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Today's Daf Yomi

November 12, 2015 | 诇壮 讘诪专讞砖讜讜谉 转砖注状讜

  • 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 shleima of Naama bat Yael Esther.

Sotah 17

The Kohen writes a “megilla” that gets erased in the Sotah waters and has the Sotah take an oath or two oaths.聽What is the content of the megilla and the oaths and various details surrounding them is discussed in today’s shiur.


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诪转谞讬壮 讘讗 诇讜 诇讻转讜讘 讗转 讛诪讙讬诇讛 诪讗讬讝讛 诪拽讜诐 讛讜讗 讻讜转讘

MISHNA: When the priest comes to write the scroll of the sota that is to be placed in the water, from what place in the Torah passage concerning the sota (Numbers 5:11鈥31) does he write?

诪讜讗诐 诇讗 砖讻讘 讗讬砖 讜讙讜壮 讜讗转 讻讬 砖讟讬转 转讞转 讗讬砖讱

He starts from the verse: 鈥淚f no man has lain with you, and if you have not gone astray to defilement while under your husband, you shall be free from this water of bitterness that causes the curse鈥 (Numbers 5:19); and continues: 鈥淏ut if you have gone astray while under your husband, and if you are defiled, and some man has lain with you besides your husband鈥 (Numbers 5:20).

讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讜讛砖讘讬注 讛讻讛谉 讗转 讛讗砖讛 讜讻讜转讘 讬转谉 讛壮 讗讜转讱 诇讗诇讛 讜诇砖讘注讛 讜讘讗讜 讛诪讬诐 讛诪讗专专讬诐 讛讗诇讛 讘诪注讬讱 诇爪讘讜转 讘讟谉 讜诇谞驻诇 讬专讱 讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讜讗诪专讛 讛讗砖讛 讗诪谉 讗诪谉

And then he does not write the beginning of the following verse, which states: 鈥淭hen the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall say to the woman鈥 (Numbers 5:21), but he does write the oath recorded in the continuation of the verse: 鈥淭he Lord shall make you a curse and an oath among your people when the Lord will cause your thigh to fall away, and your belly to swell. And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, and cause your belly to swell, and your thigh to fall away鈥 (Numbers 5:21鈥22); but he does not write the conclusion of the verse: 鈥淎nd the woman shall say: Amen, amen鈥 (Numbers 5:22).

专讘讬 讬讜住讬 讗讜诪专 诇讗 讛讬讛 诪驻住讬拽

Rabbi Yosei says: He does not interrupt the verses but rather writes the entire passage without any omissions.

专讘讬 讬讛讜讚讛 讗讜诪专 讻诇 注爪诪讜 讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讗诇讗 讬转谉 讛壮 讗讜转讱 诇讗诇讛 讜诇砖讘注讛 讜讙讜壮 讜讘讗讜 讛诪讬诐 讛诪讗专专讬诐 讛讗诇讛 讘诪注讬讱 讜讙讜壮 讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讜讗诪专讛 讛讗砖讛 讗诪谉 讗诪谉

Rabbi Yehuda says: He writes nothing other than curses recorded in the final verses cited above: 鈥淭he Lord shall make you a curse and an oath among your people when the Lord will cause your thigh to fall away, and your belly to swell. And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, and cause your belly to swell, and your thigh to fall away.鈥 And he does not write the conclusion of the verse: 鈥淎nd the woman shall say: Amen, amen.鈥

讙诪壮 讘诪讗讬 拽讗 诪讬驻诇讙讬 讘讛讗讬 拽专讗 拽诪讬驻诇讙讬 讜讻转讘 讗转 讛讗诇讜转 讛讗诇讛 讛讻讛谉 讘住驻专

GEMARA: With regard to what issue do the Sages in the mishna disagree? What is the source of their disagreement? They disagree concerning the proper interpretation of the verse: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these [ha鈥檈leh] curses [et ha鈥檃lot] in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23).

专讘讬 诪讗讬专 住讘专 讗诇讜转 讗诇讜转 诪诪砖 讛讗诇讜转 诇专讘讜转 拽诇诇讜转 讛讘讗讜转 诪讞诪转 讘专讻讜转 讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 拽诇诇讜转 砖讘诪砖谞讛 转讜专讛 讛讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 爪讜讜讗讜转 讜拽讘诇讜转 讗诪谉

Rabbi Meir, the first tanna of the mishna, reasons: The word alot,鈥 curses, is referring to actual curses. The prefix ha, meaning: The, in the word ha鈥檃lot serves to include curses that come on account of the blessings, i.e., the curses that are inferred from the phrase: 鈥淵ou shall be free from this water of bitterness that causes the curse鈥 (5:19). The word eleh,鈥 meaning these, is a limiting term that serves to exclude the long list of curses that are recorded in Mishne Torah, the book of Deuteronomy (chapter 28). Although these curses are also referred to as 鈥alot,鈥 the priest does not write them. The addition of the definite article in the word ha鈥檈leh serves to exclude the commands recorded in the sota passage and the acceptances by the word 鈥渁men鈥 recorded there as well. The priest need not write these sections of the passage.

