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

Today's Daf Yomi

November 4, 2015 | כ״ב במרחשון תשע״ו

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Sotah 9

פניה מוריקות היא כחלה לו עיניה לפיכך עיניה בולטות היא קלעה לו את שערה לפיכך כהן סותר את שערה היא הראתה לו באצבע לפיכך ציפורניה נושרות היא חגרה לו בצילצול לפיכך כהן מביא חבל המצרי וקושר לה למעלה מדדיה היא פשטה לו את יריכה לפיכך יריכה נופלת

her face becomes sallow after drinking the bitter water; she painted her eyes for her paramour, therefore her eyes bulge after she drinks; she braided her hair for her paramour, therefore a priest unbraids her hair and makes it disheveled; she indicated to her paramour with a finger that he should come to her, therefore her fingernails fall off; she girded herself for her paramour with a ribbon as a belt, therefore a priest brings an Egyptian rope and ties it for her above her breasts; she extended her thigh for her paramour, therefore her thigh falls away after drinking.

היא קיבלתו על כריסה לפיכך בטנה צבה היא האכילתו מעדני עולם לפיכך קרבנה מאכל בהמה היא השקתהו יין משובח בכוסות משובחים לפיכך כהן משקה מים המרים במקידה של חרש

She received her paramour upon her stomach, therefore her stomach swells; she fed him delicacies of the world, therefore her offering is animal food, as it is from oats; she gave him fine wine to drink in fine cups, therefore a priest gives her bitter water in an earthenware mekeida, a simple clay vessel, to drink.

היא עשתה בסתר יושב בסתר עליון שם בה פנים שנאמר ועין נאף שמרה נשף לאמר לא תשורני עין וגו׳

She acted in secret; therefore, God, referred to in the verse “Who dwell in secret, with the Most High” (Psalms 91:1), turns His face to her, as it is stated: “The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying: No eye shall see me; and the Hidden Face will turn” (Job 24:15). The adulterer acts in the twilight of the night to act in secrecy, and therefore God, Who is concealed, arranges that the matter is revealed in public.

דבר אחר היא עשתה בסתר המקום פירסמה בגלוי שנאמר תכסה שנאה במשאון תגלה רעתו בקהל (וגו׳)

Alternatively, she acted in secret, and therefore the Omnipresent revealed it in the open, as it is stated: “Though his hatred be concealed with deceit, his wickedness shall be revealed before the congregation” (Proverbs 26:26), i.e., concealed acts of sin are ultimately revealed in public.

ומאחר דנפקא ליה מאחת לאחת למצא חשבון כי כל סאון סאן ברעש למה לי לכמדה

§ The Gemara questions the need for two verses to indicate that small transgressions are addressed through one significant punishment. And since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi derives that small transgressions are combined and punished together from: “Behold, this have I found, says Koheleth, adding one thing to another, to find out the account” (Ecclesiastes 7:27), why do I need the verse: “For every boot stamped with fierceness” (Isaiah 9:4)? The Gemara answers: This verse serves to teach that even small transgressions are punished by the measure, i.e., with a punishment appropriate to the transgression.

ומאחר דנפקא ליה מכי כל סאון סאן ברעש בסאסאה בשלחה תריבנה למה לי

The Gemara asks: And since he derives it from “for every boot stamped with fierceness,” why do I need “in full measure, when you send her away, you contend with her” (Isaiah 27:8)?

לכדרב חיננא בר פפא דאמר רב חיננא בר פפא אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נפרע מן האומה עד שעת שילוחה שנאמר בסאסאה בשלחה וגו׳

The Gemara answers: This verse serves to teach the statement as taught by Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa, for Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not punish a nation deserving of punishment until its time to be banished, i.e., until the time of its final eradication from the world, as it is stated: “In full measure, when you send her away, you contend with her” (Isaiah 27:8).

איני והאמר רבא שלשה כוסות האמורות במצרים למה אחת ששתת בימי משה ואחת ששתת בימי פרעה נכה ואחת שעתידה לשתות עם חברותיה

Is that so? But didn’t Rava say: Why are there specifically three cups of misfortune that are stated with regard to Egypt in the dream of its chief butler (see Genesis 40:11–13)? They are an allusion to three cups of misfortune that would later befall Egypt: One that it drank in the days of Moses during the ten plagues and the Exodus; one that it drank in the days of Pharaoh Neco, the king of Egypt who was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar; and one that it will drink in the future with its companions, i.e., the other nations, when they are punished during the days of the Messiah. This indicates that nations can be punished several times, not only when they are eradicated.

וכי תימא הנך אזדו והני אחריני נינהו והתניא אמר רבי יהודה מנימין גר המצרי היה לי חבר מתלמידי רבי עקיבא אמר מנימין גר המצרי אני מצרי ראשון ונשאתי מצרית ראשונה אשיא לבני מצרית שניה כדי שיהא בן בני מותר לבא בקהל

And if you would say that those ancient Egyptians, have gone, and these later Egyptians are different ones, but isn’t it taught in a baraita in the Tosefta (Kiddushin 4:3): Rabbi Yehuda said: Minyamin, an Egyptian convert, was a friend of mine from among the students of Rabbi Akiva, and Minyamin the Egyptian convert said: After I converted I was a first-generation Egyptian convert, and so I married another first-generation Egyptian convert. I will marry off my son, who is a second-generation Egyptian convert, to another second-generation Egyptian convert, in order that my son’s son will be permitted to enter into the congregation. The Torah prohibits Egyptian converts before the third generation to enter into the congregation (see Deuteronomy 23:8–9). By Minyamin’s observance of this prohibition even during the time of Rabbi Akiva, it indicates that Egypt during the tannaitic period was still viewed as biblical Egypt.

אלא אי איתמר הכי איתמר אמר רב חיננא בר פפא אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נפרע מן המלך עד שעת שילוחו שנאמר בסאסאה בשלחה תריבנה וגו׳

Rather, if anything was stated with regard to the delay of punishment, it was stated like this: Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not punish a sinful king until his time to be banished, as it is stated: “In full measure, when you send her away, you contend with her” (Isaiah 27:8).

