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 48
SOTAH 47, 48 - have been anonymously dedicated by a very special Marbitz
Torah and student of the Daf from Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
1) THE ENACTMENTS OF YOCHANAN KOHEN GADOL
2) THE PROHIBITION OF SONG
1. Suggestion: Why not recite the rest of the Parsha?
(b) (We said that he abolished the recital because people
gave Ma'aser Rishon to Kohanim, not to Levi'im) - this
implies that people were separating Ma'aser!
2. Answer (Reish Lakish): If he cannot recite the
beginning of the Parsha of Ma'aser Rishon, he does
not recite any of it.
3. Question: Why not?
4. Answer (Abaye): Since that is the 1st thing
mentioned in the Parsha.
(c) Question (Beraisa): (Yochanan Kohen Gadol) abolished the
recital and decreed on Demai (doubtfully tithed produce),
since he sent to check in all of Yisrael, and found that
everyone separated Terumah, but not everyone separated
1. He told them: Just as one who eats Terumah or
produce from which Terumah was not separated is
liable to death (at the hands of Heaven), also one
who eats Terumas Ma'aser or produce from which
Ma'aseros were not separated.
(d) Answer: These were 2 separate enactments: he abolished
the recital (since even trustworthy people did not give
Ma'aser to Levi'im), and decreed partial separation of
Ma'aseros on produce bought from untrustworthy people.
2. He made an enactment for one who buys produce from
someone not known to be trustworthy regarding
i. The buyer separates Ma'aser Rishon and Ma'aser
Sheni. He separates Terumah Ma'aser (from the
Ma'aser Rishon), and gives it to a Kohen; he
takes the Ma'aser Sheni to Yerushalayim, and
eats it there.
ii. Regarding (the rest of the) Ma'aser Rishon, and
Ma'aser Oni (in years when it applies), unless
it is established that the seller did not
separate them (and they belong to the
Levi'im/poor), the buyer keeps them.
(e) (Mishnah): He also abolished the arousers.
(f) Question: What were these?
(g) Answer (Rachbah): The Levi'im, who sang each day in the
Mikdash "Wake up; Hash-m, why do you sleep?"
1. Yochanan Kohen Gadol objected: how can you say that
- "The guardian of Yisrael does not sleep"!
(h) (Mishnah): He abolished the bangers.
i. The 1st verse refers to the time when Yisrael
is in distress and the Nochrim are serene, for
then it appears as if Hash-m sleeps.
(i) Question: What were these?
(j) Answer #1 (Rav Yehudah): Kohanim used to scratch a
sacrifice between its horns, so that blood should fall in
its eyes, to facilitate the slaughter.
1. Yochanan Kohen Gadol abolished this, for it
resembles a blemish.
(k) Answer #2 (Beraisa): They used to hit a sacrifice with
sticks (to facilitate the slaughter), as was done before
1. Yochanan Kohen Gadol objected: You are offering
unslaughtered animals on the altar!
(l) (Mishnah): Until his days, hammers used to bang in
i. Objection: They did slaughter them!
2. He fixed rings in the ground; they insert the
animal's neck in the holes to facilitate the
ii. Correction: Rather, they are (possibly) torn
(mortally injured) animals - the skull may have
1. This was during the intermediate days of the
(m) (Mishnah): In his lifetime, one did not have to ask a
seller if he tithed his produce.
1. As we said (he enacted to partially separate
Ma'aseros on Demai).
(a) (Mishnah): After the Sanhedrin was abolished, song was
abolished from drinking houses - "They will not drink
wine with song";
(b) After the early prophets died, the Urim v'Tumim ceased;
after the Temple was destroyed, the Shamir (a special
worm) and Nofes Tzufim were lost;
1. Also, men of faith ceased - "Hash-m, save, for the
saintly are no more".
(c) R. Yehoshua testified that after the Temple was
destroyed, every day has a curse, dew does not descend
for a blessing, and fruits lost their taste;
1. R. Yosi says, even the fat of fruits was lost;
(d) (Gemara) Question: How do we know that the verse
forbidding song refers to after the Sanhedrin was
2. R. Shimon ben Elazar says, when Taharah ceased,
fruits lost their taste and smell; when Ma'aseros
ceased, the fat of grain was lost.
