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Today's Daf Yomi

March 28, 2022 | כ״ה באדר ב׳ תשפ״ב

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Terri Krivosha for the Refuah Shlemah of her husband Harav Hayim Yehuda Ben Faiga Rivah. 

  • 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 21

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Today’s daf is sponsored by Rabbi Dan Ross and Rabbi Jade Sank Ross in honor of the birth of their daughter Adina Sydney Ross, Adina Sapir bat Harav Daniel Zalman v’harabah Yofi Channah. “May the joy of your arrival on Erev Purim follow you throughout your life, may you live to see your world fulfilled, may your destiny be for worlds still to come, and may you trust in generations past and yet to be.”

If a high priest performs yibum with a widow, is the yibum effective to exempt a second wife? This is a debate between Rabbi Yochanan and Rabbi Elazar. A difficulty is raised against one of the opinions. From where can we find a hint in the Torah for the rabbinic extension of the prohibitions for forbidden relationships to other relatives? Four different verses are brought. A braita is brought which lists eight relatives that are included in the rabbinic decree. One of them mentioned is by Torah law – if so, why does it appear here? Rav says there are four relatives that are forbidden only that generation but it is not extended to earlier or later generations. What are the four cases? Also, one’s daughter-in-law is forbidden by Torah law. Therefore, it is assumed that it is referring to one’s daughter’s daughter-in-law, who is forbidden on account of one’s son’s daughter-in-law. Is the wife of one’s maternal half-uncle through their mother (the uncle and her mother have the same mother) forbidden?  Why is this not considered a decree on a decree? To answer the question they bring a statement of Rav Yehuda bar Shila that any familial relationship where a woman is forbidden, if it is a man, his wife is forbidden as well. Since there are a number of exceptions to that rule that Rava states, the assumption is that he is referring to the case at hand. What is the difference between his case and the exceptions? What about the wife of one’s paternal great uncle or one’s paternal great aunt through his grandfather?

 

באלמנה מן הנשואין כולי עלמא לא פליגי דלא פטרה דאין עשה דוחה לא תעשה ועשה כי פליגי באלמנה מן הארוסין מאן דאמר פוטרת אתי עשה ודחי את לא תעשה ומאן דאמר אינה פוטרת לא אתי עשה ודחי את לא תעשה כיון דאפשר בחליצה

As for a widow from marriage, everyone agrees that this does not exempt the rival wife, as a positive mitzva does not override a prohibition and a positive mitzva together. When they disagree, it is in the case of a widow from betrothal. The one who said that it exempts the rival wife holds that the positive mitzva of levirate marriage comes and overrides the prohibition against a High Priest marrying a widow. And the one who said that it does not exempt the rival wife held that a positive mitzva does not come and override a prohibition, since it is possible to perform ḥalitza.

מיתיבי ואם בעלו קנו תיובתא

The Gemara raises an objection to the opinion that the rival wife would not be exempt, from the previously cited baraita: If one of those yevamin engaged in intercourse, he acquired her as a wife. This shows that the act of levirate marriage is valid, even when prohibited. If so, in the case of the High Priest and a widow as well, her rival wife should be exempt. This is a conclusive refutation, and that opinion is rejected.

לימא תיהוי נמי תיובתא דריש לקיש אמר לך ריש לקיש כי אמינא אנא היכא דמקיימי מצוה אבל הכא חליצה במקום ייבום לאו מצוה היא

The Gemara asks: Shall we say that this is also a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Reish Lakish and therefore reject his principle? The Gemara answers: Reish Lakish could have said to you: When I say that 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 without transgressing the prohibition, this is best, and the positive mitzva does not override the prohibition, this is applicable only when the mitzva is fulfilled properly; but here, ḥalitza in place of levirate marriage is not considered a proper fulfillment of the mitzva.

אמר רבא רמז לשניות מן התורה מנין שנאמר כי את כל התועבות האל עשו אנשי הארץ האל קשות מכלל דאיכא רכות ומאי נינהו שניות

§ Rava said: Where is the prohibition against secondary forbidden relationships hinted at in the Torah? As it is stated at the end of the portion discussing forbidden incestuous relations: “For all these abominations have the men of the land done” (Leviticus 18:27). “These” must be understood to mean the harsh ones, i.e., the severe transgressions. This proves by inference that there are also lesser transgressions that are, as it were, soft ones. And what are those soft ones? They are secondary forbidden relationships.

ומאי משמע דהאל לישנא דקשה הוא דכתיב ואת אילי הארץ לקח

The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred that the word “these” [ha’el] is an expression meaning harsh? As it is written: “And the mighty [eilei] of the land he took away” (Ezekiel 17:13). The similarity of these words implies that “these” also has connotations of mighty or harsh.

לימא פליגא דרבי לוי דאמר רבי לוי קשה עונשין של מדות יותר מעונשין של עריות שזה נאמר בהן אל וזה נאמר בהן אלה אל קשה ואלה קשה מאל

The Gemara asks: Shall we say that this statement contradicts the opinion of Rabbi Levi? As Rabbi Levi said: The harshness of the punishment for using dishonest measures is more than the punishment for transgressing the prohibition of forbidden relationships, as with regard to this, forbidden relations, it is stated only: “These [el],” whereas with regard to that, dishonest measures, it is stated: “These [eleh]” with an additional letter heh as a suffix: “For all that do these [eleh] things, even all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 25:16). This implies that the word eleh indicates harshness and not the word el. The Gemara answers: This does not contradict his opinion. The word el has the connotation of harsh, but eleh has the connotation of even harsher than el.

גבי עריות נמי הא כתיב אלה ההוא למעוטי מדות מכרת

The Gemara asks: With regard to forbidden relationships the word eleh is also written: “For whosoever shall do any of these [eleh] abominations, even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people” (Leviticus 18:29). If so, why is the punishment for using dishonest measures considered harsher? The Gemara answers: That expression meaning these [eleh] in the context of forbidden relations does not emphasize their severity; rather, it comes to exclude one who uses deception in measures from the penalty of karet.

אלא מאי חומרייהו הני אפשר בתשובה הני לא אפשר בתשובה

The Gemara asks: Rather, in what way is deception in measurements more severe than forbidden relations? The Gemara answers: Those who engage in forbidden relations have the possibility of repentance. If one engaged in relations with a forbidden relative he can rectify the sin through repentance. In the case of those who deceive the public with dishonest measures, it is not possible to repent fully because, having deceived the general public, they have no way of returning the money. Whereas generally a thief can return stolen property to its rightful owner, one who used dishonest measures with multiple customers has no way to track them all down in order to return the money.

