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Today's Daf Yomi

November 26, 2015 | 讬状讚 讘讻住诇讜 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 Shlemah of Naama bat Yael Esther.

Sotah 31

The 5th chapter ends with a discussion of how the Jews sang the song on the Red Sea with Moshe. 聽And whether Job worshipped God out of love or out of fear. 聽The 6th Chapter begins with聽how many witnesses and what types of witnesses are needed for the seclusion stage聽of the Sotah process setira 聽Can a testimony from聽a聽bird be sufficient? 聽Once the first two stages are well established kinui and setira – the husband’s warning to his wife and then her seclusion,聽if a 聽lesser form of testimony confirms that during the seclusion, the couple has relations, the woman cannot drink the Sotah waters and is forever forbidden to her husband. 聽The mishna also discusses the law in cases where there was conflicting testimony regarding whether or not they had relations.

Study Guide Sotah 31


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讘诪拽讛诇讜转 讘专讻讜 讗诇讛讬诐 讛壮 诪诪拽讜专 讬砖专讗诇

鈥淚n full assemblies, bless God, the Lord, you that are from the source of Israel鈥 (Psalms 68:27), indicating that even children that are in the 鈥渟ource,鈥 i.e., their mother鈥檚 womb, blessed God when they gathered at the sea.

讜讛讗 诇讗 讞讝讜 讗诪专 专讘讬 转谞讞讜诐 讻专住 谞注砖讛 诇讛谉 讻讗住驻拽诇专讬讗 讛诪讗讬专讛 讜专讗讜

The Gemara asks: But the fetuses could not see, so how could they have honestly said: 鈥淭his is my God and I will glorify him鈥? Rabbi Tan岣m says: Their mother鈥檚 stomach was transformed for them like luminous crystal [aspaklarya], and they saw through it.

讘讜 讘讬讜诐 讚专砖 专讘讬 讬讛讜砖注 讘谉 讛讜专拽谞讜住 砖诇讗 注讘讚 讗讬讜讘 讻讜壮 讜诇讬讞讝讬 讛讗讬 诇讗 讗讬 讘诇诪讚 讗诇祝 讻转讬讘 诇讗 讛讜讗 讗讬 讘诇诪讚 讜讬讜 讻转讬讘 诇讜 讛讜讗

On that same day Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hyrcanus taught that Job served the Holy One, Blessed be He, only out of love, as it is stated: 鈥淭hough He will slay me, still I will trust in Him [lo]鈥 (Job 13:15). The mishna continues that the word lo in the verse is ambiguous as to whether it is indicative of Job expressing his yearning for God or his lack thereof. The Gemara asks: Let us see whether this word lo is written lamed alef, and therefore its meaning is: I will not trust, or whether it is written lamed vav, according to which its meaning is: I trust in Him. Why is there room for doubt with regard to the meaning of the verse?

讜讻诇 讛讬讻讗 讚讻转讬讘 讘诇诪讚 讗诇祝 诇讗 讛讜讗 讗诇讗 诪注转讛 讘讻诇 爪专转诐 诇讗 爪专 讚讻转讬讘 讘诇诪讚 讗诇祝 讛讻讬 谞诪讬 讚诇讗 讛讜讗

The Gemara counters: But is it true that anywhere that the word lo is written lamed alef, its meaning is: Not? If that is so, then in the verse: 鈥淚n all their affliction He was [lo] afflicted鈥 (Isaiah 63:9), where the word lo is written lamed alef, so too, does it mean: Not, i.e., God was not afflicted in the afflictions of the Jewish people?

讜讻讬 转讬诪讗 讛讻讬 谞诪讬 讜讛讻转讬讘 讜诪诇讗讱 驻谞讬讜 讛讜砖讬注诐 讗诇讗 诇讗讜 诪砖诪注 讛讻讬 讜诪砖诪注 讛讻讬

And if you would say that indeed that is the meaning of the verse, but isn鈥檛 it written in the continuation of that same verse: 鈥淎nd the angel of His Presence saved them,鈥 which clearly indicates that God was concerned with their afflictions? Evidently, the word lo in that verse means: 鈥淚n all their affliction He was afflicted.鈥 Rather, is it not clear that lamed alef sometimes indicates this and sometimes indicates that? Therefore, the mishna had to derive the proper meaning of the word from another verse.

转谞讬讗 专讘讬 诪讗讬专 讗讜诪专 谞讗诪专 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讘讗讬讜讘 讜谞讗诪专 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讘讗讘专讛诐 诪讛 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讛讗诪讜专 讘讗讘专讛诐 诪讗讛讘讛 讗祝 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讛讗诪讜专 讘讗讬讜讘 诪讗讛讘讛

It is taught in a baraita (Tosefta 6:1) that Rabbi Meir says: It is stated with regard to Job that he was 鈥淕od-fearing鈥 (Job 1:1), and it is stated with regard to Abraham that he was 鈥淕od-fearing鈥 (Genesis 22:12). Just as the description 鈥淕od-fearing,鈥 which is stated with regard to Abraham, is referring to Abraham鈥檚 fearing God out of love, so too, the description 鈥淕od-fearing鈥 that is stated with regard to Job indicates that Job feared God out of love.

讜讗讘专讛诐 讙讜驻讬讛 诪谞诇谉 讚讻转讬讘 讝专注 讗讘专讛诐 讗讛讘讬

The Gemara asks: And with regard to Abraham himself, from where do we derive that he acted out of a sense of love? As it is written: 鈥淭he offspring of Abraham who loved Me鈥 (Isaiah 41:8).

诪讗讬 讗讬讻讗 讘讬谉 注讜砖讛 诪讗讛讘讛 诇注讜砖讛 诪讬专讗讛 讗讬讻讗 讛讗 讚转谞讬讗 专讘讬 砖诪注讜谉 讘谉 讗诇注讝专 讗讜诪专 讙讚讜诇 讛注讜砖讛 诪讗讛讘讛 讬讜转专 诪谉 讛注讜砖讛 诪讬专讗讛 砖讝讛 转诇讜讬 诇讗诇祝 讚讜专 讜讝讛 转诇讜讬 诇讗诇驻讬诐 讚讜专

The Gemara asks: What difference is there between one who performs mitzvot out of love and one who performs mitzvot out of fear? The Gemara answers: There is that which is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: Greater is the one who performs mitzvot out of love than the one who performs mitzvot out of fear, as with regard to this one who acts out of fear, his merits endure for one thousand generations, and with regard to that one who serves God out of love, his merits endure for two thousand generations.

讛讻讗 讻转讬讘 诇讗诇驻讬诐 诇讗讛讘讬 讜诇砖诪专讬 诪爪讜转讬 讜讛转诐 讻转讬讘 讜诇砖诪专讬 诪爪讜转讜 诇讗诇祝 讚讜专

Proof of this assertion is that here it is written: 鈥淎nd showing mercy unto thousands of generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments鈥 (Exodus 20:5), indicating that merits can last for thousands of generations for those who act out of love, and there it is written: 鈥淜now therefore that the Lord your God, He is God; the faithful God, Who keeps the covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments for a thousand generations鈥 (Deuteronomy 7:9). The first verse indicates that those who act out of love retain their merits for thousands of generations, whereas the second verse, which mentions only one thousand generations of merit, is referring to the merits of those who keep God鈥檚 mitzvot out of fear.

讛转诐 谞诪讬 讻转讬讘 诇讗讛讘讬讜 讜诇砖诪专讬 诪爪讜转讜 诇讗诇祝 讚讜专

The Gemara asks: But there also, in the second verse, it is written: 鈥淭he faithful God, Who keeps the covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments for a thousand generations鈥 (Deuteronomy 7:9). Why is the verse interpreted specifically with regard to those who worship God out of fear, yet it is written that they keep His mitzvot out of love? Both types of people seem to be indicated in both verses.

讛讗讬 诇讚住诪讬讱 诇讬讛 讜讛讗讬 诇讚住诪讬讱 诇讬讛

The Gemara answers: That verse, which mentions one thousand generations, is understood as referring to that which is adjacent to it. The phrase 鈥渇or a thousand generations鈥 is understood as referring those who perform mitzvot out of fear, as it is written immediately preceding the phrase 鈥渁nd keep His commandments,鈥 which does not mention love. And this verse, which mentions thousands of generations, is understood as referring to that which is adjacent to it: 鈥淯nto thousands of generations of those who love Me.鈥

讛谞讛讜 转专讬 转诇诪讬讚讬 讚讛讜讜 讬转讘讬 拽诪讬讛 讚专讘讗 讞讚 讗诪专 诇讬讛 讗拽专讬讜谉 讘讞诇诪讗讬 诪讛 专讘 讟讜讘讱 讗砖专 爪驻谞转 诇讬专讗讬讱 讜讞讚 讗诪专 诇讬讛 讗拽专讬讜谉 讘讞诇诪讗讬 讜讬砖诪讞讜 讻诇 讞讜住讬 讘讱 诇注讜诇诐 讬专谞谞讜 讜讬注诇爪讜 讘讱 讗讛讘讬 砖诪讱 讗诪专 诇讛讜 转专讜讬讬讻讜 专讘谞谉 爪讚讬拽讬 讙诪讜专讬 讗转讜谉 诪专 诪讗讛讘讛 讜诪专 诪讬专讗讛

It happened that there were these two students who were sitting before Rava, and one said to him: It was read to me in my dream: 鈥淗ow abundant is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You鈥 (Psalms 31:20). And one said to Rava: It was read to me in my dream: 鈥淪o shall all those who take refuge in You rejoice; they will forever shout for joy, and You will shelter them; let them also who love Your name exult in You鈥 (Psalms 5:12). Rava said to them: You are both completely righteous Sages. One Sage, the second dreamer, serves God out of love, and one Sage, the first dreamer, serves God out of fear. Each Sage鈥檚 dream corresponded to his manner of serving God.

讛讚专谉 注诇讱 讻砖诐 砖讛诪讬诐

 

诪转谞讬壮 诪讬 砖拽讬谞讗 诇讗砖转讜 讜谞住转专讛 讗驻讬诇讜 砖诪注 诪注讜祝 讛驻讜专讞 讬讜爪讬讗 讜讬转谉 讻转讜讘讛 讚讘专讬 专讘讬 讗诇讬注讝专

MISHNA: In the case of one who warned his wife not to seclude herself with a particular man and she subsequently secluded herself with the man she was warned about, even if he heard about it from a flying bird, or any other source whatsoever, he must divorce his wife. However, he must still grant her the money accorded to her by her marriage contract because there is no actual proof of her seclusion with the man in question. This is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer, who, as quoted in the first mishna of the tractate (2a), holds that there is no necessity for witnesses to testify with regard to the seclusion, and the woman becomes forbidden to her husband even in the absence of witnesses, by the husband鈥檚 word alone.

专讘讬 讬讛讜砖注 讗讜诪专 注讚 砖讬砖讗讜 讜讬转谞讜 讘讛 诪讜讝专讜转 讘诇讘谞讛

Rabbi Yehoshua disagrees, as he did in the mishna (2a), and says: He does not divorce his wife in the absence of witnesses until the gossiping women who sit and spin thread by the light of the moon begin to discuss her behavior, as they share the gossip of the town. The Gemara earlier (6b) taught that a woman whose infidelity became subject to this public discussion can no longer be tested by the bitter water of a sota. Consequently, she must get divorced.

讗诪专 注讚 讗讞讚 讗谞讬 专讗讬转讬讛 砖谞讟诪讗转 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讜诇讗 注讜讚 讗诇讗 讗驻讬诇讜 注讘讚 讗驻讬诇讜 砖驻讞讛 讛专讬 讗诇讜 谞讗诪谞讬谉 讗祝 诇驻讜住诇讛 诪讻转讜讘转讛

The mishna continues to list various possible testimonies concerning of such acts of seclusion. If one witness said: I saw that she became defiled during her seclusion by engaging in sexual intercourse with that other man, she does not drink the bitter water, but rather, he divorces her immediately. And furthermore, even if the one who testified was a slave or a maidservant, neither of whom is generally regarded as a valid witness, they are deemed credible to testify to the wife鈥檚 adultery even to the extent that their testimony disqualifies her from receiving her marriage contract and prevents her from drinking the bitter water.

讞诪讜转讛 讜讘转 讞诪讜转讛 讜爪专转讛 讜讬讘诪转讛 讜讘转 讘注诇讛 讛专讬 讗诇讜 谞讗诪谞讜转 讜诇讗 诇驻讜住诇讛 诪讻转讜讘转讛 讗诇讗 砖诇讗 转砖转讛

The mishna continues by listing women whose testimony is only partially accepted concerning this matter: Her mother-in-law, and her mother in-law鈥檚 daughter, and her rival wife, i.e., a second wife of the husband, and her yevama, i.e., her husband鈥檚 brother鈥檚 wife, and her husband鈥檚 daughter, all of whom are generally not deemed credible if they say anything incriminating pertaining to this woman due to the tumultuous relationships these women often have. They are all deemed credible to testify concerning the woman鈥檚 defilement while in seclusion, but are not deemed credible to the extent that their testimony will disqualify her from receiving her marriage contract; rather, it is deemed credible to the extent that she will not drink of the bitter water of a sota.

砖讛讬讛 讘讚讬谉 讜诪讛 讗诐 注讚讜转 专讗砖讜谞讛 砖讗讬谉 讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讗讬谞讛 诪转拽讬讬诪转 讘驻讞讜转 诪砖谞讬诐 注讚讜转 讗讞专讜谞讛 砖讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讗讬谞讜 讚讬谉 砖诇讗 转转拽讬讬诐 讘驻讞讜转 诪砖谞讬诐

This ruling allowing one witness鈥檚 testimony with regard to defilement needs to be stated, as, by right, it should not have been deemed credible based on the following a fortiori inference: And just as if with regard to the first testimony concerning seclusion, which does not forbid her with an irrevocable prohibition, as the woman can be found innocent permitting her again to her husband by drinking the bitter water, is not established with fewer than two witnesses, since according to the mishna the testimony of seclusion requires two witnesses, then with regard to the final testimony concerning defilement, which forbids her to her husband with an irrevocable prohibition, is it not logical that it should also not be established with fewer than two witnesses?

转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讜注讚 讗讬谉 讘讛 讻诇 注讚讜转 砖讬砖 讘讛

Therefore, to counter this derivation, the verse states: 鈥淎nd there be no witness against her鈥 (Numbers 5:13), teaching that any testimony with regard to defilement that there is against her is sufficient, and two witnesses are not required.

