Sotah 20bסוטה כ׳ ב
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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20bכ׳ ב

חוץ מפרשת סוטה בלבד רבי יעקב אומר משמו חוץ מפרשת סוטה של מקדש מאי בינייהו א"ר ירמיה למחוק לה מן התורה איכא בינייהו

except for the ink used to write the Torah passage about the sota, even when written in a Torah scroll. Rabbi Ya’akov says in the name of Rabbi Meir: It is except for the ink used to write the scroll with the sota passage used in the Temple. The Gemara asks: What is the difference between these two opinions? The Gemara replies: Rabbi Yirmeya says that there is a difference between them with regard to whether it is permitted to erase the passage for the sota from a Torah scroll. According to Rabbi Yehuda, Rabbi Meir holds that this is permitted, and therefore the passage in the Torah scroll must be written with ink that does not contain copper sulfate, so that it can be erased. By contrast, according to Rabbi Ya’akov, Rabbi Meir holds that it is prohibited to erase the passage from a Torah scroll, and therefore the passage may be written with ink containing copper sulfate.

והני תנאי כי הני תנאי דתניא אין מגילתה כשירה להשקות בה סוטה אחרת רבי אחי בר יאשיה אומר מגילתה כשירה להשקות בה סוטה אחרת

The Gemara assumes that according to Rabbi Ya’akov it is prohibited to erase the passage from a Torah scroll, since he holds that the scroll must be written for the sake of the sota, whereas Rabbi Yehuda, who permits this, holds that the scroll need not be written for the sake of the sota. And therefore, the opinions of these tanna’im are parallel to the opinions of those tanna’im, as it is taught in a baraita: The scroll of one sota is not fit to be used in the preparation of the water to give to another sota to drink, as it was not written for the sake of the other sota. Rabbi Aḥai bar Yoshiya says: Her scroll is fit to be used in the preparation of the water to give to another sota to drink, since it does not need to be written for the sake of the sota.

אמר רב פפא דילמא לא היא עד כאן לא קאמר ת"ק התם אלא כיון דאינתיק לשום רחל לא הדרא מינתקא לשום לאה אבל תורה דסתמא כתיבה הכי נמי דמחקינן

Rav Pappa said: Perhaps that is not so, and the two disputes are not comparable. It is possible that the first tanna of the baraita states that the scroll may not be used for another sota only there, in the case if a scroll written for a specific woman; since it was originally designated in the name of one woman, e.g., Rachel, it cannot again be designated in the name of another woman, e.g., Leah. However, in the case of a Torah scroll, which is written without specifying anyone, indeed we may erase the passage to prepare the water for a sota even though it was not written for her sake.

אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק דילמא לא היא עד כאן לא קאמר רבי אחי בר יאשיה התם אלא במגילה דאיכתוב לשום אלות בעולם אבל תורה דלהתלמד כתיבה הכי נמי דלא מחקינן

Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said that the comparison between the two disputes can be refuted for a different reason: Perhaps that is not so. It is possible that Rabbi Aḥai bar Yoshiya states that the scroll may be used for another sota only there, with regard to the scroll written for a specific sota, as it was written for the purpose of the curses of a sota in general. However, in the case of a Torah scroll, which is written to be learned from, indeed we may not erase it for a sota, as it was not written for the sake of a sota at all.

ורבי אחי בר יאשיה לית ליה כתב לגרש את אשתו ונמלך מצאו בן עירו ואמר לו שמי כשמך ושם אשתי כשם אשתך פסול לגרש בו

The Gemara asks: And doesn’t Rabbi Aḥai bar Yoshiya hold in accordance with that which is taught in a mishna (Gittin 24a): With regard to one who wrote a bill of divorce with which to divorce his wife but later reconsidered and did not divorce her, if a resident of his city found him and said to him: My name is the same as your name, and my wife’s name is the same as your wife’s name; give me the bill of divorce, and I will use it to divorce my wife, it is unfit to divorce the other woman with it. The reason for this is that it was written for the sake of another woman. Seemingly, the same principle should apply with regard to the scroll of a sota.

אמרי התם (דברים כד, א) וכתב לה אמר רחמנא בעינן כתיבה לשמה הכא נמי (במדבר ה, ל) ועשה לה מאי עשייה מחיקה

The Sages say in response: There, with regard to a bill of divorce, the Merciful One states: “And he shall write for her a bill of divorce” (Deuteronomy 24:1). This teaches that we require the writing to be performed for the sake of the specific woman. However, no similar requirement is mentioned with regard to a sota. The Gemara asks: Here, too, with regard to the sota, the verse states: “And the priest shall perform with her all of this law” (Numbers 5:30), indicating that the ritual must be performed for the sake of the specific woman. The Gemara answers: What is the performance referred to in the verse? It is referring to the erasure, whereas the writing need not be done for the sake of a specific woman.

אינה מספקת לשתות עד שפניה [כו'] מני ר"ש היא דאמר מקריב את מנחתה ואח"כ משקה דכמה דלא קרבה מנחתה לא בדקי לה מיא דכתיב (במדבר ה, טו) מנחת זכרון מזכרת עון

§ The mishna states: When a guilty woman drinks she does not manage to finish drinking before her face turns green and her eyes bulge, and her skin becomes full of protruding veins. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion is this mishna, which indicates that the water evaluates her while she is still drinking? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, who says: The priest sacrifices her meal-offering and afterward forces her to drink, because according to the opinion of the Rabbis the meal-offering is sacrificed only after she drinks, and as long as her meal-offering has not been sacrificed the water does not evaluate her, as it is written: “And he shall bring her offering for her…for it is a meal-offering of jealousy, a meal-offering of remembrance, a reminder of iniquity” (Numbers 5:15).

