Mishnah 1
Hear the Mishnah

1)

(a)What does Rebbi Eliezer say about someone who warns his wife not to seclude herself with a specific man and then hears from a bird that she contravened his warning?

(b)In fact, Rebbi Eliezer follows his own opinion, cited in the first Perek. What did he say there?

(c)What does Rebbi Yehoshua say?

(d)On what grounds does Rebbi Yehoshua disagree with Rebbi Eliezer?

1)

(a)Rebbi Eliezer rules that someone who warns his wife not to seclude herself with a specific man and then hears from a bird (See Tos. Yom-Tov) that she contravened his warning - is obligated to divorce her, though she does not lose her Kesubah.

(b)In fact, Rebbi Eliezer follows his own opinion, cited in the first Perek, where he said - that 'S'tirah' (seclusion) does not require proper testimony, and that even the testimony of an Eved or a Shifchah will suffice to make her drink.

(c)According to Rebbi Yehoshua - in order to make the Sotah drink, one requires two witnesses.

(d)Rebbi Yehoshua disagrees with Rebbi Eliezer - because he holds there that to drink the water requires two witnesses is only obligated to divorce if, at least the women.

2)

(a)What does Rebbi Yehoshua mean when he says 'ad she'Yis'u ve'Yitnu bah Mozros ba'Levanah'?

(b)What does the actual statement mean?

(c)On what grounds is he Chayav to divorce her?

(d)What do we learn, in this regard, from the Pasuk "u'Tehorah hi"?

(e)Like whom is the Halachah?

2)

(a)When Rebbi Yehoshua says 'ad she'Yis'u ve'Yitnu bah Mozros ba'Levanah', he means - that - he is only obligated to divorce her if the women are talking about her immoral behavior.

(b)'Mozros ba'Levanah' means - 'the women who spin yarn by the light of the moon' (See Tos. Yom-Tov).

(c)He is Chayav to divorce her - because it is an ugly situation.

(d)From the Pasuk "u'Tehorah hi" we learn that - in the current case, since she is in any case not totally innocent, there is no point in taking her to drink the water, since it will not work on her.

(e)The Halachah is - like Rebbi Yehoshua.

Mishnah 2
Hear the Mishnah

3)

(a)What does the Mishnah rule (with regard to the obligation to drink the Mei Sotah) in a case where (following the S'tirah discussed in the previous Mishnah) one witness testifies that the Sotah committed adultery?

(b)She does however, lose her Kesubah. What if that witness is an Eved or a Shifchah?

(c)On what basis does the Torah believe one witness here?

3)

(a)In a case where, following the S'tirah discussed in the previous Mishnah, one witness testifies that the Sotah committed adultery the Mishnah rules that - she does not drink.

(b)She does however, lose her Kesubah - even if that witness is an Eved or a Shifchah.

(c)The Torah believes one witness here - based on the principle - 'Raglayim le'Davar' ('All the evidence points at her guilt').

4)

(a)The Mishnah now discusses a case where the witness is her mother-in-law or her daughter (the Sotah's sister-in-law) or her Tzarah (rival wife). What does the Tana say about them?

(b)The same applies to the Sotah's Yevamah and to her step-daughter. What is the definition of 'Yevamah' in this context?

(c)Why does the Tana see fit to mention these four cases?

(d)Then why are they believed here?

(e)In what way does their testimony nevertheless differ from the testimony of any other witness?

4)

(a)The Mishnah now rules that - even if the witness is he Sotah's mother-in-law or her daughter (the Sotah's sister-in-law) or her Tzarah (rival wife) she is believed.

(b)The same applies to the Sotah's Yevamah - (the wife of her husband's brother) and to her step-daughter ...

(c)... despite the fact that they are all not believed to testify against her in any other area of Halachah where one witness is believed (since they all hate her, as we learned in Yevamos) ...

(d)And they are believed here - because the Torah itself believes any single witness whoever it may be (See Tiferes Yisrael).

(e)Their testimony nevertheless differs from the testimony of any other witness - inasmuch as they are not believed to make her lose her Kesubah.

Mishnah 3
Hear the Mishnah

5)

(a)The Mishnah thinks that one witness ought not to be believed by the latter testimony, Kal va'Chomer from the former testimony. What is the meaning of ...