רב יהודה אמר מהכא ואזן וחקר תקן משלים הרבה ואמר עולא אמר רבי אלעזר קודם שבא שלמה היתה תורה דומה לכפיפה שאין לה אזנים עד שבא שלמה ועשה לה אזנים

Rav Yehuda said that the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships is learned from here: As it says with regard to King Solomon: “He weighed [izzen] and sought out, and set in order many proverbs” (Ecclesiastes 12:9), and Ulla said that Rabbi Elazar said: Before Solomon came, the Torah was like a basket [kefifa] without handles [oznayim], until Solomon came and made handles for it. By means of his explanation and proverbs he enabled each person to understand and take hold of the Torah, fulfill its mitzvot, and distance himself from transgressions.

רבי אושעיא אמר מהכא פרעהו אל תעבר בו שטה מעליו ועבור

Rabbi Oshaya said that the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships is learned from here: “Avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass on” (Proverbs 4:15). One must distance oneself from any prohibited act and not pass near a place of forbidden objects or situations.

אמר רב אשי משל דרבי אושעיא למה הדבר דומה לאדם משמר פרדס משמרו מבחוץ כולו משתמר משמרו מבפנים שלפניו משתמר שלאחריו אינו משתמר והא דרב אשי בדותא היא התם שלפניו מיהא משתמר הכא אי לאו שניות פגע בערוה גופה

Rav Ashi said a parable: To what is this matter, the opinion of Rabbi Oshaya, comparable? It is comparable to a man guarding an orchard; if he guards it from the outside, all of it is guarded. But if he guards it from the inside, only that which is in front of him that he can see is guarded, while that which is behind him is unguarded. The Gemara comments: And this parable of Rav Ashi is a mistake [beduta] and is not accurate. There, in his metaphor, that which is in front of him at least is guarded; here, in the case of forbidden relationships, were it not for the rabbinic decree against secondary forbidden relationships one would eventually encounter and transgress the biblically forbidden relationship itself. Guarding from the outside is not only preferable, it is essential.

רב כהנא אמר מהכא ושמרתם את משמרתי עשו משמרת למשמרתי

Rav Kahana said that the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships is alluded to from here, in the verse stated at the conclusion of the verses discussing the halakhot of forbidden relationships: “Therefore shall you protect [ushmartem] My prized possession [mishmarti], that you do not any of these abominable customs” (Leviticus 18:30). This means: Establish a safeguard [mishmeret] for My prized possession.

אמר ליה אביי לרב יוסף הא דאורייתא היא דאורייתא ופירשו רבנן כל התורה נמי פירשו רבנן אלא מדרבנן וקרא אסמכתא בעלמא

Abaye said to Rav Yosef: If the prohibition against secondary forbidden relationships is learned from here then it would be by Torah law, yet the prohibition against secondary forbidden relationships is by rabbinic law. He answered him: The requirement to add an additional safeguard itself is in fact by Torah law, and the Sages interpreted and defined where and when to apply this law. Abaye objected: But isn’t all of the Torah also interpreted by the Sages and yet has the force of Torah law? In that case, why are these laws considered to be rabbinic? Rather, the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships was decreed by rabbinic law, and the verse is a mere support but does not indicate a Torah law.

תנו רבנן מה הם שניות אם אמו ואם אביו ואשת אבי אביו ואשת אבי אמו ואשת אחי האב מן האם ואשת אחי האם מן האב וכלת בנו וכלת בתו ומותר אדם באשת חמיו ובאשת חורגו ואסור בבת חורגו וחורגו מותר באשתו ובתו

§ The Sages taught in a baraita: What are the secondary forbidden relationships that were prohibited? His mother’s mother, and his father’s mother, and his father’s father’s wife, and his mother’s father’s wife, and the wife of his father’s maternal half brother, and the wife of his mother’s paternal half brother, and his son’s daughter-in-law, and his daughter’s daughter-in-law. A man is permitted to take his father-in-law’s former wife, provided she is not the mother of his wife, and his stepson’s wife, if the stepson died or divorced her. And he is prohibited from marrying the daughter of his stepson. And it is permitted for one’s stepson to marry the stepfather’s wife or daughter.

ואשת חורגו אומרת לו אני מותרת לך ובתי אסורה לך

Due to these rabbinic decrees concerning stepsons, unusual situations might arise. For example: And his stepson’s wife says to him, i.e., her husband’s stepfather, I am permitted to you, but my daughter is forbidden to you, since she is your stepson’s daughter.

בת חורגו דאורייתא היא דכתיב את בת בנה ואת בת בתה משום דקבעי למיתני סיפא אשת חורגו אומרת לו אני מותרת לך ובתי אסורה לך ואף על גב דבתי אסורה לך מדאורייתא בדידי לא גזור ביה רבנן תנא רישא נמי בת חורגו

The Gemara challenges that which is stated in the baraita: His stepson’s daughter is not a secondary relation by rabbinic law. She is forbidden by Torah law, since the daughter of his stepson is the daughter of his wife’s son, as it is written: “You shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter” (Leviticus 18:17). The Gemara answers: This case was included because the baraita wanted to teach the latter clause, which states: His stepson’s wife says to him: I am permitted to you, but my daughter is forbidden to you. And although my daughter is forbidden to you by Torah law, nevertheless the Sages did not issue a decree forbidding me. Therefore, the case of his stepson’s daughter was also taught in the first clause, even though she is forbidden by Torah law and is not a secondary relation.

אי הכי אשת חמיו נמי תימא אני מותרת לך ובתי אסורה לך דהויא אחות אשתו הא פסיקא ליה הא לא פסיקא ליה

The Gemara raises an objection: If so, that the baraita wished to teach this peculiarity, then why did it not teach: His father-in-law’s wife also says: I am permitted to you and my daughter is forbidden to you, as she is his wife’s sister. The Gemara answers: This matter is conclusive for him. In other words, his stepson’s wife is forever permitted and his stepson’s daughter is always forbidden to him. But as for the matter of his father-in-law’s wife’s daughter, this is not conclusive for him. This ruling is not final and might change, since if his wife dies her sister is permitted to him.