אמימר מתני להא דרב חיננא בר פפא אהא מאי דכתיב כי אני ה׳ לא שניתי ואתם בני יעקב לא כליתם אני ה׳ לא שניתי לא הכיתי לאומה ושניתי לה ואתם בני יעקב לא כליתם היינו דכתיב חצי אכלה בם חצי כלין והן אינן כלין

Ameimar teaches that statement of Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa with regard to this: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For I the Lord change not; and you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6)? “For I the Lord change [shaniti] not” is interpreted to mean: I did not strike a nation and repeat [shaniti] striking it, as a stricken nation never recovers from the initial strike. “And you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed,” is interpreted to mean: Despite the fact that I strike you many times for your sins, I do not let you perish. This is the same as that which is written: “I will heap evils upon them; I will consume My arrows upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:23), which is interpreted to mean: My arrows are consumed and used up, and they, the Jewish people, are not consumed but will continue to endure despite the many calamities that will befall them.

אמר רב המנונא אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נפרע מן האדם עד שתתמלא סאתו שנאמר במלאות שפקו יצר לו וגו׳

Rav Hamnuna says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not punish a person until his se’a, the measure that is suitable for him, is filled, as it is stated: “In the fullness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits; the hand of every one that is in misery shall come upon him” (Job 20:22). In other words, when the sufficient measure of sin has been reached, then the trouble will overtake him.

דרש רב חיננא בר פפא מאי דכתיב רננו צדיקים בה׳ לישרים נאוה תהלה אל תקרי נאוה תהלה אלא נוה תהלה זה משה ודוד שלא שלטו שונאיהם במעשיהם

Having mentioned Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa, the Gemara quotes another of his interpretations. Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa interpreted a verse homiletically: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, praise is comely for the upright [nava tehilla]” (Psalms 33:1)? Do not read the conclusion of the verse as: Praise is comely [nava]; rather, read it as: A house [naveh] of praise. This is referring to Moses and David, whose enemies did not rule over their achievements, as they each built a naveh, a house for the Lord, and this house remained in existence.

דוד דכתיב טבעו בארץ שעריה משה דאמר מר משנבנה מקדש ראשון נגנז אהל מועד קרשיו קרסיו ובריחיו ועמודיו ואדניו היכא אמר רב חסדא אמר אבימי תחת מחילות של היכל

With regard to David, the citadel that housed his home and city, was not destroyed, as it is written: “Her gates are sunk into the ground” (Lamentations 2:9), as the gates of Jerusalem built by David were not destroyed by enemies, but sunk into the ground and were buried there. This is also so with regard to Moses, as the Master said: When the first Temple was built, the Tent of Meeting was sequestered, including its boards, its clasps, and its bars, and its pillars, and its sockets. The Gemara asks: Where is it sequestered? Rav Ḥisda says that Avimi says: Beneath the tunnels of the Sanctuary.

תנו רבנן סוטה נתנה עיניה במי שאינו ראוי לה מה שביקשה לא ניתן לה ומה שבידה נטלוהו ממנה שכל הנותן עיניו במה שאינו שלו מה שמבקש אין נותנין לו ומה שבידו נוטלין הימנו

§ The Sages taught in a baraita in the Tosefta (4:16–19): The sota placed her eyes, fixed her gaze, on one who is unfit for her, i.e., another man, so this is her punishment: That which she desired, i.e., to be with her paramour, is not given to her, as she becomes forbidden to him forever. And that which she had, i.e., her husband, was taken away from her, as she is now forbidden to him as well. This teaches that anyone who places his eyes on that which is not his is not given what he desires, and that which he had is taken from him.

וכן מצינו בנחש הקדמוני שנתן עיניו במה שאינו ראוי לו מה שביקש לא נתנו לו ומה שבידו נטלוהו ממנו אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא אני אמרתי יהא מלך על כל בהמה וחיה ועכשיו ארור הוא מכל הבהמה ומכל חית השדה

And, so too, we found with regard to the primeval snake who seduced Eve, for he placed his eyes on that which was unfit for him, as he wanted to marry Eve. Consequently, that which he desired was not given to him, and that which was in his possession was taken from him. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I initially said that the snake will be king over every domesticated animal and non-domesticated animal, but now he is cursed more than all the domesticated animals and all the non-domesticated animals of the field, as it is stated: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:14).

אני אמרתי יהלך בקומה זקופה עכשיו על גחונו ילך אני אמרתי יהא מאכלו מאכל אדם עכשיו עפר יאכל הוא אמר אהרוג את אדם ואשא את חוה עכשיו איבה אשית בינך ובין האשה ובין זרעך ובין זרעה

The baraita explains the elements of this curse. I said that the snake will walk upright, but now he shall go on his belly; I said that his food will be the same as the food eaten by a person, but now he shall eat dust. The snake said: I will kill Adam and marry Eve, but now: “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed” (Genesis 3:15).

וכן מצינו בקין וקרח ובלעם ודואג ואחיתופל וגחזי ואבשלום ואדוניהו ועוזיהו והמן שנתנו עיניהם במה שאינו ראוי להם מה שביקשו לא ניתן להם ומה שבידם נטלוהו מהם

The baraita continues: And so we found with regard to Cain, who desired to inherit the whole world alone (see Genesis 4); and Korah, who desired the priesthood (see Numbers 16); and Balaam, who desired Balak’s money (see Numbers 22); and Doeg, who was jealous of David (see I Samuel 21–22); and Ahithophel, who was also jealous of David (see II Samuel 16); and Gehazi, who took Naaman’s money (see II Kings 5); and Absalom, who wanted the kingdom (see II Samuel 15); and Adonijah, who also wanted the kingdom (see I Kings 1); and Uzziah, who wanted to be the High Priest (see II Chronicles 26); and Haman, who wanted to kill all the Jews (see Esther 3:13). All of these were people who placed their eyes on that which is unfit for them, and consequently what they desired was not given to them, and what they had was taken from them.

בירך התחילה בעבירה וכו׳ מנא הני מילי אילימא משום דכתיב בתת ה׳ את ירכך נופלת ואת בטנך צבה והכתיב וצבתה בטנה ונפלה ירכה

§ The mishna teaches: She began her transgression with her thigh and afterward with her stomach, therefore the thigh is smitten first and then the stomach. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived, i.e., that this is the order of her punishment? If we say it is because it is written in the verse detailing the priest’s curse: “Then the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman: The Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the Lord does make your thigh to fall away, and your belly to swell” (Numbers 5:21), which indicates the sequence of her punishment; but isn’t the opposite written in the verse describing what actually occurs to a guilty sota: “And her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away” (Numbers 5:27), indicating that the punishment begins with her stomach and then her thigh?

