Sotah 25a:10סוטה כ״ה א:י
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25aכ״ה א

ושמואל אמר אנא דאמרי אפילו לרבי יאשיה מדאיצטריך קרא לרבוייה מכלל דלאו אשתו היא כלל

And Shmuel could have said: I state my opinion even according to the opinion of Rabbi Yoshiya. Since it was necessary for the verse to specifically include in the sota ritual a yevama who engaged in sexual intercourse with her yavam, by inference one may conclude that she is not his wife at all with regard to any matters other than those explicit in the verse.

איבעיא להו עוברת על דת צריכה התראה להפסידה כתובתה או אינה צריכה מי אמרינן כיון דעוברת על דת היא לא בעיא התראה או דלמא תיבעי התראה דאי הדרה בה תיהדר בה

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: With regard to a woman who violates the precepts of halakha or Jewish custom with regard to modesty, who may be divorced without payment of her marriage contract, is forewarning from her husband required in order to cause her to forfeit her right to collect payment of her marriage contract or is forewarning not required? Do we say that since she is a woman who violates the precepts, forewarning is not required, as she is aware that her actions are prohibited? Or perhaps forewarning is required, so that if she desires to repent, she will be reminded to repent?

ת"ש ארוסה ושומרת יבם לא שותות ולא נוטלות כתובה מישתא הוא דלא שתיא הא קנויי מקני לה למאי לאו להפסידה כתובתה

The Gemara suggests: Come and hear a proof from the mishna: A betrothed woman and a widow awaiting her yavam neither drink the bitter water nor collect payment of their marriage contracts. It is possible to infer that she does not drink, but the husband or yavam can warn her against secluding herself with another man. For what halakha is his warning relevant? Is it not relevant to cause her to forfeit her right to collect payment of her marriage contract? Accordingly, a woman forfeits payment of her marriage contract due to immodest behavior only if she is warned.

אמר אביי לא לאוסרה עליו רב פפא אמר להשקותה כשהיא נשואה כדתניא אין מקנין לארוסה להשקותה כשהיא ארוסה אבל מקנין לארוסה להשקותה כשהיא נשואה

Abaye said: No, the relevance of the warning of the husband or yavam is to render her forbidden to him in the event that she secludes herself with another man. Rav Pappa said: The relevance of the warning is to have her drink if she secludes herself with another man when she is married, as it is taught in a baraita: One does not issue a warning to a betrothed woman in order to have her drink while she is betrothed. However, one can issue a warning to a betrothed woman in order to have her drink when she is married.

אמר רבא ת"ש אלמנה לכהן גדול גרושה וחלוצה לכהן הדיוט ממזרת ונתינה לישראל בת ישראל לממזר ולנתין לא שותות ולא נוטלות כתובה

Rava said: Come and hear a proof from the continuation of the mishna: A widow who was married to a High Priest, or a ḥalutza who was married to a common priest, or a mamzeret or Gibeonite woman who was married to a Jew of unflawed lineage, or a Jewish woman of unflawed lineage who was married to a mamzer or a Gibeonite; all of these women neither drink the bitter water nor collect payment of their marriage contracts.

מישתא הוא דלא שתיא הא קנויי מקני להו ולמאי אי לאוסרן עליו הא אסירן וקיימן אלא לאו להפסידן כתובתן

The Gemara infers: She does not drink, but the husband or yavam can warn her against secluding herself with another man. But for what halakha is his warning relevant? If it is in order to prohibit these women to him, aren’t they currently prohibited to him? Rather, is it not relevant to cause them to forfeit their rights to collect payment of their marriage contracts? This indicates that only when a woman is warned in advance does her immodest behavior cause her to forfeit her right to collect payment of her marriage contract.

אמר רב יהודה מדיסקרתא לא לאוסרה לבועל כבעל דתנן כשם שאסורה לבעל כך אסורה לבועל

Rav Yehuda of Diskarta said: No, the relevance of the warning is to render her permanently forbidden to her paramour, should she seclude herself with him, just as she would become forbidden to her husband, as we learned in a mishna (27b): Just as she is forbidden to her husband, so is she forbidden to her paramour.

א"ר חנינא מסורא ת"ש ואלו שבית דין מקנין להן מי שנתחרש בעלה או נשתטה או שהיה חבוש בבית האסורין ולא להשקותה אמרו אלא לפוסלה מכתובתה ש"מ בעי התראה ש"מ

Rav Ḥanina of Sura said: Come and hear a proof from the continuation of the mishna: And these are the women to whom the court issues a warning in place of their husbands: One whose husband became a deaf-mute or became an imbecile, or was incarcerated in prison. And the Sages said that the court warns her not in order to have her drink the bitter water if she disobeys the warning; rather in order to disqualify her from receiving payment of her marriage contract. Since the sole purpose of the warning issued by the court is to disqualify her from receiving payment of her marriage contract in the event she secludes herself with the man, one can learn from the mishna that similarly, a woman who violates the precepts requires forewarning. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, one can learn from the mishna that a warning is required.

