Dedicate Daf 6a to:



מי קא רמינן לה עליה בעל כרחיה
Are we forcing her onto
her new husband
against his will?

 
Obviously not.
 
(This Gemara is following the opinion that the Torah prefers Yibum over Chalitza, so by permitting Yibum, we're effectively forcing him to marry this possibly immoral wife.)
 
 
ואיכא דאמרי אמר רב יוסף
Some say
that
Rav Yosef
answered:

הכתוב קראו אחר שאין בן זוגו של ראשון
3.
The verse calls
the second husband
"another", since he's not on the same
spiritual standing
as the first
husband,

שזה הוציא רשעה מביתו וזה הכניס רשעה לתוך ביתו
The
first one
removed an evildoer from his house, and this
latter
one brought an evildoer into his house.

 
The first husband married her assuming she was righteous. The second, one who marries her, despite her immorality, is obviously worse than the first.
 
 
ואת אמרת תתיבם נמי יבומי
And
will the Torah force someone
to do Yibum
to an evildoer?

 
Would the Torah condemn one who marries an immoral wife, and at the same time require the brother-in-law to marry her?
 
 
The Gemara Asks:
אמר ליה אביי
Abaye asked:

אלא מעתה נשאת לאחר ומת בלא בנים לא תתיבם דהכתוב קראו אחר
If so, had
a woman suspected of immorality
married another
man
and her
new
husband passed away without children, she should be forbidden to do Yibum
to her second husband's brother
(as the verse calls
the second husband
"another")?

 
For the same reason we don't permit the first brother in law to do Yibum, the Torah should prohibit the second husband's brother to do Yibum.
 
 
The Gemara Answers:
גביה דהאי מיהא בשם טוב הוה קיימא
Regarding this
latter husband
, she kept her good name
and presumably repented, so now she is no longer suspected of immorality.

 
 
 
רבא אמר ק"ו
=קל וחומר
3.
Rava said
that we can derive that a suspected Sotah does not do Yibum
from a logical inference:

אם נאסרה במותר לה באסור לה לא כל שכן
If she became forbidden to someone permitted to her
i.e her husband
, all the more so she's
forbidden
to one
originally
forbidden to her
i.e her close
Who one is biblically forbidden to marry outside of Yibum
husband's brother .

The Gemara Asks:
אמר ליה אביי
Abaye asked:

אלא מעתה כ"ג
=כהן גדול
שקידש את האלמנה ומת ויש לו אח כהן הדיוט לא תתיבם
According to the above reasoning, if
a Kohen Gadol betrothed a close
A Kohen Gadol is forbidden to marry a widow
widow and
then
passed away, the
Kohen Gadol's
brother
(who is
a regular Kohen
and is permitted to marry a widow)
should
be forbidden to
do Yibum
with his brother-in-law's widow?

אם נאסרה במותר לה באסור לה לא כל שכן
If she was forbidden to the one permitted
(the Kohen Gadol )
, all the more so she's forbidden to one forbidden
(her brother-in-law )
?

The Gemara Answers:
נאסרה הא אסירא וקיימא
She
becomes
forbidden? She was always forbidden
to her Kohen Gadol husband!

מותר לה אסור לה הוא
To one who was
permitted
? He
(the Kohen Gadol )
was
always
forbidden
to marry her (even before her suspected adultery she was forbidden).

The Gemara attempts another disproof:
אלא אשת כהן שנאנסה ומת ויש לו אח חלל לא תתיבם
Rather,
the analogous case would be if
a Kohen's wife
had relations
against her will, and the husband passed away after that.
If the husband
had a brother who was a Chalal
(who is permitted to marry a formerly married woman who had relations against her will)
, shouldn't
the brother
do Yibum?

אם נאסרה במותר לה באסור לה לא כל שכן
If she's forbidden to
the
one
originally
permitted
(her Kohen husband)
, all the more so she should be forbidden to
the
one
who was always
forbidden
(her brother-in-law )?

The Gemara Answers:
אונס בישראל מישרא שרי וגבי דהאי (מיהא) ליכא איסורא
A woman
who had relations
against her will is permitted to a
regular
Jew, so for this one
(the Chalal brother)
, there
was
no prohibition.

