Dedicate Daf 20a to:



קשיא דר' עקיבא אדרבי עקיבא
There
is still a
contradiction between
the two teachings
of Rabbi Akiva:

התם אמר מחיקה מעכבא
says that Rabbi Akiva holds that we force a recalcitrant Sotah to drink the bitter waters once the scroll was
erased,

והכא אמר קומץ מעכב
While, according to the , the says Rabbi Akiva holds that we force a recalcitrant Sotah to drink the bitter waters only after
the Kometz was offered.

 
The Gemara answers:
 
 
תרי תנאי ואליבא דר"ע
There
must be
two opinions of
what
Rabbi Akiva
holds
.

 
And there is no way to resolve the two Braisas.
 
 
איבעיא להו
The following question was asked
:

אמרה איני שותה מחמת בריותא וחזרה ואמרה שותה אני מהו
What
is the law if the suspected Sotah
calmly
refused to
drink,
but later
retracted and
offered to drink?

 
The says that after calmly admitting one's immorality, she's no longer required to be subject to the bitter water test.
 
The Gemara now inquires if she may take the test voluntarily.
 
On one hand...
 
 
כיון דאמרה איני שותה טמאה אני קאמרה
By refusing to
drink, she's admitting to her
immorality,

וכיון דאחזיק נפשה בטומאה לא מציא הדרה בה
And once she admits his immorality, she may not longer retract,

 
When she said that she's guilty, she's saying that she will not be allowed to live with her husband. Even if her admission was false, it could have the strength of a vow and may not be undone.
 
 
או דילמא כיון דאמרה שותה אני גליא דעתה דמחמת ביעתותא הוא דאמרה
Or perhaps,
since she changed her mind and was willing to
drink
the bitter waters
, she's clarifying her original refusal as prompted by fear
(which would not be a true admission, as the Gemara says .)

תיקו
The Gemara leaves this question unanswered

 
The Gemara points out another law regarding the bitter waters:
 
 
אמר אבוה דשמואל צריך שיתן מר לתוך המים
The father of Shmuel said that a bitter substance must be placed into the water.

מ"ט
Why

דאמר קרא מי המרים שמרים כבר:
Since the verse
calls the Sotah water
"the bitter waters"
before the scroll was erased, this teaches that the waters
had to be
physically
bitter
(and not just bitter due to the curse)
.

 
 
 

Mishna
:מתני':
Mishna

עד שלא נמחקה המגילה אמרה איני שותה
If
the Sotah refused to drink
before the scroll was erased,

מגילתה נגנזת ומנחתה מתפזרת על הדשן
The scroll is
put into Sheimos
, and the Mincha is burned on the ash
pile
,

ואין מגילתה כשרה להשקות בה סוטה אחרת
As
the scroll
may not be used
for another Sotah.

 
 
 
נמחקה המגילה ואמרה טמאה אני
If the scroll was erased, and
only then did the Sotah
admit
her sin,

המים נשפכין ומנחתה מתפזרת על בית הדשן
The water is spilled
(as there is no reason to test her anymore)
, and the Mincha is burned on the ash
pile
.

נמחקה המגילה ואמרה איני שותה
If the scroll was erased
and the suspected Sotah
refuse to drink
(but did
not
admit that she was impure)
.

מערערין אותה ומשקין אותה בעל כרחה
We force
the bitter waters down her throat
and force her to drink.

 
As her admission is invalid.
 
The Mishna will now discuss what happens to the Sotah after she drinks the water:
 
 
אינה מספקת לשתות עד שפניה מוריקות ועיניה בולטות והיא מתמלאת גידין
If the Sotah was guilty,
before she finishes drinking her face turns green, her eyes pop out and she
appears to be
filled with veins.

והם אומרים הוציאוה שלא תטמא העזרה
And onlookers say
"remove her so that she doesn't make the
Temple
courtyard impure".

אם יש לה זכות היתה תולה לה
If she has a merit,
it
can delay
punishment
.

יש זכות תולה שנה אחת
There are merits which postpone
the punishment
for a year,

יש זכות תולה ב' שנים
There are merits which postpone
the punishment
for two years,

יש זכות תולה ג' שנים
There are merits which postpone
the punishment
for three years.

