ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
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.
(a) Yochanan Kohen Gadol negated the Mitzvah of 'Hodayas Ma'aser' because we
give Ma'aser Rishon to the Kohanim instead of to the Levi'im - in which case
it is impossible to recite the Viduy, which contains the words "ve'Gam
Nesativ la'Levi" (and not to a Kohen).
(b) We give Ma'aser Rishon to the Kohanim - due to a Takanah of Ezra, who
penalized the Levi'im because the vast majority of them did not return to
Eretz Yisrael from Bavel.
(c) Resh Lakish forbids reciting the Viduy on the other Matanos only,
because, as Abaye points out - the Pasuk begins with Ma'aser Rishon (in
which case it would be inappropriate to recite Viduy over other things and
not on it).
(a) In a Beraisa, the Tana writes about Yochanan Kohen Gadol 'Af Hu Biteil
es ha'Viduy ve'Gazar al ha'D'mai; L'fi she'Shalach be'Chol G'vul Mitzrayim
... '. He did not include Terumah in the Din of D'mai - because he
discovered that even Amei ha'Aretz gave Terumah (because it carries with it
a Chiyuv Misah. The reason that they did not treat Terumas Ma'aser with the
same reverence, is because they thought that Terumas Ma'aser only needs to
be given by a Levi [Mosaf Rashi]).
(b) The two Matanos that he did include - were Terumas Ma'aser (which is
forbidden to be eaten by a Zar) and Ma'aser Sheini (which may not be eaten
(c) He exempted Ma'aser Rishon and Ma'aser Ani from D'mai - because there is
no intrinsic prohibition for a Zar to eat them (like there is by the other
two Matanos), only an obligation to give them to their respective owners.
Consequently (in view of the fact that D'mai is only a Safek), we apply the
principle 'ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro, Alav ha'Re'ayah'.
(a) Yochanan Kohen Gadol in our Mishnah (where he exempts giving Ma'aser
Rishon to the Levi'im, but obligates giving it to the Kohanim) appears to
clash with his words in the Beraisa, where he ascribes both the Takanah of
Bitul Hodayas Ma'aser and the reason that D'mai does not apply to Ma'aser
Rishon, to the S'vara of 'ha'Motzi me'Chaveiro Alav ha'Re'ayah'. In that
case - he would not be obligated to give it to a Kohen either).
(b) We answer - that in fact, the two Takanos are independent of each other,
and that it is not the Tana's intention, when he mentions the Takanah of
Bitul Hodayas Ma'aser, to connect it to the reason that he then proceeds to
give for D'mai not applying to Ma'aser Rishon.
(c) He also negated the Me'orerin and the Nokfin.
1. 'The Me'orerin' (protesters) - were the Levi'im, explains Rachbah, who
used to sing each day "Urah Lamah Sishan Hashem"! They were really asking
Hashem why He allowed Yisrael to suffer and the Nochrim to live in
tranquillity and happiness
(d) Yochanan Kohen Gadol negated ...
2. 'The Nokfin', according to the first explanation - refers to the Kohanim,
who used to make a cut between the horns before Shechting a calf of Korbanos
(Rav Yehudah Amar Rav - so that the blood would fall into its eyes and it
would loosen its foothold on the ground, falicilitating throwing it down to
the ground for Shechting).
3. 'the Nokfin', according to the second explanation - refers to the beating
of the animal with sticks in order to knock it to the ground.
1. ... the Me'orerin - because Hashem never sleeps, as the Pasuk says in
2. ... the Nokfin - because, according to the first explanation, such a cut
resembled a blemish, and according to the second, beating an animal with
sticks is liable to render it a T'reifah. He replaced its function by
arranging rings in the slaughtering area, into which they would place the
animal's head to hold it firm during the Shechitah.
1. Chazal instated the Takanah of "be'Shir Lo Yishtu Yayin" - when the
Sanhedrin broke up.
(b) Since the Churban Beis-Hamikdash, there is not a day which does not
contain a curse and on which the dew falls as a blessing. The third item
included in this group listed by Raban Shimon ben Gamliel in the name of
Rebbi Yehoshua is - that the fruit no longer tastes the same.
2. The Urim ve'Tumim ceased to function - when the first Nevi'im (which will
be explained in the Sugya) died.
3. The Shamir worm, and the delicious 'Nofes Tzufim' became extinct - with
the Churban Beis Hamikdash. Men of integrity also disappeared then.
(c) Rebbi Yossi adds the fatness of the fruit to the list. According to
Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar, what deprived ...
1. ... the fruit of its smell - was the cessation of Taharos.
2. ... the corn of its fatness - was the cessation of Ma'asros.
3. ... the world of all other blessings (according to our text, this is the
opinion of the Chachamim) - was promiscuity and witchcraft.