 
In contrast to the case where an immoral woman would become prohibited to her brother-in-law had she been married to him at the time.
 
 
 

Mishna
ואלו אסורות מלאכול בתרומה
The following
five women who are suspected of having relations
are forbidden to eat Terumah:

 
The Gemara will prove that one who was immoral may no longer eat Terumah.
 
 
האומרת טמאה אני לך
1. A woman
who
admitted that she was immoral,

ושבאו עדים שהיא טמאה
2.
If witnesses testify that
she was immoral,

והאומרת איני שותה
3.
One who refuses to drink
the bitter water,

ושבעלה אינו רוצה להשקותה
4.
One who's husband refuses to make her drink
the bitter water,

ושבעלה בא עליה בדרך
5.
One who's husband had relations with her while on the way
to Jerusalem.

 
 
 
Gemara
 
 
 
אמר רב עמרם הא מילתא אמר לן רב ששת ואנהר לן עיינין ממתניתין
Rav Amram says that Rav Sheshes taught
the following
lesson,
and brought proof for his words
from the Mishna:

סוטה שיש לה עדים במדינת הים אין המים בודקין אותה
If
an immoral woman
had witnesses
that she had relations, even if the witnesses went
overseas
and couldn't testify
, the bitter waters wouldn't check her.

The Gemara Asks:
מ"ט
=מאי טעמא
What's the source
that the waters do not check someone who has witnesses of her immorality?

The Gemara Answers:
דאמר קרא ונסתרה והיא נטמאה ועד אין בה
The verse says that "she was secluded and there were no witnesses,"

דליכא דידע בה לאפוקי הא דהא איכא דידע בה
For the Sotah test to work, there had to be
no witnesses that knew of her
actions, but one who
does
have witnesses, even if they're overseas, the bitter waters wouldn't check her.

 
 
The Gemara uses this verse to teach that the testimony of a single witness is believed to prevent the suspected wife from drinking the Sotah waters. However, Rav Sheshes also derives the law that witnesses prevent the Sotah test from working.
 
The Gemara will prove this law from another verse on page .
 
 
ואנהר לן עיינין ממתני'
=ממתניתן
And he proved this rule
from the Mishna:

דקתני ושבאו לה עדים שהיא טמאה
The Mishna
that one who has
"witnesses testifying that she was
immoral" may not eat Terumah.

 
The Gemara will now prove that these witnesses didn't testify during the Sotah's trial, and despite that, she would not be checked by the waters.
 
 
The Gemara Asks:
דאתו עדים אימת
When did these witnesses
testify?

The Gemara will attempt to answer:
אי נימא מקמי דתשתי
If you will answer
that they came
before she drank
the bitter water,

The Gemara rejects this answer:
זונה היא
Then she
was already
classified as a harlot
(upon the testimony of the witnesses), and it's obvious that she'd be forbidden to eat Terumah!

 
So the case must be that...
 
 
The answer is the proof from the Mishna:
אלא לבתר דשתאי
Rather, the
witnesses
came
after
she drank
the bitter waters.

אי אמרת בשלמא אין המים בודקין אותה שפיר
This law
makes sense if the bitter waters don't check her.

 
The Mishna teaches that (despite "passing" the bitter water test) if witnesses testify that the wife was immoral, she may no longer eat Terumah.
 
 
אלא אי אמרת מים בודקין אותה תיגלי מילתא למפרע דסהדי שקרי נינהו
But if the
Sotah
water
does
check her
despite there witnesses, her survival should prove
that the witnesses are false
(and she should be permitted to eat Terumah!)

Rav Yosef rejects this proof:
אמר ליה רב יוסף לעולם אימא לך מים בודקין אותה
Rav Yosef said
that the proof is weak, and in truth
the water checks her
even though there were witnesses,

והא אימור זכות תולה לה
But
she
lived through the Sotah test
because a merit protected her
from sudden death, and not because the witnesses lied.

 
The witnesses are still believed because the test isn't over yet.
 
