SOTAH 23 (6 Kislev) - Dedicated in honor of the Yahrzeit of Eliezer ben Reb Shraga Feivel Marmorstein by his nephew, Mr. David Kornfeld, whom Mr. Marmorstein raised like his own child after the Holocaust.
SOTAH 23-25 - A week of study material has been dedicated by Mrs. Rita Grunberger of Queens, N.Y., in loving memory of her husband, Reb Yitzchok Yakov (Irving) ben Eliyahu Grunberger. Irving Grunberger helped many people quietly in an unassuming manner and is dearly missed by all who knew him. His Yahrzeit is 10 Sivan.

[23a - 36 lines; 23b - 39 lines]

1)[line 9]מתחללתMISCHALELES (CHALALIM)

(a)The Torah commands a Kohen Gadol not to marry a widow, divorcee, prostitute ("Zonah" - see Background to Yevamos 59:8) or Chalalah (Vayikra 21:14). An ordinary Kohen is permitted to marry a widow, but not any of the other women listed above. The child from one of the above-mentioned unions is invalidated from the Kehunah, and is called a "Chalal." The Rabanan also prohibited all Kohanim from marrying a Chalutzah, and made the children of a Kohen from a Chalutzah Chalalim mid'Rabanan.

(b)A Chalal may not serve in the Beis ha'Mikdash, and according to some sources he is Chayav Misah b'Yedei Shamayim if he does (MINCHAS CHINUCH 275:5). A Chalal does not eat Terumah or the Kodshim reserved for Kohanim (Terumos 8:1), and is not restricted with regard to the women that he is allowed to marry. Chalalim are not prohibited from coming into contact with corpses. Chalalim are not considered Kohanim with regard to the other privileges and restrictions pertaining to Kohanim, as well.

(c)A widow, divorcee or prostitute who has relations with a Kohen Gadol, and a divorcee or prostitute who has relations with a regular Kohen, becomes a "Chalalah." Female children born through such a union are also Chalalos. Also, any Jewish woman who has relations with a Chalal becomes a Chalalah (even though she is permitted to have relations with him).

(d)A Chalalah is prohibited to marry a Kohen. If she does marry (and have relations with) a Kohen, the Chalalah and the Kohen are punished with Malkos. A Chalalah may not eat Terumah. Although a Jewish woman who has living children from a Kohen normally eats Terumah, if she becomes a Chalalah she may no longer eat Terumah. Similarly, although the daughter of a Kohen normally eats Terumah until she becomes married to a non-Kohen, if she becomes a Chalalah she may no longer eat Terumah (Yevamos 69a).

(e)There is a Mitzvas Aseh for a Kohen Gadol to marry a Besulah (Vayikra 21:13). If he transgresses this Aseh and marries a Be'ulah (who is not an Almanah), the Tana'im argue as to whether the woman becomes a Chalalah and whether the child is a Chalal.


(a)The term Kodshei Kodashim refers to the Korbenos Olah, Chatas, and Asham (and Menachos), which have a greater degree of sanctity. They may be slaughtered only in the northern part of the Azarah and may be eaten only in the Azarah by Kohanim.

(b)The term Kodshim Kalim refers to the Korbenos Shelamim, Todah, Ma'aser Behemah, Pesach, and Bechor, which have a lesser degree of sanctity. They may be slaughtered in the entire Azarah (and not only in its northern part) and may be eaten in the entire city of Yerushalayim by men or women.

3)[line 12]פורע ופורםPORE'A U'FOREM (PERI'AH / PERIMAH)

A Metzora, like a mourner, must let his hair grow (Peri'ah) and make a tear (Perimah) of at least a Tefach in the upper part of his clothes as is learned from the verse in Vayikra (13:45).

