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Today's Daf Yomi

November 11, 2015 | ื›ืดื˜ ื‘ืžืจื—ืฉื•ื•ืŸ ืชืฉืขืดื•

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Ron and Shira Krebs to commemorate the 73rd yahrzeit of Shira's grandfather (Yitzchak Leib Ben David Ber HaCohen v'Malka), the 1st yahrzeit of Shira's father (Gershon Pinya Ben Yitzchak Leib HaCohen v'Menucha Sara), and the bar mitzvah of their son Eytan who will be making a siyum on Mishna Shas this month.

  • This month's learning is sponsored for the Refuah Shlemah of Naama bat Yael Esther.

Sotah 16

The Sotah waters include dust mixed with water. What type of dust, can alternatives be used, where should it come from and what concentration of dust to water is necessary?


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ืฉื™ืœื” ื ื•ื‘ ื•ื’ื‘ืขื•ืŸ ื•ื‘ื™ืช ืขื•ืœืžื™ื

Shiloh, Nob, and Gibeon, and also the Eternal House, i.e., the Temple in Jerusalem. The dust for the sota is still brought from the ground of the Sanctuary wherever it is located, even after the Jewish people are no longer in the wilderness.

ืื™ืกื™ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ื—ื ืื•ืžืจ ืื™ื ื• ืฆืจื™ืš ื•ืžื” ื‘ื˜ื•ืžืื” ืงืœื” ืœื ื—ืœืง ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ื‘ื˜ื•ืžืืช ืืฉืช ืื™ืฉ ื—ืžื•ืจื” ืœื ื›ืœ ืฉื›ืŸ ืื ื›ืŸ ืžื” ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ืงืจืงืข ื”ืžืฉื›ืŸ ืฉืœื ื™ื‘ื™ื ืžืชื•ืš ืงื•ืคืชื•

Isi ben Menaแธฅem says: There is no need to derive this halakha from the verse. It may be learned by an a fortiori inference: With regard to the prohibition against entering the Sanctuary in a state of impurity, a lenient matter for which there is no court-imposed capital punishment, the Torah does not differentiate. It is prohibited for an impure person to enter the Tabernacle no matter where it stands. Therefore, with regard to the impurity of a married woman, which is stringent and carries the penalty of strangulation, all the more so is it not clear that the Torah does not differentiate? The dust must be brought from the Sanctuary no matter where it stands. If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: โ€œAnd of the dust that is on the floor of the Tabernacleโ€? It teaches that one should not bring dust from his own basket and place it directly into the water; he must first place it on the floor.

ืื™ื‘ืขื™ื ืœื”ื• ืื™ืŸ ืฉื ืขืคืจ ืžื”ื• ืฉื™ืชืŸ ืืคืจ ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ื‘ื™ืช ืฉืžืื™ ืœื ืชื™ื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ื“ืืžืจื™ ืœื ืžืฆื™ื ื• ืืคืจ ืฉืงืจื•ื™ ืขืคืจ

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If there is no dust there, what is the halakha? May one place ashes in the vessel instead? The Gemara responds: There is no need to raise the dilemma if one holds in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, as they say: We never find ashes referred to as dust in the Torah.

ื›ื™ ืชื™ื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืœืœ ื“ืืžืจื™ ืžืฆื™ื ื• ืืคืจ ืฉืงืจื•ื™ ืขืคืจ ืžืื™ ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ืื™ืงืจื™ ืขืคืจ ื”ื›ื ื‘ืงืจืงืข ื”ืžืฉื›ืŸ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืื• ื“ื™ืœืžื ื”ืื™ ื‘ืงืจืงืข ื”ืžืฉื›ืŸ ืœื›ื“ืื™ืกื™ ื‘ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ื•ืœื›ื“ืื™ืกื™ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ื—ื ื”ื•ื ื“ืืชื™

When you raise the dilemma, it is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, who say: We do find ashes referred to as dust in the context of the red heifer (Numbers 19:17). They likewise hold that ashes may also be used instead of dust to cover the blood of a slaughtered bird or undomesticated animal (see Leviticus 17:13). What is the halakha here, with regard to the water of a sota? May ashes replace dust? Although elsewhere ashes may be referred to as dust, here it is written: โ€œOn the floor of the Tabernacle,โ€ indicating that dust in particular is required, since dust comes from the ground. Or perhaps the phrase โ€œon the floor of the Tabernacleโ€ comes only to teach that the halakha is in accordance with the teaching of Isi ben Yehuda or in accordance with the teaching of Isi ben Menaแธฅem. If so, perhaps ashes are acceptable as well.

ืชื ืฉืžืข ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื‘ืฉืœืฉื” ืžืงื•ืžื•ืช ื”ืœื›ื” ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ืžืงืจื

Come and hear evidence from that which Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says in the name of Rabbi Yishmael: In three instances the halakha supersedes the verse, i.e., the tradition alters the straightforward meaning of the verse.

ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ื‘ืขืคืจ ื•ื”ืœื›ื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ื‘ืชืขืจ ื•ื”ืœื›ื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ืกืคืจ ื•ื”ืœื›ื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ

The Torah states: โ€œAnd whatsoever manโ€ฆthat takes in hunting any beast or fowl that may be eaten, he shall pour out the blood thereof, and cover it in dustโ€ (Leviticus 17:13), but the halakha is that the blood may be covered in anything similar to dust. The Torah states with regard to the nazirite: โ€œAll the days of his vow of naziriteship there shall be no razor come upon his headโ€ (Numbers 6:5), but the halakha is that the nazirite may not remove his hair with anything. The Torah states: โ€œThat he writes her a bill [sefer] of divorceโ€ (Deuteronomy 24:1). The word sefer denotes a scroll, but the halakha is that the husband may inscribe the bill of divorce on anything that is detached from the ground and suitable to be written upon, not only on a scroll.

ื•ืื ืื™ืชื ืœื™ื—ืฉื•ื‘ ื ืžื™ ื”ืื™

And if it is so that ashes may be placed in the water of a sota despite the verseโ€™s stipulation of dust, consider this fourth case as well to be a halakha that supersedes the verse. Since it is omitted from Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s statement, it seems that ashes may not be used.