讜专讘讬 讬讜住讬 讻讜诇讛讜 讻讚拽讗诪专转 讗转 诇专讘讜转 爪讜讜讗讜转 讜拽讘诇讜转

And Rabbi Yosei interprets it: It would all be as you, Rabbi Meir, said; however, the additional word et in the verse amplifies its scope. It serves to include both commands and acceptances, as they must be written in the scroll as well.

讜专讘讬 诪讗讬专 讗转讬诐 诇讗 讚专讬砖

And why does Rabbi Meir disagree? As a rule, he does not interpret the additional word et as amplifying a verse鈥檚 scope.

讜专讘讬 讬讛讜讚讛 讻讜诇讛讜 讘诪讬注讜讟讬 讚专讬砖 诇讛讜 讗诇讜转 讗诇讜转 诪诪砖 讛讗诇讜转 诇诪注讜讟讬 拽诇诇讜转 讛讘讗讜转 诪讞诪转 讘专讻讜转 讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 拽诇诇讜转 砖讘诪砖谞讛 转讜专讛 讛讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 爪讜讜讗讜转 讜拽讘诇讜转

And as for Rabbi Yehuda, he interprets all of the terms in the verse as exclusionary: The word alot is referring specifically to the actual curses recorded in the verses. The definite article in the word ha鈥檃lot serves to exclude curses that come on account of blessings. The word eleh serves to exclude the curses recorded in the Mishne Torah. And the definite article in the word ha鈥檈leh serves to exclude the commands and acceptances recorded in the verses.

讜专讘讬 诪讗讬专 诪讗讬 砖谞讗 讛讗讬 讛讬 讚诪专讘讬 讘讬讛 讜诪讗讬 砖谞讗 讛讗讬 讛讬 讚诪注讬讟 讘讬讛

The Gemara asks: But according to Rabbi Meir, what is different about this letter heh at the beginning of the word 鈥ha鈥檃lot鈥 such that it amplifies the halakha to include curses that come on account of the blessings, and what is different about that letter heh in the word 鈥ha鈥檈leh鈥 such that it excludes the commands and acceptances by the word 鈥渁men鈥? Why should one amplify while the other excludes?

讛讬 讚讙讘讬讛 讚专讬讘讜讬讗 专讬讘讜讬讗 讛讬讗 讛讬 讚讙讘讬讛 讚诪讬注讜讟讗 诪讬注讜讟讗

The Gemara answers: The letter heh when written near an amplifier is an amplifier. The word 鈥alot鈥 itself amplifies the halakha, and the definite article extends that amplification; and a heh when written near a restrictor is a restrictor. The word 鈥eleh鈥 itself restricts the halakha, and the definite article before it extends that restriction.

讜讛讗 诇讬转 诇讬讛 诇专讘讬 诪讗讬专 诪讻诇诇 诇讗讜 讗转讛 砖讜诪注 讛谉

The Gemara asks: But Rabbi Meir does not accept the principle that from a negative statement you can infer a positive statement. What is to be gained by writing the blessings if one cannot infer the curses from them?

讗诪专 专讘讬 转谞讞讜诐 讛谞拽讬 讻转讬讘

Rabbi Tan岣m says: It is written: 鈥淚f no man has lain with you鈥you shall be free [hinnaki]鈥 (Numbers 5:19). The word 鈥hinnaki鈥 should be interpreted as if it were in fact 岣nnaki, meaning: You shall choke. When read with the beginning of the next verse, it then forms the sentence: You shall choke鈥 if you have gone astray while under your husband. Therefore, Rabbi Meir understands the blessings themselves to have a dimension of a curse.

讚专讬砖 专讘讬 注拽讬讘讗 讗讬砖 讜讗砖讛 讝讻讜 砖讻讬谞讛 讘讬谞讬讛谉 诇讗 讝讻讜 讗砖 讗讜讻诇转谉

Rabbi Akiva taught: If a man [ish] and woman [isha] merit reward through a faithful marriage, the Divine Presence rests between them. The words ish and isha are almost identical; the difference between them is the middle letter yod in ish, and the final letter heh in isha. These two letters can be joined to form the name of God spelled yod, heh. But if due to licentiousness they do not merit reward, the Divine Presence departs, leaving in each word only the letters alef and shin, which spell esh, fire. Therefore, fire consumes them.

