12th CYCLE DEDICATION
SOTAH 12 (2 Sivan) - This Daf has been dedicated in memory of Harry Bernard Zuckerman, Baruch Hersh ben Yitzchak (and Miryam Toba), by his children and sons-in-law.

1)

MIRYAM'S FAMILY

(a)

"Azuvah" is Miryam. She is called Azuvah, for at first everyone Azvuha (abandoned marrying her. She was almost 50 years older than her husband!)

(b)

Question: Why does it say that Kalev fathered her? He married her!

(c)

Answer (R. Yochanan): If one marries a woman for the sake of Heaven, it is considered as if he fathered her.

(d)

She is called Yeri'os, for her face was like Yeri'os (curtains, without any redness. She was greenish, due to her illness.)

(e)

"These are (the names of) Baneha (her children)" - we read this Boneha (the one who built her, i.e. her husband).

1.

Kalev is called "Yashar", for he straightened himself;

2.

He is called "Shovev", for he veered (Shivev) his Yetzer Ra (from following the Meraglim);

3.

He is called "Ardon", for he was Rodeh (ruled) over his Yetzer.

i.

Others say, it is because his face resembled a Varad (rose).

(f)

"Ashchur, the father of Teko'a, had two wives, Chel'ah and Na'arah." Ashchur is Kalev. He is called Ashchur, for his face blackened (Hushchar) through fasting (for Miryam to get well);

1.

He is called "father", for he was like a father to Miryam;

2.

He is called "Teko'ah" for he fastened (Toka) his heart to Hash-m;

3.

His wife Miryam was like two women. At first she was sickly (Chal'ah). Later, she was youthful (Na'arah).

(g)

"The children of Chel'ah were Tzeres, Tzochar and Esnan."

1.

Tzeres was a Tzarah (affliction) for other women (they envied her beauty);

2.

Tzochar's face was (radiant) like Tzaharayim (noon);

3.

Whoever saw Esnan (desired Bi'ah, and) gave to his wife an Esnan (gift, so she would agree to Bi'ah).

2)

THE BIRTH OF MOSHE

(a)

(R. Yosi bar Chanina): "Pharaoh commanded his whole nation" - he decreed even on (babies born to) his nation.

1.

(R. Yosi bar Chanina): There were three decrees. The first (for the midwives) was 'if it is a son, you will kill him';

2.

The second (for everyone) was 'any son (Yisrael) born, you will cast into the river';

3.

The third was that even a male Mitzri baby must be killed.

(b)

Question: "A man from the house of Levi went" - where did he go?

(c)

Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): He followed the counsel of his daughter;

1.

(Beraisa): Amram was the leader of his generation. When Pharaoh decreed to cast all boys in the river, Amram said that it is futile to have children. He divorced his wife; all of Yisrael divorced their wives.

i.

Miryam: Your decree is worse than Pharaoh's! He only decreed against the boys. You cause that also girls will not be born!

ii.

Pharaoh's decree is only in this world. Your decree also affects the world to come!

iii.

It is uncertain whether Pharaoh's decree will be fulfilled. You are a Tzadik, and your decree will certainly be fulfilled - "as you decree, it will be fulfilled!"

2.

Amram remarried his wife; all of Yisrael did the same.

(d)

Question: Why does it say "he took"? It should say 'he returned (to her)'!

(e)

Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): He acted like one who marries (the first time). He sat her in a bride's chair. Aharon and Miryam danced in front of her, and angels said "the happy mother of children."

(f)

Question: Why is she called "Bas Levi" (which connotes a young girl)? She was 130 years old!

1.

(R. Chama bar Chanina): "That she bore to Levi in Mitzrayim" - Yocheved was born in Mitzrayim, but not conceived there. She was conceived on the descent to Mitzrayim, and was born between the walls (the entrance to Mitzrayim. This shows that she was 130 when Moshe was born, for Yisrael were in Mitzrayim for 210 years, and Moshe was 80 when Yisrael left.)

