POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
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Previous daf Sotah 28
SOTAH 28 (23 Teves) - dedicated in memory of Nachum ben Shlomo Dovid
Mosenkis on his 61st Yahrzeit, by his son, Shlomo Dovid (Sid) ben Nachum
Mosenkis of Queens N.Y.
1) THE ADULTERER IS ALSO CHECKED
2) SHE IS ALSO FORBIDDEN TO THE ADULTERER
1. Suggestion: Perhaps the husband is punished if he
transgressed (had relations with his wife after
(b) Answer: Rather, the suspected adulterer is also checked.
2. Rejection: If so, the water would not check her!
i. (Beraisa): "The man will be clean from sin, and
she will bear her sin" - the water only checks
her if her husband is clean from sin.
(c) Question: Why didn't the Mishnah say this explicitly, as
in the next clause - 'Just as she is forbidden to her
husband, she is forbidden to the suspected adulterer'?
(d) Answer: In the beginning of the Mishnah, parallel to
saying 'The water checks her', it says 'him'; in the next
clause, parallel to saying 'She is forbidden to her
husband', it says 'the suspected adulterer'.
(e) (Mishnah): It says, "And (the water) will come, and (it)
(f) Question: Does the Tana expound only the superfluous
'And', or the superfluous 'and will come'?
(g) Answer #1 (Mishnah): Just as she is forbidden to her
husband, she is forbidden to the suspected adulterer -
"She was defiled; and she was defiled".
(h) Objection: There also, it is not clear - does the Tana
expound the superfluous 'And', or the superfluous 'and
she was defiled'?
(i) Answer #2 (Mishnah): Rebbi says, it says "She was
defiled" twice; this teaches, she is forbidden to her
husband and the suspected adulterer;
1. From this we infer that R. Akiva expounds the
(j) It says 'And will come' 3 times - R. Akiva expounds
superfluous 'and's, so he learn 6 things!
1. Hash-m commands the water to enter the Sotah to test
her; also, he commands that it test him (the
(k) Question: (Rebbi does not expound superfluous 'and's,) he
only learns 3 things - how does Rebbi learn that just as
the water checks her, it also checks him?
2. The Torah speaks of giving the Sotah to drink - and
it is as if he also drinks;
3. The Torah informs how she will die - this also
applies to him.
(l) Answer: "To make the stomach swell and the thigh fall" -
this refers to the stomach and thigh of the suspected
(m) Question: Maybe it refers to the stomach and thigh of the
(n) Answer: The Torah previously said that her stomach and
thigh will be stricken.
1. R. Akiva says, the repetition is to make known the
order in which the limbs will be stricken, lest
people will not say that the water does not work as
predicted in the curse.
2. Rebbi: If so, the Torah should have said 'her
stomach and her thigh'; it said generically "stomach
and thigh" to teach that the suspected adulterer is
3. Question: Perhaps this is all we may learn from the
4. Answer: If so, the Torah should have said 'his
stomach and his thigh'; it said generically "stomach
and thigh" to teach both (that the suspected
adulterer is also tested, and the order in which the
limbs are stricken).
(a) (Mishnah): R. Yehoshua: Zecharyah ben ha'Katzav also
expounded thusly ...
(b) (Beraisa - R. Akiva): Why does it say 3 times - "If she
was defiled", "she was defiled", "she was defiled"? To
teach that she becomes forbidden to her husband, the
adulterer, and Terumah;
1. R. Yishmael: No verse is needed to show that she is
forbidden to Kehunah - we may learn a Kal va'Chomer
(c) Question: Why does it say "She was defiled" and "she was
i. A divorcee is permitted to eat Terumah, but is
forbidden to Kehunah - a Sotah, who is
forbidden to Terumah, all the more so she is
forbidden to Kehunah!
1. If she was defiled - why does she drink?
(d) Answer: The Torah teaches that even though we are in
doubt, she is forbidden as if she was definitely defiled.
2. If she was not defiled - does her husband make her
1. From here we learn to doubtful cases of Tum'ah, e.g.
of a rodent.
2. Regarding a Sotah, the Torah does not forbid her if
she sinned unknowingly or through force, only if she
sinned knowingly and willingly - yet, a doubtful
case is forbidden as if she was surely defiled;
3. Regarding a rodent, which imparts Tum'ah whether
knowingly or unknowingly, whether willingly or
unwillingly - all the more so, a doubtful case is
forbidden as if it was surely Tamei!
3) SHE IS FORBIDDEN TO TERUMAH AND KEHUNAH
4. The source of the Kal va'Chomer, Sotah, is a doubt
in a private domain - we may only learn to doubtful
cases of Tum'ah involving a rodent in a private
5. Sotah, is a doubt in which an involved party has
understanding - regarding a rodent, we may only
learn to cases in which an involved party has
i. Chachamim derived from here: doubtful cases of
Tum'ah in which an involved party has
understanding - in a private domain, we rule
that it is Tamei; in a public domain, we rule
that it is Tahor;
ii. Doubtful cases of Tum'ah in which no involved
party has understanding - whether in a private
or a public domain, we rule that it is Tahor.
(a) Question #1: R. Akiva expounded a verse to teach that she
is disqualified from Terumah - why did R. Yishmael answer
that no verse is needed to teach that she is disqualified
(b) Question #2: How does R. Akiva learn that she is
disqualified from Kehunah?
1. Suggestion: No verse is needed - regarding her
husband, the Torah considers her to definitely be a
Zonah (adulteress) - also regarding Kehunah, she is
considered a definite Zonah.