More Discussions for this daf
1. The Interspersing of Agadah and Halachah in Maseches Sotah 2. Yetzer ha'Ra 3. Viewing the Disgracing of the Sotah
4. Beror Lo Misah Yafah 5. Tefach b'Ishah Ervah

Aaron Shemtob asked:

Shalom rabbi,

Ketivah Vahatimah Tovah!

The Gemara says that Mahloket of Rabbanan and R' Yehudah revolves around "Veahavta Leracha Kamocha" Beror Lo Mitah Yafah "

One holds Bizyoneh Adif Leh and the other Saar Degufeh Adif Leh.

Rashi explains this in the masculine the whole time. But especially odd is he writes "Saarah Degufah Adif Leh Vezo Hi Mitah Yafeh Lo Lisakel Arum."

The problem is everyone agrees the man is naked because if the Derashah of the extra word "Oto" so this beror Lo only applies to the woman.

1) Why does the Gemara write it in masculine?

2) why does Rashi write it in Masculine?

3) is there any application of Beror Lo other than naked or not naked which could apply to the man?

Thank you,

Aaron Shemtob

The Kollel replies:

1) It seems to me that the Gemara writes it in the masculine form because the Mahloket applies in principle for men as well as for women. In practice, the man is executed naked because of the Gezeiras ha'Katuv of "Oso v'Lo Kesuso," but in other areas of Halachah the idea that "Bizyonei Adif" according to the Chachamim applies both to men and women, and according to Rebbi Yehudah, "Tza'ara d'Gufa Adif" is also true for both genders.

2) Rashi writes in the masculine form because he is referring to the Gemara which is in the masculine form. Rashi also refers to the general principle, which applies both to men and women.

3) "Beror Lo..." is a rule which is mentioned a few times in Shas (for instance, in Kesuvos 37b the Gemara learns from "Beror Lo..." that the execution is performed with a sword at the front of the neck, not with an axe at the back of the neck).

4) It is worth pointing out that while the Gemara in Sanhedrin 45a uses the masculine terminology in the same way as the Gemara here in Sotah does, there is a difference between Rashi in Sanhedrin and Rashi here, in that Rashi in Sanhedrin does switch to feminine terminology. Rashi there (Sanhedrin 45a, DH Bizyoni) writes "therefore it is more comfortable for her that she should be stoned while dressed."

So, if we were to ask your question, Reb Aaron, on Sanhedrin 45a, the answer to (1) would be the same -- the Gemara is referring to the general principle of whether Bizyoni is preferable or Tza'ara is preferable and in different areas of Halachah there would not necessarily be a difference between men and women concerning this.

The answer to (2) would be that in Sanhedrin 45a, Rashi writes it in the feminine.

Kesivah va'Chasimah Tovah,

Dovid Bloom