ืชื ื ื•ืฉื™ื™ืจ ื•ืžืื™ ืฉื™ื™ืจ ื“ื”ืื™ ืฉื™ื™ืจ ืฉื™ื™ืจ ืžืฆื•ืจืข ื“ืชื ื™ื ื•ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ ื™ื’ืœื— ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ื›ืœืœ ืืช ืจืืฉื• ื•ืืช ื–ืงื ื• ื•ืืช ื’ื‘ืช ืขื™ื ื™ื• ืคืจื˜ ื•ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ื™ื’ืœื— ื—ื–ืจ ื•ื›ืœืœ ื›ืœืœ ื•ืคืจื˜ ื•ื›ืœืœ ืื™ ืืชื” ื“ืŸ ืืœื ื›ืขื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจื˜ ืžื” ืคืจื˜ ืžืคื•ืจืฉ ืžืงื•ื ื›ื™ื ื•ืก ืฉืขืจ ื•ื ืจืื” ืืฃ ื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ื›ื™ื ื•ืก ืฉืขืจ ื•ื ืจืื”

The Gemara responds: Rabbi Yishmael taught some cases and omitted others; his list is not exhaustive. The Gemara asks: What else did he omit that he omitted this? It is not reasonable that he would provide a list lacking only one item. The Gemara answers: He omitted the leper, as it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Negaโ€™im 1:9): In the verse: โ€œAnd it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave off all his hairโ€ (Leviticus 14:9), the phrase โ€œall his hairโ€ is a generalization. The phrase that follows: โ€œHis head and his beard and his eyebrows,โ€ is a detail. And with the following phrase: โ€œEven all his hair he shall shave off,โ€ the verse then generalized again. In any case of a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization, you may deduce that the verse is referring only to items similar to the detail. Just as the detail is explicitly referring to areas where there is a collection of hair which is visible, so too all areas on the leper that have a collection of hair which is visible must be shaven.

ืžื” ืจื‘ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืขืจ ื”ืจื’ืœื™ื ืžืื™ ืžื™ืขื˜ ืžื™ืขื˜ ื“ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืฉื—ื™ ื•ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ื” ื’ื•ืคื™ื”

To what otherwise excluded case does this baraita extend the halakha? It extends the halakha of hair to include pubic hair. What does the baraita exclude? It excludes armpit hair, which is not visible, and body hair that is not collected. This is the straightforward meaning of the verse.

ื•ื”ืœื›ืชื ืžื’ืœื— ื›ื“ืœืขืช ื“ืชื ืŸ ื‘ื ืœื• ืœื”ืงื™ืฃ ืืช ื”ืžืฆื•ืจืข ืžืขื‘ื™ืจ ืชืขืจ ืขืœ ื›ืœ ื‘ืฉืจื• ื•ืงืชื ื™ ืกื™ืคื ื•ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ ืžื’ืœื—ื• ืชื’ืœื—ืช ืฉื ื™ื” ื›ืชื’ืœื—ืช ืจืืฉื•ื ื”

And yet the halakha is: The leper shaves like a gourd, i.e., his entire body must be shaved. As we learned in a mishna (Negaโ€™im 14:2): When the priest comes to shave the leper, he passes a razor over all of his flesh. And in the latter clause, the mishna teaches: On the seventh day he shaves the leper again. The second shaving is just like the first shaving. The verse previously analyzed is referring to the second shaving, and its straightforward meaning is that not all of the leperโ€™s flesh needs to be shaved. However, the mishna states that the leper must shave all of his flesh in the second shaving as well. This is another instance where the halakha supersedes the straightforward meaning of the verse, yet it is omitted from Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s list.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื ื—ืžืŸ ื‘ืจ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื›ื™ ืงื ื—ืฉื™ื‘ ื”ืœื›ื” ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ืžืงืจื ื”ื ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ืžื“ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื™ื

Rabbi Naแธฅman bar Yitzแธฅak said: Rabbi Yishmael consciously omitted the halakha of the leper because he counted only instances where the halakha supersedes the straightforward meaning of the verse. This halakha of the leper, however, is an instance where the halakha supersedes only an exegetical interpretation of the Sages.

ืจื‘ ืคืคื ืืžืจ ื›ื™ ืงื ื—ืฉื™ื‘ ื”ืœื›ื” ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ื•ืขื•ืงืจืช ื”ื ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ื•ืžื•ืกืคืช ื”ื™ื

Rav Pappa said: Rabbi Yishmael counted only cases where the halakha both supersedes and uproots the straightforward meaning of the verse. This, however, is an instance where the halakha supersedes and adds. The halakha does not overrule the verse but rather adds an additional requirement, i.e., that the whole body must be shaved.

ืจื‘ ืืฉื™ ืืžืจ ื”ื ืžืชื ื™ืชื ืžื ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื”ื™ื ื“ื“ืจื™ืฉ ื›ืœืœื™ ื•ืคืจื˜ื™

Rav Ashi said: This baraita, which teaches that only certain parts of the body must be shaved, is in accordance with whose opinion? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, who interprets verses by means of the principle of generalizations and details. According to this interpretation, only collected areas of hair that are visible must be shaven.

ื›ื“ืœืขืช ืžื ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื”ื™ื ื“ื“ืจื™ืฉ ืจื™ื‘ื•ื™ื™ ื•ืžื™ืขื•ื˜ื™ ื“ืชื ื™ื ื•ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ ื™ื’ืœื— ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ืจื™ื‘ื” ืืช ืจืืฉื• ื•ืืช ื–ืงื ื• ื•ืืช ื’ื‘ืช ืขื™ื ื™ื• ืžื™ืขื˜ ื•ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ื™ื’ืœื— ื—ื–ืจ ื•ืจื™ื‘ื” ืจื™ื‘ื” ื•ืžื™ืขื˜ ื•ืจื™ื‘ื” ืจื™ื‘ื” ื”ื›ืœ

By contrast, the mishna states that the leper must be shaven like a gourd. In accordance with whose opinion is this? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who interprets verses by means of the principle of amplifications and restrictions. As it is taught in a baraita: In the verse: โ€œAnd it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave off all his hair,โ€ the phrase โ€œall his hairโ€ is an amplification. The phrase that follows: โ€œHis head and his beard and his eyebrows,โ€ is a restriction. In the final phrase: โ€œEven all his hair he shall shave off,โ€ the verse then amplified again. The verse is therefore an instance of amplification and restriction and amplification, which includes everything.

ืžืื™ ืจื™ื‘ื” ืจื™ื‘ื” ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ื” ื’ื•ืคื™ื” ื•ืžืื™ ืžื™ืขื˜ ืžื™ืขื˜ ืฉื™ืขืจ ืฉื‘ืชื•ืš ื”ื—ื•ื˜ื

What does it include? It includes the hair of all of the body. What does it nevertheless exclude? It excludes nose hairs, which do not need to be shaved. Since the mishna presents only the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, it poses no challenge to Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s list.

