A Holy Sinner: Sotah 15

Just this week an Ontario Court ruled that a 19 year old convicted of first degree murder of a police officer would be spared jail time (he was 15 at the time of the murder) as the judge ruled that the injuries he suffered as a result of his actions - he is now a quadriplegic - is punishment enough. I have little interest in commenting on the case itself[1] (see here for further details) but the story came to my mind as I was learning the discussion of the korban mincha, the flour offering, that the suspected Sotah must bring.

What a Beginning: Sotah 14

What a Beginning!: Sotah 14
“Rav Simlai expounded: The Torah begins with an act of chesed, benevolence, and ends with an act of chesed. It begins with an act of chesed, as it is written: ‘And the Lord G-d made for Adam and for his wife coats of skin, and clothed them' (Breisheet 3:21); and it ends with an act of kindness, as it is written: 'And He buried him in the valley (Devarim 34:6)'” (Sotah 14a).

The Potential Rewards of Sin (Sotah 7b)

Our Sages were great realists. They understood the complexities of the human condition and how even otherwise great people can make terrible, even tragic mistakes, both intentional and not. They of course picked this up from the Torah itself where the greats of our tradition are portrayed in all their greatness - and their weaknesses. It is often specifically these weaknesses that can help us most, serving as our role models when we stumble.

Home Alone? (Sotah 7)

The Mishna is almost exclusively a legal code and like all codes displays little 'emotion' even when it describes emotionally wrenching moments. It calmly lays out the legal principle for the case at hand and it is the rare Mishna that tells stories, spells out moral lessons or even asks questions. It is case based with the occasional formulation of a legal principle that forms the bread and butter of the Mishna[1].

Adultery and Washing One's Hands (Sotah 4)

Jewish law and thought covers all aspects of life and that means nothing is beyond the purview of Talmudic and rabbinic discussion. With the primary theme of masechet Sotah being that of marital infidelity we should not be surprised to find  rabbinic discussion focusing on exactly at what point is one considered to have engaged in an illicit sexual act.


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