Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Skip to content

Unsoiled from Sin – Gefet 34

 

Today we will see a Tosfot on daf 58a, however, in order to understand it, we will begin with the mishna on daf 56 and the gemara on daf 57a.

 

The mishna on daf 56 speaks about a special case which causes the daughter of a cohen to become disqualified from eating teruma, and a tannaitic dispute regarding this disqualification:

诪转谞讬’. 讗诇诪谞讛 诇讻讛谉 讙讚讜诇, 讙专讜砖讛 讜讞诇讜爪讛 诇讻讛谉 讛讚讬讜讟, 诪谉 讛讗讬专讜住讬谉 – 诇讗 讬讗讻诇讜 讘转专讜诪讛, 专讘讬 讗诇注讝专 讜专讘讬 砖诪注讜谉 诪讻砖讬专讬谉. 谞转讗专诪诇讜 讗讜 谞转讙专砖讜, 诪谉 讛谞砖讜讗讬谉 – 驻住讜诇讜转, 诪谉 讛讗讬专讜住讬谉 – 讻砖专讜转.聽

 

Rashi helps us to understand the mishna:

诪谉 讛讗讬专讜住讬谉 诇讗 讬讗讻诇讜 讘转专讜诪讛 – 诪砖注讛 砖谞转拽讚砖讜 诇讗诇讜 拽讚讜砖讬 注讘讬专讛 谞驻住诇讛 诪诇讗讻讜诇 讘转专讜诪讛 讚讘讬 谞砖讗 讗诐 讘转 讻讛谉 讛讬讗.

专’ 讗诇注讝专 讜专”砖 诪讻砖讬专讬谉 – 注讚 砖转讘注诇 诇讜 讜转注砖讛 讞诇诇讛 讻讚讻转讬讘 诇讗 讬讞诇诇 砖谞讬 讞诇讜诇讬谉 讗讞讚 诇讛 讜讗讞讚 诇讝专注讛.

谞转讗专诪诇讜 讗讜 谞转讙专砖讜 – 诪谉 讛讻讛谞讬诐 讛诇诇讜.

 

Rashi explains that here the mishna is speaking about the daughter of a cohen who has a flaw which prevents her from marrying a cohen gadol or regular cohen. Because she is the daughter of a cohen, she can eat teruma, however, if she sleeps with a man who is forbidden for her to marry, she will become a chalala, and because of this, will be disqualified from eating teruma.聽

The dispute between Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon and the tanna kamma is regarding the question of whether betrothal to such a man will already disqualify her from eating teruma, or if it is only the marital relations which turn her into a chalala which disqualifies her from eating teruma.聽

Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon鈥檚 opinion is more logical. The woman becomes a chalala through forbidden relations and therefore, only from that moment does she become disqualified from eating teruma. The opinion which requires clarification is that of the tanna kamma. According to this opinion, forbidden betrothal, even not through sexual relations but rather with money or a document can disqualify her from eating teruma. At first glance, it seems that this is a surprising expansion of the law of the chalala, which at its core, is a law which is relevant where there were forbidden sexual relations, yet here, it is specifically a legal action which enacts the disqualification according to the tanna kamma.

 

The gemara on daf 57 brings an amoraic dispute regarding a similar topic:聽

 

讗讬转诪专, 专讘 讗诪专: 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转, 讜砖诪讜讗诇 讗诪专: 讗讬谉 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转. 讗诪专 砖诪讜讗诇: 讜诪讜讚讛 诇讬 讗讘讗, 讘转讬谞讜拽转 驻讞讜转讛 诪讘转 砖诇砖 砖谞讬诐 讜讬讜诐 讗讞讚, 讛讜讗讬诇 讜讗讬谉 诇讛 讘讬讗讛 讗讬谉 诇讛 讞讜驻讛.聽

 

At first glance, it seems that the dispute between Rav and Shmuel is parallel to the dispute in our mishna. Rav who says that there is significance to the chuppa ritual even when the union is forbidden – 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转, is like the tanna kamma who says that forbidden kiddushin disqualifies the daughter of the cohen from eating teruma. Shmuel who says that there is no significance to the chuppa ritual when the union is forbidden – 讗讬谉 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转, seems to be like Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon. However, Rashi here emphasizes that here the dispute is different. We will examine his words:

