Sotah 3bסוטה ג׳ ב
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3bג׳ ב

ורבי עקיבא א"כ ליכתוב רחמנא לה ולישתוק יטמא למה לי ש"מ

And what does Rabbi Akiva respond to this claim? The Gemara answers: If so, that the verse serves to render it prohibited for a priest to become impure to bury a limb, then let the Merciful One write: “And for his sister a virgin, that is near to him, that has had no husband, for her,” and then be silent. Why do I need the verse to write: “May he become impure”? Learn from the additional phrase that making himself impure is mandatory.

ור' ישמעאל איידי דכתב לה כתב נמי יטמא לכדתני דבי ר' ישמעאל דתנא דבי רבי ישמעאל כל פרשה שנאמרה ונישנית לא נישנית אלא בשביל דבר שנתחדש בה

And how does Rabbi Yishmael explain the additional phrase? Since the verse wrote: “For her,” it also wrote: “May he become impure,” for the same reason as was taught by the school of Rabbi Yishmael. As the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: Every passage in the Torah that was stated and repeated, was repeated only for the novel element introduced therein. Therefore, it is possible that the verse serves to teach the halakha that a priest may not become impure in order to bury a limb, and that would account for the repetition of the phrase “may he become impure” as well.

(ויקרא כה, מו) לעולם בהם תעבודו רשות דברי ר' ישמעאל ר"ע אומר חובה

The Gemara discusses the third dispute between Rabbi Yishmael and Rabbi Akiva. The verse states: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever” (Leviticus 25:46), i.e., the halakha that one keeps his Canaanite slave forever, is optional; this is the statement of Rabbi Yishmael. One is not enjoined against emancipating a Canaanite slave, but one is permitted to keep a Canaanite slave forever. Rabbi Akiva says: It is mandatory, and one is prohibited from freeing his Canaanite slave.

מאי טעמא דרבי ישמעאל איידי דכתיב (דברים כ, טז) לא תחיה כל נשמה איצטריך נמי למיכתב לעולם בהם תעבודו למישרי אחד מכל האומות שבא על הכנענית והוליד ממנה בן שאתה רשאי לקנותו

What is the reason of Rabbi Yishmael? Since it is written with regard to Canaanites: “You shall save alive nothing that breathes” (Deuteronomy 20:16), it was necessary to write: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever” (Leviticus 25:46), as well, in order to permit one from any of the other, non-Canaanite nations who engaged in sexual intercourse with a Canaanite woman and she bore him a child. This verse teaches that you are permitted to purchase the child as a slave, as he is not included in the mitzva “You shall save alive nothing that breathes” that was stated with regard to full-fledged Canaanites. Therefore, this verse cannot be teaching that it is mandatory.

דתניא מנין לאחד מן האומות שבא על הכנענית והוליד ממנה בן שאתה רשאי לקנותו בעבד ת"ל (ויקרא כה, מה) וגם מבני התושבים הגרים עמכם מהם תקנו

This is as it is taught in a baraita: From where is it derived that in the case of one from any of the other, non-Canaanite nations who engaged in sexual intercourse with a Canaanite woman, and she bore him a child, that you are permitted to purchase the child as a slave? The verse states: “Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them may you buy” (Leviticus 25:45). This verse permits the purchase of slaves from among those individuals who are not members of the Canaanite nations, even if they settle in Eretz Yisrael.

יכול אף הכנעני שבא על אחת מן האומות והוליד ממנה בן שאתה רשאי לקנותו בעבד ת"ל (ויקרא כה, מה) אשר הולידו בארצכם מן הנולדים בארצכם ולא מן הגרים בארצכם

The baraita continues: One might have thought that even in the case of a Canaanite man who engaged in sexual intercourse with a woman from one of the other nations and she bore him a child, that you are permitted to purchase the child as a slave, despite the fact that his father is a Canaanite. Therefore, the same verse states: “Which they have given birth to in your land,” teaching that one is permitted to purchase slaves only from the ones who are born in your land but whose paternal origins are from other lands, but not from the ones who already reside in your land, i.e., ones who have a Canaanite father.

ור"ע ממהם תקנו נפקא לעולם בהם תעבודו למה לי לחובה

The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Akiva derive this halakha? The Gemara answers: He derives it from the words in the same verse: “Of them may you buy.” Once the halakha is already taught that one may purchase as a slave the child of a Canaanite woman and a man from another nation, why do I need the verse to state: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever” (Leviticus 25:46)? It is stated to teach that it is mandatory to enslave a Canaanite slave forever.

ורבי ישמעאל בהם ולא באחיכם

The Gemara asks: And what does Rabbi Yishmael derive from this verse? The Gemara answers: “Of them may you take your bondmen forever,” teaches that you can enslave “of them,” but not of your brethren, i.e., it is prohibited to enslave a fellow Jew, even a slave, forever.