אמר רב ארבע נשים יש להן הפסק נקיט רב בידיה תלת אשת אחי האם מן האב ואשת אחי האב מן האם וכלתו וזעירי מוסיף אף אשת אבי אמו אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק וסימניך דעילאי דרב

Rav said that he received a tradition with regard to secondary forbidden relationships that four women have a conclusion; i.e., the prohibition does not continue to later generations but applies only to those women who were mentioned explicitly. Rav held three of them in his hand; he knew with certainty three of the four categories. They were: The wife of his mother’s paternal half brother, and the wife of his father’s maternal half brother, and his daughter-in-law. And Ze’eiri adds: Also the wife of his mother’s father. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And your mnemonic for remembering who said what is as follows: Ze’eiri adds an extra generation on top of the prohibitions of Rav, i.e., the wife of his mother’s father, which Rav did not mention.

ורב מאי טעמא לא חשיב ליה מיחלפא ליה באשת אבי אביו

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Rav did not reckon this category mentioned by Ze’eiri to be among those who have a conclusion? The Gemara answers: In his opinion, this category might be mistakenly switched with the category of the wife of his father’s father, which does not have a conclusion. With regard to the wife of his father, the prohibition applies equally to the wife of all ancestors in the father’s line. Therefore, according to Rav, the Sages also included the ancestors of the mother’s father’s wife as secondary forbidden relationships.

וזעירי להתם שכיח ואזיל להכא לא שכיח ואזיל

The Gemara asks: And why is Ze’eiri not concerned that the two categories will become confused? The Gemara answers: He is often found there, in his father’s father’s home, and goes there frequently, but here, to his mother’s household, he is not commonly found to go. Since he goes to his father’s home frequently, he knows that his father’s relatives are forbidden to him, and he will not confuse them with his mother’s relatives.

כלתו

Among the women enumerated by Rav is his daughter-in-law.

דאורייתא היא דכתיב ערות כלתך לא תגלה אימא כלת בנו וכלת בנו יש לה הפסק והא תניא כלתו ערוה כלת בנו שניה וכן אתה אומר בבנו ובן בנו עד סוף כל הדורות אלא אימא כלת בתו

The Gemara asks: Is this relationship not forbidden by Torah law? As it is written: “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law” (Leviticus 18:15). The Gemara emends: Say instead his son’s daughter-in-law. The Gemara asks: And does the prohibition against having a relationship with his son’s daughter-in-law indeed have a conclusion? Isn’t it taught in a baraita: His daughter-in-law is a forbidden relation by Torah law, his son’s daughter-in-law is a secondary forbidden relation, and similarly, you say the daughter-in-law of his son and the daughter-in-law of his son’s son until the end of all generations are secondary forbidden relationships. Rather, say instead that Rav was referring to his daughter’s daughter-in-law.

דאמר רב חסדא הא מילתא מגברא רבה שמיע לי ומנו רבי אמי לא אסרו כלה אלא מפני כלה ואמרו לי כלדאי מלפנא הוית

As Rav Ḥisda said: I heard this matter from a great man, and who was that great man? It was Rabbi Ami, and he said: They prohibited a daughter-in-law only due to the daughter-in-law. Rav Ḥisda heard this in his youth but did not understand the meaning. The Chaldean astrologers said to me: You will be a teacher.

אמינא אי גברא רבה הוינא אסברא מדעתי אי מקרי דרדקי הוינא אשיילה מרבנן דאתו לבי כנישתא השתא סברתה מדעתי לא אסרו כלת בתו אלא משום כלת בנו

Rav Ḥisda further said: I said to myself: If the astrologers meant that I will become a great man and one who teaches the public, I will certainly be able to reason and understand this matter with my knowledge. If the astrologers meant that I will become the teacher of children, I will ask it of the Sages who come to the synagogue and in that way I will learn the meaning of Rabbi Ami’s teaching. Now I understand the matter on my own. Rabbi Ami meant: They prohibited his daughter’s daughter-in-law only due to his son’s daughter-in-law, to avoid confusion between these daughters-in-law. The rabbinic decree prohibited one’s daughter’s daughter-in-law but did not extend to subsequent generations.

אמר ליה אביי לרבא אסברה לך כגון כלתה דבי בר ציתאי רב פפא אמר כגון כלתה דבי רב פפא בר אבא רב אשי אמר כגון כלתה דבי מרי בר איסק

Various Sages proceed to give contemporary examples of families where the halakhic status of the daughters-in-law of the sons and the daughters-in-law of the daughters could be confused with each other. Abaye said to Rava: I will explain to you with an example how one might become confused about these daughters-in-law. For example, this would be possible in the case of the daughter-in-law of the house of bar Tzitai, as there the children of the sons and the daughters of the same family lived together, and it was possible to confuse the halakhic status of the sons’ daughters-in-law and the daughters’ daughters-in-law. Rav Pappa said: For example, the daughter-in-law of the house of Rav Pappa bar Abba. Rav Ashi said: For example, the daughter-in-law of the house of Mari bar Isak.

איבעיא להו אשת אחי האם מן האם מהו אשת אחי האב מן האם ואשת אחי האם מן האב דאיכא צד אב הוא דגזרו רבנן אבל היכא דליכא צד אב לא גזרו בהו רבנן או דלמא לא שנא

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the halakha with regard to the wife of one’s mother’s maternal half brother? The Gemara presents the different sides of the question: Both the wife of one’s father’s maternal half brother and the wife of one’s mother’s paternal half brother contain some aspect of a father, and perhaps this is the reason that the Sages enacted a prohibition. That is, they were both forbidden rabbinically to avoid confusion with the case of the wife of one’s father’s paternal half brother, who is forbidden by Torah law. But in the case of the wife of one’s mother’s maternal half brother, where there is no aspect of a father whatsoever, perhaps the Sages did not make a decree? Or perhaps this case is no different?

אמר רב ספרא היא גופה גזירה ואנן ניקום ונגזור גזירה לגזירה אמר רבא אטו כולהו לאו גזירה לגזירה נינהו אמו ערוה אם אמו שניה וגזרו על אם אביו משום אם אמו וטעמא מאי כולהו דבי אימא רבתי קרו ליה

Rav Safra said: She herself, the wife of the mother’s paternal half brother, is forbidden by rabbinic decree, and will we then proceed to issue a decree to prevent violation of a decree? Rava said: Is that to say that all of these rabbinic decrees with regard to secondary relations are not decrees to prevent violation of a decree? For example, his mother is a forbidden relation by Torah law, and the Sages decreed that his mother’s mother is a secondary forbidden relationship. And they decreed that his father’s mother is also a secondary forbidden relationship due to his mother’s mother. And what is the reason? They are all called the house of the grandmother, and therefore people may confuse their halakhic status.

