Would a woman that cheated on her husband with another woman qualify as a sotah?

יז: וְלָקַח הַכֹּהֵן מַיִם קְדֹשִׁים, בִּכְלִי-חָרֶשׂ; וּמִן-הֶעָפָר, אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בְּקַרְקַע הַמִּשְׁכָּן, יִקַּח הַכֹּהֵן, וְנָתַן אֶל-הַמָּיִם

17: The kohen shall take holy water in an earthen vessel, and some earth from the Mishkan floor, the kohen shall take and put it into the water.

כז: וְהִשְׁקָהּ אֶת הַמַּיִם וְהָיְתָה אִם נִטְמְאָה וַתִּמְעֹל מַעַל בְּאִישָׁהּ וּבָאוּ בָהּ הַמַּיִם הַמְאָרְרִים לְמָרִים וְצָבְתָה בִטְנָהּ וְנָפְלָה יְרֵכָהּ…‏

22: He shall make her drink the water, and it shall be that, if she had been defiled and was unfaithful to her husband, the curse bearing waters shall enter her to become bitter, and her belly will swell, and her thigh will rupture.…

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    Welcome to MY.SE and thanks for this q. Can you explain to the community what those two verses have to do with the q (more the 17 than 22)? See this very related q.
    – Oliver
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 3:41
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    According to Rav Huna a woman cannot marry a Kohen since she gets status of a zona for such relations(Not l'maaseh) ,but halachicly speaking she is considered a person who violated derech mitzrayim v'canan,defiled does not seem to fit into the issur if same sex relations by women
    – sam
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 3:43
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    Also from the plain reading of the Mishna 2 of Sotah, it says specifically ish ploni: כֵּיצַד מְקַנֵּא לָהּ. אָמַר לָהּ בִּפְנֵי שְׁנַיִם, אַל תְּדַבְּרִי עִם אִישׁ פְּלוֹנִי, וְדִבְּרָה עִמּוֹ, עֲדַיִן הִיא מֻתֶּרֶת לְבֵיתָהּ וּמֻתֶּרֶת לֶאֱכֹל בַּתְּרוּמָה. נִכְנְסָה עִמּוֹ לְבֵית הַסֵּתֶר וְשָׁהֲתָה עִמּוֹ כְדֵי טֻמְאָה, אֲסוּרָה לְבֵיתָהּ וַאֲסוּרָה לֶאֱכֹל בַּתְּרוּמָה. וְאִם מֵת, חוֹלֶצֶת וְלֹא מִתְיַבָּמֶת:
    – sam
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 3:55
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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/91418/15256 Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 6:37

1 Answer 1


The Babylonian Talmud sets forth in Yemavot p.76 A that relations between women are not considered actual sexual relations, stating, "“And even according to Rav Eleazar, who stated that an unmarried man who cohabited with an unmarried woman with no matrimonial intention renders her therefore a prostitute [zona], this disqualification ensues only in the case of a man, but when [the case] is that of a woman [playing around with another woman] the action is regarded as mere obscenity.”

We pasken like this Gamarra, as set forth by the Rambam in Hilchot Issurei Bi’ah 21:8, stating “For women to play around with one another is forbidden and belongs to ‘the practices of the Egyptians’ concerning which we have been warned, ‘You shall not copy the practices of the land of Egypt’…But though such conduct is forbidden, it is not punishable by lashing since there is no specific prohibition against it and in any case no sexual intercourse takes place at all. Consequently, such women are not forbidden to the priesthood on account of unchastity, nor is a woman prohibited to her husband because of it, since this does not constitute unchastity. But it is appropriate to flog such women since they have done a forbidden thing. A man should be particularly strict with his wife in this matter, and should prevent women known to indulge in such practices from visiting her, and her from going to visit them.”

As such, a woman in this position would not be considered a sotah and would be permitted to remain with her husband even if he were a Kohain.

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    What about according to the other opinion in Yevamot? How would they hold for Sotah?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 6:33
  • @doubleaa also the act mentioned in the Talmud is about a woman using the zera from her husband and pouring it from her womb into another womans womb and the other woman could potentially become pregnant which is the reason why Rav Huna you mention says she is Passul to Kehuna. Sotah only excludes a relationship with an animal so the question has not been answered and i would think she can be forbidden to her husband through another woman
    – user15464
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 16:07

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