Miraculous Evidence by Tzvi Zuckier

(2006/5766) In its introduction to the subject of Sotah, the
possibly adulterous woman who must undergo a unique
ordeal to prove or disprove her faithfulness, the Torah (5:11)
begins as it does in many occasions: “Vaydabeir Hashem El
Moshe Leimor,” “Hashem spoke to Moshe saying.”  This
phrase is always used when Hashem is giving Moshe a
message to be repeated to the Bnei Yisrael.  Although this
common Pasuk is rarely expounded upon, the Midrash states
in this context that “Leimor” means “Ledorot,” that the
message should be related for future generations.  Why does
the Midrash feel compelled to comment here?  This Pasuk is
always an indication that Moshe is to relay a message to
later generations as well his own; what does the Midrash add
by making this point about the laws of Sotah?
The Tiferet Yehonatan explains this based on the
Gemara’s statement (Yoma 75a) that the generation of Bnei
Yisrael who received the Mann were not obligated in the laws
of Sotah.  The Gemara there discusses possible meanings of
the phrase “KeZera Gad Lavan” (Bemidbar 16:31), which
describes the quality of Mann, apart from the literal
translation, “like a coriander seed and white.”  After offering
several explanations, the Gemara suggests that the words
Gad and Lavan could mean that the Mann could tell
(“Maggid”) the judges what the conclusion should be
(“Lavan”) in a case whose facts are ambiguous.  One of the
examples of such ambiguous cases that the Gemara
presents is a husband who claimed that his wife cheated on
him, but whose wife responded that he was just trying to
cheat her out of her Ketubah money.  When the Mann was
collected the next morning, the Omer of Mann (one person’s
serving) that the wife normally received would determine who
was correct.  If it turned up in the house of the wife’s father, it
meant that the woman had been faithful and that the
husband was just trying to find a way out of presenting her
with the Ketubah money she deserved.  If, on the other hand,
the Mann found its way into the husband’s house, it meant
that she had committed the grave sin of unfaithfulness to her
husband, and would therefore not receive the Ketubah
money.  In this miraculous way, the Mann indirectly judged
an obscure case.  This Gemara shows that in the generation
when the Mann fell, Bnei Yisrael did not need the Mitzvah of
Sotah because the Mann determined the judgment for all
potential Sotah cases.
This explains that why the Midrash made its
seemingly unnecessary comment.  The word “Ledorot” is not
trying to add future generations of Bnei Yisrael to the list of
Jews who are to be given the laws of Sotah; rather, it is
coming to restrict the application of these laws to only the
future members of the Bnei Yisrael.  The Jews to whom
Moshe is speaking, however, are not actually obligated in
these laws.
Perhaps we should not overlook even such simple
and common Pesukim as the one quoted above – as in this
case, even they can carry great significance.

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