"The Kohen shall make her take an oath." "וְהִשְׁבִּיעַ אֹתָהּ הַכֹּהֵן"
According to Rashi, this verse teaches us that two women may not drink the Sotah waters at the same time. The Gemara explains that the Torah prohibits two women from drinking together out of fear that perhaps the first woman had not committed adultery and would therefore readily agree to drink the Sotah waters knowing that she will receive a blessing from them. However, the second woman – who did commit adultery – after seeing the first woman so confidently declare her innocence, will be too embarrassed to admit her guilt, and she will consequently end up agreeing to drink the Sotah waters even though she knows that it will lead to her gruesome death.
With this law, the Torah stresses how far someone will go in order to avoid embarrassment. If so, how much further should we go in order not to embarrass someone else.
One of the most famous stories in recent times about this topic involved Rav Moshe Feinstein, and occurred when he was being escorted to his driver’s car after leaving Yeshivah one afternoon. After the car had pulled away and was a significant distance from the Yeshivah, Rav Moshe let out an agonizing cry. His driver immediately stopped the car and turned around to see Rav Moshe holding his fingers in immense pain. Unbeknownst to everyone at the time, a student had unwittingly closed the door on Rav Moshe’s fingers. However, Rav Moshe had held himself back in order not to embarrass the student. “Could you imagine that poor student’s pain if he would have known what he had done to me?” Rav Moshe explained afterwards.
From here we see not only the great importance of not embarrassing someone else, but also the greatness of a great Rabbi, whose natural instinct to cry out in pain was overruled by what was clearly an even stronger “natural instinct” – not to embarrass a fellow Jew.