POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
Previous daf Sotah 45
1) HOW MANY JUDGES GO OUT
(a) Question: If R. Yehudah and R. Shimon learn this way -
each should learn 2 additional judges from "They will go
out", and another 2 from "They will measure"!
2) A COVERED OR ELEVATED CORPSE
(b) Answer: Those words teach other laws: "They will go out"
- and not their messengers; "They will measure" - even if
it is obvious which city is closest, they measure, for it
is a Mitzvah to measure.
(c) Our Mishnah is unlike R. Eliezer ben Yakov.
1. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer ben Yakov): "Your elders" -
this is the (great) Sanhedrin; "Your judges" - this
is the king and the Kohen Gadol.
(d) Question: Does R. Eliezer ben Yakov hold that the entire
Sanhedrin goes out, or only 5 or 3 as R. Yehudah or R.
i. Other verses refer to the king and the Kohen
Gadol as judges.
(e) Answer (Rav Yosef - Beraisa): If a rebellious sage finds
the great Sanhedrin by Bei Pagi and rules against them,
one might have thought that this counts as rebellion -
"You will ascend to the place", rebellion is only when
they are in their place (the Gazis chamber in the
1. Question: How many members of the Sanhedrin were by
(f) Rejection (Abaye): No, we can say they left to add on to
Yerushalayim or the courtyards of the Mikdash.
i. Suggestion: Not all of them.
2. Answer: It must be, the entire Sanhedrin was there.
ii. Rejection: This is not considered rebellion
anywhere - perhaps the others on the Sanhedrin
would agree with the sage!
3. Question: Why did they leave their normal place?
i. Suggestion: For a reason that is not a Mitzvah.
4. Answer: Rather, we must say that they all left for a
ii. Rejection: That is forbidden! A judge may not
leave the great Sanhedrin unless at least 23
i. Suggestion: This Beraisa is as R. Eliezer ben
Yakov; they left to measure from a corpse!
1. (Mishnah): All 71 members of the Sanhedrin are
needed to add on to Yerushalayim or the courtyards
of the Mikdash.
(g) Support (for Rav Yosef - Beraisa): If a rebellious sage
finds the great Sanhedrin by Bei Pagi and rules against
them - for example, they left to measure from a corpse,
or to add on to Yerushalayim or the courtyards of the
Mikdash - one might have thought that this counts as
1. "You will ascend to the place" - rebellion is only
when they are in their place.
(a) (Mishnah): If a corpse was found covered or hanging from
a tree ...
(b) Suggestion: Our Mishnah is as R. Yehudah, not as
1. (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): "And you forgot a sheaf in
the field" - this excludes a covered sheaf (from the
law of Shichchah);
(c) Rejection (Rav): Our Mishnah can even be as Chachamim; in
each case, we learn from the context of the verse.
2. Chachamim say, "In the field" includes a covered
1. Here it says "When you will find a corpse" - (any
way) he is found; "In the ground" - to exclude if he
(d) Question: R. Yehudah should also learn that Shichchah
must be exposed, as the harvest - he should not need a
verse to exclude what is covered!
2. There it says "When you will harvest in your field,
and forget a sheaf" - Shichchah must resemble what
is harvested - just as one harvests what is exposed,
also Shichchah must be exposed;
i. The verse continues "In the filed" - to include
what is covered.
(e) Answer: Correct! Indeed, he uses "In your field" to teach
that attached vegetation can have the law of Shichchah.
(f) Question: How do Chachamim learn this?
(g) Answer: From "When you will harvest in your field".
1. R. Yehudah uses that to teach R. Avahu's law.
(h) Question (R. Yirmeyah): If the wind lifted sheaves onto a
rock - can they become Shichchah?
i. (R. Avahu): "In your field" - sheaves which
were blown into a neighbor's field are not
2. Chachamim would have learned the law of attached
vegetation even had the Torah said 'In the field';
now that the Torah said "In your field", they also
learn R. Avahu's law.
