Sotah 14a:3סוטה י״ד א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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14aי״ד א

גסטרא של בית פעור הראנו היכן משה קבור עמדו למעלה נדמה להם למטה למטה נדמה להם למעלה נחלקו לשתי כיתות אותן שעומדים למעלה נדמה להן למטה למטה נדמה להן למעלה לקיים מה שנאמר (דברים לד, ו) ולא ידע איש את קבורתו

the garrison [gastera] of Beth Peor and said to them: Show us where Moses is buried. As the men stood above on the upper section of the mountain, it appeared to them as if the grave was below in the lower section. As they stood below, it appeared to them to be above. They divided into two groups, one above and one below. To those who were standing above, the grave appeared to them to be below; to those who were standing below, the grave appeared to them to be above, to fulfill that which is stated: “And no man knows of his grave to this day” (Deuteronomy 34:6).

ר' חמא בר' חנינא אמר אף משה רבינו אינו יודע היכן קבור כתיב הכא ולא ידע איש את קבורתו וכתיב התם (דברים לג, א) וזאת הברכה אשר ברך משה איש האלהים וא"ר חמא ברבי חנינא מפני מה נקבר משה אצל בית פעור כדי לכפר על מעשה פעור

Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: Even Moses our teacher himself does not know where he is buried. It is written here: “And no man knows of his grave,” and it is written there: “And this is the blessing wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death” (Deuteronomy 33:1). In other words, even Moses, as he is referred to by the term “man,” does not know his burial place. And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: For what reason was Moses buried near Beth Peor? In order to atone for the incident that transpired at Beth Peor (Numbers, chapter 25).

ואמר רבי חמא ברבי חנינא מאי דכתיב (דברים יג, ה) אחרי ה' אלהיכם תלכו וכי אפשר לו לאדם להלך אחר שכינה והלא כבר נאמר (דברים ד, כד) כי ה' אלהיך אש אוכלה הוא

And Rabbi Ḥama, son of Rabbi Ḥanina, says: What is the meaning of that which is written: “After the Lord your God shall you walk, and Him shall you fear, and His commandments shall you keep, and unto His voice shall you hearken, and Him shall you serve, and unto Him shall you cleave” (Deuteronomy 13:5)? But is it actually possible for a person to follow the Divine Presence? But hasn’t it already been stated: “For the Lord your God is a devouring fire, a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 4:24), and one cannot approach fire.

אלא להלך אחר מדותיו של הקב"ה מה הוא מלביש ערומים דכתיב (בראשית ג, כא) ויעש ה' אלהים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם אף אתה הלבש ערומים הקב"ה ביקר חולים דכתיב (בראשית יח, א) וירא אליו ה' באלוני ממרא אף אתה בקר חולים הקב"ה ניחם אבלים דכתיב (בראשית כה, יא) ויהי אחרי מות אברהם ויברך אלהים את יצחק בנו אף אתה נחם אבלים הקב"ה קבר מתים דכתיב (דברים לד, ו) ויקבר אותו בגיא אף אתה קבור מתים

He explains: Rather, the meaning is that one should follow the attributes of the Holy One, Blessed be He. He provides several examples. Just as He clothes the naked, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21), so too, should you clothe the naked. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, visits the sick, as it is written with regard to God’s appearing to Abraham following his circumcision: “And the Lord appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre” (Genesis 18:1), so too, should you visit the sick. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, consoles mourners, as it is written: “And it came to pass after the death of Abraham, that God blessed Isaac his son” (Genesis 25:11), so too, should you console mourners. Just as the Holy One, Blessed be He, buried the dead, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6), so too, should you bury the dead.

כתנות עור רב ושמואל חד אמר דבר הבא מן העור וחד אמר דבר שהעור נהנה ממנו

The Gemara discusses the verse: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). Rav and Shmuel disagree as to the meaning of the term “garments of skin.” One says that these garments were made of something that comes from the skin, and one says that these garments were something from which the skin benefits.

דרש ר' שמלאי תורה תחלתה גמילות חסדים וסופה גמילות חסדים תחילתה גמילות חסדים דכתיב ויעש ה' אלהים לאדם ולאשתו כתנות עור וילבישם וסופה גמילות חסדים דכתיב ויקבר אותו בגיא

Rabbi Samlai taught: With regard to the Torah, its beginning is an act of kindness and its end is an act of kindness. Its beginning is an act of kindness, as it is written: “And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). And its end is an act of kindness, as it is written: “And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab” (Deuteronomy 34:6).

דרש רבי שמלאי מפני מה נתאוה משה רבינו ליכנס לא"י וכי לאכול מפריה הוא צריך או לשבוע מטובה הוא צריך אלא כך אמר משה הרבה מצות נצטוו ישראל ואין מתקיימין אלא בא"י אכנס אני לארץ כדי שיתקיימו כולן על ידי

Rabbi Samlai taught: For what reason did Moses our teacher greatly desire to enter Eretz Yisrael? Did he need to eat of its produce, or did he need to satisfy himself from its goodness? Rather, this is what Moses said: Many mitzvot were commanded to the Jewish people, and some of them can be fulfilled only in Eretz Yisrael, so I will enter the land in order that they can all be fulfilled by me.

