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Sotah

The portion of the Sotah, the wife suspected of unfaithfulness who is brought before the Cohen and made to drink the bitter waters, begins with the words "Ish ish", 'any man' or literally 'Man Man' - This repetition of the word Man can be interpreted to indicate that the husband was overly selfish, overly concerned that he is the boss.
The traditional commentators discuss the fact that the Sotah portion follows the portion regarding tithing one's earnings and giving the money to the Cohen (Priest). The juxtaposition of topics is explained to mean that the person who does not tithe will end up with problems that will have to be brought to the Cohen (the Sotah). The Torah Temimah explains that it is connected because the person is stingy, selfish. Subsequently his selfishness leads to his wife being unhappy and looking outside the marriage for happiness.
The problems of the world, of families, of relationships, of countries could be summed up in two words, "Mi Barosh", "Who's the Boss." The selfish person wants to run the show, to be the boss, to stand at the head of the decision-making process and make selfish plans from a vantage point of being in charge.
People who insist on being involved in being the boss will end up drinking bitter waters.
- Adapted from Speech by Rabbi Safran 5/29/99 Parshas Behalosecha


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