ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf Sotah 11
SOTAH 11 - Dedicated in memory of Max (Meir Menachem ben Shlomo ha'Levy)
Turkel, whose Yahrzeit is 5 Teves, by his wife Jean and sons Eddie and
(a) We need to say that when Avshalom put up a monument because he had no
children, he meant that he had no children who were fit to reign - because
the Pasuk in Sh'muel specifically states that he had three sons and one
(b) We resolve the discrepancy by referring to a tradition which tragically,
involved Avshalom; namely - that anyone who burns someone's produce will not
leave children after him to inherit his property.
(c) Avshalom ordered his servants to burn Yo'av's barley-fields.
(a) The Tana of our Mishnah says 've'Chein le'Inyan Hatavah'. The problem
with this is - the fact that they are not identical, seeing as by the
measure of good, the reward ('is not just 'measure for measure' like in the
case of the bad, but actually) exceeds the good that the person did, as we
(b) Rava rejects Abaye's suggestion, that what the Tana really meant to say
was 'u'le'Inyan Hatavah Eino Kein', because we cannot amend a Mishnah by
changing positive into negative or vice-versa. According to him - 've'Chein
le'Inyan Hatavah' pertains exclusively to the type of reward that one
receives, but not to the amount involved.
(c) Each word in the Pasuk in Sh'mos "Va'teisatzav Achoso me'Rachok
Le'dei'ah Mah Ye'aseh Lo" refers to the Shechinah, as we prove from other
(a) Rav and Shmuel argue over the Pasuk in Sh'mos "Va'yakam Melech Chadash
al Mitzrayim". One of them interprets "Chadash" literally. The other one
explains it to mean that it was his decrees that were renewed, but that it
was the same Par'oh as before - because otherwise the Torah should have
recorded that he died, and that his successor took over, as it usually does.
(b) This opinion explains the Pasuk "Asher Lo Yada es Yosef" to mean - that
he made out as if he did not know Yosef.
(c) "u've'Cha u've'Amcha u've'Chol Avadecha ... ". Par'oh was punished
first - because it was he who first opened the proceedings by suggesting to
the people that they enslave Yisrael and drown their babies.
(d) This Pasuk is written by the plague of frogs.
(a) Despite the fact that Par'oh was referring to the whole of Yisrael, he
nevertheless said "Havah Nischakmah Lo" (in the singular) and not "Lahem"
(in the plural) - because this phrase was referring to the Savior of Yisrael
(Hashem), in a vain attempt to outwit Him (Kevayachol).
(b) He rejected the idea of destroying Yisrael by fire or by the sword -
because of the Pasuk in Yeshayah, which describes how Hashem punishes the
nations with these two elements.
(c) So he decided to drown the Jewish babies, in the mistaken belief that -
due to Hashem's promise following the flood that He would never again
destroy the world in that way, He would not be able to retaliate.
(d) He erred on two scores however - firstly, Egypt was not the entire
world; secondly, (even though He could not retaliate by bringing the water
to them - the definition of flooding), He could (and did) bring them to the
water (the definition of drowning).
(a) We explain the Pasuk "Ki ba'Davar Asher *Zadu* Aleihem" - to mean that
'they were cooked in the same pot in which they cooked' (similar to the word
the Torah writes in Toldos "Va'yazed Ya'akov *Nazid*").
(b) We list three people who participated in the plot against Yisrael. The
role played by ...
1. ... Bil'am - was to advise Par'oh to go ahead with his plan. His
punishment - was that he died by the sword.
(c) Among the descendants of Yisro were the disciples of Ya'avatz, a
distinguished Torah scholar who had many disciples (as the Torah writes in
Divrei Hayamim "Heimah ha'Keinim" - and "Keini" refers to Yisro). The Pasuk
describes them as ...
2. ... Iyov - was remaining silent, for which he was made to suffer (until
he cried out).
3. ... Yisro - was to run away, for which his descendants became members of
1. ... "Tar'asim" (besides the fact that they heard the Teru'ah [the tone of
the Shofar] at Har Sinai) - because they sat at the gates of Yerushalayim
(i.e. in the Sanhedrin).
(d) They were called Mishpachas Sofrim - because they were members of the
2. ... "Shema'atim" - because they obeyed the orders of their father
(Yonadav ben Reichav).
3. ... "Sochsim" - because they lived in tents, rather than build houses
(one of their father's instructions).
