Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Skip to content

Today's Daf Yomi

October 24, 2014 | ืœืณ ื‘ืชืฉืจื™ ืชืฉืขืดื”

  • This month's learning is dedicated by Debbie and Yossi Gevir to Rabbanit Michelle and the Hadran Zoom group for their kindness, support, and care during a medically challenging year.

  • Masechet Yevamot is sponsored by Ahava Leibtag and family in memory of her grandparents, Leo and Esther Aaron. "They always stressed the importance of a Torah life, mesorah and family. May their memory always be a blessing for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren".

Yevamot 20

Study Guide Yevamot 20


If the lesson doesn't play, click "Download"

ืฉืžื’ืจืฉื” ื‘ื’ื˜ ื•ืžื—ื–ื™ืจื” ื”ืชื ื ืžื™ ืœื™ืžื ื•ื™ื‘ืžื” ืขื“ื™ื™ืŸ ื™ื‘ื•ืžื™ืŸ ื”ืจืืฉื•ื ื™ื ืขืœื™ื” ื•ืชื™ื‘ืขื™ ื—ืœื™ืฆื”

that he must divorce his yevama with a bill of divorce and she does not also require แธฅalitza. And he may remarry her, if he wishes, after the divorce; as the halakha is not ruled in accordance with the opinion that after he performs the mitzva she is once more forbidden to him as his brotherโ€™s wife. Why? There, too, let the halakha say that the verse states: โ€œAnd consummate the levirate marriage [veyibbema],โ€ as explained above, meaning that the first levirate bond is still upon her and she should also require แธฅalitza.

ืฉืื ื™ ื”ืชื ื“ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ืœืงื—ื” ืœื• ืœืืฉื” ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉืœืงื—ื” ื ืขืฉื™ืช ื›ืืฉืชื• ืœื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ื”ื ื›ืชื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ื™ื‘ืžื”

The Gemara answers: It is different there, as the verse states: โ€œAnd take her to him to be his wifeโ€ (Deuteronomyย 25:5) to teach that once he has taken her, her legal status is that of his wife in every sense. The Gemara objects: If so, here too, in the case of a brother born after the levirate marriage, according to the opinion of the Rabbis this same principle should apply. The Gemara answers that The Merciful One states: โ€œAnd consummate the levirate marriage [veyibbema],โ€ that is, even after the marriage she is still considered to be the wife of the deceased brother [yevama] with respect to any brothers who are born later.

ื•ืžื” ืจืื™ืช ืžืกืชื‘ืจื ืฉื“ื™ ื”ื™ืชื™ืจื ืื”ื™ืชื™ืจื ื•ืฉื“ื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจื ืืื™ืกื•ืจื

The Gemara asks: What did you see to distinguish in this way and say that once she is married the levirate obligation is totally abrogated with regard to แธฅalitza, but that she remains prohibited as the wife of a brother with whom one did not coexist with respect to any brothers born in the future? The Gemara answers: It stands to reason to say: Toss that which is permitted on that which is permitted, and toss that which is prohibited on that which is prohibited. In other words, in cases where the woman becomes permitted to her yavam through levirate marriage, it stands to reason that this permitted state is absolute, but with regard to the prohibition against taking the wife of a brother with whom one did not coexist, it stands to reason that the verse comes to teach that she retains her prohibited status with respect to any brothers born in the future.

ื•ืœืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื‘ื ื•ืžืฆืื” ื‘ื”ื™ืชืจ ื•ืœื ืขืžื“ื” ืขืœื™ื• ืฉืขื” ืื—ืช ื‘ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืืœื ืžืขืชื” ืื—ื•ืชื• ืžืืžื• ืฉื ืฉืื” ืื—ื™ื• ืžืื‘ื™ื• ื•ืื—ืจ ื›ืš ื ื•ืœื“ ืื— ื•ืžืช ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื‘ื ื•ืžืฆืื” ื‘ื”ื™ืชืจ

The Gemara suggests: But according to Rabbi Shimon, who said that since he came and found her in a permitted state a brother born subsequently may perform levirate marriage since she was never for a single moment prohibited to him; however, if that is so, consider the case of oneโ€™s maternal half sister, who married his paternal half brother; their marriage was fully permissible since the husband and wife were in no way related to each other. And then his brother was born and the married brother died; in that case, let the sister enter into levirate marriage with her newly born half brother for the same reason, i.e., since he came and found her in a permitted state, as when he was born she was already his brotherโ€™s wife.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืื—ื•ืชื• ืœื”ื™ื›ืŸ ืื–ืœ ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืื—ื™ื• ืฉืœื ื”ื™ื” ื‘ืขื•ืœื ืœื”ื™ื›ืŸ ืื–ืœ ื”ืื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจื ื“ืœื™ืช ืœื™ื” ื”ื™ืชื™ืจื ื”ืื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจื ื“ืื™ืช ืœื™ื” ื”ื™ืชื™ืจื

The Gemara challenges this suggestion: How can you say that? What happened to the prohibition against marrying his sister, to where did it go? This widow is the maternal sister of the newly born brother and is therefore forbidden to him. The Gemara objects: If so, here too, one could have said: What happened to the prohibition against marrying the wife of a brother with whom one did not coexist, to where did it go? In this case as well, the prohibition against marrying the wife of a brother with whom he did not coexist already applied from the first brother, so why does Rabbi Shimon see this as abrogated by marriage? The Gemara answers that the comparison is unsound. This prohibition against marrying oneโ€™s sister has no case where it is permitted and so in this case is also not canceled, whereas that prohibition against marrying a brotherโ€™s wife has a case where it is permitted, when the mitzva of levirate marriage applies to a second brother and is therefore removed completely before the third brother is born.

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ื›ืœืœ ืืžืจื• ื‘ื™ื‘ืžื” ื›ืœ ืฉื”ื™ื ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื” ืœื ื—ื•ืœืฆืช ื•ืœื ืžืชื™ื™ื‘ืžืช ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื•ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ื—ื•ืœืฆืช ื•ืœื ืžืชื™ื™ื‘ืžืช

MISHNA: The Sages stated a principle about a yevama: Whoever is forbidden by a prohibition of forbidden relations to her yavam neither performs แธฅalitza nor enters into levirate marriage and is completely exempt. If she is forbidden by a prohibition resulting from a mitzva or by a prohibition stemming from sanctity, as will be explained later, then since in these cases the obligation of levirate marriage is not fundamentally nullified she performs แธฅalitza in order to become free of the levirate bond, and due to her prohibition she does not enter into levirate marriage.

ืื—ื•ืชื” ืฉื”ื™ื ื™ื‘ืžืชื” ื—ื•ืœืฆืช ืื• ืžืชื™ื™ื‘ืžืช

The Sages stated another principle: If two sisters who had been married to two brothers who subsequently died happened before the third brother for levirate marriage, and one of those sisters is a close relation to this third brother and is therefore forbidden to him, she is exempt from levirate marriage. But the other, her sister who is her yevama, i.e., her sister-in-law, performs แธฅalitza or enters into levirate marriage. In this case, they are not ruled to be two sisters who happened before him simultaneously for levirate marriage, since one of them is prohibited to him as a forbidden relation, and therefore she never actually happened before him at all.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืฉื ื™ื•ืช ืžื“ื‘ืจื™ ืกื•ืคืจื™ื ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื’ืจื•ืฉื” ื•ื—ืœื•ืฆื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ืœื™ืฉืจืืœ ื•ื‘ืช ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืœื ืชื™ืŸ ื•ืžืžื–ืจ

The mishna explains: A prohibition resulting from a mitzva is referring to secondary forbidden relationships, which are prohibited by rabbinic law. The Sages prohibited marriage to certain women who were not forbidden by the Torah but were nevertheless deemed forbidden incestuous relations. A prohibition stemming from sanctity is referring to marriage of a widow to a High Priest, a divorcรฉe or a woman who has performed แธฅalitza [แธฅalutza] to a common priest, a daughter born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship [mamzeret] or a Gibeonite woman to an Israelite, and also an Israelite woman to a Gibeonite or to a son born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship [mamzer].

ื’ืžืณ ื›ืœืœ ืœืืชื•ื™ื™ ืžืื™ ืืžืจ ืจืคืจื ื‘ืจ ืคืคื ืœืืชื•ื™ื™ ืฆืจืช ืื™ืœื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื›ื“ืจื‘ ืืกื™

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: This principle stated in the mishna about yevamot, what other cases does it add? Since the entire list of cases involving a forbidden relation was already detailed in the first chapter, what is this mishna adding? Rafram bar Pappa said: It comes to include the case of a rival wife of a sexually underdeveloped woman [aylonit], who is incapable of bearing children. Not only does an aylonit herself not enter into levirate marriage, since she is unable to give birth, but her rival wife is exempt as well. And this is like the principle of Rav Asi, who said that the rival wife of an aylonit is forbidden because the aylonit herself remains prohibited to the yavam as the wife of his brother, as she was never rendered permitted by the obligation of levirate marriage. Therefore, her rival wife is the rival wife of someone prohibited as a forbidden relation.