讗诪专 专讘讗 讜讚讗砖讛 注讚讬驻讗 诪讚讗讬砖 诪讗讬 讟注诪讗 讛讗讬 诪爪专祝 讜讛讗讬 诇讗 诪爪专祝

Rava said: And the fire that consumes the woman is stronger and more immediate than that which consumes the man. What is the reason for this? The letters alef and shin in the word isha are adjacent, joined together, but in the word ish they are not joined, as the letter yod is written between them.

讗诪专 专讘讗 诪驻谞讬 诪讛 讗诪专讛 转讜专讛 讛讘讗 注驻专 诇住讜讟讛 讝讻转讛 讬讜爪讗 诪诪谞讛 讘谉 讻讗讘专讛诐 讗讘讬谞讜 讚讻转讬讘 讘讬讛 注驻专 讜讗驻专 诇讗 讝讻转讛 转讞讝讜专 诇注驻专讛

Additionally, Rava says: For what reason did the Torah say: Bring dust for the sota? It is because if she merits to be proven faith-ful after drinking the water of the sota, a child like our Patriarch Abraham will emerge from her, as it is written with regard to Abraham that he said: 鈥淚 am but dust and ashes鈥 (Genesis 18:27). But if she does not merit to be proven faithful after drinking the water of the sota, she shall die and return to her dust, the soil from which mankind was formed.

讚专讬砖 专讘讗 讘砖讻专 砖讗诪专 讗讘专讛诐 讗讘讬谞讜 讜讗谞讻讬 注驻专 讜讗驻专 讝讻讜 讘谞讬讜 诇砖转讬 诪爪讜转 讗驻专 驻专讛 讜注驻专 住讜讟讛

And Rava further taught: As reward for that which our Patriarch Abraham said: 鈥淎nd I am but dust and ashes鈥 (Genesis 18:27), his children merited two mitzvot: The ashes of the red heifer (see Numbers, chapter 19) and the dust of the sota.

讜讛讗讬讻讗 谞诪讬 注驻专 讻讬住讜讬 讛讚诐

The Gemara asks: But there is also another mitzva involving dust: The dust used for covering the blood of a slaughtered undomesticated animal or fowl (see Leviticus 17:13).

讛转诐 讛讻砖专 诪爪讜讛 讗讬讻讗 讛谞讗讛 诇讬讻讗

The Gemara answers: There, the dust does serve as an accessory to the mitzva of covering the blood, but there is no benefit imparted by it. It occurs after the animal has been slaughtered and does not itself render the meat fit for consumption.

讚专砖 专讘讗 讘砖讻专 砖讗诪专 讗讘专讛诐 讗讘讬谞讜 讗诐 诪讞讜讟 讜注讚 砖专讜讱 谞注诇 讝讻讜 讘谞讬讜 诇砖转讬 诪爪讜转 讞讜讟 砖诇 转讻诇转 讜专爪讜注讛 砖诇 转驻诇讬谉

Rava further taught: As reward for that which our Patriarch Abraham said to the king of Sodom: 鈥淭hat I will not take a thread nor a shoe strap nor anything that is yours鈥 (Genesis 14:23), distancing himself from anything not rightfully his, his children merited two mitzvot: The thread of sky-blue wool worn on ritual fringes and the strap of phylacteries.

讘砖诇诪讗 专爪讜注讛 砖诇 转驻诇讬谉 讚讻转讬讘 讜专讗讜 讻诇 注诪讬 讛讗专抓 讻讬 砖诐 讛壮 谞拽专讗 注诇讬讱 讜转谞讬讗 专讘讬 讗诇讬注讝专 讛讙讚讜诇 讗讜诪专 讗诇讜 转驻诇讬谉 砖讘专讗砖

The Gemara asks: Granted, the strap of the phylacteries impart benefit, as it is written: 鈥淎nd all the peoples of the earth shall see that the name of the Lord is called upon you; and they shall be afraid of you鈥 (Deuteronomy 28:10). And it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer the Great says: This is a reference to the phylacteries of the head, upon which the name of God is written. Phylacteries therefore impart the splendor and grandeur of God and are a fit reward.

讗诇讗 讞讜讟 砖诇 转讻诇转 诪讗讬 讛讬讗 讚转谞讬讗 讛讬讛 专讘讬 诪讗讬专 讗讜诪专 诪讛 谞砖转谞讛 转讻诇转 诪讻诇 诪讬谞讬 爪讘注讜谞讬谉

But what is the benefit imparted by the thread of sky-blue wool? The Gemara answers: As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: What is different about sky-blue from all other colors such that it was specified for the mitzva of ritual fringes?

