סקר
איך אתה לומד דף יומי?






 

Steinsaltz

Do we impose on him an obligation to marry her against his will? Unlike levirate marriage, there is no obligation for another man to marry her. Therefore, the verse is not instructing him to do so.

And there are those who say that Rav Yosef said differently: The verse calls a man who marries a woman after she was divorced from her first husband due to suspicion of adultery “another man,” as the verse states: “And she departs out of his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife” (Deuteronomy 24:2). This indicates that one who subsequently marries her is not a peer of her first husband because this one, the first husband, removed an evil woman from his house, and that one brought an evil woman into his house. There is an implied criticism of the second husband in the verse; and yet you say that the verse instructs that she should also enter into levirate marriage.

Abaye said to him: If that is so, then if she married another man and he died without children, then she should not enter into levirate marriage with the brother of her second husband even if she did not commit adultery during the second marriage, since the verse calls the second husband “another man,” which excluded the possibility of levirate marriage. Rav Yosef answered Abaye: With regard to that one, i.e., this second husband, at least she remained with a good name. Since she did not engage in illicit behavior during her second marriage, she can enter into levirate marriage with the brother of her second husband.

Rava says a different reason why a sota cannot enter into levirate marriage: This prohibition can be deduced through an a fortiori inference: If, due to the suspicion of adultery, she becomes forbidden to the one who was previously permitted to her, i.e., her first husband, then with regard to one who was forbidden to her, i.e., the husband’s brother, is it not all the more so that she remains forbidden to him?

Abaye said to him: If that is so, if this a fortiori reasoning is the basis of the prohibition against her entering into levirate marriage, then in the case of a High Priest who betrothed a widow, which he is prohibited from doing, and he died before the marriage took place, and he has a brother who is a common priest, who is permitted to marry a widow, she should still not be permitted to enter into levirate marriage with him, since the same inference can be stated: If she becomes forbidden to the one who was permitted to her, i.e., her husband the High Priest, who was prohibited from marrying a widow, then with regard to one who was forbidden to her, i.e., his brother, the common priest who wishes to enter into levirate marriage with her, is it not all the more so that she should be forbidden?

The Gemara refutes this inference. In the case of the High Priest, can one say: She becomes forbidden? But she was forbidden to him and remains forbidden to him. She did not become forbidden to her husband, the High Priest, due to the marriage. Furthermore, in the case of the High Priest, can one say: Permitted to her? But the High Priest is forbidden to her always. Therefore, the case of the High Priest does not serve as a refutation of the a fortiori inference.

Rather, the refutation is as follows: In the case of a priest’s wife who was raped, who becomes forbidden to her husband, and then her husband dies; and he has a brother who is a priest disqualified due to flawed lineage [ḥalal], who is not bound by the restrictions on marriage given to a priest, then she should not be permitted to enter into levirate marriage with him. If she becomes forbidden to the one who was permitted to her, i.e., her husband the priest, then with regard to one who was forbidden to her, i.e., her brother-in-law, is it not all the more so that she remains forbidden to him?

The Gemara answers: Nevertheless, this a fortiori inference is not applicable here because a raped woman is completely permitted to an Israelite. Therefore, a married woman raped by another man may remain with her Israelite husband. And with regard to this person, i.e., the brother of the deceased, who is a ḥalal, in any event there is no prohibition. The fact that the woman was forbidden to her ḥalal brother-in-law while she was married to her husband is immaterial. This is because, had she been raped while she was married to the ḥalal, it would not render her forbidden to him, as he has the status of an Israelite with regard to marriage. Consequently, this case cannot be compared to the case of the mishna, as a woman who commits adultery is forbidden to any husband, not only a priest.

MISHNA: And these are women who, despite being married to priests, are prohibited from partaking of teruma due to suspicion of adultery: A woman who says to her husband: I am defiled to you, i.e., she admitted to having committed adultery with another man; and in a case where witnesses came forth and testified that she is defiled; and a woman who says after a warning and seclusion: I will not drink the bitter water of a sota; and in a case where her husband does not want to force her to drink the water even after she secluded herself with another man after his warning; and in a case where her husband engaged in sexual intercourse with her on the way to bringing her to the Temple to drink the bitter water, as in such a case the water will not be effective in evaluating whether she was unfaithful, due to the husband’s own prohibited act.

