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Today's Daf Yomi

April 17, 2022 | ט״ז בניסן תשפ״ב

  • 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 41

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What is the reason why that a man can marry the relative of the tzara of a chalutza but not the tzara of the relative of his chalutza? If a man performs chalitza with his yevama or gets divorced, and his brother marries her sister and dies childless, he cannot do yibum, but is he obligated to perform chalitza with her? If one falls to yibum to two brothers and in the meantime, one betroths her sister, Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira requires him to wait until the other brother deals with the yevama (does yibum or chalitza) and only then can he marry the sister. Alternatively, if the yevama dies, he can marry his wife. If the other brother dies, he must divorce his wife and perform chalitza with the yevama. A question was asked – what if the betrothed woman died, can he perform yibum with the yevama – is she forbidden to him because she was already forbidden at the time of the betrothal, or since the reason she was forbidden is no longer relevant, can we permit him to perform yibum with her? Rav and Rabbi Chanina permit. Shmuel and Rav Asi forbid. Rav Hamnuna questions Rav from a Mishna (Yevamot 29a) where a yevama was permitted and then forbidden and then remained forbidden. Rav didn’t respond to the question. Rava suggests that Rav could have attributed the Mishna to Rabbi Elazar (Yevamot 109a). Can we really line up the opinions of Rabbi Elazar and the rabbis with Rav and Shmuel’s opinions here? Are the cases similar or can one distinguish between them? A woman needs to wait three months before yibum or chalitza to make sure she isn’t pregnant. Does this apply to all situations or are there exceptions? There is a debate in the Mishna regarding this issue. Why does she need to wait if chalitza is being done? Can this be used to question Rabbi Yochanan’s opinion that the chalitza of a pregnant woman is a valid chalitza? The Gemara offers three answers, as the first two are rejected. Who is responsible for mezonot (providing sustenance) for the yevama until such time that yibum/chalitza is performed?

 

הך דאזלא בהדה לבי דינא גזרו בהו רבנן האי דלא אזלא בהדה לבי דינא לא גזרו בהו רבנן

The Gemara explains: With regard to that woman, the relative of the ḥalutza, who often goes together with the ḥalutza to court, since she is present in the court during the ḥalitza, people might mistakenly assume that it was she who actually performed ḥalitza. Were the yavam permitted to marry her rival wife, people might incorrectly conclude that it is permitted to marry the rival wife of one’s ḥalutza. To preclude this possibility, the Sages decreed with regard to her that her rival wife should be forbidden. However, with regard to this woman, the rival wife of the ḥalutza, who does not go together with the ḥalutza to court, since she is never present in the court during the ḥalitza, there is no concern that people will mistake her for the ḥalutza herself. Consequently, the Sages did not see any reason to decree with regard to her that her relatives should be forbidden.

מתני׳ החולץ ליבמתו ונשא אחיו את אחותה ומת חולצת ולא מתיבמת וכן המגרש את אשתו ונשא אחיו את אחותה ומת הרי זו פטורה

MISHNA: In the case of a yavam who performed Ḽalitza with his yevama and then his brother married her sister and died, the sister performs Ḽalitza with the yavam, but she may not enter into levirate marriage with him, since as a sister of his Ḽalutza she is forbidden to him. And similarly, in the case of one who divorced his wife and his brother married her sister and died, then that woman is exempt both from Ḽalitza and from consummating levirate marriage, since as the sister of his former wife she is forbidden to him.

שומרת יבם שקידש אחיו את אחותה משום רבי יהודה בן בתירא אמרו אומרים לו המתן עד שיעשה אחיך מעשה

In the case of a widow waiting for her yavam to consummate levirate marriage or perform Ḽalitza with her, and the brother of the yavam betrothed her sister, they said in the name of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira: They say to the brother: Wait and do not marry the woman you betrothed until your brother performs an act, either of Ḽalitza or of consummating the levirate marriage, as until he does there remains a levirate bond between the yevama and each of the brothers, and it is prohibited to marry the sister of a woman to whom one is bound by a levirate bond.

חלץ לה אחיו או כנסה יכנוס את אשתו מתה היבמה יכנוס את אשתו מת יבם יוציא את אשתו בגט ואשת אחיו בחליצה

If a brother of the one who betrothed the sister of the yevama performed ḥalitza with the yevama or consummated a levirate marriage with her, since by doing so the levirate bond between the yevama and the one who betrothed her sister is dissolved, he may then enter into marriage with his wife, who until that point was only betrothed to him, as she is no longer the sister of a woman to whom he is bound by a levirate bond. Similarly, if the yevama died, since his levirate bond to her is dissolved upon her death, he may proceed to enter into marriage with his betrothed wife. However, if the yavam died without performing an act that would have dissolved the levirate bond, he must divorce his wife with a bill of divorce, as she is forbidden to him as the sister of a woman to whom he is bound by a levirate bond, and his brother’s wife he must send out with ḥalitza, as she is forbidden to him as the sister of his divorcée.

גמ׳ מאי וכן אימא אבל המגרש

GEMARA: The mishna considers two cases in which there is no possibility of consummating levirate marriage with a yevama. In the first case the reason is that she is the sister of one’s ḥalutza, and in the second it is that she is the sister of one’s divorcée. The mishna appears to compare the two cases by introducing the second case with: And similarly. The Gemara questions this: What is the meaning of: And similarly? The two cases are not similar; in the first case the yevama must perform ḥalitza, and in the second she is entirely exempt from the need to do anything. The Gemara answers: Emend the mishna and say: However, one who divorces.