诪驻谞讬 砖讛转讻诇转 讚讜诪讛 诇讬诐 讜讬诐 讚讜诪讛 诇专拽讬注 讜专拽讬注 讚讜诪讛 诇讻住讗 讛讻讘讜讚 砖谞讗诪专 讜讬专讗讜 讗转 讗诇讛讬 讬砖专讗诇 讜转讞转 专讙诇讬讜 讻诪注砖讛 诇讘谞转 讛住驻讬专 讜讻注爪诐 讛砖诪讬诐 诇讟讛专 讜讻转讬讘 讻诪专讗讛 讗讘谉 住驻讬专 讚诪讜转 讻住讗

It is because sky-blue dye is similar in its color to the sea, and the sea is similar to the sky, and the sky is similar to the Throne of Glory, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd they saw the God of Israel; and there was under His feet the like of a paved work of sapphire stone, and the like of the very heaven for clearness鈥 (Exodus 24:10). This verse shows that the heavens are similar to sapphire, and it is written: 鈥淎nd above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone鈥 (Ezekiel 1:26). Therefore, the throne is similar to the heavens. The color of sky blue dye acts as an indication of the bond between the Jewish people and the Divine Presence.

诪转谞讬壮 讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 诇讗 注诇 讛诇讜讞 讜诇讗 注诇 讛谞讬讬专 讜诇讗 注诇

MISHNA: The priest does not write the scroll of the sota upon a wooden tablet, and not upon paper made from grass, and not upon

讛讚讬驻转专讗 讗诇讗 注诇 讛诪讙讬诇讛 砖谞讗诪专 讘住驻专

diftera, a hide that is only partially processed, as it is salted and treated with flour but not gallnuts; rather, it must be written only on a scroll of parchment, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these curses in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23).

讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 诇讗 讘拽讜诪讜住 讜诇讗 讘拽谞拽谞转讜诐 讜诇讗 讘讻诇 讚讘专 砖专讜砖诐 讗诇讗 讘讚讬讜 砖谞讗诪专 讜诪讞讛 讻转讘 砖讬讻讜诇 诇诪讞讜转

And the scribe may not write with gum [komos], and not with iron sulfate [kankantom], nor with any substance that makes a mark and cannot be completely erased, but only with ink made from soot, as it is stated in the continuation of the same verse: 鈥淎nd he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness鈥 (Numbers 5:23). This indicates that the scroll must be written with a writing that can be erased in water.

讙诪壮 讗诪专 专讘讗 诪讙讬诇转 住讜讟讛 砖讻转讘讛 讘诇讬诇讛 驻住讜诇讛 诪讗讬 讟注诪讗 讗转讬讗 转讜专讛 转讜专讛 讻转讬讘 讛讻讗 讜注砖讛 诇讛 讛讻讛谉 讗转 讻诇 讛转讜专讛 讛讝讗转 讜讻转讬讘 讛转诐 注诇 驻讬 讛转讜专讛 讗砖专 讬讜专讜讱 讜注诇 讛诪砖驻讟 诪讛 诪砖驻讟 讘讬讜诐 讗祝 诪讙讬诇转 住讜讟讛 讘讬讜诐

GEMARA: Rava says: A scroll of a sota that one wrote at night is unfit. What is the reason for this? It is derived by verbal analogy between one instance of the word 鈥渓aw鈥 and another instance of the word 鈥渓aw.鈥 It is written here, with regard to a sota: 鈥淎nd the priest shall execute upon her all this law鈥 (Numbers 5:30), and it is written there, with regard to judgment: 鈥淎ccording to the law, which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment, which they shall tell you鈥 (Deuteronomy 17:11). Just as judgment may be done only by day, so too the scroll of a sota may be written only by day.

讻转讘讛 诇诪驻专注 驻住讜诇讛 讚讻转讬讘 讜讻转讘 讗转 讛讗诇讜转 讛讗诇讛 讻讬 讚讻转讬讘讗

If one wrote the scroll out of sequence, it is unfit, as it is written: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these curses in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23). They must be written in the scroll just as they are written in the Torah.

讻转讘讛 拽讜讚诐 砖转拽讘诇 注诇讬讛 砖讘讜注讛 驻住讜诇讛 砖谞讗诪专 讜讛砖讘讬注 讜讗讞专 讻讱 讜讻转讘

If one wrote the scroll before the sota accepted the oath upon herself, the scroll is unfit, as it is stated: 鈥淭hen the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing鈥 (Numbers 5:21), and afterward it states: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these curses in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23).

讻转讘讛 讗讬讙专转 驻住讜诇讛 讘住驻专 讗诪专 专讞诪谞讗

If one wrote the scroll as a letter, i.e., without first scoring the lines onto the parchment, it is unfit, as the Merciful One states in the Torah: 鈥淚n a scroll,鈥 indicating that it must be written like a Torah scroll, in which the parchment must be scored.