讜拽诇 讜讞讜诪专 诇注讚讜转 讛专讗砖讜谞讛 诪注转讛 讜诪讛 讗诐

The Gemara asks: And from now that it is established that one witness suffices to testify with regard to defilement, an a fortiori inference can be made with regard to the first testimony of seclusion: And just as if

注讚讜转 讗讞专讜谞讛 砖讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讛专讬 讛讬讗 诪转拽讬讬诪转 讘注讚 讗讞讚 注讚讜转 讛专讗砖讜谞讛 砖讗讬谉 讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讗讬谞讜 讚讬谉 砖转转拽讬讬诐 讘注讚 讗讞讚

concerning the final testimony of defilement, which forbids her with an irrevocable prohibition, yet it is established by one witness, then with regard to the first testimony, which does not forbid her with an irrevocable prohibition, is it not logical that it should be established with only one witness?

转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讻讬 诪爪讗 讘讛 注专讜转 讚讘专 讜诇讛诇谉 讛讜讗 讗讜诪专 注诇 驻讬 砖谞讬 注讚讬诐 讬拽讜诐 讚讘专 诪讛 诇讛诇谉 注诇 驻讬 砖谞讬诐 讗祝 讻讗谉 驻讬 砖谞讬诐

Therefore, to counter this derivation, the verse states: 鈥淲hen a man takes a wife, and marries her, and it comes to pass, if she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly matter [davar] in her鈥 (Deuteronomy 24:1), and there, in the laws concerning monetary matters, it states: 鈥淎t the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter [davar] be established鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15), teaching that just as the 鈥渕atter鈥 stated there is established 鈥渁t the mouth of two witnesses,鈥 so too, here the 鈥渕atter鈥 of her seclusion must be established 鈥渁t the mouth of two witnesses.鈥

注讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讜注讚 讗讜诪专 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讗砖讛 讗讜诪专转 谞讟诪讗转 讜讗砖讛 讗讜诪专转 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

The mishna discusses the halakha in a case where two single witnesses contradict each other concerning her defilement. If one witness says: She was defiled, and another witness says: She was not defiled, or similarly in the case of those normally disqualified from bearing witness, if one woman says: She was defiled, and another woman says: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water of a sota, due to the uncertainty engendered by the contradictory testimonies.

讗讞讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讜砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 谞讟诪讗转 讜讗讞讚 讗讜诪专 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

Similarly, if one witness says: She was defiled, and two witnesses say: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water. However, if two would say: She was defiled, and one says: She was not defiled, the testimony of the two witnesses is accepted and she would not drink the bitter water, and the husband must divorce her.

讙诪壮 讛讗讬 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讻讬 诪爪讗 讘讛 注专讜转 讚讘专

GEMARA: The Gemara questions why the mishna proves the need for two witnesses to testify about the seclusion based upon the verbal analogy of 鈥渕atter鈥 and 鈥渕atter,鈥 if there is an explicit source in the Torah stating that two witnesses are required. This reason is given by the mishna: The verse states: 鈥淲hen a man takes a wife, and marries her, and it comes to pass, if she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly matter [davar] in her鈥 (Deuteronomy 24:1), which through a verbal analogy based on the word 鈥davar鈥 teaches the need for two witnesses, seems to be superfluous.

转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讘讛 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘拽讬谞讜讬 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘住转讬专讛 诪讬讘注讬 诇讬讛

As, the mishna should have said in its place: The verse states: 鈥淪he was defiled secretly and there was no witness [ed] against her [bah]鈥 (Numbers 5:13), which is explained to mean there were not two witnesses, but only one, who testified concerning her defilement. One can infer from the term 鈥bah,鈥 which could also be understood as: With regard to it, that in this matter of defilement one witness suffices, but not with regard to the warning. Additionally, one can infer: With regard to it, but not with regard to the seclusion. Therefore, there must be two witnesses to testify about both the warning and seclusion.

讛讻讬 谞诪讬 拽讗诪专 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讘讛 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘拽讬谞讜讬 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘住转讬专讛

The Gemara answers: That is also what the tanna of the mishna is saying. The source for the halakha that there is a requirement for two witnesses to testify about the seclusion is that the verse states: With regard to it, that in this matter of defilement one witness suffices, but not with regard to the warning. With regard to it, but not with regard to the seclusion.

讜讟讜诪讗讛 讘注诇诪讗 讘诇讗 拽讬谞讜讬 讜讘诇讗 住转讬专讛 讚诇讗 诪讛讬诪谉 注讚 讗讞讚 诪谞诇谉 谞讗诪专 讻讗谉 讚讘专 讜谞讗诪专 诇讛诇谉 讚讘专 诪讛 诇讛诇谉 讘砖谞讬 注讚讬诐 讗祝 讻讗谉 讘砖谞讬 注讚讬诐

The Gemara continues to explain the mishna: And concerning an ordinary accusation of defilement without a previous warning and without an act of seclusion with another man, from where do we derive that a single witness is not deemed credible? It is for this halakha that the mishna cites the verbal analogy: It is stated here: 鈥淏ecause he has found some unseemly matter [davar] in her鈥 (Deuteronomy 24:1), and it is stated there concerning monetary matters: 鈥淎t the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter [davar] be established鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15). Just as the 鈥渕atter鈥 stated there with regard to monetary matters is clarified specifically by the testimony of two witnesses, so too, here with regard to adultery the 鈥渕atter鈥 of her defilement must be established by the testimony of at least two witnesses.

注讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讟注诪讗 讚拽讗 诪讻讞讬砖 诇讬讛 讛讗 诇讗 拽讗 诪讻讞讬砖 诇讬讛 注讚 讗讞讚 诪讛讬诪谉

搂 The mishna taught: If one witness says: She was defiled, and another witness says: She was not defiled, she drinks the bitter water of a sota. The Gemara infers from this statement in the mishna that the reason the woman would drink the bitter water in this case is specifically because the second witness refutes his testimony, but if a second witness did not refute his testimony, then a single witness would be relied upon in this case and the woman would be forbidden to her husband forever.

诪谞讛谞讬 诪讬诇讬 讚转谞讜 专讘谞谉 讜注讚 讗讬谉 讘讛 讘砖谞讬诐 讛讻转讜讘 诪讚讘专

From where are these matters derived? As the Sages taught in reference to the verse describing the circumstances in which a woman defiled through an act of adultery becomes prohibited to her husband, which states: 鈥淎nd a man lie with her carnally鈥and there be no witness [ed] against her鈥 (Numbers 5:13); the verse is speaking of a lack of two witnesses. When the verse refers to the lack of an ed, written in the singular, it actually indicates that there are not two witnesses against her, but only one, as the baraita will now explain.

讗转讛 讗讜诪专 讘砖谞讬诐 讗讜 讗讬谞讜 讗诇讗 讘讗讞讚 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 诇讗 讬拽讜诐 注讚 讗讞讚 讘讗讬砖 讜讙讜壮

The baraita continues and asks: Do you say that the verse refers only to a case where there was not even one witness to the act of sexual intercourse, as the singular usage of the word ed would seem to indicate? The baraita now proves that the singular usage notwithstanding, elsewhere the word ed is used to indicate two witnesses, as the verse states: 鈥淥ne witness [ed] shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity or any sin that he sins; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15).