אמר אביי כי לייט לייט תחילה ירך והדר בטן לייט ומיא כי בדקי כי אורחייהו בדקי בטן ברישא והדר ירך בקללה נמי כתיב לצבות בטן ולנפל ירך ההוא דמודע לה כהן דבטן ברישא והדר ירך שלא להוציא לעז על מים המרים

Abaye said in explanation: When the priest curses the woman, he first curses the thigh and then he curses the stomach, but when the bitter water evaluates her, it evaluates her along its way through the body. The water first enters the stomach and then reaches the thigh. The Gemara asks: But in the verse detailing the curse it is also written: “And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, and will cause your belly to swell, and your thigh to fall away” (Numbers 5:22). The Gemara answers: That verse teaches that the priest notifies her that the stomach will be affected first and then the thigh, so that one not cast aspersions on the bitter water.

מתני׳ שמשון הלך אחר עיניו לפיכך נקרו פלשתים את עיניו שנאמר ויאחזוהו פלשתים וינקרו את עיניו

MISHNA: The mishna provides additional examples of people who were treated by Heaven commensurate with their actions. Samson followed his eyes, therefore he was punished measure for measure, as the Philistines gouged out his eyes, as it is stated: “And the Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes” (Judges 16:21).

אבשלום נתגאה בשערו לפיכך נתלה בשערו ולפי שבא על עשר פלגשי אביו לפיכך נתנו בו עשר לונביות שנאמר ויסבו עשרה אנשים נושאי כלי יואב ולפי שגנב שלשה גנבות לב אביו ולב בית דין ולב ישראל שנאמר ויגנב אבשלום את לב אנשי ישראל לפיכך נתקעו בו שלשה שבטים שנאמר ויקח שלשה שבטים בכפו ויתקעם בלב אבשלום

Absalom was excessively proud of his hair, and therefore he was hanged by his hair. And furthermore, because he engaged in sexual intercourse with ten of his father’s concubines (see II Samuel 15:16 and 16:22), therefore ten spears [loneviyyot] were put, i.e., thrust, into him, as it is stated: “And ten young men that bore Joab’s armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him” (II Samuel 18:15). And because he stole three times, committing three thefts of people’s hearts: The heart of his father, as he tricked him by saying that he was going to sacrifice offerings; the heart of the court, as he tricked them into following him; and the heart of the Jewish people, as it is stated: “So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (II Samuel 15:6), therefore three spears were embedded into his heart, as it is stated: “Then said Joab: I may not tarry like this with you. And he took three spears in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive” (II Samuel 18:14).

וכן לענין הטובה מרים המתינה למשה שעה אחת שנאמר ותתצב אחותו מרחוק לפיכך נתעכבו לה ישראל שבעה ימים שנאמר והעם לא נסע עד האסף מרים

The mishna continues: And the same is so with regard to the reward of good deeds; a person is rewarded measure for measure. Miriam waited for the baby Moses for one hour at the shore of the Nile, as it is stated: “And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him” (Exodus 2:4). Therefore the Jewish people delayed their travels in the desert for seven days to wait for her when she was smitten with leprosy, as it is stated: “And Miriam was confined outside of the camp seven days; and the people journeyed not until Miriam was brought in again” (Numbers 12:15).

יוסף זכה לקבור את אביו ואין באחיו גדול ממנו שנאמר ויעל יוסף לקבר את אביו ויעלו עמו גם רכב גם פרשים מי לנו גדול מיוסף שלא נתעסק בו אלא משה

Joseph merited to bury his father, resulting in a display of great honor to his father, and there was none among his brothers greater than he in importance, for he was viceroy of Egypt, as it is stated: “And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the Elders of his house, and all the Elders of the land of Egypt, and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father’s house; only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company” (Genesis 50:7–9). Who, to us, had a greater burial than Joseph, as it was none other than Moses who involved himself in transporting his coffin.

משה זכה בעצמות יוסף ואין בישראל גדול ממנו שנאמר ויקח משה את עצמות יוסף עמו מי גדול ממשה שלא נתעסק בו אלא המקום שנאמר ויקבר אותו בגי לא על משה בלבד אמרו אלא על כל הצדיקים שנאמר והלך לפניך צדקך כבוד ה׳ יאספך

Moses merited to be the only person involved in the transportation of Joseph’s bones to be buried in Eretz Yisrael, and there was none among the Jewish people greater than he, as it is stated: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him” (Exodus 13:19). Who had a greater burial than Moses, as no one involved himself in his burial other than the Omnipresent Himself, as it is stated: “And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth Peor; and no man knows of his sepulcher unto this day” (Deuteronomy 34:6). The mishna comments: Not only with regard to Moses did the Sages say that God takes part in his burial, but also with regard to all the righteous individuals, as it is stated: “Your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of the Lord shall gather you in” (Isaiah 58:8).

גמ׳ תנו רבנן שמשון בעיניו מרד שנאמר ויאמר שמשון אל אביו אותה קח לי כי היא ישרה בעיני לפיכך נקרו פלשתים את עיניו שנאמר ויאחזוהו פלשתים וינקרו את עיניו

GEMARA: The Sages taught (Tosefta 3:15): Samson rebelled with his eyes, as it is stated: “Then his father and his mother said to him: Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you go out to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said to his father: Get her for me; for she is pleasant in my eyes” (Judges 14:3). Therefore, the Philistines gouged out his eyes, as it is stated: “And the Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes” (Judges 16:21).

איני והכתיב ואביו ואמו לא ידעו כי מה׳ היא כי אזל מיהא בתר ישרותיה אזל

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But isn’t it written: “But his father and his mother knew not that it was from the Lord; as he sought a subterfuge against the Philistines” (Judges 14:4), indicating that Samson’s searching for a Philistine wife was due to a Divine mission? The Gemara answers: Although God did plan the punishment of the Philistines, in any event when he went, he followed his inclination and did not act for the sake of Heaven.

תניא רבי אומר תחילת קלקולו בעזה לפיכך לקה בעזה תחילת קלקולו בעזה דכתיב וילך שמשון עזתה וירא שם אשה זונה וגו׳ לפיכך לקה בעזה דכתיב ויורידו אותו עזתה

It is taught in a baraita in the Tosefta (3:15): Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: His initial wrongdoing was in Gaza, and therefore he was smitten in Gaza. The Gemara explains: His initial wrongdoing was in Gaza, as it is written: “And Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a harlot, and went in unto her” (Judges 16:1). Therefore, he was smitten in Gaza, as it is written: “And the Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison-house” (Judges 16:21).