ื•ืื™ื›ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ื›ืœ ืฉืื™ืกื•ืจื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื” ื”ื•ื ื“ืืกื™ืจื ืฆืจืชื” ื”ื ืœื ืื™ืกื•ืจื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื” ืฆืจืชื” ืœื ืืกื™ืจื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ืžืื™ ืืžืจ ืจืคืจื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ืฆืจืช ืื™ืœื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื“ืœื ื›ืจื‘ ืืกื™

And there are those who say that Rafram bar Pappaโ€™s statement was made in a different context. It was taught in the mishna: Whoever is forbidden to her yavam by a prohibition of forbidden relations is completely exempt, which implies that it is specifically in such a case that her rival wife is forbidden. But any case when one wife is not forbidden by a prohibition of forbidden relations but is instead forbidden for some other reason, then her rival wife is not forbidden. This case comes to exclude what? Rafram said: It excludes the rival wife of an aylonit, who requires levirate marriage or แธฅalitza because the aylonit is not prohibited as a forbidden relation. And this statement is not in accordance with the opinion of Rav Asi.

ืื—ื•ืชื” ืฉื”ื™ื ื™ื‘ืžืชื” ืื—ื•ืชื” ื“ืžืืŸ ืื™ืœื™ืžื ื“ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ื“ืžื“ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ืจืžื™ื ืงืžื™ื” ืคื’ืข ื‘ืื—ื•ืช ื–ืงื•ืงืชื• ืืœื ืื—ื•ืชื” ื“ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื”

The mishna states: Her sister who is her yevama performs แธฅalitza or enters into levirate marriage. The Gemara clarifies this: Whose sister? If we say it is the sister of one who is forbidden due to a prohibition resulting from a mitzva, since by Torah law she is cast before him for levirate marriage, then this would in fact simply be a case of two sisters who fell simultaneously before him, both requiring levirate marriage, since according to Torah law there is no prohibition against entering into levirate marriage with such a woman. If so, it turns out that he encounters the sister of the woman with whom he has a levirate bond; but that case has already been taught. Rather, it must refer to the sister of a woman who is forbidden to him by a prohibition of forbidden relations, and since he may not enter into levirate marriage with a forbidden relation, her sister is not considered to be the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond. Therefore, the sister may be taken in levirate marriage.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืฉื ื™ื•ืช ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ืžืฆื•ื” ืœืฉืžื•ืข ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื

The mishna states that a prohibition resulting from a mitzva is referring to secondary forbidden relationships, which are prohibited by rabbinic law. The Gemara asks: Why is this called a prohibition resulting from a mitzva? Abaye said: This is because it is a mitzva to listen to and obey the words of the Sages.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื’ืจื•ืฉื” ื•ื—ืœื•ืฆื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ื•ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื”ื• ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ื ื™ื”ื™ื• ืœืืœื”ื™ื”ื

The mishna states: A prohibition stemming from sanctity is referring to a marriage of a widow to a High Priest, a divorcรฉe or a แธฅalutza to a common priest. The Gemara asks: Why are these called a prohibition stemming from sanctity? As it is written with regard to the priests: โ€œThey shall be sacred to their Godโ€ฆthey shall not take a woman that is a harlot, or profaned; neither shall they take a woman divorced by her husbandโ€ (Leviticus 21:6โ€“7).

ืชื ื™ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืžื—ืœื™ืฃ ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื’ืจื•ืฉื” ื•ื—ืœื•ืฆื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ื•ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืืœื” ื”ืžืฆื•ืช

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda switches the terms: A prohibition resulting from a mitzva is referring to a widow to the High Priest, or a divorcรฉe or a แธฅalutza to a common priest. And why is this called a prohibition resulting from a mitzva? As it is written in summarization at the end of Leviticus: โ€œThese are the mitzvot that the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinaiโ€ (Leviticus 27:34).

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืฉื ื™ื•ืช ืžื“ื‘ืจื™ ืกื•ืคืจื™ื ื•ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ื›ืœ ื”ืžืงื™ื™ื ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ื ืงืจื ืงื“ื•ืฉ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ื ื•ื›ืœ ืฉืื™ื ื• ืžืงื™ื™ื ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื”ื•ื ื“ืœื ืžื™ืงืจื™ ืจืฉืข ื ืžื™ ืœื ืžื™ืงืจื™ ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืงื“ืฉ ืขืฆืžืš ื‘ืžื•ืชืจ ืœืš

A prohibition stemming from sanctity is referring to secondary relationships forbidden by rabbinic law. And why is this called a prohibition stemming from sanctity? Abaye said: Whoever fulfills the words of the Sages is called sacred. Rava said to him: The language you use is not precise, since if so, whoever does not fulfill the words of the Sages is not called sacred, which implies that he is also not called wicked. However, anyone who transgresses the words of the Sages is in fact referred to as wicked. Rather, Rava said that the reason why this is called a prohibition stemming from sanctity is that the term sanctity indicates differentiation or separation, and there is a principle that you must sanctify yourself by refraining from that which is permitted to you by Torah law. The Sages decreed against secondary forbidden relations so that one would not eventually come to transgress Torah law.

ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ืงืคืกื™ืง ื•ืชื ื™ ืœื ืฉื ื ืžืŸ ื”ื ืฉื•ืื™ืŸ ื•ืœื ืฉื ื ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ

The mishna states that the levirate bond of a widow to a High Priest requires her to perform แธฅalitza, and she may not enter into levirate marriage. The Gemara comments: The halakha that a widow does not enter into levirate marriage with a High Priest is taught categorically, merely in a general manner. It is no different whether she is a widow from marriage or she is a widow from betrothal alone.

ื‘ืฉืœืžื ืžืŸ ื”ื ืฉื•ืื™ืŸ ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื•ืื™ืŸ ืขืฉื” ื“ื•ื—ื” ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื•ืขืฉื” ืืœื ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื’ืจื™ื“ื ื”ื•ื ื™ื‘ื ืขืฉื” ื•ื™ื“ื—ื” ืœื ืชืขืฉื”

Granted, she certainly may not enter into levirate marriage if she is a widow from marriage, since she is forbidden to the High Priest by the positive mitzva stated in the verse: โ€œAnd he shall take a wife in her virginityโ€ (Leviticus 21:13), and by the prohibition stated in the verse: โ€œA widow, or one divorcedโ€ฆthese he shall not takeโ€ (Leviticus 21:14). And a positive mitzva, levirate marriage, does not override both a prohibition, not marrying a widow, and a positive mitzva, marrying a virgin, together. However, if she is a widow from betrothal, then there is only a prohibition, as she is still a virgin. In that case, why not say that the positive mitzva of levirate marriage should come and override the prohibition against marrying a widow from betrothal?

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื’ื™ื“ืœ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ืขืœืชื” ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ื”ืฉืขืจื” ืฉืื™ืŸ ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ืžื” ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ื™ืฉ ืœืš ื™ื‘ืžื” ืื—ืช ืฉืขื•ืœื” ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ื•ืื™ื ื” ืขื•ืœื” ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ื•ืื™ื–ื• ื–ื• ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ

Rav Giddel said that Rav said in response: The verse states: โ€œHis yevama shall ascend to the gate to the Elders and say: My brother-in-law refused to establish a name for his brother in Israel, he did not wish to consummate the levirate marriageโ€ (Deuteronomy 25:7). As there is no need for the verse to state: โ€œHis yevama,โ€ since it is clear to whom the verse refers and no new information is added by this word, what is the meaning when the verse states: โ€œHis yevamaโ€? It comes to teach that there is one yevama who ascends for แธฅalitza but may not ascend for levirate marriage, and her brother-in-law is not given a choice. Who is this? This is a woman with whom it is prohibited for her yavam to enter into levirate marriage, as he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition, and the positive mitzva of levirate marriage does not override the prohibition.