专砖”讬 诪住讻转 讬讘诪讜转 讚祝 谞讝 注诪讜讚 讘

讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转 – 讻讛”讙 砖讛讻谞讬住 讗诇诪谞讛 讘转 讻讛谉 诇讞讜驻讛 讜诇讗 讘讗 注诇讬讛 讜诪注讬拽专讗 谞诪讬 诇讗 拽讬讚砖讛 讗驻讬诇讜 讛讻讬 驻住诇讛 诪转专讜诪讛 讚讘讬 谞砖讗 讚讞讜驻讛 讻讻谞讬住转 讘注讬诇讛 讚诪讬讗.

 

Rashi explains that here, it is speaking about chuppa which was not preceded by kiddushin. The dispute between Rav and Shmuel is regarding the question of whether in addition to kiddushin through money, or a document, or marital relations, between relations of kiddushin and relations of marriage, there is another practice which has the power to disqualify her – chuppa. We will note that these words of Rashi led to a lively debate among the rishonim, and from a quick glance at the long Tosfot on this page which mentions this, we will understand that this is a heavy topic of discussion regarding what is a chuppa, what is its status, and if it has its own power, even when there was no kiddushin which preceded it. We will focus on Rashi鈥檚 words as background for the next sugiya. We will continue in his words and ask – how can chuppa, which is not kiddushin, be the cause of her disqualification; there were no marital relations and no kiddushin? Rashi continues to explain:

 

讗祝 讗谞谉 谞诪讬 转谞讬谞讗 – 讚讗讬谉 讘讬讗转讛 驻讜住诇转讛 讜讻讬讜谉 讚讗讬谉 讘讬讗转讛 驻讜住诇转讛 讻”砖 讚讗讬谉 讞讜驻转讛 驻讜住诇转讛 讚讛讗 讞砖讬讘讜转 讞讜驻讛 讗讬谞讛 讗诇讗 诪砖讜诐 砖讛讬讗 拽专讜讘讛 诇讘讬讗讛 讜讛讬讻讗 讚讘讬讗讛 诇讗 讞砖讬讘讗 讻诇 砖讻谉 讞讜驻讛.聽

 

Rashi explains the logic behind the opinion of Rav, which is strengthened by the statement of Rava – chuppa is like marital relations, and therefore it functions as a parallel to it in his opinion.聽

 

On daf 58, the gemara continues to deliberate how to determine the outcome of the dispute between Rav and Shmuel. It brings an interesting proof of Rav Sheshet for the opinion of Rav, that 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转:

 

讗诪专 专讘 注诪专诐: 讛讗 诪讬诇转讗 讗诪专 诇谉 专讘 砖砖转, 讜讗谞讛专讬谞讛讜 诇注讬讬谞讬谉 诪诪转谞讬转讬谉 – 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转,聽

讜转谞讗 转讜谞讗: 讗诪谉 – 砖诇讗 砖讟讬转讬 讗专讜住讛 讜谞砖讜讗讛, 砖讜诪专转 讬讘诐 讜讻谞讜住讛; 讛讗讬 讗专讜住讛 讛讬讻讬 讚诪讬? 讗讬诇讬诪讗 讚拽谞讬 诇讛 讻砖讛讬讗 讗专讜住讛 讜拽讗 诪砖拽讛 诇讛 讻砖讛讬讗 讗专讜住讛, 讗专讜住讛 讘转 诪砖转讬讗 讛讬讗? 讜讛讗 转谞谉: 讗专讜住讛 讜砖讜诪专转 讬讘诐 – 诇讗 砖讜转讜转 讜诇讗 谞讜讟诇讜转 讻转讜讘讛! 讗诇讗 讚拽谞讬 诇讛 讻砖讛讬讗 讗专讜住讛, 讜讗讬住转转专讛 讜拽诪砖拽讛 诇讛 讻砖讛讬讗 谞砖讜讗讛, 诪讬 讘讚拽讬 诇讛 诪讬讗? 讜讛转谞讬讗: 讜谞拽讛 讛讗讬砖 诪注讜谉, 讘讝诪谉 砖讛讗讬砖 诪谞讜拽讛 诪注讜谉 – 讛诪讬诐 讘讜讚拽讬谉 讗转 讗砖转讜, 讗讬谉 讛讗讬砖 诪谞讜拽讛 诪注讜谉 – 讗讬谉 讛诪讬诐 讘讜讚拽讬谉 讗转 讗砖转讜! 讗诇讗 讚拽谞讬 诇讛 讻砖讛讬讗 讗专讜住讛, 讜讗讬住转转专讛 讜谞讻谞住讛 诇讞讜驻讛 讜诇讗 谞讘注诇讛, 讜砖诪注 诪讬谞讛: 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转.聽