אשת אביו ערוה אשת אבי אביו שניה וגזרו על אשת אבי אמו משום אשת אבי אביו וטעמא מאי כולהו דבי אבא רבה קרו ליה

Rava continues: Similarly, his father’s wife is a forbidden relation by Torah law, and the Sages decreed that his father’s father’s wife is a secondary forbidden relationship. And they decreed that his mother’s father’s wife is also a secondary forbidden relationship due to his father’s father’s wife. And what is the reason? They are all called the house of the grandfather.

אשת אחי האב מן האב ערוה אשת אחי האב מן האם שניה וגזרו על אשת אחי האם מן האב משום אשת אחי האב מן האם וטעמא מאי משום דכולהו דבי דודי קרי להו

Also, the wife of his father’s paternal half brother, his uncle, who is mentioned explicitly in the Torah (Leviticus 18:16), is a forbidden relation by Torah law, and the Sages decreed that the wife of his father’s maternal half brother is a secondary forbidden relationship. And they decreed that the wife of his mother’s paternal half brother is also a secondary forbidden relationship due to the wife of his father’s maternal half brother. And what is the reason? It is because they are all called the house of the uncle; it seems that in the realm of forbidden relations the Sages did issue decrees to prevent violation of a decree, and Rav Safra’s claim is incorrect.

מאי תא שמע דכי אתא רב יהודה בר שילא אמר אמרי במערבא כל שבנקבה ערוה בזכר גזרו על אשתו משום שניה

If so, then what is the halakha in this case of the wife of his mother’s maternal half brother? Come and hear: As when Rav Yehuda bar Sheila came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say this principle: For every female relative who is a forbidden relation by Torah law, the Sages decreed on the wife of the equivalent male relative due to her similarity to a secondary forbidden relationship.

ואמר רבא וכללא הוא חמותו ערוה אשת חמיו מותרת בת חמותו ערוה אשת בן חמותו מותרת בת חמיו ערוה אשת בן חמיו מותרת חורגתו ערוה אשת חורגו מותרת בת חורגתו ערוה אשת בן חורגו מותרת

And Rava said: Is this really an established principle? Isn’t his mother-in-law a forbidden relation by Torah law, while his father-in-law’s wife is permitted? Also, his mother-in-law’s daughter is a forbidden relation by Torah law, as she is his wife’s sister, yet his mother-in-law’s son’s wife is permitted. His father-in-law’s daughter is a forbidden relation by Torah law, yet the wife of his father-in-law’s son is permitted. His stepdaughter is a forbidden relation by Torah law, yet his stepson’s wife is permitted. His stepdaughter’s daughter, i.e., his wife’s granddaughter, is a forbidden relation, yet the wife of his stepson’s son is permitted.

והא דרב יהודה בר שילא לאיתויי מאי לאו לאיתויי אשת אחי האם מן האם דכל שבנקבה ערוה בזכר גזרו אשתו משום שניה

The Gemara continues: If so, what did that statement of Rav Yehuda bar Sheila come to include? Since his principle is not true in every case, it must be intended to include a specific halakha. Does it not come to include the case of the wife of one’s mother’s maternal half brother, since for every female relative who is a forbidden relation by Torah law, such as his mother’s maternal half sister, the Sages decreed on the wife of the equivalent male relative, in this case his mother’s maternal half brother’s wife, due to her similarity to a secondary relation.

מאי שנא הני ומאי שנא הא הא בחד קידושין מקרב לה הני עד דאיכא תרי קידושין לא מקרב להו

The Gemara asks: What is different with regard to these cases, the wife of his father-in-law or the wife of his mother-in-law’s son, who are permitted, and this case of the wife of a mother’s maternal half brother, who is prohibited? The Gemara answers: This, the wife of a mother’s maternal half brother, is related by a single act of betrothal. One’s mother’s brother is a blood relative, and his wife is therefore a secondary relation. In contrast, these other cases with regard to which the Sages did not issue a decree are related only when there are two acts of betrothal. For example, one’s father-in-law is related to one through one’s marriage to his own wife, and his father in law’s wife is related to him through his father-in-law’s marriage.

שלח ליה רב משרשיא מתוסנייא לרב פפי ילמדנו רבינו אשת אחי אבי האב ואחות אבי האב מהו מדלמטה ערוה למעלה נמי גזרו ביה או דלמא הא איתפליג דרתא

§ Rav Mesharshiyya from Tusneya sent a message to Rav Pappi: Let our Master teach us: What is the halakha with regard to the wife of a father’s father’s brother and the sister of a father’s father? Did the Sages prohibit these as secondary forbidden relations? The Gemara presents the different sides of the dilemma: Since one generation below is a forbidden relation, i.e., a father’s sister and the wife of a father’s paternal brother, who are both forbidden by Torah law, perhaps the Sages also decreed about the women one generation above. Or, perhaps the generations are separate and the women in the generation above are not considered to be forbidden relatives.

תא שמע מה הן שניות ולא קחשיב להו בהדייהו

The Gemara attempts to answer: Come and hear from that baraita cited above, which taught: What are the secondary forbidden relationships that were prohibited? And these women, i.e., the wife of one’s father’s father’s brother and the sister of his father’s father were not reckoned among them. This implies that these women are permitted.

תנא ושייר מאי שייר דהאי שייר שייר שניות דבי רבי חייא

The Gemara replies that this is not conclusive. Perhaps the tanna of the baraita taught some examples and omitted other examples of secondary forbidden relations; i.e., perhaps the list is not exhaustive. The Gemara asks: What else did he omit that he omitted this? It cannot be that the tanna had an exhaustive list except for one case. He either left out more than one case or he included all possible cases. The Gemara answers: He omitted the list of secondary forbidden relationships that were enumerated by the school of Rabbi Ḥiyya, which is listed later. Therefore, this baraita is not conclusive, as the tanna left out many cases.

אמימר אכשר באשת אחי אבי אביו ובאחות אבי אביו אמר ליה רב הלל לרב אשי לדידי חזיא לי שניות מר בריה דרבנא וכתיבן שיתסרי לאיסורא מאי לאו תמני דמתניתא ושית דבי רבי חייא והנך תרתי הא שיתסרי

The Gemara states that Ameimar permitted the wife of one’s father’s father’s brother and the sister of one’s father’s father. Rav Hillel said to Rav Ashi, challenging Ameimar’s statement: I myself saw a list of secondary forbidden relationships written by Mar, son of Rabbana, and it was written there that sixteen women were forbidden. What, is it not that these sixteen must be the eight cases listed in the baraita, and six from the school of Rabbi Ḥiyya, and these two cases of the wife of one’s father’s father’s brother and one’s father’s father’s sister, and this totals sixteen?

