SOTAH 38 (28 Sivan) - Dedicated in memory of Hagaon Rav Yisroel Zev (ben Rav Avrohom Tzvi) Gustman, zt"l, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Netzach Yisrael-Ramailes (Vilna-Brooklyn-Yerushalayim), author of "Kuntresei Shi'urim" and renowned Dayan in pre-war and post-war Vilna, on his 17th Yahrzeit. Dedicated by Harav Avraham Feldman of Yerushalayim, Dr. Yehoshua Daniel of Efrat, and Rabbis Eliezer and Zalman Stern of New York, who merited to study under the Rosh Yeshiva zt"l in Yerushalayim.

[38a - 50 lines; 38b - 51 lines]

1a)[line 1]ככתבוK'KESAVO- as the Shem ha'Meforash is written; the Tetragrammaton

b)[line 1]בכינויוB'KINUYO- with its appellation, the Shem Adnus

2)[line 4]הציץHA'TZITZ- the thin gold plate on which was written "Kodesh la'Sh-m," worn on the forehead of the Kohen Gadol (Shemos 28:36-38). See Charts to Shabbos 63b.

3)[line 18]"[בעת ההוא הבדיל ה' את שבט הלוי... לעמד לפני ה'] לשרתו ולברך בשמו עד היום הזה""[BA'ES HA'HI HIVDIL HASH-M ES SHEVET HA'LEVI... LA'AMOD LIFNEI HASH-M] L'SHARSO, UL'VARECH BI'SHMO [AD HA'YOM HA'ZEH]"- "[At that time HaSh-m separated the tribe of Levi to carry the Ark of the Covenant of HaSh-m; to stand before HaSh-m] to minister unto Him, and to bless in His name [until this day.]" (Devarim 10:8) - See GILYON HA'SHAS of Rebbi Akiva Eiger who asks why the word "La'amod" (to stand) in this verse could not have been used to prove that Sherus itself is done standing (instead of the verse brought by the Gemara, Devarim 18:5).

4)[line 19]משרתMESHARES- to do the Divine Service

5)[line 29]"כי בו בחר... לעמד לשרת בשם ה' הוא ובניו כל הימים""KI VO BACHAR... LA'AMOD L'SHARES B'SHEM HASH-M, HU U'VANAV KOL HA'YAMIM"- "For HaSh-m has chosen him... to stand to minister in the Name of HaSh-m, him and his sons forever." (Devarim 18:5)

6)[line 33]בשם המפורשSHEM HA'MEFORASH (BIRKAS KOHANIM)

The Kohanim are required to bless the people with the three-fold blessing, as described in Bamidbar 6:22-27. In the Beis ha'Mikdash the blessing was said with the Shem ha'Meforash (the Tetragrammaton). According to Tosfos DH Harei Hu Omer, this is only true when there is Giluy Shechinah in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Since there was no Giluy Shechinah after the passing of Shimon ha'Tzadik, the Kohanim stopped saying Birkas Kohanim with the Shem ha'Meforash.

7)[line 35]"ושמו את שמי על בני ישראל ואני אברכם""V'SAMU ES SHEMI AL BNEI YISRAEL; VA'ANI AVARCHEM"- "And they shall place My Name upon Bnei Yisrael; and I will bless them." (Bamidbar 6:27)

8)[line 36]בגבוליןB'GEVULIN- in all of Eretz Yisrael, to the exclusion of the Beis ha'Mikdash

9)[line 37]"[כי ירחק ממך המקום אשר יבחר ה' אלקיך] לשום שמו שם""[KI YIRCHAK MIMCHA HA'MAKOM ASHER YIVCHAR HASH-M EL-KECHA] LASUM ES SHEMO SHAM"- "[If the place which HaSh-m your Elokim has chosen] to put His Name there [is too far from you, then you shall slaughter of your herd and of your flock, which HaSh-m has given you, as I have commanded you, and you shall eat in your gates, to your heart's desire]." (Devarim 12:21)

10)[line 41]מקרא זה מסורס הואMIKRA ZEH MESURAS HU- (lit. this verse is out of order) this verse is to be understood by rearranging its words

11)[line 45]ועבדים משוחרריםV'AVADIM MESHUCHRARIM- and freed slaves

12)[line 45]"דבר אל אהרן ואל בניו לאמר כה תברכו את בני ישראל אמור להם""DABER EL AHARON V'EL BANAV LEIMOR: KO SEVARCHU ES BNEI YISRAEL; AMOR LAHEM'"- "Speak to Aharon and his sons saying, 'Thus shall you bless Bnei Yisrael, saying to them:'" (Bamidbar 6:23)