אימא סיפא יש לה זכות היתה תולה לה אתאן לרבנן דאי ר"ש האמר אין זכות תולה במים המרים

The Gemara asks: Say the latter clause of the mishna: If she has merit, it delays her punishment for her. We arrive at the opinion of the Rabbis, as, if this statement were in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shimon, didn’t he say: Merit does not delay punishment in the case of the bitter water of a sota?

אמר רב חסדא הא מני ר"ע היא דאמר מקריב את מנחתה ואח"כ משקה ובזכות סבר לה כרבנן

Rav Ḥisda said: In accordance with whose opinion is this mishna? It is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, who says: The priest sacrifices her meal-offering and afterward forces her to drink. With regard to the order of the ritual he holds in accordance with Rabbi Shimon, and with regard to the matter of merit delaying punishment, he holds in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis.

והם אומרים הוציאוה וכו' מ"ט דדילמא מתה למימרא דמת אסור במחנה לויה

§ The mishna states: And the people standing in the Temple say: Remove her, so that she does not render the Temple courtyard impure. The Gemara explains: What is the reason for this? It is lest she die there immediately and render the women’s courtyard, where she drinks the water, impure. The Gemara asks: Is this to say that a corpse is prohibited from being in the women’s courtyard, which has the same status as the Levite camp in the desert?

והתניא טמא מת מותר ליכנס למחנה לויה ולא טמא מת בלבד אמרו אלא אפילו מת עצמו שנאמר (שמות יג, יט) ויקח משה את עצמות יוסף עמו עמו במחיצתו

But isn’t it taught in a baraita: One who is ritually impure with impurity imparted by a corpse is permitted to enter the Levite camp. And the Sages said this not only with regard to one who is ritually impure with impurity imparted by a corpse; rather, even a corpse itself may be brought into the Levite camp, as it is stated: “And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him” (Exodus 13:19), which is interpreted to mean: With him, in his vicinity, even though Moses was in the Levite camp.

אמר אביי שמא תפרוס נדה למימרא דבעיתותא מרפיא אין דכתיב (אסתר ד, ד) ותתחלחל המלכה מאד ואמר רב שפירסה נדה והא אנן תנן חרדה מסלקת דמים פחדא צמית ביעתותא מרפיא

Abaye said: The woman is removed not due to a concern that she will die there but lest the fear of the water cause her to begin to menstruate, and it is prohibited for a menstruating woman to enter the Levite camp. The Gemara asks: Is this to say that fear causes muscular relaxation and menstrual bleeding? The Gemara responds: Yes, as it is written: “And the Queen was exceedingly pained” (Esther 4:4), and Rav says: This means that she began to menstruate. The Gemara asks: But didn’t we learn in a mishna (Nidda 39a) that trepidation eliminates the flow of menstrual blood? Presumably, the sota experiences trepidation. The Gemara answers: Trepidation generated by extended worry contracts the muscles and prevents the blood from flowing, but sudden fear relaxes the muscles and causes the blood to flow.

יש לה זכות היתה וכו' מני מתני' לא אבא יוסי בן חנן ולא ר"א בן יצחק איש כפר דרום ולא רבי ישמעאל

§ The mishna states: If she has merit, it delays punishment…for one year…for two years…for three years. The Gemara asks: Whose opinion is expressed in the mishna? It is not the opinion of Abba Yosei ben Ḥanan, and not the opinion of Rabbi Elazar ben Yitzḥak of Kefar Darom, and not the opinion of Rabbi Yishmael.

דתניא אם יש לה זכות תולה לה שלשה חדשים כדי הכרת העובר דברי אבא יוסי בן חנן ר"א בן יצחק איש כפר דרום אומר ט' חדשים שנאמר (במדבר ה, כח) ונקתה ונזרעה זרע ולהלן הוא אומר (תהלים כב, לא) זרע יעבדנו יסופר זרע הראוי לספר

This is as it is taught in a baraita: If she has merit, it delays punishment for her for three months, equivalent to the time necessary to recognize the fetus; this is the statement of Abba Yosei ben Ḥanan. Rabbi Elazar ben Yitzḥak of Kefar Darom says: Merit delays punishment for nine months, as it is stated: “Then she shall be cleared, and shall conceive seed” (Numbers 5:28). It is possible to infer from this that if she has merit she will be cleared temporarily, for the length of time required to conceive a child, and there, in Psalms, it says: “A seed shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord unto the next generation” (Psalms 22:31). This indicates that the seed must be fit to tell of the Lord once it matures, and a child can live only if it is born after the culmination of nine months in the womb.

רבי ישמעאל אומר שנים עשר חדש ואע"פ שאין ראיה לדבר זכר לדבר דכתיב (דניאל ד, כד) להן מלכא מלכי ישפר עליך וחטיך בצדקה פרוק ועויתך במיחן ענין

Rabbi Yishmael says: Merit delays punishment for twelve months. And although there is no explicit proof for the concept of merit delaying punishment for twelve months, there is an allusion to the concept, as it is written that Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar after interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream concerning the evil which would befall him: “Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and redeem your sins with charity, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor;