(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 33

SOTAH 31-35 - These Dafim have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham-Fauer in honor of the first Yahrzeit (18 Teves 5761) of her father, Reb Mordechai ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner). May the merit of supporting and advancing the study of the Talmud be l'Iluy Nishmaso.


(a) Suggestion: Rebbi holds that the Torah was given (to be read) in all languages.
1. If he held, it was only given in Hebrew - Rebbi would not need the verse "They will be" to teach that Shema Yisrael must be read in Hebrew!
(b) Rejection: This is no proof - perhaps it was only given in Hebrew, but if not for "They will be", one might have thought that "Shema" teaches that it may be read in any language.
(c) Suggestion: Chachamim hold that the Torah was given only in Hebrew.
1. If he held, it was given in all languages - they would not need to learn from "Shema" that Shema Yisrael may be read in any language!
(d) Rejection: This is no proof - perhaps it was given in all languages, but if not for "Shema", one might have thought that "They will be" teaches that it must be read in Hebrew.
(a) (Mishnah): Prayer (may be said in any language).
1. Since it is a request for mercy, one may pray as he desires.
(b) Question: But R. Yochanan taught, anyone that asks Hash-m for his needs in Aramaic, the angels do not deal with his prayer, since they don't understand Aramaic!
(c) Answer: A congregation may pray in any language; an individual may not.
(d) Question: Is it really true that angels don't understand Aramaic?
1. (Beraisa): Yochanan the Kohen Gadol heard a voice from Heaven in the innermost part of the Mikdash, saying (in Aramaic) that the lambs (Kohanim) that went to battle defeated the Yevanim;
2. Shimon ha'Tzadik heard a voice from Heaven in the innermost part of the Mikdash, saying (in Aramaic) that the army which was supposed to attack the Temple was canceled, and the king of the Yevanim died, and his decrees were canceled.
i. They checked and found that he died just when Shimon ha'Tzadik heard the voice.
(e) Answer #1: A voice from Heaven is unlike angels (since its purpose is to give messages in all places).
(f) Answer #2: Gavri'el said those voices, for he knows Aramaic.
1. Gavri'el taught Yosef the (rest of the) 70 languages before Yosef came before Par'oh.
(g) (Mishnah): Blessing after a meal (may be done in any language).
1. "You will eat, be satiated and bless Hash-m" - in any language that you know how to bless.
(h) (Mishnah): The oath that one does not know testimony (may be taken in any language).
1. It says, "A soul that will sin and hear the sound of a curse" - in any language he hears.
(i) (Mishnah): The oath of a watchman (may be taken in any language).
1. We learn a Gezeirah Shavah "Will sin-will sin" from the oath that one does not know testimony.
(a) (Mishnah): The following must be said in Hebrew: What one recites when he brings Bikurim; the verses said at Chalitzah ... how do we know regarding Bikurim? "You will answer..." - and it also says (by the blessings and curses) "The Levi'im will answer".
1. Just as the Levi'im answered in Hebrew, also the recital by Bikurim.
(b) Question: How do we know that the Levi'im answered in Hebrew?
(c) Answer: We learn a Gezeirah Shavah "Kol-Kol" from Moshe.
1. By the Levi'im it says "In a loud voice"; by Moshe it says "Hash-m will answer him in a voice".
2. Just as Hash-m answered him in Hebrew, also the Levi'im.
(d) (Mishnah): How do we learn that the verses of Chalitzah (must be said in Hebrew)?...R. Yehudah says..."She will say thusly"
(e) Question: What do Chachamim learn from "Thusly"?
(f) Answer: That if any action is omitted, the Chalitzah is invalid.
1. R. Yehudah is able to learn that law (in addition to learning that the verses of Chalitzah must be said in Hebrew) because the Torah said "Thusly" instead of 'So'.
2. Chachamim hold that this does not warrant learning an extra law.

(g) Question: What does R. Yehudah learn from "She will answer and say"?
(h) Answer: This is part of a Gezeirah Shavah to teach that the Levi'im answered in Hebrew.
(i) Question: Why doesn't he learn that from the Gezeirah Shavah "Kol-Kol" from Moshe, as above?
(j) Answer: He had a tradition to learn a Gezeirah Shavah "Aniyah-Aniyah," but no tradition for "Kol-Kol".
1. Support (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Wherever it says "So, thusly, or answering and saying", it must be in Hebrew.
i. So - "So you will bless (the blessing of the Kohanim)
ii. Thusly - by Chalitzah.
iii. Answering and saying - by the Levi'im.
(a) (Mishnah) What was the procedure of the blessings and curses? When Benei Yisrael crossed the Jordan River ...
(b) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "Are they not on the other side of the Jordan?" - they are far past the Jordan; "Far past Mevo (the coming of) the sun" - from the east, from where the sun starts shining;
1. "In the land of the Kena'ani, that dwells in the plain" - these are Mount Gerizim and Mount Eival in Shomron, that the Kusim dwell there;
2. "Opposite Gilgal" - close to Gilgal;
3. "By Eilonei Moreh" - this is Shechem;
i. Another verse says, "Avram passed in the land until Shechem, until Alon Moreh" - just as Alon Moreh mentioned by Avraham is Shechem, also that said by the blessings and curses.
(c) R. Eliezer b'Rebbi Yosi says, through this I refuted the Kusim.
1. They agree that Eilonei Moreh is Shechem. We learn it from a Gezeirah Shavah; they (who reject the oral tradition) could not find a source for this!
(d) R. Eliezer says, "They are across the Jordan" - close to the Jordan; you cannot say far from the Jordan for several reasons:
1. It says, "(Immediately) as you cross the Jordan"!
2. "Far from Mevo of the sun" - from where the sun sets (i.e. the west);
3. "In the land of the Kena'ani" - but Shechem is the land of the Chivi!
4. "That dwell in the plain" - but they dwell between the mountains!
5. "Opposite (close to) Gilgal" - but Gilgal is not visible from there!
(e) R. Eliezer b'Rebbi Yosi says, the verse does not come to say where Eilonei Moreh is; rather, it instructs how the conquest should be conducted, just as the cloud of Glory guided us when we left Mitzrayim.
1. "On the way" - we should walk on the roads, not through fields and vineyards;
2. "That dwell" - we should walk through inhabited areas, not uninhabited areas;
3. "In the plain" - not through mountains and hills;
(a) (Beraisa): Normally, the Aron was carried after 2 Degalim (groups of 3 tribes) started travelling; on the day Yisrael crossed the Jordan, the Aron went first.
(b) Normally, the Aron was carried by Levi'im; on the day Yisrael crossed the Jordan, Kohanim carried it.
(c) (Beraisa - R. Yosi): 3 times Kohanim carried the Aron: when we crossed the Jordan; when we surrounded Yericho; and when it was returned to its place (i.e. brought to the Beis ha'Mikdash).
Next daf


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