A woman accused of being a Sotah (had intentional seclusion with a man she was warned against), is now forbidden to her husband until she drinks the Sotah waters. If she committed adultery, she'll die after drinking.

Let's say the woman was raped while in seclusion, would she die if she drank the waters?

This question is motivated by the Maharal to Esther 4:16 and Penei Yehoshua to Kesubos 51b who both say a woman who had intentional seclusion with a man, and was raped, is forever forbidden to her husband. They prove this from Esther, who intentionally secluded herself with Achashverosh, and was thus forbidden to Mordechai, even though relations with him weren't with intent. If we take their opinion into account, the question would then be how far to take what they're saying.


In light of my lack of knowledge on this subject i have tried my best to provide a source for the Maharal and Pnei Yehoshua's opinion:

Kesubos 51b:

אמר רב יהודה הני נשי דגנבו גנבי שריין לגוברייהו אמרי ליה רבנן לרב יהודה והא קא ממטיאן להו נהמא מחמת יראה והא קא משלחן להו גירי מחמת יראה ודאי שבקינהו ואזלן מנפשייהו אסירן
Rav Yehuda said "Woman which are kidnapped from their husbands are permitted." The rabbis asked him "surely they bring food to their captors and give them arrows to fight their enemies?
He replied: "They do so out of fear, but if they are abandoned and go back willfully to be with their captors they are forbidden to their husbands."

This seems to imply the actual going voluntarily to someone for adulterous relations makes her forbidden to her husband (with testimony of intent and seclusion) regardless what happens afterwards as we cannot be sure, makes her forbidden to her Husband.
The proof from Ester proves that even though we are 100% sure through Nevua of Mordechai she was Oneis the very going still forbids her.

All this being said if she gets raped, even though she put herself in seclusion and is forbidden to her husband, she won't die from the sotah waters as the actual Biah she does not want and is oneis at that time so Hashem (who know everyone's true intentions) does not punish her as clearly indicated in by Bava kama 28b (and other places as well)

ואונס רחמנא פטריה דכתיב ולנער [ולנערה] לא תעשה דבר אין לנער [לנערה] חטא מות...(צעקה הנער [הנערה] המארשה ואין מושיע ל)ה

  • Okay but what about my question? – robev Sep 21 '18 at 13:11
  • @robev Good point just edited – user15464 Sep 21 '18 at 13:33

The only reason Esther was prohibited to Mordecai at the time of seclusion was because sex (consensual or otherwise) was assumed. The Sota Waters are only given to a woman who wants to prove her innocence. Her husband told her not to seclude herself with with a certain man, and a witness tells Bis Din that he saw her seclude herself with that very man; because she denied having sexual relations with him. She is Assur to her husband from the time he tells her not to be alone with that man, because he has doubts. Now the sota waters will either clear her name and make her permissible to him or will kill her. But if the husband never told her not to be secluded with a certain man, then even if she's secluded with him she's permitted to her husband. The Gemara that you alluded to (in kesubos 51 B תניא כוותיה דרבא (במדבר ה, יג) 'והיא ל'(()) אסור...' הא נתפשה מותרת. ויש לך אחרת שאע"פ שלא נתפשה מותרת. ואיזו זו? כל שתחלתה באונס .וסופה ברצון and the other Amara says no even in such a case where should were she enjoyed that at the end of the rape it's okay he can take her back. because it was a momentary lapse in judgement.) Is not relevent to the Sota water case in that even if she was raped, she Would die. The reason being that she was warned not to be with that man.

  • 1
    While you made a series of statements, some of which are true some of which are half true, nothing you wrote answers my question. Read it again and you'll see some of your claims are not in line with what I wrote – robev Mar 5 '18 at 13:31

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