SOTAH 33 (16 Kislev) - Today's Daf has been dedicated in honor of the Yahrzeit of Reb Moshe ben Eliyahu Feinberg by his daughter Libi.

[33a - 36 lines; 33b - 43 lines]

1)[line 7]רחמי היאRACHAMEI HI- it (prayer) is [meant to invoke HaSh-m's] mercy

2)[line 8]מצליMATZLI- he prays

3)[line 10]ארמיתARAMIS- Aramaic

4)[line 15]בת קולBAS KOL (a Heavenly voice; a minor form of prophecy)

One of the lower forms of prophecy is called Bas Kol (lit. echo), where certain individuals of a high spiritual status hear a Heavenly voice. The Gemara in numerous places cites instances when a Bas Kol was heard, relaying information from the Heavens to the earth. Rebbi Yehoshua (Gemara Bava Metzia 59b) is of the opinion that we do not accept the ruling of a Bas Kol when it contradicts the majority opinion of the Sages.

5)[line 16]נצחו טליא דאזלו לאגחא קרבא לאנטוכיאNATZCHU TALAYA D'AZLU L'AGACHA KERAVA L'ANTOCHYA- they have won - the lads who went forth to battle to Antochya

6)[line 19]בטילת עבידתא דאמר שנאה לאייתאה על היכלאBETEILAS AVIDTA D'AMAR SAN'AH L'AISA'AH AL HEICHALA- the army that the enemy planned to bring to destroy the Beis ha'Mikdash has stopped coming

7)[line 20]ונהרג גסקלגס ובטלו גזירותיוV'NEHERAG GASKALGAS U'VATLU GEZEIROSAV- and Gaskalgas was killed and his decrees were annulled. The identification of Gaskalgas is a matter of controversy. RASHI states that he was a Greek king, which may concur with the story of our Gemara that Shimon ha'Tzadik, who lived at the time of Alexander the Great (Yoma 69a), was the Kohen Gadol who heard the Bas Kol. Some identify him with the Roman Emperor Gaius Ceasar, also known as Gaius Caligula (ruled 37-41 CE) who declared himself a deity and decreed that his image be placed in the Beis ha'Mikdash. In that case, the Kohen Gadol could not have been Shimon ha'Tzadik, who lived approximately 300 years earlier, but might have been another Shimon, who was termed "ha'Tzadik" because of the steadfastness of faith he displayed in this story (as evident from the version of the story that appears in Megilas Ta'anis). A more detailed version of the story in our Gemara is found in Megilas Ta'anis, chapter 11, which is consistent with the opinion that Gaskalgas was Gaius Caligula, although it mentions Shimon ha'Tzadik. Other Girsa'os include Kaskalas (Codex Munich), Gaius Gulikas (Yerushalmi Sotah 9:13) and Gaiuslokin (Shir ha'Shirim Rabah 8:3).

8)[line 21]ובלשון ארמי היה אומרUV'LASHON ARAMI HAYAH OMER- the Bas Kol was heard in Aramaic (these words are part of the Tosefta and teach us that the words of the Bas Kol were Aramaic and were not translated from Lashon ha'Kodesh when the incident was recorded in Megilas Ta'anis, which is written totally in Aramaic - RADAL)

9a)[line 22]בת קול שאניBAS KOL SHA'ANI- a Bas Kol is different [and may be in Aramaic]

b)[line 22]דלאשמועי עבידאDEL'ASHMU'EI AVIDA- it is meant to inform [people in whatever language they understand]

10)[line 27]"ונפש כי תחטא ושמעה קול אלה והוא עד או ראה או ידע אם לוא יגיד ונשא עונו""V'NEFESH KI SECHETA V'SHAM'AH KOL ALAH V'HU ED O RA'AH O YADA; IM LO YAGID V'NASA AVONO"- "And if a person sins, and hears (and accepts) the demand for an oath, and is a witness, whether he has seen or known of it; if he does not utter it (i.e. testify), then he shall bear his iniquity." (Vayikra 5:1) - See Background to Sotah 32:4.

11)[line 30]עדAD- until (this word indicates that this quote of the Mishnah on Daf 32a leaves out words from lines 15-18 there)

12)[line 31]וענו הלויםV'ANU HA'LEVIYIM- this verse is part of the Berachos and Kelalos of Har Gerizim and Har Eival (Devarim 27:14)

13)[last line]לדבר שהוא מעשה מעכבL'DAVAR SHE'HU MA'ASEH ME'AKEV- a detail [of a ceremony] that is an action is a necessary requirement [of the ceremony] (e.g. Chalitzah - taking off the shoe of the Yavam; Rekikah - spitting on the floor in front of the Yavam) as opposed to words

33b----------------------------------------33b

14)[line 13]כותייםKUSIYIM (KUSIM)

(a)The King of Ashur brought the people of Kusa to Eretz Yisrael and made them settle in the Shomron. They converted to Judaism after they found themselves under attack from lions. The Chachamim disagree as to whether their conversion was honest and valid (Geirei Emes) or not (Geirei Arayos).

