ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
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) 'Kinuy' is - the warning that a man issues his wife not to go with
another man, as will be explained shortly.
(b) Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua agree that 'Kinuy' requires two
witnesses. When Rebbi Eliezer says 'u'Mashkeh al-Pi Eid Echad' - he means
that he can make her drink the water of a Sotah even if their subsequent
seclusion into a secret place was witnessed by only one witness or even just
the husband himself.
(c) According to Rebbi Yehoshua - that too, requires two witnesses.
(d) If a husband warns his wife in front of witnesses 'Do not speak with
so-and-so!', subsequently speaking with him does not render her a Sotah -
unless they entered a secluded location together.
(a) The Torah writes three times "ve'Nitme'ah" in Naso with regard to a
Sotah. The ramifications of these three words are - that she is forbidden
both to her husband and to the adulterer (should her husband die or divorce
her), and she is also forbidden to eat Terumah (assuming her husband is a
(b) Should her husband die, leaving a brother but no children - he performs
Chaliztah but not Yibum.
(a) Rebbi placed Sotah after Nazir due to another statement of his - where
he says that someone who sees a Sotah in her disgrace should make a Nazarite
vow to abstain from wine.
(b) He changed the order in which they appear in the Torah (Sotah first and
then Nazir) - because Nazir (which is a form of Neder) belongs after Nedarim
(and not Sotah).
(c) And Nedarim follows Kesuvos - because of Perek ha'Madir (the seventh
Perek of Kesuvos), which deals with Nedarim.
(d) The Tana of our Mishnah uses the Lashon 'ha'Mekane' (a Lashon of
Bedi'eved) because he holds that Lechatchilah, one should not set the
process of Sotah into motion - seeing as it will cause strife in the home
(interfering with Shalom Bayis) and eventually, his wife to be publicly
humiliated (even if she was not guilty of having committed adultery).
1. Resh Lakish learns from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Ki Lo Yanu'ach Sheivet
ha'Resha al Goral ha'Tzadikim" - that a man gets the wife he deserves.
(b) "ba'Kosharos" means - in the month that was convenient to go out (that
of Nisan), when it was neither too hot, nor too cold (though it is unclear
why Rebbi Yochanan said 'ki'Keri'as Yam-Suf' and not 'ki'Yetzi'as
2. Rabah bar bar Chanah Amar Rebbi Yochanan learns from the Pasuk there
"Elokim Moshiv Yechidim Baysah Motzi Asirim ba'Kosharos" - that matching
couples is as difficult 'Kevayachol' as the splitting of the Reed Sea (which
entailed going against the laws of nature).
(c) Rav reconciles Resh Lakish's statement with his own; namely, that
already forty days before a man is born, a Heavenly Voice announces 'Bas
P'loni li'Ploni' - by restricting his own statement to a man's first
marriage, and Resh Lakish's, to the second marriage (which is 'difficult',
because the woman was not destined for him).
(d) We just quoted Rav Yehudah Amar Rav, who said 'Arba'im Yom Kodem
Yetziras ha'V'lad Bas-Kol Yotzeis ve'Omeres Bas P'loni li'Ploni'. We know
from here that a man's first wife is not necessarily a reflection of his
merits - because although the match is fixed, following the principle
'ha'Kol bi'Yedei Shamayim Chutz mi'Yir'as Shamayim', their deeds are not.
(a) Even Rebbi Yehoshua in our Mishnah, who requires two witnesses for both
the 'Kinuy' and the 'S'tirah', will agree that when it comes to the actual
act of adultery, even one witness will suffice, as we will see later in
Perek ke'Shem. The ramifications of this observation are - that if just one
witness, or even just the husband himself, saw them committing adultery, the
woman is a Sotah (she goes out from her husband with a Get) without the
need to drink the Mei Sotah.
(b) We learn from the Pasuk "Lo Yakum Eid *Echad* be'Ish" - that whenever
the Torah writes "Eid" (without the word "Echad"), it implies two witnesses.
(c) In light of this, the Pasuk (written in connection with the Tum'ah of
Sotah) "ve'Eid Ein Bah" means - that if two witnesses did not see the
adultery, but one did, she has the Din of a Sotah (as we just explained).
(d) If there is one witness that she sinned, the woman leaves her husband
without receiving her Kesuvah.
(a) If not for the Pasuk "Lo Yakum Eid *Echad* be'Ish", we would have
explained the Pasuk "ve'Eid Ein Bah" to mean that there wasn't even one
witness. The problem with saying that is - that if there wasn't even one
witness, on what grounds would the woman have been forbidden to her husband?