אמר ריש לקיש כאן שנה רבי אחות גרושה מדברי תורה אחות חלוצה מדברי סופרים

The Gemara explains the reason for the difference between the two cases: Reish Lakish said: Here, through this mishna, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi taught that a sister of one’s divorcée is forbidden to him by Torah law, and that is why she is entirely exempt, whereas a sister of a ḥalutza is forbidden to him only by rabbinic law, and therefore, since there is still a levirate bond between her and the yavam, she requires ḥalitza to release her from it.

שומרת יבם שקידש וכו׳ אמר שמואל הלכה כדברי רבי יהודה בן בתירא

§ The mishna states that in the case of a widow waiting for her yavam where the brother of the yavam betrothed her sister, Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira said that the brother may not proceed to marry his betrothed. The Gemara cites a ruling on this matter: Shmuel said: The halakha is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira.

איבעיא להו מתה אשתו מהו ביבמתו רב ורבי חנינא דאמרי תרוייהו מתה אשתו מותר ביבמתו שמואל ורב אסי דאמרי תרוייהו מתה אשתו אסור ביבמתו

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If a yavam is betrothed to the sister of his yevama, then since the yevama is his betrothed wife’s sister, it is forbidden for him to consummate a levirate marriage with her. However, if his betrothed wife died, what is the halakha with regard to his yevama; is he then permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with her? It is Rav and Rabbi Ḥanina who both say: If his wife died, he is permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with his yevama. Their opinion is disputed by Shmuel and Rav Asi, who both say: If his wife died, he is forbidden to his yevama.

אמר רבא מאי טעמא דרב משום דהואי יבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

Rava said: What is Rav’s reasoning? She is permitted due to the fact that she is a yevama who, when her husband died, was permitted to the yavam, and then when the yavam betrothed her sister she became forbidden to him as his wife’s sister, and then when his wife died the yevama reverted to her original status and was permitted to him. As such, she should also revert to her original permitted status with regard to levirate marriage and be permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with the yavam.

מתיב רב המנונא שלשה אחין שנים נשואין שתי אחיות ואחד מופנה מת אחד מבעלי אחיות ועשה בה מופנה מאמר ואחר כך מת אחיו השני

Rav Hamnuna raised an objection from that which was taught in a baraita: With regard to a case of three brothers, two of whom are married to two sisters and one of whom is a bachelor, if one of the sisters’ husbands died and the bachelor performed levirate betrothal with that sister, and afterward the second brother who was married to the other sister died, and so his wife also happened before the bachelor for levirate marriage, the bachelor is then bound to each of the sisters through a levirate bond. In such a case it is prohibited for the bachelor to consummate a levirate marriage with either one, as it is prohibited to marry the sister of a woman to whom one is bound through a levirate bond.

ואחר כך מתה אשתו אחריו אותה יבמה חולצת ולא מתיבמת

And if afterward the wife of the second brother died after him, i.e., after her husband had already died, which restored the original situation in which the bachelor was bound by a levirate bond only to the widow of the first brother, then in such a case that yevama, the widow of the first brother, performs Ḽalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage.

ואמאי תיהוי כיבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

Rav Hamnuna explains the challenge from the baraita: But why may she not consummate the levirate marriage? She should be like a yevama who was initially permitted to her yavam, and then became forbidden to him, and then reverted to her original status and was permitted, and so in this case she should also revert to her original permitted status with regard to levirate marriage and be permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with him. The fact that the baraita rules that she is prohibited from consummating the marriage demonstrates that she does not revert to her original permitted status.

אישתיק לבתר דנפק אמר אמאי לא אמרת ליה רבי אלעזר היא דאמר כיון שעמדה עליו שעה אחת באסור נאסרה עליו עולמית

Rava was silent, as he had no immediate answer. After Rav Hamnuna left the study hall, Rava said to himself: Why did you not say to him that the baraita does not pose a challenge because it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who said in a mishna (108b) with regard to the case of a man who divorced his wife, remarried her, and then died childless, that the yevama may not consummate levirate marriage with her yavam because once a yevama has stood before her yavam in a forbidden state, even for a single moment, she remains forbidden to him forever, and in that case, during the period she was divorced from her husband she was forbidden to her yavam? The Rabbis, however, disagree with his opinion, and the halakha is ruled in accordance with their opinion.

הדר אמר אימור דאמר רבי אלעזר היכא דלא חזיא בשעת נפילה אבל היכא דחזיא בשעת נפילה מי אמר

He then said to himself: It is not certain that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar because one could say that Rabbi Elazar said his opinion only where she was not suitable for the yavam, i.e., she was forbidden to him, already from the time of her happening before her yavam for levirate marriage at the moment of her husband’s death. However, where she was suitable for her yavam at the time of her happening before him and became forbidden to him only at some later point, as in the case of a yavam who betrothed the sister of his yevama, did he actually say that if the reason for the prohibition is removed then she does not return to her permissible state? If the baraita does not represent the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, then it must be unanimously agreed upon, and therefore it indeed poses a challenge.

הדר אמר אין והתניא רבי אלעזר אומר מתה יבמתו מותר באשתו מתה אשתו אותה יבמה חולצת ולא מתיבמת

He then said: Yes, actually, Rabbi Elazar did state his opinion even in such a case, and so it is taught in a baraita: With regard to a yavam who betrothed the sister of his yevama, Rabbi Elazar says: If his yevama dies, he is permitted to his wife. If his wife dies, that yevama performs ḥalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage with him. Therefore, the challenge from the baraita can be dismissed since it represents only Rabbi Elazar’s opinion.

לימא שמואל ורב אסי דאמרי כרבי אלעזר

The Gemara suggests: Shall we say that Shmuel and Rav Asi, who say that she may not consummate the levirate marriage, hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar?