והכתיב וירד שמשון תמנתה תחלת קלקולו מיהא בעזה היה

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written earlier: “And Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines” (Judges 14:1), indicating that his initial wrongdoing was in Timnah? The Gemara answers: In any event, his initial wrongdoing was in Gaza, for at least he had married the woman in Timnah; in Gaza, Samson never wed the woman but only engaged in sexual intercourse with her.

ויהי אחרי כן ויאהב אשה בנחל שרק ושמה דלילה תניא רבי אומר אילמלא לא נקרא שמה דלילה ראויה היתה שתקרא דלילה דילדלה את כחו דילדלה את לבו דילדלה את מעשיו

The Gemara continues its discussion of Samson. The verse states: “And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah” (Judges 16:4). It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Even if she had not been called by the name Delilah, it would have been fitting that she be called Delilah, for she weakened [dildela] his strength, she weakened his heart, and she weakened his deeds, thereby decreasing his merits.

דילדלה את כחו דכתיב ויסר כחו מעליו דילדלה את לבו דכתיב ותרא דלילה כי הגיד לה את כל לבו דילדלה את מעשיו דאיסתלק שכינה מיניה דכתיב והוא לא ידע כי ה׳ סר מעליו

The Gemara explains: She weakened his strength, as it is written: “And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man and had the seven locks of his head shaved off; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him” (Judges 16:19). She weakened his heart, as it is written: “And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying: Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart” (Judges 16:18). She weakened his deeds, thereby decreasing his merits, as the Divine Presence left him, as it is written: “And she said: The Philistines are upon you, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said: I will go out as at other times, and shake myself. But he knew not that the Lord was departed from him” (Judges 16:20).

ותרא דלילה כי הגיד לה את כל לבו מנא ידעה אמר רבי חנין אמר רב ניכרין דברי אמת אביי אמר ידעה בו באותו צדיק דלא מפיק שם שמים לבטלה כיון דאמר נזיר אלהים אני אמרה השתא ודאי קושטא קאמר

The verse states: “And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart” (Judges 16:18). The Gemara asks: From where did she know that this time he had told her the truth about the source of his strength, as he had lied about it previously? Rabbi Ḥanin says that Rav says: Words of truth are recognizable, and she felt that this time he was telling the truth. Abaye says differently: She knew about Samson being a righteous individual, that he would not express the name of Heaven in vain. Once he said: “And he told her all his heart, and said to her: There has not come a razor upon my head; for I have been a nazirite unto God from my mother’s womb” (Judges 16:17), she said: Now he is certainly saying the truth.

ויהי כי הציקה לו בדבריה כל הימים ותאלצהו מאי ותאלצהו אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי בשעת גמר ביאה נשמטה מתחתיו

The verse states: “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was vexed unto death” (Judges 16:16). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of “and urged him”? How did she do so? Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: At the moment immediately before his completion of the act of intercourse, she slipped away from beneath him. By doing this, she urged him to reveal his secret.

ועתה השמרי נא ואל תשתי יין ושכר ואל תאכלי כל טמא מאי כל טמא ותו עד השתא דברים טמאים קאכלה אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי דברים האסורים בנזיר

When the angel spoke to Samson’s mother, he said: “Now therefore beware, I pray of you, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing” (Judges 13:4). The Gemara asks, what is the meaning of “any unclean thing”? That term usually means non-kosher foods, but obviously she would not eat them anyway. And what’s more, until now was she eating unclean things, that she should have to be warned not to continue doing so? Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: The angel was not referring to foods that are actually unclean, but rather items that are forbidden to a nazirite.

ויבקע אלהים את המכתש אשר בלחי אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי הוא איוה לדבר טמא לפיכך נתלו חייו בדבר טמא

After Samson smote one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, he called the place Lehi, and God miraculously granted him to drink, as he was dying of thirst. The verse states: “But God cleaved the hollow place that is in Lehi, and out of there came water; and when he had drunk, his spirit came back, and he revived” (Judges 15:19). Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: He desired something unclean, as he was driven by lust to Philistine women. Therefore, the saving of his life was dependent on something unclean, the jawbone of a donkey.

ותחל רוח ה׳ וגו׳ אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא חלתה נבואתו של יעקב אבינו דכתיב יהי דן נחש עלי דרך

The verse states with regard to Samson: “And the spirit of the Lord began [vataḥel] to move him in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:25). Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: The prophecy of Jacob our forefather concerning the tribe of Dan took effect [ḥaleta] through Samson, a member of the tribe of Dan, as it is written: “Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a horned snake in the path, that bites the horse’s heels, so that his rider falls backward” (Genesis 49:17).

לפעמו במחנה דן אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי מלמד שהיתה שכינה מקשקשת לפניו כזוג כתיב הכא לפעמו במחנה דן וכתיב התם פעמן ורמן

The verse continues: “To move him [lefa’amo] in Mahaneh Dan.” Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: This teaches that the Divine Presence jangled before him, inspiring him, like a bell [zog], as it is written here: “To move him [lefa’amo] in Mahaneh Dan,” and it is written there with regard to the clothing of the High Priest: “A bell [pa’amon] and a pomegranate” (Exodus 39:26).

בין צרעה ובין אשתאול אמר רבי אסי צרעה ואשתאול שני הרים גדולים היו ועקרן שמשון וטחנן זה בזה

The verse concludes: “Between Zorah and Eshtaol.” Rabbi Asi says: Zorah and Eshtaol were two large mountains, and Samson uprooted them and ground them one against the other.

והוא יחל להושיע את ישראל אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא

Samson’s parents were told: “For behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come upon his head; for the child shall be a nazirite unto God from the womb; and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says:

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Joanna Rom and Steven Goldberg in loving memory of Steve's mother Shirley "Nana" Goldberg (Sura Tema bat Chaim v'Hanka)

Want to explore more about the Daf?

See insights from our partners, contributors and community of women learners

Sorry, there aren't any posts in this category yet. We're adding more soon!

