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Mishnayos Sotah Perek 9 Mishnah 9

סוטה פרק ט׳ משנה ט׳


The mishna further states: From the time when murderers proliferated, the ritual of the heifer whose neck is broken was nullified. The ritual was performed only when the identity of the murderer was completely unknown. Once there were many known murderers, the conditions for the performance of the ritual were no longer present, as the probable identity of the murderer was known. From the time when Eliezer ben Dinai, who was also called Teḥina ben Perisha, came, they renamed him: Son of a murderer. This is an example of a publicly known murderer. The mishna teaches a similar occurrence: From the time when adulterers proliferated, the performance of the ritual of the bitter waters was nullified; they would not administer the bitter waters to the sota. And it was Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Zakkai who nullified it, as it is stated: “I will not punish your daughters when they commit harlotry, nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery; for they consort with lewd women” (Hosea 4:14), meaning that when the husbands are adulterers, the wives are not punished for their own adultery. From the time when Yosei ben Yo’ezer of Tzereida and Yosei ben Yehuda of Jerusalem died, the clusters ceased, i.e., they were the last of the clusters, as explained in the Gemara, as it is stated: “There is no cluster to eat; nor first-ripe fig that my soul desires” (Micah 7:1).

מִשֶּׁרַבּוּ הָרַצְחָנִים, בָּטְלָה עֶגְלָה עֲרוּפָה, מִשֶּׁבָּא אֶלִיעֶזֶר בֶּן דִּינַאי, וּתְחִינָה בֶּן פְּרִישָׁה הָיָה נִקְרָא, חָזְרוּ לִקְרוֹתוֹ בֶּן הָרַצְחָן. מִשֶּׁרַבּוּ הַמְנָאֲפִים, פָּסְקוּ הַמַּיִם הַמָּרִים, וְרַבָּן יוֹחָנָן בֶּן זַכַּאי הִפְסִיקָן, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (הושע ד) לֹא אֶפְקוֹד עַל בְּנוֹתֵיכֶם כִּי תִזְנֶינָה וְעַל כַּלּוֹתֵיכֶם כִּי תְנָאַפְנָה כִּי הֵם וְגוֹ'. מִשֶּׁמֵּת יוֹסֵי בֶן יוֹעֶזֶר אִישׁ צְרֵדָה וְיוֹסֵי בֶן יוֹחָנָן אִישׁ יְרוּשָׁלַיִם, בָּטְלוּ הָאֶשְׁכּוֹלוֹת, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (מיכה ז) אֵין אֶשְׁכּוֹל לֶאֱכֹל בִּכּוּרָה אִוְּתָה נַפְשִׁי:


בטלה עגלה ערופה – because they knew of them who was accustomed to kill.

בטלו האשכולות – a person who has everything (this is a Notarikon – describing the word אשכולות – see the commentary of Tosafot Yom Tov who also quotes Maimonides on this matter), meaning to say, their Torah is true without reproach.

בטלה עגלה ערופה. לפי שמכירין היו בהם מי רגיל להרוג:

בטלו האשכולות. איש שהכל בו. כלומר תורתם אמת מבלי דופי: