(Permission is granted to print and redistribute this material
as long as this header and the footer at the end are included.)


prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

Previous daf

Sotah 44

SOTAH 44 - dedicated by Marcia and Lee Weinblatt to Jeri and Eli Turkel, with Mazal Tov wishes for Tamar's marriage to Netanel Casado.



(a) Rebbi Yitzchak Amar Rebbi Yochanan further quoted Rebbi Eliezer ben Ya'akov as saying that a person who enters to within four Amos of a corpse becomes Tamei - to prevent the scenario when someone approaches a grave with Taharos, and stretches out his hand with the Taharos over the grave without realizing it.

(b) A 'Chatzar ha'Kever' is a courtyard surrounded by burial chambers.

(c) According to Beis Shamai, a person standing in a Chatzar ha'Kever does not become Tamei provided it has an area of at least four by four Amos. Beis Hillel hold - that four by four Tefachim will suffice.

(d) According to Beis Hillel, Chazal were more lenient in this case, than in the previous one, where one requires a distance of four Amos - because they only decreed four Amos when the grave is in the open, since it is easy to come close to the grave without realizing it, but not when it is covered and surrounded by walls, since the walls serve as a reminder to keep one's distance.

(a) The Tana restricts Beis Hillel's leniency to where the entrance to the burial chambers is via an opening on top. But should the entrance be at the (far) side - they will require four Amos (like Beis Shamai).

(b) We refute this with the words 'K'lapei Laya' - meaning 'Which way does this lean'? (i.e. it should really lean the other way! )

(c) So we invert the statement, so that Beis Hillel agrees with Beis Shamai that, when the entrance is on top of the chambers, the Chatzer will require four Amos - because when a person clambers out of the chamber, his hands and part of his clothing are likely to jut out over the airspace of the Chatzer, creating an Ohel over whoever is close to the side, rendering him Tamei Meis.

(a) "Mi ha'Ish Asher Eiras Ishah ve'Lo Lekachah". The extra 'Hey' in "ve'Lo *Lekachah*" comes to - preclude a soldier who is betrothed to one of the Chayvei La'avin (e.g. if he is a Kohen and she, a Gerushah, or if he is a Yisrael, and she, a Mamzeres).

(b) The author of this Beraisa could even be Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, who interprets "ha'Yarei ve'Rach ha'Leivav" to include soldiers who are afraid of their sins (and who return from the battlefront anyway) because of a statement of Rabah - who learns from the Pasuk in Emor (regarding a Kohen Gadol) "Almanah u'Gerushah Lo Yikach ... ve'Lo Yechalel Zar'o ... " that although the Torah writes "Lo Yikach" (implying Kidushin), he only really transgresses a La'av when it comes to "ve'Lo Yechalel" (for which "Lo Yikach" is merely a preparation).

(c) Rabah addresses specifically an Almanah u'Gerushah le'Kohen Gadol, and not other Chayvei La'avin - because by other Chayvei La'avin, the Torah uses a Lashon of "Lo Yavo" or "Lo Sischaten" (which automatically implies Bi'ah).

(a) The Tana learns from the order of the Pesukim "Mi ha'Ish Asher Banah Bayis ... Asher Nata Kerem ... Asher Eiras Ishah" - that it is considered Derech Eretz to build a house and plant a vineyard (representing a home and a source of income) before getting married.

(b) Shlomoh ha'Melech gave the same advise in Sefer Mishlei.

(c) The Tana of the Beraisa also interprets the Pasuk metaphorically "Hachein ba'Chutz Melachtecha - refers to Mikra (Chumash and T'nach); "ve'At'dah ba'Sadeh Lach" - to Mishnah; "u'Vanisa Beisecha" - to Gemara.

(d) Alternatively, "Hachein ba'Chutz Melachtecha" refers to Mikra and Mishnah, "ve'At'dah ba'Sadeh Lach" to Gemara and "u'Vanisa Beisecha", to good deeds. And according to Rebbi Eliezer B'no shel Rebbi Yossi Hagelili - "Hachein ba'Chutz Melachtecha" refers to Mikra, Mishnah and Gemara, "ve'At'dah ba'Sadeh Lach" to good deeds, and "u'Vanisa Beisecha", to a deeper level of Torah understanding (Pilpul).

(a) We learned in our Mishnah that if the soldier merely rebuilt his house, he does not return from the battlefront. The minimum he would have to have added in order to return is - one row of bricks (to the height or to the length of the wall.