ื•ืื™ืžื ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ืื ืœื ื™ื—ืคื•ืฅ ื”ืื™ืฉ ืœืงื—ืช ื”ื ื—ืคืฅ ืžื™ื™ื‘ื ื›ืœ ื”ืขื•ืœื” ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืขื•ืœื” ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ื•ื›ืœ ืฉืื™ืŸ ืขื•ืœื” ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืื™ื ื• ืขื•ืœื” ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื”

The Gemara asks: Say that this is referring to those women who are forbidden and would be liable to receive the penalty of karet as well, i.e., that these too may not enter into levirate marriage but nevertheless require แธฅalitza. The Gemara answers: The verse states: โ€œAnd if the man does not wish to take his yevamaโ€ (Deuteronomy 25:7). This implies that if he wishes, he takes her in levirate marriage; it depends upon his wishes. However, one who is eligible for levirate marriage is eligible for แธฅalitza. And conversely, one who is ineligible for levirate marriage is ineligible for แธฅalitza and therefore does not require แธฅalitza at all. Since those relations that carry a penalty of karet have no possibility of entering into levirate marriage, they do not require แธฅalitza either.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ื ืžื™ ื”ื ืจื‘ื™ ืจื—ืžื ื ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ื•ืžื” ืจืื™ืช

The Gemara asks: If so, those relations who are forbidden as he would be liable for the violation of a standard prohibition also should not require แธฅalitza, as they may not enter into levirate marriage. The Gemara answers: But the Merciful One included one category of yevama who is eligible for แธฅalitza alone and not levirate marriage through the term: โ€œHis yevama.โ€ The Gemara asks: And what did you see to conclude that the additional term is referring to relations who are forbidden and with whom he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition and not those who are liable to receive karet?

ืžืกืชื‘ืจื ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ืชืคืกื™ ื‘ื”ื• ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ืŸ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ืœื ืชืคืกื™ ื‘ื”ื• ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ืŸ

The Gemara answers: That stands to reason, since betrothal takes effect with those women who are forbidden and with whom he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition. That is, if a man betroths a woman who is forbidden to him and with whom he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition, then although he violates a prohibition in doing so, the betrothal is valid and cannot be ended without a bill of divorce. Therefore, such a woman also requires แธฅalitza. In contrast, betrothal does not take effect at all with those who are forbidden and would be liable to receive the punishment of karet, and therefore in these cases the laws of levirate marriage and แธฅalitza do not apply at all.

ืžืชื™ื‘ ืจื‘ื ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื•ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ื‘ื ืขืœื™ื” ืื• ื—ืœืฅ ืœื” ื ืคื˜ืจื” ืฆืจืชื” ื•ืื™ ืกืœืงื ื“ืขืชืš ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ืžื“ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ืจืžื™ื ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืœื ืจืžื™ื ื›ื™ ื‘ื ืขืœื™ื” ืืžืื™ ื ืคื˜ืจื” ืฆืจืชื”

Rava raised an objection to the explanation of Rav: It is taught in a baraita with regard to a prohibition resulting from a mitzva and a prohibition stemming from sanctity that if he engages in intercourse with such a woman or performs แธฅalitza with her, her rival wife is exempt, even though it was prohibited for him to have engaged in intercourse with her in the first place. If it enters your mind that women who are forbidden, as he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition, require แธฅalitza by Torah law but do not require levirate marriage, then when he engages in intercourse with his yevama why is her rival wife exempt? If there is no biblical mitzva to engage in intercourse with her, his action would carry no halakhic validity and the rival wife should not be exempt.

ื”ื•ื ืžื•ืชื™ื‘ ืœื” ื•ื”ื•ื ืžืคืจืง ืœื” ืœืฆื“ื“ื™ืŸ ืงืชื ื™ ื‘ื ืขืœื™ื” ืืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื—ืœืฅ ืœื” ืืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื”

Rava raised the objection and he resolved it: The baraita teaches it disjunctively; it did not all deal with the same case. When the baraita says: Engages in intercourse with her, it is referring to a prohibition resulting from a mitzva. If one engages in intercourse with a yevama prohibited to him by rabbinic law, since by Torah law levirate marriage with her is valid, then although his act involved the transgression of a rabbinic decree, he nevertheless fulfilled the Torah mitzva and the rival wife is thereby exempt. When the baraita says: Performs แธฅalitza with her, it is referring to a prohibition stemming from sanctity, and by Torah law there is no option of levirate marriage because of the prohibited relation; therefore, only แธฅalitza exempts her rival wife.

ืžืชื™ื‘ ืจื‘ื ืคืฆื•ืข ื“ื›ื ื•ื›ืจื•ืช ืฉืคื›ื” ืกืจื™ืก ืื“ื ื•ื”ื–ืงืŸ ืื• ื—ื•ืœืฆื™ืŸ ืื• ืžื™ื™ื‘ืžื™ืŸ ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืžืชื• ื•ืœื”ื ืื—ื™ื ื•ืœื”ื ื ืฉื™ื ื•ืขืžื“ื• ืื—ื™ืŸ ื•ืขืฉื• ืžืืžืจ ื‘ื ืฉื•ืชื™ื”ืŸ ื•ื ืชื ื• ื’ื˜ ื•ื—ืœืฆื• ืžื” ืฉืขืฉื• ืขืฉื• ื•ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื•

Rava raised an objection from that which was taught in the Tosefta (Yevamot 11:3): A man with crushed testicles or with other wounds to his genitals or one whose penis has been severed, one who is a eunuch caused by man and not from birth or by disease, or an elderly man, all of whom are incapable of fathering children, one either performs แธฅalitza or levirate marriage. How so? If any of these infertile men died, and they had brothers and they also had wives, and they then died childless, and the brothers proceeded to perform levirate betrothal with their wives, or gave them a bill of divorce, or performed แธฅalitza, whatever they did is done; i.e., their act was effective. And if any one of the brothers engaged in intercourse with the widow of one of those infertile men, he thereby acquired the woman as a wife according to the laws of levirate marriage.

ืžืชื• ืื—ื™ื ื•ืขืžื“ื• ื”ื ื•ืขืฉื• ืžืืžืจ ื‘ื ืฉื•ืชื™ื”ืŸ ื•ื ืชื ื• ื’ื˜ ืื• ืฉื—ืœืฆื• ืžื” ืฉืขืฉื• ืขืฉื• ื•ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื• ื•ืืกื•ืจ ืœืงื™ื™ืžืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ืœื ื™ื‘ื ืคืฆื•ืข ื“ื›ื ื•ืื™ ืกืœืงื ื“ืขืชืš ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ืžื“ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ืจืžื™ื ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืœื ืจืžื™ื ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืืžืื™ ืงื ื•

The inverse is also true: If the brothers died childless, and the infertile men proceeded to perform levirate betrothal with their wives, or gave a bill of divorce, or performed แธฅalitza, whatever they did is done and took effect. And if they engaged in intercourse with their yevama, they thereby acquired the yevama as their wife. However, it is forbidden to maintain them, i.e., allow them to continue to live as husband and wife, because it is stated: โ€œOne with crushed testicles or whose penis has been severed shall not enter into the assembly of the Lordโ€ (Deuteronomy 23:2); they are prohibited from entering the congregation, i.e., marrying a Jew. And if it enters your mind that women who are forbidden, as he would be liable for the violation a prohibition, require แธฅalitza by Torah law but do not require levirate marriage, then one could ask: if they engaged in intercourse why are they acquired as wives even though there would be no mitzva of levirate marriage because the men are prohibited from marrying them?

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืืœืžื ื” ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ ื ืžื™ ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื”ื•ื ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ื ื™ื”ื™ื• ืœืืœื”ื™ื”ื

Rather, Ravโ€™s opinion is rejected, and Rava said an alternative explanation: The reason why a High Priest does not take a widow from betrothal in levirate marriage is because that relationship is also a violation of both a positive mitzva and a prohibition and therefore a different positive mitzva does not override it. How so? As it is written: โ€œThey shall be sacred to their Godโ€ (Leviticus 21:6), which teaches that there is a positive mitzva of sanctity associated with all prohibitions applying to priests. Therefore, any such prohibition contains both a positive and a negative mitzva.

ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ืžืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœืžื™ืžืจ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื”ืชืงื“ืฉืชื

The Gemara asks: This resolves the issue of priestly prohibitions, but what is there to say about a daughter born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship [mamzeret] or a Gibeonite woman, who are prohibited from entering the congregation due to considerations of sanctity? They too may not enter into levirate marriage despite the positive mitzva, which would ordinarily override a prohibition. The Gemara answers: It is written with regard to all of the mitzvot: โ€œSanctify yourselves, therefore, and be sacredโ€ (Leviticus 11:44). This teaches that in addition to the prohibition, there is the positive mitzva of sanctity.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื›ืœ ื”ืชื•ืจื” ื›ื•ืœื” ื ืžื™ ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื”ื•ื ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื”ืชืงื“ืฉืชื ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืืœืžื ื” ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ ืื˜ื• ืืœืžื ื” ืžืŸ ื”ื ืฉื•ืื™ืŸ

The Gemara raises an objection: If so, then every single prohibition in the entire Torah contains both a positive mitzva and a prohibition, as it is written: โ€œSanctify yourselvesโ€ (Leviticus 11:44). Rather, this reasoning must be rejected, and Rava stated a different reason: While in essence the mitzva of levirate marriage does apply here, nevertheless, a widow from betrothal is prohibited from entering into levirate marriage with the High Priest by rabbinic decree, due to the case of a widow from marriage.

ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ืžืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœืžื™ืžืจ ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ื‘ืžืงื•ื ืžืฆื•ื” ืื˜ื• ืฉืœื ื‘ืžืงื•ื ืžืฆื•ื”

The Gemara asks: What is there to say about the case of a mamzeret or a Gibeonite woman? There appears to be no reason for a rabbinic decree in such cases. The Gemara answers: There, one must say that intercourse with a mamzeret even when the mitzva of levirate marriage applies was prohibited by rabbinic decree due to cases when the mitzva of levirate marriage does not apply. The decree was issued lest one come to think that since in the case of levirate marriage a mamzeret is permitted, even in cases when there is no levirate marriage a mamzeret is similarly permitted.

ืืœื ืžืขืชื” ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืžืื‘ื™ื• ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืžืืžื• ื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ื‘ื ื—ืœื” ืชืœื ืจื—ืžื ื ืžื™ื“ืข ื™ื“ื™ืข

The Gemara asks: However, if that is so, and the levirate marriage is prohibited lest it become confused with another case, then the wife of a paternal brother should not enter into levirate marriage; i.e., by the same logic, although the Torah allowed it, the Sages should have established a rabbinic decree requiring that she perform แธฅalitza due to the case of the wife of a maternal brother, who always remains prohibited as a brotherโ€™s wife. The Gemara answers: The Merciful One made levirate marriage dependent upon inheritance, and it is well known by everyone that only patrilineal relatives inherit, so there is no likelihood of confusion.

ืืฉื” ืฉืื™ืŸ ืœื” ื‘ื ื™ื ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืืฉื” ืฉื™ืฉ ืœื” ื‘ื ื™ื ื‘ื‘ื ื™ื ืชืœื ืจื—ืžื ื ืžื™ื“ืข ื™ื“ื™ืข

The Gemara objects further: Then a childless woman should not enter into levirate marriage even though the mitzva applies to her; there should be a rabbinic decree due to the case of a woman who has children. The Gemara answers: The Merciful One made levirate marriage dependent upon children; it is well known by everyone that the entire purpose of levirate marriage is to establish oneโ€™s brotherโ€™s name and that levirate marriage applies only when there are no children. Here, too, there is no likelihood of error.

ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืฉื”ื™ื” ื‘ืขื•ืœืžื• ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื’ื–ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืฉืœื ื”ื™ื” ื‘ืขื•ืœืžื• ื‘ื™ืฉื™ื‘ื” ืชืœื ืจื—ืžื ื ืžื™ื“ืข ื™ื“ื™ืข

The Gemara challenges further: The wife of a brother with whom one did coexist should not enter into levirate marriage; there should be a rabbinic decree due to the case of the wife of a brother with whom he did not coexist. The Gemara responds: The Merciful One made levirate marriage dependent upon a common dwelling together and coexistence of brothers, and this is well known by everyone since the matter is explicit in the Torah.

ื›ืœ ื”ื ืฉื™ื ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ืžื ื” ื’ื–ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืื™ืœื•ื ื™ืช ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื—ื ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ื ืžื™ ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื—ื

The Gemara continues to object: No woman should enter into levirate marriage; there should be a rabbinic decree due to the case of an aylonit. Since an aylonit may not enter into levirate marriage, all other women should be prohibited by rabbinic decree from doing so to avoid confusion. The Gemara answers: The case of an aylonit is not commonplace, and the Sages did not institute rabbinic decrees on matters that are not common. The Gemara asks: If so, neither a mamzeret nor a Gibeonite woman is commonplace either. Therefore, since the likelihood of taking a mamzeret in levirate marriage is so small, there is no danger that one might think it is permitted to marry a mamzeret even where the mitzva does not apply.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื’ื–ืจื” ื‘ื™ืื” ืจืืฉื•ื ื” ืื˜ื• ื‘ื™ืื” ืฉื ื™ื”

Rather, Rava said that it is necessary to reject the previous suggestion and to offer a different reason: The first act of intercourse is prohibited by rabbinic decree due to the likelihood of a second act of intercourse. Although intercourse the first time with the yevama is the fulfillment of a positive mitzva, which does override the prohibition, once the mitzva is fulfilled with that act there is no longer any positive mitzva involved. Afterward, this yevama becomes prohibited because there is no longer a positive mitzva to override the prohibition. Therefore, due to the possibility that one might engage in intercourse a second time with this woman, the Sages decreed that even the first act is prohibited.

ืชื ื™ื ื ืžื™ ื”ื›ื™ ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื• ื‘ื‘ื™ืื” ืจืืฉื•ื ื” ื•ืืกื•ืจ ืœืงื™ื™ืžืŸ ื‘ื‘ื™ืื” ืฉื ื™ื”

The Gemara comments: This is also taught in a baraita: If one of those yevamin who may not marry their yevama due to a prohibition engaged in intercourse with her, he acquired her with the first act of intercourse; however, it is prohibited to retain her for a second act of intercourse.

ื”ื“ืจ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื•ืื™ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ ืืฉื™ ืœืื• ืžื™ืœืชื ื”ื™ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ื“ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ืฉืืชื” ืžื•ืฆื ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ืื ืืชื” ื™ื›ื•ืœ ืœืงื™ื™ื ืฉื ื™ื”ื ืžื•ื˜ื‘ ื•ืื ืœืื• ื™ื‘ื ืขืฉื” ื•ื™ื“ื—ื” ืืช ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ืืคืฉืจ ื‘ื—ืœื™ืฆื” ื“ืžืงื™ื™ื ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื”

The Gemara continues with a retraction from Rava: Rava then said, and some say it was actually Rav Ashi who said: That which I said, that the reason for the rabbinic decree was to prevent a second act of intercourse, is not correct, as there is a simpler explanation. As Reish Lakish said about the same matter: In every place that you find a positive mitzva and a prohibition applying to the same matter, if you can fulfill both of them together, this is best, and the positive mitzva does not override the prohibition. And if there is not any possibility of fulfilling both, then let the positive mitzva come and override the prohibition. Here, too, in the case of levirate marriage, it is possible, by way of แธฅalitza, to fulfill the positive mitzva and not to transgress the prohibition prohibiting marriage to these women.

ืžื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื•ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื• ืชื™ื•ื‘ืชื

The Gemara raises an objection to this last statement by Rava from that which is taught in a baraita: And if one of those yevamin engaged in intercourse, he acquired her as a wife. This shows that although it is possible to perform the mitzva by way of แธฅalitza, if he nevertheless performs levirate marriage then the positive mitzva overrides the prohibition and the yevama is thereby acquired as his wife. The Gemara concludes: This is a conclusive refutation, and Ravaโ€™s last explanation is rejected. The previous explanation is the correct one: The prohibition is due to rabbinic decree.

ืื™ืชืžืจ ื‘ื™ืืช ื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื‘ืืœืžื ื” ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืื™ื ื” ืคื•ื˜ืจืช ืฆืจืชื” ื•ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืคื•ื˜ืจืช ืฆืจืชื”

ยง On the same subject, it was stated with regard to the case of a High Priest who engaged in intercourse with a widow who was his yevama requiring levirate marriage that the amoraโ€™im Rabbi Yoแธฅanan and Rabbi Elazar disputed the matter. One said that intercourse does not exempt her rival wife who had also been married to the High Priestโ€™s brother, since the act was prohibited, and one said that it does exempt her rival wife, because although intercourse was forbidden, it is nevertheless a valid enactment of levirate marriage, and so her rival wife is thereby exempt.

  • This month's learning is dedicated by Debbie and Yossi Gevir to Rabbanit Michelle and the Hadran Zoom group for their kindness, support, and care during a medically challenging year.

  • Masechet Yevamot is sponsored by Ahava Leibtag and family in memory of her grandparents, Leo and Esther Aaron. "They always stressed the importance of a Torah life, mesorah and family. May their memory always be a blessing for their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren".

Want to explore more about the Daf?

See insights from our partners, contributors and community of women learners

thumbnail yevamot tools

Chapter 2 (17-25): Visual Tools for Yevamot

For Masechet Yevamot, Hadran's staff has created dynamic presentations to help visualize the cases we will be learning. For Chapter...
learn daf yomi one week at a time with tamara spitz

Yevamot: 16-22 – Daf Yomi One Week at a Time

After finishing the first chapter, we will begin the second chapter of Masechet Yevamot. We will learn about a brother...
talking talmud_square

Yevamot 20: The Mitzvah of Halitzah

A new mishnah that establishes some principles about a yevamah... which is established by means of hypothetical examples that can...