ืžืื™ ื”ื•ื™ ืขืœื” ืชื ืฉืžืข ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื”ื•ื ื ื‘ืจ ืืฉื™ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื™ืŸ ืฉื ืขืคืจ ืžื‘ื™ื ืจืงื‘ื•ื‘ื™ืช ื™ืจืง ื•ืžืงื“ืฉ

The Gemara asks: What conclusion was reached about it, i.e., whether ashes may be used instead of dust for the water of the sota? Come and hear evidence from that which Rav Huna bar Ashi says that Rav says: If there is no dust available for the sota water, the priest brings decomposed vegetable matter, and he consecrates the water with it. This indicates that it is permitted to substitute other substances for dust.

ื•ืœื ื”ื™ื ืจืงื‘ื•ื‘ื™ืช ื™ืจืง ื”ื•ื ื“ื”ื•ืื™ ืขืคืจ ืืคืจ ืœื ื”ื•ืื™ ืขืคืจ

The Gemara responds: But that is not so. Decomposed vegetable matter is permitted because it will become dust, but ashes will not become dust.

ื›ื“ื™ ืฉื™ืจืื” ืขืœ ื”ืžื™ื ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืฉืœืฉื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื™ืŸ ืฉื™ืจืื• ืขืคืจ ืกื•ื˜ื” ื•ืืคืจ ืคืจื” ื•ืจื•ืง ื™ื‘ืžื” ืžืฉื•ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืืžืจื• ืืฃ ื“ื ืฆืคื•ืจ

ยง The mishna states: He would take loose dust from underneath the tablet and place it into the vessel with the water, so that the dust would be visible upon the water. The Sages taught (Tosefta 1:8): Three items are required to be seen: The dust of the sota must be visible in the water, the ashes of the red heifer must be visible when placed in the waters of purification, and the spittle of a woman whose husband, who has a brother, died childless [yevama] must be visible. The yavam, brother-in-law of the yevama, is bound by Torah law to marry her, and this bond is dissolved through the ritual of แธฅalitza, in which she spits before him in the presence of judges. In the name of Rabbi Yishmael they said: Even the blood of the bird used in a leperโ€™s purification ritual is required to be visible in the vessel.

ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื˜ื‘ืœ ืื•ืชื ื‘ื“ื ื”ืฆืคืจ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ืชื ื™ื ื‘ื“ื ื™ื›ื•ืœ ื‘ื“ื ื•ืœื ื‘ืžื™ื ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ืžื™ื ืื™ ืžื™ื ื™ื›ื•ืœ ื‘ืžื™ื ื•ืœื ื‘ื“ื ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ื“ื ื”ื ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืžื‘ื™ื ืžื™ื ืฉื“ื ืฆื™ืคื•ืจ ื ื™ื›ืจ ื‘ื”ืŸ ื•ื›ืžื” ืจื‘ื™ืขื™ืช

The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Yishmael? As it is written with regard to the process of the purification of a leper: โ€œAnd he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running waterโ€ (Leviticus 14:51). And it is taught in a baraita: Had the verse stated only the phrase โ€œin the blood,โ€ one might have thought that these items must be dipped only in the blood and should not be dipped in the water at all. Therefore, the verse also states: โ€œIn the running water.โ€ If the verse had stated only the phrase โ€œin the running water,โ€ one might have thought they should be dipped only in the water and not be dipped in the blood at all. Therefore, the verse also states: โ€œIn the blood.โ€ How can these texts be reconciled? One must bring little enough water so that the blood of the bird will still be recognizable within it. And how much water is this? It is a quarter-log.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื”ื•ื ืœื’ื•ืคื™ื” ื“ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ืื˜ื‘ื™ืœ ื‘ื“ื ื•ื‘ืžื™ื

And the Rabbis, who do not require that the blood of the bird be visible in the water, how do they understand the verse? That verse is necessary for its own sake, as this is what the Merciful One is saying: Dip the objects both in blood and in water together. The blood need not be visible.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืื ื›ืŸ ืœื›ืชื•ื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ื˜ื‘ืœ ื‘ื”ื ื‘ื“ื ื•ื‘ืžื™ื ืœืžื” ืœื™ ืœื ื™ื›ืจ

And why does Rabbi Yishmael reject this straightforward understanding of the verse? It is because if this understanding were so, then the Merciful One should have written simply: And dip in them, i.e., dip the cedar wood, hyssop, scarlet wool, and live bird in the blood and water, as the blood and water have already been mentioned beforehand. Why do I need the verse to list explicitly: โ€œAnd dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running waterโ€? This is to teach that the blood must be recognizable in the water.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ ื›ืชื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ื˜ื‘ืœ ื‘ื”ื ื”ื•ื” ืืžื™ื ื ื”ืื™ ืœื—ื•ื“ื™ื” ื•ื”ืื™ ืœื—ื•ื“ื™ื” ื›ืชื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื‘ื“ื ื•ื‘ืžื™ื ืœืขืจื‘ืŸ

And what would the Rabbis respond to this? If the Merciful One had written simply: And dip in them, then I would say the items should be dipped in this liquid separately and in that liquid separately. Therefore, the Merciful One writes: โ€œAnd dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water,โ€ to teach that one must mix them together.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืœืขืจื‘ืŸ ืงืจื ืื—ืจื™ื ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืฉื—ื˜ ืืช ื”ืฆืคืจ ื”ืื—ืช ื•ื’ื•ืณ

And from where does Rabbi Yishmael derive that one must mix them together? Another verse is written: โ€œAnd he shall slaughter one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running waterโ€ (Leviticus 14:50). This indicates that the blood of the bird must fall directly into the water below, and the blood and the water will become mixed together.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ ืžื”ื”ื•ื ื”ื•ื” ืืžื™ื ื ืœื™ืฉื—ื˜ื™ื” ืกืžื•ืš ืœืžื ื ื•ื ื™ื ืงื˜ื™ื ื”ื• ืœื•ื•ืจื™ื“ื™ืŸ ื•ืœืงื‘ืœื™ื” ืœื“ื ื‘ืžื ื ืื—ืจื™ื ื ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ

And why do the Rabbis not learn it from that verse? If one were to learn it from that verse, I would say that one should slaughter the bird adjacent to the vessel holding the water, and one should grasp the opened veins to ensure that no blood escapes immediately and then collect the blood in a different vessel. The blood and water would therefore be in separate vessels. Therefore, this first verse teaches us that the blood and water must be mixed together.

