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Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sotah 42

SOTAH 42 - This Daf has been sponsored through the generous donation of Rabbi Heshy Wolf of Brooklyn N.Y.


(a) (R. Elazar): Any congregation that includes flatterers is despised as a Nidah - "A congregation of flattery is Galmud".
1. A Nidah is called Galmud, since she is Gemulah (separated) from her husband.
(b) (R. Elazar): Any congregation that includes flatterers is eventually exiled.
1. We saw that it is called Galmud; and it says "Bereaved, Galmudah, exiled".
(c) (R. Yirmeyah bar Aba): 4 categories do not receive the Divine Presence: scoffers; flatterers; liars; and those that speak Lashon ha'Ra.


(a) (Mishnah): The Kohen anointed for war (to speak to the army) speaks to them in Hebrew - "He will speak to the nation" - in Hebrew.
(b) "He says to them, 'Shema, Yisrael ... (you are fighting) your enemies, not your brothers."
1. This is not as a fight between (the tribes of) Yehudah and Shimon, or Shimon against Binyamin - when fighting your brothers, the captors have mercy on the captives.
i. "The unclothed among the captives, they clothed, gave them shoes, to eat and drink, anointed them, put those unable to walk on donkeys."
2. You are fighting your enemies - if you fall into their hands, they will not have mercy on you.
(c) "Do not soften your hearts, do not fear or panic ..."
1. "Do not soften your hearts" - because of the neighing of the horses and brandishing swords;
2. "Do not fear" - from the clanging of the shields and the swarm of soldiers;
3. "Do not panic" - from the sounding of the horns;
4. "Do not terrified" - from the shouting - "For Hash-m goes with you".
(d) They come with the strength of flesh and blood; you come with the potency of Hash-m.
1. The Philistines relied on Goliath; he fell by the sword, and they fell with him;
2. Amon relied on Shovach; he fell by the sword, and they fell with him.
3. You are not like them - "Hash-m comes with you to fight for you" - this is the Aron.
(e) (Gemara) Question: How does the verse show that he speaks in Hebrew?
(f) Answer: Just as it says here "He speaks", it says by the giving of the Torah, "Moshe speaks, and Hash-m answers him";
1. Just as that was in Hebrew, also here.
(g) (Beraisa): "The Kohen will draw close and speak to the nation" - one might have thought, any Kohen may speak - "The Shotrim (enforcers) will speak".
1. Just as the Shotrim are appointed, also the Kohen.
2. Suggestion: Perhaps the Kohen Gadol speaks!
3. Rejection: No - he must be as the Shotrim, who have someone above them.
i. Question: The Kohen Gadol also has someone above him - the king!
ii. Answer: We mean, he must have someone above him in his service.
4. Suggestion: Perhaps the vice Kohen Gadol speaks!
5. Rejection: The vice Kohen Gadol is not appointed over anything.
i. (Beraisa - R. Chanina): The vice Kohen Gadol is picked, so if the Kohen Gadol cannot serve, the vice Kohen Gadol will serve in his stead.
(h) (Mishnah): He tells them "Shema, Yisrael".
(i) Question: Why is this language used?
(j) Answer (R. Yochanan): To tell them that even if the only Mitzvah they had was saying Shema Yisrael morning and evening, they will not be handed into their enemies.
(k) "Do not soften your hearts, do not fear ..."
(l) (Beraisa): He speaks twice with them; once at the border (when leaving Eretz Yisrael), and once at the battlefront.
1. At the border, he instructs which people should return home (those that just built houses...).