Sotah 9

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Sotah 9

פניה מוריקות היא כחלה לו עיניה לפיכך עיניה בולטות היא קלעה לו את שערה לפיכך כהן סותר את שערה היא הראתה לו באצבע לפיכך ציפורניה נושרות היא חגרה לו בצילצול לפיכך כהן מביא חבל המצרי וקושר לה למעלה מדדיה היא פשטה לו את יריכה לפיכך יריכה נופלת

her face becomes sallow after drinking the bitter water; she painted her eyes for her paramour, therefore her eyes bulge after she drinks; she braided her hair for her paramour, therefore a priest unbraids her hair and makes it disheveled; she indicated to her paramour with a finger that he should come to her, therefore her fingernails fall off; she girded herself for her paramour with a ribbon as a belt, therefore a priest brings an Egyptian rope and ties it for her above her breasts; she extended her thigh for her paramour, therefore her thigh falls away after drinking.

היא קיבלתו על כריסה לפיכך בטנה צבה היא האכילתו מעדני עולם לפיכך קרבנה מאכל בהמה היא השקתהו יין משובח בכוסות משובחים לפיכך כהן משקה מים המרים במקידה של חרש

She received her paramour upon her stomach, therefore her stomach swells; she fed him delicacies of the world, therefore her offering is animal food, as it is from oats; she gave him fine wine to drink in fine cups, therefore a priest gives her bitter water in an earthenware mekeida, a simple clay vessel, to drink.

היא עשתה בסתר יושב בסתר עליון שם בה פנים שנאמר ועין נאף שמרה נשף לאמר לא תשורני עין וגו׳

She acted in secret; therefore, God, referred to in the verse “Who dwell in secret, with the Most High” (Psalms 91:1), turns His face to her, as it is stated: “The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying: No eye shall see me; and the Hidden Face will turn” (Job 24:15). The adulterer acts in the twilight of the night to act in secrecy, and therefore God, Who is concealed, arranges that the matter is revealed in public.

דבר אחר היא עשתה בסתר המקום פירסמה בגלוי שנאמר תכסה שנאה במשאון תגלה רעתו בקהל (וגו׳)

Alternatively, she acted in secret, and therefore the Omnipresent revealed it in the open, as it is stated: “Though his hatred be concealed with deceit, his wickedness shall be revealed before the congregation” (Proverbs 26:26), i.e., concealed acts of sin are ultimately revealed in public.

ומאחר דנפקא ליה מאחת לאחת למצא חשבון כי כל סאון סאן ברעש למה לי לכמדה

§ The Gemara questions the need for two verses to indicate that small transgressions are addressed through one significant punishment. And since Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi derives that small transgressions are combined and punished together from: “Behold, this have I found, says Koheleth, adding one thing to another, to find out the account” (Ecclesiastes 7:27), why do I need the verse: “For every boot stamped with fierceness” (Isaiah 9:4)? The Gemara answers: This verse serves to teach that even small transgressions are punished by the measure, i.e., with a punishment appropriate to the transgression.

ומאחר דנפקא ליה מכי כל סאון סאן ברעש בסאסאה בשלחה תריבנה למה לי

The Gemara asks: And since he derives it from “for every boot stamped with fierceness,” why do I need “in full measure, when you send her away, you contend with her” (Isaiah 27:8)?

לכדרב חיננא בר פפא דאמר רב חיננא בר פפא אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נפרע מן האומה עד שעת שילוחה שנאמר בסאסאה בשלחה וגו׳

The Gemara answers: This verse serves to teach the statement as taught by Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa, for Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not punish a nation deserving of punishment until its time to be banished, i.e., until the time of its final eradication from the world, as it is stated: “In full measure, when you send her away, you contend with her” (Isaiah 27:8).

איני והאמר רבא שלשה כוסות האמורות במצרים למה אחת ששתת בימי משה ואחת ששתת בימי פרעה נכה ואחת שעתידה לשתות עם חברותיה

Is that so? But didn’t Rava say: Why are there specifically three cups of misfortune that are stated with regard to Egypt in the dream of its chief butler (see Genesis 40:11–13)? They are an allusion to three cups of misfortune that would later befall Egypt: One that it drank in the days of Moses during the ten plagues and the Exodus; one that it drank in the days of Pharaoh Neco, the king of Egypt who was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar; and one that it will drink in the future with its companions, i.e., the other nations, when they are punished during the days of the Messiah. This indicates that nations can be punished several times, not only when they are eradicated.

וכי תימא הנך אזדו והני אחריני נינהו והתניא אמר רבי יהודה מנימין גר המצרי היה לי חבר מתלמידי רבי עקיבא אמר מנימין גר המצרי אני מצרי ראשון ונשאתי מצרית ראשונה אשיא לבני מצרית שניה כדי שיהא בן בני מותר לבא בקהל

And if you would say that those ancient Egyptians, have gone, and these later Egyptians are different ones, but isn’t it taught in a baraita in the Tosefta (Kiddushin 4:3): Rabbi Yehuda said: Minyamin, an Egyptian convert, was a friend of mine from among the students of Rabbi Akiva, and Minyamin the Egyptian convert said: After I converted I was a first-generation Egyptian convert, and so I married another first-generation Egyptian convert. I will marry off my son, who is a second-generation Egyptian convert, to another second-generation Egyptian convert, in order that my son’s son will be permitted to enter into the congregation. The Torah prohibits Egyptian converts before the third generation to enter into the congregation (see Deuteronomy 23:8–9). By Minyamin’s observance of this prohibition even during the time of Rabbi Akiva, it indicates that Egypt during the tannaitic period was still viewed as biblical Egypt.

אלא אי איתמר הכי איתמר אמר רב חיננא בר פפא אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נפרע מן המלך עד שעת שילוחו שנאמר בסאסאה בשלחה תריבנה וגו׳

Rather, if anything was stated with regard to the delay of punishment, it was stated like this: Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not punish a sinful king until his time to be banished, as it is stated: “In full measure, when you send her away, you contend with her” (Isaiah 27:8).

אמימר מתני להא דרב חיננא בר פפא אהא מאי דכתיב כי אני ה׳ לא שניתי ואתם בני יעקב לא כליתם אני ה׳ לא שניתי לא הכיתי לאומה ושניתי לה ואתם בני יעקב לא כליתם היינו דכתיב חצי אכלה בם חצי כלין והן אינן כלין

Ameimar teaches that statement of Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa with regard to this: What is the meaning of that which is written: “For I the Lord change not; and you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Malachi 3:6)? “For I the Lord change [shaniti] not” is interpreted to mean: I did not strike a nation and repeat [shaniti] striking it, as a stricken nation never recovers from the initial strike. “And you, sons of Jacob, are not consumed,” is interpreted to mean: Despite the fact that I strike you many times for your sins, I do not let you perish. This is the same as that which is written: “I will heap evils upon them; I will consume My arrows upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:23), which is interpreted to mean: My arrows are consumed and used up, and they, the Jewish people, are not consumed but will continue to endure despite the many calamities that will befall them.