(b)After the times of the Mishnah, the Kusim were found worshipping an image of a dove and the Chachamim gave them the status of Nochrim. (According to most Rishonim, this means that they decided to treat them like Nochrim l'Chumra, even if they were Geirei Emes. According to the RAMBAM (Peirush ha'Mishnayos), however, this means that they decided that their conversion was not sincere and deemed them Nochrim (Geirei Arayos) for all Halachic matters.)

15)[line 13]הגלגלHA'GILGAL- (a) a place in Eretz Yisrael not far from Yericho where Bnei Yisrael camped after they crossed the Yarden River. The Mishkan stood there before the land was completely conquered, when it was moved to Shiloh. It was called Gilgal after Yehoshua performed Bris Milah on the men of Bnei Yisrael who were uncircumcised (Yehoshua 5:2-9), based upon the verse, "Galosi Es Cherpas Mitzrayim me'Aleichem" (ibid. 5:9); (b) a place in Eretz Yisrael in the Shomron not far from Shechem (RASHI here; see Insights)

16)[line 18]זייפתי ספרי כותייםZIYAFTI SIFREI KUSIYIM- I proved that the books [of the Torah] of the Kusim were falsified

17)[line 19]זייפתם תורתכםZIYAFTEM TORASCHEM- you falsified your Torah [by adding the word "Shechem" after the words "Etzel Elonei Moreh"] (YERUSHALMI 7:3, see RADAL)

18)[line 25]"והיה בעברכם את הירדן תקימו את האבנים האלה אשר אנכי מצוה אתכם היום, בהר עיבל; ושדת אותם בשיד""V'HAYAH B'OVRECHEM ES HA'YARDEN, TAKIMU ES HA'AVANIM HA'ELEH ASHER ANOCHI METZAVEH ESCHEM HA'YOM, B'HAR EIVAL; V'SADTA OSAM BA'SID"- "Therefore it shall be when you have gone over the Yarden, that you shall set up these stones, which I command you this day, in Mount Eival, and you shall plaster them with plaster" (Devarim 27:4).

19)[line 27]ארץ חויERETZ CHIVI HI- it is the land of the Chivi, one of the sons of Kena'an (Bereishis 10:17). (See Insights as to whether this is a statement or a question.)

20)[line 27]בערבהARAVAH- dry land; savanna

21)[line 29]רבי אליעזר בם יעקב אומר לא בא הכתוב אלא להראות להן דרך בשניה כדרך שהראה להן בראשונהREBBI ELIEZER BEN YAKOV OMER LO BA HA'KASUV ELA L'HAR'OS LAHEN DERECH BA'SHENIYAH, K'DERECH SHE'HER'AH LAHEN BA'RISHONAH"- Rebbi Eliezer ben Yakov states that this verse does not indicate a geographic location; rather, it instructs Bnei Yisrael that they are to conquer Eretz Kena'an (ba'Sheniyah - the second path of travel) in a similar fashion to the way that HaSh-m led them in the desert after the Exodus from Mitzrayim (ba'Rishonah - the first path of travel). (See Insights as to whether Rebbi Eliezer ben Yakov's opinion fits the opinion of Rebbi Yehudah or Rebbi Elazar.)

22)[line 39]"הנה ארון הברית אדון כל הארץ עבר לפניכם בירדן. והיה כנוח כפות רגלי הכהנים נשאי ארון ה' אדון כל הארץ במי הירדן מי הירדן יכרתון המים הירדים מלמעלה ויעמדו נד אחד""HINEI ARON HA'B'RIS ADON KOL HA'ARETZ OVER LIFNEIHEM BA'YARDEN. V'HAYAH KENO'ACH KAPOS RAGLEI HA'KOHANIM NOS'EI ARON HASH-M ADON KOL HA'ARETZ B'MEI HA'YARDEN, MEI HA'YARDEN YIKAREISUN, HA'MAYIM HA'YORDIN MI'LEMA'ALAH V'YA'AMDU NEID ECHAD" - "Behold the Aron of the Covenant, of the Master of all the earth, is passing before you in the Jordan. And it shall be, the moment the soles of the feet of the Kohanim, the carriers of the Aron of HaSh-m, the Master of all the earth, rest in the water of the Jordan, the water of the Jordan will be cut-off; the water that is coming down from above will form a wall" (Yehoshua 3:11, 13) (THE SPLITTING OF THE RIVER YARDEN)

(a)It was on the ninth of Nisan, the third day after the two spies (Kalev and Pinchas) returned from their successful mission, that Yehoshua ordered Yisrael to get ready for the great miracle of the splitting of the Jordan River. This miracle would be triggered by the Kohanim, who carried the Aron, as the verse explains, and would enable Yisrael to enter Eretz Kana'an and begin the conquest of Kena'an. In verse 12, the Navi describes how twelve leaders, one from each tribe, would step into the Jordan with the Kohanim to witness this happening.

(b)The Kohanim remained in the Jordan River until the whole of Yisrael crossed, before returning to the east bank of the river. At that point, the water that had been piling up continued to flow, and the Aron flew them across the river.

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