(m) At the battlefront, he says "Do not soften your hearts, do not fear, panic or be terrified", corresponding to 4 things the enemy does to instill fear: they clang shields, blow trumpets, shout, and make their horses neigh.
(a) (Mishnah): The Philistines relied on Goliath ...
(b) (R. Yochanan): He is called so, for he stood b'Giluy Panim (brazenly) in front of Hash-m - "Pick for yourselves a man, that he will come down to me".
1. "A man" refers to Hash-m - "Hash-m is a man of war".
2. Hash-m therefore arranged that he should fall to the son of a man - "David, the son of a man of Efrat".
(c) (R. Yochanan): In 3 places, Goliath's language suggests his own downfall: "Pick for yourselves a man, that he will come down to (over) me"; "If he can fight with me, and he will strike me"; "Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?!"
(d) Question: David also said "You come at me with a sword, spear and javelin"!
(e) Answer: But David concluded, "I come to you in the name of Hash-m".
(f) (R. Yochanan): "(Goliath) drew close every morning and evening" - to prevent them from saying Shema Yisrael.
(g) (R. Yochanan): "He stood for 40 days" - corresponding to the 40 days in which the Torah was given.
(h) Question: "A man of the Benayim came out of the Philistine camp" - what does 'Benayim' mean?
(i) Answer #1 (Rav): He was Mevuneh (robust, well-proportioned), devoid of all blemish.
(j) Answer #2 (Shmuel): He was Beinoni (medium) among his brothers.
(k) Answer #3 (d'Vei R. Shilo): His stature was as a Binyan (building).
(l) Answer #4 (R. Yochanan): He was conceived among (Bein) 100 men and a dog (that had relations with his mother).
1. (Rav Yosef): "His name was Goliath, of Gas" - all threshed his mother, as a winery.
2. (Rav Yosef): The word Ma'arachos (ranks) is written defectively, "Ma'aros" - this teaches that everyone had Ha'ara'ah (relations) with his mother.
3. Question: In one place, his mother is called Harafah; elsewhere, she is called Orpah!
4. Answer #1 (Rav or Shmuel): Her real name is Harafah; she is called Orpah because all had relations with her from the Oref (back).
5. Answer #2 (The other of Rav and Shmuel): Her real name is Orpah; she is called Harafah because all threshed her, as ha'Rifos (crushed wheat).
(m) Question: "These 4 were born to Harafah in Gas, and fell to David and his servants" - who are the 4?
(n) Answer (Rav Chisda): Saf, Medon, Goliath, and Yishbi.
(o) (R. Yitzchak): "Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, and Rus clung to her" - Hash-m arranged that the sons of the one who kissed (and abandoned her mother-in-law) fall to the sons of the one who clung (to her mother-in-law).
1. (Rava): In the merit of 4 tears that Orpah shed for her mother-in-law, she merited to bear 4 mighty men - "They raised their voices and cried more".
(p) Question: In the verse "The wood of his spear", the word wood (Etz) is written as Chetz (arrow)!
(q) (R. Elazar): This shows that the verses do not even relate half his might.
1. This teaches that one should not relate the full praise of an evil person.
2. Question: If so, the verse should not relate any of his praise!
3. Answer: It relates half his might, to the praise of David (that he did not fear to fight him).
(a) (Mishnah): Bnei Amon relied on Shovach ...
(b) Question: He is called Shovach; elsewhere; he is called Shofech!
(c) Answer #1 (Rav or Shmuel): His name is Shofech; he is called Shovach because he is built as a Shovach (dovecote).
(d) Answer #2 (The other of Rav and Shmuel): His name is Shovach; he is called Shofech because anyone who sees him Nishpach (is spilled) in front of him as a flask.
(e) (Rav or Shmuel): "Ashpaso (his quiver) is as an open grave, they are all mighty" - when they throw an arrow, they make mounds of corpses;
1. Suggestion: Perhaps this is because they are skilled archers (but are not so mighty).
2. Rejection: "They are all mighty".
(f) (The other of Rav and Shmuel): When they defecate, they make mounds of excrement.
1. Suggestion: Perhaps this is due to intestinal sickness!
2. Rejection: "They are all mighty".
(g) (Rav Mari): We learn that a large amount of excrement is a result of intestinal sickness.
1. Question: What practical application does this have?
2. Answer: Such a person should seek a cure.
(h) (R. Ami or R. Asi): "Worry in the heart, a person Yas'chenah" - he should remove it from his mind.
(i) (The other of R. Ami and R. Asi): He should speak it over with others.
(j) (Mishnah): 'You are not as them....'
(k) Question: What is this great assurance that Hash-m goes with them?!
(l) Answer: Hash-m's primary name and all his other names are in the Aron.
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