אמר רב המנונא אין הקדוש ברוך הוא נפרע מן האדם עד שתתמלא סאתו שנאמר במלאות שפקו יצר לו וגו׳

Rav Hamnuna says: The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not punish a person until his se’a, the measure that is suitable for him, is filled, as it is stated: “In the fullness of his sufficiency he shall be in straits; the hand of every one that is in misery shall come upon him” (Job 20:22). In other words, when the sufficient measure of sin has been reached, then the trouble will overtake him.

דרש רב חיננא בר פפא מאי דכתיב רננו צדיקים בה׳ לישרים נאוה תהלה אל תקרי נאוה תהלה אלא נוה תהלה זה משה ודוד שלא שלטו שונאיהם במעשיהם

Having mentioned Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa, the Gemara quotes another of his interpretations. Rav Ḥinnana bar Pappa interpreted a verse homiletically: What is the meaning of that which is written: “Rejoice in the Lord, you righteous, praise is comely for the upright [nava tehilla]” (Psalms 33:1)? Do not read the conclusion of the verse as: Praise is comely [nava]; rather, read it as: A house [naveh] of praise. This is referring to Moses and David, whose enemies did not rule over their achievements, as they each built a naveh, a house for the Lord, and this house remained in existence.

דוד דכתיב טבעו בארץ שעריה משה דאמר מר משנבנה מקדש ראשון נגנז אהל מועד קרשיו קרסיו ובריחיו ועמודיו ואדניו היכא אמר רב חסדא אמר אבימי תחת מחילות של היכל

With regard to David, the citadel that housed his home and city, was not destroyed, as it is written: “Her gates are sunk into the ground” (Lamentations 2:9), as the gates of Jerusalem built by David were not destroyed by enemies, but sunk into the ground and were buried there. This is also so with regard to Moses, as the Master said: When the first Temple was built, the Tent of Meeting was sequestered, including its boards, its clasps, and its bars, and its pillars, and its sockets. The Gemara asks: Where is it sequestered? Rav Ḥisda says that Avimi says: Beneath the tunnels of the Sanctuary.

תנו רבנן סוטה נתנה עיניה במי שאינו ראוי לה מה שביקשה לא ניתן לה ומה שבידה נטלוהו ממנה שכל הנותן עיניו במה שאינו שלו מה שמבקש אין נותנין לו ומה שבידו נוטלין הימנו

§ The Sages taught in a baraita in the Tosefta (4:16–19): The sota placed her eyes, fixed her gaze, on one who is unfit for her, i.e., another man, so this is her punishment: That which she desired, i.e., to be with her paramour, is not given to her, as she becomes forbidden to him forever. And that which she had, i.e., her husband, was taken away from her, as she is now forbidden to him as well. This teaches that anyone who places his eyes on that which is not his is not given what he desires, and that which he had is taken from him.

וכן מצינו בנחש הקדמוני שנתן עיניו במה שאינו ראוי לו מה שביקש לא נתנו לו ומה שבידו נטלוהו ממנו אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא אני אמרתי יהא מלך על כל בהמה וחיה ועכשיו ארור הוא מכל הבהמה ומכל חית השדה

And, so too, we found with regard to the primeval snake who seduced Eve, for he placed his eyes on that which was unfit for him, as he wanted to marry Eve. Consequently, that which he desired was not given to him, and that which was in his possession was taken from him. The Holy One, Blessed be He, said: I initially said that the snake will be king over every domesticated animal and non-domesticated animal, but now he is cursed more than all the domesticated animals and all the non-domesticated animals of the field, as it is stated: “And the Lord God said unto the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed from among all cattle, and from among all beasts of the field; upon your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life” (Genesis 3:14).

אני אמרתי יהלך בקומה זקופה עכשיו על גחונו ילך אני אמרתי יהא מאכלו מאכל אדם עכשיו עפר יאכל הוא אמר אהרוג את אדם ואשא את חוה עכשיו איבה אשית בינך ובין האשה ובין זרעך ובין זרעה

The baraita explains the elements of this curse. I said that the snake will walk upright, but now he shall go on his belly; I said that his food will be the same as the food eaten by a person, but now he shall eat dust. The snake said: I will kill Adam and marry Eve, but now: “I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your seed and her seed” (Genesis 3:15).

וכן מצינו בקין וקרח ובלעם ודואג ואחיתופל וגחזי ואבשלום ואדוניהו ועוזיהו והמן שנתנו עיניהם במה שאינו ראוי להם מה שביקשו לא ניתן להם ומה שבידם נטלוהו מהם

The baraita continues: And so we found with regard to Cain, who desired to inherit the whole world alone (see Genesis 4); and Korah, who desired the priesthood (see Numbers 16); and Balaam, who desired Balak’s money (see Numbers 22); and Doeg, who was jealous of David (see I Samuel 21–22); and Ahithophel, who was also jealous of David (see II Samuel 16); and Gehazi, who took Naaman’s money (see II Kings 5); and Absalom, who wanted the kingdom (see II Samuel 15); and Adonijah, who also wanted the kingdom (see I Kings 1); and Uzziah, who wanted to be the High Priest (see II Chronicles 26); and Haman, who wanted to kill all the Jews (see Esther 3:13). All of these were people who placed their eyes on that which is unfit for them, and consequently what they desired was not given to them, and what they had was taken from them.

בירך התחילה בעבירה וכו׳ מנא הני מילי אילימא משום דכתיב בתת ה׳ את ירכך נופלת ואת בטנך צבה והכתיב וצבתה בטנה ונפלה ירכה

§ The mishna teaches: She began her transgression with her thigh and afterward with her stomach, therefore the thigh is smitten first and then the stomach. The Gemara asks: From where are these matters derived, i.e., that this is the order of her punishment? If we say it is because it is written in the verse detailing the priest’s curse: “Then the priest shall cause the woman to swear with the oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman: The Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people, when the Lord does make your thigh to fall away, and your belly to swell” (Numbers 5:21), which indicates the sequence of her punishment; but isn’t the opposite written in the verse describing what actually occurs to a guilty sota: “And her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall fall away” (Numbers 5:27), indicating that the punishment begins with her stomach and then her thigh?