אמר לו הקב"ה כלום אתה מבקש אלא לקבל שכר מעלה אני עליך כאילו עשיתם שנאמר (ישעיהו נג, יב) לכן אחלק לו ברבים ואת עצומים יחלק שלל תחת אשר הערה למות נפשו ואת פושעים נמנה והוא חטא רבים נשא ולפושעים יפגיע

The Holy One, Blessed be He, said to him: Do you seek to enter the land to perform these mitzvot for any reason other than to receive a reward? I will ascribe you credit as if you had performed them and you will receive your reward, as it is stated: “Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the mighty; because he bared his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12).

לכן אחלק לו ברבים יכול כאחרונים ולא כראשונים ת"ל ואת עצומים יחלק שלל כאברהם יצחק ויעקב שהן עצומים בתורה ובמצות תחת אשר הערה למות נפשו שמסר עצמו למיתה שנאמר (שמות לב, לב) ואם אין מחני נא וגו'

Rabbi Samlai proceeds to expound the verse “Therefore will I divide him a portion among the great” to mean that he will receive reward. One might have thought that he will receive reward like the later ones and not like the earlier ones, so the verse states: “And he shall divide the spoil with the mighty,” meaning like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who were mighty in Torah and in mitzvot. “Because he bared his soul unto death,” meaning he gave himself over to death on behalf of the Jewish people, as it is stated: “Yet now, if You will forgive their sin; and if not, blot me, I pray You, out of Your book that You have written” (Exodus 32:32).

ואת פושעים נמנה שנמנה עם מתי מדבר והוא חטא רבים נשא שכיפר על מעשה העגל ולפושעים יפגיע שביקש רחמים על פושעי ישראל שיחזרו בתשובה ואין פגיעה אלא תפלה שנאמר (ירמיהו ז, טז) ואתה אל תתפלל בעד העם הזה ואל תשא בעדם רנה ותפלה ואל תפגע בי

“And was numbered with the transgressors,” meaning that he was counted among those who died in the desert, for, just like them, he did not enter Eretz Yisrael. “Yet he bore the sin of many,” as he atoned for the incident of the Golden Calf. “And made intercession [yafgia] for the transgressors,” as he requested mercy for the sinners of Israel so that they should engage in repentance. And the word pegia means nothing other than prayer, as it is stated: “Therefore pray not you for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession [tifga] to Me; for I will not hear you” (Jeremiah 7:16).



הדרן עלך המקנא לאשתו

מתני׳ היה מביא את מנחתה בתוך כפיפה מצרית ונותנה על ידיה כדי ליגעה

MISHNA: The husband of the sota would bring his wife’s meal-offering to the priest in an Egyptian wicker basket made of palm branches, and he would place the meal-offering in her hands for her to hold throughout the ritual in order to fatigue her. This might lead her to confess her guilt and not drink the water of a sota unnecessarily.

כל המנחות תחילתן וסופן בכלי שרת וזו תחלתה בכפיפה מצרית וסופה בכלי שרת

The mishna lists differences between this meal-offering and other meal-offerings. Generally, all meal-offerings, from their beginnings, i.e., the moment they are consecrated, and until their ends, i.e., the moment they are sacrificed, must be in a service vessel. But in the case of this one, its beginning is in a wicker basket and only at its end, immediately before it is offered, is it placed in a service vessel.

כל המנחות טעונות שמן ולבונה וזו אינה טעונה לא שמן ולא לבונה כל המנחות באות מן החטין וזו באה מן השעורין מנחת העומר אע"פ שבאה מן השעורין היא היתה באה גרש וזו באה קמח ר"ג אומר כשם שמעשיה מעשה בהמה כך קרבנה מאכל בהמה

All other meal-offerings require oil and frankincense, and this one requires neither oil nor frankincense. Furthermore, all other meal-offerings are brought from wheat, and this one is brought from barley. Although in fact the omer meal-offering is also brought from barley, it is still different in that it was brought as groats, i.e., high-quality meal. The meal-offering of the sota, however, is brought as unsifted barley flour. Rabban Gamliel says: This hints that just as her actions of seclusion with another man were the actions of an animal, so too her offering is animal food, i.e., barley and not wheat.

גמ׳ תניא אבא חנין אומר משום רבי אליעזר (וכל כך למה) כדי ליגעה כדי שתחזור בה אם ככה חסה תורה על עוברי רצונו קל וחומר על עושי רצונו

GEMARA: It is taught in a baraita that Abba Ḥanin says in the name of Rabbi Eliezer: And why is so much done to her? It is in order to fatigue her, so that she will retract and confess her guilt and be spared death. And if the Torah is so protective of those who transgress His will, i.e., the sota, who secluded herself with the man she was warned against, then by a fortiori inference He is protective of those who do His will.

וממאי משום דחסה הוא דילמא כי היכי דלא תימחק מגילה קסבר

The Gemara asks: And from where is it derived that they attempt to induce her to confess because the Torah is protective of the sota? Perhaps it is in order that the scroll of the sota, containing the name of God, will not be erased. The Gemara responds: Rabbi Eliezer holds