Putting the possibility of building a third temple aside, (this is a theoretical question), if the third temple was rebuilt, would the sotah ritual still apply like it did during the second temple period? Or would the takkanah against the ritual (see https://www.sefaria.org/Mishnah_Sotah.9.9) still apply in the third temple era?

  • 3
    What has changed since the day before the Temple was destroyed that would make you suspect the rule tomorrow might be different?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 14:59
  • That was just me guessing. Anyone can guess. What are you looking for here in an answer?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 15:58
  • Say a Halacha or responsa brought down on an issue in a source like the shulchan aruch or some other code of Jewish law @DoubleAA
    – Kirk
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 16:01

2 Answers 2


The Torah teaches that in the future, G-d will "circumcise our hearts"

And the L-rd, your G-d, will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring (Devarim 30:6)

The Ramban (ad loc.) teaches that this means that the "physical lust" part of our being will be removed by G-d. Our Yetzer Hara will be removed and thus we have no more physical lusts anymore.

To extrapolate this, maybe we can say that the Sotah-process is not needed anymore, since there won't be any lusts anymore.

I have searched many places for מֵי הַמָּרִים בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ הַשְּׁלִישִׁי but it does not show up any source-based explanations.

In my answer here I quoted the Malbim on Zecharya where it explains that after Moshiach comes, every form and trace of idolatry will be removed from us.

  • Are you saying that the Sotah mitzvah will probably become kinda sorta dormant kinda like " א֛וֹב א֥וֹ יִדְּעֹנִ֖י"? Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 14:20
  • Maybe, I don't know. I do know that there are prophecies that tell us we will not have an yetzer hara anymore.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 14:26

During the Second Temple period, there were a lot of philanderers; the Sotah process was intended for when adultery was a rare and shocking event, so it stopped working; eventually the rabbis stopped doing it.

By that logic, whether to use it in the next Temple will depend, simply enough, on whether there will be a lot of philanderers. And whether that will happen ... gets to the question of expectations about the Third Temple.

  • Thanks, so in that case the takkanah is not forever binding but conditional on similar circumstances. Appreciated, do you have a source for that assertion, however? @shalom
    – Kirk
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 16:28
  • @KirkBellard This answer provided no source for such an assertion.
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 16:29
  • On the flip side, it might also depend on whether there are any philanderers. Which makes this question more philosophical if so
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 16:43
  • The Tosefta says because the procedure is for a safek, and this is a vadai. The pasuk of le efkod was an asmachta. Therefore, I would read the current psak as: "do it, unless there are lots of philanderers."
    – Shalom
    Commented Oct 16, 2023 at 17:06

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