Sunday, May 06, 2007


The Rambam in Sefer HaMitzvos (217) and the Chinuch state that this tractate is called Yevamos and not Chalitzos because the mitzvah of yibum takes precedence over the mitzvah of chalitzah.

Reb Yaakov Kamenetzky asks: This would be understandable if the name of the Mesechta would be Yivumos, referring to the act of yibum; however, the name is Yevamos, meaning the women who are Yevamos, in the same manner as the brother who is performing the yibum is called the yavam.

He concludes that perhaps the name of the Mesechta is actually Yivmos, referring to the halachos of yibum. This would explain the Rambam and the Chinuch’s question and answer.


Anonymous said...

not really sure if I understand this one. The Rambam is just explaining why it's called Yevamos as opposed to Chalitzos. The Rambam would agree that the masechta deals with yevamos, i.e. the women, and also the act of yibum. WHat does what the Rambam writes have anything to do with the grammatically correct name of the masechta? To change the name of a masechta based on this question is hard to understand.

Avromi said...

firstly, he is not changing the name - hes saying what the name might be

secondly, if yevamos means the women, the rambam has no question - what should it say - chalutzos?