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Today's Daf Yomi

October 31, 2014 | ז׳ במרחשוון תשע״ה

  • 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 27

Study Guide Yevamot 27


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חלץ לאחיות לא נפטרו צרות היכא דקיימא חליצה דשמעון חליצה כשרה חליץ לה ראובן חליצה פסולה

In the case of three brothers, two of whom were married to several women, including two sisters, and the two married brothers later died, and their wives happened before the yavam for levirate marriage, if the yavam performed ḥalitza with the sisters who were among the wives, the rival wives are not thereby exempt. One can deduce from here that since the yavam cannot consummate the levirate marriage with the sisters, as each is the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond, then the act of ḥalitza is invalid, and invalid ḥalitza is ineffective in exempting their rival wives. It is concluded from here that even Shmuel requires valid ḥalitza, i.e., ḥalitza that occurs when there is a possibility of consummating the levirate marriage. According to this rationale, however, Shmuel’s ruling in the above case is difficult: With regard to the second sister, when there exists the possibility for Shimon’s ḥalitza, i.e., the ḥalitza of the second brother who did not yet perform ḥalitza, to be a valid ḥalitza, would it be allowed for Reuven, the brother who already did ḥalitza with one sister, to perform invalid ḥalitza with her?

מאי אחד חולץ לכולן נמי דקאמר אאמצעית והא כולן קאמר כיון דרובה גביה קרי ליה כולן ואיבעית אימא כי קאמר שמואל חליצה מעליא בעינן הני מילי למיפטר צרתה אבל מפטרא נפשה פטרה

The Gemara resolves this difficulty by reinterpreting Shmuel’s statement. What does it mean that it says: One performs ḥalitza with each of them, that Shmuel stated? Shmuel says that with regard to the middle one, i.e., the third sister, one of the two brothers performs ḥalitza with her. The Gemara asks: But didn’t he say: Each of them, indicating that one brother performs ḥalitza with all of the sisters? The Gemara answers: Since the brother who performed ḥalitza with one sister repeats the act with another, it turns out that most of the acts of ḥalitza are performed with him, and this is called: With each of them. And if you wish, say a different answer: When Shmuel said we require a full-fledged ḥalitza, this applies only to exempt her rival wife by means of that ḥalitza. But to exempt the woman herself, even invalid ḥalitza would render her exempt. In the case above, since no rival wives are involved, it would be sufficient for one brother to perform ḥalitza with each of the sisters.

גופא אמר שמואל חלץ לאחיות לא נפטרו צרות לצרות נפטרו אחיות חלץ לבעלת הגט לא נפטרה צרה לצרה נפטרה בעלת הגט

§ Apropos of Shmuel’s statement, the Gemara examines the matter itself. Shmuel said: In the case of three brothers, two of whom were married to several women, including two sisters, and the two married brothers later died, and their wives happened before the yavam for levirate marriage, if the yavam performed ḥalitza with the sisters, the rival wives are not thereby exempt. But if he performed ḥalitza with the rival wives, the sisters are exempt. Similarly, if he gave a bill of divorce to one of these women, whereby he would no longer be permitted to consummate the levirate marriage with them due to a rabbinic decree, and he then performed ḥalitza with the woman who received a bill of divorce, the rival wife is not thereby exempt. Since he was unable to consummate the levirate marriage with her, the ḥalitza performed with her was invalid, and invalid ḥalitza does not exempt the rival wife. If he performed the act of ḥalitza with the rival wife, then the woman who received a bill of divorce is exempt.

חלץ לבעלת המאמר לא נפטרה צרה לצרה נפטרה בעלת מאמר

The ruling is similar with regard to the case where the yavam performed ma’amar, i.e., levirate betrothal, to one of the wives. If he then performed ḥalitza with the woman who received his levirate betrothal then the rival wife is not exempt. Indeed, this ḥalitza is invalid as well, for once the yavam performed levirate betrothal, this act can be rescinded only by means of a bill of divorce. Because the woman needs to receive a bill of divorce in addition to the ḥalitza in order to exempt her from her bond, the ḥalitza is considered invalid and is not sufficient to exempt the rival wife. But if the yavam performed ḥalitza with the rival wife, then she who received his levirate betrothal is exempt from ḥalitza and requires only a bill of divorce.

מאי שנא לאחיות דלא נפטרו צרות דהויא לו אחות אשה בזיקה חלץ לצרות נמי לא ליפטרו אחיות דהויא להו צרות אחות אשה בזיקה קסבר שמואל אין זיקה

The Gemara asks: What is different in the two cases? Why, if he performed Ḽalitza with the sisters, are the rival wives not exempt? This is because the sister is related to him as the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond. Since, under these circumstances he would not be permitted to consummate the levirate marriage with her, her Ḽalitza is then considered invalid Ḽalitza. However, if that is so, when he performed Ḽalitza with the rival wives, the sisters should not be exempt either, as the rival wives are related to him as rival wives of the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond. If the woman is forbidden to him due to a relationship created by the levirate bond, then her rival wife is forbidden to him in the same way, and her Ḽalitza would be invalid as well. The Gemara answers: Shmuel holds that the levirate bond is not substantial, and therefore the levirate bond does not create a relationship between the yavam and the sisters such that the prohibition would be extended to the rival wives as well.

