POINT BY POINT SUMMARY
Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld
Ask A Question on the daf
SOTAH 2 - Today's Dafim are dedicated l'Iluy Nishmas Malka bas
Menashe Krause, mother of Gitle Bekelnitzky, Fred Krause and
Fran Vogel. During very difficult times, under both material
and spiritual duress, she and her husband raised their
children in the spirit of our fathers, imbuing them with a
love for Torah and Yiddishkeit. Her home was always open to
the needy, even when her family did not have enough to feed
1) WARNING ONE'S WIFE
(a) (Mishnah - R. Eliezer): A man is Mekanei (warns) his wife
in front of 2 witnesses; he can force her to drink if he
or 1 witness saw her in seclusion;
2) 1 WITNESS SUFFICES FOR TUM'AH
1. R. Yehoshua says, he warns her in front of 2
witnesses; he needs 2 witnesses of seclusion to
force her to drink.
(b) What constitutes warning? If he tells her in front of 2
witnesses, 'Do not speak with Ploni', and she speaks with
Ploni, she does not become forbidden to her husband or to
1. If she was in seclusion with Ploni for the time
needed for relations, she is forbidden to her
husband and to eat Terumah;
(c) (Gemara) Question: Why does tractate Sotah follow Nazir?
2. If her husband later dies (without children), she
does Chalitzah, she may not do Yibum.
(d) Answer: As Rebbi taught.
1. (Beraisa - Rebbi): The Torah gives the laws of a
Nazir after the laws of a Sotah, to teach that
anyone that sees a Sotah in her disgrace should
become a Nazir.
(e) Question: If so, Sotah should precede Nazir!
(f) Answer: Perek ha'Madir is in Tractate Kesuvos, therefore
Nedarim follows Kesuvos; Nazir is like a Neder, so it
comes next; Sotah follows, as Rebbi taught.
(g) The Mishnah says, 'A man that warns' - implying, this
should not be done.
1. The Tana holds that it is forbidden to warn one's
(h) (Reish Lakish): Hash-m arranges matches so that a man
always gets a woman commensurate with his deeds - "The
authority of a wicked one will not fall over the
(i) (Rabah bar bar Chanah): Arranging matches is harder than
splitting the Red Sea..
(j) Question: But Rav Yehudah taught, 40 days before a fetus
is formed, a voice from Heaven announces whose daughter
is for him to marry, which house and field are for him.
(k) Answer: Rav Yehudah's teaching applies to one's initial
match; the prior teaching applies to a 2nd match.
(a) (Mishnah - R. Eliezer): Two witnesses are needed to warn
1. The Tana'im only argue by seclusion, but agree that
1 witness is believed to say that she had relations.
(b) Question: What is the source that the Torah believes 1
witness to say this?
2. Support (Mishnah): If 1 witness says that he saw
that she had relations, she does not drink.
(c) Answer (Beraisa): "There is not a witness on her" - there
are not 2 witnesses on her.
1. One might have thought, perhaps it means, not even 1
witness knows about her - "1 witness will not rise
against a man".
3) HOW MANY WITNESSES ARE NEEDED FOR WARNING AND SECLUSION
2. Rhetorical question: "Witness" implies 1 - why did
the Torah have to say 1?
(d) (Summation of answer): The Torah said, there are not 2
witnesses, only 1, and (if) she was not forced, she is
3. Answer: This teaches that everywhere in the Torah,
"witness" refers to 2 witnesses, unless the Torah
(e) Question: It was necessary to learn from "1 witness will
not rise against a man"; if not for this verse, we would
have said that by Sotah, the Torah said that there is not
even 1 witness;
1. If so, how would she become forbidden?
(f) Answer: If not for "1 witness will not rise against a
man", we would have explained "There is not a witness on
her" to mean that a (lone) witness is not believed to say
that she had relations.
(g) Question: How could we think that? If the law is that 1
witness is not believed to say that she had relations,
the Torah would not have written anything, and we would
have learned from a Gezeirah Shavah "Davar-Davar", just
as the Torah requires 2 witnesses for all testimony!
(h) Answer: Sotah is different.
1. Since there are grounds for believing that she had
relations - he warned her, and she was in seclusion
- one would have thought that even 1 witness is
(i) Question: Could one really have thought that the verse
says that 1 witness is not believed on her, and she is
1. Since the verse says, "She was not forced" - we see,
she is forbidden!
