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Sotah 8: Fear and Trembling

The kohen takes hold of the clothing of the sotah-woman, and uncovers (or dishevels) her head. There was concern that a particularly attractive woman would be overly on display for such a process – with comparison to another case where the sides of the dispute about this seem to reversed. Plus, a woman who wore white garments would be re-clothed in black, and if she looked good in black, she’d then be re-clothed in ugly garments. Plus, jewelry would be removed. Also, a new mishnah: according to a person’s actions, so is the person’s punishment – measure for measure, as it were. Just as she prepared herself for sin, so is she punished accordingly, with the same vocabulary to mimic her actions. Plus, the 4 kinds of deaths by the court, when capital punishment was warranted – and the replacement deaths in the absence of the Temple and Sanhedrin.

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Anne and Yardaena

Anne Gordon is the deputy editor of Ops & Blogs at The Times of Israel. She is a veteran educator, having taught in high school and post-high school institutions in Israel and America for several decades. Yardaena Osband is a pediatrician and teaches in her community and online. They both hail from Boston, proud alumna of Maimonides School, where they first learned Gemara. Talking Talmud is their conversation (via podcast) on the daf yomi. They say: "Learning the daf? We have something for you to think about. Not learning the daf? We have something for you to think about! (Along with a taste of the daf...) Join the conversation with us!"
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