ื‘ืขื ืžื™ื ื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืจืžื™ื” ืžืจื‘ื™ ื–ื™ืจื ื’ื“ื•ืœื” ื•ืžื“ื—ืช ืืช ื”ืžื™ื ืงื˜ื ื” ื•ื ื“ื—ื™ืช ืžืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื ืžื”ื•

Rabbi Yirmeya raised a dilemma before Rabbi Zeira: If the bird is big and contains such a large amount of blood that it effaces the water, rendering it indistinguishable, or if the bird is small and contains so little blood that its blood is effaced due to the water and indistinguishable, what is the halakha?

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืœืื• ืืžื™ื ื ืœืš ืœื ืชืคื™ืง ื ืคืฉืš ืœื‘ืจ ืžื”ื™ืœื›ืชื ื‘ืฆืคื•ืจ ื“ืจื•ืจ ืฉื™ืขืจื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ื’ื“ื•ืœื” ืฉืžื“ื—ืช ืืช ื”ืžื™ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืงื˜ื ื” ืฉื ื“ื—ื™ืช ืžืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื

Rabbi Zeira said to him: Havenโ€™t I told you not to take yourself out of the bounds of the practical halakha? Do not ask questions about impossible eventualities. The Sages measured the ratio of blood to water specifically with regard to a sparrow. There is no sparrow big enough to efface the water, nor is there one small enough to be effaced due to the water.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ืงื“ื™ื ืขืคืจ ืœืžื™ื ืคืกื•ืœ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ืžื›ืฉื™ืจ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ

ยง The Rabbis taught (Tosefta, Para 6:6): If one places the dust in the vessel before the water, the mixture is unfit; but Rabbi Shimon deems it fit. The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Shimon?

ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืœืงื—ื• ืœื˜ืžื ืžืขืคืจ ืฉืจื™ืคืช ื”ื—ื˜ืืช ื•ืชื ื™ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื•ื›ื™ ืขืคืจ ื”ื•ื ื•ื”ืœื ืืคืจ ื”ื•ื ืฉื™ื ื” ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ื‘ืžืฉืžืขื• ืœื“ื•ืŸ ื”ื™ืžื ื• ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืฉื•ื” ื ืืžืจ ื›ืืŸ ืขืคืจ ื•ื ืืžืจ ืœื”ืœืŸ ืขืคืจ ืžื” ืœื”ืœืŸ ืขืคืจ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ื™ ืžื™ื ืืฃ ื›ืืŸ ืขืคืจ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ื™ ืžื™ื

It is as it is written with regard to the red heifer: โ€œAnd for the unclean they shall take of the dust of the burning of the purification from sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vesselโ€ (Numbers 19:17). And it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon said: Is it dust [afar] that is taken? But isnโ€™t it really ashes [efer]? Evidently the Torah altered its usage and referred to ashes as dust in order to derive a verbal analogy from it. Dust is stated in the verse here, and dust is stated there, with regard to the sota. Just as there, with regard to the sota, the verse teaches that the dust must be placed on top of water, so too here, with regard to the red heifer, one learns that the dust, i.e., ashes, must be placed on top of the water.

ื•ืžื” ื›ืืŸ ื”ืงื“ื™ื ืขืคืจ ืœืžื™ื ื›ืฉืจ ืืฃ ืœื”ืœืŸ ื”ืงื“ื™ื ืขืคืจ ืœืžื™ื ื›ืฉืจ

And likewise, just as here, with regard to the red heifer, if one places the dust in the vessel before the water, it is fit after the fact, so too there, with regard to the sota, if one places the dust in the vessel before the water, it is fit.

ื•ื”ืชื ืžื ืœืŸ ืชืจื™ ืงืจืื™ ื›ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืขืœื™ื• ืืœืžื ืืคืจ ื‘ืจื™ืฉื ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืžื™ื ื—ื™ื™ื ืืœ ื›ืœื™ ืืœืžื ืžื™ื ื‘ืจื™ืฉื ื”ื ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืจืฆื” ื–ื” ื ื•ืชืŸ ืจืฆื” ื–ื” ื ื•ืชืŸ

The Gemara asks: And there, with regard to the red heifer, from where do we derive that the mixture is fit even if the dust is placed first? Two phrases are written in the verse. It is written that the water must be put: โ€œThereto.โ€ Therefore, apparently, the ashes should be placed first. And it is written that the running water must be placed: โ€œIn a vessel.โ€ Apparently, the water should be placed in the vessel first, while it is still empty. How can these texts be reconciled? If he desires to place the water first he places it, and if he desires to place the ash first he places it.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืืœ ื›ืœื™ ื“ื•ืงื ืขืœื™ื• ืœืขืจื‘ืŸ

And how do the Rabbis, who deem the mixture unfit, interpret the verse? The verse states: โ€œIn a vessel,โ€ specifically. The water must be placed first. When the verse states: โ€œThereto,โ€ it teaches only that it is required to mix the ashes with the water.

ื•ืื™ืžื ืขืœื™ื• ื“ื•ืงื ืืœ ื›ืœื™ ืฉืชื”ื ื—ื™ื•ืชืŸ ื‘ื›ืœื™

The Gemara asks: But one could just as easily say the opposite: โ€œTheretoโ€ should be understood specifically, and the ashes must be placed first. The phrase โ€œrunning water shall be putโ€ฆin a vessel,โ€ should indicate only that the water must run directly into the vessel and that it may not be brought from the spring by means of another vessel.

ืžื” ืžืฆื™ื ื• ื‘ื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ืžื›ืฉื™ืจ ืœืžืขืœื” ืืฃ ื›ืืŸ ืžื›ืฉื™ืจ ืœืžืขืœื”

The Gemara answers: Just as we find in every instance that the facilitating item goes above the primary item, e.g., in the case of a sota the dust goes on top of the water, so too here, in the case of the red heifer, the facilitating item must go above the primary item. The water must be placed first, and only then the ashes.

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Ron and Shira Krebs to commemorate the 73rd yahrzeit of Shira's grandfather (Yitzchak Leib Ben David Ber HaCohen v'Malka), the 1st yahrzeit of Shira's father (Gershon Pinya Ben Yitzchak Leib HaCohen v'Menucha Sara), and the bar mitzvah of their son Eytan who will be making a siyum on Mishna Shas this month.

  • This month's learning is sponsored for the Refuah Shlemah of Naama bat Yael Esther.