ור"ע באחיכם מסיפא דקרא נפקא (ויקרא כה, מו) ובאחיכם בני ישראל איש באחיו לא תרדה בו בפרך

The Gemara asks: And how does Rabbi Akiva derive this halakha? The Gemara answers: The prohibition against enslaving your brethren is derived from the latter phrase of the verse, where it is explicitly stated: “But over your brethren the children of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with rigor” (Leviticus 25:46).

ור' ישמעאל איידי דכתי' ובאחיכם כתי' נמי בהם לכדתנ' דבי רבי ישמעאל דתנא דבי ר' ישמעאל כל פרשה שנאמרה ונישנית לא נישנית אלא בשביל דבר שנתחדש בה

The Gemara asks: And what does Rabbi Yishmael derive from this verse? The Gemara answers: He holds that since it is written: “But over your brethren,” which explicitly states that it is prohibited to subjugate a Jew forever, it also writes with regard to Canaanites “of them,” but that phrase does not teach any novel halakha, because of the reason that was taught by the school of Rabbi Yishmael. As the school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: Every passage in the Torah that was stated and repeated, was repeated only for the novel element introduced therein. Therefore, it is possible that the verse serves to teach the halakha that one may enslave a Canaanite forever, and that would account for the ostensibly superfluous phrase “of them.”

א"ר חסדא זנותא בביתא כי קריא לשומשמא וא"ר חסדא תוקפא בביתא כי קריא לשומשמא אידי ואידי באיתתא אבל בגברא לית לן בה

§ The Gemara discusses matters related to sin and sexual impropriety. Rav Ḥisda says: Licentious behavior in a home causes damage like a worm [karya] causes damage to sesame [shumeshema]. And Rav Ḥisda says: Anger in a home causes damage like a worm causes damage to sesame. The Gemara comments: Both this and that, i.e., that licentious behavior and anger destroy a home, were said with regard to the woman of the house, but with regard to the man, although these behaviors are improper, we do not have the same extreme consequences with regard to it, as the woman’s role in the home is more significant, resulting in a more detrimental result if she acts improperly.

ואמר רב חסדא בתחילה קודם שחטאו ישראל היתה שכינה שורה עם כל אחד ואחד שנאמר (דברים כג, טו) כי ה' אלהיך מתהלך בקרב מחניך כיון שחטאו נסתלקה שכינה מהם שנאמר (דברים כג, טו) ולא יראה בך ערות דבר ושב מאחריך

And Rav Ḥisda says: Initially, before the Jewish people sinned, the Divine Presence resided with each and every one of them, as it is stated: “For the Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp” (Deuteronomy 23:15). Once they sinned, the Divine Presence withdrew from them, as it is stated in that same verse: “That He see no unseemly matter in you, and turn away from you” (Deuteronomy 23:15), teaching that when there is an “unseemly matter” among the Jewish people, the Divine Presence no longer resides among them.

א"ר שמואל בר נחמני א"ר יונתן כל העושה מצוה אחת בעוה"ז ממקדמתו והולכת לפניו לעוה"ב שנאמר (ישעיהו נח, ח) והלך לפניך צדקך וכל העובר עבירה אחת בעוה"ז מלפפתו והולכת לפניו ליום הדין שנאמר (איוב ו, יח) ילפתו ארחות דרכם יעלו בתוהו ויאבדו

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani says that Rabbi Yonatan says: Anyone who fulfills one mitzva in this world, that mitzva precedes him and goes before him to the World-to-Come, as it is stated: “And your righteousness shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your reward” (Isaiah 58:8). And anyone who commits one transgression in this world, it shrouds him and goes before him to the Day of Judgment, as it is stated: “The paths of their way do wind, they go up into the waste, and are lost” (Job 6:18).

ר"א אומר קשורה בו ככלב שנאמר (בראשית לט, י) ולא שמע אליה לשכב אצלה להיות עמה לשכב אצלה בעולם הזה להיות עמה לעולם הבא

Rabbi Elazar says: The transgression is chained to him and accompanies him like a dog, as it is stated concerning Joseph’s refusal to commit adultery with the wife of Potiphar: “That he listened not to her, to lie by her, or to be with her” (Genesis 39:10), which is understood to mean: If he would agree “to lie by her” in this world, the result would be that he would have “to be with her” forever, as the transgression would accompany him to the World-to-Come.