(b) We at first think that the Pasuk could not be coming to teach us the
inference, that one witness is not believed, but that two are required -
because we know that already from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Davar" ("Ki Matza
Bah Ervas Davar") "Davar" ("al-Pi Sh'nei Eidim Yakum Davar") from money
(c) We would nevertheless have explained the Pasuk to preclude one witness -
because we would otherwise have thought that in this case (based on the fact
that they were secluded together) even one witness is believed (which in the
Maskanah, he in fact, is) because of the strong evidence that they sinned .
(d) And we would have explained "ve'Eid Ein Bah" as a leniency, (in spite
of the following phrase "ve'Hi Lo Nispasah", which clearly intimates a
Chumra) - by explaining that phrase as a follow-on from the inference of
this phrase: "ve'Eid Ein Bah", but two are, in which case she would be
considered guilty, seeing as she was not taken by force.
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua extrapolates from the Pasuk "ve'Eid Ein *Bah*" - "Bah",
've'Lo be'Kinuy'; "Bah", ve'Lo bi'S'tirah'.
(b) Rebbi Eliezer makes the inference "Bah", 've'Lo be Kinuy'. He does add
"Bah", 've'Lo bi'S'tirah', like Rebbi Yehoshua. The reason that we
initially suggest for this is - because 'S'tirah is compared to Tum'ah, as
the Torah writes "ve'Nisterah ve'Hi Nitma'ah'.
(c) Despite the fact that both Kinuy and S'tirah are compared to Tum'ah
("ve'Kinei es Ishto, ve'Nisterah ve'Hi Nitma'ah"), and by Tum'ah, one
witness will certainly suffice, we nevertheless preclude Kinuy from the Din
of Tum'ah (to insist on two witnesses), and not S'tirah - because S'tirah is
closer to Tum'ah, inasmuch as it is its first stage.
(d) We cannot answer that S'tirah is more comparable to Tum'ah because it
forbids her (at least temporarily) like Tum'ah - because it is only on
account of Kinuy that the S'tirah does so.
(a) The author of our Mishnah cannot be Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah in the
name of Rebbi Eliezer, who Darshens from "ve'Eid Ein *Bah* - "Bah", 've'Lo
bi'Stirah' (which consequently requires two witnesses, whereas Kinuy
requires only one).
(b) He learns from the Hekesh "ve'Nisterah ve'Hi Nitma'ah" - that the Shiur
of S'tirah is the time it takes to perform the act of Tum'ah (as we shall
(a) When the Chachamim asked Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah 'Ein le'Davar
Sof' - they meant that if that is so, then, whenever a man becomes angry
with his wife, all he needs to do is bring two witnesses to testify that she
secluded with another man and declare that he had previously warned her
(even though he never did).
(b) This Kashya is really not confined to Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah in the
name of Rebbi Eliezer - because according to Rebbi Eliezer, we could ask the
same Kashya regarding S'tirah (which, in his opinion, does not require two
witnesses). In that case, after having warned his wife in front of two
witnesses, not to seclude herself with a certain man, all he needs to do is
to testify that he caught her red-handed, even if she is innocent.
(c) The Kashya is stronger - on Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah in the name of
Rebbi Eliezer, because Kinuy is the first stage of anger, and is the more
likely of the two to happen.
(d) So we amend Rebbi Yochanan's statement 'Af to read - 'le'Divrei Rebbi
Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah, Af le'Mishnaseinu, Ein le'Davar Sof'.
(a) Rebbi Chanina from Sura said that nowadays one should not warn one's
wife not to seclude herself with a specific man - on the grounds that the
Halachah might be like Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah, and seeing as there no
Mei Sotah, he faces the prospect of losing his wife for good.
(b) Resh Lakish and Rav Yeimar bar Shalmaya define 'Kinuy' - as anger.
(c) We can extrapolate from this definition - that both Amora'im prohibit
Kinuy Lechatchilah (like we learned above).
(a) According to Resh Lakish it is so-called because it causes others to
become angry with her. He must hold like Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah, who
does not require two witnesses for the Kinuy. As a result, people do not
know about the husband's warning, and become angry with her for having
become so stand-offish.
(b) According to Rav Yeimar bar Shalmaya in the name of Abaye it is
so-called because it causes her husband to become angry with her. He holds
like Rebbi Eliezer and the Chachamim who require two witnesses for the
Kinuy. Consequently, everyone knows about the warning and it is the husband
who becomes angry with his wife, when she takes it out of him for g her.