והא אמר שמואל יש זיקה לדברי האומר אין זיקה קאמר

The Gemara challenges: But didn’t Shmuel say explicitly that the levirate bond is substantial? The Gemara responds: He stated this halakha in accordance with the statement of those who say that the levirate bond is not substantial, although he himself maintains the opposite.

אי הכי חלץ לאחיות אמאי לא נפטרו צרות בשלמא צרה דרחל לא תיפטר דכיון דחלץ לה ללאה והדר חלץ לרחל הויא לה חליצה דרחל חליצה פסולה אלא צרה דלאה תיפטר

The Gemara asks: If that is indeed so, that he stated this ruling in accordance with the opinion that the levirate bond is not substantial, then when the yavam performed ḥalitza with the sisters, why were their rival wives not exempt? Granted, Rachel’s rival wife, i.e., the rival wife of the second sister, would not be exempt, for once he performed ḥalitza with Leah, the first sister, and then later performed ḥalitza with Rachel, it turns out that Rachel’s ḥalitza was invalid ḥalitza, as he could not consummate the levirate marriage with Rachel because she is the sister of a woman with whom he performed ḥalitza, and invalid ḥalitza does not exempt a rival wife. However, the rival wife of Leah should be exempt because if the levirate bond is not substantial, the ḥalitza with the first sister would have been completely valid.

מאי לא נפטרו צרות נמי דקאמר אצרה דרחל והא צרות קאמר צרות דעלמא

The Gemara explains: What does it mean that it says: The rival wives are not exempt, that Shmuel stated? It is referring only to the rival wife of Rachel, the second sister, who is not exempt. The Gemara challenges: But he said rival wives in the plural, seeming to refer to both rival wives? The Gemara answers: He spoke of rival wives in general. In other words, this is a general halakha, and for that reason it was stated in the plural. However, it does not mean that both the rival wife of the first sister and the rival wife of the second sister are not exempt.

אי הכי חלץ לצרות נפטרו אחיות ואצרת רחל מי מיפטרא והא תנן אסור אדם בצרת קרובת חלוצתו

The Gemara challenges this: If that is so, that when Shmuel chose to speak in the plural he was referring only to the rival wife of Rachel, there arises a difficulty with the second half of the statement: If he performed ḥalitza with the rival wives, the sisters are exempt. But would Rachel become exempt by ḥalitza performed with her rival wife? But didn’t we learn in a mishna: A man is forbidden to marry the rival wife of a close relative of his ḥalutza? Once the yavam performs ḥalitza with one sister, Leah, then her sister’s rival wife, i.e., Rachel’s rival wife, would be considered the rival wife of the sister of a woman with whom he performed ḥalitza. Being as she is forbidden to him, her ḥalitza is invalid and should not exempt Rachel.

שמואל נמי התחיל ולא התחיל קאמר התחיל באחיות לא יגמור בצרות דתנן אסור אדם בצרת קרובת חלוצתו התחיל בצרות יגמור אף באחיות דתנן מותר אדם בקרובת צרת חלוצתו

The Gemara answers: Shmuel also meant to distinguish between a case where he began and the case where he did not begin. This is how his statement should be understood: If he began by performing ḥalitza with one of the sisters, he may not finish by performing a second act of ḥalitza with any one of the rival wives, as we learned in a mishna (40b): A man is forbidden to marry the rival wife of a close relative of his ḥalutza. Due to this prohibition, ḥalitza performed with the second rival wife is invalid ḥalitza and would not exempt the second sister. If, however, he began with the rival wives and performed the first ḥalitza with the rival wife of Leah, he may finish with the sisters as well and perform the second ḥalitza with Leah, as we learned in a mishna (40b): A man is permitted to marry the close relative of the rival wife of his ḥalutza. Therefore, if he performed ḥalitza with Leah’s rival wife, then Rachel, who is the sister of the rival wife of his ḥalutza, is permitted to him. He can therefore perform a completely valid ḥalitza with her and thereby exempt her rival wife.

רב אשי אמר לעולם כדקאמרת ומשום דלא אלימא זיקה לשויי לצרה כערוה

Rav Ashi said: Actually, Shmuel’s statement should be interpreted as you originally said, that Shmuel’s rationale for these halakhot accords with his opinion that the levirate bond is substantial. As for the objection that was raised as to why the sisters would be exempted by ḥalitza performed with the rival wives if these rival wives were considered the rival wife of the sister of a woman with whom the yavam had a levirate bond, this can be resolved as follows: This is because the levirate bond is not so strong as to render the status of a rival wife like an actual forbidden relative. The levirate bond is sufficient to prohibit levirate marriage with the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond, but not sufficient to prohibit their rival wives to the yavam.