(g)

Answer (Rav Yehudah): Signs of youth returned to her.

(h)

Question: Why does it say "she became pregnant, and gave birth"? She was already three months pregnant (as we shall say later)!

(i)

Answer (Rav Yehudah bar Zevina): It says that she became pregnant to equate the conception to the delivery. Just like the former was painless, also the latter.

1.

We learn that righteous women are not subject to the punishment decreed on Chavah (that childbirth will be painful).

(j)

(Beraisa - R. Meir): "She saw that he was Tov (good)" - Moshe's name is Tov;

(k)

R. Yehudah says, his name is Tuvya;

(l)

R. Nechemyah says, (she saw that he was) fit for prophecy;

(m)

Others say, he was born circumcised;

(n)

Chachamim say, when he was born, the house was filled with light.

1.

Here it says "she saw that he was Tov", like it says "Hash-m saw the light, that it was Tov."

(o)

"She hid him for three months" - the Mitzriyim counted nine months from when he remarried her (to inspect if she had a baby boy). She was three months pregnant at the time (from before she was divorced).

(p)

Question: "She could not hide him any longer." What was the reason?

(q)

Answer: When the Mitzriyim heard about a birth, they would bring another baby to the area. When the hidden baby heard the other one cry, it would also cry.

1.

"We were seized by small foxes" (i.e. other babies revealed our hidden babies).

3)

THE SALVATION OF MOSHE

(a)

Question: "She took for him an ark of reeds." Why did she use reeds?

(b)

Answer #1 (R. Elazar): A Tzadik's money is dearer to him than his life (so she used a cheap material).

1.

Question: What is the reason?

2.

Answer: He is careful not to steal.

(c)

Answer #2 (R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): Something soft will endure a collision, whether it hits something soft or hard.

(d)

"She sealed it with tar on the outside and pitch on the inside", so Moshe would not suffer from the smell of tar.

(e)

(R. Elazar): "She put the child in, and put it in the Suf" - this is the Yam Suf;

(f)

(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): This is a swamp.

12b----------------------------------------12b

(g)

(R. Yochanan): "Pharaoh's daughter descended to bathe by the river" - she descended to cleanse herself of the idolatry of her father's house - "if Hash-m will wash the filth of the daughters of Tziyon"

(h)

(R. Yochanan): "Her (attendant) girls were going" alludes to death - "I am going to die";

1.

"She saw the ark in the Suf" - when her girls saw that she wanted to save Moshe, they protested.

2.

'Our mistress, the way of the world is that if a mortal king makes a decree, (even) if the whole world doesn't follow it, at least his house follows it. You transgress your father's decree!'

3.

Gavri'el pounded them on the ground (and killed them).

(i)

R. Yehudah and R. Nechemyah argued about whether "she sent her Amah" refers to her arm, or her slave;

1.

The first opinion learns from the word Amasah (earlier, they were called Na'aros);

2.

The second opinion learns from the fact that the Torah did not say 'her hand' (which is more common and is unambiguous).

3.

Question: How can one say that she sent her servant? We said that Gavri'el killed them!

4.

Answer: He left one alive. It is improper for the king's daughter to be alone.

5.

Question: According to the first opinion, why didn't the Torah unambiguously say 'her hand'?

6.

Answer: It teaches that her arm stretched (many Amos);

i.

(We learned that just like Esther's hand stretched many Amos to reach Achashverosh's scepter,) also Pharaoh's daughter's arm, and teeth of the wicked - "the teeth of the wicked Shibarta (you broke)"

ii.

(Reish Lakish): We expound this as if it said she'Rivavtah (that you increased. This refers to Og. His head entered the mountain he wanted to throw on Yisrael, and his teeth expanded into it, so he could not take the mountain off his head.)

(j)

Question: Why does it say "she opened it, va'Tir'eihu (and saw him), the child"? It should say 'she saw (the child)'!