אמר אביי כי לייט לייט תחילה ירך והדר בטן לייט ומיא כי בדקי כי אורחייהו בדקי בטן ברישא והדר ירך בקללה נמי כתיב לצבות בטן ולנפל ירך ההוא דמודע לה כהן דבטן ברישא והדר ירך שלא להוציא לעז על מים המרים

Abaye said in explanation: When the priest curses the woman, he first curses the thigh and then he curses the stomach, but when the bitter water evaluates her, it evaluates her along its way through the body. The water first enters the stomach and then reaches the thigh. The Gemara asks: But in the verse detailing the curse it is also written: “And this water that causes the curse shall go into your bowels, and will cause your belly to swell, and your thigh to fall away” (Numbers 5:22). The Gemara answers: That verse teaches that the priest notifies her that the stomach will be affected first and then the thigh, so that one not cast aspersions on the bitter water.

מתני׳ שמשון הלך אחר עיניו לפיכך נקרו פלשתים את עיניו שנאמר ויאחזוהו פלשתים וינקרו את עיניו

MISHNA: The mishna provides additional examples of people who were treated by Heaven commensurate with their actions. Samson followed his eyes, therefore he was punished measure for measure, as the Philistines gouged out his eyes, as it is stated: “And the Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes” (Judges 16:21).

אבשלום נתגאה בשערו לפיכך נתלה בשערו ולפי שבא על עשר פלגשי אביו לפיכך נתנו בו עשר לונביות שנאמר ויסבו עשרה אנשים נושאי כלי יואב ולפי שגנב שלשה גנבות לב אביו ולב בית דין ולב ישראל שנאמר ויגנב אבשלום את לב אנשי ישראל לפיכך נתקעו בו שלשה שבטים שנאמר ויקח שלשה שבטים בכפו ויתקעם בלב אבשלום

Absalom was excessively proud of his hair, and therefore he was hanged by his hair. And furthermore, because he engaged in sexual intercourse with ten of his father’s concubines (see II Samuel 15:16 and 16:22), therefore ten spears [loneviyyot] were put, i.e., thrust, into him, as it is stated: “And ten young men that bore Joab’s armor compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him” (II Samuel 18:15). And because he stole three times, committing three thefts of people’s hearts: The heart of his father, as he tricked him by saying that he was going to sacrifice offerings; the heart of the court, as he tricked them into following him; and the heart of the Jewish people, as it is stated: “So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (II Samuel 15:6), therefore three spears were embedded into his heart, as it is stated: “Then said Joab: I may not tarry like this with you. And he took three spears in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive” (II Samuel 18:14).

וכן לענין הטובה מרים המתינה למשה שעה אחת שנאמר ותתצב אחותו מרחוק לפיכך נתעכבו לה ישראל שבעה ימים שנאמר והעם לא נסע עד האסף מרים

The mishna continues: And the same is so with regard to the reward of good deeds; a person is rewarded measure for measure. Miriam waited for the baby Moses for one hour at the shore of the Nile, as it is stated: “And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him” (Exodus 2:4). Therefore the Jewish people delayed their travels in the desert for seven days to wait for her when she was smitten with leprosy, as it is stated: “And Miriam was confined outside of the camp seven days; and the people journeyed not until Miriam was brought in again” (Numbers 12:15).

יוסף זכה לקבור את אביו ואין באחיו גדול ממנו שנאמר ויעל יוסף לקבר את אביו ויעלו עמו גם רכב גם פרשים מי לנו גדול מיוסף שלא נתעסק בו אלא משה

Joseph merited to bury his father, resulting in a display of great honor to his father, and there was none among his brothers greater than he in importance, for he was viceroy of Egypt, as it is stated: “And Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the Elders of his house, and all the Elders of the land of Egypt, and all the house of Joseph, and his brethren, and his father’s house; only their little ones, and their flocks, and their herds, they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen; and it was a very great company” (Genesis 50:7–9). Who, to us, had a greater burial than Joseph, as it was none other than Moses who involved himself in transporting his coffin.

משה זכה בעצמות יוסף ואין בישראל גדול ממנו שנאמר ויקח משה את עצמות יוסף עמו מי גדול ממשה שלא נתעסק בו אלא המקום שנאמר ויקבר אותו בגי לא על משה בלבד אמרו אלא על כל הצדיקים שנאמר והלך לפניך צדקך כבוד ה׳ יאספך

Moses merited to be the only person involved in the transportation of Joseph’s bones to be buried in Eretz Yisrael, and there was none among the Jewish people greater than he, as it is stated: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him” (Exodus 13:19). Who had a greater burial than Moses, as no one involved himself in his burial other than the Omnipresent Himself, as it is stated: “And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth Peor; and no man knows of his sepulcher unto this day” (Deuteronomy 34:6). The mishna comments: Not only with regard to Moses did the Sages say that God takes part in his burial, but also with regard to all the righteous individuals, as it is stated: “Your righteousness shall go before you and the glory of the Lord shall gather you in” (Isaiah 58:8).

גמ׳ תנו רבנן שמשון בעיניו מרד שנאמר ויאמר שמשון אל אביו אותה קח לי כי היא ישרה בעיני לפיכך נקרו פלשתים את עיניו שנאמר ויאחזוהו פלשתים וינקרו את עיניו

GEMARA: The Sages taught (Tosefta 3:15): Samson rebelled with his eyes, as it is stated: “Then his father and his mother said to him: Is there never a woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you go out to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said to his father: Get her for me; for she is pleasant in my eyes” (Judges 14:3). Therefore, the Philistines gouged out his eyes, as it is stated: “And the Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes” (Judges 16:21).

איני והכתיב ואביו ואמו לא ידעו כי מה׳ היא כי אזל מיהא בתר ישרותיה אזל

The Gemara asks: Is that so? But isn’t it written: “But his father and his mother knew not that it was from the Lord; as he sought a subterfuge against the Philistines” (Judges 14:4), indicating that Samson’s searching for a Philistine wife was due to a Divine mission? The Gemara answers: Although God did plan the punishment of the Philistines, in any event when he went, he followed his inclination and did not act for the sake of Heaven.