תניא כוותיה דרב אשי חלץ לאחיות לא נפטרו צרות הא לצרות נפטרו אחיות מאי טעמא לאו משום דקסבר יש זיקה ולא אלימא זיקה לשוייה לצרה כערוה

The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav Ashi: If he performed Ḽalitza with the sisters, the rival wives are not exempt from levirate marriage. From here one can deduce: Consequently, if he performed Ḽalitza with the rival wives, the sisters are exempt. What is the reason for this? Is it not because this tanna held that the levirate bond is substantial, and therefore the rival wives were not rendered exempt by the Ḽalitza of the sisters, but nevertheless the levirate bond is not so strong as to render the rival wife equivalent to a forbidden relative Therefore, the prohibition with regard to the rival wives in this case is less severe than the prohibition concerning the sisters themselves, and when they perform Ḽalitza, the Ḽalitza is valid and the sisters are exempt.

אמר רבי אבא בר ממל הא מני בית שמאי היא דתנן בית שמאי מתירין הצרות לאחין אי הכי יבומי נמי תתייבם

Rabbi Abba bar Memel rejected this explanation and said: In accordance with whose opinion is this baraita taught? It is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, as we learned in a mishna: Beit Shammai permitted the rival wives to marry the brothers; even if they are the rival wives of his actual relatives, they are permitted to enter into levirate marriage. In the case above, where they are merely rival wives of the sister with whom he has a levirate bond, all the more so they are permitted to enter into levirate marriage. The Gemara objects: If that is so, if this ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, who say that the rival wives are permitted, then the rival wife should enter into levirate marriage as well. Why does it speak here only of Ḽalitza but not of the possibility of entering levirate marriage?

כרבי יוחנן בן נורי דאמר בואו ונתקן להם לצרות שיהו חולצות ולא מתייבמות והאמר מר לא הספיקו לגמור את הדבר עד שנטרפה השעה אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק אחריו חזרו ותקנו

The Gemara answers: The ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri, who said: Come and let us establish a ruling that the rival wives must perform ḥalitza and may not enter into levirate marriage, thereby circumventing the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel. Although Beit Shammai permitted the rival wives to the perform levirate betrothal, they should perform ḥalitza instead in order to conform to Beit Hillel’s opinion as well. The Gemara objects: But didn’t the Master say that they did not succeed in finalizing the matter and establishing Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri’s amendment before the times of trouble came in the form of the anti-Jewish decrees, and so this ruling was never actually established? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: After his time, other Sages returned to this issue and established this amendment in accordance with his opinion.

איבעיא להו

§ Apropos of the statement of Shmuel with regard to a woman who received a bill of divorce and a woman who received levirate betrothal, a dilemma was raised before the Sages:

בעלת הגט ובעלת מאמר איזו מהן קודמת בעלת הגט עדיפא משום דאתחיל בה בחליצה או דלמא בעלת מאמר עדיפא משום דקרובה לביאה

If two women happened before a single yavam for levirate marriage, and one is a woman who received a bill of divorce and the other is a woman who received levirate betrothal, which has precedence for Ḽalitza? Is the woman who received a bill of divorce preferred because he began the process of Ḽalitza with her, as presenting a bill of divorce represents the first step separating the woman from him? Or perhaps the woman who received levirate betrothal is preferred, because she is closest to being able to enter into permitted sexual intercourse. The act of levirate betrothal is generally done just prior to levirate marriage and is equivalent to the act of betrothal in non-levirate contexts. As a result, levirate betrothal strengthens the connection between the woman and the yavam. For this reason, it may be preferable to perform Ḽalitza with the woman who received levirate betrothal.

אמר רב אשי תא שמע ומודה רבן גמליאל שיש גט אחר מאמר ומאמר אחר גט

Rav Ashi said: Come and hear: The Sages disputed the ruling with regard to a yavam who performed levirate betrothal with one sister-in-law and then performed it with her rival wife as well, or conversely, gave both women a bill of divorce. In such cases, would the second levirate betrothal or bill of divorce be effective? It was taught: And Rabban Gamliel concedes that a bill of divorce is effective after levirate betrothal. Therefore, the bill of divorce that the yavam gave to one yevama after having performed levirate betrothal with the other yevama is effective to some degree. Similarly, Rabban Gamliel concedes that levirate betrothal performed after a bill of divorce is effective.

אי גט עדיף לא ליהני מאמר אבתריה ואי מאמר עדיף לא ליהני גט אבתריה אלא לאו שמע מינה כי הדדי נינהו שמע מינה

If the bill of divorce is preferred to levirate betrothal, then levirate betrothal performed afterward should not be effective. The opposite would hold true as well: And if levirate betrothal is preferred, then a bill of divorce given afterward should not be effective. Rather, must one not conclude from this statement that the two are equivalent to each other? The Gemara summarizes: Indeed, conclude from this statement that they are equivalent. Therefore, neither the woman who received a bill of divorce nor the woman who received levirate betrothal has precedence for Ḽalitza.

אמר רב הונא אמר רב שתי אחיות יבמות שנפלו לפני יבם אחד חלץ לראשונה הותרה חלץ לשנייה הותרה

§ Rav Huna said that Rav said: In a case of two sisters who became yevamot, i.e., the two sisters were married to two brothers who died, who happened before one yavam for levirate marriage, if he performed Ḽalitza with the first sister, then she is permitted to marry any man. If he performed Ḽalitza with the second sister, then she is permitted to do so as well.