4)[line 14]מדיר את בנו בנזירMADIR ES BENO B'NAZIR

(a)If a person makes a vow to become a Nazir without stipulating a time period, his or her Nezirus lasts for a period of thirty days. If the person stipulates a time period, his or her Nezirus lasts for whatever amount of time he stipulated. During this period, the Nazir is not allowed to 1. cut his hair; 2. become Tamei by touching or being in the same room as a corpse; or 3. consume any products of the grapevine. (Bamidbar 6:1-21, SEFER HA'CHINUCH #377)

(b)A father has the right to accept Nezirus for his son who is a minor. Rebbi Yochanan rules that this is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai, while Reish Lakish rules that is only in order to train his son to do Mitzvos ("Kedei l'Chancho b'Mitzvos"). This Halachah applies only to a son and not to a daughter, and only the father has this right, and not the mother (Nazir 28b).

5)[line 15]מגלח על נזירות אביוMEGALE'ACH AL NEZIRUS AVIV

If a Nazir dies before his vow of Nezirus ends, the Korbanos that he set aside to offer upon the completion of his Nezirus or the money with which he meant to buy the Korbanos may be used by his son upon the completion of his Nezirus. Rebbi Yochanan rules that this is a Halachah l'Moshe mi'Sinai. This Halachah applies only to a son and not to a daughter (Nazir 30a).

6)[line 18]מוכר את בתוMOCHER ES BITO (MECHIRAS HA'BAS)

A destitute father, under certain circumstances, may sell his daughter into servitude to a Jewish master as long as she is a minor. The sale is for a period of six years or until she becomes a Gedolah (when two pubic hairs grow after she enters her 12th year) or until the Yovel year (the year after seven Shemitah cycles), whichever comes first. During this period she is called an "Amah ha'Ivriyah."

7)[line 19]נסקלNISKAL (SEKILAH)

(a)Arba Misos Beis Din, the four death penalties administered by Beis Din, in their order of stringency are:

1.Sekilah (stoning)

2.Sereifah (burning with molten lead, which is poured down the throat)

3.Hereg (killing with a sword) (Sefer ha'Chinuch #50)

4.Chenek (strangulation) (Sefer ha'Chinuch #47)

(b)According to the Rebbi Shimon (Mishnah Sanhedrin 9:3, Gemara Sanhedrin 49b), the order of their stringency is Sereifah, Sekilah, Chenek, and Hereg.

(c)If a person commits two capital offences, he is put to death with the more stringent of the two. If a number of people were sentenced to die through different death penalties, and it is not known which sentence was passed upon which person, Beis Din administers to all of them the least stringent of the death penalties to which they were sentenced.

(d)Chazal instituted a practice of burying people who were sentenced to capital punishment in two different cemeteries: one for those who were put to death by Sekilah and Sereifah and one for those who were put to death by Hereg and Chenek.

8)[line 20]נתלהNITLEH

The Torah states, "v'Chi Yiheyeh v'Ish Chet Mishpat Maves... Lo Salin Nivlaso Al ha'Etz, Ki Kavor Tikberenu ba'Yom ha'Hu..." - "And if a man has committed a sin deserving death, and he is put to death, you shall hang him on a gallows. However, his body shall not remain all night upon the gallows, but rather you shall bury him that day..." (Devarim 21:22-23). Rebbi Eliezer (Sanhedrin 45b) rules that this verse refers to all convicts who are stoned. After being executed, their dead bodies are hanged. The Rabanan argue, claiming that a blasphemer or an idolater is the only capital offender who is hanged after stoning.

9)[line 21]נמכר בגניבתוNIMKAR BI'GENEIVASO

(a)There are two ways that a Jew can be bought as a slave. Either he may sell himself because he is destitute, or he may be sold by Beis Din to pay back a theft. In either case he is obligated to work for his master for only six years (Shemos 21:6) or until the Yovel year, whichever comes first (ibid. 21:2-4). This Halachah only applies to a man and not to a woman.

(b)If at the termination of six years he expresses his desire to continue life as a slave, the master makes the slave stand near a doorpost and pierces his right ear and the door with an awl. The slave then must continue to serve his master until the Yovel year (ibid. 21:6). This Halachah only applies to male slaves who were sold by Beis Din and not to slaves who sell themselves (RAMBAM Hilchos Avadim 3:6).

