Talmud - Mas. Sotah 2a
C H A P T E R I MISHNAH. IF ONE WARNS
HIS WIFE [NOT TO ASSOCIATE WITH A CERTAIN MAN].R. ELIEZER SAYS: HE WARNS HER ON THE TESTIMONY OF TWO WITNESSES,
ANDMAKES HER DRINK [THE WATER OF BITTERNESS] ON THE TESTIMONY OF ONEWITNESS
OR HIS PERSONAL TESTIMONY. R. JOSHUA SAYS: HE WARNS HER ON THETESTIMONY OF TWO AND MAKES HER DRINK ON THE TESTIMONY OF TWO. HOW DOES HE WARN HER? IF HE SAYS TO HER IN THE PRESENCE OF TWO, DO NOTCONVERSE WITH THAT MAN, AND SHE CONVERSED WITH HIM, SHE IS STILLPERMITTED TO HER HUSBAND
AND PERMITTED TO PARTAKE OF THEHEAVE-OFFERING.
SHOULD SHE HAVE ENTERED A PRIVATE PLACE WITH HIM ANDSTAYED WITH HIM A TIME SUFFICIENT FOR MISCONDUCT TO HAVE OCCURRED, SHEIS FORBIDDEN TO HER HUSBAND
AND FORBIDDEN TO PARTAKE OF THEHEAVE-OFFERING. IF [HER HUSBAND] DIED,
SHE PERFORMS THE CEREMONY OFHALIZAH
BUT CANNOT CONTRACT A LEVIRATE MARRIAGE. GEMARA. Now that the Tanna has finished [Tractate] Nazir, what is his reason for continuingwith [Tractate] Sotah?
— It is according to the view of Rabbi; for it has been taught: Rabbi says,Why does the section of the Nazirite adjoin that of the suspected woman?
To tell you that whoeverwitnesses a suspected woman In her disgrace should withhold himself from wine.
But [the Tannain the Mishnah] should treat of [Tractate] Sotah first and afterwards that of Nazir!
— Since hetreated of [Tractate] Kethuboth [marriage-settlements] and dealt with the theme, ‘He who imposes invow upon his wife’,
he next treated of [Tractate] Nedarim [Vows]; and since he treated of [Tractate] Nedarim, he proceeded to treat of [Tractate] Nazir which is analogous to Nedarim,
andthen continues with Sotah for the reason given by Rabbi. IF ONE WARNS HIS WIFE. As an accomplished fact
it is allowable, but as something still tobe done it is not. Consequently our Tanna holds that it is forbidden to give a warning.
R. Samuel b. R. Isaac said: When Resh Lakish began to expound [the subject of] Sotah, he spokethus: They only pair a woman with a man according to his deeds;
as it is said: For the sceptre of wickedness shall not rest upon the lot of the righteous.
Rabbah b. Bar Hanah said in the name of R.Johanan: It is as difficult to pair them as was the division of the Red Sea; as it is said: God setteth thesolitary in families: He bringeth out the prisoners into prosperity!
But it is not so; for Rab Judahhas said in the name of Rab: Forty days before the creation of a child, a Bath Kol
issues forth andproclaims, The daughter of A is for B;
the house of C is for D; the field of E is for F! — There isno contradiction, the latter dictum referring to a first marriage and the former to a second marriage. R. ELIEZER SAYS, HE WARNS HER ON THE TESTIMONY OF TWO WITNESSES etc. Sofar only do [R. Eliezer and R. Joshua] differ, viz. in the matter of warning and seclusion, but in thematter of misconduct [they agree] that one witness is believed.
We similarly learn in the Mishnah:If one witness says: I saw that she committed misconduct, she does not drink the water.
Whence isit derived according to Torah-law that one witness is believed? As our Rabbis taught: And there beno witness against her
— the text refers to two witnesses.
But perhaps it is not so and even one[suffices]! There is a teaching to declare, One witness shall not rise up against a man.
Lit., ‘is jealous of, i.e., he gives her a warning because he feels jealous.
There must be two witnesses that he had warned her in their presence; otherwise he cannot require her to drink thewater of bitterness.