מתה ראשונה מותר בשנייה ואין צריך לומר מתה שנייה שמותר בראשונה משום דהויא יבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

If the first sister died before the yavam was able to perform Ḽalitza with her, then he is permitted to take the second sister in levirate marriage, for even if had actually been married to the first sister, one is permitted to marry the sister of his wife after his wife dies. And needless to say, if the second sister died, then he is permitted to take the first sister in levirate marriage because she would be considered a yevama who was permitted at the time that she happened before the yavam for levirate marriage; and then later forbidden as the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond when the second sister happened before him for levirate marriage; and subsequently became permitted by the death of the second sister. Therefore, she can return completely to her original permitted status.

ורבי יוחנן אמר מתה שנייה מותר בראשונה אבל מתה ראשונה אסור בשנייה מאי טעמא שכל יבמה שאין אני קורא בה בשעת נפילה יבמה יבא עליה הרי זו כאשת אח שיש לה בנים ואסורה

However, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: If the second sister dies, he is permitted to take the first. But if the first sister dies, he is prohibited from taking the second sister. What is the reason for this ruling? The reason is that any yevama to whom the verse “her brother-in-law will have intercourse with her” (Deuteronomy 25:5) cannot be applied at the time that she happens before him for levirate marriage because she was forbidden to him at that moment, is then forever considered to be like the wife of a brother who has children, and she is forbidden to him. Because the second sister was forbidden to the yavam at the time that she happened before him for levirate marriage, being the sister of a woman with whom he had a levirate bond, she can never again be permitted to him.

ורב לית ליה האי סברא והאמר רב כל אשה שאין אני קורא בה בשעת נפילה יבמה יבא עליה הרי היא כאשת אח שיש לו בנים ואסורה הני מילי היכא דקאי באפה איסור אחות אשה דאורייתא אבל הכא זיקה דרבנן היא

The Gemara asks: And does Rav not accept that reason? Didn’t Rav himself say the exact same words: Any woman to whom the verse “her brother-in-law will have intercourse with her” cannot be applied at the time that she happens before him for levirate marriage is then considered to be like the wife of a brother who has children, and she is forbidden to him? The Gemara answers: This applies only when the prohibition that stands before her and prevents the levirate marriage is the prohibition against marrying the sister of one’s wife, which is prohibited by Torah law. Therefore, if the woman who happens before the yavam for levirate marriage is his wife’s sister, he is prohibited from performing levirate marriage even if his wife dies afterward. But here the prohibition to marry the sister stems from a relationship created by a levirate bond. This prohibition is by rabbinic law, and therefore the bond does not render her forbidden to him forever.

איתיביה רבי יוסי בר חנינא לרבי יוחנן ארבעה אחין שנים מהם נשואים שתי אחיות ומתו הנשואין את האחיות הרי אלו חולצות ולא מתייבמות ואמאי ליקו חד מינייהו לחלוץ לה לשנייה ותיהוי ראשונה לגבי אידך כיבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina raised an objection to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan from the mishna: In the case of four brothers, two of whom were married to two sisters, and those married to the sisters died, then those sisters must perform ḥalitza and may not enter into levirate marriage. And why does the mishna require ḥalitza? Let one of the brothers rise and perform ḥalitza with the second sister, i.e., the sister whose husband died later. As a result, the first would be like a yevama who was permitted at the time of her husband’s death but later became forbidden due to the bond that was created with her sister, and she then subsequently became permitted by means of ḥalitza performed with her sister, insofar as the other brother, i.e., he who did not perform ḥalitza, is concerned. Therefore, she should return to her original permitted status.

אמר ליה אחיות איני יודע מי שנאן ולימא ליה מאי חולצות נמי דקתני חולצת חדא חולצות קתני

Rabbi YoḼanan said to him: I do not know who taught: Sisters. Rabbi YoḼanan was in doubt as to the correct version of this mishna, as he could not find any reasonable explanation of this mishna according to any known opinion. The Gemara asks: Why did Rabbi YoḼanan respond in such an extreme manner. Let him say to him, to Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina, an alternate solution: What is the meaning of the ruling that the sisters perform Ḽalitza, which the mishna teaches? The meaning is that one sister performs Ḽalitza. The Gemara answers: Such a solution is untenable, as the mishna teaches the ruling using the words: Perform Ḽalitza, in the plural.

ולימא ליה מאי חולצות חולצות דעלמאהרי אלו קתני ולימא דחליץ ליה לראשונה ברישא חולצות

The Gemara suggests: And let Rabbi YoḼanan say to him: What is the meaning of the ruling to perform Ḽalitza? They perform Ḽalitza in general. Accordingly, the mishna teaches that in such cases the second women performs Ḽalitza. The Gemara responds: The mishna teaches: Then those women perform Ḽalitza. The emphasis on the word: Those, indicates that it is specifically those two women who both perform Ḽalitza. The Gemara asks further: And let him say that the mishna is referring only to the specific case where the yavam performed Ḽalitza with the first sister first. As a result, there was no longer be any possibility of rendering the second sister permitted, as Rabbi YoḼanan permitted levirate marriage only in the case where Ḽalitza was performed with the second sister first. The Gemara answers: This cannot be suggested either, for the phrase: Perform Ḽalitza,