3. R. Yehudah holds that this change of language does
not warrant expounding another law.
1. Is something resting in the airspace of the field as
if it is on the field, or not?
(i) Answer (Rav Kahana): We can learn from R. Avahu.
1. R. Avahu taught that if sheaves floated onto (a rock
in) a neighbor's field, they are not Shichchah - the
same case in his own field would be Shichchah!
(j) Answer #2 (Beraisa): A landowner picked up a sheaf to
take it to the city; he put it on another sheaf, and
forgot it. The bottom sheaf is Shichchah, the top sheaf
2. Objection: If this is a valid inference - one should
also deduce that only sheaves above his neighbor's
field are not Shichchah, but sheaves on the field
i. But the Torah said "In your field", and this is
3. Answer: Rather, we must say that the sheaves flew
onto his neighbor's field; even if they are on the
ground, they are not Shichchah.
i. R. Avahu only said that they floated, for this
is the only way to come to his neighbor's
1. R. Shimon ben Yehudah says, the bottom sheaf is not
Shichchah, for it is covered; the top sheaf is not
Shichchah, for it is elevated.
(k) Rejection: No, it became his when he picked it up, and
henceforth cannot become Shichchah.
2. (Summation of answer): Both Tana'im agree that the
top sheaf is not Shichchah because it is not on the
(l) Question: If so, why does it say that he put it on top of
another sheaf - even on the ground, it would not be
(m) Answer: That is true! The Beraisa says that he put it on
another sheaf to teach the argument about the bottom
(n) Objection: But it says, the top sheaf is not Shichchah
because it is elevated!
(o) Answer: It means, the top sheaf is not Shichchah because
it is as if it elevated, i.e. still in his hand!
(p) Question: 1 corpse is found resting on another. For which
do we behead a calf?
1. Do we say that the bottom corpse is considered
covered (even though the covering is also a corpse),
but the top corpse is not considered elevated (since
only another corpse separates between it and the
ground - therefore, the calf is brought for the top
2. Or, do we say that a corpse is not considered a
covering for a corpse, but the top corpse is
considered elevated even though it rests on another
corpse resting on the ground - therefore, the calf
is brought for the bottom corpse?
3. Or, do we say that they are covered and elevated,
and no calf is brought? (Or - are they neither
covered nor elevated, and a calf is brought for each
(if each is closer to a different city)?
(q) Answer (Abaye): We can settle (the law of the bottom
sheaf) from the Beraisa.
3) CORPSES FOR WHICH A CALF IS NOT BROUGHT
1. (Beraisa): A landowner picked up a sheaf to take it
to the city; he put it on another sheaf, and forgot
it. The bottom sheaf is Shichchah, the top sheaf is
2. R. Shimon ben Yehudah says, the bottom sheaf is not
Shichchah, for it is covered; the top sheaf is not
Shichchah, for it is elevated.
3. (Assumption): Both Tana'im hold as R. Yehudah, that
a covered sheaf can be Shichchah; they argue whether
a sheaf is considered a covering for another sheaf.
4. Rejection: No - all agree that a sheaf is considered
a covering for another sheaf; they argue whether
Shichchah applies to a covered sheaf.
5. Question: If so, why does it say that a sheaf covers
the bottom sheaf - the 1st Tana would say it is
Shichchah even if it is covered by dirt!
6. Answer: That is true - the Tana wanted to show the
extremity of R. Yehudah, that even a sheaf covered
by a sheaf is not Shichchah.
(a) (Beraisa): "A corpse (implying, killed by a sword)" - and
not one that died by choking; "A corpse" - and not one
still quivering; "On the ground" - and not covered in a
rock heap; "That fell" - and not hanging from a tree; "On
the field" - and not floating on the water;
4) THE MEASUREMENT
1. R. Eliezer says, for any corpse (killed by a sword -
even if it is quivering/covered/hanging or floating)
a calf is beheaded.
(b) (Mishnah): If it was found close to the border, or near a
city that is mostly Nochrim ...