אפילו תימא כרבנן עד כאן לא קמיפלגי רבנן עליה דרבי אלעזר אלא משום דמנפילה ואילך לא מיתסר עלייהו אבל הכא דאיתסר אפילו רבנן מודו

The Gemara rejects this: You can even say that they hold in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, as perhaps the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Elazar in the case of a man who divorced and remarried his wife and then died childless only due to the fact that in that case, from the time of her happening for levirate marriage and onward she was not forbidden to them, i.e., her yevamin. The fact that the prohibition between her and her yevamin ended before she ever happened before them for levirate marriage means it has no bearing on her current eligibility for levirate marriage. However, here, in the case where the yavam betrothed the sister of his yevama, since she became forbidden after she had already happened before him for levirate marriage, even the Rabbis would agree that she remains permanently ineligible to consummate levirate marriage with him.

מתני׳ היבמה לא תחלוץ ולא תתייבם עד שיש לה שלשה חדשים וכן כל שאר הנשים לא יתארסו ולא ינשאו עד שיהו להן שלשה חדשים אחד בתולות ואחד בעולות אחד גרושות ואחד אלמנות אחד נשואות ואחד ארוסות

MISHNA: A yevama may neither perform ḥalitza nor enter into levirate marriage until she has waited three months from the time of her husband’s death. And similarly, all other women may not be betrothed and may not marry until they have waited three months since their previous marriage ended. This waiting period is necessary so that, should a woman give birth shortly after remarrying, it will be obvious who the father of the child is. This applies both to virgins and non-virgins, both to divorcées and widows, and both to women who were married to their previous husbands and women who were only betrothed. All of these women must wait three months before remarrying even though for some of them the reason for doing so does not apply.

רבי יהודה אומר הנשואות יתארסו והארוסות ינשאו חוץ מן הארוסות שביהודה מפני שלבו גס בה

Rabbi Yehuda says: The women who were married to their previous husbands may be betrothed, and the women who were only betrothed to their previous husbands may marry without waiting three months. This is true except for the betrothed women that are in the area of Judea, due to the fact that the groom is familiar with her. The custom in Judea was for the couple to be secluded together before the marriage so that they would become familiar with each other. This led to the possibility that they might cohabit even during their betrothal period. Rabbi Yehuda holds that one does not need to wait three months whenever the reason for doing so does not apply.

רבי יוסי אומר כל הנשים יתארסו חוץ מן האלמנה

Rabbi Yosei says: All of the women may be betrothed within three months even if they were previously married, except for a widow,

מפני האיבול

due to the mourning period she must observe for her deceased husband.

גמ׳ בשלמא לא תתייבם שמא יהיה הולד בן קיימא וקא פגע באיסור אשת אח דאורייתא אלא לא תחלוץ אמאי

GEMARA: The Gemara questions the mishna’s opening clause: Granted, she should not enter into levirate marriage, as she might already be pregnant, which would still not be noticeable during the first three months, and perhaps the baby will be viable. In that case it would emerge that she was never subject to the mitzva of levirate marriage, and therefore, if the yavam consummates a levirate marriage he will have encountered the Torah prohibition against engaging in relations with one’s brother’s wife. However, why should she not perform ḥalitza?

לימא תיהוי תיובתא דרבי יוחנן דאמר חליצת מעוברת שמה חליצה ולאו מי אותביניה לרבי יוחנן חדא זימנא לימא מהא נמי תיהוי תיובתא

The Gemara suggests: Let us say that this mishna, which states that a pregnant woman should not perform ḥalitza, is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, who said that a ḥalitza performed with a pregnant woman who later miscarries is considered a valid ḥalitza. The Gemara asks: But didn’t they already conclusively refute the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan one time previously from other sources? The Gemara rephrases the suggestion: Let us say that from this mishna as well there is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan.

לא הכא היינו טעמא שמא יהא ולד בן קיימא ונמצאת אתה מצריכה כרוז לכהונה

The Gemara deflects this suggestion: No, it is possible that in the mishna here, this is the reason that she may not perform Ḽalitza: Perhaps the offspring will be viable, in which case although she performed the act of Ḽalitza, it is entirely meaningless since it was completely unnecessary, and she would remain permitted to marry into the priesthood. However, this could lead to a problem: People might not realize that the Ḽalitza she performed was meaningless, and they would think she is a Ḽalutza who is prohibited from marrying a priest. It would therefore emerge that if you permit her to perform Ḽalitza even though it is possible that she is pregnant, it could be that you will ultimately require a public announcement to be made for her to attest to the fact that the Ḽalitza she performed was meaningless and she is in fact still permitted to marry into the priesthood.

ונצרכה דלמא איכא דהואי בחליצה ולא הוי בהכרזה ומפסלוה מן הכהונה

The Gemara wonders why this poses a problem: But why not let her perform Ḽalitza even though it is possible she is pregnant, and then, if it becomes necessary, require a public announcement to be made for her? The Gemara explains why one should avoid having to rely on a public announcement: Perhaps there will be some people who are present at the Ḽalitza but were not present at the public announcement, and those people will incorrectly disqualify her from marrying into the priesthood. To avoid this situation, the mishna rules that she should wait three months before performing Ḽalitza.

תינח אלמנה גרושה מאי איכא למימר משום דמפסיד לה מזונות

The Gemara asks: This answer works out well with regard to a widow because as a widow she is currently still permitted to marry into the priesthood, but with regard to a divorcée, who is already prohibited from marrying into the priesthood, what is there to say; why shouldn’t she perform ḥalitza immediately? The Gemara provides an alternative reason to delay the ḥalitza: The reason is because by performing ḥalitza immediately she will forfeit the sustenance payments from her deceased husband’s estate, which she otherwise would have been entitled to for the first three months. Since she is not permitted to remarry during those three months, she will have no means of support. Therefore, she should wait until after three months have passed before performing ḥalitza.