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Sotah 16

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Sotah 16

ืฉื™ืœื” ื ื•ื‘ ื•ื’ื‘ืขื•ืŸ ื•ื‘ื™ืช ืขื•ืœืžื™ื

Shiloh, Nob, and Gibeon, and also the Eternal House, i.e., the Temple in Jerusalem. The dust for the sota is still brought from the ground of the Sanctuary wherever it is located, even after the Jewish people are no longer in the wilderness.

ืื™ืกื™ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ื—ื ืื•ืžืจ ืื™ื ื• ืฆืจื™ืš ื•ืžื” ื‘ื˜ื•ืžืื” ืงืœื” ืœื ื—ืœืง ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ื‘ื˜ื•ืžืืช ืืฉืช ืื™ืฉ ื—ืžื•ืจื” ืœื ื›ืœ ืฉื›ืŸ ืื ื›ืŸ ืžื” ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ืงืจืงืข ื”ืžืฉื›ืŸ ืฉืœื ื™ื‘ื™ื ืžืชื•ืš ืงื•ืคืชื•

Isi ben Menaแธฅem says: There is no need to derive this halakha from the verse. It may be learned by an a fortiori inference: With regard to the prohibition against entering the Sanctuary in a state of impurity, a lenient matter for which there is no court-imposed capital punishment, the Torah does not differentiate. It is prohibited for an impure person to enter the Tabernacle no matter where it stands. Therefore, with regard to the impurity of a married woman, which is stringent and carries the penalty of strangulation, all the more so is it not clear that the Torah does not differentiate? The dust must be brought from the Sanctuary no matter where it stands. If so, what is the meaning when the verse states: โ€œAnd of the dust that is on the floor of the Tabernacleโ€? It teaches that one should not bring dust from his own basket and place it directly into the water; he must first place it on the floor.

ืื™ื‘ืขื™ื ืœื”ื• ืื™ืŸ ืฉื ืขืคืจ ืžื”ื• ืฉื™ืชืŸ ืืคืจ ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ื‘ื™ืช ืฉืžืื™ ืœื ืชื™ื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ื“ืืžืจื™ ืœื ืžืฆื™ื ื• ืืคืจ ืฉืงืจื•ื™ ืขืคืจ

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If there is no dust there, what is the halakha? May one place ashes in the vessel instead? The Gemara responds: There is no need to raise the dilemma if one holds in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, as they say: We never find ashes referred to as dust in the Torah.

ื›ื™ ืชื™ื‘ืขื™ ืœืš ืืœื™ื‘ื ื“ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืœืœ ื“ืืžืจื™ ืžืฆื™ื ื• ืืคืจ ืฉืงืจื•ื™ ืขืคืจ ืžืื™ ืืฃ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ ื“ืื™ืงืจื™ ืขืคืจ ื”ื›ื ื‘ืงืจืงืข ื”ืžืฉื›ืŸ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืื• ื“ื™ืœืžื ื”ืื™ ื‘ืงืจืงืข ื”ืžืฉื›ืŸ ืœื›ื“ืื™ืกื™ ื‘ืŸ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ื•ืœื›ื“ืื™ืกื™ ื‘ืŸ ืžื ื—ื ื”ื•ื ื“ืืชื™

When you raise the dilemma, it is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Hillel, who say: We do find ashes referred to as dust in the context of the red heifer (Numbers 19:17). They likewise hold that ashes may also be used instead of dust to cover the blood of a slaughtered bird or undomesticated animal (see Leviticus 17:13). What is the halakha here, with regard to the water of a sota? May ashes replace dust? Although elsewhere ashes may be referred to as dust, here it is written: โ€œOn the floor of the Tabernacle,โ€ indicating that dust in particular is required, since dust comes from the ground. Or perhaps the phrase โ€œon the floor of the Tabernacleโ€ comes only to teach that the halakha is in accordance with the teaching of Isi ben Yehuda or in accordance with the teaching of Isi ben Menaแธฅem. If so, perhaps ashes are acceptable as well.

ืชื ืฉืžืข ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื‘ืฉืœืฉื” ืžืงื•ืžื•ืช ื”ืœื›ื” ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ืžืงืจื

Come and hear evidence from that which Rabbi Yoแธฅanan says in the name of Rabbi Yishmael: In three instances the halakha supersedes the verse, i.e., the tradition alters the straightforward meaning of the verse.

ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ื‘ืขืคืจ ื•ื”ืœื›ื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ื‘ืชืขืจ ื•ื”ืœื›ื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ื”ืชื•ืจื” ืืžืจื” ืกืคืจ ื•ื”ืœื›ื” ื‘ื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ

The Torah states: โ€œAnd whatsoever manโ€ฆthat takes in hunting any beast or fowl that may be eaten, he shall pour out the blood thereof, and cover it in dustโ€ (Leviticus 17:13), but the halakha is that the blood may be covered in anything similar to dust. The Torah states with regard to the nazirite: โ€œAll the days of his vow of naziriteship there shall be no razor come upon his headโ€ (Numbers 6:5), but the halakha is that the nazirite may not remove his hair with anything. The Torah states: โ€œThat he writes her a bill [sefer] of divorceโ€ (Deuteronomy 24:1). The word sefer denotes a scroll, but the halakha is that the husband may inscribe the bill of divorce on anything that is detached from the ground and suitable to be written upon, not only on a scroll.

ื•ืื ืื™ืชื ืœื™ื—ืฉื•ื‘ ื ืžื™ ื”ืื™

And if it is so that ashes may be placed in the water of a sota despite the verseโ€™s stipulation of dust, consider this fourth case as well to be a halakha that supersedes the verse. Since it is omitted from Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s statement, it seems that ashes may not be used.