(a) We learn from the Pasuk "Zekeinim mi'Sha'ar Shavasu, Bachurim
mi'Neginasam" - that they forbade music at parties once the Sanhedrin broke
1. Rav says that the ear that listens to music - will become uprooted (i.e.
2. Rava says that - destruction lurks at the threshold of a house in which
songs are heard (see Agados Maharsha).
3. Rebbi Yitzchak learn from the conclusion of the Pasuk in Tzefanyah (which
acts as the source for the previous answer) "Ki Arzah Arah" (not that a
house that has a ceiling of planks is called a city, but) - that even if the
house in question has a ceiling of planks, it will become rickety.
(a) Rav Ashi learns from a phrase in the previous Pasuk ("Cherev ba'Saf")
that the destruction of a house begins at the threshold. Others derive it
from the Pasuk in Yeshayah - "u'She'iyah Yukas Sha'ar". Mar bar Rav Ashi saw
the result of this - it looked as if it had been badly gored by an ox.
(b) Rav Huna make a distinction between people on the river banks who pull
ships with a rope and plowers (whom he permits to sing) - to encourage the
one to pull harder and to help them plow straight, and weavers (whom he does
not) - because *they* sing only for fun.
(c) The decree that Rav Huna issued that resulted in a huge food surplus, to
the point where one Zuz could buy a hundred geese or a hundred Sa'ah of
wheat (and nobody even wanted them) was - to nullify music in their houses
and during their parties.
(d) When Rav Chisda contravened the decree - there was such a shortage of
geese, that one could not even find one for the price of a Zuz.
(a) Rav Yosef describes men singing and women answering the refrain as
P'ritzus (obscene) - and women singing and men answering the refrain as a
fire that has already ignited the flax-shavings.
(b) Rav Yosef found it necessary to categorize them in this way - so that,
should one have the opportunity of negating one of them, he should rather
choose the latter.
(c) Rebbi Yochanan says that someone who accompanies his festivities with a
seven and a ten-stringed harp, a drum and a flute - brings five punishments
to the world.
(d) They cause exile, hunger and Torah to be forgotten - and they also cause
both Hashem and Yisrael to become lowly (Kevayachol).
(a) According to Rav Huna, when the Tana of our Mishnah dates the cessation
of the Urim ve'Tumim as the death of the first Nevi'im, he is referring to
Shmuel, David and Shlomoh. Rav Nachman - dates it from the time of David,
because already then, we find it working for Tzadok but not for Evyasar (for
which reason he lost the Kehunah to Tzadok - see Agados Maharsha).
(b) We refute the Kashya on these Amora'im from the Pasuk in Shmuel, which
describes Zecharyah ha'Meivin as seeking Hashem. There is no proof from
there that the Urim ve'Tumim was still in use during the time of the kings -
because seeking Hashem might just as well refer to the medium of the
(c) There is no proof from the Pasuk in Ezra, where Hatarshasa told the
people that they would not eat Kodesh ha'Kodashim 'until such time as a
Kohen would arise who would wear the Urim ve'Tumim', that they had the Urim
ve'Tumim during the second Beis Hamikdash, because - he might have been
referring to the time of Techi'as ha'Meisim.
(d) We *do* however prove from the Beraisa which cites this Pasuk - that
they were in use until the end of the first Beis Hamikdash, because it says
explicitly that the Arei Migrash (the cities of the Levi'im) and the Urim
ve'Tumim ceased to function when the first Beis-Hamikdash was destroyed.
(a) Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak finally interprets 'Nevi'im ha'Rishonim' - to
refer to all the Nevi'im except for Chagai, Mal'achi and Zecharyah.
(b) The Tana of the Beraisa states that Ruach ha'Kodesh (prophecy) came to
an end with the death of Chagai, Zecharyah and Mal'achi. This does not mean
that all recourse to Divine communication ceased from then on - because they
still had access to the Bas-Kol.
(c) Hillel and Shmuel ha'Katan had in common ...
1. ... in their lifetime - that a Bas-Kol declared them both to be worthy of
Hashra'as ha'Shechinah (only their respective generations were not).
(d) They wanted to say "Hey Anav, Hey Chasid" - about Rebbi Yehudah ben
Bava, but it was not possible - because he was one of the ten martyrs, and
one does not eulogize a martyr (for fear of retaliation on the part of the
ruling power who put him to death).
2. ... after their death - that the term 'Hey Anav, Hey Chasid' were used
when eulogizing them.
(a) On his death-bed, Shmuel ha'Katan proceeded to prophesy in the near
future. He was referring, when he listed ...
1. ... Shimon and Yishmael - to Raban Shimon ben Gamliel the Nasi and Rebbi
Yishmael ben Elisha the Kohen Gadol?
(b) He predicted that ...
2. ... the rest of the Chaveirim - to Rebbi Akiva, Rebbi Chanina ben
Teradyon and Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava.