תנן התם שהיה בדין

§ The Gemara returns to its discussion of the number of witnesses necessary for different elements of the process of a woman becoming a sota. We learned in a mishna elsewhere (31a) with regard to the credibility of one witness who testifies concerning a woman’s infidelity: The halakha that one witness is deemed credible concerning defilement needs to be stated, as, by right, it should not have been deemed credible based on the following a fortiori inference:

ומה עדות הראשונה שאין אוסרתה איסור עולם אינה מתקיימת בפחות משנים עדות האחרונה שאוסרתה איסור עולם אינו דין שלא תתקיים בפחות משנים

And just as with regard to the first testimony concerning seclusion, which does not forbid her to her husband with an irrevocable prohibition, as the woman can be found innocent, permitting her again to her husband by drinking the bitter water, it is not established with fewer than two witnesses, as that mishna is written in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua, who stated (2a) that testimony of two witnesses must be provided by two witnesses, then with regard to the final testimony concerning defilement, which forbids her with an irrevocable prohibition, is it not logical that it not be established with fewer than two witnesses?

ת"ל (במדבר ה, יג) ועד אין בה כל שיש בה

Therefore, to counter this derivation, the verse states: “And there is no witness against her” (Numbers 5:13), teaching that any testimony that there is against her with regard to her defilement is sufficient, and two witnesses are not required.

וק"ו לעדות הראשונה מעתה ומה עדות האחרונה שאוסרתה איסור עולם מתקיימת בעד אחד עדות הראשונה שאין אוסרתה איסור עולם אינו דין שתתקיים בעד אחד

The mishna asks: And now that it is established that one witness suffices to testify with regard to defilement, an a fortiori inference can be made with regard to the first testimony of seclusion: And just as with regard to the final testimony concerning defilement, which forbids her with an irrevocable prohibition, yet it is established with one witness, then with regard to the first testimony, which does not forbid her with an irrevocable prohibition, is it not logical that it should be established with only one witness?

ת"ל (דברים כד, א) כי מצא בה ערות דבר ולהלן הוא אומר (דברים יט, טו) על פי שני עדים או על פי שלשה עדים יקום דבר מה דבר האמור להלן על פי שנים עדים אף כאן על פי שנים

Therefore, to counter this derivation, the verse states: “If a man marries a woman and lives with her and it will be that she not find favor in his eyes, because he has found some unseemly matter [davar] about her” (Deuteronomy 24:1), and there, in the verses concerning the halakhot of monetary matters, it states: “By the mouth of two witnesses or by the mouth of three witnesses shall a matter [davar] be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15). This teaches that just as the “matter” stated there is established by the mouth of two witnesses, so too here, the “matter” of her seclusion must be established by the mouth of two witnesses.

האי מכי מצא בה ערות דבר נפקא מבה נפקא בה ולא בקינוי בה ולא בסתירה מיבעי ליה

The Gemara asks: Is this need for two witnesses derived from: “Because he has found some unseemly matter about her” (Deuteronomy 24:1)? It is derived from: “And there is no witness [ed] against her [bah]” (Numbers 5:13), which was explained to mean there were not two witnesses, but only one, who testified concerning her defilement (2a). The Gemara above (2b) derives from the term “bah,” which could also be understood as: With regard to it, that in this matter of defilement one witness suffices, but not with regard to the warning. And one also derives: With regard to it, but not with regard to the seclusion. Therefore, there must be two witnesses to testify about both the warning and the seclusion. The mishna should have given this inference as the source for requiring two witnesses for seclusion, and not the juxtaposition of “matter” and “matter.”

הכי נמי קאמר תלמוד לומר בה בה ולא בקינוי בה ולא בסתירה

The Gemara answers: That is also what he is saying. The mishna should read: The verse states: “And there is no witness against her [bah],” teaching that: With regard to it [bah], but not with regard to the warning. And one also derives: With regard to it, but not with regard to the seclusion.

וטומאה בעלמא בלא קינוי ובלא סתירה דלא מהימן עד אחד מנלן נאמר כאן כי מצא בה ערות דבר ונאמר להלן על פי שני עדים או על פי שלשה עדים יקום דבר מה דבר האמור להלן עדים שנים אף כאן עדים שנים

The Gemara comments: And with regard to defilement in general, without a prior warning and without witnesses to seclusion, from where do we derive that one witness is not deemed credible? Here it is stated: “Because he has found some unseemly matter about her” (Deuteronomy 24:1), and there it is stated: “By the mouth of two witnesses or by the mouth of three witnesses shall a matter be established” (Deuteronomy 19:15), teaching that just as the “matter” stated there is established by two witnesses, so too here, with regard to defilement it is established by two witnesses.

תנו רבנן אי זו היא עדות הראשונה זו עדות סתירה עדות אחרונה זו עדות טומאה

The Sages taught (Tosefta 1:1): In the mishna quoted above, which is the first testimony? This is referring to the testimony of seclusion. Which is the final testimony? This is referring to the testimony of defilement.