Yevamot 20

The William Davidson Talmud | Powered by Sefaria

Yevamot 20

ืฉืžื’ืจืฉื” ื‘ื’ื˜ ื•ืžื—ื–ื™ืจื” ื”ืชื ื ืžื™ ืœื™ืžื ื•ื™ื‘ืžื” ืขื“ื™ื™ืŸ ื™ื‘ื•ืžื™ืŸ ื”ืจืืฉื•ื ื™ื ืขืœื™ื” ื•ืชื™ื‘ืขื™ ื—ืœื™ืฆื”

that he must divorce his yevama with a bill of divorce and she does not also require แธฅalitza. And he may remarry her, if he wishes, after the divorce; as the halakha is not ruled in accordance with the opinion that after he performs the mitzva she is once more forbidden to him as his brotherโ€™s wife. Why? There, too, let the halakha say that the verse states: โ€œAnd consummate the levirate marriage [veyibbema],โ€ as explained above, meaning that the first levirate bond is still upon her and she should also require แธฅalitza.

ืฉืื ื™ ื”ืชื ื“ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ืœืงื—ื” ืœื• ืœืืฉื” ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ืฉืœืงื—ื” ื ืขืฉื™ืช ื›ืืฉืชื• ืœื›ืœ ื“ื‘ืจ ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ื”ื ื›ืชื‘ ืจื—ืžื ื ื•ื™ื‘ืžื”

The Gemara answers: It is different there, as the verse states: โ€œAnd take her to him to be his wifeโ€ (Deuteronomyย 25:5) to teach that once he has taken her, her legal status is that of his wife in every sense. The Gemara objects: If so, here too, in the case of a brother born after the levirate marriage, according to the opinion of the Rabbis this same principle should apply. The Gemara answers that The Merciful One states: โ€œAnd consummate the levirate marriage [veyibbema],โ€ that is, even after the marriage she is still considered to be the wife of the deceased brother [yevama] with respect to any brothers who are born later.

ื•ืžื” ืจืื™ืช ืžืกืชื‘ืจื ืฉื“ื™ ื”ื™ืชื™ืจื ืื”ื™ืชื™ืจื ื•ืฉื“ื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจื ืืื™ืกื•ืจื

The Gemara asks: What did you see to distinguish in this way and say that once she is married the levirate obligation is totally abrogated with regard to แธฅalitza, but that she remains prohibited as the wife of a brother with whom one did not coexist with respect to any brothers born in the future? The Gemara answers: It stands to reason to say: Toss that which is permitted on that which is permitted, and toss that which is prohibited on that which is prohibited. In other words, in cases where the woman becomes permitted to her yavam through levirate marriage, it stands to reason that this permitted state is absolute, but with regard to the prohibition against taking the wife of a brother with whom one did not coexist, it stands to reason that the verse comes to teach that she retains her prohibited status with respect to any brothers born in the future.

ื•ืœืจื‘ื™ ืฉืžืขื•ืŸ ื“ืืžืจ ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื‘ื ื•ืžืฆืื” ื‘ื”ื™ืชืจ ื•ืœื ืขืžื“ื” ืขืœื™ื• ืฉืขื” ืื—ืช ื‘ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืืœื ืžืขืชื” ืื—ื•ืชื• ืžืืžื• ืฉื ืฉืื” ืื—ื™ื• ืžืื‘ื™ื• ื•ืื—ืจ ื›ืš ื ื•ืœื“ ืื— ื•ืžืช ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื”ื•ืื™ืœ ื•ื‘ื ื•ืžืฆืื” ื‘ื”ื™ืชืจ

The Gemara suggests: But according to Rabbi Shimon, who said that since he came and found her in a permitted state a brother born subsequently may perform levirate marriage since she was never for a single moment prohibited to him; however, if that is so, consider the case of oneโ€™s maternal half sister, who married his paternal half brother; their marriage was fully permissible since the husband and wife were in no way related to each other. And then his brother was born and the married brother died; in that case, let the sister enter into levirate marriage with her newly born half brother for the same reason, i.e., since he came and found her in a permitted state, as when he was born she was already his brotherโ€™s wife.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืื—ื•ืชื• ืœื”ื™ื›ืŸ ืื–ืœ ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืื—ื™ื• ืฉืœื ื”ื™ื” ื‘ืขื•ืœื ืœื”ื™ื›ืŸ ืื–ืœ ื”ืื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจื ื“ืœื™ืช ืœื™ื” ื”ื™ืชื™ืจื ื”ืื™ ืื™ืกื•ืจื ื“ืื™ืช ืœื™ื” ื”ื™ืชื™ืจื

The Gemara challenges this suggestion: How can you say that? What happened to the prohibition against marrying his sister, to where did it go? This widow is the maternal sister of the newly born brother and is therefore forbidden to him. The Gemara objects: If so, here too, one could have said: What happened to the prohibition against marrying the wife of a brother with whom one did not coexist, to where did it go? In this case as well, the prohibition against marrying the wife of a brother with whom he did not coexist already applied from the first brother, so why does Rabbi Shimon see this as abrogated by marriage? The Gemara answers that the comparison is unsound. This prohibition against marrying oneโ€™s sister has no case where it is permitted and so in this case is also not canceled, whereas that prohibition against marrying a brotherโ€™s wife has a case where it is permitted, when the mitzva of levirate marriage applies to a second brother and is therefore removed completely before the third brother is born.

ืžืชื ื™ืณ ื›ืœืœ ืืžืจื• ื‘ื™ื‘ืžื” ื›ืœ ืฉื”ื™ื ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื” ืœื ื—ื•ืœืฆืช ื•ืœื ืžืชื™ื™ื‘ืžืช ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื•ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ื—ื•ืœืฆืช ื•ืœื ืžืชื™ื™ื‘ืžืช

MISHNA: The Sages stated a principle about a yevama: Whoever is forbidden by a prohibition of forbidden relations to her yavam neither performs แธฅalitza nor enters into levirate marriage and is completely exempt. If she is forbidden by a prohibition resulting from a mitzva or by a prohibition stemming from sanctity, as will be explained later, then since in these cases the obligation of levirate marriage is not fundamentally nullified she performs แธฅalitza in order to become free of the levirate bond, and due to her prohibition she does not enter into levirate marriage.

ืื—ื•ืชื” ืฉื”ื™ื ื™ื‘ืžืชื” ื—ื•ืœืฆืช ืื• ืžืชื™ื™ื‘ืžืช

The Sages stated another principle: If two sisters who had been married to two brothers who subsequently died happened before the third brother for levirate marriage, and one of those sisters is a close relation to this third brother and is therefore forbidden to him, she is exempt from levirate marriage. But the other, her sister who is her yevama, i.e., her sister-in-law, performs แธฅalitza or enters into levirate marriage. In this case, they are not ruled to be two sisters who happened before him simultaneously for levirate marriage, since one of them is prohibited to him as a forbidden relation, and therefore she never actually happened before him at all.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืฉื ื™ื•ืช ืžื“ื‘ืจื™ ืกื•ืคืจื™ื ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื’ืจื•ืฉื” ื•ื—ืœื•ืฆื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ืœื™ืฉืจืืœ ื•ื‘ืช ื™ืฉืจืืœ ืœื ืชื™ืŸ ื•ืžืžื–ืจ

The mishna explains: A prohibition resulting from a mitzva is referring to secondary forbidden relationships, which are prohibited by rabbinic law. The Sages prohibited marriage to certain women who were not forbidden by the Torah but were nevertheless deemed forbidden incestuous relations. A prohibition stemming from sanctity is referring to marriage of a widow to a High Priest, a divorcรฉe or a woman who has performed แธฅalitza [แธฅalutza] to a common priest, a daughter born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship [mamzeret] or a Gibeonite woman to an Israelite, and also an Israelite woman to a Gibeonite or to a son born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship [mamzer].

ื’ืžืณ ื›ืœืœ ืœืืชื•ื™ื™ ืžืื™ ืืžืจ ืจืคืจื ื‘ืจ ืคืคื ืœืืชื•ื™ื™ ืฆืจืช ืื™ืœื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื›ื“ืจื‘ ืืกื™

GEMARA: The Gemara asks: This principle stated in the mishna about yevamot, what other cases does it add? Since the entire list of cases involving a forbidden relation was already detailed in the first chapter, what is this mishna adding? Rafram bar Pappa said: It comes to include the case of a rival wife of a sexually underdeveloped woman [aylonit], who is incapable of bearing children. Not only does an aylonit herself not enter into levirate marriage, since she is unable to give birth, but her rival wife is exempt as well. And this is like the principle of Rav Asi, who said that the rival wife of an aylonit is forbidden because the aylonit herself remains prohibited to the yavam as the wife of his brother, as she was never rendered permitted by the obligation of levirate marriage. Therefore, her rival wife is the rival wife of someone prohibited as a forbidden relation.