ืชื ื ื•ืฉื™ื™ืจ ื•ืžืื™ ืฉื™ื™ืจ ื“ื”ืื™ ืฉื™ื™ืจ ืฉื™ื™ืจ ืžืฆื•ืจืข ื“ืชื ื™ื ื•ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ ื™ื’ืœื— ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ื›ืœืœ ืืช ืจืืฉื• ื•ืืช ื–ืงื ื• ื•ืืช ื’ื‘ืช ืขื™ื ื™ื• ืคืจื˜ ื•ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ื™ื’ืœื— ื—ื–ืจ ื•ื›ืœืœ ื›ืœืœ ื•ืคืจื˜ ื•ื›ืœืœ ืื™ ืืชื” ื“ืŸ ืืœื ื›ืขื™ืŸ ื”ืคืจื˜ ืžื” ืคืจื˜ ืžืคื•ืจืฉ ืžืงื•ื ื›ื™ื ื•ืก ืฉืขืจ ื•ื ืจืื” ืืฃ ื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ื›ื™ื ื•ืก ืฉืขืจ ื•ื ืจืื”

The Gemara responds: Rabbi Yishmael taught some cases and omitted others; his list is not exhaustive. The Gemara asks: What else did he omit that he omitted this? It is not reasonable that he would provide a list lacking only one item. The Gemara answers: He omitted the leper, as it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta, Negaโ€™im 1:9): In the verse: โ€œAnd it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave off all his hairโ€ (Leviticus 14:9), the phrase โ€œall his hairโ€ is a generalization. The phrase that follows: โ€œHis head and his beard and his eyebrows,โ€ is a detail. And with the following phrase: โ€œEven all his hair he shall shave off,โ€ the verse then generalized again. In any case of a generalization, and a detail, and a generalization, you may deduce that the verse is referring only to items similar to the detail. Just as the detail is explicitly referring to areas where there is a collection of hair which is visible, so too all areas on the leper that have a collection of hair which is visible must be shaven.

ืžื” ืจื‘ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืขืจ ื”ืจื’ืœื™ื ืžืื™ ืžื™ืขื˜ ืžื™ืขื˜ ื“ื‘ื™ืช ื”ืฉื—ื™ ื•ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ื” ื’ื•ืคื™ื”

To what otherwise excluded case does this baraita extend the halakha? It extends the halakha of hair to include pubic hair. What does the baraita exclude? It excludes armpit hair, which is not visible, and body hair that is not collected. This is the straightforward meaning of the verse.

ื•ื”ืœื›ืชื ืžื’ืœื— ื›ื“ืœืขืช ื“ืชื ืŸ ื‘ื ืœื• ืœื”ืงื™ืฃ ืืช ื”ืžืฆื•ืจืข ืžืขื‘ื™ืจ ืชืขืจ ืขืœ ื›ืœ ื‘ืฉืจื• ื•ืงืชื ื™ ืกื™ืคื ื•ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ ืžื’ืœื—ื• ืชื’ืœื—ืช ืฉื ื™ื” ื›ืชื’ืœื—ืช ืจืืฉื•ื ื”

And yet the halakha is: The leper shaves like a gourd, i.e., his entire body must be shaved. As we learned in a mishna (Negaโ€™im 14:2): When the priest comes to shave the leper, he passes a razor over all of his flesh. And in the latter clause, the mishna teaches: On the seventh day he shaves the leper again. The second shaving is just like the first shaving. The verse previously analyzed is referring to the second shaving, and its straightforward meaning is that not all of the leperโ€™s flesh needs to be shaved. However, the mishna states that the leper must shave all of his flesh in the second shaving as well. This is another instance where the halakha supersedes the straightforward meaning of the verse, yet it is omitted from Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s list.

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื ื—ืžืŸ ื‘ืจ ื™ืฆื—ืง ื›ื™ ืงื ื—ืฉื™ื‘ ื”ืœื›ื” ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ืžืงืจื ื”ื ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ืžื“ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื™ื

Rabbi Naแธฅman bar Yitzแธฅak said: Rabbi Yishmael consciously omitted the halakha of the leper because he counted only instances where the halakha supersedes the straightforward meaning of the verse. This halakha of the leper, however, is an instance where the halakha supersedes only an exegetical interpretation of the Sages.

ืจื‘ ืคืคื ืืžืจ ื›ื™ ืงื ื—ืฉื™ื‘ ื”ืœื›ื” ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ื•ืขื•ืงืจืช ื”ื ืขื•ืงื‘ืช ื•ืžื•ืกืคืช ื”ื™ื

Rav Pappa said: Rabbi Yishmael counted only cases where the halakha both supersedes and uproots the straightforward meaning of the verse. This, however, is an instance where the halakha supersedes and adds. The halakha does not overrule the verse but rather adds an additional requirement, i.e., that the whole body must be shaved.

ืจื‘ ืืฉื™ ืืžืจ ื”ื ืžืชื ื™ืชื ืžื ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื”ื™ื ื“ื“ืจื™ืฉ ื›ืœืœื™ ื•ืคืจื˜ื™

Rav Ashi said: This baraita, which teaches that only certain parts of the body must be shaved, is in accordance with whose opinion? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael, who interprets verses by means of the principle of generalizations and details. According to this interpretation, only collected areas of hair that are visible must be shaven.

ื›ื“ืœืขืช ืžื ื™ ืจื‘ื™ ืขืงื™ื‘ื ื”ื™ื ื“ื“ืจื™ืฉ ืจื™ื‘ื•ื™ื™ ื•ืžื™ืขื•ื˜ื™ ื“ืชื ื™ื ื•ื”ื™ื” ื‘ื™ื•ื ื”ืฉื‘ื™ืขื™ ื™ื’ืœื— ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ืจื™ื‘ื” ืืช ืจืืฉื• ื•ืืช ื–ืงื ื• ื•ืืช ื’ื‘ืช ืขื™ื ื™ื• ืžื™ืขื˜ ื•ืืช ื›ืœ ืฉืขืจื• ื™ื’ืœื— ื—ื–ืจ ื•ืจื™ื‘ื” ืจื™ื‘ื” ื•ืžื™ืขื˜ ื•ืจื™ื‘ื” ืจื™ื‘ื” ื”ื›ืœ

By contrast, the mishna states that the leper must be shaven like a gourd. In accordance with whose opinion is this? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who interprets verses by means of the principle of amplifications and restrictions. As it is taught in a baraita: In the verse: โ€œAnd it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave off all his hair,โ€ the phrase โ€œall his hairโ€ is an amplification. The phrase that follows: โ€œHis head and his beard and his eyebrows,โ€ is a restriction. In the final phrase: โ€œEven all his hair he shall shave off,โ€ the verse then amplified again. The verse is therefore an instance of amplification and restriction and amplification, which includes everything.

ืžืื™ ืจื™ื‘ื” ืจื™ื‘ื” ื“ื›ื•ืœื™ื” ื’ื•ืคื™ื” ื•ืžืื™ ืžื™ืขื˜ ืžื™ืขื˜ ืฉื™ืขืจ ืฉื‘ืชื•ืš ื”ื—ื•ื˜ื

What does it include? It includes the hair of all of the body. What does it nevertheless exclude? It excludes nose hairs, which do not need to be shaved. Since the mishna presents only the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, it poses no challenge to Rabbi Yishmaelโ€™s list.