ולטעמיך שיבסרי הויין דהא איכא אשת אחי האם מן האם דפשטינן לאיסורא הא לא קשיא

Rav Ashi defended Ameimar’s opinion: And according to your reasoning, Rav Hillel, that these cases should be included, there are seventeen cases, as there is the additional case of the wife of a mother’s maternal half brother, whose status was resolved earlier, concluding that she is forbidden. If it is as you say, then there should be seventeen cases. The Gemara answers on behalf of Rav Hillel: This is not difficult.

  • This month's learning is sponsored by Terri Krivosha for the Refuah Shlemah of her husband Harav Hayim Yehuda Ben Faiga Rivah. 

  • 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".

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Yevamot 21

באלמנה מן הנשואין כולי עלמא לא פליגי דלא פטרה דאין עשה דוחה לא תעשה ועשה כי פליגי באלמנה מן הארוסין מאן דאמר פוטרת אתי עשה ודחי את לא תעשה ומאן דאמר אינה פוטרת לא אתי עשה ודחי את לא תעשה כיון דאפשר בחליצה

As for a widow from marriage, everyone agrees that this does not exempt the rival wife, as a positive mitzva does not override a prohibition and a positive mitzva together. When they disagree, it is in the case of a widow from betrothal. The one who said that it exempts the rival wife holds that the positive mitzva of levirate marriage comes and overrides the prohibition against a High Priest marrying a widow. And the one who said that it does not exempt the rival wife held that a positive mitzva does not come and override a prohibition, since it is possible to perform ḥalitza.

מיתיבי ואם בעלו קנו תיובתא

The Gemara raises an objection to the opinion that the rival wife would not be exempt, from the previously cited baraita: If one of those yevamin engaged in intercourse, he acquired her as a wife. This shows that the act of levirate marriage is valid, even when prohibited. If so, in the case of the High Priest and a widow as well, her rival wife should be exempt. This is a conclusive refutation, and that opinion is rejected.

לימא תיהוי נמי תיובתא דריש לקיש אמר לך ריש לקיש כי אמינא אנא היכא דמקיימי מצוה אבל הכא חליצה במקום ייבום לאו מצוה היא

The Gemara asks: Shall we say that this is also a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Reish Lakish and therefore reject his principle? The Gemara answers: Reish Lakish could have said to you: When I say that 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 without transgressing the prohibition, this is best, and the positive mitzva does not override the prohibition, this is applicable only when the mitzva is fulfilled properly; but here, ḥalitza in place of levirate marriage is not considered a proper fulfillment of the mitzva.

אמר רבא רמז לשניות מן התורה מנין שנאמר כי את כל התועבות האל עשו אנשי הארץ האל קשות מכלל דאיכא רכות ומאי נינהו שניות

§ Rava said: Where is the prohibition against secondary forbidden relationships hinted at in the Torah? As it is stated at the end of the portion discussing forbidden incestuous relations: “For all these abominations have the men of the land done” (Leviticus 18:27). “These” must be understood to mean the harsh ones, i.e., the severe transgressions. This proves by inference that there are also lesser transgressions that are, as it were, soft ones. And what are those soft ones? They are secondary forbidden relationships.

ומאי משמע דהאל לישנא דקשה הוא דכתיב ואת אילי הארץ לקח

The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred that the word “these” [ha’el] is an expression meaning harsh? As it is written: “And the mighty [eilei] of the land he took away” (Ezekiel 17:13). The similarity of these words implies that “these” also has connotations of mighty or harsh.

לימא פליגא דרבי לוי דאמר רבי לוי קשה עונשין של מדות יותר מעונשין של עריות שזה נאמר בהן אל וזה נאמר בהן אלה אל קשה ואלה קשה מאל

The Gemara asks: Shall we say that this statement contradicts the opinion of Rabbi Levi? As Rabbi Levi said: The harshness of the punishment for using dishonest measures is more than the punishment for transgressing the prohibition of forbidden relationships, as with regard to this, forbidden relations, it is stated only: “These [el],” whereas with regard to that, dishonest measures, it is stated: “These [eleh]” with an additional letter heh as a suffix: “For all that do these [eleh] things, even all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 25:16). This implies that the word eleh indicates harshness and not the word el. The Gemara answers: This does not contradict his opinion. The word el has the connotation of harsh, but eleh has the connotation of even harsher than el.

גבי עריות נמי הא כתיב אלה ההוא למעוטי מדות מכרת

The Gemara asks: With regard to forbidden relationships the word eleh is also written: “For whosoever shall do any of these [eleh] abominations, even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people” (Leviticus 18:29). If so, why is the punishment for using dishonest measures considered harsher? The Gemara answers: That expression meaning these [eleh] in the context of forbidden relations does not emphasize their severity; rather, it comes to exclude one who uses deception in measures from the penalty of karet.

אלא מאי חומרייהו הני אפשר בתשובה הני לא אפשר בתשובה

The Gemara asks: Rather, in what way is deception in measurements more severe than forbidden relations? The Gemara answers: Those who engage in forbidden relations have the possibility of repentance. If one engaged in relations with a forbidden relative he can rectify the sin through repentance. In the case of those who deceive the public with dishonest measures, it is not possible to repent fully because, having deceived the general public, they have no way of returning the money. Whereas generally a thief can return stolen property to its rightful owner, one who used dishonest measures with multiple customers has no way to track them all down in order to return the money.

רב יהודה אמר מהכא ואזן וחקר תקן משלים הרבה ואמר עולא אמר רבי אלעזר קודם שבא שלמה היתה תורה דומה לכפיפה שאין לה אזנים עד שבא שלמה ועשה לה אזנים

Rav Yehuda said that the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships is learned from here: As it says with regard to King Solomon: “He weighed [izzen] and sought out, and set in order many proverbs” (Ecclesiastes 12:9), and Ulla said that Rabbi Elazar said: Before Solomon came, the Torah was like a basket [kefifa] without handles [oznayim], until Solomon came and made handles for it. By means of his explanation and proverbs he enabled each person to understand and take hold of the Torah, fulfill its mitzvot, and distance himself from transgressions.

