(Based on Zera Shimshon Parshas Noso pg. 94-5)
But if the woman had not become defiled and she is innocent, she shall bear seed. (Bamidbar 5/28)
Basically the laws of Sotah are as follows:
A man warns his wife not to seclude herself with a certain man and she ignores the warning and secludes herself with that man in front of two witnesses. She must then bring a certain korbon and drink water in which the Name of Hashem was dissolved in it. If she was not faithful to her husband she swells from the water that she drank until she dies. However, if she was faithful to her husband and is innocent she will bear seed.
There are two opinions in the Gemorro exactly what does “and she will bear seed” mean.
Rebbi Akiva holds that if she was infertile she will give birth.
Rebbi Yishmael argues that this cannot be. If infertile women would be able to give birth like this they would deceitfully provoke their husbands to warn them not to seclude themselves (with another man) in order to bring on herself the laws of Sotah. When she would be found innocent she would be able to bear children. Therefore, argues Rebbi Yishmael, “and she will bear seed” means that if she had difficult births she will now have easy ones… if she gave birth to short children she will give birth to tall ones etc.
Zera Shimshon asks, “How does Rebbi Akiva refute Rebbi Yishmael’s argument of Rebbi Yishmael? Why wouldn’t any misfortunate infertile woman not carry out this scheme?
Zera Shimshon explains that the machlokos between Rebbi Akiva and Rebbi Yishmael is based on a different machlokos between them if a husband is obligated (chaiyav) to warn his wife if he suspects infidelity or if he is permitted to warn her (reshus) but there is no obligation. Rebbi Akiva holds that he is obligated and Rebbi Yishmael that he is permitted but there is no obligation.
According to this, reasons Zera Shimshon, we can understand why Rebbi Akiva isn’t bothered by Rebbi Yishmael’s question. According to Rebbi Akiva this woman deliberately planned a concocted scheme and caused Hashem name to be erased for no reason. Her husband isn’t responsible- he had no choice but to warn her. The whole reason that Hashem commanded her to drink the water and to erase H.s name is in order to determine the truth. Therefore it makes no sense that the Torah will let her benefit from her fabricated dishonest scheme. Therefore the water will not cause her to conceive! Since the misfortunate childless lady will not benefit from such a scheme we are not worried that she will carry it out.
Rebbi Yishmael, on the other hand, holds that since the husband doesn’t have to warn her, if he does it is in order to determine the truth; was his wife unfaithful or not. Therefore according to him, if the meaning of “and she will bear seed” would be that childless women will conceive then the water will have the ability to cause her to conceive.
This d’var Torah is dedicated to Beracha Bas Menucha Shaina. In the merit of the learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai Torah, Hashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun
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