Tuesday, May 29, 2007

MITZVAH OF YIBUM - WHO HAS THE OBLIGATION? - Yevamos 26 - Daf Yomi

The Rambam in his Sefer HaMitzvos (216) writes that there is a commandment for the yavam to perform a yibum with his brother’s wife when his brother died childless.

The Minchas Chinuch (1:15) states that it is implicit from the Rambam that he maintains that the mitzvah of yibum is an obligation for the man (the yavam) and not for the woman (the yevamah).

The Chinuch (Mitzvah 598 and 599) states explicitly that the mitzvah of yibum is only applicable to men and not to women.

The Minchas Chinuch cites a Pnei Yehoshua in Kesuvos (40a) that the mitzvah of yibum also applies to the yevamah.

Why should there be an obligation for the yevamah; the Torah explicitly states that the brother should marry his brother’s wife. It is not written anywhere that she shall be taken for yibum?

Reb Ezriel Cziment, in his sefer Mitzvos Hamelech answers: Besides the mitzvah of performing a yibum, there is also an obligation to establish a name for the deceased. It is this mitzvah that the yevamah plays an integral role in and she is thus included in the mitzvah obligation.

17 comments:

ben said...

is this like the Torah Temimah in Emor (quoting Ran) regarding a woman's mitvah of Sukkah, that she is helping the man fulfill mitvzah of teishvu kein taduru?

Avromi said...

He quotes a Ran also regarding the mitzvah of peru u'revu that the woman helps the man.

Interesting Chareidim that the yisroelim are assisting the kohanim in their mitzvah to be mevarech klal yisroel.

Could be similar to those.

David G. said...

"Besides the mitzvah of performing a yibum, there is also an obligation to establish a name for the deceased."What is this mitzva? I thought the gemara said that we don't understand that pasuk literally at all and there is no mitzva to establish a name for the deceased. This pasuk is only referring to

Avromi said...

Not to name the son but to have children for him - btw there is a discussion if you should name him the same name

Pilpul said...

The Gemora states that the possuk is not coming for the "pshuto shel mikra" and yet some say that the son should be named for the deceased brother; what would be the source?

Yaron said...

Would this apply to chalitzah as well? Whose mitzvah is that?

Avromi said...

Reb Meir Simcha learns from a Gemora in Sanhedrin that although the mitzvah of yibum is on the man, chalitzah is on the woman - I will write regarding this soon iy"H. Thanks

David G. said...

"Not to name the son but to have children for him - btw there is a discussion if you should name him the same name."

Avromi, you seem to be saying that there is no mitzva to name the kid but there is a mitzva to establish a name for the deceased and perhaps the woman is mechuyeves in that. Where do you get that from? Is it a mitzva d'oraisa? The Rambam doesn't quote any such mitzva (at least I didn't see it).

Avromi said...

Which part were you questioning; the mitzvah to establish the name or that the mitzvah is on the woman?

David G. said...

The mitzva to establish the name. As far as I know there are only two mitzvos aseh associated with yibum: 1. yibum and 2. chalitza. There is no mitzva to have a kid in memory of the dead guy or anything like that. You seem to be saying that there is a mitzva on the brother that might also apply to the woman but I don't even know where the source is for a mitzva on the man.

Avromi said...

Ok - I will provide the source for you after school.

Avromi said...

The Riva in Tosfos daf 20a asks: How can we say that the positive commandment of yibum should override a negative prohibition and therefore the first act of cohabitation is Biblically permitted; it is impossible to impregnate a woman with the first cohabitation and a name for the deceased will not be established; this can only be accomplished with the second act and by that time she is already forbidden?
It is evident from his question that establishing a name for the deceased is an integral part of the mitzvah.

David G. said...

I'm not sure if that's what Tosafos means. This is how I would understand his question ...

The gemara says that an aylonis is exempt from yibum because we learn from the pasuk that she must have the ability to have children in order to be part of the mitzva. Tosafos asks if that's true then how could you ever have the bi'ah rishona if you can't become impregnated from it? The answer is that it just has to be a woman who can have children and you don't have to have the ability from each bi'ah.

I don't think that Tosafos believes that there is any kind of a kiyum mitzva when the yavam and yevama have a baby. I don't know what the source would be for that from the Torah (or from the gemara). I don't see anything about such a mitzva in the Rambam either.

Avromi said...

The Tosfos HaRosh asks on the Riva like you, that Tosfos should have asked from any yibum and not just from a case where there is a negative prohibition. It would seem that Tosfos is only asking from chayvai lavin.

Avromi said...

Another proof that there is a mitzvah of establishing the name of the deceased is from the Rashba (20b). He asks: Why didn't the Gemora state that the positive mitzvah of yibum cannot override a negative prohibition because we are concerned with the end of the cohabitation; only the beginning is part of the mitzvah? His first answer is that the end part is also part of the mitzvah. His second answer is that since it says "to establish a name for the deceased," and only with the conclusion of the cohabitation can she become impregnated, this is an integral part of the mitzvah and we will not prohibit the yibum because of that.

Once again, we see that establishing a name plays a crucial role in the mitzvah.

David G. said...

I think it's clear that establishing the name has a role in THE mitzva of yibum but it is not a mitzva on its own. There is a mitzva to do yibum and if the man is meyabem the woman and they have bi'ah then he has performed the mitzva completely and has no less of the mitzva than someone who is meyabem the woman and has a child from her. It does have a role in halacha like if they can't have children then there is no mitzva of yibum but that doesn't mean that they have to have children to accomplish the mitzva.

I don't think you'll find any rishon who will call it a mitzva or chiyuv to have a child. If that's true then I don't understand Reb Ezriel Cziment's comment that you quoted originally.

Avromi said...

I think we are now pretty much agreeing - the cohabitation alone is not the mitzvah, establishing a name for the deceased (which is precisely the meaning of the passuk) is part of the mitzvah and this part has halachic ramifications, which as we go further in yevamos we will see, like in relevance to a minor. You probably are right; having a child or not does not detract from the mitzvah. Rabbi Cziment is saying (actually Rishonim) that the GOAL of establishing a name plays a role in the mitzvah and that is why the woman is included. If the mitzvah would merely be cohabitation, the mitzvah is purely on the man (although obviously the woman is needed, but she might be regarded as the cheftza d'mitzvah); since the mitzvah is also l'hakim l'achiv sheim, she is included in the mitzvah.