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 40
1) VERSES SAID DURING BIRKAS KOHANIM
(a) (Mar Zutra): At Ne'ilah on Yom Kipur, they say "So will
be blessed a man that fears Hash-m"; "Hash-m will bless
you from Tziyon..."; "You will see children to your
2) R. AVAHU AND R. ABA
(b) Question: When are the verses said?
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Yosef): After each of the 3 blessings.
(d) Answer #2 (Rav Sheshes): After each mention of Hash-m's
1. Opinion #1 (Rav Mari or Rav Zevid): At each of these
3 places (according to Rav Yosef or Rav Sheshes), 1
of the 3 verses is said.
(e) (R. Chiya bar Aba): It is a mistake to say the verses
outside the Mikdash.
2. Opinion #2 (The other of Rav Mari and Rav Zevid): At
each of these 3 places, all 3 verses are said.
1. Support (Rav Papa): Even in the Mikdash, it is not
so proper - if a servant is being blessed, should he
not listen attentively?!
(f) (Rav Acha bar Chanina): The verses should also be said
outside the Mikdash.
1. If a servant is being blessed, should he not show
(g) (R. Avahu): I used to say the verses; when I saw that R.
Aba of Ako did not say them, I stopped saying them.
(a) (R. Avahu): I used to consider myself humble. I saw that
R. Aba of Ako was not upset when his translator (when
broadcasting R. Aba's words) explained things not as R.
Aba said - I realized that I am not humble.
3) THE CONGREGATION'S THANKS
(b) Question: How do we know that R. Avahu was humble?
(c) Answer #1: The wife of R. Avahu's translator told R.
Avahu's wife 'My husband does not need your husband (he
is no less a Chacham; he merely shows honor to him'. When
R. Avahu heard this, he did not care.
(d) Answer #2: Chachamim voted that R. Avahu should be the
head. He saw that R. Aba of Ako was in debt - he told
them that R. Aba should be the head.
(e) R. Avahu and R. Aba of Ako came to a place. R. Avahu gave
a lesson in non-Halachic teachings, R. Aba gave a lesson
in Halachic teachings. Everyone flocked to R. Avahu's
lesson; R. Aba was distraught.
1. R. Avahu: Our situation is as 2 men, 1 sells gems,
the other sells cheap essentials. Everyone flocks to
the seller of the cheap things.
2. R. Aba of Ako used to escort R. Avahu to where R.
Avahu was staying, because the emperor esteemed R.
Avahu. That day, R. Avahu escorted R. Aba to R.
Aba's lodging, yet R. Aba still was distraught.
(a) Question: When the Chazan says the blessing Modim (we
thank), what does the congregation say?
(b) Answer #1 (Rav): Hash-m, we thank You for giving us the
desire to thank You.
(c) Answer #2 (Shmuel): (We thank You) G-d of all flesh, for
giving us the desire to thank You.
(d) Answer #3 (R. Simai): (We thank You) Who formed us, Who
formed the creation, for giving us the desire to thank
(e) Answer #4 (Nehardai, citing R. Simai): Thanks and praises
to Your great name, that You kept us alive and sustained
us, for giving us the desire to thank You.
1. Rav Acha bar Yakov would conclude: So You should
sustain us and be gracious to us and gather our
exiles to Your holy courtyards, to guard Your
statutes and do Your will with a full heart, for
giving us the desire to thank You.
(f) (R. Yitzchak): The fear of the congregation should be
upon you - Kohanim face the congregation, and have their
back to the Divine Presence!
2. (Rav Papa): Therefore, we say all of these.
(g) (Rav Nachman): We can learn from the following: "King
David stood up and said 'hear me, my brothers and
1. Question: If he considers Bnei Yisrael his brothers,
why does he call them his nation?
(h) (Chachamim): We can learn that the fear of the
congregation should be upon you from the law that Kohanim
may not ascend to bless the congregation while wearing
shoes; this was 1 of 9 enactments of R. Yochanan ben
2. Answer (R. Elazar): He told them: if you listen to
me, you are my brothers; if not, you are my nation,
and I will rule over you with a staff.
1. Suggestion: They may not wear shoes because this is
disrespectful to the congregation.
(i) Rejection (Rav Ashi): No - the concern is, a Kohen's shoe
will become untied, he will stop to tie it and miss
Birkas Kohanim; people will think he did not bless
because he is not a valid Kohen, e.g. his mother was a
divorcee or Chalutzah.
(j) (Mishnah): In the Mikdash, Birkas Kohanim was 1 long
(k) Question: Why?
4) BLESSINGS OF THE KOHEN GADOL
(l) Answer: Because we do not answer Amen, there is nothing
to separate the 3 verses of blessing.
(m) (Beraisa): "Arise and bless Hash-m from (this) world
until the (next) world (and may your (Hash-m's) holy name
be blessed)" - this teaches that we do not answer Amen in
the Mikdash (but rather, 'Blessed is the name of his
honored kingdom forever');
(n) "And may your holy name be blessed and exalted Al (above)
every blessing and praise" - this teaches that we answer
(Blessed is the name...) Al (on) each blessing.
(a) (Mishnah): The overseer of the synagogue (near the
Mikdash) gives the Sefer Torah to the head of the
synagogue (Gabai); he gives it to the vice-Kohen Gadol,
and he gives it to the Kohen Gadol.
(b) The Kohen Gadol stands up, receives the Torah and reads
from the Parshiyos "After the death" and "On the 10th"
(which deal with Yom Kipur);
1. He rolls (closes) the Torah and says 'There is more
written in this Sefer than what I read'; He reads by
heart the Parsha in Sefer Bamidbar about the
sacrifices of Yom Kipur.
(c) He makes 8 blessings: on reading the Torah, on the Temple
service, of thanks, of forgiveness of sin, for the
Mikdash, for Yisrael, for the Kohanim, for Yerushalayim,
and for the rest of the prayer (This seems to be 9
blessings. Keren Orah says that the blessing for Yisrael
is the blessing for the rest of the prayer. The text of
out Mishnah in the Mishnayos (and the Yerushalayimi)
omits the blessing 'for Yerushalayim'.)
(d) (Gemara): Our Mishnah teaches that one may honor a Talmid
in front of his Rebbi (the vice Kohen Gadol in front of
the Kohen Gadol).
(e) Rejection (Abaye): No - our Mishnah only permits it
because this itself adds honor to the Kohen Gadol.
(f) (Mishnah): The Kohen Gadol stands up and receives the
(g) Question: This implies, he was sitting before this - but
only kings of the Davidic line may sit in the Mikdash!
1. We learn this from "King David came and sat in front
of Hash-m, and said 'Who am I? ...'"
(h) Answer: The Kohen Gadol reads in the women's courtyard,
which does not have the Kedushah of the Mikdash (as Rav
Chisda answered a different question).
(i) Question (Beraisa): He reads in the courtyard of the
Temple; R. Eliezer ben Yakov says, in the Temple mount -
"He read in (the Torah) in front of the street in front
of the Water Gate.
(j) Answer (Rav Chisda): He reads in the Ezras Nashim