  • 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 shleima of Naama bat Yael Esther.

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Sotah 17

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Sotah 17

诪转谞讬壮 讘讗 诇讜 诇讻转讜讘 讗转 讛诪讙讬诇讛 诪讗讬讝讛 诪拽讜诐 讛讜讗 讻讜转讘

MISHNA: When the priest comes to write the scroll of the sota that is to be placed in the water, from what place in the Torah passage concerning the sota (Numbers 5:11鈥31) does he write?

诪讜讗诐 诇讗 砖讻讘 讗讬砖 讜讙讜壮 讜讗转 讻讬 砖讟讬转 转讞转 讗讬砖讱

He starts from the verse: 鈥淚f no man has lain with you, and if you have not gone astray to defilement while under your husband, you shall be free from this water of bitterness that causes the curse鈥 (Numbers 5:19); and continues: 鈥淏ut if you have gone astray while under your husband, and if you are defiled, and some man has lain with you besides your husband鈥 (Numbers 5:20).

讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讜讛砖讘讬注 讛讻讛谉 讗转 讛讗砖讛 讜讻讜转讘 讬转谉 讛壮 讗讜转讱 诇讗诇讛 讜诇砖讘注讛 讜讘讗讜 讛诪讬诐 讛诪讗专专讬诐 讛讗诇讛 讘诪注讬讱 诇爪讘讜转 讘讟谉 讜诇谞驻诇 讬专讱 讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讜讗诪专讛 讛讗砖讛 讗诪谉 讗诪谉

And then he does not write the beginning of the following verse, which states: 鈥淭hen the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall say to the woman鈥 (Numbers 5:21), but he does write the oath recorded in the continuation of the verse: 鈥淭he Lord shall make you a curse and an oath among your people when the Lord will cause your thigh to fall away, and your belly to swell. And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, and cause your belly to swell, and your thigh to fall away鈥 (Numbers 5:21鈥22); but he does not write the conclusion of the verse: 鈥淎nd the woman shall say: Amen, amen鈥 (Numbers 5:22).

专讘讬 讬讜住讬 讗讜诪专 诇讗 讛讬讛 诪驻住讬拽

Rabbi Yosei says: He does not interrupt the verses but rather writes the entire passage without any omissions.

专讘讬 讬讛讜讚讛 讗讜诪专 讻诇 注爪诪讜 讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讗诇讗 讬转谉 讛壮 讗讜转讱 诇讗诇讛 讜诇砖讘注讛 讜讙讜壮 讜讘讗讜 讛诪讬诐 讛诪讗专专讬诐 讛讗诇讛 讘诪注讬讱 讜讙讜壮 讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 讜讗诪专讛 讛讗砖讛 讗诪谉 讗诪谉

Rabbi Yehuda says: He writes nothing other than curses recorded in the final verses cited above: 鈥淭he Lord shall make you a curse and an oath among your people when the Lord will cause your thigh to fall away, and your belly to swell. And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, and cause your belly to swell, and your thigh to fall away.鈥 And he does not write the conclusion of the verse: 鈥淎nd the woman shall say: Amen, amen.鈥

讙诪壮 讘诪讗讬 拽讗 诪讬驻诇讙讬 讘讛讗讬 拽专讗 拽诪讬驻诇讙讬 讜讻转讘 讗转 讛讗诇讜转 讛讗诇讛 讛讻讛谉 讘住驻专

GEMARA: With regard to what issue do the Sages in the mishna disagree? What is the source of their disagreement? They disagree concerning the proper interpretation of the verse: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these [ha鈥檈leh] curses [et ha鈥檃lot] in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23).

专讘讬 诪讗讬专 住讘专 讗诇讜转 讗诇讜转 诪诪砖 讛讗诇讜转 诇专讘讜转 拽诇诇讜转 讛讘讗讜转 诪讞诪转 讘专讻讜转 讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 拽诇诇讜转 砖讘诪砖谞讛 转讜专讛 讛讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 爪讜讜讗讜转 讜拽讘诇讜转 讗诪谉

Rabbi Meir, the first tanna of the mishna, reasons: The word alot,鈥 curses, is referring to actual curses. The prefix ha, meaning: The, in the word ha鈥檃lot serves to include curses that come on account of the blessings, i.e., the curses that are inferred from the phrase: 鈥淵ou shall be free from this water of bitterness that causes the curse鈥 (5:19). The word eleh,鈥 meaning these, is a limiting term that serves to exclude the long list of curses that are recorded in Mishne Torah, the book of Deuteronomy (chapter 28). Although these curses are also referred to as 鈥alot,鈥 the priest does not write them. The addition of the definite article in the word ha鈥檈leh serves to exclude the commands recorded in the sota passage and the acceptances by the word 鈥渁men鈥 recorded there as well. The priest need not write these sections of the passage.