וכולהו מאי טעמא לא אמרי מהא דלמא שאני התם דלית לה אימתא דבעל כלל

The Gemara asks: With regard to all of the other Sages, who proposed inconclusive proofs from other clauses of the mishna, what is the reason they did not say that proof can be adduced from this explicit statement? The Gemara answers: They reasoned that perhaps it is different there, as the wife has no fear of her husband at all, since he is either incapacitated or incarcerated, and therefore she must be warned first. In other cases, an explicit warning is unnecessary.

איבעיא להו עוברת על דת ורצה בעל לקיימה מקיימה או אינו מקיימה מי אמרינן בקפידא דבעל תלא רחמנא והא לא קפיד או דלמא כיון דקפיד קפיד

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If a woman violates the precepts and her husband desires to maintain her as his wife, may he maintain her as his wife or may he not maintain her as his wife? Do we say that the Merciful One made the requirement to divorce her dependent on the husband’s objection to her behavior, and as this husband does not raise an objection he may maintain her as his wife? Or perhaps, since the Torah objects to this behavior, it is considered as though he objected, as the requirement to divorce her is due to the Torah’s objection to this behavior, irrespective of the husband’s wishes.

ת"ש ואלו שבית דין מקנין להן מי שנתחרש בעלה או נשתטה או שהיה חבוש בבית האסורין ואי אמרת רצה בעל לקיימה מקיימה עבדי ב"ד מידי דדלמא לא ניחא ליה לבעל סתמא דמילתא כיון דעוברת על דת היא מינח ניחא ליה

The Gemara cites poof: Come and hear the mishna: And these are the women to whom the court issues a warning in place of their husbands: One whose husband became a deaf-mute or became an imbecile, or was incarcerated in prison. And if you say that should the husband desire to maintain her as his wife he may maintain her as his wife, perhaps he may not want the court to warn her. Would the court perform a matter that is perhaps not amenable to the husband? The Gemara replies: The ordinary situation is that since she is violating the precepts, it is amenable to the husband to divorce her, and the court acts under this assumption.

איבעיא להו בעל שמחל על קינויו קינויו מחול או אינו מחול מי אמרינן בקינוי דבעל תלא רחמנא ובעל הא מחיל ליה לקינויו או דלמא כיון דקני ליה מעיקרא לא מצי מחיל ליה

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: With regard to a husband who issued a warning to his wife and later retracted his warning, as he did not wish his wife to acquire the status of a sota, is his warning retracted, or is it not retracted? Do we say that the Merciful One made acquiring the status of a sota dependent on the husband’s warning, and the husband retracted his warning? Or perhaps, since he warned her at the outset, he can no longer retract his warning?

ת"ש ואלו שב"ד מקנין להן מי שנתחרש בעלה או נשתטה או שהיה חבוש בבית האסורין ואי אמרת בעל שמחל על קינויו קינויו מחול עבדינן מידי דאתי בעל מחיל ליה סתמא דמלתא אדם מסכים על דעת ב"ד

The Gemara cites proof that the husband cannot retract his warning: Come and hear the mishna: And these are the women to whom the court issues a warning in place of their husbands: One whose husband became a deaf-mute or became an imbecile, or was incarcerated in prison. And if you say that in the case of a husband who retracted his warning, his warning is retracted, would we, i.e., the court, do something that the husband can come and retract? This would cause a diminution of the esteem of the court. The Gemara replies: The ordinary situation is that a person concurs with the opinion of the court and would not retract a warning issued by the court, so this is not a concern. Therefore, no proof can be brought from the mishna.

ת"ש ומוסרין לו שני ת"ח שמא יבא עליה בדרך ואי אמרת בעל שמחל על קינויו קינויו מחול לחליה לקינויה ולבעול

The Gemara cites proof: Come and hear another mishna (7a): When the husband takes the sota to the Temple, he first takes her to the local court, and the court provides him with two Torah scholars who accompany them, lest he engage in sexual intercourse with her on the way to the Temple, which is prohibited due to her status as a sota. And if you say that with regard to a husband who retracted his warning, his warning is retracted, let him retract his warning and engage in sexual intercourse with her.

מ"ש תלמידי חכמים דגמירי דאי בעי למיבעל אמרי ליה אחליה לקינוייך ובעלה

The Gemara replies that perhaps the husband can retract his warning: What is different about Torah scholars that they are chosen to accompany the husband? They differ from other people as they are learned, and if they see that the husband desires to engage in sexual intercourse with his wife, they say to him: Retract your warning and then you may engage in sexual intercourse with her in a permitted manner.