  • 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 27

חלץ לאחיות לא נפטרו צרות היכא דקיימא חליצה דשמעון חליצה כשרה חליץ לה ראובן חליצה פסולה

In the case of three brothers, two of whom were married to several women, including two sisters, and the two married brothers later died, and their wives happened before the yavam for levirate marriage, if the yavam performed ḥalitza with the sisters who were among the wives, the rival wives are not thereby exempt. One can deduce from here that since the yavam cannot consummate the levirate marriage with the sisters, as each is the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond, then the act of ḥalitza is invalid, and invalid ḥalitza is ineffective in exempting their rival wives. It is concluded from here that even Shmuel requires valid ḥalitza, i.e., ḥalitza that occurs when there is a possibility of consummating the levirate marriage. According to this rationale, however, Shmuel’s ruling in the above case is difficult: With regard to the second sister, when there exists the possibility for Shimon’s ḥalitza, i.e., the ḥalitza of the second brother who did not yet perform ḥalitza, to be a valid ḥalitza, would it be allowed for Reuven, the brother who already did ḥalitza with one sister, to perform invalid ḥalitza with her?

מאי אחד חולץ לכולן נמי דקאמר אאמצעית והא כולן קאמר כיון דרובה גביה קרי ליה כולן ואיבעית אימא כי קאמר שמואל חליצה מעליא בעינן הני מילי למיפטר צרתה אבל מפטרא נפשה פטרה

The Gemara resolves this difficulty by reinterpreting Shmuel’s statement. What does it mean that it says: One performs ḥalitza with each of them, that Shmuel stated? Shmuel says that with regard to the middle one, i.e., the third sister, one of the two brothers performs ḥalitza with her. The Gemara asks: But didn’t he say: Each of them, indicating that one brother performs ḥalitza with all of the sisters? The Gemara answers: Since the brother who performed ḥalitza with one sister repeats the act with another, it turns out that most of the acts of ḥalitza are performed with him, and this is called: With each of them. And if you wish, say a different answer: When Shmuel said we require a full-fledged ḥalitza, this applies only to exempt her rival wife by means of that ḥalitza. But to exempt the woman herself, even invalid ḥalitza would render her exempt. In the case above, since no rival wives are involved, it would be sufficient for one brother to perform ḥalitza with each of the sisters.

גופא אמר שמואל חלץ לאחיות לא נפטרו צרות לצרות נפטרו אחיות חלץ לבעלת הגט לא נפטרה צרה לצרה נפטרה בעלת הגט

§ Apropos of Shmuel’s statement, the Gemara examines the matter itself. Shmuel said: In the case of three brothers, two of whom were married to several women, including two sisters, and the two married brothers later died, and their wives happened before the yavam for levirate marriage, if the yavam performed ḥalitza with the sisters, the rival wives are not thereby exempt. But if he performed ḥalitza with the rival wives, the sisters are exempt. Similarly, if he gave a bill of divorce to one of these women, whereby he would no longer be permitted to consummate the levirate marriage with them due to a rabbinic decree, and he then performed ḥalitza with the woman who received a bill of divorce, the rival wife is not thereby exempt. Since he was unable to consummate the levirate marriage with her, the ḥalitza performed with her was invalid, and invalid ḥalitza does not exempt the rival wife. If he performed the act of ḥalitza with the rival wife, then the woman who received a bill of divorce is exempt.

חלץ לבעלת המאמר לא נפטרה צרה לצרה נפטרה בעלת מאמר

The ruling is similar with regard to the case where the yavam performed ma’amar, i.e., levirate betrothal, to one of the wives. If he then performed ḥalitza with the woman who received his levirate betrothal then the rival wife is not exempt. Indeed, this ḥalitza is invalid as well, for once the yavam performed levirate betrothal, this act can be rescinded only by means of a bill of divorce. Because the woman needs to receive a bill of divorce in addition to the ḥalitza in order to exempt her from her bond, the ḥalitza is considered invalid and is not sufficient to exempt the rival wife. But if the yavam performed ḥalitza with the rival wife, then she who received his levirate betrothal is exempt from ḥalitza and requires only a bill of divorce.

מאי שנא לאחיות דלא נפטרו צרות דהויא לו אחות אשה בזיקה חלץ לצרות נמי לא ליפטרו אחיות דהויא להו צרות אחות אשה בזיקה קסבר שמואל אין זיקה

The Gemara asks: What is different in the two cases? Why, if he performed Ḽalitza with the sisters, are the rival wives not exempt? This is because the sister is related to him as the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond. Since, under these circumstances he would not be permitted to consummate the levirate marriage with her, her Ḽalitza is then considered invalid Ḽalitza. However, if that is so, when he performed Ḽalitza with the rival wives, the sisters should not be exempt either, as the rival wives are related to him as rival wives of the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond. If the woman is forbidden to him due to a relationship created by the levirate bond, then her rival wife is forbidden to him in the same way, and her Ḽalitza would be invalid as well. The Gemara answers: Shmuel holds that the levirate bond is not substantial, and therefore the levirate bond does not create a relationship between the yavam and the sisters such that the prohibition would be extended to the rival wives as well.