רבי אושעיא אמר מהכא פרעהו אל תעבר בו שטה מעליו ועבור

Rabbi Oshaya said that the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships is learned from here: “Avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass on” (Proverbs 4:15). One must distance oneself from any prohibited act and not pass near a place of forbidden objects or situations.

אמר רב אשי משל דרבי אושעיא למה הדבר דומה לאדם משמר פרדס משמרו מבחוץ כולו משתמר משמרו מבפנים שלפניו משתמר שלאחריו אינו משתמר והא דרב אשי בדותא היא התם שלפניו מיהא משתמר הכא אי לאו שניות פגע בערוה גופה

Rav Ashi said a parable: To what is this matter, the opinion of Rabbi Oshaya, comparable? It is comparable to a man guarding an orchard; if he guards it from the outside, all of it is guarded. But if he guards it from the inside, only that which is in front of him that he can see is guarded, while that which is behind him is unguarded. The Gemara comments: And this parable of Rav Ashi is a mistake [beduta] and is not accurate. There, in his metaphor, that which is in front of him at least is guarded; here, in the case of forbidden relationships, were it not for the rabbinic decree against secondary forbidden relationships one would eventually encounter and transgress the biblically forbidden relationship itself. Guarding from the outside is not only preferable, it is essential.

רב כהנא אמר מהכא ושמרתם את משמרתי עשו משמרת למשמרתי

Rav Kahana said that the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships is alluded to from here, in the verse stated at the conclusion of the verses discussing the halakhot of forbidden relationships: “Therefore shall you protect [ushmartem] My prized possession [mishmarti], that you do not any of these abominable customs” (Leviticus 18:30). This means: Establish a safeguard [mishmeret] for My prized possession.

אמר ליה אביי לרב יוסף הא דאורייתא היא דאורייתא ופירשו רבנן כל התורה נמי פירשו רבנן אלא מדרבנן וקרא אסמכתא בעלמא

Abaye said to Rav Yosef: If the prohibition against secondary forbidden relationships is learned from here then it would be by Torah law, yet the prohibition against secondary forbidden relationships is by rabbinic law. He answered him: The requirement to add an additional safeguard itself is in fact by Torah law, and the Sages interpreted and defined where and when to apply this law. Abaye objected: But isn’t all of the Torah also interpreted by the Sages and yet has the force of Torah law? In that case, why are these laws considered to be rabbinic? Rather, the prohibition of secondary forbidden relationships was decreed by rabbinic law, and the verse is a mere support but does not indicate a Torah law.

תנו רבנן מה הם שניות אם אמו ואם אביו ואשת אבי אביו ואשת אבי אמו ואשת אחי האב מן האם ואשת אחי האם מן האב וכלת בנו וכלת בתו ומותר אדם באשת חמיו ובאשת חורגו ואסור בבת חורגו וחורגו מותר באשתו ובתו

§ The Sages taught in a baraita: What are the secondary forbidden relationships that were prohibited? His mother’s mother, and his father’s mother, and his father’s father’s wife, and his mother’s father’s wife, and the wife of his father’s maternal half brother, and the wife of his mother’s paternal half brother, and his son’s daughter-in-law, and his daughter’s daughter-in-law. A man is permitted to take his father-in-law’s former wife, provided she is not the mother of his wife, and his stepson’s wife, if the stepson died or divorced her. And he is prohibited from marrying the daughter of his stepson. And it is permitted for one’s stepson to marry the stepfather’s wife or daughter.

ואשת חורגו אומרת לו אני מותרת לך ובתי אסורה לך

Due to these rabbinic decrees concerning stepsons, unusual situations might arise. For example: And his stepson’s wife says to him, i.e., her husband’s stepfather, I am permitted to you, but my daughter is forbidden to you, since she is your stepson’s daughter.

בת חורגו דאורייתא היא דכתיב את בת בנה ואת בת בתה משום דקבעי למיתני סיפא אשת חורגו אומרת לו אני מותרת לך ובתי אסורה לך ואף על גב דבתי אסורה לך מדאורייתא בדידי לא גזור ביה רבנן תנא רישא נמי בת חורגו

The Gemara challenges that which is stated in the baraita: His stepson’s daughter is not a secondary relation by rabbinic law. She is forbidden by Torah law, since the daughter of his stepson is the daughter of his wife’s son, as it is written: “You shall not take her son’s daughter or her daughter’s daughter” (Leviticus 18:17). The Gemara answers: This case was included because the baraita wanted to teach the latter clause, which states: His stepson’s wife says to him: I am permitted to you, but my daughter is forbidden to you. And although my daughter is forbidden to you by Torah law, nevertheless the Sages did not issue a decree forbidding me. Therefore, the case of his stepson’s daughter was also taught in the first clause, even though she is forbidden by Torah law and is not a secondary relation.

אי הכי אשת חמיו נמי תימא אני מותרת לך ובתי אסורה לך דהויא אחות אשתו הא פסיקא ליה הא לא פסיקא ליה

The Gemara raises an objection: If so, that the baraita wished to teach this peculiarity, then why did it not teach: His father-in-law’s wife also says: I am permitted to you and my daughter is forbidden to you, as she is his wife’s sister. The Gemara answers: This matter is conclusive for him. In other words, his stepson’s wife is forever permitted and his stepson’s daughter is always forbidden to him. But as for the matter of his father-in-law’s wife’s daughter, this is not conclusive for him. This ruling is not final and might change, since if his wife dies her sister is permitted to him.

אמר רב ארבע נשים יש להן הפסק נקיט רב בידיה תלת אשת אחי האם מן האב ואשת אחי האב מן האם וכלתו וזעירי מוסיף אף אשת אבי אמו אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק וסימניך דעילאי דרב

Rav said that he received a tradition with regard to secondary forbidden relationships that four women have a conclusion; i.e., the prohibition does not continue to later generations but applies only to those women who were mentioned explicitly. Rav held three of them in his hand; he knew with certainty three of the four categories. They were: The wife of his mother’s paternal half brother, and the wife of his father’s maternal half brother, and his daughter-in-law. And Ze’eiri adds: Also the wife of his mother’s father. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: And your mnemonic for remembering who said what is as follows: Ze’eiri adds an extra generation on top of the prohibitions of Rav, i.e., the wife of his mother’s father, which Rav did not mention.

ורב מאי טעמא לא חשיב ליה מיחלפא ליה באשת אבי אביו

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Rav did not reckon this category mentioned by Ze’eiri to be among those who have a conclusion? The Gemara answers: In his opinion, this category might be mistakenly switched with the category of the wife of his father’s father, which does not have a conclusion. With regard to the wife of his father, the prohibition applies equally to the wife of all ancestors in the father’s line. Therefore, according to Rav, the Sages also included the ancestors of the mother’s father’s wife as secondary forbidden relationships.