 
The Mishna will now discuss another law tangentially connected to the Sotah:
 
 
מכאן אומר בן עזאי חייב אדם ללמד את בתו תורה
From this, Ben Azai derives that one is obligated to teach his daughter Torah.

שאם תשתה תדע שהזכות תולה לה
So that if she
had relations, was suspected by her husband,
had to drink
the bitter waters, but had a merit that postponed punishment,
she will
not assume that she got off free but would
know that merits postponed
her punishment, and she will die in due time
.

ר"א אומר כל המלמד בתו תורה (כאילו) לומדה תפלות
Rabbi Elazar said that whoever teaches his daughter Torah, is considered as if he taught her immorality.

ר' יהושע אומר רוצה אשה בקב ותפלות מט' קבין ופרישות
Rabbi Yehoshua said that
a woman
would rather one kav with immorality over nine kav and abstinence.

 
She would prefer her husband to work next to the house, even though he'll make less money, over working long distance jobs but making more money.
 
 
הוא היה אומר חסיד שוטה ורשע ערום ואשה פרושה ומכות פרושין הרי אלו מבלי עולם:
He would say
that
a foolish pietist, a sly evildoer, an abstinent woman and the wounds of the pious are the destroyers of the world.

 
 
 
Gemara
:גמ':
Gemara

א"ר יהודה אמר שמואל משום ר"מ
Rav Yehuda said
the following story
in the name of Shmuel
who said it
in the name of Rabbi Meir:

כשהייתי למד תורה אצל ר"ע הייתי מטיל קנקנתום לתוך הדיו ולא אמר לי דבר
When I learned Torah with Rabbi Akiva, I would put Kankantum
(vitriol)
into my ink
(rendering it permanent)
, and he never told me
that there was
anything
wrong with that
,

כשבאתי אצל ר' ישמעאל
When I came to
learn Torah with
Rabbi Yishmael,

א"ל
He told me:

בני
"My son

מה מלאכתך
What is your occupation?"

אמרתי לו
I answered:

לבלר אני
"I'm a scribe"

אמר לי
He told me:

בני
"My son

הוי זהיר שמלאכתך מלאכת שמים היא שמא תחסיר אות אחת או תתיר אות אחת נמצאת אתה מחריב את כל העולם כלו
Be careful (for your work is the work of Heaven)
not to
leave out a letter or add a letter,
thereby
destroying the world!

 
Removing a letter: If instead of writing " Hashem Elokim Emes " (Hashem is the True G - d), he'd accidentally write " Hashem Elokim Mes " (Hashem is a Dead G - d Forbid).
 
Adding a letter: If instead of writing " Bereishis Bara Elokim " (In the beginning Hashem created), he'd accidentally write " Bereishis Barau Elokim " (In the beginning Hashem
s
created, G - d Forbid).
 
 
אמרתי לו
Rabbi Meir
answered
back
:

דבר אחד יש לי שאני מטיל לתוך הדיו וקנקנתום שמו
"I possess
an ingredient
which I place into my ink, called Kankantum".

אמר לי
Rabbi Yishmael
responded:

וכי מטילין קנקנתום לתוך הדיו
"But may one place Kankantum into ink?"

 
May one write Torah scrolls with not erasable ink?
 
 
התורה אמרה ומחה כתב שיוכל למחות
But the Torah says
(about the Sotah scroll)
"Erase it",
which teaches that the Torah scroll must be
written
with ink
that can be erased.

 
Rabbi Yishmael holds that one may use a Torah scroll as a Sotah's scroll, so the ink required for a Torah scroll is the same as that of a Sotah's scroll (that it be erasable).
 
 
The Gemara will now discuss this story:
 
 
מאי קא"ל ומאי קא מהדר ליה
What was
Rabbi Yishmael's question
, and what
was Rabbi Meir's
?

הכי קא"ל
This what
Rabbi Meir's response
:

לא מבעיא בחסירות ויתירות דבקי אנא
Not only am I fluent in
the spelling of all the words, even those words which have
missing
letters
and extra
letters
.