והא אמר שמואל יש זיקה לדברי האומר אין זיקה קאמר

The Gemara challenges: But didn’t Shmuel say explicitly that the levirate bond is substantial? The Gemara responds: He stated this halakha in accordance with the statement of those who say that the levirate bond is not substantial, although he himself maintains the opposite.

אי הכי חלץ לאחיות אמאי לא נפטרו צרות בשלמא צרה דרחל לא תיפטר דכיון דחלץ לה ללאה והדר חלץ לרחל הויא לה חליצה דרחל חליצה פסולה אלא צרה דלאה תיפטר

The Gemara asks: If that is indeed so, that he stated this ruling in accordance with the opinion that the levirate bond is not substantial, then when the yavam performed ḥalitza with the sisters, why were their rival wives not exempt? Granted, Rachel’s rival wife, i.e., the rival wife of the second sister, would not be exempt, for once he performed ḥalitza with Leah, the first sister, and then later performed ḥalitza with Rachel, it turns out that Rachel’s ḥalitza was invalid ḥalitza, as he could not consummate the levirate marriage with Rachel because she is the sister of a woman with whom he performed ḥalitza, and invalid ḥalitza does not exempt a rival wife. However, the rival wife of Leah should be exempt because if the levirate bond is not substantial, the ḥalitza with the first sister would have been completely valid.

מאי לא נפטרו צרות נמי דקאמר אצרה דרחל והא צרות קאמר צרות דעלמא

The Gemara explains: What does it mean that it says: The rival wives are not exempt, that Shmuel stated? It is referring only to the rival wife of Rachel, the second sister, who is not exempt. The Gemara challenges: But he said rival wives in the plural, seeming to refer to both rival wives? The Gemara answers: He spoke of rival wives in general. In other words, this is a general halakha, and for that reason it was stated in the plural. However, it does not mean that both the rival wife of the first sister and the rival wife of the second sister are not exempt.

אי הכי חלץ לצרות נפטרו אחיות ואצרת רחל מי מיפטרא והא תנן אסור אדם בצרת קרובת חלוצתו

The Gemara challenges this: If that is so, that when Shmuel chose to speak in the plural he was referring only to the rival wife of Rachel, there arises a difficulty with the second half of the statement: If he performed ḥalitza with the rival wives, the sisters are exempt. But would Rachel become exempt by ḥalitza performed with her rival wife? But didn’t we learn in a mishna: A man is forbidden to marry the rival wife of a close relative of his ḥalutza? Once the yavam performs ḥalitza with one sister, Leah, then her sister’s rival wife, i.e., Rachel’s rival wife, would be considered the rival wife of the sister of a woman with whom he performed ḥalitza. Being as she is forbidden to him, her ḥalitza is invalid and should not exempt Rachel.

שמואל נמי התחיל ולא התחיל קאמר התחיל באחיות לא יגמור בצרות דתנן אסור אדם בצרת קרובת חלוצתו התחיל בצרות יגמור אף באחיות דתנן מותר אדם בקרובת צרת חלוצתו

The Gemara answers: Shmuel also meant to distinguish between a case where he began and the case where he did not begin. This is how his statement should be understood: If he began by performing ḥalitza with one of the sisters, he may not finish by performing a second act of ḥalitza with any one of the rival wives, as we learned in a mishna (40b): A man is forbidden to marry the rival wife of a close relative of his ḥalutza. Due to this prohibition, ḥalitza performed with the second rival wife is invalid ḥalitza and would not exempt the second sister. If, however, he began with the rival wives and performed the first ḥalitza with the rival wife of Leah, he may finish with the sisters as well and perform the second ḥalitza with Leah, as we learned in a mishna (40b): A man is permitted to marry the close relative of the rival wife of his ḥalutza. Therefore, if he performed ḥalitza with Leah’s rival wife, then Rachel, who is the sister of the rival wife of his ḥalutza, is permitted to him. He can therefore perform a completely valid ḥalitza with her and thereby exempt her rival wife.

רב אשי אמר לעולם כדקאמרת ומשום דלא אלימא זיקה לשויי לצרה כערוה

Rav Ashi said: Actually, Shmuel’s statement should be interpreted as you originally said, that Shmuel’s rationale for these halakhot accords with his opinion that the levirate bond is substantial. As for the objection that was raised as to why the sisters would be exempted by ḥalitza performed with the rival wives if these rival wives were considered the rival wife of the sister of a woman with whom the yavam had a levirate bond, this can be resolved as follows: This is because the levirate bond is not so strong as to render the status of a rival wife like an actual forbidden relative. The levirate bond is sufficient to prohibit levirate marriage with the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond, but not sufficient to prohibit their rival wives to the yavam.

תניא כוותיה דרב אשי חלץ לאחיות לא נפטרו צרות הא לצרות נפטרו אחיות מאי טעמא לאו משום דקסבר יש זיקה ולא אלימא זיקה לשוייה לצרה כערוה

The Gemara comments: It is taught in a baraita in accordance with the opinion of Rav Ashi: If he performed Ḽalitza with the sisters, the rival wives are not exempt from levirate marriage. From here one can deduce: Consequently, if he performed Ḽalitza with the rival wives, the sisters are exempt. What is the reason for this? Is it not because this tanna held that the levirate bond is substantial, and therefore the rival wives were not rendered exempt by the Ḽalitza of the sisters, but nevertheless the levirate bond is not so strong as to render the rival wife equivalent to a forbidden relative Therefore, the prohibition with regard to the rival wives in this case is less severe than the prohibition concerning the sisters themselves, and when they perform Ḽalitza, the Ḽalitza is valid and the sisters are exempt.

