ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
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) One is permitted to Daven in any language - because the idea of Tefilah
is to plead for mercy, and must come from the heart (so it needs to be
expressed in whichever language one feels comfortable expressing oneself.
(b) Rebbi Yochanan said - that if someone Davens in Aramaic, the angels (who
carry one's Tefilos before the Heavenly Throne) will not respond, because
they are not conversant with Aramaic.
(c) Rav Yehudah extrapolates from Rebbi Yochanan's statement - that one
should not make requests in Aramaic.
(d) We reconcile this with our Mishnah, which permits Davening in any
language - by establishing Rav Yehudah by a Tefilas Yachid, and our Mishnah,
by a Tefilas Rabim (which does not require angels to carry our prayers
before Hashem's Throne, because the Pasuk Iyov states "Hein Keil Kabir Lo
Yim'as" (Hashem will never reject the prayers of a community).
(a) Yochanan Kohen Gadol heard a Bas-Kol (in Aramaic) - in the Kodesh
Kodshim, as he performed the Avodah on Yom Kipur, announcing that the
youngsters had been victorious.
(b) The Bas-Kol was referring - to the young Kohanim of the Chashmona'im,
who had gone to fight the Greeks in Antioch, and whom they had just
(c) Shimon ha'Tzadik heard a Bas-Kol in the Kodesh Kodshim on Yom Kipur -
saying that the Greek king Gaskalgas, on his way to attack the Beis
Hamikdash and nullify the Avodah, had been killed, and his decrees annulled.
(d) This seems to clash with what we just said (that the angels do not
understand Aramaic). We answer this in two ways; one of them, by
differentiating between angels and a Bas-Kol - the other, that most angels
do not understand Aramaic, but Gavriel (who taught Yosef all seventy
languages) does, and it was Gavriel whom the Kohanim Gedolim heard in the
(a) We know that Birchas ha'Mazon may be recited in any language - from the
Pasuk "Ve'achalta, Ve'sava'ta U'verachta ... ", which does not indicate any
(b) We learn from ..
1. ... the Pasuk "ve'Nefesh Ki Secheta, *Ve'sham'ah* Kol Alah" (rather than
"Ve'hishbi'a Kol Alah") - that Shevu'as ha'Eidus takes effect in any
(c) We learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' ...
2. ... the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Secheta" "Secheta" - that the same applies to
1. ... "Moshe Yedaber ve'ha'Elokim Ya'anenu *be'Kol*" and "*Kol* Ram" - that
the Levi'im had to read the B'rachos and K'lalos in Lashon ha'Kodesh (like
Moshe taught the Torah at Har Sinai in Lashon ha'Kodesh).
2. ... "Ve'anu ha'Levi'im ... " and "*Ve'anisa* Ve'amarta (in connection
with Bikurim)" - that the Parshah of Bikurim too, had to be read in Lashon
(a) Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah learns that Chalitzah must be said in
Lashon ha'Kodesh from the word "*Kachah* Ye'aseh la'Ish" (and "Kachah"
always implies that one may not deviate from the Torah's specific
instructions). The Rabbanan learn from "Kachah" - that all the practical
aspects of Chalitzah must be performed without change (seeing as the Torah
writes "Kachah Ye'aseh").
(b) Their response to Rebbi Yehudah, who makes two D'rashos from the word
("Kachah" ["Koh", "Kachah"]) is - that "Kachah" is a perfectly regular word,
and does not lend itself to two D'rashos.
(c) According to Rebbi Yeudah, the Torah writes "ve'Ansah ve'Amrah" by
Chalitzah - to learn a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' from Chalitzah on to the B'rachos
and K'lalos (to teach us that they need to be said in Lashon ha'Kodesh).
(d) He cannot learn that from "Kol" "Kol" (like the Rabbanan) - because his
tradition for the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' was from "ve'Ansah ve'Amrah" and not
from "Kol" "Kol."
To substantiate what we just said, we quote a Beraisa, where Rebbi Yehudah
learns from "Kachah" and "Aniyah va'Amirah" that Chalitzah and the B'rachos
and the K'lalos must be said in Lashon ha'Kodesh. He learns from the Pasuk
"*Koh* Sevarchu" - that Birchas Kohanim too, must be said in Lashon
(a) The Torah describes the location of Har Gerizim and Har Eival as
"Acharei Derech Mevo ha'Shemesh". Rebbi Yehudah in a Beraisa, interprets ...
1. ... "Derech Mevo ha'Shemesh" to mean - the east side of the Yarden, where
they were currently encamped as Moshe told them about the two mountains.
(b) Much later, the Kutim lived there. The Kutim - were one of the nations
whom Sancheriv moved into Eretz Yisrael, to replace the Jews that he had
exiled from the land.
2. ... "Acharei" to mean - far from the east side of the Yarden (towards the
(c) Based on the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Elonei Moreh" "Elonei Moreh", Rebbi
Elazar b'Rebbi Yossi proved the Kutim wrong - because, seeing as they did
not accept the oral Torah, they would not have Darshened this
'Gezeirah-Shavah', so from where would they know that Elonei Moreh was
synonymous with Sh'chem?
(d) Rebbi Elazar disagrees with Rebbi Yehudah. He interprets the Pasuk ...
1. ... "Ve'hayah be'Ovrechem es ha'Yarden" to mean - that Har Gerizim and
Har Eival (where they would erect the stones) were situated close to the
west bank of the Yarden.
2. ... "Acharei Derech Mevo ha'Shemesh" - that it was situated far from the
west coast of Eretz Yisrael.
(a) The problem with the Pasuk ...
1. ... "be'Eretz ha'Cena'ani" is - that Sh'chem was situated in the
territory of the Chivi (as the Torah writes in Va'yishlach), and not of the
(b) Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov therefore Darshens the Pasuk out context. He
explains the word "Derech" to mean that Hashem was issuing them with
instructions now, that, when they returned to Eretz Yisrael from Bavel, they
should take their cue from the way they were about to enter the Land now and
enter it via trodden paths, and not through fields and vineyards. He
2. ... "ha'Yoshev ba'Aravah" is - that it is not situated in a flat area,
but in hilly country.
3. ... "Mul ha'Gilgal" - that it is nowhere near Sh'chem.
1. ... "ha'Yoshev" - to mean that they were to enter it via built-up areas,
and not via desert country.
(c) Hashem needed to tell them all this at that time - because He knew that,
although they were currently guided by the Clouds of Glory, this would not
be the case when they crossed the Yarden the second time (by which time, the
Clouds would have ceased to function), and that consequently, they would
then have to return to Eretz Yisrael under their own steam.
2. ... "ba'Aravah" - that they were to enter it via flat country and not via
hills and mountains.
(a) When Yisrael entered Eretz Yisrael ...
1. ... the Aron began to travel in front of the camp - and not behind the
first two tribes, as it had done in the desert.
(b) The Kohanim also carried the Aron - when they surrounded Yericho and
when they brought it into its place in the Kodesh Kodshim after Shlomoh
built the Beis Hamikdash.
2. ... it was the Kohanim who carried the Aron - and not the Levi'im, as
they had then.