ื•ืื™ื›ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ื›ืœ ืฉืื™ืกื•ืจื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื” ื”ื•ื ื“ืืกื™ืจื ืฆืจืชื” ื”ื ืœื ืื™ืกื•ืจื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื” ืฆืจืชื” ืœื ืืกื™ืจื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ืžืื™ ืืžืจ ืจืคืจื ืœืžืขื•ื˜ื™ ืฆืจืช ืื™ืœื•ื ื™ืช ื•ื“ืœื ื›ืจื‘ ืืกื™

And there are those who say that Rafram bar Pappaโ€™s statement was made in a different context. It was taught in the mishna: Whoever is forbidden to her yavam by a prohibition of forbidden relations is completely exempt, which implies that it is specifically in such a case that her rival wife is forbidden. But any case when one wife is not forbidden by a prohibition of forbidden relations but is instead forbidden for some other reason, then her rival wife is not forbidden. This case comes to exclude what? Rafram said: It excludes the rival wife of an aylonit, who requires levirate marriage or แธฅalitza because the aylonit is not prohibited as a forbidden relation. And this statement is not in accordance with the opinion of Rav Asi.

ืื—ื•ืชื” ืฉื”ื™ื ื™ื‘ืžืชื” ืื—ื•ืชื” ื“ืžืืŸ ืื™ืœื™ืžื ื“ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื›ื™ื•ืŸ ื“ืžื“ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ืจืžื™ื ืงืžื™ื” ืคื’ืข ื‘ืื—ื•ืช ื–ืงื•ืงืชื• ืืœื ืื—ื•ืชื” ื“ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืขืจื•ื”

The mishna states: Her sister who is her yevama performs แธฅalitza or enters into levirate marriage. The Gemara clarifies this: Whose sister? If we say it is the sister of one who is forbidden due to a prohibition resulting from a mitzva, since by Torah law she is cast before him for levirate marriage, then this would in fact simply be a case of two sisters who fell simultaneously before him, both requiring levirate marriage, since according to Torah law there is no prohibition against entering into levirate marriage with such a woman. If so, it turns out that he encounters the sister of the woman with whom he has a levirate bond; but that case has already been taught. Rather, it must refer to the sister of a woman who is forbidden to him by a prohibition of forbidden relations, and since he may not enter into levirate marriage with a forbidden relation, her sister is not considered to be the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond. Therefore, the sister may be taken in levirate marriage.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืฉื ื™ื•ืช ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ืžืฆื•ื” ืœืฉืžื•ืข ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื

The mishna states that a prohibition resulting from a mitzva is referring to secondary forbidden relationships, which are prohibited by rabbinic law. The Gemara asks: Why is this called a prohibition resulting from a mitzva? Abaye said: This is because it is a mitzva to listen to and obey the words of the Sages.

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื’ืจื•ืฉื” ื•ื—ืœื•ืฆื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ื•ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื”ื• ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ื ื™ื”ื™ื• ืœืืœื”ื™ื”ื

The mishna states: A prohibition stemming from sanctity is referring to a marriage of a widow to a High Priest, a divorcรฉe or a แธฅalutza to a common priest. The Gemara asks: Why are these called a prohibition stemming from sanctity? As it is written with regard to the priests: โ€œThey shall be sacred to their Godโ€ฆthey shall not take a woman that is a harlot, or profaned; neither shall they take a woman divorced by her husbandโ€ (Leviticus 21:6โ€“7).

ืชื ื™ื ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื”ื•ื“ื” ืžื—ืœื™ืฃ ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื’ืจื•ืฉื” ื•ื—ืœื•ืฆื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื”ื“ื™ื•ื˜ ื•ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืืœื” ื”ืžืฆื•ืช

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda switches the terms: A prohibition resulting from a mitzva is referring to a widow to the High Priest, or a divorcรฉe or a แธฅalutza to a common priest. And why is this called a prohibition resulting from a mitzva? As it is written in summarization at the end of Leviticus: โ€œThese are the mitzvot that the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel in Mount Sinaiโ€ (Leviticus 27:34).

ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืฉื ื™ื•ืช ืžื“ื‘ืจื™ ืกื•ืคืจื™ื ื•ืืžืื™ ืงืจื™ ืœื™ื” ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ืืžืจ ืื‘ื™ื™ ื›ืœ ื”ืžืงื™ื™ื ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ื ืงืจื ืงื“ื•ืฉ ืืžืจ ืœื™ื” ืจื‘ื ื•ื›ืœ ืฉืื™ื ื• ืžืงื™ื™ื ื“ื‘ืจื™ ื—ื›ืžื™ื ืงื“ื•ืฉ ื”ื•ื ื“ืœื ืžื™ืงืจื™ ืจืฉืข ื ืžื™ ืœื ืžื™ืงืจื™ ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืงื“ืฉ ืขืฆืžืš ื‘ืžื•ืชืจ ืœืš

A prohibition stemming from sanctity is referring to secondary relationships forbidden by rabbinic law. And why is this called a prohibition stemming from sanctity? Abaye said: Whoever fulfills the words of the Sages is called sacred. Rava said to him: The language you use is not precise, since if so, whoever does not fulfill the words of the Sages is not called sacred, which implies that he is also not called wicked. However, anyone who transgresses the words of the Sages is in fact referred to as wicked. Rather, Rava said that the reason why this is called a prohibition stemming from sanctity is that the term sanctity indicates differentiation or separation, and there is a principle that you must sanctify yourself by refraining from that which is permitted to you by Torah law. The Sages decreed against secondary forbidden relations so that one would not eventually come to transgress Torah law.

ืืœืžื ื” ืœื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ืงืคืกื™ืง ื•ืชื ื™ ืœื ืฉื ื ืžืŸ ื”ื ืฉื•ืื™ืŸ ื•ืœื ืฉื ื ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ

The mishna states that the levirate bond of a widow to a High Priest requires her to perform แธฅalitza, and she may not enter into levirate marriage. The Gemara comments: The halakha that a widow does not enter into levirate marriage with a High Priest is taught categorically, merely in a general manner. It is no different whether she is a widow from marriage or she is a widow from betrothal alone.

ื‘ืฉืœืžื ืžืŸ ื”ื ืฉื•ืื™ืŸ ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื•ืื™ืŸ ืขืฉื” ื“ื•ื—ื” ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื•ืขืฉื” ืืœื ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื’ืจื™ื“ื ื”ื•ื ื™ื‘ื ืขืฉื” ื•ื™ื“ื—ื” ืœื ืชืขืฉื”

Granted, she certainly may not enter into levirate marriage if she is a widow from marriage, since she is forbidden to the High Priest by the positive mitzva stated in the verse: โ€œAnd he shall take a wife in her virginityโ€ (Leviticus 21:13), and by the prohibition stated in the verse: โ€œA widow, or one divorcedโ€ฆthese he shall not takeโ€ (Leviticus 21:14). And a positive mitzva, levirate marriage, does not override both a prohibition, not marrying a widow, and a positive mitzva, marrying a virgin, together. However, if she is a widow from betrothal, then there is only a prohibition, as she is still a virgin. In that case, why not say that the positive mitzva of levirate marriage should come and override the prohibition against marrying a widow from betrothal?

ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ื’ื™ื“ืœ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ืขืœืชื” ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ื”ืฉืขืจื” ืฉืื™ืŸ ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ืžื” ืชืœืžื•ื“ ืœื•ืžืจ ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ื™ืฉ ืœืš ื™ื‘ืžื” ืื—ืช ืฉืขื•ืœื” ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ื•ืื™ื ื” ืขื•ืœื” ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ื•ืื™ื–ื• ื–ื• ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ

Rav Giddel said that Rav said in response: The verse states: โ€œHis yevama shall ascend to the gate to the Elders and say: My brother-in-law refused to establish a name for his brother in Israel, he did not wish to consummate the levirate marriageโ€ (Deuteronomy 25:7). As there is no need for the verse to state: โ€œHis yevama,โ€ since it is clear to whom the verse refers and no new information is added by this word, what is the meaning when the verse states: โ€œHis yevamaโ€? It comes to teach that there is one yevama who ascends for แธฅalitza but may not ascend for levirate marriage, and her brother-in-law is not given a choice. Who is this? This is a woman with whom it is prohibited for her yavam to enter into levirate marriage, as he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition, and the positive mitzva of levirate marriage does not override the prohibition.

ื•ืื™ืžื ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ืืžืจ ืงืจื ื•ืื ืœื ื™ื—ืคื•ืฅ ื”ืื™ืฉ ืœืงื—ืช ื”ื ื—ืคืฅ ืžื™ื™ื‘ื ื›ืœ ื”ืขื•ืœื” ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืขื•ืœื” ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ื•ื›ืœ ืฉืื™ืŸ ืขื•ืœื” ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืื™ื ื• ืขื•ืœื” ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื”

The Gemara asks: Say that this is referring to those women who are forbidden and would be liable to receive the penalty of karet as well, i.e., that these too may not enter into levirate marriage but nevertheless require แธฅalitza. The Gemara answers: The verse states: โ€œAnd if the man does not wish to take his yevamaโ€ (Deuteronomy 25:7). This implies that if he wishes, he takes her in levirate marriage; it depends upon his wishes. However, one who is eligible for levirate marriage is eligible for แธฅalitza. And conversely, one who is ineligible for levirate marriage is ineligible for แธฅalitza and therefore does not require แธฅalitza at all. Since those relations that carry a penalty of karet have no possibility of entering into levirate marriage, they do not require แธฅalitza either.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ื ืžื™ ื”ื ืจื‘ื™ ืจื—ืžื ื ื™ื‘ืžืชื• ื•ืžื” ืจืื™ืช

The Gemara asks: If so, those relations who are forbidden as he would be liable for the violation of a standard prohibition also should not require แธฅalitza, as they may not enter into levirate marriage. The Gemara answers: But the Merciful One included one category of yevama who is eligible for แธฅalitza alone and not levirate marriage through the term: โ€œHis yevama.โ€ The Gemara asks: And what did you see to conclude that the additional term is referring to relations who are forbidden and with whom he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition and not those who are liable to receive karet?