 

Rav Sheshet proves to Rav Amram from a mishna in Sotah that 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转. We will first lay out a few basic rules with regards to the laws of Sotah before going into the proof of Rav Sheshet. In order for a man to be able to make his wife perform the oath of the Sotah, it needs to be preceded by 鈥溩ё欁犠曌欌 and 鈥溩∽欁ㄗ斺.聽

聽鈥溩ё欁犠曌欌 is when the man, in front of two witnesses warns his wife not to seclude herself with a specific man of whom he is suspicious. 鈥溩∽欁ㄗ斺 is when the wife does seclude herself with the man, in front of two witnesses. After these two events, the husband can bring his wife to the Beit Hamikdash for the oath of the Sotah and the drinking of the water.聽

 

The mishna in Masechet Sotah describes the content of the oath of the Sotah. The woman answers “讗诪谉 讗诪谉” to the oath that the cohen makes. The mishna explains the meaning of the double 鈥溩愖炞熲:

诪砖谞讛 诪住讻转 住讜讟讛 驻专拽 讘 诪砖谞讛 讛

注诇 诪讛 讛讬讗 讗讜诪专转 讗诪谉 讗诪谉 讗诪谉 注诇 讛讗诇讛 讗诪谉 注诇 讛砖讘讜注讛 讗诪谉 诪讗讬砖 讝讛 讗诪谉 诪讗讬砖 讗讞专 讗诪谉 砖诇讗 砖讟讬转讬 讗专讜住讛 讜谞砖讜讗讛 讜砖讜诪专转 讬讘诐 讜讻谞讜住讛 讗诪谉 砖诇讗 谞讟诪讗转讬 讜讗诐 谞讟诪讗转讬 讬讘讗讜 讘讬 专讘讬 诪讗讬专 讗讜诪专 讗诪谉 砖诇讗 谞讟诪讗转讬 讗诪谉 砖诇讗 讗讟诪讗:聽

 

From the mishna we see that the woman makes an oath regarding many possible scenarios of seclusion. One of them is seclusion during the time when she was betrothed. Rav Yosef raises a difficulty on this in our sugiya and asks – how could there be a situation where a betrothed woman transgresses 拽讬谞讜讬 and 住转讬专讛, when we have a different mishna in Masechet Sotah which says that a betrothed woman does not drink the Sotah water:

诪砖谞讛 诪住讻转 住讜讟讛 驻专拽 讚 诪砖谞讛 讗

讗专讜住讛 讜砖讜诪专转 讬讘诐 诇讗 砖讜转讜转 讜诇讗 谞讜讟诇讜转 讻转讜讘讛 砖谞讗诪专 讗砖专 转砖讟讛 讗砖讛 转讞转 讗讬砖讛 驻专讟 诇讗专讜住讛 讜砖讜诪专转 讬讘诐

 

We must therefore understand that this is talking about a situation where the woman secluded herself with the man when she was betrothed, but was married in the interim, and only then does she drink the water. However, this leads to another problem. There is an important rule when it comes to giving her the Sotah water. In order for the water to work, it is not enough that there was 拽讬谞讜讬 and 住转讬专讛, but the husband himself must also be clean of sin, meaning that he himself did not have any forbidden relations. This creates a problem: a man who knows that his fiancee secluded herself with this man, is forbidden to have relations with her, and so automatically cannot marry her. Therefore there cannot be a situation where the woman transgressed聽 拽讬谞讜讬 and 住转讬专讛 while she was betrothed and then subsequently got married, when her husband is clean of sin. Their marital relations constitute a sin for him, as she is forbidden to him once she secludes herself!

