Friday, June 13, 2008

Hidden Away

The Mishna (Daf Yomi: Sotah 20a) had stated: If before the scroll has been erased she said: “I will not drink,” her scroll is hidden away and her minchah offering is scattered on the ashes.

Rashi learns that they are hidden away at the sides of the Sanctuary, for all sacred writings which cannot be used any longer are hidden away in a place that they will not be treated with disrespect.

In the sefer Torah Haohel, he asks, why did the sotah scroll have to be hidden away? Couldn’t they have given it to a child in order for him to learn the portion in the Torah dealing with the sotah?

He answers that since it was written with sanctity, and it contains the Name of Hashem, they were concerned that the children will not treat the scroll with the proper respect, and therefore it was required to be hidden away.

Furthermore, he says that it would be degrading for the woman, for everyone would say that this is the scroll that was prepared for So-and-So the sotah.

Tosfos cites a Yerushalmi (and some understand that this is what Rashi means as well) that the scroll is hidden away in the hinges of the Sanctuary door. The opening and closing of the door will cause that it will be worn away.

The Minchas Kenaos asks: How would it be permitted to erase Hashem’s Name by opening and closing the door? The Gemora Makkos (22a) rules that one who erases Hashem’s Name receives lashes! Since the opening and closing of the door will certainly result in the erasure of His Name, it should be regarded as a “direct erasing,” and should be forbidden!

The Ridvaz answers: Since the Name of Hashem was written on this scroll with the intention that it will be erased (in the bitter waters), there is no prohibition to erase this Name. It is not regarded as a permanent inscription, and therefore it would be permitted to erase it.