תינח נשואה ארוסה גרושה מאי איכא למימר

The Gemara asks: This answer works out well with regard to a woman who was married to her previous husband and who is therefore entitled to sustenance payments, but with regard to a divorcée who was only betrothed to her previous husband, what is there to say? She is neither entitled to receive sustenance payments nor is she permitted to marry into the priesthood. Why, then, shouldn’t she perform ḥalitza immediately?

אלא משום דרבי יוסי דתניא מעשה באדם אחד שבא לפני רבי יוסי אמר לו מהו לחלוץ בתוך שלשה אמר לו לא תחלוץ ותחלוץ ומה בכך

The Gemara therefore provides an alternative reason to delay the ḥalitza: Rather, it is due to that which Rabbi Yosei stated, as it is taught in a baraita: There was an incident involving a certain man who came before Rabbi Yosei. The man said to him: What is the halakha with regard to performing ḥalitza within three months of the husband’s death? He said to him: She may not perform ḥalitza. He asked him: Let her perform ḥalitza; what would be the problem with that? Even if she is pregnant, no prohibition will have been transgressed.

קרא עליו מקרא זה ואם לא יחפץ הא אם חפץ יבם כל העולה ליבום עולה לחליצה כו׳

To explain his ruling, Rabbi Yosei recited this verse about him: “And if the man does not wish to take his yevama” (Deuteronomy 25:7) in levirate marriage, then he must perform ḥalitza. By inference, the possibility of performing ḥalitza exists only in a case in which if he wishes he may consummate the levirate marriage. This teaches the principle that one who is eligible for levirate marriage is eligible for ḥalitza, and one who is ineligible for levirate marriage is ineligible for ḥalitza. This includes even a woman who is temporarily prohibited from marrying, e.g., a woman in the first three months following a previous marriage.

מתיב רב חיננא הספקות חולצות ולא מתיבמות

Rav Ḥinnana raised an objection from the following baraita: Those women whose status as a yevama is uncertain perform Ḽalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage. According to this baraita, there are in fact cases in which a woman is eligible for Ḽalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage.

מאי ספקות אילימא ספק קדושין אמאי לא מתיבמות תתייבם ואין בכך כלום

The Gemara clarifies the case: What is the case of women whose status as a yevama is uncertain? If we say it is referring to a woman whose betrothal to her previous husband is uncertain, then why does she not enter into levirate marriage? Let her enter into levirate marriage, and there is no problem with that, because if the betrothal was never valid, then she is permitted to the yavam as she is not his brother’s wife; and if it was valid, then she is now obligated to enter into levirate marriage with him.

אלא לאו ספק שקידש אחת משתי אחיות ואינו יודע איזו מהן קידש וקתני חולצת

Rather, is it not referring to a case of uncertainty in which a man betrothed one of two sisters and he does not know which one of them he betrothed? If that man then died childless, the yavam may not consummate the levirate marriage with either sister because it is possible that he will do so with the sister who was not betrothed to his brother, who is therefore forbidden to him as the sister of a woman who is bound to him by a levirate bond. This is in fact the case of the baraita, and the baraita teaches that she performs Ḽalitza, even though she is not permitted to enter into levirate marriage.

הכי השתא התם אם יבא אליהו ויאמר דהא קידש בת חליצה וייבום היא

The Gemara rejects the proof: How can these cases be compared? There, in the case of uncertainty, if Elijah were to come and say that the man betrothed this one of the sisters, then she would be eligible for Ḽalitza and levirate marriage. It is clear, then, that fundamentally the sister who was betrothed is actually eligible for levirate marriage, and it is merely a lack of knowledge that prevents her from entering into it.

הכא אם יבא אליהו ויאמר דהא לא איעברה מי משגח ביה ויבמינן לה הא קטנה דלאו בת איעבורי היא ואפילו הכי צריכה להמתין שלשה חדשים

However, here, with regard to a woman during the first three months following her previous marriage, if Elijah were to come and say that this woman is not pregnant, would one pay heed to him and would we allow the yavam to consummate levirate marriage? Certainly not, as is evident from the fact that a minor girl, who cannot become pregnant, must also wait three months. Evidently, the requirement to wait three months applies in all situations, even those in which the reason for the requirement is irrelevant. Therefore, by virtue of that decree the yevama is considered to be fundamentally ineligible for levirate marriage and similarly is ineligible for Ḽalitza.

תנו רבנן יבמה שלשה חדשים הראשונים נזונת משל בעל מכאן ואילך אינה נזונת לא משל בעל ולא משל יבם

§ The Gemara mentioned that a yevama is supported from her deceased husband’s estate. It now proceeds to cite a baraita that teaches this halakha: The Sages taught: A yevama during the first three months following her husband’s death receives sustenance payments from the husband’s estate. This is because her previous marriage to him is the cause of her current unmarried state, since is it due to that marriage that she must first wait three months before remarrying. From this point forward, she does not receive sustenance payments, neither from the husband’s estate nor from the yavam, as he has not yet consummated a levirate marriage with her.

עמד בדין וברח נזונת משל יבם

The baraita continues: If the yavam was brought to judgment and it was decided that he was obligated to either consummate the levirate marriage with her or perform Ḽalitza, and he ran away to avoid doing so, she receives sustenance payments from the estate of the yavam, which is his penalty for neglecting his duty.

נפלה לפני יבם קטן (מאי) מיבם לית לה מבעל מאי

The Gemara asks: If she happened before her yavam who is a minor for levirate marriage, what is the halakha? From the yavam she does not have any right to sustenance payments because, as a minor, he is unable to consummate a levirate marriage, but as to payments from her husband’s estate, what is the halakha? Since his death placed her in a situation that forces her to remain in an unmarried state, does his estate have to take the responsibility of supporting her?

