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Prepared by Rabbi P. Feldman
of Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Sotah 2

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 themselves.



(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;
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 eat Terumah;
1. If she was in seclusion with Ploni for the time needed for relations, she is forbidden to her husband and to eat Terumah;
2. If her husband later dies (without children), she does Chalitzah, she may not do Yibum.
(c) (Gemara) Question: Why does tractate Sotah follow Nazir?
(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 wife.
(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 righteous."
(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.
2. Support (Mishnah): If 1 witness says that he saw that she had relations, she does not drink.
(b) Question: What is the source that the Torah believes 1 witness to say this?
(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".

2. Rhetorical question: "Witness" implies 1 - why did the Torah have to say 1?
3. Answer: This teaches that everywhere in the Torah, "witness" refers to 2 witnesses, unless the Torah specifies 1.
(d) (Summation of answer): The Torah said, there are not 2 witnesses, only 1, and (if) she was not forced, she is forbidden.
(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 believed.
(i) Question: Could one really have thought that the verse says that 1 witness is not believed on her, and she is permitted?
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 witnesses ...
(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 witnesses).
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 Teme'ah".
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 her warning).
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 Tum'ah.
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.
(d) Our Mishnah is unlike the following Tana.
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.
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)!
(e) Question: What is R. Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah's reason?
(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".
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.
(h) (Beraisa - Chachamim): If so, there is no end!
(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 forbidden forever!
(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.
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