10)[line 25]ואינה עולה כלילV'EINAH OLAH KALIL - It is not entirely burned on the Mizbe'ach (MINCHAS KOHANIM)

A Korban Minchah that is brought by a Kohen does not need Kemitzah. The entire Minchah is burned on the Mizbe'ach. This is learned from the verse, "v'Chol Minchas Kohen, Kalil Tiheyeh, Lo Se'achel" - "And every meal-offering of a Kohen shall be entirely offered; it shall not be eaten." (Vayikra 6:16)

11)[line 26]הקומץHA'KOMETZ

(a)When an individual who is not a Kohen offers a Korban Minchah (flour offering), a Kohen must take off a Kometz (handful), which is burned upon the Mizbe'ach.

(b)A Kometz is the amount that can be held by the middle three fingers when they are pressed upon the palm. The Kohen puts his hand in the dough or baked goods that have been consecrated by being placed into a Kli Shares, and removes one handful. The excess of dough or baked goods that sticks out is then wiped off by the thumb and the smallest finger until only the Kometz remains.

(c)The Kometz is next placed in another Kli Shares, brought (Holachah) to the southwestern corner of the Mizbe'ach (Hagashah) and then offered upon the Mizbe'ach (Haktarah). The remainder of the Minchah (the Sheyarei ha'Minchah) is eaten by male Kohanim.

(d)A Minchah that is brought by the Tzibur and a Minchah offered by a Kohen are entirely burned on the Mizbe'ach

12)[line 28]כל שהוא ממנו לאישים הרי הוא בבל תקטירוKOL SHE'MIMENU LA'ISHIM HAREI HU B'VAL TAKTIRU

The Torah requires certain parts of the Korbanos to be offered on the Mizbe'ach. These parts are collectively termed "Eimurim." It is prohibited to offer any other part of the Korban on the Mizbe'ach. This Halachah is learned from Vayikra 2:11.

13)[line 30]דמסיק להו לשום עציםD'MASIK LEHU L'SHUM ETZIM- he offers them as if they are wood which is being burned on the Mizbe'ach

14)[last line]בית הדשןBEIS HA'DESHEN

(a)There are four places associated with the Beis ha'Mikdash that are called "Beis ha'Deshen" (ash-pile) (Zevachim 104b):

1.The first Beis ha'Deshen, also known as Mekom ha'Deshen, was located southeast of the outer Mizbe'ach alongside the ramp, at a distance of three Tefachim (approx. 10.5 inches) from the ramp and 10 Amos north of the foot of the ramp. The Terumas ha'Deshen (a shovel-full of ashes lifted from the bonfire of the outer Mizbe'ach) and ashes from the Menorah and the inner Mizbe'ach were put there every morning. Additionally, when a bird was brought as an Olas ha'Of, the Kohen cut out the crop and surrounding feathers of the bird (or, according to some Tana'im, the crop and the intestines - Zevachim 65a) and threw them onto this Beis ha'Deshen.

2.The second Beis ha'Deshen was located immediately to the east of the outer Mizbe'ach. It was used for burning the parts of certain Korbanos that became Pesulim, where the Pesul occurred before the Zerikas ha'Dam. These parts were the meat and the Eimurim of Kodshei ha'Kodashim, the Eimurim of the Kodshim Kalim, and the Parim and Se'irim ha'Nisrafim (the oxen and goats the remains of which were burned) (Pesachim 24a, Zevachim 104b).

3.The third Beis ha'Deshen was located on Har ha'Bayis and was used for burning the Parim and Se'irim ha'Nisrafim that became Pesulim, where the Pesul occurred after the Zerikas ha'Dam.

4.The fourth Beis ha'Deshen was also called the Shefech ha'Deshen. Most of the ashes from the sacrifices burned on the outer Mizb'ach were cleared away to the Tapu'ach, a large pile of ashes in the middle of the Mizbe'ach. The Torah states that when this pile becomes excessively large, the ashes must be cleared away to the Shefech ha'Deshen, the ritually clean place outside the camp in the desert or outside of Yerushalayim where the ashes from the Mizbe'ach are deposited (Vayikra 4:12, 6:4). The Parim and Se'irim ha'Nisrafim that did not become Pesulim during their Avodah were also burned in this Beis ha'Deshen.