诪诪砖诪注 砖谞讗诪专 诇讗 讬拽讜诐 注讚 讗讬谞讬 讬讜讚注 砖讛讜讗 讗讞讚 诪讛 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讗讞讚 讝讛 讘谞讛 讗讘 讻诇 诪拽讜诐 砖谞讗诪专 注讚 讛专讬 讻讗谉 砖谞讬诐 注讚 砖讬驻专讜讟 诇讱 讛讻转讜讘 讗讞讚

The baraita infers a general principle from this verse by asking: By inference from that which is stated in the verse, even with the omission of the word 鈥渙ne鈥: 鈥淎 witness shall not rise up against a man鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15), do I not know that it is referring to one witness, as the verse is written in the singular form? What is the meaning when the verse states explicitly: 鈥淥ne witness,鈥 being that it is obviously referring to only one witness? The baraita answers: This established a paradigm for the principle that every place where the word 鈥渨itness [ed]鈥 is stated in the Torah without specifying a number, there are two witnesses here, until the verse specifies that it is referring to only one witness, by writing the word 鈥渙ne.鈥

讜讗诪专 专讞诪谞讗 转专讬 诇讬转 讘讛 讗诇讗 讞讚 讜讛讬讗 诇讗 谞转驻砖讛 讗住讜专讛

The baraita returns to discuss the verse concerning a sota. And the Merciful One states: 鈥淭here was no witness [ed] against her,鈥 which therefore means that: There are not two witnesses to the sexual intercourse that could testify with regard to her, rather there is only one witness. The baraita completes its interpretation: Further in the verse it states: 鈥淎nd she was not taken in the act鈥 (Numbers 5:13), indicating that the verse is referring to a case in which it is known that the woman had not been raped. This knowledge is based on the testimony of only one witness, as the verse had already stated that there were not two witnesses, and since one witness saw her willingly engage in sexual intercourse with another man, she is forbidden to her husband.

讜讻讬讜谉 讚诪讚讗讜专讬讬转讗 注讚 讗讞讚 诪讛讬诪谉 讗讬讚讱 讛讬讻讬 诪爪讬 诪讻讞讬砖 诇讬讛 讜讛讗 讗诪专 注讜诇讗 讻诇 诪拽讜诐 砖讛讗诪讬谞讛 转讜专讛 注讚 讗讞讚 讛专讬 讻讗谉 砖谞讬诐 讜讗讬谉 讚讘专讬讜 砖诇 讗讞讚 讘诪拽讜诐 砖谞讬诐

The Gemara asks: But since the baraita taught that by Torah law one witness is deemed credible to state that the woman is defiled, how can the other witness who denies the wife鈥檚 infidelity refute him with his conflicting testimony and enable the woman to drink the bitter water instead of becoming forbidden outright to her husband? But doesn鈥檛 Ulla say: Wherever the Torah relies on one witness, there is the equivalent of the testimony of two witnesses here. Consequently, the testimony of the contradicting witness should be insignificant, as the statement of one witness has no standing in a place where it is contradicted by two witnesses, for the witness testifying about her infidelity is deemed credible as if two witnesses had testified.

讗诇讗 讗诪专 注讜诇讗 转谞讬 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讜讻谉 讗诪专 专讘讬 讬爪讞拽 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讜专讘讬 讞讬讬讗 讗诪专 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

Rather, Ulla said: Teach the mishna in the following way: If one witness says: She was defiled, and another witness says: She was not defiled, she would not drink the bitter water. And likewise, Rabbi Yitz岣k said: She would not drink. But Rabbi 岣yya says in line with the standard text of the mishna: She would drink the bitter water even in the case of a contradiction between two single witnesses with regard to her infidelity.

诇专讘讬 讞讬讬讗 拽砖讬讗 讚注讜诇讗 诇讗 拽砖讬讗 讻讗谉 讘讘转 讗讞转 讻讗谉 讘讝讛 讗讞专 讝讛

The Gemara asks: But for Rabbi 岣yya, how will he respond to the same difficulty due to the teaching of Ulla, who explained that when a single witness is deemed credible he is considered as two and cannot be contradicted by a single witness to the contrary? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult: Here, the mishna is discussing a case where both witnesses arrived in court and testified simultaneously, thereby canceling each other out. But there, Ulla鈥檚 principle, that whenever a single witness鈥檚 testimony is accepted it is considered as two and cannot be contradicted by a single witness testifying to the contrary, is referring to a case in which the two conflicting witnesses came to court and testified one after the other.

转谞谉 注讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讜砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讛讗 讞讚 讜讞讚 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 转讬讜讘转讗 讚专讘讬 讞讬讬讗

But we learned in the mishna above that if one witness says: She was defiled, and two say: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water. The Gemara deduces from here: The implications of this statement are that the woman drinks only because the testimony of the incriminating witness was contradicted by two witnesses, but if there was one witness saying she was defiled and only one witness saying the opposite, she would not drink; this is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rabbi 岣yya.

讗诪专 诇讱 专讘讬 讞讬讬讗 讜诇讬讟注诪讬讱 讗讬诪讗 住讬驻讗 砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 谞讟诪讗转 讜讗讞讚 讗讜诪专 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讛讗 讞讚 讜讞讚 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

The Gemara answers: Rabbi 岣yya could have said to you: And according to your reasoning that she would not drink, say the latter clause of the mishna, which states: If two witnesses say: She was defiled, and one says: She was not defiled, the testimony of the two witnesses is accepted and she would not drink the bitter water. But you should deduce from here that if there was one witness testifying to her defilement and one witness stating the opposite, she would drink the bitter water. This inference is in line with Rabbi 岣yya鈥檚 explanation, and contradicts the inference from the previous clause.

讗诇讗 讻讜诇讛 讘驻住讜诇讬 注讚讜转 讜专讘讬 谞讞诪讬讛 讛讬讗 讚转谞讬讗 专讘讬 谞讞诪讬讛 讗讜诪专 讻诇 诪拽讜诐 砖讛讗诪讬谞讛 转讜专讛 注讚 讗讞讚 讛诇讱 讗讞专 专讜讘 讚注讜转 讜注砖讜 砖转讬 谞砖讬诐 讘讗讬砖 讗讞讚 讻砖谞讬 讗谞砖讬诐 讘讗讬砖 讗讞讚

The Gemara explains: Rather, the correct understanding is that the entire mishna is not dealing with valid witnesses, and stating an obvious halakha in order to enable an inference, but with people who are disqualified from giving testimony, and is teaching us a novel ruling. And the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ne岣mya. As it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta Yevamot 14:1) that Rabbi Ne岣mya says: Wherever the Torah relies on one witness, follow the majority of opinions. In other words, if the testimonies of two disqualified witnesses conflict, the court rules in accordance with the version supported by more witnesses, whether or not they are qualified to testify. And the Sages established that the testimony of two women, who are usually disqualified from testifying, when they testify in opposition to one man, should be like that of two men against one man, and the court will rule in accordance with the testimony of the two women.

讜讗讬讻讗 讚讗诪专讬 讻诇 讛讬讻讗 讚讗转讗 注讚 讗讞讚 讻砖专 诪注讬拽专讗 讗驻讬诇讜 诪讗讛 谞砖讬诐 谞诪讬 讻注讚 讗讞讚 讚诪讬讬谉

And some say that Rabbi Ne岣mya actually stated something different: And there are those who say a different version of Rabbi Ne岣mya鈥檚 approach: Anywhere that one valid witness came initially, even one hundred women who later contradict him are considered like one witness, and do not override his testimony.