פליגי בה רב אחא ורבינא חד אמר אית לה וחד אמר לית לה והלכתא לית לה משמיא קנסוה

Rav AḼa and Ravina disagree with regard to this matter: One said she does have rights to sustenance payments, and the other one said she does not have any rights. And the halakha is that she does not have any rights to sustenance payments. This is because the husband is not considered to be responsible for her situation; rather, it is thought that she was penalized by Heaven.

תנו רבנן יבמה שחלצו לה אחים בתוך שלשה צריכה להמתין שלשה חדשים

§ The Sages taught: In the case of a yevama with whom the brothers of her deceased husband performed ḥalitza within three months of her husband’s death, she still needs to wait three months before remarrying.

  • 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: 37-43 – Daf Yomi One Week at a Time

This week we will learn about Inheritance in Jewish Law and how it relates to Yibum. The Gemara will discuss...

Yevamot 41

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Yevamot 41

הך דאזלא בהדה לבי דינא גזרו בהו רבנן האי דלא אזלא בהדה לבי דינא לא גזרו בהו רבנן

The Gemara explains: With regard to that woman, the relative of the ḥalutza, who often goes together with the ḥalutza to court, since she is present in the court during the ḥalitza, people might mistakenly assume that it was she who actually performed ḥalitza. Were the yavam permitted to marry her rival wife, people might incorrectly conclude that it is permitted to marry the rival wife of one’s ḥalutza. To preclude this possibility, the Sages decreed with regard to her that her rival wife should be forbidden. However, with regard to this woman, the rival wife of the ḥalutza, who does not go together with the ḥalutza to court, since she is never present in the court during the ḥalitza, there is no concern that people will mistake her for the ḥalutza herself. Consequently, the Sages did not see any reason to decree with regard to her that her relatives should be forbidden.

מתני׳ החולץ ליבמתו ונשא אחיו את אחותה ומת חולצת ולא מתיבמת וכן המגרש את אשתו ונשא אחיו את אחותה ומת הרי זו פטורה

MISHNA: In the case of a yavam who performed Ḽalitza with his yevama and then his brother married her sister and died, the sister performs Ḽalitza with the yavam, but she may not enter into levirate marriage with him, since as a sister of his Ḽalutza she is forbidden to him. And similarly, in the case of one who divorced his wife and his brother married her sister and died, then that woman is exempt both from Ḽalitza and from consummating levirate marriage, since as the sister of his former wife she is forbidden to him.

שומרת יבם שקידש אחיו את אחותה משום רבי יהודה בן בתירא אמרו אומרים לו המתן עד שיעשה אחיך מעשה

In the case of a widow waiting for her yavam to consummate levirate marriage or perform Ḽalitza with her, and the brother of the yavam betrothed her sister, they said in the name of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira: They say to the brother: Wait and do not marry the woman you betrothed until your brother performs an act, either of Ḽalitza or of consummating the levirate marriage, as until he does there remains a levirate bond between the yevama and each of the brothers, and it is prohibited to marry the sister of a woman to whom one is bound by a levirate bond.

חלץ לה אחיו או כנסה יכנוס את אשתו מתה היבמה יכנוס את אשתו מת יבם יוציא את אשתו בגט ואשת אחיו בחליצה

If a brother of the one who betrothed the sister of the yevama performed ḥalitza with the yevama or consummated a levirate marriage with her, since by doing so the levirate bond between the yevama and the one who betrothed her sister is dissolved, he may then enter into marriage with his wife, who until that point was only betrothed to him, as she is no longer the sister of a woman to whom he is bound by a levirate bond. Similarly, if the yevama died, since his levirate bond to her is dissolved upon her death, he may proceed to enter into marriage with his betrothed wife. However, if the yavam died without performing an act that would have dissolved the levirate bond, he must divorce his wife with a bill of divorce, as she is forbidden to him as the sister of a woman to whom he is bound by a levirate bond, and his brother’s wife he must send out with ḥalitza, as she is forbidden to him as the sister of his divorcée.

גמ׳ מאי וכן אימא אבל המגרש

GEMARA: The mishna considers two cases in which there is no possibility of consummating levirate marriage with a yevama. In the first case the reason is that she is the sister of one’s ḥalutza, and in the second it is that she is the sister of one’s divorcée. The mishna appears to compare the two cases by introducing the second case with: And similarly. The Gemara questions this: What is the meaning of: And similarly? The two cases are not similar; in the first case the yevama must perform ḥalitza, and in the second she is entirely exempt from the need to do anything. The Gemara answers: Emend the mishna and say: However, one who divorces.

אמר ריש לקיש כאן שנה רבי אחות גרושה מדברי תורה אחות חלוצה מדברי סופרים

The Gemara explains the reason for the difference between the two cases: Reish Lakish said: Here, through this mishna, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi taught that a sister of one’s divorcée is forbidden to him by Torah law, and that is why she is entirely exempt, whereas a sister of a ḥalutza is forbidden to him only by rabbinic law, and therefore, since there is still a levirate bond between her and the yavam, she requires ḥalitza to release her from it.

שומרת יבם שקידש וכו׳ אמר שמואל הלכה כדברי רבי יהודה בן בתירא

§ The mishna states that in the case of a widow waiting for her yavam where the brother of the yavam betrothed her sister, Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira said that the brother may not proceed to marry his betrothed. The Gemara cites a ruling on this matter: Shmuel said: The halakha is in accordance with the statement of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira.

