SOTAH 2 - Dedicated by HaGaon HaRav Yosef Pearlman of London, England, l'Iluy Nishmas his father, ha'Rabbani Reb Rephael David ben Yosef Yitzchak Pearlman, who passed away on Pesach Sheni 5758.

[2a - 37 lines; 2b - 48 lines]

1)[line 1]המקנא לאשתוHA'MEKANEI L'ISHTO (SOTAH: KINUY / STIRAH)

(a)A Sotah is a woman who is suspected of committing adultery because she was warned by her husband not to seclude herself with a certain man and she violated the warning. The process of warning her in front of witnesses is called Kinuy. The witnesses who see her seclude herself with the suspected adulterer are called Eidei Stirah. The time of seclusion must be at least for the time that it takes to roast an egg and swallow it. The woman is forbidden to her husband and the alleged adulterer until she drinks Mei Sotah (see (c), below).

(b)The husband must bring his wife to the Beis ha'Mikdash, along with a sacrifice consisting of 1/10 of an Eifah (approx. 2 quarts) of barley meal as a Minchah offering. The Kohen reads Parshas Sotah, the portion of the Torah describing the curses with which a Sotah is cursed, out loud (in any language that the Sotah understands) and makes the Sotah swear that she has been faithful to her husband.

(c)An earthenware jug is then filled with half a Log of water from the Kiyor, and dirt from the floor of the Azarah is placed on top of the water. Parshas Sotah (that contains numerous appearances of Hash-m's name) is written on parchment and then immersed in the water, which causes the ink to dissolve, erasing the Holy Names. The Sotah afterwards drinks from the water. If she was unfaithful to her husband and allowed herself to become defiled, the water would enter her body and poison her, causing her belly to swell out and her thigh to rupture. If she was faithful to her husband, she remained unharmed and would be blessed that she would become pregnant (Bamidbar 5:11-31). In times when there is no Mei Sotah such as in the present day, she must be divorced and does not receive her Kesuvah.

(d)A Sotah Vadai is an ordinary married woman (that is, not a Na'arah ha'Me'urasah - see Background to Nedarim 75:1) who committed adultery. She is prohibited to her husband and the adulterer and she may not eat Terumah. If she committed the act after not heeding the warning of two witnesses, she is put to death by Chenek (choking), as it states in the Torah (Devarim 22:22).

2)[line 3]ומשקה על פי עד אחדU'MASHKAH AL PI ED ECHAD- and he causes her to drink the Mei Sotah even if only one witness saw that she went into seclusion with the man to whom her husband's Kinuy was directed

3)[line 11]חולצת ולא מתייבמתCHOLETZES V'LO MISYABEMES (YIBUM / CHALITZAH)

(a)If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (the marriage of a dead man's brother with his wife) (Devarim 25:5-10). Chazal learn from the verses that there is a preference for the oldest brother to perform Yibum.

(b)If the brother chooses not to marry her, he must perform Chalitzah (a procedure in Beis Din that absolves her of the Mitzvah of Yibum - ibid.). He appears before a Beis Din of three and states, "I do not want to marry her," after which his sister-in-law approaches him before the elders, takes off his right sandal and spits in front of him. She then declares, "This is what shall be done to the man who will not build up a family for his brother," and she is then free to marry whomever she wants.

(c)The connection of the brother to the dead man's wife, which obligates one of the two, is called Zikah. It is comparable to the state of Eirusin (betrothal) before a marriage. The Tana of the Mishnah from Yevamos rules that the Zikah "connects" the Yevamah with all of the brothers, not only the oldest. While the Yevamah is waiting for Yibum or Chalitzah, she is called a Shomeres Yavam.

4)[line 12]מנזיר סליקMI'NAZIR SALIK- has just finished (lit. has come up from) Maseches Nazir

5)[line 15]בקלקולהB'KILKULAH- in her ruin/degradation

6)[line 22]אין מזווגין לו לאדם אשה אלא לפי מעשיוEIN MEZAVGIN LO L'ADAM ISHAH ELA LEFI MA'ASAV- a wife is only paired with a man (by Heaven) according to his deeds

7)[line 23]"כי לא ינוח שבט הרשע על גורל הצדיקים [למען לא ישלחו הצדיקים בעולתה ידיהם]""KI LO YANU'ACH SHEVET HA'RESHA AL GORAL HA'TZADIKIM [L'MA'AN LO YISHLECHU HA'TZADIKIM B'AVLASAH YEDEIHEM]"- "For the reign (lit. rod) of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous [so that the righteous shall not stretch their hands into iniquity]" (Tehilim 125:3).