  • 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 31

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Sotah 31

讘诪拽讛诇讜转 讘专讻讜 讗诇讛讬诐 讛壮 诪诪拽讜专 讬砖专讗诇

鈥淚n full assemblies, bless God, the Lord, you that are from the source of Israel鈥 (Psalms 68:27), indicating that even children that are in the 鈥渟ource,鈥 i.e., their mother鈥檚 womb, blessed God when they gathered at the sea.

讜讛讗 诇讗 讞讝讜 讗诪专 专讘讬 转谞讞讜诐 讻专住 谞注砖讛 诇讛谉 讻讗住驻拽诇专讬讗 讛诪讗讬专讛 讜专讗讜

The Gemara asks: But the fetuses could not see, so how could they have honestly said: 鈥淭his is my God and I will glorify him鈥? Rabbi Tan岣m says: Their mother鈥檚 stomach was transformed for them like luminous crystal [aspaklarya], and they saw through it.

讘讜 讘讬讜诐 讚专砖 专讘讬 讬讛讜砖注 讘谉 讛讜专拽谞讜住 砖诇讗 注讘讚 讗讬讜讘 讻讜壮 讜诇讬讞讝讬 讛讗讬 诇讗 讗讬 讘诇诪讚 讗诇祝 讻转讬讘 诇讗 讛讜讗 讗讬 讘诇诪讚 讜讬讜 讻转讬讘 诇讜 讛讜讗

On that same day Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hyrcanus taught that Job served the Holy One, Blessed be He, only out of love, as it is stated: 鈥淭hough He will slay me, still I will trust in Him [lo]鈥 (Job 13:15). The mishna continues that the word lo in the verse is ambiguous as to whether it is indicative of Job expressing his yearning for God or his lack thereof. The Gemara asks: Let us see whether this word lo is written lamed alef, and therefore its meaning is: I will not trust, or whether it is written lamed vav, according to which its meaning is: I trust in Him. Why is there room for doubt with regard to the meaning of the verse?

讜讻诇 讛讬讻讗 讚讻转讬讘 讘诇诪讚 讗诇祝 诇讗 讛讜讗 讗诇讗 诪注转讛 讘讻诇 爪专转诐 诇讗 爪专 讚讻转讬讘 讘诇诪讚 讗诇祝 讛讻讬 谞诪讬 讚诇讗 讛讜讗

The Gemara counters: But is it true that anywhere that the word lo is written lamed alef, its meaning is: Not? If that is so, then in the verse: 鈥淚n all their affliction He was [lo] afflicted鈥 (Isaiah 63:9), where the word lo is written lamed alef, so too, does it mean: Not, i.e., God was not afflicted in the afflictions of the Jewish people?

讜讻讬 转讬诪讗 讛讻讬 谞诪讬 讜讛讻转讬讘 讜诪诇讗讱 驻谞讬讜 讛讜砖讬注诐 讗诇讗 诇讗讜 诪砖诪注 讛讻讬 讜诪砖诪注 讛讻讬

And if you would say that indeed that is the meaning of the verse, but isn鈥檛 it written in the continuation of that same verse: 鈥淎nd the angel of His Presence saved them,鈥 which clearly indicates that God was concerned with their afflictions? Evidently, the word lo in that verse means: 鈥淚n all their affliction He was afflicted.鈥 Rather, is it not clear that lamed alef sometimes indicates this and sometimes indicates that? Therefore, the mishna had to derive the proper meaning of the word from another verse.

转谞讬讗 专讘讬 诪讗讬专 讗讜诪专 谞讗诪专 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讘讗讬讜讘 讜谞讗诪专 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讘讗讘专讛诐 诪讛 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讛讗诪讜专 讘讗讘专讛诐 诪讗讛讘讛 讗祝 讬专讗 讗诇讛讬诐 讛讗诪讜专 讘讗讬讜讘 诪讗讛讘讛

It is taught in a baraita (Tosefta 6:1) that Rabbi Meir says: It is stated with regard to Job that he was 鈥淕od-fearing鈥 (Job 1:1), and it is stated with regard to Abraham that he was 鈥淕od-fearing鈥 (Genesis 22:12). Just as the description 鈥淕od-fearing,鈥 which is stated with regard to Abraham, is referring to Abraham鈥檚 fearing God out of love, so too, the description 鈥淕od-fearing鈥 that is stated with regard to Job indicates that Job feared God out of love.

讜讗讘专讛诐 讙讜驻讬讛 诪谞诇谉 讚讻转讬讘 讝专注 讗讘专讛诐 讗讛讘讬

The Gemara asks: And with regard to Abraham himself, from where do we derive that he acted out of a sense of love? As it is written: 鈥淭he offspring of Abraham who loved Me鈥 (Isaiah 41:8).

诪讗讬 讗讬讻讗 讘讬谉 注讜砖讛 诪讗讛讘讛 诇注讜砖讛 诪讬专讗讛 讗讬讻讗 讛讗 讚转谞讬讗 专讘讬 砖诪注讜谉 讘谉 讗诇注讝专 讗讜诪专 讙讚讜诇 讛注讜砖讛 诪讗讛讘讛 讬讜转专 诪谉 讛注讜砖讛 诪讬专讗讛 砖讝讛 转诇讜讬 诇讗诇祝 讚讜专 讜讝讛 转诇讜讬 诇讗诇驻讬诐 讚讜专

The Gemara asks: What difference is there between one who performs mitzvot out of love and one who performs mitzvot out of fear? The Gemara answers: There is that which is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar says: Greater is the one who performs mitzvot out of love than the one who performs mitzvot out of fear, as with regard to this one who acts out of fear, his merits endure for one thousand generations, and with regard to that one who serves God out of love, his merits endure for two thousand generations.

讛讻讗 讻转讬讘 诇讗诇驻讬诐 诇讗讛讘讬 讜诇砖诪专讬 诪爪讜转讬 讜讛转诐 讻转讬讘 讜诇砖诪专讬 诪爪讜转讜 诇讗诇祝 讚讜专

Proof of this assertion is that here it is written: 鈥淎nd showing mercy unto thousands of generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments鈥 (Exodus 20:5), indicating that merits can last for thousands of generations for those who act out of love, and there it is written: 鈥淜now therefore that the Lord your God, He is God; the faithful God, Who keeps the covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments for a thousand generations鈥 (Deuteronomy 7:9). The first verse indicates that those who act out of love retain their merits for thousands of generations, whereas the second verse, which mentions only one thousand generations of merit, is referring to the merits of those who keep God鈥檚 mitzvot out of fear.

讛转诐 谞诪讬 讻转讬讘 诇讗讛讘讬讜 讜诇砖诪专讬 诪爪讜转讜 诇讗诇祝 讚讜专

The Gemara asks: But there also, in the second verse, it is written: 鈥淭he faithful God, Who keeps the covenant and mercy with those who love Him and keep His commandments for a thousand generations鈥 (Deuteronomy 7:9). Why is the verse interpreted specifically with regard to those who worship God out of fear, yet it is written that they keep His mitzvot out of love? Both types of people seem to be indicated in both verses.