3. Chachamim say, witchcraft and sexual immorality
caused all these to perish.
(e) Answer (Rav Huna brei d'Rav Yehoshua): It says, "Elders
ceased from the gate, youths from their singing".
(f) (Rav): An ear that hears song deserves to be cut off.
(g) (Rava): A house in which there is song, its end is to be
destroyed - "A voice singing in the window, destruction
is in the Saf (doorway), the cedar planks will be Eirah".
(h) Question: What does it mean "Will be Eirah"?
(i) Answer (R. Yitzchak): It cannot mean that a house that is
covered with planks is as an Ir (city)! Rather, even a
house that is covered with planks Misro'a (falters).
1. (Rav Ashi): "It will be destroyed at the Saf" - this
teaches that the destruction of a house begins at
(j) (Rav Huna): The songs of those that pull ships by ropes,
and of plowers, are permitted (they are merely to help
the work); songs of weavers are forbidden.
2. This may also be learned from "In desolation, the
gate is cut off".
3. (Rav Ashi): I saw (a demon that cuts the gate) - it
gored as an ox.
(k) Rav Huna abolished song. Prices dropped - 100 geese or
100 Sa'ah of wheat sold for 1 Zuz, and no one was buying!
1. Rav Chisda tolerated song; a goose could not be
found for 1 Zuz.
(l) (Rav Yosef): If men sing and women answer, this is lewd;
if women lead and men answer, lust flares as burning
chips of flax.
(m) Question: What difference does it make (both are
(n) Answer: If one cannot stop both, one should prevent the
(o) (R. Yochanan): Anyone that drinks amidst music of 4 types
of instruments brings 5 punishments to the world - exile,
famine, that Torah will be forgotten, weakening of the
enemies of (a euphemism) Hash-m, lowliness of Yisrael.
1. We learn from "... Lyre and harp, tambourine and
flute, their drinking sessions of wine ...
Therefore, my nation will be exiled without
knowledge, its honored ones will die of hunger, they
are thirsty (for Torah) ... a man will be weakened,
a man will be lowered; the eyes of the high will be
2. It also says "The pit (Gehenom) widened its mouth
and swallowed endlessly..."
3) RU'ACH HA'KODESH
(a) (Mishnah): After the early prophets died (the Urim
4) THINGS MISSING AFTER THE CHURBAN
(b) Question: Which are considered the early prophets?
(c) Answer #1 (Rav Huna): Shmuel, David and Shlomo.
1. Rav Nachman: In David's time, sometimes it worked,
i. When David asked through Tzadok, he was
answered; when he asked through Evyasar, he was
(d) Objection (Rabah bar Shmuel): "He sought Hash-m all the
days of Zecharyah, who understands in seeing Hash-m".
1. Suggestion: This refers to asking through the Urim
(e) (Beraisa): After the 1st Temple was destroyed, the
following ceased: the cities of the Levi'im; the Urim
v'Tumim; and kings from the Davidic line.
2. Rejection: No, it means through prophecy.
1. Question: But it says, "(Nechemyah) said to them,
the (unverified) Kohanim will not eat from the most
sanctified Kodshim until the Kohen will ask the Urim
v'Tumim" - implying, it was used during the 2nd
(f) Answer #2 (to question (b) - Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak):
All the prophets are considered early, except for Chagai,
Zecharyah and Malachi.
2. Answer: No - he dispelled them, as one who says
'Until the revival of the dead and the coming of
(g) (Beraisa): After Chagai, Zecharyah and Malachi died,
Ru'ach ha'Kodesh (Divine inspiration) ceased from
Yisrael; still, Heavenly voices were heard.
1. Once, Chachamim were in an attic in Yericho; a
Heavenly voice informed them that 1 of them was
worthy that the Divine Presence should rest on him;
it does not, because the generation is not worthy.
i. Everyone looked at Hillel.