(b)The Beis ha'Deshen mentioned in our Gemara is the subject of a Macholokes. RASHI (to Yevamos 100a) states that this is the Beis ha'Deshen of the Terumas ha'Deshen (see above, a:1), while TOSFOS (ibid.) claims that this is the Beis ha'Deshen in the Azarah of the Pesulei ha'Mukdashin (see above, a:2).



(a)A person brings a Korban Oleh v'Yored in three specific cases: Shevu'as ha'Edus (see Background to Yoma 74:1), Tum'as Mikdash v'Kodashav (see Background to Nazir 17:3b) and Korban Shevu'ah (see Background to Nedarim 2:3).

(b)What constitutes a Korban Oleh v'Yored varies based on the means of the penitent. If he is wealthy, he brings a female sheep or goat as a Chatas (Korban Ashir). If he cannot afford this, he brings two Torim (turtledoves) or two Bnei Yonah (common doves), one as an Olah and one as a Chatas (Korban Oleh v'Yored b'Dalus). If he cannot afford even the birds, he brings one tenth of an Eifah of fine flour as a Minchas Chatas (Korban Oleh v'Yored b'Dalei Dalus). (Vayikra 5:6-13)

(c)The Minchas Chatas is not mixed with oil, and Levonah (frankincense) is not sprinkled on top of it (Vayikra 5:11). When a non-Kohen brings a Minchas Chatas, a Kometz of the flour alone is burned on the Mizbe'ach and the Kohanim receive the Shirayim (the rest of the flour, which they must eat before the following sunrise - RAMBAM Hilchos Ma'aseh ha'Korbanos 10:7).

(d)The Minchas Chatas of a Kohen is the subject of a Machlokes Tana'im (Menachos 73b-74a). According to one opinion, it is treated like the normal Minchah of a Kohen (see entry #10 above). Another opinion rules that a Kometz is removed and burned as in the Minchah of a non-Kohen. However, unlike the Minchah of a non-Kohen, the Shirayim are also burned on the Mizbe'ach. A third opinion rules that the Kometz is burned on the Mizbe'ach and the Shirayim are burned on the Beis ha'Deshen in the Azarah. RASHI (to Yevamos 100a) states that this is the Beis ha'Deshen of the Terumas ha'Deshen (see above, entry 14:a:1), while TOSFOS (ibid.) claims that this is the Beis ha'Deshen of the Pesulei ha'Mukdashin (see above, entry 14:a:2).

16)[line 35]ושומרת יבםV'SHOMERES YAVAM

(a)If a married man dies childless, his widow must undergo Yibum (the marriage of a dead man's brother with his wife), as it states in 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 (engagement) 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.

17)[last line]ממזרתMAMZERES

(a)There are prohibited marital relations that invalidate the ensuing offspring and render them Mamzerim. The Tana'im argue as to the nature of these prohibited relations. According to Rebbi Yehoshua, they must be relations that are punishable by Misas Beis Din. Rebbi Shimon ha'Timni rules that all relations that are punishable by Kares, even if they are not punishable by Misas Beis Din, produce a Mamzer (fem. Mamzeres). According to Rebbi Akiva, even relations that are prohibited by a Lav produce a Mamzer (Yevamos 49a). Other Tana'im argue regarding the opinion of Rebbi Akiva. There are those who assert that he rules that only relations prohibited by a Lav produce a Mamzer. Others hold that even those prohibited by an Aseh produce a Mamzer (except for a Kohen Gadol who has relations with a non-virgin - Kesuvos 30a). The Halachah follows the opinion of Rebbi Shimon ha'Timni, that only relations punishable by Kares produce a Mamzer (Yevamos ibid.)

(b)A Mamzer is prohibited to marry into the community of HaSh-m, that is, Jewish people of unsullied lineage. He may, however, marry a Mamzeres and a Giyores (MISHNAH Kidushin 69a). The Tana'im and Amora'im argue as to whether a Safek Mamzer is prohibited mid'Oraisa to marry both a Mamzeres and a Jewess of unsullied lineage, because of the doubt, or whether he is permitted mid'Oraisa to marry either of them, since he is not included in the category of Mamzer that the Torah prohibited (Yevamos 37a, Kidushin 73a, 74a).