 
In written Hebrew, there are no vowels. Rather, there is an oral tradition how to pronounce the words, and at times, the same spelling can have different pronunciation (for example, Chelev - Fat and Chalav - Milk).
 
However, at times, certain letters can double as vowels, (such as a Yud in Tamim ). Sometimes they're present and sometimes they're not, and while the word's meaning doesn't change if the Yud is there or not, there is a tradition of which words should be "full" and which shouldn't.
 
Rabbi Meir said that not only was he was privy to this tradition, he was extra careful...
 
 
אלא אפילו למיחש לזבוב דדילמא אתי ויתיב אתגיה דדלי"ת ומחיק ליה ומשוי ליה רי"ש
But
I also take into account the possibility
of a fly landing on the back of the Daled
(while it's still wet)
, erasing
it and making it look like
a Reish,

 
Which could change the meaning of the word drastically, such as if the letter Daled in Shema ("Hashem Echad" - Hashem is one) would turn into a Reish ("Hashem Acher" - Hashem is another G - d Forbid).
 
 
דבר אחד יש לי שאני מטיל לתוך הדיו וקנקנתום שמו
Through this extra ingredient which I place into the ink called Kankantum.

 
So even if a fly would land there and erase the little tab in the back of the Daled, one would see that it was erased and not the original.
 
However, the Gemara still wants to clarify this story:
 
 
איני
Is
this the true story of Rabbi Meir?

והא תניא
But this story was
taught in a Braisa
with different protagonists
:

אמר רבי מאיר
Rabbi Meir said:

כשהייתי למד תורה אצל ר' ישמעאל הייתי מטיל קנקנתום לתוך הדיו ולא אמר לי דבר
"When I learned Torah with Rabbi Yishmael, I would put Kankantum into my ink, and he never told me
that there was
anything
wrong with that
.

כשבאתי אצל ר"ע אסרה עלי
But
when I came to
learn with
Rabbi Akiva, he forbade
me to use it
."

 
 
 
קשיא שמוש אשמוש
We have a contradiction
in the order of Rabbi Meir's teachers
,

 
The first Braisa says that Rabbi Meir first learned with Rabbi Akiva and then moved to learn with Rabbi Yishmael, while the second Braisa says that Rabbi Meir first learned with Rabbi Yishmael and then moved to learn with Rabbi Akiva.
 
 
קשיא אסרה אאסרה
There is also contradiction regarding
which one of his teachers
forbade
Rabbi Meir from using Kankantum.

 
The first Braisa says that Rabbi Akiva permitted Kankantum and Rabbi Yishmael didn't, while the second Braisa says that Rabbi Yishmael permitted Kankantum and Rabbi Akiva didn't.
 
 
The Gemara will try resolving the two contradictions:
 
 
בשלמא שמוש אשמוש לא קשיא
1.
The order of
Rabbi Meir's teachers is not a contradiction
:

מעיקרא אתא לקמיה דר' עקיבא כיון דלא מצי קם אליביה אתא לקמיה דר"י וגמר גמרא
Rabbi Meir first learned with
Rabbi Akiva,
but
since
Rabbi Meir
was unable to understand
Rabbi Akiva,
he
went to learn with
Rabbi Yishmael
to learn the
traditional
Mishna
.

 
He realized that he first had to learn the facts from Rabbi Yishmael before he can go learn reasoning from Rabbi Akiva.
 
 
הדר אתא לקמיה דר"ע סבר סברא
Then,
after learning the traditional Mishna from Rabbi Yishmael, Rabbi Meir was confident enough to
learn with Rabbi Akiva
how to properly
reason
through the laws
.

 
This contradiction was resolved, but the second contradiction wasn't:
 
 
אלא אסרה אאסרה קשיא
But the contradiction about who forbade
Kankantum is truly
a contradiction.

קשיא
This is
is a difficulty.

 
 
 
תניא
A Braisa
was taught:

רבי יהודה אומר אומר היה ר"מ
Rabbi Yehuda taught in the name of Rabbi Meir:

לכל מטילין קנקנתום לתוך הדיו
One may place Kankantum into any ink,






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Dedicated in loving memory of Leah Rivka Bas Reb Dovid HaKohen A"H.
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