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Sotah (the "wayward wife")

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Sotah (the "wayward wife"): (a) A woman suspected by her husband of adultery. Despite his circumstantial evidence, she proclaims her innocence. She would submit to the test of drinking the “bitter waters.” If she had been unfaithful, both she and the adulterer would die. (b) The Talmudic tractate that discusses the laws of the Sotah.
The sotah ritual concerned a wife whose husband suspected her of adultery and would have her drink special “bitter” water in the Holy Temple complex.
What happens if the woman is proven innocent?
“Nothing new under the sun,” wrote King Solomon in Ecclesiastes. And so, we discover this week that infidelity and other marital problems aren’t exactly a new societal phenomenon . . .
It is a “descent for the sake of ascent,” a crisis in the marriage which ultimately deepens and enhances it by unearthing deep wells of loyalty and commitment which remain untapped in an unchallenged relationship.
On Shavuot, we received the Ten Commandments—the marriage between G‑d and His people. Like the “jealous husband,” He warned us: “Don’t have other gods before Me.”
Sin is foolish. We all know it. No one ever feels good after a sin, and no one feels bad after doing a mitzvah. But we sin anyway. Then we feel guilty, then we sin again . . .
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