2. Another such case happened in Yavneh; Chachamim
understood that the reference was to Shmuel
ii. When Hillel died, he was eulogized: 'This was a
saintly one! This was a humble one, a Talmid of
i. When he died, he was eulogized: 'This was a
saintly one! This was a humble one, a Talmid of
3. Chachamim wanted to similarly eulogize R. Yehudah
ben Bava, but they were unable - we do not eulogize
those killed by the king.
ii. At the time of his death, he prophesized about
the 10 Chachamim that would be executed: R.
Shimon (ben Gamliel ha'Zaken), R. Yishmael
(Kohen Gadol) will die by the sword; the
others, torturous deaths. The rest of the
nation will be despoiled, and suffer greatly.
(a) (Mishnah): After the Temple was destroyed, the Shamir
(b) (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): Shlomo used the Shamir to build
the Temple - "(The Temple) was built with whole rocks, as
they were quarried" - this is understood simply;
1. R. Nechemyah: How can you say that - "These rocks
... cut by a saw"!
(c) Question: According to R. Nechemyah, what was the Shamir
i. When it says "A saw was not heard in the Temple
during the building" - they cut the rocks
outside, and brought them in.
2. Rebbi holds as R. Yehudah's regarding the rocks of
the Temple, and as R. Nechemyah regarding the rocks
used to build Shlomo's house.
(d) Answer (Beraisa): The stones (of the Efod) - the writing
on them cannot be in ink - it says, "Engraved"! One
cannot cut them with a chisel - it says, "In their
1. Rather, one writes on them in ink, and puts the
Shamir on them. The Shamir makes the stone cave in
under the writing, as a date tree cleaves in summer,
and the ground cracks in winter, even though nothing
(e) (Beraisa): The Shamir is a creature the size of a barley
seed; it was created from the 6 days of creation, and it
can pierce any hard substance.
1. To keep it, one wraps it in tufts of wool, and puts
it in a small lead box full of barley bran.
(f) (R. Ami): After the 1st Temple was destroyed, Parnda silk
and white crystal ceased.
1. Support (Beraisa): After the 1st Temple was
destroyed, Parnda silk, white crystal and iron
chariots; some say, also congealed wine that comes
from Shenir, which resembles rings of pressed figs.
(g) (Mishnah): And Nofes Tzufim (ceased).
(h) Question: What is this?
(i) Answer #1 (Rav): Fine flour that Tzafah (floats on top
of, i.e. does not pass through) the sifter.
1. It is like a dough kneaded with honey and oil.
(j) Answer #2 (Levi): This is 2 loaves that are stuck to
opposite sides of the oven, and in baking, they inflate
and reach each other.
(k) Answer #3 (R. Yehoshua ben Levi): This is honey from the
1. Question: What is the source to say that honey comes
(l) (Mishnah): Any Tahor liquid poured into a Tamei liquid,
what remains in the top vessel is Tahor, except for honey
of Zifim and honeycomb.
2. Answer: As Rav Sheshes translated "As the bees make"
- ' ... they bring honey from the mountains'.
(m) Question: What is Zifim?
(n) Answer #1 (R. Yochanan): Honey that people Mezayef (forge
- the buyer cannot tell that it was diluted).
(o) Answer #2 (Reish Lakish): Zif is the name of a place -
"Zif and Telem and Ba'alos".
1. Amoraim argue similarly regarding "When the Zifim
came and told Sha'ul".
(p) (Mishnah): People of faith ceased ...
2. Question: What are Zifim?
3. Answer #1 (R. Yochanan): People that Mezayef
(falsify) their words.
4. Answer #2 (R. Elazar): People that come from the
place called Zif - "Zif and Telem and Ba'alos".
(q) (R. Yitzchak): These are people that trust in Hash-m.
1. (Beraisa - R. Eliezer): Anyone that has bread in
his basket, and asks, 'What will I eat tomorrow?' is
of small faith.
2. (R. Elazar): "For who scorns, on the day of
smallness (of the 2nd Temple)" - the reason why the
table of Tzadikim is disgraced in the world to come,
is their lowliness, that they did not trust in
i. (Rava): This verse refers to the children (who
died in the life of their) wicked parents -
they obliterate the decree against their
parents in the world to come.