(b) The Torah writes in Ki Seitzei "Ki Yikach Ish Ishah Chadashah Lo Yeitzei ba'Tzava". The Tana learns from ...

1. ... "Ishah" - that the soldier is obligated to return even if he is betrothed to a widow or a divorcee.
2. ... "Chadashah" - that he is not obligated to do so if the woman is his ex-wife.
(c) Another Tana learns from the continuation of the Pasuk ...
1. ... "ve'Lo Ya'avor Alav le'Chol Davar" - that he does not even need to join the supply force or to build roads, but simply remains at home.
2. ... "Alav" - that this is not the case with a soldier who built a house and did not consecrate it or planted a vineyard and did not eat its fruit in Yerushalayim or redeem it, and one who betrothed a woman and did not yet married her. They are obligated to join the supply force or to build roads.
(d) Having written "ve'Lo Ya'avor Alav", the Torah nevertheless added "Lo Yeitzei ba'Tzava" - to place two La'avin on the one who transgresses.
(a) We have already discussed the opinion of Rebbi Yossi Hagelili in our Mishnah that "Mi ha'Ish ha'Yarei ve'Rach he'Leivav" refers to a soldier who is afraid of the sins he has performed. According to Rebbi Akiva - the Pasuk is speaking about a soldier who is literally terrified of war.

(b) According to Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, the Torah ordered a soldier who did not consecrate his house or his vineyard or who did not marry his betrothed, to return from the battlefront - as a cover-up for the one who is afraid of war (in order to spare him the embarrassment, when he leaves the battlefield in view of his fellow soldiers).

(a) The role of the officers who stood ...
1. ... at the front of the troops was - to help those who fell to arise and encourage them to continue fighting.
2. ... behind them was - to prevent soldiers from running away, if necessary with the help of the metal arrow-shaped staffs that they were holding for that purpose.
(b) The Tana learn from the Pasuk "va'Yanusu Anshei Yisrael Mipnei P'lishtim va'Yiplu Chalalim" - that fleeing leads to falling (it is unclear why the Tana also quotes the Pasuk "Nas Yisrael Lifnei P'lishtim ... ").

(c) In view of what we have learned until now, even a Chasan must leave his room and a Kalah her Chupah in order to go to war - in the case of a Milchemes Mitzvah (which will be explained shortly).

(d) According to Rebbi Yehudah, a Chasan and Kalah are exempt from joining the army even for a Milchemes Mitzvah. This does not mean that they are never obligated to go to war - because by a Milchemes Chovah, they are (and this too, will be explained shortly).




(a) According to Rebbi Yossi Hagelili in our Mishnah, a soldier who has performed sins must return from the battlefront. Rebbi Yossi then says 'Almanah le'Kohen Gadol, Gerushah va'Chalutzah le'Kohen Hedyot, Mamzeres u'Nesinah le'Yisrael'. Rebbi Yossi is coming to argue with Rebbi Yossi Hagelili - regarding a Mitzvah de'Rabbanan, which Rebbi Yossi Hagelili treats like a Mitzvah min ha'Torah in this regard; whereas in the opinion of Rebbi Yossi, it is only a soldier who has transgressed a Mitzvah min ha'Torah who is sent back from the battlefield. Note: Regarding a Chalutzah le'Kohen Hedyot and a Nesinah le'Yisrael, Rebbi Yossi includes, even though they are only mi'de'Rabbanan, see Meforshei ha'Mishnah.

(b) The author of the Beraisa that obligates a soldier who spoke between putting on the Tefilin shel Yad and the Tefilin shel Rosh, to return from the battlefront - is clearly Rebbi Yossi Hagelili, who includes an Aveirah de'Rabbanan in the Halachah.

(c) Talking between the two Tefilin is not considered a sin - if one recited a second B'rachah (according to Rashi).

(d) It certainly seems as if the author of the Beraisa that permits a soldier who breaks out in a sweat whenever he hears the sound of war to leave the battlefront is Rebbi Yossi Hagelili. However - based on the Pasuk "ve'Lo Yimas Levav Echav ki'Levavo", we establish it even like Rebbi Akiva, who agrees that such a person is a liability to an army rather than an asset.

(a) We amend our Mishnah 'Mipnei she'Techilas Nisah Nefilah' to read - 'Mipnei she'Techilas Nefilah Nisah'.