讜专讘讬 讬讜住讬 讻讜诇讛讜 讻讚拽讗诪专转 讗转 诇专讘讜转 爪讜讜讗讜转 讜拽讘诇讜转

And Rabbi Yosei interprets it: It would all be as you, Rabbi Meir, said; however, the additional word et in the verse amplifies its scope. It serves to include both commands and acceptances, as they must be written in the scroll as well.

讜专讘讬 诪讗讬专 讗转讬诐 诇讗 讚专讬砖

And why does Rabbi Meir disagree? As a rule, he does not interpret the additional word et as amplifying a verse鈥檚 scope.

讜专讘讬 讬讛讜讚讛 讻讜诇讛讜 讘诪讬注讜讟讬 讚专讬砖 诇讛讜 讗诇讜转 讗诇讜转 诪诪砖 讛讗诇讜转 诇诪注讜讟讬 拽诇诇讜转 讛讘讗讜转 诪讞诪转 讘专讻讜转 讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 拽诇诇讜转 砖讘诪砖谞讛 转讜专讛 讛讗诇讛 诇诪注讜讟讬 爪讜讜讗讜转 讜拽讘诇讜转

And as for Rabbi Yehuda, he interprets all of the terms in the verse as exclusionary: The word alot is referring specifically to the actual curses recorded in the verses. The definite article in the word ha鈥檃lot serves to exclude curses that come on account of blessings. The word eleh serves to exclude the curses recorded in the Mishne Torah. And the definite article in the word ha鈥檈leh serves to exclude the commands and acceptances recorded in the verses.

讜专讘讬 诪讗讬专 诪讗讬 砖谞讗 讛讗讬 讛讬 讚诪专讘讬 讘讬讛 讜诪讗讬 砖谞讗 讛讗讬 讛讬 讚诪注讬讟 讘讬讛

The Gemara asks: But according to Rabbi Meir, what is different about this letter heh at the beginning of the word 鈥ha鈥檃lot鈥 such that it amplifies the halakha to include curses that come on account of the blessings, and what is different about that letter heh in the word 鈥ha鈥檈leh鈥 such that it excludes the commands and acceptances by the word 鈥渁men鈥? Why should one amplify while the other excludes?

讛讬 讚讙讘讬讛 讚专讬讘讜讬讗 专讬讘讜讬讗 讛讬讗 讛讬 讚讙讘讬讛 讚诪讬注讜讟讗 诪讬注讜讟讗

The Gemara answers: The letter heh when written near an amplifier is an amplifier. The word 鈥alot鈥 itself amplifies the halakha, and the definite article extends that amplification; and a heh when written near a restrictor is a restrictor. The word 鈥eleh鈥 itself restricts the halakha, and the definite article before it extends that restriction.

讜讛讗 诇讬转 诇讬讛 诇专讘讬 诪讗讬专 诪讻诇诇 诇讗讜 讗转讛 砖讜诪注 讛谉

The Gemara asks: But Rabbi Meir does not accept the principle that from a negative statement you can infer a positive statement. What is to be gained by writing the blessings if one cannot infer the curses from them?

讗诪专 专讘讬 转谞讞讜诐 讛谞拽讬 讻转讬讘

Rabbi Tan岣m says: It is written: 鈥淚f no man has lain with you鈥you shall be free [hinnaki]鈥 (Numbers 5:19). The word 鈥hinnaki鈥 should be interpreted as if it were in fact 岣nnaki, meaning: You shall choke. When read with the beginning of the next verse, it then forms the sentence: You shall choke鈥 if you have gone astray while under your husband. Therefore, Rabbi Meir understands the blessings themselves to have a dimension of a curse.

讚专讬砖 专讘讬 注拽讬讘讗 讗讬砖 讜讗砖讛 讝讻讜 砖讻讬谞讛 讘讬谞讬讛谉 诇讗 讝讻讜 讗砖 讗讜讻诇转谉

Rabbi Akiva taught: If a man [ish] and woman [isha] merit reward through a faithful marriage, the Divine Presence rests between them. The words ish and isha are almost identical; the difference between them is the middle letter yod in ish, and the final letter heh in isha. These two letters can be joined to form the name of God spelled yod, heh. But if due to licentiousness they do not merit reward, the Divine Presence departs, leaving in each word only the letters alef and shin, which spell esh, fire. Therefore, fire consumes them.

讗诪专 专讘讗 讜讚讗砖讛 注讚讬驻讗 诪讚讗讬砖 诪讗讬 讟注诪讗 讛讗讬 诪爪专祝 讜讛讗讬 诇讗 诪爪专祝

Rava said: And the fire that consumes the woman is stronger and more immediate than that which consumes the man. What is the reason for this? The letters alef and shin in the word isha are adjacent, joined together, but in the word ish they are not joined, as the letter yod is written between them.