ืžืกืชื‘ืจื ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ืชืคืกื™ ื‘ื”ื• ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ืŸ ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ื›ืจื™ืชื•ืช ืœื ืชืคืกื™ ื‘ื”ื• ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ืŸ

The Gemara answers: That stands to reason, since betrothal takes effect with those women who are forbidden and with whom he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition. That is, if a man betroths a woman who is forbidden to him and with whom he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition, then although he violates a prohibition in doing so, the betrothal is valid and cannot be ended without a bill of divorce. Therefore, such a woman also requires แธฅalitza. In contrast, betrothal does not take effect at all with those who are forbidden and would be liable to receive the punishment of karet, and therefore in these cases the laws of levirate marriage and แธฅalitza do not apply at all.

ืžืชื™ื‘ ืจื‘ื ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื•ืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื” ื‘ื ืขืœื™ื” ืื• ื—ืœืฅ ืœื” ื ืคื˜ืจื” ืฆืจืชื” ื•ืื™ ืกืœืงื ื“ืขืชืš ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ืžื“ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ืจืžื™ื ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืœื ืจืžื™ื ื›ื™ ื‘ื ืขืœื™ื” ืืžืื™ ื ืคื˜ืจื” ืฆืจืชื”

Rava raised an objection to the explanation of Rav: It is taught in a baraita with regard to a prohibition resulting from a mitzva and a prohibition stemming from sanctity that if he engages in intercourse with such a woman or performs แธฅalitza with her, her rival wife is exempt, even though it was prohibited for him to have engaged in intercourse with her in the first place. If it enters your mind that women who are forbidden, as he would be liable for the violation of a prohibition, require แธฅalitza by Torah law but do not require levirate marriage, then when he engages in intercourse with his yevama why is her rival wife exempt? If there is no biblical mitzva to engage in intercourse with her, his action would carry no halakhic validity and the rival wife should not be exempt.

ื”ื•ื ืžื•ืชื™ื‘ ืœื” ื•ื”ื•ื ืžืคืจืง ืœื” ืœืฆื“ื“ื™ืŸ ืงืชื ื™ ื‘ื ืขืœื™ื” ืืื™ืกื•ืจ ืžืฆื•ื” ื—ืœืฅ ืœื” ืืื™ืกื•ืจ ืงื“ื•ืฉื”

Rava raised the objection and he resolved it: The baraita teaches it disjunctively; it did not all deal with the same case. When the baraita says: Engages in intercourse with her, it is referring to a prohibition resulting from a mitzva. If one engages in intercourse with a yevama prohibited to him by rabbinic law, since by Torah law levirate marriage with her is valid, then although his act involved the transgression of a rabbinic decree, he nevertheless fulfilled the Torah mitzva and the rival wife is thereby exempt. When the baraita says: Performs แธฅalitza with her, it is referring to a prohibition stemming from sanctity, and by Torah law there is no option of levirate marriage because of the prohibited relation; therefore, only แธฅalitza exempts her rival wife.

ืžืชื™ื‘ ืจื‘ื ืคืฆื•ืข ื“ื›ื ื•ื›ืจื•ืช ืฉืคื›ื” ืกืจื™ืก ืื“ื ื•ื”ื–ืงืŸ ืื• ื—ื•ืœืฆื™ืŸ ืื• ืžื™ื™ื‘ืžื™ืŸ ื›ื™ืฆื“ ืžืชื• ื•ืœื”ื ืื—ื™ื ื•ืœื”ื ื ืฉื™ื ื•ืขืžื“ื• ืื—ื™ืŸ ื•ืขืฉื• ืžืืžืจ ื‘ื ืฉื•ืชื™ื”ืŸ ื•ื ืชื ื• ื’ื˜ ื•ื—ืœืฆื• ืžื” ืฉืขืฉื• ืขืฉื• ื•ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื•

Rava raised an objection from that which was taught in the Tosefta (Yevamot 11:3): A man with crushed testicles or with other wounds to his genitals or one whose penis has been severed, one who is a eunuch caused by man and not from birth or by disease, or an elderly man, all of whom are incapable of fathering children, one either performs แธฅalitza or levirate marriage. How so? If any of these infertile men died, and they had brothers and they also had wives, and they then died childless, and the brothers proceeded to perform levirate betrothal with their wives, or gave them a bill of divorce, or performed แธฅalitza, whatever they did is done; i.e., their act was effective. And if any one of the brothers engaged in intercourse with the widow of one of those infertile men, he thereby acquired the woman as a wife according to the laws of levirate marriage.

ืžืชื• ืื—ื™ื ื•ืขืžื“ื• ื”ื ื•ืขืฉื• ืžืืžืจ ื‘ื ืฉื•ืชื™ื”ืŸ ื•ื ืชื ื• ื’ื˜ ืื• ืฉื—ืœืฆื• ืžื” ืฉืขืฉื• ืขืฉื• ื•ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื• ื•ืืกื•ืจ ืœืงื™ื™ืžืŸ ืžืฉื•ื ืฉื ืืžืจ ืœื ื™ื‘ื ืคืฆื•ืข ื“ื›ื ื•ืื™ ืกืœืงื ื“ืขืชืš ื—ื™ื™ื‘ื™ ืœืื•ื™ืŸ ืžื“ืื•ืจื™ื™ืชื ืœื—ืœื™ืฆื” ืจืžื™ื ืœื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ืœื ืจืžื™ื ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืืžืื™ ืงื ื•

The inverse is also true: If the brothers died childless, and the infertile men proceeded to perform levirate betrothal with their wives, or gave a bill of divorce, or performed แธฅalitza, whatever they did is done and took effect. And if they engaged in intercourse with their yevama, they thereby acquired the yevama as their wife. However, it is forbidden to maintain them, i.e., allow them to continue to live as husband and wife, because it is stated: โ€œOne with crushed testicles or whose penis has been severed shall not enter into the assembly of the Lordโ€ (Deuteronomy 23:2); they are prohibited from entering the congregation, i.e., marrying a Jew. And if it enters your mind that women who are forbidden, as he would be liable for the violation a prohibition, require แธฅalitza by Torah law but do not require levirate marriage, then one could ask: if they engaged in intercourse why are they acquired as wives even though there would be no mitzva of levirate marriage because the men are prohibited from marrying them?

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ืืœืžื ื” ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ ื ืžื™ ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื”ื•ื ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ืงื“ื•ืฉื™ื ื™ื”ื™ื• ืœืืœื”ื™ื”ื

Rather, Ravโ€™s opinion is rejected, and Rava said an alternative explanation: The reason why a High Priest does not take a widow from betrothal in levirate marriage is because that relationship is also a violation of both a positive mitzva and a prohibition and therefore a different positive mitzva does not override it. How so? As it is written: โ€œThey shall be sacred to their Godโ€ (Leviticus 21:6), which teaches that there is a positive mitzva of sanctity associated with all prohibitions applying to priests. Therefore, any such prohibition contains both a positive and a negative mitzva.

ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ืžืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœืžื™ืžืจ ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื”ืชืงื“ืฉืชื

The Gemara asks: This resolves the issue of priestly prohibitions, but what is there to say about a daughter born from an incestuous or adulterous relationship [mamzeret] or a Gibeonite woman, who are prohibited from entering the congregation due to considerations of sanctity? They too may not enter into levirate marriage despite the positive mitzva, which would ordinarily override a prohibition. The Gemara answers: It is written with regard to all of the mitzvot: โ€œSanctify yourselves, therefore, and be sacredโ€ (Leviticus 11:44). This teaches that in addition to the prohibition, there is the positive mitzva of sanctity.

ืื™ ื”ื›ื™ ื›ืœ ื”ืชื•ืจื” ื›ื•ืœื” ื ืžื™ ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื”ื•ื ื“ื›ืชื™ื‘ ื•ื”ืชืงื“ืฉืชื ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืืœืžื ื” ืžืŸ ื”ืื™ืจื•ืกื™ืŸ ืื˜ื• ืืœืžื ื” ืžืŸ ื”ื ืฉื•ืื™ืŸ

The Gemara raises an objection: If so, then every single prohibition in the entire Torah contains both a positive mitzva and a prohibition, as it is written: โ€œSanctify yourselvesโ€ (Leviticus 11:44). Rather, this reasoning must be rejected, and Rava stated a different reason: While in essence the mitzva of levirate marriage does apply here, nevertheless, a widow from betrothal is prohibited from entering into levirate marriage with the High Priest by rabbinic decree, due to the case of a widow from marriage.

ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ืžืื™ ืื™ื›ื ืœืžื™ืžืจ ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ื‘ืžืงื•ื ืžืฆื•ื” ืื˜ื• ืฉืœื ื‘ืžืงื•ื ืžืฆื•ื”

The Gemara asks: What is there to say about the case of a mamzeret or a Gibeonite woman? There appears to be no reason for a rabbinic decree in such cases. The Gemara answers: There, one must say that intercourse with a mamzeret even when the mitzva of levirate marriage applies was prohibited by rabbinic decree due to cases when the mitzva of levirate marriage does not apply. The decree was issued lest one come to think that since in the case of levirate marriage a mamzeret is permitted, even in cases when there is no levirate marriage a mamzeret is similarly permitted.

ืืœื ืžืขืชื” ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืžืื‘ื™ื• ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืžืืžื• ื™ื™ื‘ื•ื ื‘ื ื—ืœื” ืชืœื ืจื—ืžื ื ืžื™ื“ืข ื™ื“ื™ืข

The Gemara asks: However, if that is so, and the levirate marriage is prohibited lest it become confused with another case, then the wife of a paternal brother should not enter into levirate marriage; i.e., by the same logic, although the Torah allowed it, the Sages should have established a rabbinic decree requiring that she perform แธฅalitza due to the case of the wife of a maternal brother, who always remains prohibited as a brotherโ€™s wife. The Gemara answers: The Merciful One made levirate marriage dependent upon inheritance, and it is well known by everyone that only patrilineal relatives inherit, so there is no likelihood of confusion.

ืืฉื” ืฉืื™ืŸ ืœื” ื‘ื ื™ื ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื’ื–ื™ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืืฉื” ืฉื™ืฉ ืœื” ื‘ื ื™ื ื‘ื‘ื ื™ื ืชืœื ืจื—ืžื ื ืžื™ื“ืข ื™ื“ื™ืข

The Gemara objects further: Then a childless woman should not enter into levirate marriage even though the mitzva applies to her; there should be a rabbinic decree due to the case of a woman who has children. The Gemara answers: The Merciful One made levirate marriage dependent upon children; it is well known by everyone that the entire purpose of levirate marriage is to establish oneโ€™s brotherโ€™s name and that levirate marriage applies only when there are no children. Here, too, there is no likelihood of error.

ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืฉื”ื™ื” ื‘ืขื•ืœืžื• ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ื ื’ื–ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืืฉืช ืื—ื™ื• ืฉืœื ื”ื™ื” ื‘ืขื•ืœืžื• ื‘ื™ืฉื™ื‘ื” ืชืœื ืจื—ืžื ื ืžื™ื“ืข ื™ื“ื™ืข

The Gemara challenges further: The wife of a brother with whom one did coexist should not enter into levirate marriage; there should be a rabbinic decree due to the case of the wife of a brother with whom he did not coexist. The Gemara responds: The Merciful One made levirate marriage dependent upon a common dwelling together and coexistence of brothers, and this is well known by everyone since the matter is explicit in the Torah.

ื›ืœ ื”ื ืฉื™ื ืœื ืชืชื™ื™ื‘ืžื ื” ื’ื–ืจื” ืžืฉื•ื ืื™ืœื•ื ื™ืช ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื—ื ืžืžื–ืจืช ื•ื ืชื™ื ื” ื ืžื™ ืœื ืฉื›ื™ื—ื

The Gemara continues to object: No woman should enter into levirate marriage; there should be a rabbinic decree due to the case of an aylonit. Since an aylonit may not enter into levirate marriage, all other women should be prohibited by rabbinic decree from doing so to avoid confusion. The Gemara answers: The case of an aylonit is not commonplace, and the Sages did not institute rabbinic decrees on matters that are not common. The Gemara asks: If so, neither a mamzeret nor a Gibeonite woman is commonplace either. Therefore, since the likelihood of taking a mamzeret in levirate marriage is so small, there is no danger that one might think it is permitted to marry a mamzeret even where the mitzva does not apply.

ืืœื ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื’ื–ืจื” ื‘ื™ืื” ืจืืฉื•ื ื” ืื˜ื• ื‘ื™ืื” ืฉื ื™ื”

Rather, Rava said that it is necessary to reject the previous suggestion and to offer a different reason: The first act of intercourse is prohibited by rabbinic decree due to the likelihood of a second act of intercourse. Although intercourse the first time with the yevama is the fulfillment of a positive mitzva, which does override the prohibition, once the mitzva is fulfilled with that act there is no longer any positive mitzva involved. Afterward, this yevama becomes prohibited because there is no longer a positive mitzva to override the prohibition. Therefore, due to the possibility that one might engage in intercourse a second time with this woman, the Sages decreed that even the first act is prohibited.

ืชื ื™ื ื ืžื™ ื”ื›ื™ ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื• ื‘ื‘ื™ืื” ืจืืฉื•ื ื” ื•ืืกื•ืจ ืœืงื™ื™ืžืŸ ื‘ื‘ื™ืื” ืฉื ื™ื”

The Gemara comments: This is also taught in a baraita: If one of those yevamin who may not marry their yevama due to a prohibition engaged in intercourse with her, he acquired her with the first act of intercourse; however, it is prohibited to retain her for a second act of intercourse.

ื”ื“ืจ ืืžืจ ืจื‘ื ื•ืื™ืชื™ืžื ืจื‘ ืืฉื™ ืœืื• ืžื™ืœืชื ื”ื™ื ื“ืืžืจื™ ื“ืืžืจ ืจื™ืฉ ืœืงื™ืฉ ื›ืœ ืžืงื•ื ืฉืืชื” ืžื•ืฆื ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ืื ืืชื” ื™ื›ื•ืœ ืœืงื™ื™ื ืฉื ื™ื”ื ืžื•ื˜ื‘ ื•ืื ืœืื• ื™ื‘ื ืขืฉื” ื•ื™ื“ื—ื” ืืช ืœื ืชืขืฉื” ื”ื›ื ื ืžื™ ืืคืฉืจ ื‘ื—ืœื™ืฆื” ื“ืžืงื™ื™ื ืขืฉื” ื•ืœื ืชืขืฉื”

The Gemara continues with a retraction from Rava: Rava then said, and some say it was actually Rav Ashi who said: That which I said, that the reason for the rabbinic decree was to prevent a second act of intercourse, is not correct, as there is a simpler explanation. As Reish Lakish said about the same matter: In every place that you find a positive mitzva and a prohibition applying to the same matter, if you can fulfill both of them together, this is best, and the positive mitzva does not override the prohibition. And if there is not any possibility of fulfilling both, then let the positive mitzva come and override the prohibition. Here, too, in the case of levirate marriage, it is possible, by way of แธฅalitza, to fulfill the positive mitzva and not to transgress the prohibition prohibiting marriage to these women.

ืžื™ืชื™ื‘ื™ ื•ืื ื‘ืขืœื• ืงื ื• ืชื™ื•ื‘ืชื

The Gemara raises an objection to this last statement by Rava from that which is taught in a baraita: And if one of those yevamin engaged in intercourse, he acquired her as a wife. This shows that although it is possible to perform the mitzva by way of แธฅalitza, if he nevertheless performs levirate marriage then the positive mitzva overrides the prohibition and the yevama is thereby acquired as his wife. The Gemara concludes: This is a conclusive refutation, and Ravaโ€™s last explanation is rejected. The previous explanation is the correct one: The prohibition is due to rabbinic decree.

ืื™ืชืžืจ ื‘ื™ืืช ื›ื”ืŸ ื’ื“ื•ืœ ื‘ืืœืžื ื” ืจื‘ื™ ื™ื•ื—ื ืŸ ื•ืจื‘ื™ ืืœืขื–ืจ ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืื™ื ื” ืคื•ื˜ืจืช ืฆืจืชื” ื•ื—ื“ ืืžืจ ืคื•ื˜ืจืช ืฆืจืชื”

ยง On the same subject, it was stated with regard to the case of a High Priest who engaged in intercourse with a widow who was his yevama requiring levirate marriage that the amoraโ€™im Rabbi Yoแธฅanan and Rabbi Elazar disputed the matter. One said that intercourse does not exempt her rival wife who had also been married to the High Priestโ€™s brother, since the act was prohibited, and one said that it does exempt her rival wife, because although intercourse was forbidden, it is nevertheless a valid enactment of levirate marriage, and so her rival wife is thereby exempt.

Scroll To Top