(b) The Rabbanan in our Mishnah restrict the Din of returning from war to a Milchemes Reshus, but obligate everyone to go join the army to fight a Milchemes Mitzvah; Rebbi Yehudah makes the same distinction, but with regard to a Milchemes Mitzvah and a Milchemes Chovah. Their Machlokes vis-a-vis the Din in our Mishnah is one of terminology only - what the one refers to as Reshus and Mitzvah respectively, the other refers to as Mitzvah and Chovah.

(c) Both opinions would categorize ...

1. ... the conquest of Eretz Cana'an with Yehoshua (and the battle against Amalek) - as Chovah.
2 ... the conquests of David ha'Melech (which he fought merely with the intention of expanding his territory) - as Reshus.
(d) Their dispute then, is over a battle that is about to be fought to contain an enemy, to prevent him from attacking. According to both opinions, the Torah obligates the respective soldiers to return from the battlefront - and it is not with regard to them that they argue, but over the soldiers that remain. Based on the principle 'ha'Osek ba'Mitzvah Patur min ha'Mitzvah', the Rabbanan, who consider it Reshus, do not exempt them from a second Mitzvah that comes their way whilst they are occupied with that battle, whereas according to Rebbi Yehudah, it is a Mitzvah, and they are Patur.
***** Hadran Alach Mashu'ach Milchamah *****

***** Perek Eglah Arufah *****


(a) Rebbi Avahu learns from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ve'Anu ve'Amru"(by Eglah Arufah) and "ve'Anu ha'Levi'im ve'Amru" (by the B'rachos and the K'lalos) - that the elders and the Kohanim who spoke by the ceremony of the Eglah Arufah had to speak in Lashon ha'Kodesh.

(b) According to the Tana Kama of our Mishnah, three judges from the Beis-Din ha'Gadol in Yerushalayim had to participate in the ceremony of Eglah Arufah. Rebbi Yehudah learns from the Pasuk "ve'Yatz'u Zekeinecha ve'Shoftecha" - that five judges were required (two from "Zekeinecha", two from " ve'Shoftecha" and one additional judge, because no Beis-Din was permitted to comprise an even number.

(c) If the murdered man is found hidden in a pile of stones or hanging from a tree, the Din of Eglah Arufah does not apply. The third case that the Tana precludes from the word "ba'Adamah" - is when he is found floating on water.

(d) 'If the murdered man was found near the border, near a town which was inhabited mainly by Nochrim or near a town which had no Beis-Din - the neck of the Eglah Arufah was not broken (alternatively, they did not even measure in the first place).

(a) The Tana Kama of our Mishnah (who require only three judges from the Beis-Din ha'Gadol to participate in the ceremony of the Eglah Arufah, is Rebbi Shimon, who learns from the word "ve'Shoftecha" - that it is the top judges (from the Beis-Din ha'Gadol) who must participate in the ceremony.

(b) Rebbi Yehudah learns from "Ziknei" - "Zekeinecha" - what Rebbi Shimon just learned from "ve'Shoftecha".

(c) According to Rebbi Shimon, the Torah is forced to write "Zekeinecha" - because had it written "Ziknei", we would have thought that any elder from the market-place is eligible (so the Torah wrote "Zekeinecha" to preclude him, and "ve'Shoftecha", to preclude even judges who are members of the Sanhedrei Ketanah, [until they belong to the Beis-Din ha'Gadol]).

(a) We suggest that Rebbi Yehudah learns that judges from the Beis-Din ha'Gadol are required from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Ziknei" from "Ziknei ha'Eidah" (leaving "ve'Shoftecha to add another two judges). The Torah writes "Ziknei ha'Eidah" - in connection with the Mitzvah of leaning one's hands on the 'Par He'elam Davar shel Tzibur (the bull brought by the community who sinned due to a mistaken ruling issued by the Sanhedrin).

(b) We refute this suggestion - on the grounds that since five judges are also required by the Din of the Par He'elam Davar shel Tzibur, we could have learned that too, from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' (and the word "ve'Shoftecha" would then be superfluous).

(c) Rebbi Yehudah ultimately learns ...

1. ... that the judges must be from the Beis-Din ha'Gadol - from the word "ve'Shoftecha" (and not from a 'Gezeirah-Shavah').
2. ... that five judges are required - from the extra 'Vav'.
(d) Rebbi Shimon - does not learn anything from the extra 'Vav', because he does not consider it superfluous.
Next daf


For further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,