讛讗讬 诇讚住诪讬讱 诇讬讛 讜讛讗讬 诇讚住诪讬讱 诇讬讛

The Gemara answers: That verse, which mentions one thousand generations, is understood as referring to that which is adjacent to it. The phrase 鈥渇or a thousand generations鈥 is understood as referring those who perform mitzvot out of fear, as it is written immediately preceding the phrase 鈥渁nd keep His commandments,鈥 which does not mention love. And this verse, which mentions thousands of generations, is understood as referring to that which is adjacent to it: 鈥淯nto thousands of generations of those who love Me.鈥

讛谞讛讜 转专讬 转诇诪讬讚讬 讚讛讜讜 讬转讘讬 拽诪讬讛 讚专讘讗 讞讚 讗诪专 诇讬讛 讗拽专讬讜谉 讘讞诇诪讗讬 诪讛 专讘 讟讜讘讱 讗砖专 爪驻谞转 诇讬专讗讬讱 讜讞讚 讗诪专 诇讬讛 讗拽专讬讜谉 讘讞诇诪讗讬 讜讬砖诪讞讜 讻诇 讞讜住讬 讘讱 诇注讜诇诐 讬专谞谞讜 讜讬注诇爪讜 讘讱 讗讛讘讬 砖诪讱 讗诪专 诇讛讜 转专讜讬讬讻讜 专讘谞谉 爪讚讬拽讬 讙诪讜专讬 讗转讜谉 诪专 诪讗讛讘讛 讜诪专 诪讬专讗讛

It happened that there were these two students who were sitting before Rava, and one said to him: It was read to me in my dream: 鈥淗ow abundant is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You鈥 (Psalms 31:20). And one said to Rava: It was read to me in my dream: 鈥淪o shall all those who take refuge in You rejoice; they will forever shout for joy, and You will shelter them; let them also who love Your name exult in You鈥 (Psalms 5:12). Rava said to them: You are both completely righteous Sages. One Sage, the second dreamer, serves God out of love, and one Sage, the first dreamer, serves God out of fear. Each Sage鈥檚 dream corresponded to his manner of serving God.

讛讚专谉 注诇讱 讻砖诐 砖讛诪讬诐

 

诪转谞讬壮 诪讬 砖拽讬谞讗 诇讗砖转讜 讜谞住转专讛 讗驻讬诇讜 砖诪注 诪注讜祝 讛驻讜专讞 讬讜爪讬讗 讜讬转谉 讻转讜讘讛 讚讘专讬 专讘讬 讗诇讬注讝专

MISHNA: In the case of one who warned his wife not to seclude herself with a particular man and she subsequently secluded herself with the man she was warned about, even if he heard about it from a flying bird, or any other source whatsoever, he must divorce his wife. However, he must still grant her the money accorded to her by her marriage contract because there is no actual proof of her seclusion with the man in question. This is the statement of Rabbi Eliezer, who, as quoted in the first mishna of the tractate (2a), holds that there is no necessity for witnesses to testify with regard to the seclusion, and the woman becomes forbidden to her husband even in the absence of witnesses, by the husband鈥檚 word alone.

专讘讬 讬讛讜砖注 讗讜诪专 注讚 砖讬砖讗讜 讜讬转谞讜 讘讛 诪讜讝专讜转 讘诇讘谞讛

Rabbi Yehoshua disagrees, as he did in the mishna (2a), and says: He does not divorce his wife in the absence of witnesses until the gossiping women who sit and spin thread by the light of the moon begin to discuss her behavior, as they share the gossip of the town. The Gemara earlier (6b) taught that a woman whose infidelity became subject to this public discussion can no longer be tested by the bitter water of a sota. Consequently, she must get divorced.

讗诪专 注讚 讗讞讚 讗谞讬 专讗讬转讬讛 砖谞讟诪讗转 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讜诇讗 注讜讚 讗诇讗 讗驻讬诇讜 注讘讚 讗驻讬诇讜 砖驻讞讛 讛专讬 讗诇讜 谞讗诪谞讬谉 讗祝 诇驻讜住诇讛 诪讻转讜讘转讛

The mishna continues to list various possible testimonies concerning of such acts of seclusion. If one witness said: I saw that she became defiled during her seclusion by engaging in sexual intercourse with that other man, she does not drink the bitter water, but rather, he divorces her immediately. And furthermore, even if the one who testified was a slave or a maidservant, neither of whom is generally regarded as a valid witness, they are deemed credible to testify to the wife鈥檚 adultery even to the extent that their testimony disqualifies her from receiving her marriage contract and prevents her from drinking the bitter water.

讞诪讜转讛 讜讘转 讞诪讜转讛 讜爪专转讛 讜讬讘诪转讛 讜讘转 讘注诇讛 讛专讬 讗诇讜 谞讗诪谞讜转 讜诇讗 诇驻讜住诇讛 诪讻转讜讘转讛 讗诇讗 砖诇讗 转砖转讛

The mishna continues by listing women whose testimony is only partially accepted concerning this matter: Her mother-in-law, and her mother in-law鈥檚 daughter, and her rival wife, i.e., a second wife of the husband, and her yevama, i.e., her husband鈥檚 brother鈥檚 wife, and her husband鈥檚 daughter, all of whom are generally not deemed credible if they say anything incriminating pertaining to this woman due to the tumultuous relationships these women often have. They are all deemed credible to testify concerning the woman鈥檚 defilement while in seclusion, but are not deemed credible to the extent that their testimony will disqualify her from receiving her marriage contract; rather, it is deemed credible to the extent that she will not drink of the bitter water of a sota.

砖讛讬讛 讘讚讬谉 讜诪讛 讗诐 注讚讜转 专讗砖讜谞讛 砖讗讬谉 讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讗讬谞讛 诪转拽讬讬诪转 讘驻讞讜转 诪砖谞讬诐 注讚讜转 讗讞专讜谞讛 砖讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讗讬谞讜 讚讬谉 砖诇讗 转转拽讬讬诐 讘驻讞讜转 诪砖谞讬诐

This ruling allowing one witness鈥檚 testimony with regard to defilement needs to be stated, as, by right, it should not have been deemed credible based on the following a fortiori inference: And just as if with regard to the first testimony concerning seclusion, which does not forbid her with an irrevocable prohibition, as the woman can be found innocent permitting her again to her husband by drinking the bitter water, is not established with fewer than two witnesses, since according to the mishna the testimony of seclusion requires two witnesses, then with regard to the final testimony concerning defilement, which forbids her to her husband with an irrevocable prohibition, is it not logical that it should also not be established with fewer than two witnesses?

转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讜注讚 讗讬谉 讘讛 讻诇 注讚讜转 砖讬砖 讘讛

Therefore, to counter this derivation, the verse states: 鈥淎nd there be no witness against her鈥 (Numbers 5:13), teaching that any testimony with regard to defilement that there is against her is sufficient, and two witnesses are not required.

讜拽诇 讜讞讜诪专 诇注讚讜转 讛专讗砖讜谞讛 诪注转讛 讜诪讛 讗诐

The Gemara asks: And from now that it is established that one witness suffices to testify with regard to defilement, an a fortiori inference can be made with regard to the first testimony of seclusion: And just as if

注讚讜转 讗讞专讜谞讛 砖讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讛专讬 讛讬讗 诪转拽讬讬诪转 讘注讚 讗讞讚 注讚讜转 讛专讗砖讜谞讛 砖讗讬谉 讗讜住专转讛 讗讬住讜专 注讜诇诐 讗讬谞讜 讚讬谉 砖转转拽讬讬诐 讘注讚 讗讞讚

concerning the final testimony of defilement, which forbids her with an irrevocable prohibition, yet it is established by one witness, then with regard to the first testimony, which does not forbid her with an irrevocable prohibition, is it not logical that it should be established with only one witness?