איבעיא להו מתה אשתו מהו ביבמתו רב ורבי חנינא דאמרי תרוייהו מתה אשתו מותר ביבמתו שמואל ורב אסי דאמרי תרוייהו מתה אשתו אסור ביבמתו

A dilemma was raised before the Sages: If a yavam is betrothed to the sister of his yevama, then since the yevama is his betrothed wife’s sister, it is forbidden for him to consummate a levirate marriage with her. However, if his betrothed wife died, what is the halakha with regard to his yevama; is he then permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with her? It is Rav and Rabbi Ḥanina who both say: If his wife died, he is permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with his yevama. Their opinion is disputed by Shmuel and Rav Asi, who both say: If his wife died, he is forbidden to his yevama.

אמר רבא מאי טעמא דרב משום דהואי יבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

Rava said: What is Rav’s reasoning? She is permitted due to the fact that she is a yevama who, when her husband died, was permitted to the yavam, and then when the yavam betrothed her sister she became forbidden to him as his wife’s sister, and then when his wife died the yevama reverted to her original status and was permitted to him. As such, she should also revert to her original permitted status with regard to levirate marriage and be permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with the yavam.

מתיב רב המנונא שלשה אחין שנים נשואין שתי אחיות ואחד מופנה מת אחד מבעלי אחיות ועשה בה מופנה מאמר ואחר כך מת אחיו השני

Rav Hamnuna raised an objection from that which was taught in a baraita: With regard to a case of three brothers, two of whom are married to two sisters and one of whom is a bachelor, if one of the sisters’ husbands died and the bachelor performed levirate betrothal with that sister, and afterward the second brother who was married to the other sister died, and so his wife also happened before the bachelor for levirate marriage, the bachelor is then bound to each of the sisters through a levirate bond. In such a case it is prohibited for the bachelor to consummate a levirate marriage with either one, as it is prohibited to marry the sister of a woman to whom one is bound through a levirate bond.

ואחר כך מתה אשתו אחריו אותה יבמה חולצת ולא מתיבמת

And if afterward the wife of the second brother died after him, i.e., after her husband had already died, which restored the original situation in which the bachelor was bound by a levirate bond only to the widow of the first brother, then in such a case that yevama, the widow of the first brother, performs Ḽalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage.

ואמאי תיהוי כיבמה שהותרה ונאסרה וחזרה והותרה תחזור להיתירה הראשון

Rav Hamnuna explains the challenge from the baraita: But why may she not consummate the levirate marriage? She should be like a yevama who was initially permitted to her yavam, and then became forbidden to him, and then reverted to her original status and was permitted, and so in this case she should also revert to her original permitted status with regard to levirate marriage and be permitted to consummate a levirate marriage with him. The fact that the baraita rules that she is prohibited from consummating the marriage demonstrates that she does not revert to her original permitted status.

אישתיק לבתר דנפק אמר אמאי לא אמרת ליה רבי אלעזר היא דאמר כיון שעמדה עליו שעה אחת באסור נאסרה עליו עולמית

Rava was silent, as he had no immediate answer. After Rav Hamnuna left the study hall, Rava said to himself: Why did you not say to him that the baraita does not pose a challenge because it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who said in a mishna (108b) with regard to the case of a man who divorced his wife, remarried her, and then died childless, that the yevama may not consummate levirate marriage with her yavam because once a yevama has stood before her yavam in a forbidden state, even for a single moment, she remains forbidden to him forever, and in that case, during the period she was divorced from her husband she was forbidden to her yavam? The Rabbis, however, disagree with his opinion, and the halakha is ruled in accordance with their opinion.

הדר אמר אימור דאמר רבי אלעזר היכא דלא חזיא בשעת נפילה אבל היכא דחזיא בשעת נפילה מי אמר

He then said to himself: It is not certain that the baraita is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar because one could say that Rabbi Elazar said his opinion only where she was not suitable for the yavam, i.e., she was forbidden to him, already from the time of her happening before her yavam for levirate marriage at the moment of her husband’s death. However, where she was suitable for her yavam at the time of her happening before him and became forbidden to him only at some later point, as in the case of a yavam who betrothed the sister of his yevama, did he actually say that if the reason for the prohibition is removed then she does not return to her permissible state? If the baraita does not represent the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, then it must be unanimously agreed upon, and therefore it indeed poses a challenge.

הדר אמר אין והתניא רבי אלעזר אומר מתה יבמתו מותר באשתו מתה אשתו אותה יבמה חולצת ולא מתיבמת

He then said: Yes, actually, Rabbi Elazar did state his opinion even in such a case, and so it is taught in a baraita: With regard to a yavam who betrothed the sister of his yevama, Rabbi Elazar says: If his yevama dies, he is permitted to his wife. If his wife dies, that yevama performs ḥalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage with him. Therefore, the challenge from the baraita can be dismissed since it represents only Rabbi Elazar’s opinion.

לימא שמואל ורב אסי דאמרי כרבי אלעזר

The Gemara suggests: Shall we say that Shmuel and Rav Asi, who say that she may not consummate the levirate marriage, hold in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar?

אפילו תימא כרבנן עד כאן לא קמיפלגי רבנן עליה דרבי אלעזר אלא משום דמנפילה ואילך לא מיתסר עלייהו אבל הכא דאיתסר אפילו רבנן מודו

The Gemara rejects this: You can even say that they hold in accordance with the opinion of the Rabbis, as perhaps the Rabbis disagree with Rabbi Elazar in the case of a man who divorced and remarried his wife and then died childless only due to the fact that in that case, from the time of her happening for levirate marriage and onward she was not forbidden to them, i.e., her yevamin. The fact that the prohibition between her and her yevamin ended before she ever happened before them for levirate marriage means it has no bearing on her current eligibility for levirate marriage. However, here, in the case where the yavam betrothed the sister of his yevama, since she became forbidden after she had already happened before him for levirate marriage, even the Rabbis would agree that she remains permanently ineligible to consummate levirate marriage with him.