אמר רבי אבא בר ממל הא מני בית שמאי היא דתנן בית שמאי מתירין הצרות לאחין אי הכי יבומי נמי תתייבם

Rabbi Abba bar Memel rejected this explanation and said: In accordance with whose opinion is this baraita taught? It is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, as we learned in a mishna: Beit Shammai permitted the rival wives to marry the brothers; even if they are the rival wives of his actual relatives, they are permitted to enter into levirate marriage. In the case above, where they are merely rival wives of the sister with whom he has a levirate bond, all the more so they are permitted to enter into levirate marriage. The Gemara objects: If that is so, if this ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Beit Shammai, who say that the rival wives are permitted, then the rival wife should enter into levirate marriage as well. Why does it speak here only of Ḽalitza but not of the possibility of entering levirate marriage?

כרבי יוחנן בן נורי דאמר בואו ונתקן להם לצרות שיהו חולצות ולא מתייבמות והאמר מר לא הספיקו לגמור את הדבר עד שנטרפה השעה אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק אחריו חזרו ותקנו

The Gemara answers: The ruling is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri, who said: Come and let us establish a ruling that the rival wives must perform ḥalitza and may not enter into levirate marriage, thereby circumventing the dispute between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel. Although Beit Shammai permitted the rival wives to the perform levirate betrothal, they should perform ḥalitza instead in order to conform to Beit Hillel’s opinion as well. The Gemara objects: But didn’t the Master say that they did not succeed in finalizing the matter and establishing Rabbi Yoḥanan ben Nuri’s amendment before the times of trouble came in the form of the anti-Jewish decrees, and so this ruling was never actually established? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said: After his time, other Sages returned to this issue and established this amendment in accordance with his opinion.

איבעיא להו

§ Apropos of the statement of Shmuel with regard to a woman who received a bill of divorce and a woman who received levirate betrothal, a dilemma was raised before the Sages:

בעלת הגט ובעלת מאמר איזו מהן קודמת בעלת הגט עדיפא משום דאתחיל בה בחליצה או דלמא בעלת מאמר עדיפא משום דקרובה לביאה

If two women happened before a single yavam for levirate marriage, and one is a woman who received a bill of divorce and the other is a woman who received levirate betrothal, which has precedence for Ḽalitza? Is the woman who received a bill of divorce preferred because he began the process of Ḽalitza with her, as presenting a bill of divorce represents the first step separating the woman from him? Or perhaps the woman who received levirate betrothal is preferred, because she is closest to being able to enter into permitted sexual intercourse. The act of levirate betrothal is generally done just prior to levirate marriage and is equivalent to the act of betrothal in non-levirate contexts. As a result, levirate betrothal strengthens the connection between the woman and the yavam. For this reason, it may be preferable to perform Ḽalitza with the woman who received levirate betrothal.

אמר רב אשי תא שמע ומודה רבן גמליאל שיש גט אחר מאמר ומאמר אחר גט

Rav Ashi said: Come and hear: The Sages disputed the ruling with regard to a yavam who performed levirate betrothal with one sister-in-law and then performed it with her rival wife as well, or conversely, gave both women a bill of divorce. In such cases, would the second levirate betrothal or bill of divorce be effective? It was taught: And Rabban Gamliel concedes that a bill of divorce is effective after levirate betrothal. Therefore, the bill of divorce that the yavam gave to one yevama after having performed levirate betrothal with the other yevama is effective to some degree. Similarly, Rabban Gamliel concedes that levirate betrothal performed after a bill of divorce is effective.

אי גט עדיף לא ליהני מאמר אבתריה ואי מאמר עדיף לא ליהני גט אבתריה אלא לאו שמע מינה כי הדדי נינהו שמע מינה

If the bill of divorce is preferred to levirate betrothal, then levirate betrothal performed afterward should not be effective. The opposite would hold true as well: And if levirate betrothal is preferred, then a bill of divorce given afterward should not be effective. Rather, must one not conclude from this statement that the two are equivalent to each other? The Gemara summarizes: Indeed, conclude from this statement that they are equivalent. Therefore, neither the woman who received a bill of divorce nor the woman who received levirate betrothal has precedence for Ḽalitza.

אמר רב הונא אמר רב שתי אחיות יבמות שנפלו לפני יבם אחד חלץ לראשונה הותרה חלץ לשנייה הותרה

§ Rav Huna said that Rav said: In a case of two sisters who became yevamot, i.e., the two sisters were married to two brothers who died, who happened before one yavam for levirate marriage, if he performed Ḽalitza with the first sister, then she is permitted to marry any man. If he performed Ḽalitza with the second sister, then she is permitted to do so as well.