转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讻讬 诪爪讗 讘讛 注专讜转 讚讘专 讜诇讛诇谉 讛讜讗 讗讜诪专 注诇 驻讬 砖谞讬 注讚讬诐 讬拽讜诐 讚讘专 诪讛 诇讛诇谉 注诇 驻讬 砖谞讬诐 讗祝 讻讗谉 驻讬 砖谞讬诐

Therefore, to counter this derivation, the verse states: 鈥淲hen a man takes a wife, and marries her, and it comes to pass, if she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly matter [davar] in her鈥 (Deuteronomy 24:1), and there, in the laws concerning monetary matters, it states: 鈥淎t the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter [davar] be established鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15), teaching that just as the 鈥渕atter鈥 stated there is established 鈥渁t the mouth of two witnesses,鈥 so too, here the 鈥渕atter鈥 of her seclusion must be established 鈥渁t the mouth of two witnesses.鈥

注讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讜注讚 讗讜诪专 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讗砖讛 讗讜诪专转 谞讟诪讗转 讜讗砖讛 讗讜诪专转 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

The mishna discusses the halakha in a case where two single witnesses contradict each other concerning her defilement. If one witness says: She was defiled, and another witness says: She was not defiled, or similarly in the case of those normally disqualified from bearing witness, if one woman says: She was defiled, and another woman says: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water of a sota, due to the uncertainty engendered by the contradictory testimonies.

讗讞讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讜砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 谞讟诪讗转 讜讗讞讚 讗讜诪专 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

Similarly, if one witness says: She was defiled, and two witnesses say: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water. However, if two would say: She was defiled, and one says: She was not defiled, the testimony of the two witnesses is accepted and she would not drink the bitter water, and the husband must divorce her.

讙诪壮 讛讗讬 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讻讬 诪爪讗 讘讛 注专讜转 讚讘专

GEMARA: The Gemara questions why the mishna proves the need for two witnesses to testify about the seclusion based upon the verbal analogy of 鈥渕atter鈥 and 鈥渕atter,鈥 if there is an explicit source in the Torah stating that two witnesses are required. This reason is given by the mishna: The verse states: 鈥淲hen a man takes a wife, and marries her, and it comes to pass, if she finds no favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly matter [davar] in her鈥 (Deuteronomy 24:1), which through a verbal analogy based on the word 鈥davar鈥 teaches the need for two witnesses, seems to be superfluous.

转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讘讛 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘拽讬谞讜讬 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘住转讬专讛 诪讬讘注讬 诇讬讛

As, the mishna should have said in its place: The verse states: 鈥淪he was defiled secretly and there was no witness [ed] against her [bah]鈥 (Numbers 5:13), which is explained to mean there were not two witnesses, but only one, who testified concerning her defilement. One can infer from the term 鈥bah,鈥 which could also be understood as: With regard to it, that in this matter of defilement one witness suffices, but not with regard to the warning. Additionally, one can infer: With regard to it, but not with regard to the seclusion. Therefore, there must be two witnesses to testify about both the warning and seclusion.

讛讻讬 谞诪讬 拽讗诪专 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讘讛 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘拽讬谞讜讬 讘讛 讜诇讗 讘住转讬专讛

The Gemara answers: That is also what the tanna of the mishna is saying. The source for the halakha that there is a requirement for two witnesses to testify about the seclusion is that the verse states: With regard to it, that in this matter of defilement one witness suffices, but not with regard to the warning. With regard to it, but not with regard to the seclusion.

讜讟讜诪讗讛 讘注诇诪讗 讘诇讗 拽讬谞讜讬 讜讘诇讗 住转讬专讛 讚诇讗 诪讛讬诪谉 注讚 讗讞讚 诪谞诇谉 谞讗诪专 讻讗谉 讚讘专 讜谞讗诪专 诇讛诇谉 讚讘专 诪讛 诇讛诇谉 讘砖谞讬 注讚讬诐 讗祝 讻讗谉 讘砖谞讬 注讚讬诐

The Gemara continues to explain the mishna: And concerning an ordinary accusation of defilement without a previous warning and without an act of seclusion with another man, from where do we derive that a single witness is not deemed credible? It is for this halakha that the mishna cites the verbal analogy: It is stated here: 鈥淏ecause he has found some unseemly matter [davar] in her鈥 (Deuteronomy 24:1), and it is stated there concerning monetary matters: 鈥淎t the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter [davar] be established鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15). Just as the 鈥渕atter鈥 stated there with regard to monetary matters is clarified specifically by the testimony of two witnesses, so too, here with regard to adultery the 鈥渕atter鈥 of her defilement must be established by the testimony of at least two witnesses.

注讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讟注诪讗 讚拽讗 诪讻讞讬砖 诇讬讛 讛讗 诇讗 拽讗 诪讻讞讬砖 诇讬讛 注讚 讗讞讚 诪讛讬诪谉

搂 The mishna taught: If one witness says: She was defiled, and another witness says: She was not defiled, she drinks the bitter water of a sota. The Gemara infers from this statement in the mishna that the reason the woman would drink the bitter water in this case is specifically because the second witness refutes his testimony, but if a second witness did not refute his testimony, then a single witness would be relied upon in this case and the woman would be forbidden to her husband forever.

诪谞讛谞讬 诪讬诇讬 讚转谞讜 专讘谞谉 讜注讚 讗讬谉 讘讛 讘砖谞讬诐 讛讻转讜讘 诪讚讘专

From where are these matters derived? As the Sages taught in reference to the verse describing the circumstances in which a woman defiled through an act of adultery becomes prohibited to her husband, which states: 鈥淎nd a man lie with her carnally鈥and there be no witness [ed] against her鈥 (Numbers 5:13); the verse is speaking of a lack of two witnesses. When the verse refers to the lack of an ed, written in the singular, it actually indicates that there are not two witnesses against her, but only one, as the baraita will now explain.

讗转讛 讗讜诪专 讘砖谞讬诐 讗讜 讗讬谞讜 讗诇讗 讘讗讞讚 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 诇讗 讬拽讜诐 注讚 讗讞讚 讘讗讬砖 讜讙讜壮

The baraita continues and asks: Do you say that the verse refers only to a case where there was not even one witness to the act of sexual intercourse, as the singular usage of the word ed would seem to indicate? The baraita now proves that the singular usage notwithstanding, elsewhere the word ed is used to indicate two witnesses, as the verse states: 鈥淥ne witness [ed] shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity or any sin that he sins; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall a matter be established鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15).