מתני׳ היבמה לא תחלוץ ולא תתייבם עד שיש לה שלשה חדשים וכן כל שאר הנשים לא יתארסו ולא ינשאו עד שיהו להן שלשה חדשים אחד בתולות ואחד בעולות אחד גרושות ואחד אלמנות אחד נשואות ואחד ארוסות

MISHNA: A yevama may neither perform ḥalitza nor enter into levirate marriage until she has waited three months from the time of her husband’s death. And similarly, all other women may not be betrothed and may not marry until they have waited three months since their previous marriage ended. This waiting period is necessary so that, should a woman give birth shortly after remarrying, it will be obvious who the father of the child is. This applies both to virgins and non-virgins, both to divorcées and widows, and both to women who were married to their previous husbands and women who were only betrothed. All of these women must wait three months before remarrying even though for some of them the reason for doing so does not apply.

רבי יהודה אומר הנשואות יתארסו והארוסות ינשאו חוץ מן הארוסות שביהודה מפני שלבו גס בה

Rabbi Yehuda says: The women who were married to their previous husbands may be betrothed, and the women who were only betrothed to their previous husbands may marry without waiting three months. This is true except for the betrothed women that are in the area of Judea, due to the fact that the groom is familiar with her. The custom in Judea was for the couple to be secluded together before the marriage so that they would become familiar with each other. This led to the possibility that they might cohabit even during their betrothal period. Rabbi Yehuda holds that one does not need to wait three months whenever the reason for doing so does not apply.

רבי יוסי אומר כל הנשים יתארסו חוץ מן האלמנה

Rabbi Yosei says: All of the women may be betrothed within three months even if they were previously married, except for a widow,

מפני האיבול

due to the mourning period she must observe for her deceased husband.

גמ׳ בשלמא לא תתייבם שמא יהיה הולד בן קיימא וקא פגע באיסור אשת אח דאורייתא אלא לא תחלוץ אמאי

GEMARA: The Gemara questions the mishna’s opening clause: Granted, she should not enter into levirate marriage, as she might already be pregnant, which would still not be noticeable during the first three months, and perhaps the baby will be viable. In that case it would emerge that she was never subject to the mitzva of levirate marriage, and therefore, if the yavam consummates a levirate marriage he will have encountered the Torah prohibition against engaging in relations with one’s brother’s wife. However, why should she not perform ḥalitza?

לימא תיהוי תיובתא דרבי יוחנן דאמר חליצת מעוברת שמה חליצה ולאו מי אותביניה לרבי יוחנן חדא זימנא לימא מהא נמי תיהוי תיובתא

The Gemara suggests: Let us say that this mishna, which states that a pregnant woman should not perform ḥalitza, is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan, who said that a ḥalitza performed with a pregnant woman who later miscarries is considered a valid ḥalitza. The Gemara asks: But didn’t they already conclusively refute the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan one time previously from other sources? The Gemara rephrases the suggestion: Let us say that from this mishna as well there is a conclusive refutation of the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan.

לא הכא היינו טעמא שמא יהא ולד בן קיימא ונמצאת אתה מצריכה כרוז לכהונה

The Gemara deflects this suggestion: No, it is possible that in the mishna here, this is the reason that she may not perform Ḽalitza: Perhaps the offspring will be viable, in which case although she performed the act of Ḽalitza, it is entirely meaningless since it was completely unnecessary, and she would remain permitted to marry into the priesthood. However, this could lead to a problem: People might not realize that the Ḽalitza she performed was meaningless, and they would think she is a Ḽalutza who is prohibited from marrying a priest. It would therefore emerge that if you permit her to perform Ḽalitza even though it is possible that she is pregnant, it could be that you will ultimately require a public announcement to be made for her to attest to the fact that the Ḽalitza she performed was meaningless and she is in fact still permitted to marry into the priesthood.

ונצרכה דלמא איכא דהואי בחליצה ולא הוי בהכרזה ומפסלוה מן הכהונה

The Gemara wonders why this poses a problem: But why not let her perform Ḽalitza even though it is possible she is pregnant, and then, if it becomes necessary, require a public announcement to be made for her? The Gemara explains why one should avoid having to rely on a public announcement: Perhaps there will be some people who are present at the Ḽalitza but were not present at the public announcement, and those people will incorrectly disqualify her from marrying into the priesthood. To avoid this situation, the mishna rules that she should wait three months before performing Ḽalitza.

תינח אלמנה גרושה מאי איכא למימר משום דמפסיד לה מזונות

The Gemara asks: This answer works out well with regard to a widow because as a widow she is currently still permitted to marry into the priesthood, but with regard to a divorcée, who is already prohibited from marrying into the priesthood, what is there to say; why shouldn’t she perform ḥalitza immediately? The Gemara provides an alternative reason to delay the ḥalitza: The reason is because by performing ḥalitza immediately she will forfeit the sustenance payments from her deceased husband’s estate, which she otherwise would have been entitled to for the first three months. Since she is not permitted to remarry during those three months, she will have no means of support. Therefore, she should wait until after three months have passed before performing ḥalitza.

תינח נשואה ארוסה גרושה מאי איכא למימר

The Gemara asks: This answer works out well with regard to a woman who was married to her previous husband and who is therefore entitled to sustenance payments, but with regard to a divorcée who was only betrothed to her previous husband, what is there to say? She is neither entitled to receive sustenance payments nor is she permitted to marry into the priesthood. Why, then, shouldn’t she perform ḥalitza immediately?