 

In light of this, Rav Sheshet suggests that there could be a situation where the woman is married, yet did not consummate the marriage – when she is married through the mechanism of chuppa. Rav Sheshet claims that the seeming contradiction between the mishnayot reveals that Rav is correct – 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转, and therefore there is no contradiction between the mishnayot. The chuppa is what creates this rare scenario of a betrothed woman who secludes herself with another man and yet drinks the Sotah water.聽

 

We will mention that the continuation of the gemara rejects the proof of Rav Sheshet for various reasons, and solves the contradiction between the mishnayot in a different way. Rav Nachman Bar Yitzchak claims that here we are not dealing with different scenarios of giving her the Sotah water, but rather with the classic Sotah, where the聽 拽讬谞讜讬 and 住转讬专讛 happened after the marriage, however, once we make her swear about events which happened after the marriage, we can attach to this an oath about events which happened when she was only betrothed. Indeed, the gemara in Masechet Sotah, in explaining this mishna, brings the words of Rav Nachman bar Yitzchak and derives the law regarding adding another oath from the section in the Torah about the Sotah. We will stop our reading of the simple meaning of the gemara here and will move on to Tosfot who discuss the suggestion of Rav Sheshet, and clarify the details of the law that the husband needs to be clean of sin. We will begin with the difficulty which Tosfot raise on daf 58a:

讜谞拽讛 讛讗讬砖 诪注讜谉 – 讜讗”转 讜谞讜拽诪讛 讻讙讜谉 砖讘讗 注诇讬讛 讘砖讜讙讙 讜讻砖讘讗 注诇讬讛 诇讗 讬讚注 注讚讬讬谉 砖谞住转专讛 讚讻讬 讛讗讬 讙讜讜谞讗 讞砖讬讘 诪谞讜拽讛 诪注讜谉 讚讛讗 讻讬 诪讜拽讬 诇讛 注”讬 讙诇讙讜诇 诇讗 讞砖讬讘 讗讬谉 诪谞讜拽讛 诪注讜谉 讗诐 讝讬谞转讛 讘讗讬专讜住讬谉聽

 

Tosfot raise a difficulty on Rav Sheshet. Rav Sheshet assumes that without the solution of 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转, there can never be a situation where a woman secluded herself with the man when she was betrothed, and then her husband had relations with her as an act of marriage. This is because these relations are the type of sin which will prevent the husband from being able to give his wife the water. Tosfot suggest the following chronological progression: 1. Reuven betrothes Dina 2. In front of witnesses, Reuven warns Dina not to seclude herself with a certain man 3. Dina secludes herself with him in front of witnesses 4. Reuven marries Dina 5. After the marriage, the witnesses come and testify as to the seclusion.

Here, Tosfot explain, we have a situation where the man marries the woman without knowledge of the seclusion, and therefore, their marital relations were not in sin as he was not aware that she was forbidden to him. It seems that even a case of relations such as these, where the sin was unintentional, will be considered clean of sin – can it be that we would claim that this man, who did not know that his wife secluded herself with another man during their engagement, has sinned?! The second solution in the sugiya, which speaks of adding another oath proves that the man who did not know that his wife secluded herself during their engagement is not considered to have sinned. If so, there is no proof that 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转, as the contradiction between the mishnayot can be solved in a different way – as we have described – unintentional sinful relations. This difficulty raised by Tosfot is a strong one. We will examine their solution:聽