וזעירי להתם שכיח ואזיל להכא לא שכיח ואזיל

The Gemara asks: And why is Ze’eiri not concerned that the two categories will become confused? The Gemara answers: He is often found there, in his father’s father’s home, and goes there frequently, but here, to his mother’s household, he is not commonly found to go. Since he goes to his father’s home frequently, he knows that his father’s relatives are forbidden to him, and he will not confuse them with his mother’s relatives.

כלתו

Among the women enumerated by Rav is his daughter-in-law.

דאורייתא היא דכתיב ערות כלתך לא תגלה אימא כלת בנו וכלת בנו יש לה הפסק והא תניא כלתו ערוה כלת בנו שניה וכן אתה אומר בבנו ובן בנו עד סוף כל הדורות אלא אימא כלת בתו

The Gemara asks: Is this relationship not forbidden by Torah law? As it is written: “You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law” (Leviticus 18:15). The Gemara emends: Say instead his son’s daughter-in-law. The Gemara asks: And does the prohibition against having a relationship with his son’s daughter-in-law indeed have a conclusion? Isn’t it taught in a baraita: His daughter-in-law is a forbidden relation by Torah law, his son’s daughter-in-law is a secondary forbidden relation, and similarly, you say the daughter-in-law of his son and the daughter-in-law of his son’s son until the end of all generations are secondary forbidden relationships. Rather, say instead that Rav was referring to his daughter’s daughter-in-law.

דאמר רב חסדא הא מילתא מגברא רבה שמיע לי ומנו רבי אמי לא אסרו כלה אלא מפני כלה ואמרו לי כלדאי מלפנא הוית

As Rav Ḥisda said: I heard this matter from a great man, and who was that great man? It was Rabbi Ami, and he said: They prohibited a daughter-in-law only due to the daughter-in-law. Rav Ḥisda heard this in his youth but did not understand the meaning. The Chaldean astrologers said to me: You will be a teacher.

אמינא אי גברא רבה הוינא אסברא מדעתי אי מקרי דרדקי הוינא אשיילה מרבנן דאתו לבי כנישתא השתא סברתה מדעתי לא אסרו כלת בתו אלא משום כלת בנו

Rav Ḥisda further said: I said to myself: If the astrologers meant that I will become a great man and one who teaches the public, I will certainly be able to reason and understand this matter with my knowledge. If the astrologers meant that I will become the teacher of children, I will ask it of the Sages who come to the synagogue and in that way I will learn the meaning of Rabbi Ami’s teaching. Now I understand the matter on my own. Rabbi Ami meant: They prohibited his daughter’s daughter-in-law only due to his son’s daughter-in-law, to avoid confusion between these daughters-in-law. The rabbinic decree prohibited one’s daughter’s daughter-in-law but did not extend to subsequent generations.

אמר ליה אביי לרבא אסברה לך כגון כלתה דבי בר ציתאי רב פפא אמר כגון כלתה דבי רב פפא בר אבא רב אשי אמר כגון כלתה דבי מרי בר איסק

Various Sages proceed to give contemporary examples of families where the halakhic status of the daughters-in-law of the sons and the daughters-in-law of the daughters could be confused with each other. Abaye said to Rava: I will explain to you with an example how one might become confused about these daughters-in-law. For example, this would be possible in the case of the daughter-in-law of the house of bar Tzitai, as there the children of the sons and the daughters of the same family lived together, and it was possible to confuse the halakhic status of the sons’ daughters-in-law and the daughters’ daughters-in-law. Rav Pappa said: For example, the daughter-in-law of the house of Rav Pappa bar Abba. Rav Ashi said: For example, the daughter-in-law of the house of Mari bar Isak.

איבעיא להו אשת אחי האם מן האם מהו אשת אחי האב מן האם ואשת אחי האם מן האב דאיכא צד אב הוא דגזרו רבנן אבל היכא דליכא צד אב לא גזרו בהו רבנן או דלמא לא שנא

§ A dilemma was raised before the Sages: What is the halakha with regard to the wife of one’s mother’s maternal half brother? The Gemara presents the different sides of the question: Both the wife of one’s father’s maternal half brother and the wife of one’s mother’s paternal half brother contain some aspect of a father, and perhaps this is the reason that the Sages enacted a prohibition. That is, they were both forbidden rabbinically to avoid confusion with the case of the wife of one’s father’s paternal half brother, who is forbidden by Torah law. But in the case of the wife of one’s mother’s maternal half brother, where there is no aspect of a father whatsoever, perhaps the Sages did not make a decree? Or perhaps this case is no different?

אמר רב ספרא היא גופה גזירה ואנן ניקום ונגזור גזירה לגזירה אמר רבא אטו כולהו לאו גזירה לגזירה נינהו אמו ערוה אם אמו שניה וגזרו על אם אביו משום אם אמו וטעמא מאי כולהו דבי אימא רבתי קרו ליה

Rav Safra said: She herself, the wife of the mother’s paternal half brother, is forbidden by rabbinic decree, and will we then proceed to issue a decree to prevent violation of a decree? Rava said: Is that to say that all of these rabbinic decrees with regard to secondary relations are not decrees to prevent violation of a decree? For example, his mother is a forbidden relation by Torah law, and the Sages decreed that his mother’s mother is a secondary forbidden relationship. And they decreed that his father’s mother is also a secondary forbidden relationship due to his mother’s mother. And what is the reason? They are all called the house of the grandmother, and therefore people may confuse their halakhic status.

אשת אביו ערוה אשת אבי אביו שניה וגזרו על אשת אבי אמו משום אשת אבי אביו וטעמא מאי כולהו דבי אבא רבה קרו ליה

Rava continues: Similarly, his father’s wife is a forbidden relation by Torah law, and the Sages decreed that his father’s father’s wife is a secondary forbidden relationship. And they decreed that his mother’s father’s wife is also a secondary forbidden relationship due to his father’s father’s wife. And what is the reason? They are all called the house of the grandfather.