1. ... 'the latter testimony'?

2. ... 'the former testimony'?

(b)Why is it a Kal va'Chomer?

(c)Who is then the author of this Mishnah?

5)

(a)The Mishnah thinks that one witness ought not to be believed by ...

1. ... 'the latter testimony' - that she is guilty (of committing adultery), Kal va'Chomer from ...

2. ... the former testimony - the S'tirah (that she secluded herself) ...

(b)... since, unlike the testimony on the S'tirah, which only forbids her until she drinks - the testimony on her guilt forbids her forever.

(c)The author of this Mishnah is therefore - Rebbi Yehoshua, who learned in the first Perek, that S'tirah requires two witnesses.

6)

(a)What is the correct meaning of the Pasuk (in connection with the Sotah) "ve'Eid Ein bah"?

(b)What does the Tana now learn from the continuation of the Pasuk "ve'Hi Lo Nispasah"?

(c)What do we learn from ...

1. ... the Gezeirah-Shavah "ki Matza bah Ervas Davar" (Ki Seitzei) "al Pi Shenayim Eidim Yakum Davar" (Parshas Shoftim [See Tiferes Yisrael])?

2. ... the word "bah" in the previous Pasuk?

(d)What would we otherwise have said?

6)

(a)The correct meaning of the Pasuk (in connection with the Sotah being forbidden to her husband) "ve'Eid Ein bah" is that - there were not two witnesses (only one).

(b)The Tana now learns from the continuation of the Pasuk "ve'Hi Lo Nispasah" that - if there was one witness that she was intimate with the man, and she was not taken by force, then she is forbidden to her husband.

(c)We learn from...

1. ... the Gezeirah-Shavah "ki Matza bah Ervas Davar" (Ki Seitzei) "al Pi Shenayim Eidim Yakum Davar" (Parshas Shoftim) that - a man is only obligated to divorce his wife if there are two witnesses who testify that she committed adultery (See Tiferes Yisrael).

2. ... the word "bah" in the previous Pasuk that - it is only with regard to the testimony that she is guilty that one witness is believed, but not with regard to the Kinuy.

(d)We would otherwise have said that - one witness will suffice (Kal va'Chomer from one witness who testifies that she committed adultery).

Mishnah 4
Hear the Mishnah

7)

(a)What does the Mishnah say about a case where one ...

1. ... witness testifies that she is guilty, and another witness testifies that she is not?

2. ... woman testifies that she is guilty and another woman testifies that she is not?

(b)On what principle is this ruling based?

(c)The Tana is speaking where the two witnesses appear simultaneously in Beis-Din. What will be the Din if one witness first testifies that she committed adultery and ...

1. ... the second witness testifies later?

2. ... two witnesses testify that she did not commit adultery in the presence of the first witness?

(d)And what does the Mishnah say about a case where two witnesses testify that she committed adultery and one testifies that she did not?

(e)On what principle are these last two rulings based?

7)

(a)The Mishnah rules, in a case where one ...

1. ... witness testifies that she is guilty, and another witness testifies that she is not that - she is obligated to drink, and the same will apply to where one ...

2. ... woman testifies that she is guilty and another woman testifies that she is not (See Tos. Yom-Tov).

(b)This ruling is based on the principle that - when two witnesses contradict one another, they cancel each other out, and the case remains a Safek.

(c)The Tana is speaking where the two witnesses appear simultaneously in Beis-Din. If one witness first testifies that she committed and ...

1. ... the second witness testifies later - the latter witness is not counted at all, and she does not drink (See Tos. Yom-Tov).

2. ... two witnesses testify that she did not commit adultery in the presence of the first witness (See Tos. Yom-Tov) - the former witness is not counted at all, and she is obligated to drink.

(d)Whereas in a case where two witnesses testify that she committed adultery and one testifies that she did not - then she does not drink, because the latter witness is not counted.

(e)These last two rulings are based on the principle that - whenever witnesses testify conflicting testimonies simultaneously, we go after the majority, irrespective of whether it is le'Kula (to make her drink) or le'Chumra (not to allow her to drink).

D.A.F. TALMUD RESOURCES
FOR MASECHES SOTAH