תניא רבי אומר תחילת קלקולו בעזה לפיכך לקה בעזה תחילת קלקולו בעזה דכתיב וילך שמשון עזתה וירא שם אשה זונה וגו׳ לפיכך לקה בעזה דכתיב ויורידו אותו עזתה

It is taught in a baraita in the Tosefta (3:15): Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: His initial wrongdoing was in Gaza, and therefore he was smitten in Gaza. The Gemara explains: His initial wrongdoing was in Gaza, as it is written: “And Samson went to Gaza, and saw there a harlot, and went in unto her” (Judges 16:1). Therefore, he was smitten in Gaza, as it is written: “And the Philistines laid hold on him, and put out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison-house” (Judges 16:21).

והכתיב וירד שמשון תמנתה תחלת קלקולו מיהא בעזה היה

The Gemara asks: But isn’t it written earlier: “And Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines” (Judges 14:1), indicating that his initial wrongdoing was in Timnah? The Gemara answers: In any event, his initial wrongdoing was in Gaza, for at least he had married the woman in Timnah; in Gaza, Samson never wed the woman but only engaged in sexual intercourse with her.

ויהי אחרי כן ויאהב אשה בנחל שרק ושמה דלילה תניא רבי אומר אילמלא לא נקרא שמה דלילה ראויה היתה שתקרא דלילה דילדלה את כחו דילדלה את לבו דילדלה את מעשיו

The Gemara continues its discussion of Samson. The verse states: “And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah” (Judges 16:4). It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Even if she had not been called by the name Delilah, it would have been fitting that she be called Delilah, for she weakened [dildela] his strength, she weakened his heart, and she weakened his deeds, thereby decreasing his merits.

דילדלה את כחו דכתיב ויסר כחו מעליו דילדלה את לבו דכתיב ותרא דלילה כי הגיד לה את כל לבו דילדלה את מעשיו דאיסתלק שכינה מיניה דכתיב והוא לא ידע כי ה׳ סר מעליו

The Gemara explains: She weakened his strength, as it is written: “And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man and had the seven locks of his head shaved off; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him” (Judges 16:19). She weakened his heart, as it is written: “And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying: Come up this once, for he has told me all his heart” (Judges 16:18). She weakened his deeds, thereby decreasing his merits, as the Divine Presence left him, as it is written: “And she said: The Philistines are upon you, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said: I will go out as at other times, and shake myself. But he knew not that the Lord was departed from him” (Judges 16:20).

ותרא דלילה כי הגיד לה את כל לבו מנא ידעה אמר רבי חנין אמר רב ניכרין דברי אמת אביי אמר ידעה בו באותו צדיק דלא מפיק שם שמים לבטלה כיון דאמר נזיר אלהים אני אמרה השתא ודאי קושטא קאמר

The verse states: “And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart” (Judges 16:18). The Gemara asks: From where did she know that this time he had told her the truth about the source of his strength, as he had lied about it previously? Rabbi Ḥanin says that Rav says: Words of truth are recognizable, and she felt that this time he was telling the truth. Abaye says differently: She knew about Samson being a righteous individual, that he would not express the name of Heaven in vain. Once he said: “And he told her all his heart, and said to her: There has not come a razor upon my head; for I have been a nazirite unto God from my mother’s womb” (Judges 16:17), she said: Now he is certainly saying the truth.

ויהי כי הציקה לו בדבריה כל הימים ותאלצהו מאי ותאלצהו אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי בשעת גמר ביאה נשמטה מתחתיו

The verse states: “And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, that his soul was vexed unto death” (Judges 16:16). The Gemara asks: What is the meaning of “and urged him”? How did she do so? Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: At the moment immediately before his completion of the act of intercourse, she slipped away from beneath him. By doing this, she urged him to reveal his secret.

ועתה השמרי נא ואל תשתי יין ושכר ואל תאכלי כל טמא מאי כל טמא ותו עד השתא דברים טמאים קאכלה אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי דברים האסורים בנזיר

When the angel spoke to Samson’s mother, he said: “Now therefore beware, I pray of you, and drink no wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing” (Judges 13:4). The Gemara asks, what is the meaning of “any unclean thing”? That term usually means non-kosher foods, but obviously she would not eat them anyway. And what’s more, until now was she eating unclean things, that she should have to be warned not to continue doing so? Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: The angel was not referring to foods that are actually unclean, but rather items that are forbidden to a nazirite.

ויבקע אלהים את המכתש אשר בלחי אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי הוא איוה לדבר טמא לפיכך נתלו חייו בדבר טמא

After Samson smote one thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, he called the place Lehi, and God miraculously granted him to drink, as he was dying of thirst. The verse states: “But God cleaved the hollow place that is in Lehi, and out of there came water; and when he had drunk, his spirit came back, and he revived” (Judges 15:19). Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: He desired something unclean, as he was driven by lust to Philistine women. Therefore, the saving of his life was dependent on something unclean, the jawbone of a donkey.

ותחל רוח ה׳ וגו׳ אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא חלתה נבואתו של יעקב אבינו דכתיב יהי דן נחש עלי דרך

The verse states with regard to Samson: “And the spirit of the Lord began [vataḥel] to move him in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol” (Judges 13:25). Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: The prophecy of Jacob our forefather concerning the tribe of Dan took effect [ḥaleta] through Samson, a member of the tribe of Dan, as it is written: “Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a horned snake in the path, that bites the horse’s heels, so that his rider falls backward” (Genesis 49:17).

לפעמו במחנה דן אמר רבי יצחק דבי רבי אמי מלמד שהיתה שכינה מקשקשת לפניו כזוג כתיב הכא לפעמו במחנה דן וכתיב התם פעמן ורמן

The verse continues: “To move him [lefa’amo] in Mahaneh Dan.” Rabbi Yitzḥak of the school of Rabbi Ami says: This teaches that the Divine Presence jangled before him, inspiring him, like a bell [zog], as it is written here: “To move him [lefa’amo] in Mahaneh Dan,” and it is written there with regard to the clothing of the High Priest: “A bell [pa’amon] and a pomegranate” (Exodus 39:26).

בין צרעה ובין אשתאול אמר רבי אסי צרעה ואשתאול שני הרים גדולים היו ועקרן שמשון וטחנן זה בזה

The verse concludes: “Between Zorah and Eshtaol.” Rabbi Asi says: Zorah and Eshtaol were two large mountains, and Samson uprooted them and ground them one against the other.

והוא יחל להושיע את ישראל אמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא

Samson’s parents were told: “For behold, you shall conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come upon his head; for the child shall be a nazirite unto God from the womb; and he shall begin to save Israel out of the hand of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5). Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says:

Scroll To Top