In Naso, we read (Bamidbar 5:32) that the kohen blots out the curses (which include Hashem's name) in the bitter waters and then gives for the woman to drink (5:24).

What if the woman is unable to swallow the waters due to their bitterness?Could she instead take it as an intravenous injection? Or do we insist that she swallow it?

  • Isn't the water pretty much 100% water? (I know there's earth in it, but presumably that'd sink to the bottom, no?) Is pretty-much-100% water dangerous as an IV injection? (That's my impression, but I'm untrained in medicine.)
    – msh210
    May 12, 2013 at 16:20
  • 1
    The question would be improved if you added your basis for thinking that, either in general or in this specific case, an IV might be halachically comparable to drinking.
    – Fred
    May 12, 2013 at 16:48
  • It seems that intravenous is not called eating or drinking and the Torah says drink. judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/16145/…
    – sam
    May 12, 2013 at 17:33
  • Also from the passuk its mashma we force her to drink see loshon of the passuk.
    – sam
    May 12, 2013 at 17:34
  • Re: "Poe's Law" , note that your actual intent is irrelevant. The acceptability of the question is based on whether the POV evident in the question looks sincere and on-topic.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 17, 2013 at 13:54

1 Answer 1


The Talmud (Sotah 18a) records the following question:

בעי רבא: השקה בסיב, מהו? בשפופרת, מהו? דרך שתיה בכך, או אין דרך שתיה בכך? תיקו.‏
Rava asked: If they had her drink [the waters] through a tube, what is the ruling? through a reed, what is the ruling? Is that the manner of drinking or it is not the manner of drinking? The matter remained unresolved.

An intravenous drip of Sotah-water is certainly no better than a straw and is much likely worse. So I would propose that is does not work.

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