ืžืื™ ื”ื•ื™ ืขืœื” ืชื ืฉืžืข ื“ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื”ื•ื ื ื‘ืจ ืืฉื™ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืื™ืŸ ืฉื ืขืคืจ ืžื‘ื™ื ืจืงื‘ื•ื‘ื™ืช ื™ืจืง ื•ืžืงื“ืฉ

The Gemara asks: What conclusion was reached about it, i.e., whether ashes may be used instead of dust for the water of the sota? Come and hear evidence from that which Rav Huna bar Ashi says that Rav says: If there is no dust available for the sota water, the priest brings decomposed vegetable matter, and he consecrates the water with it. This indicates that it is permitted to substitute other substances for dust.

ื•ืœื ื”ื™ื ืจืงื‘ื•ื‘ื™ืช ื™ืจืง ื”ื•ื ื“ื”ื•ืื™ ืขืคืจ ืืคืจ ืœื ื”ื•ืื™ ืขืคืจ

The Gemara responds: But that is not so. Decomposed vegetable matter is permitted because it will become dust, but ashes will not become dust.

ื›ื“ื™ ืฉื™ืจืื” ืขืœ ื”ืžื™ื ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืฉืœืฉื” ืฆืจื™ื›ื™ืŸ ืฉื™ืจืื• ืขืคืจ ืกื•ื˜ื” ื•ืืคืจ ืคืจื” ื•ืจื•ืง ื™ื‘ืžื” ืžืฉื•ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืืžืจื• ืืฃ ื“ื ืฆืคื•ืจ

ยง The mishna states: He would take loose dust from underneath the tablet and place it into the vessel with the water, so that the dust would be visible upon the water. The Sages taught (Tosefta 1:8): Three items are required to be seen: The dust of the sota must be visible in the water, the ashes of the red heifer must be visible when placed in the waters of purification, and the spittle of a woman whose husband, who has a brother, died childless [yevama] must be visible. The yavam, brother-in-law of the yevama, is bound by Torah law to marry her, and this bond is dissolved through the ritual of แธฅalitza, in which she spits before him in the presence of judges. In the name of Rabbi Yishmael they said: Even the blood of the bird used in a leperโ€™s purification ritual is required to be visible in the vessel.

ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื˜ื‘ืœ ืื•ืชื ื‘ื“ื ื”ืฆืคืจ ื•ื’ื•ืณ ื•ืชื ื™ื ื‘ื“ื ื™ื›ื•ืœ ื‘ื“ื ื•ืœื ื‘ืžื™ื ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ืžื™ื ืื™ ืžื™ื ื™ื›ื•ืœ ื‘ืžื™ื ื•ืœื ื‘ื“ื ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื‘ื“ื ื”ื ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืžื‘ื™ื ืžื™ื ืฉื“ื ืฆื™ืคื•ืจ ื ื™ื›ืจ ื‘ื”ืŸ ื•ื›ืžื” ืจื‘ื™ืขื™ืช

The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Yishmael? As it is written with regard to the process of the purification of a leper: โ€œAnd he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running waterโ€ (Leviticus 14:51). And it is taught in a baraita: Had the verse stated only the phrase โ€œin the blood,โ€ one might have thought that these items must be dipped only in the blood and should not be dipped in the water at all. Therefore, the verse also states: โ€œIn the running water.โ€ If the verse had stated only the phrase โ€œin the running water,โ€ one might have thought they should be dipped only in the water and not be dipped in the blood at all. Therefore, the verse also states: โ€œIn the blood.โ€ How can these texts be reconciled? One must bring little enough water so that the blood of the bird will still be recognizable within it. And how much water is this? It is a quarter-log.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ื”ื•ื ืœื’ื•ืคื™ื” ื“ื”ื›ื™ ืงืืžืจ ืจื—ืžื ื ืื˜ื‘ื™ืœ ื‘ื“ื ื•ื‘ืžื™ื

And the Rabbis, who do not require that the blood of the bird be visible in the water, how do they understand the verse? That verse is necessary for its own sake, as this is what the Merciful One is saying: Dip the objects both in blood and in water together. The blood need not be visible.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืื ื›ืŸ ืœื›ืชื•ื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ื˜ื‘ืœ ื‘ื”ื ื‘ื“ื ื•ื‘ืžื™ื ืœืžื” ืœื™ ืœื ื™ื›ืจ

And why does Rabbi Yishmael reject this straightforward understanding of the verse? It is because if this understanding were so, then the Merciful One should have written simply: And dip in them, i.e., dip the cedar wood, hyssop, scarlet wool, and live bird in the blood and water, as the blood and water have already been mentioned beforehand. Why do I need the verse to list explicitly: โ€œAnd dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running waterโ€? This is to teach that the blood must be recognizable in the water.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ ื›ืชื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ื˜ื‘ืœ ื‘ื”ื ื”ื•ื” ืืžื™ื ื ื”ืื™ ืœื—ื•ื“ื™ื” ื•ื”ืื™ ืœื—ื•ื“ื™ื” ื›ืชื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื‘ื“ื ื•ื‘ืžื™ื ืœืขืจื‘ืŸ

And what would the Rabbis respond to this? If the Merciful One had written simply: And dip in them, then I would say the items should be dipped in this liquid separately and in that liquid separately. Therefore, the Merciful One writes: โ€œAnd dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water,โ€ to teach that one must mix them together.

ื•ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืฉืžืขืืœ ืœืขืจื‘ืŸ ืงืจื ืื—ืจื™ื ื ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืฉื—ื˜ ืืช ื”ืฆืคืจ ื”ืื—ืช ื•ื’ื•ืณ

And from where does Rabbi Yishmael derive that one must mix them together? Another verse is written: โ€œAnd he shall slaughter one of the birds in an earthen vessel over running waterโ€ (Leviticus 14:50). This indicates that the blood of the bird must fall directly into the water below, and the blood and the water will become mixed together.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ ืžื”ื”ื•ื ื”ื•ื” ืืžื™ื ื ืœื™ืฉื—ื˜ื™ื” ืกืžื•ืš ืœืžื ื ื•ื ื™ื ืงื˜ื™ื ื”ื• ืœื•ื•ืจื™ื“ื™ืŸ ื•ืœืงื‘ืœื™ื” ืœื“ื ื‘ืžื ื ืื—ืจื™ื ื ืงื ืžืฉืžืข ืœืŸ

And why do the Rabbis not learn it from that verse? If one were to learn it from that verse, I would say that one should slaughter the bird adjacent to the vessel holding the water, and one should grasp the opened veins to ensure that no blood escapes immediately and then collect the blood in a different vessel. The blood and water would therefore be in separate vessels. Therefore, this first verse teaches us that the blood and water must be mixed together.