(a) When Par'oh said (with regard to K'lal Yisrael) "ve'Nilcham Banu Ve'alu
min ha'Aretz"- he meant that they themselves would be forced to flee the
land (as if they had said "ve'Alinu" [only it is normal to deflect one's
curse on to someone else]).
(b) The Torah writes ...
1. ... "Va'yasimu Alav Sarei Misim", and not "Va'yasimu Aleihem Sarei
Misim" - to hint that Par'oh induced Yisrael to work by having a brick
placed around his own neck (to make out that he too was working like them).
(c) If a Jew claimed that he was too finicky to work - they would ask him
whether he was more finicky than Par'oh, who as a king, was unaccustomed to
work. So if *he* was able to do the work, so was anybody else.
2. ... "Lema'an Anoso be'Sivlosam", and not "Lema'an Anosam be'Sivlosam" -
for the same reason, because Par'oh initially suffered by forcing himself to
work together with them.
(a) Rav and Shmuel argue over the Pasuk "Va'yiven *Arei Miskenos*
le'Far'oh". One of them translates it as 'cities that endangered', because
all building is dangerous. The second explanation of 'cities that
endangered' is - that by enslaving Yisrael, the Egyptians placed their own
lives in danger at the Yam-Suf.
(b) The other one translates it as cities that 'impoverish', because such is
the nature of the building profession. The second explanation of 'that
impoverishes' is - that on account of it, Yisrael would later empty Egypt of
all its wealth.
(c) They also argue over Pisom and Ra'amses. According to one of them, the
real name of the city was Pisom, and they it was called it Ra'amses because
as they built part of it, it would fall (presumably due to the inferior
building materials with which the Egyptians supplied them). The other one
says - that its real name was Ra'amses, and they called it Pisom because 'Pi
Tehom Bol'o' (due to the fact that it was built in soft ground, as they
built it, it sunk into the ground).
(a) The Torah writes "ve'Cha'asher Ye'anu Osam Kein Yirbeh ve'Chein Yifrotz"
and not "Kein Rabah ve'Chein Paratz" - because it is Hashem saying that if
Par'oh subjugates Yisrael to prevent them from increasing ("Pen Yirbeh"), He
will make sure that they do increase ("Kein Yirbeh").
(b) "Va'yakutzu Mipnei B'nei Yisrael" means - that Egypt felt sick when they
saw Yisrael increasing (in spite of all their efforts).
(c) The Torah writes "Va'ya'avidu Mitzrayim es B'nei Yisrael be'Farech".
Some explain "be'Farech" literally (bi'P'richah - to break them). According
to others - "be'Farech" is the acronym of "be'Feh Rach" (with a soft mouth,
describing how the Egyptians induced Yisrael to work).
(d) We explain ...
1. ... that first "Va'yemareru es Chayeihem ... be'Chomer u'vi'Leveinim" and
later " ... u've'Chol Avodah ba'Sadeh".
2. ..."es Kol Avodasam Asher Avdu Bahem *be'Farech*" to mean - that they
made women do men's work and vice-versa. Those who previously explained
"be'Farech as 'be'Feh Rach' explain "be'Farech" literally (that they made
them work rigorously).
(a) Yisrael were redeemed from Egypt on the merits of the righteous women of
that generation (who remained totally faithful to their husbands), who
enticed their battered husbands to have children - by bringing them the
water they had drawn, half of which had turned into little fish (which are
good for child-birth) into the fields where they were working. They then
rejuvenated them by washing, anointing and feeding them.
(b) Their direct reward for this - was the vast wealth of Egypt, which
Yisrael took with them when they left.
(c) The Pasuk "Tachas ha'Tapu'ach Orartich" teaches us - that when their
time came to give birth, they went once again into the fields, and gave
birth under the apple (or Esrog)-trees.
(a) Hashem sent angels to clean the Jewish babies (that were born in the
fields) and made them look nice after they were born.
(b) The Pasuk ...
1. ... "Va'yeinikeihu D'vash mi'Sela, ve'Shemen me'Chalmish Tzur" - refers
to the round oil and honey cakes that Hashem prepared for those babies to
(c) The connection with the Pasuk "Zeh Keili Ve'anveihu" is - that it was
the babies who had witnessed these miracles and 'seen Hashem', who were the
first to point to the Shechinah that revealed itself at the Yam-Suf, and cry
out these words, because they recognized It from their first encounter.