13)[line 47]עורףOREF- the backs of their necks

14)[line 48]נקטינןNAKTINAN- we have a tradition


15)[line 2](סימן מתאו''ה לברכ''ה דוכ''ן בעבוד''ה כו''ס מכי''ר נהנ''ה בעגל''ה)(SIMAN MIS'AVEH LI'VERACHAH DUCHAN BA'AVODAH KOS MAKIR NEHENEH BA'EGLAH)- this is a mnemonic device for remembering the eight teachings of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, respectively:

1.Mis'aveh refers to Minayin sheha'Kadosh Baruch Hu Mis'aveh l'Virkas Kohanim (line 4);

2.li'Verachah refers to Kol Kohen she'Mevarech, Misbarech (line 7);

3.Duchan refers to Kol Kohen she'Eino Oleh la'Duchan (line 10);

4.ba'Avodah refers to Kol Kohen she'Eino Oleh ba'Avodah (line 14);

5.Kos refers to Ein Nosnin Kos Shel Berachah (line 26);

6.Makir refers to Minayin she'Afilu Ofos Makirin b'Tzarei Ayin (line 29);

7.Neheneh refers to Kol ha'Neheneh mi'Tzrei Ayin (line 32);

8.ba'Eglah refers to Ein Eglah Arufah Ba'ah Ela Bishvil Tzarei Ayin (line 37)

16)[line 10]לדוכןDUCHAN- the raised platform at the front of the Beis ha'Keneses upon which the Kohanim stand while performing Birkas Kohanim

17)[line 12]בן גרושה או בן חלוצהBEN GERUSHAH O VEN CHALUTZAH (CHALAL)

(a)The Torah (Vayikra 21:14) commands a Kohen Gadol not to marry a widow (Almanah), divorcee (Gerushah), prostitute ("Zonah" - see Background to Yevamos 59:8), or Chalalah. 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 (see Background to Sotah 32:7), 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.

18)[line 13]דסליק לפרקיםD'SALIK LI'FERAKIM- when he goes up [to the Duchan to perform Birkas Kohanim] occasionally (he only is guilty of not performing the three Mitzvos Aseh. We do not, however, suspect that he is a Ben Gerushah or Ben Chalutzah)

19)[line 15]בעבודהAVODAH- the Berachah of Retzeh

20a)[line 20]מעיקרא הוו עקרי כרעייהוME'IKARA HAVU AKREI KAR'AIHU- they would start to move (lit. uproot their feet) beforehand

b)[line 20]ממטא לא הוה מטו התםMIMTA LO HAVAH MATU HASAM- they did not arrive there (at the Duchan)

21)[line 23]הבטחתוHAVTACHASO- he is certain [that he will return to his Tefilah and he will not get confused]

22)[line 24]והוינן בהV'HAVINAN BAH- and we question this ruling

23)[line 25]דנד פורתאD'NAD PURTA- that he moved [his feet] slightly

24)[line 27]"טוב עין הוא יבורך כי נתן מלחמו לדל""TOV AYIN HU YEVORACH; KI NASAN MI'LACHMO LA'DAL"- "He who has a generous eye shall be blessed; for he gives of his bread to the poor" (Mishlei 22:9) - The Gemara instructs homiletically, "Do not read "Yevorach" ("he will be blessed"), but rather "Yevarech" ("he will recite the blessing")."

25)[line 30]"כי חנם מזורה הרשת בעיני כל בעל כנף""KI CHINAM MEZORAH HA'RASHES B'EINEI KOL BA'AL KANAF"- "Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird" (Mishlei 1:17) - Since the previous verses refer to miserly people, the Gemara interprets this verse to mean that even the birds recognize a miser and will not partake of the grain that he spreads in his trap. The MAHARSHA explains this in two ways: (a) Naturally, birds have no intelligence to distinguish between stingy and generous people. However, HaSh-m does, and He Who sustains all living things can decree that the birds will be fed from the grain of a generous person, i.e. the miserly bird catcher will not catch as many birds as the generous one. (b) A wise, "generous" bird catcher will spread grain in a certain spot before he sets his trap, to attract unsuspecting birds to that spot. After he sets his trap, he will even increase the amount of grain that he spreads out to be sure that his efforts and grain are not wasted. A miserly bird catcher will not take these steps to insure that his efforts will be successful, and as such, even the small amount of grain that he spreads out will be wasted when he catches no birds.