אלא משום דרבי יוסי דתניא מעשה באדם אחד שבא לפני רבי יוסי אמר לו מהו לחלוץ בתוך שלשה אמר לו לא תחלוץ ותחלוץ ומה בכך

The Gemara therefore provides an alternative reason to delay the ḥalitza: Rather, it is due to that which Rabbi Yosei stated, as it is taught in a baraita: There was an incident involving a certain man who came before Rabbi Yosei. The man said to him: What is the halakha with regard to performing ḥalitza within three months of the husband’s death? He said to him: She may not perform ḥalitza. He asked him: Let her perform ḥalitza; what would be the problem with that? Even if she is pregnant, no prohibition will have been transgressed.

קרא עליו מקרא זה ואם לא יחפץ הא אם חפץ יבם כל העולה ליבום עולה לחליצה כו׳

To explain his ruling, Rabbi Yosei recited this verse about him: “And if the man does not wish to take his yevama” (Deuteronomy 25:7) in levirate marriage, then he must perform ḥalitza. By inference, the possibility of performing ḥalitza exists only in a case in which if he wishes he may consummate the levirate marriage. This teaches the principle that one who is eligible for levirate marriage is eligible for ḥalitza, and one who is ineligible for levirate marriage is ineligible for ḥalitza. This includes even a woman who is temporarily prohibited from marrying, e.g., a woman in the first three months following a previous marriage.

מתיב רב חיננא הספקות חולצות ולא מתיבמות

Rav Ḥinnana raised an objection from the following baraita: Those women whose status as a yevama is uncertain perform Ḽalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage. According to this baraita, there are in fact cases in which a woman is eligible for Ḽalitza but may not enter into levirate marriage.

מאי ספקות אילימא ספק קדושין אמאי לא מתיבמות תתייבם ואין בכך כלום

The Gemara clarifies the case: What is the case of women whose status as a yevama is uncertain? If we say it is referring to a woman whose betrothal to her previous husband is uncertain, then why does she not enter into levirate marriage? Let her enter into levirate marriage, and there is no problem with that, because if the betrothal was never valid, then she is permitted to the yavam as she is not his brother’s wife; and if it was valid, then she is now obligated to enter into levirate marriage with him.

אלא לאו ספק שקידש אחת משתי אחיות ואינו יודע איזו מהן קידש וקתני חולצת

Rather, is it not referring to a case of uncertainty in which a man betrothed one of two sisters and he does not know which one of them he betrothed? If that man then died childless, the yavam may not consummate the levirate marriage with either sister because it is possible that he will do so with the sister who was not betrothed to his brother, who is therefore forbidden to him as the sister of a woman who is bound to him by a levirate bond. This is in fact the case of the baraita, and the baraita teaches that she performs Ḽalitza, even though she is not permitted to enter into levirate marriage.

הכי השתא התם אם יבא אליהו ויאמר דהא קידש בת חליצה וייבום היא

The Gemara rejects the proof: How can these cases be compared? There, in the case of uncertainty, if Elijah were to come and say that the man betrothed this one of the sisters, then she would be eligible for Ḽalitza and levirate marriage. It is clear, then, that fundamentally the sister who was betrothed is actually eligible for levirate marriage, and it is merely a lack of knowledge that prevents her from entering into it.

הכא אם יבא אליהו ויאמר דהא לא איעברה מי משגח ביה ויבמינן לה הא קטנה דלאו בת איעבורי היא ואפילו הכי צריכה להמתין שלשה חדשים

However, here, with regard to a woman during the first three months following her previous marriage, if Elijah were to come and say that this woman is not pregnant, would one pay heed to him and would we allow the yavam to consummate levirate marriage? Certainly not, as is evident from the fact that a minor girl, who cannot become pregnant, must also wait three months. Evidently, the requirement to wait three months applies in all situations, even those in which the reason for the requirement is irrelevant. Therefore, by virtue of that decree the yevama is considered to be fundamentally ineligible for levirate marriage and similarly is ineligible for Ḽalitza.

תנו רבנן יבמה שלשה חדשים הראשונים נזונת משל בעל מכאן ואילך אינה נזונת לא משל בעל ולא משל יבם

§ The Gemara mentioned that a yevama is supported from her deceased husband’s estate. It now proceeds to cite a baraita that teaches this halakha: The Sages taught: A yevama during the first three months following her husband’s death receives sustenance payments from the husband’s estate. This is because her previous marriage to him is the cause of her current unmarried state, since is it due to that marriage that she must first wait three months before remarrying. From this point forward, she does not receive sustenance payments, neither from the husband’s estate nor from the yavam, as he has not yet consummated a levirate marriage with her.

עמד בדין וברח נזונת משל יבם

The baraita continues: If the yavam was brought to judgment and it was decided that he was obligated to either consummate the levirate marriage with her or perform Ḽalitza, and he ran away to avoid doing so, she receives sustenance payments from the estate of the yavam, which is his penalty for neglecting his duty.

נפלה לפני יבם קטן (מאי) מיבם לית לה מבעל מאי

The Gemara asks: If she happened before her yavam who is a minor for levirate marriage, what is the halakha? From the yavam she does not have any right to sustenance payments because, as a minor, he is unable to consummate a levirate marriage, but as to payments from her husband’s estate, what is the halakha? Since his death placed her in a situation that forces her to remain in an unmarried state, does his estate have to take the responsibility of supporting her?

פליגי בה רב אחא ורבינא חד אמר אית לה וחד אמר לית לה והלכתא לית לה משמיא קנסוה

Rav AḼa and Ravina disagree with regard to this matter: One said she does have rights to sustenance payments, and the other one said she does not have any rights. And the halakha is that she does not have any rights to sustenance payments. This is because the husband is not considered to be responsible for her situation; rather, it is thought that she was penalized by Heaven.

תנו רבנן יבמה שחלצו לה אחים בתוך שלשה צריכה להמתין שלשה חדשים

§ The Sages taught: In the case of a yevama with whom the brothers of her deceased husband performed ḥalitza within three months of her husband’s death, she still needs to wait three months before remarrying.

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