GEMARA: Rav Amram says: Rav Sheshet told us this matter, and he enlightened our eyes for us by citing support for his statement from the mishna: In the case of a sota for whom there are witnesses concerning her in a country overseas, who can testify that she engaged in sexual intercourse, the bitter water of a sota does not evaluate whether or not she was unfaithful. Although she committed adultery, the water evaluates her fidelity only when there is no possibility of proving her guilt in court. What is the reason for this? It is as the verse states: “And a man lie with her carnally, and it was hidden from the eyes of her husband, and she was defiled secretly, and there was no witness against her” (Numbers 5:13). This indicates that the bitter water is given only when there is no one who knows about her action, to the exclusion of the case of this woman who is not given the bitter water, as there are those who know about her.

And Rav Sheshet enlightened our eyes for us by adducing support for his ruling from the mishna, as it teaches: And where witnesses came forth and testified that she is defiled, this is one of the women who can no longer partake of teruma: Rav Sheshet asks: This is a case where the witnesses came when? If we say that they came before she drank, then what is novel about the fact that it is prohibited for her to partake of teruma? She is a woman who had sexual relations with a man forbidden to her by the Torah [zona], as she is a confirmed adulteress, and it is obviously prohibited for her to partake of teruma.

Rav Sheshet answers: Rather, it must be referring to a case where the witnesses testified after she already drank. Granted, if you say that the bitter water of a sota does not evaluate her in a case where there are witnesses elsewhere who can testify with regard to her infidelity, it is well. But if you say that the water evaluates her in a case where there are witnesses elsewhere who can testify with regard to her infidelity, then it should be revealed retroactively that they are false witnesses, as the fact that she survived the drinking of the bitter water would indicate that she never committed adultery.

Rav Yosef said to Rav Sheshet: Actually, I will say to you that the bitter water evaluates her in a case where there are witnesses elsewhere who can testify with regard to her infidelity. Nevertheless, the fact that the woman survived the drinking of the water does not prove her innocence, and one can say that this woman who already drank had merit that delayed the punishment for her. According to some opinions, if an unfaithful woman has certain merits, she will not die immediately upon drinking the water. Therefore, if witnesses were to testify to her infidelity after she drank the water without dying, it is not clear that their testimony is false.

The Gemara explains: With regard to what principle do Rav Sheshet and Rav Yosef disagree? With regard to whether she deteriorates [mitnavvena], as explained by Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi, as we learned in a mishna (22a): Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi says: Merit delays punishment with regard to the bitter water of a sota. Even if a woman actually committed adultery, she will not die immediately due to the merit that she has. But she will not give birth, and she will not improve in terms of her physical condition after having drunk the bitter water. Rather, she will progressively deteriorate until she ultimately dies in the same manner of death as suffered by a sota who drank the bitter water without having merit.

Rav Sheshet holds: Both according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and according to the opinion of the Rabbis, who disagree with him, she begins to deteriorate despite her merit. Therefore, if she doesn’t begin to deteriorate immediately, the witnesses who testified subsequent to her drinking must be false witnesses. And Rav Yosef holds: Only according to the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi is it so that she begins to deteriorate when she has merit. According to the opinion of the Rabbis, she does not begins to deteriorate. Therefore, Rav Yosef explains that the mere fact that she survived the drinking of the bitter water and didn’t begin deteriorating does not prove that the testimony was false.

Rav Shimi bar Ashi raises an objection from the aforementioned mishna (22a), which also teaches that Rabbi Shimon says: Merit does not delay punishment with regard to the bitter water of a sota, and if you say that merit delays punishment with regard to the bitter water, then you push aside the deterrent force of the bitter water before all the women who must drink it, as guilty women will rely on their merit to protect them from the immediate consequences. And furthermore, you defame the untainted women who drank and survived. People will not view this as proof of their innocence, and they will say: They are defiled, but their merit delayed the punishment for them.

After quoting the statement of Rabbi Shimon, Rav Shimi bar Ashi now explains his objection: And if it is so that the bitter water of a sota does not evaluate the faithfulness of a women about whom there are witnesses in a country overseas, then the same claim can be made as well: You defame the untainted women who drank and survived. People will not view this as proof of their innocence, and they will say: They are defiled, but there are witnesses about them in a country overseas.

The Gemara responds: Do you say this according to the opinion of Rabbi Shimon? Indeed, according to Rabbi Shimon, from the same logic that merit does not delay punishment, witnesses in a country overseas do not delay it either, and Rav Sheshet would concede that his statement would not be accepted by Rabbi Shimon.

Rav raises an objection from the latter clause of the mishna there (22a), which teaches: And these are the sota women whose meal-offerings are burned and not offered on the altar:

Talmud - Bavli - The William Davidson digital edition of the Koren No=C3=A9 Talmud
with commentary by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Even-Israel (CC-BY-NC 4.0)
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