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
Previous daf Sotah 34
SOTAH 31-35 - These Dafim have been dedicated by Mrs. Estanne Abraham-Fauer
in honor of the first Yahrzeit (18 Teves 5761) of her father, Reb Mordechai
ben Eliezer Zvi (Weiner). May the merit of supporting and advancing the
study of the Talmud be l'Iluy Nishmaso.
1) CROSSING THE JORDAN
(a) Once the Kohanim's feet touched the water, the water
doubled back and flowed upwards.
2) THE SPIES
(b) Question: How high did the water go?
(c) Answer #1 (R. Yehudah): 12 Mil, corresponding to the
encampment of Yisrael.
(d) Objection (R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon): But water flows
faster than people walk - if the water returned to its
flow after reaching 12 Mil, Yisrael would not have
finished crossing, the water would have flooded them!
(e) Answer #2 (R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon): Rather, the water
rose to over 300 Mil.
1. All the kings of the east and west saw it - "All the
kings of the Emori across the Jordan and the
Kena'ani kings by the sea heard how Hash-m dried up
the Jordan in front of Benei Yisrael; their hearts
(f) When they were in the Jordan, Yehoshua told them: 'Know
that you are crossing the Jordan to dispossess all the
inhabitants of the land; if you do not, water will flood
i. Rachav ha'Zonah likewise told Yehoshua's spies
that the Kena'anim heard how Hash-m hardened
the Red Sea, and this left them spiritless.
(g) Question: What is Oseichem?
(h) Answer: Osi (me) and Eschem (you).
(i) When they were in the Jordan, Yehoshua instructed that 1
man from each tribe should take a rock and carry it on
his shoulder - "In should be a sign to your children ...
that their ancestors crossed the Jordan (through a
(j) When they were in the Jordan, Yehoshua instructed that 12
rocks be taken from where the Kohanim were standing, and
these should be erected where they will lodge that night.
1. 3 Tana'im measured the rocks - each rock was 40
2. We have a tradition - a person can carry 3 times as
much if people lift a load on his shoulders than if
he must pick it up himself.
(a) Based on this, we can calculate the size of the cluster
of grapes the spies took - "They carried it on a pole,
with 2 people".
(b) Question: Always, 2 people carry something on a pole!
(c) Answer: It was on 2 poles.
(d) (R. Yitzchak): There were poles to bear a load, and poles
under the poles to bear a load.
1. 8 spies carried the cluster, 1 took a pomegranate,
and 1 took a date.
(e) (R. Ami or R. Yitzchak Nafcha): According to R. Yehudah,
we crossed the Jordan in the manner of the encampment;
according to R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon, we crossed one
after the other.
2. Yehoshua and Kalev did not carry fruit - either
because they were too important, or because they
refused to assist in the plot to dissuade Yisrael
from coming to Eretz Yisrael.
(f) (The other of R. Ami or R. Yitzchak Nafcha): According to
both Tana'im, we crossed the Jordan in the manner of the
encampment; R. Yehudah holds that people walk as fast as
water flows, R. Elazar b'Rebbi Shimon holds that water
flows faster than people walk.
(g) (Reish Lakish): "Send for yourself men" - if you (Moshe)
want to - one does not choose a bad portion for himself
(Hash-m would not tell him to send spies, knowing the
(h) (Reish Lakish): "It was good in my eyes" - but not in
(i) (R. Chiya bar Aba): "v'Yachperu (they will search) the
land for us" - the spies intended to disgrace the land
"v'Chafra (will be shamed) the moon..."
(j) (R. Yitzchak): We have a tradition, the name of each spy
relates to his deeds; the only one we know is Sesur ben
1. He was Soser (contradicted) the deeds of Hash-m; he
made him(self - a euphemism) weak.
(k) (R. Yochanan): We can also explain Nachbi ben Vafsi -
Hichbi (he hid) the words of Hash-m; Pise'a (he skipped)
the attributes of Hash-m.
(a) Question: "They went up to the south, and he came to
Chevron" - it should say, they came!
(b) Answer (Rava): Kalev separated from the counsel of the
spies, and came alone to pray by the graves of the
patriarchs, that they should pray that he not accede to
1. Moshe already prayed for Yehoshua - "Moshe called
Hoshe'ah Bin Nun 'Yehoshua'" - Kah (Hash-m) should
save you from the counsel of spies.
(c) "(In Chevron) were Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai...":
Achiman - he was Meyuman (strongest) of his brothers;
Sheshai - he made craters in the ground (where he
stepped); Talmai - he made the ground as Telamim
(furrows, where he walked).
2. "My servant Kalev had another spirit" - that he
separated from their plan.
1. Alternatively: Achiman built Anas, Sheshai built
Alash, and Talmai built Talbush.
(d) "Children of the Anak (giant)" - because of their great
height, the sun seemed to shine around their necks like a
(e) Question: "Chevron was built 7 years (before Tzo'an of
Miztrayim)..." - what does this mean?
1. It cannot mean, it was built before - one does not
build a house for his younger son before his older
(f) Answer: Rather, it was 7 times more fertile than Tzo'an.
i. Chevron is in the land of Kena'an, Cham's 4th
son; Mitzrayim was Cham's 2nd son.
1. Chevron is the rockiest part of Eretz Yisrael,
therefore it was used for burial; Mitzrayim is the
best of all lands in Chutz La'aretz - "As the garden
of Hash-m, as Eretz Mitzrayim"; and Tzo'an is the
best part of Mitzrayim - "His ministers were in
Tzo'an"; and still Chevron was 7 times more fertile.
(g) Question: Is Chevron really rocky?!
1. (Rav Avya): "At the end of 40 years, Avshalom said
to the king 'I will go...'" - he went to bring sheep
(h) Answer: Yes! Because it is rocky, it is good for grazing
2. (Beraisa): Rams are brought from Mo'av; sheep, from