the bird is recognizable - this is a Revi'is.
3. Chachamim say, the verses are needed to teach that they are immersed in both.
4. R. Yishmael: If so, it would suffice to say 'In them'! The Torah said "In the blood" and "(On the) water" to teach that the blood must be recognizable.
5. Chachamim: No - had it written 'In them', one might have thought he immerses them in each separately - therefore, it had to say "In the blood" and "(On the) water" to teach that they are mixed together.
6. R. Yishmael: Another verse teaches us that they are mixed - "He will slaughter the 1 bird (into an earthenware vessel, Al (on) the water)".
7. Chachamim: If only that verse, one might have thought that he slaughters it Al (near) the vessel, and collects the blood in a different vessel - "In the blood" and "(On the) water" teaches that they are mixed.
(e) Question (R. Yirmeyah): If the bird is big and the water is not recognizable, or it is small and the blood is not recognizable - what is the law?
(f) Rebuke (R. Zeira): Don't second-guess Chachamim! They know that the wild birds that may be used for a leper are the proper size in order that neither of these will ever happen!
(g) (Beraisa): If the dirt (for a Sotah) was put in the vessel before the water, it is invalid; R. Shimon says, it is valid.
(h) Question: What is R. Shimon's reason?
(i) Answer (Beraisa - R. Shimon):"They will take for the Tamei (person) from the dirt of the burning of the heifer" - really, it is ashes, not dirt!
1. The Torah calls it dirt so we may learn a Gezeirah Shavah "Afar-Afar" to Sotah.
i. Just as by Sotah, the dirt is put in after the water - also by the red heifer;
ii. Just as by the red heifer, if the dirt was put in before the water, it is valid - also by Sotah.
(j) Question: By the red heifer, how do we know that if the dirt was put in before the water, it is valid?
(k) Answer: It says "(Water will be put) on it (the ashes)", implying, the ashes come first
1. It also says "Living (running) water into a vessel", implying, the water comes first!
2. From both, we learn that either may be put first. (From Sotah, we learn that the water should be put first - this is only Lechatchilah).
3. Chachamim say, "(Water into) a vessel" must be fulfilled literally; "(Water) on (the ashes)" teaches that we mix them together.
4. Suggestion: Why don't we say, "(Water) on (the ashes)" must be fulfilled literally; "(Water into) a vessel" teaches that the water must enter the vessel directly from the stream!
5. Rejection: We always find, the thing that empowers water (e.g. to purify a leper or test a Sotah) is put on the water - also, by the ashes of the red heifer.
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