2. ... "al-Gabi Charshu Chorshim" - refers to the Egyptians' attempt to kill
them by driving their plows over the new-born babies as they lay in the
3. ... "Revavah ke'Tzemach ha'Sadeh Nesatich ... " - refers to the miracle
that Hashem performed for them by sinking them deep into the ground until
the Egyptians had gone, when they sprouted from the earth like grass.
4. ... " ... Va'tirbi, Va'tig'deli Va'tavo'i *ba'Adi Adayim*" - which we
explain as if it had written " ... "be'Edrei Adarim", meaning that they then
flocked home in droves.
(a) Rav and Shmuel argue again over the identity of the two Jewish midwives
in Egypt. One of them says that it was a woman and her daughter, the other,
a woman and her daughter-in-law.
1. The woman and her daughter were - Yocheved and Miriam.
(b) The Beraisa supports the first opinion. One opinion there holds that
Yocheved was called Shifrah because she used to make the babies look nice,
and Miriam was called Pu'ah because her job was to soothe the babies when
they cried. The second reason that ...
2. ... woman and her daughter-in-law were - Yocheved and Elisheva bas
Aminadav (Aharon's wife).
1. ... Yocheved was called *Shifrah* - is that Yisrael increased rapidly in
her days ('*she'Paru* ve'Ravu be'Yamehah').
(c) "u'Re'isen al ha'Avnayim" means a birth-stool - but it also has
connotations of 'cold like a stone' (describing a woman's thighs when she
gives birth), a sign for the mid-wives to know that there had been a birth,
to prevent the mother from claiming that she had had a miscarriage earlier
and was now hiding the baby.
2. ... Miriam was called Pu'ah - because she 'cooed' with Ru'ach ha'Kodesh,
prophesying that her mother would give birth to a son who would save
(d) Par'oh also gave the midwives a sign whereby they would know immediately
whether the baby was a boy or a girl, enabling them to avoid suspicion by
killing the baby without even having to pick him up). If it is born face
down, it is a boy, he told them; whereas if it is born face up, then it is a
girl (in the same positions as they perform Tashmish).
(a) We learn from the fact the Torah writes "ve'Lo Asu Ka'asher Diber
*Aleihen* Melech Mitzrayim" (rather than "Lahen") - that Par'oh (did not
only issue them with instructions, but he) also accosted them?
(b) We learn from the Pasuk "Va'techayena es ha'Yeladim" - that the midwives
(not only failed to kill the Jewish babies, but they) also continued to keep
them alive after they grew a little older, by supplying them with water and
(c) Besides informing Par'oh that the Jewish women were too lively, and gave
birth before they even arrived, when the midwives told Par'oh that they were
not killing the babies "Ki Chayos Heinah" - they also implied that they were
like animals (who do not require midwives), based on the B'rachah of Ya'akov
Avinu, who compared many of the tribes to animals (Yehudah to a lion, Dan to
a snake, Naftali to a hind ... ).
(d) Even those tribes who are not compared to animals directly, are
nevertheless compared to them through a Pasuk in Yechezkel "Mah Imcha
Levi'ah" (and "Imcha" refers to K'lal Yisrael).
(a) For fearing G-d more than Par'oh, Hashem made them houses. Here too, Rav
and Shmuel state two opinions (though this does not appear to be a matter of
dispute). One of them says 'houses of Kehunah and Levi'ah', the other,
houses of kingship.
1. Houses of Kehunah and Levi'ah - refers to Moshe and Aharon.
(b) We learn from the Pesukim "va'Tamas Azuvah Va'yikach Lo Kalev es Efras"
and "ve'David Ben Ish Efrasi" - that kings descended from Miriam and Kalev
(though he was not a Ben Achar Ben; one of those descendants must have been
2. Houses of kingship refers to the kings of Malchus Beis David.
(c) The Pasuk in Divrei Hayamim lists the children of Kalev ben Chetzron,
whose son he was. Nevertheless, the Pasuk in Sh'lach-Lecha refers to him as
"Kalev ben Yefuneh" - because he turned away (Panah es Atzmo) from the spies
(d) The Pasuk in Shoftim refers to Osni'el ben K'naz as Kalev's brother, not
because he was Kalev's brother - but because he was his step-brother
(because Kalev was really the son of K'naz's wife). We prove this from
another Pasuk in Yehoshua - which calls him "ha'Kenizi' (which it would not
have done had he been his son).