1. ... Shimon and Yishmael - would die by the sword.
(c) And the remainder of the people were destined to be taken captive and to
2. ... the rest of the Chaveirim - would be killed in other ways (Rebbi
Akiva's skin was torn from him with metal combs, Rebbi Chanina ben Teradyon
was burnt alive, and Rebbi Yehudah ben Bava was killed with spears).
(a) Rebbi Yehudah interprets the Pasuk in Melachim "ve'ha'Bayis be'Hibanoso
Even Sh'leimah Masa Nivneh" literally. Rebbi Nechemyah, based on the Pasuk
"Kol Eileh Avanim Yekaros Meguraros bi'Megeirah (hewn with a saw)",
interprets it to mean -that they were cut outside the Beis Hamikdash and
then brought inside to be built into the walls.
(b) According to...
1. ...Rebbi Yehudah, they cut the stones to size - by means of the Shamir
(c) According to Rebbi Nechemyah, the Shamir was used for the stones of the
Eifod (and presumably, Rebbi Yehudah agrees with this too). We learn from
the Pasuk ...
2. ...Rebbi, the Pasuk "Kol Eileh Avanim Yekaros..." - speaks about the
stones that Shlomo used to build his own house, and not to the Beis
1. ... Pituchei Chosam" - that the letters were not just written but
engraved, onto the two stones of the Eifod.
(d) They first wrote the letters on the stones in ink, before holding the
Shamir over them. The stones would then split automatically (exactly where
the writing was) - like ...
2. ... be'Milu'osam" - that the stones had to remain complete in the
1. ... a fig in the summer, and ...
2. ... like a valley in the winter.
(a) The Shamir - which was the size of a barley, was created during the six
days of creation and nothing hard could withstand it.
(b) It was preserved inside a wad of wool - which was kept inside a lead
pipe (or inside a basket).
(c) The Shamir became extinct with the Churban Bayis Rishon, and so did a
number of other things, such as a specific type of silk, white glass and
iron chariots. Others add - to Rebbi Ami's list - congealed wine that was
produced in S'nir (see Devarim 3:9).
(a) According to Rav, 'Nofes Tzufim' is flour that sticks to the sieve due
to its fatness/juiciness ('Nofes, from the word 'Nafah' - a sieve). Its
sweet taste is reminiscent of - a dough that was kneaded with honey and oil.
(b) According to Levi, it is the name that is given to two loaves baked on
opposite walls of the oven. They are called by the name 'Tzufim' - because,
due to Hashem's B'rachah, they expanded to the extent that they actually
touched during baking, like the honey in the honeycomb, which expanded and
grew so large that it seemed to be floating in the air (from the word
'Tzaf - to float).
(c) According to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, 'Nofes Tzufim' is honey that comes
from the mountains, which are referred to as 'Tzufim' - because they serve
as lookout posts (from the word 'Tzafah' - to watch).
(d) He supports this with Rav Yosef's Targum of the Pasuk in Devarim
"Ka'asher Ta'asenah ha'Devorim" - which he translates as 'like the bees who
fly to the high places to bring honey (pollen) from the herbs that grow on
(a) The Mishnah in Machshirin says that most liquids that are poured from a
Tahor vessel into a Tamei one - do not render the honey in the top vessel
(b) The only two exceptians are honeycombs and 'D'vash Zifim' (which are so
dense that they join the contents of the two vessels). Resh Lakish
translates 'D'vash Zifim' as honey from Zif, as he does in the Pasuk in
Tehilim "be'Vo ha'Zifim va'Yomru el Shaul ... ". Rebbi Yochanan translates
1. ... 'D'vash Zifim' as - thick honey of excellent quality, that one can
forge by adding water and wine without being able to tell the difference.
2. ... 'be'Vo ha'Zifim' as - people who forge their words through lies and
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that 'Anshei Amanah' became extinct at the
same time as the 'Nofes Tzufim'. Rebbi Yitzchak interprets Anshei Amanah as
people who believe in Hashem, according to Rebbi Eliezer - who describes
people who have sufficient food for that day but who worry about what they
will eat tomorrow (as if Hashem is unable to provide for them tomorrow just
as He provided for them today) as people who possess little faith.
(b) Rebbi Elazar explains with this the Pasuk in Zecharyah "Ki Mi Vaz le'Yom
Ketanos" (the little faith that those Tzadikim had resulted in their table
in Olam ha'Ba to be despised). According to Rava - the word "Ketanos" refers
to the children of Resha'im who died for their fathers' sins.
(c) When Hashem comes to judge these Resha'im in the World to Come, Rava
explains, they will argue that, if Hashem wanted to punish them there, why
did He cause them such pain in this world by taking away their children when
they were young; in other words - they will despise Hashem's judgment on
account of their little children, whom Hashem already took from them.