אשת אחי האב מן האב ערוה אשת אחי האב מן האם שניה וגזרו על אשת אחי האם מן האב משום אשת אחי האב מן האם וטעמא מאי משום דכולהו דבי דודי קרי להו

Also, the wife of his father’s paternal half brother, his uncle, who is mentioned explicitly in the Torah (Leviticus 18:16), is a forbidden relation by Torah law, and the Sages decreed that the wife of his father’s maternal half brother is a secondary forbidden relationship. And they decreed that the wife of his mother’s paternal half brother is also a secondary forbidden relationship due to the wife of his father’s maternal half brother. And what is the reason? It is because they are all called the house of the uncle; it seems that in the realm of forbidden relations the Sages did issue decrees to prevent violation of a decree, and Rav Safra’s claim is incorrect.

מאי תא שמע דכי אתא רב יהודה בר שילא אמר אמרי במערבא כל שבנקבה ערוה בזכר גזרו על אשתו משום שניה

If so, then what is the halakha in this case of the wife of his mother’s maternal half brother? Come and hear: As when Rav Yehuda bar Sheila came from Eretz Yisrael to Babylonia, he said: In the West, Eretz Yisrael, they say this principle: For every female relative who is a forbidden relation by Torah law, the Sages decreed on the wife of the equivalent male relative due to her similarity to a secondary forbidden relationship.

ואמר רבא וכללא הוא חמותו ערוה אשת חמיו מותרת בת חמותו ערוה אשת בן חמותו מותרת בת חמיו ערוה אשת בן חמיו מותרת חורגתו ערוה אשת חורגו מותרת בת חורגתו ערוה אשת בן חורגו מותרת

And Rava said: Is this really an established principle? Isn’t his mother-in-law a forbidden relation by Torah law, while his father-in-law’s wife is permitted? Also, his mother-in-law’s daughter is a forbidden relation by Torah law, as she is his wife’s sister, yet his mother-in-law’s son’s wife is permitted. His father-in-law’s daughter is a forbidden relation by Torah law, yet the wife of his father-in-law’s son is permitted. His stepdaughter is a forbidden relation by Torah law, yet his stepson’s wife is permitted. His stepdaughter’s daughter, i.e., his wife’s granddaughter, is a forbidden relation, yet the wife of his stepson’s son is permitted.

והא דרב יהודה בר שילא לאיתויי מאי לאו לאיתויי אשת אחי האם מן האם דכל שבנקבה ערוה בזכר גזרו אשתו משום שניה

The Gemara continues: If so, what did that statement of Rav Yehuda bar Sheila come to include? Since his principle is not true in every case, it must be intended to include a specific halakha. Does it not come to include the case of the wife of one’s mother’s maternal half brother, since for every female relative who is a forbidden relation by Torah law, such as his mother’s maternal half sister, the Sages decreed on the wife of the equivalent male relative, in this case his mother’s maternal half brother’s wife, due to her similarity to a secondary relation.

מאי שנא הני ומאי שנא הא הא בחד קידושין מקרב לה הני עד דאיכא תרי קידושין לא מקרב להו

The Gemara asks: What is different with regard to these cases, the wife of his father-in-law or the wife of his mother-in-law’s son, who are permitted, and this case of the wife of a mother’s maternal half brother, who is prohibited? The Gemara answers: This, the wife of a mother’s maternal half brother, is related by a single act of betrothal. One’s mother’s brother is a blood relative, and his wife is therefore a secondary relation. In contrast, these other cases with regard to which the Sages did not issue a decree are related only when there are two acts of betrothal. For example, one’s father-in-law is related to one through one’s marriage to his own wife, and his father in law’s wife is related to him through his father-in-law’s marriage.

שלח ליה רב משרשיא מתוסנייא לרב פפי ילמדנו רבינו אשת אחי אבי האב ואחות אבי האב מהו מדלמטה ערוה למעלה נמי גזרו ביה או דלמא הא איתפליג דרתא

§ Rav Mesharshiyya from Tusneya sent a message to Rav Pappi: Let our Master teach us: What is the halakha with regard to the wife of a father’s father’s brother and the sister of a father’s father? Did the Sages prohibit these as secondary forbidden relations? The Gemara presents the different sides of the dilemma: Since one generation below is a forbidden relation, i.e., a father’s sister and the wife of a father’s paternal brother, who are both forbidden by Torah law, perhaps the Sages also decreed about the women one generation above. Or, perhaps the generations are separate and the women in the generation above are not considered to be forbidden relatives.

תא שמע מה הן שניות ולא קחשיב להו בהדייהו

The Gemara attempts to answer: Come and hear from that baraita cited above, which taught: What are the secondary forbidden relationships that were prohibited? And these women, i.e., the wife of one’s father’s father’s brother and the sister of his father’s father were not reckoned among them. This implies that these women are permitted.

תנא ושייר מאי שייר דהאי שייר שייר שניות דבי רבי חייא

The Gemara replies that this is not conclusive. Perhaps the tanna of the baraita taught some examples and omitted other examples of secondary forbidden relations; i.e., perhaps the list is not exhaustive. The Gemara asks: What else did he omit that he omitted this? It cannot be that the tanna had an exhaustive list except for one case. He either left out more than one case or he included all possible cases. The Gemara answers: He omitted the list of secondary forbidden relationships that were enumerated by the school of Rabbi Ḥiyya, which is listed later. Therefore, this baraita is not conclusive, as the tanna left out many cases.

אמימר אכשר באשת אחי אבי אביו ובאחות אבי אביו אמר ליה רב הלל לרב אשי לדידי חזיא לי שניות מר בריה דרבנא וכתיבן שיתסרי לאיסורא מאי לאו תמני דמתניתא ושית דבי רבי חייא והנך תרתי הא שיתסרי

The Gemara states that Ameimar permitted the wife of one’s father’s father’s brother and the sister of one’s father’s father. Rav Hillel said to Rav Ashi, challenging Ameimar’s statement: I myself saw a list of secondary forbidden relationships written by Mar, son of Rabbana, and it was written there that sixteen women were forbidden. What, is it not that these sixteen must be the eight cases listed in the baraita, and six from the school of Rabbi Ḥiyya, and these two cases of the wife of one’s father’s father’s brother and one’s father’s father’s sister, and this totals sixteen?

ולטעמיך שיבסרי הויין דהא איכא אשת אחי האם מן האם דפשטינן לאיסורא הא לא קשיא

Rav Ashi defended Ameimar’s opinion: And according to your reasoning, Rav Hillel, that these cases should be included, there are seventeen cases, as there is the additional case of the wife of a mother’s maternal half brother, whose status was resolved earlier, concluding that she is forbidden. If it is as you say, then there should be seventeen cases. The Gemara answers on behalf of Rav Hillel: This is not difficult.

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