ת"ש דאמר ר' יאשיה שלשה דברים סח לי זעירא מאנשי ירושלים בעל שמחל על קינויו קינויו מחול וזקן ממרא שרצו בית דין למחול לו מוחלין לו ובן סורר ומורה שרצו אביו ואמו למחול לו מוחלין לו

The Gemara cites proof: Come and hear that which Rabbi Yoshiya says: Ze’eira, who was one of the men of Jerusalem, told me three matters: A husband who retracted his warning, his warning is retracted; and in the case of a rebellious Elder whom the court wishes to forgive, the court may forgive him; and in the case of a stubborn and rebellious son whose father and mother wish to forgive him for his sins, they may forgive him.

וכשבאתי אצל חבירי שבדרום על שנים הודו לי ועל זקן ממרא לא הודו לי שלא ירבו מחלוקת בישראל ש"מ בעל שמחל על קינויו קינויו מחול ש"מ

And when I came to my colleagues in the South and told them these rulings, they agreed with me with regard to two of them, but with regard to forgiving a rebellious Elder they did not agree with me. They held that a rebellious Elder cannot be forgiven, in order that discord not proliferate among the Jewish people. The Gemara comments: One can conclude from Rabbi Yoshiya’s statement that with regard to a husband who retracted his warning, his warning is retracted. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, one can conclude from Rabbi Yoshiya’s statement that the husband can retract his warning.

פליגי בה רב אחא ורבינא חד אמר קודם סתירה מחול לאחר סתירה אינו מחול וחד אמר לאחר סתירה נמי מחול ומסתברא כמאן דאמר אינו מחול

Rav Aḥa and Ravina disagree with regard to the limits of this halakha permitting a husband to retract his warning. One says that if he retracts his warning before her seclusion with another man, his warning is retracted, but if he retracts his warning after her seclusion with another man, it is not retracted. And one says that if he retracts his warning after her seclusion with another man, it is also retracted. And it is reasonable to hold according to the one who says that the husband’s warning is not retracted after her seclusion with another man.

ממאי מדקא מהדרי רבנן לרבי יוסי דתניא רבי יוסי אומר בעלה נאמן עליה מקל וחומר ומה נדה שהיא בכרת בעלה נאמן עליה סוטה שהיא בלאו לא כל שכן

The Gemara asks: From where can one derive that after the wife’s seclusion with another man, the warning cannot be retracted? It can be derived from the answer that the Rabbis gave in reply to Rabbi Yosei, as it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yosei says: It is unnecessary to provide an escort to accompany the sota and her husband, as the husband of a sota is trusted not to engage in sexual intercourse with her, on the basis of an a fortiori inference: And just as in the case of a menstruating woman, who is prohibited from engaging in sexual intercourse with her husband by penalty of karet, her husband is nevertheless trusted with regard to her, as he is permitted to seclude himself with her, so too, with regard to a sota, who is prohibited from engaging in sexual intercourse with her husband only by an ordinary prohibition, is it not all the more so that he should be trusted?

אמרו לו לא אם אמרת בנדה שכן יש לה היתר תאמר בסוטה שאין לה היתר

The Rabbis said to Rabbi Yosei: No, if you say that he is trusted with regard to a menstruating woman, the reason is not due to the severity of the prohibition. Rather, he is trusted because she has the ability to become permitted to her husband after her menstrual flow has ceased and she has immersed in a ritual bath. Shall you also say that he is trusted with regard to a sota, who potentially does not have the ability to become permitted to her husband, due to her suspected adultery?

ואי אמרת לאחר סתירה מחול לה משכחת לה דיש לה היתר דאי בעי מחיל ליה לקינויה ובעיל אלא ש"מ לאחר סתירה אינו מחול שמע מינה

The Gemara explains the proof: And if you say that after her seclusion with another man the warning can be retracted for her, you therefore find an instance in which the sota has the ability to become permitted to her husband, as, if the husband desires he can retract his warning and engage in sexual intercourse with her. Rather, conclude from the Rabbis’ statement that if he retracts his warning after her seclusion with another man, the warning is not retracted. The Gemara concludes: Indeed, one can conclude from the Rabbis’ statement that the warning cannot be retracted.

מתו בעליהן עד שלא שתו ב"ש כו' במאי קמיפלגי בית שמאי סברי שטר העומד לגבות כגבוי דמי

§ The mishna states: If the husbands of the sota women died before their wives drank the bitter water, Beit Shammai say: They collect payment of their marriage contracts and they do not drink the bitter water. And Beit Hillel say: They either drink the bitter water or they do not collect payment of their marriage contracts. The Gemara asks: With regard to what do Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel disagree? The Gemara answers: Beit Shammai hold that a promissory note that stands to be collected is considered to be as though it was already collected, and since the woman possesses the marriage contract, the payment of the marriage contract is considered as though it is already in her possession. Since the burden of proof rests upon the claimant, she does not lose her rights to the money unless the inheritors prove that she committed adultery.