ื‘ืขื ืžื™ื ื™ื” ืจื‘ื™ ื™ืจืžื™ื” ืžืจื‘ื™ ื–ื™ืจื ื’ื“ื•ืœื” ื•ืžื“ื—ืช ืืช ื”ืžื™ื ืงื˜ื ื” ื•ื ื“ื—ื™ืช ืžืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื ืžื”ื•

Rabbi Yirmeya raised a dilemma before Rabbi Zeira: If the bird is big and contains such a large amount of blood that it effaces the water, rendering it indistinguishable, or if the bird is small and contains so little blood that its blood is effaced due to the water and indistinguishable, what is the halakha?

ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืœืื• ืืžื™ื ื ืœืš ืœื ืชืคื™ืง ื ืคืฉืš ืœื‘ืจ ืžื”ื™ืœื›ืชื ื‘ืฆืคื•ืจ ื“ืจื•ืจ ืฉื™ืขืจื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ื’ื“ื•ืœื” ืฉืžื“ื—ืช ืืช ื”ืžื™ื ื•ืื™ืŸ ืœืš ืงื˜ื ื” ืฉื ื“ื—ื™ืช ืžืคื ื™ ื”ืžื™ื

Rabbi Zeira said to him: Havenโ€™t I told you not to take yourself out of the bounds of the practical halakha? Do not ask questions about impossible eventualities. The Sages measured the ratio of blood to water specifically with regard to a sparrow. There is no sparrow big enough to efface the water, nor is there one small enough to be effaced due to the water.

ืชื ื• ืจื‘ื ืŸ ื”ืงื“ื™ื ืขืคืจ ืœืžื™ื ืคืกื•ืœ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ืžื›ืฉื™ืจ ืžืื™ ื˜ืขืžื ื“ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ

ยง The Rabbis taught (Tosefta, Para 6:6): If one places the dust in the vessel before the water, the mixture is unfit; but Rabbi Shimon deems it fit. The Gemara asks: What is the reasoning of Rabbi Shimon?

ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ืœืงื—ื• ืœื˜ืžื ืžืขืคืจ ืฉืจื™ืคืช ื”ื—ื˜ืืช ื•ืชื ื™ื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื•ื›ื™ ืขืคืจ ื”ื•ื ื•ื”ืœื ืืคืจ ื”ื•ื ืฉื™ื ื” ื”ื›ืชื•ื‘ ื‘ืžืฉืžืขื• ืœื“ื•ืŸ ื”ื™ืžื ื• ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืฉื•ื” ื ืืžืจ ื›ืืŸ ืขืคืจ ื•ื ืืžืจ ืœื”ืœืŸ ืขืคืจ ืžื” ืœื”ืœืŸ ืขืคืจ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ื™ ืžื™ื ืืฃ ื›ืืŸ ืขืคืจ ืขืœ ื’ื‘ื™ ืžื™ื

It is as it is written with regard to the red heifer: โ€œAnd for the unclean they shall take of the dust of the burning of the purification from sin, and running water shall be put thereto in a vesselโ€ (Numbers 19:17). And it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon said: Is it dust [afar] that is taken? But isnโ€™t it really ashes [efer]? Evidently the Torah altered its usage and referred to ashes as dust in order to derive a verbal analogy from it. Dust is stated in the verse here, and dust is stated there, with regard to the sota. Just as there, with regard to the sota, the verse teaches that the dust must be placed on top of water, so too here, with regard to the red heifer, one learns that the dust, i.e., ashes, must be placed on top of the water.

ื•ืžื” ื›ืืŸ ื”ืงื“ื™ื ืขืคืจ ืœืžื™ื ื›ืฉืจ ืืฃ ืœื”ืœืŸ ื”ืงื“ื™ื ืขืคืจ ืœืžื™ื ื›ืฉืจ

And likewise, just as here, with regard to the red heifer, if one places the dust in the vessel before the water, it is fit after the fact, so too there, with regard to the sota, if one places the dust in the vessel before the water, it is fit.

ื•ื”ืชื ืžื ืœืŸ ืชืจื™ ืงืจืื™ ื›ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืขืœื™ื• ืืœืžื ืืคืจ ื‘ืจื™ืฉื ื•ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืžื™ื ื—ื™ื™ื ืืœ ื›ืœื™ ืืœืžื ืžื™ื ื‘ืจื™ืฉื ื”ื ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืจืฆื” ื–ื” ื ื•ืชืŸ ืจืฆื” ื–ื” ื ื•ืชืŸ

The Gemara asks: And there, with regard to the red heifer, from where do we derive that the mixture is fit even if the dust is placed first? Two phrases are written in the verse. It is written that the water must be put: โ€œThereto.โ€ Therefore, apparently, the ashes should be placed first. And it is written that the running water must be placed: โ€œIn a vessel.โ€ Apparently, the water should be placed in the vessel first, while it is still empty. How can these texts be reconciled? If he desires to place the water first he places it, and if he desires to place the ash first he places it.

ื•ืจื‘ื ืŸ ืืœ ื›ืœื™ ื“ื•ืงื ืขืœื™ื• ืœืขืจื‘ืŸ

And how do the Rabbis, who deem the mixture unfit, interpret the verse? The verse states: โ€œIn a vessel,โ€ specifically. The water must be placed first. When the verse states: โ€œThereto,โ€ it teaches only that it is required to mix the ashes with the water.

ื•ืื™ืžื ืขืœื™ื• ื“ื•ืงื ืืœ ื›ืœื™ ืฉืชื”ื ื—ื™ื•ืชืŸ ื‘ื›ืœื™

The Gemara asks: But one could just as easily say the opposite: โ€œTheretoโ€ should be understood specifically, and the ashes must be placed first. The phrase โ€œrunning water shall be putโ€ฆin a vessel,โ€ should indicate only that the water must run directly into the vessel and that it may not be brought from the spring by means of another vessel.

ืžื” ืžืฆื™ื ื• ื‘ื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ืžื›ืฉื™ืจ ืœืžืขืœื” ืืฃ ื›ืืŸ ืžื›ืฉื™ืจ ืœืžืขืœื”

The Gemara answers: Just as we find in every instance that the facilitating item goes above the primary item, e.g., in the case of a sota the dust goes on top of the water, so too here, in the case of the red heifer, the facilitating item must go above the primary item. The water must be placed first, and only then the ashes.

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