26)[line 33]"אל תלחם את לחם רע עין [ואל תתאו למטעמתיו]""AL TILCHAM ES LECHEM RA AYIN, [V'AL TIS'AV L'MAT'AMOSAV]"- "Do not eat the bread of the miserly, [nor should you desire his delicacies]." (Mishlei 23:6)

27)[line 34]"כי כמו שער בנפשו כן הוא אכול ושתה יאמר לך [ולבו בל עמך]""KI KEMO SHA'AR B'NAFSHO, KEN HU; 'ECHOL U'SHESEH,' YOMAR LACH, [V'LIBO BAL IMACH]"- "For it (partaking of his food) is like pouring poison into his soul (the soul of the miserly host); 'Eat and drink,' he says to you; but his heart is not with you." (Mishlei 23:7)

28)[line 37]עגלה ערופהEGLAH ARUFAH

(a)If a Jew is found murdered in a field (in Israel) and it is not known who the murderer is, the Torah requires that an Eglah Arufah be brought in order to atone for the blood that was spilled (Devarim 21:1). The procedure is as follows:

(b)Five elders of the Beis Din of the Lishkas ha'Gazis (the Jewish Supreme Court) measure the distance between the dead body and the cities around it to determine which city is closest to it.

(c)The elders of the city that is closest to the corpse must bring a female calf that has never been worked to a Nachal Eisan (a swiftly flowing stream - RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:2; a valley with tough soil - RASHI). They strike it on the back of its neck (Arifah) with a cleaver, severing its spinal column, gullet, and windpipe.

(d)The elders of the closest city then wash their hands there and say, "Our hands have not spilled this blood, and our eyes did not see [the murder]" (Devarim 21:7). This includes a proclamation that the dead man was not sent away from the city without the proper food for his journey or the proper accompaniment. The Kohanim that are present say, "Atone for Your people Yisrael whom You have redeemed, HaSh-m, and do not place [the guilt for] innocent blood in the midst of Your people Yisrael" (ibid. 21:8). After this procedure, HaSh-m will grant atonement for the innocent blood that was spilled (RAMBAM Hilchos Rotze'ach 9:3).

29)[line 40]ופטרנוהוU'PETARNUHU- and we sent him away

30)[line 42]לוייהLEVAYAH- an escort

31)[line 45]דאניסיD'ANISEI- that it was forced

32)[line 45]מבירתא דשיחוריMI'BEIRASA D'SHICHOREI- from the Fort of Shichori, a town in Bavel

33)[line 48]אריכי באפי גוצי לא מפסקיARICHEI B'APEI GUTZEI LO MAFSEKEI- tall people who stand in front of short people do not obstruct the blessing of the Kohanim

34)[line 49]תיבהTEIVAH- the table upon which the Sefer Torah is placed when reading from it

35)[last line]צדדיןTZEDADIN- [the people who stand to] the sides [of the Kohanim]

36)[last line]להזותL'HAZOS (to sprinkle the Mei Chatas)

(a)The Parah Adumah, an exclusively red-haired female cow, is burned on Har ha'Zeisim and its ashes are used for making a person Tahor if he is Tamei Mes. Only a cow that has not had a yoke placed upon it and has had no other work done with it is fit to be used as a Parah Adumah. A place is prepared for its slaughter on Har ha'Zeisim, opposite the gate to the Azarah (the courtyard of the Beis ha'Mikdash). After it is slaughtered, its blood is sprinkled in the direction of the Beis ha'Mikdash seven times. A cedar branch, some Ezov branches and a piece of crimson wool are thrown into the carcass of the cow while it is burning. (Bamidbar 19:1-22)

(b)If a person (or utensil) became Tamei through touching Tum'as Mes or being in the same room as a Mes or something that is Metamei b'Ohel, he must wait seven days to become Tahor. On the third and seventh days he must have spring water mixed with the ashes of the Parah Adumah (Mei Chatas) sprinkled on him. A person who is Tahor dips three Ezov branches that have been bound together into the mixture, and sprinkles them on the person who is Tamei. On the seventh day, he immerses in a Mikvah after the mixture is sprinkled on him in order to complete his Taharah. (Bamidbar 19:17-19)