讜讬”诇 讚讛讻讗 讻讬讜谉 讚讘砖注转 讛砖拽讗讛 讬讜讚注 砖讘讗 注诇讬讛 讘讗讬住讜专 讗驻讬诇讜 讘讗 注诇讬讛 砖讜讙讙 诇讗 讞砖讬讘 诪谞讜拽讛 诪注讜谉 讗讘诇 注诇 讬讚讬 讙诇讙讜诇 砖讗讬谞讜 讬讜讚注 讘砖注转 讛砖拽讗讛 诪谞讜拽讛 诪注讜谉 拽专讬谞谉 讘讬讛.聽

 

Tosfot make two claims: 1. There is a difference between adding another oath and the situation described above. 2. Even unintentional sinful relations is considered a sin once he is aware of it.

We will detail each of these claims:

  1. The difference between adding another oath and the situation where the witnesses as to the seclusion come after the marriage, is a difference between the man鈥檚 awareness of the fact that he unintentionally had sinful relations, and his lack of awareness of this. In the case where the man gives his wife the water because of 拽讬谞讜讬 讜住转讬专讛 which happened after their marriage, it is likely that there was no problematic incident during the engagement period. There are no witnesses who report a problematic incident during this time, and therefore we make her take the oath. When the man brings his wife to the Beit Hamikdash, to the best of his knowledge, he is indeed clean or sin, even unintentional sin. In contrast, in the case where the witnesses come after the marriage – these witnesses testify with certainty as to the fact that the woman secluded herself during the engagement period, which means that the the husband knows with certainty that his relations with her were forbidden, though unintentionally so, but as a result of this, he is not able to bring her to drink the water as he is not clean of sin.聽
  2. Tosfot鈥檚 big chiddush is that the man who gives his wife to drink the Sotah water needs to be completely clean of sin, as far as his awareness reaches. Even unintentional sinful relations prevent him from turning to the method of clarifying what his wife did using the Sotah water. This is a double chiddush –聽

first, it further limits his ability to use the water, and second, is uses reason to arrive at the conclusion that a man who wishes to give his wife to drink from the water needs to first confront his own sexual behavior, and even if there was something over which he had no control, he does not have the ability to make her drink. This undermining of his ability to make her drink strongly reflects the understanding that sexual sins can also happen unintentionally, and this moves the couple from the route of using the legal system to solve their problems to another route which requires of them to clarify their marital relationship, without using the harsh Sotah ritual.聽

 

Summary:

We have seen a complicated sugiya that is built from a number of stages:

  1. The dispute in the mishna about the disqualification of the daughter of the cohen from eating teruma as a result of kiddushin
  2. The dispute between Rav and Shmuel regarding chuppa without kiddushin – can chuppa take the place of marital relations – according to the explanation of Rashi
  3. The contradiction between the mishnayot in Sotah which was solved by Rav Sheshet, as a proof for Rav that 讬砖 讞讜驻讛 诇驻住讜诇讜转
  4. A different solution to the contradiction – adding another oath

 

We emphasized Rashi鈥檚 reading of the sugiya without examining his words. We moved on to discuss Tosfot. Tosfot introduced the idea that even unintentional sinful relations is considered a sin, and this prevents the husband from making his wife drink the Sotah water. We claimed that this reflects the limiting of this route and emphasizes an alternative route where this couple, who has issues in the sexual realm, even unintentional, must deal with this internally, without the intervention of the Mikdash.聽

 

Translated by Daphna Ansel-Nizan

Rabbanit Yael Shimoni

Rabbanit Shimoni has learned at Migdal Oz, Matan, and the Susi Bradfield Women鈥檚 Institute for Halakhic Leadership at Midreshet Lindenbaum. She holds a BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and a BEd in Torah Shebe鈥檃l Peh and Jewish Thought from Herzog College. She is currently studying towards an MA in Jewish Thought Education at Herzog College. Rabbanit Shimoni taught gemara and halakha at Pelech High School and served as a ramit for shana bet at Migdal Oz. She directs Meshivat Nefesh, the online responsa program of the rabbaniyot of Beit Hillel. She is also a plastic artist and member of 鈥淎 Studio of Her Own.
Scroll To Top