2. Chachamim: You admit that if he choked, even if he
rests on the ground, no calf is brought - why do you
argue on the other teachings?
3. R. Eliezer: I only admit to the 1st, since an extra
"corpse" is written.
(c) No calf is brought, for it says "When you will find" - to
exclude such a case, for corpses are regularly found
(d) (Mishnah): Or to a city without a Sanhedrin ...
(e) This is because the elders (Sanhedrin) of the city must
come out, and this cannot be fulfilled.
(f) (Mishnah): We only measure to a city with a Sanhedrin ...
(g) Question: This is obvious - since only a city with a
Sanhedrin brings a calf, there is no point to measure to
a city without a Sanhedrin!
(h) Answer (Beraisa): "The elders of that city will take" -
if it is found closest to a city without a Sanhedrin, we
measure to the closest city with a Sanhedrin!
(a) (Mishnah - R. Eliezer): If it is found to be exactly
midway between 2 cities, each city brings a calf.
5) THE BEHEADING
(b) Yerushalayim does not bring a calf.
(c) R. Eliezer says, if the head was not near the body, we
bring the head to the body; R. Akiva says, we bring the
body to the head.
(d) R. Eliezer says, we measure from the naval; R. Akiva
says, from the nose; R. Eliezer ben Yakov says, from the
place he became a corpse - from the neck.
(e) (Gemara) Question: Why does R. Eliezer say that 2 calves
(f) Answer: He holds that it is possible that it is exactly
in the middle; also, when the Torah says "The closest
city", it means the closest cities (if 2 are closest):
(g) (Mishnah): Yerushalayim does not bring a calf.
1. This is because Yerushalayim was not apportioned to
the tribes as the rest of Eretz Yisrael.
(h) (Mishnah): If the head was not near the body ...
(i) Question: Regarding what do they argue?
1. Suggestion: From where do we measure.
(j) Answer (R. Yitzchak): An unattended corpse is buried in
its place; R. Eliezer says, it is buried where the body
is; R. Akiva says, where the head is.
2. Rejection: Later, the Mishnah asks from where we
measure - implying it does not address this earlier!
(k) Question: On what do they argue?
(l) Answer: R. Eliezer holds, he died where the body is, the
head rolled; R. Akiva holds, he died where the head is,
his body kept walking after the head was severed.
(m) (Mishnah): From where do we measure?
(n) Question: On what do they argue?
(o) Answer: R. Akiva says that the source of life is the
nose; R. Eliezer says, the stomach.
(p) Suggestion: They argue as the following Tana'im.
1. (Beraisa): A fetus is created starting with the head
- "From my mother's womb you are my head";
(q) Rejection: No - Aba Sha'ul can even hold as R. Akiva.
2. Aba Sha'ul says, from the naval; it grows in all
1. Aba Sha'ul only said that a fetus is created from
the middle, but he can admit that the source is the
nose - "All that has a soul of life in its nose".
(r) R. Eliezer ben Yakov says, from the place he became a
corpse - from the neck.
1. He learns form a verse that cutting the neck makes
it called a corpse.
(a) (Mishnah): (After measuring), the judges from
Yerushalayim return to Yerushalayim; the elders of the
nearest city bring a calf that never bore a yoke.
(b) A blemish does not disqualify the calf.
(c) They take it down to a rocky valley. It should be Eisan
(virgin soil); if it is hard but not virgin soil, it is
Kosher (Rashi; Rambam - They take it down to an Eisan
(gushing) river. It should be gushing - if the ground is
hard but the river is not gushing, it is Kosher).
(d) They behead it with a chopping knife from the back. It is
forbidden to farm the place where it was beheaded; one
may comb flax there or quarry rocks.
(e) The elders of the city wash their hands in water where it
was beheaded; they say "Our hands did not spill his
blood; our eyes did not see".
1. Question: Would we really think that the elders of
Beis Din are murderers?!
2. Answer: They mean, had he come to us, we would not
have turned him away; had we seen him, we would not
have abandoned him.