讗诪专 专讘讗 诪驻谞讬 诪讛 讗诪专讛 转讜专讛 讛讘讗 注驻专 诇住讜讟讛 讝讻转讛 讬讜爪讗 诪诪谞讛 讘谉 讻讗讘专讛诐 讗讘讬谞讜 讚讻转讬讘 讘讬讛 注驻专 讜讗驻专 诇讗 讝讻转讛 转讞讝讜专 诇注驻专讛

Additionally, Rava says: For what reason did the Torah say: Bring dust for the sota? It is because if she merits to be proven faith-ful after drinking the water of the sota, a child like our Patriarch Abraham will emerge from her, as it is written with regard to Abraham that he said: 鈥淚 am but dust and ashes鈥 (Genesis 18:27). But if she does not merit to be proven faithful after drinking the water of the sota, she shall die and return to her dust, the soil from which mankind was formed.

讚专讬砖 专讘讗 讘砖讻专 砖讗诪专 讗讘专讛诐 讗讘讬谞讜 讜讗谞讻讬 注驻专 讜讗驻专 讝讻讜 讘谞讬讜 诇砖转讬 诪爪讜转 讗驻专 驻专讛 讜注驻专 住讜讟讛

And Rava further taught: As reward for that which our Patriarch Abraham said: 鈥淎nd I am but dust and ashes鈥 (Genesis 18:27), his children merited two mitzvot: The ashes of the red heifer (see Numbers, chapter 19) and the dust of the sota.

讜讛讗讬讻讗 谞诪讬 注驻专 讻讬住讜讬 讛讚诐

The Gemara asks: But there is also another mitzva involving dust: The dust used for covering the blood of a slaughtered undomesticated animal or fowl (see Leviticus 17:13).

讛转诐 讛讻砖专 诪爪讜讛 讗讬讻讗 讛谞讗讛 诇讬讻讗

The Gemara answers: There, the dust does serve as an accessory to the mitzva of covering the blood, but there is no benefit imparted by it. It occurs after the animal has been slaughtered and does not itself render the meat fit for consumption.

讚专砖 专讘讗 讘砖讻专 砖讗诪专 讗讘专讛诐 讗讘讬谞讜 讗诐 诪讞讜讟 讜注讚 砖专讜讱 谞注诇 讝讻讜 讘谞讬讜 诇砖转讬 诪爪讜转 讞讜讟 砖诇 转讻诇转 讜专爪讜注讛 砖诇 转驻诇讬谉

Rava further taught: As reward for that which our Patriarch Abraham said to the king of Sodom: 鈥淭hat I will not take a thread nor a shoe strap nor anything that is yours鈥 (Genesis 14:23), distancing himself from anything not rightfully his, his children merited two mitzvot: The thread of sky-blue wool worn on ritual fringes and the strap of phylacteries.

讘砖诇诪讗 专爪讜注讛 砖诇 转驻诇讬谉 讚讻转讬讘 讜专讗讜 讻诇 注诪讬 讛讗专抓 讻讬 砖诐 讛壮 谞拽专讗 注诇讬讱 讜转谞讬讗 专讘讬 讗诇讬注讝专 讛讙讚讜诇 讗讜诪专 讗诇讜 转驻诇讬谉 砖讘专讗砖

The Gemara asks: Granted, the strap of the phylacteries impart benefit, as it is written: 鈥淎nd all the peoples of the earth shall see that the name of the Lord is called upon you; and they shall be afraid of you鈥 (Deuteronomy 28:10). And it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer the Great says: This is a reference to the phylacteries of the head, upon which the name of God is written. Phylacteries therefore impart the splendor and grandeur of God and are a fit reward.

讗诇讗 讞讜讟 砖诇 转讻诇转 诪讗讬 讛讬讗 讚转谞讬讗 讛讬讛 专讘讬 诪讗讬专 讗讜诪专 诪讛 谞砖转谞讛 转讻诇转 诪讻诇 诪讬谞讬 爪讘注讜谞讬谉

But what is the benefit imparted by the thread of sky-blue wool? The Gemara answers: As it is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Meir would say: What is different about sky-blue from all other colors such that it was specified for the mitzva of ritual fringes?

