DAF DISCUSSIONS - SOTAH 15

Tzvi Levi Sherman asked:

1) When the Gemara realizes that it can't learn a G"S from Metzorah since a Mitzorah requires cedar, hyssop, and scarlet thread - it seemingly gives two answers, one according to Rabah and one according to Rava. Are these two in a machlokes?

2) Also, when Rabah says "In an earthenware vessel" - the vessel already mentioned, does he mean that it must be a new vessel, since the one mentioned by metzorah is also new?

3) Finally, when the Gemara says "Just as water is unchanged, the vessel must be unchanged." Is that only according to Rava and the appearance of the vessel?

Thanks and Chag Kusher V'Sameach,

Tzvi Levi Sherman, Manlapan, United States

The Kollel replies:

The Sugya is quite a complex one (see Tosfos Yom Tov and Rashash), so I will stick to Rashi's interpretation of the two explanations.

To begin with, if Rava had come to argue with Abaye, the Gemara would have said "Rava Amar", and not "Amar Rava".

1. Consequently, says Rashi, although Abaye is coming to explain R. Yishmael in the Beraisa, who requires a new earthenware vessel (like a Metzora), Rava is coming to explain our Mishnah, which requires an earthenware vessel, but not necessarily a new one.

2. As I just explained, Abaye is coming to explain R. Yishmael, who specifically requires a new earthenware vessel by Sotah as well as by Metzora - so the answer to your question is "yes!"

3. Rava is the one who says that "Just as water is unchanged, so too, must the vessel be unchanged", so it is clearly he who requires it. As far as Rabah is concerned, that Derashah would be redundant, since we already know from the Torah's comparison to Metzora that the vessel needs to be a brand new one (so there would be no point in telling us that it mustn't be black).

Be'Virchas Kol Tuv,

Eliezer Chrysler