 
The Gemara Asks:
במאי קמיפלגי
Over what is the debate
between Rav Sheshes and Rav Yosef?

 
Why does Rav Sheshes reject reject the possibility that merit could save the Sotah?
 
 
במתנוונה דרבי
Rebbi's
opinion of
disgust:

דתנן רבי אומר זכות תולה במים המרים ואינה יולדת ואינה משבחת אלא מתנוונה והולכת לסוף שהיא מתה באותה מיתה
For the
taught (in the name of Rebbi), that merit protects
an immoral woman
against
the affects of the Sotah
water,
so
she will not give birth and will not improve. Rather she will waste away until her end is the same death
as other Sotahs.

 
Rebbi said that if the Sotah was generally righteous, but stumbled in immorality, she would live a bit longer. However, she would be visibly deformed after the procedure.
 
 
רב ששת סבר בין לרבי ובין לרבנן הויא מתנוונה
Rav Sheshes reasons that both Rebbi and The Sages agree that
a Sotah with merits
wastes away.

 
So if she's not wasting away, it means that either:
 
1. She's innocent
2. The waters didn't check her.
 
So because the Mishna rejects option #1, #2 must be correct.
 
 
ורב יוסף סבר לרבי הויא מתנוונה לרבנן לא הויא מתנוונה
But Rav Yosef reasons that while Rebbi says that she wastes away, The Sages say that she doesn't
(and lives a normal life until she dies).

 
So according to the Sages, it could be that she's guilty and will be tested, but is still being protected by her merits.
 
 
The Gemara attempts to reject this disproof:
מתיב רב שימי בר אשי
Rav Shimi bar Ashi asked:

 
The Mishna there says that not all agree that merits protect at all ...
 
 
ר'
=רבי
שמעון אומר אין זכות תולה במים המרים
says that merit doesn't postpone the effects of the
Bitter
waters,

ואם אתה אומר זכות תולה במים המרים מדחה אתה את המים בפני כל הנשים השותות ואתה מוציא שם רע על הטהורות ששתו
For if you will say that merit postpones
the effects of the bitter waters,
one will cause a bad name to spread about all the innocent who drank,

והן אומרים טמאות היו אלא שתלה להן זכות
As
people
will say that
these women
were not
so innocent,
but
they had
a merit which postponed
their punishment.

 
And the same concern exists if (unknown) witnesses can invalidate the Sotah's test:
 
 
ואם איתא יש לה עדים במדינת הים נמי אתה מוציא שם רע על הטהורות ששתו
And if
any
witnesses,
(even if they are
overseas
),
cancel the affect of the bitter waters, the same
rumors will arise against the innocent:

והן אומרים טמאות היו אלא שיש להן עדים במדינת הים
People
will say that they
survived despite
being impure
only because
they had witnesses
present at the time of their sin
.

The Gemara Answers:
לר'
=לרבי
שמעון קאמרת
You ask according to Rabbi Shimon?

לר'
=לרבי
שמעון מדזכות לא תליא עדים נמי לא תלו
Just as Rabbi Shimon doesn't agree that merit holds off
punishment
, so too witnesses don't cancel
her punishment.

 
And Rav Sheshes (and the current Mishna) don't agree with Rabbi Shimon, and aren't concerned that onlookers will not believe the suspected Sotah's innocence.
 
(However, see , where the Gemara says a different reason for Rabbi Shimon's rule, according to which Rabbi Shimon agrees that witnesses
do
cancel punishment.)
 
 
 
The Gemara attempts another disproof:
מתיב רב
Rav asked from a Mishna on page :

 
During her test, the Sotah must bring a Mincha sacrifice. The Mishna discusses what happens if the Mincha cannot be offered for whatever reason:
 
 
ואלו שמנחותיהן נשרפות
The following people's Minchas are burned
as they cannot be offered and cannot be redeemed out of holiness:






Translation copyright by the OpenGemara project. If you would like permission to use our data, please contact us

Dedicated in loving memory of Leah Rivka Bas Reb Dovid HaKohen A"H.
Last build: 2019-01-31T02:13:56Z