诪驻谞讬 砖讛转讻诇转 讚讜诪讛 诇讬诐 讜讬诐 讚讜诪讛 诇专拽讬注 讜专拽讬注 讚讜诪讛 诇讻住讗 讛讻讘讜讚 砖谞讗诪专 讜讬专讗讜 讗转 讗诇讛讬 讬砖专讗诇 讜转讞转 专讙诇讬讜 讻诪注砖讛 诇讘谞转 讛住驻讬专 讜讻注爪诐 讛砖诪讬诐 诇讟讛专 讜讻转讬讘 讻诪专讗讛 讗讘谉 住驻讬专 讚诪讜转 讻住讗

It is because sky-blue dye is similar in its color to the sea, and the sea is similar to the sky, and the sky is similar to the Throne of Glory, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd they saw the God of Israel; and there was under His feet the like of a paved work of sapphire stone, and the like of the very heaven for clearness鈥 (Exodus 24:10). This verse shows that the heavens are similar to sapphire, and it is written: 鈥淎nd above the firmament that was over their heads was the likeness of a throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone鈥 (Ezekiel 1:26). Therefore, the throne is similar to the heavens. The color of sky blue dye acts as an indication of the bond between the Jewish people and the Divine Presence.

诪转谞讬壮 讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 诇讗 注诇 讛诇讜讞 讜诇讗 注诇 讛谞讬讬专 讜诇讗 注诇

MISHNA: The priest does not write the scroll of the sota upon a wooden tablet, and not upon paper made from grass, and not upon

讛讚讬驻转专讗 讗诇讗 注诇 讛诪讙讬诇讛 砖谞讗诪专 讘住驻专

diftera, a hide that is only partially processed, as it is salted and treated with flour but not gallnuts; rather, it must be written only on a scroll of parchment, as it is stated: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these curses in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23).

讜讗讬谞讜 讻讜转讘 诇讗 讘拽讜诪讜住 讜诇讗 讘拽谞拽谞转讜诐 讜诇讗 讘讻诇 讚讘专 砖专讜砖诐 讗诇讗 讘讚讬讜 砖谞讗诪专 讜诪讞讛 讻转讘 砖讬讻讜诇 诇诪讞讜转

And the scribe may not write with gum [komos], and not with iron sulfate [kankantom], nor with any substance that makes a mark and cannot be completely erased, but only with ink made from soot, as it is stated in the continuation of the same verse: 鈥淎nd he shall blot them out into the water of bitterness鈥 (Numbers 5:23). This indicates that the scroll must be written with a writing that can be erased in water.

讙诪壮 讗诪专 专讘讗 诪讙讬诇转 住讜讟讛 砖讻转讘讛 讘诇讬诇讛 驻住讜诇讛 诪讗讬 讟注诪讗 讗转讬讗 转讜专讛 转讜专讛 讻转讬讘 讛讻讗 讜注砖讛 诇讛 讛讻讛谉 讗转 讻诇 讛转讜专讛 讛讝讗转 讜讻转讬讘 讛转诐 注诇 驻讬 讛转讜专讛 讗砖专 讬讜专讜讱 讜注诇 讛诪砖驻讟 诪讛 诪砖驻讟 讘讬讜诐 讗祝 诪讙讬诇转 住讜讟讛 讘讬讜诐

GEMARA: Rava says: A scroll of a sota that one wrote at night is unfit. What is the reason for this? It is derived by verbal analogy between one instance of the word 鈥渓aw鈥 and another instance of the word 鈥渓aw.鈥 It is written here, with regard to a sota: 鈥淎nd the priest shall execute upon her all this law鈥 (Numbers 5:30), and it is written there, with regard to judgment: 鈥淎ccording to the law, which they shall teach you, and according to the judgment, which they shall tell you鈥 (Deuteronomy 17:11). Just as judgment may be done only by day, so too the scroll of a sota may be written only by day.

讻转讘讛 诇诪驻专注 驻住讜诇讛 讚讻转讬讘 讜讻转讘 讗转 讛讗诇讜转 讛讗诇讛 讻讬 讚讻转讬讘讗

If one wrote the scroll out of sequence, it is unfit, as it is written: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these curses in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23). They must be written in the scroll just as they are written in the Torah.

讻转讘讛 拽讜讚诐 砖转拽讘诇 注诇讬讛 砖讘讜注讛 驻住讜诇讛 砖谞讗诪专 讜讛砖讘讬注 讜讗讞专 讻讱 讜讻转讘

If one wrote the scroll before the sota accepted the oath upon herself, the scroll is unfit, as it is stated: 鈥淭hen the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing鈥 (Numbers 5:21), and afterward it states: 鈥淎nd the priest shall write these curses in a scroll鈥 (Numbers 5:23).

讻转讘讛 讗讬讙专转 驻住讜诇讛 讘住驻专 讗诪专 专讞诪谞讗

If one wrote the scroll as a letter, i.e., without first scoring the lines onto the parchment, it is unfit, as the Merciful One states in the Torah: 鈥淚n a scroll,鈥 indicating that it must be written like a Torah scroll, in which the parchment must be scored.

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