8)[line 25]"א-לקים מושיב יחידים ביתה מוציא אסירים בכושרות; אך סוררים שכנו צחיחחה""E-LOKIM MOSHIV YECHIDIM BAISAH, MOTZI ASIRIM BA'KOSHAROS; [ACH SORERIM SHACHENU TZECHICHAH]"- "E-lokim settles individuals into a household, He releases prisoners at suitable moments; [only the rebellious dwell in the thirsty land]" (Tehilim 68:7) - The Chachamim learn that the second part of this verse is referring to the Redemption from Egypt. They render "ba'Kosharos" as a contraction of the words "Bechi" (weeping) and "Shiros" (songs). When Benei Yisrael were released from slavery, it was a time of weeping for the Egyptians and of song for Benei Yisrael. HaSh-m redeemed Yisrael from Egypt in the most suitable (Kosher) season of the year - springtime - for then the weather is optimal for traveling on the road; it is neither to hot nor too cold (RASHI ibid.) According to the Midrash, this phrase also relates to the formation of the family unit. When HaSh-m matches a couple, their union is undoubtedly suitable and has the potential for happiness. Ultimately, however, only the efforts of the husband and wife determine whether or not the match will succeed. If they appreciate HaSh-m's choice, the resulting happiness will cause them to sing "Shiros" (songs) of joy and gratitude, but if they refuse to accept their Divinely designated mates, they will be engulfed in unhappy "Bechi" (weeping) (Bereishis Rabah 68:4). Furthermore, if the couple is fearful of HaSh-m, they will be "Motzi Asirim ba'Kosharos," i.e. bring forth scholarly sons who are able to decide what is Halachically "Asur" or "Kasher." If the couple is not meritorious, however, their sons will be ignoramuses whose parched minds are barren of Torah knowledge (ARTSCROLL Tehilim ibid.).

9)[line 30]בזוג ראשוןZIVUG/ZEVEG RISHON- first marriage

10)[last line]"לא יקום עד אחד באיש [לכל עון ולכל חטאת בכל חטא אשר יחטא; על פי שני עדים או על פי שלשה עדים יקום דבר]""LO YAKUM ED ECHAD B'ISH [L'CHOL AVON UL'CHOL CHATAS B'CHOL CHET ASHER YECHETA; AL PI SHNEI EDIM O AL PI SHELOSHAH EDIM YAKUM DAVAR]"- "One witness shall not rise up against a man [for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he may commit; according to two witnesses or three witnesses, shall the matter be established]" (Devarim 19:15).


11)[line 2]בנה אבBANAH AV (BINYAN AV)

In the Introduction to the Sifra (the Halachic Midrash to Vayikra), Rebbi Yishmael lists thirteen methods that Chazal use for extracting the Halachah from the verses of the Torah. One of them is called Binyan Av. A Binyan Av (lit. "building through a father," - father in this sense means a Biblical source), is a rule of Biblical interpretation in which one subject is deemed a prototype in order to apply a Halachah stated in that subject to other comparable subjects.

12)[line 5]"... והיא לא נתפשה""... V'HI LO NISPASAH"- "... and she was not seized" (Bamidbar 5:13).

13)[line 11]דאתיא דבר דבר מממוןD'ASYA DAVAR DAVAR MI'MAMON- it is learned through a Gezeirah Shavah of Davar-Davar from monetary matters [which can be found on the bottom of Daf 3b]

14)[line 13]דרגלים לדברRAGLAYIM LA'DAVAR- there is a logical foundation to presume that she sinned

15)[line 28]אי לאו סתירה קינוי מי איכא? ואי לאו קינוי, בתירה מאי אהני?IY LAV STIRAH, KINUY MI IKA? V'IY LAV KINUY, STIRAH MAI AHANEI?- If not for Stirah, would the Kinuy alone create any Halachic ramifications? And if not for the Kinuy, would the Stirah have any effect?

16)[line 36]דזמנין דלא קני ואמר קנאיD'ZIMNIN D'LO KANI, V'AMAR KANA'I- For example, [if an angry husband] who actually did not do Kinuy, but claimed that he did [in order to have her drink the Mei Sotah after finding witnesses to an innocent Stirah]

17)[line 39]למשנתינו איכא עיקרL'MISHNASEINU IKA IKAR- Our Mishnah contains the main part, (namely, two witnesses to Kinuy at a time where he was not under the influence of his anger)

18)[line 41]לא לימא איניש לאיתתיה בזמן הזה לא תיסתרי בהדי פלוניLO LEIMA INISH L'ITESEI BI'ZEMAN HA'ZEH, LO TISTERI BAHADEI PELONI- a man should not say to his wife in our times, "Do not go into seclusion with so-and-so" [rather he should say something else to same effect, e.g. "If you go into seclusion with so-and-so, I'll throw you out of the house"]

19)[line 45]מאי דקמא דקא בדלה?MAI D'KAMA D'KA BADLAH?- Why is she all of a sudden keeping away [from certain people]?