(k)

Answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): She saw the Divine Presence with the child. (The extra 'Hu', Hei-Vov, are letters of Hash-m's name.)

(l)

Contradiction: It says "there was a youth crying." Above he was called a child!

(m)

Answer (Beraisa - R. Yehudah): He was a child. His voice was like a youth's;

1.

R. Nechemyah: If so, Moshe would be blemished (abnormal)! Rather, his mother made him a youth's canopy, for she feared lest she not see him get married.

(n)

Question: "She pitied him, and said 'this is from the Hebrews.'" How did she know? (There was also a decree against the Mitzriyim!)

(o)

Answer (R. Yosi bar Chanina): He was circumcised.

(p)

(R. Yochanan): She said "this", unaware that she was prophesizing;

1.

This was the last child to fall in the river.

2.

(R. Elazar): "When they will say to you, seek the Ovos and Yidonim (forbidden ways of conjuring up the dead) that Metzaftzef (chirp) and utter" - they see (Tzofin) and do not know what they see. They utter, and do not know what they utter.

i.

They (Pharaoh's astrologers) saw that the savior of Yisrael will be stricken in water. They decreed that every boy born should be cast into the river;

ii.

Once Moshe was thrown in the water, the sign (of the savior) went away, and the decree was abolished.

iii.

They did not realize that the water through which he would be punished was that of Merivah.

iv.

(R. Chama bar Chanina): "They are the waters of Merivah, that (Bnei Yisrael) quarreled..." - they are the waters that Pharaoh's astrologers saw and misunderstood.

3.

"Shesh Me'os Elef Ragli" - Moshe told Yisrael that they were saved (from the decree) due to him.

(q)

(R. Chanina bar Papa): Moshe was put into the water on the 21st of Nisan.

1.

The angels pleaded to Hash-m 'will Moshe, who is destined to sing praises (when the Yam Suf will be split) on this day, be stricken on this day?!'

(r)

(R. Acha bar Chanina): It was the sixth of Sivan.

1.

The angels pleaded 'will Moshe, who is destined to receive the Torah on Har Sinai on this day, be stricken on this day?!

(s)

Question: Granted, according to R. Acha, there were three months from Moshe's birth until he was put in the water (like the above verse - "She hid him three months").

1.

Moshe died on the seventh of Adar, and was also born on that day.

2.

According to R. Chanina, there were only one and a half months!

(t)

Answer: It was a leap year. The three months are (most of) Adar Rishon, all of Adar Sheni, and most of Nisan.

4)

MOSHE'S MOTHER NURSED HIM

(a)

Question: Miryam asked Pharaoh's daughter "shall I call for you a Hebrew wet-nurse?" Why did she specify a Hebrew?

(b)

Answer: Pharaoh's daughter brought Moshe to Mitzri women to nurse, but he would not nurse.

1.

Hash-m did not want that Moshe, with whom Hash-m would later speak mouth to mouth, should nurse from one who eats Tamei food.

2.

"To whom does He teach knowledge... who will understand teachings? He who weaned himself from (impure) milk, who detached from the breast.

(c)

(R. Elazar): "And ha'Almah (the young girl) went" - she went zealously, like am Elem (youth);

(d)

(R. Shmuel bar Nachmani): She hid (Ha'alimah) her words (and did not reveal that the baby is her brother).

(e)

(R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): Pharaoh's daughter told Yocheved "Heilichi (take) this child" - she did not know that this was a prophecy - Hei Shelichi (this (baby) is yours).

(f)

(R. Chama b'Rebbi Chanina): "I will give your wages (for nursing Moshe)" - not only does a Tzadik get back his Aveidah, he even gets paid!

(g)

Question: "And Miryam the prophet, Aharon's sister..." - is she Aharon's sister, and not Moshe's sister?!

(h)

Answer (Rav Amram): This teaches that she prophesized when she was (only) Aharon's sister (before Moshe was born).

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