(j) Answer: Yes, we would have thought that 1 witness is not
believed on her, and she is permitted, unless 2 witnesses
testify on her;
1. Even when 2 testify on her, they must say that she
was not forced, or else she remains permitted.
(a) (Mishnah): R. Yehoshua says, he warns her in front of 2
4) THE MEANING OF "KINUY"
(b) Question: What is R. Yehoshua's reason?
(c) Answer: "(There are not (2) witness(es)) on her Tum'ah
(i.e. adultery)" - on her (Tum'ah 1 witness suffices) but
not on her warning, and not on her seclusion (by these, 2
witnesses are required).
1. R. Eliezer expounds, on her (Tum'ah 1 witness
suffices), but not on her warning (this requires 2
(d) Our Mishnah is unlike the following Tana.
2. Question: Why doesn't he (also) expound, on her
(Tum'ah), and not on her seclusion?
3. Answer: Seclusion is equated to Tum'ah (by which 1
witness suffices) - "She was secluded, and became
4. Question: Warning is also equated to Tum'ah - "He
warned his wife, and she became Teme'ah"!
5. Answer: The Torah taught that 1 witness is not
enough for warning - "On her" (Tum'ah, but not on
6. Question: Why equate seclusion to Tum'ah, and
exclude warning - why not say vice-versa?
7. Answer #1: Presumably, seclusion is more severe, for
it forbids her (to her husband and Terumah), as
8. Objection: To the contrary - warning is more severe,
for through warning, seclusion forbids her!
i. Neither is more severe, for warning without
seclusion does nothing, and seclusion without
warning is meaningless.
9. Answer #2: Seclusion is more severe, for it is the
start of Tum'ah.
1. (Beraisa - R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, citing R.
Eliezer): One warns his wife in front of 1 witness,
or by himself; 2 witnesses of seclusion are needed
to obligate her to drink.
(e) Question: What is R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah's reason?
2. Chachamim: If so, there is no end (he can lie and
say that he warned her, forcing her to drink when
she did nothing wrong)!
(f) Answer: "On her (Tum'ah)", and not on her seclusion.
(g) Question: Why doesn't he (also) expound, on her (Tum'ah),
and not on her warning?
1. Answer: Warning is equated to Tum'ah - "He warned
his wife, and she became Teme'ah".
(h) (Beraisa - Chachamim): If so, there is no end!
2. Question: Seclusion is also equated to Tum'ah - "She
was secluded and became Teme'ah"!
3. Answer: That teaches the duration of time considered
seclusion - the time needed for Tum'ah.
(i) Question: Why is this?
(j) Answer: Because he can lie, and say that he warned her
when he really didn't.
(k) Question: May we infer, according to (R. Eliezer in) the
Mishnah, he cannot unjustifiably make her drink?!
1. He can lie, and claim that she was in seclusion!
(l) (R. Yitzchak bar Yosef): Even according to R. Yosi
b'Rebbi Yehudah, there is no end.
(m) Objection: Even ... - this implies, all the more so,
according to the Mishnah!
1. To the contrary! According to the Mishnah, the basis
(warning) must be true; according to R. Yosi b'Rebbi
Yehudah, he can fabricate the basis!
(n) Correction (R. Yitzchak bar Yosef): According to R. Yosi
b'Rebbi Yehudah, and even according to the Mishnah, there
is no end.
(o) (R. Chanina from Sura): Nowadays, a person should not
tell his wife not to be secluded with a particular man.
1. Perhaps the law is as R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah, that
he can warn her himself; if she enters seclusion
with him, since she cannot drink, she becomes
(a) Question (Reish Lakish): What does Kinuy (warning) mean?
(b) Answer #1 (Reish Lakish): Something that brings enmity
between her and others.
1. We may deduce, Reish Lakish holds that the husband
can warn her himself. She will avoid seclusion with
the men she was warned about; they will not know of
the warning, and will resent this!
(c) Answer #2 (Rav Yemar bar R. Shalmiya): Something that
brings enmity between him and his wife.
1. He holds that warning must be in front of 2
witnesses. Others will know of the warning (and will
not resent her); she will resent her husband's
suspicion of her, and will quarrel with him.