מתה ראשונה מותר בשנייה ואין צריך לומר מתה שנייה שמותר בראשונה משום דהויא יבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

If the first sister died before the yavam was able to perform Ḽalitza with her, then he is permitted to take the second sister in levirate marriage, for even if had actually been married to the first sister, one is permitted to marry the sister of his wife after his wife dies. And needless to say, if the second sister died, then he is permitted to take the first sister in levirate marriage because she would be considered a yevama who was permitted at the time that she happened before the yavam for levirate marriage; and then later forbidden as the sister of a woman with whom he has a levirate bond when the second sister happened before him for levirate marriage; and subsequently became permitted by the death of the second sister. Therefore, she can return completely to her original permitted status.

ורבי יוחנן אמר מתה שנייה מותר בראשונה אבל מתה ראשונה אסור בשנייה מאי טעמא שכל יבמה שאין אני קורא בה בשעת נפילה יבמה יבא עליה הרי זו כאשת אח שיש לה בנים ואסורה

However, Rabbi Yoḥanan said: If the second sister dies, he is permitted to take the first. But if the first sister dies, he is prohibited from taking the second sister. What is the reason for this ruling? The reason is that any yevama to whom the verse “her brother-in-law will have intercourse with her” (Deuteronomy 25:5) cannot be applied at the time that she happens before him for levirate marriage because she was forbidden to him at that moment, is then forever considered to be like the wife of a brother who has children, and she is forbidden to him. Because the second sister was forbidden to the yavam at the time that she happened before him for levirate marriage, being the sister of a woman with whom he had a levirate bond, she can never again be permitted to him.

ורב לית ליה האי סברא והאמר רב כל אשה שאין אני קורא בה בשעת נפילה יבמה יבא עליה הרי היא כאשת אח שיש לו בנים ואסורה הני מילי היכא דקאי באפה איסור אחות אשה דאורייתא אבל הכא זיקה דרבנן היא

The Gemara asks: And does Rav not accept that reason? Didn’t Rav himself say the exact same words: Any woman to whom the verse “her brother-in-law will have intercourse with her” cannot be applied at the time that she happens before him for levirate marriage is then considered to be like the wife of a brother who has children, and she is forbidden to him? The Gemara answers: This applies only when the prohibition that stands before her and prevents the levirate marriage is the prohibition against marrying the sister of one’s wife, which is prohibited by Torah law. Therefore, if the woman who happens before the yavam for levirate marriage is his wife’s sister, he is prohibited from performing levirate marriage even if his wife dies afterward. But here the prohibition to marry the sister stems from a relationship created by a levirate bond. This prohibition is by rabbinic law, and therefore the bond does not render her forbidden to him forever.

איתיביה רבי יוסי בר חנינא לרבי יוחנן ארבעה אחין שנים מהם נשואים שתי אחיות ומתו הנשואין את האחיות הרי אלו חולצות ולא מתייבמות ואמאי ליקו חד מינייהו לחלוץ לה לשנייה ותיהוי ראשונה לגבי אידך כיבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina raised an objection to the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan from the mishna: In the case of four brothers, two of whom were married to two sisters, and those married to the sisters died, then those sisters must perform ḥalitza and may not enter into levirate marriage. And why does the mishna require ḥalitza? Let one of the brothers rise and perform ḥalitza with the second sister, i.e., the sister whose husband died later. As a result, the first would be like a yevama who was permitted at the time of her husband’s death but later became forbidden due to the bond that was created with her sister, and she then subsequently became permitted by means of ḥalitza performed with her sister, insofar as the other brother, i.e., he who did not perform ḥalitza, is concerned. Therefore, she should return to her original permitted status.

אמר ליה אחיות איני יודע מי שנאן ולימא ליה מאי חולצות נמי דקתני חולצת חדא חולצות קתני

Rabbi YoḼanan said to him: I do not know who taught: Sisters. Rabbi YoḼanan was in doubt as to the correct version of this mishna, as he could not find any reasonable explanation of this mishna according to any known opinion. The Gemara asks: Why did Rabbi YoḼanan respond in such an extreme manner. Let him say to him, to Rabbi Yosei bar Ḥanina, an alternate solution: What is the meaning of the ruling that the sisters perform Ḽalitza, which the mishna teaches? The meaning is that one sister performs Ḽalitza. The Gemara answers: Such a solution is untenable, as the mishna teaches the ruling using the words: Perform Ḽalitza, in the plural.

ולימא ליה מאי חולצות חולצות דעלמאהרי אלו קתני ולימא דחליץ ליה לראשונה ברישא חולצות

The Gemara suggests: And let Rabbi YoḼanan say to him: What is the meaning of the ruling to perform Ḽalitza? They perform Ḽalitza in general. Accordingly, the mishna teaches that in such cases the second women performs Ḽalitza. The Gemara responds: The mishna teaches: Then those women perform Ḽalitza. The emphasis on the word: Those, indicates that it is specifically those two women who both perform Ḽalitza. The Gemara asks further: And let him say that the mishna is referring only to the specific case where the yavam performed Ḽalitza with the first sister first. As a result, there was no longer be any possibility of rendering the second sister permitted, as Rabbi YoḼanan permitted levirate marriage only in the case where Ḽalitza was performed with the second sister first. The Gemara answers: This cannot be suggested either, for the phrase: Perform Ḽalitza,

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