诪诪砖诪注 砖谞讗诪专 诇讗 讬拽讜诐 注讚 讗讬谞讬 讬讜讚注 砖讛讜讗 讗讞讚 诪讛 转诇诪讜讚 诇讜诪专 讗讞讚 讝讛 讘谞讛 讗讘 讻诇 诪拽讜诐 砖谞讗诪专 注讚 讛专讬 讻讗谉 砖谞讬诐 注讚 砖讬驻专讜讟 诇讱 讛讻转讜讘 讗讞讚

The baraita infers a general principle from this verse by asking: By inference from that which is stated in the verse, even with the omission of the word 鈥渙ne鈥: 鈥淎 witness shall not rise up against a man鈥 (Deuteronomy 19:15), do I not know that it is referring to one witness, as the verse is written in the singular form? What is the meaning when the verse states explicitly: 鈥淥ne witness,鈥 being that it is obviously referring to only one witness? The baraita answers: This established a paradigm for the principle that every place where the word 鈥渨itness [ed]鈥 is stated in the Torah without specifying a number, there are two witnesses here, until the verse specifies that it is referring to only one witness, by writing the word 鈥渙ne.鈥

讜讗诪专 专讞诪谞讗 转专讬 诇讬转 讘讛 讗诇讗 讞讚 讜讛讬讗 诇讗 谞转驻砖讛 讗住讜专讛

The baraita returns to discuss the verse concerning a sota. And the Merciful One states: 鈥淭here was no witness [ed] against her,鈥 which therefore means that: There are not two witnesses to the sexual intercourse that could testify with regard to her, rather there is only one witness. The baraita completes its interpretation: Further in the verse it states: 鈥淎nd she was not taken in the act鈥 (Numbers 5:13), indicating that the verse is referring to a case in which it is known that the woman had not been raped. This knowledge is based on the testimony of only one witness, as the verse had already stated that there were not two witnesses, and since one witness saw her willingly engage in sexual intercourse with another man, she is forbidden to her husband.

讜讻讬讜谉 讚诪讚讗讜专讬讬转讗 注讚 讗讞讚 诪讛讬诪谉 讗讬讚讱 讛讬讻讬 诪爪讬 诪讻讞讬砖 诇讬讛 讜讛讗 讗诪专 注讜诇讗 讻诇 诪拽讜诐 砖讛讗诪讬谞讛 转讜专讛 注讚 讗讞讚 讛专讬 讻讗谉 砖谞讬诐 讜讗讬谉 讚讘专讬讜 砖诇 讗讞讚 讘诪拽讜诐 砖谞讬诐

The Gemara asks: But since the baraita taught that by Torah law one witness is deemed credible to state that the woman is defiled, how can the other witness who denies the wife鈥檚 infidelity refute him with his conflicting testimony and enable the woman to drink the bitter water instead of becoming forbidden outright to her husband? But doesn鈥檛 Ulla say: Wherever the Torah relies on one witness, there is the equivalent of the testimony of two witnesses here. Consequently, the testimony of the contradicting witness should be insignificant, as the statement of one witness has no standing in a place where it is contradicted by two witnesses, for the witness testifying about her infidelity is deemed credible as if two witnesses had testified.

讗诇讗 讗诪专 注讜诇讗 转谞讬 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讜讻谉 讗诪专 专讘讬 讬爪讞拽 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讜专讘讬 讞讬讬讗 讗诪专 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

Rather, Ulla said: Teach the mishna in the following way: If one witness says: She was defiled, and another witness says: She was not defiled, she would not drink the bitter water. And likewise, Rabbi Yitz岣k said: She would not drink. But Rabbi 岣yya says in line with the standard text of the mishna: She would drink the bitter water even in the case of a contradiction between two single witnesses with regard to her infidelity.

诇专讘讬 讞讬讬讗 拽砖讬讗 讚注讜诇讗 诇讗 拽砖讬讗 讻讗谉 讘讘转 讗讞转 讻讗谉 讘讝讛 讗讞专 讝讛

The Gemara asks: But for Rabbi 岣yya, how will he respond to the same difficulty due to the teaching of Ulla, who explained that when a single witness is deemed credible he is considered as two and cannot be contradicted by a single witness to the contrary? The Gemara answers: This is not difficult: Here, the mishna is discussing a case where both witnesses arrived in court and testified simultaneously, thereby canceling each other out. But there, Ulla鈥檚 principle, that whenever a single witness鈥檚 testimony is accepted it is considered as two and cannot be contradicted by a single witness testifying to the contrary, is referring to a case in which the two conflicting witnesses came to court and testified one after the other.

转谞谉 注讚 讗讜诪专 谞讟诪讗转 讜砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讛讗 讞讚 讜讞讚 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 转讬讜讘转讗 讚专讘讬 讞讬讬讗

But we learned in the mishna above that if one witness says: She was defiled, and two say: She was not defiled, she would drink the bitter water. The Gemara deduces from here: The implications of this statement are that the woman drinks only because the testimony of the incriminating witness was contradicted by two witnesses, but if there was one witness saying she was defiled and only one witness saying the opposite, she would not drink; this is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rabbi 岣yya.

讗诪专 诇讱 专讘讬 讞讬讬讗 讜诇讬讟注诪讬讱 讗讬诪讗 住讬驻讗 砖谞讬诐 讗讜诪专讬诐 谞讟诪讗转 讜讗讞讚 讗讜诪专 诇讗 谞讟诪讗转 诇讗 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛 讛讗 讞讚 讜讞讚 讛讬转讛 砖讜转讛

The Gemara answers: Rabbi 岣yya could have said to you: And according to your reasoning that she would not drink, say the latter clause of the mishna, which states: If two witnesses say: She was defiled, and one says: She was not defiled, the testimony of the two witnesses is accepted and she would not drink the bitter water. But you should deduce from here that if there was one witness testifying to her defilement and one witness stating the opposite, she would drink the bitter water. This inference is in line with Rabbi 岣yya鈥檚 explanation, and contradicts the inference from the previous clause.

讗诇讗 讻讜诇讛 讘驻住讜诇讬 注讚讜转 讜专讘讬 谞讞诪讬讛 讛讬讗 讚转谞讬讗 专讘讬 谞讞诪讬讛 讗讜诪专 讻诇 诪拽讜诐 砖讛讗诪讬谞讛 转讜专讛 注讚 讗讞讚 讛诇讱 讗讞专 专讜讘 讚注讜转 讜注砖讜 砖转讬 谞砖讬诐 讘讗讬砖 讗讞讚 讻砖谞讬 讗谞砖讬诐 讘讗讬砖 讗讞讚

The Gemara explains: Rather, the correct understanding is that the entire mishna is not dealing with valid witnesses, and stating an obvious halakha in order to enable an inference, but with people who are disqualified from giving testimony, and is teaching us a novel ruling. And the mishna is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ne岣mya. As it is taught in a baraita (Tosefta Yevamot 14:1) that Rabbi Ne岣mya says: Wherever the Torah relies on one witness, follow the majority of opinions. In other words, if the testimonies of two disqualified witnesses conflict, the court rules in accordance with the version supported by more witnesses, whether or not they are qualified to testify. And the Sages established that the testimony of two women, who are usually disqualified from testifying, when they testify in opposition to one man, should be like that of two men against one man, and the court will rule in accordance with the testimony of the two women.

讜讗讬讻讗 讚讗诪专讬 讻诇 讛讬讻讗 讚讗转讗 注讚 讗讞讚 讻砖专 诪注讬拽专讗 讗驻讬诇讜 诪讗讛 谞砖讬诐 谞诪讬 讻注讚 讗讞讚 讚诪讬讬谉

And some say that Rabbi Ne岣mya actually stated something different: And there are those who say a different version of Rabbi Ne岣mya鈥檚 approach: Anywhere that one valid witness came initially, even one hundred women who later contradict him are considered like one witness, and do not override his testimony.

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